Two Americans pleaded guilty today to selling $6m worth of counterfeit software over eBay.
Two men who ran a spam operation to promote pornographic websites had the book thrown at them today. A federal jury in Phoenix, Arizona convicted Jeffrey Kilbride, 41, of Venice, California and James Schaffer, 41 of Paradise Valley, Arizona of eight counts, including conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and transportation of obscene materials.
Google has escalated its legal tussle with Microsoft over search features built into the Vista operating system. It has asked a federal judge to extend a 2002 antitrust consent decree to ensure Microsoft fulfills its pledge to fully resolve the stand-off.
Sun Microsystems is sick and tired of rolling over while the likes of IBM and Cray dominate the low margin, high profile world of super computers.
Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee has categorically rejected the government's case for new arrangements in handling Freedom of Information requests In a report into the government's proposed changes to the charging system for FoI requests, published on 25 June 2007, the committee said the government had failed to review adequately whether the existing arrangements balance public access rights with the needs of public authorities. The government had used the findings of a review commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs to argue for changes to be made to the FoI charging regime. This had found that "a small percentage of requests and requesters were placing disproportionately large resource burdens on public authorities". It proposed that, in addition to the time spent locating, retrieving and extracting information, public authorities would also be able to take into account the time spent reading the information, consulting other bodies and considering whether or not to release it. Ultimately, the proposals would push more requests over the cost threshold at which authorities can legitimately refuse such cases. Lambasting the DCA for the poor quality of information presented in its cost-benefit analysis, the committee said: "The focus of the DCA's work has been entirely on cost reduction, despite the absence of any evidence that such measures were necessary. There is no evidence that the DCA took steps to assess the benefits of the present regime." Declaring in no uncertain terms that "there is no objective evidence that any change is necessary", the report went on: "The Ministry of Justice should now focus on improving compliance with the existing provisions of the FoI Act and on reducing the delays encountered by requesters seeking information." A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office told GC News: "The commissioner had strong reservations about the practicalities of the proposals and believes that the problem of vexatious requests, which impose excessive burdens on public authorities, can and should be addressed through the existing provisions in the FoI Act." David Maclean MP's Private Member's Bill to exempt Parliament from the act is currently awaiting debate in the House of Lords. Commenting on the report in relation to the Bill, LibDem shadow justice secretary, Simon Hughes, said: "This report makes clear that David Maclean's attempt to change the rules and exclude Parliament from FoI requests was quite wrong, badly thought through and completely unjustified." A MoJ spokesperson said the government was currently reviewing its proposals following the close of its second consultation and would respond in due course. 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.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has started testing kit conforming to the second draft of the 802.11n standard, expecting certified products to be on the shelves by September, despite the fact that the final version of the standard isn't expected until next year.
Nvidia is said to be moving forward with a plan to allow notebook computers fitted with both integrated and discrete graphics chips to flip between the two GPUs, the better to balance battery life with all-out performance.
I am not a security expert but I recognise that security is fundamental to the successful implementation of ICT solutions. Different security solutions are used in different environments; simple user-id and password solutions are still popular, because they are inexpensive to implement, but they are not very secure.
Special FeatureSpecial Feature The Series 5 pocket computer from Psion was launched 10 years ago this week. It was a remarkable achievement: entirely new silicon, a new operating system, middleware stack and applications were developed from scratch in just over two years. This was the last time anyone undertook such a daunting task: it may be the last time anyone ever tries, either. Companies or projects that are formed to achieve simply one of these four goals typically end in failure: to achieve all four successfully, and put them in a product that was successful, too, was a triumph of creativity and management.
Apple's iPhone is going to hit Palm hard, a US analyst has forecast. Research in Motion's consumer-friendly BlackBerry Curve will harm the PDA pioneer too, Piper Jaffray wireless hardware analyst T Michael Walkley claimed this week.
Apple has released four new fixes for its Safari cross-platform internet browser - less than two weeks after its launch. The new patches mark the second update to Safari since its release, and are part of a larger Safari 3.0.2 beta release for Mac OS X and Windows.
Sony has pulled off a covert PSP firmware release that secretly removes a processor speed limit from the hardware, boosting the handheld games console's clock speed from 266MHz to 333MHz, an increase of over 25 per cent.
Acquisitions may or may not be good deals for the purchaser, but at best they pose serious questions for the users of the acquired company. In my recent article TIBCO acquires Spotfire: why?, I discussed the possibility that TIBCO was likely to be focusing the Spotfire BI solution in a different direction from previously, which might serve its best interests but not necessarily those of existing users of the Spotfire software. However, they are likely to be much better off than the users of one, and possibly two, other acquisitions that have recently been announced.
