EMC's top salesman Dave DeWalt has left the storage giant to saddle up as CEO and president of security firm McAfee DeWalt joined EMC in 2003 when it bought his last CEO charge Documentum in 2003. After a management reshuffle last summer, some analysts put him in the race to succeed current EMC CEO Joe Tucci. DeWalt's responsibilities as EMC's executive VP and president of customer operations and content management and archive fall to current vice chairman Bill Teuber. DeWalt, 42, will take over from McAfee's interim boss Dale Fuller on April 2, who will serve as an advisor to begin with and then withdraw to his role on the board of directors. EMC took the opportunity to rejig its senior sales squad, with Americas sales chief Bill Scannell promoted to executive VP of global sales programs, reporting to Teuber. Senior VPs Mike DeCesare and Balaji Yelamanchili were annointed co-general Managers for content management and archive, reporting directly to CEO Tucci. EMC's announcement is here. McAfee's is here.®
CommentComment After pressure over the weekend from Wikipedia's Il Duce Jimmy Wales, the encyclopedia's most illustrious fake professor Ryan Jordan has resigned his post at Wikia Inc.
UpdatedUpdated eBay users are being targeted by an advanced Trojan that attempts to redirect traffic so it can silently bid on a car from the auction site's car section, Symantec is warning. It is the latest security headache for eBay, which has faced an onslaught of complaints from some users who say fraud on the site has increased to unacceptable levels over the past few months.
AMD vs IntelAMD vs Intel You say 'tomato.' I say 'troubling and flawed document retention policy.' Yes, friends. AMD and Intel are at it again, attacking each other this time over Intel's e-mail saving strategy. The chip giant is in the process of turning over millions of e-mails and other documents to AMD's attorneys as the companies head toward an anti-trust trial. And, wouldn't you know it, some of Intel's e-mails have gone missing due to what its attorneys characterize as "inadvertent mistakes." As Intel tells it, the company set a firm, clear document retention policy in place once it learned of AMD's legal intentions. Employees, however, didn't always follow the instructions. Some workers, for example, would move their inbox e-mails to a hard drive but then forget to move their sent box e-mails to that hard drive. Once Intel's automatic e-mail deletion system kicked in every couple of months or so, the sent box e-mails went to message heaven. Whoops. Intel copped to a number of other retention gaffes in a letter to district court judge Joseph Farnan. In that same letter, Intel vowed to introduce a new e-mail archiving system from EMC that will automatically store e-mails for employees who have been handed a legal hold notice. The company also plans to go through e-mail chains, looking for some of the missing notes. That's all too little, too late, according to AMD, which filed suit against Intel way back in June 2005. "Though all the facts are not in, potentially massive amounts of email correspondence generated and received by Intel executives and employees since the filing of the lawsuit may be irretrievably lost, as may other relevant electronic documents," AMD said in a court filing. "The damage does not appear confined to low-level or marginally important witnesses; to the contrary, Intel executives at the highest level failed to receive or to heed instructions essential for the preservation of their records, and Intel and its counsel failed to institute and police a reliable backup system as a failsafe against human error." AMD goes on to question some of Intel's clunky data retention policies such as instituting an "honor system" for certain employees to have them store key documents on external storage boxes. Sensing their advantage, AMD's lawyers turned to flowery language to put Intel's data retention issues in true context. "Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong," they claim. The lawyers then followed that up saying, "Although Intel has agreed to restore all data captured in the thousands of backup tapes it made and preserved, no one can say with any degree of confidence that this will put Humpty-Dumpty back together again." AMD and Intel are set to appear before the judge in a Delaware court on Wednesday. AMD has accused Intel of using unfair practices to stop server and PC makers from using its chips. Inttel has denied the charges. ®
Italian media magnate Silvio Scaglia is to set up the international headquarters of his new internet broadcasting service in Dublin. The Irish Times reported on Monday that Scaglia, who ranks 764th in the Forbes list of billionaires, plans to create 100 media jobs in Dublin to support the launch of internet protocol television (IPTV) service Babelgum. Scaglia, a telecommunications entrepreneur, founded fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband company FastWeb in 1999 after working as chief executive of Italian mobile operator Omnitel (now Vodafone Italia). Babelgum chief executive Erik Lumer told reporters Scaglia's group had chosen to set up in Dublin because of the availability of skilled technical people and also because of the presence of technology giants such as Google. Babelgum