9th > May > 2008 Archive

33

Wanted: Americans to join Al Qaeda

Al-Qaeda is getting better at using the Internet to tempt Americans into joining their cause. And that increases the threat of homegrown terrorism in the US, a Senate committee warned today.
Dan Goodin, 09 May 2008
58

When flash mobs go bad

An open invitation on Facebook to hold a massive water fight in Leeds has resulted in thousands of pounds worth of damage to its prize winning public garden.
Austin Modine, 09 May 2008
9

Should I buy a USB HSDPA modem?

I'm thinking of buying a USB HSDPA modem because I travel to a fair few places that don't have Wi-Fi. But... since I have a 56Kbps modem in my laptop is a 3G modem really worthwhile?
Sophie Jones, 09 May 2008
For sale sign
27

Rock Group goes titsup

UpdatedUpdated Rock Group PLC is in the hands of administrators who are trying to sell the UK notebook maker as a going concern. The Warwick-based firm said yesterday that it had effectively ceased trading prior to the appointment of administrators, Dominic Wong and David Langton, of Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2008
37

'Great tits cope well with warming'

It's beers all round for the BBC this morning who've outregged El Reg leader writers with this deliciously suggestive offering:
Lester Haines, 09 May 2008
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1

MWg specs up 2008 handset roadmap

The Mobile and Wireless Group (MWg) has given Register Hardware a sneak peek at four upcoming handsets, including its first Windows Mobile 7 device, during the official launch of the firm's two latest handsets: the Atom V and Zinc II.
James Sherwood, 09 May 2008
27

Microsoft orders 65nm Xbox 360 graphics chip

Claims the next incarnation of the Xbox 360's internal workings is due to begin being built into the console in August appear to be on track. Microsoft was this week said to have placed orders with chip and motherboard makers.
Tony Smith, 09 May 2008
23

Texas graverobbers 'used skull to smoke dope'

Houston Police Department is investigating a teenager's claim that he and two accomplices desecrated the grave of an 11-year-old boy, severed his skull, and subsequently used it as a bong to smoke marijuana, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Lester Haines, 09 May 2008
Web 2.0
13

Sun Java chief to developers: 'We're genetic freaks'

JavaOneJavaOne Todd Fast, chief architect in Sun Microsystems' Java Enterprise tools group, took a big gulp of Web 2.0 Kool-Aid at JavaOne while telling professional developers they must embrace a broader definition of "application" if they are to take advantage of the current sea change in the way software is built and delivered.
John K Waters, 09 May 2008
38

NZ bank robber stashes loot where the sun don't shine

A NZ bank robber who stashed the NZ$2,000 proceeds of a heist up his tradesman's entrance was fingered by "rustling sounds" from his "bottom area", the Southland Times reports.
Lester Haines, 09 May 2008
Barclays
38

Barclays Capital slashes contractor rates by 10%

Barclays Capital is forcing its IT contractors to choose between a 10 per cent pay cut or a quick exit from the company.
John Oates, 09 May 2008
30

Local mag claims Aussie Eee PC buyers will pay extra for Linux

In a move that's going leave local Linux buffs alleging Asus has been handsomely rewarded by Microsoft, the computer maker is to charge less for the Windows version of the Eee PC 900 in Australia than the version using the open source OS.
Tony Smith, 09 May 2008
13

Phone-theft hotspots named and shamed

If you’ve lost your mobile phone recently, have you tried trawling Cambridge's pubs? Because the city’s boozers are the most likely spot for handsets to ‘go missing’, according to new research.
James Sherwood, 09 May 2008
24

EDF circles British nuclear powerplant sites

French nuclear energy colossus EDF, which also operates various types of non-nuclear generation in the UK, has been buying up farmland close to existing British nuke plants. The purchases are seen as a move to strengthen EDF's position in negotiations to buy British Energy, the sites' owner.
Lewis Page, 09 May 2008
29

Rowling ruling bolsters privacy chief's view of data protection

The Court of Appeal's ruling in JK Rowling's privacy case confirms that a breach of other laws can result in an automatic breach of the Data Protection Act, an expert has said.
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 May 2008
37

Swiss ponder the 'dignity of plants'

A Swiss government ethics committee has issued guidelines on the thorny issue of the "dignity of plants" in relation to biotech research after the country's 2004 Gene Technology Law declared that "the dignity of creatures" should be considered in any grant-funded research.
Lester Haines, 09 May 2008
7

MPs say shared service sums 'don't add up'

MPs say that the Cabinet Office's claim that government could save £1.4bn a year through sharing corporate services is a "flimsy estimate at best".
Kablenet, 09 May 2008
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14

Irish data protection chief in leaked report 'hack'

UpdatedUpdated There's red faces at the office of the Data Protection Commissioner this morning after a blogger lifted an upcoming official report off its website and published it early.
John Leyden, 09 May 2008
19

Toshiba to ship laptops with Cell-based GPUs this year

Toshiba has pledged to begin selling notebooks equipped with its oddly named SpursEngine graphics chip this year. SpursEngine is based on the technology that powers the PlayStation 3's Cell processor.
Tony Smith, 09 May 2008
47

BOFH: Shiny new computer room

Episode 17Episode 17
Simon Travaglia, 09 May 2008
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4

Fujitsu develops world's first hi-def train simulator

Writing down the number of the 10.47 to Chichester standing in the freezing cold is fine, but now you can pretend to be the actual train driver, thanks to Fujitsu, which has developed the world’s first HD virtual railway.
James Sherwood, 09 May 2008
2

Iubi Blue personal media player

ReviewReview Anyone after a portable 30GB media player is quite possibly going to end up with either a Cowon A3 or the Archos 605, both of which we liked. Many might argue, however, that list should also include the Iubi Blue.
Alun Taylor, 09 May 2008
2

