Here’s your tech news, served piping hot.
The 16th amendment was ratified on this day in 1913, paving the way for the Federal income tax. To add insult to injury, Oregon instituted the first gas tax on this day six years later. The first TV license was granted in 1928.
- Bill Gates, speaking at the RSA conference yesterday, said Microsoft is implementing a new system to block spam with a proprietary “caller ID” type system. The company is already using it in Hotmail.
- SecurID creator RSA Security has announced an RFID blocker just in the nick of time. Many companies are planning to include tiny RFID chips in their products to track consumer usage.
- Other news from the RSA conference: security experts say patching doesn’t work. More RSA news tonight on The Screen Savers.
- A new variant of MyDoom attacks Microsoft and the RIAA, but more importantly, it deletes random files. It’s been a while since we’ve seen overtly destructive viruses. Update your anti-virus and don’t open unexpected attachments.
- Meanwhile, there’s a new ICQ worm that targets financial information. The Bizex worm collects financial transactions and information about accounts then transfers them to the hacker’s computer. Beware of clicking on links in any Instant Messenger product unless you know they’re safe.
- The FCC is preaching hands off, but now Sen. Lamar Alexander is pushing to pass a bill to legalize state taxation of Internet telephony. “(VOIP) is a wonderful innovation coming down the track like a speeding freight train,” Alexander said. “I am here today to help make sure that our state and local governments aren’t tied to the tracks ahead of this train.” Woo woo.
- The National Academy of Engineering’s Draper Prize (worth half a million bucks) has been awarded to the four Xerox PARC scientists who created the Alto: Robert Taylor, Alan Kay, Butler Lampson and Charles Thacker. These four pioneers invented computer networking, the mouse, the GUI, cut and paste, and object oriented programming. Nice work.