8th > May > 2008 Archive

Inventor of first practical transistor dead at 91

Obituary Morgan Sparks, inventor of the first "practical" transistor and one of the reasons your cell phone doesn't use vacuum tubes, died this week at the age of 91.

Peekaboo pledges pole-dance kit for Wii

The Wii’s all-white, but it’s hardly a raunchy unit. So, if you’ve been looking for ways to sex-up your console, then how about a private pole dance?
The Register breaking news

Bournemouth floats UK's first 100Mbps sewer broadband network

Bournemouth will be the UK's first town to benefit from a town-wide fibre network, with 100Mbit/s access available to businesses and consumers, via the sewer system.
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BestBuy blasts into UK with Carphone Warehouse buy

Carphone Warehouse is selling a 50 per cent stake in its mobile phone retail business to US electronics retailer BestBuy, setting the stage for a heavyweight fight in the UK's retail electronics market.
The Register breaking news

Isabella Rossellini romps with praying mantis

NSFW We're not quite sure what to make of this one, but Isabella Rossellini is currently wowing the crowds down at YouTube with a couple of trailers for a series of "Green Porno" shorts - no-holds-barred insights into the wonderful world of invertebrate rumpy-pumpy:

Rare SCADA bug poses power plant risk

Security watchers warn of a rare vulnerability involving software used to control industrial systems. A denial of service vulnerability in monitoring software from Invensys poses a severe risk to the factories and utilities running its Wonderware subsidiary's InTouch SuiteLink application.
The Register breaking news

Lithuanians whip out their WILI-S

Aficionados of cheap schoolboy innuendo are directed to Wireless '08 (London's Olympia, 21-22 May), where a group of keen Lithuanians will be whipping out their WILI-S.
The Register breaking news

Blighty to become old-time Inundation Nation

A top boffin has warned that Blighty may be headed into a "monsoon" period, possibly a decade or more in duration, in which we can expect much more flooding than has been the norm for the past generation or so. Interestingly, Professor Stuart Lane doesn't ascribe his predicted watery onslaught to climate change. He says the UK has often suffered such flooding epidemics in the past.

TomTom plots UK flagship satnav range

TomTom has launched a flagship satnav range in the UK, helping British drivers switch lanes without carving up the motorway.

Samsung slips out skinny phone

If being thin is all that’s important to you, you’ll love the positively anorexic Samsung i200 - claimed by the Korean giant to be the world’s skinniest mobile phone yet.

Nvidia paid the right amount for 3dfx, court affirms

Here's a blast from the past: graphics card maker 3dfx. The long defunct brandname - once the acme of computer graphics - briefly rose from the dead this month when erstwhile shareholders' failed to get $100m out of Nvidia.

Philips hops on 'iPhone killer' bandwagon

Pictures have been leaked out of the latest handset hoping to steal some of the iPhone’s limelight, and this time the talker’s from Philips.
The Register breaking news

I want a baby, coos broody Paris Hilton

El Reg's fave hotel heiress "One night in" Paris Hilton has touchingly expressed her desire to get up the duff asap and drop a sprog within the next year, according to the Sun.
The Register breaking news

Home Secretary goes crazy on drugs... policy

Comment As an example of the brain-gobbling stupidity that affects those who dabble with drugs, you really cannot beat Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's announcement that cannabis is going to be upgraded again, from a Class C drug to a Class B one. This is the sort of drivelling idiocy more normally associated with decades on peyote rather than the few spliffs she has herself admitted to.
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Murdoch sees MySpace miss targets

MySpace has missed its financial targets, showing that social networking is struggling to earn its keep - even as part of Rupert Murdoch's globe-spanning media empire.

Sage sees flat US market

Sage Group today reported a nine per cent rise in its first half pre-tax profit, boosted by a solid performance in Europe and the UK.
The Register breaking news

Extreme porn bill gets final reading

It must be ever so vexing to pass a law that you think will make you the most popular boy in class – only to be greeted by a mass chorus of “you still stink!”.
The Register breaking news

Washington cops may be compelled to use gun-cams

Cops in Washington DC could soon be compelled to fit their pistols with cameras that would record gunsight video in every situation in which the weapons were drawn, according to reports.

Apple out to recruit 3G-savvy iPhone field testers

There's now no doubt that Apple's bringing the iPhone to Australia: it's looking for an iPhone Field Validation Engineer there with "technical understanding and experience with GSM/GPRS, Edge, CDMA and UMTS".

OpenOffice.org 3 beta lands

Sun Microsystems yesterday released the first beta of OpenOffice.org 3 for Windows and Mac.

Firefox language pack provides adware back-door

Mozilla has warned that the Vietnamese language pack of Firefox 2 was compromised as a result of a viral infection.

Oracle ignores BEA out of existence

JavaOne US vice president Dick Cheney's 2003 Christmas card was a curious thing. The message? "If a sparrow can fall to the ground without His notice, it is likely that an empire can rise without His help?" This prompted the question: did Cheney and other neocons now view the US as an empire?

Id Dooms gamers to new shoot-'em-up sequel

Grand Theft Auto IV may have soaked up 90 per cent of gaming headlines for the past few weeks, but classic first-person shoot-‘em-up Doom is set to make a comeback. Version 4 is now in development.
The Register breaking news

ITV fined millions for phone fraud

ITV must pay £5.67m in fines for misleading viewers using its premium rate phonelines - the largest fine regulator Ofcom has ever imposed.