HP and Microsoft have agreed to continue cooperating on plans to take supercomputing to the mass enterprise and mid-sized markets.
Cisco has introduced an entry-level qualification for engineers wanting qualifications in installing and maintaining its routers.
Paris Hilton's three-weeks and two-days stint in the slammer has come to an end, with the blonde jailbird and hotel heiress walking free today. According to reports, Hilton, who had been banged up for drink-driving related offences, left the all-women's jail in Lynwood, California in the early hours of Tuesday. Her parents, Kathy and Rick who arrived in a black SUV, waited to take their now porridge-free daughter away. "She fulfilled her debt. She was obviously in good spirits. She thanked people as she left," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. Hilton, who had originally been sentenced to 45 days, had seen the jail term reduced to 23 days for good behaviour. Despite the leniency shown to the star it didn't stop her running for the Hollywood Hills just three days into the sentence, after a hysterical showdown led to her temporary release on unspecified "medical grounds". But superior court judge Michael T. Sauer, who had originally sentenced the Simple Life star, insisted she return to complete the jail term handed down to her. A few tantrums and tears later, tail-between-her-legs-Hilton returned to Lynwood to occasionally hunker down with her fellow convicts, though much of her time there was spent in a costly "special needs" unit away from the jail's 2,200 inmates. She is expected to complete probation in March 2009 as long as she behaves herself and avoids getting into any more boozy scrapes with her driver's license. Hilton also has the option of reducing that time by 12 months if she follows the footsteps of Naomi-mobile-phone-wielding-Campbell and does community service. Mixtures of good, and er, not so good wishes, have already started flooding in to the star's MySpace page. ®
ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. Providing a cohesive set of best practice guidance drawn from the public and private sectors across the world, it has recently undergone a major and important refresh programme.
Google is close to buying phone management company GrandCentral which provides one number for life which can be routed to various actual numbers.
It's an MP3 player. It's an FM radio. It's an e-book reader. It's a VoIP phone. It's a navigation gagdet. It's iRiver's W10, the South Korean company's latest attempt to out-perform the iPod - and now the iPhone too, it hopes.
Sun is looking to burnish its support credentials by offering to look after other vendors’ hardware as long it is running its Solaris OS.
ReviewReview How do you sell a seven-megapixel camera when so many rivals are doing the same? You can't rely on the usual features - big LCD, anti-blur tech, slimline metal casing, etc - because everyone else has those too. No, you need something a little different, and in Casio's case that means offering your latest compact camera with an optional underwater kit.
When the presidents of the USA and Estonia met on Monday, cyber warfare was still very much on the Estonian agenda.
IBM has unleashed a new iteration of its chess-playing powerhouse Blue Gene, which it also reckons is useful in academic and commercial fields like drug discovery and mineral exploration.
Dell has revamped its Inspiron laptop line with a set of three models all available in a choice of eight "vibrant" colours and with a pick of Intel or AMD processors.
HP has quietly snuck through an update to its home desktop PC range with the computer giant now officially shipping its media centre systems with hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD drives.
Avnet's Partner Solutions Sun Division has doubled the number of Sun resellers it serves in the UK.
IBM has agreed to pay $7m to settle a Securities and Exchange Commision investigation into financial statements from Dollar General in 2000. The money will go into a Dollar General general shareholder fund.
Voltage Security has been granted five patents covering the core functionality of their "identity-based" encryption products, though they're keen to share the technology with everyone on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.
Calling all owners of Apple's second-gen iPod Shuffle - here's a handy, dirt cheap alternative to the USB cable that came packed with your player: a plug-in USB adaptor.
Home networking, it seems, has become too complicated. Enter Sharp, coming to the rescue with its HN-VA40S and HN-VA10S adaptors, designed to help consumers build home networks using their existing electrical power wiring.
