20th > December > 2004 Archive

US ISP wins $1bn damages from spammers

A small US ISP has been awarded damages of $1bn against three spammers by an Iowa judge. The surreal size of the award was arrived at under an Iowa law which fines spammers $10 for each unsolicited emai they send.
Drew Cullen, 20 Dec 2004

Dutch companies fined €7k for eBay typosquatting

Dutch graphic design company JustDesign and customer J. van Dalen have been ordered by The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to pay a fine of €7000 for registering the domain name e-bay.nl. The name was used for a website with information on Van Dalen, a company which inspects buildings.
Jan Libbenga, 20 Dec 2004

We were sold into porn slavery, cry African islands

The government of the tiny African islands Sao Tome and Principe has made a terrible discovery - it has been sold into porn slavery.
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Dec 2004

BT connects 4m to broadband

BT has now connected more than four million wholesale broadband users. The latest million ADSL customers were added in just four months with around 60,000 people a week hooking up to broadband.
Tim Richardson, 20 Dec 2004

eBay India boss cuffed in porn vid scandal

The boss of eBay's Indian subsidiary - Baazee.com - has been remanded in custody until 24 December after his arrest on charges of online trading in pornography.
Lester Haines, 20 Dec 2004

Mugging the truth to spin Blunkett's comeback

AnalysisDavid Blunkett, amnesiac, hadn't even left the stage last Wednesday night when David Blunkett, straight-talking, noble force for good, brought down by love and vindictive pygmies, began to re-emerge. With a little more work he could - if we are not careful - complete the fastest political rehabilitation in history and be ready for a speedy return to government.
John Lettice, 20 Dec 2004

Dutch eDonkey site owners released

Seven people arrested last week by Dutch law enforcement officials for offering links to allegedly copyright-infringing content have been released. The group shared thousands of movies, games and music files through eDonkey and BitTorrent files.
Jan Libbenga, 20 Dec 2004

Music biz threatens International Red Cross

Australian anti-piracy operatives are seeking a freeze on funds donated to the International Red Cross by a Vanuatu-based trust fund run by Sharman Networks - maker of Kazaa P2P software.
Lester Haines, 20 Dec 2004
DVD it in many colours

Grid Computing: mainstream, or not?

OpinionIBM has announced that Grid Computing is now a mainstream technology. In a press release just issued, it cited three of its customers’ applications as evidence of this.
Quocirca, 20 Dec 2004

Trading Standards, ASA confirm BT 'Advent Calendar' probe

Trading Standards officers and the Advertising Standards Authority are investigating BT concerning its "Advent Calendar" promotion on its "BT Shop" website.
Tim Richardson, 20 Dec 2004

Apple sues unnamed whistleblower

Apple has filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara California Superior Court against an unidentified individual who has "recently misappropriated and disseminated confidential information". The move comes in advance of the forthcoming MacWorld conference in San Francisco, at which Apple aficionados speculate the company will unveil a new flavour of iPod.
Lester Haines, 20 Dec 2004

Web inaccessibility 'creates net underclass'

Companies and public bodies are still failing to take accessibility into account when designing their websites, despite the risk of legal action under the UK's disability discrimination laws. A SiteMorse test last week of central government websites uncovered errors on the vast majority of sites, and even the Disability and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) websites failed A and AA compliance.
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Dec 2004

Harry Enfield fronts Madasafish broadband ad

Comedian Harry Enfield has been named as the "pukka celebrity" fronting a new series of TV ads for ISP Madasafish.
Tim Richardson, 20 Dec 2004

Destroy your old emails for Xmas, UK gov tells civil servants

Just weeks before the UK's Freedom of Information Act comes into force, the Cabinet Office has told staff to delete emails that are more than three months old, as of today (20th December). Could this possibly be the same Government that is pushing for a 12 month electronic data retention dragnet throughout Europe? Yes, it could.
John Lettice, 20 Dec 2004

NASA hacker jailed for six months

A US man has been jailed for six months for a 2001 attack on the web systems of space agency NASA which cost $200,000 to fix.
John Leyden, 20 Dec 2004

Sonic buys Roxio software biz

Sonic Solutions today completed its acquisition of the consumer software division of Roxio, including the company's "industry-renowned CD and DVD burning, authoring, photo and video editing applications, notably Easy Media Creator, PhotoSuite, VideoWave, Easy DVD Copy and Toast".
Lester Haines, 20 Dec 2004

Government keeps the secrets on ID scheme legal advice

The Government is refusing to publish detailed legal advice on human rights and privacy aspects of the ID card scheme, according to a report in today's Guardian. The paper says that attorney general Lord Goldsmith has provided this to the Cabinet, but that it is not to be made public, nor will Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights be allowed direct access to the documents.
John Lettice, 20 Dec 2004

Dissolute youth plan mass pillow fight

The dissolute ne'er-do-wells behind the recent London mobile clubbing event which terrorised one of the capital's mainline railway stations have organised a mass pillow fight to take place this evening outside The National Gallery.
Lester Haines, 20 Dec 2004

Punters warned over 'matrix' web scam

UK consumers are being warned to be on their guard against a new scam offering "free" electronic gadgets in return for buying low-value products over the web.
Tim Richardson, 20 Dec 2004

EU fish ministers to vote on software patents

The directive on software patents is slated to be rubberstamped at a meeting of the Agricultural and Fisheries Commission tomorrow. The vote will mean the directive has been formally accepted by the European Council of Ministers and will go back to the European Parliament for a second reading.
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Dec 2004

Hotmail ditches McAfee for Trend

MSN Hotmail has dropped anti-virus scanning technology from McAfee in favour of rival Trend Micro. Hotmail's 187m email accounts are promised "automatic protection anytime they send and receive email attachments" via Trend Micro's scanning and detection services. The switchover was made on Friday (17 December).
John Leyden, 20 Dec 2004

Watchdog groans as email hoax returns to life

The premium rate telephone watchdog - ICSTIS - is warning punters not to fall for an email hoax that has been doing the rounds for more than two years.
Tim Richardson, 20 Dec 2004

The chip and PIN insecurity card

UpdatedA supposedly more secure method of authorising credit cards transactions in the UK may play into the hands of fraudsters, a leading IT security expert warns. A banking industry organisation says such fears are misplaced.
John Leyden, 20 Dec 2004

Teenage British Trojan distributor escapes jail

A 16 year-old Briton was convicted last week for releasing the Randex trojan, which was used to relay spam through infected PCs.
Jan Libbenga, 20 Dec 2004

UK's biggest spammer charged with more offences

The UK's biggest spammer, Peter Francis Clifford Macrae, has been charged with more offences, including blackmail, fraud and criminal damage.
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Dec 2004

Major flaw found in Google Desktop

Computer scientists have discovered a potentially serious flaw in Google's desktop search utility that could allow attackers to steal information.
ElectricNews.net, 20 Dec 2004

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