Business writer and entrepreneur Seth Godin throws out product ideas like other people throw out orange juice cartons: For twenty cents or so, alarm clock manufacturers can add a chip that not only knows the time (via a radio signal) but knows what day it is too. Which means that they can add a switch that says “weekends.” Which means that the 98% of the population that doesn’t want to wake up on the same time on weekends as they do on weekdays will be happier (and better rested.) But he’s not touting a new alarm clock, he’s making a point: “So why doesn’t every
An ordinary business email yielded the following contextual Google ads. Don’t click on the first one if you’ve just eaten and don’t click on the second on principle. clipped from mail.google.com Sponsored Links Photos: That’s in my Gut? This site guarantees to remove really gross stuff from your gut. www.BlessedHerbs.com Spy earpieces Special equipment from Russia. All exams without preparation! www.wintec.ru
Singapore has netted a trojan phisher, the Straits Times reports. A Vietnamese computer engineering student at the National University of Singapore, Nguyen Van Phi Hung, has been charged under the Computer Misuse Act for tagging a keylogger onto an email invitation to fellow students to play an online game called ‘Bubble’. He then captured passwords and gained access to a student’s DBS Bank online account, which he then used to buy prepaid international phonecards and subscribe to a magazine. His case is unique in Singapore, the Straits Times says, for using a Trojan Horse to obtain passwords for making money. A couple of points: taken
Who watches over the watchers? In software, it seems, it’s often the same folk. Reading a press release for X-Cleaner, “a privacy tool suite that detects and removes installed spyware and adware components”, it sounded interesting enough for a mention. After all, it “includes tools to securely delete files, edit the registry, disable startup programs”, as well as “IE home page protection, cookie, cache and history cleaning, built-in password generator and more”. What’s more, there’s a free version with some features disabled. Not a bad tool for those folk worried about keylogging phisher trojans and whatnot. But when I tried to find out who
I should have known, given the whole virus thing is big business, that if one company announces a new product, its rival down the street isn’t likely to stay silent. Hot on the heels (or maybe before, who knows) of McAfee’s upgrade to its VirusScan, Symantec Corp.announced Norton AntiVirus 2004, although tellingly it’s not ‘widely available’ until early September. (Not trying to muddy McAfee’s launch, are we lads?) Norton AntiVirus 2004 takes a slightly different approach to the growing threat of worms, rather than viruses (worms jump aboard without the user doing anything like loading a file, while viruses depend on the user
Further to my column about RFID, and the privacy issues of having tags attached to products that may contain more info about you than you’d like to know, a group called CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is calling for a worldwide boycott of Gillette products since the company failed to renounce what they call “a Gillette Mach3 “smart shelf” spy system”. My two cents? I’m not sure a boycott is a good way to explore this issue, but if it helps get people talking, then so be it.
Yes, it’s true! All you need to do is pick up a packet of Gillette Mach3 razor blades at Tesco’s in Cambridge, England, and you’ll trigger a CCTV camera. A second camera takes a picture at the checkout and security staff then compare the two images. Apparently the aim of the trial, The Guardian reports, is to provide stock information, but the manager of the store has already described how he presented photos of a thief to police. Retailers have hailed the technology as the “holy grail” of supply chain management but civil liberties groups argue that the so-called “spy chips” are an