5th > May > 2004 Archive

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EC Oracle probe faces further delay

The European Commission probe into Oracle's takeover of rival Peoplesoft looks set for another delay, which could mean the database giant will face the US courts first. Oracle is due to meet the US Department of Justice in court on 7 June.

FCC chairman hails VoIP

FCC chairman Michael Powell has warned telcos in the US they face a serious, and life-threatening, challenge from VoIP (voice over IP protocol) telephony.
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Qwest loses in first quarter

Qwest has posted a $310m loss for the first quarter, ended 31 March, its eleventh consecutive quarterly loss. But the US telco thinks things are getting better.
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Russian 5c MP3 site 'unlicensed'

Analysis For some time now we have been tracking the progress of a Russian MP3 site called Allofmp3.com. To recap, Allofmp3 is one of many Russian internet sites that are openly offering MP3 files from a central server. Other popular sites include club.mp3search.ru and www.mp3spy.ru. For either $14.95 a month (capped at 1000 tracks per month) or for individual tracks at one cent per megabyte, it's fantastically cheap.
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European healthcare 'online by 2008'

The European Commission has launched the e-Health action plan, a campaign aimed at getting Europeans to use communication and information technologies to support healthcare services.
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VIA plans chipset price rises

VIA is set to push up chipset prices in two months' time - its second price rise this year.
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AMD 130/90nm snippets slip onto Web

French website x86 Secret has some interesting information regarding AMD's move to 90nm from 130nm.
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London to get unbundled video-on-demand

Video Networks is to relaunch its broadband and digital TV service next week after installing its kit in more than 80 London BT exchanges.

France bans Intel-only IT contracts

France has moved to avoid European Commission anti-trust action by removing a stipulation that government IT hardware projects must be based on Intel-based kit.
server room

Corporate VoIP to challenge Skype

Europe in Brief Amsterdam-based Voipster will introduce a corporate competitor to Skype, the popular free Voice over IP client, by next month. The Dutch company is targeting business users and will charge a monthly fee for unlimited calls, four way conference, voicemail and sharing documents. Some features will be free until further notice, including voicemail.
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Energis puts frighteners on UK biz

UK businesses are so slapdash about IT security if they owned a brand new Ferrari they'd probably leave it unlocked with the keys in the ignition. And the door open. With a sign saying "nick me".
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Biometric recognition gets right in your face

Telling people apart by the contours of their face has become the latest biometric recognition technology to be brought to market.

Healthcare IT spend on the up-and-up

Spending on IT is set to rise is 2004, with one third of healthcare organisations in Western Europe planning to increase their budgets, according to research firm IDC.
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419ers crack cold fusion

Since they already have a man in space, it should come as no surprise that our old mates from Lagos have pulled off an even more impressive feat - cold fusion. Well, it was actually the brilliant Nigerian physicist Koffi Abacha, who sadly died in the obligatory mysterious plane crash.
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DRM 'will be cracked' says iTunes hacker

According to the Australian researcher who cracked the authentication used by Apple's iTunes software, current-generation Digital Rights Management (DRM) will never work.
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Glitches in ID card kit frustrate Blunkett's pod people

The pilot for the UK national ID card scheme ran into technical problems earlier this year, cutting the period of the trial from six to three months, Parliament's Home Affairs Committee was told yesterday. Home Secretary David Blunkett was himself giving evidence, and told the Committee that people would be "queueing round the block" for ID cards - but we think he meant this would be because they wanted them, rather than because the issuing kit was broken.
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Irish punters enjoy online betting

Betting firm Victor Chandler has launched tax-free online betting services in Ireland and plans to create 50 jobs in the Republic over the next 18 months.
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Boffins synthesise Bucky's baby brother

A group of physical chemists have made carbon-50 molecules in a solid state for the first time. Previous attempts to synthesise the molecule have been successful, but only in the gaseous phase. The researchers describe it as the long-sought-after little brother of Carbon-60.
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Ofcom BT standard rate ruling delayed

Ofcom has delayed by up to "a week to ten days" the publication of an "urgent" investigation into allegations that BT's new phone tariffs are anti-competitive.
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MS opens Hotmail to bulk mailers

Microsoft said yesterday it had introduced a white list scheme to allow well-behaved email marketing firms to reach its customers without falling foul of its spam filters.
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Google's public-auction IPO: smart move?

One of the most unusual elements of the proposed Google IPO is the use of the public auction system via the Internet. Some view it as a laudable move to enable its vast number of individual or retail investors, though in fact they are confined to its subscriber base. In other words individuals (and institutions one must presume?) will have to have an account or open an account with Google to be able to bid for stock in the auction, which is predicted to be oversubscribed. It will enable them to participate on an equal basis with the financial institutions.
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Sasser creates European pandemonium

There may have been no major outages for UK businesses as a result of the Sasser worm, according to Microsoft UK, but it caused significant problems in continental Europe.
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UK police arrest 12 phishing mule suspects

The UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) today arrested six men and six women from Eastern Europe suspected of laundering funds from bank accounts seized through phishing scams.
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NTL ups broadband numbers

NTL has increased revenues for the first three months of the year after signing up more than 360,000 new broadband punters.
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Phoenix launches reseller reward programme

Channel round-up Sales of laser printers in France fell four per cent in February compared to January. But the market has grown 14 per cent compared to February last year. Colour laser printers grew 25 per cent compared with a year ago while monochrome printers grew by 13 per cent. The research, from Context SalesWatch, also revealed that the market for colour printers in the top four countries (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) grew by 72 per cent year on year. Average selling prices continued to fall - down 11 per cent compared to February 2003.
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Pfizer sues online pharmacies

Pfizer has filed lawsuits against five online pharmacies for selling an unapproved copy of Pfizer's top-selling cholesterol medicine - Lipitor - the company says in a statement.

Offshore to New Zealand, say Kiwis

IT vendors in New Zealand have joined forces to form Outsource2NewZealand, which as the name suggests, hopes to attract some of the UK's IT projects to the land that gave us Gollum.
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UK pub quiz text cheat scandal

As predicted by El Reg, quiz cheats are clogging mobile information services with requests for trivia, as Britain stoops to new lows in the search for a free pint.
Cat 5 cable

Veritas gratifies itself, users and Sun with new product

Veritas Vision Veritas bounded into the second day of its user conference, dangling a wide range of new goods in front of customers and signing an "extend the love" pact with Sun Microsystems.
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Fear of phishing hits e-commerce

Concerns about falling victim to phishing scams are eroding US consumer confidence in online banking and e-commerce. A survey out yesterday points to fears about online fraud based on widespread misconceptions about the minimal impact of phishing in overall fraud losses.
Cat 5 cable

Veritas cluster roadmap raises the ceiling

Veritas Vision Veritas has mapped out a bold future for its clustering products, including a significant change in the way future clustering software will be sold and in the ways it can be used.

Intel's Whitefield goes Banias in 2006

Exclusive The Register has learned more details about Intel's future Xeon processor code-named "Whitefield", the company's first all-Indian design, that we first revealed last week.
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Everything you never wanted to know about the UK ID card

A pub bore's guide Do you know how the UK's projected compulsory ID card will work, and what it will entail? If you do, you're significantly in advance of David Blunkett and the Home Office, because although a draft bill and consultation document was published at the end of April, these really only provide signposts to what the powers that be would like it to be able to do, and a little bit of evidence as to how they might propose to get it to do these things. But we're considerably further on in terms of information than we were before the draft, and it's not likely to get much better by the time the consultation period ends. So, as our small contribution to the democratic process, we present The Register Idiot's Guide to the UK ID Card.