UK arms colossus BAE Systems is under investigation by US authorities for alleged corruption. According to The Guardian, BAE Systems last night received formal notification that the US Department of Justice was investigating "the company's compliance with anti-corruption laws, including the company's business concerning the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". BAE shares immediately plunged 10 per cent during morning trading, down 45.2p to 397p. The language of the BAE announcement to the London stock exchange suggests that the feds may indeed have a remit to investigate the company's affairs beyond the long-running al-Yamamah deal between the UK and Saudi Governments, as has previously been hinted. It's widely believed that convictions regarding al-Yamamah would be difficult to obtain, as the Saudi officials who have received allegedly corrupt payments are firmly backed by their relative the king. The Saudi state's position is that all payments were entirely legitimate, and thus no crime has taken place. Convictions regarding Saudi payments may be difficult to obtain; but other governments in Eastern Europe and Africa might well cooperate, especially with US diplomatic clout backing the feds. BAE, meanwhile, says it has done nothing wrong in following the terms negotiated by the British Government. The Ministry of Defence agreed that large amounts of the Saudi oil credit used to pay for jets and other weaponry under al-Yamamah would be returned to specified Saudi royals in the form of hard cash in Western bank accounts. If BAE had failed to pay up, it would have been guilty of defaulting on a contract. The fact that the UK Government has been entirely complicit in the handling of al-Yamamah has no doubt contributed to its decision to close down its own Serious Fraud Office investigation into the Saudi backhanders. Not to mention pressure from the House of Saud, who want no public discussion of the way they handle their country's revenues. Last year's announcement by the Saudis that they would purchase a large number of Eurofighters from BAE has no doubt furnished the desert princes with additional leverage. But the bloodhounds of the SFO, disgruntled at being whipped off a promising scent at the behest of foreign despots and their UK Government and arms-biz puppets, have had their revenge. It was almost certainly insiders at the SFO who leaked details of huge BAE/MoD payments to Saudi Prince Bandar via Riggs bank in Washington. That gives the American feds an in to the case, and it seems that not even Tony Blair's close chumship with George Bush, nor BAE's traditionally privileged status in DC, has been enough to keep the federal hounds on the leash. The hunt is on. Where it will lead remains to be seen. The smooth passage of BAE's push to buy US manufacturer Armor must surely now be in doubt. And if people at BAE actually start to go down - the US Government has already used the new US-UK anti-terror extradition arrangements very creatively against suspect Brit businessmen - the arms execs will be reluctant to take the fall alone. They've had government approval for everything they've done - in particular, from officials at the MoD arms-sales-encouragement agency. Some of the trails may lead a surprising distance up the British corridors of power; there will be worried faces along Whitehall this morning. Tony Blair may be getting out just in time, leaving a massive time bomb for his successor.®
We're getting reports of rampant heroism from IT support staff in flooded Sheffield. The city received about two months rainfall in a matter of hours yesterday. Three people have been killed by the floods and thousands forced to leave their homes.
Europe's highest court has ruled that the huge amounts telcos paid for their 3G licences didn't include VAT, so there's no opportunity for the companies to reclaim £3.3bn quid from the treasury.
Cost is the single biggest factor hampering companies that want to adopt a 'green' IT structure, according to new research. The study reveals that 82 per cent of the IT managers surveyed considered the environmental impact of their IT infrastructure and hardware as either "extremely" or "very" important.The survey of 100 IT managers attending the Citrix iForum conference in June was carried out by Neoware, a US thin-client provider.
Irish firm Clarion Consulting has acquired a majority stake in UK consulting firm The Planning Loft, in a deal that will increase its turnover to €7m.
XenSource has signed an agreement with NEC which it hopes will push demand and boost sales for its virtualisation server platform, XenEnterprise.
Cellphone-hack surveillance techniques, long the preserve of government operatives, may have gone mainstream as a family in the western USA reports unusually competent cellphone stalking.
Anyone wanting to book a ticket on Virgin Trains would be well advised to wait a little while as the company is currently unable to sell its discounted tickets, though its website will happily service travellers willing to fork out the full fare.
Security provider Trend Micro yesterday announced a brace of Microsoft-based strategies, rolling out improvements for its combo offering on Vista and proclaiming that it will handle antivirus for Hotmail/Live webmail services for a further year.
The GSM Association, trade body of the mobile phone industry, is calling for regulators around the world to allow the use of 3G technology in the 900MHz band. 3G generally operates around 2.1GHz, but the GSMA reckons that if it used 900MHz too, then an additional 300 million people would be able to experience the joys of 3G, worldwide. The lower frequency has much greater range, and should provide better in-building coverage; in the UK it's used by O2 and Vodafone for their 2G networks. Even though O2 and Vodafone have the rights to use the frequency in the UK, they are only allowed to deploy 2G: the licence explicitly states which technology is permitted. Ofcom, the UK regulator, is heavily committed to more technology-neutral spectrum licensing, and is promising a review towards the end of this year when the EU mandate, which insists on frequencies being allocated to technologies, abrogates. In the UK, those without 900MHz spectrum may well call foul, demanding some reallocation of the spectrum. The GSMA sees the frequency becoming a popular alternative to 2.1GHz, if regulation can be harmonised around the world to allow the kind of roaming that has proved so important to the popularity of GSM.®
AT&T and Apple have announced what the iPhone will cost customers over the two-year contract they'll be obliged to sign - and it's pretty-much what AT&T charges customers already.
