23rd > June > 2004 Archive

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Google demotes Coca Cola jingle

Larry Page's "Owner's Manual" for Google shareholders - his preface to the company's S1 document - has been quietly demoted in an amendment published on Monday. The letter defended the proposed company's 'dual class' ownership structure, which concentrates power not with ordinary shareholders but with the current management, and warned investors that Google would disclose only the very minimum of financial information required by law. ("We would prefer not to be asked to make such predictions," wrote Page). The founders also included some cosmic gwana-gwana with headings such as "MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE" and "DON'T BE EVIL".
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Microsoft, Apple snub consumer freedom coalition

A new coalition of citizens groups and representatives from the computer and telecommunications industry was launched today, with two big names absent. This new alliance, the Personal Technology Freedom Coalition has fairly modest goals - seeking to restore some fair use provisions that will be lost if DRM is accepted, such as making a backup copy of your software, or burning a CD you've bought. It hasn't expressed any intention to address wider reform of the copyright framework, and wants the DMCA left largely intact. It includes Intel, Sun, SBC, Verizon, citizens' groups such as the United States Student Association and the Consumers Union. So it's safe for the children. And the PTFC has rallied behind Congressman Boucher's attempt to reform parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, HR.107, or the Digital Millennium Reform Act first announced in October 2002.
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Vote for who should run the UK's Internet

Two spaces on the board of the UK's Internet registry are up for grabs - and three horses are in the running. Every year, two of Nominet's four non-executives on the six-person board are put up for election.
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Broadband gets FCC chairman hot

SuperComm FCC Chairman Michael Powell has a grand vision for 2005 - one that includes years of communications hype turning into fruitful reality.
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Apple iTunes Europe shifts 0.8m songs in first week

Earlier this year, European digital music distributor OD2 announced that users of the service it sells via a variety of ISPs, high street music retailers and others had downloaded 1m songs in the first three months of the year.
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Carlyle and Kyocera dig deep into DDI Pocket

Personal handyphone devleopment Private equity investor Carlyle should find plenty of opportunities to develop DDI Pocket, the personal handyphone system business in which it has agreed to buy a 60 per cent stake. The low-cost system has a lot of potential in developing countries and may also offer opportunities in the data services market.
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Oracle - Microsoft sales battles revealed in court

Oracle and Microsoft competed directly for contracts 94 times between 2002 and 2003, according to documents revealed in court yesterday. They went head-to-head at 94 different companies, eight of which were large companies, the New York Times reports.
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Call centres 'bad for income and health'

UNISON - the UK's biggest trade union with 1.3m members - reckons call centres are "bad for your income and bad for your health".
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Digital home group touts convergence spec

The Digital Home Working Group yesterday issued the first full version of its scheme for bringing the worlds of home entertainment systems and home computing together through wired and wireless links.
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eBay buys Indian auction site

eBay is buying India's biggest auction site, Baazee.com, for $50m and some post-acquisition costs. Based in Mumbai, Baazee.com has one million registered users, who flog stuff just like they do on eBay.
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Mobile operators push next gen services

Disappointing take-up of new mobile services such picture messaging is behind the creation of a lobby group by the major mobile operators.
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Dixons profits up

Dixons Group has increased turnover by 13 per cent to £6.5bn for the year ended 1 May 2004. Pre-tax profits for the period were up 11 per cent to £331.6m. The electronics retailer plans European expansion and will take on 2,000 more staff, 1,000 of these jobs will be in the UK.
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Iomega debuts PC card slot drive

It was five years ago today... It seems almost unthinkable now that we were once satisfied with transferring stuff on a 1.44MB floppy disk - or that 1.44MB was quite adequate for most everyday files. Pretty soon, our lust for bigger, faster, external storage provoked development of a whole basket of essential products:
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Network Associates CEO denies sale rumours

George Samenuk, chairman and chief executive officer of Network Associates, has sent an email to all staff reassuring them that rumours of an imminent takeover by Microsoft are simply not true. Network Associates makes McAfee anti-virus and security products.
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Moore shows hi-fi styled 'home cinema' PC

Reg Kit Watch UK media PC developer Moore Innovations has launched its first system, Medio, pitching the machine at home cinema enthusiasts and audiophiles.
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Beastie Boys CD installs virus

A new Beastie Boys' CD called "To the Five Boroughs" (Capitol Records), is raising hackles around the Web for reputedly infecting computers with a virus.
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PCs throw nine sickies a year

British PCs are taking an average of nine sick days a year due to spam and viral attack, Yahoo! claims. This is two more days than the typical Brit spends at home as a result of illness/injury/Euro 2004-induced hangover.
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Biometric DRM? You're kidding, right?

