15th > September > 2004 Archive

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Good, old database carries Oracle higher in Q1

Oracle enjoyed a solid rise in first quarter earnings on the back of its flagship database.
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Microsoft warns of poisoned picture peril

The old bromide that promises you can't get a computer virus by looking at an image file crumbled a bit further Tuesday when Microsoft announced a critical vulnerability in its software's handling of the ubiquitous JPEG graphics format.
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Chaintech ships first i915 mobo

Chaintech has begun shipping its first 'Grantsdale'-based ATX motherboard, the V915P, the mobo maker announced this week.
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US loses 400,000 IT jobs

America saw 403, 300 hi-tech jobs disappear between April 2001 and April 2004. More than half the jobs lost were lost after the recession was pronounced officially over, by the National Bureau of Economic Research, in November 2001. San Francisco and San Jose were the worst-hit places, according to the survey from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
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TDC buys Song

Consolidation among Scandinavian telcos continues with TDC, previously Tele Danmark, buying Song, the Swedish IP specialist and business telecoms firm, for $552m.
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Group Sense readies Palm OS 5.4 smart phone

Far Eastern Palm OS-based smart phone maker Group Sense PDA (GSPDA) hasn't formally announced its latest model, the Xplore M28, but it appears to have given the Hong Kong Palm Users Group a sneak preview.
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Online poker ace scores £4,500 - per week

A Belfast maths graduate who rejected the offer of a £40,000-a-year banking job in favour of professional online gambling is on course to hit a £234,000 jackpot by December, the Sun reports.
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PwC: software patents threat to Europe

Services and accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers has formally identified software patenting as a threat to the growth and success of ICT in Europe.
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Contractors need red tape knowledge

Contractors returning to consultancy work should make sure they've got their paperwork in order. Despite changes to IR35 legislation most would still be better off with Limited Company status rather than paying tax through an agency.
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Norfolk man in French car bomb terror ordeal

The good burghers of far-flung UK eastern county Norfolk have for years been on the receiving end of unkind jibes suggesting that they are a little challenged in the grey matter department. Sadly, one local has done little to dispel the myths that Norfolkians are thicker than a Chernobyl safety inspector's lead underpants after provoking a full-scale bomb alert.
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Amazon feels pointy end of software patenting

The British Technology Group (BTG), the IP holding and technology commercialisation outfit, is suing a group of US online retailers, including Amazon.com, for allegedly infringing patents it holds that cover tracking the path a user has taken through the web.
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ISPA 'snubs' million UK net users

ISPA has been accused of "snubbing" a million internet users in the UK by failing to recognise the existence of their high-speed services.

Raising the Linux Standard

The Free Standards Group and the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) hope that improved standards for Linux will help accelerate its adoption by enterprise and large business customers.
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World's largest ID theft felon faces 14 years' jail

A former New York computer help desk technician yesterday pleaded guilty to playing a key part in what prosecutors reckon is the largest identity theft case to date.
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Small.biz in the dark over IT skill levels

The vast majority of small firms demand that their IT staff should be properly qualified, but few know how skilled their technical employees are.
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PCCW opens kimono (a little) on UK broadband wireless plans

When the UK’s 15 licenses for fixed wireless broadband ended up in the hands of a single viable bidder in May last year, most European and UK operators shrugged and said so what?
Faultline, 15 2004
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T-Mobile to battle iPod with music smart phone

T-Mobile is pitching its against the likes of Apple and Creative with a new smart phone specifically (nominally) designed for digital music playback. The handset will ship initially in Germany, in November, the mobile phone network said this week.
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Amstrad unveils £99 videophone

UK consumer electronics company Amstrad today launched the third generation of email terminal - now dubbed the E3 - in a bid to bring video telephony to the masses.
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Eidos plunges into red

UK games publisher Eidos saw fiscal 2003's £17.4m profit shrink to a £2m loss during fiscal 2004, which ended on 30 June.
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OFT urged to investigate 'rip-off' iTunes

The Consumers' Association has accused iTunes - the music download service from Apple - of ripping off UK punters by charging them 20 per cent more than European counterparts.
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Austrians silence jibbering supermarket trolleys

In brief We are receiving heartwarming reports that an Austrian supermarket has withdrawn talking shopping trolleys because, to put it bluntly, they pissed punters right off.

