9th > December > 2008 Archive
Logitech launches padded Lapdesk
As the winter temperature plummets and heating costs rise, Register Hardware’s hacks have grown fond of the leg warmth generated by laptops. But if you’re not a fan, check out Logitech’s latest.
Big Blue donates cloud to unborn solar cells
The World Community Grid, a network of donated processing capacity established by IBM for do-gooder supercomputing projects, said today that it would be donating time to a bunch of Harvard University researchers who are looking for organic materials from which to make flexible and cheaper solar cells. Plastic solar cells, to be colloquial about it.
Micro Focus snags Relativity for $9.7m
Consolidation in the legacy application rehosting and modernization software space continues apace, with compiler and rehosting expert Micro Focus announcing yet another acquisition. This time, it's shelling out $9.7m in cash to pick up Relativity Technologies, one of its competitors in the IBM mainframe and midrange server spaces.
21 million German bank accounts - yours for only €12m
Identity thieves who claim they stole details of 21 million German bank accounts are offering to sell the data on the black market for €12 million (US$15.3 million), a German magazine reported over the weekend.
Microsoft phone coming Zune?
Second only to Barack Obama's lack of US citizenship, the Rumor That Refuses to Die award rightfully belongs to the Microsoft Zune Phone - and today a date was finally ascribed to that elusive hardware's release.
Adobe and SpringSource meet on RIA
Adobe Systems is collaborating with SpringSource on rich-internet applications combining Flash, AIR and PDF with open-source Java for the enterprise.
Dell to flog EMC Celerra NAS
Dell is going to resell best buddy EMC's Celerra NX4 NAS product, giving suppliers such as NetApp stronger competition. EMC and Dell are also extending their partnership for another five years to 2013.
Archos 7 internet-enabled PMP
ReviewSo, how much difference does two inches make? This is what you must ask yourself when deciding if the Archos 7 is worth the extra cash over and above its 5in-screened sibling, the Archos 5.
A380 too quiet, moan Emirates pilots
Airbus A380 operator Emirates has encountered an unexpected problem with the aircraft - it's "too quiet" for pilots to enjoy a quick kip in the crew rest area.
Brussels ploughs ahead with biofuel plans
In a move which has surprised analysts and environmentalists, the European Union will leave plans for strong takeup of biofuels sourced from food crops unchanged. A plan has been agreed in Brussels which will see biofuels dominating Europe's "renewable" transport quotas in coming years.
Reg readers in the dark over extreme porn
A Register reader has been left baffled by the reaction of her local police force when they were asked what exactly is likely to constitute an actionable image when the extreme porn laws come into force in January.
Fighter jet crashes in suburban San Diego
An F/A-18D on a training mission yesterday crashed into a suburb of San Diego, killing three people on the ground, Reuters reports. One person is still missing, although the pilot ejected safely.
HP's bendy plastic e-paper display on the way
Bendy plastic displays might actually arrive in a year or two - HP has developed a prototype of a flexible display screen with Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center.
Phones to be powered by speech?
Mobile phones could one day be powered by your banter, if research being carried out by two US universities proves fruitful.
Better Place deploys re-charging posts in Israel
'Leccy TechBetter Place has shown off its first electric car re-charging points in Israel.
Fujitsu looking to sell hard drive unit
It's on again. After rumours of Fujitsu wanting to sell its hard disk drive business to Western Digital surfaced and sank a few weeks ago, the mooted sale is on again.
Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page
Guest opinionThere has been a storm of controversy over a decision by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to blacklist a page of Wikipedia. But the criticism of Britain's online watchdog is unfair and hypocritical.
Clangers creator dies at 83
Oliver Postgate - the man behind Bagpuss and the Clangers - has died aged 83, the BBC reports.
MS: We'll slash search data retention if big boys play ball
Microsoft will only agree to European demands to slash the time it keeps online search query data if Google and Yahoo! adopt the same methods.
