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TELECOM Digest Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:33:00 EDT Volume 24 : Issue 328 Inside This Issue: Editor: Patrick A. Townson Non-English Domain Names Likely Delayed (Anik Jesdanun) A Decade After Birth of E-commerce, Downtown Becomes a Slum (AFP News) Podcasting Spurs a 'Land Grab' (Greg Sandoval) Remember Internet Consumers (Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial) Music Industry Complaints (News Wire) Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line (Tony P.) Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line (McHarry) Re: News Corp. Forms Internet Division (jared) Re: Who Really Controls Internet? (Barry Margolin) Re: Mossberg: Tracking Cookies are Spyware (Julian Thomas) Re: Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster (Steve Sobol) Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You (Phil Earnhardt) Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You (John McHarry) Re: A Pass on Privacy? (Tony P.) Re: Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern (Dale Farmer) Re: Nigeria Jails Woman in $242 Million Fraud (mc) Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer; other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Anick Jesdanun <email@example.com> Subject: Non-English Domain Names Likely Delayed Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:52:28 -0500 By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer Concerns about "phishing" e-mail scams will likely delay the expansion of domain names beyond non-English characters, the chairman of the Internet's key oversight agency said Friday. Vint Cerf, head of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, would not speculate on when such characters might appear but said Internet engineers must now spend time "trying to winnow down, frankly, the number of character (sets) that are allowed to be registered." Demand for non-English domain names is high outside the United States and a U.N. panel studying Internet governance said in a report Thursday that "insufficient progress has been made toward multilingualization." It cited the lack of international coordination and technical hurdles as among the problems. Officially, the Internet's Domain Name System supports only 37 characters -- the letters of the Latin alphabet, 10 numerals and a hyphen. But in recent years, in response to a growing Internet population worldwide, engineers have been working on ways to trick the system into understanding other languages, such as Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. Engineers have rallied around a character system called Unicode. But security experts warned earlier this year of a potential exploit that takes advantage of the fact that characters that look alike can have two separate codes in Unicode and thus appear to the computer as different. For example, Unicode for "a" is 97 under the Latin alphabet, but 1072 in Cyrillic. Subbing one for the other can allow a scammer to register a domain name that looks to the human as "paypal.com," tricking users into giving passwords and other sensitive information at what looks like a legitimate site. It's much like how scammers now use the numeral "1" sometimes instead of the letter "l" to trick users. "In some of the early tests, ... it became clear we had opened up the opportunity for registering very misleading names," Cerf said in a conference call wrapping up ICANN's meetings this week in Luxembourg. "This kind of potential confusion leads to parties going to what they think are valid Web sites." Cerf said it may be possible to proceed with character sets that aren't at risk of confusion as the standards-setting Internet Engineering Task Force tackles the broader security concerns with non-English names. Tests of non-English characters have been going on for years, and in a few cases they are fully operational. Last year, operators of the German ".de" domain began offering 92 accented and other special characters, including the umlaut common in German names. But ICANN has yet to approve domain names entirely in another language; all addresses now must end with an English string such as ".com." Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. Listen to AP News Radio and view their stories at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/AP.html. No login nor registration required. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think people who are more familiar with other language sets should be allowed to use them on the net; instead of stalling on the development of these things, in order to make the internet as useful as possible in _all countries_ of the world and not just the _English speaking countries_, Vint Cerf is claiming that there are likely to be misunderstandings by Americans (in what is presented) which will lead to more scams, etc. Of course, ICANN (read, Vint Cerf) won't make any changes in the contracts we all were forced to sign in order to be able to use this damn system; they could write severe punishments, i.e. ex-communication, into their contracts, but they refuse to do that as well. So guys, if the English language subset is not all that familiar to you, don't expect any improvements anytime soon. I feel those domains -- such as 'de' which are not subject to ICANN should go right ahead and do as they please. PAT] ------------------------------ From: News Wire <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: A Decade After Birth of E-Commerce, Downtown Becomes a Slum Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:53:30 -0500 After enjoying phenomenal growth in its first 10 years, Internet commerce faces new challenges amid growing fears of viruses, spyware and a range of fraud schemes. The e-commerce revolution led by companies like eBay and Amazon.com, both created a decade ago, has made the Internet a permanent part of the world of commerce. But even as more consumers join the rush, many are growing fearful about maintaining their privacy, protecting their personal data and the potential of falling victim to nefarious elements in cyberspace. A survey of US Web users by the Pew Internet and American Life Project released this month shows 91 percent have changed the way they behave online as they try to avoid these problems. Among the other findings of the survey: 81 percent said they stopped opening e-mail attachments unless they are sure these documents are safe; 48 percent have stopped visiting sites that they fear might deposit unwanted programs on their computers; and 25 percent have stopped downloading music or video files from peer-to-peer networks to avoid things like spyware. A separate Conference Board survey last month showed more than half of online consumers say their level of concern has grown over the past year and many have changed the way they use the Internet, with some scaling back online purchases. Nearly 70 percent of online users have installed additional security software on their PCs, and 54 percent now "opt out" of special offers; 41 percent are purchasing less online, the survey by the business research firm showed. The research firm Gartner, in its poll of 5,000 US adults, showed growing concerns about "phishing," in which fake e-mails are disguised to look like legitimate requests from banks or credit cards firms, a technique used in identity theft schemes. In the 12 months to May 2005, an estimated 73 million US adults who use the Internet said they received an average of more than 50 phishing e-mails in the past year, Gartner said. That was up 28 percent from a prior survey. Also, some 2.4 million online consumers reported losing money directly because of the phishing attacks, although most said this was repaid by banks or credit card issuers, the Gartner survey indicated. Online retail sales in the US market, the world's most developed, amounted to 141.4 billion dollars in 2004, according to the National Retail Federation. Some forecasts see that figure hitting 331 billion dollars by 2010. Globally, eBay alone is expected to have sales of more than 40 billion dollars this year, up by a third over last year. But Gartner estimates that US banks and credit card issuers lost about 1.2 billion dollars last year to phishing schemes. And analysts say the high-tech community needs some kind of system of authenticating e-mail to ensure that an e-mail actually comes from the person who's purporting to send it. "Companies need to take steps quickly to beef up online security," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner. "We are seeing unprecedented levels in consumer transactions online. Yet businesses cannot rely on the Internet to lower costs and improve marketing efforts indefinitely if consumer trust continues to decline." Pew found 93 million US Internet users, or 68 percent, cited computer trouble in the past year that is consistent with problems caused by spyware and viruses, although 60 percent were not sure where the problem originated. One in four said they found new programs on their computers that they did not install or new icons that seemed to come out of nowhere, with one in five saying their starting point, or home page, had inexplicably changed. "These survey results show that as Internet users gain experience with spyware and adware, they are more likely to say they are changing their behavior," said Pew's Susannah Fox. "But what is more alarming is the larger universe of people who have struggled with mysterious computer problems, but have no idea why. Internet users are increasingly frustrated and frightened that they are not in charge of their Internet experience." Copyright 2005 Agence France Presse. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. *** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner, in this instance, Agence France Presse. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Any of you who live in large metropolitan areas have probably seen your 'downtown' area change dramatically -- for the worse -- in the past thirty or forty years. In Chicago, for example, what was once a vibrant area with more than a dozen movie theatres, about the same number of department stores, the symphony, several legitimate theatres and any number of wonderful restaurants has deteriorated very badly, as people grew afraid to go to the downtown area at night; fears of pickpockets, assaults by bums in general, very poor transit many times, etc made it just no longer a pleasant experience. In downtown Chicago, State and Madison Streets are mostly deserted at night. Very few restaurants open at night, few or no public restrooms, etc. Unlike Chicago or many other cities where it took thirty or forty years of decay and political corruption to reach the stage things are in, on the net it has only taken around 10 years to reach the point that many users are 'afraid to go out at night'. In large cities, a process called 'gentrification' has been going on which attempts to restore some of the glory and granduer to the business district and residential areas. People complain a lot about gentrification, claiming it has the effect of 'pricing people out of the neighborhood'. In order to pay for the 'gentrification', or improvements, the prices have to go _way_ up of course, and the 'bums' or poor people cannot afford to live there any longer. My brother, for example, mentioned that condominiums (which is basically all there is to live in in Chicago, if you want a decent place these days) have outrageous price tags attached to them. Object: price the bums out of the neighborhood. A group of the 'new settlers' in an area called 'South Loop' (immediatly south of the downtown area in Chicago, along South State Street and Congress Parkway) has been moaning and carrying-on about the Pacific Garden Mission as one example. PGM has been there in that same spot for 135 years doing whatever it does ... the 'new settlers' in South Loop arrived maybe five years ago; and _they_ think PGM should be forced out ('those bums are ruining our neighborhood', etc). Well, I digress, just a little, but I see the very same thing happening in our 'village', the internet. God only knows decay has set in very badly on the net; crime is _so_ rampant, we probably need some 'gentrification', and I think ICANN knows that to be the case (just like Mayor Daley runs Chicago, ICANN in essence 'runs the net'). Just as politics and corruption dictate Mayor Daley's posture on things, politics dictates ICANN's posture as well. I doubt we will see any real changes -- any 'gentrification' if you will -- on the net for at least a few years until the crime -- i.e. scams and spams and viruses and other nuisances have gotten to be _so bad_ that all of the oldtime,' original settlers of this village have thrown up their hands in disgust and walked away. When it has gotten to the point that there is no one left here at all from the old days, and the net is just one .com after another, one E-Bay located next to an Amazon, then a couple of sex movie houses, etc and everyone else knows the minute they plug in the cable/DSL to the back of their computer one or more viruses or spy-cookies is going to slip in and there are jillions of computers gathering dust in the closet next to the CB radios, then and only then will Vint Cerf and the others at ICANN decide to get down to business. What Vint _wanted_ to do back in 1994, along with Al Gore, of inventing the internet as a business proposition only will happen by default. All of the original settlers of 'internet village' will have gone away and then watch: all the lame excuses for why spam and scam cannot be controlled (and you have heard them all, same as me; just ask a couple of the more vocal users here about how we cannot dictate to other sites, we cannot do X because spammers will retaliate with Y, etc) -- all those excuses will vanish and the transition from friendly place with decent users to strictly big-business concerns will be complete. If I have been threatened once with having _my_ own interconnectivity cut off if I resorted to certain self-help spam fighting techinqes, I have been threatened a dozen times. I wish some of these fools _would_ just cut me off ... so they could get down to the business of making over the net in Vint Cerf's image. PAT] ------------------------------ From: Greg Sandoval <email@example.com> Subject: Podcasting Spurs a Media 'Land Grab' Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:55:28 -0500 By GREG SANDOVAL, AP Technology Writer The runaway popularity of blogging, which has turned everyday people into online news outlets, caught the media establishment off guard. The industry is trying not to make the same mistake with podcasting -- which lets nearly anyone "broadcast" on the Internet. Everyone from Disney to Newsweek to National Public Radio is now offering podcasts, and Apple Computer, Inc. last month made it a whole lot easier to find them and download them to iPods. While profits remain elusive, there's a bigger prize out there -- the company that manages to become the go-to Web site for podcasts could gain enough leverage to strike favorable deals with proven content providers, and generate cash by charging for subscriptions and advertising. Podcasts are recorded audio files, distributed via Internet download. They can be stored on computers or digital music players and played back whenever the listener chooses. Like bloggers, podcasters can sound off on whatever they please -- from politics and religion to gladiolas and glass-blowing. For now, podcasts are mostly talk -- the complexities of the music-licensing business make it exceedingly difficult to legally include songs in the audio files. Podcasting isn't likely to explode in popularity until companies figure out how to guarantee that music owners get paid. But as tens of