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.
Nigerian Slain Over E-Mail Scam: A notorious e-mail scam has resulted in the murder of a Nigerian diplomat in the Czech Republic. Fifty-year-old Michael Lekara Wayid, Nigeria's consul in the Czech Republic, was shot dead by an unidentified 72-year-old Czech at the Nigerian Embassy in Prague on Wednesday. According to police reports, the suspect was a victim of the 419 scam, a thriving industry that employs thousands of people around the world.
"Modders" breathe new life into video games: As Microsoft was finishing a new game that lets players crossbreed animals - as in elephants with sharks - it gave a select group of programmers an opportunity to tinker with the product. By the time "Impossible Creatures" came out a month later, the tinkerers, called "modders," had already developed unofficial variants that go beyond the basic game - and released them as free downloads on the Internet.
Schoolgirl turns tables on email credit card fraudster: A Nottingham schoolgirl managed to turn the tables on a cracker who'd pinched her father's credit card details by tricking him into revealing his identity online. This week Nottinghamshire police praised Danielle Athi for helping them track down a teenager computer criminal who'd plundered an estimated £2,000 through Internet-related credit card fraud. [...] The story begins back in August 2000 when Edgar [AKA Gafferboy] first made contact with Danielle, then only 12, in an Internet chat room. The pair exchanged emails before Gafferboy sent young Danielle a "photo" of himself by email. In fact the email contained a Trojan horse virus, which compromised the Athi family's home computer. A month later, Danielle's father Ravi was shocked to receive a bank statement containing a number of fraudulent transactions.
Weapons That Disable Circuitry May Get First Use in IraqAs the United States readies for a possible conflict in Iraq, many of the star weapons from the Persian Gulf war of 1991 are back and deadlier than ever. The smart bombs are smarter. The stealth planes are sneakier. Even the ground troops are better equipped than they were a dozen years ago. Yet according to military experts, the biggest technical revelation of another war in the region may not be improvements to old systems but rather a new category of firepower known as directed-energy weapons. Think invisible lasers, using high-powered microwaves and other sorts of radiation rather than the pulses of visible light common in science fiction. These new systems, which have been under development in countries including Britain, China, Russia and the United States for at least a decade, are not designed to kill people. Conventional bombs, guns and artillery can take care of that.
Print from your cell phone: Nokia on Tuesday said it’s working with Hewlett-Packard to let customers print content from their cell phones. Nokia, which sells about 39 percent of the world’s cell phones, plans to add printing capabilities to its Series 60 cell phones, including more advanced wireless devices like the handset maker’s n-Gage gaming phone.
For Sale: A Piece of Mac History: If you're in the market for one of the most collectible vintage computers, you could get lucky this weekend. An extremely rare Apple I - one of only about 30 still in circulation - will be auctioned on the Vintage Computer Festival website.
Child Porn Hidden on Corporate Networks: ''If you've got a big company system, I can almost guarantee that you have child pornography on it,'' says Kenneth Citarella, deputy chief of investigations with the Westchester County District Attorney's Office. ''It's there somewhere.''
Geeks Without Borders: And now for something that seems completely different: Visit the Web site for the law firm of Landau, Luckman, and Lake, along with this informative tour of New River University. Both seem like reputable outfits, but in fact they are fake sites, created as launching pads for an online scavenger hunt that goes by the name L3.
Over 5 million Visa/MasterCard accounts hacked into: More than five million Visa and MasterCard accounts throughout the nation were accessed after the computer system at a third party processor was hacked into, according to representatives for the card associations.
Danger of Cyberwarfare? While the government is attempting to create a cyberoffensive capability (whether good or bad), individuals certainly should not try to take matters into their own hands as "hacker patriots." It is difficult to envision how intentionally launched cyberattacks would not result in potential criminal and civil liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act - a statute that was enacted in 1986 and that has been amended over time to address a wide range of nefarious computer crimes.
Man charged with crashing employer's computer site: A Pleasant Grove man has been charged with bringing down his former employer's entire computer system in what a prosecutor called a ''crime of the future.''
The Hot Rod Meets the Microchip: If the color of the computer industry is the beige of its generic hardware, Miami-based PC maker Alienware Corp.'s hue must be green or purple -- make that "cyborg green" or "plasma purple." Price wars are the usual tactic for winning sales in the PC business, but Alex Aguila, 35, and Nelson Gonzalez, 37, Alienware's president and chief executive, respectively, are barreling along in the opposite direction, selling pricey, tricked-out, decidedly non-beige PCs to avid computer gamers.
New Privacy Menace: Cell Phones? "If someone is able to take a picture of a show, then simulate the picture on the Internet - it may very well constitute an infringement to copyright laws," [Cedric Laurant, policy counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center] said. "The owner of the premises might well consider a ban on the cell phone, depending on what he considers most important - the patron's right to use the cell phone on the premises or the interests of intellectual property owners."
The Spread of the Sapphire/Slammer Worm: The Sapphire Worm was the fastest computer worm in history. As it began spreading throughout the Internet, it doubled in size every 8.5 seconds. It infected more than 90 percent of vulnerable hosts within 10 minutes.
