17th > March > 2007 Archive

AMD praying ‘Barcelona’ makes up for four-core mistake

ExclusiveExclusive Bruised by a resurgent Intel, AMD wishes it had tackled the four-core era with a different approach. The chipmaker stands behind the technical merits of pumping out a so-called native four-core chip with all four cores on the same piece of silicon.
Ashlee Vance, 17 Mar 2007
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Only 326 lines of code said to be at issue in SCO-IBM flap

The Mount Everest of evidence proving IBM's Linux contributions infringed SCO's intellectual-property rights amount to little more than a mole hill, according to a lawyer for Big Blue, who recently told a federal judge SCO has identified only 326 lines of offending code, compared with more than 700,000 lines of IBM's GPL'd code in the Linux kernel. (Note: an earlier version incorrectly said out of a base of 700,000 lines.)
Dan Goodin, 17 Mar 2007

Ofcom, dividends, and Sky stocks

ColumnColumn It's now (almost) too late to submit your comment on what should be done with the "digital dividend" - which is to say, if you think Sky should have a monopoly on High Definition TV, then you'll be smiling.
Guy Kewney, 17 Mar 2007

A postcard from SunLIVE07

Sun's jamboree was held in the magnificent Methodist Central Hall in London to the sound of the Beatles' Revolution (Evolution, plus Innovation equals.... geddit?). The main theme was "going green" - now there's a surprise, but Sun actually has a good story here, to my mind.
David Norfolk, 17 Mar 2007

Dutch FOI disclosures reveal the odd business of evoting

Freedom of information disclosures in the Netherlands have revealed details of a bizarre dispute between Dutch electoral authorities and the supplier of the software used to administrate the elections. Letters obtained by the "We don't trust voting computers foundation", reveal some startling comments by Jan Groenendaal, the man whose company provides the software the Dutch officials use to organise elections - which polling stations will be staffed by which people, which facilities will be used and so on. His software is used with the Nedap voting machines currently used in 90 per cent of the electoral districts, and although it is not used in the actual vote count, it does tabulate the results on both a regional and national level. According to the freedom of information disclosures, Groenendaal wrote to election officials in the lead up to the national elections in November 2006, threatening to cease "cooperating" if the government did not accede to his requests. To understand these requests, some background is important. On October 4 last year, the Dutch TV program Een Vandaag aired a story about a group called the "We don't trust voting computers foundation". They had obtained two of the voting machines used in Dutch elections for testing, and demonstrated on air how the machines might be compromised. One of the "hackers" was a man called Rop Gonggrijp. Following the airing of the programme, the Dutch authorities ordered an investigation into the allegations. They also set up an independent commission, designed to scrutinise the electoral process in the Netherlands. Groenendaal responded by threatening to sue Een Vandaag, and demanded that the two machines acquired by the foundation be confiscated. He also wrote to Dutch election officials suggesting the Gonggrijp be arrested and detained. He wrote: "After all, his activities are destabilising society and are as such comparable to terrorism. Preventive custody and a judicial investigation would have been very appropriate." The disclosures also show that Groenendaal wrote to the government threatening to cease all activity if Rop Gonggrijp was appointed to the independent commission. A spokesman for Nedap told The Register that the disclosures were being blown out of all proportion "It is really much ado about nothing," he said. "Groenendaal's software doesn't have anything to do with determining the results in the elections, that is all done on our machines, and is developed in house." But in his blog Jason Kitcat of the Open Rights Group says it is "very worrying" that someone so important to democracy in the Netherlands would behave in this way. He says the scrutiny that e-voting is now getting in the region is long past due: "The Dutch have had evoting for years, and it has always had pretty lax monitoring. [After the hacks were broadcast] the government got interested and started asking for checks on the software." He believes it is this that precipitated Groenendaal's series of communications The report from the Commission is due in late 2007. Nedap says the review is timely. The spokesman told us: "Our election law is derived from the mid-1990's. Society evolves, and it is a different world. We have to adapt." We contacted Groenendaal for comment, but he has not returned any of our messages. ®
Lucy Sherriff, 17 Mar 2007

ICANN terminates RegisterFly with extreme prejudice

ICANN yesterday gave notice to terminate RegisterFly.com's right to handle domain transfers. The internet-oversight organisation has given RegisterFly 15 days notice to cease operating as an ICANN-accredited registrar. When the notice period expires on March 31, ICANN can approved the bulk transfer of domains to another ICANN registrar but in the meantime it says RegisterFly is required to provide "all necessary Authinfo codes to allow domain name transfers to occur. Any and all registrants wishing to transfer away from RegisterFly during this period should be allowed to do so efficiently and expeditiously." Dr Paul Twomey, president and CEO of ICANN, said: "Terminating accreditation is the strongest measure ICANN is able to take against RegisterFly under its powers. ICANN has been frustrated and distressed by recent management confusion inside RegisterFly. completely understand the greater frustration and enormous difficulty that this has created for registrants." New Jersey-based RegisterFly controls around two million domain names for 900,000 different owners. The company has been in meltdown for many weeks, following a vicious dispute fought through the courts between its two owners, Kevin Medina and John Narusewicz. ICANN's statement is here. ®
Drew Cullen, 17 Mar 2007