NEWS Wednesday, 15 December 2004


How the Information Society is progressing

15 December 2004

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CONTENTS (Categories are under the articles)


SPAM fried by court – Monday 8th November 2004. 3

Banks overdose on spam phishing scams– Monday 8th November 2004. 3

INternet abuse. 3

WorldCom directors in Court – Monday 8th November 2004. 3


Pirate Movies – The big players start a war – Thursday 28th October 2004. 3

Drowning in Ignorance – Friday 22nd October 2004. 4

Environment. 4

EPICUS – Embryonic E-Democracy & Money Laundering – Friday 22nd October 2004. 5

Economics – fiscal justice. 5

London stagnates – Friday 8th October 2004. 5

Emerging Technologies. 5

UK music industry beats up the kids – Friday 8th October 2004. 5

Protection racket revamped – The sequel –  Friday 8th October 2004. 6

Protection racket revamped? – Tuesday 5th October 2004. 6

INternet abuse. 6

Spot the loonies! Tibetan ice fields disappear – Saturday 25th Sept 2004. 6

Spot the loony! Hybrid car sales increase – Thursday 16th Sept 2004. 7

Telephones evolve yet again – Thursday 16th Sept 2004. 7

UK E-mailers grow long noses – Thursday 16th Sept 2004. 7

Emerging Technologies. 8

Spam busters, Cable & Wireless, Exodus and SAVVIS – Wed. 8th Sep 2004. 8

Spam.. 8

Chinese Junks – Monday 6th September 2004. 8

Spam.. 8

DRM is forever – not just for Christmas – Friday 3 September 2004. 8

Internet surveillance and laws. 9

Hey! Shorty! Just WHAT are you eating ? – Tuesday 17th August 2004. 9


Music Industry beats the freebooters and inspires the film makers – Tuesday 17th August 2004. 9

Internet surveillance and laws. 10

New York inundated. Move to Higher Ground – Wednesday 14th July 2004. 10


Taxation in the Information Society – Tuesday 13th July 2004. 10

Internet surveillance and laws. 12

The appliance of science proves telework is better – Tuesday 6th July 2004. 12

Emerging Technologies. 12

Spies everywhere? The battle for confidentiality - Tuesday 29th June 2004. 12

Internet surveillance and laws. 13

In and Out of Europe? – Tuesday 22nd June 2004. 13

Historical context. Venus and Reagan – Wednesday 9th June 2004. 14

Censorship of Internet sites – Thursday 10th June 2004. 14

Internet surveillance and laws. 15

India’s E-Democracy; simplicity works – Friday 21st May 2004. 15


BT Profits – Thursday 20th May 2004. 16


GOOGLE –V-The Rest. World championship of searching – Friday 7th May 2004. 16

Emerging Technologies. 17

LINUX & Linus – Open Free Software – Wednesday 28th April 2004. 17

Emerging Technologies. 18

Music Industry loses a test case – Friday 16th April 2004. 18

Internet surveillance and laws. 18

Mobile phone damage to brain cells – debate continues – Friday 16th April 2004. 18

Mobiles & Health.. 18

Will GOOGLE lead the way? – Sunday 4th April 2004. 18

Emerging Technologies. 19

Spam.. 19

Bill Gates is smacked on the legs with a ruler – Thursday 25th March 2004. 19

Internet surveillance and laws. 19

Blackberry’s are in season – 11 March 2004. 19

Emerging Technologies. 20

De-congestion in DC – Wednesday 10th March 2004. 20


Round-up – Thursday 25th November 2004.


On technology – I’m told I need a (very small) Blue Laser DVD, a Blue-Tooth MP3 cell-phone that takes photo’s and plays videos, a device to watch wireless transmitted movies, a pocket IPod that holds 10,000 music tracks, RSS – or Really Simple Syndication software to send me press-cuttings in my email; I should ditch Windows XP and get the Linux Freeware and I simply MUST ditch my VCR (TV video recorder) get the latest rewritable CD film players – though the industry cannot agree on a standard.  Scientists are hard at work on molecular computers and “spintronics” or electron quantum switches. And I should switch to MSN Search Service as it searches 5 billion pages and Google only searches 4.2 billion. On reflection, I think I’ll wait.  (NB – 10,000 x 3 minutes tracks is 500 hours – when do people get the time to listen? )


Time Magazine - 29 November 04 - reports on the lack of babies and a world where we are not replacing ourselves; with rates as low as 1.5 children per couple. According to our own statistics it does not mean however a fall in population – not for 40 years – because the extended life span maintains the total. But we are headed for a grey and wrinkly future with implications for housing, health-care and IT progress. Do Bush’s and Bin-Laden’s right-wing fundamentalist power bases foreshadow the rise of aged conservatism – and what will that mean for the evolution of advanced communications and information technologies?\index_files\2004_telework_statistics.htm


Time also fields an excellent article by Peter Gumbel on PARMALAT, going bust after double-booking sales and half-booking bank loans for 20 years, to fool shareholders and bankers alike. It is billed as The Biggest Corporate Fraud in History with bank loans at $14 Billion instead of the supposed $5.4 Billion – and of course the directors have skimmed-off millions or even billions for themselves. The Terence Rattigan play, Man & Boy (en route to Broadway), with a compelling performance by David Suchet as The Man, Antonescu, a corporate swindler, and the brilliant rising star Ben Silverstone as his estranged son – The Boy, is based on a similar massive collapse in New York in 1934. Then we saw the immense US Savings and Loans scam, the Lloyds of London Names scandal, then ENRON, Equitable Life and many other self-styled guardians of peoples’ savings, and MCI – and many more.  All these acts of brass necked theft have been assisted, concealed and often planned by auditors and merchant bankers – pillars of the financial establishment.  In this age of computers, do we have to let this continue and see the hard work and savings of millions of honest folk siphoned away and “lost” track of?


Appropriately, given Milan based PARMALAT’s notoriety, double entry book-keeping was invented by an Italian monk, Luca da Pacioli, in 1494, building on 5,000 years of scribes and auditors trying to keep count in a world of ever increasing global trade. It seems the modern rogues and thieves in our boardrooms have redefined “double-entry” and the use of IT in business. In the good old days the thieves at least had to write the fraudulent entries in their own hands. My recommendation is for all public-company and government transactions to be recorded daily as they occur and archived safely – and the “adjustments” and added “complexities” that currently happen after the event – be explained and justified within a few days of being made – or else. SOX – the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 goes a little way towards increasing accountability – but not nearly far enough. It’s time that modern computing showed what it can really do.\index_files\ENRON_The_Future_of_Auditors.htm


Jurgen Leukel, a German tutor, musician, composer and correspondent, informs us that Condoleezza Rice most probably was named after a term in music Condolcezza” which means "con dolcezza" which makes a musical phrase or a whole piece (of music) soft and tender. Perhaps this intended tenderness in the new US Secretary of State augers well for mankind.

