17th > March > 2004 Archive

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Why Microsoft ‘Shared Source’ can never be trusted

Yesterday we recounted the tale of how at the height of the Cold War Soviet infrastructure had been penetrated by software containing Trojans. Retired spook and nuclear scientist Thomas Reed claims that the United States provided compromised software to the USSR which detonated the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline. The Cold War's over, but we suggested that without an open toolchain - unless users could also inspect the source code for the tools used to build the OS - initiatives such as Microsoft's Shared Source program are worthless PR exercises.

3Com launches desktop IP phone

KitWatch 3Com has launched a desktop IP phone which promises much better acoustic quality than conventional circuit switched phones.
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Net hermit to ditch DotComGuy moniker

DotComGuy - the man who spent an entire year in a house living off entirely what he could find on the Net - is to change his name back to plain old Mitch Maddox.
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Ballmer presses Monti for compromise

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's dancing chief exec, parachuted into Europe yesterday to ask Competition Commissioner Mario Monti to take a merciful view of the software giant.

Ebookers chief defends offshoring

Dinesh Dhamija, chief executive of online travel agent ebookers, has defended 'offshoring' - the practice of exporting business support services to cheaper, usually developing countries.
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Voda slapped for ‘Best Network’ claim

Vodafone has been ticked off for suggesting that it's the best mobile phone network in the UK.

Groupe Bull feels cold steel of EU probe

The French government has agreed to put its rescue plan for Bull on hold while the EC investigates the deal.
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Nokia goes it alone on push-to-talk

An interoperability battle is looming within the mobile phone industry over technical standards for walkie-talkie-like technology. The dispute over push-to-talk (PTT) technology has emerged in the run up to the CeBIT 2004.

Business optimism and investment jitters

US publication Optimise Magazine recently produce some interesting conclusions concerning the correlation between business outlook and technology investment for 2004, writes Bloor Research analyst Bob McDowall. The magazine's analysis is based on a survey of business/technology executives from the financial services sector in an InformationWeek Research Priorities study. The survey may be US-based, but the results do not seem to differ from the European environment.
Cat 5 cable

Progressive CIOs deliver real IT value

Talk regularly with chief information officers as we do, and it quickly becomes evident that there are two prevailing views among them and their C-level technology colleagues on how to assess IT value. There also seem to be some very different habits over how they engage IT to solve operational problems, strengthen competitive capabilities, or develop better business strategies...
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Medion brings best-selling GPS PDA to UK

Reg Kit Watch Germany's Medion last year took 7.9 per cent of the European PDA market making it the territory's third largest vendor, behind PalmOne and HP, and ahead of Sony and Dell. Unlike many of its rivals, it started out with no market share at all.
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Intel plots 4MB L2, 64-bit desktop CPU

Intel is preparing a multi-core, desktop incarnation of its Pentium M processor with a whopping 4MB of on-die L2 cache and 64-bit x86 extensions.
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Taking the fight to the hackers

Site offer Q. How does software break? Q. How do attackers...attack? Q. Why do security systems not protect us? Q. How can we improve security? Q. What tools are used to break software? A. This week at The Register bookstore we've got 'All the books' with 'ALL the answers!'
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East Germany warms to Internet

Europe in Brief The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to outsource its entire corporate information system infrastructure services under a single prime contractor, the organisation announced earlier this week. The contract will be for a maximum of seven years with a total value exceeding €100m.
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Atheros updates Wi-Fi speed booster tech

Wi-Fi chip maker Atheros this week has updated its 'standards plus' WLAN speed-boosting technology, Super G, to make devices based on its 802.11g chipsets better network neighbours.
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HP deploys Linux desktops in Asia

HP announced yesterday that it would the first top tier manufacturer to offer desktop PCs loaded with Linux across the world's biggest and most populous continent.
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UK gov backs £1m blueprint for open source switchers

The UK government has announced funding for a 'third force' open source migration project. A group of local authorities led by Rossendale has won £502,500 of matched funding (i.e. the project is worth double that) for an examination of "the issues associated with migration to Open Source," involving a justification of and implementation of open source in three English local authorities, and the production of a report.
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AOL future uncertain – report

The future of AOL is once again in the spotlight following a report that the Internet outfit could be sold off.
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UK Net paedo crackdown bags 600

