Anna Kournikova fan meant no harm

Police in Amsterdam last month announced they had arrested the self-proclaimed creator of the Anna Kournikova virus. A letter was posted on the Web, reportedly by the 20-year-old accused man, in which he admitted creating the virus. The letter indicates that the man decided to create the virus after reading about a report authored by research firm International Data Corp., which said that e-mail users are still opening unknown e-mail attachments, even after the whole “Love Letter” virus scare. The creator chose Anna Kournikova because he is a big fan, according to the letter. The man also stated that he never intended to harm anyone with the virus, and added that it is the victims’ fault if they got it. The man could be facing up to four years in prison. To see the letter, go to http://members.tripodnet.nl/on-the-fly.

Bid Bash goes live

A new form of auction has hit the Web – and the television. Bid Bash, launched by Toronto-based Bid.Com International and ValueVision International, allows shoppers to purchase merchandise in a real-time, automated format. On-line and ValueVision TV viewers are able to bid simultaneously against each other using a telephone or the Internet. Bid Bash was launched last month, and viewers can expect a series of hour-long, weekly shows to follow. Viewers can watch the prices drop to help them determine when they want to place their bids – but they have to do it before time runs out or the quantity does.

Say it loud and clear

A New York-based company has introduced voice recognition technology for the Web. AboutVoice announced last month that it was releasing a Chinese multilingual Web solution, the first of 36 multilingual Web addresses that it will launch in 2001-2002. The company explained in a press release that the technology enables Chinese-speaking Internet users to locate Web sites, products and services by speaking to their PCs or PDAs. For example, users are able to say the name of a company in their native tongue, without the “.com” extension, into their computers, and they will be taken directly to that company’s Web site.

Don’t leave home without it

A recent report indicates that American Express is in the midst of testing a new service, which would enable cardholders to connect to the Web for free. The service, called American Express Online,” will entitle cardholders to free, unlimited Internet access; a Web-based e-mail account; and around-the-clock customer service. Users will also be able to use various instant messaging services and shop on-line from an American Express home page, which the report says will be advertisement-free.

Class is now in session

Some people are determined to know their enemies, and are forking over big bucks to do so. Companies are trying to get an edge by taking their employees to hacking school. Edmonton-based ZeroHype Technologies recently added hacking sessions to its training seminars, which run for a day, and other educational facilities are doing the same. Costs for seminars range anywhere from $500 to $750, but can get as high as $5,000 for a more in-depth course. The theory is that by teaching companies what hackers are looking for and doing, they will be able to better defend themselves.

Canadian Music Week goes on-line

After announcing its title sponsorship of Canadian Music Week 2001, Sympatico-Lycos also revealed that it will be offering national on-line coverage of the event. Canadian Music Week will be held in Toronto from March 29 to April 1, and will feature the theme “www Wild Wireless World.” Coverage of the event will be available on-line through sympatico.ca’s portal and its city sites in Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Sympatico.ca will also be launching a new music channel in March and will provide exclusive content to its national on-line audience through its broadband applications, the company said in a statement. This will include interviews with industry executives and entertainers, live Webcasting and wireless access to festival schedules.