8th > October > 2004 Archive

Windows Media Center survives in shrinkwrap purgatory

Microsoft's Media Center has survived the New Year cull, but it now looks set to inhabit the strange zone of purgatory between being a fully-marketed product and the remaindered bin. Next year Redmond will make a shrinkwrap, software-only version of Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) available to the retail channel, so MCE will in fact be haunting American shopping malls, if only in a similar condition to the zombies in George Romero's Dawn of the Dead - bumping rather aimlessly into things. That's because, sources suggest, the retail edition of MCE will receive as much promotion as the average yard sale.
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Oct 2004


Google has introduced a free texting service that taps into its existing Froogle, phone directory, business listings databases, and even refined "clippings" from the main search engine. There's no premium to be paid by the user, over and above what it costs to send a text message. Perhaps that's because premium text services are their infancy in the USA, with carriers currently preferring to run their own promotions rather than co-operate on a billing infrastructure for third-party services. Or perhaps it's because Google is really trying not to be evil. In which case we hope we haven't put ideas into the boys heads, and really hope they haven't read articles like this. [*]. In fact, the answer seems to be depressingly predictable. The ad broker wants to squeeze its context ads into the message, if it can: "To the extent that ads can provide you with useful information, we would be likely to do that," Google's Georges Harik told Internetnews.com.
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Oct 2004

Apple colour-screen 'PhotoPod' said to be in production

The iPod looks set to make a further step into PDA territory if claims that Apple is preparing a 60GB model equipped with a 2in colour display and iPhoto synchronisation prove correct.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

ATI Q4 sales, income rocket

ATI saw its income almost triple during its most recently completed fiscal quarter, Q4 2004, the company said yesterday after announcing record results.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

AT&T culls another 7,400 staff

AT&T is to stop marketing traditional consumer services, resulting in the loss of another 7,400 staff.
Tim Richardson, 08 Oct 2004

Romanian Jedi warm to El Reg

It's always flattering for a publication to see its musings translated into a foreign tongue, so it was with great delight that we recently spotted part of a ground-breaking Reg report in Romanian.
Lester Haines, 08 Oct 2004

House approves anti-spyware bill

The US House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed a bill that would make using spyware to snoop of the online activities of consumers a criminal offence.
John Leyden, 08 Oct 2004

Analyst lifts 2004 chip capex forecast...

Chip makers will spend $45.7bn on new plant this year and a further $45.8bn in 2005, market watcher Gartner said this week. But while 2005's figure remains higher than 2004's, the company revealed it had lowered its growth forecast.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

Shifting cyber threats menace factory floors

The factory floor of a modern paper manufacturing plant is a ballet of heavy machinery and razor-sharp blades, pressing, dying, rolling, unrolling and cutting dead tree pulp by the ton. To James Cupps, it's something else, too: a target rich environment for cyber attacks.
Kevin Poulsen, 08 Oct 2004

Orange UK to squash techie jobs

Some 300 techie jobs could be axed by Orange in the UK as part of plans to make the mobilephoneco more efficient.
Tim Richardson, 08 Oct 2004

German fined for publishing neo-Nazi web links

Linking to neo-Nazi websites in Germany can cost you dear. The founder of a German online protest forum - http://censorship.odem.org/ - against web censorship was sentenced by the district court in Stuttgart today for linking to two neo-Nazi sites and a bad-taste website hosted in the US.
Monika Ermert, 08 Oct 2004

Second chance scammers and the meaning of 'Va va voom'

LettersIt has been a big news week for eBay. It turned five, asked for a new trial over some patents, CEO Meg Whitman toppled Carly Fiorina from the top of the most powerful women in IT list, and fell victim to a new scam attack. Naturally, you had most to say about the scam:
Lucy Sherriff, 08 Oct 2004

ATI CEO confirms AMD PCI-E chipsets shipping

ATI has already begun shipping its AMD-oriented PCI Express chipsets, CEO Dave Orton revealed during the company's Q4 results conference call last night.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004
homeless man with sign

Intel delays Xeon E-0 core update to 29 October

Intel has rescheduled the release date for Xeon processors supporting what the chip maker calls Execution Disable Bit (EDB) technology - essentially the same code-disabling technology found in AMD, Transmeta and other CPUs, and used by Windows XP Service Pack 2 to render some viruses ineffective.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

Porn filters have a field day on Horniman Museum

Regular readers will know that we at El Reg studiously avoid reporting the sort of linguistic mishaps which result in schoolboy-style snickering and utterances of "Ooooh, matron!" in the manner of Kenneth Williams.
Lester Haines, 08 Oct 2004

CA intros usage pricing for mainframes

It has been a busy few days at Computer Associates (CA) as the company first announced the acquisition of Netegrity and has now released details of a new licensing schema for its large portfolio of mainframe software.
Tony Lock, 08 Oct 2004

Fighting the army of byte-eating zombies

Being an intellectual dilettante, the fields of Systems Theory and Knowledge Management interest me greatly. One of the key principles of those fields is the DIKW Hierarchy first developed by Russell Ackoff, the idea that human minds (ideally) interact with the world and progress through what they find in a hierarchical process, from Data to Information to Knowledge to Wisdom (Ackoff also adds Understanding, but not everyone does).
Scott Granneman, 08 Oct 2004

Nintendo unveils DS launch titles

Up to 12 titles will ship for Nintendo's DS in the 30 days after the console ships in the US on 21 November, with the total rising to between 20 and 25 by the end of March 2005, the company said yesterday.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

Broadband is great, say business bosses

Broadband is the bee's knees, according to business bosses in Britain.
Tim Richardson, 08 Oct 2004

Prosecutor leaves crime files on dumped PC

Dutch public prosecutor Joost Tonino was condemned yesterday for putting his old PC out with the trash. It contained sensitive information about criminal investigations in Amsterdam, and also his email address, credit card number, social security number and personal tax files. Tonino dumped the computer, which he hadn't used for two years, because he thought it contained a virus. The operating system wouldn't start.
Jan Libbenga, 08 Oct 2004

Word open to exploit

An unpatched security vulnerability in popular older versions of Microsoft Word poses a severe threat to users, security reporting firm Secunia warned yesterday.
John Leyden, 08 Oct 2004

Tapwave Zodiac to ship 22 October

Tapwave's Palm OS-based games console, Zodiac, will go on sale in the UK on 22 October 2004, the company said today, following its formal launch this past September.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

Netherlands deports more 419ers

Amsterdam police yesterday arrested another 21 419 scammers from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, in an operation codenamed Spirit 9. The 21 men, all illegal immigrants, will be deported.
Jan Libbenga, 08 Oct 2004

UK gov ignoring ICT potential - Intellect

Government attempts to improve productivity will fail if it continues to ignore the potential of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to contribute to the country's performance.
Lucy Sherriff, 08 Oct 2004

Tatung debuts own-brand servers in UK

Tatung is to start flogging servers under its own name in the UK. It's set up a company, Tatung Server Ltd, and it has hired Microtronica to act as its first distie in the UK. It expects to sign two more broadliners for the line by the end of the year.
Drew Cullen, 08 Oct 2004

KPMG settles with L&H investors

KPMG has agreed to pay $115m to settle lawsuits brought against it by investors in the now-bankrupt software firm Lernout & Hauspie.
Lucy Sherriff, 08 Oct 2004
graph up

Dell recalls 4.4m notebook power adaptors

UpdateDell today asked 4.4m notebook users to return their power adaptors after it admitted these peripherals pose both a fire and electric shock hazard.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

PalmOne chops PDA prices

PalmOne today trimmed the price of its Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 PDAs in the UK, but buyers keen to take advantage of the T3 offer may prefer to wait.
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2004

Dodgy UK websites terminated

Eight UK websites have been forced to shut down following an investigation into low-life scam operations that make claims that prove to be "too good to be true".
Tim Richardson, 08 Oct 2004

Dracula's descendant sets Reg straight

LetterWe can think of no better way* to end the week than with an entertaining reply to our Romanian Jedi warm to El Reg piece. Take it away, Dracula's descendant:
Lester Haines, 08 Oct 2004

Mars awash with evidence of water

NASA has announced further evidence of a watery history on Mars, from both its rovers.
Lucy Sherriff, 08 Oct 2004

iPod owners very honest, not thieves at all, says MS

How swiftly thought evolves in the wonderful world of Ballmer! First, iPods are full of "stolen" music, next he forgets what he said, but suggests that it might be anything that isn't a Windows Media Player that's full of stolen music, and now iPod owners turn out to be the most law-abiding people in the world.
John Lettice, 08 Oct 2004

IBM proclaims open blade spec a success

Like a good little server maker, IBM has provided an update on how the new BladeCenter specification program is going. Funny enough, it's a smashing success.
Ashlee Vance, 08 Oct 2004

£147.5m boost for British particle accelerators

Science and innovation minister Lord Sainsbury today announced £147.5m funding for two particle accelerators. They will be used to aid research in areas including medical and computer research, and clean energy technology.
Robin Lettice, 08 Oct 2004

Feds seize Indymedia servers

The FBI yesterday seized a pair of UK servers used by Indymedia, the independent newsgathering collective, after serving a subpoena in the US on Indymedia's hosting firm, Rackspace. Why or how remains unclear.
John Leyden, 08 Oct 2004

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