Congress Finds Rare Unity in Spam, to a Point: At a time when lawmakers are sharply divided on everything from Arctic oil drilling to Medicare drug benefits, spam has emerged as a powerful bipartisan issue. [...] In this case, spam frustrates everyone - Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural residents alike. Lawmakers themselves are consumers with overflowing in-boxes. Crises also cut across partisan politics. Spam, the consensus says, has reached a crisis point - consuming an estimated 40 percent of all e-mail traffic. Technology solutions have not been a panacea. As a result, various other business interest groups (with the exception of the spammers themselves) that might normally defend the free play of market forces have converged in support of some kind of federal regulation. Technology companies, which traditionally eschew intervention from Washington, now fear the economic potential of the Internet will drown in the vast volumes of spam. Microsoft, America Online, Earthlink, eBay and Yahoo have rallied behind a fairly stringent Senate antispam bill sponsored by Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana, and Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. And even the marketers have repositioned themselves.
How do I know who you are?: If your eyes move too fast, or are damaged, forget it. If you've got an extra finger, forget it. And being bald could turn you invisible. People are the problem for the new biometrics that governments are under pressure to use as global security systems get tougher.
MSNBOT - The Bot From Redmond Anonymous Source on MSNBot: MSN Search is currently the #3 search engine by queries worldwide. It's also the most profitable unit at Microsoft by headcount (they have less than 50 people and did $150 million in profit last year). MSNBOT - The MSN Search Prototype Web Crawler MSN search bot a glimpse of ambitions: In preparation for unveiling its own algorithmic search engine, Microsoft's MSN has quietly launched software that will index Web sites, a move that raises questions about MSN's relationship with Yahoo subsidiary Inktomi.
Robots without a cause: Thanks to the newest wonders of technology we can get robots to do our vacuuming, transmit pictures on our mobile phones and unlock our cars (and adjust their seats) merely by touching them. In the face of this wizardry, Stuart Jeffries has only one question: why? [...] "I like to call it a Faustian bargain," says Neil Postman, professor of media ecology at New York University. "This means that for every advantage that a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage. The disadvantage may exceed in importance the advantage, or the advantage may well be worth the cost. Think of the automobile, which, for all its obvious advantages, has poisoned our air, choked our cities and degraded the beauty of our natural landscape." You don't have to be a neo-Luddite to be queasy about the current tenor of technological innovation. You only have to ask yourself: "Do I need that?" or "Will this make me happier?" about a new gadget. And very often you'll find that the answer is no.
EU Improves Software Patent, But Outlaws Amazon One Click: A European Parliament committee Tuesday moved toward setting the first pan-European standard for software patents, but outlawed the U.S. practice of patenting "business methods," such as Amazon.com Inc.'s one-click Internet shopping.
The New Pet Craze: Robovacs: Just as owners of robot pets like Sony's Aibo develop emotional attachments to their mechanical companions, people are acquiring similar feelings for their robot vacuum cleaners. The two leading robovac manufacturers - iRobot and Electrolux - report that owners treat their robovacs somewhat like pets. More than half the owners of iRobot's Roomba name their device, claims the Burlington, Massachussetts, company. Owners often talk to their machines, and many treat them as though they were alive, or semi-sentient, anyway. Some even take them on holiday, unwilling to leave them at home alone. [...] Scientists believe that robot pets trigger a hard-wired nurturing response in humans. It appears robot vacuums tap into the same instincts. MIT anthropologist Sherry Turkle, one of the leading researchers in the field, is conducting studies on how children perceive smart toys like the Aibo, Furby, Tamagotchi and My Real Baby. She says humans are programmed to respond in a caring way to creatures, even brand-new artificial ones.
Spam Wars: The proliferation of junk e-mail is threatening to overwhelm the Internet. Software companies are rushing to build defenses - but will the new technologies do more harm than good? Can E-Mail Be Saved? Barry Shein is founder, president and CEO of the company that launched the first commercial dial-up Internet service. Dave Crocker authored or contributed to most of the technical standards that makes Internet mail possible. [T]hese two patriarchs of e-mail will discuss what has become of the medium they helped create.
Code on 'spying' on staff emails: Employers must inform staff in advance if they plan to monitor their emails, phone calls and internet use, the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, Employees must be told why the monitoring is being done, and employers must first do an audit to make sure the benefits outweigh the intrusion into privacy. Only in rare cases, involving, for instance, criminal conduct or equivalent malpractice, will covert monitoring be justified, according to the code of guidance issued yesterday.
U.S. extends its hegemony over the Net: In recent years, the world has begun to grapple with Internet policies that are established in one jurisdiction (typically, though not solely, the U.S.), but applied worldwide. That policy imbalance has left many countries resentful of foreign dominance of the Internet. Internet governance and the domain name system effectively illustrate this phenomenon.
Wired Magazine Story to Detail Slammer Web Attack: Wired magazine is planning to publish the underlying code for the Slammer worm that slowed Internet traffic to a crawl in January, raising questions over whether such articles inspire future hackers or educate potential victims.
EU Squabble May Sink Planned Cybercrime Agency: Plans for a European agency to tackle cybercrime such as computer viruses and terror attacks may be scuppered by bureaucracy because governments want to monitor it too tightly, EU officials said on Wednesday. The European Network and Information Security Agency, which would play a key advisory role to the 15 EU governments on how to combat Web-related threats, was expected to be up and running by the end of this year. However member states now say they want to directly appoint members of the management board, which would oversee the work of the agency. They are also seeking to axe a planned advisory panel meant to give voice to the industry, EU officials said.
Big Brother and the next 50 years: Bruce Sterling calls himself an author, a journalist and an editor--and all that is true. But Sterling, who wrote "The Hacker Crackdown," is also a contrarian and a leading cultural critic of modern technology.
Girls Teach Teen Cyber Gab to FBI Agents: For those investigative details, the FBI calls on Karen, Mary and Kristin -- Howard County eighth-graders and best friends. During the past year, the three have been teaching agents across the country how to communicate just like teenage girls, complete with written quizzes on celebrity gossip and clothing trends and assigned reading in Teen People and YM magazines. The first time the girls gave a quiz, all the agents failed. "They, like, don't know anything," said Mary, 14, giggling. [...] Probably the youngest instructors ever in an FBI classroom, the girls have become an invaluable help to Operation Innocent Images -- an initiative that tries to stop people from peddling child pornography or otherwise sexually exploiting children, FBI officials said. The Washington Post agreed to withhold the girls' last names to protect them from harassment on the Internet and elsewhere.
