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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gates invests in, PlanetOut

The Spokesman-Review

Cascade Investment, the primary investment arm for Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, is among several investors who’ve provided $26.2 million to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender online site PlanetOut.

PlanetOut, listed as the ticker LGBT on the Nasdaq, also operates the Web site

Other investments by Cascade include Six Flags, Four Seasons Hotels, Pacific Ethanol and Berkshire Hathaway.

RIAA targeting students

An undetermined number of University of Washington students who may have been illegally downloading files from the Internet could soon be joining the ranks of students from nearly 100 universities nationwide who have received warning letters from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The RIAA’s letters, to be routed through the university administration, tell those students that they can pay a settlement amount of at least $3,000 before a suit is filed, according to a news story in a Seattle newspaper last week.

At Western Washington University, 15 such letters were passed on to students earlier this month, officials said.

Herman Munster, ID-theft victim?

Did Internet thieves steal Herman Munster’s MasterCard number?

Crooks in an underground chat room for selling stolen credit card numbers and personal consumer information offered pilfered data purportedly about Herman Munster, the 1960s Frankenstein-like character from “The Munsters” TV sitcom.

The thieves didn’t realize Munster was a fictional TV character and dutifully offered to sell Munster’s personal details — accurately listing his home address from the TV series as 1313 Mocking Bird Lane — and what appeared to be his MasterCard number. Munster’s birth date was listed as Aug. 15, 1964, suspiciously close to the TV series’ original air date in September 1964.