27th > August > 2007 Archive

2

Crisis? What crisis?

AnalysisAnalysis Unless you live in a bunker, you will have noticed the sub-prime credit crisis that has sucker-punched the US, pushing interest rates down, weakening the dollar and battering stocks and shares worldwide.
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2007
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15

Hit the Pano button - desktops go virtual

Marry the renewed thin client/blade PC rage with the uproar around virtualization software, and you get Pano Logic.
Ashlee Vance, 27 Aug 2007
18

The Revenge of the BlackBerry killers?

ReviewReview To say that I find BlackBerry-type phones unappealing is an understatement. So the prospect of using two of these phones was about as attractive as cleaning the wax out of my left ear by sticking a knitting needle through my right ear.
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Aug 2007
4

Fastscale puts VMware on a diet

Just a few months after de-stealthing, software maker Fastscale has updated the user interface of its flagship product and, more importantly, added a new package for managing VMware virtual servers.
Ashlee Vance, 27 Aug 2007
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Sharp touts ultra-slim LCD TV

Sharp has lowered the bar for the thickness of an LCD TV. It has developed a prototype 52in telly that's as little as 2cm thick.
James Sherwood, 27 Aug 2007
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Samsung two-way slider spied on web

The mobile phone rumour mill has been grinding to the tune of reports that Samsung has created a stylish slider handset. And now the pictures to prove it have popped up on the web.
James Sherwood, 27 Aug 2007
4

Acer to grab Gateway for $710m

Acer plans to buy Gateway in a deal worth $710m, which will make Taiwan's computer giant the third-largest computer supplier in the world.
Austin Modine, 27 Aug 2007
16

Yahoo! Unveils! New! Mail! Service!

You can now use Yahoo! Mail to swap text messages with mobile phones. If you're living in the right country. With the popular web-based mail client approaching its tenth anniversary, Yahoo! has unveiled a shiny new version that trades texts with any cell phone in the U.S., Canada, India, and the Philippines. We send our apologies to the UK. The new Yahoo! Mail was announced early this morning on the company's official blog, Yodel Anecdotal. Yes, Yodel Anecdotal. Company VP John Kremer told the world that he now has a better way to communicate with his kids. "My kids, like most, love text messaging. But while their nimble fingers can easily navigate cell phone keypads at lightening speeds, I definitely prefer a full keyboard, and am much more inclined to use email than text messaging," Kremer wrote. "[The new Yahoo! Mail client is] sure to come in handy for people like me who want to keep in touch with text-crazy friends and family." Texts are free when sent through certain wireless carriers, but others will charge a fee. You'll have to check Yahoo!'s help pages to find out which carriers want money for messages and which don't. The texting tool is certainly the most glamorous addition to the new Yahoo! Mail, but there are other new features worth trying - even if you live outside those four text-friendly markets. Most notably, the face-lifted client includes built-in IM, previously available in beta. "The all-new Yahoo! Mail also lets users send and receive instant messages in real-time to their friends who are logged into Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger or Windows Live Messenger, without ever leaving the e-mail experience," Kremer continued. "You can even switch between emailing, instant messaging, and text messaging as your friends come online or go mobile." You can choose your means of communication simply by selecting a name from your contact list. What's more, you can now drag and drop messages from folder to folder. And you'll find a beefed-up search engine, which lets you search by sender name, folder, date, attachment type, and more. There's one other new feature, but it's only available in the U.S. The American client now has the power to recognize dates, addresses, and proper names, linking straight into Yahoo! Calendar, Yahoo! Maps, and Yahoo! Search. According to a Yahoo! spokeswoman, the new client - which also offers new color themes - will be rolled out to 25 markets worldwide "in the coming weeks." But you needn't upgrade if you don't want to. Yahoo! will continue to offer its old Mail interface to dial-up users and other people living behind the times. "Our goal is to provide the best email experience for everyone, whether that be familiar and comfortable or new and shiny," Kremer said. According to research firm comScore Media Metrix, Yahoo! Mail is the world's most popular web-based client, with 254 million users. But Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail is just behind with 224 million. Yahoo!'s client turns 10 in October. This spring, in anticipation of the milestone, the company decided to give unlimited free storage to each and every user. AOL, the world's third most-popular client, has followed suit, but Microsoft and Google have yet to pull the trigger. ®
Cade Metz, 27 Aug 2007
26

User seeks $1.4m from IBM for shoddy server packing

Say what you will about cooling issues, disgruntled admins and memory failures. There are times when it's the guys in shipping that cause the most harm to a data center. Contractor T.R. Systems has sued IBM for allegedly packing a $1.4m server so poorly that it fell off a forklift and wrecked the box.
Ashlee Vance, 27 Aug 2007
12

Gonzo a goner, but NSA surveillance here to stay

Is it all over yet? We'd like to think so, but while Alberto Gonzalez, the Attorney General who slayed the habeas corpus beast, made torture official policy, and brought warrantless surveillance to a neighborhood near you called it quits today, his legacy will stay with us for years to come. This correspondent has followed the Gonzalez mess closely, if for no other reason than his DOJ has had a particularly stiff hard-on for the online gambling industry, which I cover on a regular basis. Nonetheless, only a president as stubborn as George Bush would keep a bumbling fool like Gonzalez around for as long as he did - factual evidence of his robust limitations as Attorney General be damned. Unfortunately, Gonzales's incompetence will live on in a string of dubious legal arguments largely rubber-stamped by a pliant Congress and maintained through claims of executive privilege and state secrecy. Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to undo the damage done, as Gonzalez spent so much time walking all over the fundamental rights of Americans he's practically left footprints on the Bill of Rights. Thanks to his stewardship, American citizens can now be classed as enemy combatants, spied on without warrants, imprisoned indefinitely without charges or redress to the courts, and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Bravo, Gonzo. Good-bye, and good-riddance.® Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office
Burke Hansen, 27 Aug 2007
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Windows Genuine Advantage cries wolf (again)

Over the weekend, thousands of Microsoft customers who tried to download patches or updates for Windows were falsely accused of running a pirated version of Windows. Microsoft blamed the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) glitch on server problems, since fixed. WGA is an anti-piracy program which determines the validity of Windows software running on customer PCs - and phone backs to Redmond with the results.
Austin Modine, 27 Aug 2007
7

World of Warcraft exploit PKs servers

Players in the World of Warcraft discovered an exploit that crashes the game's servers late Sunday, causing massive outages throughout the night. The bug reportedly crashes the game's main world as well as all instances associated with the server, including its dungeons and battlegrounds. Officially, Blizzard - the company behind WoW - has kept pretty mum on the exploit. From the WoW forum: "We're aware of stability issues affecting select realms and are investigating. We'll provide an update to the situation as soon as additional information becomes available." Blizzard spokesman Shon Damron gave us a little more dirt: "Last night several realms did experience technical issues in regard to an exploit. This exploit was hot fixed within a couple of hours after it was discovered and the problem no longer exists." Damron wouldn't specify what caused the bug, but we have since heard it may involve a problem with the user logging mechanism in the game's arena mode. We won't go into more detail because the internet already suffers enough entropy, thank you very much. It's unknown whether Blizzard can track down those who took advantage of the exploit, but Damron suggested the company will investigate and might dole out punishments including suspensions and permanent bans if necessary. While gamers certainly have attempted to exploit the massively popular game before, this appears to be the first time users could maliciously shut down the servers using an exploit. Such flaws hold a serious risk of frustrating users to the point of leaving the protection of their house and burning their skin in the harmful rays of the sun. ®
Austin Modine, 27 Aug 2007