2nd > May > 2006 Archive

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Feds ready to send robotic car army to the streets

We may all soon long for the days when a driver distracted by a cell phone or even a few pints was the most dangerous thing on the road. That's because the US government plans to let an army of unmanned vehicles loose in a city next year.
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Napster sets music 'free' with five-song barrier

Unable to make even the smallest dent in Apple's iTunes music store, Napster has turned to drastic tactics. Napster CEO Chris Gorog this week stunned the online music world by acquiring the Steve Jobs reality distortion field.
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Java EE clustering

Enterprise-oriented systems must often be both scalable to deal with changing performance requirements and available 24x7 (or at least very close to this level of availability).
John Hunt, 02 2006
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Making pigs from sausages

Comment Imagine the following situation. Many years ago, your company commissioned a computer system. It is all working perfectly but you want to upgrade it in ways that could not be conceived when it was designed. You may, for example, want management reports or data input via the internet. Then again, perhaps you would like to interface to a new database. Often it is necessary to bite the bullet and port your system onto a new platform.

Google accuses Microsoft on IE7 search

Google has made informal complaints to competition authorities in Europe and the US about default settings in Microsoft's IE7.
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Consumers warned off pre-standard 802.11n purchases

Standards bodies move far more slowly than the market for fast wireless products, and the concept of the "pre-standard" or "standards-ready" product has become a common one. Such products are built to the official specifications, but may be a year or more ahead of an official certification programme for that spec.

Ballmer sends 'don't panic' email to staff

Steve Ballmer sent staff a reassuring email on Friday, after watching the company's share price take its biggest dive in a year. Microsoft shares fell from over $27 on Thursday to just over $24 on Friday - a year low.
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F-22 Raptor swallows pilot

A hapless US Air Force pilot had to be physically cut free from the cockpit of his F-22A Raptor when the canopy resolutely refused to open, Flight International reports.

Visto sues Seven, targets RIM

Wireless email specialist Visto has sued Research in Motion (RIM), claiming the BlackBerry maker has infringed a number of its patents. At the same time, it let another player in the push email market, Intellisync, off the hook.
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NTL tinkers with broadband products

NTL is tinkering with a couple of its broadband products to bring them in line with those offered by Telewest.
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Chinese suit stumps $25k for MiG-21

A Chinese businessman has stumped up $24,730 for a MiG-21 fighter punted via eBay, Beijing News reports via AP.
fingers pointing at man

Bounced spam messages hammer corporate networks

More than 50 per cent of the largest US corporations have experienced mail service outages or delays because of bounced spam messages targeting their networks, according to a study by gateway security firm Ironport Systems.

Amazon ditches Google for Microsoft

Amazon has ended its relationship with Google and is now using MSN to provide search results on its site.

ATI buys Bitboys

ATI has acquired Bitboys. The Finnish graphics chip developer now focuses on handset GPU designs but is perhaps best known for pledges made in the late 1990s to ship desktop graphics cards that it claimed would massively out-perform rivals from the likes of ATI and Nvidia.

Apple to boost iTunes downloads with BitTorrent?

Apple's next major operating system release - aka 'Leopard' - will feature built-in BitTorrent support to speed up the company's eagerly anticipated movie download service, it has been alleged. If true, it would allow iTunes Music Store customers to grab video data not only from the online shop but also from other customers who've already purchased the movie.

Acer and Hitachi target Euro SMBs

Acer is pushing Hitachi Data Systems storage kit to smaller companies in Italy, and will expand the program to all the major European countries over the next 18 months.
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The Cloud intros flat-fee Wi-Fi tariff

The Cloud will introduce a new flat-fee tariff for its Wi-Fi service later this summer that slashes the cost of accessing the net on the move.

Helio targets messaging-hungry youth

Helio, the US content-centric mobile phone service, has gone on sale today, pitching two 3G handsets, a messaging-oriented airtime package and online blogging tools to young, tech-savvy consumers. It hopes to sign up 3m of them in the next three years.

Acer extends 17in laptop line

Acer has revamped its Aspire notebook line-up with four 17in models based on 1,440 x 900 displays pitched at mainstream home and office buyers, and punters looking for a large laptop on a small budget.
'ard Reg, 02 2006

Samsung slimline slider to offer Bluetooth stereo audio

Samsung will this month offer its latest slimline slider phone to European consumers, pitching the 1.6cm-thick, "easy-to-grip" device's Bluetooth 1.2-based wireless stereo playback and 80MB of on-board music storage at "the modernist and music appreciator in you".

UK retail security flap exposes 2,000 credit cards

An estimated 2,000 credit card details have been exposed by a security breach at a UK retailer. Affected users learned of the breach via an alert from MasterCard. They were informed that their card provider or bank was suspending potentially compromised accounts and issuing new accounts and cards to holders.

'Smart' phishing attack targets BoI

Bank of Ireland customers have been hit by yet another phishing scam in the form of an email asking users to update their security details.
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MS in illegal music download shocker

Back in 2004, Microsoft big cheese Steve "Ballistic" Ballmer reportedly claimed that "the most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'." - in the process extolling the virtue of Windows DRM which, as we all know, completely prevents piracy of any sort, anywhere, ever.

First 'Super 3G' phones coming July?

BenQ Mobile has brought forward the release of its first mobile phone to support the HSDPA data speed boosting extension to 3G technology. According to online reports, BenQ's EF91 will ship in Europe in July courtesy of a deal struck with T-Mobile.

Samsung hails single-chip 7in LCD panel

Samsung has created what it claims is the LCD industry's first single-chip, 800 x 480 colour panel made using amorphous silicon and measuring 7in in the diagonal. Interestingly, the company's Q1 UMPC, due any day now, sports a 7in, 800 x 480 display.

Netsky-P tops virus charts - again

Sophos’ latest malware top ten shows W32 Netsky-P and W32.Zafi-B battling it out for top spot.

Treasury not changing work PC rules

The Treasury is denying that changes to tax rules will mean people paying tax to use their work computer for personal chores.
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Windows Movie Maker 2: Zero to Hero

Cash'n'Carrion You've seen the promises in the advertising: Microsoft's free Movie Maker 2 will make it simple to capture, edit and share your home movies. We agree, but how do you know where to start, or where you're going?
fingers pointing at man

Hackers control bot client over P2P

Security watchers are warning of a new worm that's propagating over instant messenger networks run by both AOL and MSN. Nugache-A is also spreading (albeit modestly) as an infected email that uses a variety of well-known Windows exploits to infect vulnerable Windows PCs.

Iqua Snake wraps stereo headset around car seat

Iqua's Snake has to be the oddest-looking in-car Bluetooth accessory we've seen, but there's a method to this particular madness. It may appear to be a hi-tech snorkel tube, but it's a microphone and speaker rig that clips onto your car seat for handsfree communications.

iSoft suffers NHS fever

Health service supplier iSoft warned on Friday that profits would be half the most optimistic City estimates after a key NHS customer failed to award iSoft a contract extension before its 30 April year-end.

Nvidia serves up free Gelato

Nvidia has opened its Gelato 3D rendering software to all, releasing a free-of-charge version of the once high-end only application that will run on any Nvidia GPU - from the GeForce 5200 upwards.
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Ofcom steps into Carphone row with BT

The Carphone Warehouse has suffered a setback to its ambitious plans to offer cut price broadband and phone services. A draft ruling by regulator Ofcom has failed to uphold a request by Carphone to slash the cost of migrating large numbers of users to its new service.

Ancient worm runs riot at Infosec

Infosec may have hosted mass of secure wireless networks last week, but that didn't mean everything was secure.