12th April 2006 Archive
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Classified Israeli tech bound for Iraq
The US is to field test an innovative Israeli set-up designed to act as a "force field" around armoured vehicles, protecting them from rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank missiles, according to a Fox News report. The system, dubbed "Trophy", uses radar to track incoming threats and then destroys them when they're in …
Science 12 Apr 2006, 00:02
British toons get space on SINA
A selection of the UK's finest independent bands are hoping a new deal to promote their wares in China will bear fruit. The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has done a deal with China's largest ISP, SINA, to stream British songs on the company's website. SINA's portal will have an area dedicated to British music. This …
Financial News 12 Apr 2006, 05:02
You say tuh-may-doh, we say toe-mah-toe
The Carphone Warehouse is to amend the small print on its new broadband service following the vulture-eyed intervention of Register readers. In a press release today plugging its new "free" broadband service the firm said the product was subject to a "40 gigabit monthly download limit". But as Reg readers were quick to point …
Telecoms 12 Apr 2006, 06:02
No naked PCs...
The Chinese government is calling on computer manufacturers to make sure their machines include a legal operating system before they leave the factory. The order was given in a notice issued jointly by the Ministry of Information Industry, the State Copyright Bureau, and the Ministry of Commerce. The notice says all computers …
Channel Register 12 Apr 2006, 07:02
Cunning garden gnome plan goes awry
Continuing our occasional series "When Blue Rinses Go Bad", we have the sorry tale of a South African grandmother who has just been banged up in New Zealand for a cool eight-and-a-half years for "trying to smuggle cocaine hidden in garden gnomes". The 52-year-old wannabe Scarface, Linda Martin, was served the porridge at …
Bootnotes 12 Apr 2006, 08:02
Eclipse 'just 'ain't that good'
Tools for UML, XML and service orchestrated architectures (SOAs) will become the latest features in Sun Microsystems Java Studio Enterprise suite to be open sourced. Sun is to release its two-way Unified Modeling Language (UML) modeler, XML infrastructure and visual editing tools, and tools to design and orchestrate business …
Developer 12 Apr 2006, 08:34
Handsets delay kick-off
Mobile phone TV (DMB) will be available at all twelve venues of the World Cup in Germany this summer, but whether any viewers will be tuning in is another matter. Although major supplier Samsung Electronics earlier this year unveiled a terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) phone, the first of its kind for …
Mobile 12 Apr 2006, 08:59
Something for the future
Skype - which is "not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling" - has snaffled up two techie VoIP companies. The eBay-owned internet telephony giant has splashed out around $27m for Sonorit Holding AS and its US subsidiary Camino Networks, Inc. The deal buys Skype some specialists in online …
VoIP 12 Apr 2006, 09:00
Fun but less than purrfect
Web developers have taken the idea of Captchas - challenge-response systems that are often used to stop the automatic creation of webmail accounts by spammers - forward in a fun way by using images of kittens instead of distorted images of letters. KittenAuth features nine pictures of cute little animals, only three of which are …
ID 12 Apr 2006, 09:07
Credit cards from eBay no longer dodgy...
eBay's payment arm PayPal is to offer a credit card to its UK users. Backed by GE Money the card will be available to any of eBay's 10m UK users immediately and to anyone else who wants one from mid-May. Online applicants for the cards will get an instant decision.The card offers six months interest free for balance transfers …
Financial News 12 Apr 2006, 09:11
But with rubber teeth?
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has slapped PC World for advertising product on TV that it was unable to supply to customers because of lack of stocks. The UK retail chain, part of DSG International, has been told not to show the ad on TV again. This is the second time this year the ASA has chastised PC World on the …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 09:21
'Not afraid of change'
Plusnet - the Sheffield-based ISP that had 176,000 broadband punters at the last count - is "evolving". In a long-winded and meandering email to customers yesterday it said how it was "evolving - in an evolving world". "We are different," it said. "We're not afraid of change - in fact we embrace it." It went on: "In the …
Telecoms 12 Apr 2006, 09:42
Or maybe just iPod black and white...
Apple's upcoming Intel-based iBooks - now firmly believed to ship under the MacBook brand - may see the company once again offer the product in a range of coloured cases not seen now for more than four years. It's highly likely that the MacBook will debut in shiny white, but sources cited by AppleInsider suggest the machines …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 10:02
CCTV Time to take stock?
Befuddled bureaucrats are filling Britain's town centres with the instruments of a surveillance state even though they suspect it's a waste of time and money. A consequence of this is a lopsided approach to crime prevention, which could leave those agencies tackling the causes of crime neglected, while the forces tackling crime …
Music and Media 12 Apr 2006, 10:12
Space race: the rematch?