Orb opens iPhone for TV, video

You don't need Steve Jobs' permission to watch TV on your iPhone any more. A native Orb client for the iPhone and iPod Touch popped up on the installer networks overnight, and Orb confirms that it's official.

Carphone Warehouse, O2 to continue to offer 16GB iPhone

Claims that O2 and Carphone Warehouse have completely sold out of the 16GB iPhone have proved greatly exaggerated. Both today said they would continue to offer the handset.

Creative to free Audigy Windows Vista compatibility app

Creative has told buyers of its ALchemy for Audigy sound software that they'll get their money back following its decision to release the next version of the app free of charge.

MSI releases £235 desktop Eee PC rival ahead of Asus

Fed up of waiting for Asus' desktop Eee PC? Rival Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has stepped in with a mini machine of its own, which it's punting at just £235.
The Register breaking news

Lancashire plodcopters in laser dazzle outrage outbreak

It now appears that laser-pointer pilot dazzle attacks have joined the hilarious satnav-inspired motoring blunder as a staple of news kibble, with the global presentational-aid-related airborne blinding epidemic now devastating the skies above Lancashire.

What do you think of Apple's Time Capsule?

Calling Register Hardware readers. What do you think of Apple's Time Capsule? I'm after for a network-connected HD, and this seems the best option - good router, integrated drive, only one power cable.
Warning: train

Salesforce boss Benioff pushes cloud

Salesforce.com boss Marc Benioff yesterday robustly elaborated on the firm's plans to push yet more services on to the cloud with the official launch of Visualforce.

Best Buy eyes up Europe, buys into Carphone Warehouse

Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse have entered into a joint project to launch the US brand in Europe. But getting Best Buy into the UK isn't just about sticking a big yellow tag on everything.
Bill Ray, 08 2008
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HSBC in further data loss

Security-incident prone bank HSBC has admitted losing a server containing transaction data on 159,000 Hong Kong-based account holders.
The Register breaking news

Ofcom lays out wireless roadmap

Ofcom's annual research report, this year entitled The Wireless World of Tomorrow, focuses on how wireless technologies might change the transport and healthcare landscapes over the next 20 years.
Bill Ray, 08 2008

Fayrewood ends takeover talks

Fayrewood has ended takeover talks with North Atlantic Value LLP which could have led to the company being bought.

Britannica opens kimono, reveals widgets

Britannica is opening up its content for use by publishers - including amateurs - but insists it isn't threatened by the world's biggest compendium of unusually-shaped vegetables.*
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iPlayer to tart up Freesat

iPlayer, the BBC's promiscuous media delivery software, will be available on Freesat within a year, the operator hopes.
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Renault F1 comp site spills entrants' details

A Grand Prix competition from Renault hit the barriers on Thursday after it emerged that the motoring firm was inadvertently leaking entrants' personal details onto the web.
The Register breaking news

MEPs deny sports 'intellectual property' landgrab

Updated MEPs today voted against* a bigger role for intellectual property in sports, stoking a copyright head-to-head between the powerful governing bodies of world sport and the media organisations that seek to report it.

Interpol appeal unmasks US actor as child abuse suspect

A man matching the description of a suspected child abuser who became the target of an international manhunt earlier this week has been arrested in the US.
The Register breaking news

Why Microhoo! is like, so, totally dead

Blog 0.2 Those of you au fait with my traditional morning ritual will know that I normally rise at 5.43am, dip an Indonesian virgin-thigh-rolled organic sesame seed crunch power bar into a cup of sea urchin and gauva infusion, do fifteen minutes Pilates, ensure my beachside condo is feng shui compliant before parsing the latest declaration from a besuited Beastmaster of Redmond currently jollying it up abroad.
Nia Fired, 08 2008

Facebook agrees to child-safety measures

Facebook has reached an agreement with 50 attorneys general to permanently deploy measures designed to rein in pedophiles and other predators on the social networking site.

Surprise, surprise: F5 is doing something

According to an IT man from Arizona, F5 is up to something, something good. We've been wondering what it has been doing now that it has acquired Acopia and its file virtualising ARX switch. Well, according to this Arizonan who is familiar with the situation, F5 is developing a single box to replace two that people would need now.
The Register breaking news

MySpace revs profile transfer engine

MySpace has launched an initiative that will one day allow its social-networking-obsessed users to automatically shuttle their profile data to third-party web sites.
Cade Metz, 08 2008

I Was A Teenage Bot Master

Exclusive One day in May 2005, a 16-year-old hacker named SoBe opened his front door to find a swarm of FBI agents descending on his family's three-story house in Boca Raton, Florida. With an arm and leg in casts from a recent motorcycle accident, one agent grabbed his good arm while others seized thousands of dollars worth of computers, video game consoles and other electronics. His parents looked on.

Hitachi slips past Fujitsu with speedy 320GB laptop drive

Hitachi is updating its TravelStar laptop hard drive range with a more capacious 320GB disk that spins at 7,200rpm.
The Register breaking news

India and Belgium decry Chinese cyber attacks

Belgium and India have joined the growing ranks of countries voicing concerns about cyber attacks originating from China. Earlier this week, officials from both countries said computer networks inside their borders are routinely targeted by hackers trying to ferret information that could benefit the Chinese government.
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Oracle sharpens axe for BEA layoffs

Oracle is Friday expected to start laying off at least 500 staff, eliminating duplication across product engineering and management, following its $8.5bn acquisition of BEA Systems.

AMD boss keeps schtum on manufacturing restructure

AMD's annual shareholder meeting today could have been an excellent time to elaborate on the company's plan to reverse course from an extremely rough 2007.