15th > March > 2004 Archive

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EC backs down on MS (a little)

The European Commission is watering down proposals to force Microsoft to behave more competitively.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004

EDS to sell software unit for $2.1bn

EDS is close to selling its data management software business for $2.1bn. The Texas company hopes the sale will help cut debt from $5bn to zero by the end of the year.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
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Intel ‘to adopt performance ratings’

Intel appears to have conceded at last that a processor's clock frequency isn't the be-all and end-all of chip performance. It is to begin adding performance ratings to its processors, the better to distinguish one model from another.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Corporate demand drives up DRAM prices

PC vendors are bulk-buying DDR SDRAM to beat anticipated price rises in the near future, market watcher iSuppli reports.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
DVD it in many colours

EC objects to Oracle takeover

Oracle's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft suffered another blow late last week - the European Commission has objected to the deal.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
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eBay halts auction of Vietnamese girls

eBay last week pulled the plug on an attempt to sell three Vietnamese women to the highest bidder. The Taiwanese user, who wanted at least TWD180,000 ($5392) for the trio, has had his eBay membership terminated, the company said.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Chrysalis flogs songs for ringtone lovers

Radio and music specialist Chrysalis is to sell mobile ringtones and other downloads.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
DVD it in many colours

WS Reliable Messaging creeps forward

One year after BEA, IBM, Microsoft and Tibco (BIMT) published a draft specification for WS Reliable Messaging - hot on the heels of a rival spec from an Oracle, Sun, Sonic, Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC consortium - the question is this: has any progress actually been made, asks Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams.
IT-Analysis, 15 Mar 2004
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Boffins spot planetoid at 8bn miles

NASA-funded astronomers at the California Institute of Technology have discovered the furthest-known body in the solar system - a distant eight billion miles out.
Lucy Sherriff, 15 Mar 2004
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Security fears tip Spanish election

Analysis The terrorist atrocity in Madrid last week claimed 200 souls, and affected the outcome of a national election held only days later. The conservative Popular Party, a Washington tributary outfit led by Prime Minister José María Aznar, had maintained a slim lead over its Socialist opposition, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, until a group of terrorists struck.
Thomas C Greene, 15 Mar 2004
Cat 5 cable

Skype secures £11m funding

Skype, the London-based Voice over IP firm, has raised £11m($18.8m) in second round funding.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
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Asus SK8V AMD Athlon FX-51 mobo

Review I'm fairly sure that a lot of you have glanced at AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 at one stage or another and wished you could afford one. But it's not only the processor that will set you back a small fortune as you need special memory and a specific type of motherboard for it to work. A cheaper alternative would be to get one of the 14x series of Opteron processors, but again you need the same expensive memory and motherboard, writes Lars-Göran Nilsson.
Trusted Reviews, 15 Mar 2004
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WorldCom gets sums wrong – by $74bn

The true scale of WorldCom's financial woes has been revealed after the telecoms outfit announced a whopping $74.4bn restatement of income. Back in 2000/01 - while WorldCom was reporting that it was making a profit - the company was actually making a loss.
Tim Richardson, 15 Mar 2004
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Great Wall not visible from space: official

The Chinese authorities have moved swiftly to airbrush from history the popular myth that the Great Wall is visible from space.
Lester Haines, 15 Mar 2004
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Malicious code threats celebrate bumper 2003

Malicious code threats to privacy and confidentiality increased rapidly in the final six months of last year - up 148 per cent on the first half of 2003.
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2004
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MS drives Lindows from Benelux

Lindows has pulled out of the Benelux region following robust legal action from Microsoft.
Lucy Sherriff, 15 Mar 2004
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KPN closes wallet on mmO2 offer

Dutch mobile operator KPN will not increase its offer for mmO2.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
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Napster parent increases revenue forecasts

Roxio will sell around $5.5m worth of songs through its Napster online music service during its current fiscal quarter, the company said today.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Wippit adds 10,000 BMG tracks to catalogue

British-based commercial P2P music company Wippit will begin selling Bertelsmann Music Group's back catalogue through its upcoming pay-per-download digital music service.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Sony ‘confirms’ 2004 PSX European launch

Sony confirmed today that it is pushing to release PSX in Europe this year, just as the console prepares to make its European debut at CeBIT.
The Register breaking news

Ten years old: Apple's Power Mac line

Almost ten years to the day, this reporter was in New York listening to then Apple CEO Michael Spindler and hardware chief Jim Gable launch the first Power Macs: the 6100, 7100 and 8100.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Australia gets tough on Net paedos

Australia has released drafts of proposed Internet laws which will see serious offenders serve up to 15 years in prison.
John Oates, 15 Mar 2004
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EU shoppers don't trust Web

Lack of trust is stifling the growth of ecommerce across Europe as punters remain reluctant to shop online.
Tim Richardson, 15 Mar 2004
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Self-taught geek aces Brain Academy

A 17-year-old self-taught programmer has won Microsoft's Brain Academy competition. Adam Kramer beat 200 other entrants to a £15,000 bursary to study Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.
Lucy Sherriff, 15 Mar 2004
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Spooks want more Web-tapping powers

US ISPs will be required to make high-speed networks wiretap-friendly, if regulators approve far-reaching plans to tighten up existing surveillance regimes.
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2004
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Hotmail back online

Microsoft has blamed an internal problem for leaving millions of Hotmail users unable to access their email on Friday.
Tim Richardson, 15 Mar 2004
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The $5 ‘no moving parts’ fluid zoom lens – twice

This week at CeBIT Philips will formally unveil a cheap, no moving parts lens system that could make it feasible for a camera to come as standard with virtually anything electronic. But last month at 3GSM a similar system from French company Varioptic broke surface; the two appear to be unrelated, and as Varioptic has previously claimed to hold "two fundamental patents" covering the technology, one might speculate that a legal clash could be on the cards.
John Lettice, 15 Mar 2004
The Register breaking news

Bagle the 13th spread defies belief

To nobody's great surprise, another Windows-infecting mass mailing worm began spreading over the Net last weekend.
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2004
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KPN prunes Belgian mobile sub

Around 200 jobs are to be axed at Base, the Belgian mobile outfit wholly owned by Dutch telco KPN.
Tim Richardson, 15 Mar 2004
The Register breaking news

UK Gov's open source ‘mandate’ policy attacked

The UK's proposed policy on the use of open source software within government has come under fire from the Institute for Software Choice, which claims the policy will make it "compulsory for public sector organisations to use Open Source Software as a default in R&D projects." The ISC, which has substantial backing from Microsoft, among other major IT companies, intends to challenge the proposals, which are currently subject to a consultation ending on 11 June.
John Lettice, 15 Mar 2004

Veritas to restate results after probe

Veritas will restate two years of financial statements after an investigation uncovered a variety of accounting practices not in line with generally accepted methods.
Ashlee Vance, 15 Mar 2004
The Register breaking news

Apple notches up 50m music downloads

Apple's iTunes Music Store customers are downloading songs at the rate of 2.5 million a week, a statistic that rather puts Napster's claim to five million downloads in the first four months in the shade.
Tony Smith, 15 Mar 2004
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Zombie PCs must die!

Comcast, the US cable giant, is threatening to disconnect customers whose infected PCs are being used to relay spam messages.
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2004
The Register breaking news

State Attorney – the MPAA's man – urges P2P ban

The democratic veneer over the business of buying the legislation you want has never looked thinner. California's State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has been caught acting as a public relations front for Hollywood's big money copyright holders, only on the public's dime. Nominally, the role of Attorney General is to act on behalf of all citizens of California, including consumers and recording artists.
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2004