12th > January > 2006 Archive

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Situations vacant for eagle-eyed stardust spotters

The University of California, Berkeley, is looking for eagled-eyed space buffs to search for minute particles which may or may not be, right now, on their way to Earth aboard interstellar dust catcher "Stardust" (seen right).

Sun and Apple almost merged three times – Bill Joy

Sun Microsystems tried to acquire Apple once and then almost merged with Apple on two other occasions, according to Sun co-founder Bill Joy. Beyond these deals, the two companies almost teamed on three other projects including sharing a user interface and the SPARC architecture. The moves were cheered by Apple fan Joy, while Sun's CEO Scott McNealy appeared less impressed with some of the proposals.

SCC makes Italian move

European technology integrator SCC has bought itself a larger Italian presence in the shape of IBM Italia subsidiary MVS Srl.
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A brief look at Trillium's Discovery 5.0

I recently received an update from Trillium Software on its latest release (5.0) of Discovery, the data profiling and analysis product it acquired from Avellino.
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CES 2006: top ten gadgets

So the delegates have gone home, the halls are emptying and, yes, Gates (and Elvis) have left the building. The gadget fest that was the Consumer Electronics Show 2006 is now history. Yet before we bury it for good, here's our list of the ten best gadgets to emerge at the show (in no particular order)...

Windows support program bent to fit

Microsoft's Windows maintenance program is in the spotlight as the company has admitted to bending its support rules over security while cutting support to users of Windows XP Home Edition early.
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Next-gen Wi-Fi groups vote for single spec

The battle over the future of the next generation of the Wi-Fi standard appears to be over. The group formed by the original three contending specifications has agreed to adopt the fourth, later specification.
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Carphone to unveil LLU plans in March

The Carphone Warehouse continues to press ahead with plans to invest £45m in broadband over the next three years as part of ambitious plans to unbundle the local loop (LLU) and provide telecoms services direct to end users.

Nvidia to launch GeForce 7900 GTX 'at CeBIT'

Nvidia's 90nm G71 graphics chip, possibly planned to ship as the GeForce 7900 GTX, will not launch until March.

MS to ship Mac Office of five years 'minimum'

Microsoft has committed itself to supporting Office on the Mac for at least the next five years, the head of the software giant's Macintosh Business Unit said this week.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Software standards put technology in its place

The fact that SAP and Oracle, normally the deadliest of enemies with rarely a kind word to say about each other, are prepared to sit down at the same table and be party to setting up the same set of software standards demonstrates well one of the fundamental issues underpinning the importance of standards to every aspect of the business/IT relationship.

Symantec fixes 'rootkit' bug in Systemworks

Symantec has updated its popular Norton SystemWorks security suite this week following the discovery of a security bug that creates a possible means for hackers to hide computer viruses on infected systems. A design error in SystemWorks means files within the NProtect directory of the Norton Protected Recycle Bin are hidden from Windows APIs.

Griffin touts 'most advanced' iPod dock yet

Griffin Technology will soon ship a dock that converts any compatible iPod into a home media centre system.
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Wiretapping, FISA, and the NSA

US wiretapping laws, FISA and Presidential powers given to the NSA to intercept communications make for interesting times when coupled with technology. What are the issues surrounding privacy, search, seizure and surveillance?
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Hermaphrodite polar bears sound pollution alert

A team of scientists has rather alarmingly discovered that the "surprisingly high rate" of hermaphroditism in polar bears can be directly linked to pollution, the Independent reports. The researchers - who examined 139 bears across the Arctic region - noted that around one in 50 female bears on Norway's Svalbard islands has both male and female sex organs.
Griffin TuneCenter iPod dock

MS: Blu-ray on Xbox 360 'possible'

Microsoft has said it may ship a Blu-ray Disc drive for its Xbox 360 games console should consumers prefer that next-generation optical disc format over HD DVD.
homeless man with sign

Europe victory over frozen VAT

Companies unwittingly ensnared in VAT fraud schemes can reclaim frozen VAT refunds thanks to a judgement by the European Court of Justice.
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France Telecom warns of sales slowdown

Shares in France Telecom (FT) were on the slide today after the giant telco warned that it was unlikely to generate as much cash this year as it had predicted.
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UK IT worker sitcom heads for C4

A new sitcom - set among IT workers in the dingy basement of a glamorous company - is due to arrive on the UK's Channel 4 next month. The IT Crowd, written by Graham Linehan (the scribe behind Father Ted, Black Books), will debut on the internet on 27 January, a week before its terrestrial broadcast on Friday, 3 February at 9.30pm.
arrow pointing up

