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Google and Authors given more time to settle suit

Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) have been given one more month to rework their agreement to settle copyright infringement lawsuits that the author and publisher groups filed against the search company.

At a status hearing on Wednesday, Judge Denny Chin told the parties gathered in a New York courtroom that they have until Nov. 9 to submit a revised agreement, which in its current form was criticized by the U.S. Department of Justice and many others. The original agreement, filed a year ago, drew an outcry from well-known authors, publishers, academics and competitors who felt that it gives Google too much power to set book prices.

Tech spending won’t rebound completely, IDC says

Spending on technology will not return to pre-recession levels before the next downturn, market research company IDC has warned.

In a gloomy market outlook, IDC said IT managers should expect their budgets to grow, but only to a lower level than was reached before the recession.

At a UK launch event for the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, IDC research director Chris Ingle advised IT managers to prepare for continued difficult conditions. The highest realistic prediction was for a two percent growth in spending by 2013, he said.

“Every time we have a recession, we never get back to the original spending levels,” he said. “IT budgets will not return.”

Dell closes North Carolina plant

Dell next year will close its desktop computer manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as the company tightens costs in a difficult market.

The move is part of Dell’s ongoing initiatives to simplify operations and improve efficiency, the company said on Wednesday. The company plans to cut costs by US$4 billion by the end of fiscal 2011. About 905 employees will be affected by the closure, with about 600 to be released next month. The closure is expected to be completed by January, the company said. Besides owning plants, Dell also gets its products made by third-party manufacturers.

FBI director won’t bank online

If you are afraid to do banking online, you are in good company. The head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has stopped banking online after nearly falling for a phishing attempt. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he recently came “just a few clicks away from falling into a classic Internet phishing scam” after receiving an e-mail that appeared to be from his bank.

“It looked pretty legitimate,” Mueller said Wednesday in a speech at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club In phishing scams, criminals send spam e-mails to their victims, hoping to trick them into entering sensitive information such as usernames and passwords at fake Web sites. Mueller said he considers online banking “very safe” but that “just in my household, we don’t use it.”

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