SPAM fried by court – Monday 8th November 2004.


Guardian 5th Nov: On the 4th of November a court in Virginia found 30 year old Jeremy Jaynes, “the eighth most prolific spammer in the world” and his 28 year old sister Jessica de Groot guilty of mass-spamming and in the process defrauding the public of $13 million for fake products and services. Jeremy Jaynes was recommended by the jury to be sentenced to nine-years while Jessica was fined $7,500 under new anti-spam laws banning mass emailing and concealing the sender’s identity.  It can be assumed that the criminals’ aliases took 5 weeks to read out in court; - or did they skip that bit? The siblings targeted AOL lists but unknown to them AOL tracked them down by via a “report spam” button on AOL’s web site – after 10,000 reports AOL was able to zero in on the culprits.  The journalist, Patrick Barkham, reports that last month 82% of email was spam – the bulk of it coming from Florida – estimated to cost Internet users $18 billion a year in lost productive time. But efforts to block spam also block legitimate mails with 33% of workers complaining their e-mail is treated as spam by official, employers’ filters.  Australia takes the epidemic seriously levying $600,000 a day fines on spammers which have stopped most of them. The article concludes that we need a global authority to curb spam. The Guardian is pleased to report however that sales of meat Spam (capital “s”)  – the product which Monty Python mocked, repeating “spam” over and over and over, from where it inspired the naming of endlessly repeated emails – are buoyant despite the global approbation of “spam”.


Banks overdose on spam phishing scams– Monday 8th November 2004.


Steven Morris in the Guardian tells us that fraudsters are recreating copies of legitimate bank web sites then drawing victims in to give their personal account numbers and passwords – before emptying their accounts. The criminals plant a “Trojan Horse” via email in bank customers’ computers, which hi-jacks the link to their bank and redirects them to the false site. Such thefts are called “phishing” and Russian gangs are thought to be particularly active.  This is similar to the false masks criminals fit on cash-machines to read credit-cards.

INternet abuse

WorldCom directors in Court – Monday 8th November 2004.


MCI soldiers bravely on after filing for bankruptcy in 2002 and writing down its assets by $60B, and having just been obliged this quarter against quarterly sales of $5.1B, along with all major long-distance telecom providers, to make another exceptional write-off of $3.5B to adjust their asset values in the light of fierce market competition.  Ex-CEO, founder Bernard Ebbers, and ex-CFO, Scott Sullivan, were tried earlier this year for their part in falsifying MCI’s (WorldCom) results to push up the share price. 




Pirate Movies – The big players start a war – Thursday 28th October 2004.


Time Magazine, 1 November 04, reports that the OECD is monitoring the level of legal and illicit movie downloads. They find that Americans download the most videos but that Europe is fast catching up. In Oct and Nov 03, 23% of USA downloads were video, in Germany the figure was 35%, Italy 33% and France 25%. These include trailers and video promotions, with very few full length films. Kids swap films as well as music - the US technology is mostly Kazaa, Grokster and Morpheus but the quality is so low and the download times so long (16 hours) that they pose no threat yet to the movie industry. In Europe eDonkey is the software of choice, handling files up to 600MB. The MPAA Motion Picture Association of America is alarmed at the new technologies and is lobbying software, hardware and government organisations to block all pirate copies. They are opposed by the Electronic Freedom Foundation and internet service providers such as Verizon, along with Radio Shack who say the MPAA is trying to make them responsible for policing the pirates.  Netflix – which has 2 million customers for its legitimate movie-rental on-line business, is considering enabling downloading along with TiVoToGo which offers TV shows as downloads. A German company is about to launch Cybersky, free software to enable video and TV sharing – and therefore pirating.  CinemaNow and Tiscali offer niche, specialist movies at $3.50 per viewing but they think it will 5 to 10 years before Internet speeds reduce the current 16 hours download times – which even so have only 1/3rd of DVD quality.  Lawyers are encouraging the MPAA to change their business model and give up copy protection – Fred von Lohmann, at Electronic Freedom Foundation, says with DVD rentals at $2 a time and $15 to buy the industry need not fear swaps and downloads. UCLA law professor Neil Netamel proposes a 4% unrestricted file sharing non-commercial use levy (e.g. swaps between kids and collectors) regulated by the Copyright Office.  The MPAA tried just as hard to block Video tapes and DVD’s – now the largest source of income for their members. But – the real threat has yet to come – in Sept 04, experimental scientists at Caltech downloaded a full length feature film in 4 seconds. How long will it be before the kids find out how to do it?

Drowning in Ignorance – Friday 22nd October 2004


While we have all been fretting about our small human concerns, such as: Where are the WMD? Who killed Dr David Kelly? Who’s got the all the money? and Who will win the US election?, The Planet Earth has been noisily going about its own activities to rebalance the books, announcing itself through violent typhoons and hurricanes and floods,  The Muana Loa Observatory atop a high mountain in Hawaii tells us that global warming is happening far faster than anyone thought. Teleworking reduces Greenhouse gases by reducing business travel and Hawaii is one of the leading regions in adopting telework. But all to no avail it seems – as unprecedented rates of acceleration of CO2 in the global atmosphere were measured last year (2.54ppm) and the year before (2.08ppm).  Carbon dioxide levels have been increasing fast for the past 50 years but the recent figures, if continued, would bring runaway global warming and rapid melting of the icecaps – and immediate sea-level rises of many metres or yards.  In the long term a warmer planet will release frozen tundra for agriculture, refresh the oceans and make a better world – but the dislocation will be catastrophic. At the very least – we can move to higher ground and build hurricane proof homes and offices.




