28th > May > 2002 Archive

Consolidated Carlyways: the New HP

Re: HP is a very big company indeed Channel partners cool on the new HP From H to P and back again Sircampaq: The Winners and Losers Don Capellas articulates HPaq's vision thing Alphacide yesterday, Yamhill tomorrow: HP merger architect talks HP dropping the names that formed their acronym was not at all bright. Now they're just a two-letter company, with no history, no traditions, no values customers might relate to. The old Hewlett-Packard company had a personality, a pride in smart, solid engineering and high quality products, with integrity in its relations with both its own people and its customers. It had a brand and a reputation to rival IBM's. The "HP" was an acronym; one knew they stood for something. They have (under winsome Carly), chosen to forsake all that. The former HP culture of professional collegiality is gone, and with it some of the trust that leads exceptional people to give their best - and customers to rely on the products. The transition to just another outsourced-offshore shifter of boxes with plastic nameplates slapped on generic innards and vanishing commitment to customers will be sad to watch. The old HP culture of bottom-up, engineering driven design and attention to details and customer needs is going to be replaced with... what? A top-down, marketing driven regime that swings in the winds of quarterly sales, drops products leaving formerly loyal customers in the ditch, like Compaq? Hells bells, she might have simply renamed it as "CF" - no? However, that's taken: Consolidated Freightways. It's all some tragi-comic hubris joke, but I am afraid that joke will be on HP/Compaq employees first then HP customers and shareholders, long before New HP management understands. Personally, I'm thinking of Carly Fiorina like a modern-day Joan of Arc - a valiant but failed witch who enemies torch, as I suspect they will after she fails in her big ambitions. [Name withheld by request] Discuss. ®
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2002

Clock running out on Sun StarOffice 5.2 freebie

In order to encourage sales of StarOffice 6, Sun has decided to close down free access to 5.2. You have until Midnight, May 29 to grab it right here. Version 6.0 costs $76.00; but after the 29th you'll be able to get 5.2 for $40.00 if you want the deluxe setup and $10.00 for a stripped-down version. You can also get 6.0 by way of Ximian Desktop starting on 1 June for $60.00, with Evolution and Red Carpet thrown in for good measure along with your sixteen dollar savings. Whether this is a full 6.0 version or a scaled-back one isn't mentioned in Ximian's marketing propaganda. Alternatively there's OpenOffice 1.0, which offers most of the features of StarOffice 6.0 for the attractive price of no dollars. Just be careful with that auto-save feature in the word processor. If the last save you make before closing the app isn't a manual one, you may get a very unpleasant surprise when you next open that file. Meanwhile we can't decide if we're annoyed with Sun or grateful. On the one hand the company has employed many of those who contributed to developing OpenOffice and kept the wolf from their doors. On the other hand there's something about incorporating bundles of work done by people on their own time into a commercial product that makes us slightly uneasy. Interesting little ecosystem there... ®
Thomas C Greene, 28 May 2002

How the British lost it – in 89 words

FoTWFoTW This isn't exactly a flame, but it's the best-written letter in the current postbag. Enjoy. From: "ray hartman" To: tim.richardson@theregister.co.uk Subject: poor gelded bas*ards tr: So spammy-poos are coming after the brit-twit. Poor Brit bastards ya used ta be tough. Till the Gv'mnt tit became more important than Brit-yeoman-steel. And the damnable OxBridge culture less important than the next ecstasy tab ta stick up yer arse. More's the pity. 'Course now us Yank dsl-rubes keep our Winchesters and Mauser-98s well oiled, so while the byte_wogs may get us, the first-one-thru-the-door gets sent ta hell. Remember? Ya used ta be like that also. Ya taught us why and how ta do it. More's the pity. ray hartman spokane, wa. We have to agree. If you're sticking an ecstasy tablet up your back passage - stop now. You're wasting your time, and your money. ® Related Link The Vulture Central Mailbag Recent Flames FoTW: A Doctor Writes… "Crawl back under your rock!" "You hafe no balls and are all homosexulle" Those techs raped your stupid mind good "i am going to stop comming to your gay site" "You smell funny, your annoying and your opinion is no startling suprise"
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2002

Yahoo! Messenger! multiple! vulns!

