25th > October > 2007 Archive

The Register breaking news

Microsoft pays $240m for tiny sliver of Facebook

It was the worst-kept secret in the internet industry, but today Microsoft proved all the rumor-mongers right by confirming that it is taking a stake in Facebook, and shutting Google out of the social networking website.
The Register breaking news
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US law on age proof in explicit images is ruled unconstitutional

A law requiring publishers of sexually explicit content to document and record the age of participants in material has been ruled unconstitutional by a US court. Experts had warned that the law could cause problems for photo-sharing websites.
The Register breaking news

Google funds hold Firefox fate (for sure)

If there was any doubt that Google has the power to pull the plug on Firefox, it's been laid to rest.
Cade Metz, 25 2007

Motorola: Apple will not open the iPhone

CTIA The senior director of entertainment products at Motorola questions whether Apple will truly "open up" the iPhone.
Cade Metz, 25 2007
Microsoft

More gnashing of teeth after Microsoft update brings PCs to a standstill

Updated This story was updated on Thursday 25th October 2007 23:21 to add comment from Microsoft.
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UK Charts Company to recognise album sales on USB Flash disks

Exclusive The Official UK Charts Company (OCC), the organisation that maintains the UK's music sales tables, will include albums sold on USB Flash disks in its tallies from next Monday, 29 October, Register Hardware has learned.
The Register breaking news

Boeing, Ford in hydrogen engine fanfare

World-straddling arms'n'airliners behemoth Boeing yesterday announced successful testing of a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft engine which will power the company's future High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) robo-plane.
The Register breaking news

Grass up romantic sadsacks for only $4.99 a month

Singletons forced to sit through excruciating blind dates can now report their experiences straight from their mobile phone, ensuring that no one else suffers.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
The Register breaking news
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Call to curb 'frustrating' tax admin

MPs are urging Revenue and Customs to update its multiple helplines and complex paper registration systems for new business taxpayers.
Kablenet, 25 2007
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Intel pays $250m to end Transmeta patent fight

Intel has agreed to stump up $250m to Transmeta to settle the patent dispute case between the firms without battling through the courts. Intel will pay its rival $150m in a lump sum, plus an annual license fee of $20m for the next five years.
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MPs claim IT supply savings

Whitehall has acted on the recommendations of a parliamentary committee by improving services and value for money, according to its chair.
Kablenet, 25 2007
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SCO gets offer for Unix biz

The SCO Group, which earlier this month filed for bankrupcy protection, says it has received an offer for its Unix business.
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Vibro satnav to shake up GPS market

Tactile feedback firm Immersion could be on shaky ground with its latest development, the world’s first portable navigation devices (PNDs) with vibrating touchscreens.
The Register breaking news
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Carphone seeks monthly punters

Carphone Warehouse (CPW) has started offering monthly contracts on Talkmobile, a new branded virtual operator.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
The Register breaking news

Oz barmaid fined for crushing beer cans between jubs

An Oz barmaid who splendidly "entertained customers" in a Western Australia hotel by "crushing beer cans between her bare breasts" has been fined A$1,000 dollars (£439) for a breach of the Liquor Control Act.

Creative debuts iPod Shuffle-sized speaker

Cute or what? It's Creative's latest accessory for arch-rival Apple's diminutive iPod Shuffle: a travel speaker that clips on to the bottom of the player turning it into a handheld sound blaster.
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ICANN investigates domain name sharp practice

Internet oversight agency ICANN has launched an investigation into the possibility that insider information is being used to snap up desirable domain names before the person or organisation likely to be interested in them has had a chance to buy.
The Register breaking news
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Bubblewrapped kids fall prey to net predators

The former TV parenting guru leading a government review into violent video games and internet predators says parents need to get their kids out of the house if they want to keep them safe from net creeps.
Joe Fay, 25 2007
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T-Mobile UK slides out latest Sidekick

T-Mobile last night unveiled the Sidekick Slide, the first handset in the consumer-friendly email gadget range to appear since T-Mobile cut its ties with Sharp and signed up Motorola as a manufacturer.
The Register breaking news
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US-EU online gambling haggle extended

The US now has until 14 December to come up with a trade compensation scheme for the blow its curbs on internet gambling have dealt EU firms.
The Register breaking news

Record industry pushes ISPs to cut off file sharers

Exclusive The record industry is pressing the UK's ISPs for a deal that would see persistent illegal file sharers automatically booted off the net.

VMware posts 90% revenue jump

Virtualisation software giant VMware has pumped out impressive third quarter results with profit up 90 per cent buoyed by strong sales of its hypervisor package.

Transformers director favours Blu-ray Disc

Michael Bay, the director of Transformers, has slammed distributor Paramount's decision to release the hi-def version of the film only on HD DVD.
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Sign up for our virtualization e-Symposium or we'll kill a puppy

Site news It may have escaped your notice that El Reg's US editor Ashlee "Blade" Vance will on 6 November be hosting what our Strategy Boutique has dubbed an "e-Symposium" on virtualization, in association with VMware and Intel.
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Steve Ballmer reveals why he can't change TV channels

Channel Weekly The atmosphere at the Christmas party for Microsoft's lawyers might be a little quieter this year after the software vendor finally called time on its attempts to get the EU to agree to the Gates/Ballmer vision of competition.
The Register breaking news

A380 touches down in Oz

The Airbus A380 today entered commercial service with an inaugural seven hour flight from Singapore to Sydney, in the process wowing passengers who'd snapped up seats in Singapore Airlines' charity eBay ticket auction.
The Register breaking news

Cassini team spies moonlets in Saturn's A ring

Many years ago, a comet strike or a wandering asteroid passing through Saturn's moon system, crashed into one of the orbiting bodies, shattering it and sending fragments the size of sports stadia whirling along its orbital path.
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QinetiQ buys spooks' secure-messaging provider