Bush unveils final cybersecurity plan: The policy statement, called the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, calls for the government to work with private industry to create an emergency response system to cyberattacks and to reduce the nation's vulnerability to such threats.
Conversation With Marc Andreessen: It's been 10 years since Marc Andreessen and colleagues at the University of Illinois launched Mosaic, the first browser to navigate the World Wide Web. But according to Andreessen, we're still less than halfway through the generational cycle of adoption that will shape how we ultimately incorporate the Internet into our daily lives.
What Symantec Knew But Didn't Say: Security firm Symantec withheld information about at least one big cyberthreat for hours after spotting it, possibly harming millions of Internet users. Symantec claims to have identified the Slammer worm that ravaged the Internet during the last weekend of January hours before anyone else did. Symantec then shared the information only with select customers, leaving the rest of the global community to get slapped around by Slammer. [act.:] Symantec explains its 'we spotted Slammer' claim:
US endorses merging telephone, Internet numbers: The Department of Commerce said it will support an electronic-numbering system, known as ENUM, which would allow consumers to specify a single identifier for their telephone numbers, e-mail and Instant Messaging addresses, fax numbers, and mobile phone numbers. U.S. backs merging Net, phone numbers: "The United States should seize this opportunity and take steps to participate in e164.arpa, consistent with the highest standards of security, competition, and privacy," wrote Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory in the letter to the State Department. The domain that will be used with ENUM addresses ends with e164.arpa. [Esta questão do endereço não é pacífica, é a posição dos EUA...]
Mesh Less Cost of Wireless: A networking tool designed to let soldiers maintain constant communication on the battlefield is being redeployed for a non-military purpose: providing free broadband connections. The devices, known as MeshBoxes, allow for hundreds of Internet users to share a single broadband connection.
Stupid Security Competition: It's become a global menace. From the nightclub in Berlin that demands the home address of its patrons, to the phone company in Britain that won't let anyone pay more than fifty pounds a month from a bank account, the world has become infested with bumptious administrators competing to hinder or harass you. And often for no good reason whatever. The sensitive and sensible folk at Privacy International have endured enough of this treatment. So until March 15th 2003 we are running an international competition to discover the world's most pointless, intrusive, stupid and self-serving security measures.
Conferees in Congress Bar Using a Pentagon Project on Americans: House and Senate negotiators have agreed that a Pentagon project intended to detect terrorists by monitoring Internet e-mail and commercial databases for health, financial and travel information cannot be used against Americans.
Moore's Law to roll on for another decade, according to Intel cofounder Gordon Moore, but it's going to take a lot of work. Forget Moore's Law: Because it's unhealthy. Because it has become our obsession. Because it is dangerous - a runaway train, roaring down a path to disaster.
Network Associates Unveils Web Security 'Black Box' that records all of the data passing through corporate networks
Sadness Comes Again: Another sad chapter is added to the Atari Legacy: Feb 7th, 2003 marks the true end of an era unlike any other... What started out in a garage at 2965 Scott Blvd. Santa Clara Ca. will come to an end at 675 Sycamore in Milpitas today as Midway drops the axe and "Midway Games West" (Formerly Atari Games Corporation) lays off the remaining 30 employee's working there. Many will stay on for a few weeks tying up loose ends and shutting off the lights, but officially today is the day that the worlds Pioneering Video Game Company's legacy and existence comes to an end... In the coming weeks the building will be cleared of people, furniture, equipment, hardware and paperwork. What was the birthplace of many laughs, smiles, challenges and thrills will slowly and quietly drift off into the nothingness that has been commonplace within the Valley for decades.
How Vulnerable Is the Internet Now? According to Gartner research director Richard Stiennon, it would not be difficult for an attacker to send spoofed routing tables to poorly configured routers and misdirect traffic across large parts of the Internet.
Man Saves Face Against Machine: Chess legend Garry Kasparov, still smarting after his 1997 loss to a computer, agreed to a draw in the last game of his Man vs. Machine series with Israeli chess program Deep Junior. The six-game series, sanctioned by the sport's governing body, finished 3-3.
Looking to profit from patent: As of last week, Test Central Inc. in Cleveland owns the U.S. patent to conduct testing via the Internet and, in essence, owns the online testing business. It’s a market that exceeds $10 billion a year, according to a study the Gartner Inc. technology research and consulting firm performed for the company in 1999, said Test Central co-founder James F. Koehler.
Activists Use Online Games to Protest: The line between online gaming and the real world "is a lot thinner than people give it credit for," said Raph Koster, creative director of the Austin, Texas, office of Sony Entertainment. At the new online community There.com, gamers can clothe their in-game marionettes and socialize with others. Already, some players angry with the U.S. policy on Iraq have organized a peace rally and clad their characters with the peace symbol.
Friends Don't Let Friends Use Camera Phones: Cell-phone owners prone to what's known as the drunk dial now have a whole new way to embarrass themselves: Phone-makers are packing their latest models with tiny video cameras and big color screens (instead of something useful, like a Breathalyzer).
