15th > January > 2007 Archive

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We are all Agilists now

Agile methods tend not to describe concrete, tangible practices, but rather principles, attitudes, and so forth. So, heated discussions about the rights/wrongs of agility can rage on for months, until both sides collapse in an exhausted heap with no sign of agreement.
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SMBs offered virtually cheap disaster recovery

DataCore has introduced two sub-£5000 disaster recovery and business continuity software packages for small and mid-sized businesses. They're based on the company's existing storage virtualisation software, and let you mirror data between two sets of storage via an IP network, even over long distances.
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Open Phones with Open Moko

While all eyes may have been on San Francisco and the launch of the developer-unfriendly Apple iPhone, the real game changers were demonstrating their strategy at CES 2007, in Las Vegas.
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Disclosure of government data mining could become US law

The newly Democrat controlled US Senate and Congress will soon vote on a law that would force the government to disclose all data mining programmes on US citizens. The bill requires all federal agencies to disclose their data analysis activities.

O2 delays XDA Zinc roll-out

O2 has pushed back the release of its XDA Zinc 3G PDA phone, dropping the previously announced January 2007 debut in favour of a March 2007 introduction, the UK carrier's website reveals.
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US wants all your fingerprints

Brits planning a trip to the US will now have to surrender all 10 of their digits to the authorities for fingerprinting. The prints will then be added to the same FBI database which stores the prints of convicted criminals.

Woman dies after Wii competition

A mother of three died from water intoxication after a radio station drinking competition, a California coroner said on Saturday. Jennifer Strange, 28, competed in Sacramento station KDND 107.9's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest to try to win Nintendo's console for her children.
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EU goes mad for Bulgarian breast-boosting beer

Bulgaria looks set to become a mecca for EU citizens looking to pump up their airbags without surgery following the lifting of customs duty on Boza beer - reputed to have magical breast-boosting properties.
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Spammers get bullish on stocks

A week before Christmas, Diamant Art seemingly got a holiday bonus: On 18 December, the small Canadian maker of plastic food wrap saw its sub-penny stock price triple from 0.08 cents to a peak of 0.25 cents while trading in shares of the firm skyrocketed.

Xbox 360 dominates US next-gen console December sales

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft sold, respectively, 604,200, 490,700 and 1.1m next-gen games consoles in the US in December 2006, retail market watcher NPD said last week. The company's figures show the Xbox 360 as the clear winner.
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Ovum and BT in war of words

BT has hit back at cricticism of how it adds up the numbers using, or registering, for its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service.
intel centrino pro logo - artist's impression

Intel's Flash cache module wins PCIe thumbs-up

Intel's 'Robson' Flash cache module for Windows Vista notebooks has won the approval of the PCI SIG, the organisation behind the PCI Express interconnect standard, it has emerged.

Devolo dLAN 200 AVdesk HomePlug AV network adaptor

Review Driving data over mains power cables is nothing new, but products based on the latest, fastest incarnation of the HomePlug Ethernet-over-powerline standard have only recently started to appear, over a year after the specification was finalised, in August 2005. The new version of the standard delivers a claimed bandwidth of 200Mbps and is called HomePlug AV. The 'AV' is the clue to what it's for - this is the version of powerline networking designed for the HD era...

Toshiba touts 51GB HD DVD

Toshiba has submitted a triple-layer, 51GB HD DVD-ROM disc to the standard's overseer in the hope the technology will be adopted as a standard by the end of the year. If approved, it allow the format to exceed the 50GB storage capacity of rival medium Blu-ray Disc.
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Scientists probe space origin of rare black diamonds

Scientists have suggested that rare black "carbonado" diamonds - found only in Brazil and the Central African Republic - may have arrived on Earth aboard a kilometre-wide asteroid, New Scientist reports.
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Siemens ex-CFO named in bribery probe

Another senior figure at Siemens AG has been named as a suspect in the ongoing investigation into allegations of bribery at the industrial giant.

HP bundles business desktop with free country

Those readers who are on the lookout for a new business desktop should get themselves down to Computacenter where HP is making the most remarkable offer we've ever seen:

FBI warns of assassin spam scam twist

The FBI is warning of a new twist in the saga of scam emails that suggest a "hitman" is on the trail of the recipients.
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Two years on, Huygens data still delivering

Two years ago, a small spacecraft fell through a turbulent atmosphere to land on the surface of an alien world a billion or so kilometres from Earth. Since then, the data collected during its relatively short descent has continued to delight and amaze space scientists, amateur astronomers, and anyone with a passing interest in alien worlds, so it seems churlish to let the anniversary pass unnoticed.
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N Korea puts giant rabbit on the menu

Starving North Koreans could soon be enjoying steaming platters of giant rabbit - thanks to German pensioner Karl Szmolinsky who recently sold 12 of the überbunnies to the nosh-strapped Communist state.
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Asus revs second-gen Lamborghini laptop

Asus has announced the second generation of its Lamborghini-branded laptop, apparently adding little more than a metallic keyboard and a leather-bound palm rest below it - a "tactile way" to experienced "the Lamborghini luxury", the notebook maker claimed.

Mac gets first RAID storage server

A small Minneapolis firm showed off what it claims is the first enterprise level RAID storage for Mac OS X systems at MacWorld last week.
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France and UK discussed 'merger'

Be prepared to choke your beef and oyster pie of Olde England: previously-secret documents at the National Archive reveal how in 1956 the French Prime Minister travelled to London to propose a possible merger between the two countries.
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The 'mob' to advise PM on gov data sharing

The Prime Minister is to set up focus groups to ask the British public whether the government should be allowed to keep tabs on them with a 'super database'.
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Avaya agrees offer for Ubiquity Software

Networking firm Avaya has offered to buy UK developer Ubiquity Software for £74.3m.
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Bebo poaches Google exec

Social networking site Bebo has appointed Google's ex-managing director of strategic partnerships Joanna Shields to head up its international expansion.

Open source is good for the economy: report

Europe's lawmakers should "correct" policies that "implicitly or explicitly" favour the use of proprietary software, according to a newly published report from the European Commission (EC).
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MI5 security alert finally runs on secure server

MI5's terror status mailing list has been made a little more secure even though the service has still not been moved onto a fully secure UK government-run infrastructure.

Could invisibility beat encryption?

PCMesh has unveiled software which it claims can hide any Windows file or directory, not only from other users - or thieves - of the same PC, but even from the operating system or a virus.
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Doctors urge action on gambling addiction

Treatment for gambling addiction must be made available on the NHS in the face of an industry buoyed by the internet, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Fact, fiction or bioterror drill? How to cook up a ricin scare

We Yanks love to be scared. The more scared we can be, the better. The Effect of Bioterrorism Messages on Anxiety Levels, a recent article in a peer-reviewed health quarterly, put a point to it. Those covering the science of terror beat in the United States have known for a bit that the mainstream media's uncritical transmission of expert hectoring on doom has had the proper effect.

PCI Express 2.0 released

The PCI SIG, overseer of the PCI Express add-in card standard, has finalised version 2.0 of the base specification. The new released doubles the signalling rate from 2.5Gbps to 5Gbps. The upshot: a x16 connector can transfer data at up to around 16GBps.
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Ajax on Rails

In an earlier tutorial we discussed Ruby on Rails. Ajax is an XMLHttpRequest-based web technique that you can use to transfer data between a client application and a web server, and which lets you update sections of the web page without reloading it.
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German fried in mole-electrocution experiment

A retired German construction foreman who tried to electrocute moles in the garden of his weekend house ended up frying himself, Reuters reports.