20th > December > 2007 Archive
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple mugs Think Secret
Acclaimed Apple news site Think Secret is to close, following the settlement of a lawsuit from Apple.
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.
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.
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.
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
ReviewDanish 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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: