Episode 223

posted in: Show Notes


iTWire – IT equipment sought for flood relief
IT equipment sought for flood relief The volunteer Queensland Flood IT relief team is a is collecting PCs, printers, servers and other equipment from companies around Australia.

After servicing and rebuilding, the gear will be passed on to businesses, sole traders, schools and other organisation that lost IT equipment in the Queensland floods.

The team has a wide-ranging wish list: computers, servers, networking equipment, spare parts (including cases, hard drives, memory and cables), printers, phones/PBX systems, tools (to help with servicing the equipment), software, and “anything else you think will help.”

Collection centres are being set up in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide – see the team’s site for details

Apple first quarter profit surges as Steve Jobs takes medical leave | The Australian
Apple first quarter profit surges as Steve Jobs takes medical leave growth for the quarter was the company’s iPhone, which sold 16.2 million units, 86 per cent more than a year ago

Apple also sold 7.3 million iPads in the latest quarter.

For the quarter ended December 25, Apple reported a profit of $US6 billion, or $US6.43 a share, compared with $US3.38bn, or $US3.67 a share, a year earlier. Revenue surged to $US26.74bn, up from $US15.68bn a year ago. In the latest quarter, 38 per cent of the revenue came from the US.

The company sold 4.1 million Macintosh computers in the latest quarter, up 23 per cent from a year earlier. It also sold 19.5 million iPod media players

BBC News – Apple boss Steve Jobs takes ‘medical leave’
Apple boss Steve Jobs takes ‘medical leave’
In an e-mail to employees he said he was taking the break to focus on his health.
He said he would continue as chief executive of Apple and be involved in any major decisions.

In late 2008 to mid-2009 Mr Jobs was absent from Apple for six months to have a liver transplant.
It was part of the series of treatments he has undergone for pancreatic cancer. He was first diagnosed as suffering from the cancer in 2004 and underwent surgery later that year to remove a tumour from his pancreas.

BBC News – JFK library to put all its records online
JFK library to put all its records online
Materials already digitised include secret phone conversations about the Cuban missile crisis.
There are also recordings of meetings discussing Vietnam, civil rights and the space race, school report cards and letters from JFK to his mother.
“We are scanning every single piece of paper, movie and audio tape we have in our possession,” Tom Putnam, JFK library director told BBC News.
“Unlike other libraries there is no archivist making a decision about what they think you would like to see,” he said. “We are showing everything we have.”
To date more than 200,000 pages have been digitised along with 1,500 photos, 72 reels of film and 300 reels of audio tape containing 1,245 individual recordings of telephone conversations, speeches and meetings.
The library’s total archive encompasses 48 million pages, 7,000 hours of audio recordings, 16,000 museum artefacts and 400,000 photographs.
The Kennedy online library is said to be the largest to be converted from pre-digital formats.

BBC News – Microsoft seeks to block Apple ‘App Store’ trademark
Microsoft seeks to block Apple ‘App Store’ trademark
Apple submitted an application for the phrase – used for its iPhone, iPad and Macintosh download services – in 2008.
But Microsoft has now told BBC News that it has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to reject the application.
The company says the term is too generic and competitors should be able to use it.

Wikipedia celebrates 10 years, but will it survive another decade? – CNN.com
Wikipedia celebrates 10 years, but will it survive another decade? Wikipedia turns 10 Saturday

it’s so popular it turns up pretty consistently in the top 10 Google results for nearly any search.

HP Launches Live Improv Comedy Show on YouTube
HP Launches Live Improv Comedy Show on YouTube The two-hour show, dubbed HP ePrint Live, will be hosted by comedian Rob Riggle and simultaneously broadcast on the HP for Home Facebook Page. Viewers can send in ideas for skits by e-mailing their submission to one of HP’s Internet-connected ePrint printers on the stage

HP will stage a YouTube ( home page “takeover” the day of the show’s premiere on January 21. The live event will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be followed by five days (January 22 through 26) of comedy shorts based on new ePrint submissions. Viewers are invited to submit their skit ideas in the form of photos, poems, single words and drawings to ideas@hpeprintlive.com throughout the week; if chosen, a link to a video of the participant’s skit will be e-mailed to him or her.

