27th > December > 2007 Archive

Warning: fire

Feel the burn: in the aftermath of year's biggest hype

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.
Phil Manchester, 27 Dec 2007

How to copyright Michelangelo

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.
Charles Eicher, 27 Dec 2007

Cloudy outlook for climate models

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.
Anton Wylie, 27 Dec 2007
thumbs down teaser 75

Outsourcing overruns cost UK taxpayers £9bn

A think tank has called for 'root and branch change' in public services, following its damning report on ICT outsourcing
Kablenet, 27 Dec 2007

Apple and Fox to offer rental downloads

BriefBrief Apple is to make Fox's latest DVD releases available for "rental" through the former's iTunes, Reuters reports.
Lester Haines, 27 Dec 2007
Amazon logo 75

Amazon claims amazing Christmas

Amazon.co.uk is claiming this Christmas was its best ever with sales peaking on 10 December.
John Oates, 27 Dec 2007

UK charity backs tags for dementia sufferers

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.
Lester Haines, 27 Dec 2007

New Year's Eve greetings disguise Storm Worm attacks

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.
John Leyden, 27 Dec 2007
Warning: aircraft

Dotcom-era tycoon dies in Panama plane crash

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.
Christopher Williams, 27 Dec 2007

Radiohead prep New Year's Eve net gig

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.
Lester Haines, 27 Dec 2007

Tesco Mobile complains to Ofcom

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.
Bill Ray, 27 Dec 2007

Xbox gamers urged don't get smashed

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.
Scott Snowden, 27 Dec 2007
Flag Germany

German police hunt 12,000 strong child abuse ring

German investigators are attempting to identifying participants in a massive online child sex abuse network reckoned to have involved 12,000 people.
John Leyden, 27 Dec 2007

Tote to punt online casino from the Channel

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.
Christopher Williams, 27 Dec 2007
Google logo

Google suffers patent blow

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.
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Dec 2007
Pirates ahoy!

BitTorrenters seek sanctuary in Pirate Bay

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.
Christopher Williams, 27 Dec 2007

Intel and STMicro Flash venture delayed by cash problems

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.
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Dec 2007
Mastercard logo

MasterCard's Maestro struggles to cope with Xmas

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.
John Leyden, 27 Dec 2007

EMC buys doc mgt firm for all-in-one completeness

EMC is buying a document management software firm for $85m.
Team Register, 27 Dec 2007
Capgemini logo

Capgemini ‘not talking to Wipro’

Capgemini shares fell sharply on the Paris bourse, after the company said it was not in takeover talks with Indian rival Wipro.
Drew Cullen, 27 Dec 2007

Nokia and InterDigital both win patent case

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.
Bill Ray, 27 Dec 2007
Dunce cap

Man uses mobe as modem, rings up £27k phone bill

We are indebted to The Mirror for the latest example of mobile data charging madness, this time in England.
Drew Cullen, 27 Dec 2007