Steven Levy

Stories by Steven Levy

  • Gadgets: Ipods For Everyone

    Steve jobs is no stranger to hyperbole, but he had a point when he introduced the latest line of iPods last week: "It's our third generation and no one's caught up to the first," he said. Apple's new digital music players--which sync perfectly with Apple's new music-downloading store--are sleeker than the originals, about the thickness of a slice of toast. You can now create a playlist on the fly. Windows users can connect to their Bill boxes via the USB 2.0 standard. And prices are down: $299 for a 10-gigabyte version that stores 2,000 songs, $399 for 15 gigs and $499 for a monster 30 gigger. So what's the catch? Smaller batteries. The old models nearly rocked around the clock--10 hours--before recharging. On new models the music dies in eight hours.
  • Spot The Terrorist

    Jay Walker achieved fame and fortune as an internet pioneer (Priceline.com), then notoriety and considerably less fortune as an icon of the dot-com bust. But his legacy might one day be a sweeping scheme for homeland security that doesn't earn him a buck. For the past few months, Walker has quietly been visiting key figures in Washington, D.C., to brief them on an idea he calls US HomeGuard. It is audacious, ingenious and a little bit scary. Basically, it attempts to protect chemical plants, reservoirs and airports--all targets where terrorists could get horrifying results with relatively little effort--by a system involving 10 million Webcams and a stay-at-home army of up to a million watchful citizens.Did I say a little bit scary? I'm getting hives just typing this.But scarier still is not doing something to protect ourselves against demonstrably real threats. We found this out, of course, on September 11. Walker himself saw the tragic columns of smoke as he was driving down the...
  • Not The Same Old Song

    Steve would have made a good rock star," said Roger Ames after Apple CEO Steve Jobs's tour de force introduction last week of the Apple iTunes Music Store. Ames, the head of Warner Music Group, knows rock stars--and he also knows that something had to be done to change his industry's relationship to the Internet, from black hole to bankroll. Will Apple's bold introduction of a friendly online music store (built into its iTunes software, available only on Macintoshes and synced to iPods) break the logjam? "Absolutely," says Jobs. "This is huge." But plenty of questions remain. NEWSWEEK takes on a some key ones:What's the big deal about the Apple Music Store?Don't think of it as a "down-load service" but a terrific online destination--a well-designed, easily navigable Web site that welcomes browsing (hear a high-quality sample of every one of the 200,000 songs), offers special items (unreleased cuts by Bob Dylan and Eminem) and, when you decide you want a song, instantly sends it to...
  • The Connected Company

    To understand how business runs in the 21st century, just look at the business end of the military. It's all about connectedness. Connections to outsiders lead to vital information: Saddam-istas in a compound near a Baghdad restaurant. From there, a well-designed cascade of communications kicks in. And in 45 minutes, not much more time than it takes to deliver a pizza, deadly ordnance connects with the target.Fortunately, the consequences aren't as dire in corporate conflicts, but the lesson is clear: persistent, smart connections lead to successful outcomes. The leaders of connected companies--like the ones featured in the following pages--have long ago boarded this particular cluetrain. They know that to thrive in today's Mad Max competitive landscape CEOs must keep open lines and open minds to a critical trifecta: fellow workers, suppliers and customers. They understand that the palette of tools available is broad--from instant messaging to wireless technologies named after...
  • The Killer Browser

    Just about the only place you could get something to eat at 4 in the morning in Champaign, Ill., in early 1993 was a convenience store called the White Hen Pantry. "It's kind of a Midwest 7-Eleven," says Marc Andreessen, who would often stumble out of his workspace at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at ungodly hours in search of sustenance. Andreessen, 21 years old at the time, and fellow NCSA worker Eric Bina were working on a program they called Mosaic. One night at the White Hen, Andreessen scanned the newsstand and saw the first issue of a magazine called Wired. "I thought, 'Wow, this is pretty interesting stuff'," he recalls of the magazine that promised to treat technology as a cultural breakthrough. "But you know what? The magazine didn't mention the Internet once."The project that Andreessen and Bina were hatching would change that. Posted on the Internet in beta form--free of charge--in March 1993 and in an official release the following month, Mosaic...
  • Random Access Online: Bloggers' Delight

