28th > January > 2008 Archive

The Register breaking news

'Coercion' plan to force ID cards on first time drivers

"Various forms of coercion" could be used to accelerate the rollout of ID cards, the idea being that ID cards will remain 'voluntary' for as long as possible, while not having an ID card will become more and more uncomfortable. This, precisely what the government has intended to do all along, is stated baldly in an Identity & Passport Service leak cited by the Sunday People.
The Register breaking news

IPS leak suggests ID card fingerprint chop

A key component of the UK ID card scheme, the central database of fingerprints, may be abandoned, according to a leaked Home Office document obtained by the Observer. The document doesn't suggest entirely scrapping fingerprints, but instead suggests that their value should be assessed for each group of the population enrolled.

Dell sees red over Aids

Dell has jumped onto the (Product) Red bandwagon and created a range of red-tinted laptops and desktop PCs, sales of which go towards fighting Aids in Africa.

Amazon to take MP3 downloads international

Presenting possibly the biggest threat to the dominance of iTunes so far, Amazon.com has announced it will commence an international roll-out of Amazon MP3, it's DRM-free digital music store, this year.
The Register breaking news

Vote now for your top Bond movie title

The recent announcement that Bond 22 will be known as Quantum of Solace raised a few eyebrows among 007 movie buffs.
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Cisco punts massive Nexus 7000 switch

Cisco is selling a new obscenely large switch, tapped as the lynchpin of its "Data Center 3.0" virtualization initiative the company has been gabbing about for months
The Register breaking news

ABC fined $1.43m for NYPD Blue a*se flash

The Federal Communications Commission declared last Friday it would fine Disney-owned ABC network $1.43m for broadcasting a revealing episode of cop show NYPD Blue before the watershed in violation of regulations prohibiting the broadcast of obscene material between 6am and 10pm.
The Register breaking news

M&S rapped for data loss

Marks and Spencers has been told it must encrypt all company laptops containing personal information by April 2008.
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'100% accurate' face recognition algorithm announced

Psychology researchers at Glasgow University say they have increased the accuracy of automated face recognition to 100 per cent. If the claims are true, this development will have far-reaching consequences for privacy and security in modern society.
Pound Sterling

Phoenix flies steady course in Q3

Phoenix IT Group said today that it saw a 16 per cent increase in third quarter like-for-like revenues buoyed by brisk sales.

Veteran defence hacking suspect cuffed in Greece

A man suspected of using computer hacking techniques to steal corporate secrets from a French defence contractor was arrested in Greece last Friday. Police are continuing to hunt for a suspected accomplice reckoned to be living in the UK.
The Register breaking news

Spy satellite to slam Earthside

A large US spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials have said. The satellite, which is now out of control, could contain hazardous materials, and it's unknown where on our planet it might come down.
The Register breaking news

Don't expect privacy law overhaul in the wake of HMRC

Opinion Data protection, privacy and information law have never been so high profile as in recent months. Following the loss of 25 million people's personal details by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), there has been what seems like a tide of gaffe after slip-up, all resulting in private personal details spilling out into the public domain.
The Register breaking news

Virgin Media dishes out free bandwidth boost

Virgin Media has announced plans to upgrade its mid-range "L" broadband from maximum 4Mbit/s downstream to maximum 10Mbit/s at no extra cost to customers.
The Register breaking news

Germany flicks off-switch on DAB

Germany will end Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) next year after a ten years experiment. Public radio stations demanded another €180m to keep it going, but the independent commission responsible for the allocation of licence fees says it is over.

Asus EN8800GT/HTDP/1G 1GB graphics card

Review The headline feature of the Asus EN8800GT 1GB is - as the name suggests - the fact that it packs in 1GB of GDDR 3 memory instead of the 512MB that you’ll find on standard GeForce 8800 GT-based graphics cards.

T-Mobile sells more than 70,000 iPhones

T-Mobile Germany has sold at least 70,000 iPhones, the German carrier announced this weekend.

