Those innocuous-looking ‘wall warts’ that plug into the mains to recharge the batteries in most portable electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops and digital music players have a dark side.
If you leave them plugged in after removing the portable device they continue to consume a small amount of power or ‘vampire energy.’ While the amount of energy wasted by a single wall charger is fairly insignificant, it quickly adds up if everyone does it. Read more
As a new cybersecurity bill paves the way for the US government to share classified information with private sector operators of ‘critical infrastructure’, author Misha Glenny (pictured) writes in the FT that the internet’s uncharted territory is being rapidly nationalised.
While there is clearly a pressing need to define rules that apply in cyberspace, they are emerging at speed with little coherent strategy behind them. Nobody knows where this process will lead for two central reasons. The speed of technological change means that the traditional tools of state used to carve up the world in the 19th century, such as laws and treaties, are often inadequate, if not entirely irrelevant, when applied to this new domain. Read more
HTC, the Taiwan smartphone maker sued earlier this month by Apple for alleged patent infringement, said on Thursday that it “disagrees with Apple’s legal actions and will fully defend itself”.
The statement is HTC’s first official response to the lawsuit, but HTC’s statement reveals relatively little about the company’s planned legal strategy. HTC did not say how and when it would make a formal legal response to Apple’s suit.
The statement, however, did emphasise a long list of HTC’s technological ’firsts’ that predate the iPhone. Read more
Frankly, I am becoming less convinced that Europe is capable of winning the war against cyber-attacks. Ever since a series of online attacks paralysed Estonia in 2007, protection against internet crime and terrorism has moved up the agenda for the European Commission, NATO and individual European countries. But it is unclear whether any real progress has been made in the last three years.
The UK’s House of Lords will on Thursday publish its study into how well Europe protects itself online. The conclusion is that there are serious concerns about co-ordination between different member states and a real risk that less well prepared countries could compromise those, like the UK, which are relatively advanced in their cyber protection measures. Not very surprising conclusions perhaps.
But the detail of the report highlights some farcical aspects. Read more