The top man at Russia's leading space firm has mooted an ambitious expansion of the country's space effort. President of Energia corporation Nikolai Sevastianov said manned missions to the Moon and Mars were on the cards by 2030. He said: "We can land on the Moon before 2015". His plan is to start mining the Moon for the 1m …
Space 12 Apr 2006, 10:16
They do graphics cards
Components distributor Enta Technologies has signed another ATI graphics card manufacturer, Connect 3D. It is stocking a range of Connect 3D cards with the same range of ATI graphics chips (X550, X1300, X1600 and for gamers X1900) as any other graphics card manufacturer that doesn't use graphics processors by the only other …
Channel Register 12 Apr 2006, 10:21
Will quadruple BD-R capacity
TDK this week confirmed its plan to develop a Blu-ray Disc with a storage capacity of 200GB. If successful, the company's R&D effort will yield a disc with four times the capacity of today's biggest BDs and double the size of protoype next-generation BD-Rs TDK has already demo'd. TDK showed off a 100GB BD prototype in May …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 10:32
Cumulative update fixes 10 browser flaws
Microsoft released a fix for a serious security bug in Internet Explorer on Tuesday (11 April). The fix for the "CreateTextRange" vulnerability - which has become the subject of hacker exploits over recent days - was released as a cumulative update to Internet Explorer along with four other security bulletins, two of which also …
Enterprise Security 12 Apr 2006, 10:48
Follows Memorex, Verbatim
Japan's Buffalo has become the latest storage product provider to offer M-Systems' 16MB FlashDisc, an apparently "exciting" new take on the old USB Flash disk concept that packages the solid-state storage into a circular shell reminiscent of 1970s computer tapes. Buffalo this week joined Memorex in the US and Verbatim in …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 10:55
One careful owner
Sales of second-hand Microsoft software licences have doubled month-on-month since the market was opened in November 2005, according to the Staffordshire start-up that spotted the opportunity in Microsoft's small print and Britain's insolvency laws. Discount-licensing.com, the trading name of Disclic Ltd, offers cost savings of …
Applications 12 Apr 2006, 10:59
Azul gets UK friend
Morse has signed a deal with Azul Systems to sell its network devices in the UK. The marketing and channel deal will target financial companies and telcos. Morse is Azul's first UK channel partner. Syed Rizvi, managing director of Azul Systems UK, said: "Together, we will enable customers to overcome the challenges of the …
Servers 12 Apr 2006, 11:02
Ye olde AMD and Intel CPUs separated at birth?
Do AMD and Intel have something to tell us? Is their cutthroat rivalry a sham? Are they really in business together? If online retailer Ebuyer.com's website is anything to go by, the two chip makers must be in cahoots. How else are we to interpret Ebuyer's AMD Athlon XP 2200+ product page, which to show potential buyers just …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 11:38
More expensive than expected too
Asus has finally revealed what lies under the hood of its Lamborghini-branded notebook, the VX1. Unfortunately, the laptop is unlikely to impress anyone expecting the computing equivalent of the performance cars it's named after. It's also more expensive than Asus has hinted in the past. According to Asus, the VX1 - dubbed …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 12:05
Creationism in the classroom under fire
Over 400 people were turned away from the Royal Society's pro-evolution lecture last night, while anticipated protests from creationists failed to materialise. The server carrying a live webcast of Professor Steve Jones lecture “Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right” crashed after it was deluged by Reg readers, …
Biology 12 Apr 2006, 12:06
Offers protection, lots of love and affection, and moderately decent GPRS tariffs...
T-Mobile's Robbie Williams-branded Sony Ericsson W300 Walkman phone will ship across Europe in time for the 9 June start of the European leg of the crooner's Close Encounters tour, the cellco said today. Apparently "creatively influenced" by Williams himself - 'I want some pictures of me on it, right?' - the special edition …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 12:45
Analysis Get it right - or else
It's been just over 24 hours since Carphone Warehouse announced details of its cut-price bundled telecoms and broadband service - and the war of words has already escalated to threats of legal action. The Times reports that Carphone would be prepared to sue BT if the monster telco failed to meet its June deadline for a new …
Telecoms 12 Apr 2006, 13:15
Fear of rejection?
