20th > December > 2007 Archive

The Register breaking news

Viacom shuns Google's DoubleClick for Microsoft

After suing one Google acquisition for $1bn, US media behemoth Viacom has now divorced another, leaping headlong into the arms of Microsoft.
Cade Metz, 20 2007

Counterfeiters told to pay Symantec $21m

Symantec today hit pay dirt, winning $21m damages from the US courts against a counterfeit software ring spanning the US and Asia. Which is nice: in December 2006, the last time Symantec spoke on the matter, the security software firm had pressed for damages of $15m-plus.
Flag Netherlands

Dutch arrest 14 mules in ABN AMRO scam

Dutch police have arrested 14 suspects who allegedly lent their bank accounts at ABN Amro to cybercriminals in Russia and Ukraine. After being recruited by the fraudsters, the mules received funds taken from phishing scams, which they transferred overseas.
The Register breaking news

Indonesian hacker touches souls by bringing down police website

The path to enlightenment got a little shorter for the citizens of Tucson, Arizona and they have a hacker half-way around the world to thank.
homeless man with sign

Graphene breakthrough threatens silicon's chip glory

For years graphene has proved a cruel temptress for the semiconductor avant garde. The material - a layer of carbon atoms grouped in the ever popular honeycomb lattice - promised major performance gains over silicon. The problem with the stuff, however, has been arranging it in a large enough layer to replicate the 8- to 12-inch circular wafers favored by the major chip makers.
The Register breaking news

NHS frets over Brits' genitalia

UK health portal NHS Choices has got itself into a bit of a tiz over whether or not to show unexpurgated genitalia in a forthcoming update of its interactive Body Map - an issue apparently so sensitive it has decided to put the matter to a public vote.
The Register breaking news

Tekken set to kick big screen ass

Dwight Little of Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid fame will direct a movie adaptation of popular Namco martial arts game Tekken, Variety reports.
The Register breaking news

The art of software murder

Stob Stob Only the guilty need be afraid Did you ever try Paint Shop Pro? It is the most splendid of programs, a faithful collie dog of a program. Whistle for it and it bounces up off your hard disk, and licks your face, and gambols around all eager and excited and ready to play. Design industry pros may swear by Photoshop, but …
The Register breaking news

Apple mugs Think Secret

Acclaimed Apple news site Think Secret is to close, following the settlement of a lawsuit from Apple.
The Register breaking news

US switches off the incandescent lightbulb

US prez George W. Bush yesterday signed a "landmark" energy bill which will see the nation's incandescent lightbulbs phased out in favour of low-consumption alternatives.

N95 struggles to find itself

The latest firmware for the Nokia N95 offers many new features and much better memory management, and is free to download - but it also takes away the tracking feature from Nokia Maps, which the company now claims was a limited-time promotional offer.
Bill Ray, 20 2007

Oracle slaps SAP in the chops

Database giant Oracle said yesterday that it saw earnings jump by 35 per cent in its second quarter buoyed by strong sales of software licenses.
The Register breaking news

Sky told to flog ITV shares

Government regulators have demanded that Sky offload most of its stake in ITV because it threatens competition in the TV market, and could harm consumers.

Adobe plugs multi-platform Flash vulns

Adobe has published an update fixing numerous security vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash.
The Register breaking news

How green is your business, exactly?

Reader poll Those among you who were concerned that El Reg might have slouched through what remains of 2007 without our Strategy Boutique for one last time throwing the IT barometer into the deep end of the knowledge pool and seeing if it floats, will be delighted to learn that we have something to brighten your pre-Xmas skive: the bumper "IT and the Environment" reader poll.

AMD lays down laptop platform plan

What's AMD got planned for notebook makers and buyers over the next few years? Its plans are broadly known - the 'Puma' platform will be released in 2008 followed by the first 'Fusion' architecture mobile CPUs the following year - but now we can begin to flesh it out a little.

Invisio G5 'world's smallest' Bluetooth headset

Review Danish company NextLink may claim its Invisio G5 is the world's smallest Bluetooth headset - it's certainly one of the tiniest we've seen - but if you think the brandname means no one's going to spot you're wearing one, think again. However, we're getting ahead of ourselves - beyond its size, the G5 has some other neat touches.
The Register breaking news

Drivers on the phone face the slammer

New guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) mean that drivers on the phone could face two years in prison, as prosecutors may decide to push for a Dangerous Driving conviction which carries the stiffer penalty, according to the BBC.
Bill Ray, 20 2007

Slow death planned for Sun's Java IDE biz

The release of the 6.0 version of the Sun Microsystems-sponsored, open-source NetBeans IDE last week sounded the death knell for two other Sun-spawned development tools: Java Studio Enterprise and Java Studio Creator.