Software Piracy Said to Decline in 2002: Worldwide piracy of business software products like Microsoft Office declined slightly in 2002 because of better education and more aggressive tactics in stopping Internet piracy, software industry officials say. The downturn follows two years of increases blamed in part on the rise of distributing illegal copies online, according to a study released Tuesday by the Business Software Alliance.
Microsoft Time Warner? Is the recent truce between Microsoft and AOL Time Warner really that meaningful? An AOL-Microsoft Goliath? Don't Bet on It Their pact doesn't oblige AOL to use Microsoft's wares, nor would such a move establish an online standard for delivering music and movies [act.:] A big deal: A settlement between two old rivals may have great significance How Much Will Microsoft Help? The Breakup Scenario Steve Case's Second Act Ted's poor timing
Software On-Demand, Pricing by the Byte? On-demand is the next progression from the client-server era of computing to a more distributed model of offering utility-like data center computing services to corporate customers. The positioning for on-demand computing services, utility-style, also reflects the IT industry's profit margin shift to higher-value, value-added technology such as software and services. But are enterprise application vendors prepared to price their products by bits and bytes, or recognize revenue in dribs and drabs as customers order up spurts of software-enabled seats across an enterprise?
Police concerned over teen game addiction: Police are determined to deal with an alarming trend towards children becoming addicted to a violent internet game. An internet cafe has banned two 13-year-old "junkies", who, it was claimed, had broken into 40 taxis over six weeks to pay for habits which culminated in a four-day gaming binge. The 24-hour Wellington cafe, E-Joy, told police the boys had occasionally slept there after falling asleep playing Counter-Strike, one of the world's most popular online tactical war games.
Spamology: In 1937, an Austin, Minn.-based company called Hormel Foods held a contest. Hormel's Spiced Ham, it seems, needed a new name - something "as distinctive as the taste," the company's official history goes. The winner was one Kenneth Daigneau, a Broadway actor and, ahem, brother to a Hormel executive. He took home $100 and gave the world Spam. Sixty years later, Hormel was trying to prevent the name of its product from leaking into the popular lexicon as a label for, of all things, electronic junk mail. In a 1997 letter, Hormel demanded that Sanford Wallace, who ran a huge bulk e-mailing business under domain names like spamford.com and spamford.net, "cease and desist from all further use of the trademark Spam." "You can more responsibly refer to your business as bulk e-mail or by similar longstanding terminology," the letter said. The spammer was unmoved. "If your client objects to the use of `spam' to refer to my client's business," Mr. Wallace's lawyers responded, "it's far too late to change the vocabulary of 25 million Internet users." Today, spamford.net and spamford.com are gone, but the lawyers were right.
AOL Time Warner and Microsoft End a Bitter RivalryMicrosoft agreed to pay AOL Time Warner $750 million in a legal settlement yesterday that ends one of the most bitter rivalries in modern corporate history and commits the two companies to a sweeping program of business cooperation.
Video games boost visual skills: Playing video games could be good for your vision. A new study suggests that action games might help to rehabilitate visually impaired patients or train military personnel. Male undergraduates who played driving or shoot-em-up games such as Grand Theft Auto and Medal of Honor several times a week for at least six months beat non-gamers in lab vision tests, found Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York state. Game-players react to fast-moving objects more efficiently, explains Bavelier, and can track up to five objects at a time - 30% more than non-players. "They can process more information more quickly over time," she says. These skills might help people to drive more safely, Bavelier speculates. They may also enable pilots and air traffic controllers to monitor their video display units more effectively.
Online communities get real: Weblogs, e-mail and instant messaging are enabling people to maintain relationships and pass information in unexpected ways, say researchers. [...] New phenomena such as weblogs have allowed people to share their interest and passions with a wider audience but often provide a quite mundane and honest view of life. "Increasingly technologies allow people to find out about others in the real world and keep in touch with their day-to-day lives," said the report's author Will Davies.
Enter the Matrix games sells a million: Atari is claiming that Enter The Matrix has already sold a million units in the USA and Europe after only a week on sale, representing 25 per cent of the four million units which the company shipped to retail so far.
Most workers must remember six passwords or more: A recent SearchSecurity.com poll found that 77% of respondents had six or more passwords to remember for their jobs. About 23% had five or fewer passwords. But 20% had 15 or more passwords for their jobs. More than 200 took part in the online survey.
Search Privacy: An Issue? Relax. Yes, there are privacy issues when you do a search at Google. These are concerns at other search engines, too. Fear that you, personally, will be tracked isn't realistic for the vast majority of users. What exactly does Google know about you when you come to search? You needn't be worried - for the moment.
Anacom lança consulta pública sobre transposição de leis europeias: A Anacom (Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações) vai lançar uma consulta pública antes do final do mês sobre a transposição para a legislação portuguesa das novas directivas comunitárias sobre concorrência electrónica incluídas na chamada "Revisão 99". A consulta, ontem anunciada pelo director Mário Freitas, irá decorrer durante quatro semanas e destina-se a recolher as opiniões dos agentes de mercado sobre as opções já tomadas pela Anacom em relação ao processo de transposição, em matérias como a definição de mercados relevantes e avaliação do grau de concorrência nas telecomunicações em Portugal.
PGP Encryption Proves Powerful: Italian police have seized at least two Psion personal digital assistants from members of the Red Brigades terrorist organization. But the major investigative breakthrough they were hoping for as a result of the information contained on the devices has failed to materialize--thwarted by encryption software used by the left-wing revolutionaries. Failure to crack the code, despite the reported assistance of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation computer experts, puts a spotlight on the controversy over the wide availability of powerful encryption tools. [...] The software separating the investigators from a potentially invaluable mine of information about the shadowy terrorist group, which destabilized Italy during the 1970s and 1980s and revived its practice of political assassination four years ago after a decade of quiescence, was PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), the Rome daily La Repubblica reported. So far the system has defied all efforts to penetrate it, the paper said.
Parents fear perils of media, poll shows: An overwhelming majority of parents believe that unsuitable TV, movies, video games and contemporary music lead to violent, anti-social behavior and sex at younger ages, according to a national survey released Wednesday. The survey of 1,000 parents by Common Sense Media, a new San Francisco group, also found that those parents want more information about what their kids are listening to and watching.
Do You Think The INTERNET Is Complex? According to recent surveys and projections by CyberAtlas, the averaged results of two different studies puts the 2002 worldwide Internet population at 618 million users, which is projected to rise to 827 million users in 2004 (up from 27.5 million users in 1994. According to the CIA World Fact Book, there are now approximately 12,000 ISPs (Internet Service Providers) providing access to the Internet, worldwide.
