Radio Australia Topics, Feb 27 2009

Here’s what I’m talking about on today’s Breakfast Club: Mac PowerBook explodes: the dangers of laptops. Here’s what it might look like. Nettops: the new new thing? Jack Straw, MP, gets hacked by scammers. German villagers turn on street lights with a phone call.

Making Networks Do the Work

I don’t get overly excited about plug-ins but I think Xoopit may have shifted us into a new gear. As part of a course I teach on journalist tools I do a demo of Gmail. I talk about it being the new desktop. But I’m only showing the bare bones of the thing: labels, filters, …

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Radio Australia Topics, Feb 20 2009

Here’s what I’m talking about on today’s (shortened) Breakfast Club: Facebook backtracks on privacy policy after user uproar. I’m not convinced users really understand the bigger picture Hurray. Mobile phone makers agree to make a single charger.  

Virus Grounds French Fighters

Here’s more evidence of how vulnerable armed forces are to software attacks, intended or not. The French navy’s fighter jets “were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Microsoft virus they had already been warned about several months beforehand,” according to the Telegraph: However, the French navy admitted that during …

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Scan a Bed Time Story for Me, Daddy

This is up there among the lamest products of the year: a scanner that will convert a book to speech. Well actually, it sounds quite good. I’d imagined a device that could flip the pages over while you sit back nursing a Scotch. When everything’s done the scanner converts the text to “high quality speech …

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The Failure of the Open Field

It’s great that Apple has created a new platform with the iPhone and the App Store. But it’s also a ripping indictment of the personal computer industry—and cellphone industry—thus far. And not to be too nice to Apple: The beautiful stuff we’re seeing with the iPhone is mainly about pastime—not about productivity (or creativity.) Here’s …

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Radio Australia Topics, Feb 6 2009

What I talked about on the Radio Australia Breakfast Club today: Everyone, it seems, is writing an iPhone app. Including a Singaporean 9-year old. Not surprising since half a billion apps have been downloaded since the app store went live six months ago. iPhone apps get security conscious: Bank Info lures the thief with juicy …

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Beware the SMS Premium Number Scam

An Indian phone company is warning users against a variation on the premium rate phone scam, whereby users are contacted by email or mail and asked to call a number to confirm winning a prize. The number is a premium number—either local or international—and the user has to sit through several expensive minutes of canned …

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Traffic Light Scam II

More on the Italian traffic light scam. I wrote to Mr. Arrighetti asking for comment, and received this from Silvia Guelpa, who says she is a consultant to the company. In summary, she’s arguing that the company, and its founder Stefano Arrighetti, haven’t done anything wrong and that if anyone has broken the law it’s …

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The Traffic Light Scam

If true, this is a scam that is going to fuel the conspiracy theories of every driver who feels they were fined unfairly for crossing a red light. Police in Italy have arrested the inventor of a smart traffic light system, and are investigating another 108 people, on suspicion of tampering with the software to …

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