28th June 2006 Archive

The Register breaking news

Child porn control goes too far, says privacy chief

The Information Commissioner advised the Home Office against a key measure of its recent Data Protection Act amendment giving banks the power to administer an account without the knowledge of the account holders.
The Register breaking news

eBay.ie introduces 'Skype Me' function

Buyers and sellers cruising the dedicated Irish eBay site can now haggle using Skype free internet voice calls and instant messaging service. Sellers will be able to include a "Skype Me" button on the eBay.ie listings page accessible to buyers.

MySpace case opens security can of worms

Opinion A fourteen-year old girl is suing MySpace for £30m after she was allegedly assaulted by a man she met on the popular teen hangout site.
For Sale sign detail

NHS IT charade re-played

The £12.4bn National Programme for IT might not have been good value for money, said the National Audit Office on the publication of its report on the scheme only 10 days ago.
The Register breaking news

Germany registers 10 millionth .de domain

Germany has registered its 10 millionth domain name, making the .de top-level domain the second largest in the world following dotcom.

Apple patches Tiger

Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.4.7, the latest update for the Mac maker's 'Tiger' operating system. The list of tweaks is as long as your arm, and the update weighs in at a 131MB download for Intel-based systems and a more modest 64MB file for PowerPC Macs.
The Register breaking news

Internet firms to crack down on child porn

A group of US internet giants have come together to form an alliance in a bid to combat child pornography.

Acer unveils 'pure, clean' laptop

Acer has unveiled its first all-white notebook, the MacBook-like TravelMate 3020. According to the company, the colour scheme conveys "images of pureness, cleanliness and maximum lightness". Apparently.
The Register breaking news

The application migration market

Comment Data migration is usually considered to be a homogeneous market. It isn't. There are, in fact, two major types of data migration: migration from one database to another and migration from one application to another.
The Register breaking news

Clowns attack US nuke missile silo

Three anti-nuke activists dressed as clowns broke into a Minuteman III facility close to the White Shield, North Dakota, earlier this week and set about a missile silo's cover with hammers, daubed a suitably pacifist slogan on said lid and then began to eat gravel when confronted by security operatives, Defensetech.org reports.

Intel ships top-of-the-line Core Duo

Intel has added the 2.33GHz Core Duo T2700 mobile microprocessor to its list of available CPUs after quietly launching the part this month.

Nintendo preps pink DS Lite

Nintendo's Japanese staff are cruising for chicks, apparently. Certainly, the games console pioneer has women in mind as the audience for the latest DS Lite handheld. Having shipped white, and both sky and navy blue versions of the console, next month it will release a "noble pink" version.
The Register breaking news

Spitzer spies jets of matter around neutron star

Researchers at the University of Southampton have discovered a neutron star* that is producing jets of matter at its poles. Previously, it was thought that this behaviour was exclusive to black holes, specifically those in X-Ray binary systems.
The Register breaking news

State officials join net neutrality scrum

Two US states have been dragged into the net neutrality battle as the dispute widens to state-level officials. Later this week a Senate panel will vote on net neutrality legislation, and two state attorneys general have lent their support to a neutral internet.
The Register breaking news

Killer asteroid hunter takes first snaps

The first of four powerful telescopes which will eventually be capable of locating 99 per cent of potentially-threatening near-Earth objects (NEOs) bigger than 300 metres has captured its first test images, New Scientist reports.

AMD to back FB-DIMM when it's as cheap as DDR 2?

AMD will bring support for fully-buffered memory to its Opteron processor line-up in 2008, the timeframe it reckons the FB-DIMM products will have fallen in price to about what we pay for DDR 2 nowadays.
The Register breaking news

Governments to decide future of net

ICANN Marrakech In an historic shift of power, international governments will this week argue that they should take the lead role in "public policy" issues on the Net - effectively deciding the future course of much of the internet.
The Register breaking news

Bad music and full mouths

ICANN Marrakech "Cause baby, I feel wonderful tonight..." The man singing this is lying. He doesn't feel wonderful at all. He feels like a musician who has been reduced to playing old-favourites to a small bunch of indifferent tourists, sat tapping away behind two sythesisers, only one of which he ever plays, but both of which are bathed in bright pink light. Welcome to Marrakech.

MS re-spins WinFS

The man who blogged that Microsoft is killing WinFS is back, applying some corrective spin to reassure developers that Microsoft has not lost its direction.
The Register breaking news

NHS mobile data security is pants

Sensitive medical and personal details are in danger of exposure because of lax data security among health sector workers, according to a new survey.
The Register breaking news

Beer better for you than wine: official

A beer specialist has told food scientists a swift ale is a better choice than fermented grape juice for health-conscious booze hounds.
The Register breaking news

EC proposes massive telco shake-up

The European Commission (EC) could be on a collision course with Europe's biggest telcos after publicly backing the idea of breaking-up incumbent operators.
The Register breaking news

Long argument lists - who needs 'em?

Long argument lists are a pain. Using them can be a test of memory or an exercise in guess work. In recent years, attention has increasingly been paid to the usability of user interfaces, exploring how users actually use — or work around — user interfaces in practice, tracking how long certain tasks take or how many errors are made in completing a task. Similar considerations should apply to programmatic interfaces.

