10th > October > 2008 Archive

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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.
Cade Metz, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Dan Goodin, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008

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".
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
John Oates, 10 Oct 2008
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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).
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
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Symantec hedges bets with large stake in hosted security

Analysis Symantec, 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.
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2008
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Serial commentard bitchslaps Reg hack

FoTW It'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.
Lester Haines, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
John Oates, 10 Oct 2008

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.
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
Lester Haines, 10 Oct 2008
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BOFH: Unfriendly ghosts

Episode 33 Episode 33
Simon Travaglia, 10 Oct 2008
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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?
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2008

Asus Eee Box Atom-based desktop mini PC

Review Asus' 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.
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
Sarah Bee, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
Lester Haines, 10 Oct 2008
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'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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Lester Haines, 10 Oct 2008

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.
Scott Snowden, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

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.
The Register breaking news
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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.
Bill Ray, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
John Oates, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news
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Agile Development’s Secret Sauce

Reg Reader Workshop One 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?
Jon Collins, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
James Sherwood, 10 Oct 2008
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Imation backpedals in Q3

Imation has issued preliminary third quarter figures badly affected by the financial market turmoil in September.
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Bill Ray, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Phil Manchester, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Dan Goodin, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Austin Modine, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Austin Modine, 10 Oct 2008
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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.
Austin Modine, 10 Oct 2008
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SpringSource regains footing with support change

The change to SpringSource's enterprise maintenance policy for the popular open-source Java framework represents a gentle shift in emphasis.
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2008