4th > December > 2007 Archive
It's amazing how some good practices limp on for decades beyond their expiration date. I still encounter people who insist that a method should have only one point of return - as if we're all still littering our code with GOTOs, and the concept of a "black-box" function was never invented.
Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia
ExclusiveOn the surface, all is well in Wikiland. Just last week, a headline from The San Francisco Chronicle told the world that "Wikipedia's Future Is Still Looking Up," as the paper happily announced that founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales plans to expand his operation with a high-profile move to the city by the bay.
Open source model impacts EnterpriseDB staff
The open source model has taken its toll on a number of EnterpiseDB staff. The company recently laid off some sales workers and under performers, as it realigns its business.
Frontline Wireless matches Google with 700-MHz bid
As expected, uber-startup Frontline Wireless will bid for the 700-MHz band, that juicy slice of US wireless spectrum due to be auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in January.
Canadian loses $20K in phony eBay sale
A Canadian man was scammed out of $20,000 when he tried to buy a car through eBay.
IT pro admits stealing 8.4M consumer records
A senior database administrator for a consumer reporting agency in Florida has admitted stealing more than 8.4 million account records and selling them to a data broker. He netted $580,000 over five years from the scheme.
Sun itching to release its virtualization platform
Have ready some clean towels and a cardboard box, Sun Microsystems is whelping the first in a litter of virtualization products next month.
Ofcom announces microwave spectrum auction details
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced details of its upcoming auctions of "high-frequency" spectrum. The preliminary deadline for applications to participate in the auctions has been set at 16 January 2008, to be confirmed before the Christmas break.
Ex-HMRC boss gets shiny new civil service post
Paul Gray, the civil service boss who resigned because of the loss of the child benefit database, has got himself a nice little Whitehall contract.
Brits declare Paris most pointless celeb
A poll of 4,000 discerning Brits has unsurprisingly voted Rwandan mercy-dash heroine "One Night In" Paris Hilton the planet's most pointless celebrity - pipping former Big Brother contestants Chantelle "Bulgarian Airbags" Houghton and Jade "Juicy Kebab" Goody into second and third spots, respectively.
Intel roadmaps P45, G45 chipsets for Q2 '08
Intel's X48 chipset - reviewed by Register Hardware here - is due in Q1 2008, but we'll have to wait until the following quarter for the rest of the 4-series 'Eaglelake' chipset family to arrive.
World's oldest Roller goes for £3.5m
The world's oldest known surviving Rolls-Royce - a 1904 10hp two-seater bearing the licence plate U 44 - sold yesterday at auction in London to a private British collector for a cool £3.5m.
Oz video rental giants go Blu-ray only
Major Australian rental chains Video Ezy and Blockbuster - both of which are owned by the same company, Franchise Entertainment Group - have gone all-out for Blu-ray Disc, they said today. Neither chain - comprising 870 stores in total - will now offer HD DVD rentals.
Nokia unveils eco phone and planet-friendly charger
NokiaWorldNo sooner had Nokia’s executives leapt onto the stage at today's opening of the giant's annual NokiaWorld shindig than assembled hacks were presented with a new, eco-friendly handset.
Poor take-up of e-tax system
A committee of MPs has found that take up of online services for filing company tax returns remains low, despite the incentive of cost savings to users and the government.
Less cash for more chips
Sales of PCs and other silicon-heavy goodies helped chip sales climb in October, but vendors are seeing less revenue per part due to continuing price attrition.
Creative ups Zen mem to 32GB
Creative has extended its Zen line of Flash-based compact handheld media players with a 32GB model.
Beer makes people have sex with you
American researchers have stunned the world with the revelation that young people who drink a lot tend to get more sex.
Appraisals are dishonest, waste of time
Almost half of employees think that their boss is dishonest during appraisal processes, while a third think the whole process is a waste of time, according to research by productivity body Investors in People.
Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP
The piracy rate for Windows Vista is less than half that of Windows XP, according to Microsoft. The vendor made the claim as it revealed plans to further curtail piracy when it launches the first service pack for Vista.
Acute virus outbreak hits Tristan da Cunha
The inhabitants of remote Tristan da Cunha are awaiting urgent medical supplies after succumbing to an unspecified acute virus outbreak which has caused "severe breathing problems" in many of the island's 275 citizens.
How to carve up the Digital Dividend?
Ofcom has discovered that the general public would like to see more TV channels, but not on their phones, when analogue TV is switched off. Meanwhile, Brussels suggests the regulator should handing over half the spectrum released to the EU Commission.
Google slightly less open than Interpol
Google is one of the world's least accountable and transparent organisations, only slightly less accountable than Interpol.
