1st > October > 2008 Archive

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Google stock in weird, spurious plunge to $200 mark

For traders still reeling from Monday's massacre on Wall Street, it must have looked like manna from heaven: shares of Google for as low as $200.
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US House throttles citizen emails

A full day after the US House of Representatives rejected a $700bn financial bailout bill, the House.gov website is still straining under an immense surge of internet traffic.
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Becta says Web 2.0 motivates schoolkids

Over half of teachers in UK schools believe that Web 2.0 apps should be used in lessons, even though the majority of them have never used such resources in the classroom.
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UK console sales defy credit crunch

Console sales across the UK have boomed over the past 12 months, and Nintendo's Wii reigns supreme, according to the latest stats.
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3 threatens, T-Mobile shoots on late payments

Customers of UK operator 3 have started receiving text messages recommending they pay bills on time to avoid a late-payment fee - though the company tells us it has never charged anyone for failing to pay on time.
Bill Ray, 01 2008
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Apple faces iTunes case in Norway

The Norwegian consumer watchdog is still not happy with how Apple licenses music on its iTunes service and is taking the company to court. The main complaint is that much of the iTunes catalogue is only playable on Apple iPods.
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Ofcom: No premium numbers for previous offenders

Anyone who has abused premium-rate telephone numbers in the past will be barred from using the numbers again, telecoms regulator Ofcom has said.
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Full-size Roman siege artillery offered on eBay

Some may doubt the practical value of the typical item offered for sale at famed online megajumblemall eBay. This viewpoint will be either reinforced or shattered to rubble by the news that a full size, potentially serviceable piece of Roman siege artillery has now appeared for auction.

BT claims UK broadband boost breakthrough

BT has blamed Brits' poor broadband speeds on tellies, lights and electrical wiring and the interference they all cause.
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TDK tunnels through hard drive areal density record

TDK researchers have achieved an areal density record of 803Gb/in² potentially extending the life of current read/write head technology.
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Pint-sized 3M projector makes UK debut

3M's tiny handheld projector has been presented to the Brits.
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Phorm losses shoot up by half

Phorm made a loss of $24.7m (£13.8m) in the first half of 2008 as it fought privacy advocates, lobbied to get politicians on side and tried to overcome technical problems dogging its ISP adware system.
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Apple screws songwriters (again)

Remember how the digital music revolution was supposed to tip the balance away from big record companies, and towards the people who actually create the music? A vignette being played out behind closed doors suggests that digital music companies are only too keen to ally with Big Music when it comes to screwing creators.

Next-gen Wii to be launched within three years

Nintendo has begun showing off a second-generation Wii that’ll be officially launched before 2011, according to gaming sources.

US consumers flock to Mac laptops

That sound you can hear is Steve Jobs laughing after reading figures from US market watcher NPD that Apple laptops accounted for 20 per cent of retail notebook sales during July and August.
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Home Office finally approves UK cybercoppers

The Home Office has finally approved the creation of a central police e-crime Unit(PCeU), a year after the idea was first proposed.
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Vodafone compo confirms BlackBerry Storm incoming

BlackBerry manufacturer RIM hasn’t confirmed the over-hyped Storm handset’s existence yet. But it's been confirmed which UK network the phone will land on, whenever it finally decides to remove the gag.
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Telco compares merger to Challenger space shuttle

Top brass at Thus are celebrating their merger with Cable and Wireless by modestly telling staff through the medium of leaving large cardboard junk around offices that "a new era of telecoms" has begun.

RM Asus miniBook Plus netbook

Review Oxfordshire-based RM has formed alliances with makers of Small, Cheap Computers to rebrand sub-notebooks for schools. Its latest is the RM Asus miniBook Plus, its moniker for the Eee PC 904HD.
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Stob latest: It was a cunning trick, says Open University

Why does the Open University set its students gibberish, Verity Stob asked here recently? We decided to investigate. As our enquiries continued at the Open University, it became harder to find anyone who took the issue seriously.
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Honda, Yamaha ready electric, hybrid motorbikes

'Leccy Tech It's not just cars that are going electric - motorcyles are too. Honda and Yamaha are said to be readying battery powered bikes. Honda's also planning hybrid two-wheelers too.

Freesat notches up 100,000 sales

Brits bought 100,000 Freeset set-top boxes in the five months since the free-to-air satellite TV service began broadcasting. But the firm’s warned that some people are still confused about its HD offering.
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8

UK banking fraud losses rise to £301.7m

UK banking losses due to fraud in the first half of 2008 hit £301.7m compared to £263.6m in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from UK banking association APACS.
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Yours truly, angry mob

Book extract As the second dot com boom hove into view, journalist and self-confessed "arrogant little shit" Paul Carr decided he wanted in. Armed with several years of insider knowledge, very little money and a new suit, he and a motley band of believers took a running jump into the internet. Nothing could go wrong. Well, not much.
Paul Carr, 01 2008
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SkypeOut goes mobile, Skype goes beta

UK operator 3 is to allow Skype users to make international calls with their SkypeOut minutes, bypassing the operator completely, while the VoIP pioneer's desktop client continues its slow progress towards version 4 with a new beta release.
Bill Ray, 01 2008
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Postman Pat goes postal

Listen carefully and you may detect a mutter of discontent grumbling through the blogosphere at the news, sprung last week, that Postman Pat has had a 21st Century makeover.
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ITV gets adverts into video

ITV is trialling technology to allow advertisers to insert logos within video footage - in empty spaces such as sky, walls or fences.

