12th > November > 2007 Archive
Myths and legendsMyths and legends When database folks gather to sup ale and chat, as they invariably will at Oracle's OpenWorld in San Francisco this week, talk occasionally turns to benchmarking. As soon as it does, someone will say: "Of course the trouble is you can't trust the vendors. Wasn't Oracle caught cheating at the TPC benchmarks?" The public has a right to know the truth...
This week, Monk and His IT Junk join Register Developer. Illustrated by cartoonist Jason Slater, Monk and fellow Brothers Mouse Matt and Norris do their best to come to terms with IT's ironies and frustrations.
SC07SC07 Sun Microsystems will use this week's Supercomputing conference in Reno to make good on delivering a number of products aimed at the high performance computing crowd. When all the product releases are taken as a whole, Sun ends up with a lineup that could help it regain ground lost to IBM and HP.
Managing the ties between virtual servers and storage systems strikes most admins as a real pain. So, customers should welcome the arrival of an addition to HP's Virtual Connect technology that allows them to set up flexible relationships between a large number of virtual servers and physical storage boxes.
Dell has grabbed hold of Intel's latest Xeon release and upgraded its mainstream server line, but the vendor would prefer you focus on the new PowerEdge R900 running on older chips. The four-socket R900 server eats up 4U of rack space and stands as Dell's top performing box of all time. The server runs on Intel's four-core 7300 Series Xeon chips aimed at larger systems. Understandably, Dell reckons all this horsepower makes the R900 ideal for cranking through databases and business software.
Japanese motor mammoth Toyota signalled a cautious move forward in the "green*" motoring revolution, announcing plans for studies into "plug-in" hybrid vehicles on Friday.
Hands onHands on Last time I described why GUI code is difficult to unit test, and why it's generally better to avoid doing so. But that doesn't mean GUI-related code shouldn't be tested - you just need to separate out the logic.
Intel yesterday rolled out its first 45nm 'Penryn' processors, including a new top-of-the-line gaming chip, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650.
The Audit Commission has launched a set of voluntary standards to help public bodies improve the data they use to report their activities. Introducing the guidelines, the Audit Commission said they were designed to be flexible and allow public sector organisations to take into account local risks and resources.
The European Southern Observatory has released a new image of nearby spiral galaxy NCG-134, revealing a place very similar to our own galaxy, but with a significant difference: the galaxy's spiral disk is twisted.
The European Commission has published a plan (pdf) to compel EU members to gather more information on air passengers travelling in and out of the EU in what it says is an attempt to combat terrorism. The proposal depends on a soon-to-be adopted data sharing policy which has been opposed by Europe's privacy regulator the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). It has also been opposed by civil liberties campaign group Statewatch, which said that it contributed to making Europe "the most surveilled place in the world".
Europe's top privacy regulator has said European privacy laws will need to be overhauled in just five years' time. He also said the rules governing which countries can be sent Europeans' data could be improved.
British servicemen and women are being warned off social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
Airbus yesterday used Dubai’s annual air show to announce a whopping £16.7bn deal with Emirates to supply 70 A350s and 11 A380s - described by the Times as "the largest-ever single-aircraft order".
DCC Plc today reported interim figures that showed its IT distribution businesses being hit by deflation. Total revenue at Ireland-based DCC was up by a quarter to nearly €2.3bn year on year.
Prince is lining a flotilla of lawyers to take on the Pirate Bay, in the latest stage of his crusade to stamp out web piracy of his stuff.
A much hyped cyber-jihad by Islamist s'kiddie hackers on Western websites failed to materialise on Sunday.
A Thai security guard who took exception to fellow operatives sleeping on the job because they had "taken advantage of their employers and did not deserve to be paid", duly beat 10 of the men to death, the Telegraph reports.
British MPs have expressed their concern over plans from the European Commission aimed at advancing the troubled Euro-collaborative sat nav project Galileo.
Jumping into baked bean-filled baths or men wearing dresses into the office are tried and tested ways of raising cash for the annual BBC-led charity telethon Children in Need. However, one group of Nintendo DS fanatics are using their love of the handheld console to raise some money for the cause.
The US Department of Justice is going to the courts in a bid to force New York State to buy its preferred voting machines in time for the 2008 election. New York State's Board of Elections has declined to hold an open discussion on how to respond.
A wannabe US bank robber failed dismally to relieve an Alabama bank of its cash since the teller simply could not understand what on earth he was saying.
ReviewReview Nvidia’s new 'G92' graphics chip is based on the 'G80' used in the GTS, GTX and Ultra versions of the GeForce 8800, and is a die-shrink that moves from the part from its predecessors' 90nm fabrication process to 65nm.
Quocirca's changing channelsQuocirca's changing channels For a growing number of organisations, web browsers are becoming the primary interface for accessing certain business applications. This enables easy access to widely distributed groups of users, not just employees on the move, but also individuals in external organisations; customers, suppliers, partners, and so on.
Amnesty International is repeating its call for companies and governments to take action to protect human rights online.
UK carrier Orange has brought what's claimed to be the world's first Bluetooth headset that draws its power from the sun.
