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CYBER BRIEFS

Conspiracy game put on hold

In light of the disasters this week, Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to put Majestic, its government conspiracy game, on hold. The game, which challenges players to solve mysteries related to a shadow government, is played over the Internet.

The game was put on hold starting Tuesday, with no word on when it would resume. An announcement at the company's site for the game read: "Given the recent national tragedy, EA has temporarily suspended service on Majestic. Majestic players will be contacted concerning resumption of the game."

Washington Post

City provides online access

In a fresh assault on bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots of the Internet revolution, the city of Houston launched an innovative program Monday providing each of its 1.8 million residents with free e-mail accounts and access to word processing software.

The multimillion-dollar effort is the first attempt by a major U.S. city to create a public utility for computing. Dubbed SimHouston, the program recognizes that the Internet is as important in the 21st century as roads and bridges were in centuries past.

"We think this is just another service the city government should provide, like water and public works," said Denny Piper, chief information officer.

With SimHouston, city residents can create personal accounts that can be accessed via any computer connected to the Internet.

Los Angeles Times

GoTo.com goes to new name

PASADENA, Calif. (Bloomberg) -- GoTo.com Inc., an Internet-search service, will change its name to Overture Services, beginning Oct. 8.

The company will launch a new site at www.overture.com, GoTo.com said in a statement.

Computer used to stalk spouse

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- When Steven Paul Brown and his wife separated, authorities say he installed spy software on her computer that would allow him to track her every keystroke and read every file and message.

Buying the software is perfectly legal, but if a court determines Brown used it the way Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm thinks he did, it could land him in prison for up to five years, Granholm said last week.

Brown, 41, was charged with installing an eavesdropping device, eavesdropping, using a computer to commit a crime and having unauthorized computer access.

Granholm said Brown used a commercially available program called eBlaster to hack into his estranged wife's computer at her home in Warren this spring. The program caused all her Web surfing and Internet communication to be e-mailed to Brown as frequently as every 30 minutes without her knowledge, Granholm said.

When Brown allegedly shared some of that information with his estranged wife's friend, the Michigan Attorney General's High Tech Crime Unit was alerted and investigators seized Brown's computer equipment.

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