thousands of podcasters seek audiences, a growing number of companies are trying to make sense of what's out there and become magnets for the best of it. They include not just Apple but also Podcastalley.com, Podcast.net and as of last weekend, another startup -- Odeo.com. In Odeo's newly renovated loft across the street from the Giants' ballpark, Evan Williams and his first nine employees have hustled to launch the beta version, which creates directories of podcasts for downloading and provides studio-quality sound tools for podcasters to use. Odeo encourages podcasters to upload their shows on its site. Recognizing that one of the main complaints about podcasting is the difficulty of finding them, Odeo organizes the shows by genre. Odeo's headings includes arts, food, religion, sex, and technology. There is even a one called "weird." To help listeners discover new shows, Odeo employees scour the site for the best and display their recommendations on the "Featured Channels" page. Williams, who co-founded Blogger.com before selling it off to Google three years ago, is enough of a believer in podcasts to bankroll Odeo out of his own pocket. And while he won't say exactly how he plans to make a profit, he says charging for premium content or for access to digital recording tools is a possibility. Gaining legal access to popular music may be what's needed for podcasting to become profitable. Without music, skeptics doubt there is any money in it. "There is no easy way to license music legally for podcasts," says Fred von Lohmann, an attorney for the online civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "You have to clear the rights one song at a time from record labels and artists and that's a painful process." Williams, however, is optimistic: "If podcasting finds a large enough audience, the money will come." Already, some podcasters are willing to pay for superior tools, according to Matt Galligan, who hosts a podcast called "The Spotlight" that promotes music from unsigned and little-known artists. "If you don't have good audio quality, people won't listen to you," he said. Podcast Alley is a typical Internet bootstrap operation, prized by fans of Internet "narrowcasting" not just for its podcast selection but also for free tools and tips. Launched in November and featuring 4,100 podcasts, it has just one employee: founder Chris McIntyre, a 26-year-old programmer from Nashville, Tenn. McIntyre says the number of podcasts has tripled in the past three months on his site and he's already begun selling enough ads to cover his expenses. "Podcasts appeal to niche markets that can help advertisers zero in on their target audience," he said, adding that a podcast dedicated to endurance sports has received money from Gatorade for plugging the sports drink during the show. In another sign that podcasting is attracting advertisers, Toyota has agreed to underwrite all the podcasts for Los Angeles-based radio station KCRW for six months in exchange for a 10-second mention in each of the shows, said Ruth Seymour, KCRW's general manager. If anyone is positioned to win big on podcasting, it's Apple, which added an iPod directory that features more than 3,000 podcasts to the company's iTunes music-download site on June 28. Apple said more than a million podcasts were downloaded in the first two days the service was active. With its marketing muscle and customer base - 16 million iPods sold - Apple has the clout and connections to strike deals to obtain music rights and collect licensing fees from podcasters wishing to become Web disc jockeys. But it had better act fast. NPR is negotiating with the music industry for podcasting rights as are other media companies, according to Seymour, whose station receives some of its programming from NPR. She is eager for such a deal. Without one, KCRW is prevented from recording podcasts for shows that include music. That means fans of the popular "Morning Becomes Eclectic" must wait until music rights are obtained. "The explosion for podcasting hasn't happened yet," said Seymour. "It takes off the second that someone gets the music rights." On the Net: Apple: http://www.apple.com/podcasting/ Odeo: http://odeo.com/ Podcast Alley: http://www.podcastalley.com/ Podcast.net: http://www.podcast.net Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ From: Cleveland Plain Dealer <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Remember Internet Consumers Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:57:43 -0500 The little guys lost twice in Supreme Court decisions involving technology last week, but in both instances the rulings hardly represent the end of online battles. The case that has attracted the most attention is also the most straightforward. At issue is whether Internet file-sharing companies can be held responsible if they encourage users to trade copyrighted music and videos without paying for the materials. Some attacked the unanimous decision, charging that the threat of legal action would stifle needed innovation even as it allowed major studios to cling to obsolete business practices. But the growing presence of firms that offer legal download options undermines that argument and ignores a more important one: the ubiquity of file-swapping itself threatens innovation