25th > September > 2007 Archive

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Venezuela to shift clocks half an hour

Venezuelan prez Hugo Chavez today postponed a scheme to secure his place in the pantheon of classic comedy Latin American despots by shifting back his country's clocks half an hour, Reuters reports.
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Jack Thompson sets about Halo 3

Everyone’s favorite anti-gaming gadfly Jack Thompson is back in action, GamePolitics reports, with yet another lawsuit against the purported public nuisances created by violent video games.
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NY probes Facebook over pedophile controls

Facebook officials have been subpoenaed by New York's top law enforcement official after a preliminary review revealed "significant defects in the site's safety controls" designed to shield underage users from sexual predators.

Unisys blamed for DHS data breaches

Unisys, the IT computer services biz, is in hot water with the US government for allegedly twiddling its thumbs while foreign hackers had their way with Department of Homeland Security computers.
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ICSTIS hits Opera for £250,000

UK premium-rate regulator ICSTIS has hit Opera Telecom with a £250,000 fine and independent review of its operating practices for picking the winners of the GMTV phone-in competition early.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
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Young hearts roam free on UK cellco network

Blyk, a new mobile phone service for teenagers and young adults, went live in the UK yesterday. Customers aged between 16 and 24 get free mobile phone calls and texts, in exchange for receiving up to six adverts a day on their mobiles.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
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Scotland reviews forensic data rules

A review will examine procedures for retaining the forensic data of those accused of sexual or violent offences in Scotland.
Kablenet, 25 2007
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OpSource signs MuleSource for SaaS integration

Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery specialist OpSource has signed a technology partnership deal with data integration company MuleSource. Following a similar deal with Boomi earlier this month, OpSource says MuleSource's technology will provide a deeper level of data integration for its on-demand applications.
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MySpace launches free mobile service

MySpace has fired another salvo in the battle for social network supremacy with a free mobile version of its website.
CW logo

C&W inks deal with online games firm

Cable & Wireless has signed a €400,000 deal to provide managed hosting for online gaming firm Gala Networks Europe (GNE) at its Dublin data centre.
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EchoStar to buy Slingbox maker for $380m

US satellite-transmitted pay-TV company EchoStar is to buy Sling Media, developer of the Slingbox family of TV-over-the-net gadgets. The deal's worth $380m, to be paid in a mix of cash and EchoStar stock.
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NASA postpones Dawn

The launch of NASA's Dawn mission has been delayed by 24 hours because the weather gods are not playing ball.

Slingbox snapped up by satellite TV company

US satellite-transmitted pay-TV company EchoStar is to buy Sling Media, developer of the Slingbox family of TV-over-the-net gadgets. The deal's worth $380m, to be paid in a mix of cash and EchoStar stock.
Flag United Kingdom

UK patent office ponders fast-tracking patents and trade marks

The UK Intellectual Property Office has launched a public consultation (pdf) on proposals to introduce a fast-track system for patent and trade mark applications. The plan builds on a suggestion made in the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property.

China jails four over Panda worm

China has jailed four men convicted of involvement in a malware-fuelled scam that led to the infection of hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs across the country.
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Privacy chief condemns weakening of EU data protection

Europe's top privacy official says the European Union is weakening a planned privacy protection in order to secure agreement for the proposal. He says the agreement threatens to reduce privacy protection in Europe.
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Microsoft eyes stake in Facebook

The Wall Street Journal says Microsoft is looking to acquire a stake in famed Web 2.0 social networking operation Facebook. Referencing unnamed sources "familiar with the matter", the finance writers suggested Redmond might take five per cent of Facebook for "roughly $300m to $500m".
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Boffins offer explanation for meteorite sickness

Relax: the aliens aren't using poisonous space rocks to soften us up in advance of an invasion, after all.

Apple reminds customers who's boss

Apple has issued a notice that unlocked iPhones could suffer permanent damage when they update the firmware, and reminded customers that such damage is not covered by the warranty.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
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Conservatives cock-up over pound again

NSFW A Tory blog has been penetrated by an act of classic web waggery after it leeched bandwidth via a picture used to illustrate a posting about party fees.
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Pipex announces plan to disembowel itself

Pipex revealed the final stages of its corporate seppuku operation today with news that the remainder of the group intends to demerge its WiMAX business then flog itself.
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Space makes germs more deadly

Salmonella likes it in orbit, and not just for the view.
Sony PlayStation 3

Sony poo-poos £299 PS3 claims

Sony has played down claims that it's about to announce a cut-price PS3 for the UK.

Nvidia GeForce 7150/nForce 630i integrated chipset

Review The vast majority of PCs use integrated graphics instead of an add-in graphics card and therein lies a problem. If you want the wow factor of the Aero interface in Windows Vista then you need a reasonable level of graphics performance, even if you have no desire to play games on your PC.
Warning: fire

Symantec accidentally warns of internet meltdown

Symantec inadvertently warned enterprise customers of a full-scale internet meltdown on Friday.
Christmas tree

Fotango to smother Zimki on Christmas Eve

Zimki, the floundering pay-as-you-use online application platform, is to be killed off by London-based developer Fotango on Christmas Eve, it was revealed today.

