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Friday, September 30, 2005
  Legal eagle files complaint over talkshow
Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos has accused talkshow host Tim Modise, 702 Talk Radio and 567 Cape Talk of threatening the lives of thousands of South Africans. A professor at the University of Western Cape's law school filed a five-page complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) after listening to Modise's show, entitled "Effectiveness of diet to improve immune systems".

Thursday, September 29, 2005
  IT risk management needs focus, not money
“Technology failure incidents are no longer private, back-office events. They're public, and they're a business risk, not just an IT risk,” says Richard Hunter, Gartner VP and research fellow.

Govt determined to cut telecoms costs
Now that it has been firmly established that the price of telecommunications in SA is too high, the next step is to seek consensus from stakeholders to develop definitive policy options, says Department of Communications deputy minister Roy Padayachie.

As VoIP Enters the Big Time, It's Meeting Big-Time Resistance
VoIP telephone services continue to proliferate, supporting not just P2P calls between computers but also calls between computers and the traditional telephone network. The business potential of VoIP -- both as an adjunct to existing online services (such as auctions, search portals, and instant messaging) and as a stand-alone telephony platform -- is attracting more and more big companies into the VoIP space.

U.S. insists on controlling Web
The United States refuses to relinquish its role as the Internet's principal traffic policeman, rejecting calls in a United Nations meeting for a U.N. body to take over, a top U.S. official said Thursday.

Mediation Begins in Music Copyright Trial
Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and local subsidiaries claim that Chinese search engine made it easy for its users to illegally download copies of 137 of their songs through the search page. The music companies are seeking 1.67 million yuan (US$206,000) in compensation.

Software testing is ‘still inadequate'
Due to tight deadlines, many developers still fail to test application software for bugs before it goes live, says a local software solutions and services provider.

Govt determined to cut telecoms costs
Now that it has been firmly established that the price of telecommunications in SA is too high, the next step is to seek consensus from stakeholders to develop definitive policy options, says Department of Communications deputy minister Roy Padayachie.

WASPs keep content providers in line
Last week the Wireless Application Service Providers Association (WASPA) sanctioned Integrat on a number of counts, including misleading advertising of subscription services by content provider Peach Mobile. Integrat provides the connectivity for Peach.

eBay faces court over lens sales
Online auction company eBay is facing court action over claims it allowed contact lenses to be sold on the site. The General Optical Council claims people buying lenses online risk serious eye problems because they do not receive the necessary checks.

The Internet: What lies ahead?
"The Internet will be the CB radio of the '90s."It's easy to laugh now. A recent Wired magazine article on the Internet's "10 years that changed the world" credits the statement to an ABC TV executive in 1989. But even 10 years ago, it's likely that many people shared that view.

IT spend ‘brings little value to firms’
SHOCK figures from Butler Group analysts claim that 92% of corporate information technology (IT) budgets are being squandered on initiatives that bring little competitive advantage or value to the business.

Cheap Windows to 'curb piracy'
Microsoft plans to offer an English-language version of its scaled-back, lower-priced Windows XP Starter Edition in India, as part of efforts to encourage technology adoption in developing countries and prevent pirating.

Rath sues paper for R800 000
German Aids renegade Dr Matthias Rath must enter a new court date in his diary - only this time he is the complainant. Rath is taking the community newspaper, City Vision, to court for crimen injuria after they quoted Dr Eric Goemaere of Cape Town as calling him uncomplimentary names.

Guide aims to help bloggers beat censors
EFFORTS to attract public comments on how SA’s internet domain space should be administered have met with apathy. The public has been asked to help devise policies for running the internet in SA. But the discussion document issued by the .za Domain Name Authority has received little response, says its chairman Hasmukh Gajjar.

Global data protection law needed, say regulators
Privacy chiefs from 40 countries have called upon the United Nations to prepare a legally binding instrument which clearly sets out in detail the rights to data protection and privacy as enforceable human rights.

Christian rockers risk wrath of DMCA with DRM tips
The bassist of Switchfoot is teaching fans how to disable the copy protection measures in the San Diego rock band's own CDs, presumably upsetting Sony and perhaps unwittingly testing the anti-circumvention rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Bank can't sue ISP for false phishing alert
A bank whose website was incorrectly identified by Earthlink’s anti-phishing toolbar as “potentially fraudulent” cannot sue the ISP, a judge ruled last week, finding that Earthlink was not the publisher of the information in terms of a US law. The case concerned Scamblocker, a service launched by Earthlink in April 2004 to spot fraudulent websites set up to gather visitors' bank details.

