Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Skype Sets Video Beta Launch
Voice over IP (define) darling Skype is slated to put its two-way video phone service to the public test in August, likely at the end of the month, internetnews.com has learned.
Flaw researcher settles dispute with Cisco
The dispute over a presentation on hacking Cisco Systems' router software at the Black Hat security conference culminated in a legal settlement Thursday.
No iPod tax for Canada
The Canadian Supreme Court won't hear a case involving extra fees for iPods and other MP3 players in that country, ending a dispute over a so-called iPod tax, but rekindling debate over the legality of file swapping.
Judge grants Microsoft request in Google case
A judge has temporarily barred a former Microsoft executive hired by Google from performing any duties at the search giant similar to those he performed at Microsoft.
Microsoft Wins Ruling in Google Poaching Case
In court documents, Google said a conversation Lee had with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates suggests the software company is becoming increasingly concerned about Google siphoning away talent -- and perhaps intellectual property.
Contradiction in medical privacy law
Privacy and confidentiality have long been assumed to be the right of patients.But the application of such rights as it relates to children is often undermined by conflicting legislation.The ethical rules of the Health Professions Council of South Africa state that a minor as young as 16 years has the right to medical privacy.
Deadline nears for online compliance
Owners of businesses who fail to publish so-called "information manuals" on their websites by August 31 may be imprisoned for as long as two years, IT law firm Buys Inc said on Sunday.
Australia in ISP infringement first
The Australian music industry is celebrating a victory after the Federal Court ruled that a website owner was liable for copyright infringement for linking his site to infringing music files.
War of the internet giants
In a simmering legal tussle, Google Inc is asking a judge to reject Microsoft's bid to keep a prized research engineer from taking a job at the internet search company, saying the software titan filed its lawsuit to frighten other workers from defecting.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Unpatched IE flaws reported
A flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer's image rendering capabilities may allow attackers to execute code remotely, a security expert has warned.
Porn companies pay in spam crackdown
Five pornography companies have agreed to pay $1.16 million (670,420 pounds) in fines for sending "spam" e-mail without a warning that it contains sexually explicit material, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday. Three other businesses also face lawsuits for sending improperly labeled e-mail, the Federal Trade Commission said.
A Final Word on Branding
These branding rules are very hard to learn and very difficult to apply because they require solid training and thorough skills. Simple, raw promotional skills backed by big budget fireworks are only "accidental branding" at play, where everyone becomes happy as long as there is some noise.
Microsoft Drawing Fire for Choice of 'Windows Vista' Name
Branding experts vary on whether Windows Vista is a good name, but most agree that it will be Microsoft's reputation, how well the product works and the specific marketing push made when the operating system is launched that will determine its success in the long run, rather than the name it's sold under.
Windows Vista Beta Is On
The end of the long road to Longhorn finally appeared over the horizon, with Microsoft's release today of early test versions of its next-generation client and server operating systems.
On Wednesday, Microsoft delivered the beta 1 releases of Windows Vista (formerly code-named Longhorn) and the still-code-named Longhorn Server.
Downloading 'myths' challenged
People who illegally share music files online are also big spenders on legal music downloads, research suggests. Digital music research firm The Leading Question found that they spent four and a half times more on paid-for music downloads than average fans.
Another flip-flop feared
Recent terms and conditions released by telecoms regulator Icasa seem to imply that the Value-Added Network Services providers (VANS) – telecoms industry players licensed to provide Internet access, other data services, and now voice – will be able to build their own networks, stimulating competition. But, the industry believes that the soon-to-be promulgated Convergence Bill will change this.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Not so easy
As government looks for ways of reducing SA's high telecommunications prices, one of its most difficult challenges will be ensuring there is greater competition in the provision of international bandwidth.
CA survey finds SMBs remain highly vulnerable to a variety of cyber-threats
Computer Associates Africa has announced that, according to a recent survey, small and medium businesses (SMBs) remain highly vulnerable to a variety of cyber-threats resulting in unacceptable exposure to significant business risk.
Budgets ‘impede' IT governance
CIOs are being forced to continue to deliver more business-focused solutions with less funding, and this may affect the effectiveness of implementing proper IT governance. This is the view of Maiendra Moodley, technical security advisor in the business systems and technology department of the South African Reserve Bank, who was speaking at the BMI-TechKnowledge African Banking Forum in Midrand last week.
Internet misuse costs businesses $178 billion annually
Employees are using the Web more and more for personal reasons and that is setting U.S. companies back $178 billion annually, a cost of $5,000 per employee, said a study released Tuesday by Websense, Inc.
Staff still send racist and racy emails
Thirty-four percent of office workers have been sent sexually explicit or racist material by colleagues, while 7% admit to having emailed company-confidential information outside their organisation, according to a YouGov survey.
ASA rules against Jippii ad
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that an advert for iTouch Jippii ringtones is misleading and should be withdrawn.
Blogs Make for Nasty Times in Workplace
Blogging -- the publication by individuals of comments on personal Internet sites called Web logs -- is becoming a growing legal and personnel headache for employers across the country.
Bill adds teeth to Companies Act
Tougher standards of financial reporting for companies and penalties for those that fail to comply are among proposals in the Companies Amendment Bill released earlier this month by the department of trade and industry.
Monday, July 25, 2005
XP flaw allows for DoS attacks
Problems in the Remote Desktop Service could allow attackers to knock machines running Windows XP Service Pack 2 offline. A newly discovered and as-of-yet unpatched security vulnerability in Windows XP could let an attacker remotely crash computers.
Governance can mitigate risk
A commonly held misconception in SA is that corporate governance applies only to the financial services sector, says Andy Dalrymple, security practice manager at Dimension Data.
Govt admits SA telecoms prices ‘prohibitive'
Deputy communications minister Roy Padayachie concedes that SA's telecoms prices could be seen as prohibitive, and has challenged players in the industry to “put their individual interests aside long enough to find a solution”.
