Top of the tech news list for Tuesday…
The pencil with eraser was patented on this day in 1858. The US purchased Alaska for 2¢ an acre in 1867. It’s also Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, and MC Hammer’s birthday.
- Researchers at Harvard and UNC issued a study that shows illegal music sharing is no threat to CD sales . The study tracked sales of 680 CDs in late 2002. Songs that were heavily downloaded showed no measurable drop in sales and in fact, file sharing actually increases CD sales for albums that sell more than 600,000 copies. For every 150 downloads of a song from those albums, sales increase by a copy.
- A group of Italian teenagers calling themselves “The BlackAngels” has written a handy Perl script with a menu based system of attacks on Cisco routers. Security experts are warning Cisco users (which includes nearly all ISPs, web hosting companies, and corporations) to patch their routers now.
- AOL is raffling off a spammer’s $47,000 Porsche Boxster. The company received the car in a judgement from the spammer. (Hint: The Viagra is in the glove compartment.)
- Google Labs has unveiled a new personalized interface to make web surfing easier. You create a profile of your interests to improve search results (and, I presume, help target advertising).