6th > November > 2007 Archive
Once again, there's a new version of QuickTime media player, and if you know what's good for you, you'll install it soon, whether you use Windows or OS X.
CommentComment The coalition of the frustrated who comprise Save the Internet! have filed a multi-trillion dollar complaint with the FCC regarding Comcast's blatant exercise of, um, reasonable network management. The key fact seems to be this: if you live in a dream world of secret manipulative forces, evil wizards, fire-breathing dragons, scary ghosts and freaky monsters, the actions of ordinary businesses seem peculiar. The complaint is a combination of science fiction and group therapy, with generous doses of pure paranoia thrown in.
Start-up RapidMind has gone mainstream by supporting x86 chips from Intel and AMD with the latest release of its flagship product that makes it easier to get more performance out of multi-core CPUs.
3Par is releasing new software today for dividing an InServ array into separate virtual devices. Instead of relying on physical and manual separation of storage resources, 3Par's new Virtual Domains software uses logical partitioning. The technology allows each domain to be dynamically resized, while keeping each section safely separated by a firewall.
Police have dismantled an international child pornography ring that used the internet to produce and distribute tailor-made videos to some 2,500 customers in 19 countries. In all, 92 arrests have been made and 23 victims aged 9 to 16 have been identified.
Open standards always cause security problems and Google's OpenSocial API introduced last week is no exception. Not only was an early application based on the standard hacked within minutes, it quickly became evident that OpenSocial is vulnerable and offers an open door to anyone who wants to put a little effort into pushing it open.
Microsoft wants you to know that you can now purchase a home server loaded with its very own Windows Home Server operating system.
Cray has taken a supercomputer-sized step toward its goal of providing multiple processor types in a single system with the introduction of its new XT5 line. Customers will soon find Cray selling the XT5 MPP (massively parallel processor) system and the XT5h or hybrid system. The standard XT5 systems are built around 8-socket blades filled with AMD's new four-core "Barcelona" version of Opteron.
Supercomputing youngster SiCortex has done the inevitable by popping out a pint-sized version of its cluster in a container. The new SC072 - code-named "Catapult" - fits 72 processors into a deskside unit that starts at less than $15,000. The system is a no brainer for SiCortex since it provides a more a digestible option for engineers, developers and those hoping to take the company's weird hardware for a test drive. In addition, the more compact unit lets SiCortex tap into a trend pioneered by now deceased Orion Multisystems of selling supercomputer class machines in a near PC form factor.
Businesses need to radically shake up their attitudes about how they value information technology assets, according to new research released yesterday. The Paris-based business school Insead, which carried out the study, said it found that far from understanding IT assets as a core business need, many firms instead wrote hardware and software development costs off as mere expense items.
Advanced features in Google's search engine are being used by spammers to disguise the URLs of spamvertised sites. Hackers have been using Google search functions to hunt for vulnerabilities. Now their peers in the junk mail business are getting into the act, Symantec reports.
The government is stopping downloads of some documents from the Land Registry website following newspaper reports that the site was being exploited by fraudsters.
As the BBC's New Media technology chief, Ashley Highfield has some tough questions to answer. What is the 4,000 strong division really doing? How did the BBC manage to burn through £100m - what a Silicon Valley start-up can spend in ten years [*] - to develop a single piece of client software? As he went on a PR offensive last week, El Reg was excluded - because we ask the wrong sort of questions. But his intent was clear. Besieged by Linux users and anti-DRM campaigners, the BBC's tech chief has embarked on a campaign to call their bluff.
Poptastic Oz songbird Kylie Minogue last week launched her own social networking site, kunningly kalled KylieKonnect.
The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) claims further success with test interceptions by its mobile land-based protective system, and plans a more complex trial of its seagoing component.
Amazon is going for your Christmas quids by extending its "Amazon Prime" service to the UK.
The Doctor Who fans among you who fancy a bit of mass extermination and galactic domination are directed forthwith to Project Dalek - a rather splendid website offering everything you need to build your very own trundling pepper pot.
The good burghers of Croydon will be able to sleep sounder in their beds in future, thanks to the local council's sensational online Report a Barking dog service:
Public sector services firm Northgate is eying up the election business, kit and caboodle. A senior executive told The Register this week that the firm is looking at becoming "the whole package" for electronic voting.
O2 has decided that iPhone users on its network won't be limited by their "fair usage" policy, and really will get "unlimited" access to the internet. But other customers signed up for "unlimited" contracts will have to wait and see if O2 decides all their usage is fair too.
A new report published by ICT Ireland* claims Ireland is still an attractive location for foreign direct investment. The study, which was released by the IBEC group on Monday, sets out why many major foreign investors believe Ireland is an attractive location in which to do business. The report, entitled Why Ireland should be your location of choice, is aimed at decision makers in major foreign businesses and details the positive experiences of multi-nationals operating in Ireland with first-hand accounts from the heads of their Irish operations.
