5th > May > 2006 Archive

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Filipino judge sacked for consulting trio of mystic dwarves

A Filipino judge who "claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs" is asking to be reinstated after getting the boot for incompetence, Reuters reports.
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Wanadoo job cuts come despite assurances

Up to 2,000 jobs are to be lost in the UK at France Telecom-owned Orange and Wanadoo despite recent assurances that numbers would not be axed.
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BlackBerry MDS Studio

The recent 4.1 release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) from Research in Motion (RIM) opens the door to a new set of mobile development tools and technologies.
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C++/CLI: a paradigm too far

Stob Microsoft has been firing off some big guns in support of something called 'C++/CLI'.

Sun targets Linux developers with Java

Sun Microsystems is changing its Java license to encourage greater adoption of Java among developers on Linux, while announcing that a "monumental" release of the enterprise Java platform has been nailed down.

Computacenter returns £75m to shareholders

Computacenter today confirmed that it is returning £75m to shareholders this quarter. The reseller giant had already announced its intention to do this, but added the caveat that this was subject to the resolution of various tax matters. These have now be resolved satisfactorily.
For Sale sign detail

SOA: The future of IT or pure hype?

Reg Reader Studies There are those who proclaim Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as the future of information technology; others say it's all just hype created by the industry to drive the next wave of spending.

Innovative ways to fool people

Comment The greatest president in American history, Abraham Lincoln, is credited with uttering one of the finest sayings about human nature ever expressed: "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time." Folks in Lincoln's time seemed to be experts at fooling each other, so I'm sure Abe was speaking from experience and direct observation.

Acorn revived to launch laptop PCs

Updated That one-time pioneer of British home computing Acorn is to sprout once again. The creator of the Atom, Electron, Archimedes and BBC Micro machines, of the ARM chip company and of the RISC OS is to be revived next week as a purveyor of notebook PCs.
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Making sense of spreadsheet madness

Comment I have written in the last year or so about a number of vendors offering spreadsheet management and compliance capabilities. However, one that I had not previously come across is QTier, whose QTier-Rapor product combines spreadsheet management with spreadsheet automation. Indeed, the latter was the original focus of the product, which is perhaps why I had not previously heard of it, or perhaps because it is a relatively small British company that focuses on technology rather than marketing. I only heard about it because one of its partners, Insight Management and System Consultants, which is a specialist in the public sector, gave me a heads up.

Intel takes axe to Pentium D prices

Intel has slashed the prices of its desktop Pentium D processors by up to 50 per cent following the introduction of the 3.6GHz Pentium D 960. The chip giant also cut the prices of its Celeron D products, and tweaked what it charges for Centrino and Centrino Duo bundles.
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Pickled builders find pickled body in barrel of rum

A group of Hungarian builders who availed themselves of the contents of a 300-litre barrel of rum left in a house they were renovating eventually found out what gave the tipple its "special taste".
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BT, NTL and AOL slammed in broadband survey

Three of the UK's leading broadband providers have been slammed for being pants, according to research carried out by price comparison website uSwitch.com.
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Eccleston will play Number Six

Tech Digest He may have vanished from your Dr Who screensaver, but Christopher Eccleston isn't done with being a geek hero just yet: Doctor Nine will regenerate as Number Six in Granada's £10m remake of the 60s classic The Prisoner, confirming the El Reg story yesterday linking the in-demand thesp with the role.

Intel touts developing-world laptop

Intel yesterday unveiled its take on a low-cost laptop for the developing world - the wireless-enabled, handle-equipped, education-oriented 'Eduwise' notebook. It can run Windows or Linux, the chip giant said.
'ard Reg, 05 2006
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Cassini radar discovers space Arabia

The European Space Agency's and NASA's Saturn mission has beamed back images of shifting dunes on the surface of the giant moon Titan (see right). Cassini's radar imager found the Earth-like desert landscapes dominating huge swathes of the moon's surface near the equator.
homeless man with sign

Trojan uses smut to filch bank details

Hackers have developed a sophisticated Trojan-based attack which uses the lure of pornography to steal bank details from victims' PCs.
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O2 sniffs around Bulldog, Tiscali - report

O2 has become the latest cellco to be linked with the possible acquisition of a broadband operator. According to the Independent, the Telefonica-owned firm is eyeing Bulldog - the LLU operator owned by Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Tiscali UK.
DVD it in many colours