Compulsory lobby register moves closer

A compulsory register of lobby companies revealing which companies or organisations are paying their bills comes a step nearer today.
John Oates, 09 May 2008
Microsoft Office logo
7

Office 2007 SP1 goes automatic for the people

Microsoft will start automatically pumping out its first service packs for the Office 2007 suite next month. The software giant said in a statement late yesterday that it plans to stagger automatic updates and has earmarked 16 June* as the big day when distribution will begin.
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2008
3

Nvidia exec admits GPU line-up is numerically 'challenged'

Nvidia has admitted that its vast array of graphics chips is bewildering consumers, who find increasingly difficult to work out what does what.
Tony Smith, 09 May 2008
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50

Vista security credentials tarnished in malware survey

Windows Vista is better at protecting against malware than XP but more easily infected than Windows 2000, according to a study by Australian anti-virus firm PC Tools. The survey calls into question Microsoft's oft-cited claims that Vista is its most secure operating system.
John Leyden, 09 May 2008
6

MSI's 10in Eee PC rival priced up in UK

How much will MSI's would-be Eee PC beater set you back? £320 for the Linux version or £350 for the Windows XP Home release, according to UK importer Expansys.
Tony Smith, 09 May 2008
54

US: BAE 'could have' pirated our secret Stealth 3.0 tech sauce

Global arms and aerospace colossus BAE Systems this week released a high-profile audit into its internal ethics and served it up with a big slice of humble pie as it promised to be a better corporate citizen in future. But even as BAE sought to draw a veil over previous alleged indiscretions, it emerged that US officials have speculated that BAE, collaborating with US firms to build the supersonic, stealthed Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), could have allowed secret American military technology to move overseas, raising the possibility that the UK could benefit from expensive American research and development - even perhaps sell it around the world.
Lewis Page, 09 May 2008
Windows Vista teaser
142

Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

Microsoft's service pack three (SP3) for Windows XP has caused havoc on hundreds of PCs, just hours after it was released as an automatic update. Angry customers have vented their spleen on the firm's Windows XP message board, posting complaints that include spontaneous PC reboots and system crashes after the service pack installs.
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2008
20

NGO attacks Apple's lack of action on climate change

Apple’s MacBook Air may have received the thumbs-up from Greenpeace, but the iPhone maker should be avoided by the "climate-conscious consumer", a new eco survey claims.
James Sherwood, 09 May 2008
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99

Retailers risk libel nightmare over 'no-work' database

Shop staff who have been sacked or resigned while under suspicion of dodgy behaviour could soon struggle to find work, as some of the UK's top retailers are set to share information online about their employment history. But today a leading libel lawyer warned that the scheme to disseminate unproven allegations could prompt a flood of defamation claims against businesses.
Christopher Williams, 09 May 2008
50

DWP still sending out passwords and discs together

The Department for Work and Pensions is still sending out discs containing confidential data together with passwords.
John Oates, 09 May 2008
4

Boffins dismiss claim violent games turn kids into killers

Violent videogames don’t turn children into real-life murders, but they may prompt the odd harmless scuffle in the playground, two US boffins have claimed.
James Sherwood, 09 May 2008
9

WiMAX gets EU harmonisation at 2.6GHz

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has started the approvals process for WiMAX to be officially recognised as a 2.6GHz technology, though Intel's bid for Swedish airwaves provides more substantial evidence of deployment plans.
Bill Ray, 09 May 2008
15

FBI probe discovers counterfeit kit in US military networks

An FBI probe has uncovered the use of counterfeit networking kit by the US military, but subsequent investigations suggest a counterfeit ring more interested in money making - rather than espionage - was behind the scam.
John Leyden, 09 May 2008
24

Regulator gets power to fine for data breaches

The Information Commissioner's Office now has the power to fine organisations which deliberately or recklessly commit serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.
John Oates, 09 May 2008
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17

Live Mesh: Hailstorm take 2?

Keep an open mind, says Spolsky, in a rant about both unwanted mega-architectures, and the way big companies snaffle up all the best coders.
Tim Anderson, 09 May 2008
Dell
8

Dell promises replacement keyboards for wonky laptops

Dell has apologised to customers after shipping a batch of its Vostro laptops with the wrong keyboard layout.
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2008
Dell
11

Dell squeezes cloud into a shipping container

ExclusiveExclusive Sun Microsystems endured a lot of ribbing when it first popped out a data center in a shipping container. Now, however, it looks like all the majors are heading in that direction, including Dell, which The Register has learned has a containerized data center in development.
Ashlee Vance, 09 May 2008
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17

Microsoft appeals record European Commission fine

Microsoft is appealing a record European Commission fine for not complying with a milestone European Commission anti-trust ruling.
Gavin Clarke, 09 May 2008
Apple
19

Apple to issue refunds for sparky, prematurely dying products

Apple has agreed to give US and Canadian customers two separate settlement offers to make charges of faulty and misrepresented products go away.
Austin Modine, 09 May 2008
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2

Part II: How a pair of American spies created the Soviet Silicon Valley

Radio RegRadio Reg Based on the rather insane number of messages I've received over the last couple of weeks, you guys really, really wanted part two of our interview with Steve Usdin, author of Engineering Communism. Well, here it is.
Ashlee Vance, 09 May 2008
Dollar
5

Circuit City runs up the white flag

Circuit City's days as an independent are numbered. The ailing US electronics retailer last month received an unsolicited bid from Blockbuster, the ailing video store operator.
Drew Cullen, 09 May 2008
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93

Gordon Brown claims a Brit invented the iPod

Bad news for Tony Fadell, a Michiganite and inventor of the iPod. In an interview yesterday, Gordon Brown claimed the ubiquitous device in the name of Mother England.
Austin Modine, 09 May 2008