TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Pressure to Extend 911 Deadline

Key members of Congress pressed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin to extend Monday's deadline for Internet phone companies to provide enhanced-911 service to customers.

Seven House members, including Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and the panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.), made the request in a letter to Martin, after a similar bipartisan request from 11 senators who asked the FCC to show flexibility on the issue.

Under an FCC order, Internet phone providers must act by Monday to ensure that calls to 911 are routed to the correct emergency response centers with the callers' numbers and locations automatically transmitted.

"We always listen carefully to the concerns expressed by members of Congress," FCC spokesman David Fiske said. "We are also sensitive to the concerns expressed by public safety [officials] that we should ensure that all consumers have access to 911 emergency services."

LEGAL

Judge Clears Ellison Deal

A judge approved an agreement by Oracle chief executive Lawrence J. Ellison, left, to give $100 million to charities and pay $22 million in attorneys' fees to settle a shareholder lawsuit.

The case stems from claims that Ellison improperly sold $900 million in company stock in 2001, days before Oracle reported that earnings had missed forecasts.

INTERNET

Studios, BitTorrent Reach Deal

Hollywood negotiated an agreement with the creator of BitTorrent software, popular for downloading movies over the Internet, in a deal aimed at reducing illegal traffic in films online.

Bram Cohen's Bittorrent.com must remove Web links leading to content owned by the seven studios that are members of the Motion Picture Association of America.

The BitTorrent technology assembles computer files from separate bits of data downloaded from other computer users across the Internet. Its decentralized nature makes downloading more efficient but also frustrates the entertainment industry's efforts to find and identify those trading illegal copies.

VIDEO GAMES

Fast Sales for Microsoft's Xbox

Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console began selling out at stores across the United States, a boon for Chairman Bill Gates's aim to wrest control of the $28.5 billion industry from Sony. Microsoft, which spent more than $12 billion developing its Xbox machines, released the Xbox 360 in stores Monday night, in time for the holidays and before Sony's PlayStation 3. The machines are sold out at retail outlets and at online retailers including Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores.

Take-Two Chief Touts Online Play

Take-Two Interactive Software chief executive Paul Eibeler said the online features of Microsoft's new Xbox 360 video game console will become an "important" source of sales. Eibeler did not say if Take-Two will release a version of its Grand Theft Auto series for the Xbox 360.

HARDWARE

Chipmaker's Chairman Retires

ATI Technologies, the world's No. 2 maker of computer-graphics chips, said Chairman Kwok Yuen Ho has retired, a little more than a month after the Ontario Securities Commission dropped insider-trading charges against him.

Ho, right, one of the company's three founders and its chief executive until June 2004, said he decided to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests "with the OSC matter now resolved completely in my favor."

Compiled from staff and news service reports.