There are two new Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) vulnerabilities which can potentially compromise a user's machine, Vietnamese researcher Phuong Nguyen has discovered. Yahoo! has been notified and a fixed version is available for download here. First up, an unchecked buffer which enables any URL beginning with 'ymsgr:' to call ypager.exe, crash it and run malicious code if the messenger is integrated with the browser. All that's needed is 268 bytes to overflow the buffer, and exploit code can be loaded with the user's level of privilege. The 'call', 'sendim', 'getimv', 'chat', 'addview' and 'addfriend' function calls can be exploited, Nguyen says. Next up a problem with the 'addview' feature which enables the messenger to view Web content on its own. This is vulnerable to freaky URLs and malicious JavaScript and VB script. Yahoo! content can be duplicated and malicious scripts embedded in the HTML to give an attacker numerous means to exploit a target. See Nguyen's original advisory for links to a couple of simple demonstrations (which I've not verified). Yahoo! has removed this particular 'feature' in the fixed version pending further engineering magic to make it safe, Nguyen says. ®
Thomas C Greene, 28 May 2002

Intel steps back from InfiniBand

Intel Corp has stepped away from its commitment to ship InfiniBand interconnect chips by 2003 in favor of a renewed focus on developing the PCI Express internal PC bus replacement technology. Although the Santa Clara California chip manufacturer still maintains that it is committed to InfiniBand development, it has decided to fast-track the development of PCI Express, also known as 3GIO, as its chosen successor to the current PCI bus. It has long been recognized that the internal bus is now the main bottleneck in an Intel-based computer system, and the industry has been toying with a whole range of different solutions to the problem. Of these the most radical is InfiniBand. While a full InfiniBand implementation certainly addresses the internal PC Bus, it goes a great deal further. InfiniBand posits a switched architecture providing an any-to-any interconnect between the various components of the system - processors, storage and other peripherals - in a "System Area Network". At the other end of the scale is PCI-X, a fairly straightforward bus upgrade fully backwards compatible with PCI and already implemented by some computer manufacturers on high-end systems. 3GIO lies between the two in terms of ambition and complexity. It is, however, firmly aimed at the internal bus and has none of the pretensions of InfiniBand as a systems networking technology. According to Intel, the decision was based on the need to focus strategically on 3GIO technology together with the recognition that the InfiniBand market was becoming too competitive. Intel's track record as a canny operator in the silicon business makes it hard to accept its protestations at face value. It may be that Intel sees the cost and risk of development as outweighing the value of being first in the market. It already seems to have backed the wrong horse in developing the slower x1 version of the specification while most of its competitors opted for x4. The impact of Intel's decision is hard to gauge. It leaves IBM Corp alone among the big fish committed to InfiniBand chip development along with a shoal of minnows like the InfiniBand specialist Mellanox Technologies Ltd. IBM is big enough to look after itself. Mellanox et al are committed to InfiniBand and have little option but to carry on regardless. Intel's decision is certain to have an impact on the confidence of those vendors still evaluating the importance of the technology in the medium term. InfiniBand is in a delicate position at the moment with a great deal of hype around it, but still waiting for the first serious implementations to arrive. There has been a recent spate of announcements from companies jumping on the InfiniBand-wagon, such as the one last month from Overland Data Inc. © ComputerWire. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 28 May 2002

Let's not hear it for silent PCs

LettersLetters Our story NEC puts Transmeta in silent desktop PC raised some fruitful correspondence from readers about quiet PCs. The most interesting comes from Mats Oscarsson, whose company Captech makes dedicated silent PCs featuring both AMD and Intel chips. Writes Mats:- It's challenging for the title of the world's quietest desktop computer with a noise pressure level of 17.5 dB(A), as measured by the independent laboratory; "SP - Statens Provningsanstalt". The first generation appeared in 2000, with 16.5 dB(A) noise pressure level and it's the next step in that evolution that we see now. The Decibel Delta DDR sports a Pentium 4 processor of 1.8 GHz as standard, with options ranging as high as 2.4 GHz, with hard diskdrives with up to 80GB capacity and a maximum of 2 GB of DDR RAM. There's more info here. From the specs, the Captech PCs are certainly very quiet, and they've gone to some trouble to source quiet components. We encourage you to have a look. The British-based pioneer of low-noise PC components, QuietPC can be found here. Thanks to Carl Hyslop and others who pointed out that thin clients were even quieter, which is true. But we're specifically looking for x86-compatible standalones. Axel Spohr writes:- Check this for another fan-less PC from a Swiss company that originates in the embedded computing market. This has been out there for a couple months at least. Just shows that the whole idea is perceived as having merit by more than one... Indeed. The PC in question uses "passiv" cooling and is rated as emitting less than 35dB. Tim Meadowcroft adds:- Having built a quieter pc myself recently, I can recommend the Seagate hard drives as being incredibly quiet - no enclosure needed. Typically noisy drive operations (eg copying ISO images around) are unnervingly quiet, no clatter of heads... it can be un-nerving until you get used to it. I use this one, which is 7,200 rpm and 80Gb (ie fast and big) but still very competitively priced and, as I said, ridiculously quiet... no affiliation to Seagate, just a happy hacker... Which shows that quiet computing is possible out there in Wintel land, if you look hard enough.®
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2002