Computer Users, Please Stand Up: For all those moms who have ever shouted, "Go outside and play!" at teens who sit for hours in dim rooms in front of the computer or TV, here's some more ammunition: Blood clots are afflicting chronic computer users who sit immobile for too long. Researchers say the malady is essentially the same as "economy class syndrome," and the story has the same moral: Exercise your limbs or risk suffering the effects of deep vein thrombosis.
Getting Game Boy to Play Their Tune: The SongPro ($99) plugs into a Game Boy Advance and turns it into an audio player. The system includes a 32-megabyte Flash memory card, headphones, music management software and a U.S.B. line to link it to a computer for music downloads.
Dell foments floppy's fall: Later this month, the PC maker plans to drop the floppy as standard equipment on one of its Dimension desktops. [...] Apple Computer was the first manufacturer to actually take the plunge and eliminate the floppy completely, when it released the iMac in 1998.
Feds pull suspicious .gov site: In a move that raises questions about the security of governmental domains, the Bush administration has pulled the plug on a .gov Web site pending an investigation into the authenticity of the organization that controlled it. Until recently, visitors to the AONN.gov Web site were treated to a smorgasbord of information about an agency calling itself the Access One Network Northwest (AONN), a self-described cyberwarfare unit claiming to employ more than 2,000 people and had the support of the U.S. Department of Defense. No federal agency called AONN appears to exist, and no agency with that name is on the official list of organizations maintained by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Standard will give broadband connectivity to mobile users: The IEEE 802 standards committee said it will create an air-interface to deliver wireless services to mobile users traveling at speeds up to 250 kilometers/hour (155 mph) at rates comparable to current broadband connections, such as cable or DSL. The IEEE P802.20 standard will seek to boost real-time data-transmission rates in wireless metropolitan-area networks from current dial-up speeds to at least 1 Mbit/second.
How Bill Gates Sponsored bin Laden: Microsoft is not the only company blamed for financing terrorists, even popular PC producer Compaq sponsored terrorists as well. It is clear that both companies didn’t even suspect that money transferred to the charitable organization Benevolence International Foundation is spent on training of al-Qaeda terrorists. The companies transferred not very large sums of money, Microsoft’s transfer made up 20 thousand dollars. But as is known, many hands make light work.
Mathematical Solutions for Maintaining Privacy: Mathematical Balance Between Public Statistics, Personal Information Recently Rakesh Agrawal and Ramakrishnan Srikant, two IBM researchers in California, have developed a simple program that might make customer duplicity less appealing. Based on the realization that companies often want data that is roughly accurate in the aggregate but not necessarily personally revealing, their program partially reconciles companies' desire for information with individuals' desire for privacy.
Video games without frontiers: Keen gamers can rejoice as US scientists are working on ways to make computer games that never end. The researchers are adapting AI techniques used for robot navigation to manage game worlds that constantly present fresh challenges to players.
The first 'e-war': The threat of so-called cyberwarfare may be overhyped. [A]t the same time that al-Qaida was plotting its successful suicide hijackings, the top U.S. spooks were busy fretting about the dire threat of Fidel Castro hacking our computers. In February 2001, Adm. Tom Wilson, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, warned Congress: Castro's armed forces could initiate an "information warfare or computer network attack" that could "disrupt our military." We're still waiting.
UMTS: la Chine décroche son standard téléphonique: La troisième génération de téléphonie mobile aura sa norme chinoise, le TD-SCDMA. Il y a peu de chances de voir ce standard retenu en France, mais le marché chinois étant devenu, par sa taille, le premier du monde, la nouvelle est loin d'être négligeable pour le secteur. Ce mois-ci, la société chinoise Datang va effectuer des tests grandeur nature de sa technologie dans deux villes importantes, Chongching et Chengdu; elle prévoit une commercialisation dès l'an prochain.
As Broadband Gains, the Internet's Snails Fall Back: The problem is speed. Consumers have been dropping their slow dial-up services and switching to faster service, called broadband. AOL and the other dial-up leaders do offer broadband service, but the latest quarterly results show that consumers are shunning these offers, despite increased promotion. Rather, they are buying broadband services offered by cable and telephone companies. Broadband Broadens Its Pitch: How goes the broadband revolution? It depends on how you read the numbers. By the research firm ARS Inc.'s figures, there are about 15 million broadband subscribers in the United States today, with 9.4 million using cable modems, which ride on the same wiring as cable TV, and 5.4 million on digital subscriber lines, which piggyback on telephone circuits. Not bad - but of the 70 percent of American households that could get either cable-modem or DSL service, only 13 percent or so have signed up. Broadband isn't just for early adopters anymore, but it's not for everyone either. Let's Underwrite Broadband: It's time for the U.S. government to subsidize broadband connections to the home. I never thought I'd say that, but I've gotten over my free-market puritanism. The Bush administration should write a check to cover about a quarter of the $40 per month that households pay for their cable or DSL connections, and be ready to pick up even more if Americans don't get with broadband fast enough.