Winnie wants her own domain
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela wants to have a .com address and not a .co.za address and this is the reason why she is taking legal action against the owner of the domain name www.winniemandela.com.
Porn and piracy: the downside of digital revolution
The government's digital revolution is in danger of leaving the public behind as it pursues targets such as universal broadband access, an influential thinktank warns today.
Law Firm Accused of Internet Hacking
A Montgomery County, Pa., law firm is accused in a federal lawsuit filed last week of Internet hacking to get access to archived Web pages that were blocked from public view, but one of the firm's partners insisted in an interview on Tuesday that "no hacking occurred" and that its use of the site Internet Archive was perfectly legal.
UN fails to agree on how to govern Internet
A group set up by the United Nations to come up with a global plan for managing the Internet said on Thursday that it has been unable to agree on who should do the job or how it should be done.
Do Game Publishers Ignore Piracy?
The music and movie industries, blindsided by the Web, have been swimming upstream against the digital revolution, suing college students for illegal downloads and fighting tech companies all the way to the Supreme Court, because they believe their business has been hurt by it. But the videogame industry, whose intellectual property is just as valuable, has been comparatively complacent in fighting piracy, despite an estimated $3.5 billion in annual losses worldwide.
FBI: Online Crime Losses Down, Attacks Up
Average losses from cybercrime declined dramatically in 2004, according to a new report from the FBI. But Web site incidents, such as denial of service (define) attacks, also rose between 2003 and 2004, as did unauthorized access incidents at Web sites involved in the report.
Google Posts Record Number of Searches in Q2
While Google's market share for search increased from the first quarter, when it was 35.9 percent -- as did Ask Jeeves' share, which climbed from 5.3 percent, and AOL's, which jumped from 9.1 percent -- Yahoo's share fell from 31.2 percent and MSN's from 16.3 percent.
Amazon opens Cape software centre
US online retail giant, Amazon.com, has opened a software development centre in Cape Town.
The division is headed by local IT personality Chris Pinkham, who has recruited Willem van Biljon to join him.
Nigeria jails woman in $242 mln email fraud case
A Nigerian court has sentenced a woman to two and half years in jail after she pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the country's biggest e-mail scam case, the anti-fraud agency said on Saturday.
Amaka Anajemba, one of three suspects in a $242 million fraud involving a Brazilian bank, would return $48.5 million to the bank, hand over $5 million to the government and pay a fine of 2 million naira ($15,000), the agency said.
Windows flaw could spawn DoS attacks
A newly discovered and as-of-yet unpatched security vulnerability in Windows XP could let an attacker remotely crash computers.
Report on Domain Hijacking Gets Mixed Reaction
Alexis Rosen, president of the Public Access Networks Corporation (Panix), an Internet service provider (ISP) in New York City whose domain was hijacked earlier this year, contended that even if the committee's recommendations were followed, they would do little to deter domain thieves. He called for tougher penalties for domain registrars.
Phishing Rattles Online Consumers
"There has been a loss of trust and consumer movement away from the online channel as a result of the phishing epidemic," Bruce Cundiff, a research analyst with Javelin Strategy & Research in Pleasanton, Calif., producer of a new report called "Phishing: Consumer Awareness and Behavior," said.
Firefox community site hacked
SpreadFirefox.com, the community marketing website for the open-source Firefox web browser, was hacked last week, potentially exposing user data.
Greasemonkey Flaw Prompts Critical Uninstall Warning
A gaping security hole in a popular Firefox browser extension could allow malicious hackers to hijack files from a user's hard drive, developers warned Tuesday. The vulnerability was flagged in Greasemonkey, the Firefox add-on that allows users to load custom scripts that modify Web sites on the fly.
Russian spammer beaten to death
Known spammer Vardan Kushnir has been found dead in his Moscow apartment, having apparently been beaten to death about the head. The case is being treated as murder though no motive has yet been established, according to reports citing the public prosecutions office of Moscow's central district.
Hackers target flaws in backup software
Flawed backup software has emerged as the latest target for hackers looking for corporate secrets, according to a survey released Monday.
Wireless network hijacker found guilty
A UK man has been fined £500 and sentenced to 12 months' conditional discharge for hijacking a wireless broadband connection. On Wednesday, a jury at Isleworth court in London found Gregory Straszkiewicz, 24, guilty of dishonestly obtaining an electronic communications service and possessing equipment for fraudulent use of a communications service.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Are Ringtones Being 'Shoplifted'?
Alleged "security" holes in US and European digital content sites may potentially result in over $301 million worth of ringtones being "shoplifted" by 2006. The shoplifting allegation was leveled by Seattle, Wash.-based Qpass, a digital media and services vendor. At least one mobile analyst, however, is skeptical of the allegation.
Microsoft Debuts Street-Level Search
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) today launched a beta version of MSN's Virtual Earth, an answer to Google's (Quote, Chart) satellite image search. Much like Google Earth, the MSN tool provides detailed street-level maps and point-of-interest information throughout the United States. Viewers can pan and zoom crisp images along particular travel routes, visit detailed photos of cities or just take a scenic ride through their favorite neighborhood.
Are You Prepared for Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive intelligence gathering (read corporate espionage) is the latest threat in the never ending game of spy vs. spy, writes CIO Update columnist Richard Stiennon of Webroot Software.
CRM Best Practices
To Zach Nelson, the president and chief executive officer of NetSuite, CRM — and business in general — is all about the "C," customers. "What's more important to a company than your customers?" he asks. "That's what companies are all about: people buying things from you."
Biggest security holes revealed
Media players and anti-virus programs have been named in a list of the most pressing security problems. Drawn up by non-profit security group Sans, the Top 20 names the software most in need of fixing to avoid attack by malicious hackers.
Bug hunters get big cash rewards
Hackers who seek out loopholes in popular programs could soon get cash rewards for their finds. Security firm Tipping Point is setting up a scheme that will see it spend substantial sums to buy bugs sent in by researchers that join the project. Those who top the scheme's rewards system could be earning $50,000 a year from their bug hunting.