EPICUS – Embryonic E-Democracy & Money Laundering – Friday 22nd October 2004


The EPICUS Party for Informed Consensus has been announced. It offers radical policies for E-democracy and radical changes in many other areas, including a call for the repatriation of all illegal offshore funds back to their countries of origin. Honest owners would then demonstrate their legitimacy and claim their funds. The transfer and hiding of these mysterious assets, “funny money”, thought to be as much as $14 trillion dollars across the World, has been greatly enabled by the Internet and WWW. In the good old days only very rich people could arrange a “back-to-back” where they would lose money in their own country, generating a capital loss for tax purposes, and simultaneously make the same amount – less the brokers’ fees – in a tax haven. Metal, Commodities and International Stock Brokers were the usual money-laundering intermediaries. Big business would supplement back-to-backs with “staging post companies” in tax havens, through which the businesses would purchase their own parts or services at low prices – losing money in their own countries – and then sell it back to themselves at high prices – skimming off huge non-taxable profits and transferring money to a tax-haven. Today however, thanks to Telework and the Internet, ordinary high-earning doctors, dentists, computer experts, small traders, car-dealers, drug-dealers and many others from the hoi-polloi, are using staging-post-companies to hide their incomes, with respectable off-shore banks that issue a high rolling credit card allowing profligate spending anywhere in the world – without all those nasty taxes to pay.  Will EPICUS help to roll back the tide?  (See the EPICUS Manifesto)


Economics – fiscal justice


London stagnates – Friday 8th October 2004


In this marvellous era of the Information Society and hi-tech solutions, London tips raw, untreated sewage, condoms, sanitary towels, floaters, paper, needles and all into the Thames 60 times a year, amounting to 12 million cubic metres of sewage. Rowers, canoeists and sailors are warned not to put their hands near their faces – or is that faeces? – and to be decontaminated before going home.  The government is too poor to spend £1.5B on a new sewer that would pump the mess out into the North Sea and it cannot even contemplate cleaning it in new sewage farms.  Scientists predict many more sewer floods and backwash-incidents as global warming increases the rainfall and sea-levels.  The Environment Agency has issued a map of areas most likely to be flooded but discretely ignores the sewage backlash. 


Emerging Technologies


UK music industry beats up the kids – Friday 8th October 2004


The BPI – British Phonographic Industry – along with the UK’s IFPI  - The International Federation of record companies - has issued writs against 28 master criminals who are, the Guardian newspaper assumes, most likely to be 12 year olds, who are accused of swapping music files with pals via their computers.  Damages of thousands of pounds per infringement are being sought.  How long will it be before the Dandy, Beano and Superman comics’ publishers lobby governments to introduce the death penalty for kids who lend their comics to their pals. The BPI can be proud that they are defending civilisation against imminent collapse.  “Just wait till be get the little b******ds in Court – we’ll really terrify them “ said a champion for free enterprise.

Protection racket revamped – The sequel –  Friday 8th October 2004


Within 24 hours of me registering the complaint set out below, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, PO Box 10101, London, E14 9NF, Tel +44 (0)870 241 0549, , with only the telephone numbers to trace the people, sent an email saying they had had several complaints like mine, had interviewed the company and been assured that 3 rogue employees had been sacked. Amazingly fast action – so thanks NITCU. 

Protection racket revamped? – Tuesday 5th October 2004


This report and complaint was sent to ICANN and the official .Net and .Com registrars - also to the US, IFCC, The UK Home Office and other Abuse reporting centres.


Dear Sirs -  telephoned me from UK Tel 0870 064 2246 (Sue Carpenter) and claimed to have a customer, Stephen Quinn (sp?) on UK mobile Tel 07789 440137 who is threatening to create risible web site/s (giving as an example their Price Waterhouse Coopers parody ) using my trading name, SW2000 Telework Studies, which he says he is registering for 10 years at £600 sterling, then to leverage these to the top of the search engines and to thus divert my client enquiries to these insulting sites. My lawyers tell me that I have copyright in my trade name, established since 1988, and I am very concerned that this manoeuvre may be a prelude to Identity-Theft, Passing-Off, or Fraudulent Misrepresentation. As I can glean no identity information from Domainistics, at this stage I suspect they are part of a scam. It feels to me no different from a gangsters' Protection Racket, "Pay-up or we'll wreck your business". Can you prevent this or should I apply to the police fraud-squad to trace these people/businesses and interview them? They seem utterly confident that they are untraceable - Do you have addresses for them? – Noel Hodson 5th October 2004.


Useful email addresses for reports or complaints about internet abuse.


IFCC in the USA – full remit to stop abuse.

NHT in the UK - limited remit to monitor the Internet.

Visa & Credit Cards authority in the USA.

ICANN and the .Com and .Net registars, Global.

UK Home-Office for crime prevention.

British Telecom.

And I copied it to Price Waterhouse Coopers.


INternet abuse


Spot the loonies! Tibetan ice fields disappear – Saturday 25th Sept 2004.


The glaciers and snow cover of the mountains of China and Tibet have 15% of the planet’s ice and are unlikely to last the century according to a 25 year study by 50 Chinese scientists. The UK Guardian newspaper 24th Sept reports they have found a “recent” 5.5% shrinkage and a loss of 3,000 sq km of ice with extra water flows since 1950 of 587bn cubic metres – accounting for the unusual river flooding China has experienced. Once the ice all melts it will raise sea levels and flood coastal cities – in China – so tell George W Bush that’s alright as it’s a long way from America. (see SUV item below) ‘But doesn’t the same ocean cover the whole planet?’  “…Ugh”  To help the most powerful and presumably best informed man in the world with his great thoughts, if Tibet is melting, then so is Greenland, the Arctic, Antarctica – and even the ski resorts of California. When Antarctica melts sea level will rise by about 60 metres or 180 feet. In the meantime it is now commonplace for China to suffer 5 day traffic jams and the air over their main cities is almost as bad to breathe as UK Oxford’s, New York’s and Los Angeles’s. There are about 400 million more citizens wanting to acquire a car – and commute to work.  What an opportunity for Detroit built SUV’s.


Spot the loony! Hybrid car sales increase – Thursday 16th Sept 2004.


80,000 petrol or diesel/electric hybrid cars will be sold in the US this year. They are mostly made by Japanese manufacturers, designed to meet the NIL pollution targets set by California for Year 2000 – targets then abandoned. The sales are being driven by higher fuel prices rising from 90cents per US-gallon in 1999 to $1.75cents this year. The article, in New Scientist 11 Sept. 04, doesn’t cite Miles Per Gallon but other reports have claimed over 60 mpg for hybrids. The big Detroit SUV’s so favoured by Mums to take kiddies to school and, despite God sending 3 off-the-scale hurricanes to America this September, granted 100% first year tax relief by President Bush – do about 8 mpg.  Clean hybrids aren’t granted tax relief.  Spot the loony.


Telephones evolve yet again – Thursday 16th Sept 2004.


