14th > June > 2004 Archive

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Apple readies European iTunes launch

Apple is tuning up to launch iTunes in Europe this week and Napster has confirmed a distribution deal with NTL.
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France gets first virtual mobile operator

French mobile customers should see cheaper prices with the launch of the country's first virtual operators.
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Churn baby churn: junk email inferno

It was five years ago today... If you've got a couple of minutes to spare between deleting spam advertising Viagra, Spanish lottery bonanzas, once-in-a-lifetime Nigerian investment opportunities and custom-made logo services, then have a look at Gartner's 1999 suggestion for how to avoid that junk mail tsunami:
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Nokia unveils phones, promises Wi-Fi

Nokia won't be neglecting the high-end, the company confirmed today as it tried to answer its critics at a major press launch in Helsinki. The company expects Wi-Fi to feature in many business models next year, and some consumer models too. Nokia has also expanded its Series 60 platform to support 3G and new screen sizes, taking it boldly, if confusingly, into PDA territory.
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Sheep like happy, smiley people: official

Continuing our occassional series looking at how cutting-edge scientific research is changing our world for the better, we have unearthed the astounding fact that sheep prefer looking at happy people.
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Kazaa in German trademark punch-up

Sharman License Holdings, the company behind the controversial P2P utility and search engine Kazaa, can't use its trademark under the European Community Trademark (CTMR) system. A CTM is valid in all participating EU nations. Kazaa may even have to change its name in Germany.
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Phoebe's past writ large in craters

Photographs from Cassini's flyby of Saturn's moon Phoebe have revealed a battered body, with an interesting past. Its face is pock-marked with craters ranging from 80 kilometers across to less than one kilometer, with variations in colour suggesting it contains plenty of ice.
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NTL signs up Napster

Napster UK has today signed a partnership with cable TV and broadband connectivity supplier NTL, as anticipated.
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AMD to ship mobile Athlons, Semprons in Q3

AMD is to promote take-up of its Athlon CPUs in notebook PCs next quarter with the launch of four 754-pin low-power mobile processors. Two will be offered as Athlon 64 parts - the others will carry the chip maker's new Sempron brand.
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BT links to eBay

Small business customers of BT will now be able to sell their products through eBay auctions.
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Jormaspeak - Nokia CEO explains targets, culls and price cuts

In Helsinki this morning Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila was a man with just a little explaining to do. A while back when Nokia's market share was around 32 per cent he was bullishly aiming for 40, but mysteriously Nokia hit 28 per cent instead. Not, however, that he's been asleep at the switch since then or anything - a few rapid about-faces have brought clamshells, good cheer for the network operators in terms of customisation, price cuts, even some roadkill on the roadmaps. And if you look at what coming for Q3 and Q4, Nokia's prospects could even look promising.
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Consumers want big telcos to supply VoIP services

Three in ten homes in the US and the UK could hook up to Internet phone calls over the next three years, according to research published today.
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Italian gov text spams entire country

The Italian government is in hot water this morning after spamming every single mobile subscriber in Italy with election information.
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Wiltshire feds in online gnome appeal

We're pleased to note that Wiltshire Constabulary is committing vital resources to clamping down on that most hardened of criminals: the drunken gnome kidnapper.

Lloyd's bets on Unisys

Insurance market Lloyd's has signed a £10m ($17m) contract with Unisys to provide desktop and servers. The five-year contract covers 1,400 desktop computers and 200 servers. Lloyd's has also bought two ES7000 Unisys servers.
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OD2 unveils 1p-a-play digital music jukebox

UK-based digital music distributor On Demand Distribution (OD2) today launched its own a la carte download service, a day ahead of Apple's anticipated European iTunes Music Store launch.
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AOL to target Hispanic Net users in ad campaign

America Online is set to unveil a new multi-million dollar ad campaign this week to help drive new punters to its AOL Latino service.
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Briton invades France in amphibious car

There is some consolation for distraught Brits today following England's crash-and-burn last night in Lisbon.
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Vodafone finds mobile workforce

Eight out of ten British business people are tooled up for mobile working, according to research from Vodafone.

