TECHNOLOGY BRIEFING

TECHNOLOGY BRIEFING

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Computer Sciences to Cut Jobs, Considers Sale

Computer Sciences said that it plans to cut about 5,000 jobs, or about 6 percent of its workforce, over two years and that a sale of the company is under consideration.

The information technology services company said its board has decided to explore its options for improving shareholder value and has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs as its adviser.

The job cuts are part of a major restructuring intended to improve the company's cash flow and earnings. Most of the job reductions will come in Europe, the company said.

LEGAL

Spitzer Sues Company Over 'Spyware'

New York's attorney general, Eliot L. Spitzer, sued another Internet pop-up advertising company, accusing it of secretly installing malicious programs on personal computers and sending ads through "spyware" that is already installed.

Spitzer said Direct Revenue has installed millions of pop-up programs that also monitor the Internet activity of users. He asked a state court to stop the practice.

Officials with New York-based Direct Revenue did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

Netflix Files Patent Suit Against Blockbuster

Netflix accused Blockbuster of illegally copying its ideas in a patent infringement lawsuit challenging the video store chain's recent Internet expansion. The suit claims Blockbuster's service infringes on Netflix's patents for allowing subscribers to create and update personal lists of movies they want to order.

Netflix also claims its patents cover a feature allowing customers to rent a DVD for an unlimited time without incurring late fees. A Blockbuster spokesman declined to comment because the company had not yet seen the suit.

LEGAL

Video Game Law Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled that a Michigan law barring retailers from selling or renting violent video games to minors is unconstitutional.

Trade groups representing U.S. computer and video game publishers charged that the law is unconstitutionally vague and limits First Amendment rights.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) signed the legislation, but a judge issued a preliminary injunction, putting the law on hold. The ruling made the injunction permanent.

"Video games contain creative, expressive free speech, inseparable from their interactive functional elements, and are therefore protected by the First Amendment," U.S. District Judge George Steeh said in his ruling.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, Associated Press and Bloomberg News.


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