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Don't Mess with Microsoft. That should probably be a bumper sticker. Yet Google has reportedly tried this strategy recently, in hiring away search specialist Dr. Kai-Fu Lee from Redmond. Newly unsealed court documents apparently reveal that Google anticipated that it would face legal wrangling with its emerging search rival. Google apparently had a "Plan B," in which Lee would be given a year's worth of paid leave during which he could sit out his noncompete clause.  The previously relatively obscure Dr. Lee started Microsoft's research lab in China and is expected to do the same for Google in China as well. Both Google and Lee are asking the court to find the noncompete clause invalid, although the most recent court decision has granted Microsoft a temporary restraining order that prohibits Lee from doing what he was hired by Google to do. Dr. Kai-fu Lee ... (more)

Penn State IST Researchers To Enhance Search Engine

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.2-million grant to researchers in the Penn State School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the University of Kansas to enhance and improve the CiteSeer academic search engine which receives more than 1 million hits a day and is heavily indexed by Google and Yahoo. Since its launch in 1997, CiteSeer has provided the public with access to more than 700,000 documents in computer and information sciences. The Next Generation CiteSeer will archive more documents, allow new types of searching, offer CiteSeer as a Web servi... (more)

"Google Respects Copyright," Says Company VP as Google Rebuts Authors Guild Allegations

"Google respects copyright," declared Google's Susan Wojcicki (pictured), Vice President, Product Management, Tuesday as Google began its vigorous rebuttal of the Authors Guild lawsuit to try to stop Google Print. "The use we make of all the books we scan through the Library Project is fully consistent with both the fair use doctrine under U.S. copyright law," Wojcicki continued, "and the principles underlying copyright law itself, which allow everything from parodies to excerpts in book reviews." To underline the Google position, Wojcicki showed in her Google blog what an in-cop... (more)

Yahoo Backs "Cybergiving Week"

Yahoo announced that it will launch a "Cybergiving Week" program on Christmas Day in conjunction with the Network for Good, an organization it helped start in 2004. It said it will launch a site that provides donation links to a number of charities as well as resources about how much and where to donate. "At a time when the Internet is playing an increasingly vital role in facilitating charitable contributions, we want to make it as simple as possible for our users to donate to their favorite charities," said Meg Garlinghouse, director of Yahoo for Good, the company's community rel... (more)

MSN Releases New APIs

MSN is letting outside developers and Web publishers connect to its services and applications via application programming interfaces (APIs) for MSN Search, Messenger and Virtual Earth. MSN Search APIs will be open for non-commercial use; MSN Virtual Earth beta APIs will be available free for commercial use, with an option to later add contextual advertising; the MapPoint Web Service 4.0, which underlies Virtual Earth, will be available for a fee; and the MSN Messenger Activity API will let developers create applications that include IM. While Microsoft continues to build out its cl... (more)