20th > July > 2006 Archive

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Orange puts squeeze on customers

What is it with cellular operators these days? One minute they’re calling you up and offering you ADSL for free, the next they’re billing you for services which used to be free and chucking in charges where there used to be none.
Bill Ray, 20 2006

French MoD questions OpenOffice security

The French Ministry of Defense has reportedly raised a red flag on OpenOffice, saying the open source desktop suite is less secure than Microsoft's product.

Apple and Juniper results overshadowed by SEC

The shadow of an SEC probe into irregular share allocations by public companies loomed over both Apple Computer and Juniper Networks Wednesday, as they reported their latest financial results.
The Register breaking news

Geologists have ringside seats for an ocean's birth

A rift that opened in Africa after a massive earthquake last September could be the beginning of a new Ocean, scientists say. The crack in the ground appeared along a fault line in the Afar desert in Ethiopia.
The Register breaking news

Vodafone rewrites customers' calendars

When cellular network operators aren't trying to find new and interesting things to charge for they are making sure that they don't have to wait until the end of the month to get their money.
Bill Ray, 20 2006

Nvida working on switcheable GPU tech for laptops?

Nvidia is working on technology that would allow notebooks equipped with an integrated GPU and a dedicated graphics chip to flip between the two engines at will. Even though the system doesn't appear to allow the two GPUs to render co-operatively, it's claimed Nvidia will dub the technology 'SLI Power'.
fingers pointing at man

eBay losing its 'magic' - CEO

Has the shine come off online auctions? eBay chief Meg Whitman has acknowledged that the site has lots some of its "magic", as the balance tilts away from home sellers to professional retailers.

Leadtek readies Nvidia 7600-based AGP boards

Leadtek will next month ship a pair of AGP graphics cards based on Nvidia's GeForce 7600 family of GPUs, pitching the parts at PC users who have yet to make the transition to PCI Express but still want high-speed graphics.
The Register breaking news

NHS has another stab at records

A high-powered taskforce has been assigned to tackle problems with the overdue care records system, the core element of the troublesome £12.4bn National Programme for IT.

Intel speeds quad-core CPU roll-out to Q4

Intel's quad-core processors 'Kentsfield' and 'Clovertown' may debut sooner than expected. Originally roadmapped for an H1 2007 introduction, the chips will now appear in Q4 2006, the chip giant's CEO, Paul Otellini, indicated yesterday.

Palm 3G Euro Treo to ship 'September 2006'

The Vodafone-branded Euro-centric 3G Palm Treo will ship in September, Reg Hardware has learned. When the device was announced last week, Palm and Vodafone would only say the device will debut before the end of the year.
The Register breaking news

Virtual – the new reality for developers

“The life of the developer has just become a lot harder,” said Sharad Singhal, Distinguished Technologist HP Labs, Palo Alto, “and the reason is that the assumptions they make about their environment are not necessarily true any more.”
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Moto makes billion buck profit

Motorola made $1.38bn profit in the quarter ending June on sales of $10.88bn - both record numbers for the company.
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Vietnam to offer 'healthy sex' website

The Vietnamese government has decided to combat the country's rising divorce and abortion rates and "rampant prostitution" by offering citizens the chance to download educational "healthy sexual intercourse" movies from the internet, Reuters reports.

Daewoo dips into UMPC pool

South Korea's Daewoo - probably better known over here for its cars than its computers - is to follow Samsung into the ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) arena: the firm's Lucoms subsidiary has announced the Solo M1.
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Voice of the Daleks dies at 82

The man who originally gave voice to the Daleks has died at the age of 82, The Stage reports.
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Excel scientific and engineering cookbook

Book review Most people have a schizophrenic attitude to Excel, seeing it as “trivial” because they can use it with almost no training, but too difficult to use on more meaty problems. By way of response, David Bourg delivers a set of recipes that cook up some increasingly non trivial problems.

Macs get Windows Mobile 5.0 gadget sync support

Synchronisation software specialist Mark/Space has brought Windows Mobile 5.0 support to its Mac OS X-based utility The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile. The tool runs natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.
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Microsoft steps on recruitment consultant

A Microsoft plan that involves undercutting the recruitment consultants that feed skills into its sales channel has caused particular alarm for a recruiter that is already operating under the name the software giant had wanted for its own service.
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Child abuse website takedown delays can take years

Only one in 500 (0.2 per cent) of child abuse images on the net are hosted in the UK, down from 18 per cent in 1997.
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Amnesty calls for action on China

Amnesty International is calling on internet users to join its campaign to reclaim the web as a place of freedom.
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Boffins use hypnosis to induce déjà vu

A post graduate student at Leeds University claims to have replicated the phenomenon of déjà vu in the laboratory.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Hard drive shipments soar in Q1

The global hard drive market is in rude health, according to figures from analysts iSuppli. Shipments in Q1 2006 were up 16.5 per cent on the same period in 2005.

Wi-Fi Skype phones to connect this month

Taiwan's Edge-Core will ship its first Wi-Fi phone with on-board Skype software at the end of the month, the company said today. The gadget uses Wi-Fi's Wireless Multimedia (WMM) add-on technology to enhance call quality.

ABN Amro introduces voice recognition

ABN Amro is to introduce voice recoginition for its customers, the Dutch bank announced today. Customers in the Netherlands can soon be identified over the phone without the need for passwords and PIN codes.

