You never can defend yourself too much while online. A PC World reader alerted me to a flaw on eBay's Web site that enabled a scam designed to trick people into handing over their personal information. eBay promptly patched the flaw last week, but experts I spoke with are wondering how long the fix will hold.
In 2004, after months of putting a virtual tail on a hacker who called himself Pherk, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Timothy Nestor had the guy right where he wanted him. Though unsure of Pherk's identity, Special Agent Nestor was tracking every digital footstep the hacker took as he wreaked havoc on dozens of businesses by shutting down their online storefronts.
When tiny north Kansas City, Missouri, announced that it planned to offer affordable high-speed Internet access much the way it does other public services, local attorney Brian Hall was ecstatic. Though Hall could get DSL service from SBC Communications, he says that he found the service unreliable, supplying lower speeds than he expected. But then goliath Time Warner Cable asked a Missouri federal court to block the city's efforts.
Technology pioneer, entrepreneur, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, 56, invented the flatbed scanner, developed the first text-to-speech reading machine for the blind, and was the first to market large-vocabulary speech recognition technology, among many other achievements. In his latest book, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, Kurzweil and coauthor Terry Grossman, explain how new technologies will push human life spans into virtual immortality.