Netbooks may offer hackers private data gateway.


Netbook web surfers beware. That low-cost netbook you're using could be a high-speed gateway into your life, bank accounts, passwords and other personal data. Netbooks have made headlines since their 2007 launch, making PCs accessible to millions of non-traditional users. But their cheap cost could also carry a steep price tag due to lax security that makes them easier prey for viruses and hackers. Since their introduction less than two years ago by Taiwan's Asustek, nearly all major PC makers, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer and Lenovo, have jumped on the netbook bandwagon. But their no frills nature, combined with low computing power and relative lack of sophistication among their users could combine to create the perfect storm for hackers and virus creators looking for easy targets, analysts say. "The Internet is full of dangers, regardless of what computer you are using," said Sam Yen, greater China marketing manager at anti-virus software maker Symantec. "But keeping in mind that the netbook is primarily used to surf the Internet, those dangers are possibly multiplied many-fold, especially if there is no anti-virus software installed in the machine." "Frankly, netbook security is not there yet," said Pranab Sarmah, an analyst at the Daiwa Institute of Research. "The positioning of the netbook means PC brands are going to do whatever it takes to make the price point attractive to consumers, which means keeping costs low." Many netbook users are relative Internet newcomers, and may not be aware of precautions they can take to protect themselves. Low computing power also means savvy netbook users may shut down critical security programs to boost speed. "It's a Catch-22 situation," said Gartner analyst Lillian Tay. "If you're running too many security programs at the same time, it slows the computer down. Don't run any, and you are at risk."

By Kelvin Soh TAIPEI (Reuters)

     Brantford Ribfest gets a name change.

Renaming of the Brantford Ribfest - Brantford's Own Annual Ribfest - for the Kinsmen Club of Brantford in 2011. While still using the originally designed logo, the renaming of the event as well as the addition of the Kinsmen logo onto the chef's hat on the original logo will change to Brantford Kinsmen Annual Ribfest to more reflect the commitment of the Kinsmen Club has for the City of Brantford. This will appear on all promotional material, event outdoor banners and coupon. The Kinsmen Club will continued to use and grow their new logo onto the website and new marketing material each year - with the same logo and a great new name.

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By Tom Sevier (Xavier Consulting)