27th > February > 2006 Archive

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Lawsuit claims Micron fixed memory prices

US memory maker Micron has been hit with a class-action lawsuit that alleges the company and some senior executives conspired with other DRAMurai to fix prices between 24 February 2001 and 13 February 2003. That conspiracy, the complaint claims, resulted in Micron posting false and misleading financial results during the cited period to the company's benefit.
The Computer

The Computer - An Illustrated History

Book review Remember coffee table books? Glossy, well-produced art books that are never actually read, but left lying around to show how cultured you are.
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Google Video censors Iraq footage - for US only

Updated Google's video service appears to be blocking US viewers from seeing an innocuous piece of Iraq footage that Google delivers to internet users in the rest of the world without any problems.
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French farmers suffer bird flu woes

French poultry farmers are starting to feel the pinch as the effects of the bird flu crisis hit home. Holland, Hong Kong and Japan have all banned French poultry imports after a turkey farm in Ain department was decimated by the virus last week - despite its flock being kept indoors.
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C&W braces itself for 'year of hell'

Workers at Cable & Wireless (C&W) are bracing themselves for another round of job cuts as execs prepare for a "year of hell".
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Adventures with a Nigerian email fraudster

Book review We've all had an email from the nephew of a recently-murdered diamond mine owner. Or the daughter of an imprisoned army general. Or anyone else in west Africa with access to a vast fortune – if only we can help them release the cash.
New Intel logos

Intel specs up next-gen chipset GPU

The successor to Intel's Graphics Media Acceletor 950 core will bring DirectX 9 Pixel Shader 3.0 and HDMI support, superior de-interlacing, and improved colour callibration to the integrated graphics engine family, which will be touted as supporting what Intel now calls its Clear Video Technology (CVT).

Epson sues inkjet cartridge importer Medea

Epson last week began legal proceedings against Dundee-based printer cartridge importer Medea International, claiming the company is violating its intellectual property. However, it's unclear which of the importer's products are actually alleged to infringe Epson patents.
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US paras fingered over gay porn

Seven US soldiers have been charged over offenses linked to their appearance on a gay porn site.
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Perpetual motion with Apache

Column When you hang around in an Apache support forum, you get all sorts of questions. At best, some really interesting discussions; at worst irrelevant nonsense. But always, a stream of newbies with FAQs. To be clear, when I say newbie, I mean exactly that: someone who is new to a particular subject. Most of them are on the learning curve, and the regulars are generally happy to help them. A few just expect you to do everything for them, and are more likely to go away disappointed.
Nick Kew, 27 2006

Triple threat to Mac OS X largely academic

At first blush, the past two weeks have not been good for the image of Apple's Mac OS X: Public descriptions of two worms and a trivial exploit for a serious software issue in the operating system appeared on the internet.
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Vodafone takes £28bn hit

Vodafone expects to reduce the value of its assets by between £23bn and £28bn, it said, as its nears completion of its budget for next year.

FTC settles with CardSystems over data breach

A payment processor that exposed 40m credit cards to the risk of fraud when a hacker took advantages of security failures has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges. Independent security audits will now be required every other year for 20 years.
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Enigma message cracks under distributed computing

A distributed computing project has been set up that aims to crack unbroken Enigma ciphers dating back to World War II. One of four unbroken Nazi codes has already succumbed. The M4 project is seeking help from the net community in breaking the other three codes.
iTablet Mac tablet

MS, Intel gear up to unveil ultra-mobile tablet PC

Microsoft's so-called Origami Project, due to be launched on Thursday, appears to be its early version of the ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) concept Intel has been touting of late, if an allegedly leaked Flash version of a promo video of the product is anything to go by. Quite apart from being a potential iPod competitor, the device could well prompt some interesting techology ownership questions.
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BT plays down 'free broadband' report

BT has played down reports that it is planning to offer its punters "free broadband" when its new 21st Century Network (21CN) is rolled out over the next couple of years.
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Would you buy food off eBay?

