US telco: 'Public broadband is illegal'
Like dozens of other communities across America, the tiny town of Monticello, Minnesota wants to build a fiber-optic broadband network. In September of last year, its citizens approved the project via referendum, with 74 per cent of voters giving the nod. But thirteen months later, its fiberlicious dream is still on hold, thanks to a lawsuit from the incumbent phone company.
Microsoft, Apple trumpet bevy of critical vulns
Whether you use a Mac or a PC, be prepared to install a bumper crop of security patches on your machine in the near future.
Bluetooth, iPods, HDDs to define in-car tech in 2009
Bluetooth, iPod connections, embedded hard drives and real-time location-based traffic monitoring will all be increasingly popular features in cars next year, an analyst has predicted.
Apple to detail latest laptops on 14 October
It's official: Apple is updating its MacBook laptop line next week - the Mac maker has mailed out invites to an event at which "the spotlight turns to notebooks".
Plasmon Inc preps for rebirthing
Plasmon's US operation is preparing for lift-off as an independent company whilst Plasmon Ltd's shareholders, creditors and staff try to see if any crumbs will fall their way from the administrators' table.
MoD loses most of the armed forces
The Ministry of Defence and contractor EDS are frantically checking the bins this morning for a missing hard drive containing records of 100,000 servicemen and women and their families.
ATK shows off 'palletised, plug-in' robot cannon system
US weaponry and aerospace giant Alliant Techsystems (ATK) - makers of rockets to NASA, among other things - are pleased to announce their latest gizmo: the Palletised Autonomous Weapons System (PAWS).
Brussels bounces BT-Phorm quiz back to UK.gov
The European Commission has again written to the government for an explanation of UK authorities' response to BT's allegedly illegal secret trials of Phorm's ISP adware system.
Symantec hedges bets with large stake in hosted security
AnalysisSymantec, traditionally one of the more conservative firms in the security market, is attempting to pull off a high-wire balancing act with its surprise $695m acquisition of security software-as-a-service pioneer MessageLabs. The firm is betting that increased revenues in the hottest segment of the security market will justify a high (especially for the current economic climate) acquisition price.
Serial commentard bitchslaps Reg hack
FoTWIt's a well-known fact that flames are like number 13 buses - you wait ages for one and then a whole load turn up and once.
Opera update quietly fixes bug brace
Opera has patched a brace of critical vulnerabilities with the release of the latest version of its web browser.
Radiation warning for low-energy lightbulbs
The Health Protection Agency is warning that low-energy light bulbs could give enough ultraviolet radiation to cause damage to your skin.
Lenovo releases WiMax-fitted ThinkPads
First Acer, now Lenovo. The ThinkPad company has rolled out a laptop with WiMax on board to cater for wireless broadband buffs in Baltimore.
US military: Electropulse bombs now from next year
One of the longest-sought, most keenly anticipated high-tech weapons of the past century - namely, the dreaded circuitry-frying electromagnetic pulse bomb - seems to have had its schedule moved forward.
BT's 21st Century network, er... isn't
ISPs have been worried to learn that BT's ongoing multibillion pound "21CN" network upgrade won't offer native support for IPv6, the networking protocol that it's planned will form the bedrock of a rapidly expanding 21st century internet.
Nintendo unveils Wii Music
The Wii’s Nunchuck is set to become a musical instrument, because Nintendo has launched a musical videogame for the console.
US woman shot by cast iron stove
Here's top tip for those of you who like to have the odd firearm around the house: Don't put live rounds wrapped in newspaper in your cast iron stove and then throw a match in.
Sun's not so cheap trick doesn't work
Sun's share price has fallen so low it is about the same as before last year's reverse stock split. So is Sun turning into another Unisys?
Mandriva Linux 2009 threesome outed
Mandriva has released the latest version of its desktop Linux distribution, which comes loaded with new KDE, Gnome, Firefox and OpenOffice tools.
Taser rival offers cops 'Trade in your Taser' zapgun deal
An aggressive newcomer is muscling in on everyone's favourite cattleprod-enforcement firm, Taser International. Stinger Systems says its "advanced electro sparc-pulsed" zap weaponry is much safer for the victim miscreant, and is offering American police forces a cheap "trade in your Taser" deal.
Asus Eee Box Atom-based desktop mini PC
ReviewAsus' Eee marque may be associated with laptops, but it's been applied to desktops too, specifically the Eee Box, a slimline unit designed to stay in one place.
Canada sex shop heist shafts proprietress
Spare a kinky kind thought for one Wicked Wanda this Friday - the Canadian sex shop owner has been robbed of vibrators to the tune of $2,000.
Heads up, here's the HUD satnav
A Heads-Up Display is usually the reserve of only the most exclusive motors, but Asus has made the technology more mainstream by integrating it into its latest satnav.
Motorola's intros non-3G BlackBerry-style smartphone
You may feel like most phone manufacturers have ditched physical keypads in favour of touchscreens. But Motorola has bucked the trend and launched a BlackBerry-esque button-based phone.
Startup promises auto Windows file virtualisation
Startup AutoVirt is going to introduce a Windows file share virtualisation product to drive up disk utilisation and ease file storage consolidation. It's like an IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) for files.
