29th > March > 2005 Archive

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Sony ordered to pay $90.7m in PS2 patent dispute

Sony can continue to sell its Playstation2 games console in the United States, despite an injunction made by a California Court last week ordering it to stop.
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Silent tech majority invites Mickey Mouse to poison P2P

Comment It happened years ago. The "KA" appeared, and everyone embraced it. They hugged that "KA" with all their might, hoping it might correct a collapsing technology scene. Then, when the "KA" grew a sore, they dumped it.

Oracle snaps up security firm

Database behemoth Oracle continued its shopping spree yesterday when it bought Oblix, a privately-owned security firm, for an undisclosed amount.
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iTunes.co.uk owner fights on against Apple

Erstwhile teenage dotcom millionaire and porn prodigy Ben Cohen is in dispute with Apple over his ownership of itunes.co.uk. He is taking them to the High Court to try and overturn a ruling from Nominet - the UK's domain name registry - that he should give up the website.

First players based on Taiwan's FVD HD disc to ship next month

Taiwan's answer to HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc was formally launched yesterday. The format's backers claim it offers comparable video quality to blue-laser media but at a fraction of the price.
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Space-walkers launch 'Nanosatellite'

Astronauts on board the International Space Station released a mini-satellite and installed new communication antennae during a four-hour space walk yesterday. They finished their tasks just before the station's overloaded gyroscopes caused the station to drift and roll slightly.
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Toshiba preps minute-charge 'miracle' battery

Toshiba has developed a Lithium-Ion battery capable of being charged to 80 per cent of its full capacity in under 60 seconds. Filling it up takes just "a few more minutes", the company boasted today.
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Cops warn of internet fraud

Police are warning punters to be on their guard against internet scams after seeing a spike in complaints from victims ripped off by crooks.

Sungard goes private

US security and continuity specialist Sungard has been bought by a group of private investors for $11.3bn - the largest such deal since Nabisco was bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1988 for $25bn. Sungard owns UK disaster recovery firm Guardian IT.
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Qwest sets MCI April 5 deadline

MCI has until next week to accept Qwest's $8.45bn offer - or the deal is off.
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What value your security certification?

Comment It was with great dismay that I read of the recent changes to the GIAC certifications. There is now no longer a requirement to write a practical portion to the GIAC, which has recently become purely exam-based. This practical portion requirement was, until now, the one distinguishing feature that separated the GIAC certifications from all the others. To earn this certification one had to, in no uncertain terms, prove in a written format his mastery of the subject matter. The reasoning given by Steven Northcutt, the director of training for SANS' GIAC, as to why they dropped the practical requirement has been widely dismissed by many current GIAC holders, including myself. The GIAC's prominence and value was largely due to the highly technical nature of their various certifications. Without a practical portion to the certification, however, it now becomes one of the same among so many others.
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Oz boffins grow stem cells from nose

Australian scientists have used a grant from the Catholic Church to grow human stem cells from tissue harvested from the nose. The procedure neatly sidesteps the moral issues surrounding obtaining stem cells from human embryos. The cloning of human embryos for stem cell research is banned in Australia, although researchers can utilise cells from spare embryos created for IVF purposes, Reuters reports.
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Quantum crypto comes to Blighty

UK reseller NOW Wireless has signed a deal to distribute MagiQtech's quantum cryptography solution, MagiQ QPN Security Gateway, in the UK.
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Mitnick sequel fails to hack it

Book review Sequels are hard. Just ask John Travolta, currently being panned by the critics for his efforts in Be Cool, the would-be follow-up to the tremendously successful film Get Shorty. In books, as in films and music, following instant success is often harder than achieving it, because the former may be the labour of years but the latter has to be built from what's immediately available. Thus one can imagine the challenge Kevin Mitnick, and his co-author (and already published author) William D. Simon, faced after the plaudits showered on their first product, the 2002 book The Art Of Deception.
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VeriSign wins back .net registry

VeriSign has won the battle over the .net registry, reclaiming the five million Internet domains as its own.
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Creative MuVo V200

