15th > August > 2006 Archive

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Why Google is right to rebuke brand abuse

Opinion Google has been accused of lacking a sense of humour after setting its brand police on publishers who used its name as a verb. But the company has to protect its name.
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Ofcom finds the generation gap

Ofcom research has found that spending on communications equipment is falling - for the first time in five years.
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BT email demands accelerated convergence

Here's a real beauty for those of you who like your management lingo straight out of the Strategy Boutique Newspeak dictionary: a slighty over-excited email demanding an immediate acceleration of convergence within the telco's Business Sales tentacle. Read on in wonder:
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Team Three Pair - Fin

Imagine Cup We've been in India for the past week taking part in the Imagine Cup 2006 finals. Unfortunately we were knocked out and didn’t make it through to the top three.
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China gets tough on Simpsons

China has decided to ban foreign cartoons from primetime TV slots in an attempt to protect its indigenous animation industry, the BBC reports.

AMD retaliates against Intel with Rev F release

A more modest, less magical AMD released the new Revision F Opteron processors on Tuesday. The days when AMD could crow about broad, breathtaking performance advantages over Intel have vanished. Now AMD sells Opteron with a humbler pitch, one that revolves around consistency and high-end server gains for customers.

NASA mislays original moon landing footage

NASA has mislaid the original recordings of the Apollo 11 moon landings, The Los Angeles Times reports.

ATI shifts X1950 XT launch to 14 September

ATI has told board partners it will launch its Radeon X1950 XT and X1950 CrossFire products on 14 September. The announcement went out last week on the day after ATI was set to brief European journalists on its product plans, though for some of them London's terror alert got in the way.
Hard Reg, 15 2006
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London cabbies shun satnav

London's highly-respected Hackney carriage operators have dismally failed to embrace satnav technology, preferring instead to rely on "The Knowledge" by which they are required to memorise the shortest route between any two points in the capital and then add a five mile detour to it "cos there's a right roadworks palaver up Edgware Road, mate".
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Fraudsters pose as Companies House

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned its members about the threat of company identity fraud, following reports of bogus calls from people pretending to be Companies House officials.

A draw in the next-generation DVD war?

The ongoing battle for next-generation DVD supremacy could ultimately result in an uneasy stalemate, according to a new report from media analysts.
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Barclays scripting SNAFU exploited by phishers

Online scammers are exploiting a redirection script on Barclays' site to make fraudulent emails look more convincing. An alert Reg reader noticed the trick in scam emails he received.
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Flight delayed by terror alert? Watch World Trade Center

You know how it is - you're at Heathrow en route to New York when an announcement comes over the Tannoy that some blokes have been arrested for buying three cans of lighter fluid in one go at their local corner shop and, accordingly, the entire UK is on Defcon al-Qaeda/Taliban Critical Red and you'll have to wait three days in the airport before being allowed onto a plane in nothing more than your underwear having been biometrically swabbed, packed through a millimetre-wave body scanner and relieved of your toothpaste.

Apple sets lawyers on pod-people

Apple is stepping up legal threats against companies it accuses of infringing its trademarks. The computer giant has written to two US companies asking them to stop using the word 'pod'.
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Oracle ups stake in Indian firm

Oracle is increasing its stake in Indian software firm i-flex from 52.5 per cent to 55.1 per cent.

HTC roadmap 'leak' signals Muse music phone revival?

Rumours of the demise of HTC's 'Muse' music phone - the one equipped with 4GB of on-board NAND Flash storage, just like an MP3 player - may have been greatly exaggerated: the device is simply being renamed and rescheduled for a Q4 2006 launch. And it's no longer a 3G device.
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Near field communications gets nearer

The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum today published the four data-exchange formats of its burgeoning short-range radio standard, intended to turn a mobile phone into a wallet, a set of keys, and a handful of credit cards.
Bill Ray, 15 2006
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Planet heating: how bad is bad?

Climatologists at the University of Bristol are warning that a hotter planet will mean more damage to fragile ecosystems, and a higher risk of natural disasters such as forest fires, floods and droughts.

BenQ fetes femmes with Hello Kitty handset

BenQ Mobile has allied itself with the Hello Kitty franchise much loved by Western infants and Japanese of all ages and genders. This month, it will ship the AL26, a pink-hued slider phone splashed with HK decals, HK screen themes and a Chav-friendly HK phone charm.
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CA profits crash

Business software giant CA is to cull 1,700 of its workforce. News of the massive restructure came as the firm released its Q1 2007 results and reported a 64 per cent drop in net income compared to the same period in 2006.
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US gets RFID passports

The US Department of State has started issuing passports containing RFID chips and remains confident the technology "will take security and travel facilitation to a new level".
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Google offers discount vouchers

Google is offering discount vouchers to shoppers who locate a store using Google Maps.

Iran president's weblog spews malware - false

Reports that the new website of the President of Iran is trying to install malicious scripts on the PCs of visiting infidels are almost certainly the result of a false alarm by security packages rather than a hostile attack.
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One km = 600m miles, says CNN

We're obliged to the various readers who have since yesterday alerted us to a CNN piece on the possible demotion of Pluto to the status of minor planet.

Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox N100 handheld GPS

Exclusive Review The GPS gadget market is dominated by brands like Garmin, TomTom, Navman and Magellan, so it's unlikely you'd have the name Fujitsu Siemens topping your shortlist as you head down to the shops. But perhaps you should. With the introduction of the N100, Fujitsu Siemens has a real contender on its hands that will give the established brands a run for their money...
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The parable of the beer and diapers

Database myths and legends (Part 3) BI (Business Intelligence) is about extracting information from data and data mining is an important part of that process. Data mining is a process that looks for patterns in data, so in a sense it is like querying the data. The crucial differences between simply querying the data and data mining can be summed up as intent and scale.

FBI doubts cellphone terror scheme

Update The FBI has expressed reservations about the alleged cellphone terror plot uncovered by a Wal-Mart cashier working with small-town cops in Michigan, which we reported recently.
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Satellite protection scheme threatens radio comms

A scheme designed to protect the Earth's communications infrastructure from an excess of highly charged particles in orbit could lead to communications blackouts across the globe lasting for up to 10 days, according to scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Disk drive researchers turn up IDs, child porn

Academics wanting to make a point of how careless people are with their personal data have uncovered what they suspect could be pornographic images involving children.
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Revenue pinches 22 in VAT fraud raids

Twenty-two people are in custody today after the Revenue's biggest operation against carousel fraud.

Nvidia revamps Opteron server, workstation chipsets

Nvidia today launched the nForce Pro 3000 chipset family for servers and workstations based on AMD's recently announced DDR 2 SDRAM-supporting dual-core Opteron processors. The chipsets are aimed at machines containing one to eight or more CPUs.
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Samsung sleek speaker-sporting MP3 player spotted

Samsung has revealed it will demo a digital music player equipped with a built-in speaker at next month's IFA show in Berlin. Or will it? Google has revealed some tantalising glimpses of the player missing from the page the online advertising broker's search engine links through to.
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China wants remote control for video sites

The Chinese regulator of broadcast services is looking to extend its patch to include web-based video services.
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Hey, spammer, leave those kids alone

A pair of firms accused of sending unsolicited emails about gambling and alcoholic drinks to children are being sued by the State of Michigan.
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Reg readers suffer technology separation anxiety

Letters No prizes for guessing the topic of the week for the readers of El Reg. Yes, the still-mysterious alleged terror plot that closed Heathrow, grounded hundreds of passengers, and caused Telegraph journalists to renounce plane travel for ever and always.

US Robotics ships Skype-ready USB handset pair

US Robotics has begun shipping a pair of USB-connected Skype handsets, one with a screen, the other without, but at least they're a tad more stylish than most add-ons for the popular VoIP app.
Hard Reg, 15 2006

OpenOffice hits back at viral risk claims

OpenOffice.org has hit back at claims that the alternative office applications suite is riddled with security holes. Researchers at the French Ministry of Defense say that OpenOffice is subject to security weaknesses that make it at least as susceptible to computer viruses as the commercial, more widely used, Microsoft Office.
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Wanted: Reg hardware hackers for set top fun

Exclusive Fancy yourself as a hardware hacker? Peter Dawe, who brought the internet to the UK in the 1980s when he founded Pipex, the country's first ISP, is looking for a few good women and men to experiment with his latest venture the Babelbox. He also gave us a sneak run down.
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Turning Che Guevara into a GIF for therapy

And ninthly How do you follow up an album that was a massive - if unexpected - hit? Since its 2004 debut, Hot Fuss has gone platinum over five times and has been released in nearly every format in every country. On their road-weary follow-up, Sam's Town, the Killers stay focused and maintain their epic sounds; the album's powerful surges of energy and confidence will keep you riveted to your speakers. Incredibly, the band still makes you want to believe that "glamorous indie rock 'n' roll" can change your life - Apple's riveting iTunes review of the Killers' new album.