Line up for full-windscreen satnav

Safe, simple and intuitive is the umbrella promise of a new form of satnav, which replaces the traditional PDA-sized display and matron-like voiceover with a full-size heads-up display on your windscreen.

Hercules beefs up outdoor iPod dock

Speaker docking stations for iPods are ten-a-penny. However, the i-XPS 120 Outdoor is the first that’s claimed to have Apple’s golden 'Made for iPod' certification.
The Register breaking news

US looks to old Herr Kohle for energy security

Analysis By now we all know the United States has no energy policy for the future. Rather, it does and it's a humiliating one: Global warming is a conspiracy by other countries trying to squelch the American dream and the right to buy elephantine SUVs. As one journalist covering autos for the Los Angeles Times put it in late December: "[Americans] feel they should be able to drive whatever they can afford, disregarding the fact that the sky ...is a part of the public commons."
The Register breaking news

Tiscali executes stealth LLU migrations

Thousands of ex-Pipex customers have been suffering unexplained interruptions in their broadband service in recent weeks, as their new provider Tiscali stealthily works to cut costs.
The Register breaking news

Commuter jetpacks offered: $100k, August delivery

Despite a lifetime of waiting we don't yet have our flying cars, our rayguns, our space holidays, nor even our robot/brainchipped-monkey butlers. However, from August - if the manufacturers are to be believed - ordinary consumers will finally be able to buy a (marginally) useful jetpack, for just $100,000.

Microsoft delays SQL Server 2008 release again

Redmond has scaled back its ambitious plans to get the server party started by sidelining its 2008 version of sequel server – which was originally supposed to hit manufacturing at the end of last year – to the third quarter.
The Register breaking news

MoD asks UK Forces personnel to submit DNA samples

The UK Ministry of Defence is "strongly encouraging" all its personnel to have their DNA recorded. This is supposed to make identification of their remains easier if they should die in a manner - a disastrous air crash, explosion, etc. - which would inhibit recognition by other means.
George Osborne looking like he means it

Honest startups versus City bastards - the CGT conundrum

Analysis Why the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, had to propose altering capital gains tax (CGT) back in the autumn is pretty simple to explain. There was a certain amount of vociferous shouting (led by the Guardianistas, of course) that the sight of private equity barons paying less tax than their cleaners was a moral outrage that must be stopped. Few stopped to think that the very idea was itself absurd: a lower rate of tax, possibly, but they certainly weren't paying less tax either in total or as a portion of their total earnings. No matter, a band wagon was rolling and something must be done.

'Wii workout' for overweight pupils plan slammed

Any students hoping to go for a Wii during lesson time will have to hold it for now. A campaign group claims that a scheme suggested by the UK Department of Health (DoH) to introduce the console into classrooms is simply a gimmick.

Woolworths stores to stop selling HD DVD

Woolworths has thrown its high street heft behind the Blu-ray Disc format. From March, it will no longer sell HD DVDs in its shops.

Nokia spends €105m on mobile Linux developer

Finnish handset giant Nokia is buying mobile Linux developer Trolltech, in an all-cash deal valuing the company at about €105m.
The Register breaking news

Driller Killer unleashed on UK public

The British Board of Film Classification has caused a bit of a rumpus by approving for general release on DVD the famed "video nasties" which were 20 years ago deemed unfit for human consumption.

PayPal buys Israeli security firm

PayPal is paying $170m for an Israeli security analysis company called Fraud Sciences Limited.

Yes! It's... er, the VoIP mouse

Every now and then a gadget comes along that makes us wonder what on Earth its purpose is, and here's the latest: a three-in-one mouse with integrated speaker and microphone. Not just a pointing device then, it's also a VoIP unit.
The Register breaking news

The internet's up sh*t creek, but at least we have aliens

Comments Alien hunters trawling NASA images for evidence of life have posted what appears to be a little green humanoid in a snapshot taken by the Spirit rover on Mars. The image has since been the focus of a great deal of debate, both informed and otherwise, and you lot were full of interesting theories:
The Register breaking news

UK withdraws from Gemini telescope programme

The UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has decided to plug a gap in its finances by withdrawing from the Gemini telescope programme, the BBC reports.

