1st > December > 2008 Archive

LG GP08NU10 slimline portable DVD writer

Review Apple's MacBook Air may have put off some potential purchasers by eschewing a built-in optical drive, but it's not the only laptop to do so. The whole new wave of Small, Cheap Computers skimp on opticals for size and price reasons.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

HP cancels Christmas in the UK and Éire

Exclusive Hewlett-Packard has told its UK and Ireland-based staff that the computer giant won’t be funding their Christmas celebrations this year because of the worsening economic climate.
For Sale sign detail

Wolves gather around Plasmon

The wolves are gathering around the wreck that is Plasmon with companies offering to migrate people off Plasmon's optical products and onto a format with a more dependable future.

Mandy preps list of UK businesses to save

Lord Mandelson of Foy is preparing criteria to decide which British businesses the government should save if they go bankrupt.
The Register breaking news

Endeavour down safely at Edwards

The space shuttle Endeavour landed safely at Edwards air force base in California yesterday, completing a 16-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
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Lord Lamont joins Phorm board

Four directors have left controversial ISP adware firm Phorm, including chairman of three months Stephen Heyer. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont is among their replacements.
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Windows 7, June 2009 and the technologies of antitrust

Radio Reg Bundling’s come a long way since Microsoft was dragged through the US courts in the 1990s for wrapping Internet Explorer into Windows.

Blockbuster OnDemand coming to a Blu-ray player near you

Blockbuster will start integrating its OnDemand film download-to-rent service into Blu-ray players from early next year, the firm’s Chairman has revealed.

Auf Wiedersehen to 700 FSC workers

Fujitsu Siemens Computers is firing 700 employees in Germany to increase its profitability in a move it says is not connected to Fujitsu's buying out of Siemens AG's 50 per cent holding in FSC.

Swiss Mindset reveals E-Motion sports EV

'Leccy Tech New pictures have emerged of Swiss car company Mindset's electric fast-back coupé type thing-a-me-jig, the E-Motion.
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Who's kicking whose ass when it comes to information delivery?

Mini Poll When it comes to systems and processes for handling data and information, we've all heard about 'BI', data warehousing, content management, work flow and so on. However, if the challenge of 'exploiting information' were so easily dealt with, we'd presumably not be talking about such things so much. Except we are, and all the signs point towards an issue that's 'sort of only been half dealt with'.
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London hospitals back online after PC virus infection

Computer systems at three London hospitals are almost back to normal two weeks after a computer virus forced staff to shut down its network.

Apple eats video editing jobs

Workers in the media industry face either an intoxicating future or one filled with doom because of Apple's Final Cut software and unifying digitisation removing layers of complexity from their work. That's the theme coming out of a tapeless media summit in held last week in London's Soho, a centre for media production and post-production work.

Nikon unveils flagship DSLR

Nikon has unveiled its latest flagship digital SLR camera: the D3X, which boasts an enviable 24.5-megapixel CMOS sensor.
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Bittorrent declares war on VoIP, gamers

Gamers, VoIP and video conference users beware. The leading BitTorrent software authors have declared war on you - and any users wanting to wring high performance out of their networks. A key design change in the P2P application promises to make the headaches faced by ISPs so far look like a party game. So what's happened, and why does it matter?

Vista SP2 to land in April 2009-ish?

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) looks set to hit manufacturers in April next year.

Sony Walkman S-series MP3 player

Review Releasing two MP3 players onto the market at the same time doesn't strike us as a wholly smart thing to do. Releasing two that look pretty much identical and have equally silly names could well be the acme of foolishness.
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Down the Digital River, into the heart of download darkness

Fail and You Before the internet, software distribution was cumbersome. While it was relatively cheap to reproduce computer code once it was written, sending floppy disks and CD-ROMs about created friction. Now, with heavy adoption of high speed connections, you can easily buy software and download it over the tubes. Bytes are bytes, no matter the medium.

MSI readies netbooks with HDDs and SSDs

MSI has turned to Intel's other Atom processor, the Z series, for its next netbooks.
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NYT scribe: No bailout for Tesla-buying 'centimillionaires*'

A New York Times columnist has launched an attack on the idea of electrocar poster-child firm Tesla Motors receiving "bailout" federal loans, saying that the company's products are toys for the super-rich. Tesla says that the only reason it wants the government money is to finance the production of more affordable cars; the existing $100k Roadster supercar is expected to start turning a profit shortly without further investment.
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McDonalds survey scam is super-size fraud

Phishing fraudsters are attempting to scam the credulous into handing over their credit card details on the basis of a supposed offer from McDonalds.
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Tux makes home on the iPhone

The iPhone DevTeam has managed to get a Linux image to boot up on an iPhone, at least to console level, though they've resolutely failed to explain why one would want to do such a thing.
Bill Ray, 01 2008
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Phorm, Norman Lamont, and the Broadband Stakeholder Group

Analysis Norman Lamont is no stranger to unpopularity, so he should feel right at home on Phorm's board.
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New terror guidelines on photography

New guidelines on the use of police stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in respect of individuals taking photos in public are to be published this afternoon, according to a spokesman for the National Police Improvements Agency (NPIA).
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MySQL creator kicks MySQL 5.1 team in the teeth

MySQL creator Michael “Monty” Widenius has gone on a noisy rant about last week’s release of MySQL 5.1 because Sun Microsystems has unleashed the database even though it still contains “fatal bugs”.

