3rd > February > 2005 Archive

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Investors pummel Amazon for Q4 miss

Shares of Amazon.com tumbled in late trading as investors reacted to a big fourth quarter earnings miss.
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MP3.com founder vows unchained melodies

At least one newspaper thinks the battle against piracy is all over - and the Recording Industry Ass. of America, backed by Apple, has won.

Sun opens processor auction house

You've got to give credit to Sun Microsystems for its raw ambition. Just one day after it officially started a $1 per hour grid computing plan, Sun revealed phase two of the project - a type of auction system that lets customers say how much they're willing to pay for a compute hour.
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BT Wholesale to resell iomart software to ISPs

BT Wholesale is to flog iomart's Netintelligence software to scores of UK ISPs that resell BT's broadband service. This could be a big boost to iomart, a Scottish internet company, exposing it to 4.4m DSL end users in the UK
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Napster launches portable player-friendly music service

Napster today formally launched Napster To Go (NTG), the portable music subscription service trialled since last Autumn, which it bullishly claims will "change the music industry forever".
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BT bashed in prisoners' call discount row

BT is cutting the cost of making a phone call - but you'll have to be behind bars to benefit.
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First French P2P 'pirate' fined €10,200

A French teacher was yesterday fined €10,200 ($13,300) in France's first major illegal file-sharing prosecution.
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Gigabyte 'developing' dual-GPU graphics card series

Board maker Gigabyte is to launch a family of add-in cards containing two graphics chips, following the successful launch of its first dual-GPU card, the GV-3D1, last month.
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Gainward bosses 'buy company'

Gainward has confirmed that its Taiwanese parent, TNC Industrial, has agreed to sell its stake in the company to a third-party.
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E-crime to rocket in 2005

Online shopping and online fraud are to increase in equal measure during 2005, according to payment service CyberSource. It estimates that UK ecommerce revenues will grow by 36 per cent this year with 20m shoppers spending £17bn online. By 2009 as much as 25 per cent of UK shopping will be done via the internet.
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Bosses cool on IT spending

Fewer UK bosses are planning to increase their IT budgets compared to last year, according to research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf on Telewest. Just 43 per cent of senior execs plan to boost their ICT budgets in 2005, compared to 58 per cent last year.
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Avalanche man urinates his way into urban legend

The report on the Slovak man who urinated his way out of an avalanche with the aid of 60 half-litre bottles of beer has been debunked by the ever-vigilant snopes.com.
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T-Mobile unveils Sidekick-styled 3G device

T-Mobile's German wing today launched the latest in the company's own-brand MDA handset family, the 3G-enabled MDA IV "mini laptop".
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Possessions Reunited

Text messaging technology can help find the owners of lost and stolen property. The Possessions Reunited service from UK firm First Point of Contact provides users with stickers, key rings and luggage tags (each containing a unique code) that can be easily attached to high value or sentimental items.
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Parliamentary report flags ID scheme human rights issues

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has flagged a string of problems the UK's ID Cards Bill has with the European Convention on Human Rights, which was incorporated into UK law in 1998. The Committee's report draws Parliament's attention to "a number of serious questions of human rights compatibility", and it has written a lengthy note to Home Secretary Charles Clarke asking for answers to 14 of them by next Monday (7th February).
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Sierra sued over 'flawed' Voq smart phone

Sierra Wireless has been targeted with a class action lawsuit that alleges the company violated its duties to its shareholders when it launched its "flawed" Voq Pro smart phone last year.
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Hackers at mercy of US judges

A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last month giving judges more leeway in deciding federal prison terms could be good news for computer intruders who don't fit the classic criminal mold, legal experts say.
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EU goes on biometric LSD trip

In December 2004, the European Commission adopted the biometric passports directive, a regulation that mandates the use of biometric facial images within 18 months and fingerprints within three years for all passports issued.
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Siemens readies digital TV, VoIP Wi-Fi handsets

Siemens may have yet to decide whether it intends to flog off its mobile phone division, but while it ponders such a course, its handset business has to continue touting new product. To that end, the company today revealed a trio of handsets it will show off at CeBIT next month.
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BT promises to play fair, in Ofcom appeasement

BT is offering "transparent and equal access" to BT's local network in a proposed regulatory settlement with Ofcom. It also plans to cut the cost of wholesale broadband, and local loop unbundling (LLU) products, and to make wholesale line rental (WLR) more "commercially attractive".
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No Xbox 2 launch at GDC - MS

Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox 2 will not be unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) next month, leaving all eyes looking to the E3 show in May for the next-generation console's debut.
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Brit flying car earns its wings

UK flying car outfit Avcen (beware: Flashtastic site) - the hopeful future manufacturer of the Jetpod city-hopping airborne taxi - has been in touch to keep El Reg up to speed on the project's progress.
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The Cell Chip - how will MS and Intel face the music?

