5th > March > 2004 Archive

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The Mac's ‘ultimate remote control’ leaps forward

Apple Computer loves Jonas Salling's Clicker software, and it's not hard to see why Cupertino values it so highly. Clicker won two of the company's Mac Design Awards last year - for most innovative product and best Mac OS X software - and it plays to several of Apple's strengths. The software, which fuses Bluetooth devices to the Mac, highlights the considerable advantages of Apple's Bluetooth wireless technologies, AppleScript and ease of use over the nearest Wintel equivalents. Microsoft has notoriously dragged its feet over Bluetooth support, and although it has a scripting engine (Windows Scripting Host) it doesn't match the elegance of AppleScript.
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Microsoft ‘takes hard drive out’ of Xbox 2

Microsoft's tie-in with Flash memory specialist M-Systems has led some observers to conclude that the software giant plans to ship its upcoming Xbox 2 console without a hard drive.
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Does open source software enhance security?

Analysis There are several reasons why open-source software provides for superior computer and network security, but the computing public seems confused about why this is so.
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Intel narrows Q1 revenue forecast

Intel issued a business update yesterday to provide a more accurate estimate of the company's first quarter sales. Having previously forecast revenues somewhere between $7.9bn and $8.5bn, the chip giant narrowed its numbers to $8.0-8.2bn.
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AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 to launch this month

AMD will launch the much-anticipated Athlon 64 FX-53 this month, according to purported company roadmaps posted on the Net.
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Massive demand for umlauted domains

DENIC, the German registry for .de domains, has received more than 600,000 applications for .de domain names containing umlauts - vastly in excess of the anticipated demand. This is the first time DENIC and its members have had to cope with such a huge influx of applications. The registry normally only processes a few thousand a day.
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Belgacom IPO will generate €4bn windfall

Analysts expect Belgian telco Belgacom's forthcoming flotation to give the company a market value of &euro11bn, and raise more than €4bn. The sale of the state-controlled former monopoly - agreed by shareholders last October - should prove an attractive opportunity for investors seeking a strong dividend provider.
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SCO confirms MS ‘smoking gun’ email is genuine

The SCO Group has confirmed that the email attributed to long-time pal and former colleague of Darl McBride, Mike Anderer, is genuine. But it says that Eric Raymond's characterization of this as "a smoking gun" - implying Microsoft is behind SCO's legal campaign against Linux - is incorrect. Raymond published the leaked email on his opensource.org site this morning, and claims it reveals "the extent of SCO's sock-puppet relationship to its masters in Redmond", according to Raymond.
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Softbank rocked by giant data leak

Senior execs at Softbank in Japan are to take a pay cut after the personal details of more than four million broadband punters leaked out.
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Dutch PC buyers threaten Dell

A shortage of flat panel displays has led to a consumer revolt in the Netherlands. The Dutch Hobby Computer Club (HCC) - one of Europe's biggest PC hobbyist organisations with over 200,000 members - says it will intervene on behalf of unhappy Dell customers who are still waiting for PCs they ordered months ago.
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BT knocks Tiscali in ad. Tiscali gets cross

Tiscali UK is hopping mad after BT ran a newspaper ad under the banner "The truth about Tiscali's notquitesobroadband".
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Tinfoil hats to retail with RFID tags?

Letters: Paranoia and malicious code filled our inboxes to bursting this week. It seems like every day there are more mini-outbreaks, or major ones to report, and the debate over how to handle to situation has gone on for so long that our weary security vulture, John Leyden, has started dreaming about MyDoom. Perhaps he needs a protective hat?
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Wags hijack TV channel's on-screen ticker

A cable news channel in Raleigh, North Carolina shut down a Web application designed to allow local schools and businesses to report weather-related closures last week, after a handful of puckish university students discovered they could use it to add textual graffiti to the station's newscast.