MXI Outbacker MXP 40GB biometric hard drive

Review It used to be sufficient just to punch in a password to prove you have a right to read to the information your trying to access, but faster processors and smarter crackers means such methods are falling from favour, especially among those with very hush-hush information to guard. Instead, they're turning to biometrics - factors unique to an individual - to verify users' identities, and products like the Outbacker mobile hard drive are being equipped with fingerprint scanners accordingly...
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PlusNet hit by storm in a forum

PlusNet's marketing director seems to have lost patience with posters slagging off his company in the forums at ADSLguide.
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Carbon trading for all will save the planet!

Analysis David Miliband is widely viewed as quite the cleverest of the younger generation of New Labour Ministers, a fast riser headed for greater things, not excluding the top job. But puzzling over the text of his speech extolling the virtues of personal carbon allowance swipe-cards, one begins to suspect that maybe he's not so smart after all. Doesn't this man know any economists? Hasn't he had a word with anybody involved in keeping the credit card networks airborne? And secure?
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Channel Five to air cryonic freezing

Channel Five is to broadcast a documentary on the cryonic freezing of a terminally-ill cancer victim, The Guardian reports.
graph up

Conservative council snubs private sector

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council has opted to keep its struggling benefits services in-house after assessing the outsourcing ventures of other councils and coming to the conclusion that the the private sector was not up to the job.
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US drunks face abuse from talking urinal

Drunks in Nassau County, New York, are advised that the traditional dash to the john, normally accompanied only by sighs of relief and cries of "jeez, that feels better" may in future be interrupted by public messages broadcast from talking urinals.
The Register breaking news

Cassini finds land on Titan

New radar images sent back from the Cassini spacecraft have revealed an Australia-sized land mass on Saturn's moon, Titan. The continent is in a region known as Xanadu, but readers are asked to kindly refrain from any Olivia Newton-John references.

PC growth dives during World Cup

Zidane, Rooney and the rest put the boot into PC vendors in the second quarter with unit shipments knocked off course as punters tuned into the World Cup.
Joe Fay, 20 2006
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Trojan poses as Google Toolbar

In brief Virus writers have developed a Trojan downloader attack that poses as an offer for the latest edition of Google's Toolbar, the popular search tool. Spam messages that began circulating on Wednesday attempt to trick users into visiting a maliciously constructed website, disguised to resemble the genuine Google Toolbar site, reports UK-based net security firm SurfControl.
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US 419 victim shoots preacher husband

A row over money which provoked a US woman to shoot dead her husband may have been exacerbated by the couple's fleecing by 419 scammers, AP reports.
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Multivalue datatypes

Editors blog Mark Whitehorn's recent article on multivalue data types in Access (here) sure attracted some comments.

PowerColor to ship HDMI, HDCP X1600 board next week

Tul has become the latest graphics card maker to launch a board supporting HDMI. The company's PowerColor-branded board is based on an ATI Radeon X1600-class GPU and incorporates an HDCP anti-piracy crypto chip for full HD readiness.

Medion preps personalised portable PC

Centrino notebook for a mere 400 quid, anyone? That's the deal Germany's Medion is offering British buyers next month when Woolworths begins selling its latest machine. Buy direct and you get the chance to have your favourite picture or logo fitted on the lid.

Microsoft so very, very proud of its ties to open source Xen

Analysis Few people outside of the server virtualization debate have encountered the mutual dislike that Microsoft and VMware have for each other. However, the spat between the two software makers has started edging closer to the general tech public due to events transpiring this week. And this is the kind of squabble that you want to start watching because both companies have abandoned subtle jibes in favor of blunt smacks to the face.

Capita finds new contracts 'pleasing'

Capita notched up record contract wins for the seven months of 2006, the firm's chairman Rod Aldridge OBE noted today in the last set of results he will report to city before he steps down.
The Register breaking news

CIO wanted - must be good at fixing broken ID card schemes

The ID scheme is the most obvious of the Home Office's IT headaches, but it's by no means the only one. The Immigration and Nationality Directorate's recent discovery of up to 450,000 records associated with asylum seekers speaks volumes about the state (or indeed the very existence) of the asylum and immigration database, while serial failures in passing simple pieces of data between departments and agencies indicates systemic IT failure. Even if you conceded the ID scheme was dead now, you would not be able to fix the Home Office without fixing all the rest of the IT.
Cat 5 cable

SEC outs itself in case against ex-Brocade CEO

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to have revealed its intentions to go after former Brocade CEO Greg Reyes. The commission earlier today announced a press conference in San Francisco via a covertly named Word file dubbed "brocademedia.doc".

SEC hits former Brocade CEO first in operation 'Options Fiasco'

You can slap an apron on Greg Reyes and hand him a rolling pin. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just turned the former Brocade CEO into the Martha Stewart of the options expensing scandal.
The Register breaking news

MySpace faces royalty challenge

MySpace should set aside some of its revenues into a pool to compensate musicians, says an industry group.
The Register breaking news

Nokia bounds along in Q2

Mobile phone market leader Nokia showed a strong Q2 recording a profit of €1.14bn ($1.44bn) on revenues of €9.83bn ($12.42bn).

AMD delivers on promise of Q2 disappointment

AMD did everything it promised during the second quarter. The company underwhelmed investors, while posting healthier results than rival Intel.

Investors' hopes rise as Microsoft's Q4 profit falls

Microsoft today erased investor worries over a 24 per cent drop in fourth quarter profits by announcing a massive stock buyback program and bullish results for its fiscal year.