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Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

fast.info

October 13, 2005

An aquaintance of mine recently managed within 24 hours to become the most popular civilian on myspace with the help of a clever bit of viral javascript imbedded into his myspace page.

Let's see here...what would make my profile rock. Well, the most popular profiles on myspace pretty much consist of people with the limited english skills so I don't want to mimic those, but popularity begets popularity. I need some more friends. I need people to love me. I delved in and found that I could basically control the web browsing of anyone who hit my profile. In fact, I was able to develop something that caused anyone who viewed my profile to add my name to their profile's list of heroes. I was ecstatic. But it wasn't enough. I needed more. So I went deeper. A Chipotle burrito and a few clicks later, anyone who viewed my profile who wasn't already on my friends list would inadvertently add me as a friend. Without their permission. I had conquered myspace. Veni, vidi, vici.

Business Week

by Arik Hesseldahl

October 13, 2005

Apple Computer lured reporters to its latest carefully scripted product announcement with an invitation to peek behind a curtain for a look at "just one more thing." In the end it was more like six.

But certainly the above-the-fold headline describing what Apple (AAPL) unveiled in San Jose on Oct. 12 would have to highlight the video iPod. Were it not for the slightly wider display screen -- 2.5 inches diagonally, about a half-inch larger than the previous flagship model -- you might almost miss the fact that it has been redesigned at all.

Outsourcing Pipeline

by Paul McDougall

October 11, 2005

While offshoring call center work to India can save businesses millions, the practice can very quickly become a boondoggle if quality of service slips. The latest example of this came last week when a British Telecom executive called those customers who c

With those words, Bushell flunked marketing 101. She is effectively blaming the customer for a problem of BT's own making. How else does she expect customers to respond if they're forced to deal with an agent who, in the worst case, is unintelligible and, in the best case, is restricted to walking callers through a forest of scripted responses that may have little bearing on the problem at hand' This isn't just an issue for BT. In my own experience of late, I've noticed a sharp decline in the English proficieny of the Indian call center workers I deal with in my daily life. I think the reason is fairly obvious. More and more businesses are rushing to place call center work in India but the country's supply of workers capable of conversing freely in English as it is spoken in the West is limited. More and more, Indians with marginal English skills are being put into customer facing call center positions with predictable results--frustration at both ends of the call. This bodes ill for the growth of the Indian call center industry. IT outsourcing to the country will continue to skyrocket because technical work is not as dependent on language and heavy accents don't matter so much when writing, say, a Web services application. But call center work is quite different. As more and more businesses receive complaints about poor customer service from India, I suspect many of them will reevaluate whether the savings are worth it. There are plenty of middle-cost areas where English is the first language, such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, or middle America, that may provide better overall value for a company's call center dollar. Those are places with which Meryl Bushell and BT should become more familiar, instead of just blaming their customers for refusing to accept poor service.

The Mercury News (CA)

by April Lynch

October 6, 2005

Google's ambitious global mapping effort may push the edges of geography, but the Internet giant is learning that new maps can't escape old politics.

Taiwan is demanding that the search engine change its recently launched Google Maps, which currently displays the name "Taiwan, Province of China" next to a map of the island. An apology wouldn't hurt either, Taiwan's vice president told reporters Thursday. The map name is quickly raising anger throughout Taiwan, a technology powerhouse with close ties to Silicon Valley.

boingboing.net

by Cory Doctorow

October 6, 2005

Now the "lynx user" has been found guilty of unlawful intrusion, and has changed his story. He says that he wasn't just using nonstandard browser, but that'd he'd also probed the system when his attempt to make a donation had failed and he got a suspicion

Stephen de Vries sez, "The details of this case are important to understand exactly how absurd the verdict was. What Daniel actually did to 'knock on the door' was to insert a ../../../ character sequence into the web address and a single quote into the credit card field - THROUGH HIS BROWSER. He did not use any attack 'tools' or 'probes' other than Internet Explorer. Furthermore, typing these sequences into a browser does not an attack make - it only proves that a website may be vulnerable. It takes a hell of a lot more effort to actually gain any form of unauthorized access to the site. Daniel did none of this, he only typed the sequences and watched the responses - and don't forget, he actually donated the £30 p towards the fund using his real credit card and personal details.

Tri-Valley Herald

by Michelle Maitre

October 5, 2005

The University of California has joined an ambitious new project to digitize hundreds of thousands of books and make them free to the world over the Internet.

UC is one of the first partners in a project led by Yahoo Inc. to build a vast online library. Other participants in the project, called Open Content Alliance, include the University of Toronto, Adobe Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and the National Archive in England, Yahoo announced Monday.

CNET News

by John Borland

October 5, 2005

Network feud leads to Net blackout | Two major Net companies stop exchanging traffic, cutting off access to each other's networks for some customers.

On Wednesday, network company Level 3 Communications cut off its direct "peering" connections to another big network company called Cogent Communications. That technical action means that some customers on each company's network now will find it impossible, or slower, to get to Web sites on the other company's network.

arstechnica.com

by Ryan Paul

October 4, 2005

Some of you may remember when the SpreadFirefox site got hacked by spammers in July. Well, it happened again. Although the unfortunate Drupal vulnerabilities have all been adequately patched, site maintainers overlooked significant, remotely exploitable v

SpreadFirefox members received e-mails this morning informing them of a potential intrusion. The e-mail assures us that the exploit was limited to the SpreadFirefox server, and never affected the Mozilla sites or software. Like last time, the administrators believe that no critical data was acquired, but they recommend that users change their passwords...

net-security.org

by HNS Consulting Ltd.

October 4, 2005

As you may remember, back in July, spreadfirefox.com had its security compromised. Unfortunately this happened again, this time because of vulnerabilities in the TWiki system.

"The Spread Firefox Team became aware this week that the server hosting Spread Firefox, our community marketing site, has been accessed by unknown remote attackers who attempted to exploit a security vulnerability in TWiki software installed on the server. The TWiki software was disabled as soon as we were aware of the attempts to access SpreadFirefox.com. This exploit was limited to SpreadFirefox.com and did not affect mozilla.org web sites or Mozilla software."

internetnews.com

by Roy Mark

September 23, 2005

The Senate Judiciary Committee expects to vote next week on legislation making it a crime for data brokers to conceal a security breach involving personal data and increasing penalties for computer fraud when the act involves personal data.

The bill adds a legal bite to legislation already approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in July requiring data brokers, government agencies and educational institutions to disclose security breaches to consumers within 45 days if there is a "reasonable risk" of identity theft involved in the breach.

      
Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith
Carschooling

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