VIA offers hard disk data scrub code

Taiwanese chip company VIA today expanded its PadLock security software suite with a tool to ensure that information deleted from a user's hard drive stays deleted.
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JP Morgan eats IBM outsourcing contract

JP Morgan is canning a $5bn, seven-year outsourcing agreement with IBM. IBM won the contract ahead of EDS and CSC, taking responsibility for the investment bank's data centres, desktop support and network services.
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UK school cans 'world-beating' biometric scanner

A "world-beating" biometric scanner system which was intended to remove the stigma of claiming free school meals has been removed from a school in Sunderland - after failing to deliver on its cutting-edge promise.

Hitachi readies notebook Serial ATA hard drives

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) this week said it will ship a line of Serial ATA hard drives designed for notebook usage in Q4.
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Brazil 'tops cybercrime league'

Brazil is the world capital of cybercrime, at least according to the Brazilian Federal Police. Eight in ten computer hackers are Brazilian while two in three paedophile pages are hosted in the South American country, the BBC reports. Local police say that losses from online financial fraud exceed that lost through bank robberies.
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Cell chip development 'almost done' - Toshiba

'Cell', the massively parallel processing chip being developed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba, is nearly done, Toshiba president Tadashi Okamura has revealed.
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Siemens launches iPod-styled camera phone

Siemens today unveiled what's arguably the most iPod-like mobile phone yet, the shiny white plastic-cased SF65.
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Brit workers are 'apathetic and unskilled'

UK workers are apathetic and lacking in skills according to a bunch of highly-skilled and very driven management bods. The survey of board-level executives, paid for by HP, reveals "deep seated concern about the competency and motivation of the modern UK workforce". And we thought it was just journalists...
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Blair reveals some games 'unsuitable' for kids

Prime Minister Tony Blair today voiced his support for the UK's game certification system, which offers parents an indication of which titles are suitable for given age groups and provides a legal framework to fine or imprison retailers who sell adult-oriented games to kids.
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Insecurity downtime on the up

Firms with a blasé attitude to security could see system downtime caused as a result of software vulnerabilities treble by 2008. Gartner, the analyst firm, estimates downtime arising from software security issues could rise from five per cent of overall downtime in 2004 to 15 per cent by 2008.
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Italians build biggest space window

The view from the International Space Station is about to get a lot better, as the largest window ever built for use in space has been completed.
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Immigration, police share data in trawl of 'crime hot-spots'

As the UK Home Office has stressed on numerous occasions, police will not be given powers to demand ID papers from you as and when a national identity card is introduced. The Home Office has not however shouted quite so loudly about the fact that the Immigration and Nationalities Directorate (IND) has these powers already, and has been busily using them since at least May 2003.
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Picture messaging - it's worse than you thought

Two years after the introduction of picture messaging in Europe, MMS is still a flop. Network operators still gain 99 per cent of their data revenue from plain old text messaging. It's not as if the original issues haven't been addressed: cost, interoperability and availability of handsets. Next year almost half of new handsets sold in the UK will feature a camera, up from around 26 per cent this year. Carriers now offer more MMS bundles and intend to bring the cost of sending a picture message down to that of an SMS. They also solved most of their interoperability issues last spring.
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Nation hangs up on mobile phones

A nationwide cellphone strike has been pronounced a success by its organizer, a consumer group in Lebanon. The third such action took place this week in protest against high mobile phone tariffs.
cloud

Infineon pleads guilty to memory price-fixing

Infineon has agreed to pay a $160m fine to the US government for fixing the price of computer memory from 1999 to 2002, one of the biggest ever penalties imposed by the DoJ's Antitrust division. The German firm today announced that it has pled guilty to one count of price-fixing - a violation of US antitrust laws. It plans to pay off the $160m total in equal installments through 2009, it said in conjunction with the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
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Wikipedia's Emergent People fail to impress readers

Letters If you could cram your favorite hobby horses into the Encyclopedia of the Future, wouldn't you be tempted? Well, refreshingly, many readers wouldn't - so let's commend their integrity. Wikipedia's reputation gets another mauling in response to this story, so if you're a member of what one reader calls the Emergent People - perhaps like Tomorrow's People, but without the transporter belts - don't read on.
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Mozilla updates browsers after bug hunt

Mozilla released a series of security updates for its Firefox and Mozilla 1.7 browsers yesterday that resolve the first security vulnerabilities to come from the Mozilla Foundation's Security Bug Bounty Program. Its Thunderbird email client also needs patching for similar reasons.