Letters A couple of weeks ago Andrew Orlowski reported on the RIAA's suggestion that music players ought to be biometrically locked. Orlowski asked if you thought the idea would catch on.
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RIAA sues 482 more unnamed file-sharers

The Recording Industry Ass. of America's assault on copyright infringers continued this week as 482 more North American computer users were accused of sharing music files without authorisation.
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Make BT more transparent, say rival telcos

UK telecoms trade group - UKCTA - has called for a new "regulatory model" to be adopted by communications regulator, Ofcom, that would help curb BT's market dominance and lead to greater competition in the industry.
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Telewest plagued by intermittent email probs

Telewest has admitted that it's still suffering ongoing email problems.
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UK.gov stuck in 'old economy' mindset

The government is stuck in an "old economy" mindset and is using the wrong tests to check on the health of UK Plc, according to IT trade body, Intellect.
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Open sourcerers slam licensing slur

Letters Ah, open source. Is there a topic more likely to spark an animated discussion among geeks of a certain type? [Yes, plenty: DRM, IP, patents, ID cards, biometrics, etc, etc - Ed] More to the point, is there a middle ground on this? Are there any people out there who can discuss it with anything less than a passionate, even religious intensity?
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Big six unite to can spam

Some of the world's largest ISPs and email providers are joining forces to fight spam by using existing technology and best practice rather than just looking for future technical solutions. Founder members include AOL, BT, Comcast, EarthLink, Microsoft and Yahoo!.
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SBC plans über-network

SBC Communications is to spend between $4bn and $6bn on a fibre optic network to offer "super-high-speed broadband" to residential and small business customers.
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Fine Telstra AUS$100m, rival ISP demands

Telstra - Australia's incumbent telco - should be fined more than AUS$100m (£38m) for its anti-comptetitive broadband pricing, according to the boss of a rival ISP.
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'Son of Patriot' hits Basildon

The news that the UK has today opened a new high-tech assembly facility for the Javelin shoulder-launched missile in Basildon, Essex, certainly raised a few eyebrows down here at Vulture Central.
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Dutch e-voting software goes open source

The source code of the software that is used for online e-voting in the Netherlands has been made public by OSOSS, a Dutch association that promotes the use of open source software in government.
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Virgin Digital sets US, UK debut dates

Virgin Digital, Richard Branson's move on the digital music market, will launch in the UK next September, a month after the service's US debut, The Register has learned.
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How safe is your medical record?

Richard Granger, director general of the National Programme for IT, has sought to allay security fears citizens may have about the computerisation of many familiar NHS services.
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Domain names come of age

We are still in the Bronze Age of the Internet, according to the man who created the Domain Name System 21 years ago.
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Hotmail bins email accounts on hearsay

Hotmail has been caught closing down email accounts accused of spamming without carrying out proper checks first.
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Oracle eyes Business Objects from afar

Following the revelations over Microsoft's merger discussions with SAP, speculation is rife about over the next wave of M&A activity in the enterprise applications software field. Business Objects was among those named on Oracle's potential takeover list, though an acquisition by the Californian firm in the near future is nothing more than a remote possibility.
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Spanish police smash €35m dialer scam

Spanish police have arrested five men in connection with what appears to be the biggest Internet dialler fraud in history. More than 45,000 victims lost a stunning €35m to the scam, Spanish newspapers report.
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Guantanamo Bay loses 'least worst place' status - Navy

On a scale of worst, how worst can worst get? Back in 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took a crack at solving this riddle, dubbing Guantanamo Bay "the least worst place" to store evil-doers. But now, with the torture scandal unfolding, the Navy has declared that Guantanamo Bay is not "the least worst place" at all.
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Comdex canned

The ailing Comdex show in Las Vegas is off. The promoter which owns the rights, and which also puts on the JavaOne, Networld+Interop and Seybold events, has decided that the old albatross isn't worth feeding this year. However Media International insists that this is merely a US postponement in 2004 and that Comdex will take place again in Las Vegas in 2005 - it's already booked a telephone booth. In other countries, whose economies haven't slumped quite as dramatically as the United States', Comdex will continue. So it's full steam ahead for Comdex Greece.
SGI logo hardware close-up

Seagate gets litigious with small hard drive rival

Less than ten days after it rolled out a series of small hard disc drives, Seagate has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against tiny drive maker Cornice. Seagate claims that six of its patents have been violated in "several areas of disc drive technology." The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for Delaware, seeks monetary damages and looks to place a permanent injunction on Connice from selling the allegedly infringing product in the US.

HP's OpenView set for identity showdown

HP has made good on at least one of its recent acquisitions, rolling out a new identity management software packaged based on purchased technology.