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.: Researchers plant "parasites" inside PCs - 29th Aug 2001

"Uncovering a relatively benign vulnerability in the Internet, researchers have tricked Web servers around the world into solving math problems without permission in a practice known as "parasitic computing."

Unlike intruders who exploit flaws to gain direct access to machines, the University of Notre Dame computer scientists created a virtual computer by using the fundamental components of the Internet's infrastructure, according to a report in Nature, released Thursday..."
[news.com]




.: Web banks come up short on privacy - 29th Aug 2001

"For all their convenience, most online banks fail to accommodate consumers wanting to keep their personal financial information private, according to a study released Wednesday.

In addition, several online mortgage companies don't disclose privacy policies, violating a recent financial reform law, according to a report from the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a Washington, D.C.-based activist organization. The group says it plans to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the privacy rules, if no changes are made at these institutions..."
[news.com]




.: Chorus of Gator critics grows - 28th Aug 2001

"An influential advertising trade group is publicly criticizing software company Gator for tampering with the already troubled online ad market.

Robin Webster, chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), said the group's board of directors is demanding that Gator stop its practice of selling ads designed to intentionally block those sold on its members' Web sites. The IAB, which represents the $8 billion online ad business, also is considering pressing the issue with the Federal Trade Commission..."
[news.com]




.: ‘Keyword’ software raises ire - 26th Aug 2001

"Microsoft Corp. may have backed off of its controversial smart tag plans, but that hasn’t stopped everyone. Two small software companies have developed third-party products that turn plain text into hyperlinks. Critics say they are essentially hijacking Web traffic for profit, and in the case of one product, turning Web sites into a mess of green blobs. One of the firms even faces charges of turning popular Web sites like MSNBC.com or Disney.com into a portal for pornographic Web pages. But the companies involved say they are just doing what the Web does best — providing hyperlinks to relevant information..."
[msnbc]




.: Egghead sale could crack on privacy issues - 24th Aug 2001

"The proposed sale of Egghead.com to Fry's Electronics could be in jeopardy if too many customers decide they don't want to be on a Fry's mailing list, according to bankruptcy filings.

As part of the proposed $10 million sale, Fry's is requiring that no more than 10 percent of active customers--anyone who bought something at Egghead in the last two years--can "opt out" of a plan to transfer their information over to Fry's Electronics, according to a bankruptcy filing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California..."
[news.com]






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