16th > November > 2004 Archive

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Consumers shun PCs for gizmos

Global PC shipments will hit an estimated total of 51.9 million in Q4 2004, a 10.1 per cent increase from the same period last year. Strong sales to business are offsetting weak consumer demand to produce a positive outlook for the market, according to analysts Gartner. It reckons increased competition from digital entertainment products is hitting sales into the home.

Grizzled blade server vet shows 64-bit kit

Here we are about to close out 2004, and RLX Technologies has just announced its sixth generation blade server.
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Vodafone dividend doubled, shares up

Vodafone, the Big Daddy of cellcos, increased revenue by six per cent for the six months ended 30 September 2004. Group turnover was £16.8bn, an organic growth of six per cent. The firm gained 7.4m customers in the period giving it 146.7m customers in total. It has sold 323,000 datacards to date.
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Novell's MS complaint: we wuz robbed

Analysis If the antitrust lawsuit that Novell filed against Microsoft comes to court, it will reopen long-forgotten battles over technologies that most of us will even have trouble remembering. One of the few to survive is WordPerfect itself, the software at the core of the claim. A new version turned up on the shelves of CompUSA a few weeks ago, although it's many years since it earned its owner money.
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Motorola 'recalls' MPx220 smart phone

Motorola has reportedly pulled all MPx220 Windows Mobile 2003 smart phones off Best Buy's shelves just a month after the handset went on sale in a bid to nip a firmware glitch in the bud.
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Dual-core IBM PowerPC 'to ship in single-core form'

IBM's dual-core G5-class PowerPC processor, codenamed 'Antares', is to ship alongside a single-core version, if sources cited by Think Secret are to be believed.
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Selling surveillance - has Blunkett got a deal for you

Analysis Although run by Great Communicator David Blunkett the Home Office, as you may have noticed, seems utterly incapable of getting across a coherent message on what it will actually charge people for ID cards. Last month's non-concession announcement was no exception; prices made it into the papers on the morning of 28th October, and by 2nd November there was David Blunkett clarifying the "misleading statements that were made last week." Somewhat tortuously.

IBM, Lenovo ponder world desktop PC JV

IBM and Chinese PC maker Lenovo are discussing ways the two might co-operate to boost their share of the desktop market in China and around the world, reports in the Far Eastern press suggest.
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Tektrol's worst case scenario

The fine print in an insurance policy becomes an issue when a bizarre chain of IT disasters leaves a company without a single copy of the source code to its flagship product.
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Symbian and Entrust score civil servants

Symbian has appointed a senior ex-government official as its new chairman.

ADIC pools disk and tape

Stop arguing about the place of disks in backup and get on with using it, says ADIC. The company has updated its Pathlight VX disk backup box - like the original, version 2 includes an EMC Clariion disk array, but it also connects to an ADIC or StorageTek tape library and merges both disk and tape into a single virtual library.
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Peruvians to enjoy Windows in Quechua

The estimated three million Peruvian speakers of Quechua will soon be enjoying Microsoft products in their native tongue, according to a report (in Spanish) on Terra.com.
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Grieving Arafat widow seeks business partner

Readers are invited to spare a moment this morning to consider the plight of the tearful widow of Yasser Arafat - recently departed for the great intifada in the sky. It seems she's having a bit of a trouble in the "getting my wedge out of Palestine" department. Maybe you can help?
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PlusNet gets tough with broadband hogs

PlusNet is getting tough with its heavy broadband users who, it claims, are hoovering up too much capacity and making life unbearable for the rest of its punters. Around 250 PlusNet customers received an email yesterday evening warning them that they will be all shunted onto one platform to share it with other broadband hogs.
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US Navy blows $375m hole in EDS accounts

EDS has reached agreement with its auditors on the size of the hole in its accounts left by the exploding contract with the US Navy.

Comtec goes titsup

Comtec Education PLC and Comtec Business Services, government certified technology suppliers to the UK education sector, have gone into receivership, leaving customers uncertain about the future of their contracts.
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Cisco fixes 'decoy attack' in security software

Cisco has discovered a security flaw in its Cisco Security Agent software (CSA. This could be exploited by attackers to circumvent the security provided by the host-based intrusion prevention product. The network giant has issued a patch to fix the vulnerability.
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Indymedia seizure ok by us, say readers

Letters We've had an interesting, and no doubt provocative, couple of letters about the seizure of Indymedia's servers. Then they came for the tree-huggers and squatters. Then they came for the PC support staff...
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UK Online unveils unbundled 8Mb broadband

UK Online, the consumer ISP of business-focused broadband outfit EasyNet, is rolling out 8Mb broadband for the metropolitan masses. Priced at £39.99 a month, the service brings "groundbreaking speed at a groundbreaking price and makes the digital home a reality", apparently.
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Pulse~Link wants partners in radio revolution

UltraWideBand start up Pulse~Link was showing us its latest chip set this week, which takes it one step closer to its goal of having the first Cognitive Software Defined Radio on a single chip. This is on track for the first quarter of 2006. Right now all of the function it says it needs for UWB communication reside in seven separate chips.
Faultline, 16 2004
Broken CD with wrench