From PlayStation to Supercomputer for $50,000: As perhaps the clearest evidence yet of the computing power of sophisticated but inexpensive video-game consoles, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from an army of Sony PlayStation 2's.
AIP acusa telemóveis de concertação de preços: A Associação Industrial Portuguesa (AIP) está preocupada com o aumento das tarifas no sector das telecomunicações, que considera uma acção concertada das três operadoras móveis. Na nota mensal da direcção da AIP sobre a conjuntura, a associação diz que vê "com preocupação a evolução no sector das telecomunicações, designadamente aquilo que parece ser um aumento concertado das tarifas das três operadoras". "Nesta ordem de razões, a AIP não vê com bons olhos novas consolidações ao nível dos operadores (quer na rede fixa quer na rede móvel)", pode ler-se no documento. [Não é a isto que se chama "cartelização"?...]
Disposable DVDs Go to the Dumps: Environmentalists are steamed about one movie studio's latest attempt to market home movies to the public. On Friday, Flexplay and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, a division of Disney, announced they will sell DVDs of popular movies that, once opened, can be viewed for 48 hours, then tossed in the trash.
E porque recebi hoje um igualzinho (não, não o abri...): Palyh Worm Continues Its Assault: Any e-mail arriving from an address like 'email@example.com' containing an attachment should look like a huge billboard reading 'I am a virus' to every computer user
Italia en alerta por "fraude celular": Las autoridades italianas advirtieron sobre el potencial uso fraudulento de los teléfonos celulares de tercera generación en las elecciones municipales y provinciales que se celebrarán el 25 de mayo. Se teme que la mafia intente recurrir a lo último en tecnología de comunicación móvil para procurar influir en el resultado de la votación. Los nuevos aparatos pueden transmitir video en directo, por lo que hay temor de que algunos electores sean presionados para que voten por un candidato en particular y que además certifiquen "en vivo" sus actos dentro del puesto de votación.
Broadband Growth Seen Slowing: A new study shows the high-octane pace of broadband adoption in the United States could be shifting into a lower gear. For the most part, America's most experienced Internet users already have signed up for home broadband service. And among the remaining Web junkies who haven't, the chief reason isn't a lack of interest, but the lack of availability in their neighborhoods.
Extent of UK snooping revealed: Officials in the UK are routinely demanding huge quantities of information about what people do online and who they call, say privacy experts. Police and other officials are making around a million requests for access to data held by net and telephone companies each year, according to figures compiled from the government, legal experts and the internet industry. [...] But a Home Office spokesman disputed the figures, telling BBC News Online it estimated that the number of requests were half that suggested.
U.S. Agency Cracks Down on Internet Crime: More than 130 people and $17 million have been seized nationwide in operations by the FBI and other agencies to stop cybercrime. The Justice Department dubbed the effort "Operation E-con," a collection of separate investigations over the past five months targeting investment scams, sales of stolen software, online banking fraud -- even a purported Russian marriage service. [...] Officials estimated the collective losses across more than 90 investigations at $176 million, affecting 89,000 victims.
Matrix Sequel Has Hacker Cred: The average American moviegoer taking in the Matrix Reloaded this weekend will likely be wowed by the elaborate action sequences and dazzling special effects. But hackers who've seen the blockbuster are crediting it with a more subtle cinematic milestone: it's the first major motion picture to accurately portray a hack. That's right: Trinity uses a 'sploit.
Internet is dying: What's dying is the idea that the Internet would be a tool of universal liberation, and the argument that "freedom" in itself is a justification for this information pollution. It's probably reached a tipping point: the signal to noise ratio is now too low.
The Other Kind of Tracks: Every time you use your computer, especially if you are on the Internet, you are creating numerous records of your activities that can be tapped by another person without much technical skill. For innocent reasons, both the Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as their core applications, create all sorts of logs, trails and lists of activities you might consider private.
What can Fizzer teach us? The fact Fizzer targeted KaZaA bears out the fears of the anti-virus community who have identified file-sharing services and instant messaging as two areas where viruses look set to boom as virus writers attempt to get back in touch with end users.
How Microsoft Warded Off Rival: The Microsoft campaign against Linux raises questions about how much its aggressive, take-no-prisoners corporate culture has changed, despite having gone through a lengthy, reputation-tarnishing court battle in the United States that resulted in Microsoft's being found to have repeatedly violated antitrust laws.
Parents Support Kids Playing Video Games: new research showed most parents view their children's game playing as positive and nearly all monitor what they buy. Parents say they are with their children when games are purchased nearly 90 percent of the time, according to the survey conducted on behalf of the Interactive Digital Software Association.
Banda larga chumbada no Parlamento: O projecto de lei do Bloco de Esquerda (BE) sobre acesso à Internet em banda larga (cabo ou ADSL) em todo o país a um preço baixo deverá ser chumbado hoje na votação na especialidade no Parlamento. O porta-voz do BE, Daniel Oliveira, disse à Lusa que lamenta que o Governo encare a questão da banda larga apenas como um "acesso à Internet". "Algumas indústrias de ponta não podem funcionar sem banda larga, requisito fundamental para a transmissão de grandes quantidades de informação, por isso fogem do interior do país", disse.
[act.:] Microsoft Reverses Position: Internet Toilet No Hoax After All Microsoft: Internet potty just a hoax: "This iLoo release came out of the U.K. office and was not a Microsoft-sanctioned communication, and we apologize for any confusion or offense it may have caused," Microsoft spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold said late last night. Did Microsoft "borrow" the iLoo concept?: Andrew Cubitt claims that Microsoft "borrowed" his concept of surf while you sit a fair while after he'd perfected his own device – which also has the same name – the iLoo.
Banks suffer increased hack attacks: Hack attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with over a third of banks and financial services companies reporting a security breach in the last year, according to a new survey. Hacking 2003: The new agenda: today we're seeing a far more dangerous hacker attack--the targeted attack. Targeted attacks are carried out by highly skilled hackers motivated by financial gain and armed with the expertise to do serious damage.
Sony to release handheld game player: The PSP will have a screen capable of showing 3D images, stereo sound, USB 2.0 connectivity and a custom processor built on cutting-edge 90-nanometer chipmaking technology. The device will also use a new media format. The UMD disc is an optical disc about half the size of a DVD or CD and capable of holding 1.8GB of data.
