22nd > September > 2006 Archive
The open source community this week hailed the most significant update to Python in five years.
Column The use of “lambda” originates from functional programming and lambda calculus, where a lambda abstraction defines an unnamed function. Lambda functions or Lambdas in C++ are one of the more interesting things to look forward to in the next C++ standard; giving us the ability to treat functions as first class objects at last; composing them inline and treating them as class objects. Up until now we've scraped by with pointers to functions, and various libraries like Boost Lambda, both of which approaches suck.
Internet overseeing organisation ICANN will become an autonomous body, free from any form of government control, on 1 October 2008, if plans drawn up between it and the US government go according to plan.
IBM is reaching out to venture capitalists by offering technology and go-to-market help for software start-ups they back.
Software development and business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Northbrook Technology is to create 400 new jobs in the north as part of a £23.5m expansion.
West Midlands Police are trialing a system that controls police access to buildings and computer systems using a fingerprint scanner.
The Japanese Space Agency's (JAXA) Solar-B mission is set to launch tonight from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Japan. The satellite, which will study the solar surface for clues to the causes of solar flares, will be placed into a 96 minute polar orbit around Earth.
3Com fell short of Wall Street’s expectations when it unveiled its third quarter results yesterday.
Sony has decided to equip the 20GB PlayStation 3 with an HDMI connector, possibly in response to Microsoft's move to bring the 1080p HD resolution to the Xbox 360. The company also cut the machine's Japanese retail price.
Palm reported revenue of $355.8m for the quarter ending 1 September, with a slim net income of $16.5m. Measured on a non-GAAP basis, the profit was $21.5m.
Sir Richard Branson has pledged to invest the next 10 years of profits from his Virgin travel firms into developing technologies that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The commitment is apparently worth around £1.6bn over the period.
The Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 JDK (variously called JSE 6.0, Mustang and, by many, J2SE 6.0; and, by some at least, JDK 6) has been in Beta 2 release format for some months and is nearing its actual release date (work started on this release around July 2005 and it is currently expected to be delivered in autumn/fall 2006).
Apple has quietly updated its U2-edition iPod to match the specification of the 5.5G model it announced earlier this month. As before, the 30GB machine sports a red Clickwheel and comes with the band members' signatures laser-etched on the back, but now its battery life stretches to 14 hours for music, 3.5 hours for video. The …
Reprogramming an ATM to dispense more cash than it ought to is far easier than anyone imagined.
US-based VoIP handset maker Paragon Wireless has launched what it claims is the world's first Windows Mobile 5.0 phone designed for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) VoIP calls that also operates as a regular quad-band GSM/GPRS handset.
Episode 31 Episode 31 "Ah, could we borrow you for a couple of minutes?" the Boss asks quietly, interrupting the PFY's riveting (if somewhat longwinded and one-sided) discussion of RS6000 boot flags. "Of course," I yawn, getting up quickly for fear that the PFY will mistake my patience for interest and tell me what each of the hundreds …
Today has been designated One Web Day - a day of celebration of the internet - with a number of celebrations planned across the world tonight, including the appearance of the man that invented the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, expected in London.
JSR222 specifies the Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.0. JAXB 2.0 specification is implemented in Java Web Services Developer Pack (JWSDP) 2.0. JAXB 2.0 has some new features that facilitate the marshalling and unmarshalling of an XML document. I have used both JAXB 1.0 and JAXB 2.0 and have found that JAXB 2.0 generates less code and has some additional features.
AMD is set to launch three Athlon 64 FX processors for its upcoming 4x4 gaming platform, sources who claim to have seen the chip maker's roadmap claim. All three CPUs will use AMD's 1207-pin Socket F interconnect, they add.
UK carrier O2 this week confirmed it is looking for new handset maker partners to push its XDA smart phone family forward following a parting of the ways with its original XDA supplier, HTC. Long-time HTC customer i-mate may also be for the chop, if comments from the manufacturer are to be taken at face value.
Comment Movio, the impending disaster that is British Telecom's approach to mobile TV, announced it has signed up ZTE to make 3G phones for the service. It also said its strategy would be largely built on showing existing UK TV channels – BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and E4, on the phone.
AMD looks set to introduce its first 65nm processors in December this year, a quartet of dual-core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs, if a report citing sources who've seen the chip maker's latest roadmap are to be believed.
Riverbed Technology has become the first storage company to go public in around two years - it's also one of the first WAN acceleration start-ups to go public.
The German government this week published proposals to modernise the country's computer hacking laws.
