4th > December > 2008 Archive

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Bot-wielding hackers crash eBay holiday giveaway

eBay users are howling in protest after discovering hackers are using automated scripts to win hundreds of steeply discounted auctions as part of a holiday season contest designed to draw visitors to the site.
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FCC boss spices Puritan wireless plan

FCC chairman Kevin Martin has added some kick to his plan for a free nationwide wireless network, flirting with the possibility of dropping at least a portion of the zero-cost spectrum straight into the hands of mobile developers.
Cade Metz, 04 2008
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'Faith-based' investment firm fingers holiday's most sinful games

Buying video games as holiday gifts can be pretty intimidating when you've got a major deity looking over your shoulder.
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Sun sneaks JavaFX Mobile into desktop FX

Sun Microsystems, it is generally felt, lost the desktop to Microsoft a long time ago. Aware of this, Sun in recent years evangelized mobile as Java's habitat - mobile is, after all, where Microsoft's at its weakest.
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Irish govt powers up electric vehicle drive

'Leccy Tech The Irish Government has been bitten by the 'leccy car bug. Last week, it announced that it wants ten per cent of the cars running on Ireland's roads to be powered by electricity. That means 250,000 of them humming around the Emerald Isle by 2020.
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Novell grooms NetWare-Linux lovechild

While Novell may be the second largest commercial Linux distributor, it still gets the bulk of its sales off of NetWare and related products. The Open Enterprise Server hybrid, which puts NetWare services on top of SUSE Enterprise Linux, bridges the gap for Novell, and today, OES got a service pack to make it more appealing.
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Logitech PureFi Mobile portable Bluetooth speaker set

Review This versatile product is a combination of a Bluetooth speaker phone and a powered speaker rig that can be hooked up to any A2DP-capable device, or one with a USB cable or 3.5mm audio cable.
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Aussies to get first Googlephone January 2009

Over here, we get the T-Mobile G1 as our first phone based on Google's Android platform. Down Under, they get the BlackBerry-like Kogan Agora.
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Pirates pee on Amazon's MP3 parade

Amazon.co.uk yesterday trumpeted the launch of its MP3 download service, but a group of upstart coders chose the same day to blow their own horn about a Firefox plugin linking the e-tailer's service to The Pirate Bay.
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Panasonic steers out of satnav street

Panasonic is pulling out of the satnav business in Europe on the back of tumbling prices.
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MPs demand investigation into unlawful police action

Comment Today’s revelation that the police raid on the offices of Damian Green, MP, had been carried out without a full warrant may yet return to haunt the police officers who authorised it.
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Firefox plug-in Trojan harvests logins

Virus writers have latched onto the popularity of Firefox with a new variant on the established practice of stealing online banking passwords.
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Lego terrorist threatens democracy

Religious leaders have united to express their dismay at a custom range of Lego figures - including a "Toy Taliban" armed to the teeth with C96 broomhandle Mauser pistol, AK Assault Rifle and M67 frag grenades.
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Human rights court rules UK DNA grab illegal

Updated The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that it is illegal for the government to retain DNA profiles and fingerprints belonging to two men never convicted of any crime.
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130,000 inflatable jubs missing at sea

An Australian men's mag has asked beachcombers to keep a sharp eye out for inflatable breasts after 130,000 pneumatic chesticles went awol en route from Beijing to Sydney.
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Adobe axes 600 jobs, lowers sales outlook

Adobe will slash 600 jobs after it lowered its revenue outlook yesterday, citing the economic slowdown for less-than-impressive sales in the last quarter.
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CSC orders staff home in cost-cutting shutdown

Outsourcing firm CSC has joined other IT giants by ordering staff to take extra holiday over Christmas in a bid to cut costs.
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Reding prods Germans on termination rates info

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, has written an open letter to the German telecoms regulator to request information about termination rates charged by local operators - information the regulator has so far refused to share.
Bill Ray, 04 2008
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IBM takes on VMware virtual desktop

