28th > December > 2006 Archive
Mobile network operators roll over and die
2006 in review2006 saw the death of the UK mobile network operator. The wireless industry seemed to realise that it had come of age and it was time to get serious with a round of consolidations and expansions which turned mere operators into "communications companies" able to operate over any kind of connectivity.
How the net changed the ancient art of the con
CommentIt's called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine, House of Games
Stock scammer gets coal for the holidays
The US Securities and Exchange Commission put a suspected Russian brokerage-account thief's money on ice last week, after he allegedly used illicit access to people's online portfolios to drive up stock prices.
TomTom wins (or loses) Garmin US lawsuit
TomTom, the Dutch maker of GPS navigation devices, says it has emerged victorious in the latest round of the acrimonious patent dispute with Garmin, its American rival. Or did it? Garmin says it is the winner.
Intel to intro Core 2 Quad at CES?
Intel will formally launch its already announced four-core Core 2 Quad processor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in less than two week's time, it has been claimed.
Sony preps video store to fill hole in PSP film revenues
CommentAccording to recent headlines, Sony is somehow going to challenge Apple iTunes with a film download service straight for the PSP. Instead those headlines should have asked why it has taken so long.
HD DVD anti-rip encryption cracked
Has the HD DVD next-generation optical disc format's anti-rip technology been cracked? That's certainly what's being claimed by a programmer going by the name muslix64 who has posted a Java-based app he maintains will free the video on a disc from its encryption shackles.
Mastering Regular Expressions
Book reviewLike SQL and XML, regular expressions are an essential tool in every developers’ toolbox. Processing text, which is pretty much what most programs do when you think about it, is so central a concern that even without regular expressions most developers quickly build up a library of functions and idioms for text matching, replacement, parsing, token extraction etc.
Wireless chess cheat banned for 10 years
An Indian chess player has been banned from competing for 10 years after seeking the assistance of a computer via a bluetooth headset.
US to approve cloned meat
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will declare today that meat from cloned animals is safe to eat.
Europe's planet-seeking satellite blasts off
Europe's "Convection Rotation and planetary Transits" (COROT) satellite yesterday successfully blasted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on its mission to seek out strange new exoplanets and "probe the mysteries of stellar interiors".
Congressional aide fired after trying to hire hackers
The press attaché of a Montana Congressman has been left red faced after "hackers" he was trying to hire to change his lowly college grades published his email exchanges instead.
Apple 'falsified' share documents
Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs was given share options on the basis of falsified documents which claimed to show the board of directors had approved the stock grant, the FT has claimed.
Cloaking device makes invisible progress
Mathematicians have proposed improvements to cloaking technology to hide objects which emit their own electromagnetic radiation.
Building a data warehouse on parallel lines
Never look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if there are many of them running in parallel…
Tories spin Web 2.0 to out-Fox Ofcom
CommentThe internet has always offered a stage for dramatic reinvention. Corporate lobbyists have found it a suitable theatre for AstroTurfing, given the willingness of a net audience to suspend its disbelief. Now, internet television lets professional politicians play the role of citizen-reporter.
MS sees out year with another Vista attack
Hackers have posted an exploit which might be used by local users to gain admin privileges on Windows boxes, including machines running Vista. However the bug is not as serious as it might be because initial analysis suggests it can only be exploited locally and not remotely across the internet.
Frankenstein's cure for ageing - botulism
Chemical AlleyHow easy was it to buy an eye-popping 3,081 vials of research botulinum toxin, the deadly neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, always found on jihadist terror wish lists? Very easy in 2003 - unlike so many other things alleged to be simple to do by designated evil-doers in the war on terror. Two Arizona scammers in pursuit of profit in the anti-aging industry found it elementary to order the most poisonous substance known fresh from List Labs in Campbell, CA, a purifier of biochemicals and toxins used in counter-terror research.
Vista's Suicide Bomb: who gets hurt?
AnalysisSo have fun fighting the battle against CPRM and alike but please do not be surprised when you fail, after all the war has been lost, long live the new world order: proprietary devices, proprietary interfaces, copy protection, limited functionality, and prepare you credit card accounts for all those monthly rental and service charges you will be paying for every "computer controller consumer electronics device" you use.