1. Twitter is committed to being independent, says co-founder Biz Stone, and isn’t in talks to sell a 10% stake of its rapidly-growing social media biz to JP Morgan. Stone noted the report about the sale was “made up,” and is typical of the sort of rumor surrounding the firm since its last semi-formal talks about sales a “couple of years ago” with Facebook. Twitter will steam ahead then, independent and mysterious as ever.
2. Two U.K. students have been locked up for up to five years after being found guilty of creating and operating GhostMarket.net, a Facebook-inspired social network for credit card thieves and defrauders. Up to 8,000 members traded credit card and ID data before using it illegally to defraud banks and business, and there was even a forum for discussion about improving hacking of PCs. The two are aged 19 and 18.
3. Just as all Random House’s book archive becomes available on Apple‘s iBookstore, EU authorities have raided the offices of high-profile publishing houses in an antitrust investigation. At issue is why ebook prices are often set at or above the equivalent price of physical books, despite the fact they cost less to distribute and sell. The EU is trying to determine if publishers, or the new “agency” model is to blame.
4. In the same week U.S. officials targeted Chinese search giant Baidu as a serious global copyright infringer, a group of prominent Japanese publishers are taking their stance against Baidu’s role in rampant copyright of Japanses manga, anime and novels shared on Baidu’s “Library.” For months the group has been requesting individual take-downs of pirated files, but there are no so many it’s insisting Baidu take positive steps to prevent piracy.
5. Russia doesn’t have enough rockets. In the Cold War era that sentence would be welcome, but as the end of the Shuttle program looms and the West relies on Russia to get astronauts to the ISS it’s s problem. Specifically Roskosmos’s head says his agency doesn’t have enough carrier vehicles ready to fulfill its agreed launch schedule in 2011. What will happen next is unclear.
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