Sage throws spanner in MS Navision works

Sage wants to kill Microsoft's agreed $1.3bn takeover of Navision, according to a Danish newspaper. The accountancy software firm is preparing to a case with regulators in Denmark, where Navision is based, and it will extend this to France, Germany and the UK, Boersen reports, by way of Bloomberg. Sage is to argue that MS will bundle Navision into bigger software suites, slash prices and kill the competition, the paper says. It has a quote from Paul Stobart, Sage COO, who says this scenario "happened in the U.S. after Microsoft bought software maker Great Plains." So will Sage kill the Navision deal. We think it's highly unlikely - MS does not have great market share for accountancy software in Europe, and Navision will not take into market dominance. However, Sage's move will slowdown the acquisition, and the company may be able, through the regulators, to extract some concessions as to the extent of future integration of Navision into bigger software suites. ®
Drew Cullen, 28 May 2002

Vodafone turns in record £13.5 bn loss

Mobile phone giant Vodafone lost a whopping £13.5 billion in the last year in what is believed to be the UK's biggest-ever corporate loss. The monster pre-tax loss includes a £6 billion charge for investments that have lost value as a result in the fallout in the telecoms sector. Despite these one-off charges Vodafone maintains things are looking up and reckons it will still be able to deliver double-digit growth. Turnover for the year to March 31 increased by 52 per cent from £15 billion to £22.8 billion. Operating profit before exceptional items increased 35 per cent to £7 billion from £5.2 billion. Non-voice service revenues continued to rise up from 8.1 per cent to 11.1 per cent of turnover. Vodafone reckons this trend will continue with data revenues expected to reach 20 per cent of tunover in 2004. Commenting on the results chief exec, Sir Christopher Gent, said: "The past year has seen the group successfully execute its adjusted strategy, delivering very strong operational performance and exceptional financial results, including the generation of substantial free cash flow. "In the current year, we envisage net customer growth of just below 10 per cent, allowing for the expected disconnections of non-revenue generating handsets, and a modest but real improvement in ARPU (average revenue per user) in most of our major European markets. "This combination should lead to double-digit revenue growth." By mid morning shares in Vodafone were up 4p (3.8 per cent) at 109p. ®
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2002

Samsung preps DDR II DRAM

Samsung today claims an industry first, a high-density 512Mb DDR-II memory chip. Or rather a prototype, the company says it's developing the part which is it says the first to fully satisfy the new JEDEC DDR-II standard, introduced in March 2002. It will go in to volume production in Q3 2003. The Korean giant today also announced that IBM has developed a DDR-II memory subs-sytem, which Samsung has validated using early 128Mb DDR-II device prototypes. According to Samsung this validation shows the technology is not flaky. Also it claims this first try-out will 'greatly reduce the lead time for introducing this new design".
Drew Cullen, 28 May 2002

Intel gouges desktop P4 prices

Intel's new CPU price lists, published Sunday, show some hefty prce cuts on most of its desktop P4s. Price drops range from 12-43 per cent, with the biggest drops reserved for the 2.2 and the 2.25GHz, both of which tumble from $423 to $241. Intel's fastest P4, the 2.53GHz stays the same at an eyewatering $637. Prices as ever are for 1,000 units. The full list is here. ®
Drew Cullen, 28 May 2002