Portugal smart enough to attract Microsoft phone software: Portugal has become the second European market to introduce so-called ‘smart phones’, a clever marketing appellation that describes mobiles using Microsoft’s Windows CE 3.0 software. The project with Microsoft is a joint initiative by state energy company Galpenergia and TMN, Portugal Telecom’s mobile subsidiary. It follows Orange launching the device in France late last year.
Log on and enter the Matrix: With the push of a button, the computer game Enter The Matrix was launched in Sydney last night, marking the final marketing frenzy for one of this year's most anticipated films. The game is the first of its kind to be completely integrated with a film. It was written by Matrix creators Andy and Larry Wachowski, features the film's stars and was made in Sydney while The Matrix Reloaded and the final movie in the series, The Matrix Revolutions, were being filmed.
Irish schools stop truants with text messages: Two Irish schools are testing a new scheme using modern mobile-phone technology to take the temptation out of playing truant. Under the scheme, a database records the names of absent students each day and automatically sends out a text message to parents notifying them if their child missed roll-call.
Xbox Live update at E3: Rumours abound that Microsoft is set to announce a major update to its Xbox Live kit at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Microsoft is keeping mum, but has admitted to a few "groundbreaking announcements" at the most important games show of the year.
A dotcom revival? A few surviving internet stocks are even enjoying a second boom [...] Have investors finally found the internet’s real pot of gold? Perhaps, but they would do well to remember what happened after the railway fever of the 19th century: the industry had to endure three busts before investors made any serious money.
South Korean Group Sues Microsoft Over Slammer: In a sign of users' increasing frustration with the security shortcomings of many software applications, a civic group in South Korea has made good on their threat to file a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.'s Korean subsidiary, a Korean ISP and the country's Information Ministry. The suit is the direct result of the havoc caused by the SQL Slammer worm in January.
Radio ID chips to come with kill switch: Manufacturers and a key industry group expect to introduce a kill switch for controversial radio frequency identification tags before the inventory-tracking chips are shipped in products to retail shelves.
Meet the man who invented video games: Long before the days of PlayStation and Xbox, there was the Odyssey. In 1972, Sanders Associates (and, by default, [Ralph] Baer) were working with Maganavox to create the first in-home gaming console. The Odyssey sold 100,000 units at $100 each that year.
Ruddock fury over Woomera computer game: It's a dose of virtual reality that the Immigration Minister could probably do without: a computer game in which players try to escape from Australian detention centres has received $25,000 in federal funding.
Video-Game Merchants Under Fire: In an effort to protect kids from violent imagery and the rest of us from violent kids, the state of Washington is prepared to make it illegal for stores to give youngsters access to interactive images of mayhem. A bill that restricts the sale or rental of some violent video and computer games to adults-only customers passed unanimously in both the state House and Senate.
Blindsided by Bandwidth Fees, Online Barkers Think Twice: Giving things away, even digitally, can cost a lot. I hadn't realized just how much until I turned on my computer one day last month and discovered that I might owe $15,000 to an Internet company. Two days earlier, I had started giving away the electronic edition of Real World Adobe GoLive 6, a book I wrote in March 2002 with Jeff Carlson about a Web publishing tool.
Moore's law 'is biggest threat to privacy': Phil Zimmermann, the man who created the PGP encryption product, believes that Moore's Law and surveillance cameras make for a particularly dangerous cocktail "The human population does not double every 18 months but its ability to use computers to keep track of us does," he said, referring to what he sees as the threat to privacy from the increased use of surveillance cameras. "You can't encrypt your face."
Six Technologies That Will Change the World: Imagine robots that can read your mood and ink-jet printers that can crank out transplantable hearts. The visionaries you are about to meet have not only imagined these things - they're hard at work building them. [...] - God's Ink Jet - Robots You Can Relate To - The Plane That Does Hong Kong and Back in a Day - All-Day Portable Power - Electronic Paper - A Swarm of Sensors
Off the hype meter: In a Wall Street Journal interview, Ellison was quoted saying, "We became the largest industry in the world by selling things that people didn't want to buy." That's because the technology industry has elevated hype to an art form.
Two-thirds of spam contains falsehoods: Internet users skeptical of junk e-mails promising easy money, miracle cures and dream dates are right to be wary: The government says two-thirds of the "spam" messages clogging online mailboxes probably are false in some way.
Expert Users Move Away from Google: 24% of those surveyed indicated they have stopped using Google. Nearly half of the Expert users identify that they have stopped using Google and a percentage of Intermediate Users. And what they now use as their starting point for information are RSS search tools, link surfing and News Reader Subscriptions.
High-definition DVD on the way: Beyond better video, HD-DVD discs may hold seven-channel soundtracks and more interactive bonuses, such as automatic software that, through a Net-linked home entertainment server, could connect online for additional language soundtracks and live chats with filmmakers and actors.
Futurist Fears End of Innovation: Author Howard Rheingold believes the freedom of technologists to innovate is under attack as never before.[...] "Our freedom to innovate is not necessarily going to be as free as it was in the pre-Internet era," he cautioned. "We are at a pivotal point in the history of technology and a lot of assumptions should be questioned."
Online, All the Time, an All-Seeing Surveillance System: [The] ease with which the high-tech surveillance cameras can be set up and used worries people who are concerned about the invasion of privacy. The Washington Police Department came under fire for a system it purchased from Axis that enables it to monitor activities through a network of cameras mounted at busy intersections, in the subway system and at tourist sites like the National Mall. The system, which is activated during heightened terror alerts, allows the authorities to manipulate the cameras so they can, for instance, pan and zoom in on activity they consider suspicious. The remote access also means that officers can view images on computer monitors installed in squad cars.
Want to Beat the Enemy? Win the Information War: Bruce Berkowitz, a noted analyst at the RAND Corporation and the Hoover Institution at Stanford, has produced a readable and well-informed study of information technology and its implications for future warfare. Even though he wrote his book just before the conflict in Iraq, his observations about technology and its role in future warfare have not been radically altered by the outcome of the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
Office workers give away passwords for a cheap pen: If anything, people are even more lax about security than they were a year ago, the survey found. Nine in ten (90 per cent) of office workers at London's Waterloo Station gave away their computer password for a cheap pen, compared with 65 per cent last year.
