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Wireless 'hobos' are following the signs
Wireless Internet connections were meant to be a boon for businesses, but a technique borrowed from hobos is re-igniting the debate about possible security flaws.
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For the record 26 July
Friday, July 26 2002
by Matthew Clark

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Congressman proposes controversial new law to fight music piracy | The ESB revamps its Web site

The ESB on Friday unveiled its new Web site. The site has been revamped with a new look and easier navigation, the ESB said. According to ESB, customer needs have been emphasised with improved access to tools such as on-line forms, advice pages and ESB Retail's catalogue.

According to new statistics, counterfeit Nokia mobile phones and Nintendo game consoles were some of the most smuggled items in the EU in 2001. The EU released new customs figures, which showed that around 530,000 counterfeit Nokia products were intercepted in 2001, or 52 percent of all electrical items found by customs officials. Nintendo products made up 48 percent of all toys and games seized, or about 750,000 items.

A proposal in the US by a Californian member of the US Congress could give the entertainment industry new powers to stop the downloading of pirated music and movies over the Internet. Rep. Howard L. Berman, (D-Calif). proposed legislation that would give the industry broad authority to secretly hack into consumers' computers or knock them off-line entirely if they are caught downloading copyrighted material. Berman is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary subcommittee on courts, the Internet and intellectual property. There are both Republicans and Democrats who are supporting the bill, which has been applauded by the music industry. Critics of the bill point out that Berman received USD186,891 from the entertainment industry during the 2001-02 election cycle, including USD31,000 from The Walt Disney Co. and USD28,050 from AOL-Time Warner Inc.

NEC Corp. posted a massive climb in profits for its first quarter, but said the telecom slump was still holding revenues down. In the April-June quarter, group net profits at the Japanese electronics maker came to YEN7.2 billion (USD62 million), up from YEN834 million from the same period a year ago. NEC posted an operating loss of YEN7 billion (USD60 million), a sharp drop from its year-earlier profit of YEN3.7 billion for the three months. Group sales dipped to YEN1.02 trillion (USD8.8 billion) from YEN1.12 trillion, NEC said.

In related news, Fujitsu, Japan's largest computer manufacturer, reported narrowing operating losses as restructuring efforts and a good performance in microchip sales helped earnings. Still, the firm gave a gloomy outlook and trimmed its full-year sales forecast, citing accounting scandals and the telecom slump. The forecast for full year sales was cut to YEN5,000 billion, from previous estimates of YEN5,200 billion. The company also hinted at more cost-cutting measures after slashing over 17,000 last year, including thousands of jobs in Ireland.

VeriSign Inc. posted a second-quarter loss of USD4.8 billion, largely due to a goodwill charge. Revenue was in line with the company's lowered expectations. VeriSign, which makes Internet-security software and is a registrar for Web addresses, reported a net loss of USD4.8 billion, or USSD20.31 a diluted share, compared with a loss of USD11.19 billion, or USD55.49 a share, in the year-earlier. The results included a non-cash charge of about USD4.6 billion that relates to a portion of the goodwill and intangible assets for mostly stock acquisitions in the past three years. The company also recorded a non-cash write-down of about USD95 million on its long-term investment portfolio.

According to reports, vulnerabilities were discovered in SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Metadirectory Services 2.2, allowing an attacker to accomplish access. The most serious threat is said to come from the vulnerability in the SQL Server 2000 resolution service, which could enable code execution by an attacker. The vulnerability was identified by David Litchfield of Next Generation Security Software Ltd .

Mobile Streams launched its daily MMS backgrounds service at www.mobilebackgrounds.com and its Mobile Photo Album service at www.mobilephotos.com. The Mobile Backgrounds service is aimed at early adopters of MMS technology who want to customise their phone with specially created content. Its costs around USD7.50 a month, and offers users 35 unique new backgrounds every month. Meanwhile, MobilePhotos.com allows consumers to share and organise their favorite MMS messages in an on-line Photo Album.

Motorola shares fell by almost 10 percent on Friday morning after President Edward Breen left the company to become chairman and CEO of Tyco International Ltd. Motorola's board elected Mike Zafirovski as president and chief operating officer to replace Breen at a special meeting, the company said in a statement. He will remain president of the cell-phone unit until a successor is named. Zafirovski came to Motorola in 2000 from General Electric Co.

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