Feds announce global antipiracy initiatives
The Bush administration on Wednesday announced new plans to expand its crackdown on piracy overseas. During California visits with high-tech and movie industry representatives, Commerce Department Secretary Carlos Gutierrez described two new programs aimed at eroding intellectual property theft, which costs U.S. businesses an estimated $250 billion and 750,000 jobs per year, according to a department press release.

Original Alice work in 3D online
The original manuscript of what became Alice in Wonderland has been put online by the British Library using software to virtually turn the pages. Alice's Adventures Under Ground, by Lewis Carroll, is the latest 3D addition to the Library's Turning the Pages collection of books.

Major UK mobile TV trial starts
A full-scale UK trial of the technology that will let people watch TV directly on their mobiles has been launched. The Arqiva and O2 trial with 400 people in Oxford will test the technology that lets mobiles receive direct TV signals, and people's desire to watch mobile TV.

Whistleblowers root out fraud
Fraud is a major problem in South Africa and Africa, a survey of businesses revealed on Thursday. The survey, by auditing firm KPMG, said 64% of the South African companies and 65% of companies in the rest of Africa reported that fraud was a major problem.

Convergence Bill incorporates industry views
Proposed amendments to the draft Convergence Bill seem to be positive and industry input appears to have been taken into account, says Dominic Cull, an associate of ICT law firm Nicci Fergusson.

SME ADSL usage surges
South Africa's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are aggressively adopting ADSL, which is fast becoming the preferred Internet access method for this sector, driven by greater choice and lower prices of ADSL offerings, a survey has revealed.

Courts face crisis as barristers fight back over pay cuts
THE criminal justice system faces widespread disruption next month when QCs join hundreds of barristers in refusing to appear in criminal trials.

Paperless courts, trials by video are on the cards
A COMPUTERISED court system, with minimal paperwork and offering video-conferencing facilities, is being investigated for Port Elizabeth’s New Law Courts.
Should plans succeed, large piles of charge sheets and misplaced dockets would become a thing of the past.

Attackers Quietly Target Desktops, Personal Data
"The whole threat landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years," Verisign iDefense senior engineer Ken Dunham told The E-Commerce Times. "It's these little nickel and dime exploitations that are giving hackers access into big networks and big assets. The risk has gone up with increased exploitation capabilities."

Microsoft Files Piracy Suits
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has undertaken extensive public education efforts aimed at getting consumers to report suspected piracy. An independent study by IDC commissioned by the BSA found that 35 percent of software worldwide is unlicensed, representing some $33 billion in lost revenues for software publishers.

AOL, Microsoft Make VoIP Headlines
AOL's TotalTalk includes unified voice, e-mail and instant messaging, enhanced voicemail and call management capabilities, and the ability to make and receive calls on a home phone line from anywhere users have access to AIM. Call Waiting, Caller ID, 911 emergency calling, Star Codes, voice mail integrated with e-mail and three-way calling are also included.

IT Security: Take a Walk on the Dark Side
There is no silver bullet that will protect an organization from all the threats. But there are some concrete steps an IT manager or a security officer can take, today, to skirt the dark side of the Internet. Stay vigilant. Educate yourself.

Logos Mark Legit E-Mail
E-mail identification firm Iconix launched a service today that displays sender or brand logos in consumer inboxes to signal authenticated e-mails. The authentication technology, called Truemark, enhances popular e-mail clients by enabling them to display icons in their inboxes to help identify messages from senders they trust.

Baidu to appeal ruling on music downloads, the leading Chinese internet search company, is to "vigorously appeal" a Beijing court's ruling requiring it to pay compensation to a unit of the music group EMI over downloads of pirated pop music.

EC regulation 'could stifle' net
Tech lobby groups in the UK have warned that proposed changes to European TV regulation could stifle net content. The European Commission wants to update its TV Without Frontiers directive to take account of new developments such as video-on-demand, broadcasting via broadband and podcasting.

Authors Guild sues Google over library project
The Authors Guild on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against search engine Google, alleging that its scanning and digitizing of library books constitutes a "massive" copyright infringement.

Authors sue Google over book plan
A US writers' group is suing internet search engine Google, claiming that its plan to digitise major library book collections infringes author copyright.

ICT charter's legal implications
The ICT black economic empowerment (BEE) charter and the Department of Trade and Industry's Code of Good Practice are not legal documents, but once they have been finalised they will amount to “subordinate legislation”.

Microsoft Sues 8 Resellers Over Fakes
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) said today it has filed separate lawsuits against eight of its resellers for allegedly passing off counterfeit copies of its software through distribution channels.