PDAs make easy pickings for data thieves

PDAs make easy pickings; a survey reveals that private and corporate secrets are all too frequently left unprotected. One in ten peoples' bank accounts could be accessed if they lost their Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). That's according to a survey of PDA usage by mobile security firm Pointsec, which discovered owners commonly download substantial slices of their personal and business lives onto their PDAs - but leave the information unencrypted and without password protection. Obviously Pointsec is trying to promote the use of its technology through the survey, but some of the findings are an eye opener on how lax many people are with PDA security. PINs, passwords, customer details, bank accounts, credit card & social security details are just some of the confidential and personal pieces of information people are storing unprotected on their PDAs. A quarter of those who store their own passwords and PINs on their PDA do not bother to use a password to restrict access, according to the study. Of the people who store their bank account details on their PDA, 65 per cent do not bother to encrypt this information, with just under a quarter failing to password protect this information. Around one in 16 (6 per cent) of people have lost PDAs in the past, but almost a third (32 per cent) still continue to use them without a password. The survey, which was released last week, was conducted among 332 IT and sales personnel, 43 per cent of whom are working for corporate organisations employing 1000-plus staff. Twenty three percent of PDAs are company owned with two out of three being supplied without any formal PDA policy or guidelines on the importance of password protection and encryption. One in four users are not bothering to protect their PDA with a password, even though over a third are using it as a business tool to store confidential corporate information and access their corporate networks. ® Top ten functions of PDAs To store personal names & addresses As a business diary As a personal diary For entertainment such as games, music etc To store passwords/PINs To receive emails Create documents/spreadsheets To store corporate information To store bank accounts Travel updates Related Stories 62,000 mobiles lost in London's black cabs Give your password to complete strangers? No problem... Biometric sensors beaten senseless in tests Picture this: image-based passwords
John Leyden, 28 May 2002

Egg gets Zebank

Egg has completed the acquisition of the French online bank, Zebank, after getting the thumbs-up from Banque de France. Egg paid E5.5 million (£3.5 million) for the business - E2.5 million (£1.6 million) less than first expected. This was due to a E2.5 million correction made between Zebank's draft accounts and its final audited accounts. Zebank - owned by Groupe Arnault and Dexia - was France's first e-bank when it launched in February 2001. According to Egg, Zebank customers are "up-market and metropolitan" with the majority of them living around Paris. At the end of March, Zebank had 89,000 customers and 144,000 accounts. News of the deal was confirmed in January after mounting press speculation. Egg reckons it will attract one million punters in the first three years and predicts it will make a profit by the end of 2004. ® Related Story Egg buys Zebank
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2002

Anti Big Bro charges petition grows

Big Brother bosses have come under fire for charging punters £9.99 a month to view material online from the cult TV show. More than 1,700 people have signed a petition calling for the "rip off" charges to be scrapped. Last year the streaming of live action from the BB house was free. This year, though, Channel 4 has imposed charges because of the costs involved with streaming. In one report C4 claimed that charging would actually improve the service on offer. But this has already been disputed by some who've coughed up their cash and found that they are unable to access any live content. One reader told The Register: "Having filled my credit card details in I was expecting to be impressed. But, hey what's this... 'Link outdated' on EVERY connection attempt. "I am not the only one either and know of at least 20 more just from the chatrooms with the same problem. My friend's PC wont connect either," he said. No one from C4 was available for comment at the time of writing. ®
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2002

Intel launches 802.11a Euro assault

Intel today launched 802.11a WLAN cards into Europe, or quite a lot of it. The company has received regulatory approval for the use of 802.11a products in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. And it reckons other European countries will soon follow suit. It's also shipping the Intel PRO/Wireless 2000 Land Dual Band Access Point continent-wide. This supports 802.11b clients and delivers an upgrade path to 802.11a. And it's bundling together an access point and two notebook adapters into a 802.11a starter kit. It says that PCI and mini-PCI adaptors will be available in Q3. The data transfer rate for 802.11a cards is theoretically 54Mbps, approximately five times faster than the 11Mbps available for 802.11b equivalents. In practice, the real speed for both technologies is around half the stated maximum. It's been a long haul getting 802.11a through Europe's maze of regulators, many of which have been less than keen to free up radio spectrum for its use. Procrastination over choosing rival wireless standards also means that Europe has lagged behind the US and some Asian countries in adopting 802.11a. However, the War seems won, and although there are plenty of battles still to be fought, the world is coalescing around 802.11 in its many guises as the wireless standard, albeit on different spectrums. This is welcomed by Intel's Sean Maloney, head of Intel's Communications Group. In his keynote speech today at IDF Europe, Maloney cites Gordon Moore, Intel's chairman emeritus, with one of his less well-known observations: "You get out of a recession with tomorrow's products". Stuff that will excite consumers, that will get them buying again. Malone clearly thinks that wireless computing is a tomorrow product, or what he grandly dubs a "post-recessionary technology". But this is tempered with some caution. He notes that 802.11 is "probably towards the height of a hyperbole curve". However, Intel is very keen on the technology. 802.11 has the potential to deliver "truly ubiquitious computing", Malone says. The stress here is on potential. It goes back to standards again, ensuring interoperabilility, getting seamless billing systems in place (just like currently exists for mobile phones) making sure that 802.11a and 802.11b co-exist everywhere, sorting out the security mess. Intel loves standards: they mean mass economies of scale, driving down prices and creating mass markets. It will continue working the backrooms to ensure that world sticks to a single set of wireless standards. ®
Drew Cullen, 28 May 2002

