24th > October > 2008 Archive

The Register breaking news

Woman cuffed for deleting virtual husband

A 43-year-old Japanese woman has been jailed for "killing" her virtual husband to revenge an unexpected in-game divorce.
Austin Modine, 24 Oct 2008
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US carriers attack FCC's puritan broadband

To the surprise of no one, engineers representing America's incumbent wireless carriers and broadband internet providers have attacked the FCC's plan to grace the country with a free "third pipe."
Cade Metz, 24 Oct 2008
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Microsoft 2.0 feels data center pinch

Microsoft's burgeoning online strategy is beginning to feel the spending pinch as the company battens down against a potential recession.
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2008
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Space tourist back on terra firma

Space tourist Richard Garriott and cosmonauts Oleg Kononeko and Sergei Volkov this morning returned safely to Earth from the International Space Station, touching down in their Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan at 10:37pm CDT (03:37 GMT).
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008
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Hubble fired up and ready for action

NASA yesterday re-activated the Hubble space telescope's back-up computer system, following a few problems coaxing the venerable spare kit into life.
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008
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NHS needs to catch up on technology

The NHS is failing to make effective use of simple technology now commonly used by its patients, such as the internet and email.
John Oates, 24 Oct 2008
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Dell readies small, cheap computer for small biz

Dell is preparing an all-black version of its Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, this one aimed at small businesses and set to ship as the Vostro A90.
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2008
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Plasmon Inc rises from ashes of...Plasmon Ltd

Plasmon rides again. CEO Steve Murphy has successfully negotiated a private equity buyout of Plasmon Inc from the UK-based parent Plasmon Ltd which is in administration.
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2008
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Home Office coughs to Dutch DNA screw-up

The Home Office has admitted it could have identified 22 criminals from DNA left at Dutch crime scenes if it had checked them against the UK's national DNA database.
John Oates, 24 Oct 2008

Fiat unwraps 'leccy buggy concept

'Leccy Tech There appears to be life in the self-appointed Apple of the electric car world after all. Hard on the heels of news of job losses and retrenchment comes the first official teaser shot of the planned Tesla S.
Alun Taylor, 24 Oct 2008
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Spanish discover cache of 26 Enigma machines

Spanish newspaper El País last week tracked down 26 examples of Franco's "secret weapon" against Republican forces in the country's civil war - a cache of perfectly-preserved Enigma machines hidden for years in a "gloomy office" in the army's main headquarters in Madrid.
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008
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Public ID card support holds steady - says gov report

A majority of the public remains in support of the National Identity Scheme, according to the latest figures from the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).
Kablenet, 24 Oct 2008
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Speaking clock gets Disneyfied

Middle England should prepare to drop its trousers, bend over the table and accept the painful truth that if anything in this Sceptred Isle was ever sacred, it isn't any more.
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008

Intel apologises for 'inappropriate' iPhone critique

Intel has rapped the knuckles of executives who this week hammered the iPhone for not being able to show the internet as well as a PC can. They were talking out of turn, the chip giant said.
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2008
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Steve Jobs 'heart attack' citizen hack wasn't a short seller

The US government investigation into an 18-year-old's false "citizen journalism" report that Steve Jobs had had a major heart attack has so far found he did it for the craic, according to a report.
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Parrot displays near-field photo frame

Digital photo frame connectivity options are usually pretty similar: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or memory cards. But manufacturer Parrot has designed one that’ll soak up your images using Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008
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BOFH: Fine detective work

Episode 34 Episode 34
Simon Travaglia, 24 Oct 2008
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MEPs warn on 'virtual strip searches'

Members of the European Parliament have asked the Commission to look carefully at the privacy implications of millimetre wave scanners - which effectively produce naked pictures of passengers.
John Oates, 24 Oct 2008
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Dell's PCs to come with music

SanDisk’s already launched Micro SD cards with pre-loaded tunes on. So Dell’s decided to get in on the music scene too and has launched a service to pre-install music on your new machine.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008

Apple MacBook Pro 15in

Review The new MacBook Pro may not be the total revamp that the renewed MacBook is, but it’s an attractive – and intriguing – update nonetheless.
Stephen Dean, 24 Oct 2008
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Xerox waves job axe at 3,000 staff

Printing giant Xerox Corp looks set to cull its worldwide workforce by five per cent.
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2008
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Windows 7 and Microsoft's cloud - The Reg takes a MicroBite

Radio Reg Microsoft's massive Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) hits Los Angeles, California, next week. It's the event for anyone interested in the direction and details of where Microsoft's software is headed.

Vodafone emboldened by Orange's BlackBerry Bold woes

Vodafone has told its third-party sales partners to use the "software issues and technical faults" it claims forced Orange to stop selling the new BlackBerry Bold to persuade consumers it has a better 3G network than its rival does.
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2008
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Police poison speed debate with fuzzy figures

This may be the week when the Department for Transport learns about the risks of making a case for road safety based on figures that every expert in the field knows to be untrue.
Jane Fae , 24 Oct 2008
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Thrustmaster draws Wii weaponry

Wii accessory manufacturer Thrustmaster has launched two weapons for the console that’ll have both Star Wars and shoot-'em-up fans delighted.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008
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Fancy nipping for a quick two-thirds of a pint?

