1st > February > 2008 Archive


Gosling gets closure on Java

James Gosling, the Father of Java, today gave his blessing to the latest attempt to simplify the programming language.

Dell's tightened belt garottes Canada

Dell is closing its call center in Edmonton, Canada this spring, after less than four years of operation. The move is expected to put more than 900 people out of work.
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Et tu, Gmail? Simple hack defeats last barrier to decades-old attack

In the morass of Web 2.0 insecurity, Gmail and other Google-hosted services stood out as a beacon of hope. That's because they were believed to be the only free destination that offered protection against a decade-old vulnerability that enabled hackers to steal sensitive authentication details as they pass over Wi-Fi hotspots and other types of public networks.
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Google approaching world domination

Google wants you to know it's well on its way to taking over the world.
Cade Metz, 01 2008
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Boffin shortage will blight Blighty's prosperity

The UK's top scientific body has warned that the swarms of new PhDs being churned out by British universities include a falling proportion from scientific or technological disciplines. It is feared that this lack of knowhow may render Blighty uncompetitive in the hi-tech, value-added sectors which alone can support Western levels of affluence.

Banks need to learn to keep their own data safe

Quocirca's changing channels Every so often the mainstream press gets its teeth into a story and can’t let go. In the second half of 2007 and continuing into 2008 the UK press started to uncover a series of stories about data losses. There is always a degree of opportunism and scaremongering with news runs; a chance to bash a new government, an appeal to a reader’s sense of insecurity and so on. So does a more rational look allow the wood to be seen through the trees?

Japanese geek trio blow up mice

For the traveller, a mouse's bulk makes it a difficult peripheral to pack. Now some Japanese designers have come up with a flat-pack design.
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Shell IT staff disgusted at mega profits

Union representatives for Royal Dutch Shell's IT workers demanded talks with the firm's top management yesterday over the outsourcing of up to 3,000 jobs at the oil giant.
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Euro privacy chief predicts Google policy flip

The head of Europe's privacy watchdogs said that he is still in negotiations with Google about a major data retention dispute and is confident that the search giant will change its policies.

BT gets cool with Fresca

BT has bought Fresca - a specialist provider of ecommerce services based in High Wycombe.
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US navy electro-cannon test successful

Video The US Navy's electromagnetic railgun project notched up a successful test yesterday. The radical new protoype weapon, operated by the the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, fired* shot a hypersonic aluminium slug at approximately Mach 7.5 to generate muzzle energy of 10.6 megajoules.

SanDisk prices up 32GB SDHC memory card

SanDisk yesterday dealt its most capacious SD memory card yet: a 32GB SDHC that it expects to see on store shelves in April priced at $350 (£176/€235).

Rock reveals graphics benchmark beating monster laptop

UK gaming notebook specialist Rock has rolled out what it claims is its most powerful graphics offering yet: a quad-core machine with a pair of Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX GPUs on board.
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Scientists create 'no-tears' onion

Scientists have created an onion that won't cause you to cry using Australian-developed biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that brings on the waterworks.
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Parent power pulls Woolworth's 'Lolita' kiddies' bed

Woolworths has withdrawn a kids' bed from its online tenctacle after campaigning parents objected to the fact it was rather unfortunately called the "Lolita Midsleeper Combi".
Pound Sterling

Coda green lights Agresso bid

Coda has recommended Unit 4 Agresso's 205 pence per share cash offer to shareholders after no other suitors stepped forward with a bid for the financial management software firm.

AMD adjusts three-core Phenom roll-out plan, moles claim

AMD's upcoming tri-core Phenom 8000-series desktop processors will appear next month, though only two of the anticipated three three-core CPUs will make it to market, it has been claimed.
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NASA to beam Beatles song into deep space

NASA will on 4 February beam Beatles' ditty Across the Universe into deep space to mark the 40th anniversary of the day the Fab Four recorded the song, as well as the launch 50 years ago this week of Explorer 1 and the 45th birthday of its Deep Space Network (DSN).

Motorola poised to offload mobile biz

Motorola is considering various options to sort out its mobile phone division which lost the company $1.2bn in 2007.
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BOFH: Carbon neutrality

Episode 4 Episode 4

Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!

Update 3 Microsoft has made a $44.6bn takeover bid for Yahoo!.