Business Objects makes Crystal Decisions

Business Objects completed its acquisition of Crystal Decisions in December. That was the easy bit, writes Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard.
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Wippit preps ‘EasyJet-style’ music download scheme

British-based commercial P2P music company Wippit is to launch an iTunes-style music download service offering songs for less than 50p (91c) a pop, The Register has learned.
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Linksys clarifies Netgear comms breakdown

Linksys has hit back at the Computing Which? report suggesting that the company's Wireless-G router failed to communicate with Netgear's Wi-Fi bridge during testing at Which? offices. Linksys corporate communications manager, Karen Sohl, says the publication is wrong if it suggests that there's any standards failure by Linksys.
Cat 5 cable

Cisco dismisses VoIP snooping concerns

Cisco has hit back at allegations that some of its IP telephony equipment is vulnerable to communications interception or denial of service attacks.
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Doom developer ‘confirms’ N-Gage 2

Nokia is working on a follow-up to the N-Gage that will address all of the key failings of the original phone-cum-console hardware.
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Sex no bar to geekdom

The so-called technology gender gap has slammed shut in the US: university students, whether male or female, report near identical take-up of technology, according to the latest 360 Youth College Explorer Study.
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C of E seeks dynamic cybervicar

The Church of England has announced a rather unusual spiritual vacancy - that of online vicar for its new i-church.
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Brazil loves Linux – true

Brazil is the world's most enthusiastic exponent of open source software, a BBC report reveals. And, if the Latin-American love affair with Linux continues, a third of machines there may soon run non-MS OSes.
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Virus writers in malicious code hide-and-seek

A fresh angle of attack by virus writers is challenging new anti-virus techniques.
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Ask Jeeves if it ate Excite.com

Ask Jeeves is shelling out around $343m in cash and shares to acquire privately-held online search and media company Excite.com's owner, Interactive Search Holdings. It will issue 9.3 million shares of common stock and options, and $150m in cash - a purchase price of $343m based on Ask Jeeves' closing price on 3 March.
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HardOCP takes big stick to Infinium

News website HardOCP has filed a legal action against broadband console proponent Infinium Labs, in a move which it says is aimed at "clearing the air" following a number of demands and threats made by Infinium in the past weeks.
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Russian arctic castaways await rescue

The 12 Russian scientists stranded in the arctic after most of their base sank into the Greenland Sea should be rescued within 48 hours.
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Samsung joins IBM 65nm R&D team

Samsung has joined an IBM-hosted project to develop next-generation 65nm and 45nm chip fabrication technologies.The South Korean giant also said today that it has licensed IBM's 90nm process technology.
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Nvidia touts GDDR 3 ‘first’

Nvidia has signed Samsung to provide its graphics card partners with Graphics DDR 3 SDRAM for inclusion in their 128MB GeForce FX 5700 Ultra-based boards. Products using the memory technology will ship this month.

HP holds storage lead in Q4

Storage vendors, during the fourth quarter, enjoyed their most successful run since the economic downturn started, as both revenue and shipments increased, according to IDC.
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Symbian sale is for the best, says Psion

Psion is pushing ahead with the sale of its 31.1 per cent stake in Symbian, despite dissent from its shareholder Phoenix Asset Management, which urges to push for a Symbian IPO.
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Californian ISP sues Bob Vila site for spam

Californian ISP Hypertouch is taking home improvement website BobVila.com and its marketing agency to court for alleged violations of America's CAN-SPAM Act.
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Al Qaeda boss confused phone SIM with cloaking device

Al Qaeda's technological expertise is perhaps somewhat less than it's cracked up to be, we note from a New York Times report on events surrounding the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Karachi a year ago. Mohammed, and indeed other Al Qaeda operatives, seems to have used a Swisscom 'anonymous' mobile phone card under the quite weird misapprehension that its insertion in a phone somehow, er, anonymised the phone.
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CERN celebrates 50th birthday

Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of CERN officially begin on 8 March, marking five decades of European co-operation in the search for the nature of matter.

Mainframe DB2 emerges from primordial swamp

IBM's mainframe machine keeps rolling along with the release this week of DB2 Version 8 for the venerable hardware and the z/OS operating system.
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Fireflies aid hunt for ET

Fireflies could in future help scientists in the search for extraterrestrial life.
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Spam is 10

Today (5 March) marks the tenth anniversary of what is generally considered the first spam message.

Oracle strikes back against the Feds

Oracle has hit back against the government in its $9.4 billion bid for PeopleSoft.
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Eolas' web patent nullified

In a very rare, but not unprecedented move, the US Patent Office has nullified a contentious technology patent. A spin off from the University of California, but described as a "one man operation", Eolas last year won $521 million from Microsoft for breach of what the former describes as its "web application platform". US Patent 5,838,906, granted in 1998, protects the execution of remote code embedded in hypertext pages.