More than 600 UK sex offenders have been convicted as a result of an ongoing probe into Internet child porn.
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Opera 7 for Mac OS X goes live

After a period of silence, Opera is bouncing back into the Mac market with a preview of Opera 7.50 for Mac OS X. The software - "unfinished and unsupported beta-quality" - requires 10.1 or later, and brings Opera's Mac edition into line with the Windows and Linux versions.
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Philips faces legal challenge over fluid lens technology

As we suggested might be about to happen, Varioptic is going legal over Philips' announcement of a low-cost, mass-manufactured fluid lens system. Varioptic has been developing such systems for some years now, and in an announcement today stated its intention to "actively enforce the patents it holds on the use of electrowetting technology to create variable focus lenses."
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DiData wipes slate clean with Proxicom disposal

Channel round-up Channel round-up DiData sells Proxicom Dimension Data has sold Proxicom, the US consultancy it outbid Compaq for in 2001. The networking reseller paid $448m in the heyday of the Internet bubble. It sold the company on for so little that it will have no impact on the bottom line so the figure can stay secret. Chief executive …
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MS seeks enforcer & revenue generator for trademarks

Have you got what it takes to make the grade as a Senior Trademark Attorney for Microsoft? If you think you have, then check out this help wanted notice at the International Trademark Association. But you may have to practice keeping your face straight if you make it to the interview.
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Siemens launches ‘rugged’ multimedia mobile

Siemens today unveiled a pair of media-oriented handsets, the ruggedised M65 and the more traditionally cased C65.
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HP top (channel) dog for PCs

HP is still top vendor for PCs sold through business resellers across Europe.
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Siemens unwraps 1.3 megapixel camera phone

Siemens followed up its launch of a pair of mass-market handsets today with the release of a more business-oriented phone, the S65.
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Data Protection – getting it right

The information commissioner (IC) Richard Thomas has warned organisations not to use the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) as an excuse for poor practice.
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Nokia introduces ‘megapixel’ mobile

Nokia introduced its first megapixel camera phone today which also features the company's latest in a long line of bizarre keypad layouts.
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Kazaa coder sues Sharman Networks

Sharman Networks, owner of the controversial P2P utility Kazaa, today found itself facing yet another legal fight centring on copyright ownership.
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Carrera picks bones of Multivision

Midlands PC builder Multivision has gone into liquidation and its stock has been sold off.
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Police offer ‘stolen’ mobe insurance fraud amnesty

Punters who cheated on their insurance to get a new mobile are been offered an opportunity to come clean without getting nicked.
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Sony music download service to launch in June

Sony today confirmed that it will launch its European digital music download service, Sony Connect, in June.

Gershon retires from the Office of Government Commerce

John Oughton is to replace Sir Peter Gershon as chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

DoJ goes after Oracle's hidden secrets

Oracle has agreed to hand over to the Department of Justice secret internal documents relating to discount arrangments made between sales staff and customers.
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Budget sells IT industry short – Intellect

The chancellor has not done enough to provide real R&D incentives in today's Budget, according to the IT Industry trade association, Intellect.
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Jobs: Apple will not meet 100m song download goal

Analysis Apple has admitted that it will fall rather short of its first-year iTunes Music Store 100 million song sales target.
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Delivering the 12kb Bomb

The average size of email-bourne viruses so far this year has been well under 20 kilobytes. A young virus writer, sitting in his underwear in his parent's dark basement, takes a hex editor and modifies a few bytes of the latest Netsky.M (16.5kb), Beagle.J (12kb) or Mydoom.G (20kb) mutation, spawns a new virus variant, and then releases it into the wild. The resulting few thousand compromised machines, a conservative estimate perhaps, will sit naked as drones or "bots" on the Internet, waiting patiently for their summons and commands.
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Carphone Warehouse SMS spam ruling reversed

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has taken the unusual step of overturning its own previous decision which criticised Carphone Warehouse for unsolicited text messaging. It has now decided that the retailer's use of a marketing list was fair.
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VoIP set to generate megabucks

VoIP is set to become a massive source of income for broadband operators as more and more punters use their PC to make voice calls.
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Online extortionists target Cheltenham

Extortionists have launched a series of withering attacks against online bookies in the run up the tomorrow’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.