GBU

GOOD

Although the Democrats are planning to introduce legislation by year’s end to ensure radio frequency identification (RFID) technology meets strict privacy concerns there may be an easier way to foil the “spy chips”. Instead of the usual protest route being taken by the Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (Caspian), concerned citizens can deactivate the tracking technology by simply using foil.

According to a GBU reader, the bags used for take-away chicken can be wrapped around the chips to wipe out their tracking capability and prevent them from being used as an identifier on goods for data harvesting. This is not good news for the 15 companies in Australia investing millions in trialling the tags if their plans are foiled by chicken wrap.

Days after the Blaster worm first strikes, user brags at a business meeting that his company wasn’t hit. “In that case, my husband must be having an affair,” announces an executive standing nearby who said her sysadmin husband at the bragster’s company was out all night working on MSBlast.

BAD

A proposed settlement to a lawsuit against Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway could cost Fujitsu $US42.5 million dollars to satisfy claims that the company’s hard drives were unreliable. The class-action lawsuit claims that Fujitsu’s 3.5-inch IDE (integrated drive electronics) hard drives used a defective chip, and that Fujitsu and the other PC vendors misled customers about the viability of those products. Fujitsu’s MPG3 series and MPF3 series hard drives are affected by the lawsuit. If users lost data due to a faulty hard drive, and can demonstrate they incurred costs in trying to recover that data, they can receive up to $1200 or the cost of the recovery. Go to Web site,
www.hddclassactionsettlement.com

UGLY

A Dutch computer user group has sued Dell alleging parts of the sales terms and conditions that the world’s largest PC maker uses violate Dutch consumer protection law. On behalf of its more than 200,000 members, the Hobby Computer Club (HCC) is asking a Dutch court to impose fines on Dell and force the PC maker to place ads in major newspapers acknowledging that their terms and conditions violate Dutch laws. Several HCC members had been rebuffed by Dell after their systems broke down or never worked at all, the HCC said in a statement. Dell repeatedly referred customers to its terms and conditions and said they had no rights under limited warranties.

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