17th > March > 2006 Archive


Adobe raids Sun's executive suite, grabbing software chief

Adobe Systems has raided Sun Microsystems' executive ranks to pick up John Loiacono as its new SVP in charge of creative solutions.

Ballmer pushes Vista and Office vision to businesses

Steve Ballmer has kicked-off a $500m marketing push designed to convince businesses they really need to buy the planned Windows Vista and Office 2007.
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Star Wars TV series in 3D

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 Propellerhead answers your PC queries

Q1 laptop demand dips below vendor expectations?

Demand for new notebooks slumped this quarter, reports coming out of Taiwan's contract manufacturing industry suggest, though at this stage it's unclear whether buyers are holding off from making purchases while they wait for Windows Vista, lower dual-core system prices or both.
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Interviewing C++ developers with extreme prejudice

These days I do a bit of pimping (a.k.a. "quant headhunting" in polite company - a "quant" is a quantitative analyst doing high-value numerical analysis) for expensive people at banks. It may scare or delight you, but a lot of the financial markets are run off C++ with Excel VBA.
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Voda flogs Japanese arm

Vodafone is to flog its troubled Japanese operation to Softbank for £8.9bn (Y1.8 trillion), the monster cellco confirmed today.
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Improving on optimisers

Comment After all these years you would assume, wouldn't you, that database optimisers were pretty good? Companies like IBM and Oracle have been costing query plans and re-writing SQL not just for years but for decades, so you would expect they would know what they were doing.

Lenovo wields knife, cuts 1,000 jobs

Lenovo is slashing 1,000 jobs and shutting some facilities in an effort to save $250m a year. The consolidation program comes less than a year after the Chinese PC giant bought the former IBM PC operation.
Joe Fay, 17 2006

Verbatim to offer 'reincarnated floppy disk' in Europe

Yesterday, we reported on Memorex's disk-shaped 16MB USB Flash drive, the company's newly announced bit to bring those few remaining floppy disk users into the sold-state storage era. Today, we learn Verbatim is getting in on the act too - with exactly the same product.
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Doubts over Home Office e-tagging

Home Office assumptions about the high performance of tagging equipment, used to monitor prisoners on early release, is based on "woefully inadequate" evidence, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee were told.
Kablenet, 17 2006

eSATA ExpressCard debuts

Japanese hardware company Ratoc has announced one of the first external Serial ATA (eSATA) adaptors that connect add-on hard disk drives and RAID arrays like the LaCie Two Big to a host computer using the new, notebook-oriented ExpressCard 34 format.
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Telecoms spending to decline

Consumer spending on fixed-line telecoms services in Western Europe is set to decline, and Ireland will see an especially dramatic fall, according to a new study.
SGI logo hardware close-up

Cisco's Chambers touched by telepresense

Cisco has taken the wraps off its upcoming video conferencing technology, which it promises will be able to convincingly convey body language across the ether.
Joe Fay, 17 2006
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Raoul blows its top

A remote volcanic island has erupted in the South Pacific, promting an emergency evacuation. The explosion on the New Zealand territory of Raoul island in the Kermadec chain has left one man missing.
sony blu-ray bdp-s1 player

Sony names Blu-ray disc kit ship dates

Sony will today begin taking pre-orders for its upcoming Blu-ray Disc player after yesterday naming the dates on which it will ship the machine and Vaio PCs that incorporate the next-generation optical disc technology. The BDP-S1 will ship in the US in July - two months after the first BD movies are set to hit US stores.

BT unveils fixed-mobile combo

BT has taken a sideswipe at Orange as it looks to poach more punters in the lucrative small biz market.
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Date set for global net body's first meeting

A date has been set for the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF): Monday 30 October to Thursday 2 November in Athens, Greece.

