PATH: BS | Technology | Internet

Paine Webber Exec. Takes Down Network Because Bonus Was Too Low

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Roger Duronio was paid a salary of $125,000 by the bank and was expecting a bonus of $50,000. When he only got $32,000 he decided to take revenge on the bank, prosecutors claim.

A US court has heard how a disgruntled IT manager allegedly wiped out all UBS Paine Webber servers for a day leaving traders unable to trade because he was unhappy with his bonus.

Not only is Roger Duronio accused of using a "logic bomb" to crash the investment bank's servers he is also accused of going short on UBS shares just before the incident - so if UBS shares fell in value Duronio would make a profit. UBS yesterday asked the judge to keep the trial secret to avoid embarrassment and injury to the bank - the judge refused.

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All Is Not Fair In Love In CyberSpace

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Online dating is a huge industry now. So big that some claim it's a huge marketplace for fraud and scamming, which is prompting lawmakers to consider passing legislation to regulate more of these activities.

The incidence of would-be suitors being scammed out of money for plane tickets and other items is increasing, as is "date bait" e-mails from ficticious, flirtatious women used to entice people to renew their online memberships. Who's at fault if the cute Russian girl never shows up after you send her a few grand to fly to the states? You say you left your wife because you found your soulmate online... and you haven't met her in person yet? I'm sure you're doing the right thing, right?

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Study Reveals Even Sponsored Links May Contain Spyware

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A recent study by McAffee company, Siteadvisor.com has revealed some interesting data: that virtually all the search engine results contain links to sites that install adware and subversive programs. Ok, that's nothing new, but some search engines are "cleaner" than others.

However, what's most shocking is that the results indicated that sponsored (paid advertisement) links were two-to-four times more likely to lead to spyware than "organic" (non-sponsored) results. This is especially true for certain common keyword searches like "free screensavers" and "download music." (My mantra has always been, anything that calls itself "free" should immediately be under great suspicion)

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Myspace Picture Leads To Arrest

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Here's a suggestion to you kids out there. I know it's a tough life for you, with parents and school and all that stuff. But if you're running around toting a backpack and car containing hashish, marijuana, compact digital scales, packaging materials, bongs, 4 knives, over a dozen hypodermic syringes, gun powder and potassium nitrate, you might not want to call attention to yourself with a picture of you smoking from a Bong on Myspace. Just a thought. Getting busted trying to make homemade bombs might be a drag, not to mention the whole, "Look at me world, I smoke pot" Myspace attention grab.

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Battle Rages Between Spammers and Anti-Spammers

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[Spam]
[Beating Dead Horses]
An Israeli company called Blue Security has attracted the ire of the spam community by introducing a new system whereby people subscribe to a "do not spam" registry and download client software that effectively attacks spam advertisers if they violate the do-not-spam rules.

The spamming community has not been happy with this and have launched their own counter attack against Blue Security (and anybody in between).

In the process, these two warring factions have interrupted thousands of internet sites and systems. And still, the federal authorities seem completely uninterested in actually enforcing computer tampering and anti-spamming laws.

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Scammers Now Using Automated Phone Systems For Identity Theft

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[Spam]
A San Francisco-based e-mail security company, said it has seen two separate attacks this week. In both cases, the spammed message warns of a problem with a bank account and instructs the recipient to dial a phone number to resolve it.

The caller is connected to a voice response system that is made to sound exactly like the bank's own system.

"The phone system identifies itself to the target as the financial institution and prompts them to enter account number and PIN."

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Autonomy of the Internet at Stake

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Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called "Network neutrality" that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. Your local library shouldn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn't just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Canada's version of AT&T -- Telus -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. And Shaw, a major Canadian cable company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers who dare to use a competing Internet telephone service.

Please let people know - this is serious!

update Telecommunications giants scored a victory over Net Neutrality advocates in the U.S. legislature yesterday as the proposed "Markey Amendment," a provision to prevent Internet providers from creating access chokepoints was voted down in the House of Representatives.

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Best Way To Find Cheap Gasoline?

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[Industry]
A neat site online called GasBuddy has compiled an interactive U.S. map showing gas prices by county. Unfortunately, the more desireable, more populous places seem to have the highest prices, so unless you're keen on living in Utah, you probably will have a hard time finding a fuel bargain. But the site does break down listings to individual stations by price so it's worth a look.

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Campaign Photo Replaces New Orleans with Disneyland

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New Orleans mayoral candidate Kimberly Williamson Butler is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed--or the most honest. Her campaign website featured a lovely header with a photo of Butler smiling in front of a charming French Quarter scene. The only problem was the large Disney trash can on the street, revealing that Butler was smiling in front of Disneyland's New Orleans Square, not the real New Orleans.

Once the news of the fake New Orleans photo hit the internet, did Butler run out and get a photo of the real New Orleans for her website? Nah. Instead, her staff just Photoshopped out the garbage can. Hey, who has time in a busy mayoral campaign to take pictures in the real location?

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Short Toots

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[Essential Factoids]
  • A school in Colorado has banned flag-waving. Plus, apple pies have been ruled "Too sticky" for the cafeteria's floors.

  • In a speech given in Washington, D.C., President Bush said about democracy, "One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry." Apparently, in monarchies, dead children are met with laughter and merrymaking.

  • A study in Michigan found that children behave better, and sleep more soundly, after their tonsils are removed. It helps if the parents threaten to take them back to the hospital and have other parts cut out if they don't straighten up.

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