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Saturday Lunchtime (9 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-February-2007  12:14:43 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Greg Winn, operations manager (and second in command) at Telstra is saying that the Apple iPhone may meet some significant operational challenges when it hits market. In other iPhone news, Cisco is extending talks with Apple over the trademark dispute in the US where Cisco owns the "iPhone" trademark. "There's an old saying - stick to your knitting - and Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that's not their knitting," Mr Winn told AAP. "You can pretty much be assured that Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE and others will be coming out with devices that have similar functionality."

An American computer scientist has purchased some E-Voting machines in the hope of reverse engineering their software and examining the machines internals. It appears that this is the first time that somebody not under a NDA has done this. "For a mere $82 a computer scientist and electronic voting critic managed to purchase five $5,000 Sequoia electronic voting machines over the internet last month from a government auction site. And now he's taking them apart. Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel and his students have begun reverse-engineering the software embedded in the machines' ROM chips to determine if it has any security holes. But Appel says the ease with which he and his students opened the machines and removed the chips already demonstrates that the voting machines are vulnerable to unauthorized modification."

A court decision has reaffirmed that websites like Myspace are not liable for actions taken by their users in a recent sex attack case. "In a decision that boded well for the youth-oriented social networking website in similar suits, US district court judge Sam Sparks in Texas ruled that MySpace was not responsible for people's honesty online or their arranged encounters. "This decision reaffirms that under federal law Internet sites like MySpace cannot be held liable for content posted by, or wrongdoing committed by, individuals who visit our site," the company said in a written release. The girl, identified in court paperwork as Julie Doe, claimed to be 18 years old in her MySpace profile and said she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old man she met through the website."

Scientists are reserching into the ways termites turn wood into usable food to assist in the development of technology to produce ethanol. "If the research pans out, ethanol providers won't have rooms full of termites gnawing on 2-by-4s. Instead, researchers hope to replicate the chemical processes that take place in termite guts synthetically. Alternatively, the microbes can be reproduced and bred for greater efficiency. Microbes in petri dishes could then produce ethanol. Simon, though, added that genetic enhancement won't likely lead to an ecological disaster. "

Panasonic has announced a new camcorder which they claim to be the worlds smallest which records onto a flash card. "Measuring a scant 1.2 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches, the cam nonetheless manages to squeeze in a 10x optical zoom, as well as 2.7-inch LCD, which you'll have to make do with given that there's no optical viewfinder. While you'll supposedly be able to get up to 100 minutes of MPEG-2 video on the maximum 4GB SDHC card"

A Brisbane programmer is expanding the sale of his game to outside the online game Second Life. "The beauty of the the game and the reason it has attracted a lot of commercial interest is that it's easy to learn, rewards those with higher skill levels and can be both a play-for-fun or a play-for-profit game. Tringo made its debut inside what was once an obscure virtual reality world called Second Life in 2005 and from there caught the attention San Francisco-based online entertainment company Donnerwood Media which snapped up the real world rights."

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is playing down the optimistic sales reports by Wall street analysts. "But Mr. Ballmer suggested that Vista’s release would generate only a “small surge” in PC sales. He said forecasts for sales in the fiscal year beginning in July were too high, noting that the analysts’ spreadsheet models called for strong growth in Vista sales, while at the same time predicting slower growth for the rest of the personal computer industry."

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.