is focusing on encouraging independent producers to supply programming to its new service in order to get around copyright issues that have bogged down other IPTV start-ups. The Irish Times suggests this strategy could be beneficial for Ireland's independent production sector if it can negotiate with RTE the right to sell productions originally commissioned by the State broadcaster. Irish technical staff may also be expected to play a role in developing new ways for viewers to find and share video programming on the web, and Babelgum is currently developing new search and programme-sharing technologies, according to media reports. Babelgum is planning to broadcast nine channels showing English language videos, movie trailers, short films, Associated Press news clips, entertainment news, sports and animation. Like similar service Joost, Babelgum will be free to view but will include ads. Babelgum users will need a broadband connection to access the service, and will also have to download Babelgum software in order to turn their PC monitor into an internet TV screen. Copyright © 2007, ENN
Network Appliance has renewed another chunk of its midrange, sliding the 3040 series in on top of the 3020 and 3050. The new box adds technology such as 64-bit processors, 4Gig Fibre Channel and Gig Ethernet, and is in effect a half-size version of the 3070 released last year.
ITV has cancelled all premium-rate phone-ins across its channels while auditor Deloitte checks the bills. The probe takes two parts - first to check all current phone-ins are being run properly and, secondly, a retrospective investigation into all such competitions which have been held in the last two years. Therefore, all premium rate competitions, whether by landline, mobile phone, or red button have been cancelled. Competitions will not return until signed off programme by programme by Deloitte. ITV issued a statement to the Stock Exchange which said it had asked auditors to report back "with some urgency" - the statement did not mention any impact on revenues. Eckoh, the phone service provider for Cactus TV which produces the Richard and Judy Show, also issued a statement to the LSE yesterday. It said it supported ITV's decision and would co-operate with the investigation. Premium rate services regulator Icstis, which is running its own probe, also welcomed the decision. It said the TV industry had a role in restoring viewer confidence in such competitions and it was glad ITV was taking those responsibilities seriously. Shows hit include Dancing on Ice, Loose Women, and This Morning. For more details, see Icstis's statement (pdf.), or one from ITV here. ®
The outlook for jobs in the European technology sector is good but the spectre of outsourcing looms ominously, according to a new report. The IT Confidence Study, conducted by Eurocom Worldwide and Simpson Financial & Technology PR (Simpson FTPR), asked 217 senior executives across Europe about their views on the sector.
An unknown driver trashed an £830,000 Bugatti Veyron on Sunday in what UK tabloid The Sun is calling "the world's costliest road crash". The 253mph beast crashed in pouring rain on a 40mph stretch of the B375 near Chertsey, Surrey, while allegedly doing 100mph. The driver apparently lost control and the hand-built French motor hit a Vauxhall Astra before "smashing into trees up a 3ft bank". An eyewitness told The Sun: "It was clearly an almighty bang. Bits of Bugatti were strewn all over the road. The front had been virtually ripped off, every panel was damaged and the front wheels were pointing in opposite directions." The Veyron is owned by a businessman "who runs a car hire and management company with his brothers", The Sun notes. He claimed he'd rented it to the driver for a cool £20,000 a day having coughed up an over-the-odds £925,000 for the car, which was delivered just a week earlier. Regarding a possible salvage operation, Nick Lancaster of car dealers HR Owen said: "It is the first Veyron I have heard of being damaged. We cannot say yet whether it is written off or not." In case you're wondering just what the world's most expensive prang looks like, The Sun has pics here. ®
The European Commission is considering the feasibility of an interoperable electronic identity (eID) system across Europe. The eID system is expected to help reduce the administrative burden on mobile workers and travellers in the EU. It will also simplify cross border business transactions, company registrations, or payment of tax obligations for small businesses. Speaking at the International Conference Advancing eGovernment in Berlin on 1 March 2007, Viviane Reding, EC member responsible for information, society and media, told delegates: "Proving one's identity, securing rights for allowances and filling in unfamiliar documentation can be a real struggle." She said the EC was not proposing a new European eID system, but wanted to enable "mutual recognition" in existing systems. The eID could also be used to access frequently used services across multiple departments. These could include medical reimbursement, unemployment benefit, pensions, and other allowances. "It does not matter that there are different eID systems across Europe," said Reding. "Let's just agree that these systems can talk to each