28th November 2006 Archive

The Register breaking news

Google (partially) settles Belgian copyright case

Google has settled with two media agencies in a Belgian copyright case which could change the face of its Google News service. It has not yet settled with the group that started the law suit, Copiepresse.
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IBM/Rational builds ALM

Well, IBM/Rational has made its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) story rather more complete by acquiring BuildForge (which plays in the ITIL Release Management space and wider) in May 2006. This is another example of a trend I identified earlier this year, I guess.
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Beginning Hibernate

Book review Although it sounds like something to do with electrical resistance in AC circuits, "impedance mismatch" describes the issues that arise when dealing with the different conceptual bases of object oriented development and relational databases.
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Women talk more than men: official

A "self-proclaimed feminist" psychiatrist has finally thrown in the towel and admitted her fellow females do indeed talk more than men, The Daily Mirror reports.
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Used car dealer menaces air traffic

An Ulster used car dealer has had his dodgy cordless phone confiscated after airline pilots were entertained by "Arthur Daley-style banter about makes and prices of used cars", The Daily Mirror reports.
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ESA pins gamma ray explosion on star-gobbling black hole

Astronomers using ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory have spotted a massive eruption of gamma rays in the galactic centre. The researchers say the characteristics of the flare indicate that it could be an extremely rare star-black hole binary system, exhibiting behaviour that might only be seen once or twice in a decade.
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EU tells Ofcom to pull its finger out

The European Commission says British regulator Ofcom is having a negative effect on mobile rates in the UK. The EC and national regulators are meant to be working together to bring down mobile costs.

'Party in your pants' iBuzz back... for two

The iBuzz, one of the first iPod-driven vibrators, is back, reinvented not only as a more compact, more stylish device but also with the ability to power a pair of his'n'her - or just her - vibrating bullets simultaneously. And now you can colour-coordinate it with your music player too.
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Mobile porn market set to explode

Mobile users are demanding more "erotic" entertainment as industry analysts forecast a surge in growth in the industry.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

US unleashes bomb-sniffing bees

Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have rather splendidly announced the immediate availability of the bomb-sniffing bee, Reuters reports.
fingers pointing at man

Cisco aims to plug channel knowledge gap on VoIP

Cisco says it has doubled its European channel partners in the last year to more than 2,300. It announced plans to improve the training it offers resellers, adding that many lack VoIP expertise.
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Russia and US set up copyright hotline

The US and Russia will set up a copyright hotline so that information about copyright infringement can be swapped between the two nations. The US says that it will train Russia in how to battle copyright theft.
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A hard lesson in privacy

Comment Sometimes I hear a story that is simply breathtaking in its stupidity and potential for disaster. For your delectation, horror, and amazement, here is one relayed to me by a good friend a few days ago.

Intel samples 45nm 'Penryn'

Intel has begun punching out engineering samples of next year's 45nm Core 2 die-shrink, the chip giant has claimed. The processor is codenamed 'Penryn'.
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Kingston profits triple

Kingston Communications PLC has seen profits soar with revenue up eight per cent in the first half of the year.

AMD changes tack on developing-world PC

AMD isn't quitting the low-cost, developing world-oriented PC arena after all - it's simply changing its business model, the company has claimed. Instead of manufacturing a box - such as the Personal Internet Communicator, aka 'Emma', it canned earlier this month - it will devise reference platforms system builders can use as a foundation for their own products.

North Americans buy 600,000 Wiis in first week

Nintendo sold more than 600,000 Wii consoles to North Americas during the first eight days the next-generation games machine was available to buy, the company said last night. It still managed to sell out, the company's US chief claimed.
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Wary launch imminent for BT broadband telly

BT will quietly launch its long-trailed TV over broadband service Vision on Monday.
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Petition the PM: from ID cards to ice cream

The more politically aware among El Reg's readership might already know that the Prime Minister's office is beta testing an online petition system.

Steve Lockie leaves C2000

Steve Lockie, the long-time boss of Computer 2000, is leaving the distie in January.

Rock reveals 13.3in entertainment laptop line

UK notebook specialist Rock has extended its Pegasus range with an entertainment-centric yet highly portable line based on Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo processor - overclocked when running on mains power - and a 13.3in, 1,280 x 768 widescreen display.

