AMD opens up, HP's waving not drowning

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AMD opens up, Intel follows suit

AMD is to open up access to the specs for its Opteron socket set so other companies can make chips and accelerators that will fit straight onto the board. The decision means it won't be too long before you'll be able to stick AMD and Intel chips onto the same motherboard.

AMD already gives some access to companies and it is keeping a veto on who gets the info – companies which have "the capability and staying power", we were told. Sun, IBM, Cray and Fujitsu are already getting involved.

Of course, there's nothing like being open from a position of strength, but AMD is not alone. We're hearing whispers that Intel is planning a very similar move. Here's AMD's friends and family package and here's the lowdown on Intel's moves.

HP turns mole into mountain

HP's refusal to even pretend to sort out the phone snooping mess continues to cause trouble. Chief executive Mark Hurd, the supposed new broom who is taking over as chairman once Patricia Dunn leaves her post, has inevitably been drawn into the mess.

Leaked emails about the search for leaks reveal Hurd knew investigators were going after reporters' phone records. Even more bizarrely, the potentially illegal investigation was overseen by HP's ethics chief – so what are the qualifications for that job?

HP will be getting through plenty of expensive printer ink as the SEC and Congressional committee demand copies of all those pesky emails. There's so much coming out of HP that the Reg is considering a weekly anthology all of its own – like Eastenders on a Sunday. A board meeting later today (Friday) may offer more clarity, but we wouldn't count on it.

To help you keep up:
HP powers up its printers
HP's lessons in PR

One in three directors pinches data

And before we get too smug about HP's problems, have a look at a recent survey that found one in three directors admitted stealing company data.

Favourite information for the light-fingered director is training manuals, but some 18 per cent pinch financial figures, and 14 per cent liberate client reports.

MP3 players and memory sticks are the favourite way to carry the information off, while 18 per cent use email. Never mind hackers, it's the company directors you need to be keeping any eye on. We've more here on directorial data thieves.

Virgin trains: late but fast

Virgin Trains is set to offer its customers broadband wireless internet access. Travellers will be able to while away the time online while they're, err...on the line. The technology comes from a company called Nomad, which is using unlicensed spectrum and cunning handover technology. No details on pricing, but it's expected to be in line with other hotspots.

Mucky malware targets IE hole

Hackers are exploiting a known hole in IE to infect browsers visiting mucky websites. There's a bunch of holes in IE, but most are not being actively targeted like this. So switch your browser, or clean up your browsing habits.

Also this week saw the man behind the Zotob virus sentenced in Morocco. The man, nicknamed Diabl0, got two years for the attack in August 2005 which brought down ABC, CNN and the FT, among others.

Diabl0, and an alleged co-conspirator, were picked up just 12 days after the virus attack thanks to help from the FBI.

Windows Vista: It's a beautiful view

It's late, Gartner says you don't want it, and the European Commission is already considering anti-trust action. But Jim Allchin was banging the drum this week for the wonders of Microsoft's newest operating system.

Of course, we can't knock a Vista evangelist for coming over a bit evangelical, but Allchin's open letter is a touch gushing. Titled "Windows Vista: Now is the time!" the letter promises: "People will flock to software that is new, compelling, and 'cool'."

Not just that, but we're promised: "We are very close to being done." Read our version here or have a look at Allchin's letter here.

Virtual teams need real help

A bit of timely advice from Cisco this week on running virtual teams. Which might sound flash, but in these days of home working and offshoring this could mean almost any team you manage.

The research shows a virtual team will take four times as long to exchange a set number of messages as a team working in the same location. It also notes the gaping hole left when the team-building pub-related afternoon is removed from the equation. Virtual teams need a virtual pub trip as much as better messaging technology.

Data recovery bloomers

A nice collection of d'oh! moments from data recovery specialist Disklabs which had a look through the 50,000 cases it deals with each year. Top of the list was a laptop that had been peed on by a cat. Also worth a mention is the road warrior who left his laptop on the roof of his car. In his own words: "I was doing about 40mph when i saw it in the rear view mirror." More data recovery schandenfreude here.

While we're on the subject, who can resist a water company forced to close its IT department because of a leaky pipe? Not us.

Some headlines need no further explanation:
PC thief steals court PC during trial
Dutch TV hounds Google Earth topless sunbather
Arms manufacturer loads lead-free bullets

Dell Q3 dulling

Analysts are warning that a supply glut in Asia will hit Dell's third quarter result. This won't be helped by reductions in its marketing budget from Intel. Dell's recent adoption of AMD chips could see cuts from Intel. Pressure on prices will also continue to eat into the company's margins.

DTI watches over sickly health provider

The Department of Trade and Industry is keeping a steady eye on the health of health provider iSoft. Health secretary Patricia Hewitt admitted this week that payments of £58m and £23.8m were made to the troubled company just days before its financial year ended in 2005 and 2006. Hewitt insisted the deal offered value for money.

SGI: blast from the past

Finally, this week saw the return of SGI. A judge this week approved the server specialist's route out of bankrupcy. It is a slimmed-down version of its old self with just 1,600 staff and an old school strategy of sticking with Xeon – we wish them well.

That's it for this week, thanks for reading. ®

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