The Queen gets a cell phone

Or so the rumour goes. While she has not yet been seen with it in public, and although Buckingham Palace spokespeople will not confirm it, it has been reported that the Queen received the phone as a gift from Prince Andrew. Reports indicate that although she banned her staff from using mobile phones, Queen Elizabeth often uses her own cellular to “ring” her family, and Prince Andrew has even programmed the numbers of her children into the phone so that she can use the speed-dial feature. According to Britain’s Sun newspaper, the Queen has a special phone number to ensure no one gets her number, and so that no one will mistakenly call her.

Nimda gets a bad rap

One Canadian company is even less pleased with the nimda worm than others. Toronto-based Crooked Stick Enterprises Inc., an ASP, revealed in a press release that the virus that has wreaked havoc across the globe was given its name by Internet security firms, who had not bothered to search to see if the name already existed. According tot he company, nimda is in fact a registered trademark belonging to Crooked Stick. The ASP’s nimda is a content management software solution, which allows Web site owners to update their sites through their browsers, states the press release. Tim Rutledge, the company’s president, apparently contacted security firms to request the virus be renamed, or that a “clarification be issued surrounding the erroneous use of what is a trademarked entity.” It was, unfortunately for Crooked Stick, too late for anything to be done.

Online communication gets romantic

One London, Ont., native decided to propose to his girlfriend in a fashion that seems to be catching on – via the Web. Rob McPhee built a Web site,, where he posted his proposal to his girlfriend. After a few months of dropping hints, his girlfriend finally came across the site, after 36,000 other surfers had come across it. The site now boasts sponsors, a guest book, and even a forum/chat page. For those who are interested…she said yes.

Canadian Web crooks get what was due

Two men from Winnipeg appeared before a judge in court earlier this month to face charges for their cyber crimes. The duo -Timothy Coles, 26, and his partner in crime, Norman Keillor, 26 – first faced the court in 1998, when it was revealed that the pair would list products on auction Web sites, would collect the money, but never actually delivered the items promised. According to a story in the Winnipeg Sun newspaper, one case saw a duped victim receive a latex bust of a Star Wars character instead of the computer he or she was supposed to receive. After the preliminary hearing, the Sun reports that Coles asked for the figure back, unsuccessfully. Coles was sentenced to two years less a day house arrest, must pay more than $27,000 in restitution, and was ordered to stay off the Internet. Keiller was sentenced to one year house arrest, must pay more than $13,500 in restitution and is prohibited form entering into any commercial interactions on the Internet, according to the Sun.

Online music industry getting crowded?

EMI Recorded Music announced that it sealed a licensing deal with online music subscription service Pressplay, even though it already jumped into bed with rival music service MusicNet. EMI appears to be playing for both teams as Pressplay and MusicNet get ready to launch later this year. Pressplay was formed by Vivendi Universal SA and Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and MusicNet is backed by Bertelsmann AG, AOL Time Warner Inc., RealNetworks Inc. and EMI Recorded Music parent company EMI Group PLC. The nonexclusive agreement gives Pressplay access to EMI’s broad music catalogue, featuring artists such as Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Lenny Kravitz. EMI’s catalogue will add some 50,000 songs to Pressplay’s musical arsenal, which is expected to total about 125,000 songs when the service launches, a Pressplay representative said. EMI’s signing with Pressplay also marks the beginning of what some analysts expect to be a convergence of online music. Although neither Pressplay nor MusicNet are live yet, both are reportedly under preliminary investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for antitrust concerns. Executives representing both services have mentioned that they could cross-license each other in the future, spurring fears of an online music monopoly.