Wii takes off as Sun's grounded
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You say privacy, we say give us your biometric data
Europe and the US have long had different attitudes to data protection and privacy. And US enthusiasm for information on air passengers has led it to set up various programmes to grab passenger details and make automatic decisions on their fitness to enter US airspace. Details of the latest version are here.
Believe it or not, all this has even woken up European regulators who seem to have noticed there is a problem. And it's not all about America – EU officials are also looking at cross border police databases.
Bubble 2.0 claims jet
It might seem like we're living through 1999 all over again, but there are some signs of corporate sanity. Sun Microsystems is getting rid of its private jet. Never one to miss a PR opportunity when it sees one, the announcement was spun to show Sun's belief in outsourcing non-core services. Don't worry too much – Sun execs will still be hiring the odd corporate jet...or traveling first class.
In other Sun news, the company has donated Hewlett and Packard – the hitchhiking cutouts – to a museum. More here.
All we want for Christmas is a greener data centre
Rising power costs have put the focus on rack and server energy requirements. The latest vendor to get involved is Dell, which has cut a quarter off the demands of its PowerEdge servers. Dell is the first vendor to back Microsoft's Unified Data Storage Server.
Vodafone and Carphone make friends
When Vodafone announced an exclusive High Street deal with Phones4U it sent Carphone Warehouse shares tumbling. We weren't quite sure who the announcement was worse for – clearly CPW needs to offer as many networks as possible to maintain its claim of independence. But didn't Vodafone need as many retail partners as possible? Well, the two have kissed and made up. Carphone will now offer contract renewals and pre-pay contracts and we reckon it won't be long before it is selling the rest of Vodafone's products as well. More here on the reconciliation.
T-Mobile does a Threshers
It's getting harder to tell the difference between marketing and messing up. Two weeks ago inboxes across the land starting filling up with copies of a 40 per cent money off voucher for wines and spirits bought at the off license Threshers.
The story was the voucher was aimed at friends and family of Threshers suppliers, but somehow it got forwarded on. The company either did the decent thing, or carried out stage two of its devilish plan, and said it would honour the vouchers anyway.
This week T-Mobile found itself with a similar problem – a discount scheme aimed at the company's own staff got spread a little more widely. The mobile company has suspended the scheme while it works out what went wrong.
Google and Sky deserve each other
Google and Sky are working together to create a video portal using Google's newly acquired YouTube technology. Sky has had a frustrating time with its download video service, which had to be suspended when the wheels fell off the rights management software from Microsoft.
Everyone and their dog is trying to find a way to curate, and make money off, all this video content. Google and Sky know an awful lot about two different areas of this new market.
Let copyright be
The Gowers report into UK copyright law released this week was refreshingly free from demands for lots more legislation. In essence, Gowers said existing laws should be left alone.
Except for changes to bring them into line with what everyone is doing anyway – so recording a CD onto your computer may soon be legal in the UK. Currently, you have to take your CDs to France and digitise them there where the practice is legal.
The BPI took out full page adverts to complain and says it will send its lobbyists to Brussels to get changes made.
All we want for Christmas
It's gadgetastic at El Reg towers. Must be the time of year or something. We've got BT's magic telly and we've a plethora of tales of Nintendo's latest console. They're fighting over them in Oxford Street already.
Doing it for the kids
Nice piece of research from Ireland this week showing what companies must do to attract Generation Y. That's the one after X, apparently – or those born between 1980 and 2000.
bloody kids people have never lived without the internet and are more likely to look in internet forums for product information than go to a shop. More here on the pesky kids.
Fine or ID card? We'll pay the fine
In the week that Heathrow started taking fingerprints, a heartening survey on attitudes to ID cards. A survey of almost 2,000 people found many would rather pay a fine than carry an ID card. Some 39 per cent oppose ID cards and 21 per cent would pay a fine instead. Admittedly, the survey was from The Telegraph whose readers can afford fines and are prepared to pay for their privacy. Interestingly, the same people have no problems with things like CCTV or even photographing airline passengers.
HP pays to end investigation
Ink behemoth HP is seeking to draw a line under the pretexting scandal by paying $14.5m to California's Attorney General to encourage him to drop the investigation. Most of the cash goes towards funding future privacy and piracy offences and $450,000 will cover the AG's costs. HP also agreed to appoint a chief ethics officer and a director to oversee its future actions.
IBM Moscow raided
Armed police raided 10 addresses in Moscow on Wednesday in connection to an investigation into corruption at Russia's state pension fund. IBM offices were searched and documents and computers were removed. Big Blue provided a slew of servers and PCs for the pension fund's 2,500 officers.
Sun has been accused of copyright infringements by Netbula – which makes development tools. Sun's StorageTek subsidiary is in the frame.
UK VAT fraudsters
And finally, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has released figures on how much carousel, or missing trader fraud, is costing the UK. About £3bn is the headline figure.
That's it for this week. Same time, same place, next week. ®
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