20th > September > 2007 Archive


SAP fails to unveil on-demand service

SAP has crashed Salesforce.com's annual Dreamforce conference with its own event, trumpeting its long-awaited on-demand business applications challenger.

Dell US peddles recycling for Small.biz

Dell is launching a new online computer recycling program for small businesses looking to securely curb their unused electronics on the cheap.
Flag Denmark

Apple coughs up G4 refunds to dissatisfied Danes

Apple will admit no wrongdoing, but has agreed to return money to Danish customers with allegedly defective iBook G4s. The concession comes after months of fighting a report from the Consumer Complaints Board (CCB) in Denmark that claims evidence of an original design flaw in the laptops.
Wifebeater shirt

Rackable starts moving ICE

IDF Rackable continues to wear its wife-beater with pride, shipping a second take on the white trash data center concept.

OpenOffice builds extensions for v2.3

It's been a good week for anyone praying for the demise of Microsoft Office. Google unveiled its long-awaited, web-based PowerPoint competitor. IBM took the wraps off the free Lotus Symphony, a complete suite of MS-battling tools. And now we have a new version OpenOffice.org.
Cade Metz, 20 2007
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American-style casino opens in Iraq

Not to be outdone by the establishment of the American University of Iraq in the northern Iraqi city of Suleimaniya, a ballsy Russian businessman, Vitaly Kouznetzov, has helped bring another, sexier, slice of American life to the Iraqi Kurds: he's brought a touch of Las Vegas to that same Kurdish cultural capital with the launch of an American-style casino. Take that, al-Qaeda.
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Freescale simplifies embedded 32-bit applications

Semiconductor giant Freescale aims to make it easier to build embedded 32-bit applications with a new version of its CodeWarrior Development Studio toolkit announced this week. Version 7.0 of CodeWarrior features an upgraded user interface and a batch of built-in utilities to speed up development of applications for its ColdFire chip family.

Motorola launches home phone range

Motorola has created a range of digital cordless home telephones. The Motolivn range can be positioned anywhere in your house and includes a special power-saving mode for environmentally-aware chatterboxes.

Sony expands CompactFlash range

Sony has revealed the technical specs of its latest CompactFlash card. The 300x card will be available in a range of storage capacities, has a top data write speed of 45MBps and is targeted at digital SLR camera users.

LG readies pink Shine for UK, gold for Asia

LG has brought some colour to its silver Shine line of mobile phones, announcing plans to bring a black, a gold and - inevitably - a pink version of the handset to the UK.
Hard Reg, 20 2007
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Police watchdog urges use of data recorders

Data recorders should be fitted to all police vehicles, says a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Kablenet, 20 2007
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Mobile TV to reach 120 million users by 2012: report

Mobile TV is expected to reach almost 120 million users by 2012 - a significant increase from the current 12 million.

People are biggest threat to IT security

The biggest threats to the security of financial institutions' electronic systems are the mistakes that people make, according to a survey (pdf) of banks' IT security.
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ROK invites you to chat

ROK, best known for video streaming over 2G networks, is trialling "ROK Talk", a phone conferencing system which uses a Symbian application to set up and manage conference calls without recourse to PINs or passwords, and has invited 50 Reg readers to take part in the closed beta.
Bill Ray, 20 2007
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Come celebrate the web...

Two items arrived in our inbox today.
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Lawyers attack Nominet plan for domain name disputes

The registry for .uk domain names has proposed a change in the way that name disputes are handled, but the proposed fast-track system faces criticism for not being radical enough.
Warning: roadworks

UCL preps clustered Dell supercomputer

UCL is to install a Dell supercomputer, called Legion, to boost the university's number crunching power to an expected peak performance of 42.9 TeraFlops (TF).
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EC competition commissioner slams US dissing

Competition Commissioner 'Steely' Neelie Kroes hit back at US politicians who criticised this week's verdict from the Court of First Instance.
thumbs up teaser 75

Misys revenue up six per cent

Healthcare and banking software firm Misys plc said yesterday that its first quarter revenues had beaten market expectations.

Report: Steve Jobs gets SEC subpoena

Steve Jobs has been served with a subpoena by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to testify in a backdating lawsuit against Apple's former top lawyer Nancy Heinen, according to a report.
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Brainstorm with Mindstorms

Books LEGO has been taken to the next dimension with the Mindstorms NXT intelligent bricks. These brick-shaped computers allow you to program your LEGO robot using the menus provided. If you wish, more complicated programs and sound files can be downloaded using a USB port or Bluetooth.

Sony shakes up PS3 controller market

Sony has confirmed that vibration is coming to the PS3 controller. While the wobbly controller looks the same as the existing SixAxis controller, the device will now be called the DualShock 3 and features two styles of vibration.

Light Sabre wars for your Wii

Not to be outdone by Sony's rumbling DualShock 3 controller, LucasArts has confirmed that a Star Wars game based around use of a Light Sabre is on its way to the Wii. The game will be a reincarnation of one already discussed for existing platforms, but will spur gamers to use the Wii’s controller as a Light Sabre.

