27th > October > 2006 Archive


Sun turns in another Q1 loss

Sun Microsystems left its Bedazzler® back at the asylum during the first quarter with financial results less spectacular than the company's recent market share gains. That said, the server vendor managed to hand in a solid enough quarter to keep investors calm - a rare feat for the Solaris crowd.

Acer: Vista Home Basic is a lemon

Microsoft is effectively smuggling through a price hike for Windows Vista - by making the entry-level version so poor that no-one will want to use it. So says Jim Wong, senior veep at Acer, the world's number four PC maker, who told UK hack Jon Honeyball: "The new [Vista] experience you hear of, if you get Basic, you won't feel it at all. There's no [Aero] graphics, no Media Center, no remote control."

Apple cures MacBook shutdown... maybe

The Mac press has been full of tales lately of Macbooks inexplicably shutting down. Today, Apple announced a cure for this annoying habit, known oddly enough as MacBook Shutdown. In an advisory, the Intel OEM issued instructions to owners to install SMC Firmware update 1.1. Recommended for all MacBook owners, the update improves the "internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns".
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Orange reports on the workplace of 2016

Orange's Future Enterprise Coalition has released a report discussing at the place and manner of work in 2016.
Bill Ray, 27 2006
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Billing provider behind Fon de-cloaks, attacks MVNO enterprises

They say that before you launch a mobile billing company, you should have customers, or nobody will take you seriously. That's presumably why BlueTab has waited a year before revealing that it is a mobile billing company.

Foundry punches out 65nm GPUs for Nvidia

Nvidia is already producing 65nm chips, the graphics specialist has revealed. We suspect it actually means it's sampling chip designs fabricated at that size. Certainly, AMD isn't expected to ship 65nm GPUs until H2 2007, and like Nvidia, it chips are made by TSMC.

Apple to ship 15.4in MacBook next May?

Apple is gearing up to launch a 15.4in MacBook next May, a year after the Intel-equipped consumer notebook first came to market. So claims a Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia analyst, who also names Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn - aka Hon Hai Precision Industry - as the manufacturer.
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Skype users hang on for free calls

Skype user forums are filling up with angry customers who signed up to the Voice over Internet Protocol firm's free UK calls promotion.
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Ex-Microsoft man is next space tourist

The man who led the development of Microsoft's Word and Excel programs is about to be sent into space.
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Samsung all a-glow over brighter phone display

Samsung has figured out how to increase the brightness of a handheld device's screen by more than 33 per cent without drawing more power: paint a blue LED white. OK, so it's a little more complicated than that: you paint it with a fluorescent material. Still, Samsung calls is a "white LED".
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Bug causes another delay to Vista

Vista has been delayed by a week because of a bug, according to reports.

Shuttle ships gamer-friendly SFF PC

Shuttle today said it had managed to squeeze all the components necessary for a top-of-the-line gaming machine into one of its XPC small form-factor PC cases, claiming the result to be the "performance winner". It should be, for the price...
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BitTorrent man jailed for five months

A US man has been jailed for five months and sentenced to a further five months of home detention for his role as a leading participant in the BitTorrent tracker site Elitetorrents.
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Naomi Campbell bailed over alleged assault

WSA Naomi Campbell was yesterday released on bail after spending 10 hours in Belgravia police station following an alleged assault on her drugs counsellor, The Independent reports.
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Extra anus kills four-legged chicken

New Zealanders are today trying to come to terms with the tragic death of Forzie the four-legged chicken, stuff.co.nz reports.

UK to expand battery recycling scheme

UK recycling quango WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is to widen is battery collection programme. The scheme is still in a trial phase, but the expansion will see battery drop-off points placed in a number of high street shops and by post in partnership with the Royal Mail.

BitTorrent embeds download manager

There are a lot of assumptions that have to be made about the news that BitTorrent has cut deals with three consumer electronic companies that will embed the BitTorrent download manager client directly into their devices. The devices include home routers and networked attached storage farms.
Faultline, 27 2006
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UK promises care record 'opt-out' - again

UK health minister Lord Warner has outlined how people will be able to "opt-out" of having their NHS medical records shared on a national database.
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BOFH: Goes virtual

Episode 36 Episode 36 "Why," the boss asks us early one morning, looking thoughtful "don't we use virtual servers?" "What do you mean?" I ask, dreading the possible problems the Boss is about to bestow on us. "Virtual Servers - you know, ones which aren't real." "Oh, we've got a stack of those," the PFY adds. "Downstairs in the …
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BT promises to improve local loop services for rivals

BT has been given permission by Ofcom to draft in extra engineers to help improve service levels at Openreach - the division charged with helping rival telcos get equipment into local exchanges.
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Can you judge someone's personality by the shape of their ears?

Also in this week's column:
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What is a post-lumbar puncture headache?

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What is a fistula?

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Does drinking alcohol really keep you warm?

