Archive for April, 2007

michievous satnav hack?

April 26, 2007

It turns out that hackers can send secret messages to your RDF car radio, and from there, to your SatNav. No, it’s not serious, but it might be embarrassing.

The story was picked up by VNU Net, and from there, by NewsWireless.

The trick is to use the messages that are coded into RDF radios. Trigger the code, and you’ll get a message. The surprise for most car drivers will be the discovery that everything – but everything – which can go wrong, has been anticipated. Code 27 might say “exploding bomb ahead.” Or code 339 might be for: “Road ahead is blocked by a bullfight.”

See full story

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Can you be green AND preserve privacy?

April 20, 2007

Nobody should challenge the green credentials of Wendy Grossman – but anybody who knows her net.wars column will, even so, be surprised to find her attacking car taxes. Here she goes!

Other countries have had road tolls for decades, but London’s mayor, formerly known as “Red Ken” Livingstone because of his extreme left-wing leanings, chose the most privacy-invasive way to do it. Proposals for nationwide road charging follow the same pattern, although the claim is that there will be safeguards against using the installed satellite tracking boxes to actually track motorists. Why on earth is this huge infrastructure remotely necessary? We already have per-mile road use charging. It’s called buying fuel.

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Palm looks to Europe, Asia for growth

April 18, 2007

Palm Sees Overseas Growth

NEW YORK (Reuters)—Palm Inc. said on Tuesday it sees growth fueled by stronger sales of its Treo mobile phone devices in Europe and Asia, and it made no mention of recent speculation about it possibly being a takeover target.

At an analyst day in New York, Palm executives cited research that forecast the market for smartphones—which surf the Web, send e-mail and manage data in addition to making phone calls—growing to $36 billion by 2009.

Palm Chief Executive Ed Colligan said the market for smartphones is poised for mass market expansion, and Palm is spending in anticipation of that growth.

“We think there is a big wave coming in this whole mobile computing revolution, which is becoming a bigger part of the overall mobile phone business. We have an enormous opportunity going forward,” he said at the meeting. “You can expect us to do business development around the world.”

Colligan in his prepared remarks did not detail how much the company would spend on its key growth initiatives such as global expansion, increasing carrier partnerships, and improving the strength of its brand with consumers.

He also made no mention of market chatter about the potential for Palm to be acquired, which analysts say has helped boost its stock by about 20 percent so far this year. Earlier in March, sources told Reuters that Palm had hired Morgan Stanley to pursue a buyer.

Mobile phone makers Motorola Inc. and Nokia, and computer makers Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have all been speculated to be companies possibly interested in Palm. Reports have also said that bids could come from private equity players.

Palm, whose Treo phone competes with Research In Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry e-mail device, has repeatedly said it would not comment on acquisition rumors and is sticking to its business plan.

The chatter has quieted somewhat in recent weeks, after a bid failed to appear in late March. Palm’s shares have since slipped about 13 percent.

Both Palm and Research in Motion have come under pressure to produce cheaper and more consumer-friendly devices to expand beyond business clients, as bigger mobile phone makers such as Nokia and Motorola push into this market.

Apple Inc.’s iPhone, due in a few months and expected to be a big seller, is also seen as a rival to the Treo.

Brodie Keast, Palm’s senior vice president of marketing, said the iPhone would not be as compelling to the business customer who buys Treos, and suggested the iPhone would be “primarily an entertainment device” and “a wide-screen iPod.”

Death threats, a blogger, and troll rules

April 13, 2007

Last month, at the Emerging Technology conference, Kathy Sierra, whose talks many people eagerly anticipated, canceled because of death threats,” reports Wendy Grossman in her net.wars column this week.

The death threats – and other nastiness on her and several other people’s blogs caused her absence from the O’Reilly show.

“Not knowing the people of course doesn’t stop me from having an opinion, which is that posting her considerable distress on her blog was more likely to feed the troll than to dissuade him. He must be really important and powerful to make a woman cry on her blog that she is too frightened to leave her back yard. Yeah, ME!

That kind of thing. To me, the best response to something like that is to show the death threats to the police if you’re seriously concerned but otherwise go on as though the troll is insignficant.”

A good column as usual…

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It’s been quite a week for women.

April 12, 2007

According to this week’s net.wars Not only has

 Wimbledon announced equal prize money “across the board” for men and women,

but also

a woman has won the Alan M Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.

Media guru? Optimise your eweb site

April 12, 2007

Quick summary of the new Google optimiser. If they say it works, says MediaPost then it does.

“We were trying to solve a problem about which types of landing pages work,” he said. Website Optimizer allows advertisers to have one page, perhaps a home page, add some Java scripts to the page, and then be able to show visitors different versions of that page. Advertisers can then track and see which version is most effective for their purposes in terms of driving return on investment. The new tool represents one of the biggest product launches in a while for Google’s AdWords business, Leung said. Advertisers can sign up for Website Optimizer at

Is VON going Skype?

April 10, 2007

According to the pioneering Voice Over Network (VON) gang of Jeff Pulver acolytes is looking towards peer to peer. Today’s Kewney blog notes:

A call from influential Internet Protocol Telephony expert Carl Ford, describing himself as a “pulverite” and wondering why the heck European IPT experts aren’t interested in free Webinars about IPT. Ford tells me he’s starting tomorrow with a pre-VON Europe session, on the subject of “P2P SIP will do to VoIP what VoIP has done to the PSTN” – first of several months of webinars with the goal of promoting Jeff Pulver’s Stockholm seminar – Spring VON Europe.

OK, why don’t Europeans attend American webinars?

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A few useful URLs…

April 10, 2007,GGGL:2006-16,GGGL:en&q=greater+stockholm+fibre+fiber

Windows Home Server Blog .:. News .:. Bluetooth e-paper device uses modified …

A washable computer? Well, it’s what you’d want if you were worried about real viruses contaminating it, not just digital ones – and the MedTab computer is designed for medical staff – so it can get bugs like MRSA on it.

GE, Tokki to develop PECVD film encapsulation for OLED displays – 3/2/2007 – Electronic News

Cambridge Display Technology – Your Partner in Light Emitting Polymers

Cambridge Display Technology To Present At Upcoming Investor Conferences

Techdirt: VCs Invested $300 Million In Visto And All They Got Were… Some Patents To Sue With?

VCs Invested $300 Million In Visto And All They Got Were… Some Patents To Sue With?

Altitude Capital Partners

Intellectual Property Monetization (IP Funding) Investment Criteria

iPass: Press Room – Press Releases

iPass Launches Wi-Fi Hotspot Index – Print’s Home Page

In the fourth quarter, Xaar ( Web Site Executives Related Articles Google), the world’s leading independent supplier of industrial inkjet printheads, inks and equipment, approved one of Agfa’s UV-curable inks for use with its innovative OmniDot 760 printhead.

BlackBerry Head Ousted; Earnings to Be Restated –

Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry e-mail phone, will restate earnings by about $250 million and said James Balsillie will give up his post as chairman following a review of its stock-options grants.

3.5.07 RIM chair quits in backdating scandal

3.5.07 RIM chair quits in backdating scandal
By Richard Koman for Silicon Valley Watcher Business – Technology – Microemissive says interest in small TV screens is growing

Microemissive says interest in small TV screens is growing