IT Business Elsewhere: Phish tales

Just take the bus instead

Here’s something to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel: Volvo and parent company Ford Motor Co. have announced plans to

Didn’t we used to call this the dot-com bust?
incorporate technology into future Volvos that would scare the crap out of drivers should they start to fall prey to the mind-numbing boredom of the 401 and other such highways. According to AP, “”Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said they tested computerized optical scanning and a variety of warnings: a vibrating steering wheel, the sound of a car driving over rumble strips and a visual warning projected on the windshield. Researchers also tested a so-called ‘active’ system in which the vehicle would actually adjust the steering automatically if it veered too far one way or the other.””


AOL is trying to cash in on the popularity of reality shows such as The Apprentice, which celebrates the humiliation of being fired by a really rich guy, by launching an online reality feature. The story says it will follow the travails of four small business owners in the first 12 months of their startups.

Duplication, Deutschland-style
New Scientist

A computer magazine and a software company in Germany have released a software program that supposedly makes it simple to bypass any form of anti-copying technology, by exploiting the “”so-called analogue hole.””

Get the 411 on disaster

Disaster recovery is apparently big business. So big, in fact, that the companies in the industry have their own yellow pages. According to a press release we recently received, the guide is now available in CD-ROM format.

Fake bankers by the boatload

Don’t be hooked by phishers. That’s the advice given by the BBC, which is warning readers that scammers are conning bank customers into handing over personal information by using a fake version of a Web browser’s address bar to hide a bogus site set up to collect PIN codes for cash machines. According to the story, the address bar stays in place and could be used to steal information about other sites too.

Don’t pooh-pooh this device

According to AP, countless restaurants, hospitals and other places requiring cleanliness will soon catch the unwashed red-handed. eMerge Interactive has developed technology the size of an electric hand dryer that you pass your hands under. A blue-light scanner, the story says, “”detects fecal contamination and pinpoints on a digital display where on a person’s hands more scrubbing is needed.””

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the two-minute version

A new DVD player, manufactured under the RCA brand by Thomson Inc., includes “”a controversial program that can automatically skip sexual content, graphically violent scenes and language deemed offensive.”” The player will be sold starting in two months by Wal-Mart and Kmart in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of US$79.

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