First MSI, then Asus, now Biostar has become the latest mobo maker to pre-announce one of AMD's upcoming RD790-based chipsets by stating it'll be used on a new motherboard.
Dutch biologist Marc van Roosmalen has expanded the list of known peccary species to four following his "discovery" of the giant peccary, aka Pecari maximus, in the basin of the Rio Aripuanã in the south eastern Amazon.
Software security vendor Symantec is to snap up data loss prevention (DLP) firm Vontu for $350m in a combined cash and options deal. It's the latest in a number of recent acquisitions in the DLP market, with EMC and Websense already having dipped their toes into that sector as businesses increasingly look for ways of preventing data theft inhouse.
Radiohead last month let punters "set the price" for the digital download of their new album It's Raining In Rainbows, which is coming out on CD shortly. Since people could download it for free - how much did they really pay?
Research In Motion (RIM) has launched its BlackBerry Professional Software, for deployment in firms where between 5 and 30 people feel bereft if separated from their email.
IP theft and corporate compliance organisation the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has installed John Lovelock as its new chief executive.
A teenager from St Mary’s County, Maryland last week admitted his part in a plot to hire a hitman to murder his mother and stepfather after the pair prevented him spending time with his PlayStation.
BriefBrief China's lunar probe has arrived in orbit around the moon after a twelve day journey. It slotted into place yesterday, after receiving orders to slow down some 200km from its destination. It will spend the next year scanning the surface and reporting back, with images and data, to mission control.
The European Union is set to emulate the US by adopting the wholesale screening and profiling of air passengers. In a proposed Framework Decision being put forward today, the European Commission calls for the collection of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for all flights into and out of the EU, together with a "risk assessment" system that will effectively profile all passengers.
A new catalogue of genes, and the proteins they trigger in the brain, could help scientists develop new treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The database has been created by researchers at UCL and the University of Miami, who have spent years mapping the expression of genes in the brain.
Faith in the promised Chinese internet boom went fanatical today, with speculators sending new shares in ecommerce portal Alibaba.com rocketing almost 200 per cent in its first day of trading.
A blogger has uncovered what he claims is a "massive" bug in Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Finder app that could result in the loss of data when folders are moved from a Mac to directly- or network-connected storage.
Sony has confirmed rumours of a PS2 redesign and said that the lighter, third-generation model will be released in Japan later this month.
ReviewReview Behavioural scientists reckon that, within ten seconds of meeting someone for the first time, we’ve already decided whether we like them or not. Well, if the Canon Ixus 860 IS was a person, we would have liked them from the moment we first clapped eyes on them.
With so many handsets already available, it’s inevitable that some will look a little similar. But, LG’s new KS20 handset looks like the recently separated twin of the manker's existing Prada handset.
Macrovision has published a patch defending against a security vulnerability in its SafeDisc copy protection software that has become the target of a hacker attack. The Macrovision update comes 20 days after the security vulnerability was discussed in non-specific terms on Symantec's Security Response Weblog. The flaw, though Symantec wasn't specific on this, involves a privilege elevation bug in Macrovision secdrv.sys driver that comes bundled with Windows XP and 2003 (though not Windows Vista).
Japanese scientists have cooked up two synthetic versions of curcumin - the component of turmeric reputed to bring beneficial effects to those who like a quick Ruby.
A controversial blog supposedly written by a fictional TV controller is signing off, but the writer behind it has revealed who he is.
German copyright law appears to have done for "one of the most ambitious fan films ever made" - a 110 minute spin-off of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 game, lovingly crafted by German fans and enticingly entitled Damnatus.
A heavyweight Washington thinktank has issued a report which says that it makes no sense for the USA to build an enormous, horribly beweaponed space battle fleet in the immediate future.
Gartner has said business leaders should create two IT budgets for the coming year, as it warned of ongoing economic doom and gloom. The tech analyst firm reckoned that, given the fall out from the recent credit crunch that has continued to shake the financial world, it was important for firms to have a back-up plan in place.
The EU has unveiled a further crack-down on 'Internet terrorism', intended to tackle what it claims is the increasing exploitation of the web by terrorists. It is being used, says the Commission, as a "virtual training camp", to spread propaganda and act as a recruitment tool, and to provide online manuals and bomb construction guides.
IBM will sprinkle more greenery around its big computing offerings this week as it launches long-awaited updates to AIX and its Power-based server line.
The UK will be the first country in the world to have legally binding emissions targets under the Climate Change Bill announced today in the Queen's Speech.
Microsoft has announced Search Server 2008, a search engine based on SharePoint Server and SQL Server. There are two editions, a free Express version and a paid for variant (price not yet determined) which supports high availability and load balancing on a server farm.