Spam haters given right of reply
Now you have a chance to let spammers know how you feel about junk mail. Israeli technology firm Blue Security has set up a scheme to batter spam websites with thousands of complaints.
'Free' ringtones cost Europe dear
A common loophole on ringtone websites means many people are downloading popular tunes without paying a penny, research shows.
Legal downloads triple worldwide
Figures released by the international recording industry suggest the number of legal downloads has tripled to 180m worldwide in the first half of 2005.
Multimedia search sorts messy web
Finding video and audio on the net is getting easier as more companies look to automated ways of delivering specific content to people's computers.
Spam haters given right of reply
Now you have a chance to let spammers know how you feel about junk mail. Israeli technology firm Blue Security has set up a scheme to batter spam websites with thousands of complaints.
Panel: Don't rush into new data security laws
Sweeping federal laws on personal data security aren't necessarily the way to go, a panel of lawyers, academics and former federal officials said here Friday.
Bush creates new post to fight global piracy
President Bush has created a new senior-level position to fight the global piracy and counterfeiting of American products ranging from Hollywood movies to Detroit auto parts, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said on Friday.
Internet Firms Flourishing, but No Boom
David Edwards, an Internet analyst for American Technology Research in San Francisco, said that expectations for Google, Yahoo and eBay in the third quarter remain "reasonable," rather than anticipating earnings to maintain their robust pace of the past three months.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Where the Dangers Are
In the world of cybercrime, the bad guys are getting smarter -- and more ambitious.
In recent months, hackers have carried out a flurry of increasingly sophisticated attacks, highlighting the vulnerability of key computer networks around the world.
Summary - Clutchco (Pty) Ltd v Davis
The Supreme Court of Appeal today allowed the appeal of Clutchco (Pty) Ltd against an order granted in the Cape High Court that it should give the respondent, a 30% shareholder, access to its accounting records of first entry.
Roberts To Boost Court Conservatives
U.S. President George Bush Tuesday nominated Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Roberts, who has the strong backing of conservative activists, is a shrewd choice by the White House. His impressive credentials and lack of a long "paper trail" as a jurist make him a difficult target for Senate Democrats who oppose his nomination.
Inertia selling now illegal
Inertia selling is the practice used by many marketing companies and vendors of demanding payment for supplies of goods or services to consumers who have not unequivocally authorised such supply. The practice was declared an "unfair business practice" and made unlawful in a notice by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi Mpahlwa, published in the Government Gazette on 21 February 2005.
What Myspace means to Murdoch
Just three months ago, news magnate Rupert Murdoch made an unusual admission. He had realised, he told a high-powered audience at the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington DC, that he had got something rather important rather wrong.
Time to get used to usability
Earlier this week Cambridge University hosted an open day where academics and some of their industrial collaborators talked about design, technology, usability and the problems that seem to emerge whenever teams of professionals from different disciplines try to work together.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Search is on for best e-content
Web content provides have six days left to enter the World Summit Award (WSA) competition – a global initiative that aims to give public recognition to the quality e-content produced all over the world.
Hollywood, Tech Still Sparring Over Grokster
Almost a month after the Supreme Court ruled that peer-to-peer (P2P) developers are liable for copyright violations if they actively induce piracy with their technology, Hollywood and the Silicon Valley continue to snipe over the meaning of the decision.
Venture capital Web scammers trolling for money
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there's a Chinese Web site out there that really likes Battery Ventures.
Uncapped ADSL – but for business only
Local Internet service providers MWEB Business and MTN Network Solutions have launched uncapped ADSL offerings – but both are aimed at business only. MWEB Business, the division of MWEB focusing on specialised Internet for businesses, today launched its Business ADSL offering, which provides businesses with an always-on Internet connection without any traffic limitations, at a fixed monthly rate of R1 350.
Monday, July 18, 2005
China's Baidu to remove pirated music links
Baidu.com Inc., China's biggest Internet search engine and which is pursuing a U.S. public listing, has agreed to remove links to thousands of Internet sites offering pirated music, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Univ. of Southern Calif. says database hacked
A University of Southern California database containing about 270,000 records of past applicants including their names and Social Security numbers was hacked last month, officials said on Tuesday.
Microsoft sues over Google hire
Opening a new chapter in its rivalry with Google, Microsoft on Tuesday sued the search giant and a former Microsoft executive who has been tapped by Google to run its China operations.
Microsoft Sues Ex-Exec, Google Over Contract
"What makes this a particularly egregious violation," Tom Burt, a lawyer for Microsoft, said, "is that he's been hired to work in a position that's absolutely in direct competition with the work he was doing at Microsoft."
Why Not Divide the Internet?
The desired goal of the other countries is to end up with their own local language suffixes, own local language domain names, basically their own Internet, with its own domain registration policies -- in a nutshell, a very big and a very complex global mess, indeed.
Cyber cops investigate Manchester police DoS attack
Computer crime experts at the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) have been called in to help investigate an attempted denial of service attack on Greater Manchester Police.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Cisco warns of security flaws
Cisco Systems identified several vulnerabilities in its products this week that could lead to denial-of-service attacks. The most noteworthy flaw was reported Tuesday when Cisco warned that hackers could cripple its IP telephony networks by exploiting flaws in its CallManager software, an essential component of Cisco's IP telephony technology, which is used for call signaling and call routing.
IE, MSN Messenger vulnerable to image attack
Microsoft's Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger programs contain a security vulnerability that could be used by attackers to crash and possibly execute arbitrary code on a victim's system when they view a specially crafted image file.
Hackers should spend more time in prison, say MPs
A committee of MPs has thrown its weight behind an attempt to introduce longer jail terms for hackers. The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG), a group of tech-savvy MPs, said it welcomed a Ten Minute Rule Bill presented by MP Tom Harris, calling for amendments to the Computer Misuse Act (CMA).
British hacker shines light on poor IT security
The British hacker facing extradition to the US on charges of hacking and causing damage to US defence sites has highlighted poor security as a major factor in his ability to wander through the IT systems of some key defence establishments.