Why Google hired Vint Cerf
Whether he meant to or not, Cerf hinted at one area he was interested in six weeks before he joined the search giant, and it deals with a wireless device near you.

One game system to rule them all
The first time around, Microsoft Corp. wanted to establish a beachhead in the video game business. Now, with its much anticipated Xbox 360 console, it wants to rule that $25 billion global market.

SA Internet threat ‘under-reported'
- While SA is seeing an increased uptake and interest in Internet connectivity and broadband technologies, Internet security threats often go unreported and are a bigger problem than is perceived by the industry, solutions provider Symantec said yesterday.

Gijima's privacy claim is dismissed
Arnold Subel, a senior advocate, was holding an inquiry into the collapse of a firm that produced smart cards for use by Telkom and in cellular phones when he smelled a rat.

Hackers target net call systems
Malicious hackers are turning their attention to the technology behind net phone calls, says a report.

How much of a geek are you?
A recent survey suggested that hi-tech jargon is proving tricky for many people to understand. Find out how technically smart you are with our quiz that tests how much you really know about the world of the web and computers.

Eight charged over Star Wars leak
Eight people have been charged by US authorities with the illegal online release of the final Star Wars film before it appeared in cinemas.

Boom times for hi-tech fraudsters
In the real world it's a fair bet that burglars live in the same town or city where they commit their crimes

Hackers shift focus to financial gain
Internet criminals want your computer, your money and your identity. And their tactics are becoming increasingly refined and organized, according to security experts.

Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Custom TV ads to battle changing habits
Look out -- the 30-second TV ad is about to get personal. Same commercial spot. Same television program. But owners of pooches get to see dog chow commercials, while their cat-loving neighbours will be shown kitty food ads.

Data encryption about to make quantum leap
Even as recent computer security breaches underline the importance of protecting sensitive data, efforts to develop more powerful computers also threaten to render today's best encryption technologies useless.

Google to put copyright laws to test
Copyright laws written long before the digital age are about to be tested as Google Inc. attempts to scan millions of books and make their text fully searchable on the Internet.

Goliath and Goliath Fight to a Draw in Trademark Dispute
Search engines like Google generate an enormous amount of their profits by allowing advertisers to buy ads that are triggered by the search terms people enter. The ads are then typically listed off to the side, apart from the main list of websites responsive to the search terms. Although lucrative, this business model has led to several trademark infringement lawsuits against the search engine behemoth. And while each case may be slightly different, the trademark actions against Google revolve around a fundamental question: can a trademark owner collect damages from a search engine for featuring ads from rivals that use its trademarked name, and if so, under what circumstances? Well, the answer is still: “who the heck knows?”

No Trespassing . . . on My Cyber Chattels
Who needs new laws to combat spyware, when old-fashioned tort claims with funny names will do just fine? Once thought confined to the dustbin of 19th Century legal history, “trespass to chattels” -- or trespass to personal property -- has been resurrected in recent years as a cause of action against Internet spammers and spyware companies. The latest such case is Sotelo v. DirectRevenue, LLC, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on August 29, allowed a class-action suit against several spyware distributors to proceed based on a claim of damages flowing from an alleged trespass to chattels -- i.e., the plaintiff's computer. In reinvigorating an obscure and largely dormant cause of action, the court demonstrated that the common law may well already contain remedies for computer security and privacy breaches that have until recently been seen as unsusceptible to tort suits for one reason or another. And by allowing the case to proceed as a class action, the decision could make such claims more economically attractive to plaintiffs' lawyers. After all, one of the spyware defendants in this case claims access to over 12 million computers in the U.S. through its software, creating a potentially large class of annoyed litigants. So a legal tool that was first used by Internet service providers against spammers may now become a favored tool for individual computer users, as long as there's a deep pocket on the other end.

Microsoft Sues 8 Resellers Over Fakes
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) said today it has filed separate lawsuits against eight of its resellers for allegedly passing off counterfeit copies of its software through distribution channels. The world's biggest software maker has filed suits in Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota and New York against the privately held companies who allegedly sold counterfeit copies of several different software products, such as Office 2000 Professional and Windows XP, Mary Jo Schrade, senior attorney at Microsoft, told

Why Google hired Vint Cerf
Whether he meant to or not, Cerf hinted at one area he was interested in six weeks before he joined the search giant, and it deals with a wireless device near you. "In the case of Google Earth, for example, if you find yourself at a particular location and you ask where the nearest Chinese restaurant is, they can all be popped up, with little logos with the appropriate symbols on them, and you could mouse over to that and click on it and menus might pop up," Cerf told this summer.

