La-Z-Boy gets technically lazier

Just in case you might be too comfortable to get up out of your recliner to check your e-mail, La-Z-Boy Inc. has come up with a solution. The company’s latest product, the Microsoft Corp. WebTV Plus Recliner, allows users to surf the Internet on their television set using controls located in a fold-out tray in the left armrest. Nicknamed the Explorer, the recliner comes with various features, including a wireless keyboard to operate a WebTV plus receiver, which is also included. The fold-out tray is also perfect for holding a notebook computer, according to the company, and the armrest contains a 120-volt fused electrical outlet with surge protection to power it. The chair also comes equipped with a high-speed DSL port and an analogue phone-line port. Other, less technical features include storage space for remote controls and a drink holder. The chair is available in fabric for US$1049 or in leather for US$1299, and those prices include the first two months of WebTV Plus service.

Oh, boy! Mafiaboy saga continues

Mafiaboy, the Montreal teenager accused of initiating various denial-of-service attacks last year, changed his plea last month to guilty for all charges against him. The boy, who can not be identified under the Young Offenders Act, is facing 56 charges in all. He is charged with 10 counts of mischief related to the denial-of-service attacks against sites such as eBay and, and the remaining charges deal with hacking into computers. The choice to plead guilty was made because there was apparently too much evidence against him. While the accused bragged away about the attacks to friends, the police were listening in through a wiretap. Mafiaboy recently quit school and is now working in a restaurant.

Twin babies get sold on the Internet – twice

An American couple, which reportedly adopted a set of twins via an Internet service, have had the six-month-old girls taken away, after a British couple offered the service more money. The children were taken back by the Internet service and given to the other couple two months after the first family received them, and now the FBI has launched an investigation to determine jurisdiction.

Poll: Canadian consumers worried about privacy

The results are in -Canadians want more control about how their personal information is collected and who it is shared with. According to a recent Gallup poll, 46 per cent of respondents are either extremely or very concerned about personal information shared on-line. And 80 per cent of respondents are at least somewhat concerned about privacy when conducting a financial transaction on the Internet. The poll was commissioned by Derivion, a Canadian e-billing technology provider, and was conducted by telephone with 580 Canadian adults who have Internet access. Other findings included that 60 per cent of the respondents almost always look for a privacy statement or a company’s privacy policy before conducting an on-line transaction, but only 40 per cent said they believe companies actually honour them.

Big businesses band together

A group of 19 technology forms have banded together to form a not-for-profit partnership to fight back against hackers. The group, called the Information Sharing and Analysis Center for Information Technology (IT-SAC), will work together and with the U.S. government to share information. The group said that it will most likely be doing work prior to any attacks, and will conduct research. Some of the IT-SAC members include IBM Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Melissa returns

A new variant of the Melissa virus has cropped up, and officials are warning that the new find could potentially have the same effects as a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). W97M.Melissa.W uses Microsoft Outlook to e-mail itself as an attachment. The subject line of the e-mail reads “important Message From (username),” which is followed by text which reads “Here is that document you asked for…don’t show anyone else;-).” It has been reported that the attachment name can vary. Melissa.W will e-mail itself to the first 50 people in an Outlook user’s address book, and will infect every document that is subsequently opened, according to the Symantec Antivirus Research Center. Due to the volume of e-mails this creates, an effect similar to a DDoS could be created.