Sage's romancing of Visma has received the brush-off from the Nordic firm's chaste board. They said Sage's advances were now inappropriate in a statement to Oslo stock exchange. Having previously recommended Sage's proposition to their shareholders, fickle Visma bosses say the attraction just isn't there any more. They said: "[ …
Financial News 12 Apr 2006, 13:24
While Asus is pondering whether to produce a Lamborghini-branded phone, Nokia beaten it to the finish line with a Aston Martin version of its Nokia 8800 handset. Like the cars, it's not cheap - Aston Martin wants a whopping £940 ($1,640/€1,353) for the device. Mind you, it looks good. The "strictly limited edition" handset …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 13:29
Imagine Cup Three Pair meet ICU consultant Paul Dark
Here at Hull we've been working away on our Imagine Cup entry, a system that can provide a personal history for patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). All relevant information – be it from doctors, friends or family members – can be accumulated against a timeline and accessed by the patient when they are sufficiently conscious …
Developer 12 Apr 2006, 13:29
Can I tread on your blue suede shoes?
Well, my (this is David Norfolk writing) Blog on Databases in Academia excited some robust comment – and, strangely, it didn’t come from the Intelligent Design people I was expecting to upset. As the implications of some of the comments were pretty personal, I felt I should give my main informant, Mark Whitehorn, the “right to …
Developer 12 Apr 2006, 13:37
Blokey colours on offer too
JVC will this month ship its latest Flash-based digital music players, offer consumers in the US a choice of five female- and fella-friendly colours, and sporting neck lanyards with integrated earphone cables. The JVC XA-F57 and XA-F107 offer 512MB and 1GB of unformatted storage capacity, respectively. Both play MP3 and WMA …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 14:02
England's 400 year-old cyber signature law
The High Court in Manchester has ruled that an email cannot be recognised as a legal written offer if it does not contain a signature or name within the body of the mail. The inclusion of a user name in the message header is not enough. Judge Pelling ruled that the automatic inclusion of an email address is not enough to count …
Music and Media 12 Apr 2006, 14:26
No, no, thrice NO!
Sinister moves are afoot to replace old faithful ethanol with a cocktail of drugs engineered to mimic its effects. Bristol professor David Nutt reckons chemicals called partial agonists offer a turn off the Yellow Puke Road and into beerless drugtopia. He claims: “The benefits to society could be so profound.” The technology, …
Biology 12 Apr 2006, 14:35
Review Talk while you walk
Skype may have given all the microphones built into desktop and notebook computers over the years a role in life, but making calls still feels more comfortable with a phone in your hand. Yes, if you don't fancy shouting at your computer, you can use a headset, but only if you don't mind feeling like you work in a call centre …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 14:49
Plusnet has admitted that around five per cent of broadband subscribers recently migrated to a new LLU platform lost their connection. The ISP is piggybacking on Tiscali's LLU network to provide services up to 8 meg and last week transferred around 1,000 punters to the unbundled service. But a problem at three London exchanges …
Telecoms 12 Apr 2006, 14:50
Pays cash and everything...
Oracle is paying $220m in cash for Portal Software which makes billing and "revenue management" software. The database giant is paying $4.90 a share or about $220m. Charles Phillips, president at Oracle, said the combined firm offered the first end-to-end software suite for the communications industry. Portal Software offers …
Financial News 12 Apr 2006, 14:55
Rumour mill grinds on
A second report has come out of Taiwan claiming Asus has won the contract to manufacture Apple's upcoming Intel-based iBook, expected to ship as the MacBook. According to a report on the Taiwan Economic News website, Asus - aka Asustek - will produce 1.2m MacBooks, which are due to ship this quarter. The story claims the …
Reg Hardware 12 Apr 2006, 15:28
Way to go
The people behind green.tv - the first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues - are cracking open the nettle wine after notching up 250,000 hits in the first week of being online. Set up with the backing of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), green.tv has set its sights on becoming a major resource …
Telecoms 12 Apr 2006, 15:44
A long tail
Identity is an essential enabler for eCommerce; unfortunately, it's currently a bit of a mess. However, there is hope... Like Microsoft’s InfoCard and Kim Cameron’s vision of an identity metasystem, the open source Higgins identity project aims to move us away from the current hotchpotch of identity systems. InfoCard …
Developer 12 Apr 2006, 16:07
CTP or bust
With the first service pack for SQL 2005 Server due in the next two weeks, Microsoft has been laying down the law on future development plans for the database. In short, that means no return to beta editions for new versions of its database and regular product updates every two- to two-and-a-half years, according to the vice …
Applications 12 Apr 2006, 23:18
Freed of a money-losing memory business, AMD posted clean first quarter results that reflected gains in the server, desktop and mobile processor markets. AMD reported first quarter revenue of $1.33bn and a profit of $185m. Those figures compare with revenue of $780m and income of $64m in the same period last year. AMD enjoyed …
Servers 12 Apr 2006, 23:35
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- Analysis Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works
- VIDEO Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging