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Monday, August 26, 2002

Held for piracy

The police in New Delhi arrested the top official of a multimedia education institute on charges of software piracy, IANS reports. Navin Kapoor, the managing director of Caba Innovative Multimedia — an educatioonal institute for multimedia and animation based in the commercial district of Connaught Place — was arrested for copyright violation when a police raid reportedly revealed several copies of pirated software in the premises. The seized goods contained primarily Adobe software, police said. A similar raid was carried out in Bangalore in May. To tackle software piracy, Adobe India has launched special training programmes for the police on intellectual property laws and the penalties for the crime.

Tracking dogs

Lost your cat or dog? No need to whistle or call on a fruitless search — just track your pet with your mobile phone. A Finnish firm says "wanted" posters of lost pets will be a thing of the past thanks to new technology: a mobile phone and a tracking unit that is strapped on the back of the animal. When the pet goes missing its movements are followed via an electronic map displayed on a handheld monitor by the owner. The device is also expected to be popular among hunters needing to trace their dogs searching for game, Matti Koskelo, sales manager at Pointer Solutions, one of the firms marketing the system told Reuters.

Ultras’ portal hacked

A Maryland hacker used simple Web tools like whois and traceroute — as well as online translation software and an anti-cybersquatting service — to take over the domain name of Al-Qaida’s Website, wired.com reports. Jon Messner, the Internet entrepreneur who perpetrated the recent domain hijacking, used SnapName’s Snapback service to obtain ownership of the domain www.alneda.com. Since at least March 2001, Al-Qaida has been using Al Neda ("The Call") as its official Internet headquarters. The switch in ownership was made as al-Qaida leaders were transferring its registration from a server farm in Malaysia to a new host in India. Messner used the Arabic translation software on Ajeeb.com to read the messages left on his new Website. For five days, visitors believed www.alneda.com was still the real. Al-Qaida site. After hacking was found out, Messner replaced the Website with a picture of the Great Seal of the United States and the phrase, "Hacked, tracked and now owned by the USA." FBI agents from the Baltimore field office visited Messner’s office but asked him not to disclose what they had discussed. FBI officials could not be reached for comment.

Bangkok piracy

Bangkok’s pirates are back, Reuters reports. Driven out in a crackdown earlier this year, traders selling pirated music, software and X-rated movies have returned to Pantip Plaza, a chaotic, packed shopping centre in downtown Bangkok. A female customer in her mid-30s points to a CD featuring around 100 songs from 10 albums by Thai and foreign pop icons. A few minutes later the shopkeeper rushes back with the compact disc she requested sealed in a plastic bag. Software owners are complaining that trade in pirated CDs and DVDs, everything from the latest Microsoft Windows system to Hollywood movies, is booming again in Pantip Plaza and on roadside stalls after authorities halted aggressive raids in February. A home edition of Widows XP software is sold in a legitimate shop on the second floor of Pantip at 9,000 baht. A few metres away, the copied program is offered at 130 baht.