28th > April > 2006 Archive

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Ballmer blames bad guys for Microsoft pricing

Steve Ballmer is blaming software pirates for the premium pricing Microsoft charges on products like Office and Windows. But he speculated that the advent of web-based services could see a lowering of Microsoft's charges.
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Microsoft costs creep up, ahead of launches

Microsoft is keeping mum about how Windows Vista and Office 2007 will affect its coming fiscal year, but conceded investments to promote these, plus other new activities including online services, are pumping up corporate spending.
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'Unbreakable'? Software? Harr!

As sometimes happens, I got an email from a reader after writing a piece for Reg Developer. This time, the piece in question was Testing assumptions and the big stack and, as perhaps you will see, the email brought a guffaw, and then a thought.

Nintendo splashes Revolution with 'Wii'

It's no joke - Nintendo today renamed its next-generation console 'Wii'. As in 'we', apparently, but in school playgrounds across the UK - and probably everywhere else in the English-speaking world too - they'll be sniggering and adding a second 'e' to the 'we'.
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ID Card database to be used as population register

The Government announced last week that data from the National Identity Register (NIR) will also be used as an adult population register for a range of novel data sharing functions.

BT buys Dabs.com

BT is to flog computers, TVs, cameras, and other digital gear after it announced today that it has bought Dabs.com.

Breach case could curtail web flaw finders

Security researchers and legal experts have voiced concern this week over the prosecution of an information technology professional for computer intrusion after he allegedly breached a university's online application system while researching a flaw without the school's permission.
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Sales of handheld devices continue to drop

Sales of handheld devices are continuing to fall, according to new figures issued by research firm IDC. The organisation's latest worldwide Handheld Qview report reveals the total number of devices shipped during the first quarter of 2006 totaled 1.5m, a drop of 22.3 per cent year-on-year.

Intel chief to chop workforce?

Intel may be about to take an axe to its employee roster as the chip giant strives to become "leaner, more agile and more efficient", the goal of a major restructure announced by CEO Paul Otellini last night. It will be the firm's biggest shake-up since the mid-1980s, he claimed.
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Smart mobile device market up 55%

Over 16.7m 'smart mobile devices' were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2006, up 55 per cent on the same period a year ago. According to research from Canalys, the Asia-Pacific region has now overtaken Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in sales of smart mobile devices. Asia-Pacific represented 46 per cent of all shipments during Q1 2006, compared to 39 per cent for EMEA and 15 per cent for the Americas.

Info commission calls on business to protect bio data

The UK's Information Commissioner has called for businesses to pull their socks up and protect their data.
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ID cards without contact

The Home Office has indicated that it is likely to adopt a "contactless" form of smart card for the National Identity Card.
Kablenet, 28 2006
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Wanadoo to kick off Orange makeover in May

Wanadoo is to complete its second rebranding in two years when it changes its name to Orange sometime during the next month.
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BBC seeks 'Digital Assassins'

What if they held a digital media revolution - and nobody came?
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Net Neutrality bid gone for good

The final attempt this session to give the United States regulator more discretion over the deployment, and potential abuse of broadband, has failed.
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Da Vinci Code judgment decoded

Disappointingly, the hidden message inserted by a High Court judge into his ruling on the Da Vinci Code copyright trial has already been solved. Mr Justice Peter Smith's code, reported yesterday, has been cracked by a London lawyer.

Road warrior Wi-Fi

iPass, the company that pioneered straightforward dial-up support for roadwarriors worldwide, and which recently bought its main rival in the business, GoRemote (known to many as Gric), is seeking to take that customer base to the next generation of connectivity: the Wi-Fi hotspot.
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Mexico set to join space race

Mexican lawmakers are in the process of setting up a national space agency, according to Reuters. The lower house in Mexico City has given the green light to a proposal that could see rocketry in development within the year.
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BOFH: That security thang