Here's some splendid news for those of you who can't in all conscience go into a boozer and ask for a half, but reckon that a full pint might hamper your post-Friday-lunchtime workplace performance: The National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) is proposing to introduce a two-thirds of a pint measure which would "increase the flexibility of the pub and brewing industries to innovate in the presentation of beer to consumers".
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008
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El Reg in Street View drive-by snooping

Vulture Central is today in full counter-surveillance lock-down mode following the sighting of a Street View Orwellian black Opel in the very street where El Reg has its London headquarters:
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2008
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Book about D-Notices gets D-Notice slapped on it

A controversial history of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) DA-Notice* Committee, the body which acts to suppress media reports which could damage national security, has been heavily edited - reportedly on the orders of the DA-Notice Committee itself.
Lewis Page, 24 Oct 2008
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Virgin probes Facebook safety, chav claims

Virgin Atlantic is investigating allegations that its staff posted rude comments on Facebook about the airline's passengers and its safety standards.
John Oates, 24 Oct 2008
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Panasonic touts ToughBook trio

Panasonic’s ToughBook laptop line just expanded, thanks to the firm’s creation of three more ruggedised machines.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008
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NASA's greatest clanger

Rights to the celebrated documentary The Clangers are changing hands. Often mistakenly described as “a children’s programme”, the 1970s series revealed for the first time the existence of an advanced knitwear-based lunar civilisation, knowledge of which has been suppressed by governments and space agencies ever since.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2008
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Oprah cuddles Kindle

Oprah Winfrey is set to report that her favourite gadget is Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, and she's invited Amazon founded Jeff Bezos onto her show to explain why it's good to read electric.
Bill Ray, 24 Oct 2008
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US forces want man-hunting robot wolfpacks

Trouser-moisteningly terrifying news broke this week, as it emerged that sinister forces within the US military are looking to develop a remorseless robotic wolfpack capable of hunting down "a non-cooperative human subject" in "an indoor environment".
Lewis Page, 24 Oct 2008
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3 officially joins Nokia’s music bundle

Mobile operator 3 confirmed that it’s the first UK network to offer Nokia’s Comes With Music bundle directly to punters. Carphone Warehouse claims the right to be the UK’s exclusive retail partner for the deal – but 3 has a chain of around 150 stores.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2008
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Sun feeds data center pods to credit crunched

Sun Microsystems, like server rivals Hewlett-Packard and IBM, has been transforming its data centers in an effort to cut costs. And like HP and IBM, Sun wants to take the expertise it has developed from this process, put a price tag on it, and peddle it to customers who are facing the same budget pressures.
The Register breaking news

Google Willy Wonkas park fighter jet on NASA

Update: An update to this story - including a response from NASA - can be read here
Cade Metz, 24 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

EU to stock internet criminal database

European Union members agreed today to create a common alert platform for reporting illegal activities on the Internet.
Austin Modine, 24 Oct 2008
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LG unwraps tasty touchscreen treat

LG has finally taken the lid off of the biscuit tin and revealed the specifications and price of its latest cost-conscious caller: the KP500 Cookie.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008
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Star Wars MMO to grab more players than WoW

If you’re creating an MMORPG to compete with the most popular one of all time - World of Warcraft - then you’d better make sure it’s got a solid plot. And what better plot than one based on the most popular film series of all time: Star Wars.
James Sherwood, 24 Oct 2008
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Rackspace swallows Slicehost Jungle

Rackspace Hosting - which is where the files that comprise The Register are stored - this week made two acquisitions to beef up its hosting business. The company, which went public in mid-August, is also re-branding its hosting and cloud computing products to make their naming consistent in the wake of the acquisitions.
The Register breaking news

XML anti discrimination plan hits hurdle

A well-intentioned attempt to make XML less exclusive to certain ethic groups actually risks causing breakage for those it's intended to help.
Phil Manchester, 24 Oct 2008
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Man threatens lawsuit after negative eBay feedback

An eBay shopper may face libel charges after posting negative feedback about a seller on the auction site.
Austin Modine, 24 Oct 2008
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Google: Guinea pig brainwaves prove video ads 'compelling'

As part of its increasingly desperate attempt to actually make some money from YouTube, Google is reading the brainwaves of human guinea pigs in an effort to judge the effectiveness of video ads.
Cade Metz, 24 Oct 2008
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Trojan attacks Microsoft's emergency patch vuln

A day after Microsoft released an emergency patch for a critical flaw that could allow self-replicating attacks, researchers have identified a nasty trojan that attempts to exploit the vulnerability.
Dan Goodin, 24 Oct 2008
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Winning contestant dies during competitive eating event

The sport of competitive eating was given a shocking reminder yesterday that gorging oneself with a daunting amounts of greasy food in an extremely short period of time may have negative effects on health.
Austin Modine, 24 Oct 2008
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Support grows for Intel's mobile Linux despite slip

Delays to the latest version of Intel's project putting an open-source stack on its Atom processors have not deterred IT companies from early backing for the platform.
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2008