Sun crams four sockets worth of Xeons into 2U box

Sun Microsystems today announced a pair of new four-core Xeon-based boxes that give customers just about the most performance and choice out of any low-end servers from a Tier 1 vendor. The fresh X4450, for example, packs four of Intel's 7300 series Xeon chips into a 2U system. All of the other major vendors require at least 4U for their four-socket units. The system also has a mouth-watering 32 DIMM slots with support for up to 128GB of memory. That should be enough to run your virtualization software.

Freedom cuts Razr-like Bluetooth keyboard

If redesigns are the route to perfection, then by rights the Slim Bluetooth Keypad should be well on its way. Originally designed as a portable infrared keypad as part of an tie-up between manufacturer Freedom Technology and O2, Freedom has since updated the device to Bluetooth.

Jabra shows 'world first' Bluteooth speaker-headphone combo

Gulls in flight may have stimulated sportscar door development, but they aren't renowned for inspiring consumer products. Until now. Jabra has taken note and developed a pair of Bluetooth headphones that also unfold into a pair of speakers.
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Downed blogger Murray vows to continue Usmanov attacks

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has vowed to carry on making allegations against billionaire Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, despite attempts to silence him and his supporters.

D-Link unveils desktop and mobile Wi-Fi cards

D-Link has priced up its notebook-oriented ExpressCard-format 802.11n Wi-Fi adaptor. It's also rolled out a PCI Express version.

Programming message services in Java

Lately I seem to be involved increasingly in systems relying on asynchronous interactions for efficient and effective integration. In these cases, the asynchronous behaviour has been implemented using JMS (or Java Message Service) queues, with message driven beans, and with the underlying message server provided by application servers such as WebLogic, WebSphere and JBoss.
John Hunt, 25 2007

When will VMware be bigger than EMC?

Comment Does anyone else get the feeling that the relationship between VMware and EMC has some very rocky times ahead of it?
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Amazon opens DRM-free music store

Amazon.com has opened its DRM-free music store for business. Songs are available for $0.89 per song, or $6 to $10 for an album.
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LAPD patrol cars to get sticky-GPS-tracker cannon?

Los Angeles cops will be able to fire sticky GPS tracker devices at fleeing miscreants' cars as of next year, according to reports.
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TrafficMaster sells clients' location info to UK.gov

Noted UK news brand the Daily Mail served up a somewhat error-speckled tech scoop last night, with news that a government "'spy in the sky' system" is involved in a "secret 'Big Brother' operation... allowing officials to pinpoint the exact location of thousands of vehicles".

Guessing at compromised host numbers

After much waiting by end users, and a lot of hoping from interested Information Security watchers, Microsoft has finally added detection for the Storm Trojan (Nuwar, Zhelatin, etc) to its Malicious Software Removal Tool. The most recent update, released on September 11th, included detection for this malicious software, and the early results are not quite what most people were expecting.
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Google Maps rolls out the Mesopotamian nil-cubit

Those among you who recently adopted the new Vulture Central standards of volume, length, area and, critically, the speed of sheep in a vacuum, might be interested to learn that Google Maps has decided to offer a few alternatives of its own.

Don't get stuck with AJAX, Oracle warns

Oracle this week told developers to be wary of the hype surrounding AJAX frameworks and encouraged large organizations to back JavaServer Faces (JSF) to "Web 2.0-enable" applications.
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Ninja she-devils rob Pennsylvania gas station

Pennsylvania's Richmond Township is indubitably bemoaning its lack of a mobile SWAT team of crimebusting vigilante Shaolin Temple kung fu monks after two women dressed as ninjas robbed a local gas station at swordpoint.
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Cisco teams with Haier for home network gear

Cisco has inked a deal with one of China's largest appliance makers to develop networking gear for residential use. Through its partnership with the Haier Group, Cisco seeks to cash in on the ever-growing popularity of the internet as a critical component in home entertainment centers.
Ruby on Rails teaser

PHP victory over Ruby: was Gosling right?

Remember when Java father James Gosling got flamed for uttering the ultimate Web 2.0 heresy: scripting languages aren't good enough for enterprises?

eBay forum mysteriously leaks account details on 1,200 users

Hackers brazenly posted sensitive information including home addresses and phone numbers for 1,200 eBay users to an official online forum dedicated to fraud prevention on the auction site.
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Halo 3 packaging in disk-scratch rumpus

Microsoft's überhyped launch of the (keenly-anticipated, long-awaited, etc, etc) Halo 3 has suffered a bit of a wobble after fans quickly discovered the limited edition packing could scratch the game disks.
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China spots 42 new glaciers

China has trumpeted the discovery of 42 "new" glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, possibly representing the largest group of such ice flows in the area.
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China plans spaceport number 4

China is planning to build a fourth spaceport, or rocket launch pad, in line with its ever-expanding space exploration ambitions.