Villa PC

Register: Euro politicians gave the thumbs up to spam last night by passing an amendment that will force Net users to register if they don’t want to receive unsolicited commercial email.

Register: More disturbing to network operators, attackers have taking over the machines that route and direct the flow of Internet traffic, to use them as weapons, Houle said.

The Times: AMERICAN investigators are considering resorting to harsher interrogation techniques, including torture, after facing a wall of silence from jailed suspected members of Osama bin Laden

Villa PC

Wired: The most productivity-enhancing feature of Microsoft’s Windows XP, set for release in October, won’t be mentioned in the ad campaign. But somewhere between adding product activation and Passport authentication to the new OS, Microsoft programmers finally installed a fix for the most dreaded bug of all: the Blue Screen of Death.

Sunday Mail: AMERICAN investigators are hunting a Pakistani man, who overstayed his visa, so they can question him about two anthrax-laced letters.

Wired: Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, IBM and the University of Maryland are developing speech recognition software to allow historians and scholars to search through more than 51,000 video interviews from Holocaust survivors, witnesses and liberators.

Register: PC sales for Western Europe dropped 12 per cent in the third quarter, with the spread of the economic slowdown into continental Europe being blamed.

Gartner: Free IM systems introduce a host of security concerns: instant messages are transmitted as clear text, using simplistic, proprietary and unsecure protocols. Furthermore, messages enter corporate networks through nonstandard TCP ports. Unlike e-mail systems, IM attachments cannot be easily scanned for viruses.

BBC: Concorde is flying to New York on its first full transatlantic test flight to New York since the Paris crash.

Villa PC

Wired: As the Department of Justice opens its antitrust investigation into major-label-backed digital music services, a variety of trade organizations are pressing Congress to back a law designed to loosen the record industry’s grip on music.

Wired: Many of the 28 blacklisted organizations operate websites where they issue press releases, threaten their enemies, raise funds and even recruit members. Several of the sites are hosted in the United States.

Register: An anonymous coder named ‘Beale Screamer’ claims to have broken the Version-2 Microsoft digital rights management (DRM) scheme, and has produced the source code and a DOS utility to un-protect .WMA audio files.

BBC: The Taleban are to propose a new ceasefire plan to end the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan.

NYT: In an advance that presages the tiniest of computer circuitry possible, researchers at Lucent Technologies have built a transistor in which the layer that switches currents on and off is only one molecule thick.

Villa PC

Wired: “We’re not far from a world where all of human knowledge is accessible to you instantly from the ether,” said Pop Tech founder and president Anthony Citrano. “There is a world coming where you don’t have to ever be disconnected if you don’t want.”

BBC News: As a French resident in the UK, I was amazed this morning to hear a commentator blaming the Belgium Prime minister for calling the coalition attacking Afghanistan an Anglo-American coalition. My point is that in the background of this commentator was a huge computer generated image of both the British and American flag together.

BBC: Osama bin Laden has cost the world economy £165bn in lost output as a result of the global economic slowdown triggered by the suicide hijackings in the US last month, City analysts said yesterday.

NY Post: Credit cards belonging to the suicide hijackers continued to be used after the Sept. 11 attacks – indicating associates of the terrorists remained in the United States weeks after the kamikaze strikes, authorities said yesterday.

Wired: Three Bell Labs scientists have discovered a way to develop minuscule computer transistor chips that are roughly a million times smaller than a grain of sand.

Villa PC

Wired: If the evidence mounts, the government could bring a civil suit against the recording industry, he said. The likely outcome would be either to shut down the two digital distribution services or require that similar licensing structures be offered to independently owned distribution businesses.

The Independent: Six people were being questioned by police about the biggest ever seizure of cocaine in Britain. More than £32 million of the drug was dumped out of the back of a Boeing 707 cargo plane as it landed at Southend airport in Essex.

IBM has been awarded US Patent #6,304,886 for software that automatically “generates [a] customized Web site without the Web site creator writing any HTML or other programming code”, based on “a plurality of pre-stored templates, comprising HTML formatting code, text, fields, and formulas” that are then customized through the process of asking the user a few questions.

Slashdot: In other words, they’ve patented the ubiquitous wizards found in FrontPage and other newbie-oriented HTML editors. This was submitted to the USPTO on June 19, 1998

Fool: Third-quarter earnings reports from newspaper companies illustrate a sharp drop in advertising, but those numbers may look worse than they really are.

Useful: IANA list of tcp ports.

Villa PC

BBC News: The European Union could block major record labels from setting up their planned music download services, according to reports.

De Telegraaf: Een in Egypte gedrukte kalender met een afbeelding van een neerstortend vliegtuig met New York op de achtergrond, die eind mei – ruim 3 maanden voor de aanslag – bij of in een islamitische school in Almere zou zijn verspreid, heeft voor opschudding bij het gemeentebestuur gezorgd.

Lisa Rein: The RIAA has been trying to find a way to deploy virus-like software that would seek out infringing files on your home computer and delete them. Under the USA Act, ‘collateral damage’ inflicted by this software (non-infringing files deleted by accident) would constitute an act of terrorism.

C-Net: The recording industry is experimenting with new technology it hopes can smother online song swapping by targeting music traders’ computers directly.

This would be almost certainly illegal under Belgiums computer crime act (Wet van 28 november 2000 inzake informaticacriminaliteit nr. 2000112834/N):

Art. 210bis. § 1. Hij die valsheid pleegt, door gegevens die worden opgeslagen, verwerkt of overgedragen door middel van een informaticasysteem, in te voeren in een informaticasysteem, te wijzigen, te wissen of met enig ander technologisch middel de mogelijke aanwending van gegevens in een informaticasysteem te veranderen, waardoor de juridische draagwijdte van dergelijke gegevens verandert, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van zes maanden tot vijf jaar en met geldboete van zesentwintig frank tot honderdduizend frank of met een van die straffen alleen.

Art. 550bis. § 1. Hij die, terwijl hij weet dat hij daar toe niet gerechtigd is, zich toegang verschaft tot een informaticasysteem of zich daarin handhaaft, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van drie maanden tot een jaar en met geldboete van zesentwintig frank tot vijfentwintig duizend frank of met een van die straffen alleen.
  Wanneer het misdrijf, bedoeld in het eerste lid, gepleegd wordt met bedrieglijk opzet, bedraagt de gevangenisstraf zes maanden tot twee jaar.

  § 2. Hij die, met bedrieglijk opzet of met het oogmerk om te schaden, zijn toegangsbevoegdheid tot een informaticasysteem overschrijdt, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van zes maanden tot twee jaar en met geldboete van zesentwintig frank tot vijfentwintigduizend frank of met een van die straffen alleen.

Villa PC

Washington Post: In Belgium, the nation’s health minister said preliminary tests on six confiscated letters containing powder had tested negative for anthrax. He said the letters mailed to the Belgian Pharmaceutical Institute were likely a prank.

Detroit Free Press: In the lawsuit, Esa says that on Sept. 12, Rakoczy told him “Guy, don’t work, go home, you are Arabic, you are Muslim, I can’t have you here. Go home, pray to your leader, go to your Mosque and pray. I don’t want to see your face.”

Mark Pilgrim: Welcome to my weblog. I hope you enjoy it. I just got fired for it.