IT Business Elsewhere is a collection of unusual technology stories from around the world.

‘Bout time someone noticed
The Register

The British Trade Union

Congress says IT workers put in more unpaid overtime than any other profession. The TUC reacted by declaring Friday, Feb. 25 “Work Your Proper Hours Day.” At IT Business, we celebrated by working late.

Borderline insecure
Wired News

The U.S. State Department has ordered high-tech e-passports with RFID chips that contain all the relevant data on the holder – but it is balking at encrypting the information to protect the user. Countries whose citizens don’t require visas to travel there – including Canada – may have to follow suit.

Songs on your iPod may be closer than they appear
New Scientist

Electrochromic technology developed to cut glare in car rear-view mirrors is being used to create electronic paper displays for cell phones and MP3 players. They’re easier to read from any angle, draw less power, and are visible under any lighting conditions.

Evidence the Swiss love their Hasselhoff

Engineers in Switzerland have developed an interactive concept car they’re comparing to Knight Rider’s KITT. The vehicle measures the driver’s biometric data and changes the environment accordingly – for example, using relaxing sounds, colours and smells to calm an accelerated heart rate.

Another sure sign of the impending apocalypse

Hungry field mice knocked out telecom and mobile phone services for 20 hours in central Sweden by chewing through fibre-optic cables. “This is not at all common,” deadpans a technician.

FireWire’s future fraught with … oh, never mind

Apple’s new iPod’s will ship with a USB cable instead of the FireWire interface Apple has championed. Is this recognition that USB 2.0, with its huge footprint in the PC market, will displace FireWire in future Apple machines? Or are we reading too much into this?


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