We are (we think) much obliged today to eagle-eyed reader Seth Fogie who has spotted what is indisputably this week's big news event: some bloke in The Bionic Woman talking into the wrong end of Apple's paradigm-redefining iCon iPhone:
Hackers have worked out how to unlock the latest iPhone firmware, 1.1.2, to allow handsets running it to operate on any GSM network. Yet confusion reigns - one popular unlocking app may have been updated 'unofficially'.
Exclusive picExclusive pic A massive fire on the disused industrial estate where the 2012 Olympic park will be built has created a plume of smoke visible across London.
Over 130 UK public servants have lost their jobs due to breaches of IT policy over the last three years, government figures show.
A word of warning this fine autumn afternoon: do not mess with 49-year-old Constance Marie Manning of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who is as far as we're aware still in Allen County Lockup on a "felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanour count of domestic battery". This follows her attacking her boyf with multiple weapons including a knife, a dog figurine, and her laughing gear.
Microsoft has started a new refurbishment programme to help companies breathe life into dusty old computers by providing a copy of Windows – at a cost. The new Microsoft authorised refurbisher (MAR) programme, which launched last Friday, is aimed at resolving a growing problem among businesses which have defunct kit lying around.
Disguising Trojan horse malware as video codecs has became a favourite trick for hackers. The ruse allows malware authors to bait their enticement with the promise of free porno clips or the like.
European networking hardware company Comtrend has pledged to begin selling powerline Ethernet adaptors capable of a maximum throughput of 400Mb/s - double the speed of today's offerings - "early next year".
HTC has beefed-up its Touch handset range by launching the Cruise, the first model to incorporate GPS navigation.
The Xbox 360’s Japenese sales figures have finally overtaken those of the Sony PlayStation 3 - by a margin of just 239 consoles, according to market watcher Media Create.
IBM has denied it's a copycat after it joined Oracle and SAP with its own business intelligence software buy. Today it announced plans to buy Canadian outfit Cognos for $5bn cash.
Revenue from mobile games slipped nine per cent during the second quarter to 30 June 2007, compared to an 11 per cent rise during the first - bad news for a market which constantly portrays itself as under-exploited.
The computer sciences department at Cambridge University has said it is "desperate" to attract more students to its courses, despite the fact that it currently turns down two applications in three.
LettersLetters Two of the country's biggest retail chains closed down on Friday afternoon in preparation for mayhem. In the end, tear gas wasn't needed to fight back the hordes when the stores reopened, and the iPhone went on sale in the UK.
Google is the latest tech firm to book a flight to the Eastern District of Texas, after a Boston-based firm launched a patent infringement suit at the search giant.
There is to be a gathering of boffins in London next Thursday (15 November), at which the future of intergalactic spaceflight will be discussed. Not content with merely watching Star Trek re-runs, the good folk of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) have organised a conference to discuss how to make faster-than-light travel a reality*.
MP3.com founder Michael Robertson is on the receiving end of another lawsuit - from EMI - this time against his MP3tunes.com and Sideload.com services.
Security watchers are concerned that a protocol handling flaw in Firefox could have implications for the security of data held within Google and, possibly, other web applications.
On November 22, 1977, as it motored down the street somewhere south of San Francisco, a souped-up delivery van sent some information to a computer lab at the University of Southern California, 400 miles away. No one can quite remember what the information was, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is the way it travelled.
American evolutionary-psych researchers have produced eye catching research suggesting that women whose hips are significantly bigger than their waists are more intelligent, and tend to produce more intelligent babies. They believe that this might explain why men tend to be attracted to women with this type of physique, apparently theorising that what men really really want is women (and children) likely to be cleverer than themselves.
Microsoft is hashing out the finalized details today on the oft-delayed Windows Server 2008. Most notably, Microsoft will release eight SKUs of the platform when it ships in late February 2008. Only some will include the Viridian hypervisor — which has been renamed Hyper-V. Users can choose to go with or without the hypervisor in the software gamut, which runs from Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter editions in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Confirmation that a Maxtor hard disk drive was infected with a Trojan by a manufacturing sub-contractor in China is spooking Taiwanese authorities, one of the countries where examples of the infected kit have begun to appear.
Understanding that developers need to be bribed to create applications for a new mobile platform, Google has put up $10m in prizes for the best Android apps.
SC07SC07 The latest Top 500 Supercomputer list has arrived, reflecting a rather vibrant market for the highest performing systems. A refreshed version of IBM's BlueGene/L system at Lawrence Livermore National Lab remains the top overall machine. It's been number one since 2004, which must be a source of endless joy at both Big Blue and LLNL. The fresh BlueGene system has posted a Linpack benchmark score of 478.2 teraflops, which compares to 280.6 teraflops six months ago.
Microsoft is preparing some sort of photo and video sharing web 2.0 monster. Naturally, it will be called Windows Live Something or Other. And the Ballmerites are sure it "will be loved by millions."
UpdatedUpdated eBay users on both sides of the Atlantic are reporting potentially serious site glitches that have confounded customer service representatives trying to diagnose and fix the problems. The glitches, while unrelated, both appeared to involve database problems that prevented users of the online auction house from carrying out basic functions.
Symantec is laying off an unspecified number of employees this week, the security software company has confirmed. The security firm would not specify the number of jobs to be culled, or the departments targeted for the cuts.
OpenWorldOpenWorld Oracle will take a step closer towards launching its next major middleware suite - Fusion - in the next few weeks by releasing a preview that targets developers.