Archive for January, 2007

Do you have a virus on your satnav?

January 29, 2007

Your Satnav is a Linux box, which is immune to Windows viruses. You’ll probably connect it to a PC. So you’ll probably be annoyed to find that there may be not one, but TWO viruses on TomTom’s GO 910

When Reuters reported that “a specialist tech web site” had uncovered viruses on TomTom satellite nav gear, they didn’t reveal where they got the information – a strange attitude for a news organisation which insists very strenuously on being credited for any of their own reports.

The web site is the blog of Davey Winder, at Daniweb, where he not only describes what the viruses are, but gives TomTom’s response in full.

Anti-virus supplier Sophos commented: “TomTom SatNav devices are Linux-based, and cannot be infected by the malware. However, Windows users who connect to the device via their USB port risk running the malicious code and infecting their desktop computers.”

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How to help… not as easy as it seems!

January 29, 2007

“When I look back on our actions they seem so silly now, so absurd but that the time I was determined to make this random vagrant’s day just that little bit easier and hopefully his night a little warmer with a slightly fuller belly.”

It’s a natural human impulse: see someone in pain, and try to ease it. “All I Wanted To Do Was Give Him a Sandwich, says Seb

Well wouldn’t you? Probably. Now, do you know how to? It’s not as easy as you might think. Just show up and give a hungry man a sandwich – what can go wrong? Answer: he may feel patronised. He may feel humiliated. Also, right now, he may not be hungry…

Does this mean you should not try? No! – but it’s a skill, helping people.

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Oh, no! Not the death of digital rights management!

January 27, 2007

You’d be hard put to it to write this unless you were absolutely forced to: Advert-supported music? Spiral Frog and DRM fade!

With SpiralFrog under a cloud and legitimate DRM in question, things look bleak for everybody except iTunes.

Can this be serious? Apparently so – lots and lots of supporting reports…

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Martin Geddes

January 26, 2007

ETel Conference 2007 • February 27, 2007 – March 1, 2007 • San Francisco Airport Marriott

Martin Geddes is author of the popular telecom strategy blog Telepocalypse, as well as chief analyst at STL and co-instigator of the Telco 2.0 initiative (www.telco2.net) — helping network operators and vendors make money in an all-IP world.

Emerging Telephony – a conference

January 26, 2007

The Emerging Telephony conference is “looking for ideas” says NewsWireless:

The O’Reilly Emerging Telephony Conference may only be a month away (Burlingame, California) but the organisers are still open to ideas, as well as registration. The web site says: “Share your ideas about what you think are the most important issues in telephony. Want to suggest a particular speaker, project, or topic for ETel 2007? Send a note to the program committee at etelchair@oreilly.com, or post a note on the ETel 2007 wiki.”

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Voting machines and fraud arrive in UK?

January 26, 2007

What’s the best tactic to cope with voting machines, as they arrive in the UK? At  newswireless.net, Wendy Grossman says”Vote early, vote often…”

‘It is of course true that election fraud has existed in all eras; you can “lose” a box of marked paper ballots off the back of a truck, or redraw districts according to political allegiance, or “clean” people off the electoral rolls. But those types of fraud are harder to cover up entirely. A flawed count in an electronic machine run by software the vendor allows no one to inspect just vanishes down George Orwell’s memory hole.’

Another classic “net.wars” column from Wendy.

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The NHS “data spine” explained, and a warning…

January 19, 2007

Big Brother databases? Always scary. Here, Wendy Grossman at
Newswireless.net cosiders a Spineless future.

One thing you should not rely on is that the data will be unidentifiable, even if the NHS confirms that it will be “anonymized”. Years ago, Latanya Sweeney showed just how unreliable this is by analysing supposedly anonymized data from the health system in the state of Massachusetts by matching it against publicly available motor vehicle rolls. With only a few database fields she was able to identify almost all of the individuals in the medical data.

But, says Wendy:

Opting out has turned out not to be so simple, despite the fact that according to Ross Anderson, who has been working on medical privacy for well over a decade, most GPs are unhappy about the forced uploading of patient data to a centralised database. That being the case, as Phil Booth notes in the No2ID forum on the topic, if you want to opt out treat your GP as your ally unless he proves otherwise.

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Portable wii next?

January 18, 2007

They aren’t predicting a mobile version of the Wii game console yet! but newswireless.net thinks rival Sony’s PSP may be ripe for crushing:

People “think I’m crazy” says games developer Gabe Newell of Valve. They certainly think he’s crazy at Sony, where the Playstation Portable (PSP) is going to suffer from any backlash aimed at the PS3 console.

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Rupert Murdoch and a UK mobile brand?

January 18, 2007

Why would Sky suddenly get aggressive about letting UK cable viewers take Sky TV programs? Could it be something to do with a plan to go quad-play? The only bit they haven’t got, right now, is a mobile virtual network operation… or so thinks Guy Kewney at newswireless.net

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Vibrator in phone keypad!

January 17, 2007

No, it’s not disgusting. It’s “how to feel the keys on a touch-screen “…

“a vibration system which tells you you’re pressing “real keys” when you touch the images of keys on a phone without a keyboard.”

Neat.

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