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Google: Should You Search for a Better Deal?
In other search-engine news, a South Korean firm bought Spain's Terra Lycos for a fraction of what the company was worth four years ago. "South Korea's Daum Communications Corp. Monday said it agreed to purchase U.S. Internet portal Lycos Inc. from Spain's Terra Networks SA for around 111.2 billion won ($95.6 million)," Dow Jones Newswires said, adding that "Terra bought Lycos at the height of the Internet boom in 2000, paying $12.5 billion for the portal operator."
Dow Jones Newswires via The Wall Street Journal: Daum Communications to Buy Lycos for About $95.6 Million (Subscription required)
Me and My Shadow
The Boston Globe is the latest to weigh in with a piece about how Microsoft is breathing down Google's neck in the search engine wars. "The footsteps heard by Google Inc. are coming from this pine-studded Seattle suburb where the dreams of Silicon Valley upstarts often have been dashed. Once again, activity is stirring on the sprawling campus of Microsoft Corp. Once again the software company is playing catch-up in a technology field where its famously driven management team was slow to spot an opportunity -- and threat," the Globe wrote. "And once again technologists are betting the ultimate winner in the coming donnybrook over computer search won't be today's market leader, Google, or its Bay Area rival, Yahoo Inc., which now powers Microsoft's consumer search site. It will be the Puget Sound software goliath, which is known as a ferocious competitor. Microsoft is investing $100 million to enhance search on its MSN consumer Internet service alone, and millions more on multiple search efforts throughout the company."
The Boston Globe: Search and Destroy
Steve Jobs's OS Working Just Fine, Thank You
Apple Computer's Steve Jobs, also chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios, revealed that he had emergency surgery to treat a rare type of pancreatic cancer. "The surgery was successful and Mr. Jobs will return to work in September, an Apple spokeswoman said. Mr. Jobs, 49 years old, disclosed the news about his surgery in a memo he sent to Apple staffers yesterday. In the memo, Mr. Jobs told employees of the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker that he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer, called islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which can be cured by surgery if removed in time. The tumor was diagnosed in time, he said, and he won't require any chemotherapy or radiation treatment," the Wall Street Journal said.
The Wall Street Journal: Apple Computer CEO Jobs Undergoes Successful Surgery (Subscription required)
The New York Times cited part of Jobs's e-mail to employees. "I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year," he wrote "and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was)."
The New York Times: Apple Chief Has Emergency Cancer Surgery (Registration required)
Associated Press via USA Today: Steve Jobs Undergoes Surgery To Remove Cancerous Tumor
Linux Patent Fight Brews
The Linux operating system has a number of potential patent risks, according to a new study. "Open Source Risk Management Inc., a start-up that plans to offer insurance against litigation for users of Linux, said the study found 238 U.S. software patents that could be used to support claims against the Linux kernel, the technological core of the popular software. About one-third of those patents are held by Linux backers, which wouldn't be likely to enforce patents against users, the company said. But 27 of the patents are held by Microsoft Corp., an outspoken Linux opponent, and the rest are held by individuals or companies that may have little to lose by making legal threats against Linux users, OSRM said," the Wall Street Journal reported. "The findings, being released at the LinuxWorld trade show in San Francisco this week, are likely to fuel speculation about whether Microsoft might seek to enforce patents that cover parts of Linux," the paper said. OSRM posted the findings (PDF).
The Wall Street Journal: Study Identifies Patent Risks Facing Linux Operating System (Subscription required)
CNET's News.com has more details on the Linux patent brouhaha: "Though OSRM's patent protection won't start until the beginning of 2005, it has set pricing: $150,000 per year for coverage of lawsuit and settlement costs of up to $5 million," the news service said, citing remarks from Dan Ravicher, founder of the Public Patent Foundation, which did the patent analysis for OSRM. "OSRM's patent-protection plans are the latest development in the sometimes uneasy interaction between the open-source programming movement, which shares code freely, and the proprietary software world, which puts a premium on proprietary technology. The issue became a very real concern when the SCO Group sued IBM, arguing that Big Blue had moved proprietary Unix technology into Linux against the terms of a contract. And the issue has been getting more attention. A just-surfaced two-year-old memo from a Hewlett-Packard executive highlighted patent-infringement risks in Linux, and Linux foe Microsoft is putting increasing emphasis on its patent portfolio, with a goal to apply for 3,000 new patents this year."
CNET's News.com: Group: Linux Potentially Infringes 283 Patents
As for LinuxWorld, Matthew Szulik, the chief executive of Red Hat, is on tap to deliver a keynote address tomorrow. CNET's News.com ran a preview article of the conference: "The growing normalcy of Linux in the corporate computing realm will be on display this week at a show devoted to the open-source operating system. Linus Torvalds launched Linux as a student project nearly 13 years ago, and by the late 1990s the software had attracted support from the computing industry. Now Linux is a staple of the information technology diet and a component of computing company strategies to get an edge over their competitors," CNET reported.
CNET's News.com: Linux Fervor On Display At Trade Show