4th > November > 2008 Archive
Forcefields will guard Mars ships from solar ion storms
A team of top boffins believe that they have cracked one of the main problems of interplanetary travel - that of surviving deadly solar radiation storms. The physicists say they have come up with an idea for a crafty forcefield which could stand off the protoplasm-punishing particle squalls of deep space.
Illegal pharmaceutical ads infiltrate gov, edu sites (again)
Hundreds of thousands of webpages belonging to businesses, government agencies, and schools have been infiltrated by scammers pushing Viagra, Tadalafil, and other drugs. The towns of Birmingham and Horwich in the UK and Princeton University in the US are among those who have been hacked.
Goohoo! rejiggers monopoly expansion pact
In an effort to win the approval of the Department of Justice, Google and Yahoo! have (apparently) sent regulators a revised version of their monopoly-expanding search advertising pact.
Cloud idealist turns realist on platform portability
Dreamforce 2008In the vexed world of interoperability, Salesforce.com is treading a line between pragmatism and idealism.
America's second largest ethanol producer goes titsup
VeraSun Energy, the second-largest producer of corn-based ethanol in the United States has run out of money and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Man cops to $1m phony bar code shoplifting scheme
An Ohio man has admitted heading a conspiracy that netted more than $1m by using phony Universal Product Code labels to acquire store merchandise and then selling the booty on eBay.
Rackable swings to loss on lower sales
Server maker Rackable Systems reported its financial results for the third quarter on Monday, saying that sales had dropped by 25.2 per cent to $65.3m.
Is EMC's Maui another Invista?
CommentIt was different a year ago - full of confidence, EMC head honcho Joe Tucci blithely told analysts about a slew of oncoming EMC products with codenames. Among them were Hulk and Maui, hardware and software to produce a new kind of clusterable storage system, a global repository scaling up to multiple petabytes in size. The hint then was that six months should see them come out into the open.
DNA tests lay Steve Fossett to rest
Tests on DNA taken from remains found close to the wreckage of Steve Fossett's aircraft have finally laid the missing adventurer to rest.
Taurid meteors promise Guy Fawkes fireball show
Aficionados of meteor showers should cast their eyes heavenwards on 5 and 12 November for what are expected to be "unusually good" displays from the Taurids, possibly including fireball-inducing larger meteors colliding terminally with Earth's atmosphere.
Official Bluetooth compatibility guide launched
If you’re planning to buy your better half a Bluetooth gadget this Christmas, but are confused about compatibility then a new, official website could help put the advice of all those “trained in-store sales professionals” to shame.
Zoombak Universal portable A-GPS locator
ReviewThe Zoombak personal GPS locator is designed to be used for a wide range of applications, whether it’s keeping an eye on an elderly relative, a teenage driver, a bike or even your dog.
Apple scotches pre-Xmas Mac desktop revamp rumour
Apple has confirmed it has now refreshed all the product lines it's going to revamp this year.
The True Confessions of an Election Official
USA '08I am a PEO, a Precinct Election Official in Iowa, working on the 2008 General Election. Iowa is the first Caucus in the US Presidential Election. It's considered a bellwether state and provided the first upset victory for Barack Obama.
RM kisses wannabe American cousin
RM has bought US-based education technology provider Computrac for £8m.
Sacking suspected ageist not ageism, EAT rules
If an employer dismisses an employee on suspicion of age discrimination, that in itself is not age discrimination, an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has ruled.
It's official: Siemens sells out to Fujitsu
Siemens is selling its 50 per cent stake in Fujitsu-Siemens Computers to Fujitsu.
Ofcom tries to launch satellite plans again
UK regulator Ofcom is consulting, again, on proposals to allow satellite broadcasters to use terrestrial transmitters, but won't be drawn on the most important issue of all - price.
Place your bets on the next US President
USA '08If you want to know who is going to win the US presidential elections today (or to be precise, in the early hours of tomorrow morning), a quick look at the bookmakers' odds might be more informative than the latest polls.
Tesla Roadster safe after Musk-promised money arrives
Tesla Motors, the troubled California firm behind the famous "Roadster" battery supercar, says it now has finance in place which will carry it to the point of positive cash flow - though it remains coy as to who put up the money. The firm also insists that some development work is proceeding on its next model, the broader-appeal "Model S".
NFC Forum offering cash for killer application
The NFC Forum has launched a competition to try and find an application for NFC technology that might make someone want the feature on its handset, and this time it's offering cash prizes - though it won't say how much.
Windows RPC exploit spawns bots and worms
Miscreants are taking advantage of slowness in patching systems with an emergency Windows security fix issued late last month to spread malware.
Analyst predicts iPhone decline
Apple will cut iPhone production by roughly 40 per cent during the current Q4, a market analyst has predicted.
The US election, live online from er... London
USA '08It's a momentous day for America and the world as the next US President is finally chosen. And who better to whisper electiony nothings to you all night long (or all day, depending on your hemisphere) than a couple of Reg hacks, some hand-picked commentators and a gaggle of other chancers?
OpenOffice 3.0 - the only option for masochistic Linux users
ReviewIn a brilliant execution of public relations, OpenOffice.org 3.0 was released without enough capacity to handle the demand for downloads. Servers buckled under the traffic, and some of us in the media took the bait: Shit, this thing must be hot. Are people really getting that excited over an open source productivity suite?
Apple iPod, iPhone wonk: iQuit?
UpdatedA senior Apple veep who oversaw the development of the iPod is reportedly leaving the company.
Ledger zombie pizza promo pulled
A bunch of New Zealand pizza-peddlers have nixed an animated email ad campaign showing three dead celebs dancing to Halloween evergreen Thriller.