Trends in the Evolution of the Public Web: 1998 - 2002: Although the Web is still a work in progress, it has accumulated enough of a history to permit meaningful analysis of the trends characterizing its evolution. The Web's relatively brief history has been steeped in predictions about the direction of its future development, as well as the role it will ultimately play as a communications medium for information in digital form. In light of the persistent uncertainty that attends the maturation of the Web, it is useful to examine some of the Web's key trends to date, in order both to mark the current status of the Web's progression and to inform new predictions about future developments. This article examines three key trends in the development of the public Web - size and growth, internationalization, and metadata usage
Da Vinci: Father of Cryptography? Dan Brown's latest novel, The Da Vinci Code, published by Doubleday Books, is about the famous Renaissance artist and the oblique references to the occult contained in his equally famous paintings. It's also about ancient secret societies, modern forensics, science and engineering, and the history of religion. Most of all The Da Vinci Code is about the history of encryption -- the many methods developed over time to keep private information from prying eyes.
Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop Offline: The digital divide is not just about the haves and the have-nots. It's also about the yawning gap between those who are comfortable using technology and those who fear or despise it. [...] The usual suspects turn out in conspicuously low numbers online: minorities, people with lower incomes, the elderly and disabled people, according to a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. But another group is gaining among the offline population. Seventeen percent of people surveyed are Internet dropouts. They were online once but were tripped up by technical problems that have kept them offline sometimes for a year or more. And 25 percent are online now but have dropped off in the past for a lengthy period of time for the same reasons, the study found. [houve um estudo interessante sobre isto há alguns anos cujo título era algo como: "foram surfar e voltaram para a praia"...] Another emerging group left out of the Internet revolution are those who have the opportunity to go online if they want to, but don't. A total of 80 million American adults - 42 percent of the adult population - say they don't use the Internet, the study found. But 20 percent of them have Internet access in the next room and choose not to go online. Or, some of them get family members to go online for them. [...] About 27 percent of Americans are completely removed from the online world, according to the study. They've never tried going online and aren't surrounded by anyone else who uses the Internet.
Porn spam - legal minefield for employers: Lewd e-mail promoting pornography may soon pose more than just a technical challenge in the ongoing fight against spam - experts say it's set to become an acute legal problem, too. Graphic images appearing unbidden on PCs by way of e-mail in-boxes could qualify as evidence of a "hostile work environment," something that's prohibited by federal employment law. As a result, porn spam could begin to crop up in sexual harassment complaints from employees offended by the material. Even if companies aren't the source of such messages, they could be liable for hefty civil fines if managers know that porn spam is a problem and don't move to address it.
Court Hears Fight Over Numbers Used for Cellphones: The wireless telephone industry appealed to a federal court in Washington yesterday to block a government effort to allow consumers to keep their cellphone numbers when they switch mobile phone carriers.
Google's Brave New World: David Brandt, president of Public Information Research, which publishes the Google-watch.org Web site, said there are privacy concerns surrounding the cookies Google loads onto users' computers. ‘Google’ for Cops: Software Helps Police Search for Cyber Clues to Bust Criminals In Searching the Web, Google Finds Riches: In the last few years, Google has risen as a force on the Internet by offering its smarter, faster searches as a free public service. Now the band of technoinsurgents who run the company are striking a blow against the business strategies of giant Web portals like America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN by rewriting the rules of Internet advertising.
Testing Microsoft and the DMCA: Taking a break from working on his doctoral thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate student Andrew "Bunnie" Huang decided that it might be fun to poke around the security systems protecting Microsoft's Xbox game console. With a little creative tinkering and a measure of precision soldering, Huang quickly isolated the main public security keys. Although legally prevented from sharing the keys with the world, he described his methods in detail in a widely distributed research paper, helping spur a wave of Xbox-hacking that has led to the development of Xbox versions of Linux and other homemade software.
Stolen mobile rings in 'body cavity': Pandemonium broke out at a shopping mall in Negril on Monday, when a cellular phone which was stolen from a female shopper was found after it rang from within another shopper's vagina. Some bystanders were amused over the happenings, but some chided the young woman for sinking so low that she even embarrassed other women.
Mother of invention: How the Mosaic browser triggered a digital revolution The Killer Browser: It’s been only a decade since the release of Mosaic, the Web application that changed finance, commerce, culture - and the world ‘Out of Left Field’: Andreessen did Mosaic, then Netscape. He was at the center of the browser wars and dot-com mania. What’s he learned?
Steal this barcode: The Web site Re-Code.com parodies the design and chipper lingo of Priceline.com's "name your own price" shopping site. It invites shoppers to "recode your own price," by making their own barcodes using the site's barcode generator. The theory: There's just a 10-digit number standing between you and a better deal on anything that you want in a store, and this site will help you crack the code. The site's creators call it satire. Wal-Mart's legal counsel calls it an incitement to theft and fraud. [act.:] 'Bar Code' Web Site Closes Under Pressure
'Wayback Machine' Stars at Sex Court Trial: The mother of all Web sites dominated the "Sex Court" trademark trial Wednesday in Brooklyn. [...] The existence of the monster "Wayback Machine" - a service with a massive computer capacity of over 100 terabtyes - was disclosed to jurors in federal court in the suit brought by Playboy Enterprises against a Web enterpreneur Mario Cavalluzzo over use of the name "Sex Court."
Google washes whiter: Google has made its own statement on the 'Googlewash': by making The Register story that coined the phrase disappear from its search results. Report criticizes Google's porn filters: Children using Google's SafeSearch feature, designed to filter out links to Web sites with adult content, may be shielded from far more than their parents ever intended.
Internet ad revenue down 17% in 2002 In the Hands of Geeks, Web Advertising Actually Works: Useful ads that consumers like and are easy for businesses to manage.
Pioneer news site to end: One of the Internet's oldest news sites soon will vanish. The Nando Times will cease to exist within about 90 days, said Christian A. Hendricks, vice president of Interactive Media for the McClatchy Co., the Sacramento, Calif.-based parent of Nando Media and The News & Observer. The site no longer fits the company's strategy, Hendricks said.
Microsoft Covets Google's Niche: "We do view Google more and more as a competitor. We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience. That's something that we're actively looking at doing," said Bob Visse, director of marketing for Microsoft's MSN Internet services division. Visse said the company was making some significant investments in developing a better search engine. But the company has not offered specific plans. Microsoft Denies Paid-Search Plans: "Microsoft and MSN are completely committed to our relationship with Overture," said Bob Visse, director of marketing for MSN. "We have no intention of developing our own paid-search platform." Visse said the company continued to invest in search, but apart from the paid-listings area.
NASA excited by 'invisible' coat: Kazutoshi Obana's gray, hooded coat doesn't just keep him dry in a downpour. It can also make him seem invisible. [...] In fact, Tachi's "invisibility" coat is a camera trick. A video camera behind the coat is linked to a projector, which bounces the image off the front of the coat's reflective surface. Because there is no time lag between what's happening behind the wearer and the image cast on the front of the coat, the viewer has the illusion he is seeing straight through the coat.