Star 38, a telephone maker in California is offering a system which disguises the telephone number you are calling from and allows you to substitute somebody else’s number. This can only be a recipe for mischief and telephone and fax spamming; and should therefore be stopped. BT are offering handsets for traditional fixed-line phones that send and receive text messages. This will further accelerate the step in evolution of a part of the brain recently discovered in youngsters who use their thumbs to text from mobile phones (Yes really). It will also sabotage all efforts being made to encourage people to spell correctly.


UK E-mailers grow long noses – Thursday 16th Sept 2004.


The Guardian newspaper of 15th September reports that UK e-mailers – particularly at the workplace – lie about emails received, or not received. They lazily and thoughtlessly “blitz” their colleagues with unnecessary messages and use obtuse, sloppy and overly long language laced with personal comments and misunderstood humour - when they bother to reply. Only 13% reply, leaving 87% who do not. In contrast 60% of Italians reply with due formality. However 62% of UK email users feel the need to see emails the instant they arrive – which mostly they then ignore. This custom gap between sending and replying generates rage and fury on both sides. In 2005 it is forecast that 36 Billion e-mails will be sent in the UK. Who would want to be an enraged, frustrated, ignored UK teleworker?


Emerging Technologies



Spam busters, Cable & Wireless, Exodus and SAVVIS – Wed. 8th Sep 2004.


BBC Radio 4’s evening news programme ‘PM’ yesterday reported a successful lawsuit by “internet nerd” Steve Linford against a US giant ISP SAVVIS “The network that services Wall Street”. This morning there is no record of the item on the BBCi web site or of the lawsuit. However web research reveals the underlying story.

SAVVIS Communications Inc. up to recently owned by Cable & Wireless, the UK’s 2nd largest telecom and a major international player in more than 60 countries, is listed in the Top 25 Spam hosts by The Spamhaus Project

What Steve Linford, of the Spamhaus Project, wrote on 7th April 04 was “…due to the good reputation SAVVIS has with the anti-spam community  …we’re hoping this (takeover) spells extended downtime for the large mass of spammers Cable & Wireless and (C&W subsidiary) Exodus have been servicing”  See the detailed reports by Gerry Patterson at PGTS Journal a zealous anti-spammer. 

The BBC last night interviewed SAVVIS Chairman and CEO Rob McCormick accusing SAVVIS of making $2M a year as a spam enabler. Rob McCormick said it was less than that – and said SAVVIS will curtail the (now illegal) services.  $2M income implies billions of spam emails.

It seems that the Spamhaus Project is the leading spam-buster. It offers a free spam blocker, QURB, that it claims works on most PC’s – download it from  and they really seem to know what they are talking about.

In the meantime we will wait for the BBC to find that elusive lawsuit.




Chinese Junks – Monday 6th September 2004.


The newspaper The Independent on Sunday reports a survey by Sophos, a British Internet security firm, that spam emails traffic emanating from Hong Kong and China has grown from 6.24% of the world’s junk emails in February 2004, to 11.63% in August 2004. South Korea publishes 15% of the junk. Western advertisers are flocking to the less regulated Far East internet. $26,000 fines are being introduced to curb the spammer’s enthusiasm. – That still leaves 73% of junk mails coming from the US and the rest of the world despite tough new laws and fines. Spam “clogs the cyberways” and is a serious threat to the efficiency of the Internet.



DRM is forever – not just for Christmas – Friday 3 September 2004.


Digital Rights Management software applied to e-books, films or music requires the customer to enter a password for their unique machine making it the only machine that can play back the record. Good for authors, musicians, actors and film producers. But a pain in the neck for teachers, reading groups etc. as the customer cannot loan, copy or play the record when they upgrade their machine. With new hardware all the stored DRM records are lost – forever. If DRM is applied to stored documents – say government archives, there is a real danger that they will be inaccessible to the public within a few years. Copyright currently runs out 70 years (or 50 in Australia) after the death of the creator/owner. DRM goes on for eternity. Why is the journalist Danny O’Brien (New Scientist 4 September 04) alarmed? because Microsoft has just bought all the DRM patents. Think of the stranglehold that will give Microsoft on the world’s data, as most writers, professionals and creators will be tempted to apply DRM to protect their work. Apply DRM to all media – videos, CD’s, tapes etc. and - Gottcha ! 


Internet surveillance and laws


Hey! Shorty! Just WHAT are you eating ? – Tuesday 17th August 2004.


This item is only valid here because it is ‘information’ – which in the Information Society deserves as much exposure as possible. Robert Lawrence, promoter of Meatless Monday, interviewed by Liz Else for New Scientist, tells us that 286 million US citizens attempt to eat 9 billion animals a year; Agribusiness produces 3,900 calories a day when we need only 2,400 calories each and the surplus, mostly digested and undigested meat fats, are fed to the next generation of hogs and chickens and are sprayed on crops – to benefit unwitting vegetarians of course. He goes on to explain that the 286 million Americans suffer 75 million cases of food-borne diarrhoeal diseases every year “which is quite a lot” – and that due to the recycling of the surplus fats through the sewage and food chains, increasing amounts of dioxins, PCB’s, pesticides, endocrine disrupters, hormones and growth promoters, which are used in Agribusiness, are concentrated in the fatty tissues of the current stock of animals. These chemicals so degrade the crop and animal food values that Americans are in danger of becoming shorter due to malnutrition – and obese because they have to eat more to compensate for poor nutrition. He recalls that in World War 2, British army Privates were 4 inches shorter than Officers. It’s no wonder we look up to our aristocrats. Taking a poor community in Baltimore as an example Robert Lawrence found they only had access to tinned and long-life frozen foods in local shops, requiring a bus journey with two bus changes to cross town to get to a better class of food – even assuming they had the information required to motivate such travel.  The end result must be globular citizens.




Music Industry beats the freebooters and inspires the film makers – Tuesday 17th August 2004.


The threats of legal action by the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA against music fans freely swapping record files using KaZaa software seem to have deterred one-third of the abusers. From a high point of 35 million KaZaa users in August 2003; the estimates made by PEW INTERNET indicate a fall by February 2004 down to 20 million KaZaa users.

The movie industry is planning to follow suit. The Motion Picture Association of America MPAA is trying various technological solutions to piracy which mostly starts with illicit copies being filmed with spy-cameras in public USA cinemas. The methods include colour jags in the original film which the eye cannot see but the spy-camera records, bad, free copies with the ends missing – presumably enraging customers against pirate suppliers - and night vision goggles for cinema staff to help spot the recorders. But the smart money is on massive law-suites to deter the copyists. Sales of pirate films are thought to be $3B a year – though how anyone computes such a figure is in itself worthy of a study. (From New Scientist 14th August 2004.)