Skype hits the charts in China

VoIP specialist Skype has done a deal with Chinese portal Tom Online.
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First deadline passes for Supreme Court Grokster case

Lobbying has started in earnest to the US Supreme Court, which has one last chance to overturn its 20 year-old principles over P2P, and ban it despite its still relevant logic that has it that any technology with material, non-infringing uses is legal.
Faultline, 16 2004
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Programming experience up for grabs

Site Offer This week at The Register bookshop, we've offering you the opportunity to get up to speed..and beyond, with 12 unbeatable bestselling programming titles, all designed to ensure your developer skills are spot on.
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Blunkett explains your terror nightmares - be very afraid

On Saturday David Blunkett cast himself in the unlikely role of a Home Secretary who was offering hope based on security, as opposed to one engaged in a a 'fear auction' where the electoral prizes go to the politicians who can conjure up the most terrifying visions of what might happen. As Blunkett has been piling draconian security measure on draconian security measure this is a tricky one. But it's possibly a back-handed compliment to the recent BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares (good enough to justify theft if it isn't out on DVD soon) which argues precisely that.
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Half Life 2 released

Half-Life 2, the much hyped sequel to Half-Life, which won over 50 game of the year awards and was named 'best PC game ever' by PC Gamer Magazine, was released today.
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Xmas comes early for phone ad girl

It's fair to say that the battle-hardened hacks at El Reg are not easily shocked or offended. Nevertheless, we feel that we must express our dismay at a Vodfone Live! advert which appeared in some of today's UK national papers.
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Ofcom's review of telecoms due this week

Analysis The UK's monster communications regulator, Ofcom, is due to publish its review of the UK's telecommunications industry on Thursday. For many, the report can't come soon enough since it should provide some certainty to an industry dominated by BT and a former telecoms watchdog (Oftel) that lacked the muscle to regulate effectively the former monopoly. While the review itself is looking at the broad scope of the industry, much of the interest has focused on broadband.
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Evesham Axis Xcelsior Athlon 64 4000+ PC

Review A few weeks back AMD launched its latest and greatest processors, the Athlon 64 4000+ and the FX-55. Evesham has supplied its first PC based on these new processors: the Evesham Axis Xcelsior. The Axis Xcelsior is based on the Athlon 64 4000+, but you can change the CPU to an FX-55 for an additional £117.50, writes Lars-Goran Nilsson.
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SMART-1 makes lunar orbit

The SMART-1 probe has entered its lunar orbit, and the history books as the first European mission to have done so.
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Confusion reigns after FTC spam summit

A key conference on the use of email authentication to fight spam concluded in Washington last week without any clear conclusions on which approach will gain market acceptance.
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Telewest upgrades network

Telewest is to upgrade the last remaining analogue part of its network in the North West of England when it brings broadband and digital TV to 132,000 homes in Chorley, Preston and Liverpool.

Microsoft goes after Netware

Microsoft is targeting Novell Netware customers with a bundle of reasons to dump the software and switch to Microsoft Windows Server products.
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How scammers run rings round eBay

Everyone knows that buying and selling on eBay is precarious. Even eBay admits this and gives basic advice on its site that it believes helps eliminate most fraud.
Ken Young, 16 2004
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Reg hack in daring Gambia charity dash

On 16 December Reg hack John Oates will leave Blighty and travel to distant Gambia in a 20 quid Citroen van - and its all for charity.
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Force phonecam voyeurs to flash, says PI

Ordinarily reliable privacy watchdog Privacy International has come up with a weird wheeze that would surely have been appropriate coming from some deranged MP, and/or David Blunkett. Flash, argues Simon Davies of PI, should be compulsory on all new phone cameras in order to "counter the growing problem of intrusive use of mobile phone cameras."
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Sweden's rail stations to roll out Wi-Fi

Sweden's railway stations are to gain public Wi-Fi hotspots, with the first 55 sites coming on line by the end of January 2005, it emerged today.
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British Library tunes into Wi-Fi

The British Library - the UK's answer to the Library of Congress - has equipped its St. Pancras, London repository with Wi-Fi access.
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Home PCs sought in hunt for cancer cure

Computer users are being asked to donate their unused processor power to help solve social and environmental research problems. The IBM-backed project, called World Community Grid, aims to put the untapped processing power of millions of unused computers into use; crunching numbers for scientists working to understand diseases like HIV, Alzheimer's and cancer, to improve forecasting of natural disasters and to support environmental studies.
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Security incidents and cybercrime on the up

Security events recorded between July and September this year are up 150 per cent on those recorded by security company VeriSign in the same period last year.

It's do or die time for Sun and Solaris x86

Analysis Sun Microsystems just had the most important product launch in its history, and the company didn't even tell you about the urgency of the event.
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Patriotic bloggers finish Segway across America trek

Like sloths moving through the rainforest canopy, the Merry Bloggers have made it from Washington to Massachusetts on their Segways and accomplished their dream.