That Championship Season, in Code: For 27 years, the Association for Computing Machinery has attracted teams of programmers from several dozen countries for the annual finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. For five hours they code their hearts out, cramming a semester's worth of problem-solving into one exhausting, nerve-shattering morning. They are billed as the world's top young programmers, 263 standouts (only seven of them women) winnowed from a contestant pool of more than 23,000.
Does Security Mean Sacrificing Privacy? Given the backdrop of war, tightened national security, and new legislation aimed at expanding government powers, the discussions and debates due to take place at the 13th Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy in New York this week promises to be lively.
The Games People Slay: While many young men and women face the real and serious hazards of the war in Iraq, just as many - maybe more - in the United States are blowing up Baghdad on a regular basis from the comfort of their homes. As the war in the Gulf region moved into its second week and casualties on both sides mounted, a number of video games were emerging online that let players live out the conflict vicariously through their computers.
Sweden Beats U.S. as Top Web-Savvy Nation: Of the 60 countries surveyed, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were at the bottom of the list with 2.37 and 2.52 points respectively out of a possible 10. Sweden scored 8.67, up from 8.32 a year ago. The United States was little changed at number three with 8.43 points, on par with the Netherlands and Britain. The differences were small between the top 14, all scoring more than eight points as a result of plentiful cheap Internet connections, software and technical support, legal and government frameworks and populations which think it is cool to spend time on the Net.
Cyberwarriors guard virtual front: As coalition forces continue to engage the enemy throughout Iraq, the number of battles being fought in cyberspace also has risen, according to one Army information assurance officer. High-Tech Tools of War: The U.S. military has integrated its formidable warfighting capability with higher technology and created a fighting force unmatched by any army, navy or air force in the world. The technology gap is so pronounced that the rest of the world may never catch up. The Doctrine of Digital War
Consider a cure for pernicious infobesity: Fundamentally, a person can absorb only so much information. For many centuries, we have assumed there was a shortage of information and, like our hunter-gatherer bodies, we have always been anxious to absorb more. But maybe we have reached the point where we should begin restricting our information intake to avoid infobesity.
Japan's Generation of Computer Refuseniks: Most teens and young adults in Japan rarely use computers to surf the World Wide Web. Instead they use cell phones to access a scaled-down wireless Web. The result: A growing computer literacy problem among Japan's youth.
What's So Free About This DVD? The documentary film Revolution OS was released Friday on DVD. The film features interviews with Linus Torvalds of Linux fame; Richard Stallman of the GNU/Free software project; Eric Raymond, author of Cathedral and the Bazaar (a treatise on marketing and open source); Rob Malda of hacker discussion and news site Slashdot; Larry Augustin, co-founder of VA Linux Systems; and others. In the spirit of open source, the DVD was released without CSS, the content scrambling system used on most commercial DVDs.
What to Do With All That Information: Why is data growing so fast and what should we do about it? Can companies take advantage of it to gain strategic advantage? Who is doing it right? What about our identity and security as consumers? Who, if anyone, is responsible for gathering and maintaining the mountains of information about each of us that grows daily in corporate and government databases? These were the topics to which Esther Dyson devoted her cutting-edge Platforms for Communications conference this year. She called it "Who? What? Where? Data Comes Alive."
When a Free Download Isn't Free: Last week, writer Glenn Fleishman offered his book, Real World Adobe GoLive 6, as a free download. But instead of the few hundred downloads Fleishman expected, the book was downloaded about 10,000 times in just 36 hours. And because he's charged incrementally for bandwidth, Fleishman estimates he could be billed $15,000 at the end of the month -- possibly a lot more. "It's a financial catastrophe," said Fleishman.
'Social software' effectively combines the best of real and virtual worlds: The smaller the group, the more immediate value in the relationship. That's one notion behind an emerging phenomenon called "social software,'' products that help groups work with each other more effectively.
3D holo video arrives: Researchers from the University of Texas have devised a three-dimensional video system that cuts down the compute power needed to project three-dimensional images by using an 800,000-mirror device designed for two-dimensional digital projectors as a sort of holographic film.
HP Thinks in 3D for Web Browsing: You are traveling through a dimly lit maze of brick walls with various posters looming back at you. Suddenly, you turn to view one and with a click of a mouse, a movie starts playing. It's not the latest video game - it's Hewlett-Packard's future vision of shopping online.
Terms of Disservice: The arrogance of technology companies knows no bounds. Consider the Terms of Service at a new company called Mailblocks, which says it'll block spam (unsolicited commerical e-mail) for you, for a price that includes not just money but also the right to send you commercial e-mail.
News sites at risk from cyber warfare: As the number of malicious Internet attacks escalates as a knock-on effect of the Iraq war, security companies have warned that online news sites are at risk. "News sites are primary targets for counterattacks, especially given the focus placed on a 'war of words' in the lead up to the conflict," said Kevin Foster, strategy director for security tester NTA monitor.
Blair Tagged as Privacy Threat: London-based Privacy International announced Monday its 2003 U.K. Big Brother Awards, which the group presents annually to "the most persistent and egregious privacy invaders in Britain." Simon Davies, the director of the civil liberties group, said the pool of candidates for the unprestigious prize had greatly expanded since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Now It's Really Space War And for satellite outfits, it's time to roll up their sleeves The Pentagon's tactical Internet - a war too early? The Pentagon is furiously buying up commercial satellite capacity in order to meet the bandwidth needs of a new kind of IT-driven war, reports the Washington Post. But Register sources suggest that the US military has other, rather larger problems in delivering on the digital battlespace vision. The Wired War Has Arrived: Unproven technology is seeing its first action as the U.S. Army outfits soldiers with latest computers and telecom devices
Cyberterror and professional paranoiacs: The U.S. war on Iraq has begun. Now wait for the hype about "cyberwar" and "cyberterrorism" to follow. Are We Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks? Most organizations say they're getting more serious about security, but the risks are still growing. Feds Alert to Web Security Threat
it's all lost and stoof Ah cain't find th' page yer lookin' fer. - Southern American Wuhloss, man, de page yuh lookin for ent here!! - Bajan It's not there, eh? - Canadian j00 f001, 7|-|47 p4g3 d0|\|'7 eXi57! y0u sux0rz. - 1337/h4x0r Dude? - West Coast US A página que você procura não existe. - Brazilian Portugese A keresett lap vagy megszünt, vagy máshová került. - Hungarian La página que estás buscando no existe. - Spanish Essa página não existe. A última vez que a vi foi ali no bar da esquina.... - Portugese (Portugal) L'URL che avete richiesto non e' presente su questo server. - Italian E página ku bo ta buska no ta eksistí mas. - Papiamentu Pagina quam tu quaeris abest. - Latin Non podo atopa-la páxina que andas a procurar. - Galego a koalo ma pang pang sang no dja. - Surinamese Sócio, a página que tavas á procura fugio, foi de boca... - Portugese Slang
U.S. May Use 'E-Bomb' in Iraq Invasion, designed to render Saddam Hussein's forces blind, deaf, dumb and incapable of retaliation. The highly classified bomb creates a brief pulse of microwaves powerful enough to fry computers, blind radar, silence radios, trigger crippling power outages and disable the electronic ignitions in vehicles and aircraft.
