29th > March > 2006 Archive

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Wither Rational?

I was talking to an ex-Rational manager a week or so ago, who obviously believed that IBM’s enthusiasm for Rational was waning in the face of its success with Eclipse and who also thought that the morale of ex-Rational employees inside IBM was waning.
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BizTalk - yet another launch

BizTalk Server 2006 was half-launched last year. Yesterday it had a proper launch (with general availability etc.) at the London Stock Exchange.

Red Hat continues bull run in Q4

Red Hat claimed to beat out an already healthy Linux market as it reported fourth-quarter sales figures that saw net income more than double.
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JBoss delivers message to IBM and BEA

JBoss is ramping up its challenge to closed-source web servers and messaging middleware with updated editions of its software for enterprise IT infrastructures.
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Meet the Jefferson of 'Web 2.0'

If Google's PageRank reflects the "uniquely democratic nature of the web" - and if weblogs are the most empowering technology of our age [**] - then how can we begin to fete a humble entrepreneur based in St Paul, MN?
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Tech bubble banker wins back his badge

Silicon Valley's star banker Frank Quattrone continues his comeback, with the watchdog SEC overturning a lifetime ban on him working in the securities industry.

AMD grabs Itanic survivors

The race to hire Fort Collins chip engineers is on with AMD bulking up its staff in the city by poaching Itanium engineers from Intel.

Microsoft hires EU legal dream team for anti-trust aid - report

Microsoft's legal team has been picking the brains of three former European Union judges in preparation for next month's showdown with the Commission.
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High Court to hear Apple versus Apple on iTunes

Apple Computer will take on Apple Corps in the High Court on Wednesday in a dispute over whether the iTunes music service breaches an agreement with the Beatles' record label and infringes its trademarks.

Cambridge Consultants restarts VC biz

Cambridge Consultants is reopening its venture capital business. It will raise a fund with an investment partner and aims to have its first new venture up and running by 2007.
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Supreme Court to hear eBay's patent challenge

The US Supreme Court will hear eBay’s appeal tomorrow against an injunction imposed in a patent dispute over the auction site's fixed-price 'Buy it Now' service. eBay is challenging the same court practices that nearly shutdown the BlackBerry email service recently.

Patches released for zero-day IE threat

Hundreds of malicious websites are attempting to exploit the most critical of two flaws announced last week in Microsoft's browser, convincing two companies to release workarounds late Monday to head off the threat.

Flash price plunge heralds cheaper MP3 players?

iPods and other MP3 players look set to become much cheaper thanks to a dramatic decline in the price of NAND Flash chips. According to memory industry watcher DRAMeXchange, NAND Flash prices on the spot market have fallen by more than 50 per cent since the start of 2006. It said 2GBb and 4Gb NAND Flash chip prices fell by 63 per cent on average. Other parts saw their prices drop by at least 43 per cent.

Insight pays DoJ to end investigation

US Reseller Insight Enterprises has agreed to pay the Department of Justice $1m to settle charges that it falsely presented itself as a small company to gain advantage in contract negotiations.
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ANC moves Edinburgh depot to Africa

Readers expecting urgent deliveries via courier ANC's Edinburgh office should be aware that - according to a link on the company's website - this could take a little longer than you might expect:

We're not merging, say MSI and Gigabyte

Motherboard makers MSI and Gigabyte have denied claims they've been talking about a merger - even though, by their own admission, they have discussed the possibility more than once.
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Bulldog told to be more upfront about pricing

Bulldog has been told to be more upfront about its charges for its unbundled broadband service after complaints that it buried price information in the smallprint.
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Enigma machine up for sale on eBay

An Enigma code making machine is up for sale on eBay. Current bids stand at €9,980 but the seller is hoping for a final price of €40,000.
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Space tourism rockets

Virgin Galactic has announced that it has signed up more than 150 prospective space tourists. Richard Branson's latest venture will haul millionaires into a brief sub-orbital flight using a fleet of SpaceShipTwo craft, the successor to the ship which claimed the Ansari X-Prize for commercial space flight in 2004.