    When I tracked down Sean-Paul Kelley, he was taking on CNN, NBC, Fox and The New York Times with a Compaq laptop wirelessly connected to a cable modem in the single bedroom of the San Antonio, Texas, apartment he shares with his wife and a calico cat named Barsik."I've got 32 windows open on my browser, the TV is on, and I've got the BBC on my RealPlayer," says the 32-year-old freelance financial consultant. "I woke up to 332 e-mails this morning."From this command post, Kelley single-handedly creates a Weblog called The Agonist, which tracks and comments on developments in the war with Iraq. (Weblogs, or blogs, in case you're missing this grass-roots movement, are journal-like personal Web sites consisting of short items and links to other information on the Internet.) "I felt the media wasn't doing a good enough job of covering the nuances of international relations," he says. Apparently thousands of readers agree with him: The Agonist is among the most popular of a group of ...
  • Secrecy Rarely Works

    Last month some researchers at England's Cambridge University made a disturbing discovery about certain bank ATMs: it's possible to steal from them from your account. Don't panic--the flaw they found could be exploited only by an insider, and many U.S. banks don't use the hardware systems in question. But this was small comfort to a Diners Club cardholder and his wife, who were shocked to find themselves charged for about $80,000 in withdrawals from London ATMs. The cardholders were at home--in South Africa-- on the March 2000 weekend when the machines gave out cash in their names, 190 times. Diners Club and its owner, Citibank, are suing, saying the charges should stick because the system is infallible. The defendants have turned to the Cambridge researchers to challenge that conclusion. But, claiming a threat to ATM security, the plaintiffs have asked for--and received--an order that technical testimony can be given only in closed chambers and cannot be made public, ever.Ross...
  • Marketing: Flogging On A Blog

    The exploding popularity of Weblogs--diarylike personal Web sites, also known as blogs--is often touted as a shining example of untainted expression. But marketers at Dr Pepper see the movement as the perfect launch point for a "grass roots" campaign for a new "milk-based product with an attitude," Raging Cow. The first step is an in-house blog (ragingcow.com); it tells the fictional backstory of the drink, which rolls out in April in flavors like Chocolate Insanity and Pina Colada Chaos.Next comes a blog-related twist on viral marketing--recruiting "key influence bloggers" to promote Raging Cow by sharing their enthusiasm, linking to the site and distributing special screensavers, banners and skins. Beginning with an initial group of six people in their late teens and early 20s--flown to Dallas with their parents for an induction session--Dr Pepper hopes to develop a "blogging network" to hype Raging Cow and "be part of the 'in the know' crowd," says its brand-marketing honcho...
  • How To Can The Spam

    Looking at my bloated in box, it's amazing to realize that less than a measly decade ago, you could have had a reasonable debate about whether the Internet should accommodate any commercialism. Now the argument is whether a vile form of capitalism will kill the Net's best feature: e-mail. Each hour brings a torrent of unwelcome and often appalling "spam"--a term insufficiently odious to describe what's happened to the poor Internet (at least you can spit out the real thing if someone sneaks it in your omelet). I am certain you are as fed up as I am with the promises to make body parts and bank accounts bigger, the offers to buy Viagra or inkjet cartridges and the opportunities to recover a hidden fortune of the widow of some fallen despot. And almost certainly, when starkly explicit images pop up on your screen, you have wondered just how this can be happening--and perhaps you've looked over your shoulder in case John Ashcroft is ready to cuff you for harboring sinful jpegs.So how...
  • Health: Fantastic Voyage

    One day not long ago, Richard Saul Wurman, the design wizard behind the "Access" book series, realized: "I knew more about the way my car works than the way my body does." So, for himself and his readers, he began work on a series of meaty booklets that make sense of basic health issues--like men's and women's diagnostic tests, cardiovascular problems and drugs (prescription, over-the-counter and herbal). All are rendered with Wurman's trademark graphical touch, demystifying complex subjects by use of laser-clear charts, gripping colors and illuminating layouts. Published by TOP, each costs $12.95. Next up for Wurman: "Understanding Health Care," out in July. It'll be his 81st book.
  • Microsoft Gets A Clue From Its Kiddie Corps

