Outside of Redmond, very few people thought the Department of Justice settlement did anything about "competitive concerns." Many people, in fact, thought the Justice Department should be investigated for misfeasance for even contemplating such a settlement. So it's heartening to see the EU stepping up and doing what the U.S. government should have done.The European Union finally came out with\u00a0the penalties Microsoft will have to pay\u00a0for being found guilty of anti-competitive practices. A fine of $600-plus million, along with changes to Windows, are being imposed on the Redmond monopolist.Predictably, Microsoft howled about the penalties, still proclaiming its innocence. But the strangest reaction was\u00a0a letter from five Republican and five Democrat congressmen. The congressmen wrote a joint note to EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti complaining, in effect, that his decision amounted to double jeopardy since the U.S. Department of Justice settlement in its anti-trust case against Microsoft already punished the company's misbehavior. Or, as their letter put it: "The [U.S.] court's final judgment established a comprehensive regulatory scheme that not only resolved past conduct, but also created a detailed compliance structure to address future competitive concerns that might arise."What are they smoking?Outside of Redmond, very few people thought the Department of Justice settlement did anything about "competitive concerns." Many people, in fact, (such as the commonwealth of Massachusetts) thought the Justice Department should be investigated for misfeasance for even contemplating such a settlement. So it's heartening to see the EU stepping up and doing what the U.S. government should have done.The EU also is requiring that Microsoft market a version of Windows with the Windows Media Player removed. The company can offer both versions, or only the modified one. Some people - even those not working for Microsoft - are howling that this will stifle innovation. Bullfeathers. Network managers should be applauding this penalty and urging U.S. regulators to do the same. While there are a tiny number of instances when Media Player could be useful on a corporate network, they are few and far between. The majority of usage is personal, with bandwidth clogging audio and video forming the bulk of the traffic. Non-productive traffic, I might add. If your users want to listen to music while they work, provide them with radios (or CD players) with headsets. They don't steal CPU cycles from the job the users are supposed to be doing.Thank you, Mr. Monti. It's not often I think the EU gets it right, but they certainly did this time.Tip of the weekI've stayed in six different hotels in the last 10 days, and used everything from dial-up to $10-per-day broadband for connectivity. I was surprised, though, by free high-speed connections in both Raleigh, N.C., and Morgantown, W.Va. It would pay you to call the hotel direct and ask before booking a reservation. Saves time and money, so what could be better?