Do you carry a cellphone? Do you know that your cellular service provider knows where your phone is? By extension, if you carry your phone with you, your cellular service provider knows where you are. Cellular phones can be located, accurate to within about 300 yards, whenever they are turned on. Since most cellular phone users keep their phones on and with them most of the time, it is quite probable that their ongoing whereabouts are being automatically tracked.
Category Archives: Dave’s Muse
Mozilla Corporation, not the Mozilla Foundation, has released the Firefox 1.5, the latest incarnation of the wildly-popular open-source webbrowser. Using the new Gecko 1.8 rendering engine, the new version of Firefox is faster at interpreting HTML webpages and more stable when displaying pages that are created with nonstandard code.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment attempted to protect some of its music CDs from digital piracy by automatically installing copy protection software on the computers of users who attempted to play the music CDs on their computers. The security tool is a system root kit, and it restricts copying of the music on the CD. In response to a widespread outcry from consumers and security experts, Sony BMG Music Entertainment created a downloadable patch that will disable the root kit security program; however, the patch leaves the affected computer open to anyone’s downloading software to the computer.
While it is illegal to use a hand held cellular phone while driving in some states, and experts agree that holding a cellular conversation while driving is a contributing cause to driver distraction, it seems that some states may have found a way to take advantage of the popularity of road-bound cellular phones.
Westchester County, New York, a suburb of New York City, may become the first area in the country to require wireless networks to be secured. Wi-Fi hot spots, such as those found in coffee shops, book stores, and recreational areas are popular not only with average citizens, but also with crackers seeking to collect credit card data and other personal information.
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, 62 million households in the United States have an Internet-connected computer. That means just over half, 55 percent of homes have relatively easy access to the net, including e-mail and web resources. This data, current as of 2003, shows a five percent increase in connected computers, compared to the 2001 data, and more than triple the 18 percent connectivity rate reported in 1997.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported in a paper dated September 24th, but released earlier in the week, that residential broadband adoption grew quickly in recent years; however, the speed of adoption is now slowing.