    Bill Gates didn't get it. Neither did Steve Ballmer. In July 2000, when Tammy Savage, a 30-year-old manager in business development, went before Microsoft's heavy hitters and presented a case that they were clue-challenged in understanding an entire generation, the reception was chillier than a campsite on Mount Rainier.She'd told them all about her perception that for young people, the Internet is like oxygen, and the 13-24 set "are on instant messenger before their morning coffee." To serve that crowd--the "NetGen" --Microsoft had to discard its methodology of starting with a technology and then creating products. Instead, Savage reasoned, the needs and attitudes of the customers should determine what software Microsoft should produce, and the technology should come later. If Microsoft wanted to be relevant in the future, she told them, it had to adjust to NetGen, even if it meant producing software that the middle-aged guys in the room didn't care for.Fortunately for Savage,...
  • Sony's New Day

    There are ghosts at Sony. You can hear them speak. On the ground floor of the company's Tokyo headquarters is a small museum. Behind a wall of glass, on a prominent pedestal, stands one of the original tape recorders produced in 1950 by a new enterprise called Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Co. (thankfully, the familiar name combining the Latin sonus and "sonny boy" came a few years later). Press a button and the voice of cofounder Akio Morita fades in. Morita and his partner, Masaru Ibuka, who gave Sony a legacy of creating irreverently innovative, culture-transforming devices, are dead, of course. But Sony's current executives constantly invoke their names--even as they explain how they are taking the company through the most dramatic transformation in its history.Sony, home of transistor radios, Trinitron, Walkman, Betamax, Bruce Springsteen, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo, now wants to be known as the home of connected entertainment in the digital age. CEO Nobuyuki Idei...
  • Technology: Big And Small

    For gadget lovers and MAC fans, Christmas comes in January, when Apple Computer and the rest of the world's electronics manufacturers hold separate trade shows.Macworld ...
  • I-Innovation

    The keynote was preceded by a sour note: the night before Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to address the annual San Francisco Macworld show, a Merrill Lynch analyst issued a dire "sell" rating for the company's stock, charging that "the new product pipeline looks skimpy and we expect continued market share losses." ...
  • Forcing Open Windows

    Can anyone compete with Microsoft in the world of software applications? For years now, Bill Gates & Co. have had clear sailing: the Windows operating-system monopoly has helped make their key products--like Word and Outlook--into unbeatable juggernauts. Meanwhile, innovation in those areas proceeds only at the pace that Microsoft deems appropriate.The Open Source Applications Foundation has a different idea: to promote free software and innovation by creating cool new applications on a bare-bones budget. The not-for-profit OSAF was initially funded with $5 million from former Lotus Development Corp. founder Mitch Kapor. For Kapor, this is a fascinating departure. Twenty years ago he introduced one of the first killer apps of the PC age, the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet; it was unabashedly for-profit and was closed-source, a la Microsoft.But Kapor always had his heart in the counterculture, and after leaving his company he cofounded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyberrights...
  • The World According To Google

    In a bygone era--say, five years ago--it would have been an occasion to burn shoe leather. A friend clued me in to an eBay item connected with a criminal case I was following. I didn't know who the seller was, and the district attorney on the case didn't know, either. "We're looking into it," he assured me. I checked into it as well. Fifteen minutes later, I had not only the seller's name, I'd discovered that he was a real-estate agent in a small California town. I'd seen a picture of him. I knew which community groups he belonged to, the title of a book he'd written. And what college he had attended. And I found out that the seller had a keen interest in hooking up with younger men--and I'd even read graphic descriptions of what he liked to do with them.How did I know this? By performing an act done by tens of millions of people every day: typing a query (my quarry's eBay handle, which was the same as his e-mail address) into a blank line on a sparsely decorated Web page. In about...
  • Another Go At The Tablet Pc

    Experience the evolution. That's the weirdly appropriate slogan for Microsoft's highly touted tonic for the troubled computer industry, the Tablet PC. During its high-profile launch last Thursday, Bill Gates acknowledged that the laptop-you-can-write-on was only the latest (and presumably, greatest) of many failed pen-based computing iterations. In an act of bravery, he even enumerated a few of those unfit nonsurvivors, including Apple's Newton and the product from the doomed start-up company Go. I cite his courage because those reminders inevitably led observers to speculate whether the Tablet--embodied in no fewer than eight versions by different hardware companies, with more to come--might itself find its way into a diorama in a digital Museum of Natural History.Fortunately for Microsoft, the evolutionary landscape for pen-based computers is much friendlier than in years previous. The Tablet PC cleverly exploits today's mightier chips, smarter digitizers, sharper screens, cannier...
  • Global Search