SA Internet threat ‘under-reported'
While SA is seeing an increased uptake and interest in Internet connectivity and broadband technologies, Internet security threats often go unreported and are a bigger problem than is perceived by the industry, solutions provider Symantec said yesterday.

One game system to rule them all
The first time around, Microsoft Corp. wanted to establish a beachhead in the video game business. Now, with its much anticipated Xbox 360 console, it wants to rule that $25 billion global market.

Latest US Bid to Ban Online Gambling Suffers Setback
The issue of online gambling has been a hot topic among lawmakers, regulators, law enforcement and private groups since the early days of the Internet. But recent surges in popularity of online poker playing and concern that people under 18 are able to use the Internet to gamble on sporting events has brought the issue to the forefront in recent months.

Warchalking for WiFi: A Novel Idea Loses Steam
"The signs didn't work well even in the U.K. where more people take public transportation and walk than in the United States," noted Ira Brodsky, president of wireless market research firm Datacomm Research Co. "U.S. cities are more spread out, so it can be hard for users to spot small signs."

Fake Google Site Fostered by Worm
"The creator of this worm has taken advantage of the importance of a company appearing among the first few links in the search results of an Internet browser," said Luis Corrons, director of Panda Labs. "The motivation of the author of this malware is purely financial."

Windows Vista: The Final Countdown Begins
The real power in this platform has always been tied to the support of the developer community. When they get excited about changes the platform's potential is better realized. When they don't the market simply doesn't move. The developers at this year's PDC seemed more excited than I have seen in years.

Crime network may be targeting your domain
An international criminal network operating a domain name scam is systematically targeting South African businesses, according to an information technology law firm.

Music giants sue search engine
Music giants Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and their local subsidiaries are suing China's largest search engine Baidu for allegedly infringing the copyright of hundreds of songs, the company said on Friday.

Companies ‘exposed to risk'
At least 75% of companies are highly exposed to risk and overspend on IT assets, and are not optimising their IT operations, says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) senior manager Diane Kelway.

Sunday, September 18, 2005
  2010 World Cup a planner's nightmare
South Africa is facing the information technology challenge of its lifetime in preparing for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Is the Internet only for rich people?
The indications from various presenters at ISPA’s (Internet Service Providers Association) well organized iWeek conference are that the Internet is indeed too expensive for most South Africans to afford.

Net users ignore risks in the workplace
Computer users are more likely to engage in "riskier online behaviour" at work, such as downloading potentially malicious files or surfing suspicious Web sites, claims a new study. The study, conducted by IT security firm Trend Micro, warned that this cavalier attitude in the workplace often exacerbates problems for IT departments trying to protect business operations from increasingly unpredictable threats.

TV free for all on the way
A new television era is about to dawn in South Africa - new subscription services offering the best TV programmes from around the world will soon break the M-Net/DStv monopoly.

The Internet: What lies ahead?
It's easy to laugh now. A recent Wired magazine article on the Internet's "10 years that changed the world" credits the statement to an ABC TV executive in 1989. But even 10 years ago, it's likely that many people shared that view.

Database cleaning destroyed one million tax records, says report
Housekeeping software installed by the Inland Revenue to delete old cases, also deleted almost one million live tax records between 1997 and 2000,according to a report released last week by thePublic Accounts Committee.

No retrial for pharmacy's screenshot defamation
A US appeals court has ruled that there can be nonew trial in a case brought against the New York Times over a pharmacy screenshot used on the mediagiant’s website to illustrate an article about theillegal sale of medicinal drugs over the internet.

Privacy watchdog finds police data riddled with errors
One in 20 records in a database used by enforcementagencies across Europe is in breach of privacylaws, according to criticisms made by Denmark'sdata protection authority into the controversial Schengen Information System.

IT accessibility must improve, says European Commission
The accessibility of websites, software, digital TVand 3G phones could become a legal requirement across the EU if plans announced today by the European Commission fail to improve accessibilityfor elderly and disabled people within two years.

Petitioning parliament by mouse
If e-government seems to be mainly about doing tax returns online, then e-democracy is its more exciting cousin, promising to put citizens at centre stage of the political process.

Paris Hilton hacker sent to jail
The teenager who reportedly hacked into the mobile phone of socialite Paris Hilton has been sent to jail.

Demon founder escapes jail term
An internet pioneer has been given a suspended jail sentence for poaching e-mails linked to the 1980s Westminster Council homes-for-votes scandal.

Stolen UC-Berkeley laptop recovered
A stolen laptop computer holding personal information of more than 98,000 California university students and applicants has been recovered, but it uncertain whether the information had been tapped, the University of California, Berkeley said Thursday.