Killer stalks cell phones in Europe: A short text message is spelling death for cell phones in Europe. The wireless e-mail, among the 1 billion sent each day on the continent, can freeze or completely disable two cell phones made by German handset maker Siemens, spokesman Jacob Rice said [...] The e-mails contain a single word, taken from the phone's language menu, surrounded by quote marks and preceded by an asterisk, such as "*English" or "*Deutsch", Siemens said. Opening the short text message on a Siemens 35 series cell completely disables it, Rice said. Siemens 45 series phones are less impacted and can be resuscitated after about two minutes of work, Rice said. Both phones are sold only in Europe.
Details on Matrix Phone Emerge: First details of the handset surfaced in February when Samsung opened a teaser Web site, at TheMatrixPhone.com, which provided no details of the telephone but did offer a chance to register for e-mail news on the device.
Who's Winning Privacy Tug of War? If you opt to protect your privacy, you'll regret it. That's what some businesses apparently would like consumers to think. Privacy is set to become even more of a key issue for businesses and government over the next few months, as some firms fight to retain what they believe is a key provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law that restricts who can access credit information and how it can be used.
Big Blue Meets Big Brother: IBM details plans to offer digital video surveillance systems The new services are designed to help companies make a transition from older, videotape-based surveillance systems to IP-based surveillance networks, IBM said in a statement.
Software Pioneer Quits Board of Groove: Mitchell D. Kapor, a personal computer industry software pioneer and a civil liberties activist, has resigned from the board of Groove Networks after learning that the company's software was being used by the Pentagon as part of its development of a domestic surveillance system.
Wireless net offered with a pint: People will soon be able to surf the internet from the comfort of their local pub as wireless hotspots reach out to the country's favourite location. There are already around 200 so-called wireless hotspots in cafes, hotel and service stations across the UK. In July, this network will extend to 3,000 pubs in the UK. [act.:] McDonald's to Offer Wireless Internet: By year's end, McDonald's will extend the access to 300 McDonald restaurants in New York City, Chicago and a yet-unannounced California town
Military Now Often Enlists Commercial Technology: Technology like fiber optic-laced clothing, head-mounted computer displays, global satellite phones, impromptu wireless networks and rugged laptop computers that the military may use in Iraq or future conflicts have largely descended from ideas originally conceived in Silicon Valley and other commercial enclaves.
World of Ends: What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else. 1. The Internet isn't complicated 2. The Internet isn't a thing. It's an agreement. 3. The Internet is stupid. 4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value. 5. All the Internet's value grows on its edges. 6. Money moves to the suburbs. 7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends. 8. The Internet’s three virtues: a. No one owns it b. Everyone can use it c. Anyone can improve it 9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it? 10. Some mistakes we can stop making already
Usability News: a free web newsletter that is produced by the Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL). The SURL team specializes in software/website user interface design research, human-computer interaction research, and usability testing and research.
New Cornell U. System Will Meter Network Use and Charge for 'Extreme' Amounts: Cornell University officials have developed a new "pay by the drink" billing system that will charge students and employees incrementally for Internet use as a way of controlling what officials call "irrational consumption" of bandwidth. Cornell's costs for providing Internet services - currently about $1.4-million a year - are going up by more than 40 percent annually, and the university says it had to do something to moderate that spending, or at least find a fairer way to recover its expenses. [Acabaram-se os almoços gratuitos?...]
Next Windows leaks onto Net: Microsoft did not identify the source of the leak, which is still circulating on the Web and on Internet relay chat. But Jim Cullinan, Microsoft Windows lead product manager, said the leaked version of Longhorn is authentic.
Lucro da Portugal Telecom subiu 27% para 391 milhões de euros em 2002: Este valor é superior ao previsto pelos analistas contactados pela agência Lusa, que antecipavam uma subida entre 20 e 24% dos resultados líquidos, para entre 357 e 381 milhões de euros.
Net Cafe to Make Camp on Everest: Fifty years after two men conquered Mount Everest, a native Sherpa is determined to set up a cybercafe at the 17,400-foot-high base camp of the world's highest mountain. Besides freezing temperatures and storms, there is no electricity or plumbing at the site. There aren't any permanent buildings, either.
Tavern owner shoots his computer 4 times: How many times have you wanted to shoot your computer? Well, George Doughty was plenty PO'd and blasted his P.C. Doughty says his laptop crashed once too often. So, he allegedly shot it four times as customers watched in his Sportsman's Bar and Restaurant in Lafayette, Colo. The dead computer is now hanging as a trophy on the wall of the tavern.
A Decade on the Net by Greg R. Notess, Reference Librarian Montana State University On this tenth anniversary of that first column proclaiming the meeting of the Internet with the online searching world, much has changed. Looking back over 10 years' worth of columns gives a snapshot of the growth of the Internet as a major information resource and a look at how it has changed.
Portugal: Acesso à Internet atinge 5,17 milhões de subscrições no final de 2002 A banda larga assumiu-se como o segmento deste mercado com as taxas de crescimento de adesões mais elevadas, ainda que, no universo de todas as subscrições de serviço, a sua representatividade não ultrapasse os 5%. Ainda assim, o número de clientes de serviços de banda larga – ADSL e cabo incluídos – atingiu os 260 mil no final de 2002, contra menos de 97 mil no final do ano anterior, consubstanciando um crescimento que rondou os 169%. O acesso por cabo, oferecido comercialmente desde 1999, representou por si só 80% de todos os acessos à Internet por banda larga, o equivalente a 207 mil clientes no final de 2002, contra menos de 94 mil no final de 2001. O acesso por ADSL, iniciado em 2001, representou os restantes 20%. Em valores absolutos, o número de clientes ascendeu a 52 mil no final de 2002, contra 18 mil no final de 2001. O crescimento da base de clientes ADSL cresceu, assim, num ano, cerca de 189%. Os acessos via dial up – aqueles que inicialmente eram designados por acessos “gratuitos” - continuam, todavia, a ser os mais utilizados em Portugal, representando 95% de todos os acessos registados, tendo crescido cerca de 46% entre os quartos trimestres de 2001 e 2002.
