Written by Les C. Cseh


Did you know thatrepparttar UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) regulations place responsibility for forgery losses partially on bank customers, rather than solely onrepparttar 119307 banks? But in addition to this exposure, there can be significant expenses and lost time investigatingrepparttar 119308 crime, not to mention damage to your credibility and reputation.

Your only defence is to show that you have taken due diligence. One way to demonstrate this is by implementing careful practices regarding your checks. Another is to use checks with well implemented security features.


The problem is so serious thatrepparttar 119309 banks don't like to revealrepparttar 119310 extent ofrepparttar 119311 problem. Estimates range from hundreds of millions to 10 billion dollars annually.

In 1991,repparttar 119312 FBI tracked over 26,000 cases, but this is justrepparttar 119313 tip ofrepparttar 119314 iceberg, becauserepparttar 119315 FBI mostly focuses on cases whererepparttar 119316 amount exceeds $100,000. Just one example comes from The Green Sheet (a publication torepparttar 119317 Financial Services Industry), reporting an incident where a family had allegedly stolen more than $1 million from area merchants since 1993 by writing checks on closed and non-existent accounts at 11 financial institutions in Indiana and Chicago under 25 different names.

In just 4 years, Northern Trust Bank has detected more than 3 million dollars worth of counterfeit checks.


It is an endless list, but here are some ofrepparttar 119318 types of things that someone looking to counterfeit or tamper might look for:

* High volume bank accounts where a fraudulent check can easily slip through. * Checks that are easy to reproduce using a color copier. * Checks that are easy to tamper with. * Easy access to checkbook or check stock.

The Beginning of the End of the Internet?

Written by Bill Platt

A steady stream of Patents have been coming fromrepparttar U.S. Patent Office overrepparttar 119306 last few years, which have left folks inrepparttar 119307 software industry frustrated and outraged.

With Patents that were issued to Amazon, Alta Vista and more recently McAfee getting extensive headline coverage, many have asked themselves what is afoot over atrepparttar 119308 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. How can such universal software concepts such as "One-Click Purchasing", "Search Engines" and now, "Auto-Downloading of Software / Software as a Service (SaaS)" become items that are allowed to be Patented by companies?

Most Patent experts do not take these "junk Patents" seriously knowing full well that they will be overturned byrepparttar 119309 courts and other processes set up to policerepparttar 119310 system.

Amazon is set to test their patent in September of 2001 against BarnesandNoble. During an injuction hearing,repparttar 119311 judge stated that if BarnesandNoble simply instituted a two-click system then he had nothing that could be said about their use of this purchase system.

Alta Vista's Search Patents will fall becauserepparttar 119312 creator of Archie has proof that his system was in fact "prior art". Given that Archie providedrepparttar 119313 first search engine, what does that tell us aboutrepparttar 119314 management at Alta Vista who tried to claim that they invented search technologies? More important to this discussion, what does this tell us about our Patent System that allows Alta Vista to get a patent on search technology inrepparttar 119315 first place?

McAfee now boldly claims that "what it really holds is a Patent onrepparttar 119316 future ofrepparttar 119317 Internet." If there were half a chance this Patent could surviverepparttar 119318 test of time, then they would be right in their assessment. Again,repparttar 119319 question comes down to how, even after two-and-a-half years of investigation,repparttar 119320 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office could makerepparttar 119321 determination that McAfee invented these concepts and were worthy of receiving a Patent for such?

What makes this current system so frustrating is that processes that have been considered common knowledge for years are earning patents on a regular basis. Withrepparttar 119322 broad range of definition being granted withrepparttar 119323 modern Patents, all areas of software development are being negatively influenced.

Dozens of software developers have already spoke up to ZD-Net / eWeek / Talkback concerningrepparttar 119324 story aboutrepparttar 119325 McAfee patent. Here are a few of their comments:

(,11011,2802506,00.html )

Allen Vander Meulen, an Independent Consultant from West Chester, PA said:

A patent on "Auto Update"????? Ridiculous!!! I was writing code to do auto-updates for PC software across LAN's and via modems inrepparttar 119326 late 1980's and early 90's. (Of course, there was no internet component or any need for authentication at that time!)

Al Pareigis, a Software Professional from Oak Brook stated:

The patent is nuts!

The fundamental concept of check and download upgrades auto- magically has been a cornerstone of software distribution. Heck,repparttar 119327 last one I wrote was inrepparttar 119328 mid 90's. It was using OS2 clients with Rexx routines to do that for a 911 center.

Sprucing uprepparttar 119329 concept with words like 'web', 'browser' and 'server' does not changerepparttar 119330 fundamental concept. It is a common practice and knowledge torepparttar 119331 profession.

Mauri Presser, a Computer Specialist from Virginia stated:

This reminds me ofrepparttar 119332 conflict between Microsoft and Apple inrepparttar 119333 case ofrepparttar 119334 Trashcan vs.repparttar 119335 Recycle Bin. Both icons (folders) serverepparttar 119336 same purpose. The "Auto Update" feature in any software servesrepparttar 119337 same purpose, to automaterepparttar 119338 process. Just like batch files inrepparttar 119339 command line days, or script files, or for that matter, any software. I remember entering commands on a Sperry Univac computer sold torepparttar 119340 US Navy calledrepparttar 119341 AN/UYK-20, that did not have a keyboard. During troubleshooting, instructions and data were entered by using a 16 switch maintenance panel. The operating system and parameters could also be loaded by magnetic tape or paper tape. The point is, these means of program and data entry just automatedrepparttar 119342 process. Does anyone have a patent onrepparttar 119343 "concept" of automation? Or is it onlyrepparttar 119344 method that gets repparttar 119345 patent?

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