Cost of computer attacks down, says survey by CSI, FBI
While the cost of fending off hackers appears to be dropping for U.S. companies, attacks that involved unauthorized access to information are becoming much more costly, according to a survey by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the FBI.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Local organisations challenge Microsoft XML patent
South African free software advocates yesterday served patent "request to surrender" papers on Microsoft SA's legal representatives, urging the company to withdraw a patent (ZA200303346) it holds on XML-based word processing. The patent, titled "Word processing document stored in a single XML file that may be manipulated by applications that understand XML", suggests that the software giant invented and owns the process of XML-based word processing.
Should workplaces have a maximum temperature?
As temperatures climbed above 30 degrees Celsius across many parts of Britain this week, workers in offices without air conditioning became hot and irritable. The TUC renewed calls today for a legal maximum temperature to ban sweatshop conditions.
SCO e-mail: No 'smoking gun' in Linux code
A 2002 e-mail suggests that an investigation commissioned by The SCO Group failed to produce any evidence that Linux contained copyrighted Unix code.
Brain Drain in The Tech World?
The popularity of computer science at American undergraduate institutions has taken a major hit over the past few years, with enrollment levels dropping to lows not seen since the early 1970s.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Complaint Is Filed by Fired Officer With Blog
A police officer who claims that he was fired because a Web site he operates criticizes the Police Department has filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Is door open for VANS self-provisioning?
Value-added network services (VANS) licensing provisions and regulations seem to have left the door open for self-provisioning, leaving the highly contentious issue unresolved, say industry experts and VANS operators.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Bush picks tech lawyer for security post
President Bush has chosen Stewart Baker, one of Washington's most influential technology lawyers, to be assistant secretary for policy in the Homeland Security Department.
Clinton wades into GTA sex storm
Senator Hillary Clinton has stepped into the controversy over sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The senator wants the US Federal Trade Commission to find out who put the explicit material in the game.
The Effect of the Supreme Court’s Decision
On June 13, 2005 the Supreme Court issued its decision in Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd., No. 03-1237, 545 U.S. ___ (June 13, 2005). The decision addresses whether uses of patented inventions in preclinical research are exempted from infringement by 35 U.S.C. §271(e)(1) when the results of the preclinical research are not ultimately included in a submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Court’s opinion discusses the relationship between the §271(e)(1) exemption and requirements for preclinical testing imposed by the FDA. The Court’s decision is likely to have a substantial effect on both research and development using patented inventions and the patent holders of such inventions.
Skype Goes Boingo For Wi-Fi
It just got easier to make Skype-based Voice over IP (define) calls over Wi-Fi, thanks to a new partnership between Skype and Boingo Wireless. The companies today announced a new service called Skype Zones, which enables Skype usage across Boingo network of 18,000 global hotspots. The service is being initially offered at $8 a month for unlimited Wi-Fi access for Skype calls, which is significantly less than the $22 a month that Boingo currently charges for unlimited data access.
Antitrust Regulators Raid Intel Offices
"Investigations are being carried out in the framework of an ongoing competition case," read a statement from the European Commission. Officials declined to give further details.
IP Attorney Bruce Sunstein Discusses RSS Copyright
Bruce Sunstein, co-founder of Bromberg and Sunstein, a Boston law firm specializing in intellectual property where he heads the patent practice group, spoke to TechNewsWorld about the issues facing RSS publishers and said that the case offers "an exaggerated example" of the challenges of publishing in the digital age.
The promise of convergence law
WHILE convergence is a subject much talked about, there are many unknowns about its implementation and regulation from a communications industry perspective. It is no surprise, then, that from a consumer’s perspective little relevant information exists on convergence and its implications.
The National Arbitration Forum said Friday that Google has rights to the Internet domain names Googkle.com, Ghoogle.com, Gfoogle.com and Gooigle.com, which are similar to its own Google.com domain.
Cruise sparks 'alien' panic
Tom Cruise's new film War Of The Worlds has been blamed for a mass panic in Siberia after locals mistook a tornado for an alien invasion. People in the Khabarovsk region of Siberia jumped into their cars and fled their homes in panic when the freak wind arrived out of nowhere, flattening trees and destroying property.
IM Threats Skyrocket
Threats targeting instant messaging and P2P networks exploded last month, as reports jumped nearly 400 percent, according to security firm Akonix. The second-quarter increase, the largest hike since Akonix has been recording threats, saw hackers launching 53 new assaults, prompting the Akonix Security Center to issue 23 security policy updates.
Man arrested for hopping on to home Wi-Fi network
Benjamin Smith III, 40, was arrested on April 21 outside the St. Petersburg home of Richard Dinon and charged under a Florida law that prohibits unauthorized access to a computer or network, said George Kajtsa, the police department's public information officer. A pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday, according to the state attorney's office for Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Adobe warns of security flaw to software
A security flaw in the popular document-sharing software, Adobe Reader, could be exploited to seize control of a computer system, according to the software's maker.
2-year sentence urged for worm creator
Prosecutors are seeking a suspended two-year sentence for the German teen who has admitted he created last year's "Sasser" computer worm, court officials said Thursday.
Will Telephone be the Killer Application
The Internet Protocol telephony market is moving from early adopters to mainstream users as reliability and quality improve, and companies recognise voice not only as a communications tool, but also as a business application.
ICASA names new chairman
The Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has named council member Paris Mashile as its new chairman. He succeeds Mandla Langa, whose tenure as chairman expired on 30 June.
Downloader Trojans hit world networks
E-mail security company MessageLabs is warning that an outbreak of Trojan horse programs is hitting networks around the world. MessageLabs has blocked 54 000 copies of new Downloader Trojans in the past two days, reports News.com.
SMS ‘top non-voice money-maker'
SMS has emerged as the telecoms world's top non-voice revenue generator, representing approximately 90% of non-voice revenue worldwide, according to a new worldwide study of mobile messaging markets by UK-based Portio Research.
