2nd > December > 2004 Archive

DVD it in many colours

Sun, MS just thrilled to be together

Public displays of affection are frowned on in modern manners books - but try telling that to new best friends Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. The canoodling twosome can't keep their hands off each other, and they can't stop telling us how delighted they are to be a couple, either.
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Apple opens Canadian iTunes store

Apple missed its own deadline by a day or two, but nonetheless Canadians yesterday will awake today to find their local iTunes Music Store up and running.
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All terror attacks use false passports, claims Interpol chief

The 'terrorists use false ID' claim achieved a significant escalation yesterday as Interpol general secretary Ron Noble told a House of Lords Committee that all terrorist incidents involve a false passport. The UK Home Office has clearly been thinking small when it trots out the 'fact' that 35 per cent of terrorists use false IDs in support of its ID card scheme. But surely Noble over-eggs the pudding, just ever so slightly?

IBM to Power China

IBM this week pitched its Power processor family as a de facto standard for consumer electronics, cars, communications kit and computers by launching a consortium to promote the platform to Far Eastern manufacturers.
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You dare to mock my prophet?

FoTW This is truly bizarre. In January, we wrote about how the inquest into the deaths of Lady Diana and Dodi Al Fayed was likely to bring the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork. Well, it did, but just a very long time later:

Chips are down for Taiwan foundry giants

The world's two biggest chip foundries are slowly but surely losing market share to their smaller rivals, the latest figures from market watcher IC Insights reveals.
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Europeans ditch TV for PC

The internet is causing people in Europe to spend less time watching TV, according to new market research. In a report entitled "Evolution of Media Use in Europe - Web Impacting Consumption", JupiterResearch said that 27 per cent of web users in Europe are spending less time in front of the telly and are instead surfing the web. In 2001, only 17 per cent of respondents to a similar survey admitted to watching fewer hours of TV in favour of the net.
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Cowboy computer glitch blamed for construction slump

The Government has coughed to yet another computer error that led to 66,500 building firms being wiped off official records used to compile key economic figures.
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Cendant to buy ebookers for $415m - WSJ

Cendant, the US travel giant, is to buy ebookers for $415m, the Wall Street Journal claims. This works out at around $6.17 (320p) per share, a modest premium on yesterday's closing price of 312p.
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ATI unveils Radeon X850 XT PE, X800 XL

ATI re-launched its Radeon X800 graphics chip family yesterday, to accompany the release of its latest top-end GPU, the Radeon X850.
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Europe to fry in one long, hot summer

New research into the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment has concluded that human activity makes 2003-style heatwaves across Europe an ever-increasing likelihood, the Met Office reports.
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US Homeland Security Czar resigns

Former Pennsylvania Governor and recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge has resigned his post as America's top counterterrorism strategist.
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MS quashes infamous Bofra bug

Microsoft broke with its normal patching schedule yesterday to issue a fix for the notorious IFRAME vulnerability in Internet Explorer.
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NTL flogs broadcast division for £1.27bn

NTL has agreed to flog its broadcast division to an Aussie consortium of companies led by Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group (MCG) for £1.27bn. The deal - which still needs regulatory approval - is expected to be completed by the end of March.
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Sony selects 25 March 05 for Euro PSP launch

Sony will launch the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Europe on 25 March 2005, according to the company's own retailer-oriented sales and marketing documentation.
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Investment bank sues Infinium

Phantom console maker Infinium Labs has been accused of fraud and breach of contract by investment bank SBI-USA - a claim it is backing with legal action against the videogame company.
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UK.gov IT: it's broke, how can we fix it?

Letters This week's analysis Building disaster into the network: how UK.gov does IT drew a hearteningly substantial and thoughtful mailbag. It's always nice to be agreed with, but my point that the British Government in particular is designing failure into its IT projects and infrastructure clearly caught the mood of the team. Various issues follow from this, with the letters handily falling into three categories.
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Don't waste money on 3G - Which?

