Google execs a no-show in Italian trial

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The trial of four Google executives charged with privacy violations opened in Milan Tuesday in a ground-breaking test of European Internet law. None of the suspects, who risk a maximum penalty of three years in prison, was present in court and the hearing lasted only five minutes, according to one of the lawyers present.

The Google executives are accused of defamation and failure to exercise control over personal data following the posting of a cell-phone video showing a disabled teenager from Turin being harassed by four of his classmates.  The defendants are David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president and chief legal officer, George Reyes, the company’s former chief financial officer, Peter Fleischer, its global privacy counsel and Arvind Desikan, former head of Google Video Europe.

Intel has delayed the release of the quad-core Tukwila chip, its next-generation 64-bit Itanium processor designed for use in enterprise servers. The chip maker will now release Tukwila around the middle of this year, Intel officials said. The chip was due for release early this year, but Intel delayed it to add new capabilities to keep the chip in line with future technology advancements. Intel plans to add a new memory technology that can speed up server performance and provide backward-socket compatibility for future Itanium chips as it readies the Tukwila platform.

Microsoft Tuesday unveiled a plan to release six editions of Windows 7 and said all of them will run on a range of hardware, including netbooks. However, the company is emphasizing two main SKUs of the forthcoming OS — Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional — saying these are the ones most customers will buy. With Windows 7, Microsoft hopes it will be easier for customers to decide which edition of the OS is right for them. By doing so, the company once again seems to be trying to learn from mistakes it made with the release of Windows Vista, premium versions of which had special hardware requirements that hindered customers’ transition from XP and confused users as to which edition they should purchase.

Three more executives have been indicted for their alleged roles in an LCD price-fixing scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.  The indictment follows recent guilty pleas from four other executives involved in the same conspiracy who agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars and serve jail time.
The new charges allege that these executives from Chunghwa and LG tried to harm competition by fixing the price of TFT-LCDs. The DOJ says that the three men met in Taiwan, Korea and the U.S. between 2001 and 2006 to agree on prices to sell their LCD panels. They also worked to conceal the conspiracy and hide their meetings, the DOJ said.
…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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