Downloads cripple NHS computer system

A Kent hospital's computer system flatlined for two days after staff overdosed it with music downloads, videos, photos, and games, UK tabloid The Sun reports.
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China moves to enslave Mother Nature

Chilling news from Beijing, where the meteorological overlords of Orwellian nightmare agency, the "Weather Modification Office" have seized control of clouds. Not content with being set to dominate the world economy and politics, the government has decreed even Cumulonimbus must bow to the will of the People.
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IPTV/VoD: The open fourth platform

Industry comment Just when you thought the days of the digital TV "walled garden" were over, this week Sky released its new Sky Net platform, which is almost as imaginatively titled as the new service to be released by the start-up Aggregator this year.

Dell unveils latest 'budget' notebook

Dell this week launched its latest low-cost Latitude laptop, pitching the D520 at budget-conscious users. The company also touted the machine's dual-core Intel Core Duo processor, though to make the base price you'll have to put up with a lesser, single-core Celeron M chip.
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Demon does VoIP

Demon, the ISP owned by Scottish telco Thus, has unveiled details of a broadband voice service aimed at small businesses.
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MySQL patches security vulns

MySQL has released patches for three security vulns in its open source database software. The fixes are all contained in the latest versions, so it seems sensible to start downloading now.
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Knife-wielding devil teddy bear rampages through eBay

Stop us if you've already heard this one: a terrified eBayer is attempting to offload a satanic teddy bear which, well, let's get it from the horse's mouth:

HP laptop crypto 'backdoor' lawsuit fails

An attempt by convicted felon Michael Crooker to sue HP for false advertising over the security of its laptop technology has floundered. Crooker, 52, from Agawam, Massachusetts, decided to buy a Compaq laptop in September 2002 largely because of a feature called DriveLock, which prevents a hard drive from working unless users submit the appropriate password.

Sony to ship 50GB Blu-ray recordables in June

Sony will ship blank dual-layer Blu-ray Disc media in June, the consumer electronics giant said today. But anyone hoping the arrival of 50GB discs will prove more economic than the now-shipping 25GB, single-layer discs is going to be disappointed.

Zombies attack Seattle hospital

A California hacker has pleaded guilty to disrupting computer systems - including the network of a hospital - through a malware-fueled attack designed to install adware on infected PCs.

ATI unwraps $299 Radeon X1900 GT

ATI has launched the anticipated Radeon X1900 GT graphics chip. The company's board partners were quick to follow the announcement - which had been expected to take place next week - by releasing products based on the new part.
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Scientists track weather with mobile masts

New research suggests mobile 3G masts offer a cheap and accurate weather monitoring network.
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Aussie paints John Howard with John Thomas

NSFW An Oz artist is wowing crowds at a Perth porn expo with his portrait of PM John Howard, Ananova reports.
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C++ divided by CLI

At the ACCU conference recently, one wag in the audience referred to Microsoft’s C++/CLI as “C++ divided by CLI”, which neatly summed up the prevailing mood. The 10,000 classes in .NET can’t work with ISO C++, and you may ask why anyone in their right mind would try to bring out a platform in this day and age that couldn’t talk directly to C++.
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Crap crim caged for four years

You can't polish a turd, they say. As mugger David Carlisle has discovered, you can't pinch one either.

Gowers warned over patent review

Patent attorneys rarely let their sang-froid slip. But this week the British Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) did just that when it warned the Treasury-commissioned Gowers Review of Intellectual Property to watch its step.

'Spamford' Wallace fined $4m over spyware biz

Sanford 'Spamford' Wallace has been fined $4m and ordered to restrict the deceptive spyware practices of his company, Smartbot.Net, after losing a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.

ATI Radeon X1800 GTO vs Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT

GPU face-off Every new generation of high-end graphics cards heralds a speed bump for the mid-range products. In the past, I've been disappointed with many of the mid-range cards - there's just not enough peformance there to justify the £150-200 price point. It's about time we get some decent performance out of the not-stupidly-expensive line-ups and this time round both the red and the green teams have come up with the goods...
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How secrecy designs waste and failure into Govt contracts

Government secrecy over the outsourcing deals it does with private firms is self-defeating, and creates a culture of laxity where officials can make mistakes or abuse their power with impunity, says a report.
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AOL Europe kicks off strategic review

Time Warner has hired bankers Citigroup to conduct a strategic review of its AOL Europe business as part of fresh plans to expand its operation.