IBM is taking on VMware's virtual desktop infrastructure with its own Linux and Lotus-based virtual desktop.
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A last hurrah: Matching info challenges with functional capabilities

Over the last few articles, we’ve talked about the pain of getting information to the people that need it, and discovered that most of you don’t consider information or data management/delivery capabilities as a high priority when thinking about components to include in an application platform. Many of the comments to the articles went on to highlight information delivery as being a challenge involving people, training and processes, rather than a technical one.
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US space outfit promises The Right Stuff experience

Brave souls looking for "The Right Stuff experience" can now buy tickets for a sub-orbital jaunt aboard the XCOR Lynx for a modest $95,000.
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Microsoft wants to get under your skin

Microsoft's HealthVault, the medical records database, is to be integrated with VeriMed's human-embedded RFID tags, allowing doctors to access the medical records of unconscious patients with a quick scan of the arm.
Bill Ray, 04 2008
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Sun and VMWare updates keep sysadmins busy

Security updates from Sun and VMware make it a busy day for patching on Thursday.

Fujifilm FinePix S100 FS digital camera

Review Who wants a bridge camera these days? After all, you can always opt for a super-zoom compact or an entry-level digital SLR. Well, according to Fujifilm, the FinePix S100 FS “provides the manual controls and functionality of a DSLR without the bulk, hassle and expense of additional lenses”.
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Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles

It's guns and ammo for the holiday season if you read the news following Black Friday, the time annually reserved for the great annual shopping spasm in the US. "Panic at Gunfire in Toy Store," blared the November 29th frontpage headline in the Los Angeles Times, reporting a uniquely American muzzle flash.
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Jacqui Smith denies any knowledge of police search

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told the House of Commons she had no prior knowledge of the police investigation into Tory shadow minister Damian Green.
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Oz MPs 'could be breathalysed'

New South Wales MPs "could be breathalysed before voting" following a series of incidents which have led to suspicions that the state's politicos are sometimes less sober than their jobs demand.
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Israeli Linux fan squeezes Windows refund out of Dell

A Dell customer has struck an out of court settlement with the computer giant after being refused a refund apparently guaranteed under the terms of Microsoft’s Windows licensing agreement.
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Plod punishes PC-reliant businesses

As police begin the tedious task of sifting through Tory frontbench spokesman Damien Green’s computer effects, politicians and professionals have expressed concern that computer investigations are becoming a source of serious injustice, in need of reform and regulation.
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US WMD report: Dirty bombs, chem weapons are bunk

A US congressional investigation into terrorists and WMDs has concluded that there will be a WMD attack within five years unless prompt international action is taken. The report also effectively says that the only kinds of WMD worth worrying about are atomic bombs and biological weapons.
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Apple more closed than Microsoft

Reg Tech Panel Bashing Microsoft for being closed and proprietary has been a popular pastime in the media and the IT industry for many years, and there is no doubt that much of this has been well deserved.
Dale Vile, 04 2008
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UK ramps up health über-database

Napoleon called the British a nation of shopkeepers, but we'll be nation of statistics if UK Biobank has its way.
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Nokia trims expectations again

Nokia has cut expectations of the mobile-phone market for the third time in as many months, while Palm is planning to cut costs by 20 per cent following a halving of sales.
Bill Ray, 04 2008
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AT&T will slash 12,000 from workforce

AT&T is laying off 12,000 staff and putting the blame on the economy and "a changing business mix".
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Networked multipack cruise missiles in successful test

Development continues on the US Forces' network-controlled, crewless homing missile system. The Non Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS), aka "Netfires", has had a successful test firing, and is now being fitted aboard the US Navy's new inshore warships.
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Lapland New Forest website suffers 'unusual technical problems'

The website of Lapland New Forest - the winter wonderland described in less than flattering terms by enraged punters who'd stumped £25-£30 for an unforgettable Yule experience - went off air earlier today amid reports that the attraction has been shut down.
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VoIP is coming to the iPod Touch