Forum approves Apple music format for DVD Audio

The DVD Forum has approved the first version of its next-generation High Definition DVD (HD-DVD) specification.
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US woman eBays stroppy son's PS2

A US woman has inflicted the ultimate punishment on her errant 13-year-old son and sold his PS2 on eBay.
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Computing needs a Grand Challenge

Sir Tony Hoare - British computing pioneer and senior scientist at Microsoft Research - believes the computer industry needs a "grand challenge" to inspire it. In the same way that the lunar challenge in the 1960s sparked a decade of collaborative innovation and development in engineering and space technology, or the human genome project united biologists around the globe, so too must computer scientists pull together on such a scale to take their industry to its next major milestone.
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16k nostalgia - Britpop style

If you go all teary-eyed at the thought of Clive Sinclair astride his mighty ZX81, then we can recommend something right up your street - a musical ditty from Web wags b3ta.
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Chinese cyber-dissident gets four years' house arrest

Chinese cyber-dissident, Du Daobin, has been sentenced to four years under house arrest after being convicted for posting pro-democracy articles on the Net. Du's trial in Xiaogan, in the central province of Hubei, on Friday lasted just 15 minutes, during which time he was not allowed to speak.
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Nokia N-Gage QD US debut slips

Update Nokia's N-Gage update, the N-Gage QD, will not ship in the US this month, as planned. Instead, the phone maker has rescheduled the launch to 27 July.
DVD it in many colours

Seagate unveils 'tiny to terabyte' hard drives

Hard drive maker Seagate launched a platter of products today, including what it claims is the world's first 5GB 1in drive, more capacious notebook-oriented offerings, a 400GB unit for high-end PCs and an 0.5TB enterprise drive.
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NASA to grow Brit strawberries on Mars

A Kent-based farmer is working with NASA to develop strawberries that could make it to Mars. The space agency is looking for something astronauts could grow on the two-year flight to the Red Planet, and that could also be cultivated on Mars itself.
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40k hit by Telewest email snag

Forty thousand Telewest punters were without email on Friday after a cock-up with overnight maintenance work.
Broken CD with wrench

DVD Forum backs CD/DVD hybrid

The DVD Forum has given is official thumbs-up to DualDisc, a DVD/CD hybrid format.
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Amazon search engine fingers G-Spot

Kids certainly grow up quicker these days - or at least they do according to Amazon. A quick search on www.amazon.co.uk for "spot" (being the much-loved doggie) in the "Toys" section reveals an interesting selection of related children's books:
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Scientists go quantum dotty over night vision

US Scientists have found a way to improve the sensitivity of night vision goggles and medical sensors, using a device based on nanostructures called Quantum Dots.
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FoTW: Take your SMPs to Cuba!

Flame of the Week: What's the only group worse than the Apple Faithful? Rush Limbaugh's Ditto Heads.
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Microsoft's war on GPL dealt patent setback

Microsoft has two goals from its patent licensing program. One is to create a new, stable revenue stream to complement its ageing cash cows, Windows and Office. Patent royalties could provide an attractive income if the company succumbs to market economics, and is forced to lower its prices to compete with cheaper free software. The other goal - although it may simply be fortuitous collateral damage from Redmond's point of view - is to make writing free software illegal. Or if not illegal, then so fraught with legal uncertainties that developers gravitate away from the GPL.
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US orbiter detects non-English language signals

NASA is hoping that clever robots may be able to repair its aging Hubble telescope, but can they do they same for another cherished piece of ancient deep space hardware? We're referring to the patron saint of California's techno-utopians Esther Dyson, who from her privileged orbit somewhere over Planet Earth, has detected new and important signals for US entrepreneurs to heed.
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HP OpenView software can tax corporate bottlenecks

HP's software group this week has renewed its march toward profitability by rolling out two new OpenView software packages designed to give customers' better insight into their application and service performance. New to the HP software fold are the OpenView Business Process Insight (BPI) and Route Analytics Management System products. Dull names, you say. Maybe so. But it's exactly this type of software that is meant to carry HP's software business from the red to the black over the next year. David Gee, a vice president of marketing at HP, touts the BPI product as the real advance being delivered this week by the company at the HP Software Forum in Montreal.
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Telecom future to look a lot like the past - study

A study by Mercer Consulting brings depressing news to readers who hope that Internet technology will help overthrow the telecommunication industry's dinosaurs. The idea is that by using the same broadband pipes that people use for the Internet to carry voice calls, people will by-pass these vested interests, who have grown fat from captive markets. That's the premise behind Skype and Vonage, which offer telephony on top of a DSL or Cable data connection. But faced with a choice between VoIP offerings from established names or start-ups, consumers will be more inclined to go with the devil they know, according to the report which interviewed over 1,000 punters.