ITS the season for suing Microsoft. Goldtouch Technologies, a small California-based computer hardware company, has accused Microsoft of stealing the firms design for a user-friendly computer mouse. Goldtouch claims its officials met Microsoft hoping the software giant would license and market its design. Instead, says Goldtouch, Microsoft "stole the invention for itself, and used its market power to divert to Microsoft profits to which (our) business was justly entitled." Apparently, Microsofts IntelliPro mouse uses the basic Goldtouch design, with some advanced features added on. Lawsuit amount: $1 billion in punitive damages plus other compensatory damages.
A US report from the Global Organized Crime Project, chaired by former FBI and CIA chief William Webster, says that to crash the US electrical power grid and military command and control systems, all you need is software from the Web. Hence the need to overhaul national security agencies to avert cyberattacks that could cripple the nation and corporate Americas critical infrastructure. Indeed, in a recent US military exercise code-named Eligible Receiver, a team of security experts proved just that. For example, the team showed that using software available free at cracker websites could deny computer services to the entire Pacific military command and control system. Even more stunning: indications that about 20 nations have already penetrated US information systems!