Tony Abbott calls for NBN to be dropped in favour of rebuilding after floods | The Australian
Tony Abbott calls for NBN to be dropped in favour of rebuilding after floods Opposition Leader said the $36 billion network was an “expensive luxury that Australia cannot afford”.
“The one thing you don’t do is re-do your bathroom when the roof has just been blown off and that’s the situation that we find ourselves in right now,” he said.
His attack on the NBN also follows confirmation today that the taxpayer-funded NBN Co will be exempt from freedom of information laws.

Julia Gillard backs FOI exemption for taxpayer-funded NBN | The Australian
Julia Gillard backs FOI exemption for taxpayer-funded NBN
As an incorporated company, NBN Co will avoid FOI scrutiny, unlike Australia Post, the ABC, SBS and Telstra before it was privatised.
The Prime Minister today confirmed the public would not get access to information held by the company rolling out the $36 billion National Broadband Network.

Flood appeals site draws donation traffic deluge | The Australian
Flood appeals site draws donation traffic deluge As at January 16, the Premier appeal website — at www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html — had raised more than $84 million in donations. This website was by far the busiest, Mr Gore said.

Premier Anna Bligh’s donation page registered more than 775,000 unique visitors as at January 14, he said.
Last Tuesday, as news started to break that the Brisbane River would burst its banks, the flood appeal site went from 37,000 to 185,000 unique visitors over a 24-hour period, Mr Gore said. As the disaster captured international headlines the next day — mainly centred on the Brisbane flooding — traffic to the donations page almost doubled to 355,000 unique visitors.

Apple’s iPhones to be mobile WiFi hotspots | The Australian
Apple’s iPhones to be mobile WiFi hotspots
Due soon is a new version of Apple’s iOS operating software that will, among other things, enable most iPhones to operate as mobile WiFi hotspots.
Users will be able to connect up to five devices — PCs, Macs, iPads, other smartphones and tablets

Apple last week released to software developers a new beta (test) version of the software, iOS 4.3, that includes this ability.
It seems likely that hotspotting will become available for most current iPhone users, so long as the carriers involved permit it.

Apple opens Macintosh app store | The Australian
Apple opens Macintosh app store The new Mac store is separate to the existing iTunes App store and users wanting to buy a familiar iPhone app for their Mac will have to buy it afresh.

Apple promises Mac apps in education, games, graphics & design, lifestyle, productivity, utilities and other categories. Users can browse new and noteworthy apps, see staff favourites, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as they do in iTunes.
Apps such as Angry Birds are available for the Mac, but players use a mouse rather than a touch-sensitive screen to fire their missiles.


What’s your zodiac sign? You sure about that? | Crave – CNET

What’s your zodiac sign? You sure about that?

I hope you’re sitting down, because I have some information that might be earth-shattering for some of you. Others will give a collective “meh,” and nobody would really blame you. But here it is: due to one scientist’s offhanded comments, the Internet says you might no longer be the astrological sign you always thought you were.
You see, the ancient Babylonians made up the first zodiac systems thousands of years ago, and astrologically minded people have been using the same systems, more or less unchanged, since then. The problem, though, is that the Earth’s tilt on its axis has shifted significantly since then. If you remap the zodiac using Earth’s current position, you get a different telling of who’s an Aries, Leo, and so on–including a newish sign called Ophiuchus.
Imagine it like this: If you spin something, the direction of the axis tends to wobble. The Earth’s axis in its orbit does the same thing because of a phenomenon called precession, and is now facing a different star than it did 5,000 years ago. That means that the constellations that made up the Babylonian zodiac are not the constellations the sun currently passes through. So, according to many stories online today, a new zodiac could be devised. And that has believers in a frenzy.