Another French Decision Highlights Thorny Issue of Internet Conflict of Laws
Apparently undeterred by their protracted battle with Yahoo! over the sale of Nazi paraphernalia on its California-based websites, a group of leading French anti-racism groups recently launched a bid to shut down another US-based website which publishes Holocaust denial and allegedly anti-Semitic literature. The groups’ efforts led to a brief victory in April when a French court ordered the US companies that host the website to prevent users in France from accessing the site. But after the web hosting companies failed to fully comply with the order, the French groups shifted their attention to the users themselves and instead pushed to have French ISPs block outbound access to the website. Their efforts succeeded on June 13 when the Paris High Court ordered ten of the country’s primary ISPs to block access to the site. This case is one of a series of decisions that has turned the centuries-old problem of conflict of laws into an Internet cause célèbre.
Fear of spyware changing online habits
Internet users worried about spyware and adware are shunning specific Web sites, avoiding file-sharing networks, even switching browsers. Many have also stopped opening e-mail attachments without first making sure they are safe, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said in a study issued Wednesday.
Smart traffic forecast offers seven-day predictions
A traffic forecasting system capable of predicting traffic conditions seven days in advance will go live to the public in California on Wednesday. Alongside the weather forecast, viewers of KXTV News 10 in Sacramento can now get 3D animations of their local road network, showing not only where the gridlock is but also where it is likely to be.
Spies, begone: five antispyware apps reviewed
Perhaps the number one reason for computer repair these days is not hardware but software, in particular, spyware. Symptoms include sluggish performance, a new home page or search engine for your Internet browser, or persistent modem activity even when you're not sitting at the computer. You can infect your computer just by visiting certain Web sites, having certain pop-up ads appear on your desktop, or from downloading free software. Fortunately, a number of apps are available that can diagnose and quarantine these pests.
Pics of naked wife distributed
A man allegedly took revenge on his estranged wife by distributing explicit photographs of her in the small town where she had settled after leaving him.
Security on the Internet, Then and Now
Back in the days before the Internet, “security” meant entering a password on your computer when you turned it on. Ah, what innocent times! Computer viruses became an issue only when people began sharing files and using modems. In 1981 “Elk Clone” became the first widespread computer virus, reputedly spread from Texas A&M University. The term “computer virus” didn’t enter our lexicon until 1984, when introduced by an anti-virus software developer named Fred Cohen.
A Decade of Law on the Internet
From dial-up computer net- works capable of transmit-ting court cases within days to wireless satellite connectivity, the Internet has grown into an indispensable and easily accessible tool for attorneys.
Cellphone companies reach out to tween market
Samantha Robertson finally got a cellphone for her birthday -- her ninth birthday. "I was speechless," said Samantha of Nanaimo, B.C. She'd been pleading with her parents every day for two months.
In the stolen-data trade, Moscow is the Wild East
The most expensive wares in Moscow's software markets, the items that some Russians are calling a threat to their personal safety, aren't on public display. It takes less than 15 minutes to find them, however, at the teeming Gorbushka market, a jumble of kiosks selling DVDs, CD-ROMs and an array of gadgetry in an old factory west of downtown.
Consumers Clinging to Older Music Technologies
"Our survey shows that incumbent technologies, such as CD and FM radio, are still favored, while ownership of, awareness of, and intention to purchase MP3 players, satellite radio, music via legitimate online music services, among other devices and technologies, is on the rise," IDC senior analyst Susan Kevorkian said.
IM Becoming More Popular Malware Target, Study Finds
"The level of threat is nowhere as great as its going to be in the future," David Ferris, president, Ferris Research, said. "Organizations should be coming up with a strategy and defenses now. They need multi-level antivirus control, firewall control and they should team up with value-added vendors to provide greater security on IM."
Morgan Freeman, Intel Team to Sell Movies Online
"We're going to bypass what the music industry had to come up with, and that's to get ahead of the whole piracy thing," actor Morgan Freeman told reporters at Sun Valley, Idaho, after making his presentation, which was closed to the press.
Battle Over Supreme Court Already Raging on the Net
President Bush this week tried to calm critics clamoring over the nomination process, and urged the Senate to "act in a dignified way" over the court choice. The White House, however, is apparently resigned to scathing criticism, hyperbole, and other facets of the blog and Web culture, which already started the moment O'Connor, a Reagan appointee, stepped down, at age 75.
Mobile networks bear blast strain
Mobile phone networks are recovering after struggling in the hours immediately after the London blasts. Networks in London were running at near capacity as those caught up in the chaos tried to call family and friends.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Dutch file-sharers win reprieve
A Dutch judge has blocked attempts to find out who may be illegally sharing movies and music in Holland. Dutch industry group Brein was behind the attempt to discover the identities of file-sharers following investigative work by a US firm.
Microsoft warns of new flaws
Microsoft warned users yesterday of three new security flaws in its Windows and Word software and issued patches to fix the flaws, which could allow attackers to take over a computer system.
Hi-tech passports by 2010
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced on Monday the coming of a new era in hi-tech security check points at airports worldwide.
Class Action Web Sites Untested
A recent decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bodes well for the legions of plaintiffs' law firms that host class action Web sites, but much remains untested for attorneys using the Internet to connect with the masses.
Canada signs protocol against Web racism
Canada has joined an international crackdown on Internet racism and its links to terrorism, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler says. He was in Strasbourg, France, yesterday as Canada became the first non-European country to sign a protocol to fight hatred on the Web.
EU seeks to regulate television on the net
EUROPE wants to begin to regulate the internet for the first time by introducing controversial rules to cover television online. Brussels is considering regulating areas such as taste and decency, accuracy and impartiality for internet broadcasters. More broadly, it is thinking about relaxing rules governing the frequency and amount of advertising on television.
ICANN Approves Mobile Phone Domain
Although previous attempts to tailor Web pages to cell phones have garnered only lackluster results, the new group expects a different outcome. "As .mobi will encourage the usage of advanced functionalities in mobile devices, the market potential for those devices will increase," said the companies in a statement.
