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Lighten Up 4 October 2002 Edition
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Now here's something you don't see every day -- a singing psychic, ghostbuster and detective. I guess there's no need to book an appointment to see her -- she'll know you're coming.

Have you noticed how much rain there's been recently? Could these people know something the rest of us don't?


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Just "a Couple of Hundred Dollars"
As BugBear continues to bite millions of Net users world-wide it is perhaps time to consider the advisability of extending cellphone technology to the point where executable code can be downloaded and run.

Take, for example, this story published by IDG earlier this week in which it is revealed that Telecom is evaluating the use and provision of Qualcomm's BREW technology.

BREW is an acronym for Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless -- it is also a clever twist on Sun's Java in both concept and presentation (compare the logos).

Readers Say
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From Yesterday...
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  • Claytons Virus's... - Marc
  • Viruses and computer WoF's... - Richard
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    Like Java, BREW supposedly offers a safe, secure way to deliver extensible functionality to wireless devices such as cellphones -- well that's the theory.

    However, we all know that even the mighty resources of Sun couldn't stop Java from developing its fair share of security holes (aka hacker vulnerabilities) so why should we believe that Qualcomm's offering won't do likewise?

    I suspect that most Aardvark readers are tech-savvy enough to disinfect their own PCs if the are unfortunate enough to become infected by a virus -- but could they fix an infected cellphone I wonder?

    It seems that one of Qualcomm's approaches to reducing the risk of malevolent code being shipped in BREW format is to require all apps to be tested by them (for a fee) before being approved for general use.

    An eagle-eyed Aardvark reader emailed me to point out that a Telecom "suit" is quoted by IDG as saying that the BREW development kit is a free download, and that it only costs "a couple of hundred dollars" to get a game approved by Qualcomm -- after which it will be placed on Qualcomm's servers and made globally available.

    Hey, "a couple of hundred dollars" doesn't sound too bad does it?

    Sorry Telecom but the sky must be a funny colour in your world. Check out the *actual* testing fees seem to range from NZ$1550 to NZ$6,500.

    Oh, and as the reader also points out, don't forget to add NZ$800 or so for the mandatory Verisign certificate as well.

    The Java/Vodafone option sure looks a lot more attractive to small developers eh?

    Hmmm... I wonder if Telecom could lend me "a couple of hundred dollars" -- I promise to pay them back $200.

    If you want to have your say on the contents of today's column then please do so. Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the readers' comments section.


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