6th > October > 2006 Archive

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Up close and personal with a leaking magnetosphere

You may or may not know that Earth's magnetosphere leaks. You might think it is therefore time to send for the intergalactic plumbers. And in a manner of speaking, that is what the European Space Agency has done, in collaboration with its counterparts in China.
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Daily Mail blogrant worries Reg readers

Letters Let's start with the bloggers. Such an easy target - there are so many that any mud slung is bound to stick to some of them. Still, as Ashley Norris points out, Daily Mail columnists really should be careful about any kind of projectiles they launch, lest they turn out to be boomerangs:
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IPS completes biometric passport move

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has completed its transition to the production of ePassports, replacing the production of traditional passports with those containing a facial biometric.
Kablenet, 06 2006
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Northamber watches profit and revs fall

Distie Northamber has had to cut its dividend after falling sales and margins hit profits.

DVD Forum kicks off HD DVD region-coding scheme

The DVD Forum, the organisation which oversees the DVD and HD DVD formats, looks set to introduce a region-coding system for the next-generation optical disc technology next year.
Hard Reg, 06 2006
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Why, why, Wibree?

Analysis We're not short of wireless standards these days, so quite why Nokia felt the need to launch another one on Tuesday is open to question.
Bill Ray, 06 2006
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'Casual games' to fuel mobile gaming market

Mobile games revenues are expected to grow from $3bn in 2006 to $10bn by 2009, according to new research.
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Nokia gets closer to Orange, which endorses Symbian

Nokia has announced it will be working with Orange to customise Symbian S60 handsets, allowing Orange to remotely manage and update interfaces to highlight new services as well as provide an individually customised user experience.
Bill Ray, 06 2006
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Europe's MetOp satellite gets new launch date

Europe's first polar orbit satellite has been given a new launch date after a "mechanical incident" at the Baikonur cosmodrome caused delays.
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UK and Ireland welcome roaming cuts

Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey has praised Irish mobile operators for introducing new tariffs designed at reducing roaming costs in Ireland and the UK.

Vodafone UK takes a shine to RIM's Pearl

Vodafone has quietly begun offering Research in Motion's BlackBerry Pearl email phone to new customers. The carrier is currently taking pre-orders for the handset on its UK website.
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Hitachi recalls Sony laptop batteries

Hitachi has asked for 16,000 Sony-made laptop batteries which may pose a fire risk to be returned for a free replacement, the Japanese computer company said today, the second notebook maker to launch such a recall this week.
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SOA is the future - but what exactly is it?

Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) are the subject de jour with IT vendors, who have been using the term as if the concept has been totally understood by the buying audience and is well along the way to general implementation.
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Rectal hiccups cure secures Ig Nobel Prize

Two studies which demonstrated that rectal massage was a cure for "intractable hiccups" last night secured the prestigious Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine at the annual Annals of Improbable Research awards ceremony.
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Pentagon confirms Beijing's anti-satellite laser

The US has confirmed China has successfully blocked one of its spy satellites using a ground-to-space laser.
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NASA seeks students for low gravity tests

NASA is calling for US undergraduates to design and then take part in a series of lunar and zero gravity experiments. It wants submissions by 30 October.

ATI targets next-gen Athlon 64 FX with four-GPU chipset?

ATI will target AMD's Socket AM2+ interconnect with its RD790 chipset - a part with the abiility to host four graphics cards, allegedly leaked company roadmap slides reveal.
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BOFH: The mystery of the impenetrable data safe

Episode 33 Episode 33 "Check it out," the PFY says, pointing at the pair of fat blokes who are levering a large crate into the Boss's office on a heavy duty trolley. "What do you think it is?" "I'm not sure - It's carefully packaged and very heavy so whatever it is is probably bloody expensive,” I reply. No sooner is it in the Boss's …
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Busy Patch Tuesday looms

October's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft's monthly security update, will see the release of 11 security updates, some of which are critical.
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Aggregates: the not-so-forgotten DBA issue

Aggregates are probably the second biggest headache for database administrators in data warehouses after indexes and the tuning thereof.

ATI next-gen chips said to back Vista Flash cache tech

The next generation of ATI's South Bridge core logic technology will support Flash memory as a fast-loading, power-conserving hard drive data cache, if allegedly leaked company roadmap slides are to be believed.
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Oono MiniDAB pocket digital radio

Review The MiniDAB is slighly smaller than early iPods, and while it's very much lighter than the Apple device - it feels like it's missing the battery, even though it isn't - it has none of the iPods looks. Apart from the iPod-like black and white colour schemes, the MiniDAB has a rather 1990s look about it: simplicity is out, complexity is in - presumably to imply a large feature set.
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How does a cross-eyed person's view differ from others?

Also in this week's column:
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What can you learn from the sound of someone's voice?

Also in this week's column:
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What are the most widely practiced religions of the world?

Also in this week's column:
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What are the scientific reasons for having sex?

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Hams drafted into US emergency comms network

President Bush has approved legislation that will make amateur radio hams part of the emergency communications network in the US. The provision was tucked away in a section of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2007 Appropriations Act (HR 5441), which was signed into law on Wednesday following earlier Congressional approval.

ATI RD580 set to star in AMD's '4x4'?

