29th > November > 2007 Archive

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Expressive e-commerce safe after judge sides with Amazon

Thanks to a First Amendment-waving judge, US prosecutors have given up their efforts to subpoena the names of thousands of people who've purchased used books on Amazon.com.
Cade Metz, 29 2007
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P2P file-sharing recognizes no borders

Peer-to-peer applications dominate internet traffic even in generally lower-bandwidth areas, according to a recent study by German web traffic analyst ipoque.
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BEA portal product springs a leak

Organizations using a popular portal server made by BEA Systems may be interested to learn that researchers have figured out a simple way for unauthenticated users to obtain every user name stored on their systems.
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Iron Mountain lands ICANN data escrow agreement

Iron Mountain announced today that it has begun providing long-awaited data escrow services to ICANN and its panoply of approved registrars. Ever since the RegisterFly debacle exposed ICANN’s failure to account properly for the data escrow requirements of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), data escrow has been at or near the top of the ICANN agenda.
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Inside job suspected in email database hack

Hackers working on the inside of marketing software firm Convio appear to have lifted emails addresses and passwords from a client database.
The Register breaking news
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Man sentenced to 20 years in murder of online rival

A 48-year-old man caught up in an internet love triangle was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his rival after being dumped by the woman they both competed for.
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How can I completely clear my PC of private data?

As a Dad I'm pretty concerned about having my family's private information stolen. I'm also about to sell the family PC, which has loads of personal files on, like Excel/Word docs, saved bookmarks to my online accounts, etc. I've deleted all these, but a friend told me they aren't really gone and could be recovered with the use of some software.
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LG switches on 5000:1 screen

LG has stayed true to its word and launched the first monitor from its 5000:1 contrast ratio range in the UK.
The Register breaking news
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Norway apes American gambling folly

Norway's Minister of Culture and Church affairs has decided that the future of online gambling is American-style ineffectual regulatory madness, according to iGamingBusiness, among others.
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Net watchdog goes pig-sticking on Comcast

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has amped up the crusade against P2P-throttling ISPs.
Cade Metz, 29 2007
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Latest QuickTime Exploit targets both Macs and PCs

A US-based security researcher has published a single piece of code that can remotely compromise both PCs and Macs as long as they are running Apple's QuickTime media player.
The Register breaking news

Tesco in X-rated Lawnmower Simulator shocker

We think someone is having a laugh down at Tesco, where aficionados of hot grass action can apparently get the X-rated Wii version of Lawnmower Simulator 2007:
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Gateway Inc fails to block rival's Gateway brand

Gateway Inc cannot stop Fujitsu-Siemens' registration of the words ACTIVY Media Gateway, the European Court of First Instance ruled yesterday. The tech companies' marks will not confuse consumers, the court ruled.
The Register breaking news
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Mobile growth outpaces fixed lines

Mobile phone use within the EU is continuing to rise as reliance on fixed lines eases off, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The Register breaking news
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Qinetiq announces UK layoffs, US sales

Controversial war-boffinry spinoff firm Qinetiq has announced a contract to sell a US-designed precision-parachute system to the RAF, just as it decided to eject 400 of its UK staff. The layoffs came the same day it announced a rise in interim sales and profits.
The Register breaking news
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Audit bodies should merge, report says

A think tank has urged the government to merge the Audit Commission and National Audit Office (NAO).
Kablenet, 29 2007

Carphone slated over iPhone porkies claim

Carphone Warehouse staff have been accused of confusing customers in order to get them pay extra cash for insurance.
The Register breaking news

Vista provokes user synaptic collapse

Those of you with memories like elephants may recall the case of the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article which contained the following classic:
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AMD tri-core Phenoms due February '08

AMD's first three-core processors, due to go on sale as part of its Phenom line-up, will arrive in February 2008, it has been claimed. There will be two of them: the 7600 and the 7700.

QVC gets exclusive on Venturer budget HD DVD player

Venturer Electronics' promised cut-price HD DVD player will finally go on sale on 29 December, but you'll have to switch on your TV to buy one. The SHD7001 will only be sold through the QVC home shopping channel.
The Register breaking news

Vodafone sends Manchester back to the 90s

Vodafone customers in Greater Manchester are having to rely on 2G services as a hardware fault has brought down the whole area's 3G coverage.
Bill Ray, 29 2007
The Register breaking news

Google wants to make renewable power cheaper than coal

Google.org, "the philanthropic arm of Google", plans to sink some of the company's billions in ad fees into advancing renewable energy technology. The aim is to make cleanly-generated electricity cheaper than that derived from burning coal.
The Register breaking news