Gates plans huge push for next Windows
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates Tuesday made a major push for software developers to build programs for the next versions of Windows and Office software and showed off features that he said would drive a new wave of personal computer upgrades.

Computer worm suspect in court
A Moroccan magistrate questioned an 18-year-old science student in court on Tuesday about his alleged role in unleashing computer worms that disrupted networks across the United States last month.

Friday, September 16, 2005
  Keyboard clicks can lead to security hacks
A new security vulnerability has been discovered: the clickety clack of the keyboard.
An audio recording of an individual's typing can be transposed into a transcript of what was typed, according to University of California at Berkeley researchers. The technique works because each key makes a distinct sound when hit, and users, who typically type about 300 characters a minute, leave enough time between keystrokes for a computer to isolate the individual sounds.

Asia tackles online game addiction
Warning: online game playing can be hazardous to health. So far, such a warning -- usually reserved for addictive products like cigarettes and liquor -- has yet to appear on the growing stable of online game titles rapidly gaining popularity in Asia.

Keyboard design firm sues RIM over BlackBerry 7100
Eatoni Ergonomics has filed a lawsuit against RIM in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, it announced Wednesday. The company holds a patent that it claims covers mobile keyboards with a "QWERTY" design that use predictive text technology. "QWERTY" is another term for a standard typewriter or keyboard layout, referring to the first six letters on the upper left hand side of a keyboard.

Microsoft Offers to Settle Suit vs. Google
"Dr. [Kai-Fu] Lee and Google went to court seeking permission for Dr. Lee to go and establish a research and development facility in China. They prevailed," said Brad Keller, Lee's lawyer. "If Microsoft wants to settle the case, it should make a settlement proposal. Until then, Dr. Lee's going to China."

British Music Retailers Begin Digital War
"I think competition is very healthy," said Steve Knott, Managing Director of HMV for the UK. "I would've expected Virgin to be in the game ... and we'll compete with them in the same ways as we compete on the high street. I welcome the competition."

New Google search engine boosts 'blogging'
A new Google Inc. specialty search engine sifts through the Internet's-millions of frequently updated personal journals, a long-anticipated development expected to help propel "blogging" into the cultural mainstream.

SigPod catches big problems for small firms
When it comes to quality control on assembly lines, Nathan Sheaff thinks he has the equivalent of a better -- and cheaper -- mousetrap for catching production problems. When his company launches the SigPod on Sept. 15, he'll see if the world does indeed beat a path to his door.

FBI Issues Warning About Fraudulent Katrina Web Sites
"The emphasis here is on 'unsolicited,' things that come in that you didn't -- you have never made contact with this particular charitable organization," Chris Swecker, assistant director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, said. "There's a link. There's a pop-up. There's something that you need to do. Do not click on it."

On-line dating site links S. Africa's AIDS patients
This website has everything you would expect to find in the world of on-line dating: Promises of heretofore unimagined sexual bliss; earnest pledges about "being open to new things"; stern warnings that drinkers need not apply. And this site has something else: "Must be living openly"; "Am on ARVs and healthy"; "A poz lady who needs a poz man."

Paris Hilton Cell Phone Hacker Gets 11 Months in Jail
The teenager was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Boston. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of juvenile delinquency, prosecutors said. The charges included hacking into Internet and telephone service providers, theft of personal information and posting it on the Web, and making bomb threats to high schools in Florida and Massachusetts, all over a 15-month period.

Software escrow finds new markets in India
India, one of the most exciting centres for IT outsourcing and development of this decade, has realised the advantages of software escrow with the establishment of an Indo-US joint venture that will be the first company in that country to provide professional software and technology escrow services.

Go online, plant a tree
Registry company Computershare has launched the local arm of a campaign to convert annual reports to an electronic format and use some of the savings to plant trees.

Govt to stop ICASA ‘horse-trading'
Government is mooting a change in the procedure of the appointment of Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) councillors using an independent committee and doing away with the role of Parliament in the process

Teenager quizzed about Zotob computer worm
A Moroccan magistrate questioned an 18-year-old science student in court on Tuesday about his alleged role in unleashing computer worms that disrupted networks across the United States last month.

Attorney-client privilege ‘the bedrock of SA’s legal system’
THE foundation of SA’s legal system was secured by Judge Ismail Mahomed’s finding last week that the Scorpions raid on Jacob Zuma’s attorney, Julekha Mahomed, was illegal, lawyers say.

Convergence Bill to encourage choice, competition
The Convergence Bill will provide greater opportunities for competition and ensure more choice for consumers, said Lyndall Shope-Mafole, director-general of the Department of Communications.