Turbo-charged wireless hacks threaten networks
The latest graphics cards have been used to break Wi-Fi encryption far quicker than was previously possible. Some security consultants are already suggesting the development blows Wi-Fi security out of the water and that corporations ought to apply tighter VPN controls, or abandon wireless networks altogether, in response.
US Justice Dept builds microwave heat-ray 'rifle'
Reports are emerging that the US Justice Department is working on a hand-held version of existing microwave cannons intended for riot or crowd control. The portable raygun could also have applications as a scanner or detector system, apart from being a weapon; and a working prototype has already been built.
BlackBerry Bold drops off Orange website
Software issues affecting the BlackBerry Bold appear to have spurred Orange to suspend all UK sales of the 3G handset.
C4 abandons DAB
Cash-strapped TV broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed it will completely withdraw from the eponymous DAB radio consortium, Digital 4. The move will save £10m, executives said today.
Dial 'M' for Microsoft's new programming language
As if you haven't got enough languages already, Microsoft is about to give you one more: M, part of its Oslo development and service-oriented strategy.
Vista scrabbles for X Factor
Microsoft has desperately turned to Simon Cowell to help sprinkle some X Factor dust on Windows Vista, giving the already has-been OS a last shot at stardom.
Channel 4 in Heathrow Playmobil reconstruction shocker
It's come to our attention that a trailer for Channel 4's Dispatches - which will next week ask "if the sun is setting" on British Airways - features some rather fetching Playmobil scenes set inside Heathrow's acclaimed Terminal 5.
'World's first' WiMax mobile phone spied
Mobile phone connections over 3G are like so yesterday. HTC obviously knows this and so has developed what could well be the world’s first WiMax-capable phone.
Oz radio newsreader skips broadcast for Facebook
An Oz radio news outfit last Sunday failed to broadcast its 4pm bulletin because the female newsreader was glued to Facebook, The Australian reports.
Laptops to blame for Qantas jet plunge?
Passengers are being questioned over whether they were using electronic equipment just before their Qantas A330-300 plunged out-of-control over Western Australia.
Virgin Media calls foul on web speed testers
Virgin Media believes it is being shafted by comparison sites offering ISP speed checks, and has called on them to improve their techniques ahead of the launch of its 50Mbit/s upgrade.
Verizon to charge for message termination
As Europe braces itself for mobile telephony without termination rates, Verizon is to start charging companies for delivering messages to its customers, while continuing to charge those customers for receiving them.
PayPal top-up card is titsup
Payments made to PayPal's top-up card on Wednesday of this week have still not appeared on account balances, and the company is unable to tell angry customers when the problem will be fixed.
OpenOffice.org welcomes gatecrashers to version 3.0 orgy
OpenOffice.org is throwing a launch party in Paris on 13 October to mark the eighth anniversary of the popular open source office software suite and announce – it hopes – the release of version 3.0.
Agile Development’s Secret Sauce
Reg Reader WorkshopOne criticism levelled at Agile methodologies for software development is that of scale. “It’s all very well for very small projects,” we have been told, “but for anything above 10 people, you can forget it.” So, how true is this?
Merrill Lynch buys IBM's iDataPlex blades
In a shameless effort to show that someone in the financial services industry is still investing in technology - and relatively exotic new blade server technology at that - IBM has announced that brokerage house Merrill Lynch, soon to be part of the Bank of America behemoth after running into BoA's welcoming arms in mid-September.
MS: Xbox will not go Blu
Microsoft has once again poured cold water over the latest rumour that it’ll launch a Blu-ray Disc drive add-on for the Xbox 360.
Imation backpedals in Q3
Imation has issued preliminary third quarter figures badly affected by the financial market turmoil in September.
Scotland Mountain Rescue turns on Ofcom
Volunteer mountain-rescue staff in Scotland are being asked to write to the UK regulator Ofcom to complain about increased spectrum prices that could drive them out of the life-saving business.
Lenny might be late
Debian project leader Steve McIntyre has dismissed claims that the next stable version of Debian – codename Lenny – could be delayed until June 2009. Based on the number of outstanding release-critical bugs and the time it has taken to fix them on previous releases, Debian developer Bastian Venthur estimated it will take a further eight or nine months to bring Lenny up to release quality.
New Google bugs empower phishermen
Google's Gmail service suffers from security flaws that make it trivial for attackers to create authentic-looking spoof pages that steal users' login credentials, a security expert has demonstrated. Google Calendar and other sensitive Google services are susceptible to similar tampering.
Wal-Mart pressured into tune keys life support
For digital music vendors, protecting files with digital rights management (DRM) is like a lobster trap. It's easy enough to enter into, but getting back out is another matter entirely.
Gates dethroned as tech's richest get thumped
It seems that tech's billionaires are sharing the privations of ordinary citizens, whose savings are vanishing and pensions becoming worthless as stock markets tumble.
Organized crime tampers with European card swipe devices
Hundreds of card swipers used by retail stores across Europe are believed to have been tampered by organized crime syndicates in China and Pakistan, according to US National Counterintelligence Executive Joel Brenner.
Sprint execs named 'most overpaid' in 2007
Sprint Nextel executives are the most "overpaid" in corporate America, according to a study by investor advisory firm, Glass Lewis & Company.