other, recognise and authenticate bona fide identities and open doors to universal access to online public services." The EC is inviting countries to work together to put forward proposals for a large scale pilot on eID interoperability later this year. Reding also told delegates that citizens and businesses expect "once only data provision". She said simplifying services for citizens will solve the "interoperability puzzle", but if administration was reduced for Europe's 20 million firms it would aid economic prosperity and reduce errors and delays within the public sector. "The administrative burden can be as high as seven per cent of GDP in Greece and Hungary and the Baltic States but could be reduced down to the 1.5 per cent recorded in the UK and Sweden," she said. The commission's action plan for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the European Union has set a target to reduce burdens on businesses by 25 per cent by 2012. The EC is also launching the next phase of its five year eGovernment action plan later this month. The plan will extend its best practice examples to include e-health and e-inclusion. It will also support exchanges of practice and community building tools using the latest social networking tools. This article was originally published at Kablenet. Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.
Riverbed is the latest WAN optimiser to add SSL capabilities, with a version of its RiOS operating system that lets its Steelhead appliances look into and accelerate SSL traffic. Riverbed said the addition was essential given the number of mission critical Web-enabled enterprise apps which now use SSL for security.
Naomi Campbell will "mop floors and sweep corridors" for five days as punishment for chucking a mobile phone at her maid, the Evening Standard reports. In January, Campbell pleaded guilty in a New York court to a charge of reckless assault on Ana Scolavino, and was ordered to pay Scolavino's medical expenses of $363 and to do five days community service. Campbell's lawyer expressed his client's wish to do her hard time indoors, thus sparing her the public humiliation suffered by Boy George - condemned to sweep the Big Apple's streets last year after falsely reporting a burglary at his New York apartment. Although a Campbell spokesman said yesterday that "Naomi is ready to complete her sentence no matter where or what she is assigned", the Streatham clotheshorse appears to have got her wish, and "will be expected to work as a cleaner at a public building in New York". ®
Commodore Gaming, the latest incarnation of the famous 1970s/80s computing brand, wants another stab at the big time. Later this month it will show off a "new breed" of gaming PC.
Prompted by a filing Diebold made last week with the SEC, analysts in the US are beginning to wonder aloud about the future of Diebold Election Systems. In the filing, Diebold warned that further changes to the rules governing electronic voting could hurt its business. It said it is "vulnerable to these types of challenges because the electronic elections systems industry is emerging", and complained of inconsistency between states on how elections are run. It also acknowledged that the rising concern over the reliability and security of its machines has had a negative impact on its relationships with election officials. Now speculation is mounting that the firm might try to jettison the division in a bid to repair its reputation. Negative publicity about the voting machines - such as the HBO documentary Hacking Democracy - has cast a shadow over the 150-year old company, analysts say. Until its move into e-voting, the firm was better known for its safes and automated teller machines. Gil Luria, an investment analyst who monitors Diebold for Wedbush Morgan Securities told reporters for the Associated Press: "This is a company that has built relationships with banks every day of every year. It pains them greatly to see their brand tarnished by a marginal operating unit." Late last year, Diebold said it would announce its long-term strategy for the elections division early in 2007. It said at the time that the unit would be evaluated in terms of profitability, growth, and long-term strategic fit. Luria says he expects to hear that the division will be sold: "I imagine at this point it's a question of whether have they found a private equity buyer yet or are they about to announce they are going to look for one." But others are more circumspect. With the possibility of tougher rules governing the use of the voting machines, and no additional funding likely, the voting machines business is looking increasingly uncertain. Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services, notes that in Diebold's shoes, he'd be wondering about the benefits of staying in the market, but added that in such an uncertain market, finding a buyer might prove tricky. ®
In an investigation for the Daily Mail, security consultant Adam Laurie has demonstrated how a new UK biometric passport can be cloned without even being removed from its delivery envelope. The Mail exploit draws on previous work by Laurie and others, and puts together vulnerabilities in the chip technology, and in the chip security and logistics systems used by the Identity & Passport Service.
