27th > December > 2007 Archive
Every year, companies and individuals in the IT industry - mostly CEOs and those in marketing - spew vast quantities of unmitigated hype. In line with this year's rise in global temperatures, the past 12 months saw a spike in recorded levels of hot air. Reg Dev hung about after the initial hype had passed to discover what happened next.
Some of the world's greatest artworks are turning into copyrighted properties.Five hundred years ago, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Today, those images are copyrighted. How can ancient cultural icons become commercial properties, centuries after they fall into the public domain? How this happened is a story that takes us from a Crusading Pope in the Borgias era, all the way to Bill Gates' mansion on the shores of Lake Washington.
Climate models appear to be missing an atmospheric ingredient, a new study suggests. December's issue of the International Journal of Climatology from the Royal Meteorlogical Society contains a study of computer models used in climate forecasting. The study is by joint authors Douglass, Christy, Pearson, and Singer - of whom only the third mentioned is not entitled to the prefix Professor. Their topic is the discrepancy between troposphere observations from 1979 and 2004, and what computer models have to say about the temperature trends over the same period. While focusing on tropical latitudes between 30 degrees north and south (mostly to 20 degrees N and S), because, they write - "much of the Earth's global mean temperature variability originates in the tropics" - the authors nevertheless crunched through an unprecedented amount of historical and computational data in making their comparison.
A think tank has called for 'root and branch change' in public services, following its damning report on ICT outsourcing
BriefBrief Apple is to make Fox's latest DVD releases available for "rental" through the former's iTunes, Reuters reports.
Amazon.co.uk is claiming this Christmas was its best ever with sales peaking on 10 December.
The UK's Alzheimer's Society has backed the electronic tagging of dementia sufferers to "empower patients by allowing them to wander", the Telegraph reports.
The Storm Worm gang are spreading seasonal ill-will. Security watchers have spotted New Year greeting spam runs that attempt to direct recipients to a malicious web site called uhavepostcard.com. Anti-virus firm F-Secure warns that although the site remains free of exploits (for now) the spam run is likely to be a prelude for a New Year's Eve-themed Storm Worm attack.
Former eGroups CEO Michael Klein, his 13-year-old daughter and their pilot were killed when their light aircraft crashed in Panama. Francesca Lewis, a 12-year-old family friend was rescued yesterday after surviving more than two days on the side of a volcano.
Radiohead will perform the whole of their latest album In Rainbows plus some "other bits" at 12am EST on 31 December on Current.com, Reuters reports.
Tesco Mobile, and O2 which provides its network, has complained to Ofcom that changes to spectrum allocation could drive the supermarket's mobile offering out of business. Tesco has realised that when O2 loses half its 900MHz spectrum in 2009 it will be Tesco Mobile customers who suffer, as the virtual operator camps on O2's 2G network at 900MHz, and the supermarket monolith isn't planning to lose coverage without a fight.
The Scottish Government is to spend £10,000 on a trial scheme to place anti-drink adverts directly into Xbox 360 games across Scotland. The adverts will be seen by gamers playing the online versions of titles including Need for Speed: Carbon, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2008.
German investigators are attempting to identifying participants in a massive online child sex abuse network reckoned to have involved 12,000 people.
UK government-owned gambling outfit the Tote is shipping its online casino off to the the Channel Islands to avoid paying tax to, er, the UK government.
Google has been hit by a setback in a patent row with Hyperphrase Technologies, LLC. A federal appeals court in Wisconsin yesterday rejected part of a summary judgment that could have worked to Google's advantage in the case.
Despite a series of law enforcement and other attacks on illegal file-sharing this year the number of people using the anti-copyright BitTorrent tracker Pirate Bay has almost doubled.
Intel and STMicroelectronics NV have been forced to delay the merger of their cash-starved flash memory units because of "significant turmoil" in the financial markets.
The MasterCard website struggled to cope with Christmas shopping demand that left it unreachable for nearly five hours in the run-up to Christmas. More seriously MasterCard's Maestro system also experienced glitches in the immediate run-up to Xmas. The extent of the problem with the debit card system remains unclear.
EMC is buying a document management software firm for $85m.
Capgemini shares fell sharply on the Paris bourse, after the company said it was not in takeover talks with Indian rival Wipro.
Nokia's pre-emptive strike against InterDigital's 3G-covering patent portfolio has reached a ruling by the English High Court, reducing an initial pile of 31 patents down to four: one of which has been ruled essential for 3G technology, and three which could, but might not be infringed by a 3G handset.
We are indebted to The Mirror for the latest example of mobile data charging madness, this time in England.