David Off writes: "In 2008 a Skype user looking for cheap rate gateway numbers found himself connected to the Bank of France where he was asked for a password. He typed 1 2 3 4 5 6 and found himself connected to their computer system. The intrusion was rapidly detected but led to the system being frozen for 48 hours as a security measure. Two years of extensive international police inquiries eventually traced the 37 year old unemployed Breton despite the fact he'd used his real address when he registered with Skype. The man was found not guilty in court today of maliciously breaking into the bank."
David Off writes: "A
spammer has been ordered to pay £750 compensation and £616.66 in costs to the recipient of unsolicited commercial email. It is a landmark ruling as it is the first time a UK court has set a level of compensation for junk email. The private prosecution was brought by Gordon Dick under under European Union wide antispam law which makes it illegal to send junk electronic mail. Mr Dick told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that his email address had been "harvested" from a group where he was a member in contravention of the Data Protection Act and EU electronic privacy legislation. The spam mail had been sent to 72,000 recipients. Mr Dick is himself electronic marketing specialist has set up his own website ScotchSpam to highlight and help others with the problem of spam email."
David Off writes: "Last summer BBC Television decided to launch a space shuttle shaped motorcar, the Reliant Robin, into very very low earth orbit! Now this may not be the X-prize but it is a very very cool hack that harks back to era of MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club. Now a shuttle launch costs hundreds of millions of dollars. The Beeb built a very convincing shuttle from the Robin, a main fuel tank and two SRBs in an industrial unit in Manchester. There was very little money but all the tea the team could manage to dring. The rockets develop 8.5 tonnes of thrust and this was the most powerful private launch in Europe to date. The Robin had to be stripped from 750kg to 250kg and avionics fitted for the flight back to earth. All doesn't quite go to plan as you can see in the 20 minute film which was broadcast yesterday. It would be nice to know more about the tech behind the launch, the film is thin on details."