China has announced a ban on the opening of new internet cafes, Reuters reports. Xinhua news agency today quoted a directive "jointly released by 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Culture", which declares: "In 2007, local governments must not sanction the opening of new internet bars." In addition, net cafes already approved must be open for business by 30 June. According to Xinhua, there are around 113,000 internet "cafes and bars" across China. National People's Congress deputy Yu Wen said: "It is common to see students from primary and middle schools lingering in internet bars overnight, puffing on cigarettes and engrossed in online games." The net cafe clampdown comes as China looks to moderate the negative influence of the internet. In January, Chinese Communist Party big cheese Hu Jintao pledged to "purify the internet environment" by promoting its "civilised running and use". ®
Nvidia yesterday rolled out its latest workstation-class graphics cards: three boards based on its 'G80' unified-shader graphics chip. The trio can be used to accelerate science and engineering apps as well a graphics software, the company said.
AMD's anticipated RV610 budget DirectX 10 graphics chip will only support single-channel memory configurations when it's launched this coming May, it has been claimed.
Microsoft executive Tom Rubin will use a speech to the American Association of Publishers, which is suing Google, to slag off the search engine's attitude to copyright. The comments might sound a little rich coming from a company which just last month was ordered to pay $1.52bn for infringing patents belonging to Alcatel-Lucent. Rubin is speaking to the American Association of Publishers later today in New York, but summarised his comments in the Financial Times and on this page of microsoft.com. Rubin accuses Google of taking a unilateralist approach to copyright in regard to its Google Books project, which is digitising books from several sources. Microsoft's rival product MSN Books Search is doing the same thing for the British Library. There is nothing very specific about how to solve the problems of consumer desire for online access to just about everything and making sure copyright holders are compensated. Heading for the moral high ground, Rubin claims Microsoft "seeks to collaborate with copyright holders in developing technologies and business models that not only build a competitive and varied marketplace of online book content, but at the same time nurture the incentives for creativity reflected in copyright law without which no artist or writer – and no society that aspires to a living culture – can thrive". On Google's YouTube, Rubin claims nearly every major movie and TV company is deeply concerned about copyright infringements on the site. Rubin claims: "Google simply denies liability and appears to be trying wherever possible to skirt copyright law's boundaries." In fact, several copyright owners are working with YouTube. Microsoft's version of YouTube, called Soapbox, went into public beta last month. If it gets enough of an audience it is likely to have similar copyright problems as YouTube. At time of writing there were 43 clips of South Park footage on the site - something copyright owner Viacom may have an issue with. Viacom has spent some time and effort getting its content removed from YouTube. ®
Reseller 2e2 is paying £52.9m for all the shares of UK reseller and hire company Compel. Compel shareholders will get 149.3 pence per share. This price represents a 14 per cent premium on yesterday's close or a 59.5 per cent premium on its average closing price over the last year. The Compel board unanimously recommends the offer.
Fujitsu has introduced what it claims is the World's first 2.5in, 7,200rpm 3Gbps SATA hard drive, a notebook-oriented unit with a raw storage capacity of 160GB.
