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Delta follows Ford's lead on computers

Delta Air Lines announced Friday it is making home computers and reduced-cost Internet connections available to its 72,000 employees.

The program is similar to one announced a day earlier by Ford Motor Co., which offered computers and Internet access to its 350,000 workers worldwide for a $5 monthly fee.

PeoplePC of San Francisco is coordinating the program for both Ford and Delta. Delta said it has not yet selected a supplier for the hardware. For about $12 a month for three years, employees will get the hardware, technical support and Internet access and access to Delta's intranet, an internal, corporate Web site.

FBI uncovers software pirating ring

CHICAGO _ A worldwide ring of sophisticated software pirates who have electronically hijacked thousands of copyright computer programs has been uncovered by FBI agents, authorities said Friday.

Authorities said it was impossible to estimate the dollar value of software stolen by the ring, known as Pirates With Attitudes.

Group members used a barter system in which they were allowed to download pirated software from the group's inventory in exchange for contributing copyright programs under their control, prosecutors alleged.

Orchardist kills 22 elk that hurt his trees

TIETON, Wash. _ The ravens circled high overhead, then covered the carcasses of dead elk in the snow, shot dead by an orchardist who says they were damaging his young fruit trees.

In all, 22 elk were shot by Jerrie Vander Houwen last month, said Gene Beireis, an enforcement officer for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Beireis filed a complaint for unlawful killing of wildlife and wastage of meat with the Yakima County Prosecutor's Office this week. Deputy Prosecutor Bruce Hanify filed 15 counts on each charge Wednesday. Vander Houwen faces a possible year in jail and $5,000 fine on each of the 30 counts.

Under Washington state law, the state is liable for wildlife damages to farmers' crops. State game officers are expected to put up fencing at taxpayers' expense to protect farmers' land.

Farmers are also allowed to kill problem wildlife damaging their crops. But they're required to get permission from Fish and Wildlife.

Beireis said Vander Houwen never asked for a kill permit.