(Credit: Wikipedia)
The thing is, there is no actual new zodiac. The re-imagining of the tables with newer data is all academic, and today’s hype on blogs and Twitter comes from an article published Sunday in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In it, an astronomer with the cool name of Parke Kunkle said that due to the Earth axis’ wobble, when the sun “…is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces.”
Of course, the Internet went predictably bonkers at the news, inflating what Kunkle said (and meant) into something he didn’t (and didn’t): that there’s a new zodiac.
Popular astrologer Susan Miller called the news “ridiculous.” “We’ve known about this for ages,” she told ABC News. “The constellations don’t suggest what’s coming up, it’s the planets. The constellations are a measuring device.”
So don’t worry, fellow Pisces, we’re still Pisces. And the rest of you are the same, too.

U.K. rebuilding EDSAC computer from 1949 | Crave – CNET

U.K. rebuilding EDSAC computer from 1949

EDSAC was the size of a room but could perform 650 instructions per second.
(Credit: University of Cambridge)

Turning up their noses at modern handheld devices, British researchers are rebuilding a 60-year-old, room-size computer that used 5-foot-long tubes of mercury as memory.
The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) was first built at Cambridge University. It’s recognized as the world’s first practical electronic stored-program computer, and unlike earlier program-controlled computers, none of its wiring or switches had to be changed to perform a new calculation.
Programs were fed into the machine on a punched tape. The first was run on May 6, 1949, computing a set of square numbers.
As a general-purpose research tool, EDSAC was used by many university scientists, and helped two researchers, John Kendrew and Max Perutz, win a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1962. It was also used in Cambridge’s first computer science course, which began in 1953.
Running 650 instructions per second, EDSAC had more than 3,000 vacuum tubes arranged on 12 racks, but only a few of the original parts remain. Due to safety restrictions, the mercury delay lines that served as the machine’s memory will not be reconstructed.
The Computer Conservation Society (CCS) is leading the three-year rebuild, which is expected to cost some $350,000. Visitors to the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will be able to watch as the machine is built in a 215 square-foot space. The museum also houses a rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer.

SoloPower deal paves way for thin-film solar plant | Green Tech – CNET News

SoloPower deal paves way for thin-film solar plant

Solar panel maker SoloPower has secured financing to build a manufacturing plant in Oregon, a step toward ramping up production of its thin-film solar technology.
As part of a deal carved out with the state of Oregon, SoloPower said yesterday, it will receive a $20 million loan toward the initial construction phase, which will consist of a 75-megawatt manufacturing line employing 170 people. SoloPower, which is seeking a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, intends to eventually expand the plant to turn out 300 megawatts worth of panels per year.

(Credit: SoloPower)
San Jose, Calif.-based SoloPower makes thin-film flexible solar collectors, which are not really panels so much as they are long rolls of solar cells made from copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) attached to a foil backing. SoloPower’s rolled solar panels can be unfurled and wrapped onto racks or laminated to the roofs of commercial buildings. The company has a production line in San Jose but has been seeking to manufacture on a larger scale.
Though some companies have been making improvements in the efficiency of CIGS cells, they are generally not as efficient at converting sunlight into electricity as are traditional solar cells. But they do have the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to install, and they offer more installation options than traditional silicon solar panels.
Approval for an additional $20 million Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) from the state of Oregon is pending. The total completion of a high-volume version of the proposed plant in Wilsonville, Ore., represents a $340 million investment in total, according to SoloPower.
Without the government loan guarantee or tax credits approved, it’s unclear whether SoloPower will have the means to move forward on the expansion from a 75-megwatt plant to the planned 300-megawatt plant. SoloPower CEO Tim Harris has said in the past that without government assistance, the company would likely seek to manufacture its products overseas in order to remain competitive.
For now, at least one Oregon official seems happy with SoloPower’s initial investment leading to 170 jobs and a promise of hundreds more to come.
“SoloPower’s considerable investment in Wilsonville has the potential to produce several hundred family-wage jobs that represents a tremendous opportunity for the city, Portland metro region, and the state,” Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp said in a statement.