The first ever plant/human hybrid is to be approved for commercial scale cultivation. According to reports, the US authorities have given preliminary approval for the crop to be grown on a 3,000 acre plot in Kansas. The plant in question is rice, but it has been spliced with human DNA that will make it grow a protein found in both human breast milk and saliva. Ventria Bioscience, the California-based firm behind the crop, says the protein can be used to treat children with diarrhoea. The decision by the US Department of Agriculture has provoked an outcry from anti-GM campaigners because of concerns over contamination of the food chain, possible allergic reactions to the proteins, and a lack of knowledge on the impact such large scale cultivation might have. Others have registered ethical objections, a disinclination towards meddling with the building blocks of all life. But these are much harder to quantify, and legally impossible to use as a basis for restricting the import of the crop to the UK and Europe, once it has passed the required safety tests. Friends of the Earth said the development was very worrying. Campaigner Claire Oxborrow said genetically modified rice had already contaminated the food chain, and called on the government to take a stand against the drug companies. "The government must urge the US to ban the production of drugs in food crops," she said. "It must also introduce tough measures to prevent illegal GM crops contaminating our food and ensure that biotech companies are liable for any damage their products cause." Ventrica argues that the risk is small: Kansas has no commercial rice farms, making contamination unlikely. In addition, it says it will use dedicated storage and processing facilities to handle the crop. The firm also says the pay off is worth what risk there might be. It says its own research showed that children suffering from dehydration caused by diarrhoea recovered more quickly when given electrolytes mixed with the proteins it plans to grow in the rice. ®
Apple has released an updated version of its popular QuickTime media playback software that fixes eight security vulnerabilities.
Always be careful what you wish for. I liked Stuart Okin when he was chief security officer for Microsoft UK and thought he did a lot for Microsoft's credibility in this area, but I'm afraid I occasionally laughed at Microsoft for putting a developer type in charge of security, instead of a superannuated spook as everyone else does. Well, I'm sorry now, as at Microsoft's Architect Insight conference (you can find the programme here) I saw the pukka ex-FBI agent now in charge (Ed Gibson) – and he's actually a bit scary. Ed Gibson is an entertaining speaker, but he sure plays the FBI card and "protect the little girls" hard - and actually wears a suit (so Microsoft really is the new IBM).
ReviewReview The iTube is a valve amplifier - yes valves, those old-fashioned glowing things that TVs used to have - with an iPod dock unit, all encased in chrome and black metal. It's really two separate systems: a power amplifier, which is the analogue bit, and the dock.
Nvidia will bring a trio of mid-range DirectX 10 graphics chips to market next month in a bid to see off the challenge posed by AMD's upcoming ATI-branded RV610 and RV630 GPUs, it has been claimed.
Carphone Warehouse is offering a music download service as an adjunct to its MyMobileLife website. MyMobileMusic is managed by Virgin Digital and based on Microsoft DRM, so only Windows users need apply, and there's no iPod compatibility (though, intriguingly, it claims to be "working on it" in the FAQ). Tracks come in at 79 pence each, with albums properly discounted and competitive. The interface is nice - very WEB 2.0, with drag-and-drop interactivity, which adds little functionality but looks good. It may seem a strange time to launch a branded music service, where companies such as Coke have failed to make a significant impact, but Carphone clearly believes it needs to be in the content-provisioning business. You would think launching an iPod-excluding service would belie rumours of Carphone taking the Apple iPhone later this year, but any such decision would probably be taken by a distinctly different part of the business so not too much should be read into that. ®
Academics have used Ian Fleming's own opinion of how the ideal Bond would look to create a composite e-fit of 007, the Daily Telegraph reports. Professors Rob Jenkins and Richard Wiseman of the Universities of Glasgow and Hertfordshire, respectively, used a technique dubbed "prototyping", which is based on the fact that most people are "poor at describing a face that they have in their mind, but they can easily pick out photographs of faces that resemble the image they are thinking of". Researchers have already shown that, accordingly, using photos which resemble the face the person is imagining and blending them together "creates an accurate image of that person". Back in 1961, Fleming identified Richard Burton, Stewart Granger, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, James Mason, Patrick McGoohan, and David Niven as having the right facial attributes to carry a licence to kill. Jenkins and Wiseman duly assembled the necessary snaps and put togther the composite seen here. Wiseman said: "We have used face merging technology to create the image of Bond that Ian Fleming had in mind when he wrote his books. The image shows a clean-cut, classic looking face which is far more Connery than Craig. Perhaps this is another way of resolving the question of who is the best Bond." Those readers wishing to discuss the comparative merits of Connery and Craig can catch up with the two profs tomorrow evening at the Dana Centre in London's Science Museum, where they'll be hosting "The Scientist who Loved Me".