Warning notices on account of links to AllofMP3
The music industry has begun to carry out its threat and is sending warning notices to website operators who have set links to the Russian music download platform AllofMP3. On Thursday and Friday at the behest of music industry companies (edel, EMI, Sony BMG Music, SPV, Universal Music and Warner Music) the Munich-based law firm of Waldorf sent warning notices calling on the operators in question to remove the links by July 12.
Crisis chatroom keeps City on line
A secret internet chatroom run by Britain's financial regulators helped keep London's financial markets open after Thursday's bomb blasts while financial firms activated security measures in case of further attacks.
No more phone spam, says mobile industry
Leaders in the South African mobile services arena have signed a mobile service code of conduct designed to protect consumers from phone spam and hidden charges. Members of the South African Wireless Application Service Providers Association (WASPA) have signed what they describe as the first mobile services code of conduct in SA to deal directly with preventing spam.
AMD Wins Right to Third Party Documents
Though an actual trial date is at least 18 months away, AMD's lawsuit against rival Intel is picking up steam -- and additional participants. The chipmaker has won a motion to serve document preservation subpoenas against computer makers, retailers, distributors and small system builders as part of its claim that Intel is an abusive monopoly that coerced such companies to use its x86 processors rather than AMD's. Essentially, the ruling means AMD (Quote, Chart) can ask the 30 third parties it's identified for documents it deems relevant to its case against Intel.
Software expert's download woes
A MAN who claims he backed up data from his work-issued laptop on his home computer in case it crashed will likely be forced to leave his job because a court has found he may have intended to share trade secrets about a $500 million Telstra deal with competitors.
The promise of convergence law
WHILE convergence is a subject much talked about, there are many unknowns about its implementation and regulation from a communications industry perspective. It is no surprise, then, that from a consumer’s perspective little relevant information exists on convergence and its implications.
50 Coolest Websites 2005
How do we come up with our 50 best? Short answer: we take your suggestions, probe friends and colleagues about their favorite online haunts and then surf like mad. This year's finalists are a mix of newcomers, new discoveries and veterans that have learned some new tricks
2005 will get an extra second
An extra second will be added to 2005 to make up for the slowing down of the Earth's rotation, officials said this week. The once-common "leap second" is the first in seven years and reflects the unpredictable nature of the planet's behavior.
EU assembly nixes software patent bill
The European Parliament on Wednesday rejected a proposed law to create a single way of patenting software across the European Union, a blow to big companies who had pushed hard for its adoption.
Teen admits creating Sasser worm
A German teenager confessed to creating last year's Sasser worm -- which wreaked havoc on hundreds of thousands of computers -- as he went on trial on charges including computer sabotage, a court official said.
Finance Firms To Give FTC ID Theft Data
The financial services industry is pooling its own data on identity theft victims with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and law enforcement groups. The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC), a program funded by the 48 participating financial services companies that are Members of the Identity Theft Assistance Corp., said Tuesday it was moving beyond its original goal of counseling for identity theft victims.
Pirated Live 8 DVDs on eBay, industry protests
Internet auction site eBay said on Tuesday it had begun removing illegal DVD copies of the Live 8 poverty awareness pop concerts from its Web site, after the record industry complained.
U.S. plan on Net computers draws mixed response
A unilateral decision by the United States to indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet's main traffic-directing computers prompted concerns Friday that the global telecommunications network could eventually splinter.
Time magazine to surrender papers in contempt case
Faced with jail time for one of its reporters, Time magazine agreed yesterday to hand over his notebooks to a grand jury probing the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, in a move that raises questions about press freedom in the United States.
Man charged for 'skimming'
A shop assistant has become the first person in the Western Cape to be charged with violating the new Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, for the illegal possession of a "skimming" device.
Humans could be 'plugged in'
Technological advances will one day allow computers to be implanted in the human body - and could help the blind see and the deaf hear - Bill Gates said on Friday. But the Microsoft chairperson says he's not ready to be hardwired.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Judges Send Nestle-Mars Spat Back to Court
The European Court of Justice on Thursday sent back to British courts a dispute between candy bar makers Nestle SA and Mars Inc. over Nestle's request to trademark the slogan "have a break" for its Kit Kat bars.
Not guilty in hyperlink case
An appeals court has ruled that Stuttgart media designer Alvar Freude is not guilty of aiding and abetting in incitement to hatred and violence against minority groups. The judges in the jury of the 38th criminal division at the first-instance district court ruled without reservation that Freude's reporting about the Nazi web sites, which caused the district government of Dusseldorf to file charges, constitutes documentation of historical events. In his online documentation, Freude had provided links to neo-Nazi web sites and the homepage of Tasteless, which the district government had incriminated. In the Freedomphone web site Freude operated, users were invited to have banned the web sites read to them on the telephone; the court clearly saw this as a satire.
Putting an End to Account-Hijacking Identity Theft Study Supplement
Identity theft in general and account hijacking in particular continue to be significant problems for the financial services industry and consumers. Recent studies indicate that identity theft is evolving in more complicated ways that make it more difficult for consumers to protect themselves. Recent studies also indicate that consumers are concerned about online security and may be receptive to using two-factor authentication if they perceive it as offering improved safety and convenience.
Your ISP as Net watchdog
The U.S. Department of Justice is quietly shopping around the explosive idea of requiring Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities.
Transmission Of E-Mails Advertising Proprietary Software Downloaded From Remote Source Satisfies Maryland Long-Arm Statute
The sending of e-mails advertising proprietary Internet gaming software to be downloaded from a remote server outside the forum state satisfies the Maryland long-arm statute. Beyond Systems, Inc. v. Realtime Gaming Holding Co., No. 119 (Md. Ct. App. June 22, 2005). The appeals noted that the long-arm statute had been amended in order to give courts jurisdiction to the full extent allowed by the U.S. Constitution, and in addition, to specifically apply to computer information and computer programs in the same manner as goods and services. The court concluded that the transmission of the e-mails advertising the software constituted "conducting business ... that involves supplying computer programs or information to Maryland residents," just as if the software constituted tangible goods or services.
