Money Well Spent

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been busy lately. Bill's philanthropic arm has reached out once again to help children at risk of contracting the AIDS virus.

Bill and Melinda's group will give a $9.7 million grant to another foundation with star appeal -- the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation -- to look into ways to prevent transmission of the virus through breastfeeding. There have reportedly been several vaccines developed and tested on adults, but researchers need to ensure that they're safe and effective for infants.

This grant to the much smaller Glaser Foundation will be a huge boost, as the $9.7 million nearly matches all the money it has had available to spend since 1988. Bill's deep pockets are certainly a huge, beneficial factor. To date, the Gates Foundation has spent almost $500 million on worldwide efforts to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus and for vaccine research.

Dell vs. New York: Round 1
Watch your step if you're buying Dell systems any time in the near future. The attorney general of New York state has filed a lawsuit against the Texas computer maker and its Dell Financial Services arm.

The Empire State attorney general apparently decided to file suit after receiving more than 700 complaints from his constituents, and after talks with the Dellions failed to reach any sort of agreement. The lawsuit alleges that Dell's customers in New York were misled during the financing of their computer purchases, including misleading service contracts and loan structures.

In a statement, a Dell spokesman denied the allegations, held fast on Dell's customer service record and reputation, and said the company would "vigorously defend itself in court. We'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Have you had any bad experiences with Dell or any other major vendor? Do you feel you've fallen prey to predatory or misleading pricing practices? Tell us your bad experiences -- as well as your positive ones -- at llow@redmondmag.com.

Google Breathing Easier
It's not all fun and games for search engine and online advertising giant Google. Its image search service has been under an injunction by a court in San Francisco for potential copyright violations. Google had been displaying images from adult Web publisher Perfect 10.

The United States Court of Appeals recently reversed the decision and lifted the injunction. "We reverse the district court's ruling and vacate the preliminary injunction regarding Google's use of thumbnail versions of Perfect 10's images," said appeals court Justice Sandra Ikuta. The thumbnail images were displayed within links to the Perfect 10 site. Apparently, Perfect 10, which initially brought the suit, also named Amazon as a defendant.

You'd think links through Google and Amazon would be a good thing. Where do you see the line being drawn on copyrights as content is shared and repurposed across the Web? It's a gray area, indeed. Let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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