Robert Fripp records soundtrack for Vista

Former King Crimson guitar worrier Robert Fripp has made it quite clear where he stands on the Linux/Mac/Windows issue by popping down to Microsoft Corporation's campus and recording some sounds for Windows Vista.
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Body scanner debuts at London's Paddington

Passengers boarding London's Heathrow Express at Paddington are advised to allow a little more time for their journey since they may find themselves on the receiving end of a four-week, £500k trial of a US-built body scanner.
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February meeting on future of internet

The first steps toward the new Internet Governance Forum, which will take a lead role in how the internet will be run now and in the future, have been taken.
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Bird flu stoppable, says WHO

Although the threat of a bird flu pandemic continues to grow, quick action by governments and health organisations can prevent a widescale outbreak among humans, Reuters reports.

Nikon to end film camera production

35mm film has come to the end of the roll, Nikon has said. The camera maker this week revealed it is focusing its efforts solely on digital photography products.

Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi Core Duo notebook

Review Over the past couple of years Acer has made quite a name for itself in the notebook market, producing high spec machines at amazing price points. The company has also built a reputation for being first out of the gate with the latest notebook technology and that's never been more true than right now. The TravelMate 8204WLMi is the first notebook I've seen based on Intel's new dual-core mobile processor, 'Yonah'.
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Tories slam penalties for evading 'voluntary' ID cards

The Conservative Party claims the Labour Government's ID scheme will turn local election officers into data police.
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Tearful Hwang Woo-suk apologises

Stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk apologised today for the "wrongdoing" which has seen the once-hailed scientist reduced to a state of total disgrace, Reuters reports.
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BT Movio trial a success, says BT

BT is set to launch a TV service for mobile-phone operators later this year following the successful completion of trials in the London area.
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Boffins breed fluorescent pig

Taiwanese boffins have successfully bred three fluorescent pigs who, they claim, far outshine previous efforts at producing glow-in-the-dark porkers, which resulted in a disappointing partial fluorescence.
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MPs demand wireless internet

MPs have called for new wireless internet technology to be installed in the House of Commons in a critical report from the cross-party administration committee.
Ian Cuddy, 12 2006

Thunderbird is go

Mozilla unwrapped its latest version of Thunderbird - the popular email client - on Thursday. Thunderbird 1.5 boasts improved spam filters to block fraudulent phishing emails, customisable views and enhanced support for RSS (a feature which allows users to receive feed updates as email messages) and podcasting.
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Après le keynote, le gulp

Analysis What an ungrateful bunch you are. This week Apple began its transition to Intel processors six months ahead of schedule, and all you can do is carp. Don't you know you're supposed to swoon over every shiny new piece of kit?
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Intel backs RIM in Supreme Court appeal bid

Intel has asked the US Supreme Court to agree to hear Research in Motion's plea that the Court of Appeal's August 2005 ruling in favour of "non-practicing patentee" NTP be dismissed.
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South Korea joins Galileo

South Korea has become the latest non-EU country to sign up to the Galileo satellite navigation project, the European Commission announced today. The country joins Israel, China and Ukraine aboard the 30-satellite programme, with India having initialed an agreement and Saudi Arabia likely to join the club soon.

IBM, Sony, Toshiba start work on 32nm Cell

Cell processor partners IBM, Sony and Toshiba have agreed to take their technology R&D alliance into the 32nm era.
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Pixel-flogging student makes a million

Alex Tew, the student from Wiltshire who came up with the crazy idea of flogging one-million pixels for a dollar a throw, has done it: four months after launching his million-dollar homepage to try to fund his university education, Tew has sold the lot. Every single last little pixel.

Apple downplays iTunes 'spyware' fears

Apple has denied that it retains any of the information that the latest update to its hugely popular jukebox software, iTunes, creates as it monitor users' listening selections.
For Sale sign detail

Siebel beats the Street for the last time

Siebel said it beat all expectations during the fourth quarter, just as Oracle prepares to close its acquisition of the customer relationship management (CRM) vendor.

Sun founders confess all during walk down workstation lane

Into the Valley Put Scott McNealy and Bill Joy on stage together, and you're already in trouble. Add Andy Bechtolsheim and Vinod Khosla, and you move from trouble to pure information overload.

IBM looks to patent new system for patenting patents

IBM has announced its 13th successive year as patents king while cheering a community and government backed program to "improve" the quality of US patents.