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'Mars', 'Jupiter' launches planned by O2, Asus

Cellco O2's new smart phone design and manufacturing partner is Taiwan's Asus, it has emerged after details of the upcoming XDA Zinc and Graphite - aka 'Mars 2' and 'Jupiter' - appeared, ahead of their launch, on the US Federal Communications Commission's website this week.
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Meizu's marvelous Mini Player is Europe-bound

The Meizu Mini Player, the oh-so-cute iPod-esque tiny PMP that surface early last summer, is coming to Europe courtesy of French memory specialist Dane-Elec. The 8 x 5 x 1cm unit packs in a 2.4in, 262,144-colour display and up to 4GB of Flash storage. It handles all the usual media file formats, and works with Windows PCs and …
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Tandberg's troubled third quarter ends surprisingly upbeat

Tandberg Television finished what was supposed to be a troubled third quarter delivered revenues of $80.7m in 3Q06, up nine per cent compared to $74.4m in 3Q05.
Faultline, 27 2006
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Verisign scraps padlocks and Larry storms into Linux

Free as in...bier Larry Ellison used Oracle's Openworld show in San Francisco to kneecap leading enterprise Linux distro Red Hat. Oracle will resell Red Hat's Linux - with the latter's trademarks removed - and offer three tier support starting at $99 per year, a third or more below Red Hat's rates. Support contracts are Red Hat …

Hacker hijinks impinge on US mid-term elections

Forthcoming US mid-term elections have been disrupted by hackers. The website of Ted and Fran Gianoutsos, a husband and wife team running for governor and lieutenant governor in Alaska, was infected by a computer worm last week.

Evesham Mini PC

Review Ever fancied a black Mac Mini? Well, the Evesham Mini PC isn't quite a Mac mini, nor is it exactly black, but on both points it comes close. Evesham's box is based on the tiny MP945-VXR chassis from AOpen, which has been out to out-Mini the Mac Mini for a couple of years now. The Mini PC measures 17 x 17cm and stands 6.1cm tall. Or perhaps that should be 6.1 cm low?
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Altiris makes security location-aware

Location-awareness will be the next big thing in device security, claimed Altiris as it became the latest vendor to jump into the increasingly crowded market for endpoint security software this week.

TomTom to track phones for real-time traffic info

Vodafone and route-planning specialist TomTom will next year deploy what they believe will be the world's first commercial traffic data system based on tracking thousands of mobile phones in real-time, the pair said today.
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Anti-scam website hit by DDOS attacks

A website set up to help spread information about alleged scammers is suffering so many denial of service attacks that its current host has asked the site to find a new home.

Australian spammer fined A$5.5m

An Australian firm and its director have been fined a total of A$5.5m (£2.2m) after it was held responsible for sending out more than 230 million spam emails, 75 million of which were successfully delivered, during a two year spamming blitz.

Vista vouchers, a Reg round-up

Any Reg reader considering their Christmas purchases and worried about what operating system they'll be cursed with can relax. We've rung round some of the major vendors and retailers.
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Wrinklies find Sadville

The relentless hype promoting the online game for sad people, Second Life, has unsurprisingly caused a spike in traffic for the site. And wrinklies are the demographic group that's most curious about the virtual landscape populated by giant penises and cross-dressing Guardian journalists.
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Kim Jong-Il: 'mad as cheese'

Pity poor Kim Jong-Il. Back at the dawn of the decade he was all ready to be bezzie mates; having visits from Madeleine Albright, talking food aid, expecting Big Willie Clinton himself to drop by at any moment.
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Dozy drivers fail to notice rudery

Drivers into the West Sussex town of Crawley were told to F*** off by council car park signs yesterday morning - and hardly anyone noticed.
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Identity, voting and missing fingers

Letters There is a bit of a fingerprinted theme to today's letters page, but we have plenty of other stuff too, so let's get started.
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UK students get 10Gig backbone

UK academia's new 10Gbit/s national backbone is up and running, and could be connecting schools and universities at up to 160Gbit/s within four to five years.
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Appeal court ruling sets marker on UK software patents

The three judges of the UK Court of Appeal have ruled decisively that patents on pure computer programs may not be granted in the UK. The ruling came in the case of Macrossan vs the UK Patent Office (UKPO).

How to make your MacBook Pro run cooler

Love your oh-so-quiet MacBook or MacBook Pro but hate the heat it puts out? Quite apart from the sheer discomfort of it, an overly hot MacBook may be to blame for the random shutdowns quite a few users have reported, now hopefully fixed with Apple's latest SMC Firmware update. Enter utility smcFanControl, a tool to help you take control of your Mac's temperature...

Security firm punctures Vista's Patchguard

Analysis Security vendor Authentium has discovered a mechanism to get around Microsoft's controversial Patchguard kernel protection technology, which is due to ship in the 64-bit version of its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system.
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EU moots 'deep background' checks for racist-free border controls

Europe plans to avoid the routine discrimination against foreigners at border controls by using deep background checks of individual people to manage immigration.

Is Google legal?

Analysis A Belgian court ruled against Google’s use of newspaper stories in early September. If you believe Google, it did nothing wrong and failed to defend itself because it was unaware of the publishers’ lawsuit. If you believe the publishers, Google is lying and infringes copyright on a colossal scale. The parties return to court on 23rd November in a case that finds legal uncertainty looming over the world’s leading search engines.
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Red Hat promises to keep charging customers double

Red Hat has struck out against Oracle's Linux support move by reassuring customers that it won't lower its prices.
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BBC abandons science

TV BBC TV's venerable science flagship, Horizon, has had a rough ride as it tries to gain a new audience. It's been accused of "dumbing down". That's nothing new - it's a criticism often leveled at it during its 42 year life.
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Takeover gossip boosts Marvell shares

The rumor mill helped Marvell buck a down day on the US market. Shares of the the chip maker jumped close to 5 per cent on speculation that it could be a takeover target via either TI or a leveraged buyout.