7th > February > 2006 Archive

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Patent 'fundamentals' questioned

The UK Patent Office has called for worldwide consultation on the fundamental principles of patenting to tackle growing doubt in the efficacy of the IP approval system.
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Eutelsat held talks to buy Aramiska

Eutelsat was in talks to acquire troubled Aramiska shortly before the satellite broadband operator pulled the plug on its service last month. Insiders have told The Register that giant satellite operator Eutelsat had been holding talks with Aramiska since before Christmas, but that those negotiations broke down.

'All' AMD CPUs to support virtualisation mid-2006

AMD yesterday demo'd its upcoming DDR 2-supporting dual-core 64-bit processor. The core also supports 'Pacifica', AMD's answer to Intel's Virtualisation Technology. AMD said Pacifica was now available for broad licensing, and will be built into "all" its CPUs this year.
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IBM launches chipset on unlicensed waveband

IBM says its latest chip could boost wireless data transfer to ten times the current capacity.
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First look: Expression Interactive Designer

Review It's been a long time coming. First rumoured at the 2003 PDC (Microsoft Professional Developers Conference), Microsoft's Sparkle has finally made it part way out the door.
homeless man with sign

DDR 2 memory prices leap 18%

DDR 2 SDRAM chip contract prices have jumped 18 per cent this month compared to the average price during the last two weeks of January, market watcher DRAMeXchange has said. And with both Samsung, Hynix and other memory makers already implementing price-rises this month, the increase is going to continue.
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Scientists probe 'Lost World' rainforest

An expedition to one of the world's most remote rainforests has turned up a bonanza of undiscovered species.
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Global 'blogathon' marks Safer Internet Day

The European Commission is putting the potential dangers of using the web under the spotlight by naming today "Safer Internet Day". Insafe, the EU's network for safer internet use, today launched a global "blogathon" to draw attention to the legal, ethical and safety issues associated with the internet.
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US gov optimistic on wireless auctions

The Bush administration has increased the amount it believes it can raise from auctioning off wireless spectrum.

Inventec preps 'Mercury' smart phone

Is this the face of Palm's upcoming 'Lowrider' low-end smart phone? At this stage we can't say, but it's certainly the case that it's made by Inventec, it's a Windows Mobile-powered device and it's a codenamed 'Mercury', as revealed by the manufacturer's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing.
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Managing Agile Projects

Book review Some of the more fundamentalist exponents of agile development methodologies would reduce the totality of roles within software development to two: developers and customers. And even then you get the impression that customers are viewed as no more than a necessary evil. Architects, project managers, DBAs, testers, integrators, build masters and the rest barely get a look in. In particular, the role of the project manager is conspicuous by its absence in most of the formal agile methodologies (with the notable exception of SCRUM, which mandates the need for a SCRUM Master to manage the process/project).
fingers pointing at man

Drive-by downloads on the wane

Spyware programs that monitor users' surfing habits remain prevalent, but their frequency is on the decline, according to a recent academic study (PDF). Security researchers at the University of Washington used web crawler technology to discover that around one in 20 executable files (5.5 per cent) offered for download on the net during a five month period contained some type of malware, mostly less malign code that generated invasive pop-up ads rather than more dangerous key-logging software.

Samsung readies TV phone for Europe

Samsung will next week formally unveil the handset it will pitch at Europeans who want to watch TV on their mobile phones. It's called the SGH-P900 and it's capable of receiving T-DMB (Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) signals and relaying them on its 2.2in swivel screen.