Hotel's Interactive Web Site That Targeted Customers In An Adjacent State Satisfies Purposeful Availment Requirement For Long-Arm Jurisdiction
The requirement of purposeful availment for establishing specific jurisdiction is satisfied by a hotel's interactive Web site that targets residents of the forum state by emphasizing geographic proximity and providing driving directions from the forum state. Snowney v. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., No. S124268 (Cal. June 6, 2005). The court noted the disagreement among numerous courts as to the nature and degree of Web site interactivity that is sufficient to establish jurisdiction, concluding that the hotel's Web site satisfied the purposeful availament requirement "by any standard." The court noted that the hotel's Web site was interactive in that it quoted room rates and permitted visitors to make reservations, among other things.
44 Attorneys General Seek Disclosures In Massive Credit Card Data Theft
The Attorneys General of 44 states signed a letter asking a credit card processing company that recently experienced a major data security breach to voluntarily notify all affected consumers of the breach. According to news reports cited in the letter, the processing company reported the exposure of records pertaining to as many as 36 million credit cards to the credit card companies in May. The letter requests that the notification provide the total number of consumers affected in each state; an explanation of how the security breach occurred and the remedial steps the company is taking, including notification of affected consumers; and an online of an ongoing plan for avoiding reoccurrence of such breaches.
Distributors Of Peer-To-Peer File-Sharing Technology May Be Liable For Active Inducement Of Users' Copyright Infringement
A party that distributes technology "with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement," may be liable for "active inducement" of the acts of infringement by third-party users of that technology. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., No. 04-480 (U.S. June 27, 2005). The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit ruling that because the file-sharing software had substantial non-infringing uses, the distributors were not secondarily liable unless there was a showing they had actual knowledge of specific infringement upon which they failed to act. The Court detailed the evidence before the district court on summary judgment showing the distributors' intent to induce infringement, including efforts to attract users of the Napster file-sharing system, distribution of promotional materials advertising their software as an alternative to Napster, monitoring of the system by executives to determine the number of available songs by popular commercial artists, free distribution of the software as part of a business model depending upon high-volume, and therefore likely infringing uses, and failure of the distributors to make efforts to impede sharing of copyrighted works on the system.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Suspects caught on phone camer
A mobile phone image has been released showing three men who are wanted for questioning after two friends were stabbed and beaten outside a pub.
Open source ‘not big' in SMEs
Open source software has not made a big impact in small to medium enterprises (SMEs), according to a report by research firm BMI-TechKnowledge – “SME IT End-User Trends and Market Forecast”.
IT governance ‘must be enterprise-wide'
Enterprise-wide risk management (EWRM) and controls are needed to achieve IT governance as part of an organisation's overall corporate governance process, delegates at the IT Governance 2005 conference in Midrand heard yesterday.
SA's low level of IT governance
Over 80% of respondents to ITWeb's IT Governance 2005 Survey rated IT as very important to their organisations' business operations and growth, but only 30% of respondents' organisations formally implemented IT governance, delegates at the IT Governance 2005 conference were told yesterday.
It was one of those little-noticed incidents that in hindsight turned out to be a significant hint of something big to come. In February 2004, Daiwa Securities analyst James Enck wrote in the Web log EuroTelcoblog (http://eurotelcoblog.blogspot.com) that project teams at the consulting firm Accenture were bypassing their usual mode of communication — mobile phones equipped with GSM, a widely used protocol for enhanced privacy and security — during a shared job between Madrid and Pakistan. The teams had become frustrated with the erratic connections and dropped lines. Instead, according to Mr. Enck, they used Skype, a renegade Internet-based telephone service. They took this route “for obvious cost reasons,” said Mr. Enck, “but also because of the superior” voice quality.
A Supreme Chill For P2P Technology?
What will a post-Grokster world look like? Very rosy indeed, a jubilant Hollywood says. A new era of legal headaches that will stifle innovation, peer-to-peer (P2P) supporters moan. In Monday's Supreme Court decision in MGM v. Grokster, the justices put P2P companies on notice that they can he held responsible for the illegal acts of their file-sharing end users.
With Google, It's Personal
Google (Quote, Chart) sneaked another search enhancement out of the Google Lab, this time to give users more of what they want by paying attention to what they wanted before.
Microsoft Banking on Popularity of RSS
Apple Computer added RSS functionality to its Safari Web browser in the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, Tiger. Michael Cherry, an analyst at research firm Directions on Microsoft, said he was familiar with RSS previously but hadn't been inspired to use it until he installed Tiger and took notice of the RSS icon in Safari as he visited Web pages.
Enabling Users to Maintain SharePoint Content
When SharePoint is installed as a corporate intranet, there is a considerable amount of effort involved in maintaining the content to keep the site relevant. As we discussed in the first few parts of this series, SharePoint has many built-in features to reduce the burden on the site administrator.
Security Execs: Under Pressure and Under Prepared
A new survey of corporate security executives shows that their jobs are more difficult to handle than just a year ago, and they're not prepared to handle some significant security issues.
The Pocket Guide to Consumer Generated Media
Sometime in late 2002, during a glorious early morning shower, the term "consumer-generated media" (CGM) jumped off my tongue like a sudden, gripping epiphany. The emotion was so strong I yelped to my wife, "Erika, I've found it!"I've yet to recover and probably never will.
Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws
Political bloggers on Tuesday urged federal regulators to keep the Internet as free as possible from campaign finance laws.
Court gives adware maker WhenU green light
A federal appeals court overturned a ruling against adware maker WhenU that held it violated the trademarks of vision specialist 1-800-Contacts in the sale and distribution of pop-up advertising.
Even Bill Gates Has To Change
"I have a simple but strong belief," wrote Bill Gates in his international best seller, Business @ the Speed of Thought. "How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose."
