TELECOM

MCI Tests Internet Phone Service

MCI is testing an Internet phone service, though the Ashburn-based company says it may decide not to sell it.

Fewer than 5,000 people are testing the service, which offers unlimited local and long-distance calling for $29.99 per month, $20 cheaper than the company's competing standard-line service.

ENERGY

Alternative Fuel Saves Money, Study Says

The United States could save 6,400 lives and $283 billion in health and climate costs annually if all cars and trucks were powered by hydrogen fuel cells rather than gasoline, scientists at Stanford University said.

The scientists combined vehicle emissions data with statistics on health and environmental effects of pollutants to analyze the savings to be gained from switching to low-polluting fuel cell alternatives.

PIRACY

Bootleg Music Industry Growing, Report Says

One out of every three music discs sold in the world last year was pirated, with fake recordings outselling legal ones in 31 countries, an industry group said.

Though a record number of bootleg discs were seized last year, pirated recordings still racked up $4.6 billion in sales, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries said in its annual report.

INVESTIGATIONS

SEC Ends Probe of OmniVision's Accounting

OmniVision Technologies, whose microchips run digital and cell phone cameras, said the Securities and Exchange Commission ended an informal investigation of the company's accounting without recommending any enforcement action.

Data Theft Scares Web Shoppers, Report Says

A rash of recent consumer data thefts and disclosures at Fortune 500 companies may be steering Web users away from shopping online, according to data released by the Conference Board. For more information, and for tips on safe surfing, see the Security Fix column by Brian Krebs at washingtonpost.com/technology.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.