Virgin Media isn't going to take Sky's withdrawal of its basic channels lying down, and has threatened legal action for abuse of a dominant position if Sky doesn't agree to independent arbitration within 30 days. Virgin pays Sky to carry Sky's channels on its cable network, but Sky also carries Virgin's channels (including Living and Bravo) on its satellite network. It is how Sky compares the value of those channels from which a legal case could be built. No one is suggesting Bravo is worth the same as Sky One, but Virgin does claim that viewing figures for Sky's channels are falling, while the numbers watching its own channels continue to rise. Over the last three years, Virgin's figures show a 20 per cent drop in the number of homes with Virgin Media (cable) tuned to Sky channels, while reckoning that the number of Sky (satellite) homes tuned to Virgin channels increased 15 per cent in the same period. Despite this, Virgin says Sky is asking for more money, while paying less - doubling the former while cutting the latter by 85 per cent, and Virgin claims this is unfair. Should the matter end up in court we'll be treated to the amusing sight of Sky claiming that Sky One isn't an important channel, and it'll be quick to point out the success Virgin has had getting rights for on-demand delivery of programmes. It could be that this is just sabre rattling, and a further attempt to portray Virgin as the plucky little-guy being bullied by the bigger corporation - something Virgin has done successfully many times. But in reality this is a competition between two large global companies, and this threat is far from the last act in the developing drama. ®
Apple has updated its iTunes jukebox software, but Windows Vista users hoping the new release provides the promised support for Microsoft's latest operating system will be disappointed: Apple is still listing the app as an XP-only affair.
Serbian vampire hunters have acted to prevent the very remote possibility that former dictator Slobodan Milosevic might stage a come-back - by driving a three-foot stake through his heart. According to Ananova, the politically-motivated Van Helsings, led by Miroslav Milosevic (no relation), gave themselves up to cops after attacking the deceased despot in his grave in the eastern town of Pozarevac. Milosevic popped his clogs back in 2006, while on trial in a UN war crimes tribunal for various unsavoury activities connected with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. Miroslav Milosevic said "he and his fellow vampire hunters acted to stop the former dictator returning from the dead to haunt the country". His team explained that the wooden stake had been "driven into the ground and through the late president's heart". Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia naturally condemned the desecration, while his daughter-in-law Milica Gajic said she "planned to sue the vampire hunters and accused the police of failing to protect the grave properly". ®
A flaw in Citrix's Presentation Server Client creates a means for hackers to compromise machines running the popular thin-client application. The vulnerability stems from an unspecified bug involving support for Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) connections through a proxy server. ICA is an application server protocol used by Citrix products.
Meizu will be tempting consumers with four versions of is iPhone-like M8 MiniOne smart phone later this year, according to forum posts allegedly made by the company's CEO himself.
LettersLetters The government has announced plans to fingerprint kiddies and store their details on a database. Now don't get all upset about it, it's only once they turn 11, and it'll help keep out all those nasty illegal immigrants. All the really short ones, anyway. So they are clearly running scared that the big ID cards proposal is going to collapse around them, so is this a plan to introduce it by the back door ? Get all the kids and eventually they will grow up into adults and already be on the database ? Simon "defenseless against illegal immigration" ? Is Great Britain being invaded by hordes of foreign children ? What kind of basis allows for such an argument ? I am not an expert on illegal immigration, far from, but it does seem to me that adults, and more specifically adult males, are the principal element of illegal immigration. Women and children have a tendency of following once the man has found a favorable spot. So how is it that fingerprinting a kid will stop illegal immigration ? If that is the case, then let's just stuff newborn babies and the general population with RFID chips, and put scanners in all streets and public areas. That will be another wonderful opportunity for boatloads of government pork to be wasted, and once the system is running, anybody who cannot authenticate himself at the nearest light pole can safely be considered a terrorist - or a tourist, but let's not get picky, hmm ? What's that ? Is that the sound of Byrne salivating ? Pascal. 