15th > December > 2004 Archive

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It came from the vaults! Google seeks to open the library

In what could be a historic move in the history of the internet, Google has announced arrangements with Harvard University, and a handful of public libraries, to digitize parts of their valuable collections and make them available over the public web. Yahoo!, Grokker and Microsoft are working on similar ventures.
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RIM infringed NTP patents, appeal court rules

The US Court of Appeals has ruled that Lawsuits in Motion - aka Research in Motion - did indeed violate patents owned by intellectual property holding company NTP.
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Free data-wipe tools for *nix systems

We offer several free tools to make data hygiene more convenient on Unix and Unix-like systems. Download them here. The archive you'll want is called LinuxWipeTools.tar.gz. (But note that there are numerous other free security tools and resources for *nix and Windows systems listed on the page.)
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Apple iPod out of tune with Real's Harmony

Apple has made good its pledge to prevent iPods from playing songs downloaded from Real Networks' Rhapsody online music store.
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Five important fixes in MS December patch batch

Microsoft's regular monthly patch delivery slipped into port yesterday carrying five new patches, each described by Redmond as "important".
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BT faces £4.5m NHS claim over broadband delays

BT is facing a bill for £4.5m amid reports that it has failed to deliver high speed broadband links to a key NHS project on time. According to the Financial Times, BT is set to miss key targets set for April next year and, as a result, is being hit by the contract penalties.
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Intel 'to cut' Celeron D, Grantsdale prices

Intel will prune the prices of its Celeron D processors and 915-class chipsets next year, reports coming out of Taiwan claim.
server room

Cryptography Research wants piracy speed bump on HD DVDs

Analysis Just about a year from today, if not sooner, if we believe the outpourings of both the DVD Forum and the Blu-Ray Disc Association, we will be able to go out to the shops and buy blue laser, high definition, high density DVDs in two completely different designs. We will also be able to buy the players and recorders by then, as well as studio content from virtually every major studio in the world, on one or the other system.
Faultline, 15 2004

Mainframe Catalogs: the untold story

On a Windows PC everything goes through the Registry: whenever you want to run an application the registry has to be referenced. This is, in simple terms, exactly what a catalog does under MVS or z/OS: all datasets are accessed via an ICF catalog.
homeless man with sign

Q3 chip stockpile bigger than thought - researcher

The value of all the unsold semiconductors sitting in the electronics supply chain during Q3 proved higher than expected, market watcher iSuppli said yesterday.
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Europe kicks UK out of biometric passport club

Europe's Council of Ministers has given the green light to mandatory biometrics on passports but, strangely enough, has refused to let biometric-mad Britain join in. This leaves the country that's keenest to tag the whole of its population as one of the few members of the EU that won't have to fingerprint all its citizens from 2008. Theoretically.
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Sony PSP takes off on schedule

Although Sony's PlayStation Portable will sell this year in such small numbers, expected to be around 500,000 in total, and as such could have no real effect on Sony's numbers for 2004, the PSP still had the potential to adversely affect the company's share price.
Faultline, 15 2004
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Polyglot virus is Xmas party pooper

An email worm which poses as a Christmas greeting began spreading widely yesterday. Zafi-D comes as an infectious attachment to emails written in a variety of different languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Swedish and Hungarian. Anti-virus firms believe the worm was created in Hungary.
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Businesses failing to recognise cybercrime dangers

Small businesses are still failing to recognise the dangers of cybercrime, according to new research.
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Dutch raid eDonkey sites, seize servers

Dutch anti-piracy organisation BREIN, along with FIOD-ECD (Economic Inspection Service of the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service), has raided two popular sites in the Netherlands that offered links to allegedly copyright-infringing content. FIOD-ECD has arrested eight people and seized eleven servers.

