19th > December > 2006 Archive

The Register breaking news

Ain't testing finished yet, Ma?

A week or so ago I met Geoff Brace, a Director of Owldata Ltd, at a BCS CMSG (Configuration Management Special Interest Group) seminar on ITIL - yes Matilda, ITIL is relevant to developers. We got into a discussion about testing, sparked by this article.
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Oracle's Q2 leaves Wall Street wanting more

Oracle today learned that buying double-digit growth doesn't impress investors like it used to.
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Los Alamos 'is still the Titanic' - politico

The recent security lapse at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has inspired congressional critics to pipe up once again.
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DoH sticks to 'opt out' for patient e-records

The Department of Health (DoH) has stuck by the "implied consent" model for the central collection of electronic patient records in England, but will provide support for those who want to opt out
Kablenet, 19 2006
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Irish IT licensing investment falling short

Irish companies are increasingly recognising the value of technology licensing but are not investing enough in the process, according to Enterprise Ireland.
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Marijuana is US's biggest cash crop

A report into illicit marijuana cultivation in the US says it is now the country's biggest cash crop, having seen a tenfold increase in production over the last 25 years.

HSBC's anti-phishing dept takes 44-year holiday

Ta very much to the anonymous reader who reported a suspicious email to HSBC's anti-phishing department and then forwarded us the result. Although he or she got a fairly comprehensive rundown on what to keep an eye out for in those dodgy "HSBC security alert" emails, the automated reply makes it clear that any personal feedback is unlikely for the next 44 years or so…

El Reg terminates filth-peddling NHS website

Updated Our shock report yesterday into the Worcestershire Health Authority's Sexual Health Online website has had the desired result. The site is now down "due to a sudden upsurge in bandwidth use", so our kiddies will no longer be exposed to this kind of outrage:
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Captain Cyborg pays homage to El Reg

You've got to hand it to Kevin Warwick, aka Captain Cyborg: the bloke's got more front than Blackpool. In an interview this week with itwales.com, the cybernetic futurologist actually thanks El Reg for the extensive coverage we've dedicated to his groundbreaking work.
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Net Vikings pillage Hamleys website

UK toy retailer Hamleys website was ransacked over the weekend after sharp-eyed web shoppers spotted "a glitch in a voucher scheme which allowed customers to claim a cumulative 60 per cent discount if they bought goods from the Hamleys online store", and moved in for the kill.
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Currys price promise refusal backed by High Court

A court case over Currys' terms and conditions has exonerated the retailer over its refusal to honour a price promise. The shop argued that a tumble dryer offered for sale was different to an identical model in another shop which came with a vent kit.
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Vista's accessible attitude

Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system has just been released for corporate consumption.
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Information Risk Management MD in cartwheel crash-and-burn

NSFW It has come to the attention of Vulture Central that Charles White, MD of Information Risk Management shows a more fluid awareness of risk management when he's feeling particularly relaxed. Cue obligatory YouTube video, which we should note contains more than its fair share of effing and blinding:
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Astronauts fix ISS solar panel on spacewalk four

The crew of the space shuttle Discovery have managed to unjam a solar panel on the International Space Station during a record-breaking fourth and final spacewalk of the mission. Mission Specialist Robert Curbeam became the first astronaut ever to complete four spacewalks during a single mission.

Intel expects small quad-core desktop sales until Q4 07?

Intel does not expect quad-core processors to make any major impact on the desktop PC market through to the end of Q3 2007 if a presentation slide allegedly leaked from the chip giant is to be believed.

Man boots Mac OS X on Asus UMPC, shoots video

Apple's Mac OS X has been successfully used to boot up an Asus R2H ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), which runs the operating system slowly but surely. To minimise claims that all the still photography is faked, the start-up process has been captured on video.

Sharp boosts blue-laser diode production

Sharp has begun mass-producing blue-laser diodes, a move that may help alleviate the current dearth of this critical component for Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD drives.

Sony posts movie playback patch for Blu-ray burner

Sony has finally posted a patch for the CyberLink PowerDVD playback software it bundles with its internal Blu-ray Disc burner, the BWU-100A, to allow the drive to play pre-recorded BD media. Sony announced the drive in Europe in September. A month later it promised a BD playback update.

NASA shares space with Google

NASA has called on the omnipresence of Google to help it manage the profluence of data it expects to splurge forth from its Moon and Mars missions.
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Planning to eBay those unwanted Xmas gifts? Think again

Women in their 20s from the South East are most likely to take umbrage at seeing their lovingly-selected gifts up for auction, though in the North East the majority of the population (88 per cent) will take offence.
Bill Ray, 19 2006

Ingram reaches for the Startech

Ingram Micro has expanded its deal with the intriguing StarTech.com into the UK.
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Google axes search API

Google has quietly axed the web services API to its eponymous search engine. The stealth move was made without any announcement, but visitors to the page now receive a blunt message, backdated to 5 December, advising them that the SOAP API is no longer supported.
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Opera adds tech to foil phishers

Opera has added third-party fraud protection components to the latest revision of its web browser software, Opera 9.1. The fraud protection includes technology from GeoTrust, the digital certificate provider, and PhishTank, a clearing house for data on phishing scams.

Microsoft settles counterfeiting suit

Microsoft has agreed to let bygones be bygones with The MPO Group, an authorised disk replicator which it says made thousands of unauthorised copies if its server software.
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IT maintenance burden stifles innovation

Keeping systems up and running is holding back European IT managers from contributing to business improvement as much as they could.

Brits are gadget addicts, says green think-tank

Britain is a nation of gadget addicts, according to a report from the Energy Saving Trust (EST). The environmental think tank says over the next six months Brits will buy around 30m electric or electronic gadgets, with many describing their purchases as "essential".
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Want to sound like Madonna?

A new service from Synchro Arts, better known for its professional audio work in the film industry, will take your voice and attempt to change the pitch, tone, and timing to match a wide range of popular songs.
Bill Ray, 19 2006
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Second time lucky, Check Point marries intrusion prevention firm

Check Point Software has agreed to buy threat prevention firm NFR Security for around $20m. The deal, announced Tuesday, is expected to close by the end of the year.
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Amazon set to flood digital music market

Amazon looks set to plough into the digital music market next year. The retailer started romancing music labels last week.
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The CSC Grinch who stole Christmas

CSC will not be paying its employee bonuses in the UK this year.
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HP battens down HP-UX

HP this week moved to bulk up the security tools available with its HP-UX operating system.
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UK ditches single ID database

The UK government has ditched plans to put all our identities on one big database, saying that sticking with existing systems will help cut fraud and save money.