VoIP provider Truphone has ported its VoIP client to the iPod Touch, enabling the music player to make free phone calls over Wi-Fi networks, but only to other Truphone users for the moment.
Bill Ray, 04 2008
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Interflora sues M&S over Google keywords

The world's largest flower delivery firm has sued Marks and Spencer at the High Court in London for sponsoring the word 'Interflora' as a search engine keyword. The case could be an important test of how UK trade mark laws apply to keyword advertising.
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Booby-trapped emails fly back into fashion

Malicious email attachments disguised as airline ticket receipts are being spammed across the internet as part of a new attack. The assault is the latest in a series of booby-trapped email attachments, which have seemingly become fashionable among VXers again, after many months of playing second-fiddle to website attacks.
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AMD chip sales crashed in Q4

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices will be disappointing Wall Street once again. But, then again, Wall Street has been particularly disappointing for the past several months itself.
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Microsoft warns customers against bogus 'Blue Edition' Office

Microsoft has today filed 63 lawsuits against online auctioneers in 12 countries who allegedly sold pirated copies of MS software on sites including its own MSN shopping network.
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Leaked Met letter questions Speaker's version of police raid

The senior policeman in charge of the Whitehall leak investigation has given an account of how consent was obtained that calls the Speaker of the House's version of events into question.
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Microsoft to embed RSA data cop in Windows

Microsoft is adopting technology from EMC's RSA security division for Windows to police data and prevent loss and theft of information.
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Apple eyes (yet another) multi-touch patent

Ever since Jeff Han's deservedly famous demo of a multi-touch interface at the TED conference in February of 2006, gestural-display developments have continued to appear, from Apple's mega-successful iPhone to Microsoft's micro-market Surface computer.

Angel spots CherryPal cloud chimera

Though some claimed it didn't exist, the CherryPal cloud PC chimera has been spotted in the wild.
Cade Metz, 04 2008
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Third ex-NASA Ames worker jailed for child porn

A third former worker at the NASA Ames Research Center in California was sentenced Wednesday to federal prison for using a government computer to download child pornography.

Blu-ray backers highlight rising demand

The Blu-ray Disc Alliance (BDA) has pooh-pooh'd claims that demand for the format is slowing under the recessionary pressures. It even forecast "Blu-ray will enter the mainstream" in Q1 2009.
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How to customise the Acer Aspire One GUI

We like the Acer Aspire One netbook's out-of-the-box UI. It's like Mac OS X's Dock writ large: a way of giving you easy access to key apps, but right in front of you, not tucked down at the bottom of the screen. However, you really should be presented with the apps you want, not what Acer believes you should have.
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Python 3.0 appears, strangles 2.x compatibility

Python 3.0 is out now. The latest version makes some major changes to the popular programming language, and it's incompatible with version 2.x releases.

Apple prepping $99 Wal-Mart iPhone?

Every December, the rumor mills begin to churn with speculation about what Apple will reveal at January's Macworld Expo. The first scintillating scuttlebutt of this year's rumor season, however, focuses not on Steve's traditional "And one more thing..." but instead on Wal-Mart's possible revival of the 4GB iPhone.
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Microsoft preps IE 8 for the web-challenged

Internet Explorer 8 will feature a user-generated list of "compatible" web sites, after trials found many ordinary surfers and major web sites can't work with Microsoft's next browser.
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American 'football' goes 3D

Three select - and well-connected - audiences in Los Angeles, New York, and Boston were scheduled Thursday night to watch the first 3D broadcast of an American "football" game, according to Dvice.
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ARSes crush Novell profits

Software maker Novell has reported financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter of 2008 ending October 31, and the meager profits that the reorganized company was able to eek out were mostly wiped out by an impairment charge related to its investment in auction rate securities. ARSes, for short.