Here’s the latest in the fast paced world of high technology…
Sir Isaac Newton published the Principia on this day in 1687. The bikini debuted in Paris in 1946.
- It’s Evaman for himself. The new Evaman worm is on its way. Today’s a holiday in the States, so don’t expect any fireworks until tomorrow. Symantec is rating it a medium threat. The worm is using the address database at email.people.yahoo.com and arrives as an .exe or .scr attachment.
- In a fairly surprising ruling, the Massachusetts 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that an ISP wasn’t violating the wiretap act when it went through a customer’s emails because the email was in “electronic storage.” The court said that Congress didn’t mean to protect electronic communications as stringently as oral and wireline conversations: “We observe, as most courts have, that the language may be out of step with the technological realities of computer crimes. However, it is not the province of this court to graft meaning onto the statute where Congress has spoken plainly.” Until Congress passes a new law you should assume that anyone can read your email. You can download a free copy of PGP here. You can download my public key here.
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation is going after the top 10 bad patents, including those covering VoIP, streaming audio and video, and online testing. The EFF will attempt to find prior art to invalidate the patents. You have to love the patent belonging to Acacia Research of Newport Beach, California which covers systems for “the transmission and receipt of digital content via the Internet, cable, satellite and other means.” Acacia has sought license fees from adult web sites and nine cable and satellite providers.
- I guess government computers work differently than most. In a response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Justice has refused to hand over a copy of the its database of foreign lobbyist activity because copying the database “risks a crash that cannot be fixed and could result in a major data loss, which would be devastating. In addition to running the risk of data loss, this is a new feature request which would be costly and take a considerable amount of time to implement.” Copying a database is a new feature? How do they back it up? And since when does making a copy of anything risk an unfixable crash? If this is true, IT at the DOJ is in more serious trouble than anyone would ever have thought.
- The six year battle against Microsoft is finally over in the US. A US Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed Microsoft’s 2001 settlement with the Department of Justice last week, turning down Massachusetts’s request for stronger penalties. Microsoft says, it’s ready to move forward, and it hopes the European Commission has learned something from this.
- Michael Moore says it’s ok that copies of his film, Fahrenheit 9/11, are on the file sharing networks. “The more people who see it the better, so I’m happy this is happening.”
- Netflix membership is up 82% over last year. More than 2 million people subscribe to the DVD by mail service.
- John Kerry will announce his running mate via e-mail. Kerry’s web site, by the way is running on Open Source. Bush’s on Microsoft’s IIS. I think that says it all.
- Australia, the UK, and the US have signed a joint cooperation agreement against spammers.
- Even Microsoft-owned Slate is recommending Firefox over Internet Explorer.