Dell UK stung by bungled server sale

Dell UK is facing stinging criticism from customers after they accused the giant PC maker of bungling the sale of a heavily discounted server last week. Punters are angry that the giant PC outfit failed to keep them informed about the sale even when it was clear that it had been over-subscribed.
Broken CD with wrench

Wireless broadband comes to South Korea

South Korea this week launched a trial run of WiBro, a locally developed wireless technology standard with transmission speeds of around 1Mbps - several times faster than current wireless technologies.
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Ratty pilots worry sci-fi fans

Letters If volume of letters is a reliable guide (and we are not saying it is) then the most important story of the last two week was the discovery that neural cells from a rat could fly a fighter jet. Naturally this news has alarmed many of you. Judgment Day is upon us, and it has whiskers:
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Business PCs riddled with porn

Workplace porn in the UK is rife. More than 70 per cent of firms have disciplined staff in the last two years as a result of workers viewing pornographic images on company PCs, a survey published this week reveals.
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Excite rises again like a turkey from the ashes

Remember Excite? With the logo where the X looks like a dancing bloke? Well, it is trying again, for the third time, to recapture its dotcom boom glory - this time with a Webmail service.
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NASA throws Deep Impact spacecraft at comet

NASA has is to send a probe on a collision course with a comet's nucleus to find out more about the composition and history of the bodies.
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Atheros unveils 'world first' Wi-Fi access-point-on-a-chip

Access points for 802.11g wireless networks should become even cheaper next year after WLAN chip maker Atheros begins full-scale production of what it claims is the world's first 'base-station on a chip' product.
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iRiver N10 512MB Flash MP3 player

Review With so many MP3 players available on the market, manufacturers now need to come up with ever more ingenious ways to entice you into choosing their players over the competition. For some, the temptation to be too wacky has become irresistible. An example: iRiver with the N10. But wackiness aside, does the player make the grade? asks Stuart Miles.

NEC licenses Honeywell LCD tech

Honeywell's legal action against 34 electronics and computing companies for allegedly infringing one of its LCD patents has yielded its first public licensing agreement.
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Nvidia apes ATI to revive mid-1990s AGP feature

Nvidia today introduced its first graphics chip with TurboCache - the company's answer to ATI's HyperMemory technology, itself little more than feature taken from the original mid-1990s AGP specification.
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Nintendo preps DS media module

Nintendo's DS looks certain to outsell Sony's PlayStation Portable, but Nintendo is clearly so worried about its rival that it is already announcing an upgrade that will bring PSP-style music and movie features to its own handheld console.
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Microsoft halted in phonetic domain crusade

Microsoft has been knocked back in its increasingly bizarre domain name grab by Spanish company Mocosoft.
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Don't use Google desktop search in your business, warns Gartner

Gartner has warned that companies shouldn't use the new Google Desktop Search tool because of security concerns and a lack of features.
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Nextel Sprints into mega merger

Sprint and Nextel confirmed that they'll merge today in a deal worth $35bn, scotching rumours of a last-minute bid by Verizon to take over its CDMA rival. Pending regulatory approval, the merger of equals will boast around 35m subscribers. The big three (including Cingular) boast nearly 130m customers between them, leaving T-Mobile a distant fourth with just over eight per cent of the US market.
SGI logo hardware close-up

HP sends Itanic boat people to Intel

HP once celebrated the unique contributions it could make to the Itanium processor architecture. Such days will soon be over with HP trading its Itanium design team to Intel, sources tell us.
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Blunkett hands in cards after prints found on visa

David Blunkett, UK Home Secretary and prime mover behind the British ID card scheme, resigned this evening after further revelations concerning the residency application of his lover's nanny. Emails seen by Sir Alan Budd's enquiry made it clear that - contrary to Home Office denials - the letter to the nanny warning of a possible 12 month delay had been dealt with by his office.
DVD it in many colours

Sun must acquire Red Hat or Novell - analyst

Analysis The sage analysts at Merrill Lynch are at it again. This time, they're demanding that Sun Microsystems acquire either Red Hat or Novell. Without such a buy, Sun will never be taken seriously in the Linux server market, and with Red Hat or Novell on its side, Sun could really take the Opteron server market by storm, they argue.