PCs Penguinised, Cracking/Hacking, ComCom

You know how in the cop shows the detectives always go: "can't trace this one, it's a computer printout" when they check out anonymous blackmail or death threat letters? That's not true anymore, at least not for colour laser printers and copiers. Xerox in the States is pioneering a technique whereby invisible micro-dots are embedded into the printouts and provide the serial number of the printer.

Top Stories

- Asian PCs Penguinised

- It’s “cracking”, not “hacking”

- ComCom all ye faithful

- Step away from that copier, lady

You know how in the cop shows the detectives always go: “can’t trace this one, it’s a computer printout” when they check out anonymous blackmail or death threat letters? That’s not true anymore, at least not for colour laser printers and copiers. Xerox in the States is pioneering a technique whereby invisible micro-dots are embedded into the printouts and provide the serial number of the printer.

The idea is to track counterfeiters of course, but could just as easily be used to find those “sit-on” protesters who anonymously mail likenesses of their tushes to the Bushes of this world.

- Government Uses Colour Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

- Asian PCs Penguinised

My good friend Sumner in Taipei has discovered that Intel is releasing a Linux Quick Start Kit so that integrators can quickly and easily build Open Source desktops. However, the kit is for China and India only. It is a pity that all these things bypassing NZ, actually. We’re talking about a tested and validated solution complete with drivers and a management system. I could see the kit being popular here, actually.

- Intel puts Windows and Linux on even keel

- It’s “cracking”, not “hacking”

Grr. For the last time! What’s the point of tech laws when the n00b13 legislators can’t even get the basic terminology right? M’lud and learned friends just ain’t 1337 nuff.

- Hacker evidence could be accepted in court

- ComCom all ye faithful

When the Commerce Commission announced this week that a new policy to combat anti-competitive behaviour, I noticed that just about every act apart from the Telco one was mentioned. So I asked Jackie at the ComCom, who kindly explained that the new policy applies to the Commission’s investigation functions, specifically its enforcement activity.

However, for the Telco Act, the Commission’s responsibilities are “adjudicative” instead. Ah yes, the Telco Act has no enforcement built into it, unlike in Australia where rogue providers can be slapped with A$10 million a day fines.

Nevertheless, the Commission has decided to ignore Telecom’s shouts of “no! don’t do that!” and will investigate both TelstraClear and Ihug’s applications for wholesale access to broadband products. With the long determination process ahead and the lack of powers to enforce any decision, the whole thing is really lawyer fodder disguised as regulatory effort, but anyway… ‘tis almost the season to be jolly I suppose. Pass the eggnog.

- Commerce Commission: Access Determinations

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