Court hands Gizmondo Europe to liquidators

Gizmondo Europe has gone into liquidation after parent company Tiger Telematics' attempt to persuade the English High Court to put the subdsidiary into administration failed last week, Reg Hardware can reveal.
graph up

Sage chairman steps down

Sage Group chairman Michael Jackson will step down as of August 1 this year and leave the board to be replaced by Vodafone deputy chief executive Sir Julian Horn-Smith.
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Cleanfeed working overtime, says BT

BT is blocking 35,000 attempts each day by net users trying to access child pornography, the UK's dominant telco said today. The stats from its Cleanfeed web filtering system coincide with Safer Internet Day, a global event designed to promote online awareness.
For Sale sign detail

BitTorrent sues for trademarks

BitTorrent - which usually finds itself reading lawyers' letters rather than writing them - is going to start taking legal action rather than just being its subject.
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Cheated wife 'resprays' hubby's BMW

As the olding saying goes: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," and the owner of a BMW M3 Coupe currently for sale on Ireland's Car Buyers' Guide know this better than anyone:
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AOL UK's email suffers collywobbles

AOL's email service in the UK appears to be up and running again after suffering the collywobbles earlier today.

Apple cuts iPod Shuffle prices, debuts 1GB Nano

Apple has begun shipping the much-rumoured 1GB iPod Nano, pitching the new product as the "affordable" entry into the Nano line-up. The company also slashed the iPod Shuffle family's prices.
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Hollywood PI in wiretap charge rap

A former sleuth to the stars has been charged with masterminding an illegal wiretapping operation targeted against actors, reporters and agents. Anthony Pellicano is charged with running unlawful wiretaps or unlawfully obtaining background checks against actors Sylvester Stallone, Keith Carradine, and an entertainment reporter at The Los Angeles Times. He's also accused of impersonating staff at the Creative Artists talent agency.
fingers pointing at man

Relisys customers told to wait

Monitor maker Relisys is still in administration and customers are being told to hang on - talks are still going on but a decision should be announced soon. It was hoped that takeover talks for part of the business would be settled last week.
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Fossett flight foiled in Florida

Millionaire businessman and adventurer Steve Fossett has been temporarily thwarted in his latest round-the-world wheeze.

E-tailer rocks to Pebble MP3 player

UK online retailer Advanced MP3 Players will this month ship its first own-brand device: the small, ready to skim across the waves Pebble. The ovoid audio item sports a shiny black back and a mirrored silver front lit by a blue OLED status panel. The controls are arranged in a circle that'll be familiar to iPod Shuffle users.
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GetMeTickets.net to be wound up

A website that promised punters tickets to the hottest gigs has been shut down following complaints from music fans. The Official Receiver was called in by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to wind up Get Me Tickets Ltd - which traded via getmetickets.net - in the "public interest".

Mens fashion store offers custom-coloured iPods

Posh gents outfitters Bamford & Sons has followed Selfridges down the expensive iPod-related services path by offering to paint any new iPod bought at one of its London stores with a custom colour scheme of the buyer's choice. It's a snip at between £121 and £196, excluding the cost of the music player.
For Sale sign detail

US patient records faxed to herbal pill firm

US doctors have been mistakenly faxing confidential information on hundreds of patients to a small Canadian distributor of herbal remedies.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Lawsuit forces users to update Microsoft Office

Users of Microsoft’s Office and Access packages have been told they will have to install updates as a result of a patent infringement dispute between Microsoft and a Guatemalan inventor that has cost the software firm almost $9 million in damages.
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O2 to launch 'radio with pictures'

O2 has pledged to become the first mobile phone network to bring Nokia's 'visual radio' technology to UK consumers, courtesy of a tie-in with the Virgin Radio station. It's a "completely new kind of radio experience", apparently.
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Readers reacquire Greenwich Meridian

Letters The Google China search engine kerfuffle is unlikely to abate in the near future, so we'll start off this dredge of the Vulture Central mail repository with some reponses to a letter last week from Colin Jackson. To recap, Colin wrote:
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When mainframe meets SOA

Comment Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is becoming the preferred method of developing new business solutions. Everyone developing in a green field environment should be using SOA, but very few people have this luxury.

HP's inner voice tells it to buy OuterBay

HP has gone to the software acquisition well again and purchased storage specialist OuterBay for an undisclosed sum.

IBM thumbs nose at heat concerns, kicks Power6 to 6GHz

IBM has carved out a renegade path for the upcoming Power6 processor, opting to crank the chip's clock speed much higher while rivals shy away from major gigahertz boosts with their products.