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Feb 29: Here's who should <BR>take a flying leap

Jesse Berst, Editorial DirectorZDNet AnchorDesk...

Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
ZDNet AnchorDesk



I'm using Leap Day, Feb. 29, to bestow my first-ever Flying Leap Award. The nominees are hell-bent on destroying the Internet. I'm sure you'll recognize the names.

I'm just sorry Jennifer Lopez isn't here to present. Click for more.

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Competition for this award is especially keen given the many asinine moves by tech companies and Internet leaders in the last few weeks. But this is an interactive ceremony; you'll get to help choose the one most worthy of taking a flying leap. The nominees are...

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com and the U.S. Patent Office: I told you last month how greedy patent attorneys are stealing our future. Click for more. Well, Amazon and the Patent Office are back at it. The e-tail giant obtained a patent for its affiliates program, whereby Web sites refer customers to Amazon in exchange for a fee. Amazon calls it "innovative proprietary technology." Click for more. I call it nonsense.

Tax panel chairman James Gilmore: The Virginia governor is having a change of heart about taxing ecommerce. Gilmore, chairman of the sharply divided federal commission charged with proposing a Net tax plan to Congress, had been an advocate of a permanent ban on Net taxes. Now he's talking compromise. Wrong! Ecommerce is very fragile; it's way too early to even hint at taxes. Click for more.

Hollywood and the recording industry. Hollywood is uptight about DVD and is waging war on the open-source culture. Click for more. The recording industry is still having fits about MP3 and the digital music revolution, fearing loss of control (read that money). Both entities are suing everyone they can think of. Click for more. Get a clue, guys: Technology is turning your world upside down. Adapt or lose.

DoubleClick: Poll after poll shows privacy is Issue No. 1 for Netizens. But we've still got companies like DoubleClick secretly stealing our personal info. The online ad services firm pushed too far with its plan to marry people's online behavior data with their real-world identities, raising the wrath of privacy groups and prompting an informal Federal Trade Commission investigation. Are they ever going to get it? Click for more

America Online. There are many reasons to nominate AOL, but let's look at some of the most recent. It whined about open cable access, then changed its tune after the Time Warner deal. It refuses to budge on instant messaging standards -- and it could follow that same path on the issue of digital music with its Time Warner/EMI alliance. Click for more.

Those are my five nominees. I bet you have some too. Use the TalkBack button to tell us about them.