Toshiba pre-announces next-gen Nvidia mobile GPU

Nvidia hasn't announced its GeForce Go 7900 GS mobile GPU yet, but Toshiba yesterday said it has begun shipping a gaming-oriented notebook which delivers "state-of-the-art graphics" thanks to the new chip, 256MB of graphics memory and a 17in TruBrite display.
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Cops slap Asbo on terror cat

Connecticut authorities have slapped a restraining order on a cat which, according to shaken locals in Fairfield, has subjected the residents of a quiet suburban cul-de-sac to a feline reign of terror during which it attacked several people and even had a pop at the Avon lady.
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NZ cops cuff armless 121km/h speed merchant

An NZ man with no driving licence was slapped with a NZ$170 fine and banned from driving after cops caught him doing 121km/h on a state highway, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Palm's low-end Treo spotted on web

Tantalising images that are claimed to show Palm's upcoming low-end Treo smart phone have been posted on the web. The shots show a blue device with a screen and keypad not unlike those featured on the current Treo 650 and - crucially - no external antenna.

Fibernet reports slower than expected progress

Shares in UK-based Fibernet, which provides carrier services to large enterprises, other telcos and ISPs, dipped today as the firm warned that business hasn't been as brisk as hoped.
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Katie Holmes to enjoy iPod during birth

Tom Cruise has given pregnant Katie Holmes an iPod packed with her fave tunes - to help her keep schtum during the forthcoming birth of their child, UK tabloid The Sun reports.
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From JAWS to Dolphins: IT for Nairobi's blind students

Case study Lawrence Momanyji, 10 sits at the front of class with a Brailler at his desk. Lawrence is a bright boy – he came fifth out of 52 in the recent class exams. He is a pupil at Kilimani Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya, one of 32 blind and visually impaired children on the school roll.

It's springtime for Computerland

Computerland issued an upbeat trading statement today saying that business in the second half is running ahead of its expectations.

Dell unveils D820, D620 'super 3G'-ready notebooks

Dell has begun taking orders for its anticipated Latitude D620 and D820 business-oriented notebooks - and has said the higher-end machine will sport an Nvidia graphics chip as yet unannounced by the GPU maker. It also said the machine will be offered with an HSDPA 3G data card - but not yet.
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German downloaders face two years' prison

The German justice minister has defended changes to German law which will increase sentences for consumers caught downloading copyrighted material to two years. Anyone caught downloading songs or films for commercial purposes could get up to five years in prison.

DNS hackers target domain registrars

Hackers have launched distributed denial of service attacks against the Domain Name System (DNS) servers of a brace of domain name registrars over recent days. The motive for the separate attacks against Network Solutions and Joker.com remains unclear.

iPod Nano gets slimline stand

US iPod accessory maker Marware has unveiled a docking cradle that's almost as minimalist as the player it's designed to support. The iPod Nano Stand is sculpted to fit the player perfectly, with a dock connector and a back plane to make fitting and removal painless.

MPs botch HCI rescue

The tax break for people who buy home computers through their wage packet was scrapped last night, despite protests from businesses endangered by the short notice of its termination.

Motorola changes mind on Q ship date

When will Motorola ship its Q smart phone? Last week, the company's website added a page promoting the slimline would-be Blackberry beater. It said the 1.2cm-thick, keyboard-equipped handset will be "available April 2006". Now Moto has changed the page to read "shipping soon". Is it simply being cautious or is it signalling a serious delay?
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Events, dear boy... a view from Apache

Comment After last month's somewhat lightweight piece, I had in mind a solid programmer article for March. But like Harold Macmillan, I'm not just going to ignore events. So here instead is something topical.
Nick Kew, 29 2006
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Blair's answer to climate change: the internet

Tony Blair has responded to his government's failure to hit its CO2 emissions target by calling for “a technological revolution comparable to the internet”. He promised to push for a new global consensus on climate change to replace the mostly impotent Kyoto Protocol.
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Navy waves goodbye to Sea Harriers

The Royal Navy yesterday waved a fond farewell to the Sea Harriers, which played such a vital role in the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Dell extends Precision portable workstation line

Dell has upgraded its Precision family of mobile workstations, adding a pair of new models to the line-up, both equipped with mobile-oriented Nvidia Quadro FX GPUs and Intel dual-core microprocessors.
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First Brazilian cosmonaut makes World Cup boast

