The Academy Awards held the focus of the weekend with special appearances by many celebrities, including the FLOTUS herself, Michelle Obama. Still, Monday broke with the official launch of the Copyright Alert System by five major internet service providers in the United States. The new private industry effort will monitor subscribers' usage for potential piracy and issue punishments for the download of copyrighted material. ISP response could range from written warnings to throttled and capped bandwidth speeds for accused content pirates. Internet subscribers from around the United States have been signing up in record numbers for Virtual Private Network services in an attempt to bypass an ISPs ability to monitor usage.
Italy made headlines with a deadlocked election vote that left their parliament without any obvious majority after a surprising amount of protest votes for anti-austerity and anti-euro parties took back nearly 50% of control. The world markets slumped in reaction to news of potential uncertainty within the European Union and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg took advantage of the market shift to sell off several million more shares of the company. In the rest of the tech and business world, HP finally decided to show up in the tablet market and Barnes & Noble's digital e-reader, the Nook got rejected in an initial buyout bid by the company's largest shareholder, Leonard Riggio.
Google remained a continued presence throughout the day as rumors spread over an underlying fear at the company toward the massive growth and resulting ad-blitz of mobile manufacturing giant, Samsung. Meanwhile, the GOP fought back against Obama, calling him out for what they called a lack of cooperation in the continued political battle over the pending sequestration budget cuts.