Episode 16 Episode 16 "Excellent work on that security thing" the new Boss burbles happily. "A hacker would be lucky to see our web pages now, let alone hack them, the system is so secure!" "Security is a journey, not a destination," the PFY nods, exuding a Zen-like vibe. "Like Slough," I add. "No, that's 'a craphole, not a …

Sony to bring net-based TV-to-PSP streaming to Europe

Sony will next month launch its LocationFree TV (LFTV) service in the UK and other key European territories, allowing PlayStation Portable users to receive television programmes transmitted from the home and out across the internet. Mac users are to get access to the service too.
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Wanadoo LLU service goes titsup

Thousands of Wanadoo UK customers were left without broadband after the ISP's broadband service went titsup yesterday.
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The black art of software estimation

Book review Steve McConnell of Code Complete fame, is not joking when he describes software estimation as a black art, though even then he's being generous.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Bill Gates' letter to hobbyists (en Français, 2006)

EU vs MS Comment European Court justice Cooke gave Microsoft's lawyers a tonic yesterday, by raising concerns about the transfer of Microsoft's intellectual property.

AMD Opteron CPUs hit by heat stroke

Exclusive AMD today admitted it has inadvertently allowed a number of 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz single-core Opteron x52 and x54 processors that could corrupt data under extreme conditions to escape into the wild.

The summing up

MS v EC It’s nearly over…
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Comment on this story and we'll sue you

Letters The word on the street this week is: be careful what you say, especially on the internet. It all kicked off with a Hamburg court ruling that forum moderators were legally responsible for posts. Cue general outrage:

Mio A701 GPS smart phone

Review Satellite navigation is a must-have these days. Established brands like TomTom, Garmin, Navman and Magellan are being challenged by a wide range of companies. Mio was early to market with competing products and even its own route-planning software, although until now none of its devices have sported phone features. Enter the Mio A701, a smart phone with a fully integrated GPS receiver...
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Scientists advance bug-eyed CCTV tech

US scientists have developed minuscule compound lenses that will allow insect-style panoramic vision. The research, reported in Science, was carried out by Professor Luke Lee and colleagues at the University of California, with backing from DARPA, the US government's defence research organ.
homeless man with sign

'Pentagon hacker' prepares for verdict

Infosec Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who's due to hear whether he will be extradited to the US on 10 May, rates his chances of avoiding trial in the States as only "50/50".
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Orange animals not on endangered list

Reports that Orange's laughably misguided “Animals” campaign is to be binned after just two months are not true, according to the operator.
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Bulldog doubles broadband speeds

Bulldog has cut the ribbon on a faster broadband service that provides speeds of up to 16 meg.

HCI lobby's plea for mercy

The industry association of deserted HCI traders has presented proposals to resuscitate their intravenous tax subsidy before a commons debate on Tuesday.

Computerland pleased with itself

Everything's on course for a celebratory sherry at Computerland this year, according to the firm's pre-close trading statement.

OFT probes e-shopping

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is conducting a major fact-finding study to discover whether consumers receive enough protection when shopping online. Although more and more people are shopping online, some consumers are still concerned about matters such as payment security, fraud, and delivery problems.
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Sci-fi’s old men rule the TV roost

Geek TV All the latest TV goss from TV Scoop
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O2 hooks up with Disney for new 'family friendly' MVNO

Mickey Mouse and his chums are to launch a mobile phone service in the UK as part of a new service aimed at families.
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Magic key to reveal future UK lottery numbers

This has got to be worth a tenner of anybody's money: a Magic key which will reveal future UK lottery winning numbers:

TDK cracks 200GB Blu-ray Disc problem

TDK has gone ahead and produced the 200GB Blu-ray Disc it announced a few weeks ago that it was working on. And while it appears to have failed to compress four standard dual-layer 50GB discs together into a single unit, it has nonetheless come up with a novel alternative.

Intel to offer new architecture every two years

Roadmap Intel will ship 'Conroe' in July and 'Merom' in August, CEO Paul Otellini said yesterday, illustrating his announcement with a slide using the icon of new buddy Apple's iCal application to indicate the ship dates.