Hacker hacking could be legal: Striking back at computers that are attacking a company or home network could be legal under federal nuisance laws, a technology-law expert [Curtis Karnow] said [...] However, Karnow warned that counterattacks would have to be used judiciously and only to a limited extent. "The real problem is collateral damage," he said. "Suppose you screw up - you hit the wrong machine (or) you shut down an entire computer rather than just a process. What happens if you are sued, not by a bad guy, but by an intermediary who was affected by your counterstrike?" Such issues should continue to deter anyone considering hacking back, he said.
Latest ID theft scam: Fake job listings Internet job board Monster.com, acknowledging a growing problem for online career sites, is e-mailing millions of job seekers, warning that fake listings are being used to gather and steal personal information.
Telemóveis nacionais lá fora: Vodafone mops up Portugese minorities: Vodafone is offering € 8.5 per share, compared with Telecel's closing price yesterday of € 8.2. It says the offer is final and that it won't budge on price. If and when the company gets to 90 per cent of the share capital, it says it will exercise its right to purchase the outstanding shares compulsorily. And if it doesn't mop up at least 90 per cent of shares this time around, it may seek "other" means, available under Portugese law, to have Telecel's shares delisted. M-Commerce for All: Four big European mobile network operators are clubbing together to form the Mobile Payments Services Association. [...] 02, KPN Mobile Group and TMN have also expressed interest in joining the MPSA, the association says.
Keeping an Eye on Things, by Cellphone: Maybe the "killer app" for video on phones isn't seeing the person you're calling. Instead, the exciting development may be the ability to use your cellphone's color screen to view remote scenes, both of public places and of your own private ones. What was once a piece of communications gear thus becomes a tool for security, safety and even spying.
Amazon wins retail chat patent, marking the company's latest push to appeal to more consumers by adding customer-centric features. The technology differs from current customer commentary features on the site in that customers can start a discussion thread or join a discussion and comment on each other's reviews. The person starting the discussion thread also can indicate whether it's a public or private correspondence, according to the patent, which was awarded Tuesday.
Hold the Phone? Radiation from cell phones hurts rats' brains A single 2-hour exposure to the microwaves emitted by some cell phones kills brain cells in rats, a group of Swedish researchers claims. If confirmed, the results would be the first to directly link cell-phone radiation to brain damage in any animal.
Chipping Away at Workers' Privacy: At a casino in Atlantic City, an infrared sensor system keeps a computer log that tracks each time an employee fails to wash up after using the bathroom. At a state college in Massachusetts, a secretary learns that a camera installed to deter after-hours intruders has in fact captured her changing clothes in her own office during the day. At a porn site in California, an employee is fired after his employer discovers he's spent too much time on eBay and not enough doing his job, which, ironically, consists of looking at porn. These are a few examples of the workplace surveillance Frederick Lane describes in his upcoming book, The Naked Employee, which looks at the growing use of technology to monitor employees' activities.
To Trap a Superworm: The Slammer worm's ability to spread so rapidly adds a frightfully new dimension to the species. Does Stuart Staniford [co-founder of information-security company Silicon Defense] have the cure? According to Staniford, though, the so-called Slammer worm that was unleashed on Jan. 24 heralds a new and difficult era of blazingly fast-spreading worms. And he claims Silicon Defense has devised a useful way to protect against them. On Feb. 24 it rolled out a hardware device dubbed CounterMalice, which aims to stop superworms by segmenting computer networks into compartments and monitoring each compartment for infections. If CounterMalice spots signs of an infection, it can isolate the offending compartments, like a ship commander sealing watertight doors to contain the damage on a leaking vessel.
Browsers: Here We Go Again: It's true that, at the moment, a Web browser isn't critical software for a cell phone - not the way it is for a PC. People talk on their phones, send text messages, and, increasingly, retrieve e-mail, play games, and take pictures. None of these applications requires a Web browser. Yet the browser opened the door to a new kind of commerce on PCs, and it could do the same on mobile devices. This is of great interest to the cellular carriers, who would like nothing more than for people to use their phones as wallets. The game here is also more interesting than it was on the PC, because of the way cell-phone software is distributed.
Sun, Yahoo, Microsoft Plan Corporate Instant Messaging Offerings This Spring IM has identity crisis, Microsoft says: Like much of the group that made it popular, IM (instant messaging) is a high-potential teenager going through an identity crisis, according to Microsoft product unit manager David Gurle.
A Radio Chip in Every Consumer Product: Such technology, known as radio-frequency identification - the same techniques that enable an electronic sensor to record data from an E-ZPass tag or an office door to open for people with chip-equipped cards in their pockets - could one day stymie pilferers. But it is also capable of doing much more for commerce. Beyond Gillette and Procter & Gamble, companies as diverse as International Paper and Canon USA are teaming up with retailers and customers to apply R.F.I.D., as it is known, to tracking products from the time they leave an assembly line to the time they leave the store.
The end of the old PC as we know it? For more than 20 years, the PC has relied on the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), a small set of fixed software routines normally built into a chip on the motherboard. This hangover from a distant past is causing more and more problems, said Mark Doran, Intel's principal engineer behind the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) that aims to humanely kill the antique technology.
Who Is the Unlikely Winner of the Wi-Fi Revolution? Electric utilities, the least likely revolutionaries, stand to gain the most from the Wi-Fi revolution.
Ratings Agency Says It Erred in Measuring Web Site Use: Web ratings services have faced questions about accuracy since they began trying to estimate audiences by projecting the behavior of a panel of presumably representative users. Despite their limits, ComScore's ratings, and those of its main competitor, Nielsen/NetRatings, are widely used by advertisers, investors, journalists and the Web sites themselves. The biggest differences in ComScore's ratings, announced last week, come in its estimates of Web use at the workplace, always the most difficult to measure. Big companies in particular do not want employees to install the software that the ratings companies use to track Web site usage. When ComScore adjusted its formulas to account for the underrepresentation at big companies, its audience projections increased, in some cases sharply.
Lawyers: Hackers sentenced too harshly: The nation's largest group of defense lawyers on Wednesday published a position paper arguing that people convicted of computer-related crimes tend to get stiffer sentences than comparable non-computer-related offenses.