News Schmooze: Levi's hi-tech posing pouch

Levi's eradicated intimate irradiation, pundits slapped proprietary software, and China got off Google's back.

Those who have ever worried about the effect those periodic radio bursts from the mobile phone are having on their nether regions, worry no more. Levi's has come up with trousers with a special pocket lined with "MDF", a sort of metallic grid woven into the cloth (not to be confused with the stuff used to build Argos shelving units) that Levi's says "might reduce" potential health effects from phone radiation, whether they really exist or not. With no conclusive evidence proving or disproving radiation effects, though, this could turn out to be the equivalent of wearing a foil hat to block spy satellite transmissions.
Levi's to sell 'anti-radiation' trousers for mobile users Microsoft and the Initiative for Software Choice must not be pleased. A bunch of lawyers from around the world, including important learning centres such as Stanford University and the University of Buenos Aires, have come to the conclusion that the developing world ought to use inexpensive open-source software instead of Windows XP, and should probably worry less about whether Britney Spears' latest effort is being obtained illegally than whether their citizens are getting an education. This seems to conflict with Bill Gates' opinion that governments should only adopt Linux and the GPL if they intend to doom their countries to perpetual underclass status. One begins to wonder if Gates has some sort of vested interest.
Government body says developing countries need open source It is the time of year once again when certain people go into a happy reverie with a far-off glazed look of satisfaction in their eye. We refer of course to the Intel Developer Forum, that mecca for those who delight at technologies such as GPRS, gigabit wireless networking, silicon nanotubes and hyper-threading. As if to emphasise who is the intended audience, one of the last keynote speeches featured an appearance from William Shatner who, more than 30 years on, is still trying to pretend that he's not wearing a wig. There were also photos of things like the Segway rolling pogo stick, tablet PCs and portable video players.
Photos: Mobile mania at IDF
Photos: IDF: a walk on the wild side
IDF: Where no chip has gone before
News Focus: Intel sneaks a peek at new tech A few days ago, Chinese authorities began blocking the Google search engine, as a convenient way of cutting off meaningful access to the Internet at large. This turned out to be a mistake, as the publicity immediately inspired computer geeks around the world to find ways of getting around what was immediately termed the Great Firewall of China. One was the highly imaginative mirror site elgooG. Finally the government seemed to get the message, and by Friday had restored access, although controversial sites were still unavailable.
Wall comes down around Google in China Napster received a last minute rescue offer after a court blocked Bertelsmann from buying the defunct file trading service. The offer originated from Private Media, a porn company that is world-renowned -- at least among those who are into that sort of thing. Why it should suddenly occur to the public that the famous Napster service would be a good place to get adult content was unclear. What was really pornographic, however, was the size of Private's offer -- just £1.5m.
Porn company offers to buy Napster Internet users have become used to being referred to as potential criminals by the recording and movie industries, which nowadays routinely cite the entire digital world as enemy No. 1. It was refreshing, then, to discover that the RIAA/MPAA slash-and-burn policy toward file-trading services doesn't suit everybody in the business community. Yahoo! and some ISPs, it seems, aren't willing to be trampled over in the stampede to bring the force of the law against people who exchange music online. They may be acting out of self-interest, but it's still nice to see that, after all, there is a debate going on around an issue that is sometimes presented as purely black and white.
Yahoo!, ISPs dig in against labels Microsoft's detectives have discovered the cause behind a series of mysterious Windows 2000 server attacks: it's all the administrators' fault. People should lock their doors more securely in this day and age, it seems. It wasn't clear, however, why Windows 2000 admins appeared to be more lax than, say, far more numerous Apache admins.
Microsoft 'solves' hacking mystery The News Schmooze is ZDNet UK's irreverent take on the week's news. Send your tip-offs to: mailroomuk@zdnet.com.


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