Give 'em hell!
Greg Stirton is no fan of Telkom. He is in fact so unimpressed with 'Africa's leading integrated communication operator' (direct from the Telkom website) that he has registered as a domain name, from which he operates what is commonly known as a 'sucks site' (older people who still feel awkward saying the word ‘sucks’ tend to refer to these things as 'gripe sites').

Colorado Court Blocks Release of Ex-County Officials' Intimate E-Mails
The Colorado Supreme Court blocked the release of hundreds of romantic or sexually explicit e-mails between the former Arapahoe County, Colo., clerk and an employee, ruling Monday they were not public record.

Bill Cosby wins fight over domain name
Comedian Bill Cosby won control of an Internet domain name including the name of the Fat Albert cartoon he created in the 1960s, under a ruling issued Monday by a United Nations panel.

Ellison Agrees to Unusual Court Settlement
The lawsuit charged Ellison with selling almost $900 million of shares ahead of news that Oracle would not meet its expected earnings target. The same amount of stock, after the announcement, was worth slightly more than half as much.

Google Wins Another Mind Game
Jupiter Media analyst Gary Stein said Cerf will bring wisdom to Google. "Vint Cerf has been thinking about the Internet maybe longer than anyone else," he said, adding that Cerf's presence at Google is likely to attract other technology talent. "It's like working for Yoda."

Microsoft Pulls Critical Patch for 'Quality Issue'
"There's a trend toward reverse engineering patches to see what a vendor's fixed. Knowingly putting out an incomplete patch or a patch with detrimental side effects is dangerous: Either one tips your hand and allows anybody who goes looking to uncover other problems," said Ed Moyle, president of SecurityCurve.

E-tailer records a way to fight piracy
Normal e-tailer security and records could ultimately hamper the online sale of pirated goods, says online auction site Bidorbuy.

SA needs data protection laws
Legal experts have expressed concern over SA's unhurried approach to adopting data protection legislation, warning that lack of action could have an adverse impact on the economy and stifle future foreign investment in the country.

Microsoft to release new tools
Microsoft is releasing several new tools to help developers build software applications that work with its online search and communication products. The hope is that such add-ons will draw more users to Microsoft products and help the company better compete with market leaders such as Google Inc and America Online Inc.

Web operators sent to jail
Three operators of a Taiwan website offering MP3 music downloads have been jailed for two to three years each for copyright infringement, and one user received a lesser term, court officials said on Friday.

Online philanderer ends up in court
A Manhattan fertility specialist has been sued by two women who say he broke their hearts after meeting them through an online dating site on which he pretended to be single.

Domain authority wants input
The .za Domain Name Authority (.zaDNA) launched its public consultative discussion document in Johannesburg on Monday. It urged South Africans, both within and beyond the internet community, to offer their views on how what policies the domain registration should enforce.

Absa warns of new 419 scam
Banking group Absa on Monday warned clients to be on the lookout for a new scam involving credit cards.

Thursday, September 15, 2005
  IT accessibility must improve, says European Commission
The accessibility of websites, software, digital TVand 3G phones could become a legal requirement across the EU if plans announced today by the European Commission fail to improve accessibilityfor elderly and disabled people within two years.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
  Ruling Lets ex-Microsoft Exec Work at Google
Google scored a majority victory in its nasty battle with Microsoft over the hiring of a former Microsoft executive. A Washington State judge ruled today the hiring can proceed. The only stipulation was that the employee, Kai-Fu Lee, who is slated to head up Google's research office in China, cannot recruit from Microsoft.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
  Home users, SMEs face greatest virus risks
Four million regular Internet users in SA, of which a large portion would be small businesses and home users, are unknowingly exposed to computer viruses, a local security solutions distributor estimates.

Convergence before liberalisation a bad idea
The introduction of convergence legislation must defer to government's policy of managed liberalisation of the telecommunications market, says new Telkom CEO Papi Molotsane.

SA in world counterfeiting ‘top 10'
SA is among the top 10 countries reported enforcement activity in counterfeiting and piracy incidents, says Gieschen Consultancy, a Canadian counterfeit intelligence analysis firm.

SA domain name disputes stunt e-commerce growth
The release of the .za Domain Name Authority’s discussion document on Monday has highlight the failure of the Department of Communications to establish a proper domain name dispute resolution system for South Africa according to Buys Incorporated an Internet, IT and Media Law firm.

Monday, September 12, 2005
  Kazaa Loses Lawsuit; One Analyst Shrugs
"You're not going to stop people from writing code," said Michael Goodman, senior analyst with Yankee Group. "Unlicensed file sharing will migrate to these countries that don't care." He added that file-sharing networks will just use the model of offshore casinos, which operate in countries that don't prohibit them and whose owners also live in those countries.