Tesla versus the BBC | The Car Tech blog – CNET Reviews

Tesla versus the BBC

Tesla driver David Peilow poses in the electric Roadster at Edinburgh Castle.
(Credit: Tesla)

Feeling that electric cars were getting a bad rap due to a BBC correspondent’s four-day journey from London to Edinburgh in a Mini E, a Tesla driver took to the road and made the over 400-mile trip in a day, ultimately getting to Scotland before the BBC.
BBC correspondent Brian Milligan set out to drive the electric-powered Mini E from London to Edinburgh, with stops at public charging stations whenever necessary. It took him four days to complete the trip on his 484-mile route, and he reported an average speed–taking charging time into account–of 6 mph. Toward the end of the journey Milligan was shivering from the cold, as using the heater would have lessened the car’s range.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

By the third day of the BBC’s Mini E adventure, the limitations of the car were quite apparent to BBC viewers, but electric-car company Tesla found a way to demonstrate that the bad press wasn’t accurate for all electric vehicles. That day, David Peilow, described as an electric-vehicle advocate, picked up a Tesla Roadster at the Tesla store in London and drove it to Edinburgh in a single day.
Peilow’s route up the M6 was shorter, at just a little over 400 miles. Tesla says he charged up at 240-volt outlets along the way, as needed. The only charge stop described in any detail was during dinner at a Motorway service area in Tebay, about 270 miles north of London. With the Roadster’s seat heaters, Peilow did not suffer from the cold.
On learning of the Tesla challenge during day 3, both Milligan and BBC editor Jeremy Hillman defended their reporting. Milligan pointed out that he was testing a mass-market electric car, and felt the challenge from a high-priced sports car was unfair.
Ultimately, Peilow beat Milligan to Edinburgh, then set out for Belfast.

You, robot: Kinect hacks make you into a machine | Gaming and Culture – CNET News

You, robot: Kinect hacks make you into a machine

editor’s notebook OK, this whole Kinect-hacking phenomenon is starting to make my head spin. (Funny that–the system is thus controlling my movements, rather than the other way round.)
First we started to see Minority Report-style interfaces, by way of which one could browse the Web with nothing more than a gesture or two.

Now things are getting really trippy. Thanks to Web site Kinect Hacks, we can watch as humanoid robots are controlled by users of Microsoft’s gestural-gaming system.
How long before this setup gets combined with some sort of BattleBots competition for a true robotic smackdown? And on the fine arts front, I can see this combined with the mind of Jean Tinguely and the work of Survival Research Laboratories to produce some truly profound mayhem.
But that’s small potatoes–for with this setup, who needs Second Life or other virtual worlds? Any day now we’ll no doubt be able to send physical avatars out into the real world to do our bidding. By next holiday season, we’ll probably be leaving it to our personal botatars to battle the crowds at Macy’s (provided we practice our goods-snatching gestures enough to make them effective).
But you, gentle readers, are the truly in-the-know geeks. I realize it may take us awhile to get where we’re going with all this, but where, exactly, might that be? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Credit for above video: YouTube user ikaziso.

Credit for above video: YouTube user hbenersuay.

Redbox, kiosk rentals now outpace video stores | Media Maverick – CNET News

Redbox, kiosk rentals now outpace video stores

Redbox and kiosks possess 31 percent of the video-rental market, according to NPD Group.
(Credit: Redbox)
NPD Group says that for the first time, movie rentals from standalone kiosk have a larger market share in the United States than those from brick-and-mortar stores.
“Netflix and other subscription services comprised 41 percent of video rental turns in the third quarter of 2010,” NPD wrote, “followed by kiosk rentals at 31 percent, and in-store rentals at 27 percent.”
NPD, a research firm, said today that its study found the share of kiosk rentals grew 10 percent from the same quarter in 2009. The data only accounts for disc rentals and does not include movies streamed over the Web.
The findings come four months after Blockbuster, the former No. 1 video rental outlet, filed for bankruptcy protection. The company is now pursuing its own kiosk strategy.
While kiosks are helping to fill the void left by Blockbuster and other fading, traditional movie-renting chains, Internet streaming appears to be the future of movie renting.
Netflix, which has replaced Blockbuster as the dominant movie rental company, said in October that it is providing more hours of content via the Internet than on disc.