    Sure, you love your Google. But what if the object of your quest is to get a broad view of the subject? With traditional search engines, you might have to scroll through many pages of results. But now there's Grokker, a visually oriented search tool that delivers results in a colorful landscape of nested spheres. Each ball represents one aspect of your requested item, and you can enlarge the spheres to find subcategories, repeating the process until you get to the actual sites or files.A preview release of Grokker, which searches databases from Northern Lights and Amazon--with many more to come--is downloadable for $100 (which includes an upgrade to the final version) at www.groxis.com.
  • Take My Bills, Please!

    There was a telling moment in the recent agenda conference, a prominent gathering of high-tech execs not bankrupt or in handcuffs. Moderator James Fallows, whose day job consists partially of writing big-think articles for The Atlantic Monthly, was interviewing Rob Glaser, the CEO of Real Networks. Glaser's company boasts one of the biggest subscription enrollments on the Web: he'd come to Phoenix, Ariz. (these things are often held at balmy desert resorts ringed by golf co), to boast of 850,000 paying--that's right, paying--consumers of the entertainment and sports programming he sells. Fallows noted that despite selling subscriptions for more than 100 years, his magazine's financial state is perpetually precarious. And, Glaser asked, "does Atlantic get $120 a year for subscriptions?"Glaser's point was clear: these days a business person's heaven is a few hundred thousand--or, better yet, a few million--customers sending you fat monthly contributions. Especially when you're selling...
  • Cheat Sheet | Dressed To The Eights

    This month America Online (AOL) and Microsoft Network (MSN) unveil what they call breakthrough software updates, both numbered Version 8. It seems AOL (35 million members, $24 a month) has finally wised up about MSN (9 million, $22 a month).AOL 8.0LOOK AND FEEL: Shedding its Pravda attitude toward personalization, it now offers six Welcome screens. Still too many ads and offers.PARENTAL CONTROLS: Industry leader makes its kid-limiting system easier to find. Will include usage "report cards" to parents in December.E-MAIL: Good news: AOL mail isn't quite as lame as before, finally instituting features others had in 1995. Bad news: still lame.MESSAGING: More ways to dress it up but not as snazzy as Apple's iChat version. Still, AIM is mandatory since everyone uses it.MSN 8LOOK AND FEEL: Well-organized, with lots of chances to customize. But some people will want to lose space-gobbling "dashboard."PARENTAL CONTROLS: More sweeping means of blocking inappropriate material, and provides...
  • And Justice For All

    Twenty-five years and 37 days after Ira Einhorn crushed Holly Maddux's skull and stuffed her in a trunk, the former hippie boulevardier, with his hair shorn now and decked in a clubby blue blazer, sat next to his lawyer to hear his fate. The suspense wasn't exactly overwhelming. As his lawyer, William Cannon, later explained, it's tough to defend a client when his former girlfriend is discovered in mummified form in his closet 18 months after her disappearance. That job is tougher still when the jury learns that your client almost murdered two other women under similar circumstances--they wanted to leave him, he didn't want them to leave unharmed.And when excerpts from your client's personal diary actually celebrate such assaults ("Violence always marks the end of a relationship...." ), well, you do the best you can.Nonetheless on Thursday, Oct. 17, Room 305, in the city court building across the street from Philadelphia's City Hall, was brimming with drama. Seated in the front row...
  • Glitterati Vs. Geeks

    Larry Lessig admits it: he's nervous. Who wouldn't be? This week the brainy Stanford law professor makes his first appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court--barely a decade after clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia--to argue a case that could redirect millions of dollars, rejigger the entertainment menu of the entire nation and liberate Mickey Mouse.In its narrowest context, Eldred v. Ashcroft deals with the seemingly arcane issue of the length of copyrights for books, films and music. But it's actually a high-noon showdown between two great industries at odds in the age of the Internet. In one corner there are the big studios and record labels, intent on protecting their property and their turf; their success in winning congressional goodies has been more reliable than a Hollywood happy ending. In the other stand the forces of high-tech innovation, who until recently wore their distrust of government like a badge of pride. Now the techie crowd understands that if Big Media gets the...
  • I Was A Wi-Fi Freeloader