'He said much the same in the Commons last month: "It would render us defenceless in the war against illegal immigration."' Yes, because what better defense against inward immigration than to institute the creeping march towards totalitarianism. Garrett Speaking of creeping totalitarianism, the government scrapped plans for a youth ID card. Yes, the same government that wants to fingerprint kiddies. Joined up government, that. See above. Re: UK gov scraps youth ID card "However, the DfES said in a statement that it realised last summer it might have trouble seeing its plans through because there was no off-the-shelf technology it could use to run the youth card." Where I sit right now, I have all the off-the-shelf technology needed for a system like that within about 300 feet. The only difference is where the money comes from and how it's administered - which could be done with a creative VBScript or something equally crap. It seems that the UK's IT folks doesn't have the MacGyver-like skills that it takes to survive a simple US helpdesk position, much less design and build systems on time and under budget. Tony And while we are still thinking about immigration, foreigners illegal and otherwise, we come to news that foreign workers are being underpaid, stealing our jobs, marrying our women and running off with our donkeys. Er, wait...we'll come back to that. Concerning your article on foreign IT workers in the UK; I doubt they are being paid below the going rate. I know of a number of French IT consultants who are buying huge family homes and second holiday- homes on the back of their lucrative NHS contracts. They are even being flown out and back each weekend from the sunny Cote D'Azur. Luxury accomodation and hire cars in the UK are also included. Good work if you can get it ! ;-) Nev 1) the "market rate" is some kind of average, rather than a mandated minimum rate. That means that, by definition, a significant percentage of people must be being paid less than this rate. This is similar to "50% of people earn less than the average salary!" 2) if the supply side of the UK "market" (and AMICUS represents one part of this market) doesn't allow rates to go down as well as up, then the purchasers will either: buy less; or buy abroad where prices are lower. Neither is desirable for people who are employed in this market in the UK nor for the UK economy as a whole. David See, donkeys, and the human love thereof. "the Unlawful Accommodation of Donkeys Act 1837" This implies that Great Britain was already rife with surprised donkeys BEFORE 1837. Good heavens ! One can only wonder how many more bestial acts have taken place since then. Looks like if the Internet had been invented back then, it would be full of (shudder) donkey pics. I very much prefer the modern version. Pascal. Thank you for this fascinating news. What it seems you've neglected is that all-important subject: what precisely is governed by the strictures of the Unlawful Accommodation of Donkeys Act 1837, why was it needed in 1837, and how did they set fines in Euros at that time? Please, rush us a follow-up article! DV And should you have a donkey you wish to surprise in a private place, you might find the web-shoted database of public toilets very useful. You just might. OK? Of course the real story about the toilet database is how quickly it fills up with pranks. Newcastle, Anywhere in Gloucester and Buck Palace have already been added as toilets in their own right. Hopefully the owners will feature a 'flag as a poor joke' button soon. Michael Hmm - I checked out Ireland, and there in the little town of Falcarragh, County Donegal, there is a pub called Biddy Jacks. Interesting to note that they've got their priorities right. Green for condoms, mirrors and a blow dryer....nothing else apart from separate cubicles. No MacDonalds in Donegal, you see... Regards Owen Pranging your car always leave you with a sense of dread. We reckon this is because it always raises those awkward questions - how much is the wing mirror going to cost to replace? Why the hell didn't you look when you were reversing out of your drive? Will the squirrel be OK Daddy? Oh, and where am I going to find another million quid Bugatti? "the world's costliest road crash" Really? Could be urban myth I suppose, but one has always believed that that description applied to an incident in France, where someone broke down (or otherwise stopped) on a level crossing. The train that hit them left the rails and breached a canal, which was carrying commercial traffic. I'm supposed to be at work just right now so I'm not going to see if I can find any reference to this incident! Tim I think the sun are pretty wrong on calling the bugatti bang (it'll come out with t-cut) the world's most costliest crash. Our own selby rail crash, attributable to a bloke nodding off behind the wheel, is estimated to have cost around €46M, however the prize goes to the Mont Blanc rail crash, the cost of which is estimated at €100M+ I realise it's not your words, but you did quote 