Lynching Merrill Lynch, Passport spam fright and more

Letters RoundUpLetters RoundUp Do you read spam? Of course not. But it's sometimes inadvertently hilarious. What on earth persuaded this Chinese manufacturer to use spam email as a marketing device? The company is genuine:- From: chinavibrator sender: chinavibrator Subject: construction machinery ?Dear Sirs/Madams: Knowing you from internet, we are glad to introduce us as the biggest manufacturer of concrete vibrator in china. Our company is Anyang Vibrator Co.,Ltd(Group) which is appointed to produce the concrete vibrator machinery by the government of China. That's why we can supply above item in both good quality and competitive price, we hope this letter would be the beginning of a good business relationship between our two companys in this line. At the same time we are Seeking Technology Cooperation On low noise vibrator. Regarding to our product details please refer to our website: http://www.chinavibrator.com If you have any interest in importing from China, please let us know your specific inquiry. Thanks for your attention and hope a fruitful business with your esteemed company. Kindly send your E-mail to chinavibrator@163.com Best Regards, Wangdadi Anyang Vibrator Co.,Ltd(Group) Perhaps he thought every other vibrator company on earth was marketing using email. Well, that's not true - so shame on you Wangdadi. And then I got four of these rants. Everyone in the world must have got at least one, if my fragment of the distribution list is anything to go by… **NOTE** THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS DISPROVE THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION. EVERYTHING GOES FROM A STATE OF ORDER TO A STATE OF DISORDER, AND TO BELIEVE EVOLUTION YOU HAVE TO DENY REALITY. THERMODYNAMICS ARE THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL LAWS, THE BREAKINGS AND BUILDINGS OF MOLECULAR STRUCTURES. And on, and on, for pages. It's almost as bad as having to sit having to listen to HP's new management talk about go-to-market opportunities . But it's spam you fear from recent Passport and Yahoo! privacy opt-ins... From: Jonas Callewaert Subject: MS & privacy in reply to your article I wanted to add that I created a new Hotmail account 2 weeks ago I made sure not to chk the options to get Spam and the first day I got 32 spams I have not even used the account to send or receive any e-mail I just wanted to see if I made a new account if I would get Spam or not. now the account it up to 424 messages of Spam. all of the Spam is unsuitable Spam for the fact I put age 15. thanks for your time and keep up the good work at the regus. Jonas From: Robert Jenkins Subject: Re Microsoft & Privacy Hi, After reading your Register article on Passport & Spam, it makes me wonder if they know their own policies?? I contacted both Passport & Hotmail in the last couple of days, as I'm receiving spam on a Hotmail account that I opened but have not used - the only place the Hotmail email address exists is on Hotmail / Passport (or whatever) servers. This was the response from Hotmail, dated 16th May:- (The Passport reply was that it wasn't anything to do with them and to contact Hotmail...) Thank you for your message to Hotmail Privacy. We respect your privacy and understand your concerns. Hotmail does not share, rent, lease, or lend our member's personal information or communications with any third party, nor do we edit, monitor, or filter our member's communications. We do not give permission to any third party to send unsolicited email to our members. Hotmail will only release a member's personal information or communications (without notice) when served with a subpoena, search warrant, or court order. In order to report an unsolicited email, please be sure to include the full, unedited content of the email in question, along with the full, unedited message header and send it to the proper authorities at the originating domain. If the abuse issue is non-spam related (such as Hacking, Harassment, Profanity, etc...) please include all relevant evidence and information in your report to Hotmail Abuse. Contact information for Hotmail support and abuse can be found at http://www.msn.com/contactus.ashx For further information on the Hotmail Privacy Statement, please visit http://www.hotmail.com and click on the Privacy Statement link. Sincerely, Hotmail Privacy So that's OK. Several noted that you could only change your preferences using Internet Explorer:- Further to your article on MS Passport pulling a fast one on spam preferences - you might also like to note that I get this message: "Microsoft(r) .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later." when I attempt to log in to Passport so I can disable the spam again. This happens with Galeon 1.2.1 and Mozilla 1.0rc1, which I would consider to be rather more of a current web browser than Netscape 4.08...wouldn't you? So this message would be far more accurate if it read: "We really don't want to let you in unless you're using IE, but I suppose we'd better support some versions of Netscape so we don't get our arses sued right off. If you're using open source, well [barely suppressed titters] forget it." Hmm Adam Williamson A couple of you noted that your privacy options hadn't changed. We certainly found no change when signing-up as a new subscriber. But the vast majority of you had. Now some unrelated stuff. Re: Open source shunned by monopolists' "good code" initiative From: Jim McManus Re: SCI No, no, you just don't get it. The initiative isn't about sustaining computing, per se, it's about sustaining computer companies, i.e., Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle. In light of the real meaning