AnalysisAnalysis Newspaper and City knives are being sharpened for the UK's two biggest internet providers this week. Our major infrastructure owners, BT and Virgin Media, are set to release disappointing results at a watershed moment for broadband.
The Femto Forum has managed to bag some network operators and infrastructure providers, adding 40 companies to its roster and looking a lot less like a club for femtocell manufacturers.
What a pity Andy Rubin's charming Welsh Terrier can't talk. But that makes "Alex" Rubin the perfect spokesperson for Google's phone software. In two videos on the new Open Handset Alliance site, the dog had as much information to impart as anyone else - which is to say, not very much at all.
A US defence department advisory board has warned of the danger that American war robots scheduled for delivery within a decade might be riddled with malicious code. The kill machines will use software largely written overseas, and it is feared that sinister forces might meddle with it in production, thus gaining control of the future mechanoid military.
A strike by script writers demanding higher residuals has claimed its first two high-profile scalps: The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno were both forced to air re-runs in the absence of coruscatingly witty, freshly topical pre-penned banter.
A Seattle man has admitted using file-sharing programs to pinch personal information on 50 people in an ID theft scam.
Sony has refreshed its PSP line-up for the Christmas rush. It's releasing the handheld console in a seasonal red shade and with two accompanying bundle packs.
Not content with redefining the mobile phone and computer industries, the iPhone can now take credit for creating new jobs and saving the UK economy, apparently.
The UK's top-cop alliance, ACPO*, is warning that buyers of secondhand vehicles are being duped using genuine V5C ownership logbooks stolen from the government motor licencing authority.
Cops from Florida's Collier County have created a bit of a shitstorm stir by declaring that local high school kids are getting high on fermented "fecal matter and urine", known as "Jenkem", or "Butthash"
Anti-terrorism proposals outlined by the Government today will include a sex-offenders style register for those convicted of terrorism offences, and will allow MI5 to access the UK's large and fast-growing DNA database. These measures come on top of the anticipated bid to increase the length of pre-charge questioning time for terror suspects, which will also be included in the Counter-terrorism Bill.
The BBC has already begun serving advertising to overseas visitors to its website, after its governing body agreed to the move last month.
A ten-person Arizona based start-up has claimed victory in the annual US Army precision airdrop competition, claiming to have hurled disguised spy sensors from a plane flying at 10,000 feet. The "five pound fake rocks" landed "within ten, seven and three metres" of their intended touchdown points more than two miles away.
As a private company, Symbian isn't obliged to hang out its financial washing, but nevertheless does so every quarter. Today Symbian reported revenue of $52.4m for the quarter ending 30 September, up from $41.3m six months ago, and $40.3m a year ago.
Attention IT mavens: It's time to update your DNS servers. Last week, ICANN setup a new IP address for one of the thirteen "root name servers" that oversee DNS queries across the net, and it plans on retiring the old address as soon as the late spring.
The ruling Moderate Party at its annual conference last week voted to abolish the Swedish government-run monopoly in gambling, Poker News reports. Breaking up government monopolies in booze, gambling and pharmaceuticals is an established plank of the Moderate Party's platform, so the move is not overly surprising, but the vote is an important push to bring Sweden in line with European Union law.
The the Administrative Court of Appeal in Hessen state today overturned a ruling by a lower court that had prohibited Austrian online gambling operator Bwin from providing gambling services over the internet to German customers.
OpinionOpinion Yesterday, Google's announcement of Android headlined the blogosphere, as much for what it was as for what it wasn't. For us, Google's announcement took us a few steps down memory lane, back to an era when software appliances were better known as turnkey systems.
If Phoenix Technologies gets its way, we may lose the precious time spent while Windows leisurely ambles from slumber at startup.
The list of problems with the firewall bundled with Mac OS X Leopard operating system is growing.
Police in India wrongfully arrested and detained a Bangalore man for 50 days after internet service provider Airtel mis-identified him as the person who posted images on Orkut that insulted a revered historical figure.
ExclusiveExclusive When the four-core "Barcelona" version of Opteron launched in Sept., IBM shouted louder than any other Tier 1 server vendor about the chip's performance. It touted the 1.9GHz Opteron-based System x 3455 as a marvel, running the box through the SPEC CPU2006 suite. And now, just a few weeks later, IBM has flagged its benchmarks as non-compliant because it cannot get the systems to customers in a reasonable amount of time.
As US lawmakers continue to probe Yahoo!'s role in the jailing of Chinese journalist Shi Tao, CEO Jerry Yang and chief counsel Michael Callahan have bowed to the journalist's mother. And we mean that literally.
Supermicro has launched what it claims to be the "world's densest blade server," as part of its SuperBlade line.