Free warning system rejected by Queensland government and councils | The Australian

Free warning system rejected by Queensland government and councils

A free emergency alert system to warn residents of flash flooding was rejected by the Queensland government and dozens of councils.
Brisbane and Townsville were the only councils to adopt the system, which they are using to send SMS messages warning residents of impending floods in their suburbs.
But residents of devastated Toowoomba were not given any SMS warnings of the “inland tsunami” that roared through the town, despite the state government’s adoption of an alternative alert system devised by Telstra.
The Department of Community Safety yesterday said Toowoomba residents had not been sent SMS alerts warning of the impending disaster. “There was no warning or indication the incident would occur and the flash flood occurred so quickly there was not time to issue a warning,” a spokeswoman said yesterday.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Queensland regional director, Jim Davidson, said yesterday the bureau would look to improving its warning systems.
“We were satisfied at the time that the severe weather warning, which spoke about potential flash flooding in the Toowoomba region, would cover that circumstance. As we know now, it didn’t.
“We’re looking at ways we perhaps might improve the warning system in the future.”
The State Emergency Service did not issue a flash-flooding alert for the Lockyer Valley until 8pm, more than six hours after floods raged through Toowoomba.
Queensland adopted the Telstra national emergency alert scheme last year, although trials were plagued with problems.
The scheme sends text messages to mobile phones and voice messages to landlines, based on billing address but not location.
An alternative scheme, adopted by Brisbane and Townsville city councils, NSW Water, Elders Insurance and property giant Lend Lease, was rejected or ignored by the state government and councils, including Toowoomba.
The Early Warning Network’s managing director, Kerry Plowright, met Queensland emergency services chiefs in 2008, but they did not adopt it.
He also wrote to Toowoomba Regional Council in 2008, offering the service free of charge, but did not receive any response. Brisbane City Council took up the offer, launching the “opt-in” service for residents to sign up for emergency alerts in December 2009.
Those who sign up can nominate the number to receive the message, and the system also has the ability to send to phones according to location.
At the time, the council declared it would protect residents and “give people more time to take appropriate actions to protect their assets”. Mr Plowright told The Australian more than 50,000 Brisbane residents had signed up for alerts.
Mr Plowright said he did not know whether the system could have saved lives in Toowoomba, as the event happened so quickly.
But he said he was “gobsmacked” that councils had rejected his offer. “I think they were in the middle of a drought and it just didn’t seem to be relevant,” he said.

Fluid keys make iPad touch typing breezy – Software – News
IT researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney have developed a keyboard that lets users type faster on touchscreen devices like the iPad.

Christian Sax and the LiquidKeyboard (Credit: Anna Zhu)

Primary inventor Christian Sax and co-inventor Hannes Lau recently developed a prototype of the keyboard for an iPad. The software is essentially a virtual keyboard that appears underneath a user’s fingertips, corresponding to hand size and finger positions. The system works by sensing the position of the user’s fingers and creating a fluid, QWERTY keyboard underneath. The keyboard also responds to position and pressure.
“We tried to adapt the everyday way of touch typing with a physical keyboard and move it over to the touchscreen […] that’s where it started off,” Sax told ZDNet Australia.
Ideally, LiquidKeyboard was intended to operate on a pressure-sensitive surface but current touchscreen technology lacks this functionality. To compensate, the team is using a “pseudo-touch-sensitivity” system which uses the surface areas of fingertips to give indications of pressure. This “pressure” is then used to indicate a key-press on the keyboard. In addition to difficulties in finding the right hardware, the team is making do on a lean budget and a total head count of two.
When the project is completed, Sax is quite open to different avenues of commercialisation. He envisages that the keyboard could potentially be distributed as an app in the App store, or be bought up by a large technology company, like Apple, and integrated into a mobile device’s operating system in the future.
With the emergence of laptops consisting of dual screens and touchscreens, Sax is optimistic about the possibilities of a market for the software.
“That would probably be the prime example of an application for the keyboard,” he said.