Dell probes incendiary laptop incident

Dell is investigating allegations that one of its laptops underwent spontaneous combustion in Japan earlier this month. Pictures purporting to show the machine in conflagrante, as it were, popped up on the internet last week.

Man cuffed in Bangalore call centre scam probe

Police in Bangalore say they have arrested a man allegedly involved in "financial scam" operating from an HSBC call centre, the BBC reports.

Antec Performance One P150 'super quiet' chassis

Review The way we all see our PCs has changed over the last three years. It's not all just the performance inside that matters, it's also about what's on the outside. The change in the chassis manufacturers' portfolios has seen the introduction of HTPC case as well as the newer generation BTX format...
The Register breaking news

Beta Pictoris accused of harbouring planets

The Hubble Space Telescope has found circumstantial evidence for a Jupiter-sized orbiting nearby star, Beta Pictoris, in a new image showing two dust disks orbiting the star.

Tosh pledges 4GB SDHC card in September

Toshiba will next September release a 4GB SDHC memory card around the world, the Japanese giant said today. Based on the SD Card 2.0 spec, the 4GB card uses the FAT 32 file system and meets the standard's 4MBps Class 4 speed setting, though Toshiba said it will write at up to 6MBps.
Hard Reg, 28 2006

IT's so hard, say SMEs

Small businesses are finding it hard keep pace with changes in technology. At the same time, though, SMEs accept that IT is of value even if firms are not even able to make full use of it.

MS fixes phone-home nagware

Microsoft has patched a controversial nagware update that "phoned home" every time Windows started. Redmond has also issued an advisory with instructions on how to remove the software.

Alienware beams in Core Duo laptop trio

Alienware today said it will soon ship a set of three new notebooks based on Intel's Core Duo processors available with 17, 15.4 or 14.1in widescreen displays driven by a choice of Intel, ATI or Nvidia graphics chips. LAN party-ready they all ship with 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet.

Exposed: techniques to silence Microsoft 'haters'

Embattled Microsoft partners have been issued a handy guide on how to deal with "grumbling" customers and address annoying questions about costs, security, and repeated delays affecting Microsoft products.

Ellison withdraws $100m Harvard gift

Following the resignation of Harvard president Larry Summers, Oracle boss Larry Ellison has decided not to donate over $100m to the university after all.
The Register breaking news

What's happened to the wireless running bra?

A true running geek has a pulse rate monitor like any running freak; but it has to talk to a running computer. Normally, to do that, you have to wear a chest strap to hold the heart sensor. So the world's joggers got quite excited last August when Adidas and Polar announced that the heart monitor of the future would be fashionable. It would be your running vest itself - or your bra, if you wear one.

Apple adjusts 17in MacBook Pro's fans

Apple has posted a firmware update for its 17in MacBook Pro. The patch adjusts the machine's System Management Controller (SMC), a device that monitors and manages Intel-based Macs' power-related functions.
The Register breaking news

Nokia sues Chinese 'copycats'

Nokia is suing two Chinese phone manufacturers and a number of distributors for copying its designs. Nokia also issued a cease and desist request in an attempt to stop the sale and distribution of the phones immediately.
The Register breaking news

UV breakthrough promises cheaper chips

Researchers are claiming a breakthrough which could revolutionise how microchips are manufactured, potentially slashing their cost.

Palm pays $22.5m to end Xerox patent fight

Palm is to cough up $22.5m to Xerox to settle a long-running patent spat over who really owns the Graffiti character entry system Palm used to bundle with its PDAs.

Medical Excess loses records on 1m customers

Health insurance firm Medical Excess one-upped the laptop loss crowd by forking over an entire server with personal information on close to 1m people.
The Register breaking news

Intel gives up on world's biggest chip market. Why?

Comment Intel's name looks forever to be associated with the PC, now that it's ended a nine year dalliance with the phone business. The firesale of its 1,400 strong XScale processor division, and the write down of its cellular investments, means that Intel has passed up the chance to play in the largest volume chip market of them all. There are 2bn mobile phones in the world, and in many emerging markets the phone is the only computing device likely to achieve ubiquity.
The Register breaking news

EC's big stick getting bigger

With unnamed sources once again leaking the European Commission is "close" to following through and actually fining Microsoft millions of dollars for breaching antitrust laws, it comes as a surprise to learn Microsoft could actually be getting off light.

IBM and HP monopolize Top 397 supercomputers list

The latest Top 500 list of super-computing wins for IBM and HP has been released. Okay, it's really meant to be the list of Top 500 supercomputers in the world by all vendors. In reality, however, the list has degraded into a showcase for the world's two largest server companies.

White House calls for improved laptop security

In Brief Information security breaches over recent months have prompted the White House to issue recommendations calling for the encryption of data on laptops. New policy guidelines from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also call for agencies to introduce two-factor authentication in securing access to databases within 45 days. Government bodies will also be required to keep a log of information downloaded from databases and verify that redundant data is purged after 90 days.