Amazon and Nintendo cash in on e-reading

E-book readers are in high demand this year, so Amazon’s taken to selling “refurbished” Kindles. And Nintendo’s launched a mini library of novels for its DS handheld console.

Championship cyclist injured playing Wii

A British world champion cyclist has injured himself, but not during a steep up-hill ride or while navigating a winding French road. No, the injury occurred during... ahem... a Wii gaming session.

BMW intros MS Surface car customiser

Buying a new BMW looks set to become a much more hands-on process, because the car manufacturer’s begun using Microsoft’s Surface touchscreen ‘table’ to tempt drivers into buying its motors.
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How are you managed?

Mini Poll Last week we asked whether IT systems could actually help to drive better business practice. However, as one comment mentioned, if the wrong things are measured then the behaviour of employees can end up skewed towards the metrics, hiding the desired results. "If I be a good obedient worker and do what's on the list, I do things that don't need to be done and don't do things that do need to be done," said /dev/me.
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EU cybercrime strategy backs law enforcement Trojan

Remote searches of suspects' computers could become a mainstay of cybercrime investigations under a new EU strategy announced last week.

Asus' G71 gaming quad-core notebook touches down

Asus has finally launched its quad-core gaming notebook into the UK, but it’ll set you back more than a pretty penny.
The Register breaking news

Nuke-nobbler raygun 747 in first full-power blast

US aerospace globocorp Boeing is chuffed as ninepence today to announce the first full-power firing of its jumbo-jet-mounted, ICBM-toasting ray cannon - the Airborne Laser (ABL). The system saw "first light" in September, but this is the first time the big laser's knob has been turned up to full.

Designer sets sights on visual impairment iPhone case

Visual impairment shouldn’t stop you from making the most of Apple’s iPhone, at least according to the inventor of a concept iPhone case with the blind in mind.
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Malware spread explains Pentagon USB ban

Pentagon systems and computers in warzones in Iraq and Afghanistan reportedly came under a malware-based attack last month. The infection promoted a recent ban of the use of USB stick and other forms of removable storage by the US military and also talk of cyberwar, which fails to stack up under close examination.

IBM, HP annoy server buyers less than Dell, Sun

The annual x64 server customer survey, put together by Gabriel Consulting Group, is out this week, and the top four server makers in this subset of the server space - Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, and Sun Microsystems - have been given their report cards concerning how well they put together machines, deliver performance and features, and otherwise satisfy their customers.
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FCC eyes free puritanical wireless vote

The Federal Communications Commission is set to consider chairman Kevin Martin's plan for free US-wide puritanical wireless broadband at its next meeting on December 18.
Cade Metz, 01 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV PC debut gets SecuROM sideshow

The upcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will install SecuROM 7 on customers' systems, although the game maker claims its properly de-fanged the detested DRM technology.
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Biz travelers howl over US gov RFIDs

A travel industry group has called on the US government to halt its use of new machinery that remotely reads government issued identification cards at border crossings until the safety of the new system can be better understood.

HP squeezes 85 data centers into 'six-pack'

While bonuses are probably a little thin these days in the IT sector, it is a fair bet that Randy Mott, Hewlett-Packard's chief information officer, is going to be getting a pretty big one this year. That's because HP has finished up its three-year revamping of its IT operations more or less on schedule, removing $1bn in costs from the HP ledger.
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Microsoft Live Search goes Kumo?

Microsoft's confused internet search service could be in for another re-branding, although it faces a potential trademark hurdle.

Amazon beckons world+dog onto database cloud

Amazon has invited world+dog onto its database in the sky.
Cade Metz, 01 2008

Online Black Friday sales better than flat

Economic gloom hasn't plundered the stockings of US online retailers nearly as much as some had been expecting. In fact, online sales were up on Black Friday, the traditional start of the US holiday shopping season — but just barely.

Big iron sellers grow shipments, shrink revenues

The box counters at Gartner have released their statistics for the worldwide server market in the third quarter of 2008, and the numbers are not good. But if there is an upside as we deal with the economic meltdown, the numbers could have been worse. And maybe they will be in 2009.