According to The New York Times, hydrogen peroxide, the chemical that German police say two terrorism suspects planned to use to make bombs, is a simple molecule, two oxygen atoms and two hydrogen atoms, with myriad uses. (See item 3)
The Associated Press is reporting that federal regulators, girding for explosive growth in the nuclear power industry, say they are weeks away from an anticipated flood of license applications for new reactors not seen since the 1970s. (See item 4)Information Technology Sector
1. September 07, Security Products Online – Report cites decreased security breaches via encryption solutions. SafeNet Inc. announced the availability of a new research report on encryption and key management that shows the increased degree to which organizations have deployed encryption technologies in order to protect sensitive data. Conducted by the Aberdeen Group, the study also provides information on the approaches organizations have taken to lower operational costs, reduce risk, establish consistent security policies, and sustain regulatory compliance. “The Aberdeen Group's research is proof positive that companies should and are employing holistic strategies to encryption and key management," said a representative from SafeNet’s commercial security division. “Using full-disk, database, storage, and application encryption products, in combination with hardware security modules, tokens and smart cards, companies are safely protecting sensitive information thereby preventing potentially devastating data breaches,” he said. According to the report, Best-in-Class companies--the top 20 percent of aggregate performance scorers--are investing in automated key management and key distribution capabilities to cope with and benefit from a broader use of encryption. Compared to all companies surveyed, the Best-in-Class supported 1.9 times more keys with an estimated 34 percent lower total annual cost on a per-key basis. For a complete copy of the Aberdeen Group report on encryption and key management, visit www.safenet-inc.com/aberdeen.
2. September 07, Reuters – Microsoft says some way to go on software piracy. Microsoft on Friday said it may take decades to tackle software piracy in large emerging economies, despite some recent progress, and called on Asian governments to invest more in policing the practice. “We are realistic in recognizing that we have to work diligently over periods, that are really a decade or two, to make real progress in a number of these environments,” said Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer. He also noted that progress had been made in countries like
3. September 06, AP – Accusation of ID theft by file-sharing. A
4. September 06, Cnet – Cybercrime committed 'every 10 seconds' in
1. September 06, RCR News – New survey says wireless call quality improving. Wireless call quality continues to improve, with customers seeing a reduction in initial disconnects in particular, according to the most recent J.D. Power and Associates report on call quality. The study, which was based on responses from more than 25,000 wireless users earlier this year, found that reports of problems were at their lowest level in the survey’s five-year history. Customers reported 15 problems per 100 calls, which was down almost 30% from the same reporting period last year. J.D. Power reported that initial disconnects were down by 40 percent year-over-year and reports of dropped calls were down by 33 percent. However, the survey did find that customers who used hands-free devices were more likely to report having problems—18 problems per 100 calls on average, compared to 14 problems per 100 calls among customers who did not use hands-free accessories. A Powers representative said one reason for the difference is that “owners of hands-free devices tend to make calls more often than do those who don’t use these devices, and high-volume callers are more likely to experience call quality problems in general.” He added that “as more wireless subscribers begin using hands-free devices for convenience, the rate of call quality problems may increase as the probability rises for quality interference between the headset and cellphone.”
- September 06, RCR News – Senators take on industry with wireless consumer protection bill.Two Senate members today unveiled a wireless consumer protection bill, setting the stage for a battle between lawmakers and the mobile-phone industry that’s likely to play out into the 2008 election season. The coming legislation goes further than setting federal standards governing contracts, billing-service quality and other wireless industry practices. It also directs the Federal Communications Commission to submit to Congress a study on handset locking and its effect on consumer behavior and competition. The FCC would become a tough enforcer of wireless protection guidelines under the measure. “The rules governing our wireless industry are a relic of the 1980s, when cellphones were a luxury item that fit into a briefcase instead of a pocket,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), lead sponsor of a bill that could be introduced as soon as tomorrow. “Early termination fees are a family budget-buster; families should be able to terminate service without outrageous fees; know if their cellphone will work on their drives and in their home and office; and understand what to expect in their monthly bills once you pile on charges and fees. It’s a simple matter of fairness.” Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said: “Anyone who looks at a cellphone bill knows it’s a hodge-podge of fees and surcharges that supposedly covers regulatory or administrative costs. The reality is, often these are nothing more than operating costs that companies are passing on to the consumer disguised as fees and taxes,” said Rockefeller. “It’s high time to protect cellphone users from these deceptive billing practices.” Steve Largent, president of cellphone association CTIA, countered the Senators’ statements, saying, “the truth is that complaints about wireless service to the FCC are infrequent and declining.” And that “the most recently published FCC data, which was absent from the senators’ announcement, clearly shows that contract-related complaints, as well as overall wireless complaints, are falling.”