here, it's easy to see that the exclusion of the open source community is not only desirable, it's imperative. Why do we hate Canada so much? We don't. It's just a tradition:- From: Patrick Burton Subject: Re: Why do you hate Canada so much ? Re: The Register USA - your feedback > We don't buy the "we're really, really different from Big Brother > down south," though. Ahem, eh? First, from where I'm sitting much of Big Brother is up north -- Toronto's on the same latitude as northern California. And aside from the Northwest, Yukon & Nunavut Territories (the real far Canadian north) almost all of Canada is south of the state of Alaska, USA. However, that is quibbling; most of us proud Canadians do live up north of most of them damn Yankees. And we tend to like it that way. Handguns make us nervous unless our cops have them safely holstered. > The British don't go in for log-rolling > competitions, or wearing > orange clothes to shoot things in the wood; > we certainly don't have > creatures in the woods that can hurt or kill you > (the last wolf in > the British Isles was shot in the eighteenth > century). Black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears, wolverines, mountain lions, a number of snakes and even lynx, badgers and black flies might kill you in the wild in Canada. Not wolves. Not a single human attack or fatality on record, AFAIK. > No-one understands ice hockey, and what > the hell is Canadian > football? The British - apart from poor people > in Scotland - have > forgotten what it's like to be cold. And we > don't club baby seals - > our fishermen shoot their parents instead. Well, for a better description of how the True North Strong And Free is different from Uncle Sam's Acres, check out the longstanding (since '94) award-winning and very amusing "An American's Guide to Canada." http://www.icomm.ca/emily/ Explains ice hockey and Canadian football too, eh? :) In any case, it's nice to see The Register thinking about us. Keep up the good reporting. Thanks. And thanks to James Swift, who always has something interesting to say. He was one of many to enjoy the most recent Flame of the Week. And adds:- Since you linked to "The Fine Art of Trolling" (,/http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/35/25016.html) I'm sure people like me are viewing the net with new eyes (monitors?)....anyway I'm sure you would personally enjoy this masterpiece linked by memepool.com http://www.petitiononline.com/twotower/. Actually, lots of you seemed to like that particular flame. And Columbine still raises requests for her email address from kinky Register readers. Kerry Morrison of the US Navy writes:- " You hafe no balls and are all homosexulle" Make the T-shirt.... PLEASE! Black with red letters. I have an extremely bad long term memory and every time I see that I fall out of my chair laughing. I just read the other one at the bottom of the letters page. If this stuff's real, hire her. She's too funny What a good idea! I've forwarded the request. Tear up those Mac OS roadmaps! Thanks to "Jenny Mixman" for pointing us to this bit of confusion. Re: Bye Ed - Analysts pull the chain on Sun chief Subject: Great piece On Ed Zander, Sun and the Merrill Lynch analyst jerk-offs. It's comforting for me to know that like always, Wall Street doesn't know or care what it's selling, just so long as it's selling something. And you're right, the Merrill Lynch analysts haven't sold anything in their lives. They let the far more competent "sales-traders" do that bit of dirty work. Arthur Barlow Thanks Arthur. Ed wasn't available for interviews last week when he MC'd the Solaris launch, but we did ask. As a bootnote, Merrill Lynch last week agreed to pay $100 million in fines to get regulators off its back, but the deal ensures that it admits no wrong doing - $100 million worth of no-wrong-doing - and dodges having to compensate investors it misled. (It's got a history that goes back years.) Capellas Defined? Proper name of a star of the first magnitude in Auriga. 1682 SIR T. BROWNE Chr. Mor. 121 The time might come when capella, a noble northern star, would have its motion in the aequator. 1868 LOCKYER Elem. Astron. lxii. 24 We read.. that Capella, which is now pale blue, was red. Also means "chapel". Dr Kamal Mubarak capell.as capella, capellae she-goat; meteor type; star in constellation Auriga (rising in rainy season); dirty fellow, old goat; man with a goat-like beard; body odor; Paul Evans (Thanks to Thomas Shine, Ben Rosengart, Dave Oliver, Declan Collins, George Malagaris and Joe Dougherty for pointing this out, too). Simon Fluendy adds:- And as I'm sure you were aware, the root of consolidate is 'solid' so consolidate is 'to make solid', whereas chucking slaves off a cliff is less marginally cost effective than, for instance, selling them (I was going to say flogging them, but that would lead to needless confusion). Now I'm grateful to share the definitions, but what I meant was, what does a Capellas really mean? Really, really mean? Creative definitions are encouraged here, such as "[noun] measure of entropy discharged when two large bodies meet and disappear" … but you can do better. While you're at it, if you can think of other ex-Capellas items that might have gone similar low-level, sector-by-sector erasure, we'll use those too. My misfortune with MCI WorldCom produced so many emails (over 300), advice and useful tips, that I'll have post it later today. It's nice to know that I haven't suffered alone, so many thanks. ® Related Reader Erudition This Week Let's not hear it for silent PCs FoTW: How the British lost it - in 89 words Consolidated Carlyways: the New HP/A>
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2002