AMD opens up, Intel follows suit AMD is to open up access to the specs for its Opteron socket set so other companies can make chips and accelerators that will fit straight onto the board. The decision means it won't be too long before you'll be able to stick AMD and Intel chips onto the same motherboard. AMD already gives some …
Caveat: some historical details and aircraft specifications in this piece are based on a variety of sources - not all of which agree. We've done our best to provide what we believe are the right facts and figures, but some aspects of the ekranoplan story are still open to debate.
Pity poor Sun Microsystems - not only is staff morale crushed by huge losses and puzzling fat cat bonuses - news has now reached Vulture Central of a flood of lavatorial mischief at its Belgium tentacle.
Letters Take a deep breath in. Breathe out and congratulate yourself. You have made it to Friday, and are soon to be rewarded with a weekend (unless you work on Saturdays or something).
Mobile Workshop It seems like we struck a nerve with the recent mobile workshop article on email devices. With other subjects, such as security and push email, there has been a discussion around the various approaches and their pros and cons, but on the device front it seems that there is a high degree of frustration.
Also in this week's column:
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Updated Forget the threat to humanity posed by Spaniard-swallowing cyberkiosks: it's evident the Lizard Army has deployed a far more dangerous version of the murderous telecoms cubicle, viz: the bottle-wielding Mancunian attack phone box:
Also in this week's column:
A high-speed magnetic levitation train has crashed on a test track in north-west Germany, killing 23 and injuring 10 others.
The days of high street DVD sales are numbered, if new poll figures are to be believed.
FoTW Last Friday we ran a revealing piece on the unfortunate tale of an old timer in Dorset who fell down a manhole and whose cries for help were duly ignored by his fellow Brits.
HP - which faces US federal and state investigations for spying on board members and journalists - is co-sponsoring an award for "privacy innovation".
Review It seems that having a laptop stamped with an Italian sports car brand is the in-thing these days. Acer has been hanging around the pit-lane with Ferrari, and Asus has teamed up with Lamborghini to create the VX1. It comes in a choice of black or yellow trim - Lamborghini's corporate colours - although there's more to the VX1 than a cool paint job...
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is claiming a major victory over carousel fraudsters after discovering they were all using the same bank.
Cisco says it will cut its corporate carbon emissions by 10 per cent within the next year. The company plans to achieve most of the reduction by cutting back on air travel for its employees and investing $20m into alternatives to travel, such as collaborative technologies.
WSA The personal assistant allegedly attacked with a BlackBerry by battling clotheshorse Naomi Campbell has appeared on US TV to give the full, gory details.
Google has lost its appeal to Belgian courts to ditch part of the ruling in a copyright case against its news service which it lost earlier this month.
Intellectual property lobbyists are warning that new plans to shake up Europe's policy on patents could put patentable software back on the menu, as well as upping legal fees and putting small businesses in jeopardy.
Germany's Nova Media has launched Globesurfer ICON, an all-on-one GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA wireless data modem for the Mac. The €339 ($432/£yy/€228) box hooks up to a spare USB port - it's bus powered - and comes pre-loaded with connection settings for 300 carriers around the world, courtesy of the company's own Launch2net …
Exclusive AMD has secured yet another major partner win thanks to Opteron. Starting with the Power7 processor, IBM will give up on making its own Unix/RISC box motherboards. Instead, it will plug the Power chips directly into slightly modified Opteron boards in an effort to save money.
Exclusive Virgin Atlantic has updated its restrictions for the use of Apple- and Dell-branded notebook computers on its flights. The good news: the ban on battery use is no longer total - the company is now restricting only those batteries whose serial numbers are covered by the vendors' product recalls.
The imminent arrival of Windows Vista is a mixed blessing for developers. The good bit is lots of new features to play with, along with better security and an updated user interface. The downside is compatibility problems, and with the challenge of meeting expectations for well-behaved, good-looking Vista applications. There is going to be some pain.
Symantec and Adobe have raised objections to the inclusion of security software and electronic document technology in Windows Vista. Adobe has asked the European Commission to prevent the bundling of PDF document creation and reading tools that compete with its software.
Phone-tap evidence could be admitted as evidence in court as the attorney general signals a change in UK Government policy. Lord Goldsmith told The Guardian newspaper that phonetap evidence is a "key tool" that should be used.
Comment BEA's acquisition of Flashline in late August left me wondering why the company had not opted for Infravio. A partial answer was revealed on 11 September with the announcement that Infravio had been acquired by webMethods.
Patricia Dunn has not survived the HP spy scandal – a turn of events that everyone except HP saw as inevitable long ago. Dunn today resigned from HP's board, elevating CEO Mark Hurd to the Chairman role.