|December 18/25, 2000|
Odds and ends from the world of IT
Edited by Brian Dakss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keeping Viruses At Bay
Security industry newcomer Okena is touting software it says lets viruses exist in computer systems without doing any damage. The company is beta testing its StormWatch Intrinsic Security software.
"New viruses spread quickly, long before users can update antivirus software," says Okena marketing VP Eric Ogren. StormWatch monitors application behavior, so if a virus slithers in through E-mail and tries to modify any programs or files, its activity is halted.
Stick it in your ear!
At least that's what Jabra hopes people will do with the new earpiece the company is adding to its line of hands-free headset-mike combinations for cell phones and PCs.
The earpiece, made of a flexible polymer, sits in the ear just outside the ear canal and is connected to one of Jabra's hands-free devices. Jabra claims the earpiece boosts reception and offers better sound quality than a headset alone.
With more than half of all state legislatures considering legislation to curtail cell-phone handset use while driving, Jabra expects demand for hands-free devices to grow quickly.
International Internet Squabble
China is at loggerheads with the Web body that oversees the registration of domain names. VeriSign Global Registry Services has introduced a standard to create domain names in Japan, Korea, and China that would replace Roman characters with those of the local language, while still retaining the suffixes we all know, such as .com and .net. But China is forging ahead with a separate system, using only Chinese characters. Complains a VeriSign spokesman, "There are technologies underneath that need to be coordinated worldwide so this works."
A Higher Calling
An Indiana church is using Rhode Island Soft Systems' Winter Wonderlands screensaver as a backdrop for its December services. The software's pictures are projected onto a 17-foot screen at the Olive Branch Ministries of the Church of God in Roann, Ind.
Pastor Stan Owen was struck with the idea while viewing the screensaver on his home PC. Rhode Island Soft Systems, which markets the screensaver, says it's the first time a screensaver has been incorporated into a religious service.
Now about those "A fatal error has occurred" messages Š
Signed, Sealed, and Authenticated
Signing on the dotted line could soon confirm someone's identity if they use LCI Technology Group's SmartPen. The pen, which can be used to write on virtually any surface, has sensors that authenticate the user through biometric characteristics unique to the act of signing. These include the 3-D forces on the writing surface, the writing speed, and the direction in which the pen goes.
According to LCI chairman and CEO Sam Asseer, signature patterns are so unique that it's impossible for one person to duplicate how someone else signs. Before the pen is used, a person has to sign his or her name up to 10 times, with the traits of the signing going into a company's database.
SmartPens can be used to secure E-commerce transactions, verify electronic documents, and cut fraudulent use of credit cards.
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