We reported in our newsletter a week ago that verisign were routeing all browser requests for non-existent .com and .net domain names to their pay-to-list "search engine" that broke spam filters etc. Fortunately, they've now been told to remove it by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). A victory for common sense.
A Trojan that exploits an Internet Explorer vulnerability is capable of allowing attackers to hijack browser behaviour, anti-virus firms warn. More at The Register.
Skipper allows you to build very cheap sensors, has a program to translate body movements picked up by those sensors into controls for programs, provides word predictors, dictionaries etc, and interacts with screenreaders. And it's free!
Skipper is a free package for Linux that:
- Describes simple sensors that can be built at home, or re-used from other applications, to enable people with severely limited or involuntary movements to signal to a PC - for about $15!
- Interprets each user's available movements uniquely to make the best use of them, and translates the signals into full keyboard and mouse control.
- Provides word predictors, specialist on-screen keyboard layouts for a variety of user abilities, specialist on-screen menus for application control, user definable phrase books, an interface to the free Festival voice synthesiser, and many other features to make full access to all the resources of the PC and Internet a practical reality.
- Reads to the user! People who have had impaired movement from birth often have limited reading skills, because they never had a chance to learn. So there's a program that uses Festival to read electronic books from Project Gutenberg to the user, and highlight each sentence as it reads it out. (That's the way most people learned to read - now everyone who needs one can have a retired office computer to read to them.)
The "manifesto" is also brilliant.
Today, Adobe announced their new "CS" bundle (Creative Suite). The standard version (estimated at $999, or $599 if upgrading from Photoshop) bundles Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS and InDesign CS. The pro edition ($1299 or $749 if upgrading) has GoLive CS and the Acrobat PDF authoring tool.
We hear good reports of GoLive; the other Adobe tools have significant upgrades, and the CS suite comes with a useful new file browsing system called Version Cue. Could this be why Macromedia was so anxious to get MX 2004 out of the door?
Screen flicker (=accelelerate your hardware!), loss of site definitions (=back them up!), Slow performance on Macintosh OS X (=update your machine), Floating panel icons apear in Windows taskbar (=can't help, sorry), Trial version times out after installation (= try deactivating virus scans for a month. Good one!)
The inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, outlines his ideas for a more "intelligent" web in an interview with the BBC programme, Go Digital.
Go Digital: The worldwide web (WWW) transformed the internet from an academic reference tool to an everyday source of information as useful and almost as easy to use as the telephone.
Tim, take us back to the time when the web was little more than a twinkle in your eye. At the time, what dreams did you have for it and did you ever imagine that it would take off in the way it did?
As cases of child abuse rocket, the Microsoft Network, MSN, is to close its chatrooms in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and most of Asia from 14 October. American chatrooms will be accessible by credit-card subscription only. More at The Guardian. The BBC reports some worrying facts from Cyberspace Research Centre:
One in five children aged nine to 16 regularly use chatrooms
More than half have engaged in sex chat
A quarter have received requests to meet face-to-face
One in 10 had met face-to-face
As a parent and ex-teacher, I'm glad that MSN wants to help protect its users - but at first, this total closure seemed like an over-reaction to me. But then I considered that there are parents out there so lazy or irresponsible that they allow nine year olds to chat or surf the Web unsupervised. If the parents aren't willing to parent their kids, it falls to the chat room provider to do it, however much it smacks of censorship. (Bruce Lawson)
The worm is programmed to send an official-looking e-mail that says it contains a "cumulative patch" for several Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express vulnerabilities.
A Microsoft representative noted that the software maker does not send out patches as e-mail attachments.