Mobile services and products usually end up with horrible names (3G isn’t great, but think about HSDPA) so it’s nice to see that Telecom has chosen one that’s not only memorable, but actually sounds quite good: XT. No, no, not the IBM XT thing, you know, those old, slow clunkers before AT came along. Just XT as in… well, XT. Anyway, it looks like Telecom is spending serious ad dollars with Saatchi, having hired Richard Hammond to front the campaigns. Top Gear Hammond too. He’s waving a Sony-Ericsson W995A handset around, meaning Telecom will have at least one cool device for its 850MHz UMTS/HSPA network. And there’s Gen-I onboard as a sales tool which is quite unusual but seemingly a working strategy. Speaking of the network, Geekzoners who like to speculate about things mobile and often get it right, are of the opinion that T-Day has been moved forward. It’s now May 25. — Telecom’s advertising site for the XT network — Geekzone Forums
Now here’s a way to boost handset sales that Nokia, which recently reported a 90% drop in profits, would rather like to distance itself from. The world’s best-selling consumer electronics device bar none — yes, not even the might iPod can touch it — is that very same phone. Nokia has sold some 200 million of the 1100, but only the German-manufactured ones can be hacked to be used for defrauding banks’ mobile banking systems. So, criminals apparently bid for the German-made 1100s, offering big money. Does it actually work though, hacking the 1100, or is this just an elaborate double-scam? — Nokia mystified over criminal bid for old phones — Wikipedia: Nokia 1100
One Rich Artisan Called Larry Ellison
Yes, that makes sense. Larry buys Sun to get his mitts on Java and Slowaris, and becomes an enterprise hardware vendor as well a software one. Oracle is now an IT giant in every respect. Where does the deal leave Sun CEO Jonathan Schwarz though? He hasn’t exactly been successful in preventing Sun from setting, and Ellison is known to take a dim view of those who don’t bring in the revenue, as per orders. Analysts are already predicting dismal times ahead for staffers in the combined company, with some 10,000 more expected to swell the ranks of ex-employees. It’ll also be interesting to see if Oracle continues Sun’s open source support, or hacks it off as that area isn’t bringing in much dough. — Oracle buys Sun for US$7.4 billion — Analyst: Oracle could axe 10,000 jobs after Sun deal
Nasty kind of cyber
This yarn by Bruce Perens doesn’t need much comment. Some people went down four manholes in Morgan Hill, northern California, and snipped eight fibre-optic cables. Nobody knows why the miscreants cut the cables, but effects were remarkable: it basically took out the entire electronic infrastructure in Morgan Hill, rendering the city, its local hospital, fire brigade, telephones, and more helpless until someone got hold of the local HAM radio club emergency coordinator, to dispatch ambulances and doctors and more. Doesn’t the ease with which Morgan Hill was paralysed go completely against the grain of sensible Internetworking design? — Bruce Perens: A cyber-attack on an American city
XKCD Pirate Bay
Robert X Cringely Your own private Google
Will Google Profiles rescue your reputation or just make you yet another unwitting pawn in the company's quest for world data domination?
I call it the Google Effect — the mishmash that occurs when folks search for you on the web and find other people who share your name but none of your charming personal traits. Sometimes this is an improvement, but it can also have a disastrous effect on your reputation. Now I hardly do any ego surfing — not more than two hours a day, tops. But on those rare occasions, I do find some weird mashups of information that make no sense to anything but a brainless bot-driven search engine. (Like some people seem to think there's more than one Robert X Cringely out there. Can you believe that?) If, for example, there's an axe murderer or an "American Idol" contestant with your exact same name, a search engine really can't tell the difference between you and them. But now that Google has added Profiles to its search results, that may change. What, you mean you don't have a Google Profile? Well, better start filling one out right now, before that axe murdering/American Idoler beats you to it. Just be prepared: Google Profiles is damned nosy. It wants to know your name, nicknames, profession, employers, colleagues, and as much biographical information as you can dredge up. It wants your photographs and all of your related websites, blogs, social media profiles, etc. It will automatically create a Google Map showing your "places" and, if you so choose, share your contact info with the world. And though you're obviously not obligated to fill out all the fields or even tell the truth, you have strong incentives to do so — i.e., to distinguish yourself from the less talented hacks (literal or otherwise) who share your name. Next time somebody cruises Google looking for you, it will display your profile at the bottom of the first page of search results. And if there's more than one profile with the same name? Google will rank the results just like it does any other search, by sprinkling magic G-dust over the Web and murmuring a super secret incantation. Per VentureBeat's Anthony Ha: "Google's Joe Kraus told me a little bit more about how the profile links will work. Basically, as more people make profiles, there will be an algorithm (as usual, Google isn't sharing too many details about it) that decides which four are the most relevant. That relevance could be based on the completeness of the profile, geographic location, links, and more. Plus, if a user is logged into their Google account, their social connections in Google would also play a role." In other words, the more information you provide in your profile, the more Google likes you. And if you're already one of the Google faithful, Uncle G will give you an extra special treat. Is it only me, or does anyone else out there find that just a bit creepy? What Google's really doing is pulling the wings off all those gnat-sized people search engines like Spock, Spokeo, Pipl, Wink, ZoomInfo, Naymz, etc. If enough people create profiles, those little engines will plummet to earth. Even sneakier: Some folks see this as a play to put Facebook out of business. That one seems more like a long shot to me. But feeding the world's biggest data glutton even more tasty morsels from your own personal stash should surely give one pause. One thing Google Profiles won't do is erase your own stupidity from the web. Remember that time you drank the entire pitcher of margaritas and ended up in a Tijuana jail dressed like Carmen Miranda? That's totally on you, bub. And I've got the pictures to prove it.