The good, the bad, the ugly

Each issue, News editor Sandra Rossi filters the incoming comments, sifting out the defamatory remarks and awarding an exclusive GBU mug to each contributor, whose identity is confidential.

Good

Forget sleeping pills just switch over to Free Radio Linux for a snooze. For the past month -- and for the next 500 days or so -- Free Radio Linux will transmit a computerised reading of the Linux operating system. Creators of the site have built a speech bot that reads out the entire Linux source code, live over the Internet. The Linux kernel contains 4,141,432 lines of code that will take 14,253.43 hours, or 593.89 days, to read it all.

Bad

US hackers who knowingly attempt "to cause death or serious bodily injury" through electronic means face life imprisonment under the Cyber Security Enhancement Act. Supporting severe punishment Texas Republican Lamar Smith said a "mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb".

Ugly

In a private antitrust lawsuit filed in the US Federal court last week, Sun Microsystems is seeking more than $US1 billion in damages from Microsoft, as well as a preliminary injunction forcing the software giant to include Sun's Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in the Windows XP operating system.

The lawsuit "seeks to restrain Microsoft's anticompetitive behaviour and remedy the damage that has resulted from Microsoft's illegal monopoly," Michael Morris, Sun's general counsel, said.

The lawsuit asks the court to force Microsoft to distribute JVMs with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.0 instead of requiring users to download a JVM. It would also force Microsoft to disclose proprietary interfaces and unbundle "tied" products such as Explorer and .Net The suit, which was filed in US District Court in San Jose, seeks damages that will probably be "north of a billion" dollars, Morris said. Microsoft paid Sun $20 million last year to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit over its Java implementation.

* Usable e-mails to Sandra_Rossi@idg.com.au will merit a GBU mug.

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