20 February 2003
Lawsuit targets Bertelsmann over Napster. A group of music publishers allege in the suit that the German media company's investment in the Napster file-swapping service led to massive abuse of copyrighted works. [CNET News.com]
11:27:22 PM  #   your two cents []

Banks attempt to cover up worst PIN vulnerability yet.

As summarised on Cryptome, a new vulnerability (PDF) has been discovered in the crypto co-processors used by banks worldwide which allows insiders to trivially find out PINs of any or all of that bank's customers. The attack was discovered by Ross Anderson and Mike Bond in the course of their investigation into a "Phantom Withdrawal" court case where a bank customer had money debited from their account but denied that their card or PIN was used. In a new twist Citibank has applied for a court order (PDF) which could prevent public disclosure of this flaw. Ross Anderson has produced a response (PDF) opposing such an order. [kuro5hin.org]

11:26:01 PM  #   your two cents []
F.C.C. Eases Some Rules on How Bells Treat Rivals. Against the opinion of the F.C.C. chief, federal regulators agreed to let states decide whether to spur competition between regional Bell companies and their rivals. [New York Times: Technology]
11:24:27 PM  #   your two cents []
 From Boing Boing Blog: Arianna Huffington writes about Dick Cheney's deals with Iraq:
The two were clearly on the outs back during the Gulf War, when Cheney was Secretary of Defense, and the first President Bush dubbed Saddam "Hitler revisited." Then Cheney moved to the private sector and suddenly things between him and Saddam warmed up considerably. With Cheney in the CEO's seat, Halliburton helped Iraq reconstruct its war-torn oil industry with $73 million worth of equipment and services -- becoming Baghdad's biggest such supplier. Kinda nice how that worked out for the vice-president, really: oversee the destruction of an industry that you then profit from by rebuilding.

When, during the 2000 campaign, Cheney was asked about his company's Iraqi escapades, he flat out denied them. But the truth remains: When it came to making a buck, Cheney apparently had no qualms about doing business with "Hitler revisited." Link

11:23:01 PM  #   your two cents []
Eewwwwwww! "Despot or Sexpot" -- a challenge to see if you can guess whether a given moustache belongs to a porn star or a political despot.
7:53:29 PM  #   your two cents []
Dublin-based NewBay Software, with its new application that lets people create weblogs entirely by mobile phone, is getting a lot of interested press lately on the back of the company's appearance at the big 3GSM conference in Cannes. Forbes has this, Wired.com has this.
7:49:40 PM  #   your two cents []
Government Tells Vigilantes Their 'Help' Isn't Necessary. Government officials are trying to discourage Americans who might be tempted to mount attacks on the computers and Web sites of Saddam Hussein's supporters.[New York Times: Technology]
10:08:23 AM  #   your two cents []
I just LOVE Eurovision stories (like the recent announcement that it will now last for two days this year!). But this boggles the mind. A neo-Nazi Eurovision singer?!  Whistle blown on Eurovision singer linked to neo-Nazis. Belgium's participation in this year's Eurovision song contest ignited controversy last night when the state security service accused a singer of having links with the country's neo-Nazi movement. [Guardian Unlimited]
10:06:54 AM  #   your two cents []
Laurence J. Peter. "Everyone rises to their level of incompetence." [Quotes of the Day]
10:01:20 AM  #   your two cents []
Two interesting items from the Guardian's OnLine blog: 1) Microsoft buys Virtual PC from Connectix. Microsoft has taken over Connectix's Virtual PC products, including Virtual PC for Mac, which lets Mac owners run Windows and therefore Windows applications. And: 2) British company picks Transmeta for Tablet PC. ZD Net says "Viglen will use Transmeta's Crusoe processor in its new eXaro" pen-driven tablet running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Transmeta has struggled since its chip was launched -- an event that was overhyped mainly because one of its workers happens to be called Linus Torvalds. Microsoft's Tablet PC initiative gave Transmeta a boost, but Intel is targeting that market with its lower-power Banias version of the Pentium and Wi-Fi friendly Centrino chip set, which is being launched on March 12. [onlineblog.com]
9:58:39 AM  #   your two cents []
The NYTimes has a fairly negative piece on Ireland's economy -- a bit unfair, as only in the final paragraphs does it concede that Ireland's unemployment rate, at 4.6% (it was close to 20% in areas in the 1980s!) is about half most of Europe's, and predicted growth, at 3% for the year, is well ahead of most of the rest of Europe -- and compares favourably to the US as well.  Most job losses have also been in indigenous companies, not the multinationals, and most tech job losses have been in very predictable low-end manufacturing areas, too. That's important context -- it means the country is no longer a low cost manufacturing economy and faces the challenge of competing at a higher level. Exploring that angle would have made a much better, and more informed story.
1:15:06 AM  #   your two cents []