by denying artists their due. The second decision involved whether cable companies must allow competing Internet providers to use their networks to offer high-speed service. Voting 6-3, the majority punted, saying that such decisions are the purview of the Federal Communications Commission. But the FCC already has ruled that cable systems are distinct from telecommunications companies, and thus do not have to offer equal access to lines. In a sharp dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia accused his colleagues of making false distinctions between the services - and worse, shirking the court's obligations. The cable companies cheered, and the telecoms made noise about wanting similar provisions. Congress -- which writes the laws on which the FCC is supposed to issue regulations -- should be braced for lobbying of unprecedented intensity and expense. As quixotic as it may sound, we urge members of Ohio's delegation to remember consumers in this process. The value of the Internet is inherent in the universal opportunities it allows; if services are narrowly controlled, huge opportunities for abuse exist. As several critics argued after the opinion, if a single company controls high-speed Internet in a community, it could deny -- or at the very least slow down -- users' access to items the system's owners oppose. Just consider the frightening implications for companies competing to offer specific downloads, or political candidates seeking to spread their platforms. Citizens win in free and robust exchanges; it is crucial that Congress allow them to flourish. Copyright 2005 cleveland.com. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ From: News Wire <email@example.com> Subject: More Music Industry Complaints Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:59:45 -0500 Music industry says pirated CDs make everyone suffer. The Recording Industry 2005 Commercial Piracy Report, prepared by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), paints a stark picture when it comes to global pirating of music compact discs. According to the report, illegal traffic in pirated music was worth $4.6 billion last year, 34% of all CDs are illegal, and fake recordings outsell legitimate recordings in 31 countries around the world. The report takes the position, not surprisingly, that this "mass-scale copyright theft" is damaging the livelihoods and wellbeing of musical artists and hundreds of thousands of persons employed legitimately in the music industry. The report states that the music industry is a "risky business" and that the industry must protect its intellectual property, otherwise "the music industry quite simply would not exist." In addition the harm to the music industry itself resulting from pirated CDs, the report points out that governments and citizens are hurt too, as "lost industry revenues mean lost tax revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars." The report details a list of the top ten priority countries that have markets that have "unacceptable piracy rates that urgently require addressing." These countries are: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Spain and Ukraine. Thus, while there has been quite a public debate about online downloading and file-sharing of music, culminating in the recent Grokster decision by the United States Supreme Court, the report makes plain the the pirating of tangible, physical CDs also is an issue to be addressed. Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris (www.duanemorris.com), where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology disputes. His column appears Wednesdays at USATODAY.com. His Web site is www.sinrodlaw.com, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly e-mail link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an e-mail with the word Subscribe in the subject line. Copyright 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. Read USA Today stories with no registration nor login requirements at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/othernews.html ------------------------------ From: Tony P. <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line Organization: ATCC Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:17:12 -0400 In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says: > Monty Solomon wrote: >> As head of the board that doles out $400 million in federal funds for >> public broadcasting, Tomlinson is actually required by law to provide >> PBS and NPR with "maximum protection from extraneous influence and >> control" by meddling politicians. > I don't want any political interference in PBS. > Unfortunately, IMHO, some PBS programming was politically biased > reflecting left-aisle attitudes and did not present a balanced > viewpoint. For example, their series on New York City focused heavily > on the lowest social station and gave short-shrift or a even negative > view to the wealthy and business community. A more balanced > presentation would've focused on reasons factories and the middle > class left the city in the 1950s. All the show did was simply blame > them for the troubles the people in the city had during those years. > The story of the poor and disenfranchised is important, but the > stories and concerns of the middle class