Internet surveillance and laws


New York inundated. Move to Higher Ground – Wednesday 14th July 2004.


I will not refrain from saying “I told you so”. The Guardian newspaper, UK, confirms our forecasts of some years ago and reports that London, New York and New Orleans, to name but three, will be drowned as the Antarctic ice melts; according to Sir David King, the UK’s government chief scientific adviser. So move to higher ground.   Real Estate property values will be fundamentally altered.,12374,1260825,00.html


The melt-water calculations are on this site in a Power-point presentation via:




and the, relatively sane and happy, future of the planet and the human race is  absolutely accurately and entertainingly forecast in my new book, The Future 2516AD – Life After Global Warming, which you can find via:




Order now a pre-publication copy from me by email ( or or from PublishAmerica, Maryland, TEL (301) 695 1707 and ask for Katherine Michaud.



Taxation in the Information Society – Tuesday 13th July 2004.


This web site has long predicted that the advancing Information Society will lead firstly to an increase in tax evasion and secondly, in due course, to tax harmonisation. According to TIME Magazine some OECD countries total tax revenues as a percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2002 were: (where would you prefer to live?)


Japan                          27.3%

Ireland                                    28.0%

US                               28.9%

Switzerland                 31.3%

Slovak Republic          33.8%

Portugal                       34.0%

Poland                         34.3%

Greece                                    34.8%

United Kingdom          35.9%

Spain                           35.6%

Germany                     36.2%

Iceland                        36.7%

Hungary                      37.7%

Czech Republic           39.2%

Italy                             41.1%

Norway                        43.1%

France                         44.2%

Finland                        45.9%

Belgium                      46.2%

Sweden                       50.6%


With governments absorbing and controlling from a quarter to a half of all expenditure – which means jobs – it makes for an easy target for the forces of  “freedom” to assert that business is being strangled and revenues being administered and spent inefficiently by civil services. However, those same forces of freedom that promote the value of international free trade under their control, pay very little tax; being advised by international tax planners and assisted by bend-the-rules auditors, resulting in seven trillion dollars being held “offshore”. Seven trillion dollars, ($7,000,000,000,000) is almost the value of the whole of the UK which is reportedly (TIME Magazine) worth nine-trillion-dollars. The same forces of freedom are led by corporate executives who annually take, by hook or by crook, multi-millions of dollars from their companies, to hide offshore or to spend on $250,000 shower-curtains for one of their homes.


The fake transactions behind these scams and evasions, where no bookkeeper need write fraudulent entries in their own hand, are only possible through the obfuscation and anonymity provided by computers and international telecommunications. These corporate excesses give civil servants the ammunition to tighten controls on business and take more power over budgets. When, as happens daily across the world, government and corporate budgets are abused and millions go missing – or billions in the cases of several recent corporate scandals – stealing money from masses of honest savers and ordinary workers, the computers, mostly IBM mainframes, suddenly seem incapable of tracking the lost cash and the Intelligence Services and legal systems are incapable of confiscating the ill-gotten gains (the pending Kenneth Lay, ENRON trials will test the real resolve for restitution).   ..\index_files\ENRON_The_Future_of_Auditors.htm


There are several possible remedies for the Information Society. I recommend that: (1) the internet is utilised to store and archive all transactions daily in an unchangeable format – requiring after the fact “adjustments” to be publicly justified rather than concealed. (2) Computers should list all wealth and assets – a modern 2004 Domesday Book – with public access to the lists. (3) All excess corporate rewards of the last twenty years should be examined and their legal basis challenged, and illicit rewards confiscated. (4) To start the process and the 2004 Domesday Book records, a new global currency, the EURODOLLARYEN should be introduced and all holdings converted and recorded within a short time frame. (5) The present $7 trillion or more in offshore bank accounts should be confiscated and the funds used to pay-off 3rd World debt.


Global tax harmonisation will automatically follow the initiatives to stop financial crime; and the Information Society can move ahead, confident that honesty, integrity and hard work will be rewarded.


In the long-term, as computers make most necessity-work redundant, the world will have to find new ways of distributing wealth. We can’t all serve burgers at McDonalds: see our BIRTHRIGHT proposals. ..\index_files\brightsummaryjune2000.htm

Internet surveillance and laws


The appliance of science proves telework is better – Tuesday 6th July 2004.


Business Info Magazine (June 2004) reports that Microsoft hired mathematician Dr Sam Espig to write formulas which compare different forms of working – at central office; in-flight; on the train or bus; in a car; utilising diverse levels of advanced and mobile computers and telecommunications. It is no surprise that the algorithms prove that central office desk workers are only 36% productive (due to all the diversions identified in The Economics of Telework 1992) while a travelling, laptop wielding teleworker is 40% more productive than that.  As the statistics pages on this website show, telework at home is far and away the most productive work method, being up to 25% to 40% more “effective” (output and costs) than the best that central-office commuter-workers can produce:- see the Costs and Benefits worked example and travelling to meetings calculations at:\index_files\2004_telework_statistics.htm


The basic physics rationale was expressed back in the 1980’s by the telework guru’s – “Take the Work to the People, not the People to the Work.” The effectiveness of telework not only creates better productivity, it is better for the teleworkers health, stress levels (if the PC’s and broadband don’t crash!) and work-life balance and, by moving bits and bytes of information instead of carting 110 pound workers and their 2,500 pound vehicles back and forth, it consumes a fraction of the energy. Dr. Espig may like to extend his formulas to include all the issues:  WORK-TIME X WORK-STRESS X HEALTH-COSTS X WEIGHT X MILES-KLMS X TRAFFIC-DECONGESTION X RELIABLE-TECHNOLOGY X REAL-ESTATE = EFECTIVENESS. And all, of course, multiplied by SPAM and Viruses. The world awaits the indestructible, instantly restorable, mobile computer.  


Emerging Technologies


Spies everywhere? The battle for confidentiality - Tuesday 29th June 2004.