Warner HD DVD debut delayed

Warner Home Video's US HD DVD roll-out will be smaller and later than previously anticipated. The home entertainment company yesterday said it would ship a mere three titles on 18 April, offering Million Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera for $29 a pop. It promised 17 more HD DVDs will follow in the weeks after the initial offering.
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Astronomers glimpse newborn universe

The oldest light in the universe has allowed scientists to view the universe just one trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.
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Left-handed men are gay: official

Letters Since today is St Patrick's Day - which you may have noticed - it would be churlish of us not to publish a few thoughts on Guinness, or rather the stoutmonger's website. More on that later, but let's kick off today with some feedback on the shock revelation that RFID tags might be susceptible to virus infection:
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Frozen French couple go up in smoke

A French couple who had their bodies frozen in in the hope that medical science would one day be able to resurrect them have had to be sent up the chimney after a bit of bother with the leccy.
For Sale sign detail

BT's new fixed-mobile combo NOT available yet

Dear old BT. Bless 'em. Even on St Patrick's Day they couldn't organise a booze up in a pub.
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Swedes plan to colonise Moon

We always knew the Swedes were a shifty bunch - softening hearts worldwide with a pleasing blend of inoffensive europop, cheap yet effortlessly stylish flat-pack furniture and fun-loving, pnemuatic blonde fillies - but now the horrible truth can now be revealed: they're planning to colonise the Moon thereby ensuring their own survival as the Earth's resources dwindle and lesser nations are returned to a primitive Stone-Age state enslaved to Sweden's galactic ambitions*.
T-Mobile US' MDA and SDA smart phones

Asian police target movie downloaders

South Korean police have begun to target people who download content from P2P networks not only those who make such material available. According to local reports, Seoul Jongo law enforcement officers have questioned 57 people after monitoring download activity on at least one P2P service earlier this month.

US gang members get GPS tagged

Three "high-risk" parolee gang members in San Bernadino, California, have been fitted with GPS ankle bracelets to ensure they do not go wandering off into "unauthorised areas", Reuters reports.
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Nude nonna in roadway romp

More oversexed OAP shenanigans, this time from Italy.
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Google wins Usenet copyright case

Google has won a legal action brought over a Usenet posting that the search giant archived and partially displayed in search results. Writer Gordon Roy Parker had claimed that this breached his copyright in the posting, a chapter of an e-book.

Samsung SH-B022 Blu-ray Disc writer

Preview 2006: the year of High Definition video, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Well, that's the way things are looking at the moment, with just about every consumer electronics manufacturer in the world jumping on the bandwagon. These technologies aren't exclusively reserved for the consumer-electronics market - they're coming to the PC as well, and Samsung is the first manufacturer with a PC Blu-ray drive ready to go...
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UK broadband speed clocked at...

Going down the pub tonight? Wanna impress your mates? Or maybe even a lady friend? Here's a cracking bit of info that's sure to make you Mr Popular and a master of repartée.

Sony unveils 20in LCD TV-monitor combo

Sony will next month extend its line of dual-role displays - they operate as a TV and as a computer monitor - with a 20in widescreen HD model capable of being wall-mounted and has a 3D sound capability.

AMD falls in world chip maker rankings

Does Intel really need to worry about AMD? Not if the latest figures from market watcher iSuppli are anything to go by. The chip giant's small rival may have been justifiably touting some x86 market share gains, but Intel remains way ahead in real semiconductor market terms.

Razer readies iPod dockable keyboard

Mouse maker Razer has apparently announced a keyboard with an integrated universal iPod dock - the first product of its kind, ever, the company claims. The Pro|Type Multimedia Keyboard also provides a set of media keys for controlling iTunes, along with ten macro command hot keys and a picture zoom in and out control. The keyboard has two USB ports on board for connecting mice and other peripherals. It's also got line-out audio ports. There's no word yet on availability or pricing. ®
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'Now that we have a map, let's start colonizing outer space' - expert

For proof that man will soon live in outer space, you need only look at Christopher Columbus. Or so said space whiz and senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak during a lecture last night at NASA Ames.