17th > February > 2005 Archive
HP serves up bland post-Fiorina Q1
After evicting CEO Carly Fiorina, HP today reported first quarter earnings that were neither spectacular or horrific. They were so-so.
Cyberpunk authors get the girls
RSA 2005Bruce Schneier experiences after writing the last seven pages of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon have prompted the noted cryptographic expert to consider a radical change of career. Schneier's books on information security sell well, but his eyes were opened at a joint book-signing session with Stephenson.
Spam gets vocal with VoIP
RSA 2005We're all learning to live with spam but an even more annoying nuisance lies just around the corner. Spit (Spam over internet telephony) is set to become the next pervasive medium for scammers, penis pill purveyors and the rest.
Killing an iPod: harder than it looks?
3GSMSo when do mobile phones really kill iPods? Not before people stop saying 'iPod killer', certainly (because saying it is more of a death wish than the sincerest form of flattery), but not until handset manufacturers figure out pricing, functionality, the target market and its habits. Which is easier said than done, but grasping that just saying 'and it plays music' isn't good enough is a start.
Investigators uncover dismal data disposal
An investigation into the disposal of computer equipment has uncovered psychological reports on school-children, confidential company data and even details of an illicit affair on hard drives that should have been wiped clean. Universities, schools and global businesses are routinely breaking the Data Protection Act by disposing of computers without removing personal data, researchers found.
HP goes to bat for the Foreign Office
HP has emerged victor of the prize to run the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices's IT systems. The seven-year deal is worth £180m and is the biggest ever signed by the FCO. It will see HP streamline the department's IT into a single online network, and over the next two years, FCO's offices in the UK and abroad - there are more than 200 overseas - will get new hardware, software and services.
Japan joins global satellite disaster network
Space WeekJapan took a step closer to Europe and other countries in space cooperation when the country signed the international charter on space and major disasters in Brussels yesterday.
Crypto researchers break SHA-1
Long rumored and now official, the popular SHA-1 hashing algorithm has been attacked successfully by researchers in China and the US. A collision has been discovered in the full version in 269 hash operations, making it just possible to mount a successful brute-force attack with the most powerful machines available today.
DJ fined €1.4m for massive 'illegal' music cache
A "well known" Italian DJ has been ordered to cough up Europe's biggest fine ever for music downloading after being found in possession of and using thousands of illegally copied music files.
Intel boffins build first continuous beam silicon laser
Intel scientists have developed what they claim is the world's first continuous-wave laser constructed from silicon in a single chip.
Grand Theft Auto firm faces 'murder training' lawsuit
Take Two, the publisher of the Grand Theft Auto game series, is once again facing a lawsuit that alleges its software was complicit in murder.
Intel fortifies mobile transactions
3GSMIntel has joined Orange and Visa International to better protect premium digital content and transactions on mobile handsets. The company will use a combination of hardware and software to provide more more security for consumers to pay for online music or video, the company announced this week at 3GSM in Cannes.
Apple suspends online hack subpoenas
Apple has agreed to suspend legal action against three journalists who disclosed advance product information against the company's wishes, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said yesterday.
Security experts warn of 'scary' new web scam
A Lancashire-based PC hardware site has become the victim of a sophisticated and disturbing new online fraud.
University launches semantic web interface
The University of Southampton has launched a new semantic web interface, called mSpace, that it says will make searching for information online, and learning about a subject, much easier.
Congress seeks stem cell side-step
Members of Congress yesterday introduced bills which aim to bypass president Bush's restrictions on state-funded stem cell research. Advocates of such research from both major parties said they had "given up on persuading Bush to change his policy". The bills propose that any embryonic stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding, while providing for close federal monitoring of their use, Reuters reports.
IBM ThinkPad T42p mobile workstation
ReviewIBM's ThinkPad T42p is the high-end, workstation model of the T42 range and as such, it doesn't come cheap. But it's also a quality product with a look and feel that most other notebooks can only aspire to, writes Riyad Emeran.