It's official! DVD plus/minus war ends in a draw

The battle of the recordable DVD formats - DVD+R/RW versus DVD-R/RW - is finally and officially over more than five-odd years after it began, and several years after the fight became largely symbolic.
The Register breaking news

Tighter controls likely after SocGen debacle

London investment banks face the likelihood of closer regulation of derivatives trading in the wake of the rogue trader debacle that cost French bank Société Générale an estimated €4.9bn ($7.2bn).
The Register breaking news

Dallas man accidentally shoots self in head

A Dallas man who accidently shot himself in the head while "showing off his pistol to friends" at a party last Saturday looks certain to make the 2008 Darwin Awards nominations.

Is the Mac good for business?

I have been using a PC all my life. I'm a businesswoman and use PowerPoint, video conferencing, Excel, Eord etc as the core media of communication. A friend has advised that I should buy a MacBook instead of another PC laptop. Would it be wise for me to switch over to the Mac as a first time user?
The Register breaking news

UK.gov on Galileo: We can't stop it, just sign the cheque

The British government has responded to MPs' concerns regarding the ongoing Galileo Euro sat nav programme. In the view of Her Majesty's ministers the scheme can't be stopped, so there isn't much point arguing about it.

High Court approves software patents

Technology firms will be able to patent software programs following a High Court decision on Friday that could see the UK having closer ties with Europe when it comes to the handling of computer-related inventions.
The Register breaking news

Pirate Bay hits ten million peers, one million torrents

The Pirate Bay thumbed its nose at the authorities again this weekend, claiming it now has more peers worldwide than there are people in its home turf of Sweden.
The Register breaking news

Scientology website shielded against DDoS attack

Updated The Church of Scientology has restored it website to normal after a campaign of denial of service attacks prompted it to use DDoS mitigation service Prolexic.

Nokia acquires Trolltech

Nokia is to acquire Trolltech, makers of the popular cross-platform Qt GUI API and widget set. Qt (Cute Toolkit) is used by KDE, one of the two most widely used Linux desktops. It is also used in many cross-platform applications.
The Register breaking news

FCC unveils NudeTube

The US Federal Communications Commission has encouraged children to watch naked women on YouTube.
Cade Metz, 28 2008

The 'blem wit' error messages

When I was young I built up a collection of system error messages. Ok, look, it's not as sad as collecting stamps! It is? Really? Oh well, never mind. Anyway, my recent piece about Borland putting rude words in Quattro Pro got me thinking it was time to revisit that collection.

Dell unleashes blades of fury

Analysis When Dell last week issued a new blade chassis and servers, we knew a certain amount of competitive fury would hit the internet. There's something about blade systems that makes HP, IBM, Sun and Dell particularly hostile. Perhaps that's because blades are some of the more unique and more profitable systems in the x86 market or because there's a firm split between the Haves - HP and IBM - and the Have Nots - Sun and Dell.

CommVault adds remote monitoring to Simpana

CommVault today is adding a web-based subscription backup and troubleshooting service to its Simpana software suite.

American Jezebel solicited 'freelance' hit men on Craigslist

A 49-year-old Michigan woman has been arrested after she tried to hire a hit man on Craigslist.
Cade Metz, 28 2008
The Register breaking news

U2 manager blasts telco pigopolists

Midem There's another kind of pigopolist, U2's manager Paul McGuinness said today: the giant network operator who profits from music, but doesn't give anything back. McGuinness used a keynote slot at the world's biggest music festival in Cannes today to call for network operators to pay musicians a slice of the pie.