Brazil's first cosmonaut has boasted he will take the national shirt aboard the International Space Station to 'commemorate' the country's 'victory' in this year's football World Cup. He'll blast off from Kazakstan on Thursday at 02:30GMT aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.
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BT managers chilled by pay freeze

BT managers who take on new jobs or are promoted over the next few months will have their pay frozen until July.
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PwC settles dotcom fraud case

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has made an out-of-court settlement with shareholders of e-district who alleged the accountancy giant had failed to discharge its legal responsibilities.
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Ulead yanks Blu-ray support from week-old app

Media software maker Ulead has dropped Blu-ray Disc support from the latest release of its DVD MovieFactory video capture and disk-mastering application - even though the software has only been shipping for just over a week.

SUSE CTO exits Novell

Juergen Geck, chief technology officer of SUSE Linux at Novell, will leave the firm at the end of the week, CRN reports. His departure is the latest of a string of departures by senior executives as SUSE since Novell acquired the open source software distributor two years ago.

WD unveils 6GB pocket drive

Western Digital (WD) has announced its take on the USB-driven external microdrive, launching a bus-powered 6GB hard disk drive under its Passport Pocket brand. The 6 x 4.5 x 0.9cm, 45g unit contains a 1in, 3,600rpm HDD with a 2MB cache. It has a mean read seek time of 11ms, WD said, and a nominal average latency of 8.3ms.
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Rollerskating coppers defeated by turf

A top-notch UK crimebusting initiative - which saw London's Royal Parks Constabulary issued with in-line rollerskates - has ground to a halt after crims realised they could escape simply by scarpering across grass, the Telegraph reports.
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Panasonic Blu-ray player to cost 'under $1,500'

Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc player, the DMP-BD10, will set consumers back a whopping $1,500 when it ships in the US in September - up to $500 more than Sony's offering. Actually, Panasonic said the DMP-BD10's price will be "less than $1,500" - so our money's on a $1499.99 price tag...

Asus to ship Ageia PhysX add-in boards

Asus will begin shipping a dedicated physics processing board based on Ageia's PhysX PPU in May, the company said today. The card contains 256MB of memory dedicated to environment calculations designed to make virtual worlds feel more real to game players.
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BT, uSwitch clash over transparency of switching sites

BT has called on uSwitch to come clean about commission charges following concerns about the transparency of the online price comparison service.
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Barclays denies online confusion

Barclays Bank customers have complained they can no longer set up new payments through the website.

NTT DoCoMo preps army-style music phone

NTT DoCoMo will next month ship a music player capable of downloading songs from its 3G FOMA mobile phone network. Yes, it's a phone too, but unlike music-friendly mobiles like Motorola's Slvr and Rokr, the Music Porter X is designed to spend as much time hooked up to a hi-fi as placed in a pocket.
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Blue Peter badge privileges suspended

Turn on your TV set and reach for the consolatory home-made sweets. The BBC has given up trying to protect the sanctity of the Blue Peter badge against rotters who sell them for their privileges to the highest bidder on eBay. And it's about to be announced to the nation's children.

Apple adds noise limit to iPod firmware

Worried Junior may be listening to his or her iPod too loudly? Apple has added a user-definable volume limit to its latest iPod Nano and 5G iPod firmware. iPods sold in France and other EU countries have a mandatory volume limit, so it will interesting to see whether the update allows Euro users to turn their iPod 'up to eleven'. The updates also fixes some unspecified bugs. The new firmware is available here. ®
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Apple, Beatles spat about logos not music, says lawyer

Apple vs Apple It's the logo, stupid. That, at least, is what the Apple vs Apple case centres on if opening arguments made by Apple Corp. lawyer Geoffrey Vos QC are anything to go by. It's not about Apple Comp. selling recorded music, it's about the Mac maker promoting the business with its logo, Vos said.
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Microsoft adds Virtual Server to delay parade

Microsoft's delay culture has carried over to the Virtual Server team with an update to the server slicing product being pushed back to "early 2007."

Windows Vista under EC spotlight

Microsoft has moved to re-assure European regulators there's nothing anti-competitive going on with its delayed Windows Vista operating system.
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OSDL fires up open source welfare program

Are you an open source developer whose project is a little strapped for cash? Then Linus Torvalds' Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has good news for you.