WorldCom CFO lied, he admits to court
Defence lawyers for ex-WorldCom boss Bernie Ebbers attempted to undermine the credibility of the government's star witness yesterday by getting former CFO Scott Sullivan to admit he lied about the accounting fraud.
Vampires live longer: official
Scientists at Stanford University have confirmed what Vlad Dracul knew all along: a refreshing dose of young blood can put the spring back into your step.
Net downloads prompt retrial in rape case
A rape conviction has been overturned by appeal judges and a retrial ordered, after a juror apparently downloaded related documents from the web.
Northamber doubles interim profit
Northamber shrugged off a weak January and expressed confidence in the year ahead after reporting profits more than doubled in its first half.
Bell swings into full year profit
Bell Microproducts yesterday reported a 140 per cent increase in fourth quarter profits.
Florida teacher cuffed for bomb-making classes
A 42-year-old Orlando teacher was cuffed on Monday after instructing students in bomb-making techniques. David Pieski allegedly "used an overhead projector in class to give students detailed instructions in bomb-making, including advising them to use an electric detonator to stay clear from the blast", the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Qwest goes public with $8bn MCI bid
Qwest was prepared to stump up $8bn (£4.23bn) to take-over MCI, the Denver-based telecoms outfit revealed yesterday.
More online buying from HM Gov
The government has established a new set of online procurement tools, it says will make it easier for small businesses to compete for lucrative government contracts. The final testing of the system will be completed by the end of May 2005, when the system will be launched as part of a larger e-procurement toolkit.
UK ATC system falls over - again
Thousands of travellers were last night delayed in British airports after one of the National Air Traffic Services' (NATS) air traffic control computers failed. Engineers identified a problem with the Flight Data Processing System (FDPS) at West Drayton, Middlesex, and were forced to shut down the 30-year-old system and switch to manual operations for half an hour. The NATS' new £623m Lockheed Martin set-up at Swanwick relies on a data feed from the venerable FDPS, so if the latter goes down, so does the whole kit and caboodle.
MS recalls 14.1m Xbox power cables
Microsoft today asked Xbox owners around the world to return their consoles' power cables in a bid to prevent them suffering singed body parts.
Chav burglar collared by webcam
A 19-year-burglar has just begun an 11-month stretch at Her Majesty's Pleasure after he was captured burgling a house by the owner's webcam. Fed-up software engineer Duncan Grisby set up the surveillance system following a previous burglary three years before. It recorded deliciously crisp images of Benjamin Park who delighted police immediately identified.
European Parliament votes to scrap software patent text
The European Conference of Presidents (CoP) has given its blessing to a parliamentary request to restart the legislative process on the Computer Implemented Inventions (CII) directive. Parliament now has the green light to ask the Commission to send the legislation back to the drawing board.
Taiwanese agents detain Chinese foundry chief
J H Hsu, chairman of Hejian Technology, the China-based chip foundry at the centre of allegations that Taiwanese foundry UMC is in "breach of trust" with the island's government, was yesterday detained by officers from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
SCO faces ejection from Nasdaq
The Nasdaq exchange has threatened to delist The SCO Group unless the company can get up to date with a key filing meant for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Aussie watchdog to rule on broadband pricing row soon
Australia's competition watchdog could be about to rule on whether incumbent telco Telstra should face legal action over alleged anti-competitive broadband pricing.
Sage calls for new MS anti-trust probe
One of Microsoft's rivals says it expects Europe's competition regulator to launch a fresh investigation in the company's bundling practices. Sage Software made its statements when Microsoft announced plans to include a small business accounting program in the Office product suite.
Compuware calls IBM a 'killer'
Compuware's day in court has at last arrived, and the company's lawyers have not held back in their attacks against IBM.
Cryptographers to Hollywood: prepare to fail on DRM
RSA 2005Movie industry representatives at RSA 2005 in San Francisco today called on the IT industry for help in thwarting illegal file sharing before the problem threatened its revenues. But they were told that they must recognise the limitations of digital rights management in their fight against digital piracy.