The Register has been appalled by Microsoft paying bloggers to write advertorial for its latest hype campaign. The reason? We thought of it first, dammit.
Most software sucks, so statistically speaking the software you write probably sucks as well, according to the author of programming classics like Understanding COM+ (now out of print) and Introducing Microsoft .NET (now has a different title). His latest book, Why Software Sucks (buy it here), pillories applications with bad interfaces and poor user experiences as unsafe, unreliable and hard to use. He also encourages users to complain, publicly and repeatedly, so we asked him what overworked developers can do to avoid an avalanche of abuse.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have been lambasted by Congressmen after apparently attempting to conceal technical problems and programme slippages.
French firm Dassault Systemes today launched a site for sharing three-dimensional models that it hopes will become "the 3D Flickr".
The open source community risks leaving Asian users and developers behind, thanks to cultural differences and western business's tendency to treat programmers there as code monkeys rather than software designers, a senior Novell staffer has warned.
Netgear has announced it will be using technology from Ubiquisys to embed 3G femtocells into a home gateway product by the end of the year, though the box will also have Wi-Fi; in addition to being a DSL modem and VoIP router.
ICANN San Juan 2007ICANN San Juan 2007 The afternoon brought meatier fare - something a correspondent can sink his teeth into, so to speak. The RegisterFly debacle has forced ICANN into a bout of soul-searching, and the potential reform of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) provoked wide-ranging debate about ICANN's purpose and the rights of registrants to their domains. It also raised the specter of how to respond to the failure of an actual registry, rather than a registrar. Susan Crawford, ICANN board member and moderator of the discussion, broached the question of whether an entire top level domain (TLD) could be allowed to fail, or rather should be maintained somehow in perpetuity. The principal subject, however, revolved around how far to go to protect the rights of registrants in the event of another RegisterFly - the name no one could help but mention, try as they might not to. Domains as property? Most registrants view their domain somewhat like a place - it is an "address" of sorts. As more and more activity has migrated online, users virtualize more and more of what is already familiar, and the domain becomes increasingly more like a real world address. Of course, all it really is is a memorable shorthand for an numeric IP address that is treated differently very differently than real property by the ICANN RAA, but most registrants feel they own their domain in the same way that they own a house or a car. Is this fair? And just as importantly, is it a correct reflection of intellectual property law? Should a domain name be treated as a lesser form of intellectual property for no other reason than ICANN's convenience? Some in the domain industry want domain holders to have complete property rights, rather than the more narrowly defined "license" provided for in the current agreement. Others prefer stronger enforcement of the current agreement. From the perspective of trademark law, registrants who are actively using their domains in a business context already have more rights than the current RAA acknowledges. ICANN can talk all it wants about a renewable license granted to the registrant in the name, but at least in America, to establish a trademark requires only use. A strong case can be made that someone who runs a business in which the "address" is also the brand, rights holders deserve more protection, not less. Of course, if ICANN starts to enforce the data escrow clause in the RAA, situations like RegisterFly, in which legitimate domain holders lost domains through either corruption or incompetence by the registrar, wronged domain holders should be able at least to recover their domains. Data escrow Data escrow in some form is on the way, but debate ensued around just what information needs to be escrowed, and whether any privacy concerns will need to be addressed. Data escrow is one of the more important issues to be resolved, because it allows the wrong to be righted, and because an escrow clause is already in the RAA - it just hasn't been enforced. One of the more controversial measures concerned just how much information that ICANN collects on registrars should be in the public domain. Everyone agrees that registrars cannot be immune from business failure, but a free market also requires a free flow of information to consumers, and currently registrants have really no way to know how or stable reputable a registrar is. Registrar audits ICANN already audits the registrars - it's time for that information to be public. It's no different than the health department posting information on the cleanliness standards in a restaurant. If that requires a revision of the RAA, so be it. Ultimately, it's in everyone's best interest. Enforcement ICANN is putting more emphasis on enforcement of the RAA, which is long overdue - especially considering that some ICANN-approved registrars apparently don't maintain websites or take ICANN's calls. One topic of discussion covered some kind of graduated enforcement scheme, to allow ICANN to nip problems in the bud before they become fully-fledged RegisterFly-style disasters. Under the current RAA, ICANN's only remedy is de-accreditation, which is the nuclear option. The end result of that system was ICANN waiting until the situation was so dire that it had no other option - ie, RegisterFly. It's a name we're all tired of hearing. Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office
Laptop docking stations have never been much more than 21st Century clocking in and out machines. But now they can be so much more, Pyramat, the maker of the Lap Blaster, claims.
