Tag: Bulgaria

Bulgaria goes Open Source

Rila Monastery, BulgariaThe Bulgarian government has issued an edict demanding that all its software should be open sauce.

On the face of it, it is a brave move, not because of the technology involved, but because it cuts politicians from a lucrative source of income – bribes from software companies.

Under the amendments to the Electronic Governance Act, all software written for the government will have to be open-source and to be developed as such in a public repository.

Sadly, this does not mean that the whole country is moving to Linux and LibreOffice, neither does it mean the government will force Microsoft and Oracle to give the source code to their products. Existing contracts will still stand. What it means that whatever custom software the government procures will be visible and accessible to everyone.

A new government agency will enforce the law and will set up the public repository. Bozhidar Bozhanov who helped get law accepted said that the battle is not over.

“The fact that something is in the law doesn’t mean it’s a fact, though. The programming community should insist on it being enforced. At the same time some companies will surely try to circumvent it,” he wrote.

However he said that it was a good step for better government software and less abandonware.

Third of EU is crap at web security

Nearly a third of the population of the European Union’s 27 member states caught a computer virus in 2010 because many are too daft to surf the web safely.

The figures were released today by the EU, a day before Safer Internet Day, organised by the EC-funded INSAFE. They reveal that many in Europe have a long way to go before becoming properly tech-savvy, with plenty forgoing security or parental control software and others falling for phishing attempts.

31 percent of EU citizens reported that they had contracted a computer virus in 2010, despite the fact that 84 percent employ security software, such as antivirus and anti-adware programs.

Bulgaria had the worst record for virus infections, with 58 percent reporting malware on their computers. Malta was close behind at 50 percent, while Slovakia, Hungary and Italy were not far off, with 47 percent, 46 percent and 45 percent respectively.

The lowest infection rates were reported in Austria and Ireland, at 14 and 15 percent respectively. Finland and Germany were next, with 20 percent and 22 percent respectively. The UK was in the middle ground, with 31 percent.

Four percent of EU citizens reported more serious problems of online privacy violations and personal information abuse, with Bulgaria and Spain rating worst for this kind of problem, both at seven percent. Italy and the Netherlands were close behind at six percent each.

Three percent reported financial loss as a result of fraudulent credit card use and phishing attacks targeting online banking and similar websites. Latvia and the UK were the worst at falling for these scams, at eight percent and seven percent respectively.

Despite the fact that most people used security software in the EU, Latvians, Romanians and Estonians were found to be less savvy. Only 62 percent in Lativa, 64 percent in Romania and 65 percent in Estonia used security software to protect against malware. 

14 percent of families in the EU used parental control software, with Luxembourg and Slovenia leading the charge at 25 percent each. France was next at 24 percent, while Denmark, Austria and the UK all came in at 21 percent. Five percent of all parents were shocked their children were looking at inappropriate websites in 2010. Italian and Latvian kids are randier, with parents finding 11 percent and nine percent respectively checking out the dodgier side of the web.

Bulgarian mobile company believes cursed phone number led to deaths

Some mobile numbers are cursed and may lead to death, according to the Telegraph.

A Bulgarian number, 0888 888 888, has been discontinued because all three owners of the number over the past 10 years have died horrible deaths.

The first person to have the number was Vladimir Grashnov, who was the former CEO of Mobitel, the phone company that actually issued the number for him. He died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 48. It might have been the supposed link between mobile phones and cancer. Or it might have been the cursed many-8s number.

In fact, there have been rumours that his cancer was caused by radioactive poisoning from a rival businessmen. Maybe the other guy wanted the coveted phone number for himself.

The second lucky individual to have the number was Bulgarian crime boss Konstantin Dimitrov, who was shot dead in 2003 in the Netherlands as he was inspecting his multi million drug smuggling scheme. He was only 31 and had his phone with him when he was gunned down. It could have just been the fact that he was a mafia boss and being shot at is in the job description. Or it could have been the jinxed number.

Third time isn’t the charm, with the number passing to Konstantin Dishliev, a dodgy businessman, who was also shot dead in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2005. He had been secretly running his own drug trafficking scheme, but it’s unlikely that had anything to do with his death. The blame must fall with the hexed number.

Mobitel has now discontinued the number, probably because it likes to keep its customers alive so they can pay their bills. “We have no comment to make,” a Mobitel spokesperson said. “We won’t discuss individual numbers.” Especially cursed ones.