Analysis A number of readers consider Intel and Microsoft the two dumbest companies ever to file a 10Q, and rejoice at the prospect of an upstart - almost anyone will do - dethroning them. But be careful for what you wish for: it might come true.
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Software patents: EU votes for restart

The European Parliament's committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a restart of the whole legislative process of the controversial directive on computer implemented inventions. The result of the vote is a huge boost to anti-patent campaigners, who are concerned that the directive would allow patents to be granted on pure software inventions, as they are in the US.
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DEC warns of fake tsunami appeal website

Charitable webusers are being warned away from website masquerading as that of the Disasters Emergency Committee. The site, which looks like an older version of the official DEC page, claims to be collecting money to help the victims of the boxing-day earthquake and tsunami. Users are directed there by a spam email, headed "Urgent Tsunami Earthquake Appeal" containing the fake site's URL.
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Matrox unveils PCI-E Millennium

Matrox will ship its latest PCI Express pro graphics card, the Millennium P650 PCIe 128 next April, the company said this week.
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Worm poses as Saddam death pics

A worm that seeks to tempt Windows users into infection by promising "death pictures" of Saddam Hussein has begun doing the rounds on the net. The Bobax-H worm offers up infected email attachments posing as “photographic evidence” that the former Iraqi dictator has been killed during an attempted escape bid from custody. Bobax-H also tries to spread by using the same vulnerability (MS04-011) used by the infamous Sasser worm.
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Nvidia updates mobile Quadro FX graphics chip line

Nvidia this week added another member to its Quadro FX Go mobile line-up, at last bringing Shader Model 3.0 and PCI Express support to its workstation graphics processor chip family.
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UK's Royal Festival Hall announces WLAN link

UK public Wi-Fi network provider The Cloud has equipped London's South Bank Centre with a WLAN centred on the arts complex's Royal Festival Hall site.
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BT DSL price cut undermines LLU competition

BT Wholesale is promising faster and cheaper broadband in a move designed to back its commitment to greater competition and flexibility in the UK's telecoms sector. It's looking to run ADSL trials up to 8Mb and run pilots for ADSL2+ technology to support higher-speed services of up to 18Mb. From April, BT's also intends to cut the cost of its end-to-end wholesale IPStream broadband product.
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HP preps iPaq smart phone

Undoubtedly stung by PalmOne's relative success with its Treo range of smart phones, HP this week wanted World+Dog to know that it too is in the PDA-meets-phone market. To prove it, the company said it was going to launch more such models this year and next.
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UK councils will all meet e-enabling deadline

Local councils will all meet the 2005 deadline for e-enabling their services, according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Local e-Government Minister Phil Hope said yesterday that most councils have already made good progress towards the target. He added that, altogether, local authorities expected to save £1.2bn by 2007/2008 as a direct result of e-government investment.
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Bid now for a piece of computer history

If you ever wanted to own a contemporary sketch of Charles Babbage's analytical engine - the forerunner to modern-day computers - or get your hands on the first business plan devised to sell computers, or even the original Arpanet documents written by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn - then now's your chance.
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Botnets strangle Google Adwords campaigns

Security researchers have discovered a way to shut down or seriously impair a Google Adwords advertising campaign by artificially inflating the number of times an ad is displayed. By running searches against particular keywords from compromised hosts, attackers can cause click-through percentage rates to fall through the floor.
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Tory group report attacks ID scheme as a con trick

The Bow Group Tory think tank has published a critique of the ID scheme by former Minister Peter Lilley MP. Lilley, who has been active in opposition to the scheme in Parliament, echoes Privacy International's suggestion that the ID card could become the Labour Party's poll tax, and the report provides a succinct primer to the flaws of the scheme. But it's Lilley's parliamentary and ministerial experience that makes the report particularly interesting.

HP and EMC ready to settle ancient storage dispute

After battling for years over storage patents, EMC and Hewlett Packard have agreed to settle the matter out of court. The companies last week filed a joint motion to hold a private arbitration to resolve the dispute, an EMC spokeswoman confirmed.