Video games blamed for England Euro flop

West Ham shot-stopper Robert Green has blamed England's pitiful failure in qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals on the increasing popularity of video games among English boys.
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Publishers punt new web crawler blocking standards

A long-awaited new standard designed to give webmasters more control over how search engines and newsreaders access their content will be unveiled in New York today.
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Major chip maker seeks similar for SuperSpeed USB tryst

The USB 3.0 standard could be completed by the end of June 2008 - but the companies behind the specification need more of their fellows to pitch in and help get it done on time.
The Register breaking news

Chilean hooker plans 27-hour charity sexathon

A Chilean prostitute has caused a bit of a stir by selling 27 hours of rumpy-pumpy in aid of tomorrow's annual TV Teletón campaign for the country's disabled kids.

Telecom Italia heads split

A number of senior executives have walked out of Telecom Italia, which according to the firm is a positive move that opens the way for fresh leadership at Italy's leading telecoms provider.
The Register breaking news

BT puts old phone books online

BT is putting its entire archive of old phone books online for genealogists, or anyone else, to browse, and a commercial genealogy company is opening up access to all UK burial records since 1538.
The Register breaking news

Galileo pork punchup takes unexpected twist

Yesterday it appeared that the troubled Euro-collaborative sat nav project Galileo had finally achieved a way forward - but then reports of fresh disagreements surfaced.
The Register breaking news

Boffins report lightning on Venus, our non-identical twin

The European Space Agency's Venus Express probe has confirmed that there is lightning on our twin planet. This means that lightning has been confirmed on four of the solar system's eight official planets, but Venus' storms are unique. While lightning on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn is all associated with water clouds, the electrical discharges on Venus are from clouds of sulphuric acid.
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Microsoft offers $300m for web-washing ad campaign

Reader challenge Microsoft is touting $300m in advertising pork to the shiny suits of Madison Avenue in return for a smart way to pimp its lacklustre web services.
The Register breaking news

Google Maps Mobile knows where you are

The latest version of Google Maps Mobile has a menu item which shows you where you are, without recourse to GPS or deals with network operators, but those with GPS will be asked to lend a hand in keeping the database up to date and improving its accuracy.
Bill Ray, 29 2007
Warning Speed Camera

Cyber cold war fears grow

Forget run of the mill cybercrooks, international cyber spying will pose the single biggest information security threat in 2008.
The Register breaking news

Balls blames parents, computers for English literacy slide

Ed Balls has again weighed into parents who insist on bubblewrapping their children and leaving them in front of the computer, after research showed British kids have slipped down the world’s literacy league.
Joe Fay, 29 2007
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Public school IT supplier goes titsup

A leading provider of laptops and other computer services to private schools in the UK has gone into administration, leaving many with support headaches because existing warranty and support contracts are unlikely be honoured.
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Solwise DMP-1120w UPnP/DLNA network media player

Review From the Apple TV to D-Link's Media Lounge and Netgear's Wireless Digital Media Player there is currently no shortage of ways of getting PC-held content onto a TV screen and home audio system without wires. As with most things in life, while some of these products are of a truly fine vintage others prove to be merely vin ordinaire.
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Facebook 'to drop' creeptech ad system

Facebook looks set to scale back its advertising ambitions after one of a suite of new features aimed at milking cash from user data was slammed as creepy.

Financial turmoil won't crimp IT budgets in 2008

Most Reg readers don't expect to see their IT budgets cut next year, and nearly one third of you are expecting your IT budgets to be increased for 2008.
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Google trials GPS-without-GPS mobile navigator

Google has begun testing a mobile phone mapping service which it promises will find your location and send you on your way, even if your handset’s not GPS-enabled.
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Spend-a-penny SMS service starts flowing

If you’re caught short in central London tonight then just text Westminster Council (WC), because it has launched a loo-locating texting service.
The Register breaking news

NASA reveals manned Mars mission plans

NASA says it will send a 400,000kg crewed spacecraft on a 30-month round trip to Mars as early as February 2031. The details of the planned mission were announced at a meeting in Houston, Texas, the BBC reports.
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Wrappers offers padded add-on to keep your Eee PC cosy

You may have a hard time getting your hands on an Eee PC at the moment, but at least you can start grabbing accessories for the tiny notebook in the meantime. The first we've seen are Wrappers' set of Eee-sized laptop sleeves.
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Yahoo! and! Adobe! sign! ad-packed! PDF! pact!

