10th > March > 2006 Archive


Novell rearranges the brass after Q1 bomb

A mini tornado of re-organization has again blown through Novell, shaking up the open source business, marketing and regional operations in the wake of poor quarterly results.
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Google takes on MS Office with Writely buy

The vexed topic of an online word processing system is back on the agenda after Google bought start-up Writely in a potential challenge to Microsoft's desktop suite.

Linus, GPL 3.0 and sharks with lasers on their heads

Citing some James Bond analogies, Linus Torvalds has defended his objections to GPL 3.0, while holding out an olive branch to the Free Software Foundation (FSF).
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Wanadoo punter still without broadband

A Wanadoo UK customer who has been left without broadband for more than seven weeks after his line was migrated to LLU has now complained to industry trade group ISPA.

Reding to report to EC on RFID

CeBIT The European Commission has launched a Europe-wide consultation on RFID technology, which will result in a “communication” on the technology by the end of the year.
Joe Fay, 10 2006
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Colossus: Bletchley Park’s greatest secret

Book review One reader wrote in to complain that my recent review of Frauenfelder’s The Computer, an illustrated history missed the fact that it “yankified” history – didn’t adequately recognise British contributions. On the contrary, when I checked against other sources, Frauenfelder’s is a very cosmopolitan account - it even points out that German innovator Konrad Zuse probably built the first real computer. However, one reason for confusion about the principal dates in this history is the military secrecy and deliberate obfuscation surrounding some of these early computers.
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National Express trials in-coach Wi-Fi

UK coach firm National Express has launched a trial which has seen Telabria's mSystem mobile Wi-Fi hotspots installed on coaches between London and Cambridge.
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Call for disabled internet revolt

The Disability Rights Commission plans to call upon disabled internet users to rise up against inaccessible website owners and help it take complaints with the force of law.
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UK plans to make driving licences biometric

The British driving licence is to go biometric "at some stage" but, according to Transport Minister Alastair Darling, it will remain a distinct document from the planned UK identity card. Darling introduced the Road Safety Bill in the House of Commons this week, but said, "given that the same information will be required for both passports and driving licences, it makes sense to co-operate on them, but the two documents will be distinct".
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IBM talks software value with partners

IBM yesterday announced better Ts&Cs for software sales through the channel, offering authorised dealers up to 40 per cent of the revenue of software.
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Level 3 leak leaked

Internet giant Level 3 sprung a leak yesterday at its Braham Street data centre in London. According to emails leaked to El Reg, the water may have damaged customer kit although so far Level 3 has declined requests to explain exactly what happened or how many customers were affected.

OGC spreadsheet madness causes dealer uproar

The Office of Government Commerce is blaming a spreadsheet error for a foul-up over accrediting suppliers for its new Catalist procurement programme.
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Blu-ray body confirms format to use 'interim' copy protection code

CeBIT Blu-ray Disc's lack of full AACS support will not limit the consumer in any way, Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) spokesman Frank Simonis said today after confirming the next-generation optical disc format will incorporate an "interim" version of the copy-protection technology.

Monster TVs slug it out for CeBIT crown

CeBIT Sony did it at CES in Las Vegas, and now it's Samsung's turn at CeBIT in Hannover. Yes, we're talking monster 82in LCD TVs. Alas, it was outscaled by LG, which is touting a 100in LCD, but don't forget that Panasonic's 103in plasma screen beats them all.
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Psst, want to be on Dr Who?

Geek TV Certified gadget obsessives Tech Digest and Shiny Shiny scour Gizmoville for the oddest digital goodies, TV Scoop features all that’s cool in British telly and Games Digest has all the latest gaming news.
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RIAA to probe Pope's iPod?

Letters Right, look lively: we have a lot of stuff to wade through this Friday, and some of it even has a serious IT-related angle. Like this, regarding Ofcom's media literacy audit:

Jabra talks up Bluetooth iPod accessories

CeBIT Bluetooth headset specialist Jabra this week stepped into the iPod, handheld games console and music-phone accessory markets, pitching a handful of new products designed to free digital music device owners from cumbersome wires.
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BOFH: Feral access points

Episode 10 "What's he doing?" the Boss whispers, noticing the PFY's absence from and disinterest in the conversation he and I have been having about the shameful nature of internet porn sites these days. Put another way, the boss has been gently probing [oooh errr] for a list of potential spank sites while implying that he's in some way concerned about the moral condition of the workplace..
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Kenyan farmers save for a rainy day

