The insurgent network administrator assumed absolute control over the city's network for a 12-day period in 2008. Although he locked out the city from its own network during this period, Childs was kind enough to let the network run unhindered. But that gesture of generosity wasn't enough to prevent his arrest in June, 2008 guilty. He was finally convicted on one felony count of network tempering on April 27, 2010.
Childs is effectively half way through his sentence, having already served more than two years in custody.
The impact of long term exposure to cellphone radiation is still largely unknown, but all the evidence up until now lends credence to the fact that you probably have better things to worry about. San Francisco lawmakers disagree however, and a controversial new law that forced retailers to display radiation levels of different handsets has the CTIA pulling them into court. “The CTIA's objection to the ordinance is that displaying a phone's SAR value at the point-of-sale suggests to the consumer that there is a meaningful safety distinction between FCC-compliant devices with different SAR levels," it said in a statement.
According to CTIA officials the new law supersedes the FCC’s authority to regulate radio emissions, and is misleading for consumers who ultimately haven’t been properly educated as to what the SAR ratings actually mean. Some have been tempted to lump cellphone manufacturers in with the tobacco industry who lied to customers for years about the dangers of smoking, but this is a bit misleading as well. Independent labs have backed up the fact that cellphone radiation levels as they are mandated today are considered safe and in some cases might even be beneficial.
Only time will tell if the law will hold up in court, but at the end of the day perhaps it will encourage manufactures to voluntarily lower radiation levels. Studies show it probably won’t help, but it certainly can’t hurt.
San Francisco is well known for being a progressive city, often leading the way in environmental and humanist issues, and historically unafraid of making waves. However, in the instance of the recently signed cell phone radiation law, the SF Board of Supervisors are being reminded that sometimes it’s best to not rock the boat – especially when you’re the one sitting in it.
Late last month the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to pass a bill, proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, which would require cell phone retailers to post the radiation absorption levels emitted by cell phone handsets. While cell phone manufacturers such as Apple and Verizon, and telecom giants AT&T, TechAmerica and CTIA, have successfully lobbied against similar bills in both California and Maine earlier this year, they were apparently unable to sway the city by the bay. Their response was to promptly pack up their toys (i.e. the annual CTIA convention) and go home, saying “We felt they sent us a message about how they felt about the industry and the technology. And if that’s how the city feels, then we have to look at other viable options.” They’re also encouraging other companies (Apple and Cisco have both been name-dropped) to join them in a boycott. As the CTIA convention has brought “more than 68,000 exhibitors and attendees and $80 million” to the city’s coffers, this may prove to be a not only a costly reminder to San Francisco law-makers –but also an unfortunate blowback to the tech-savvy residents of the city.
Much ado has been made about the long-term health effects of frequent cell phone usage, and studies have come to mixed conclusions. Some studies fail to show any kind of link between jamming a cell phone against your noggin for extended periods of time, while others warn that within the next decade or so, you'll be able to identify frequent chatters by the tails they've grown.
Regardless of which side is right, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a law that would require retailers to display exactly how much radiation is emitted by cell phones. Following the vote, this will likely become a law after a 10-day waiting period, in which citizens and politicians have a chance to comment on the bill.
"In addition to protecting the consumers’ right to know, this legislation will encourage telephone manufacturers to redesign their devices to function at lower radiation levels," said Mayor Gavin Newsom, announcing the legislation. "This is similar to Prop 65, which dramatically reduced public exposure to toxic materials because chemical companies removed toxic ingredients from their products in order to avoid product warnings."
Should this go into law, San Francisco cell phone shoppers will be able to see the specific absorption rate (SPR) of any cell phone being sold. This number represents the amount of radiation produced that's absorbed into the body, and retailers who neglect to disclose this info would be hit with a $300 fine.
Its next-generation microprocessors, which are based on its Westmere microarchitecture, are codenamed Clarkdale (desktop version) and Arrandale (notebook version). The “Dales” chips are a multi-chip solution featuring 45nm integrated graphics cores. Intel is also expected to shed light on a new system-on-chip technology, besides announcing transistor improvements. The event might also feature some updates on the company’s Larrabee platform.
Terry Childs, who locked down San Francisco's FiberWan system last summer, will get his day in court on January 13, exactly six months since he went into the slammer for allegedly hijacking the network he designed and maintained. $5 million bail stands between Childs and a 'get out of jail' card until trial.
After an eight-day preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado ruled Wednesday that prosecutors had produced enough evidence of Terry Childs' probable guilt to hold him for trial on four felony charges of tampering with a computer network, denying other authorized users access to the network and causing more than $200,000 in losses.
How much more than $200,000? According to prosecutors, the city claims it spent almost $1.5 million in "attempts to regain control of the network and assess its vulnerability to intrusions."
Childs' attorney claims her client was trying to protect the network from other employees:
Mr. Childs had good reason to be protective of the password. His co-workers and supervisors had in the past maliciously damaged the system themselves, hindered his ability to maintain it...and shown complete indifference to maintaining it themselves...He was the only person in that department capable of running that system.
The case made our 250 Most Important Tech Products, Events, and People of 2008list at number 232. Stay tuned to MaximumPC.com for further updates.
Be wary of the disgruntled IT guy. No really, be wary. He most likely won’t be in to gun anyone down, but he may lock you out of the computer system. That’s just what happened to the City of San Francisco. Terry Childs a network engineer who helped create the city’s new multimillion dollar FiberWan system had reportedly faced disciplinary problems at work. He is now accused of hijacking the city FiberWan system locking out all other Admins.
While the system continues to run normally, administrators can’t make changes to the framework of the system. They’ve called in experts to get into the system but it could take several weeks.
Childs first gave up a bogus password to police. He has now clammed up and is refusing to cooperate. He is currently being held in jail in lieu of $5 million bail.
San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, described Childs as a formerly well-regarded worker who had apparently turned into a "rogue employee that got a bit maniacal", "He was very good at what he did, and sometimes that goes to people's heads".