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Spam Overload Dept:
According to a recent survey, about 65 percent of Net users spend 10 minutes or more a day dealing with spam. About 37 percent of respondents get 100 junk messages a day, and 63 percent get 50 or more.
Symantec and Insightexpress

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  Alice Hill's Technology Watch
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Gadgets of the Future: The Shape of Things to Come
No one loves gadgets of the future more than us, but Wired News has a round-up of bizzare gadgets that look well, complex and a little overblown. (Tell the truth, doesn't the photo on the left look a little like a toilet?) Since the best gadgets are the easiest to use out of the box, we wonder if these will ever see the light of day, but it's still fun to take a look at some of the directions advanced gadgety is taking.

Phishing Attacks Skyrocket
PC World has a great piece on the devastation being caused by "Phishing" or spoofing commercial websites by creating a site that looks like eBay for example, but is actually just stealing your identity.

According to their article, "The results suggest that as many as 30 million adults have experienced a phishing attack and that 1.78 million adults could have fallen victim to the scams, Gartner says. Phishing attacks typically begin with e-mail messages purporting to come from established companies such as EBay, Best Buy, Citigroup, and others. Web page links within the e-mail messages direct recipients to Web sites disguised as official company Web pages where the recipient is asked to enter personal information such as their social security number, account number, password, or credit card information."

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Album Gets Ringtone-Only Release
Cellphone ringtones are definitely getting more musical, but are we ready for a ringtone-only record release? Panda Babies by the band Super Smart decided to release their album via cellphone to avoid major labels. Sounds like a gimmick to us, but it is another surprise kick in the teeth to the beleagured music biz.

IRS Warns of Fraudulent E-Mail
Looks like identity theft is getting a little help from the IRS. Or rather, that the IRS is so scary, people getting these emails must lose their minds and let their guard down.

According to AP Newswire, "The Internal Revenue Service on Friday warned consumers about an identity theft operation that tries to elicit personal information from taxpayers by sending e-mails alleging they're the subject of a tax investigation.

"Neither the Treasury Department nor the Internal Revenue Service send e-mails to taxpayers about issues related to their accounts. The official-looking e-mail tells recipients they can dispute the tax fraud charge by logging onto a web site and providing detailed personal information like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and driver's license numbers."

Sasser Worm Creates Havoc
Devastating Worm Du Jour Dept.: Another internet worm is causing widespread problems across the globe. Introducing, Sasser. According to The Register, "Since its arrival on Saturday, Sasser has spawned three new versions. None spread by email. Each targets vulnerable Win 2000 and XP PCs.

"When launched, the worm registers itself in the system registry and begins to aggressively scan IP addresses for PCs which have the vulnerability described in MS04-011. A vulnerable computer will accept commands to download and launch copies of the worm. Downloading is carried out by the FTP protocol. As with Blaster, infected systems will often become unstable, but it's the aggressive scanning behaviour associated with the worm that's causing the most problems."

Underwater MP3 Player
Forget the silence of the deep, now scuba divers can rock out 200 meters below the ocean's surface thanks to the H20 Audio, the first true underwater MP3 player. At $399 for 64MBs of storage, the price is steep, but it should offer enough tunes before you have to come up for air.

Herbal Hard Drive Cleaner
Now that we know that green tea is good for almost anything that ails us, how about things that ail hard drives? Yeah, you got it... John Lombardi, at Ventana Research based in Tucson, Arizona in the US, somehow figured out that the tannin in tea, mixed with a few other herbal ingredients, can be used to polish the read/write heads of hard drives. Apparently it works better than the compounds now used and it's environmentally friendly. Next week we'll discover a common household use for bananas and your sound cards...


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