    The other day, I plopped down on my living-room couch to do some work on my laptop while watching a football game. The family cable modem, which pumps high-speed Internet into our abode, was at the other end of the apartment, hardwired to a computer on a desk in the bedroom. So I had no access to e-mail or the Web. Or did I?I have a program on my PowerBook called MacStumbler, whichtells me whether I'm within the signal area of any localized "wi-fi" networks. Wi-fi is a means of beaming an Internet connection wirelessly.Though the range is relatively small--commonly a few hundred feet--people have set up thousands of wi-fi nodes at home, within corporations or in public spaces such as a Starbucks. To my surprise, I discovered that my laptop was picking up two of these signals. Clearly, a couple of my neighbors--I couldn't tell whether they were fellow tenants or nearby businesses--were inadvertently bleeding wi-fi into my apartment. Neither signal utilized encryption or even password...
  • Time For An Instant Fix

    God knows that America Online has enough problems. There's that funny accounting business, its inability to meet ad quotas and all the untidy blame-mongering that follows the purchase of an elite media goliath by an overvalued Internet company. (I'm sure that everyone in the online service's Vienna, Va., headquarters felt great when CEO Dick Parsons began a sentence with the phrase "If AOL is going to live...") Given all those travails, does a broken promise about instant messaging mean a hill of beans? Apparently, the AOL brain trust doesn't think so. But I do.The unkept vow involves the company's stated intent to make its wildly popular AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) software work with other instant-messaging programs. AOL has about 150 million registered users of its program. The company boasts more than 2 billion instant messages (IMs) sent daily. Yet AOL users can't zip off their how-de-dos to those using Microsoft's MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, or even ICQ, AOL's less...
  • The Trial Of A Radical, Finally

    This week, lawyers picked a jury in Philadelphia for the Ira Einhorn murder trial, with opening arguments to begin on Monday. It's an understatement to say that this is an event long overdue.Twenty five years ago this month--Jimmy Carter was president and the first Star Wars movie had just been released--Helen "Holly" Maddux, then a vivacious 30-year-old, was called to the apartment she once shared with Ira Einhorn, her longtime boyfriend of several years. That summer, she had terminated the relationship, and a frantic Einhorn was demanding she return to his second-floor flat near the University of Pennsylvania. Otherwise, he threatened, he would toss her clothes on the street. Holly went back to the apartment. She was never seen alive again. In March 1979, her remains were found in the apartment, in a steamer trunk stored in Einhorn's closet. "You found what you found," Einhorn told the cops who located the body. A more unambiguous set of circumstances could not be imagined.But...
  • Software: The Eminence Geek

    The people most identified with the software giant Microsoft are, of course, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. The third is up for grabs, but to hard-core nerds it may well be Charles Simonyi, the 54-year-old Hungarian-born computer scientist who joined a small, scruffy firm in 1981 and helped it to become Microsoft. He was the guru behind Word, and later became a sort of eminence geek in Microsoft's research division. He also became fantastically rich, building a house that rivals Chairman Bill's, and jet-setting around with pals like Martha Stewart. But this week an era in Redmond, Wash., ends: Simonyi is off on his own.The mission of his new company, Intentional Software, is "making [computer] code look like design," he says. The idea is to create tools that will allow programmers to make their intent visible to others. "What you get when you look at a computer program now could be produced by the teletype machine," says Simonyi, who himself began hacking in high school, on a Russian...
  • Living In The Blog-Osphere

    Zack was an insecure kid who clowned around in high school and felt that no one really liked him. About a year ago he started a Weblog, or blog--an easy-to-maintain journal-like personal Web site where he could express his feelings and share his songs, poems and artwork with his classmates. "I thought that people would like me if they truly knew me," explains Zack, now 18. As the journal became well known in the school, Zack saw the change he hoped for: "My friends found me."Zack, with his 28 readers a day, isn't part of Weblogging's "A list," an intricate mutual back-scratch society that includes clever curmudgeons, high-tech avatars and angry ankle-biters who ferociously snipe at traditional media. He is, however, a truer representative of the blogging boom that's making people into instant publishers, newshounds and public diarists--and helping the Internet make good on some of its heady promises of personal empowerment.Indeed, with a new blogger joining the crowd every 40...
  • Can 8.0 Save The Chat Room?