Intel gears up for for 45nm frenzy in 2008

It's time to synchronise watches, check diaries and make sure we're all up to speed on Intel's 2008 processor launch plans.
The Register breaking news

Ofcom investigates X-Factor debacle

Media watchdog Ofcom today confirmed that it will be investigating more than 2,000 complaints it has received from X Factor fans who have been crying into their beer mulled wine Bacardi Breezers after Welsh opera-singer Rhydian Roberts lost out to surprise victor Leon Jackson.

Palm to unlock Treo 500 next month

Palm will next month make available an unlocked version of its Treo 500 smartphone following the end of carrier's Vodafone's time offering the handset on an exclusive basis.
The Register breaking news

Info chief prescribes shock therapy for health dept

The Information Commissioner’s Office has slated the Department of Health over a data protection debacle that saw Doctor’s intimate personal details plastered over the web.
Joe Fay, 20 2007
The Register breaking news

Digital music: Go legal, get screwed

The Big Four record labels want us to think that the sound recording business is a reformed character these days. Recently, we've heard ritualistic self-flagellations from a succession of top executives. There was Ed Bronfman at Warner's, prostrating himself in front of Apple. In a similar vein, Universal's chief Doug Morris admitted UMG had been clueless, and got it all wrong. EMI's new asset-stripping chief Guy Hands issues almost weekly memos telling the company to reform or die. While over at Sony BMG, staff have been told they must, er... blog their way back into music lover's hearts.
The Register breaking news

BBC boosts staff morale with jelly

Embattled BBC execs have cheered themselves up with a bizarre quasi-religious bonding course. Reports say top brass and presenters were required to wash jelly off each others' feet as part of a day of strategy boutique imagineering.
The Register breaking news

MoD sorts out 'turkey' helicopters for Xmas

One of the sorriest British defence procurement stories of recent times - which means a very sorry story indeed - finally approached resolution this week. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it will modify eight large helicopters it has had since 2001 so that they can actually be used.
The Register breaking news

France Telecom sees rivals teaming up

France's second largest network operator SFR has notified Neuf Cegetel, in which SFR already holds a 40 per cent stake, of its intention to buy up a controlling interest in the company. This will take the form of another 30 per cent, currently owned by the Louis Dreyfus group.
Bill Ray, 20 2007

TJX settles with banks over credit card breach

Retailer TJX has reached a settlement with all but one of the seven banks and bankers' associations that sued it after a security breach put millions of customers' credit data at risk of fraud.

Monitor maker aims s.book sub-notebook at Asus Eee PC

Fancy Asus' tiny Eee PC but put off by the equally diminutive spec? Monitor specialist Belinea's s.book micro laptop may be just the ticket: it's got the same 7in screen as the 4GB Asus, but comes with double the memory, 20 times the storage capcity and a 1.2GHz CPU.

Nokia wins hearts, minds with breakthrough mobile

Nokia has received plenty of criticism recently for its outre designs and - this year in particular - poor battery life. However, I've been using a phone which overcomes many of these problems. In contrast to many other Nokia models, function triumphs over form. This is a no-frills business model with several important breakthroughs.
The Register breaking news

US 'robot surge' deal re-inked after droid piracy fracas

Noted droid manufacturer iRobot has this week landed a major contract from the US Army, after the deal had initially been awarded to a competitor. However, iRobot successfully argued that its rival, Robotic FX, had stolen its technology.
lenovo teaser 75

Lenovo insists EMEA retail expansion still a goer

Chinese computer maker Lenovo has rebuffed claims that it was considering scaling back its 2008 retail ambitions in the EMEA region in the face of the credit crunch crisis and any potential economic nosedive.
alarm clock teaser

Kaspersky false alarm quarantines Windows Explorer

A faulty signature update from Kaspersky Lab on Wednesday flagged up Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) as infected with a low-risk virus, Huhk-C. As a result the core Windows component was quarantined or worse.
The Register breaking news

FTC rubberstamps Google DoubleClick merger

The FTC has voted to approve Google's of web advertising powerhouse DoubleClick, after an eight month investigation - but not without a dissenting voice.
The Register breaking news

CNET blogger in self-righteous crash-and-burn

This crock of shite by CNET blogger Steve Tobak must take the award for 2007's most self-righteous, sanctimonious bollocks. Read on:
MS Windows Vista logo

Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

It's been almost nine months since we first reported on Windows Vista's inability to copy, delete and move files without stalling indefinitely, and yet the problem continues.