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.

Phishing Liability Concerns Online Banks
"We've seen evidence of new Trojans that bypass most two-factor authentication devices ... by waiting for the user to authenticate at log-in," said Naftali Bennett, chief executive officer of Cyota, a developer of authentication technologies. "Once authenticated, these Trojans come alive and drain the accounts behind the scenes."

UK digital rights group sets up
A UK-based organisation to preserve digital rights and freedoms has been set up thanks to pledges of money by those passionate about such rights. It says it wants to highlight European and UK legislation which could threaten the rights of digital citizens.

Google snaps up internet pioneer
Google has hired one of the founding fathers of the net as its "chief internet evangelist". Net legend Vint Cerf, who helped to define the way the internet works, will join the search giant on 3 October.

Argos makes no mistake with 49p TV
It was déjà vu for Argos this week when a £349.99 television appeared on its website priced at 49p. It made a similar error six years ago, sparking the legal debate on website pricing errors. But unlike other e-tailers, Argos was safe in rejecting the orders.

Lexmark's cartridge deal and box-top licence upheld
A US Appeals Court has endorsed a scheme that offers Lexmark customers $30 off the price of a laser printer cartridge if they agree – by opening the box – to return the empty cartridge to Lexmark rather than seeking a refill from a third party.

Ireland convicts spammer, mulls prison sentences
Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, has secured his first conviction for a breach of the country's anti-spam law. A similar law exists in the UK but the UK Commissioner, Richard Thomas, has taken no such action to date.

No VOIP benefits for employees
Moving to voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) cuts costs, but employees will not be the ones to benefit, says Telesa.comms.

Telkom accused of legal strong-arm tactics
Despite having had close to 10 years to prepare for competition, Telkom resorts to using legal and extra-legal measures to fend off competition, says ICT lawyer Lisa Thornton

EBay to Buy Skype?
Internet auction giant eBay (Quote, Chart) is reportedly in talks to acquire Internet telephony company Skype for $2 billion to $3 billion, according to a published report. However, spokesmen from both companies declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal report, saying their respective companies do not comment on "rumors." The report cited as its source "people with knowledge" of the talks between the both sides.

Yahoo says it obeyed Chinese law by turning in e-mails
The response came a day after press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders alleged that the evidence, e-mails from journalist Shi Tao's private Yahoo account, was used as material evidence in a trial in which he was convicted of divulging state secrets to foreigners.

Hackers Admit to Wave of Attacks
An Ohio computer hacker who served as a digital button man for a shady internet hosting company faces prison time after admitting he carried out one of a series of crippling denial-of-service attacks ordered by a wealthy businessman against his competitors.

Trojan Targets Online Porn Users With Koran
Once it affects a user's computer, it displays a message that reads: "There is no God but Allah, and ask forgivingness for thy fault, and for the men and women who believe: For Allah knows how ye move about and how ye dwell in your homes."

Harry Potter goes digital
Break out your iPods: Harry Potter is going digital. JK Rowling, once publishing's greatest holdout against the computer age, has made all six Potter novels available for audio downloads.

Taking porn precautions at the reed dance
Stringent measures have been put in place for this weekend's Royal Reed Dance Festival to prevent photographers from taking pictures for pornographic use.

Is SA ready for convergence?
Convergence is not new to SA and the technology to implement it is in place, delegates at the ITWeb business communications executive forum heard this morning.

Friday, September 09, 2005
  Google and GEICO settle AdWords dispute
Google and car insurance firm GEICO have settled a trade mark dispute over the search engine’s sale of sponsored search terms "Geico" and "Geico Direct". GEICO had claimed that this use was in breach of its trade mark rights.

Thursday, September 08, 2005
  Music giants welcome legal decision on P2Ps
The Australian music industry on Monday welcomed a landmark court decision which ruled that the popular music file-swapping software Kazaa infringes artists' copyright.

ICASA positive on Convergence Bill
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) believes that with careful implementation, the Convergence Bill will add certainty and increase confidence in the sector, says Peter Hlapolosa, GM of telecommunications services at ICASA.

Open source for dummies
With the unprecedented hype around open source software and the subsequent benefits that come with it, some people still find it downright bizarre that companies and individual users continue to opt for proprietary solutions.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  Microsoft Gains Ground Against Linux in China
Stories about Microsoft losing ground to Linux in China are overblown, says Tim Chen, chief executive of Microsoft China. Instead, Microsoft likes to cast gains against Linux as evidence that China's technology industry is maturing and moving toward the proprietary-software approach championed by Microsoft.

