The Gecko in the Machine

 (This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. If you’re an editor interested in subscribing to the service, drop me a line. Regular readers of the blog, meanwhile, will be familiar with some of the themes here) I found myself reading the words of one …

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The End of the Sorry Sony Saga?

Sony to recall copy-protected CDs, according to the BBC: Sony BMG is recalling music CDs that use controversial anti-piracy software. The software was widely criticised because it used virus-like techniques to stop illegal copies being made. Widespread pressure has made the music giant remove CDs bearing the software from stores. It will also swap bought …

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Another Ratchet Up in the Phishing War

I must confess I’m not sure how it works, but it seems like an interesting, but potentially flawed, approach in the battle against phishing. German bank PostBank, IDG reports, has launched a new system to combat phishing, extending the existing German practice of using transaction numbers, or TANs: Until now, Postbank customers transferring money from …

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Conspiracy Theories And The Weird Variable In History

I’m quite prepared to believe in conspiracies. Hell, anyone who reads history would be a fool to ignore their importance. Think Pearl Harbor. Think Rudolph Hess (yes, Churchill et al knew there was a plane coming and yes, they were hoodwinking the Germans, the French and the Americans to save the Empire). Think Cuban Missile …

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The Slashdot Report Part I

This week’s column is about The Slashdot Effect, (subscription only, I’m afraid) which I’ll mention in more detail in subsequent postings. This first supplement is about the commercial potential of blogs, and a case study those of you reading blogs will probably already know about: Is it possible to harness this new kind of information …

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The Digital Fallout Of Journalistic Plagiarism and Fakery

How do you correct the Internet? All these reports of plagiarism and fakery in U.S. journalism — at least 10, according to the New York Times — raise a question I haven’t seen addressed elsewhere. What should newspapers and other publications which have carried the reports do about setting the record straight? A USA Today …

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Update: Diebold Withdraws E-voting Suit?

 Further to my column about e-voting a few weeks back, Diebold, maker of electronic voting machines, has apparently withdrawn its suit against an ISP and some individuals for posting leaked company documents about some of the problems with their system. Stanford Law School reports that Diebold had filed papers with the court saying it ?has …

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