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Iraqi Blogger Resurfaces, Says War 'Sucks'


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Iraqi blogger survived the U.S. invasion and concluded: 'War sucks big time.' Salam Pax, pseudonym for an anonymous Iraqi who logged the prelude and start of the invasion but went offline on March 24 when the electricity went down, filed his first post-war report on Wednesday by e-mail to a skeptical fellow blogger.

Music Swappers Willing to Buy Songs Too - Survey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Offering some insight to the recording industry as it struggles to boost sales online, a survey released on Wednesday found that Web surfers who download music from song-swap sites are more likely to buy music online, as well as offline at retailers. The research put rap music as the No. 1 genre purchased by online fans, which may help record companies gain a better understanding of who their online customers are.

EarthLink Wins $16 Mln Suit Against E-Mail Spammer

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Amid rising consumer anger over unsolicited e-mail flooding into inboxes, a judge in New York granted Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. (ELNK.O) a $16.4 million judgment against a Buffalo, New York, spammer. The U.S. government and companies increasingly go on the offensive against spam^; e-mail that touts everything from consumer financing and online pornography to instant college degrees and get-rich-quick schemes.

AOL Board to Face the Music at Meeting

NEW YORK (Reuters) - AOL Time Warner Inc.'s board will face a protest at its annual meeting next week from large shareholders and other investors angry at the merged company's failure to live up to expectations. The world's largest media company is struggling to regain its credibility with investors as it tries to dig out from a mountain of $26 billion net debt and ongoing federal probes into accounting practices at AOL, as well as slowing growth.

Lawsuit Accuses Microsoft, Best Buy of Online Scam

LOS ANGELES/SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Los Angeles man has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Best Buy Inc. (BBY.N) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O), accusing them of scamming customers by charging them for online services without their knowledge. The suit, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims the alleged scam stemmed from a promotion in which customers at Best Buy, who paid for purchases with credit or debit cards, were given free compact discs that allowed them to try Microsoft's online service, MSN.

Chinadotcom Posts Profit, but SARS Drags

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese software services company chinadotcom Corp. (CHINA.O) on Wednesday posted a small profit for the second quarter in a row, but said its bid to become a low-cost supplier may be hurt temporarily by the SARS crisis. The Hong Kong-based company, which began as a dot-com operating Web sites across Asia, said it has made progress transforming itself into a low-cost supplier of software and services, aiming to rival India's established players.

Homestore Swings to Profit on One-Time Gain

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Online real estate firm Homestore Inc. (HOMS.O) said on Wednesday that it swung to a first-quarter profit, as a big one-time gain more than offset a 26 percent revenue decline. Homestore's net income was $87.2 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, as it booked a $104.1 million gain related to the settlement of arbitration and the termination of its prior agreement with America Online, the Internet unit of AOL Time Warner (AOL.N), in January.

Playboy Posts Profit^; Online Unit Helps

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Playboy Enterprises Inc. (PLA.N) , publisher of the namesake men's magazine, on Wednesday said it swung to a small first-quarter profit on the strength of its Web sites and television operations. The company's shares closed up almost 15 percent as investors welcomed the results, even when its flagship magazine, hurt by competition from titles like Maxim, Stuff and FHM, had slightly weaker results in the first quarter.

In-Line Skates, Online Fraud on S.Korea List

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's police chief said on Wednesday he had started sweeping reform in the country's force, including a pilot scheme to keep trademark riot police tucked away in reserve rather than on the streets during legal protests. Commissioner General Choi Key-moon also told Reuters that cyber-crime -- notably online fraud -- was steadily increasing in the world's most wired country and that police had moved with the times by launching an in-line skating unit to patrol parks.

Ruined New Hampshire Landmark Bits Offered on eBay

BOSTON (Reuters) - Chips of 'The Old Man of the Mountain,' New Hampshire's emblem that recently collapsed, went for sale on eBay, sparking a probe by prosecutors as the state mulls rebuilding the centuries-old granite landmark. The pieces of the stern, stone face were spotted for sale on eBay for $2 each until the Web auctioneer removed them when New Hampshire officials complained that the rubble was government property, The Boston Globe reported on Tuesday.


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