and business community are > important too. Just finished reading Levin's "Freakonomics". There are two things that stood out. First -- that we need to provide unfettered access to abortion. The tinkering with abortion we do now will directly correlate to a rise of crime in 10 or so years. Second -- we need to take care of those in need. Otherwise it comes back to bite us in the ass. ------------------------------ From: John McHarry <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:37:05 GMT Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 19:26:24 -0700, hancock4 wrote: > Harry Truman and Richard Nixon both independently remarked that > history will be written by a liberal perspective because most writers > and social critics are of a liberal bent. Reminds me of Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". His argument is that really big changes in science come about when the upstart theory wins over the upcoming generation, since the older, established, scientists can't change their views radically. Professional historians have largely been fairly liberal for some generations now. Since they are the writers of serious history, it has been their views that have come down. If they somehow train up a generation of right wing historians, that could change, but not until. Of course, one has to wonder why those whose profession is the study of history tend to have liberal views. Is there something in the detailed study of what has happened in the past that leads to such a position? Or is it just that those with other views tend more to spend their lives in other fields? ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 13:45:36 -0600 From: email@example.com (jared) Subject: Re: News Corp. Forms Internet Division > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As far as I am concerned, Fox News is > the most biased, one-sided news outfit around anywhere. Very extremely > conservative, and mostly liars at that. A web site I recommend to > everyone is http://www.newshounds.us where their slogan is > "We watch FOX so you don't have to". You'll find their RSS feed among > other RSS feeds of interest in our td-extra area also. PAT] It seems to me that the large plasma displays, apparently solely showing Fox 'News', are proliferating in the USA ... in the waiting area at the bank, in the foyer of the office building, etc. Does anyone know the details of this, is the cost of the display and the feed being subsidised? ------------------------------ From: Barry Margolin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Who Really Controls Internet? Organization: Symantec Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:04:22 -0400 In article <email@example.com>, Tony P. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Those are just TLD name servers, nothing more. The Internet would > still work if those were to just disappear but it would be less useful > or easy to use than it is now. > Every server gets an IP address. That's what you really use to > connect. DNS is just there to translate human readable to machine > readable. What you *really* use are binary digits represented as electronic signal levels on various types of wires and radio transmissions, but we don't make users modulate those manually, either. And what about all the load balancing and fault tolerance that come from allowing a host name to resolve to multiple addresses and changing the mappings on the fly? Names are more than just a way to make things user-friendly, they're an important piece of the Internet architecture. I don't think there's ever been a network of more than a few dozen machines that didn't depend on a naming scheme to enhance the capabilities. Consider this: how useful would the phone be if you could only call people whose phone numbers you already knew, i.e. there were no phone books or directory assistance? Barry Margolin, email@example.com Arlington, MA *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me *** ------------------------------ From: Julian Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:20:14 -0400 Subject: Re: Mossberg: Tracking Cookies are Spyware In <20050717195214.5FBD114D2C@massis.lcs.mit.edu>, on 07/17/05 at 03:52 PM, email@example.com typed: > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And have you noticed how many sites > refuse to admit you at all if you refuse to accept their cookies? On > our web site http://telecom-digest.org until last year when the site > was greatly overhauled, I used cookies only for the purpose of > referring to the user by name and telling him how often he had been > there. _No other reason_. I finally quit it, when various users were > offended by it; not apparently because I called them by name, or > referenced how often they had been around, but because of all the > potential for misuse otherwise. And I did get 'legitimate' business > inquiries about the cookies. Companies wanted to by them, etc and > get more details, etc. But that just made me feel very uneasy and > unethical. That's the main reason I distribute NY Times and other > newspapers on this site (see td-extra) with no login nor > registration requirements. I just don't think it is anyone's > business who reads what around here. PAT] Actually, there are several good