O2 UK ships XDA Orbit GPS smart phone

O2 has begun selling its HTC Orbit GPS-equipped smart phone - essentially the HTC P3300 - in the UK, bundling the handset with a free copy of T-Mobile's favourite sat nav software, CoPilot Live.
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Nottingham uni launches green tech research wing

The University of Nottingham is launching a research institute dedicated to developing clean energy technologies.
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Motorola ships slim phone with e-paper screen

Motorola has begun shipping Motofone F3, its 9mm-thick slimline handset with an 'electronic paper' display. Debuting today in India, the handset will roll out in other markets in the coming weeks, the company said.
fingers pointing at man

The Death of Tape is much exaggerated

Storage briefing Disk-based backup has become hugely popular in the last couple of years, to the extent that some suppliers have started talking about the "death of tape".
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Linutop touts tiny diskless Linux web PC

Updated Updated OK, so you can't express your interest as a potential purchaser, let alone buy the thing, but that hasn't stopped Linutop announcing an ultra-compact 9 x 3 x 1.5cm diskless PC based on the open source operating system and designed for web browsing.

Arcam pitches broadcast-quality DVD HD upscaler

Why wait for Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD for your hi-def movie viewing needs when you can upscale your DVD collection to 1080p right here, right now? That's high-end hi-fi maker Arcam's argument, at any rate, but it may have a job convincing punters to cough up £1,800 for the privilege.
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Businesses reject quicker, weaker patents

Businesses and academics would oppose any watering down of the patent examination process, a new report has found.

iSymphony launches iPod friendly micro home cinema box

No mere iPod-enabled hi-fi system, iSymphony's M2UK, announced today, is the foundation for a full home entertainment system, the company claimed. All you need to add is a TV - iSymphony's box does all the rest, though you'll want to bring an iPod to the party, of course.
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Web browsing behind closed doors

Canadian developers will next month release a tool to bypass government-enforced restrictions on web browsing in countries like China, Syria and Iran.
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US drinker stabbed for not washing hands

Those men among you who indulge in the woman-enraging provocation of not putting the loo seat back down after taking a leak should count yourselves lucky you're not in Fort Worth, Texas, where some people take the matter of good toilet habits very seriously indeed.
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South African man throws pregnancy sickie

A South African man has been fined £70 for forging a sick note claiming he needed some quality time tending his unborn baby, Ananova reports.

Analysts look both ways at Vista

Twenty-one years after Windows ignited the PC revolution, at least according to Microsoft, analysts are at odds over just how well Redmond's newest operating system will go down.
Cat 5 cable

IBM tops Micromuse with Vallent

IBM hauled in software vendor Vallent today, in its latest addition to its network management portfolio.
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BT's 21CN has 100 users

BT took its much-hyped 21st Century Network live today, switching over 100 voice lines in a South Wales village and roping in an 11 year-old schoolgirl to make the first customer call.
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Lobsters destroyed by intelligently designed killer WiFi

Letters El Reg's inbox was bulging with mail on this one: can a Wi-Fi signal make you sick? We suggested that it was unlikely, and for the most part you agreed. We include the following examples of your thoughts on the case of a teacher reporting terrible symptoms after working in a Wi-Fi bathed environment:
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SQL Server and the 7.5-day MTBF

Database Myths and Legends (Part 5) Press releases issued by software companies are one of the more common sources of myths and legends in the database world. No real surprise there you may think but therein lies a paradox. We all know that press releases are highly partisan, so we expect everyone to treat them with suspicion; yet we aren’t surprised when they influence opinion, as the following one certainly did.
For Sale sign detail

PC makers must follow world's strictest green laws, says Gartner

Laws designed to curb the environmental impact of computer parts will disrupt complex global supply chains unless companies themselves are more stringent, says Gartner.
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Mom cooks baby in microwave oven - police

Police have charged an Ohio woman in the death, by microwave oven, of her one-month-old daughter, the Associated Press reports.
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Italians mull computer games sales ban to kids

Italian MPs today debated if computer games featuring sex and violence are sending their country's children berserk.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

NEC's NAS redefines 'revolutionary'

NEC Computers reckons its latest NAS device - the Storage NS50 - offers revolutionary security.
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Top Java exec quits Sun

Speculation is growing that one of Sun Microsystems' most influential figures has quit following the decision to open source Java.