ATI's ageing AMD-oriented RD580 discrete chipset will soon be upgraded to support three graphics cards and two CPUs, it has been claimed. The part will join the upcoming RS690 to lead ATI's sales drive during H1 2007.
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Parents prepare to sue fingerprint grabbers

Parents are preparing a legal challenge to schools that have fingerprinted their children without their consent.
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HP criminal charges, Microsoft licensing and Bulgarian airbags

HP comes home to roost We're not sure we'd have a weekly summary to write without the help of HP. This week we learnt a bit more about the company's sickly sweet relationship with a reporter on the Wall Street Journal. IM conversations never look as good in the cold light of day – just ask Mark Foley. This week also saw the …

Intel reveals wireless connectivity roadmap

Comment Intel has used the platform of its developer conference to reveal a roadmap for future wireless connectivity that will take in at least three different types of broadband connectivity for PCs.
Faultline, 06 2006

From little Estonian acorns Alcatel may grow WiMAX oaks

Comment It became obvious this week that although Alcatel is starting small in WiMAX, compared to say the Sprint contract for Motorola, it is still actively looking to build a head of steam.
Faultline, 06 2006
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Marijuana may help 'stave off' Alzheimer's

New research into Alzheimer's disease suggests the active ingredient of marijuana may help "stave off" the disease, as Reuters puts it.
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Rolls-Royce suspends A380 engine production

Rolls-Royce has suspended production of its Trent 900 engine for a year in the wake of this week's announcement by Airbus parent company EADS that the A380 "Superjumbo" delivery schedule had been put back for a third time.
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Airline passenger data deal struck

European Union and US negotiators have struck a new deal on sharing airline passenger data, resolving concerns that failure to reach an accord before a 1 October legal deadline might affect trans-Atlantic air travel.
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Wireless lobby paves the wave for reduced DUI fines

And ninthly Colonel Riley spent most of that week pretending to be a baby blue whale. His friends did not seem to mind, and neither did the real whales. As a whale, Riley was cheerful, agile and smooth. Things only turned ugly when he tried to swallow 20,000 gallons of brine in a single gulp with the help of a device of his own design. Everyone thought Riley's brine rocket ingenious. But we recoiled at the motivation lurking behind the machine - Julio Stantore, Butterflies are Always Welcome
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China selects top tunes for singing satellite

China has celebrated today's Moon Festival by releasing a list of ditties to be broadcast back to Earth from its Moon-probing satellite due for launch in 2007, Reuters reports.
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Big Brother investigation 'brings premium rate industry into disrepute'

The premium rate industry has hit back at ICTSIS for the charge it imposed yesterday over misleading Big Brother voting rules.

UK govt says iTrip street legal... almost

UK wireless watchdog Ofcom has published draft regulations that, when added to local law, allow iTrip owners to use their compact FM transmitters legally in this country.
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Allofmp3.com speaks out against US

Russian download store Allofmp3.com today responded with defiance to fresh US claims its activities are stalling Russia's attempts to join the World Trade Organisation.
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Worm automates Google AdSense fraud

Virus writers have crafted a malware threat that serves up expensive Google AdSense web pages related to mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
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Privacy group takes US to court over email spying

A privacy group is suing the US Government for information about surveillance programmes after the FBI failed to respond to a freedom of information request.
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Google to buy YouTube for $1.6bn - reports

Google is close to buying YouTube for $1.6bn, according to reports. Props for the scoop, if the talks pan out, go to TechCrunch, the Red Herring of the Web 2.0 Generation, which today reported this "completely Unsubstantiated Google/YouTube Rumor". The WSJ today also says that Google and YouTube are negotiating and mention $1.6bn as the price. But this could merely mean that the two publications have the same source.
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D-Link powers up for 10Gig

D-Link reckons its latest 24-port stackable Gigabit Ethernet switch should be just the ticket for small and medium-sized businesses looking to their next-generation network.
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Alcatel pushes 10Gig aggregation

Alcatel reckons it's time that 10Gig Ethernet reached the wiring closet, and has extended its Omniswitch 9000 series with a low-end five-slot chassis able to support up to 24 10Gig ports, 96 1Gig ports, or a combination thereof.
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Murtagh to take control of Smart Telecom

Millionaire entrepreneur Brendan Murtagh has offered to buy Smart Telecom for the grand sum of €1, as well as a 10 per cent stake in BidCo, the company formed to make the offer.
Cat 5 cable

Rockwell goes on the booze

Bad brews and wasted beer could be a thing of the past, according to Rockwell Automation, which claims that its packaged Brewhouse Solution covers 80 per cent of a brewery's production management needs.
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Google to subpoena Yahoo! and Microsoft in library battle

New developments in online selling and the lawPublishers and authors are taking Google to court over its programme to digitise the libraries of four US universities, Oxford university library and the New York Public Library.
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T-Mobile USA splashes the 3G cash

T-Mobile USA, America's smallest cellco, is to splashing $2.7bn on a 3G network build-out. Until last month, the German-owned firm was constrained by a severe shortage of wireless spectrum - meaning crap reception in many areas and more network busy signals than its rivals.
For Sale sign detail

Microsoft lets slip Windows Vista RC2

Microsoft today made available a new test build for Windows Vista, the mythical desktop operating system of legend. It's called RC2, or Release Candidate 2 (build number 5744), and it really is only for diehard Vista testaholics. And the stupid.