Trading standards officers are demanding tighter regulations for websites which sell food products after they found three quarters of food for sale on eBay fails relevant hygiene and packaging laws.
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Politically motivated attacks soar in 2005

Web server attacks and website defacements rose 16 per cent last year, according to an independent report. Zone-h, the Estonian security firm best known for its defacement archive, recorded 495,000 web attacks globally in 2004, up from 393,000 in 2003.
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Dutch police target 23 Nigerian gangs

Dutch police say they are targeting another 23 Nigerian gangs after the arrest of 12 suspects as part of a joint US/Dutch investigation into 419 money-making schemes.

Sony unveils shake-resistant Cyber-shot cameras

Sony this weekend unveiled a trio of anti-shake digital cameras with widescreen picture support, including its latest shot at budget digital SLR supremacy and additions to its Cyber-shot W compact series that takes the line-up to 8.1 megapixels.
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Agitating Java and testing Windows

Test-driven development is only as good as its tests, and therein lies the problem for many developers. Recently, D Richard Hipp, who is the main author of the Sqlite open source database, analysed his source code. He calculates that 59 per cent of his code base is devoted to testing, covering 97.4 per cent of the code.

Sony, NEC to merge optical drive teams

Sony and NEC are to merge their respective optical drive divisions into a single ¥220bn ($1.9bn) jointly owned company, Sony NEC Optiarc, the two Japanese giants announced today. The move may pave the way for reconciliation between the two next-generation optical disc formats, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD.
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Kingston pulls plug on IPTV service

Kingston Communications, the Hull-based telco, is pulling the plug on its broadband TV service because not enough people watch it. Launched in 2000, Kingston Interactive TV (KIT) offered dozens of channels via a set-top box and an ADSL connection.

Boffins tout world's first single-chip digital microphone

US start-up Akustica today launched what it claims is the world's first micro-mechanical digital microphone chip that can be manufactured using standard chip-making processes. Pitching the part primarily at PCs, the company said the new part is sufficiently inexpensive to make microphone arrays in notebook screens and desktop monitors commonplace.
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NSA searches for advanced data mining tech

The National Security Agency (NSA) visited Silicon Valley this month on the hunt for private sector technology to beef up its already formidable snooping and signals intelligence portfolio. Data mining technologies to search for connections between seemingly unrelated snippets of information was top of the NSA's shopping list, according to venture capitalists who held meetings with agency officials.

TerraTec Cinergy 2400i DT dual-tuner card

Review Digital terrestrial TV is slowly but surely winning viewers over from analogue transmissions in Europe, and with all analogue signals scheduled to be switched off in the UK by 2010 and replaced by DVB-T, it's time to start thinking about how you might want to make the switch...

Germans want to charge Google

The boss of Deutsche Telekom is the latest to claim that companies like Google, which take advantage of high-speed networks, should help pay for them.

NTP, RIM spar over proposed tech licence

NTP today accused Research in Motion (RIM) of misleading customers and carriers by claiming it has not proposed a licensing agreement the two companies could sign that protects mobile phone networks from future legal action.
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Animal testing supporters go on offensive

This weekend saw a shift in Britain's increasingly fraught battle between the research community and animal rights extremists.
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US stops joining the worldwide web - official

Internet usage in the US has flatlined, with a third of the country's households stubbornly refusing to sign up. And don't expect any sudden surges of interest - only two per cent of US citizens surveyed by Parks Associates plan to sign up this year.
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Yahoo! link confirmed in second Chinese dissident case

Court papers about cyberdissident Li Zhi confirm that Yahoo! collaborated with the Chinese authorities, according to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders. Yahoo! and local competitor Sina both provided evidence that allowed the Chinese to imprison Li.
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Women kept in their place by new study

The toothless recommendations made by the Women at Work Commission today have achieved equality of a kind - they have been roundly condemned by almost everyone.

Sun says, 'No THX' to HTX

Sun Microsystems won't ship servers with support for technology that gives Opteron-based systems a performance advantage over Xeon-based rivals. In so doing, Sun goes against a path being carved out by smaller server makers and competing Tier I vendors such as HP and IBM.