Fisker prevails in Tesla tech theft claim fight
'Leccy TechIt may lack the romance of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, but it seems that first blood in the nasty little California 'leccy car legal spat has gone to Fisker.
China trumpets 'human rights action plan'
China has declared that it will instigate a "human rights action plan" over the next two years designed in part to "expand democracy and strengthen rule of law".
Alienware unveils multi AMD GPU laptop
The latest Alienware gaming laptop has crash landed onto Earth with a promise that it’ll “push gaming performance limits through state-of-the-art technology”.
Wacky Wii-style PS3 controller in the works
We’ve already seen numerous designs for weird and wonderful console controllers, but Sony’s latest, for a 3D, ultrasonic PS3 controller, really takes the cake.
Group Test: electronic book readers
Round-upAs Sony's decision to finally release its PRS-505 Reader in the UK and its associated tie-up with Waterstones has served to raise the consumer profile of the ebook reader as a breed - and with Christmas thundering towards us - we thought we'd see how the Sony stacks up against the competition.
Jezza Clarkson cops flak for 'truckers murder strumpets' gag
A quip from Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson suggesting that lorry drivers kill prostitutes has attracted 188 complaints to the BBC.
Barclays and Goldman Sachs squeeeeze IT staff
Goldman Sachs is demanding UK contractors take a compulsory 15 per cent cut in day rates, and staff have been told by agencies that this was a "take-it-or-leave-it" offer without room for negotiation.
Mid-line FAS 3000 from NetApp
NetApp is introducing a FAS 3160 in the middle of its mid-range FAS 3000 storage array line.
Adobe patches Reader flaw
Security watchers are warning of a critical flaw affecting older versions of Adobe Reader.
US kicks off secure hash competition
Dozens of amateur and professional cryptographers signed up last week for the United States' first open competition to create a secure algorithm for generating hashes - the digital fingerprints widely used in a variety of security functions.
Morning voting in America
USA '08The polls opened at 6am here in New York City, and the lines were expected to be long all across the city thanks (and I really mean thanks, because I like democracy) to very high voter turnout. Since my wife has been away stumping for Barack Obama in the rich suburbs of Pittsburgh for the past five days, being able to get to work more or less on time meant that my kids had to come with me to the polls - something they were adamant about doing anyway because we are a very political household.
Berlin bans handy iPhone metro app
Berlin public transportation company BVG has banned a popular iPhone application which helps to navigate the city's vast metro system with over 170 stations.
Washington postpones historic vote
Kevin Martin, chair of the The Federal Communication Commission, has conceded that proposals on universal service and intercarrier compensation should receive public scrutiny before they're voted on, delaying the vote until December at least.
Sky channels return to cable
A contract feud between Virgin Media and Sky has ended today with a new deal that will see the return of Sky's basic channels to cable.
Debian discord over de-classified developer proposal
Members of the Debian community are up in arms following a surprise announcement over the way project participants are vetted and organized.
Fujitsu intros satnav notebook and touch-sensitive netbook
Fujitsu has launched a laptop with an integrated touch-sensitive panel and unveiled of a miniature notebook-cum-satnav.
LaCie offers white-as-a-cloud net storage box
We've heard of white goods, but this is ridiculous. Storage specialist LaCie has launched the ultimate white box, a blank-faced unit that turns out to be an internet-connectable network hard drive.
McCain pulls ahead in pharmaceutical spam
USA '08Barack Obama is ahead not only in the polls but where it counts the most - in spam messages. However, his presidential rival John McCain can claim his own guaranteed enlarged small victory.
Donkeys refuse fodder as US election tension rises
USA '08It's official: US election fever has finally infected the remote Spanish outpost which houses El Reg's Iberian Bureau.
HP animates sleeping ProLiant power cap
Hewlett-Packard this week is delivering a new power capping technology that has been latent in its ProLiant rack and blade servers for the past several years. The technology - which is implemented in the system management software and service processors inside the servers - is called dynamic power capping, and it will help data center managers put a cap on server power consumption and thereby help them pack more servers into a given power budget.
Seagate heading for the wild west
In a storage press event today, Seagate said it was going to produce a network-attached storage (NAS) product for the home and and a hard drive able to plug into a TV and play media content. Its coming enterprise solid state drive will combine single and multi-level cell technology and a second attempt at hybrid drives will be made next year.
Dell: 'Code, baby, code!' - and please buy our servers
Dreamforce 2008"Code baby code" and more people buying servers and PCs - Dell servers and PCs, to be precise. That's Michael Dell's secret to surviving the current economic downturn.
E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states
USA '08People in at least seven states - six of them considered battleground states - are reporting that bugs and malfunctions with electronic voting machines are hampering their ability to cast votes in a presidential election that is expected to bring out a record number of voters.
Google plays safety card against Microsoft Office
Dreamforce 2008Google has stepped up efforts to have business customers dump Microsoft's PC and server-bound productivity and business software for Google Apps.
Cocaine addicted IT manager hacks ex-employer's mail servers
An IT manager was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for hacking into his former employer's computer system and opening its mail server to the public.
AT&T feeds metered internet to American gamblers
Following in the footsteps of Time Warner Cable, AT&T is exposing a small collection of American guinea pigs to the metered internet.
NetApp spins second flash SSD universe
NetApp has abruptly extended its flash solid state drive (SSD) storage strategy by admitting a second use case into its SSD universe, one for specific workload acceleration through a tier zero drive shelf.
Open-Xchange phones home for funding
Open source groupware software maker Open-Xchange has reeled in $9m in its second round of venture capital funding.