Kimble/Schmitz gets 20 months suspended sentence

German glam-hax0r Kim Schmitz (aka Kimble) has received a 20 month suspended sentence from a Munich court after being convicted of stock price manipulation designed to net him €1.2m (£750,000). Schmitz, who was extradited from Thailand in January after a botched attempt to flee justice, was also fined €100,000 by the court after pleading guilty to insider trading of shares in Letsbuyit.com. The fraud took place when the fat one's front company, Kimvestor, took part in a scheme to rescue Letsbyit.com from collapse. Schmitz, readers will recall, was the founder of YIHAT (Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism), an 'elite' crew of IRC kiddies determined to use their mad skillz to track down international terrorist Osama bin Laden. Schmitz has also claimed to be a master hacker himself, in addition to being a financial wizard. In January, while he was on the run Schmitz posted a cryptic message on his site advertising plans to commit suicide - or at least his crossing "to a new world". This proved to be a publicity stunt and visitors to the site are now informed that Schmitz wishes to be known as "King Kimble the First - Ruler of the Kimpire". The stunt is fairly typical of Schmitz, as amply demonstrated on his Web site. He even hired a model who'd posed in Playboy to pretend to be attracted to him as he squired a cluster of pals around the Caribbean in a rented yacht he hopes we'll think he owns. His legend of hacking proficiency is based on a little fact interlarded with a lot of juicy bits taken from media accounts and movies, as this article mirrored by Attrition makes painfully clear. ® External Links Heise Online's report of Schmitz's sentencing (in German) ... and Der Spiegel's report Related Stories Kimble/Schmitz deported YIHAT founder Kimble/Schmitz arrested bin Laden hackmeister 'flees' Germany bin Laden hackers denounce founder bin Laden hack-meister in defacement, financial debacles Tables turns on Bin Laden 'bank crackers' We've cracked into bin Laden's bank - UK hackers Kimble.org offers $10m reward for arrest of bin Laden Letsbuyit awakes from coma
John Leyden, 28 May 2002