Consumer magazine Which? is advising UK consumers not to waste their money on fancy 3G kit in the run-up to Xmas. It cites limited network coverage and "problems accessing 3G services successfully and consistently" as solid reasons to stick with 2G.
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Europe pauses Microsoft DRM probe

The European Commission has halted its investigation into Microsoft's attempt to control DRM software company ContentGuard after it emerged that Thomson is also to take a share in the anti-piracy technology provider.
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UK's biggest spammer in court

Peter Francis-Macrae, the 22-year-old who is allegedly the UK's biggest spammer, has appeared in court on a variety of charges ranging from threats to kill to obscene phonecalls. A warrant for Francis-Macrae's arrest was issued this week, after he failed to attend an earlier hearing.
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Two regional broadband bodies fold

Two of the Government's regional bodies for aggregating public sector demand for broadband have confirmed that they have shut down.
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Bust-hungry Oz beach perv busted

An Australian man who was captured on a beach by an enraged mob after snapping topless women on his mobile has become the first man to be prosecuted in New South Wales for the offence. Peter Mackenzie, 25, admitted offensive behaviour in a public place and was duly fined A$500 by Waverley Local Court, Australian IT reports.
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MS moves to can more spammers

Microsoft announced today that it has filed seven lawsuits against spammers who failed to label their junk mail as sexually explicit - in contravention of the US's CAN-SPAM law.
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UK police fingerprint system collapses

Computer problems have left police forces in England and Wales unable to run national fingerprint checks for more than a week.
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MSN Spaces debuts

MSN yesterday introduced a beta version of MSN Spaces, a new web logging service. It also released a beta version of MSN Messenger 7.0 and updates to MSN Hotmail. These services will be integrated, the company says.
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ICANN works Harry Potter magic on net

Internet overseeing organisation ICANN has a difficult task ahead persuading people to let it run the whole network when its contract ends in 2006. And it is willing to try anything to get there - including, it would seem, magic.
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Senior Republican charged in phone jamming plot

A former Bush campaign official has been charged with plotting to jam the phone networks of political opponents during the November 2002 election.
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Local government IT is great, says local government

Most local authority IT managers reckon e-government programmes will translate into real benefits for citizens, by creating multi-channel access to better quality council services, according to the Society of IT Managers' annual survey of its members.
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Speeding motorist says aliens to blame

The Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership, aka "Safe speed for life" has just published its top 10 excuses for geting nobbled by a speed, sorry, safety camera. Top of the list is alien-induced trance, closely followed by blaming excessive velocity on a passing aircraft. The list is culled from the letters received by fixed-penalty units in which motorists attempt to extricate themselves from copping a fine for speeding.
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Corporate PCs 'riddled with spyware'

Corporate systems are riddled with spyware, according to a study by an anti-spyware firm. Companies voluntarily using Webroot's Corporate SpyAudit tool had an average of 20 nasties per PC, Webroot reports.
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Huygens: the countdown to splashdown

The Huygens probe has travelled 789 million miles to the Saturnian system tethered to the Cassini spacecraft. In less than a month's time, it will separate from the mothership and begin its final journey to the surface of the moon, Titan. The probe's journey has taken it more than seven years, but once it enters the atmosphere of the moon, its mission will last for just over four hours.

French bail out Bull with $690m

French server maker Bull is being bailed out again. The European Commission has given the go ahead for the French government to toss Bull an impressive €517m ($690m) subject to a few terms and conditions. In addition, Bull announced today that it has tapped ex-IBMer Didier Lamouche to be its next chairman, starting 1 Feb.
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Americas lead booming mobile phone biz

Mobile phone sales grew 26 per cent in the third quarter of the year, according to Gartner, with over 167m sold. North America saw its strongest growth, with 22.6 per cent growth over the same period last year. Thanks to Brazil and Mexico, the rest of the Americas also turned in a record quarter with sales 66 per cent higher than last year. The odd man out was Japan, where sales fell 12 per cent. Punters seem to have quite enough camerphones already there, thank you.

HP laughs off Tru64 promises, welcomes Veritas

HP has given up on trying to bring key parts of Compaq/DEC's Tru64 operating system over to HP-UX and decided instead to buy similar technology from Veritas.
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Oracle already eyeing other software makers

If you thought Oracle's attempt to acquire PeopleSoft has been fun, then hang on for a series of wild rides. Oracle is in a buying kind of mood, according to its president.
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Intel bumps Q4 forecast higher

Intel today doled out a much needed dollop of good news to investors by hiking its fourth quarter revenue forecast.

Four Infineon execs heading to jail on price-fixing charges

Four Infineon executives will serve jail time after pleading guilty to being part of an "international conspiracy" to fix the price of computer memory, the US Department of Justice announced today.