Malware Research Group Spins off From Harvard
SAN FRANCISCO -- A research organization aimed at warning computer users about misbehaving programs is cutting ties with the Ivy League school it had been a part of. StopBadware now says it will come out from under the umbrella of Harvard University. It will now work as a standalone nonprofit, with funding that comes from companies like Google, PayPal and Mozilla, makers of the Firefox Web browser. 

StopBadware sends out alerts about companies whose applications do things like put spyware and other tracking programs on users' computers. The alerts are designed to warn consumers -- and pressure the companies to change their ways. The split with Harvard comes because the group says it has grown beyond its roots as a research project.

Coach Sentenced for Posing as Woman on Facebook to Get Boys' Pix
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- More than 17 years in federal prison. That's what a former northeast Kansas coach is getting for his misdeeds on the Internet. Authorities say 39-year-old Michael Cowley posed as a woman on Facebook and persuaded boys to send him nude pictures of themselves. The coach pleaded guilty last month to one count of producing child pornography. Federal prosecutors say at the time of the crimes, Cowley was coaching various boys sports teams -- and driving a school bus.

Google Tweaks Voice App for iPhone Use
CYBERSPACE -- Google is doing an end-around on Apple as it tries to make its Voice application easier to use on the iPhone. In an upgrade, Google tweaked the mobile Web site for Voice so it can more easily display the service's most popular features. Apple has blocked the Voice program from being distributed through the iPhone apps store since last summer -- claiming the software would duplicate or change key iPhone features.

In Stores: Assassin's Creed II
PARIS -- The first version of the game was a smash hit. And Ubisoft is hoping the second go-round for its title "Assassin's Creed" will be at least as successful. "Assassin's Creed II" features a new character -- Ezio Auditore da Firenze. He's a young Italian noble who has vengeance on his mind after his family was double-crossed. The new character makes buds with Leonardo da Vinci -- and as he does, tries to take out members of the top families in Florence. Players are urged to find out that while he is a stone-cold killer, Firenze has his soft side as well -- and besides being an assassin, is also a lady killer. All of this adds up to an "M" rating for Mature gamers, with advisories from the ESRB for blood, intense violence, sexual content and strong language. The title is crafted for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and the PC as a DVD title.