15th > March > 2006 Archive

Sony delays PlayStation 3

Update It's official: Sony has delayed the roll-out of the PlayStation 3 to early November from the late March timeframe the consumer electronics giant had originally pegged for the product's release. However, it confirmed the console will launch in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan simultaneously.

Apple posts full-length movie on iTunes

Apple appears to have begun - albeit in a very small way - full-length movie downloads. The Mac maker yesterday posted a Disney TV movie, High School Musical, on the iTunes Music Store, offering the 1h 40m, 487.1MB film for the best part of $10. The download appears to be a trial run for a Disney Channel video service.

Intel ships 31W Core Duo-based Xeon LV chip

Intel has begun shipping 'Sossaman', the 65nm Core Duo-derived low-voltage Xeon processor it announced in July 2005. The chip giant is pitching the part, which it claims consumes no more than 31W, at 1U-rack and blade servers, along with network-attached storage (NAS) and communication applications-oriented boxes.
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Amberpoint helps Capita manage DSA

Case study Go on, admit it; the mention of 'government' and 'applications of IT' in the same sentence often leads to a stifled yawn or, perhaps more likely, a loud guffaw. But away from the headline debacles there are things happening, and they may yet prove to be a good example of what Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) are meant to be about.

Microsoft targets Oprah with Windows Vista

Oprah using a Windows Vista-powered PC? Crazy you say, but anything is possible in the wacky world of Microsoft marketing. Remember the Windows 95 launch? Who doesn't - unless you're one of Microsoft's younger generation of engineers being instructed by management that Windows Vista is this decade's version of Windows 95.

Sony states hard drive 'required' for PS3

Sony's PlayStation 3 will require a hard disk drive, the consumer electronics giant revealed today. It indicated the console would ship with a 60GB 2.5in drive and that it would be upgradeable, suggesting the unit is removable - much like the Xbox 360's HDD.
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Spyware-for-hire couple plead guilty

An Israeli couple faces prison after confessing to the development and sale of a spyware Trojan horse that helped private investigators snoop on their clients' business competitors.
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EasyGroup wins easy.com trademark

EasyGroup, parent of easyJet, easyMobile, easyCruise and many other 'easy' brands, has won a trademark for easy.com, despite objections that the term was devoid of any distinctive character and therefore ineligible for registration.
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Lastminute.com blasted for Gary Glitter kiddy ad

Lastminute.com blamed an "error in judgement" after an ad plugging the sale of theatre tickets used a tasteless pun about disgraced pop star Gary Glitter and "kiddy treats".
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Human rights and wrongs online

A government's position on censorship used to protect its citizenry is dictated by who they are. The well-popularised censorship of internet content in China by Google and other big players, and criticism of this by the US government, is really just the tip of the iceberg.
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Police to replace Holmes2

The Police IT Organisation (Pito) is putting together plans to replace a national IT system used to respond to serious crime investigations and major emergencies, it announced on 14 March.
Kablenet, 15 2006

PC Mover finds partners

Laplink, the maker of PC Mover - software which takes all your settings, documents and contacts from your old PC and puts them onto a new PC - has found some distribution partners.
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Cisco puts its heart into SIP

Cisco’s approach to wireless standards has been to create its own platforms, and only fully support open standards once these platforms have gained such market share that openness is no real threat.

Government ID Card claims deflated

Biometric data employed for identification purposes could be misused and lead to "function creep", the European Data Protection Supervisor has warned.
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Microsoft lowers bar for finance

Microsoft is lowering the threshold for US businesses wanting to borrow its cash to pay for software and hardware purchases.

Sony to bring PSP Base Pack to Europe, US

Sony is to launch a global content download service for its PlayStation Portable handheld games console, the company said today. It will also ship a PSP version of the hugely popular PS2 accessory EyeToy, and a GPS-module to enable not only navigation but location-specific game functionality.
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BT secures Welsh broadband deal

Millions of pounds are to be spent converting the last 35 BT exchanges in Wales to broadband in a move to deliver blanket broadband coverage throughout the Principality.

Grey marketing rubbed out at SCC

Specialist Computer Holdings has closed its grey market broker, Global Distribution, to keep HP sweet.
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UK Biobank opens its doors

The first phase of a huge project to collect and analyse a vast array of biomedical data has been launched today. The Manchester pilot of the world-first UK Biobank is the start of a ground-breaking study which eventually hopes to recruit half a million volunteers aged 40 to 69.
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Space shuttle delayed... again

NASA has once again pushed back the launch of space shuttle Discovery. The first launch since last year's recurrence of the foam-shedding problem that caused the Columbia disaster now won't happen until July at the earliest, according to engineers.
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Readers indulge in lappy-slapping

Poll result We can only wonder what the 11k+ of you, our beloved readers, who took the time to vote in our poll (now closed) to determine the future of the word "lappy" on El Reg were supposed to be doing with your valuable time, but the results are in and the people have spoken.

