Congress Votes to Override Fax Rule

The House voted to let businesses send faxed ads to customers without first getting written consent. The Senate passed the bill Friday, and if President Bush signs it, it would override a pending federal rule. Under the bill, faxed ads are permitted if the sender has an "established business relationship" with the recipient, obtains the fax number from the recipient or through a publicly available source, and provides a notice allowing the recipient to "opt out" of faxed ads.


Apple Tunes In to Podcasting

Apple Computer released new iTunes software for Mac and Windows computers designed to make it easier for users to listen to podcast offerings. Apple said the new software comes with a directory that lists more than 3,000 of the free audio programs. Podcasts are downloadable files of radio shows and audio programs.

Apple also said it is merging its iPod and iPod Photo lines and cutting their prices, so all 20- and 60-gigabyte models will have color displays that can show photos.


Sun Microsystems to Buy SeeBeyond

Sun Microsystems agreed to buy SeeBeyond Technology for $4.25 a share, or about $387 million. SeeBeyond provides software with Java that helps users integrate a variety of systems.

The acquisition is Sun's second this month and fourth in 2005. The deal is expected to close in early fall, Sun said.


Verizon Plans Music-Playing Phone

Verizon Wireless plans a music-playing phone and online music service to compete with Apple Computer's iTunes store and planned phone with Motorola. A Verizon Wireless-branded LG Electronics handset will be available by August, as much as a month before Motorola and Apple plan to unveil an iTunes phone. Verizon Wireless's music service is expected to be operational in six to eight months, chief executive Dennis F. Strigl said.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.