In today’s Bulldog Update of technology news: Amazon accused of antitrust violations; Firefox disables Flash; Undercover Colors testing drug detecting nail polish; BioDelivery Sciences names VP, Liquidia names COO.

The New York Times reports that groups representing thousands of authors, agents and independent booksellers are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to examine Amazon for antitrust violations.

The Times reports that The Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Authors United said in letters and statements ( being sent this week to the Justice Department that “Amazon has used its dominance in ways that we believe harm the interests of America’s readers, impoverish the book industry as a whole, damage the careers of (and generate fear among) many authors, and impede the free flow of ideas in our society.”

The call for an investigation arose from last year’s battle between Amazon and publisher Hachette, in which Amazon made it harder for people to buy Hachette’s books for a time.

For the Times story see:\

Firefox blocks Adobe’s Flash

If you use the latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, you’ve probably already encountered its warning that it is blocking Adobe’s Flash due to a security concern. Users can activate Flash anyway, but it won’t play automatically.

Reports ( ) say Flash has at least three vulnerbilities cyber crooks could exploit.

The Firefox move appears to be temporary. Mozilla’s Mark Schmidt tweeted that it will only be blocked until Adobe releases a version that isn’t being “actively exploited by publicly known vulnerbilities.” The security holes should be patched today.

Personally, we agree with Facebook exec Alex Stamos, who has called upon Adobe to cite an “end-of-life” date for Flash. We have troubles with it crashing and freezing our laptops and PCs on a regular, just about daily basis.

Undercover Colors testing date rape prevention tech

The Triangle Business Journal reports that Undercover Colors, the company that developed a nail polish intended to reveal the presence of date rape drugs in drinks, is testing the product.

Co-founder Tyler Confre-Maloney said the technology, which reveals the presence of a drug when a nail with the polish is dipped in a drink, is being tested in a number of beverages and situations.

The company now employs seven people operating independent labs at NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. It recently closed on a $1.2 million seed round and is also collecting cash from donations on its web site, which were enough to get the firm off the ground. For the full story see:

BioDelvery Sciences International names new VP

Raleigh-based BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI) has named Enoch Bortey, Ph.D., vice president of Clinical Biostatistics and Data Systems. In this capacity, Dr. Bortey will be responsible for overseeing the global design and development of the biostatistics function, translating the development strategies into tactical statistical plans to support product development objectives.

Prior to joining Salix, Dr. Bortey was senior director of biostatistics for Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.

Liquidia names new chief operating officer

Liquidia Technologies today announced it has named Robert A. Lippe as the Company’s Chief Operations Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Lippe has responsibility for manufacturing research, process development, operations, quality control and compliance and will be a key member of the senior management team.

Prior to joining Liquidia, Mr. Lippe served as an executive vice president, operations &COO at Alexza Pharmaceuticals where he had operational oversight, including the scale-up and optimization of supply that supported the launch of the company’s first commercial product, and advancement of a platform proof-of-concept that enabled acceleration of the company’s product pipeline.

Liquidia says it has become the only company in the world with the ability to rapidly design and manufacture precisely engineered particles of virtually any size, shape, or composition using a unique particle engineering and manufacturing platform known as the PRINT® (Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates) technology.