LITIGATION

IPod Battery Settlement Advances

Apple Computer's settlement of a lawsuit claiming poor battery life in iPod music players won preliminary approval from a California judge. The settlement could affect as many as 2 million people who bought the players through May 2004. Thousands complained that the device's battery lasted 18 months or less, though Apple ads claimed it would last the product's lifetime. Under terms of the settlement, consumers would get a $50 credit toward Apple products or services -- but not the company's popular iTunes -- and extended warranty service that would allow the battery or player to be replaced.

CYBER-SECURITY

Microsoft Site Hacked in Korea

Microsoft said hackers booby-trapped its popular MSN Web site in Korea to try to steal passwords from visitors. The company said it was unclear how many Internet users might have been affected. Microsoft said it cleaned the Web site, www.msn.co.kr, and removed the dangerous software code that hackers had added this week. A spokesman, Adam Sohn, said Microsoft was confident its English-language Web sites were not vulnerable to the same type of attack.

CELL PHONES

Intel-Powered Phone Hits Europe

Intel said the first cell phone running on one of its processors will go on sale in Europe next week, five years after the company began trying to break into that market. The phone, using a "baseband processor" dubbed Manitoba, will be offered by mobile-service provider O2 next week, said Sean Maloney, the head of Intel's Mobility Group.

ACQUISITIONS

Sun to Buy Data-Storage Specialist

Sun Microsystems agreed to buy Storage Technology, which specializes in tape-based devices, for $4.1 billion as it tries to capture more of the profitable corporate data storage market. Sun is the fourth-largest maker of server computers by sales. It is fifth in storage computers. Sun, which reported losses in all but four of the past 16 quarters, is seeking new ways to sell hardware and services.

SAFENET

Firm to Buy Anti-Piracy Interest

SafeNet, a Baltimore information security company, agreed yesterday to acquire MediaSentry, a Morristown, N.J., provider of anti-piracy services for the recording and motion picture industries, for $20 million in cash and stock. Chief executive Anthony Caputo said the acquisition is part of SafeNet's expansion into the rights-management business.