20th > March > 2006 Archive

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COBOL Resartus

Comment COBOL, the Common Business-Oriented Language, was one of the first signs (somewhat after LEO, the world’s first business computer in 1951) of the acceptance of computers as a routine business, as opposed to scientific or engineering, tool.
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Camelot fined £90k for online lotto snafu

Camelot - the outfit that runs the UK's National Lottery - has been fined £90,000 for getting some customer charges wrong in 2004.
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Phew! Google saves US netizens from Gov snoops

Hurrah! Google has made the internet safe for US citizens! Or at least that was what the company implied late on Friday evening, after a federal judge ruled that the company didn't have to turn over a sample of anonymized search queries to the US Department of Justice, and only needed to provide a sampling of websites it searched.
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Salesforce.com warms to Eclipse

Salesforce.com is releasing a version of its AppExchange toolkit on the open source Eclipse framework to attract developers to its new services marketplace.
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TeliaSonera joins Freemove Alliance

Comment Finnish operator TeliaSonera has made a number of moves recently to compensate for its small home customer base by forming a web of roaming alliances abroad.
fingers pointing at man

London boroughs not sold on small.biz

London boroughs must do more to boost the number of smaller businesses selling goods and services to local councils.
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AMD grew sales 50 per cent year on year

Letters Last week, AMD appeared to have slipped in the world chip rankings, according to numbers provided by market watcher iSuppli. Not so, said AMD. With the inclusion of figures from the spun-out Flash memory division Spansion - absent, we should say, through an error of ours, not iSuppli's - the chip maker's ranking would have been higher. But there's another question raised by the story: is like really being compared with like?

Acer 'readying' HD DVD notebook

Acer is to join Toshiba next month and offer a high-end notebook with an integrated HD DVD drive. So claims Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial Times today, according to a DigiTimes report.
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Brain Academy 2006 launches geek hunt

Brain Academy, the competition for budding computer scientists, has opened its doors once again. This year's theme is the interface of compsci and the entertainment industry.
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China loosens VoIP rules

Chinese regulators are treading carefully when it comes to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone calls. Two companies have been awarded the right to conduct limited trials of the technology, but full licences won't be given out until 2007.
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Bus driver sacked for playing PSP

A bus driver has been sacked after passengers complained he was driving the bus while playing a portable games machine.
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Oz registrar closes John Howard satire site

An Australian domain name registrar has bowed to pressure from the office of PM John Howard and shut down a satirical website resembling that of the Oz supremo and carrying an "apology" for the war in Iraq, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Griffin TuneCenter iPod dock

Net video confirms Xbox 360 hack

A video has been posted on the web that appears to confirm claims that the Xbox 360's anti-hack security system has been... er... hacked. The video shows a console with its lid off playing a copy of a game.

More PS3 details emerge

Games Digest Sony Computer Entertainment's president, Ken Kutaragi, announced a raft of new details about the PS3, PSP and PNP at a press conference in Tokyo last week. The big announcement, that the PS3 will launch in mid-November in Japan, the US and Europe simultaneously, has already been covered by Reg Hardware. But more interesting is the emerging picture of how Sony sees the PS3 squaring up against the Xbox 360, Nintendo's Revolution and the home PC in the living room.
homeless man with sign

Belgians implant RFID chip in tooth

Belgian scientists at the Catholic University of Leuven have embedded an RFID chip into a tooth to show how detailed personal information can be stored.

PSP 'base pack' to ship Wednesday for £149.99

Sony has revealed it will demand punters pay a penny under £150 for the basic PlayStation Portable package when it launches here on 22 March. Announced last week, the box contains just a PSP and a mains adaptor, unlike the bundle-heavy Value Pack that launched in September 2005.
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Earth may have 'infected' Titan with life

The various meteoric slappings sustained by Earth over the millenia may have seeded other parts of the solar system with life, if calculations by Canadian scientists are to be believed.
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Vodafone eyes fixed line service

Vodafone is looking to branch out into the fixed line world to offer voice and broadband products alongside its own mobile services, The Business reports.
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Personal CD players ejected from RPI basket

The personal CD player has been ejected from the "shopping basket" of goods and services used by Government statisticians to measure the rate of inflation.
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Aussies hit cane toads for six

Wind in the Willows fans look away now. Residents in Australia's Northern Territory have begun staging mass exterminations of invading cane toads, the BBC reports.
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South Park declares war on Scientology

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have all but declared war on the Church of Scientology following member Tom Cruise's successful move to have episode Trapped in the Closet pulled from US screens.

Philips to fix 12,000 plasma TVs

Philips said last week it needs to fix 12,000 46in and 50in plasma TVs in the US to prevent them from potentially overheating, though it claimed the faulty screens do not pose a fire risk to owners and their homes.
'ard Reg, 20 2006
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South Korea sacks cloning prof

South Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-suk has been dismissed from Seoul National University for his role in falsifying results. Woo-suk was suspended by the university in February.
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Quark unveils new, new logo

LogoWatch Quark has thrown in the towel on the "fresh, inviting, and open" logo it unveiled last September to the usual over-excited fanfare of trumpets - only to find the new brand frontage bore an "uncanny" resemblance to that of the Scottish Arts Council.

Nvidia pitches physics-on-GPU code

Nvidia will this week show in-game physics code calculations being run on a graphics processor, the first time this has been done in public, the company claimed today. When the technique is implemented in future games, the benefit for players will be more realistic virtual worlds, Nvidia said.
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BT names IPTV service

BT has revealed the name of its new TV service, which is due to be launched later this year. It's to be called "BT Vision".
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Missing volcano worker 'presumed dead'

Hopes for missing conservation worker Mark Kearney on the New Zealand volcanic island Raoul are slim. Kearney was part of a New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) team carrying out routine monitoring when Raoul unexpectedly erupted on Friday.
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3 users get Hotmail on the move

Microsoft and Hutchison 3G have announced a deal that will make it easier for 3G users to access MSN Messenger and Hotmail on the move. The mobile telco will make both services available on its portal. MSN Messenger clients will also come pre-installed on 3G mobile phones from 3.

ATI unwraps first 1GB graphics card

ATI today unwrapped its latest pair of workstation-oriented graphics chips - including what it claims is the first ever board to support one gigabyte of graphics memory. The FireGL parts are also the first products of their class from ATI to support Shader Model 3.0.

Forgotten password clues create hacker risk

Security flaws in the "forgotten password" feature of ecommerce websites leave half the UK's online retailers open to attack, according to security consultancy SecureTest.
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UK online net spending soars

The amount of cash spent on internet advertising in the UK soared last year, according to figures compiled by the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) on behalf of the Advertising Association (AA).
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Fears for Balkans Eurovision war

Relations between Serbia and Montenegro are at present rather strained after the withdrawal of their joint entry for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, the BBC reports.
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Verisign buys mobile publisher

Verisign has bought mobile content and billing company m-Qube for $250m.
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The science behind the human guinea pig drug trial

The race is on to nail down the cause of the catastrophic immune response of the six seriously-ill drug trial volunteers.
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'Tube geek' in trouble again

Geoff Marshall is in trouble with London Underground again - and this time Transport for London is going after his internet service provider.
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CCTV staff quizzed over nude art shoot footage

Tyneside police are investigating two civilian CCTV staff as part of a complaint into the "possible misuse" of "close-up" footage of naked participants in Spencer Tunick's mass nude shoot on the banks of the Tyne last July.
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MS lawsuits aim to reel in phishers

Microsoft has announced plans for legal action against more than 100 online fraudsters in Europe and surrounding regions. The action, part of the software giant's Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative (GPEI), is part of a wider scheme to fight online scams through consumer protection, partnerships and prosecution.
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Three bidders interested in Phones4U

Phones4U boss John Caudwell is nearing a decision about the future of his business almost six months after putting his entire telecoms empire up for sale.

A life of service

Comment While pundits argue about when Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) will take over the world, there is a reasonable consensus that this is the way much of the business IT implementations world is moving. Given that, the world of the applications developer is liable to change, with perhaps the most important aspect being the expansion of the frame of reference of the title 'developer', which will shift from variations on a code-cutting theme to include the development of business processes.

Euro trade body launches 'official' HDTV logo

The European Information and Communications Technology Association (EICTA) today announced yet another logo that it hopes will help clear confusion from the minds of consumers as they migrate from traditional television into the HDTV era. However, the move may well have the opposite effect.
Broken CD with wrench

HP ships its golden 'Arches' for Itanium servers

Of all the Itanium server vendors, HP has the best story to tell and that story got better on Monday. HP announced a fresh fleet of Integrity servers outfitted with a new chipset, and it promoted a number of more advanced software features for the kit.
fingers pointing at man

Dell seeks (another) 10,000 Indians

Despite mounting complaints about poor customer service, Dell plans to double its workforce in India over the next three years and bulk up its call center operations in the country.
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Oracle has great Q3, if database growth doesn't concern you

Oracle today turned in a good looking third quarter to investors. That is if you discount the database maker's unimpressive database sales growth.