British warboffinry spinoff firm QinetiQ announced today that it had acquired Boldon James, secure-messaging software providers to UK military and spook customers.
The Register breaking news

E-borders kills off UK-Ireland passport free travel

The UK's implementation of an electronic borders system by 2009 will mean the end of the UK-Republic of Ireland Common Travel Area, which allows passport-free travel between the two countries. The move will not however lead to the introduction of border controls on the Republic's land border with Northern Ireland, but will lead to passport checks, or something very like them, for travellers between Northern Ireland and the UK mainland.
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Abit IP35 Pro Intel P35-based motherboard

Review The Pro is the current feature-packed flagship of Abit's P35 range of motherboards based around - surprise, surprise - Intel's P35 chipset, and supports Intel's range of 1333, 1066 and 800MHz frontside processors, including the Core 2 Extreme, the Core 2 Quad and the Core 2 Duo.
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Storm Worm retaliates against security researchers

New features of botnets created by the infamous Storm Worm allow denial of service attacks to be launched against security defenders that attempt to interrupt its operation.
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Aussie boffin turbo charges copper broadband

An Aussie PhD student has developed an algorithm that he says can turbo charge an ordinary copper phone line to deliver downloads at 200Mbit/s.
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Find yourself with Satmap's sporty GPS

Manufacturer Satmap Systems has unveiled a handheld GPS device for outdoors types that promises to pin-point your location using SD card-based mapping.
The Register breaking news

How many $$$s does Apple make from an iPhone?

Apple's figures came out on Tuesday, revealing that all is going well in Cupertino, but analysts crawling over the details are trying to work out if they reveal anything else besides - such as the revenue cut Apple is getting from every iPhone in use.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
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Panasonic preps in-car Blu-ray player

The days of drive-in movies are long gone and the radio sometimes just doesn’t cut it for entertainment. So Panasonic’s unveiled what’s believed to be the world’s first in-car Blu-ray Disc drive at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Opera adds bookmarks sync, revs Mac browser

Web browser pioneer Opera has seen its innovations ripped off so many times it can be excused for borrowing some ideas itself.
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Yahoo! assists! searches!

Yahoo! folk have thrown a large web 2.0 ball at their search engine by giving it a makeover in an effort to grab market share from rival internet firm Google.
The Register breaking news
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EC sidesteps dithering states to approve four new GMOs

The European Commission has waved through four new genetically modified organisms (GMO) for consumption in the European Union. This means that 15 GMOs have been allowed in to the EU since the region lifted its outright ban on the crops in 2004.
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Online trading site was left wide open

The conventional wisdom that banking organisations are more diligent with security was skewered in a presentation at the RSA conference this week.
The Register breaking news

UK Government tried to stop EU roaming cap

Documents exposed by The Times show that the UK's Labour government worked tirelessly to try and prevent the EU capping mobile phone roaming rates, a move which cost the industry millions.
Bill Ray, 25 2007
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Trend Micro buys leak prevention firm

Trend Micro has acquired data leak prevention firm Provilla, in an agreement that expands its business beyond its core antivirus and content security markets. Financial terms are undisclosed.
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Groovy way to MySQL

A very traditional niche of scripting languages, (such as Perl, Python or Ruby), has been in the ad hoc manipulation of databases – from grabbing data, transforming it, performing bulk updates, right on through to full-on data migration projects that move data from one platform or RDBMS to another. Scripting languages are perfect for these types of task because they are quick to write and test, can be used interactively while the problem space is being explored, and because extraneous features – such as graphical user interface, detailed user documentation and so on – are not required.
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Google gets jiggy with MySQL

MySQL and Google have quietly tied up a coding deal seen as an integral part of the open source database firm's software roadmap for the next few years.
The Register breaking news

Microsoft-Facebook: Welcome to the Hotel California

Comment Silicon Valley's onanistic elements have been in vinegar-stroke mode for an age over the tussle between Google and Microsoft to invest in $15bn profit-lite social networking phenomenon Facebook.
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BEA will talk to anyone for $8.3bn

BEA blinked this morning and said it would enter takeover negotiations with Oracle, and anyone else that’s interested, at a floor of $21 per share.
Joe Fay, 25 2007

Wii propels Nintendo sales to record heights

The phenomenal success of Nintendo's Wii games console has helped the Japanese manufacturer to double its profits during the six months to the end of September. Nintendo said on Thursday that net profit reached 132.42bn yen ($1.2bn) for the first half of its latest fiscal year, up from 54.4bn yen for the same time last year. Group sales more than doubled to 694.8bn yen ($6.1bn) from 298.82bn yen last time around.
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OOXML vs ODF: where next for interoperability?

Gary Edwards of the Open Document Foundation has a fascinating post on the important of Microsoft Office compatibility to the success of the ISO-approved Open Document formats.

EMC shares ride VMware madness

EMC saw its stock price leap more than eight per cent today, thanks in part to its 86 per cent stake in the hotter-than-hot virtualization outfit, VMware.
Cade Metz, 25 2007
The Register breaking news

eBay employee 'torpedos' fraud trial

Updated This story was updated on Friday 26th October 2007 16:59 GMT to add comment from eBay public relations.

World's toughest jobs: Microsoft's interoperability chief

Interop He's faced with the unenviable task of convincing the world that Microsoft wants to play nicely with competitors - and also convincing the troops and top management that it's worth it.
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Techies oppose US patent reform bill

More than 430 organizations spanning all fifty US states have fired off a letter urging Senate leaders to oppose a bill that would overhaul the country's patent system. And that includes tech outfits like Qualcomm and AmberWave.
Cade Metz, 25 2007