Unlike the relative ease of developing for an open-source system, the team needed to create an Apple developer account to sign up for permits and a certificate to develop for the iPad.
“Developing an application for iPad is not as simple and as straightforward as the Google Android system, but the platform is a bit more powerful and has a better multi-touch capability,” he said.
When asked if the team would be developing the software for Google Android in the future, he answered “absolutely”. Sax also has plans to take LiquidKeyboard to as many touchscreen platforms as possible.
“[LiquidKeyboard is] not just for Apple, the reason why we’re using Apple at the moment is because the hardware is cheap and has the best multi-touch sensitivity, and it is basically a platform to show that it can work on any kind of touchscreen.”
Prior to its outing on the iPad, the first prototype was developed in HTML and JavaScript. In part, a virtual keyboard made by Microsoft inspired the design.
“They were interested in splitting a keyboard into two halves, one for each hand,” said Sax. However, he felt that the Microsoft keyboard was not ergonomic enough, so he and Lau began to devise a new keyboard that would emulate a more dynamic, natural style of typing.
Currently the duo is refining the prototype.

The birth of the first personal computer virus, Brain | News.com.au

The birth of the first personal computer virus, Brain

PCs are fun! Promotional image from “The Guide”, an IBM personal computer brochure, dated Spring/Summer 1983. Picture: IBM Source: Supplied

See how Hollywood has imagined computer viruses in film Source: Supplied

TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, two brothers in Pakistan came up with a new and novel way to catch out software pirates.
As it turned out, they also gave birth to one of the greatest annoyances in the modern world.
“Brain”, considered to be the first major personal computer virus, was created on January 19, 1986, by Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi at their computer shop in Lahore, Pakistan.
From there the program spread across the world — one infected floppy disk at a time.
At its peak Brain had even reached the offices of a government department in Canada, on the other side of the globe.
To this day there is speculation as to why Basit and Amjad created the virus. It appears to have been a way to stop software pirates.
“(Amjat) wanted a way to detect piracy, to catch someone who copies,” Basit told TIME in 1988. His brother had written several custom software programs which were being copied without permission.
However it seemed a strange excuse. The brothers were themselves involved in making and selling pirated software, which was not illegal in Pakistan at the time.
“They would be selling copies of DOS, Word, commercial software, basically for slightly over the cost of the media,” said Robert Slade, a senior instructor at the International Information System Security Certification Consortium.
“Of course they weren’t paying any licence fees themselves.”
Mr Slade said that even if controlling piracy was in fact the goal, the brothers were on the wrong track.
“A virus is not a good way to control anything, because the virus itself spreads far and wide without any reference to the original media and programs they were selling,” he said.
“Because this was a boot sector infector, it just spread on to any floppy disk that had been put into an infected machine.”
Brain was the first of what became known as “stealth viruses”. Because most 1980s computers only had tiny internal hard drives — or none at all — everything had to be run from floppy disks.
Brain would bury itself in the part of the disk necessary for running programs and infect any computer it was inserted into.
It would then sit in the computer’s memory and infect new disks inserted into that machine as well.
Mr Slade said the virus had some sophisticated features, such as being able to “redirect” itself to avoid detection when you went looking for it.
However why the brothers would have bothered with the deception is also a mystery, because the virus was made other changes that were highly visible.
When the virus infected a floppy disk it would rename the boot sector “Brain”. As soon as users ran a directory listing, it would be obvious their disk was infected.
Roger Thompson, one of the first people in the world to discover Brain and an early Australian pioneer of anti-virus software, said he stumbled across the program almost by accident.
“I’d heard about these new things called viruses, and thought I had one,” said Mr Thompson.
“I actually didn’t, but it started me thinking about them, and how I would find them, and the first one I found was indeed Brain.”
While Brain was relatively harmless, it was the mother of all viruses — the hub from which a host of malicious others were spawned.
Mr Thompson’s anti-virus program “Virus Buster” was used as the antidote for the “Ohio”, “Den Zuk”, “Stoned” and “Jerusalem” viruses which hit computers shortly after Brain.
“As I recall, we decided to not bother trying to cure Brain,” he said.
“It was only a floppy infector, and it was easy to copy anything off the floppy that you cared about, and just reformat the floppy or throw it away.”
Mr Thompson said it was the generation of viruses after Brain which turned malicious.
“Jerusalem was destructive. On any Black Friday (Friday the 13th), it would delete any programs that were run, instead of infecting them, so it simply couldn’t be ignored,” he said.
“You couldn’t throw away your hard drive, and reformatting it didn’t remove the virus.
“To do it by hand, you had to be able to run a dos utility called FDisk, which was beyond Joe Average.”
Virus Buster earned Mr Thompson a 60 per cent share in the market, allowing him to move his family to the US where he became a leader in anti-virus solutions.
Mr Thompson currently works as the chief research officer for AVG, one of the world’s biggest anti-virus software companies, founded in the Czech Republic.

