Saturday, November 10, 2007

YouTube Banned In Brasil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Telecommunications companies in Brazil began blocking access to YouTube on Monday after a Brazilian model sued to get the popular video sharing service to remove footage of her having sex from its Web site.

Last week, a court in Sao Paulo state ordered phone companies that provide Internet service in Brazil to block YouTube until it removed the video.

Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of football star Ronaldo, and her boyfriend, Renato Malzoni Filho, sued YouTube and demanded $116,00 in damages for each day the video, which apparently showed them having sex on a Spanish beach, remained on the Web site.

Anyone can post video on YouTube, a unit of Internet search engine Google Inc.

The case dragged on for several months before they filed a third lawsuit in December requesting that YouTube be shut down as long as the video is available to users.

Brasil Telecom said it had blocked Brazilians from seeing the YouTube site. The sex video had been the most widely viewed in Latin America's biggest country for days.

Embratel Participacoes, Brazil's leading long distance telephone company, said it was analysing the technical details of the legal ruling with a view to complying.

Spain's Telefonica said it would obey the court's ruling.

Neither Google, nor the lawyer for Cicarelli and Malzoni Filho were immediately available for comment.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 5, 2007

PC makers to discuss batteries standards

Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., which recalled nearly 6 million notebook batteries between them this month, are among PC makers planning to meet next month to discuss setting design and safety standards for lithium-ion batteries used in portable electronic devices.

The batteries were blamed in rare fires that prompted this month's recalls, the largest electronic recalls involving federal product-safety officials.

Dell and Apple belong to an electronics-industry trade group that sets standards for many electronics components.

The group's critical-parts committee will meet Sept. 13 in San Jose, Calif. Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news)., which made the recalled batteries, has not indicated whether it will attend.

Kim Sterling, a spokeswoman for the trade group IPC, said Monday that the meeting had been scheduled before Dell's Aug. 14 recall of 4.1 million notebook batteries and Apple's recall 10 days later of 1.8 million batteries.

A Dell executive, John Grosso, leads the IPC's critical-components committee.

"Without a doubt, standardization can and will address the issue of operation and safety called into question by the use of lithium ion batteries," Grosso said in a statement issued by the organization. "While the committee had identified lithium ion batteries as the next product for standardization, we are going to accelerate our activities now."

During production of the Sony batteries, made by a unit in Japan, tiny metal shards got into cells and under some circumstances caused the batteries to short-circuit and even catch fire.