2nd > January > 2007 Archive

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A Brief History of Information

Part 1 Kierkegaard said that irony was "as baffling as depicting an elf wearing a hat that makes him invisible." He's lucky he never encountered information.
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Security firm erects threat-level aggregator

Security intelligence firm CERTStation has established a threat level aggregation service. The CERTStation service pulls together real time risk assessments from eight vulnerability watch services (including Symantec ThreatCon, SANSInfoCon and CERTStation in-house service) on one Flash-tastic page.

Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard 34 'super 3G' datacard

First UK Review ExpressCard 34 add-ins are few and far between, leading a fair few notebook users to question the wisdom of laptop makers who've dropped the PC Card interconnect for the new, faster version. The mobile phone network Vodafone recently shipped a USB-connected HSDPA modem for PC Card-less. Perhaps it should have waited for Novatel's Merlin XU870, an ExpressCard 34 data card that does 'super 3G' up to 3.6Mbps...

Vodafone offers buyers Samsung BlackBerry-a-like

Vodafone has begun offering Samsung's slimline BlackBerry-like i320 smart phone to its business customers, according to the carrier's website. It's charging from nothing to £140 inc. VAT for the QWERTY keypad-equipped handset, depending on which airtime package you select.

Germany and France split on Google-beater

Germany is withdrawing from an agreement with France to develop a Google-beating search engine.

AMD behind ATI R600 spec, benchmark leak?

An alleged specification for AMD's soon-to-be-announced next-generation graphics chip, the ATI R600, has been posted on the web by a site that is said to have admitted it has links with the chip maker.
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The devil is in the details

Editors blog It's well-known that data quality is often the devil you find hiding in the implementation detail of many big integration (and other) projects. It's a particular issue when companies merge. Of course, "your" salespeople always fill in contact and customer details accurately and honestly but "their" salespeople apparently got through the volumes by inventing contacts, selling to the entire population of Disneyworld - and if the spelling of a name looked a little odd they simply put up a new customer with a different spelling. Now, your merged database contains twice as many customers as it should, the stockmarket is taking an interest in the merged companies - and, hey, I wonder if there are compliance implications...
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Wireless not worth hacking?

Opinion For four years, I've been pretty clear about my personal opinions on wireless hackers. I don't worry about them. So when I say: "It's time to worry about wireless hackers," it's not just another security consultant scare story being recycled - it's because I think things have changed.

Xbox 360 led US Xmas sales - just

They're figures for the US market and they're just preliminary findings, but it's looking like Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 were both outsold by Microsoft's year-old Xbox 360 this Christmas - but only just.
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Fight for Hutchinson Essar mobile intensifies

What looked like a two-way battle between Vodafone and Reliance for Indian operator Hutchison Essar is shaping up as a triangular contest.
Bill Ray, 02 2007

eBayer offers OS X-booting Dell laptop

A UK-based eBayer last week offered for sale a Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook with a difference - this one booted into Apple's Mac OS X operating system, with Windows XP on board as an alternative.
Hard Reg, 02 2007

How to crash a Windows mobile using MMS

Security researchers have released proof-of-concept code that exploits vulnerabilities in MMS implementations in mobile phones running mobile versions of Windows.
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419 'money launderer' caught at Schiphol Airport

Dutch police believe a Nigerian man who was arrested at Schiphol Airport a couple of weeks ago with €1.2m in his pocket - the biggest money seizure in Dutch history - belongs to a major 419 scam operation.
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Google steps in to the real world

A 2-month trial selling newspaper adverts to Google’s on-line customers has exceeded expectations according to the Washington Post, and will be expanded into a commercial service in the next few months, with radio and TV to follow.
Bill Ray, 02 2007

Why the Novell and Microsoft deal is good for Linux

Industry comment Being ever aware of Microsoft's monopolisation endeavours, coupled with working in a Linux world inherently mistrustful of the software giant, it may seem strange that I believe the Microsoft/Novell agreement will be great for Linux. But I do.
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Katie Price and Peter Andre: the greatest album ever?

It's official: the debut album by highly-talented popsters Katie Price and Peter Andre has been classified by Amazon reviewers as possibly the greatest album ever - a terrible shock to those of us ready to dismiss their musical talents and consign A Whole New World to the dustbin of musical history.
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O2 late to start year

It seems an obvious enough ploy: all O2 customers were sent an SMS message suggesting they might want to avoid the congestion which normally clogs up the mobile networks come midnight:
Bill Ray, 02 2007
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Kansas temperatures hit all-time low

Thanks very much to reader Jon Fisher who sent us the following screengrab relating to the weather in his home town of Manhattan, Kansas. Locals should be certain to wrap up warm before venturing from the house:
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Singles charts goes digital

The UK Top 40 singles chart has severed its historical dependency on physical stuff. As of yesterday, the hit parade will allow digital-only tracks to be included in the weekly listing. The Official UK Charts Company, which runs the marketing survey, has dropped its requirement that labels must produce the song in some physical form.
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Scientists look to straighten homosexual sheep

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has come out in favour of the rights of homosexual sheep in a burgeoning row over tests carried out by two US universities aimed at "curing" ovine friends of Dorothy.

Google plugs GMail exploit

Google has fixed a vulnerability in its popular GMail web mail service that creates a means for hackers to steal users' contact lists.

Data modelling wars

Comment It is actually going a bit far to say that there are truly data modelling wars going on but certainly the users of ERWin are being aggressively targeted by both Sybase with PowerDesigner and Embarcadero with ER/Studio. This is, in part, because ERWin no longer sits within any of CA's core areas of focus, so it hardly surprising that it is losing mind share and customers.
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BBC peddles news filth to children

According to the BBC's Predictions for 2007, Afghanistan is set to become the new Northern Ireland. If that's true, then the photo accompanying this piece of crystal ball gazing should alert the locals as to the need to lock up their grandmothers:
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Tokyo to blanket Ginza with RFID tags

The Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project has announced plans to blanket the Ginza region of Tokyo, the most popular shopping district, with 10,000 RFID tags and other wireless technologies to provide shopper-assistance and location-based services.
Bill Ray, 02 2007
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Growing rumpus over Saddam execution footage

The Iraqi authorities have launched an enquiry into "unofficial mobile phone footage" of Saddam Hussein's execution last Saturday after the graphic video surfaced on the internet within hours of his hanging, the BBC reports.
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BOFH 2006: Complete and utter detox

17 minutes of goodwill Episode 1 Happy New Year
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Munich buys Windows 2000 used licenses

The German city of Munich is buying a whole pile of Microsoft Windows this month - but it won't be the newly released Windows Vista. Instead, it will buy 2000 legit "used licenses" of Windows 2000 Professional, claiming it will save them money.
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Saddam's YouTube smash

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eBay cross verification bug

For an e-tailer, there isn’t a worse time of year to have major issues with your site than the run-up to Christmas, but that is precisely what eBay has been struggling with at the moment.
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Happy New Malware

A significant worm outbreak over the new year festivities has put paid to the notion we've seen the end of mass mailing worms just yet.
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Microsoft accused of trying to buy bloggers

A Microsoft stunt handing out brand spanking new laptops with Windows Vista to selected bloggers has backfired with claims that Microsoft tried to "buy" bloggers.
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Second Nasdaq warning for BEA

Java middleware vendor BEA Systems has received a second warning from Nasdaq over potential delisting of its stock for failing to file financial results.