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Submission + - Do We Need Another OS Platform?

tupac writes: We have been battling it out between Apple's OS X, Microsoft's Windows and Linux for a long time now. Is it time for us to come up with a fourth platform to completely shift the computing industry? writer Brandon Watts ponders in his latest column. "One of the advantages that alternative operating systems have is that they're usually composed of small development teams, so changes and new ideas can be implemented, tested, and released quickly without having to be coordinated by numerous different groups within a major corporation. In addition, whereas an operating system like Windows relies on abundance of what can be considered as legacy code, these smaller operating systems have a chance to start fresh and build a great product from the ground up.

Submission + - UK/EU bank transfer data to be given to US Govt.

An anonymous reader writes: My UK bank, Smile (an internet bank set up by the Co-Operative bank — both have an ethical policy), has sent me an email saying that all international SWIFT payments to any country must now have the full transfer details disclosed to the US Government for the purposes of:

a) Complying with applicable laws, including without limitation anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws and regulations,
b) Fighting crime and terrorism.

And of course this means the data will be transferred outside the EEA that doesn't have the same level of data protection as the UK.

I'm not sure if this is just my bank, or if all UK banks are affected. Here's the email in full:

— Forwarded message —
From: e-mail from smile
Date: 01-May-2007 19:46
Subject: Important information about your account with smile


As a smile customer, we have to let you know about any regulatory changes relating to your account(s) with smile.

smile foreign payments changes

As from the start of business Monday 14th May 2007, there will be a change to the way we process international payments.

What's the background?

The USA Government requires that all international transfers processed through the USA be provided with all the transfer details. As all SWIFT payments worldwide are processed through the USA, any SWIFT transfer requested by you will have the full transfer details disclosed to the USA Government. This also applies to TIPANET payments that are sent to the USA.

The Data Protection Authority in Belgium has ruled that this is a breach of the Data Protection Directive and so the sender of the money must be made aware of this and be given the option not to proceed with the transfer if they are not in agreement to this sharing.

What does this mean to me?

If you ask us to send a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA, you will need to agree to a declaration about how the transfer details could be used.

We'll need you to agree to the declaration each time you ask us to do a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA. Unfortunately, we can't process your request in these circumstances without your agreement to the declaration.

TIPANET payments to other parts of the world and euroCHAPS are not affected by this change.

What does the declaration say?

Below is the declaration that we'll need you to agree to each time you request a SWIFT payment to anywhere in the world or a TIPANET payment to the USA:

'In order to make this payment, personal information relating to the individuals involved in the transfer may be processed for the purposes of:

a) Complying with applicable laws, including without limitation anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws and regulations,
b) Fighting crime and terrorism,

And disclosure to any Government entity, regulatory authority or to any person we reasonably think necessary for these purposes. This may mean that personal information will be transferred outside the EEA to countries, which do not provide the same level of data protection as the UK.

I agree to the above: Yes/No? (Delete as appropriate)'

Additional information

If you'd like to find out more information about our foreign services, go to:
For more information on Data Protection, go to:

If you have any questions about your account, please send us a secure message.



This e-mail is intended solely for the addressee and is strictly confidential. If you are not the addressee, please do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on it or any of its attachments. Instead please e-mail it back to the sender and delete the message from your computer. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error free and The Co-operative Bank accepts no liability for changes made to this e-mail (and any attachments) after it was sent or for viruses arising as a result of this e-mail transmission. Any unauthorised reproduction, dissemination, copying, disclosure, modification, distribution and/or publication of this e-mail message is strictly prohibited. The Co-operative Bank may intercept any e-mail or other communication which you send to or receive from smile via the Bank's telecommunications systems for certain permitted lawful purposes. By so corresponding you also give your consent to Bank monitoring and recording of any correspondence using these systems. The registered office is at PO Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EP. As part of The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. , smile is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (No. 121885), subscribes to the Banking Code, is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service and is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (No.006110). Please refer to our Ethical Policy for further information.
PC Games (Games)

PC Games On the Rebound 179

Via The Escapist, an article on the New York Times website discussing the rebirth of the PC games industry. The piece talks about the bright-looking future for titles on the PC, citing the platform's ease and speed of development and Microsoft's 'Games for Windows' initiative as points in its favour. Mass-market PC maker adoption of the hardcore gaming market is also discussed, with financials being the main thrust of the article. That focus is a double edged sword, given the obvious comparison to console games: "The upsurge comes after some recent reversals. Over all, retail sales of PC-based games in the United States exceeded $970 million in 2006, an increase of about 1 percent of sales the previous year of $953 million, which represented about a 14 percent drop from $1.1 billion in 2004. By contrast, according to the NPD Group, retail sales for console games in 2006 were $4.8 billion; another $1.7 billion was spent on games for hand-held devices like Sony's PlayStation Portable."

Submission + - Is Anti-Virus software dead?

An anonymous reader writes: After stumbling over several unanimous recommendations against using viral scans for your email (which somewhat shattered my security world view), I started to notice a bigger and bigger movement which argues against the use of anti-virus software altogether, as it is ineffective against the main threats of malware, counter-productive (as it eats up system resources), and seems to be more of a "good-luck charm" than anything else.

I have to admit that, even though I deal with loads of suspicious software, I can't even remember when I got the last real virus warning.

So — is it time to dump your anti-virus software, go "commando", and free yourself from the shackles of these system drags?
The Courts

Apple, Cisco Settle iPhone Trademark Lawsuit 111

A number of readers let us know that Cisco and Apple have settled the lawsuit over the use of the iPhone name for Apple's new multimedia phone. The agreement allows Apple and Cisco both to use the iPhone brand on their own products. Also, the companies said they would explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, consumer and business communications. Apple still faces a suit over the name in Canada and one over its touch-screen technology in the UK.

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