Lost Packets

Published: July 11th, 2003

Superman may soon be out of a job. British researchers have developed a radical device that has the ability to see through walls up to 25 centimetres thick using low-frequency radio pulses. The device, built by Cambridge Consultants Ltd. (CCL), scans in horizontal and vertical planes to construct a picture of objects within a 3D, five- to 10-metre space beyond a wall. According to CCL, signals reflected off objects behind walls are plotted on an elevation view of the zone. The company said the device would be ideal for military and emergency services in fire-and-rescue and hostage situations. But don’t expect the device to land in Future Shops anytime soon. CCL is currently seeking a consortium of interested organizations to experiment with the device. For more information visit www.cambridgeconsultants.com.

Hotel chains gang up on discount travel sites

Expedia and Hotels.com may be in for some tough competition as major hotel chains have combined their efforts to launch a new travel Web site. Hilton Hospitality, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, along with InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt have launched Travelweb.com in an attempt to lure travelers away from market leaders Expedia and Hotels.com. The purpose of the site is to give hotel owners and franchisees more flexibility in booking rooms online. The collaborative Web site offers prime space to hoteliers offering the biggest discounts on travel packages and room rates, a feature synonymous with the top discount sites. Travelweb.com also said that discount sites, which linked to hotel chains, has made real-time inventory management a tough ordeal for the hotels.

Political Web site replaced with porn

Hackers in Poland are believed to be responsible for transforming the homepage of Singapore’s Democratic Party into a pornographic site. According to reports, the party was forced to change its Web site to www.singaporedemocrat.org, as its original site was replaced by explicit photos, live video clips and sex-related advertisements. While Web site staff have traced the breach to a Polish IP address, they have not been able to follow up on the allegations. The Democratic Party is Singapore’s main opposition, although opposition parties hold only two seats in parliament.

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