'em so I blame you entirely. I still feel envious that your job involves searching the net for humourous stories involving Bulgarian Airbags. Cheers, Nick. It'll T-Cut out, not a problem... Fraser Jonathan Ross as bond? Shurely shome mishtake. And yet: So Jonathon Ross is James Bond? I even found a suitable IT related pic to back it up... From Wussia wiv lov. Steve Magnificent - well played! And finally, topical, and silly at the same time. Alternative explanations for lost planets were sought, and received: > How else to explain the pictures? The Guinness brewing company today strenuously denied claims that silicon contamination was the reason behind reports of defective Guinness across South-East England. Bar staff provided independent accounts that "... it flows into the glass OK, but the head fails to separate fully in the usual way... it only happens to drinks purchased from the big, high-discount pubs...". One source confirmed that the contaminated Guinness affected alcohol sensors in drinkers' bodies so that, after a few gallons, they stopped working properly and came to a sudden, complete halt in the middle of the road. "It makes your pint look just like a PhotoShopped image of Saturn", observed one "Dark Matter" expert. [End] Note for editors: Silicon is an ingredient that is never added to dark stouts to enable it to flow smoothly and freely. However, Trading Standards officers confirmed that Guinness is never usually tested for the presence of silicon and so there was nothing to prevent a rogue batch from reaching consumers. Robin Marvellous. On that note, tarrah folks. Back with more on Friday. ®
In days of yore there were apprenticeships, that time when young people went through a mixture of work, education and mickey-taking by one’s elders and self-professed betters in order to learn something useful in the time to start proper employment. They are long gone of course, but increasingly are being replaced by student competitions where every entrant gets some experience, some win prizes and some get hunted down and employed by the prize-giving companies.
A US man awaiting trial on firearms offences is suing Microsoft after FBI technicians found self-made sex videos and evidence that he frequented porn sites on his PC. Michael Alan Crooker, currently on remand in a Connecticut jail on charges of selling illegally modified firearms and possessing bomb-making equipment, is inflamed that security settings on his PC failed to prevent Federal agents from finding out about his smut-surfing habits. He's suing Microsoft in Massachusetts Superior Court for privacy violations that he claims caused him "great embarrassment" in a lawsuit that seeks $200,000 in damages in compensatory and punitive damages. Crooker bought his Compaq Presario PC, which came preloaded with Windows XP and several security utilities, at a Massachusetts branch of US retailer Circuit City in 2002. Circuit City assured Crooker that the security technology bundled with the PC would protect his privacy. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents seized the PC when they raided his home in June 2004 over allegations stemming from the alleged sale of an air rifle equipped with a silencer. Unable to examine the PC itself, BATF agents sent it to the FBI's Cryptologic and Electronic Analysis unit, where technicians were able to take an image of the PC for forensic analysis despite protection supposedly afforded by Compaq's DriveLock security software. This analysis found video files of Crooker and his girlfriend making out along with evidence that he frequented pornographic Web sites, medical records and correspondence between Crooker and his attorneys. They also found Internet history files that showed Crooker's fondness for pornographic Web sites. Crooker said he set Internet Explorer to delete his internet history file every five days and is upset computer forensics investigators were able to obtain data on his porn-surfing habits. "Any day beyond those parameters is supposed to be permanently deleted and is not supposed to be recoverable," Crooker said in the lawsuit, Information Week reports. He's also aggrieved that Compaq's DriveLock security software was capable of being circumvented by the FBI. The plaintiff, filing from behind bars, cuts an unsympathetic figure and his charge against Microsoft is clearly preposterous since Microsoft makes no claims that internet history tracks are erased by Internet Explorer. Simple deletion does not put files beyond forensic recovery, as any tech-savvy Reg reader will know. There again we're talking about the US, where everybody is entitled to their day in court and perhaps Crooker may yet win out in his legal bid. In the court papers, Crooker said he's reached settlements with Hewlett-Packard, which owns Compaq, and Circuit City. ®
CommentComment HP CEO Mark Hurd's next cost-cutting measure could come as the company axes its entire public relations staff. Who needs PR professionals, after all, when you have Forbes reporter Quentin Hardy?