Internet: 26Jan1999

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Internet Story: 26 Jan 1999

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In this issue:

Virtual War is real!

Encryption & Human Rights

Getting rid of Spam

UK Web Charts

2 Way RIO

More Digital Films

Blind Weddings


Virtual War is Real!  Have we just witnessed the first virtual attack of one country by another?  According to the Irish ISP that hosts the top level domain (TLD) for East Timor (.tp), the Indonesian government is behind a full e-broadside of attacks against their servers.  "Similar attacks have occurred over the past year but have, until now, been unable to breech the East Timor server's security.  Yesterday the hacking ring, fondly referred to as E-Nazi's, finally succeeded, forcing Connect - Ireland's staff to physically pull the plug on their servers for twenty-four hours.  In order to prevent a recurrence Connect - Ireland has decided to take the 'Nuclear Option' of upgrading all of their hardware and software during this downtime."  So says the marker page that is left at "Connect-Ireland"  When the East Timor site comes back on line it will be at, until then take a look at the news from Timor Today.   For an Indonesian look at life see DKI Jakarta - official Web site of the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia.   See also a related article about how hackers (should really be "crackers", as hackers are not always bad!) cover their tracks.


Encryption and Human Rights   Encryption is saving lives according to a recent ZDNN article.   The article lists the many ways that people can remain anonymous whilst posting information about human rights violations in their countries.  It also tells us how webs sites can get around the problem of being blocked in countries with authoritarian regimes, like China and Iran.


How to get rid of Spammers   The LA Times has some useful tips on tracing the source of Spam (otherwise known as unsolicited junk e-mail) and taking action to stop it.  Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer, takes us through the intricacies of mail headers and how hackers use various methods to evade detection.  Worth checking out the article:  A Message for Spammers: Beware! (I have put the link into the long article version, the short one lives here).


UKTopDec1998.gif (5178 bytes) UK Web Site Chart   And here are the figures from the English judges...  Apart from the good old beeb, the UK top sites are all portals (or similar).  Compare this with what's tops in the US.

The survey shows that the Internet is having an impact on television viewing in the UK. The more time people spend online, the less they watch television. A similar trend has been observed in the United States.

One third of those surveyed said they watched less television since they started using the Internet, while only 3% watched more.

Radio listening and reading books and magazines were broadly unaffected by Internet usage.

The UK active web audience is relatively young and affluent. They have an average age of 33 and 79% say they are in households with above average income.  Two-thirds are male, and 57% own a mobile phone.  Most use a computer every day.

The UK survey was based on an online poll of 12,000 web users selected at random over 60 popular sites, and supplemented by a telephone sample of 2,000 individuals.

See Fletcher Research for more details.  See also the BBC article.

<- Click on the names in the charts to go to that site.

USTopDec1998.gif (7646 bytes)


2-way RIO  Want to download those songs from your RIO back to a PC?  Well RioGeo is what you want, from two bright sparks, one from the UK and one Californian.   "We're not happy," said Ken Wirt, vice president of corporate marketing for Diamond Multimedia Systems, based in San Jose, California.  I think it's clear we have not intended to provide this capability with the Rio."  Are they unhappy that they could have charged extra for this functionality?  No it appears that they see the RIAA (and other recording industry bodies) jumping on them arguing that it's a digital recording device and subject to special US taxes.  Diamond has already argued quite successfully that since files couldn't be copied from the Rio to other devices, the Rio is merely a playback device and was therefore exempt of such taxes.  Ooops.   Bang goes that one.  Or maybe not - it's not the most efficient device for copying bootlegs!  Download the Win95/98 program here, WinNT and Linux versions are due later this week.  The other, often missed, benefit of this software is that a RIO can now be used as a portable storage device (upto 32Mb) for files of any kind.


More Digital Films  Want to see more "made for the Net" films (or at least digital films).  take a look at The Sync Online Film Festival.  Several categories of films can be downloaded/viewed online.  Another site to check out is The New Venue - more streaming video.  See The ResFest Digital Film Festival too.


And Finally...  What is it about people these days?  Is it getting more prevalent or is it just me?  People getting married, making vows of total commitment, to complete strangers!  We have a British couple from Birmingham, who met for the first time on their wedding day and got married as some kind of stunt pulled by local radio station BRMB.  The we have a couple in California (where else ;-)) who will marry without even meeting each other, over the Net.  Last Saturday Manny Vargas (of Southern California) married Darlene A'Hern (of Ontario, Canada) via a web site at NetFolks Personals.  They first "met" a month ago online and now their married.  Are these people taking marriage seriously?  They say they are, but it beats me!  As for the Birmingham couple, Carla Germaine and Greg Cordell, they're off for their pre-nuptial-contract allowable free honeymoon in the Bahamas.  The whole package cost BRMB approximately 50,000 - I wonder if it was worth it?


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999


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