Nokia N82 smartphone

Review Nokia has boosted its N series with its most heavily-featured candybar yet. With a five-megapixel Carl Zeiss-lensed, xenon flash equipped camera and GPS, it’s comparable to the N95 and one of the best cameraphones around. Even if it’s not the prettiest.
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All blue-eyed people share one common ancestor

A University of Copenhagen team has identified the gene which around 6-10,000 years ago underwent a genetic mutation in one individual who eventually gave rise to all blue-eyed people.
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Image uploader bug blights MySpace

Security flaws in an ActiveX control used in MySpace upload images onto the social networking sites leave users open to attack. Facebook users may also be at risk.
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ID cards target the young, MySpace targets MySpace

Privacy back-and-forths The Halifax bank has issued unsuspecting customers with trial wave-and-pay RFID-enabled bank cards. As Reg reader Pete found out, it can be hard to extricate yourself from this unasked-for privilege. A US federal judge has banned company AccuSearch from selling customers' phone records without their …
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Carphone Warehouse boss shuffles off the net

Dough-faced Carphone Warehouse chief and Daily Mail director Charles Dunstone has decided to keep his thoughts to himself from now on - he's deleted his blog from the TalkTalk website.
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Hamster-in-rain emergency prompts 999 call

South Wales police force has published a list of top time-wasting 999 calls during the past year in an attempt to convince people not to pick up the phone unless it's really necessary.

419 scammers plead guilty in US

Three West African defendants pleaded guilty to federal charges of running an advance-fee scheme that targeted U.S. victims with promises of millions of dollars, including money from an estate and a lottery.
For Sale sign detail

Beeb iPlayer gets Firefox-friendly

The BBC has finally made the download version of its iPlayer on-demand TV service compatible with Firefox, after six months as an Internet Explorer-only product.
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Rocket train smashes world land-speed record

It's been a big 24 hours for the US weapons-tech establishment in terms of making stuff go really fast. American war-boffins shot a railgun slug with ten megajoules of muzzle energy (and speed of Mach 7+) yesterday; a different weapons lab has also broken the world land speed record.
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Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!

!!!!! Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co owns.

Man buys MacBook Air, pulls it apart, takes pics

Worried about changing the battery in a MacBook Air? Don't - according to one tech site that's taken the skinny machine to bits, opening the laptop up is "a surprisingly pleasant task".

Alcatel-Lucent confirms 400 job cuts in France

Alcatel-Lucent said today that it plans to slash 400 jobs in France as part of its brutal cost-cutting strategy to axe 4,000 employees worldwide.

Sony shows off new shooters

Sony has taken the wraps off a trio of new snappers, two DSLRs extend Sony's Alpha range: the 10.2 megapixel 300 and the 14.2 megapixel 350, plus the Cyber-shot DSC-H10 - an 8-megapixel high-zoom compact.
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SkypeFinds another security snafu

Skype has patched a flaw involving its SkypeFind feature. But the security researcher who discovered the flaw said the VoIP platform remains exposed to cross-zone scripting vulnerabilities, like the latest SkypeFind bug and an earlier flaw involving movie files.
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Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead for Microsoft's Yahoo! bid

!!!!! Microsoft is likely to face a torrid time from European regulators before it can even think of closing its proposed takeover of Yahoo!.
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VCs navigate cash vs. carnage scenario with green tech

Over the past four years, venture capitalists have tossed huge amounts of cash at "green-tech" startups. The green, er, field has become saturated with speculative funding, rivaling even the two mainstays of Valley vulture capitalists: IT and life sciences.

Gurus answer MapReduce young turks

The two database gurus whose blog produced a storm of protest over their criticism of Google's MapReduce technology last month have hit back with a robust defense.
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Lessig gives up on Free Culture

Well, that's it. You'll never have to listen to Stanford professor Larry Lessig talk about Free Culture again.

Microsoft! needs! Yahoo! developers! developers! developers!

Analysis The rhetoric surrounding Steve Ballmer's unsolicited $44.6bn offer for Yahoo! will focus on the obvious - the potential market share growth that a Microsoft and Yahoo! tie-up would have against Google.

Angry investor offers to buy Transmeta

Cash-starved chip designer Transmeta has received an unsolicited buyout offer from its largest, and very irate, shareholder.
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Pipex Business calls in the strategy boutique

News of another nail in the coffin of one of UK broadband's most venerable names reaches Vulture Central.
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Gov. war gamers hack servers to stay ahead

Participants in US government-run cyberwar games tried to cheat - by hacking into the games. The shenanigans prompted organisers to send an urgent email telling the players to back off.
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Blue-eyed schoolgirls headshot vegetarians

Comments Ryanair has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Agency for an ad featuring a "saucy schoolgirl". Despite being ordered to, Ryanair refused to withdraw the ad. You were disbelieving and appreciative: