11th > October > 2004 Archive

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Home Office in frame over FBI's London server seizures

The US seizure of two Indymedia servers in London last Thursday is likely to have needed the approval of UK Home Secretary David Blunkett, but Blunkett may have acted on tenuous legal grounds, according to a Statewatch analysis. Statewatch considers that the seizure is likely to have been made under a US-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) of 1996, but it seems doubtful that the Indymedia request could have been justified under even the broad terms of this treaty.
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How key Microsoft legal emails 'autodestruct'

The latest court documents to be unsealed by Judge Frederick Motz in Burst.com's suit against Microsoft paint a picture of Microsoft document handling procedures which destroyed the very emails that were likely to be most relevant to several antitrust actions, Burst's included. According to Burst's lawyers Microsoft's status as "a defendant in major antitrust cases since at least 1995" means that it has a duty to preserve potentially relevant evidence. But "Microsoft adopted policies that, to put it mildly, encouraged document destruction from 1995 forward."
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UK ID cards to be issued with first biometric passports

What's left of the 'voluntary' figleaf to the UK's ID scheme will erode in the next few months, when Home Secretary David Blunkett introduces legislation that will allow implementation of the scheme and include provision for a rolling programme to issue ID cards along with passport renewals. The new model passports are closely linked to the scheme anyway, so even without the ID card, being issued one would mean you were added to the national identity register, but the arrival of an actual card along with the new passport will make its presence far more visible, far earlier, to the general public. Previously the Home Office had said it would designate passports and driving licences as ID documents, but hadn't mentioned issuing actual ID cards with them.
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Deutsche Telekom returns internet unit to the fold

Deutsche Telekom is buying back its internet unit, spun off as a separate company in 2000. DT is offering shareholders in T-Online €8.99 in cash for each share, valuing the unit at just less than €3bn. Most share holders are expected to exchange T-Online shares for shares in Deutsche Telekom. T-Online floated in April 2000 for €27 per share.
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Best Buy sells Motorola MPx220 smart phone

US retail chain Best Buy has begun advertising and selling Motorola's keenly anticipated Windows Mobile 2003 smart phone, the MPx220, to residents of southern California.
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Chip biz slowdown to stretch through Q1 '05

The chip business' current slowdown will last well into Q1 2005 and possibly beyond that, foundry chiefs have warned. However, they believe the industry will pick up again once as customers' inventory correction schemes come to fruition during that period.
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Virgin space tourists will blast off to Bowie

The first customers of Brit entrepreneur Richard Branson's space tourism programme - dubbed Virgin Galactic - will enjoy several minutes of weightlessness to the sound of David Bowie's Space Oddity.
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Parents must do more to protect kids online

Parents must do more to ensure their kids are safe online, the UK internet group ISPA says.
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Intel defeats AMD in court

AMD's attempt to persuade the US court to sanction the release of over 60,000 pages of Intel documentation to a European Commission anti-trust enquiry has failed.
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802.11a comes out fighting

Analysis A year ago, many were writing off 802.11a in the home market, claiming that 802.11g had won the battle and that the 5GHz variant would only carve out a market in the enterprise, if at all. However, the ‘a’ strand of Wi-Fi is biting back in the digital home as frustration with interference problems in the overcrowded 2.4GHz band mount, and in the past week, both Linksys and Netgear have announced dual-band products that work in both frequencies simultaneously.
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Bloated Wi-Fi market brings out its dead

The shake-out in the overcrowded Wi- Fi chip market has been predicted for a year now, and it seems finally to be starting. Chipmaker Bermai has closed its doors, and there are strong reports that AirFlow is also shutting down (as well as switchmaker Legra) Two of the top four WLan chipmakers, Conexant and Atheros, recently issued revenue warnings and consolidation looks set to continue. Conexant itself last year bought GlobespanVirata, which had in turn taken over Wi-Fi specialist Intersil, and now it appears that the acquisitive Broadcom may be after Agere.
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Creative, Dell prep iPod Mini rivals

Creative is preparing a second music player to challenge Apple's iPod Mini, even as Dell is gearing up to launch against it too, reports on the web suggest.
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UK hosts anti-spam summit

International anti-spam enforcement agencies are meeting in London today to work up a joint plan of action for tackling junk mail. The conference is billed as the "first international meeting of spam enforcers".
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US gov targets spyware outfit

A company which makes software that infiltrates users' computers and demands $30 to be removed has been targeted by US authorities.
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SMEs get Data Protection Act guide

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a new guide for small businesses (SMEs) concerning their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act (DPA).
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Market float for reseller consolidator

Maxima Holdings has taken over SAP reseller Azur for £16.7m.

StorageTek seizes Storability

A week or two ago witnessed yet another consolidation in the storage sector when StorageTek bought Storability to further strengthen its information lifecycle management (ILM) offerings. In a transaction for which the financial details were not revealed, StorageTek purchased the assets of Storability Software.
Tony Lock, 11 2004
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Man sacked for hunting ET at work

A computer programmer at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services was last week sacked after running Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) software on his bosses' server, wcpo.com reports.
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Sony: PSP will ship by year's end

Sony has once again reiterated its plan to ship PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan by the end of the year and in Europe and the US during Q1 2005.
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Germans demo working quantum register

Physicists at the University of Bonn have successfully demonstrated a five-qubit quantum register, using neutral atoms.
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Cisco offers security certification

Cisco is offering a new certification for resellers who sell to small and medium businesses. The Cisco Security Virtual Private Network and Firewall Express specialisation is the third programme aimed at the SME market.
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NTL disconnects 2,000 Dubliners

NTL is blaming a "safety issue" for suspending 2,000 phone lines in Dublin. Punters have already been warned of the issue and had their services unplugged.
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The IT security vuln league table of fear

A list of the worst 20 security vulnerabilities bedevilling Windows and *Nix systems was unveiled last Friday by the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute.
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MP3 music service draws industry fire

Update A fledgling online music service targeting dance music fans this week attempted to convince the music industry that it is legitimate following complaints from a number of independent labels that the site was offering unlicensed music content.
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Nvidia pushes GeForce 6200 at value end

Nvidia today released its latest GeForce 6-class graphics chip, the low-end - or "mainstream", as Nvidia puts it - GeForce 6200.
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3G must embrace TV

The broadcasting of television and video clips to mobile phones may be the key to 3G's success, a report claims.
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Atheros unveils 'world first' 802.11a/b/g chip

Wi-Fi chip maker Atheros has begun sampling what it claims is the world's first single-chip 802.11a, b and g part, the company announced today.
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NASA field tests ISS robosurgeon

Four astronauts will assist in a landmark surgical procedure tomorrow which will lay the groundwork for remote surgery on astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).
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Wi-Fi group says 'no' to pre-standard 802.11n kit

The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) today formally avowed its aversion to so-called 'pre-standard' wireless products by pledging not to certify kit featuring 802.11n technologies until the standard has been ratified by the IEEE.
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Phishing websites breed like rabbits

Websense Security Labs has issued figures showing a massive increase in phishing websites. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), the number of phishing scam websites is rising by roughly 50 per cent month on month.
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ID thieves target enterprises

ID thieves are going corporate. Assuming the identity of consumers to obtain loans and credit cards under assumed names has become the US's fastest growing crime. Now fraudsters are applying similar tricks against potential enterprise victims.