strategies for dealing with these sites, at least in the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox browser family. The easiest is to make the cookie file (usually cookies.txt) read-only. This presents the illusion that the cookie was accepted, but it actually evaporates on your machine. If there is a site whose cookie you want to accept, turn off the readonly attribute on the file, accept the cookie, close the browser, and make the file readonly again. Another approach is to have a backup of the file, and restore from the backup on every bootup (this can be automated). Julian Thomas: http://jt-mj.net In the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State! Warpstock 2005: Hershey, Pa. October 6-9, 2005 - http://www.warpstock.org Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The way some web sites are getting around that now is by issuing the cookie, as always, then going back one or two seconds later (while loading the page) _looking_ for the cookie ("Didn't I just give you a cookie? What does it say? What do you mean you don't have it any longer? That's it for you, goodbye.") I have tried that technique, I still get rejected by some sites. PAT] ------------------------------ From: Steve Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> Subject: Re: Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 13:28:22 -0700 Organization: Glorb Internet Services, http://www.glorb.com Monty Solomon wrote: > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And how long do they have those _new_ > machines until they also get polluted and have to be replaced? The sad thing is that it's simply not that hard to protect yourself. We have two computers here that never get infected ... the other one can't be infected because it's not on the Net, but my wife's and mine both are. JustThe.net - Steve Sobol / sjsobol@JustThe.net / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED Coming to you from Southern California's High Desert, where the temperatures are as high as the gas prices! / 888.480.4NET (4638) "Life's like an hourglass glued to the table" --Anna Nalick, "Breathe" ------------------------------ From: Phil Earnhardt <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 14:46:14 -0600 Organization: http://newsguy.com On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 18:15:38 -0500, Jim Rusling <email@example.com> wrote: >> When paying with a credit card, the server brings a small wireless >> terminal directly to the table. It looks just like a compact adding >> machine, with a paper roll on the back, but with a card slot on the >> front, where you insert your card. If it's a debit card, you key your >> PIN on the keypad. The receipts are printed right from the same >> device, and the card never leaves your possession. >> If devices like this were used in the states, you could presumably >> also use the keypad to add a tip amount to the check. (In France, >> where service is included, tips are a rarity, and when offered at all >> are invariably in cash.) > I would worry about the security of the wireless connection. One would hope that such devices *could not operate* unless there was a secure connection. I have more fundamental concerns: what would prevent the creation of a validation device that was completely functional but managed to copy and transmit the credit card information? What would keep an unscrupulous restraunt manager or waiter from substituting such a device? For that matter, what would keep an unscrupulous customer from swapping a trojan horse wireless validater widget while the waiter wasn't looking? AFAICT, any system which counts on the secrecy of a number is simply problematic today. Challenge/response systems are the only way to go: 1. The vendor sends the details of the transaction: your credit card number (which is no longer sacrosanct), the vendor's account number, and the amount of the transaction. Optionally, there could be a customer-supplied number shipped up for the customer's own tracking of transactions. These are sent to a centralized validation authority. 2. The validation authority issues a challenge code for this transaction. 3. The customer enters the code in their personal validation card which generates the response code. The customer manually enters the validation code; the vendor relays the validation code to the centralized authority and the transaction is validated. The personal validation card would be protected with a PIN and biometrics. AFAICT, having such a system would eliminate a massive amount of fraud. Besides using the card for validating transactions, any alteration of my credit information: applying for a new "credit card", change of address, etc. would require exactly the same validation. > Jim Rusling --phil ------------------------------ From: John McHarry <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:42:05 GMT Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 19:13:43 -0500, Jim Rusling wrote: > I recently ran into a > completely open wireless network at a business with sensitive records. > The owner thought that it was secured. I stumbled on something similar a few months ago when setting up a new WiFi network. We were getting a strong signal from an open network run by a company that does background checks. When