Online Hype

Today's five most over-hyped security myths:

1. Internet protocol telephony is unsafe.

2. Mobile malware will cause widespread damage.

3. Warhol Worms -- worms that infect all vulnerable machines on the Internet within 15 minutes -- will make the Internet unreliable for business traffic and virtual private networks.

4. Regulatory compliance equals security.

5. Wireless hotspots are unsafe.

-- Gartner Inc.

Beware Firefox

Firefox continues to lure users away from Internet Explorer, said NetApplications, which provides Web-based applications that measure, monitor and market Web sites for small to medium-size enterprises.

Firefox's market share of Web browsers hit 8.71 percent in June, up from 8.06 percent in May, according to NetApplications' monthly Web site traffic analysis. Firefox's gain is Microsoft's loss -- whose base dipped to 87.23 percent in May, down .77 percent from April of 2005.

Safari also gained a modest one-tenth percent, posting 1.91 percent in May 2005. Most other browsers experienced little change during the same time period.

Whiz Kid

Ten-year-old Arfa Karim Randhawa toured Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., and got some time on Bill Gates' calendar for a personal meeting.

Arfa, a software programmer from Faisalabad, Pakistan, is believed to be the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world. Some teenagers have achieved the designation, awarded to outside experts who prove their ability to work with Microsoft technologies.

Getting the certification is far more common among adults seeking to advance their computer careers. Arfa received the certification when she was 9 years old.

-- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

3-D Faces

BlueBear Network International announced in mid-July that it successfully tested its proprietary 3D MugShot camera technology, targeted for law enforcement worldwide.

The technology quickly and inexpensively acquires accurate three-dimensional photographs of human faces, as well as two-dimensional photographs that comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Law enforcement and security agencies can capture both types of mug shots in seconds as a single snapshot, according to BlueBear.

The technology is compatible with frequently used booking systems and is designed to provide law enforcement agencies the ability to match nonfrontal suspects' faces from surveillance footage as well as other enhanced identification uses.

-- BlueBear Network International

Nerds on TV

In September, NerdTV debuted on PBS -- with a slight twist. PBS decided to make NerdTV broadcast television's first entirely downloadable series.

NerdTV features PBS technology columnist and IT insider Robert X. Cringely's interviews with personalities from the fast-changing world of technology. Among the first slate of guests scheduled to appear on NerdTV were PayPal co-founder Max Levchin; original Macintosh programmer Andy Hertzfeld; and Bill Joy, Sun Microsystems co-founder and the father of Berkeley UNIX.

NerdTV will be available for download from and PBS encourages viewers to download and copy the shows, share them with friends and even post them on their own Web sites, all legally.

-- Public Broadcasting Service

Instant Clot

In June, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, based in Aloha, Ore., started testing the HemCon Bandage for life-threatening bleeding situations encountered by emergency response personnel. This is the first time a civilian fire department has used the specialty bandage featuring chitosan, a clotting agent derived from shrimp shells.

The U.S. military used the bandage extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq to successfully treat severe, life-threatening hemorrhages. The bandage is a pliable and sterile dressing capable of stopping severe external hemorrhaging in less than two minutes. It can be worn for up to 48 hours and is easily removed with water.

Jessica Jones, Contributing Writer  |  Contributing Writer
Shane Peterson  |  Associate Editor