California man pleads guilty to hacking emails in search of naked photos | News.com.au

California man pleads guilty to hacking emails in search of naked photos

A California man pleaded guilty today to hacking into hundreds of women’s email accounts in search of naked pictures / File
A CALIFORNIA man pleaded guilty today to hacking into hundreds of women’s email accounts in search of naked pictures, then sending the photos to the victims’ friends and, in some cases, even posting some of the pictures on their Facebook pages – cyber attacks that one victim labeled “virtual rape.”
George Samuel Bronk, 23, pleaded guilty in Sacramento Superior Court to seven felony charges, ranging from computer intrusion to false impersonation, and now faces up to six years in prison.
The scam Bronk employed appeared easy enough. He would find women on Facebook who had posted their email addresses and then would phone their email provider and ask for a password reset, state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said in a news release.
When the hosts accommodated, Bronk created new passwords and in turn locked the women out of their accounts.
Bronk, of Citrus Heights, California, would look for nude or compromising pictures in their sent mail boxes, Mr Harris said, and when he found a picture, he would send a mass email to everyone in the email address book.
In some instances, he was able to access their Facebook pages and post the photos.
Bronk is due back in court on March 10.

Wii Fit told me I had Parkinson’s, says mum | Online Video Games Reviews & News | News.com.au

Wii Fit told me I had Parkinson’s, says mum

Helen Mirren – an excellent example of how Wii Fit can keep seniors, er, fit. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
A BRITISH mother-of-two discovered she had Parkinson’s disease by playing Wii Fit.
The Sun reported Julie Wilks, 54, found out she had the degenerative disorder after noticing that she was leaning heavily to one side when she was standing on a Balance Board playing Wii Fit.
She went to a doctor to find out what was wrong and was referred to a neurologist for tests.
It was then she was given the news she had Parkinson’s and her life changed forever.
Former lab technician Julie, of Guiseley, Leeds, northern England, said: “It’s quite amazing that a computer game was able to point out there was a problem. I certainly hadn’t realised that myself.”
“I was playing on the game with friends and we were all having a laugh and carrying on.
“I was doing brilliantly on all the games, I was a great skier and snowboarder and it told me my Wii fit age was 13 years younger than I am.
“But when it came to stepping on to the balance game it was showing on the screen that I was leaning on my left foot more heavily than the other.”
Ms Wilks said the game console was “an amazing piece of technology”.
“I’m so grateful that I was playing the game that day and that it ended up in my diagnosis,” she added.

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