Case study Case study
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LaCie Two Big 1TB eSATA drive

Exclusive Review It wasn't very long ago that having a terabyte (1TB) of storage in a home PC was considered far-fetched. But now just about every hard drive manufacturer has a 500GB drive in its product range, and having a terabyte or more in a desktop PC isn't really a big deal. However, LaCie has figured out a different approach to give you 1TB with the Two Big external Serial ATA (eSATA) enclosure...
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Be sorry for network snafu

Broadband ISP Be is to issue refunds to its net users after the service went titsup earlier this week.
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Nvidia gets its chips out

CeBIT Nvidia has announced a raft of new graphics kit at CeBIT, aimed at providing what it calls "extreme high-definition" to users. SVP Dan Vivoli said the move towards high-definition displays and the extra demands it will place on hardware is: "music to our [Nvidia's] ears".

IBM simplifying the data warehouse

IBM has just announced the second strand in its strategy for simplifying data warehousing. It contends, rightly, that deploying and managing an enterprise data warehouse is horrendously complicated. Moreover, those complications directly drive costs up. So, it is simplifying the data warehouse and driving costs down.
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Frisky Fräuleins on your phone

CeeBitch Another year, another CeBIT. Which as usual, means trudging round in the snow, ice, hail and fog, with nothing to look forward to except a freshly boiled bockwurst and ein or zwei biers at the end of the tag. It’s like Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow without the bravery, drama and funny hats.
Joe Fay, 10 2006
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Europe tagging along on RFID

Opinion Viviane Reding yesterday reeled off a sheaf of figures on RFID’s expected growth over the coming years. The European Commissioner for Information Society and Media reckons 600m tags will ship this year, with that number jumping 450 times within ten years.
Joe Fay, 10 2006
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Click here to learn the net's true purpose

NSFW If you've ever wondered, as we have, just exactly what the internet is for, then prepare your mind for true enlightenment.
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High Court to decide O2 - 3 bubble spat soon

A long-running trademark spat between O2 and 3 over the use of bubbles looks set to be nearing the end of the legal road.
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Adult payment firm denies customer records breach

An online payments firm that specialises in processing payments to porn sites has denied that a supposed haul of consumer data originated from its databases.
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PC shipments to slow in 2006

PC sales are set to slow this year, Gartner has warned, reaching only 10.7 per cent in 2006 compared with 15.5 per cent in the previous year.

Centerprise picks up Samsung drives

Centerprise is to distribute Samsung hard drives and optical drives.
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How to commission an accessible website

The British Standards Institution published new guidance yesterday for those who commission or maintain websites, to ensure that any site they make or maintain is user-friendly for disabled people. It could help with legal compliance.
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Sony 'running jump' ad derailed

Objections from transport staff have prompted Sony into removing posters advocating that consumers "take a running jump" from a number of tram and tube stations across the UK.
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France Telecom notches up 1m VoIP users

France Telecom (FT) has chalked up more than a million residential internet telephony lines across Europe, according to VoIP partner Netcentrex.
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Your staff will grass you up, warns BSA

Sixty-four per cent of UK employees would blow the whistle on their employers if internal reports of illegal or inappropriate activities were ignored, according to figures released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
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BrightFlash lights up pixt phone industry

The real reason camera phones are useless, Anthony Kongats says, is that they don't have the power to light up the scene if it's dim.

UK extends airport iris scan scheme

Heathrow Airport has extended a pilot programme that allows registered passengers to pass through immigration checks using iris scans.
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Vonage cries foul over Canada VoIP 'tax'

Consumer IP telephony service Vonage has filed a complaint to Canadian regulators over plans by local telco, Shaw Cable, to charge a C$10 ($8.60) a month premium to customers of VoIP service. The charge ostensibly covers to cost of providing a higher quality connection to VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) users. Vonage describes the levy as a "thinly veiled" VoIP tax.
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SGI moving to mysterious Altism line

SGI has picked an obvious strategy for a company struggling to stay alive. Frustrate its customers with complete confusion.

Only in a bubble is Google's web WP an Office-killer

Analysis At ZDNet, it's Microsoft's "Pearl Harbor"! Forbes screams, "Google's office invasion is on!"

Intel's talk starts to match rivals' products

Analysis You have to hand it to Intel for talking about power management and the benefits of multi-core processing with such confidence. Using reality distortion, Intel has convinced itself that it pioneered such technology instead of being the lone laggard to catch up with the rest of the industry.