New Scientist magazine 26 June 04 warns us of SPYWARE, being cookies and other software inserted into private computers to report back to marketing organisations without the owner’s permission or knowledge.  The article recommends among others the Lavasoft cleaner Ad Aware 6.0 from . I have just downloaded it and scanned – the programme found and quarantined 30 objects on my PC including one found in a “deep registry search”.  These intruders are no different to having your telephone tapped. However, I then set PRIVACY to maximum on my Norton Anti-Virus, then ran, RIGHT CLICK, Microsoft Internet Explorer -> PROPERTIES->DELETE ALL COOKIES->DELETE ALL OFF-LINE CONTENT->DELETE HISTORY and then reconnected to the Internet and summoned GOOGLE. Unsurprisingly, Norton advised me that the GOOGLE page required my PC to accept a COOKIE before it could download.  So my Internet searches are still monitored. As President Bush Senior once said of the Internet, with all the knowledge of an ex-head of the CIA, “ Privacy is Dead - Forget Privacy.”


Mobile Lynch Mobs?   Meanwhile the CABIR virus has been let loose, harmlessly, on Mobile Phones and the World is warned that malicious viruses may follow – passed from cellphone to cellphone via short range Bluetooth connectivity.  Any nerd who boldly attacks mobile phones will be a martyr to his art, as he is unlikely to live out the week.


Powerless?   And – major telephone companies are increasingly moving to wireless network systems, which are far easier to intercept than the old wires, the traditional twisted copper pairs. BT for example have announced they are decommissioning telephone exchanges and replacing them with their own Internet-type network, 21st Century Network (inevitably 21CN) – which will be “cheaper, faster and more powerful.” The downside of going wireless is that the separate power source, down the wires, we have all come to rely on for our domestic phones, keeping them operating even during power-cuts, will go and most peripherals will be power-grid dependent. Thank heavens for reliable and responsible public power suppliers like ENRON – come the next solar storm or terrorist disruption.  When London Underground abandoned its exclusive power supplier in favour of a newly privatised national grid supplier, it was immobilised a few months later by a power-cut, for the first time ever.  But those clever chaps at BT can be relied upon to have a back-up power system in place, can’t they?


The Midwich Cuckoo’s?  And finally – The Times (London Times) of June 24th reported that several dozen householders in a cluster of villages in Essex, East Anglia, UK, were pursued by BT for costly premium rate calls to Adult sex-lines. After the dust settled BT said that person or persons unknown had infiltrated the lines via the village junction boxes – a BT trained engineer suddenly showing off a new car can’t be difficult to identify. For readers who enjoy John Wyndham settings, the villages are called New Green, Bardling Saling, Helions Bumpstead near Haverill, and Thurne near Acle on the Norfolk Broads. The UK telephone ombudsman who is supposed to fight the customer’s corner refused to believe the complaints, presumably preferring to imagine the outbreak of sex-calls by young and old alike was caused by a late Spring-time rush of hormones.  Have they checked the water?


Internet surveillance and laws


In and Out of Europe? – Tuesday 22nd June 2004.


I am as xenophobic as the next man; particularly in this season of Euro-Football (England miraculously beat Croatia last night 4 goals to 2 – Hurrah!), and I may be more for independence than most; my slogan is Home-Rule-For-Brookside; the 24 houses cul-de-sac where I live. But two days ago the newly enlarged European Union (see\index_files\25EUFlag.ppt  ) signed its first 25 member constitution, triggering every fear, in every European country, that has ever been conceived, concerning loss of sovereignty, loss of independence, loss of Home-Rule, loss of budgetary control, loss of self Defence, premature balding and etc. I have revisited my memories of Europe, before the Union was effective, to see if a return to the good old days would be welcome.


In 1969 my young family and I travelled by car across France. Most roads were in holes – so we bought a Renault 8, with sponge rubber suspension. There were few if any Auto-routes. We had to telephone to Manchester, England; which took two hours to connect and was routed via New York – and cost a fortune.  There was little if any roadside food or water on sale and lavatories required gymnastic and logistical skills involving two, urine flushed, porcelain footplates, gathering all loose clothing with one hand while beating away flies with the other, squatting and aiming into a stinking communal collection pot. In Germany, the Berlin Wall and the Cold War divided East from West and all Europeans expected nuclear war any day. Children were advised, if they heard the nuclear bomb warnings, to put a paper bag over their heads and sit in a doorway. Italy had few functioning banks, requiring most transactions to be cash – which we Brits were not allowed by Exchange Controls to carry.


To cross Europe or conduct any business required five or six currencies, hedging in US dollars, borders, passport controls and endless queues and paperwork. Spain lived with 30% unemployment and around 40% illiteracy among women. Portugal was chronically poor; as was Ireland. France was under attack by Algerian terrorists, Spain by the Basques, Britain by the Irish Republicans and Italy and Germany by the Red Brigade. Brits bathed only once a week, if that, and suspected deodorants would change their gender. Pregnant girls were locked away in terminal shame in convents, ruined for life, and the only available contraception, as recommended by Pius the Twelfth, was either Coitus Interruptus or the Rhythm Method, both of which added the spice of uncertainty to all in-depth relationships. Homosexuals were routinely beaten up, arrested, imprisoned and ruined.


As late as 1985, prior to EU Commissioner Martin Bangemann’s promotion of the  European Information Society, it was difficult to telephone from Stockholm or  Aberdeen to Rome or Madrid. Nokia did not make telephones.


For the paranoid, it was a great time. We could, with official approval, hate all foreigners, queers, coloureds and communists. We yearned for the coming Apocalypse and Armageddon to punish the ungodly and feared Flying Saucers, Alien Invasions, The Yellow Peril and the Red Revolution. We waited five months to be allowed to buy a telephone.  Do I want to go back to the good old days when Britain was Britain – Wooden Ships and Iron Men -, when mad old Generals sent millions of young men to be slaughtered in European Wars, when we could choose the colour of our ration-books, pay The City whatever charges they imposed on a captive island population, save up for ten years to get married, live with our parents and buy a washing machine, and tug our forelocks at the passing gentry – “God Bless you kind Sir”? I think not. I think - thanks all the same for the opportunity to revert - that I will go with the Union.


Historical context. Venus and Reagan – Wednesday 9th June 2004.


Venus crossed the face of the Sun yesterday, 9th of June 04 and US President Ronald Reagan died aged 94. Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun again in 8 years time, but it is unlikely that Ronald Reagan will make another appearance.  I spent 16 hours wrestling with conflicts between my previously wholly reliable IomegaZip250 USB back-up drive and my two weeks old BT-Broadband – also USB – which blacked out my computer.  Or did BT spike my system to stop research into their “Cleanfeed” censorship (see next item).  Am I irretrievably paranoid or are we being monitored?  NB see REALITY CHECK & FOLLOW-UP below, which illustrates how urban-legends grow.