Yahoo rebuked in Chinese journalist case
Yahoo has provoked the ire of a media watchdog group for allegedly giving information to the Chinese government that led to the jailing of a Chinese journalist for leaking state secrets.

Court cases don't scare music file swappers away
Despite two huge court losses for file-sharing firms, unauthorized online song and movie swapping is at an all-time peak, says Internet measurement company BigChampagne.

Microsoft sues European Commission
Microsoft said on Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against the European Commission in a European Union court, the latest wrangle in its long-running battle against competition authorities in Brussels.

Monday, September 05, 2005
  Microsoft, Google trade curses
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" internet search leader Google Inc in an obscenity-laced tirade, and Google chased a prized Microsoft executive "like wolves," according to documents filed in an increasingly bitter legal battle between the rivals.

Kazaa hit by file-sharing ruling
An Australian court has ruled that the popular file-swapping program Kazaa urged its users to breach copyright.

Friday, September 02, 2005
  The basics of copyright law in the UK
Copyright is not just for those in the creative professions: all business owners should know the basics of copyright in order to keep control of the documents they create for their companies, the UK Patent Office advised today.

Data thief faces more charges and years in prison
A man convicted in connection with a privacy breach at data broker firm ChoicePoint has been indicted on 22 new charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.

Argos makes no mistake with 49p TV
It was déjà vu for Argos this week when a £349.99 television appeared on its website priced at 49p. It made a similar error six years ago, sparking the legal debate on website pricing errors. But unlike other e-tailers, Argos was safe in rejecting the orders.

Parliament urged to restrain EPO's software patenting
The European Parliament should pass a resolution urging the European Patent Office to ensure that it complies with the existing rules on the patentability of computer-related inventions, according to leading campaigner Florian Mueller.

IT procurement: how to avoid brand discrimination
The UK’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has issued brief guidance on how public sector agencies should word their procurement contracts to avoid breaching EU rules on non-discrimination that were passed last year.

Viral marketing hamster complaint rejected by ASA
A provider of corporate five-a-side tournaments has dodged a complaint over a viral marketing advert that showed a hamster in an exercise ball being kicked like a football. The complainant felt it condoned animal cruelty.

Canadian Copyright on the precipice: Stronger rights and higher fees? Or not? Karen L. Durell (June 2005)
There has been much commentary offered recently about the tendency of intellectual property regimes to steadily increase the rights granted to rightsholders. In particular, the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPs”) and the United States Copyright Term Extension Act (“CTEA”) are pointed to as examples of the push towards stronger rights in both the international and national intellectual property spheres. TRIPs ostensibly sets a minimum level of intellectual property protection which must be supported by national legislation in all member countries.

N.Y. Judge Certifies Antitrust Class Action Against Microsoft
A Manhattan judge has certified a class action suit against Microsoft Corp. on behalf of consumers who charge they were harmed by the software maker's anti-competitive conduct.

Judge Dismisses SEC Case Against Siebel
The SEC had contended that Siebel had violated Reg FD in comments that Kenneth Goldman, its chief financial officer, had made at two private events in 2003 attended by institutional investors. Goldman, the SEC said, had said that Siebel's business activity was "good" or "better," and that there were "US$5 million deals" in the company's pipeline.

Google Taps European Publishers for Digital Library Expansion
The Google Print undertaking represents a major piece of Google's effort to convert printed material into a digital format so it can be called up from any computing device with an Internet connection. By indexing the material, Google hopes to attract more visitors to its Web site and spawn more searches that generate advertising revenue.

Mobiles get anti-virus protection
Anti-virus software for mobile phones is going on sale in the High Street. Finnish security firm F-Secure has created the security program in reaction to the growing number of viruses that infect handsets.

Disasters trigger scams
Local anti-virus vendor Eset SA has warned South Africans to be aware of online scams that try to exploit disaster relief efforts. This warning comes after the devastating hurricane Katrina in the US and last week's Kloof Street bus accident in Cape Town.

Thursday, September 01, 2005
  Google causes security concern
Seoul - South Korea is raising concerns with the US government over a service offered by internet company Google that displays satellite photos of sites across the globe, the president's office said on Wednesday.

Prison guard accused of urinating on jail computer
A state prison guard who was arrested after a drunken brawl at a nightclub may also be charged with urinating on a municipal jail computer, police said.

Telkom drops Hellkom suit
Telkom has dropped its threatened R5 million lawsuit against Web site with costs and without conditions, allowing the satirical site to continue its basting of the telecommunications giant.







JUDGMENTS 1998 - 2005



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