European E-Commerce Feeling Pinch from ID Theft
Entrust did a similar survey for North America last fall and, taken together with the European poll, they show a heightened concern by consumers over identity theft tied to online activity, Vice President for Technology Chris Voice said. "What's disturbing is that people are voting with their keyboards," he said.
Yahoo Making Its E-Mail More Like Desktop Client
With the new interface, users can drag and drop messages into various folders, open multiple e-mail messages at the same time in separate windows and view or scroll through all messages in any given folder at once, rather than the current one-page-at-a-time approach. Keyboard shortcuts are also included. Also, messages will load faster.
Google Earth Goes Live Amid Map Frenzy
Google Earth is being integrated into Google's local search tool and is being promoted as a way to make it easier for users to find exactly what they're looking for. For instance, one feature allows for driving directions to be acted out in a 3D video playback.
AMD Sues Intel Over Alleged Antitrust Abuses
"Given the breadth of AMD's claims and the damages that AMD is requesting, we can't imagine that Intel will be willing to settle," Merrill Lynch analyst Joe Osha said in a research note. "Investors could be in [the middle of] a protracted fight."
The Typing Revolution in Cyberspace
One mistake and you end up in a strange La La Land: From whitehouse.gov to whitehouse.com -- what a contrast! Dot-gov takes you to Lincoln's bedroom, while dot-com will take you to Lolita's. Without precise spelling, one can spend all day searching through thousands of not-quite identical names on a search engine.
Quake Ready To Rock Mobile Phone Users
Serious gamers are unlikely to be satisfied by the mobile phone experience and most games developed for the platform will reflect that. "In general, cell phone games will be the domain of simple or 'casual' gamers -- those with mass appeal rather than hardcore action game appeal," Jay Horowitz, senior editor, Jupiter Media, said.
Report on Potential Milk Terrorism Threat Published
The study by Lawrence M. Wein and Yifan Liu of Stanford University discusses such questions as how terrorists could release botulinum toxin into the U.S. milk supply and what effective amounts might be.
Blogs for Business: Benefit or Boondoggle?
Blogs bring a number of benefits, experts say. "Blogs can create a direct outlet between a company and its target consumers," said Chris Thilk, a marketing expert at Bacon's Information Services, based in Chicago. "The immediacy is attractive."
Bard's home town goes wireless
Visitors to Shakespeare's birthplace town of Stratford-upon-Avon can now get a virtual guide to show them around. A personal digital assistant (PDA), hired for £8 a day, provides internet access, an interactive map and a guide to the tourist hotspots.
Publishing makes shift to digital
The vast majority of UK research material will be available in electronic form by 2020. ccording to a study commissioned by the British Library, 90% of newly published work will be available digitally by this time.
Phishing pair jailed for ID fraud
A UK-based American citizen has been jailed for six years after stealing up to £6.5m through identity fraud. Douglas Havard, from Dallas, Texas, made fake credit cards with stolen bank details as part of a global syndicate.
Microsoft sues company in Germany for distributing spam
Microsoft Corp. has filed a suit against a company in Germany that it alleges is at the center of a network of companies in the U.S. and Ukraine distributing unsolicited e-mail.
Australia joins legal battle against spam
The Australian government has joined the legal counter-attack against spam by taking an alleged spammer to court.The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is going for its first public collar under the Spam Act. Wayne Mansfield will be put before the Federal Court on 20 July for distributing 56 million unsolicited e-mails and harvesting people's e-mail addresses.
Lawsuit seeks disclosure in credit card heist
A lawsuit filed Monday intends to help consumers and merchants who were left in the dark after a digital break-in that put millions of credit card accounts at risk of fraud. The class-action suit was filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco against CardSystems Solutions, Visa and MasterCard on behalf of California credit card holders and card-accepting merchants, according to a copy of the suit.
Quality drives good governance
Legislation is not the recipe for good governance, Judge Merwyn King told the opening of the IT Governance 2005 conference this morning. King, chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance, pointed out that in either “comply or explain” or “comply or else” regimes adopted by organisations, quality governance principles rather than quantity made for good governance practices.
Grokster Decision Has Tech Industry Worried
Apple Computer once advertised the joys of ripping, burning and mixing CDs on a Macintosh computer. In the PC world, Intel microprocessors, Microsoft's Windows operating system and countless other inventions -- such as the DVD burner -- all make copyright infringement easy.
Q&A: File-sharing ruling
In a shock decision the US Supreme Court has ruled that the firms behind file-sharing networks must answer for what people do on these systems. Here we take a look at the decision and the implications it has for the future.
Credit card scam ‘under control'
Over 5 000 numbers from three of SA's major banks were affected in last week's CardSystems credit card number breach. The total number of stolen South African credit card numbers in three of the four major banks has passed 5 115, with Nedbank not releasing any figures.
Hackers bombarding networks in UK
Computer hackers operating through Internet addresses located in Asia have launched an "industrial-strength" attack on vital computer networks in Britain, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. It said nearly 300 government departments and businesses vital to British infrastructure had been subjected to an attack for several months.
Outlook Express flaw probed
The risk of an attack related to a flaw in Microsoft Outlook Express climbed this week, after underground hacking sites began circulating sample code for exploiting it. The exploit is designed to take complete control of PCs with certain versions of the Outlook Express e-mail program installed on them when users visit newsgroups controlled by hackers, CNET reports.
Virus strikes cellphones
The days of cellphones escaping the scourge of viruses are probably numbered. Although viruses for cellphones existed only in laboratories until recently, the Comwarrior virus has found its way to cellphones worldwide, including in South Africa.
Hollywood wins Internet piracy battle
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that software companies can be held liable for copyright infringement when individuals use their technology to download songs and movies illegally.
Telecoms market ‘fraught with uncertainty'
SA's telecoms market structure is still fraught with uncertainty, with the regulatory environment in particular posing major uncertainties, says an industry analyst.
Pop-up ads do not infringe trade marks, says court
WhenU.com has won a court battle over pop-up ads that it displayed on the web site of contact lens seller 1-800 Contacts, after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ads did not breach 1-800 Contacts’ trade marks.
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