16th September 2005 Archive
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Blog Tab or no Blog Tab?
Some stories just take forever to come true. 30 months ago, we revealed Google was going to introduce a weblog search engine - and this week, it finally did. The story, so obvious in retrospect, barely merits the term 'scoop'. But now, as then, it has been eclipsed by a raging debate about the implications for bloggers and for …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 02:12
Imitation, not innovation, the sincerest form of flattery?
Microsoft has taken its battle against Linux and open source a notch higher with a first beta of its Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition operating system for high-performance computing (HPC), and a modular version of its IIS web server. Bob Muglia senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows server division, announcing …
Software 16 Sep 2005, 02:20
Swedish producer of MP3 players Jens, which offers a full line of flash-based audio players and recorders, is facing legal proceedings after refusing to pay a controversial copying charge on its products. According to Swedish news site The Local company director Jens Nylander told a national newspaper "that it is not our …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 08:30
Comment Crime? What crime?
If there's one thing I've learned in the past few years as editor of SecurityFocus, it's that there is absolutely no saving grace in the security world. Everyone is a target, everyone is vulnerable and exposed, and no one is safe from, well... anything. I had a revelation the other day. I'm sorry it took me this long to …
Spam 16 Sep 2005, 09:09
Big audio dynamite
Eavesdroppers armed with a shotgun microphone or a small recording device could make off with a computer user's sensitive documents and data, three university researchers said in a paper released this week. The researchers, from the University of California at Berkeley, found that a 10-minute recording of a person typing at the …
Enterprise Security 16 Sep 2005, 09:37
From keyboarding to frauding
Computer users should learn to type silently if they don't want to reveal intimate details such as passwords, according to a new study Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered that a simple audio recording of keyboard clicks can betray what users have typed, possibly leading users to betray intimate …
ID 16 Sep 2005, 09:43
Rebels without a clue
A new film has been released in China which tackles the gritty problem of adolescents and the net. Over the last two years Chinese authorities have closed thousands of internet cafes amid fears that accessing the web is damaging the "mental health of teenagers" while spreading "unhealthy online information". In a bid to shine …
Bootnotes 16 Sep 2005, 09:53
Big hug for PCG
Members of the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) can now fast-track themselves into the upper echelons of the British Computer Society (BCS), thanks to a deal between the two groups. This is, as ever, another move towards making IT a more professional profession, something the BCS has been campaigning for for as long as we …
IT Director 16 Sep 2005, 10:06
Static discharge apparel alert
Those readers who thought that the biggest threat from wearing clothes hewn from synthetic materials was to your street cred, be warned: they could transform you into a walking static bomb ready to discharge carpet-threatening voltages. Just ask Frank Clewer, a high-energy Aussie from Warrnambool, Victoria, who accumulated an …
Bootnotes 16 Sep 2005, 10:11
'Potential business relationship'
Capita - the UK IT and business services group - is holding top level talks with insurer Zurich concerning a "potential business relationship". Details of any deal have yet to be disclosed although staff at Zurich have been told that discussions are underway and that they will be kept informed over the next couple of months. …
IT Director 16 Sep 2005, 10:25
Academic cries freedom
The UK is losing out on its investment in scientific research to the tune of £1.5bn every year, according to advocates of open access publishing. Professor Stevan Harnad from the University of Southampton argues that because of the tradition of locking the results of publicly funded research away in research journals, the …
Science 16 Sep 2005, 10:39
Software as a service
These days, even Bill Gates is bandying around the term 'software as a service'. But what does it mean? The point of offering software as a service (SaaS) is that it allows companies to avoid deploying and managing those applications within their corporate networks. This means that they do not have to purchase and manage any …
Software 16 Sep 2005, 10:51
Interview It's bright. Sort of
In the third of TechScape’s three exclusive interviews with Vint Cerf, Bill Robinson asks the man to look into the future... Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s name came up more than once during my conversations with Vint Cerf, and justifiably so. Arguably the greatest sci-fi writer of all time (only Asimov fans have the temerity to …
Science 16 Sep 2005, 11:02
When the mod-chips are down...
Biren Amin, owner of US games store Pandora's Cube, has been sentenced to five months in prison and given a fine of almost $250,000 for the sale of pirated games and illegally modified Xboxes, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced yesterday. Games consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox or Sony Playstation 2 …
Consoles 16 Sep 2005, 11:46
Episode 28 To your left, our air conditioning server...
Bloody Computer room tourists! It seems the Boss has been asked by the Beancounters to "consult" on their appointment of a new technical support person after the tragic accident that befell the last holder of the position after he stole the PFY's car parking space three days in a row... True, the PFY does take the tube into …
BOFH 16 Sep 2005, 12:02
May ban copy-protection circumvention, though
Fears that Finland's upcoming new copyright legislation would de facto render MP3 players illegal are unfounded, Ministry of Justice officials have claimed. Like the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and laws enacted by other European Union member states under the direction of the European Union Copyright Directive ( …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 12:09
Why is the broken bit broken?
