Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for successISSN 1649-2374
Systems Modelling Ltd. http://www.sysmod.com
Welcome and reader survey
EU Directive adopted - anti-spam?
Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer - must get
Microsoft Releases Your Personal Hotmail Info
More Google features from their labs
PWC loses PWC.COM
BoE: Practical Issues Arising from the Euro: May 2002
Town in Wales enters Eurozone
(plus a free euro calculator for two readers!)
'Advance fee' fraudsters - let the games begin
On the lighter side
The worst of the web
Welsh place name pronunciation
26 Web links in this newsletter
About this newsletter and Archives
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Please take the reader survey contained in this issue - that's how I know what interests you!
The European Parliament vote on 30 May paved the way for an end to unsolicited email originating in Europe. The new EU directive on protection of personal data in electronic communications sets a world-wide precedent by adopting an opt-in system for e-mail, faxes and automated calling systems. However, civil liberties groups are concerned about powers to sieze ISP data logs. And of course spammers will continue using open relays in Korea and China.
The document: (along with an interesting record of the text changes) can be downloaded from the EU parliament press site. "Report on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector"
What do you think? You can vote in the EBusiness poll: http://www.eubusiness.com/poll/
Microsoft (Q321232) Date: 15 May 2002 Software: Internet Explorer Impact: Six new vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could allow code of attacker's choice to run. Max Risk: Critical Bulletin: MS02-023 Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-023.asp
The Eastside Journal, in Bellevue, Washington reports http://www.eastsidejournal.com/sited/story/html/92308
"Under Account Information, Hotmail has added
three new boxes asking to 'Share my e-mail address','Share
my first and last names',' and 'Share my other registration
If you sign up for a new account, none of those boxes are checked. You would have to check them yourself to allow, or ``opt in'' to, the information sharing.
But if you already have a Hotmail account, Microsoft has checked two of the new boxes for you, allowing it to share your e-mail address and the other registration data such as your gender, occupation and birth date."
How to sign up for a free Hotmail account without divulging your personal information: http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v7-n23
faces Brussels privacy inquiry (Financial Times)
"The Commission has launched an investigation into whether Microsoft's .NET passport system, which collects personal information when users log on to particular websites, complies with data protection laws."
http://labs1.google.com/glossary does what it says.
http://labs1.google.com/sets Try typing in a word (or more) and see what sets it belongs to.
Silicon.com reported that PriceWaterhouseCoopers lost their domain name to a cybersquatter. It could happen to you ... think about it, is the email address you registered for the administrative contact still valid? Be sure you have checked and updated all your registration contact details.
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Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
"The completion of the euro changeover provides an opportunity that will not recur to learn from the experience of the first wave, and to draw lessons in case the UK joins EMU as a later entrant. This edition of Practical Issues focuses exclusively on the completion of the changeover: how it worked in practice; what lessons can be drawn from central and commercial banks in the euro area; and to what extent they would apply in the UK, bearing in mind that the UK position would differ from first-wave countries in a number of respects."
There are some interesting statistics such as the free loans to the exchequer. Central banks expect that up to 5% of legacy notes will never be returned, a value of about 400M euro. By contrast, out of 116 billion legacy coins outstanding with a value of €16.3 billion on 1 January, around 30%-40% will never be returned.
There are few glitches to report. In the early afternoon of 2 January, a software fault caused a temporary breakdown of the central system in Austria through which POS terminals and ATMs operate. The conversion procedure contained a bug which materialised only when transactions reached 1,000 per minute. The cause was quickly identified and resolved, so that the system was working again within 65 minutes.
In Germany, "There were only minor teething problems in a few banks, which took a few days at most to correct. Some arose when different IT programmes were run at the same time, and might have been eliminated altogether by end-to-end testing of all systems in advance, though this would have been expensive."
In Italy, "travel agents were not initially able to issue railway tickets to customers owing to a problem with the software provided by the state railway company: the euro conversion programme incorporated price increases, and when the price increases were rescinded at a late stage, the software required amendment."
Of most interest to UK readers (and perhaps Sweden and Denmark too) is the third section, on the lessons learnt from the changeover.
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UK AND
THE FIRST WAVE
The UK changeover would be a major event, which would be hugely complex – a much larger and more complex operation than Y2K.
The period of notice before entry would probably
be shorter in the UK than the first wave
The transition period would also be shorter in the UK
Preparations for the mass changeover in the UK would be completed later in the transition
The number of dividend payments in euro would have to be limited, before banks’ preparations for the mass changeover were complete
Euro notes would be available in the UK before E-day
"Llangollen, a small market town in North Wales, will make the euro a valid currency in a series of shops, pubs and restaurants from 9-14 July to coincide with the international musical Eisteddfod."
The interesting point is, what exchange rate will they offer? Will the town fix on a single rate or will each shop set its own rate? To assist choral participants, I'll post a free euro conversion pocket electronic calculator to the first person in the eurozone to email me asking for the converter for someone going to Llangollen. To be fair, I'll also offer one to the first reader in Wales to email me. (To check that you're in Wales, tell me how you pronounce "Llangollen"; for readers who wonder why I ask, see the last item below!)
I have reported before (Praxis March 2001) on the "Nigerian" fraud which illustrates how greedy fools and their money are so easily parted (http://www.silicon.com/a53547 ). A variation is an email from a "Special Forces Commando" in Afghanistan who's found $36 million in drug money while on patrol, and who wants your help in moving the cash.
In a new twist, Lester Haines describes the new sport of Nigerian scambaiting: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/25446.html which lists the following sites where people play with the scammers. (I wonder about the risks in playing with criminals, whether in Dublin, New York, Sicily or Nigeria, you don't know who they might know near you)
catalogue of the scams
http://www.waronspam.com/cases/ibrahim/ibrahim.htm A case study http://www.waronspam.com/cases/raymond/raymond.html complete with sound files of the telephone conversations.
http://www.thespamletters.com is Jonathan Land's one man crusade against spam, including an epic and entertaining correspondence with one Dr Hamza Kalu.
http://www.savannahsays.com/kizombe.htm The woman writer leads Kizombe Kamara on with hilarious results.
Can you suggest a page worse than this? (protect
your eyes ;-))
Regrettably, the village of Llanfair P.G. in Wales has
not kept up its domain name, probably the longest URL in the
reveals that the name is a fabrication for tourists but you
can still learn how to pronounce it at http://wri.cymru.net/celtic/notes/notidx.htm
There is a 1MB mp3 lesson on pronunciation at
Copyright 2002 Systems Modelling Limited, http://www.sysmod.com . Reproduction allowed provided the newsletter is copied in its entirety and with this copyright notice.
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Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
"Praxis" means model or example, from the Greek verb "to do". The name is chosen to reflect our focus on practical solutions to IS problems, avoiding hype. If you like acronyms, think of it as "Patrick's reports and analysis across Information Systems".
To read previous issues of this newsletter please visit our web site at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis.htm
This newsletter is prepared in good faith and the information has been taken from observation and other sources believed to be reliable. Systems Modelling Ltd. (SML) does not represent expressly or by implication the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any information provided. It is a condition of use that users accept that SML has no liability for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The information is not intended to constitute legal or professional advice. You should consult a professional at Systems Modelling Ltd. directly for advice that is specifically tailored to your particular circumstances.
Copyright (c) SML 2002
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