10th > June > 2004 Archive

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Crash test dummies get date for DARPA Robot Run II

DARPA has set a late 2005 date for the second running of its Grand Challenge robot race. Well over a hundred contestants are expected to give Grand Challenge II a go on Oct. 8 of next year. The event, like the first run this year, pits robot vehicles in a race across the Mojave Desert, forcing the vehicles to see and steer with no human intervention. DARPA - the oddest arm of the Defense Department - has upped the prize money for the second race to $2m, as reported earlier here.
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Germany approves Nokia's Symbian plan

The Germany competition regular, the Bundeskartellamt, has approved Nokia's acquisition of Psion's stake in Symbian, which would double its share to 63.3 per cent of the company. Germany is the third country to give its approval to the deal. When Symbian was formed regulatory approval was sought because the three founding shareholders, Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson dominated the handset market in roughly equal parts. Since then however Motorola has sold its stake and Ericsson spun off its handset division, which now has a very much smaller market share.
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BT saves Station X for exploitation

It was five years ago today... The recent 50th anniversary of the death of Alan Turing reminded us of a time when Milton Keynes District Council threatened to do to Bletchley Park, aka Station X, what the Luftwaffe never could - reduce it to rubble:

Lucent trade secret suspect goes on the run

A former Lucent scientist suspected of stealing trade secrets was declared a fugitive from justice by US authorities yesterday. Hai Lin, who allegedly conspired with two fellow Lucent workers to commit industrial espionage against their employer and other US hi-tech companies, has failed to satisfy his bail conditions. Authorities last saw him on May 25.
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SIA: 2004 will be chip biz's best yet

2004 will be the best year ever for chip revenues, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) which last night issued a bullish forecast, revising figures upwards.
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'Official' Pocket Loox 700 Wi-Fi PDA pic appears on web

Fujitsu-Siemens has given tacit confirmation that it plans to update its Pocket Loox line of PocketPC PDAs with a Wi-Fi model which will also sport a 480 x 640 display.
Cat 5 cable

AOL unveils IM for business

Monster ISP - America Online - has unveiled details of a new pay-as-you-go instant messaging service aimed at business users.
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Beware the rogue access points

Wireless LANs will continue to be a major security headache for businesses over the next few years, despite the introduction of improved security standards. Inadequate policies and poor installation, rather than inherent security weaknesses, are the main problem.
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SIA wants more money for nano-electronics

The US needs to invest an additional $1.5bn per year in semiconductor and nanoelectronics research, or risk falling behind in the global IT industry, according to IBM's Dr John Kelly.
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Bluetooth group preps 2.1Mbps spec

Bluetooth communications are set to get rather faster with a new version of the specification that takes its data throughput 2.1Mbps in the offing.
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Desktop Dothans 'will not replace Prescott'

Intel's upcoming Pentium M-based desktop processor, possibly codenamed Conroe, will not support the company's HyperThreading technology, it has emerged.

IBM chases HP and Sun with i5

According to the top brass in the iSeries division, IBM will be pushing on several fronts to grow the OS/400 server business and pump up the OS/400 ecosystem on which it depends. Timothy Prickett Morgan examines IBM's new strategy...
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Aperto WMAN deals in France and Ireland

Aperto Networks has picked up two major new contracts for implementation of Wireless Broadband in Europe using its Packetwave system which are committed to move towards the emerging WiMAX IEEE802.16 standard for wireless metropolitan area networks.
Faultline, 10 2004
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US punters face higher phone charges

Consumers and businesses in the US have been warned that they could face higher phone charges in the future after the Solicitor General said he would not seek to challenge a recent ruling by the Appeals Court.
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Unpatched IE vuln exploited by adware

Detailed information on a brace of unpatched vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer has been posted onto a dull disclosure mailing list. The flaws involve a cross-zone scripting vuln and a bug in IE's Local Resource Access and pose an "extremely critical" risk to Windows users, according to security firm Secunia. The vulnerabilities affect both Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook.
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Copy protection to extend to multiple but limited burns

The two most prominent suppliers of copy protection for music compact disks, are set to come back to the market with rethought offerings whereby CD copying is allowed, but limited to a set number. This strategy, dictated by the record labels as “where they are trying to get,” will emerge in new offerings from market leader Macrovision and SunnComm, during the course of 2004.
Faultline, 10 2004
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MS boffins build real-time stereocam

Computer science boffins at Microsoft's research labs in Cambridge have developed i2i, a stereo camera for use with instant messaging technology that automatically frames and tracks its subject. This makes it seem that the user is looking at the camera, even he is actually looking at his PC screen: so video communication is more like face-to-face conversation.
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Opera launches 250% go-faster for mobile phone browser

Opera has launched a go-faster service for mobile phone browsing, claiming the system cuts bills and increases rendering speed on mobile devices by up to 250 per cent. The Opera Mobile Accelerator is a proxy-based system available for Sony-Ericsson P800/P900 and all Series 60 handsets, including Nokia, Siemens and Sendo X (it say here, so it must be due soon).
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Ask Jeeves if it's just bought Tukaroo

Internet search outfit Ask Jeeves Inc has acquired US-based desktop search outfit Tukaroo. Financial details were not disclosed.
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MP slams failed online university

An online university that cost the government £62m to set up has been closed down having failed to attract enough students. Dr Ian Gibson, Labour MP and chair of science and technology committee at the Commons has condemned the scheme, UKeU, as a "shameful waste" of public money, and an "absolute disaster".
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Orange users suffer tech fault

Orange UK has confirmed that a "small number" of its customers have been unable to use their mobile phones over the last couple of days because of a technical fault. The victims appear to be punters upgrading their phones or switching between contract and pay as you go (PAYG) services.
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Mobile porn is a 'time bomb'

European mobile phone firms must act to ensure that adult content reaches only adults, a research company warns. Mobile operators face a backlash over adult content if they are unable to balance lucrative revenues with legitimate parental anxieties, according to a report from research company Current Analysis. The warning comes as visual advances in mobile handset technology have led to the widespread introduction of mobile devices capable of taking pictures, videos and watching short video clips and films.
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Mysterious Phoebe: Cassini's next fly-by

Tomorrow, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will fly past Phoebe, one of Saturn's many moons and one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system.

IBM breathes life into Itanium ecosystem

The Itanium processor has a dirty secret, and it's buried in Armonk.
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Windows HPC edition in the works

Although Microsoft has refused to confirm the many reports that say so, it appears the company is working on a version of its Windows Server platform specifically tailored for the high performance computing market...

EMC puts voodoo in new software biz

It's fitting that in a week in which Ronald Reagan and his voodoo economics passed, EMC has stepped up with a voodoo data protection plan.
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Accenture accensured for offshore tax haven

A bid led by consulting giant Accenture to administer the IT project that tracks foreigners has been halted in the United States Congress because Accenture is a foreign company that uses Bermuda as a tax haven. So says an important Congressional committee which has voted to strip the company of a lucrative contract.