Euro spammers face a bleak midwinter?

The Independent (and others) report on a test case for a new European law, the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, which resulted in a Scottish email spammer being ordered to pay damages in the small claims court for some sample emails.

Wikipedia Survives Research Test

More attention being focuses on the credibility of Wikipedia:

The free online resource Wikipedia is about as accurate on science as the Encyclopedia Britannica, a study shows.

Xbox 360 Scratches Disks

I am definitely not a gamer but am assuming that there are quite a few hanging out in here at times. It seems like latest toy for Christmas is not to nice to the disks if you move the box around.

The major problem is that when you move the box from vertical to horizontal and vice versa. This article goes into it in detail and also has a link to a video where you hear the offending sound of the disk being scratched.

Phishing with Google Desktop

Following a lead in el Reg , I found Security researcher Matan Gillon's write up of "Google Desktop Exposed: Exploiting an Internet Explorer Vulnerability to Phish User Information" There is a very full explanation, but the author's overview is

Christmas Presents

MAKE's Mostly Under $100 Gift Guide 2005

You can make some cool stuff out of PVC, including bagpipes. Lots of other cheap goodies on the list too.

FBI agents bust Botmaster

Quote: LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A 20-year-old man accused of using thousands of hijacked computers, or "bot nets," to damage systems and send massive amounts of spam across the Internet was arrested on Thursday in what authorities called the first such prosecution of its kind.

Yahoo! Beta's Revamped Mapping Service

The new look beta Yahoo! maps actually looks very, very cool. I don't use either service (google/yahoo) enough to form an opinion on who's is best, so i'll leave that up to you.

Google Suffer Down Time

At around 13:40 hours Indian Standard Time, the google web search went down and subsequently Gmail also went down. Google search came back up within 5 minutes or so. But GMAIL is still down as I write this post. [13:55].

Ditching your old PC will cost you...

If you live in Europe it is going to become more difficult and more costltly to dispose of your old computer. EU laws have already made it difficult to get rid of your old fridge, now The Times reports that there is a new raft of laws about computers looming - problem is nobody is quite sure who is responsible. And its going to cost some, The Department of Trade and Industry quotes figures of between £217m and £455m a year in its consultation documents. As with most costs these days it appears to be amounting to a "stealth" tax, with businesses passing on the cost eventually to the customer in increased costs.

RSS Email Fails The Legal Test

Think RSS email products would make perfect messaging systems? Spend some quality time with your lawyer before you pull the trigger. A mountain of rules and regulations separates RSS emailing from reality for many organizations. Federal requirements depend on the regulating agency.

Google have added 'remove results' option

I think this is new - on a google search I currently get a 'remove result' button against a listing.

Clicking on it removes the result and gives me options to undo or to remove just this url for this search, all searches, or all pages from the domain.

Lance Armstrong wins domain case

Two domain names containing (my emphasis) trademarked words were ordered to be transferred to Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong foundation, the SF Chronicle (and others) report.

Yahoo E-mail Going through Tests

Apparently, Yahoo mail is undergoing tests. On a few of my outgoing emails, I've had to type in a visual code before the emial was sent. It didn't happen on all of them, however. Anyone else notice

Finding Copyrights and Trademarks for Free

I came across a nice list for tracking down C & T's

World Usability Day on Thursday!

When I saw this on World Usability Day on the BBC web site, I thought it was a bit of a joke, but when you think about it, there is a sound business principle at stake here. Usabilty does matter, and there are a number of heartfelt chords that this article tugs at. The nub of the matter is this:-

Free .be Domain Names!

It's true, get a free .be domain name untill January! Nick Wilsdon over at E3 is handing them out here.

Cowboy is a poor description...

..but web anarchist didn't seem right, either, hhh.

I've been struggling to name the current evolutionary stage for the web marketers who've been around long-term. As mentioned in another TW thread, quite a few of them are no longer (technically-speaking) blackhats --having found ways to make their wares at least passably palatable to their visitors and review editors.

peace & quiet at last --or barbed wire around the contact page

All i'm trying to do is run a little travel site about xyz city and I get beseiged by requests to use my photos (mostly by print magazines who promise a credit --whoop de do). -UP goes a paragraph on the contact page; NO PHOTOS. Don't even ask!

Dumbarsed Email Spammers Leave Data Wide Open

Reading Nick's post here reminded me just how lax some companies are with peoples data and information.

Very recently I was email spammed by some jokers who used an embedded 1x1 image to track whether a blank email sent out to me had been read (Yep, sure lots of firms do this I know..) Anyhow, I looked at the tracking url (was bored and felt a little inquisitive) and noted an interesting aspect of the processing url

Nameservers down, what's the alternative?

Rogerd has a plaintive thread over at WMW's temporary home (they are still off-air). What alternatives are there if your dns goes awol?

His OP poses the question well, and most of us (particularly me) know we should be doing something, we know the alternatives, but inertia and the thought that "it will be back up in 10 minutes anyway" lead us to not bothering to go beyond primary and secondary nameservers on the domain registrar. Its not a sexy subject, but WMW's continuing plight shows me that I really should do something about the alternatives for my sites.