Censorship of Internet sites – Thursday 10th June 2004.


David Bolton of London wrote to the Guardian newspaper Online UK about Cleanfeed, a BT vetting programme which prevents access via BT connections to undesirable web sites. It seems that Cleanfeed blocks 25 million sites under categories including child-porn, weapons, hate, and other topics.  An astonishing 25 million sites are blocked but under “Pornography”, presumably including child-porn, only 18 sites are banned, while under Glamour & Intimate Apparel, 6,500 are banned by BT.  It must be worthwhile for naughty underwear sellers (are Marks & Spencer banned?) to bribe the BT censors, whoever they are, to block rival sites while leaving their own outlets visible and available.  (  This is the second Clean-feed report I have seen. Having recently switched on BTBusiness Broadband, I will be interested to learn of the criteria applied and the process of selecting censors (who are our moral guardians?) and in turn how the censors select the sites to ban – and if any plain brown envelopes stuffed with cash change hands. And, purely in the interests of research, I should test the blocking.  If 25 million sites are blocked by a major ISP without general and wide public consent – then beware and, as a US poster advises, “READ ORWELL” !


REALITY CHECK & FOLLOW-UP – The facts and numbers on the Cleanfeed site don’t agree with David Bolton’s letter. They give a very different impression from his letter. He is presumably including other vetting agencies.  First – Cleanfeed is not imposed by BT, it is an independent vetting tool which has to be bought by a user – bundled with broadband. Second – there is no mention of 25 million sites. Selection seems to be by recommendations from customers. Cleanfield’s statistics are as follows:


Total sites monitored - 7,067,512


There are more than 20 Cleanfeed categories. The banned sites are:

4,716                           Adult

   447                           Anonymous Proxies

   880                           Criminal Skills

5,764                           Betting & Gambling

6,536                           Glamour & Intimate Apparel

1,801                           Hacking (bring back the death penalty – Ed)

   554                           Hate Speech

3,294                           Usenet

     20                           Pornography

1,975                           Violence & Weapons

2,716                           Drugs and Alcohol and Tobacco

196,421                       Sexually Explicit

   552                           General


6,036,755                   Allowed


So there is no need just yet to paste your “I Love Big Brother” poster to your living room wall.  And I was able to view knaughty-knickers etc. via my BT ISP.  If only BT could apply a filter – to SPAM. Can we please have a site dedicated to introducing the death penalty for spammers and virus creators?

Internet surveillance and laws



India’s E-Democracy; simplicity works – Friday 21st May 2004.


650,000,000 of India’s one billion citizens were entitled to vote in this month’s elections for a new national government. Indications are that about 450,000,000 did vote – by simply pressing a button on one of the one-million voting machines. The voting was spread over several days to enable the team of auditors to travel the sub-continent and ensure fair elections. The computers and software are deliberately designed to be very simple and the simplicity enables even non-technical observers to spot attempted abuse of the system. More complex systems such as are proposed in the USA and Europe allow sophisticated hacking or manipulation of the count which only an expert might detect. Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, reported in New Scientist magazine, praises the transparency of the Indian system but would advise they add a paper print-out facility to enable voters to check their selection and to enable a good old fashioned paper recount.


BT Profits – Thursday 20th May 2004


BT today announced annual profits of £2 billion sterling, confounding critics and doomsayers who have focused on the monthly exodus of customers at the reported rate of 250,000 (per month/per annum?). BT says it is retaining the customers it wants, is winning back valuable customers at a fast pace and is growing through its Broadband and other services “which the public wants. And we are giving them what they want.”

As a sometime critic of BT and as one of its most loyal customers I yesterday installed BT Business Broadband – from the pack and CD they send through the post. To my amazement and without any technical assistance or visiting engineers the system took minutes to install, seems to be working as promised and hasn’t sabotaged anything on my PC – so far. 




GOOGLE –V-The Rest. World championship of searching – Friday 7th May 2004.


The UK’s Guardian newspaper ran a competition between Ros Taylor using Google, Oliver Burkeman researching by telephone and Stephen Moss researching in a library. The questions and outcomes were:


1. List the titles of all the books written by Piers Morgan, editor of the Daily Mirror.

Google                         2min 2sec – Includes a book by another Piers Morgan

Phone              19min 14sec – Mirror Press Office gave an incorrect answer

Library            0min 20sec – Reference in Who’s Who


2. Where and when did Margaret Thatcher say: “There is no such thing as society”?

Google                         0min 59sec – Fast and most detailed

Phone              7min 10sec - Correct

Library            1min 45sec - Correct


3. Who is the vice-chairman of the(UK)  all parliamentary group on back care?

Google                         6min 27sec – Slower than reference books

Phone              3min 21sec -  Speedy work by parliamentary researchers

Library            1min 16sec -  Correct


4. What proportion of the Slovenian railway system is electrified?

Google                         1min 17sec – Phone figures may be more up to date

Phone              64min 5sec – Slow but accurate (direct from Sovenia).

Library            8min 18sec - Old information & disqualified for accepting outside help.


5. What did Sophie and Edward Wessex do on Tuesday?

Google                         0min 25sec – Missed a small detail

Phone              5min 45sec -  Authoritative (from Buckingham Palace)

Library            1min 25sec - Correct


6. What was unusual about the British Gold Medal victory in the 400M in the 1908 Olympics in London?

Google                         1min 45sec - Correct

Phone              26min 30sec - Correct

Library            1min 20sec - Correct


Google won by a nose – obviously using a reliable ISP.

Goggle            3 Firsts – 2 Seconds – 1 Third

Phone             0 Firsts - 2 Seconds – 4 Thirds

Library            3 Firsts – 2 Seconds – 1 Disqualified

Emerging Technologies


LINUX & Linus – Open Free Software – Wednesday 28th April 2004.


For we simple folk, grinding daily corn between stones in our primitive hutments, who do not even know the names of programming languages – and who cannot remotely conceive how our desk-top computers do what they do - struggling to download and sort 2 relevant emails from among 67 illegal spam, or to find a real live person at Microsoft or at Norton Anti-Virus, the world of operating system programmes exists only in parallel universes with little or no discernible impact on our all too human lives.