Tiny MyCar named electric vehicle of the year

'Leccy Tech No, we're not sure about the MyCar's looks either, but that hasn't stopped the electric two-seater winning GreenFleet magazine's electric vehicle of the year award.
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IBM delivers baby SAN

If you are an SMB customer and you have taken a shining to Big Blue's BladeCenter S blade box, the company has a new and better storage option for you today than you had yesterday. Starting today, IBM is shipping a SAS-based storage area network inside the chassis as an alternative to external Fibre Channel SANs that are also more expensive than the SAS configuration.
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1

Microsoft's application server goes Irish

Microsoft is adopting REST and ATOM-based feeds in its application server to boost development and management of Windows server applications.
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Hawaiian anti-LHC lawsuit thrown out

Famous eccentric American botanist, lawyer and soi-disant physicist Walter L Wagner has failed in his bid to have the US courts close down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Hawaiian federal judges reportedly felt that the enormous 27-km proton deathrace track lay somewhat outside their jurisdiction, located as it is beneath the Franco-Swiss border and funded mainly by other governments.

Carphone Warehouse gets into games consoles, Macs

Exclusive The UK’s High Street gaming retailers now have another competitor on their hands: the Carphone Warehouse has begun selling games consoles.
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HP grabs hold of LeftHand Networks

HP has snaffled the last of the main independent iSCSI SAN (Storage Area Networks) suppliers by buying LeftHand Networks in a $360m all-cash deal.
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'Windows Cloud' to descend this month, says Ballmer

Microsoft will let loose a new operating system, Windows Cloud, at the company’s annual developer conference later this month.
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Senators push for restrictions on laptop searches

Three US senators are pushing the "Travelers Privacy Protection Act" to restrict the right of US customs to search or seize laptops, iPods and other digital devices.
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Ballmer: MS not getting into handset biz

Windows Mobile seems to be as far as Microsoft’s willing to delve into mobile phones. The firm’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, has denied it’s planning to start making handsets.
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Barclays online banking falls offline

Barclays Bank online banking service has been mostly unavailable today due to 'technical issues'.
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Microsoft promises, fails to keep things simple for partners

Microsoft today tried to convince UK channel partners that it’s working hard to simplify its licensing terms, but many resellers have grumbled that the firm hasn’t gone far enough yet.
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Ransomware author tracked down, but not nicked

The Russian VXer who created the infamous Gpcode ransomware Trojan has been identified - but an early arrest isn't likely.
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What does the offshoring backlash tell us?

Reader Poll We’ve had some great responses back on the article we posted earlier in the week, about how software development is becoming increasingly distributed with the twin prongs of outsourcing (vs keeping things in-house) and offshoring (vs keeping things local). Unsurprisingly perhaps, the most spleen is vented on failed offshore projects.
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Sprint threatens P2P throttling on WiMAX

Sprint has reserved the right to limit the bandwidth of P2P file sharers on its brand new broadband wireless network..
Cade Metz, 01 2008

Apple scraps iPhone NDA

Apple is scrapping its controversial and unpopular "fucking" iPhone non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
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IBM blades and racks get all-you-can-eat VMs

IBM is now offering customers who buy its System x rack servers and BladeCenter blade servers the option of bundling Microsoft's Windows Datacenter Edition. This may seem like hitting a gnat with a cinder block, but it makes sense: Datacenter Edition allows for unlimited virtualization.
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Blizzard awarded $6m in WoW bot case

World of Warcraft creator Blizzard Entertainment won a $6m judgement from the maker of a software bot that allows users to play the wildly popular game while away from their computers.
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Amazon plugs video leak flaw

Amazon has plugged a potentially revenue-draining flaw in its video streaming service by incorporating content encryption.
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Amazon turns Windows against Ballmer's cloud

Amazon's Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) will let you run applications on Microsoft's Windows Server and SQL Server database from this autumn.
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Emails show journalist rigged Wikipedia's naked shorts

Two and a half years ago, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal, warning that widespread stock manipulation schemes - including abusive naked short selling - were threatening the health of America's financial markets. But it wasn't published.
Cade Metz, 01 2008
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TSMC, IBM gang trumpet 28nm chip recipes

Chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company said this week that it will be rolling out two different 28 nanometer chip making processes in 2010. At the same time, IBM and its chip partners outlined their plans for competing 32 nanometer and 28 nanometer circuits. Transistor geeks are wallowing in the details of the TSMC and IBM announcements, and some are complaining there aren't more.
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DoS attack reveals (yet another) crack in net's core

Security experts say they have discovered a flaw in a core internet protocol that can be exploited to disrupt just about any device with a broadband connection, a finding that could have profound consequences for millions of people who depend on websites, mail servers, and network infrastructure.
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French boffin: Mac Pros emit toxic fumes

A French newspaper is claiming some Mac Pro owners are at risk of developing leukemia and other ills from breathing in toxic materials emitted from Apple's top-of-the-line PCs.
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WebKit passes third Acid test

WebKit - the framework that underpins Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome browser, and its Android phone platform - has become the first browser to pass the full Acid 3 test.
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3

Hackers penetrate South Korean missile manufacturer

Black hat hackers were able to steal information from a South Korean missile manufacturer after planting malicious code on the company's computer system, according to news reports.
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Microsoft sneaks out Silverlight 2

Microsoft has come a step closer to releasing the next version of its Silverlight browser plug in.