29th > December > 2005 Archive

The Register breaking news

Overstock shares fade as CEO warns of 'drugs or dead body' caper

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne continues to break new ground as the head of a publicly traded company. In a single TV interview last week, he shocked investors by revealing that holiday sales were far below expectations, perplexed the financial crowd by talking about drugs and dead bodies being found in his trunk and initiated a verbal war with billionaire blogger Mark Cuban. This latest round of gaffes adds to a tradition for Byrne that includes admitting that he lied about being gay and a coke-head to financial analysts and initiating a program to uncover a "Sith Lord" seeking to ruin Overstock.
The Register breaking news

NSA involved in snooping cookie shocker

Holy global eavesdropping network, Batman! The NSA has - or rather had - cookies on its website.
The Register breaking news

The case for open source ETL

Comment As far as I have been able to discover, there are four open source ETL (extract, transform and load) tools on the market. Somewhat surprisingly, two of them are homonyms: KETL and Kettle, the other two being Enhydra Octopus and CloverETL.
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2005 extended by one second

Scientists have extended 2005 by one second - the first time in seven years that changes in the Earth's rotation have necessitated a "leap second", Reuters reports.
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Spammers eschew porn for penis patches

Porn spam has been knocked out of the junk email top ten for 2005 - to be replaced by ads "mentioning real estate tycoon Donald Trump", as Reuters puts it, and spam punting "Penis Patch" body enhancements.

UK man wins landmark spam victory

A UK internet businessman this week won a legal victory against a company sending unsolicited commercial emails in what's thought to be the first case of its kind to be decided by a UK court. Nigel Roberts from the Channel Islands successfully sued Media Logistics for sending spam about fax broadcasting and contract car hire to his personal email account. Media Logistics, from Stirlingshire in Scotland, agreed to pay Roberts £270 in compensation plus £30 costs.
The Register breaking news

First among equals

Column Whether formal or informal, a contract defines an (in principle) enforceable agreement between two or more parties with respect to a specific undertaking. The same is also true in code. The contract metaphor is an effective way of approaching API design and use [1]: "A contract is effectively an agreement on the requirements fulfilled by a component between the user of the component and its supplier".
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Claim back £300 per spam

Net expert Nigel Roberts has won a landmark legal victory by chasing down a UK spammer and winning £300 in costs.

Trojan alert over unpatched Windows flaw

Hackers have created a range of Trojan programs which exploit a dangerous new Windows Meta File vulnerability. The vulnerability is rated critical, and so far, no patch has been issued.
The Register breaking news

InterDigital wins big in Nokia royalty spat

A US federal judge yesterday confirmed that Nokia must cough up $232-$252m in disputed patent royalties to InterDigital.
The Register breaking news

2005: The year the US government undermined the internet

2005 in review 2005 will be forever seen as the year in which the US government managed to keep unilateral control of the internet, despite widespread opposition by the rest of the world.
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Open document man resigns from Mass CTO post

The main cheerleader behind Massachusetts' embrace of the OpenDocument format (ODF) has resigned, saying his role as the state's IT chief has been undermined by controversy surrounding the document battle.

Sony 'rootkit' settlement clamps down on DRM

Sony BMG has agreed to settle with a group of plaintiffs in a New York class action lawsuit relating to the DRM software that triggered consumer outrage and a PR disaster for the company. As part of the settlement, Sony will compensate those who purchased infected CDs and fix their computers.