MSI GeForce 7900 GT card

First UK Review It has now been a few days since Nvidia announced its latest range of graphics cards and stocks are already running low at most retailers. In Nvidia's defence, there were cards available to buy from day one, although some online retailers charged a fair amount extra for the cards. The first board to arrive at Reg Hardware's office is MSI's not-so-snazzily named NX7900GT-T2D256E, based on the GeForce 7900 GT GPU...
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Stardust finds comets are born of fire and ice

Surprising data from NASA's Stardust programme has revealed that comets have heat-formed components.
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DARPA targets al-Qaeda with spook cyberfly

Geek entomologists stand by your beds: the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for research proposals in the area of Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, aka HI-MEMS - remote-controlled cyberinsects capable of being "delivered" to within five metres of Osama bin Laden from a control distance of one hundred metres.
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MS issues Office überpatch

Microsoft has patched a variety of vulnerabilities in its ubiquitous Office suite which create a means for hackers to attack vulnerable systems. The critical (cumulative MS06-012) update, along with a security fix (MS06-011) to defend against an "important" privilege escalation flaw in Windows, form a brace of patches issued by Microsoft as part of its regular monthly Patch Tuesday update cycle.
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Bulldog targets SMEs

Local loop unbundling (LLU) operator Bulldog has unveiled two broadband and phone packages aimed at small businesses (SMEs) in a bid to expand its own operation.
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Kids barred out at Guinness.com

It's good to see that guinness.com is taking a responsible attitude to underage drinking, what with the UK and Ireland's streets currently awash with alcopop-swilling tearaways laughing in the face of asbo-wielding coppers.

Army strength fibre provider

Scottish firm Brand-Rex is celebrating today because its fibre optic cable is the first to be approved by the UK's Ministry of Defence.
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Star Wars TV spin-off aims for 100 episodes

Producers of a TV spin-off of the Star Wars films reckon it will run for 100 episodes. Producer Rick McCallum told BBC Radio 1 that writing will shortly begin on the project, which will begin filming in 2008 ready for transmission in the same year.
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Online ejaculation pole: shock result revealed

NSFW Last September we ran a shamelessly non-IT-related piece on UK sex toy e-tailer LoveHoney's online ejaculation pole* - a frankly preposterous survey of how many strokes it took Linux programmers to achieve explosive climax when indulging in a quick five-knuckle shuffle while perusing a Natalie Portman topless sunbathing snaps website.
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Millions left dangling by DWP call centres

Analysis Over 20m pleas for help made to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telephone call centres fell on deaf ears last year because it had a crap computer system and poorly trained staff, said the Public Accounts Committee today.

AMD ponders maths boost to quad-core Opterons

AMD is in talks with UK co-processor company Clearspeed in a bid to boost the performance of future multi-core x86 CPUs, it has emerged. It's not hard to see why. Clearspeed's current CSX600 design can provide a huge floating point boost.

Dell's redundant server strategy: more details

Earlier this week we passed on the story of a customer phoning Dell Computers and asking for something to link two PCs. Dell sold them a server and is currently refusing all requests for a refund. Dell says orders placed through its business channel are not eligible for return or refund.
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DTI pushes science record

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alan Johnson defended the Blair government's record on science at a Royal Society bash today to mark National Science Week.
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Codebreakers unravel second Enigma intercept

A distributed computing project has successfully cracked the second of three unbroken Enigma intercepts dating back to World War II. The naval codes resisted the best efforts of allied cryptographers but are beginning to fall to the combined forces of the net community, brought together by the M4 Project.
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Beginning VB.NET Databases

Cash'n'Carrion Teaches Visual Basic .Net developers the concepts and skills necessary to write VB.Net database applications. This book touches on database design concepts but focuses on using ADO.Net to access and manipulate data in relational databases. While the book covers all data providers in ADO.Net briefly, the primary objective is to focus on using the OleDb provider for accessing Access databases and the SQL provider for accessing SQL Server databases.
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PlusNet dangles details of 8 meg regrade

PlusNet is to begin upgrading its customers to new 8 meg services from the end of the month, the Sheffield-based ISP confirmed today.

RFID tags can be infected with a virus

Dutch researchers have warned that RFID tags – small microchips, which can be used to tag products or animals - can be infected with computer viruses.
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UK drugs trial hospitalises six

Six drug trial volunteers who were given an anti-inflammatory drug at a private research unit based at London's Northwick Park Hospital are in intensive care after suffering a "reaction", the BBC reports.
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Java start-up Azul sues big daddy Sun

A small hardware start-up packed full of former Sun Microsystems executives has sued Sun. Azul Systems alleges that Sun has tried to bully it with the threat of legal action over patent infringement claims.

Slobodan Trojan poses as murder pics

Emails purporting to prove that the recently deceased former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was killed contain a malicious Trojan, called Dropper-FB. Milosevic, whose trial on charges of genocide was nearing its conclusion, was found dead in his cell in the Netherlands on Saturday.
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Chinese claim world's first ultrasonic frog

Scientists have discovered how Amolops tormotus, AKA the concave-eared torrent frog, makes itself heard above the gushing waterfalls of its habitat in east-central China: bat-style ultrasound.

Lost Ernst & Young laptop exposes IBM staff

Exclusive Ernst & Young has lost another laptop containing the social security numbers and other personal information of its clients' employees. This time, the incident puts thousands of IBM workers at risk.