I told them, they fixed it, toute de suite. ------------------------------ From: Tony P. <email@example.com> Subject: Re: A Pass on Privacy? Organization: ATCC Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 18:24:12 -0400 In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says: > By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL > Anyone making long drives this summer will notice a new dimension to > contemporary inequality: a widening gap between the users of automatic > toll-paying devices and those who pay cash. The E-ZPass system, as it > is called on the East Coast, seemed like idle gadgetry when it was > introduced a decade ago. Drivers who acquired the passes had to nose > their way across traffic to reach specially equipped tollbooths -- and > slow to a crawl while the machinery worked its magic. But now the > sensors are sophisticated enough for you to whiz past them. As more > lanes are dedicated to E-ZPass, lines lengthen for the saps paying > cash. > E-ZPass is one of many innovations that give you the option of trading > a bit of privacy for a load of convenience. You can get deep discounts > by ordering your books from Amazon.com or joining a supermarket > 'club.' In return, you surrender information about your purchasing > habits. Some people see a bait-and-switch here. Over time, the data > you are required to hand over become more and more personal, and such > handovers cease to be optional. Neato data gathering is making society > less free and less human. The people who issue such warnings -- > whether you call them paranoids or libertarians -- are among those you > see stuck in the rippling heat, 73 cars away from the ''Cash Only'' > sign at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Of course when they pry too deeply you can always lie. I do it regularly with store discount cards, etc. They can have my name, I don't care about that. But address, phone number, email, etc. if required will ALWAYS be fudged. Of course EZ-Pass is linked to a credit or debit card so it would be trivial to dig for information that way. And for those of a technical bent, it would be easy to run a bootleg EZ-Pass. It is after all and RFID device and you could read numbers all day long and then have your computer equipped RFID device send random numbers to the sensors. Interestingly the city of Providence is putting in parking kiosks. You can either insert cash or purchase a ProvPas. It's a mag-stripe based system. The card has the amount deposited for the account written on the magnetic stripe. But cards are just purchased for cash so one with a reader-writer could definitely have some fun with the system. ------------------------------ From: Dale Farmer <firstname.lastname@example.org> Organization: The fuzz in the back of the fridge. Subject: Re: Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:24:37 GMT Monty Solomon wrote: > ORLANDO, Fla. -- The addition of finger scanning technology at the > entrances of Walt Disney World theme parks for all visitors has caused > concern among privacy advocates, according to a Local 6 News report. > Tourists visiting Disney theme parks in Central Florida must now > provide their index and middle fingers to be scanned before entering > the front gates. > The scans were formerly for season pass holders but now everyone must > provide their fingers, Local 6 News reported. They have reportedly > been phased in for all ticket holders during the past six months, > according to a report. > Disney officials said the scans help keep track of who is using > legitimate tickets, Local 6 News reported. > http://www.local6.com/news/4724689/detail.html > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How could it tell something like that > unless there was some control samples as well? For example, finger > prints or scans _after_ the tickets were used, or when the tickets > were purchased? What good is just a random set of fingerprints without > some name or other controlled circumstances to go with it? Or is > Disney World taking down names and addresses and supplying these > finger scans to some third person or agency as well? Hmm ... PAT] Disney does have a problem with ( typically teenage) chronic troublemakers. They get caught, given the usual don't come back on the property spiel, and escorted off the property. The problem is that some of them come back with revenge in mind. By getting these folks prints and scanning everyone upon entrance, they can easily recognize them at the gate and block them. Disney has every right to use this technology at their parks. Just as I have the right to take my business elsewhere. --Dale ------------------------------ From: mc <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Nigeria Jails Woman in $242 Million Fraud Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 20:01:03 -0400 Fred Atkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:email@example.com: > The scam involved $242 million dollars, she is out only about a > quarter of that, and she only gets two and a half years in jail? And > she'll probably be paroled in less than a year if their penal system > is like ours. Worse than that. Backdated to include time served before conviction and sentencing. 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