Despite my ma always saying ‘if you knew your times tables as well as your adverts’, people today still can’t escape advertising and the problem’s set to get even worse. Yahoo! has signed up with Adobe to incorporate targeted adverts into PDF documents.
The Register breaking news

US Army plans robot planes operated by non-pilots

Military pilots are up in arms* over US Army plans for substantial, powerful drone combat aircraft to be operated by mere mortals without wings on their chests.
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Cisco VoIP bug poses eavesdropping risk

A bug involving 7900 Series IP phones from Cisco creates a means for hackers to eavesdrop on calls.
Pirates ahoy!
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Anti piracy group grapples with virtual world

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has sunk its teeth into the fuzzy, grey world of virtualisation.
The Register breaking news

Two UK web hosts go down

Two UK web hosting companies - 1and1.co.uk and the Murdoch-owned easynet.com - are suffering a little downtime today, leaving customers without email or access to their websites.
The Register breaking news
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Peter Erskine calls it a day at O2

Peter Erskine is to step down from his current role as head of Telefonica's European business, presumably to spend more time with the £12m he's reckoned to have made out of the O2 sale, though he'll remain on the Telefonica board.
Bill Ray, 29 2007
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The wireless Christmas tree

When we first caught wind of a wireless Christmas tree, most of the Register Hardware team assumed someone had just downed too much Egg Nog. However, it could be the perfect present to brighten-up your gadget-laden home this Christmas.
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Preacher jailed for £51m carousel fraud

A lay preacher and law lecturer from Beeston has been jailed for six and a half years for defrauding the British taxpayer to the tune of £51m.
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Data breach costs soar

There's more bad news for chancellor Alistair Darling in the wake of the HMRC data loss fiasco. A study by the US-based Ponemon Institute reckons information security breaches cost $197 per compromised record, compared to $182 per record last year.
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Dell sits on cybersquatters

Dell has slapped a lawsuit on a number of website registrar firms, accusing them of trademark infringement and cybersquatting.
The Register breaking news

Paris and Britney top US kids' Santa naughty list

US kids have delightfully voted exceptionally-talented heiress Paris Hilton, along with wobbly popstress Britney "Oops I forgot my knickers again" Spears, as heading Santa's Xmas "naughty list", thereby ensuring that neither of them will receive much-needed underwear or self-administered breath-test kits in their Christmas stockings.
The Register breaking news
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CBS to Pirate Bay: 'You're ok by us'

Last.fm, the music recommendation site owned by US media conglomerate CBS, has today given Pirate Bay the thumbs up to use its servers to add radio streams to BitTorrent searches.
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Micron takes on solid state drives

Memory maker Micron is leaping into the widening world of NAND flash-based solid state disks. The shiny new RealSSD brand comprises three products: SATA drives for desktops and laptops, embedded USB drives and module storage for servers.
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Green irony? Tech vendors don't get it

With approval poll ratings near record lows, it was only a matter of time before President George W. Bush's administration chose to hitch its fortunes to "IT-is-the-cause-and-cure-of-climate-change" bandwagon.
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Azul finds a new CEO

In Sept., we revealed that Azul Systems chief Stephen DeWitt would relinquish his CEO post. Today, Azul has confirmed that DeWitt will turn over the CEO duties to former second-in-command (COO and Prez) Scott Sellers.
The Register breaking news

I'm in privacy trouble ... bitch

Three weeks ago, Facebook unveiled a three prong strategy to monetize its active base of 50m users. (See I'm a walking billboard ... bitch.) It hasn't taken long for one those prongs to go prang.

How Web 2.0 evangelists make the Microsoft monopoly stronger

Comment One IT Manager, bemoaning his lot to me, recently compared the rise of Web 2.0 enthusiasts to the problem the Police has with Freemasons. The blog and wiki evangelists within are not as secretive, of course, but they're equally cult-like: speaking their own language, and using the populist rhetoric of "empowerment" for relentless self-advancement.
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Small mainframe vendors huddle against IBM

Another upstart mainframe house wants to join the legal fracas between IBM and PSI. Florida-based T3 Technologies accuses IBM of dirty tricks, which have undermined its sales efforts.
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Promiscuous Transitive beds Hitachi's boxes and sales folk

Transitive - the king of server software promiscuity - has signed on with Hitachi America to move Solaris/SPARC software over to x86- and Itanium-based servers.
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FBI crackdown on botnets gets results, but damage continues

FBI agents engaged in a crackdown on botnet crime issued a progress report of the ongoing initiative, reporting more than $20m in losses to consumers, businesses and other organizations and the identification of one million infected machines in the past five months.
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Microsoft loses battle of the piggybacking passwords

Microsoft has been told to fork over $140m because Windows XP and certain versions of Microsoft Office require more than one activation code.
Cade Metz, 29 2007