Byte-size news: Spam gets boss in really glum mood

By Lindsay Harvey


Dodgy spam emails may be the main thing worrying your boss.

Security software publishers Symantec polled 100 New Zealand organisations and asked them to identify the biggest threats facing their businesses.

Cyber attacks lead the way, with accidental IT incidents and insider IT attacks rating second and third.

Then came crime, natural disasters, negative brand-related incidents and terrorist acts.

Their concerns are based on some surprisingly negative facts, with two-thirds of surveyed businesses having been cyber-attacked in the past 12 months and 10 per cent experiencing an increase in cyber attacks.

So next time you come across an email promising a bigger this or a richer that, at least wait until you are on your home computer before opening it.

Wait before you log off

Keen to drop a few kilos before summer?

Don't do away with the computer time just yet.

A Japanese study has found people lose more weight using the help of the internet than with traditional weight loss methods. Even better, is combining the two. In the study, patients that used an online component lost 3.3kg more than those who did it the traditional way.

The web-based component included counselling and keeping a record of what food was eaten.

Tough bikkies for hackers

A new use has been found for your granny's old bikkie tins - use them to keep your cellphone safe.

Managers at a German chemicals company have been bringing them to work to put their phones in during meetings. "Experts have told us that mobile phones are being eavesdropped on more and more, even when they are switched off," says Alexandra Boy, spokeswoman for Essen-based speciality chemicals-maker Evonik.

The tins act as "Farraday cages" - cases that block external static electric fields - to keep people from hacking the phones.

A sense of being wanted

For the person who has it all but is still looking for a significant other comes the Sense-Roid.

This Japanese invention is a torso-shaped contraption that will hug you. Called Sense-Roid, it connects to a jacket that the lonely person wears.

The sense of being hugged is created using air compressors, artificial muscles and vibrating devices.

"Many people initially feel surprised and uncomfortable about the unusual experience, but they gradually get accustomed to it until they feel comfortable and pleasant," research team member Nobuhiro Takahashi says.

Its creators hope that it can also be used in medical therapy and to give elderly people comfort.

If you have any news, gadgets or queries, contact lindsay.harvey@apn.co.nz

- THE AUCKLANDER

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