25th > August > 2000 Archive

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Pentium 4: performance puzzle begins

At a technical track in San Jose today, the principal architect of the Pentium 4, Doug Carmeon, briefed delegates on the performance of the up-and-coming processor.
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Intel lobs software grenade back at chippy Redmond

Although it got buried in the XScale announcements this week, Intel is stepping up its software offerings in intriguing fashion. Intel's Integrated Performance Primitives are a set of libraries that run across Intel architectures and began life as way of tapping MMX and Screaming Sindy instructions without dropping down to assembler code. These libraries already exist for image processing, signal processing, maths and recognition primitives, including Hidden Markov models and neural nets. That's already a substantial body of useful code, and not something you'd knock together over a weekend.
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64-bit Compaq Alpha tops 1040MHz

Working samples of Compaq's 64-bit Alpha processor - often described as the 'brain of a computer' - are already being tested around the world, with a full launch date slated for early next year, it can be revealed.
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Intel Irish fab expansion hits snag

Updated Intel's plan for a £1.5 billion expansion of its County Kildare, Ireland plant is facing protests from environmentalists, according to the Irish Independent. The expansion of the Leixlip plant would create 1000 additional jobs, but locals are objecting that pollution from the semiconductor manufacturing process, linked with additional road traffic, pose a threat to the environment.
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Love Bug just the job

The Register has some career advice for those whose GCSE's were not all that they had hoped.
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Intel's best-kept secret revealed

World Exclusive Literally years of sleuthing by Reg staffers has finally paid off. When we learned that Intel was suppressing secret photographs of CEO Craig Barrett, the Reg Insight investigative team (M Magee) immediately swung into action. The photos allegedly showed Barrett astride a horse wearing a cowboy hat (Barrett, not the horse).
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Email monitoring rules postponed

The government has extended the consultation period on the proposed monitoring of email, it emerged today.
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Linux scuppers notebook theft

A reader told us an amusing tale featuring a friend of his - a Deutsche Bank employee, no less.
Broken CD with wrench

Mobile phone immobilises policeman – permanently

Mobile phones will probably act as an evolutionary catalyst, not because they spew out vast quantities of nasty radiation, but because they will separate the quick-witted from the more sluggish of thought. With this in mind, we can announce the latest entry for this year's Darwin Award.
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Omnicom buys into five health sites

Ad and marketing company Omnicom has taken large minority stakes in five health Web companies, laying the groundwork for its drug clients who want to get their products in the faces of doctors and hypochondriacs. The move represents an interesting acceptance of the Internet as a marketing tool and looks set to cause a hell of a stink when consumer groups start objecting to drug companies targeting individuals.

PDA vendors target Euro cellphone market

Sharp and Casio are separately working on PDAs with built-in cellphones aimed at the European mobile data market, the Nikkei newswire reports.
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Bastiaens bails from L&H

Gaston Bastiaens has resigned from his post as CEO of translation software company Lernout & Hauspie. The move follows months of uncertainty over the success of his management style, according to Jo Lernout, co-founder and co-chairman of L&H.
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Rambus death rumours exaggerated, apparently

According to new figures from IDC, Direct Rambus DRAM was installed in 75 per cent of the 270,000 personal workstations shipped in Q2.
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Reg Top Tens Compaq's Wildfire

The first in an occasional series. This time round it's the...
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OPD rude phrase competition

New evidence has cast doubt on reader John Kozak's claim that he had managed to make an ICL One-Per-Desk say: "My secretary is giving me head in the wastepaper basket."
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Everybody wants to study computing

Demand for UK computing degree courses has shot up yet again this year. According to UCAS - the body that deals with filing university courses - 11 per cent more people want to do computer-related courses this year than last - over 100,000 scruffy students.
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CMGI confident AltaVista will float

AltaVista is still planning to float its operation despite this week's embarrassing revelation that the Net company's ISP in Britain never got off the ground.
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Computers raise stress levels

Research out today from ICL indicates that some people are taking problems with their PCs far too seriously.
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Zetters in online pools bid

Football pools specialist Zetters says that it has begun its transformation into an online betting and gaming company with a £20 million reverse takeover of IFX, the foreign exchange market maker.

ISPA slams Oftel

The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has accused Oftel of ignorance when it comes to understanding the needs of Britain's Internet industry.
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The world's first gaol Web cam

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has decided to install a Web cam in his gaol in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona. He says if will deter people from doing wrong - civil liberties folk say it infringes people's rights since some of the alleged criminals featured will inevitably not have gone to trial yet and so may not be guilty.
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Chip biz challenged to develop molecular CPUs

Working molecular computers could be as little as a year away, according to Rice University professor Jim Tour.
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Scunthorpe babes? Well, one or two are all right…

[We ran a story on a radio station's vain attempt to persuade us that Scunthorpe was full of attractive women. It did itself a disservice and probably wiped out whatever tourism income it was getting. Some readers were also rigging an Internet vote to get a particularly unique lady the main prize (we won't say which, but it is a round number). Oh, we were also sent no.7's email address but have yet to come up with a way of wooing her (d'you think the promise of a Mayfair pad might swing it?)]
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Threat of the Week Mike's a dead man

[We actually had a crazy flame this week but there was something that just wasn't right about it. Rudeness and causing offence is an art form, and we don't like amateurs, so we'll stick it in letters somewhere.
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Transmeta chips not up to scratch – Toshiba

Transmeta claims its Crusoe CPU offers very low power consumption and heat generation. And Toshiba reckons that claim is bollocks, according to the notebook nabob's UK product marketing manager, Steve Crawley.
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Korean economy is the Comeback Kid

Korea has the misfortune to be best known for being the home of the Moonies and MASH, but neither Sun Myong Moon's Unification Church nor the American sitcom that glorifies a war that took place fifty years ago come close to illuminating the remarkable developments happening in Korea today.
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Hardware Roundup Weak Duron's week 31 boot bug

OC Workbench has posted a fix for the ABIT KT7 beta BIOS for the bug that means the KT7 won't boot with new Duron 600 CPU manufactured after week 31. New Durons have default Vcore of 1.6v. The patch can be downloaded from here.
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Vnunet in all sorts of trouble

The main site of Dutch publishers VNU is currently in terrible difficulty. The original sign, "Sorry, vnunet.com is temporarily unavailable", has been removed but the site is still working at the pace of a geriatric tortoise. Despite the fact that most of The Reg's staff are escapees from the Broadwick Street gulag, we are …
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Nutters: there's alternative thinking and just plain oddness

1.13GHz P3 system DOA
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Best of the Rest Mostly chip stuff

"I think Intel's reputation as a chip company is better than Microsoft's, and you can take it from there."
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Readers' Letters The abridged version

Never explain, never apologise - who was it that first said that? Probably Margaret Thatcher. Anyway, readers' letters haven't been as good as last week and we're itching to get out in the sun and pull on a cold beer, so this week's contribution is going to be short and sweet. Okay?
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Bill Gates' bidding blunted by sharper cards

Pity poor Bill Gates. No, really. Head of the world's biggest software company he may be; negotiator of a mean business contract he almost certainly is - but is he any good at contract bridge? Is he heck.
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AltaVistaGate: Mitchell admits he mislead US bosses

Andy Mitchell, the forlorn MD of AltaVista UK and Ireland, has admitted that not only did he confuse and mislead his consumers here in Britain about his fictitious ISP, he also fooled his US bosses.