But Stanford law professor, Lawrence Lessig, writing  in Time Magazine (26 April 04) about Linus Torvald “The Free-Software Champion” allows us a glimpse into the Realm of the Demi-Gods of Cyberspace who eternally battle and strive to enslave or to free mankind from the shackles of monopoly computer operating systems. It once seemed that the mightiest of the gods, MSDOS and APPLEMAC, allied their armies as MSOFT and vanquished all comers but, though sentenced to be chained to a rock in the eternal darkness of Helsinki university, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, to have his liver pecked out by Nerds, the Norse warrior, Torvalds, inspired by the “free-software-movement” vision of MIT’s Richard Stallman, forged a pact with the mighty patriarch IBM who took enchanted blue crystals, breathed capital upon them and created a new and subtle god, LINUX, born in 1991 in those northern lands of ice and fire, who, employing hidden, ancient paths and long forgotten tunnels, silently encircled the globe, weaving electronic threads into vast nets with magical powers. Too late did the all conquering Eye-that-never-Sleeps, slumbering in the easy warmth of California, realise the threat and awaken ensnared and enfeebled by LINUX’s golden webs which one day may free the whole human race. But in the meantime, unless you are a programmer and have the slightest idea of how LINUX might change your life – keep on grinding the corn. 

Emerging Technologies


Music Industry loses a test case – Friday 16th April 2004.


Canadian judge Konrad von Finkenstein found that 29 defendants had not breached music industry copyright in posting music files on the WEB.  His 23 page judgement delivered on 31st March 04 reasoned that placing a copy of a file on the WEB is similar to providing a photocopier in a book library, enabling people to copy and retain pages from (copyrighted) publications. The case was brought by the Canadian Recording Industry.

Internet surveillance and laws

Mobile phone damage to brain cells – debate continues – Friday 16th April 2004.


The journal of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics has published an article edited by Katie Daniel, on work by Bo Sernelius at Linkoping University, Sweden, testing the hypothesis that 850 megahertz radiation – the frequency of mobile phones – increases the van der Waals forces (magnetic alignment forces) by a huge 11 times. This could cause water molecules in tissue cells and the cells to clump together and may cause blood vessels to contract. If found to be the case it would be an alternative mechanism for damaging cells, from the mechanism of radiation heat damage which is thought to be a consequence of exposure to mobile phones.


Mobiles & Health


Will GOOGLE lead the way? – Sunday 4th April 2004.


Google plans to allocate 1.1GB (1,100mb) to users of its promised GMail. Such generosity will undoubtedly lead its rivals to offer the same or more storage. As Google must anticipate millions of users, their ability to provide a Megabyte of space to each user indicates how cheap mass capacity has become.  Google will also file all your incoming and outgoing emails and make it accessible when you make an internet search. For business users this auto-filing and retrieval will save acres of time. What then is the likely downside? First Google will increase advertising and offer wider services, diluting their mission to organise Internet Data objectively; second it will put pressure on the internet’s capacity – already noticeably slow as populations in the west awaken to a new day and switch on their email and connections. But, if the new competition shakes up my ISP, BTConnect, any downside will be worthwhile.


Btconnect simply does not connect. Despite spending about an hour a week on their help-line for the past two years, despite downloading the new BT PAYG Dialler – which will only connect with their own extremely dull site, last week’s log shows that of 35 email uses, BT’s server “could not be found”  30 times, requiring me to re-dial an average of 4 times per session – or more than 120 dial-ins to get 35 connections. When connected my incoming email arrives very slowly – sometimes as slow as 500BPS – or 100 times slower than the modem. As BTconnect users are particularly open to spam of all types, (do BT personnel sell their customer’s details in bulk?) my ratio being about 30:1 and as spam is often dense with graphics, it’s fair to assume that spam is about 50:1 of my email connect time. Thus BTConnect delivers my email about 150 times slower than it should – and engages me in Help-line conversations for about 60 minutes a week – when I bother to try to get it sorted out. So I suspect I will give Google’s GMail a try. 


Emerging Technologies



Bill Gates is smacked on the legs with a ruler – Thursday 25th March 2004.


The EU has fined Microsoft $500M dollars for anti-competition monopoly practices, making a small dent in their $53 billion bank balance. The immediate target is Microsoft’s Media Player which is bundled with operating systems used on 90% of the world’s personal computers. The EU ruling requires Microsoft to publish its operating system software and enable competitors to create products which will integrate with Microsoft systems.  Microsoft intends to appeal, a process they believe will occupy the next five years.  My view is that while I understand and agree that monopolies are usually too greedy to be allowed to live, in this case of global communications - only made possible by 90% of the world using the same software - that but for Microsoft we’d be struggling with dozens of disparate, self-important operating systems, all bitching at each other, sabotaging their competitors’ customers’ capability to swap files, at ten times the present price. We’d have far more expensive cartels instead of Gate’s monopoly; and nothing would work. 




Internet surveillance and laws



Blackberry’s are in season – 11 March 2004.


Freshfields, one of the major London City law firms, have for six months tested handheld devices that act as mobile phones, collect email via an always-on facility and have a small QWERTY keyboard. Their IT director, David Hamilton, reports that the firm is now buying 2,000 BlackBerry’s , made by Research in Motion (RIM), Canada, who claim 1M global BlackBerry users with about 50,000 of those in the UK. Freshfields experienced a week’s battery life and found the device easy to use with Microsoft PC’s. RIM say their prices start at $200 plus about $40 a month. They additionally support the device with their own software packages.

Emerging Technologies


De-congestion in DC – Wednesday 10th March 2004.


Washington DC announced a new initiative, “Better Work Through Telework”, aiming to have 50,000 more teleworkers and fewer commuters in the Washington DC area by 30th June 2005. The city believes this would result in a reduction of 17,000 daily vehicle trips, saving 550,000 vehicle miles per annum. According to Council of Government (COG) surveys, there are currently 2.6 million employed in the greater metropolitan area including 400,000 teleworkers (15%) who on average spend 1.5 days per week working at home or in local centres (NB 400,000 x 1.5  x 47weeks/ 240 work days = 117,500 daily commuting round-trips by car, bus and train). Gerry E Connolly, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Founder of the Washington Area Conference on Telework, has set a target for 20% telework. (20% of 2.6M = 520,000 teleworkers). As our inset calculations illustrate, the frequency of teleworking (days per week) is an important factor in impact studies. On the same basis of 1.5 days per week, 520,000 teleworkers would cut out (520,000 x 1.5 x 47 weeks / 240 work-days = 152,750 commutes per day). Average round-trip commutes are about 25 miles, so when Connolly’s target is reached it will save 3.8M commuting miles per work day (90% by car) and about 152,750 gallons of fuel a day, helping to improve air quality.