Review Thanks to Apple, white is the new black, and Flash may well be the new hard disk, a least as far as MP3 players go. Hence, in part, the launch of a slick new Creative MuVo, the V200, not so long ago, clad in a shiny white iPod-style carapace. Of course, with the arrival of Apple's iPod Shuffle at round about the same time, the V200's been living under the Apple shadow ever since.
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BT tells industry to 'get on with life'

BT boss Ben Verwaayen has told the rest of the UK's telecoms sector to "get on with life". Speaking to the Financial Times the Dutch chief exec of the UK's dominant fixed line telco once again told anyone who would listen just how much BT has done to "become a service company that does interesting things".
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Hynix ring-fences $342m against antitrust fines

Hynix has put by KRW347bn ($341m) in case the US government finds it guilty of engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, it has emerged.
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ISPs share hacker info

Telcos, Internet Service Providers, equipment makers, universities and hosting companies are joining forces to exchange information about attempted hack attacks. The "Fingerprint Sharing Alliance" doesn't actually share fingerprints but rather profiles of attacks.
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EC sees tiny increase in women in science jobs

The number of women in top positions in science, both in academia and industry, has risen, but not by much, according to the latest figures from the European Commission (EC).
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Barclays ATM network takes Sunday off

Barclays Bank is still investigating what went wrong over the Bank Holiday weekend to cause its network of cash points or ATMs to crash over the weekend.

A case for software benchmarking

Comment I do not normally hold much truck with benchmarking, at least for such public tests as TPC-C (the standard for transaction processing) and TPC-H (for data warehousing). These are typically marketing figures – the tests are artificial, limited, and vendors with big bucks can throw enough money at the tests to ensure that they do well. Thus, for example, I did not publicise IBM's TPC-C figure for the latest release of DB2 last year, despite the fact that it was more than twice as good as any previous figure. No, to my mind the only useful benchmarks are those that are performed specifically for individual customers with their data and their workload. But these, of course, are expensive to run.
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200 IT workers face O2 axe

O2 could axe as many as 200 jobs from its IT division following the announcement last week it will cut 500 positions from the mobile phone business. Insiders claim the compulsory job losses will be split evenly between O2 employees and contract staff.
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Cop 'downloaded nude snaps' from suspect's mobile phone

A Houston police officer has been taken off the streets for allegedly downloading sexually explicit pictures from a female suspect's confiscated mobe to his PDA and sharing them with colleagues, the Houston Chronicle reports. Christopher Green arrested the unnamed 24-year-old Chinese student on 24 November 2004 on suspicion of drunken driving.

HP sues printer-cartridge refillers

HP has sued a pair of printer cartridge refillers in a bid to protect its consumables business.
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Whiskery stem cells grow skin, muscles and neurons

It is not just Australian nose tissue that provides a source of stem cells; according to new research from the US, hair follicles will do it too.
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Verizon finds $1bn more for MCI

MCI likes the look of a new $7.6bn acquisition bid from Verizon even though the deal is almost $1bn less than the more flirtatious Qwest Communications has offered.
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Passenger screening gimmick stuck at the gate

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is behind schedule in developing a new terrorist-busting database system called Secure Flight, a report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) says.

IBM server breaks time - marketing continuum to tie Dell to market

IBM has pulled off a minor marketing miracle by delivering a four-processor 64-bit Xeon server well ahead of schedule.

HP bets on the Hurd mentality for CEO

NCR CEO Mark Hurd has risen from the "shortlist" of HP CEO candidates right on up to the CEO post.
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Supremes leery of P2P ban

Hollywood vs P2P Two Supreme Court justices expressed concern today that outlawing P2P software would have deleterious consequences for the Republic.
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Never Hurd of the new HP boss?

Profile There's a theory that British Prime Ministers, and England football managers, alternate between being bishops and bookmakers. A risk-taking rascal is succeeded by a dull, safe pair of hands, until the public clamor for the rascal once again.

IBM plans storage blitz on EMC's turf

If there were such a sport as "Relentless Storage Virtualization Strategy Launching," IBM would be the alpha athlete of the competition.