Microsoft comes a cropper in Strasbourg as a hole in Peru wipes the :-) off 600 faces

No prizes for guessing this week's big story. Yes, that's right, the meteorite that landed in Peru causing 600 people to suffer from headaches, nausea and vomiting after inhaling gas at the scene of the strike.
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MIT builds load-carrying mechanical boots

A team of researchers at MIT have developed a rather clever new twist on the conventional powered exoskeleton idea*. Rather than seeking to amplify the strength of the wearer's own muscles, the relatively simple MIT rig is intended merely to transfer the load of a heavy backpack directly to the ground, which allows very low power consumption.

The Curse of Bono strikes Palm

Palm has issued a profits warning ahead of its Q1 results, due in full on 1 October. It now expects merely to break even, or report a small loss. A year ago Palm reported a slim profit of $18.2m. However, this time round it expects net income of $3.4-4.4m before adjustments.
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Legal threat to 'Green nuke' consultation

Greenpeace is considering taking legal action over the Government's expensive "consultation" process on reviving the nuclear power industry.
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ESA readies super-chilled space telescope

The European Space Agency's (ESA) next big project is a step closer to being launch-ready, as scientists in Germany complete the "mating" of Herschel's two most fundamental modules, the cryostat and the service module.
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Japanese wrinklies spurn robot helpers

One of the main drivers of the Japanese - and hence the world's - robotics industry is the increasingly elderly population in the land of the Rising Sun.

Persona analysis

At the risk of sounding cynical, if you cast an eye over a typical project's practices and perceptions, it can make for ugly viewing. Pick a random sample, and I bet it'll look something like this:

FCC unveils Asus P550 smartphone

The boys over at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have done the mobile community proud, again. Its website has revealed the details of an upcoming Asus smartphone, the P550, which runs on the Windows Mobile 6 Professional OS and incorporates Wi-Fi connectivity.
homeless man with sign

IT risk becomes board-level issue

IT systems have become so integral to businesses that their failure can have disastrous consequences for an organisation, according to analysts Gartner.
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Verizon converges on global 3G

US giant Verizon Wireless should one day use the same mobile phone technology standard as the rest of the world, Vodafone's chief hinted yesterday. It just might take a very long time.
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RIAA eyes radio's billions

Column Although the recording industry is thought by some to be all-powerful, American broadcasters actually wield far greater power. Radio has been able to get away with not paying labels for music they play: specifically, performance royalties that broadcasters elsewhere in the world owe to the labels for broadcast music. But is this all about to change?
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Ofcom moots the 900MHz boot for O2 and Vodafone

UK regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on the future of the 900MHz band, currently allocated to Vodafone and O2 for their 2G services, and has suggested that a technology-neutral auction might be in order for 2009.
Bill Ray, 20 2007
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Music industry cripples eDonkey network

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has shut down six eDonkey servers in Germany through a series of injunctions from regional courts in Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Frankfurt.

F1 secrets left on the web

Highly-sensitive documents that disclosed secret information about the inner workings of the technical strategies adopted by rival Formula One (F1) teams were exposed for all to see on the internet.

Configuration management: a guru speaks

Seminar We make no secret of the fact that Configuration Management (CM) is fundamental to IT governance generally [declaration of interest: which is why the author of this piece is on the committee of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG)]. But even in the CMSG, people do not always agree on exactly what CM is - and how wide its scope is.
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Stem cells from testicles offer organ bonanza

US medi-boffins believe they may have developed a new way of obtaining potentially useful stem cells, which could be key to a range of therapies in future. The catch is that they plan to harvest the basic material from human testicles.

Yahoo! In! Ninth! Circle! Of! Security! Hell!

Trouble came in pairs for instant messenger users this week with the disclosure of unpatched flaws in chat software from both AOL and Yahoo!

Consumers confused by HD

If you’ve bought an HD TV, but aren’t even considering buying a high definition disc player any time soon, then you’re not alone. A report by US market watcher NPD Group has revealed that consumers are still utterly confused by the HD message and that most are still happy with the traditional DVD format.
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Scientists get bogged down about climate change

It turns out that digging the channel tunnel was good for more that just a high speed rail link with the rest of Europe: it might help us understand one of the many interconnected strands of our planet's ecosystem and climate.
Flag United States

Eye-O-Sauron™ spy towers still buggy

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s plan to build hundreds of all-seeing networked surveillance towers along American borders has run into further problems. The project in question is the technology portion of the Secure Borders Initiative (SBI).
PC World

PC superstore refuses to take sack in hand

Walking lopsided when carrying a laptop from A to B on important business trips is one of the modern-day perils many IT professional bods face.

NetScout buys Network General for $205m

NetScout Systems wants to purchase Network General for $205m, the company said today. The takeover will be the third time the once-leading packet monitoring firm has changed hands, 10 years after McAfeee purchased Network General for $1.1bn.
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NBC unveils self-destructing, ad-addled anti-iTunes service

Less than a month after its very public breakup with Apple iTunes, NBC Universal has announced its own rights-restricting video download service.
Cade Metz, 20 2007
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Google sued for 'crimes against humanity'

A Pennsylvania crusader has slapped Google with a $5bn lawsuit, claiming that the world's largest search engine is endangering his personal safety.
Cade Metz, 20 2007