A survey last fall, just before the annual holiday spending spree, revealed strong indications that the year-end gift-buying binge would be significantly attenuated as a result of the tanking economy and uncertainty about consumers’ individual financial futures. The survey indicated that spending would be down, overall, over the 2008 holiday season, with consumers saying they […]

Facebook reported late last week that it had detected and removed yet another rogue application that was sending people fake messages designed to get them to reveal personal information. Users were told they had violated the Facebook Terms of Use and were given a link to click on which would supposedly tell them exactly how […]

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report for 2008 reveals some interesting trends in fraud — specifically, identity theft. The CSN received over 1.2 million complaints during calendar year 2008: 52 per cent fraud complaints; 26 per cent identity theft complaints; and 22 per cent other types of complaints. Identity theft […]

A new Harris Decima survey commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) reveals that more than 98 per cent of Canadians have access to wireless (cell phone) service and more than 21.5 Canadians (67 per cent) actually use cell phones. In urban areas, the percentage of actual users exceeds 70 per cent. According to […]

Here’s an old idea we wish some intrepid manufacturer would update and put back on the market. The concept behind the Anti-Pest Doorbell couldn’t be simpler: Make strangers who come to your door pay for the privilege of ringing the bell. As often happens, we stumbled on this undated archival clipping while searching for something […]

Facebook is still trying to deal with the uproar over its privacy policy which has been simmering — and occasionally boiling over — for a week, now. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest attempt at quelling the uprising by a significant number of Facebook’s 125+ million Netizens takes the form of a new scheme for governing the […]

Earlier this year, Navigenics Inc. of Redwood, CA, dropped the price of its personal gene profiling kit from (US)$1,000 to just (US)$400, some say opening the way for a flood of testing which could predict whether a person will suffer from any of a host of common diseases during their life and, perhaps, someday, make […]

In spite of the fact that online gambling has been banned in the U.S. since 2006, a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) study reveals that U.S. Internet gambling activity has continued to grow in the interim — by a not insignificant 22 per cent. With that in mind, the study goes on to suggest that, since the […]

Apple launched the public beta version of version 4 of its Safari Web browser this week and independent lab tests just in show it’s the fastest thing out there at the moment. Venerable tech Web site ZDNet reports that Safari 4 is a ‘staggering’ 42 times faster rendering Javascript than Interent Explorer (IE) 7 and […]

We once remarked that Microsoft’s (MS) lawyers must have apprenticed at the venerable old firm of Scrooge and Marley. Now, we suspect their accountants did, too… It’s bad enough to be among the tens of thousands in the computer, software and consumer electronics industries being laid off around the world these days, as the economy […]

We’re all familiar with the old joke about ‘putting another hamster on the treadmill’ to speed up a system or process. But, now, thanks to researchers at the University of Georgia, some folks aren’t laughing as loudly as they used to. Experiments by a team at Georgia University’s Nano Research Group have demonstrated that hamsters […]

A clever new social engineering hack is designed to get unsuspecting Facebook users to divulge personal information to cyber crooks. According to Graham Cluely’s popular blog at the Sophos Internet security site, a rogue Facebook application called Error Check System is sending false error notifications to users, asking them to click on a link to […]