    Even if he hadn't been just appointed the new CEO of America Online, Jonathan Miller would have made a nice poster boy for the online service. He certainly has the technical savvy to handle the wilds of the Internet without training wheels--after all, he headed USA Networks' valuable online properties--but for six years Miller, 45, has also been a happy member of the 34 million-strong so-called AOL community. "Every morning my 8-year-old son plays chess against someone somewhere in the world," he says, launching into an ode to AOL's chess service, which he considers superior to the allegedly whizzier ones to be found on the Internet at large. Cue some sappy music and... you've got commercial.Actually, the background sounds are more like ominous synthesizer growls in a horror flick. Miller, who is universally cited as a smart, low-key manager, had better bulk up for battle. He joins AOL when the skies above its Dulles, Va., headquarters are dark with circling vultures (related story)...
  • Internet: A 'Real' Innovation

    In one of the Internet's most hotly contested battlegrounds, a top competitor has plans to enlist the Geek Legion to its aid. Real Networks is a leader in streaming media--the technology by which music and video flows into your computer--but the company constantly has to keep on its toes to stave off the relentless challenge from Microsoft, which created its own Windows Media standard. This week Real will release Helix, the ninth generation of its software for servers that deliver the media to consumers. Helix can handle every media format--including Windows Media. But more intriguing is Real's decision to publish Helix's source code so that outside developers can make their own improvements, either building them into compatible products or submitting innovations for inclusion in the next release. In theory, users will reap new features, better performance and smoother integration with other software. It's a great test of the claims of open-source gurus, who say that a self...
  • Armani, Andy And Apple

    Steve Jobs and New York's SoHo district are a natural fit. Both are icons in the nexus where taste, art and commerce all meet. Like SoHo, Apple CEO Jobs has evolved from scruffy beginnings to prosperity while maintaining a quietly hip edge.So it's no wonder that when Apple opened its first store in New York City, Jobs chose the place where Giorgio Armani and the Keith Haring shopcoexist. At its unveiling last Wednesday, Jobs was greeting media and muck-a-mucks at his 32d Apple retail store, a former Restoration Hardware outlet in a 100-year-old former post office. "I love the neighborhood," Jobs gushes.Jobs is celebrating five years since his triumphant return to the company. He's still triumphant and, surprising even himself, he's still there. And he's still foiling skeptics by insisting--and, so far, proving--that Apple is a survivor. Earlier in the day, dressed in trademark long-sleeved black T and jeans, he wove his spell before thousands of the faithful who attended the...
  • Labels To Net Radio: Die Now

    Jim Atkinson is cannon fodder in the digital-music wars. Five years ago he and his wife, Wanda, began 3WK, a virtual radio station that streams tunes of their beloved alt/indie rock to listeners over the Internet. Unlike broadcast radio, which requires astronomical investments in licenses and broadcast equipment, a Webcaster needs only software and a server. The result is arich universe of more than 10,000 alternative Web stations, many of which cater to narrow if not bizarre tastes: from Hawaiian ukulele music to Tanzanian drumming. It's the exact opposite of broadcast radio, where the vast majority of stations are owned by a few media giants, who restrict playlists to the lowest-common-denominator ears. In the Webcast world, however, it's possible for Jim and Wanda Atkinson to run one of the more popular sites--and one day, they hope, a profitable ad-supported business--by playing the tunes of, say, Dashboard Confessional. Possible, that is, until Oct. 20.That's the day the bill...
  • The Big Secret

    In ancient Troy stood the Palladium, a statue of the goddess Athena. Legend has it that the safety of the city depended on that icon's preservation. Later the term came to mean a more generic safeguard.Here's something that cries for a safeguard: the world of computer bits. An endless roster of security holes allows cyber-thieves to fill up their buffers with credit-card numbers and corporate secrets. It's easier to vandalize a Web site than to program a remote control. Entertainment moguls boil in their hot tubs as movies and music are swapped, gratis, on the Internet. Consumers fret about the loss of privacy. And computer viruses proliferate and mutate faster than they can be named.Computer security is enough of a worry that the software colossus Microsoft views it as a threat to its continued success: thus the apocalyptic Bill Gates memo in January calling for a "Trustworthy Computing" jihad. What Gates did not specifically mention was Microsoft's hyperambitious long-range plan...