The Buzz - 23

WIKIS

Publisher kicking off first wiki-based novel

So youve thought about trying to write a novel but cant seem to get going on it, huh? Well, publisher Penguin Books—and hundreds or thousands of other people around the world—are going to help you, and, in turn, you can help them.

Penguin Books is using wiki software—the technology used to create the online encyclopedia Wikipedia—to create a Web-based novel that anyone anywhere can write, edit or read.

The book, titled "A Million Penguins," went live Feb. 1 and is expected to be live online for about six weeks. It can be found at www.amillionpenguins.com.

Jeremy Ettinghausen, the digital editor for Penguin Books, said in a release announcing the idea that the publisher is interested in seeing whether the principles behind open-source software can be applied to creative processes such as writing a book.

"To be honest, we dont know exactly what is going to happen or how this will turn out," said Ettinghausen in London.

SECURITY

Identity-theft incidents falling, study shows

There seems to be a down- ward trend in identity theft in the United States, according to a new report issued by Javelin Strategy & Research.

According to the Feb. 1 study, losses due to identity theft dropped 11.5 percent between 2005 and 2006, and the number of U.S. citizens victimized by it has fallen, too, from 8.9 million in 2005 to 8.4 million in 2006. In addition, both of those figures are down from 10.1 million in 2003. Fewer fake accounts are being opened as well, according to the report.

Still—as the recent hacker incident at TJX Companies illustrates—the problem of identity theft isnt going away, and losses are still high. The Javelin report indicated that losses last year hit $49.3 billion.

Those at greatest risk are twentysomethings, who are less likely to use security software on their computers or shred documents, said the report, which was based on 5,000 telephone interviews and backed by several financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and Visa.

TIME CHANGE

It Might Not Go Like Clockwork for Some

The United States decision to start daylight-saving time on March 1—about a month earlier than usual—could cause all sorts of problems for U.S. businesses and their international partners, according to research company Gartner.

Enacted as part of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, the decision not only will mean another hour in the time difference between U.S. business hubs and their international counterparts but also will force businesspeople to pay closer attention to time-related tasks and devices, including PDAs, trading applications, cell phone companies charging the wrong amount for peak and off-peak hours, and security programs improperly denying access to IT resources.