THUS warns ‘hole tax’ will slow up broadband Britain

THUS has warned that a new "hole tax" to be imposed on utilities for digging up roads will slow the pace of broadband roll-out in the UK. The new measures - designed to make utilities finish their work quickly in a bid to ease disruption - are currently being trialled in Middlesbrough and Camden, London. Under the trials some companies are charged a daily flat rate for digging up roads to lay cables and carry out maintenance. Scottish telco, THUS, believes this is flawed and has described the proposal as a "stealth tax on the national telecommunications industry" claiming it would "retard the nationwide availability of broadband access". THUS claims that had the charges - which could amount to £500 a day - been introduced last year it would have cost utilities in the UK some £1.2 billion. At THUS the tax would have cost it £5 million last year, the company said. "We at THUS calculate that if the regulation had been in force last year the cost of installing our equipment would have been 37 per cent higher," said THUS chief exec Bill Allan. "Many operators will be faced with the choice of not proceeding with parts of their network expansion plans or having to pass some of the additional cost onto their customers. "This will increase the digital divide that is growing between those who have access to the benefits of broadband and modern IT and those who do not, and runs counter to the Government's own policy of combating social exclusion by rolling out digital networks nationwide," he said. The fear is that if these charges are introduced it will make the task of rolling out broadband to remote areas even more commercially unattractive. A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) said that it was still too early to say whether the charges would be introduced since the measures were still in the early part of a trial. The Government will make its recommendations once it has received a report on the pilots. ®
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2002

European Parliament poised to cave in on Internet privacy?

A campaign has been launched to persuade Members of the European Parliament to reject proposals on data retention which critics believe will have grave civil liberties implications. A debate on general data retention of communications for law enforcement authorities, scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday in Brussels, is critical, as it constitutes the major step before the final adoption of the new EU Communications Data Protection Directive. The European Commission put forward a proposal on 12 July 2000 to introduce a number of non-controversial amendments to the EU Directive on privacy in the telecommunications sector. By early last year it became clear that the Council of the European Union (which consists of ministerial level reps from each of the 15 governments) intended to use this opportunity to effect major changes to meet the long-standing demands by law enforcement agencies for the retention of all traffic and location telecommunications data (phone-calls, e-mails, faxes and internet usage) and access to it. In reaction to September 11, the Council decided that the issue of data retention - not only to combat terrorism but crime in general - should be a priority. In November 2001 the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted a first reading position which opposed the Council's demands. This view was confirmed at the second reading in the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights on April 18 2002. Machevelian Last week, however, the PSE/socialist group in the European Parliament joined the EPP/conservative group and accepted the demands of EU governments and law enforcement agencies to place communications under surveillance. They have tabled an amendment which reverses the Parliament's previous opposition to data retention, in a move described by critics as a 'cave in' which will do little to combat terrorism. Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, said: "The EU governments already have all the powers they need under the existing Directive to combat terrorism, this measure has nothing to do with terrorism. The proposal by the EU governments is a cynical exploitation of public sentiment to introduce draconian powers to potentially place the whole population of Europe under surveillance." "The European Parliament took a principled stand in November 2001 and on 18 April. Now it appears that the two largest parties - the EPP and PSE - may simply turn tail and accept the governments' demands," he added. Someone to watch over everyone According to Statewatch a number of EU governments are working on a draft Framework Decision to make it binding on all 15 EU states to implement a new law requiring the retention of traffic and location data - as soon as opposition in the European Parliament is overcome. A letter, protesting the proposals, has been endorsed by 16,206 signatories, including individuals and 40 civil liberties organisations from 15 countries. Campaigners are urging MEPs to vote with their conscience - and oppose the controversial amendment. The EU Communications Data Protection Directive includes proposals on spam and cookies, themselves controversial subjects, but wrangles over these subjects have receded as the focus has moved onto the controversial subject of data retention. ® The long and torrid history of the Communications Data Protection Directive Spam out, cookies tolerated, data retention remains: EU 7 December 2001 Europe told to rethink e-privacy directive 6 December 2001 EU wages war on cookie monster 14 November 2001 UK govt wants to decide own spam policy 30 October 2001 EU says 'oui' to spam 23 October 2001 EU anti-spam legislation up again this evening 22 October 2001 Euro spam vote in limbo 7 September 2001 MEP Cashman tries to support pro-spam stance 18 July 2001 Europe bottles spam ban 11 July 2001 Europe holds key vote on spam tomorrow 10 July 2001 Green light for Euro data retention plans 29 June 2001 Europe warms to spam ban 11 January 2001 Europe to ban spam? 8 November 2000 Anti-spammers petition European Parliament 19 April 1999 Other related stories World leaders use terror card to watch all of us. Forever Eurocops want seven-year retention of all phone, Net traffic
John Leyden, 28 May 2002