Yes, Google’s dominance extends beyond the desktop. Today, market research firm M:Metrics unveiled its latest rankings of the most popular mobile web destinations in the U.S. and Britain, and Google sits atop both lists. That said, the Mountain View outfit is significantly more popular in the States than in the UK. This past April, according to the study, 62.48 per cent of U.S. smartphone users visited Google domains, compared with 30.94 per cent of UK users. Google has topped M:Metrics’ rankings since they were first introduced in March. In the U.S, the company's most visited mobile domain is its search site, followed by Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube, the video download service it purchased in October. More than 2 per cent of users visited YouTube - a hefty haul for mobile video. On the M:Metrics U.S. list, Yahoo! ranks second, reaching 33.54 per cent of smartphone users, but it tumbles all the way to number nine in the British rankings, at only 10.97 per cent. In Britain, the runner-up is Orange (21.68 per cent), followed by the BBC (20.90) and Microsoft (17.75). Predictably, Microsoft is third on the U.S. list, just a hair behind Yahoo! at 33.36 per cent. It’s followed by mobile destinations operated by AT&T, Time Warner, Walt Disney, and News Corp. Reaching nearly twice as many users as its nearest competitor, Google’s dominance on in the U.S. mobile market mirrors its supremacy in the lucrative desktop search market. According to research firm Hitwise.com, Google handles 65.13 per cent of all U.S. web searches, followed by Yahoo! at 20.89 per cent. The latest rankings from Alexa.com have Google as the web’s third most visited destination, behind Yahoo! and MSN – but that doesn’t include YouTube hits. If YouTube is included, Google takes the top spot.®
AnalysisAnalysis Google has failed in its attempts to ride the coat tails of Microsoft's landmark antitrust settlement, leaving the search giant one possible course of action: initiate its own costly and drawn-out antitrust case. The judge who arbitrated Microsoft's 2002 settlement between the Department of Justice (DoJ) and prosecuting states has today rebuffed Google's plea to extend the length of that settlement to officially monitor Microsoft's promise last week that it would open Windows Vista to third-parties' desktop search.
Open source developers at Novell are spending this week on a 'working holiday' that the company calls Hackweek.
Next time you leave the office, turn off your machine. According to a new report, the typical mid-sized American business wastes more than $165,000 a year in electricity costs thanks to PCs left on through the night. That’s more than $1.72bn in wasted funds across the country.
We were skeptical on Monday when Symantec said it would atone for a bug that crippled the PCs of tens of thousands Chinese users by giving them free software. "Cockroach in your salad, sir? Have some free salad," was how we put it.
HP and Microsoft have decided to hold hands as they go after the high performance computing (HPC) market. Already the tightest of chums, the two vendors have extended an existing sales and marketing pact to the HPC arena. That means HP and Microsoft will whack you with a double-sided hammer, touting the wonders of HP's clusters and Microsoft's Windows Computer Cluster Server (CCS) 2003. The channel will have a chance to join in the fun as well, according to the vendors.
Microsoft has launched a "get the facts" style campaign, only this time to push sales of Windows Vista. The company has reportedly opened a website targeting OEMs and customers to counter reports circulating about missing driver support and a lack of third-party hardware and software working with Windows Vista.
Accutrac Software has moved Iron Mountain to reach for its wallet. Storage protection firm Iron Mountain will purchase Boston-based Accutrac Software to enhance its existing records management software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Iron Mountain will use the acquired technology for customers to manage, retain and access records throughout their life cycle. Accutrac XE software will be assimilated to offer new automation tools such as file indexing and classification, location tracking, records delivery request automation, archive reporting and a more robust set of search and filtering tools. Iron Mountain handles large corporations' data storage by keeping both paper and digital documents safe in locked-down warehouse storage. Their best known facility resides in a former limestone mine near Butler, Pennsylvania. Iron Mountain also offers private shredding services for customers wanting to remove a paper trail. The company is no stranger to acquisitions. In May, Iron Mountain purchased its privately held rival, ArchivesOne. The company has also purchased several small shredding and records management businesses in North America and the United Kingdom. ®
Have you heard of the Red Hat Exchange? Rest easy, you're not alone. Launched last month, RHX, as the kids call it, was meant to solidify Red Hat's place as the epicenter of all things tied to Linux servers. Partners such as MySQL, Pentaho, Zimbra, SugarCRM and Alfresco have allowed Red Hat to lead the sales, subscription and support efforts around their applications tied to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Ultimately, the software makers hope that a Red Hat-backed, centralized code warehouse will drive more business.
Facebook users who like to control who gets to see your account details, take note: political views, religious back ground and other sensitive details may be wide open to prying eyes even though you've configured your profile so its viewable only to designated friends.