A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Monday, December 22, 2003


Just to prove that this blog is ahead of the game, here's what Sari succinctly wrote on 19 Dec 2003:

One of the ongoing debates that I find fascinating regarding technology is whether our capability to communicate effectively is advancing or digressing as a result of increased usage in the business and personal realm. PowerPoint either makes you daft [Ed: a full discourse is here if you don't have access to premium NYT content] or a new type of artist, depending on who is doing the writing. The day has come where InformationWeek is reporting on which IM acronyms are most used in the corporate workplace. And Malaysia has upheld a divorce obtained via text messaging using a mobile phone. As consumer use of technology pervades everyday life, The Economist Group may someday communicate with our audience in new ways, such as subscriptions bought using mobile devices and feedback from readers via text messages.

And this from John Naughton, written on 21 Dec 2003 (and he's no slouch).
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Friday, December 19, 2003

IEeek! Open Source patch

Openwares have released a patch for IE to prevent a phishing exploit. As the Register point out, I'm not sure what MS will think of this, but they need to get their you know what in gear.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

aIQ or Computers and pawn

[From Jerem]

In the past few years, an astonishing number of companies have appeared in response to the growing problem of unsolicited commercial email, more commonly known as spam.

These companies offer hardware solutions (CipherTrust), software solutions (SpamAssassin, McAfee SpamKiller, Brightmail, Cloudmark, MailFrontier), block lists (SpamCop) and managed services (MailProtector, Postini, MessageLabs, BlackSpider) just to name a few.

There was one company, however, that didn�t fit so neatly into the typical categories. Corvigo, based in California, is pushing a technology called Intent Based Filtering (IBF). Rather than heuristic or Bayesian analysis, the engine behind IBF is artificial intelligence. An appliance sits at the gateway of the network, scanning incoming email as a person would for the types of words and phrases that make spam easily identifiable to the human eye. There is nothing to be configured and no updates to be installed. The system allegedly learns on its own.

This kind of unproven technology would be too risky for an organization like ours, but it will be interesting to see where Corvigo goes.
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Fix for my XP problem?

Maybe I should install Longhorn? . I'm sure I was told that it wouldn't be out until 2007. BTW no one has come up with a fix yet.

IM makes you more productive

[From Alistair or Allan - can't remember which!]

Now that I've got your attention, AT&T have found that IM is rarely used for social purposes in an office environment (well 6,4% - I'll have to remember that as a guide, as in "our website is rarely down" = 23 days a year!). And what lies beyond IM? Lilsys sounds useful for determining when to tell your better half that you're not going to the in-laws for Christmas.

Iconic computing

Can a computer be iconic in the same way that the Fender Stratocaster (win one here) and Concorde are? Post suggestions to the forum (Discuss on the right) and I'll set up a poll to decide the top candidate.
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