Internet: 13Apr1999

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Internet Story: 13 Apr 1999

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In this issue:

Al Gore for President?

New Nomad MP3 player

Net helps save a life

US Spying on us


Al Gore for President?  You might have  thought that US Vice President Al Gore had invented the Internet by reading some of his statements over the past few months.  In fact he's been ridiculed for this several times on the Net.  Well, he's done it again.  Al Gore is now standing for democratic election for presidential candidate for the next US presidential elections in November 2000.  Check out his web site... then check out a spoof of his web site :-)  You might also want to view the source code for Al's site and see all the hidden comments!


New MP3 Nomad  Check out the latest MP3 portable music player on sale in the US from yesterday (Monday).  This is Creative Labs' offering in what promises to be a fierce market in the next few years.  We told you about the Diamond Rio (available in the UK too) last year, and the Scottish MP3-Go (soon to be released) a while back.   It's going to upset the music industry even more and this whole market place (electronic delivery of music is worth $40 billion-per-year).  IBM and Real Media are trying to launch a standard as is Microsoft, and even AT&T are getting in on the act with their a2b music.   Not to be outdone Sony are releasing a digital walkman soon - it won't be using MP3 though.  Confused?  You will be - this is just the tip of the impending iceberg!  Don't hold your breath for the Nomad in the UK - it won't arrive for several months yet :-(


Net saves child's life  Now I know that you all don't believe the tabloid hype out there that the Net is all about porn, explosives, racism and piracy.  A story appeared in the Canadian Calgary Sun today that shows just how powerful the Net can be in helping people.  "Two small bandages are the only evidence left on two-year-old Daniel Raddatz's body from an historic life-saving operation to correct a rare liver disorder."  His mother, Maria, used the Net to find out about the very rare Budd Chiara syndrome which has only afflicted 3 other people in the US in the last 20 years.  Maria found a revolutionary new technique that enabled Daniel's doctor to perform the necessary surgery to cure him.


US Spying on us  Now back to warnings of doom and gloom.  If you want to make sure that your sensitive information is not being read by ANYONE, then you need to be using some form of strong encryption.   That's just to stop our allies the Americans from seeing it - never mind our supposed enemies!  The Telegraph has reported that since the cold war ended the National Security Agency (NSA) has been tasked with eavesdropping on industrial and commercial transmissions of voice and data.  Not only that they have been caught passing on industrial secrets from a German company to a US one, costing the German company $millions!  Read all about it at these three pages:

  1. US spy satellites "raiding German firm's secrets"
  2. EU Simmers over Menwith listening post
  3. Spies like US

Now we know one reason why the authorities don't want us using encryption that they can't break!


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999

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