Nokia N81 8GB smartphone
ReviewNokia followed up its first 8GB mobile, the music-centric N91, with a second one, the N95 8GB. And now here's a third: the music and gaming geared N81 8GB.
Is Apple coding Leopard to run Windows apps natively?
Is Apple covertly working on a direct Windows application compatibility for Mac OS X? Some observers have suggested that it may well be after it was discovered that Leopard will attempt to load Portable Executable (PE) files when asked and even try to find relevant Windows Dynamic Linked Libraries (DLLs).
Acer gives Dell notebook business a kicking
Dell was kicked into third place in the worldwide laptop market last quarter, as Acer and its associated brands took second slot behind HP.
DARPA seeks network firing ranges for cyber weaponry
DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency), the Pentagon battle-boffins who would rather bet on a long shot than eat their dinners, are looking for the computer-net equivalent of a firing range or exercise training area.
Nokia pumps up headphone pair
NokiaWorldResisting a face-to-face conversation’s now even easier, thanks to Nokia. It’s unveiled two headphone designs, the WH-600 over-ear ‘cups’ and WH-700 in-ear cans.
Nokia to offer unlimited music downloads... for free
NokiaWorldMost mobiles have a music player nowadays, but most don’t come with a year's free and unlimited music downloads. Step up Nokia, which has just outlined just such a scheme, dubbed 'Comes With Music'.
MPAA's uni piracy-busting toolkit forced offline
The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) has been forced to stop distributing its "University Toolkit" online after just one month because it may violate copyright laws.
Mum defends suspected Kiwi botmaster
New Zealand reporters have unearthed the identity and background of a teenage hacker at the centre of an international cybercrime investigation.
Wernher Von Braun's 1934 PhD thesis auctioned
The original classified top-secret PhD thesis of famed Nazi and NASA rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun is to be auctioned in New York today.
Information Commissioner faces MP grilling
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas faces a grilling from MPs this afternoon when he gives evidence to the Justice Committee.
eBayers offload eBay Xmas prezzie on eBay
You're got to admire the spirit of raw capitalism that drives the world's favourite tat bazaar, as exemplified by the case of the eBay promotional USB Xmas lights.
T-Mobile wins right to end sale of unlocked iPhones
France is now the only country on the planet where you can buy - legally - an unlocked iPhone. A German court has cast aside a two-week-old order forcing T-Mobile to begin offering unlocked iPhones.
Murdoch puts faith in online religion
Rupert Murdoch's global media omnibeast has bought itself a religious tentacle, according to reports.
iPhone tops mobile browsing charts
Figures from Net Applications showing that since it was launched the iPhone has topped the charts amongst mobile browsers, with Symbian S60 trailing far behind.
Xmas hangovers to cost UK biz £790m
Hangovers provoked by wild Xmas alcoholic excess will cost British business £790m* this festive season as workers stagger around their offices looking for a nice place to have a kip or puking up the previous night's intake.
Asus dropped hard disk from Eee PC at eleventh hour
ExclusiveDid Asus originally plan to release its elfin Eee PC mini laptop with a magnetic hard disk drive? A snippet from the computer's manual suggests that the company did.
Win 2000 anti-virus products fail independent tests
Many big-name anti-virus products failed to secure Windows 2000 in recent independent tests.
Stock market breaks out mistletoe for Microsoft-SAP
Rumours that SAP might be in takeover talks with Microsoft have pushed up shares in the German software giant over the last couple of days.
VMware parades virtualization for the SMB masses
VMware has announced three new VMware Infrastructure packages that are designed to help IT administrators at SMBs make the decision to deploy virtual infrastructure.
LimeWire gets schooled in law by RIAA members
A federal judge dismissed all claims yesterday by the P2P file-sharing network LimeWire that the record industry illegally blocked its attempts to build a legitimate digital music service.
Privacy breach nuked in Canadian passport site
Red-faced Canadian passport officials say they've closed a privacy breach on their website that leaked the personal information of applicants, including their driver's license numbers, birth dates - even whether they owned a gun.
Vista vs XP performance: Some informal tests
After posting about the inadequacy of a recent test report I thought it would be interesting to conduct my own informal tests of Vista vs XP performance. I do not run a computer laboratory, but I guess my tests have the benefit of being real-world.
Microsoft kills Santa Claus
Microsoft has killed Santa Claus today, after an unsatisfactory attempt to restrain the North Pole-based jolly old elf from instant messaging children about oral sex.
iPhone's visual voicemail ain't so new
Klausner Technologies has filed suit against Apple, and AT&T, for infringing its patent for providing a visual representation of incoming messages, a claim that has convinced AOL and Vonage to pay up in the past.