The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched an investigation into the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the Mars Express orbiter. Fred Jansen, the Mars Express mission manager at ESA told us: "The problem manifests itself as a failure in properly executing its initialisation sequence. If this is not successfully …
Science 16 Sep 2005, 12:10
As new campus data security breach hits Ohio college
Police have arrested a man after recovering a stolen laptop that held personal data on more than 98,000 University of California, Berkeley students and applicants. The laptop - containing the names, address and social security numbers of students and prospective students - was taken from Berkley's graduate admission office in …
ID 16 Sep 2005, 12:15
IBM chip to drive series before Intel switch - report
Apple is likely to ship Power Mac G5 desktops based on dual-core IBM PowerPC processors, perhaps by the end of the month. So claims Think Secret, citing unnamed sources who said the update will come earlier than planned because of allegedly weak demand for the latest single-core systems. Apple last updated the Power Mac G5 …
Mac Channel 16 Sep 2005, 12:19
No household should be 'deprived of TV'
The Government has pledged financial and technical support for millions of people to help them cope with the switchover from analogue to digital TV. Confirming the switchover plans last night culture secretary Tessa Jowell said that the Government wanted "all UK households to benefit from digital TV" and was keen to ensure that …
Networks 16 Sep 2005, 12:25
Won't ship until 2007, though
Toshiba today unveiled its latest fuel cell prototypes, this time targeting Flash- and hard disk-based MP3 players. The test units are integrated into the players rather than attached to them externally. Don't expect to see the players or the fuel cells on sale any time soon - even Toshiba now reckons they won't see commercial …
Peripherals 16 Sep 2005, 12:59
Yes, no, maybe...
Microsoft has once again fallen back on a discredited privacy defence to deflect questions on the proportion of its certified engineers who are women. Last month, Microsoft told El Reg that it would try and work out how many women had qualfied as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers. The vendor has now clammed up on the …
IT Director 16 Sep 2005, 13:05
In brief 'Advanced discussions'
LogicaCMG confirmed today that it is in “advanced discussions” that could lead to its buying French services group Unilog. In a statement, LogicaCMG said the talks “may or may not lead to an offer being made for Unilog on an agreed basis and at a price of €73 per share”. This would value the French group at around €931m in …
Financial News 16 Sep 2005, 13:23
Block infringement or shut down or else...
The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) has told seven P2P software companies to get with the programme - or face the consequences. The organisation, infamous for the thousands of lawsuits it has issued against alleged file-sharers, said it has asked the firms to shut down their networks or implement RIAA-approved anti- …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 13:31
$345m destined for two US plants
Intel will pump $345m into two US fabs in a bid to boost production capacity, the chip giant said yesterday. The two fabs targeted for investment, Fab 17 in Hudson, Massachusetts and Fab 23 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, both work with 200mm wafers. As such, they're used primarily to punch out chipsets, communications parts …
Channel Register 16 Sep 2005, 13:49
Final fling before R5xx?
ATI may be gearing up to announce its R5xx family of next-generation graphics chips, but that hasn't stopped unveiling parts based on the previous generation of its technology. The company yesterday unwrapped the Radeon X800 GTO, a 12-pipeline chip that sits between then X800 XL and X800 XT. It supports GDDR 3 memory clocked at …
Channel Register 16 Sep 2005, 13:51
Letters And did we mention The Ashes?
A varied haul this week, that's for sure. We've got thoughts on security, women and Microsoft certification, technology and education, and of course, the question of whether or not cats should be used to make fuel. It seems this last one is a real opinion divider. Still, before we descend into the dungeons of daftness, let's …
Letters 16 Sep 2005, 14:19
An Estonia-based company, Digital Media Ltd, has been fined £100,000 for running a premium rate phone scam. Regulator ICSTIS used emergency powers to shut down the service which employed automated calling equipment (ACE) to inform people they had won a prize in a competition. Although the scammers advised "winners" to write in …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 14:28
The Keyzer Soze effect
Reported ID theft losses represent only the tip of an iceberg, dwarfed by fraudulent losses run up by crooks assuming completely fictitious identities, according to analysts Gartner. It reckons ID theft will claim 10m US in 2005 resulting in losses of around $15bn from 50m accounts. By comparison "victimless" fraud - bad debt …
ID 16 Sep 2005, 14:36
Will consumers see the point and click?
Games console developers devote as much time to the launching of the controllers their machines will be played with as the game-hosting hardware itself. The latest company to do so is Nintendo. Today it told the world what the gamepad that will ship with its Revolution console will look like. Frankly, it's ugly and looks more …
Consoles 16 Sep 2005, 15:01
External email? Er, not quite
T-Mobile UK has admitted that many of its customers cannot access external email even when they buy supposedly email-enabled phones from the service provider. Unlike most other mobile operators in the UK, T-Mobile operates a "walled garden" that means customers cannot freely access external email accounts with its service. With …
Mobile 16 Sep 2005, 15:04
Not exactly cotton wool-like, though
Home Secretary Charles Clarke is learning first hand the perils of email, having accidentally appended a revealing early draft of a letter to an email sent to his opposite numbers. Clarke yesterday laid out his proposals for new anti-terror laws that would extend the length of time a suspect could be held without charge from …
Music and Media 16 Sep 2005, 15:48
Bombs earn prizes at 'sick' website
UK tabloid the Sun is in danger of succumbing to rage-inspired spontaneous combustion after discovering a website inviting punters to gamble on where the next terrorist attack will occur - and win a t-shirt saying "I Predicted It" if they're right. Yup, cue outrage in the form of Where-next.com - an interactive "game" where you …
Bootnotes 16 Sep 2005, 15:55