SkyFire beta goes public
Skyfire, the mobile browser for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile devices, has broadened its beta testing to include the UK and no longer requires users to register with the service.
Ofcom rules on Clarkson strumpet gag
Ofcom has ruled that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was not in breach of the broadcasting code for a quip he made on the show alluding to lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.
Rockstar pledges GTA:IV PC patch
Rockstar has promised to do everything it can to fix the problems that gamers are experiencing while playing the recently launched PC edition of Grand Theft Auto: IV.
Scorpions tale leaves IWF exposed
OpinionAs the dust settles over the Internet Watch Foundation's (IWF) little local difficulty with Wikipedia, the question that needs to be answered is whether this was all just storm in a teacup - or the beginning of the end of a conveniently complacent relationship between government and the internet industry.
RIM officially unveils Javelin
Research In Motion has officially announced its latest BlackBerry handset, the unveiling no doubt timed to stir up demand before the phone’s impending UK release.
Hackers ahead of the game despite McColo shutdown
The recent takedown of a notorious botnet-friendly web-host was a major victory for the good guys but the cybercrime outlook remains grim, according to a flurry of annual reports from security vendors published on Tuesday. The reports collectively show that the internet remains a cesspool of malware and that crooks continue to have no trouble in duping ordinary surfers into getting infected.
Exam board to hear appeal over format cockup
An IT class at a school in Lincolnshire will be allowed to appeal after failing their diploma because they submitted their work in the wrong formats, including Microsoft Word.
Sony shutting factories and laying off staff
Sony is closing a factory in France as part of a billion-dollar cost-cutting plan which will see it lose at least five production sites by March 2010.
RIM Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220
ReviewIt might seem slightly perverse for RIM to produce a clamshell Blackberry when almost every other phone maker's attitude seems to be ‘been there, done that’ while they focus on sliders and candybars. But there is method in the madness.
iPhone lights a fire
A video of a burning fire is now available as a premium application for the iPhone, but it remains to be seen if even iPhone users are stupid enough to pay $2 to listen to advertisements for Christmas albums.
Helmet makes you 'feel' in-game head shots
Videogames will give you a headache if you play for too long, but TN Games’ latest peripheral promises to make it feel like you really have been shot in the head.
Mozilla boudoir shoots out second Firefox 3.1 beta
The second beta of Firefox 3.1 landed yesterday for Windows lovers and Mac fanboys keen to fiddle with Mozilla’s new private browsing porn mode feature.
UK.gov resilience website feedback page falls over
The UK government's resilience website is itself far from resilient. Attempts to fill out the feedback form consistently return an ironic runtime error page (screenshot here).
What we really think of IT architects
WorkshopThe feedback from last week’s article, What the heck is an IT Architect anyway?, has been a genuine pleasure to sift through (even the remark that suggested I should work in IT for a dozen years or so - thanks, Jake, I’ll keep that in mind).
CPW man quits Olympic committee
David Ross has resigned from his position as adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson, after coming under fire for using his stake in Carphone Warehouse as collateral for a loan, without informing the company.
LG tests 100Mb/s download phone chip
LG has begun testing a mobile phone chip that could pave the way for download and upload speeds of, it claimed, up to 100Mb/s and 50Mb/s, respectively.
Leeds Council loses kids details
Leeds Council has apologised for losing a memory stick containing unencrypted details of 5,000 nursery-age children.
MS Ireland blocks redirection 'hack' - eventually
Surfers attempting to visit Microsoft's Irish website via Microsoft.ie on Tuesday morning were greeted with a defaced page instead.
Saw: The Videogame hit by setback
Fans on the puke-inducing Saw horror films could be in for some disappointing news, because it’s rumoured that production of a game based on the film series has stalled.
Microsoft squeezes out Oxite 'open source' blogger platform
Microsoft has released alpha code for an "open source" blogging platform dubbed Oxite.
Sun puts Shanghai Opterons in Galaxy boxes
While it isn't always the case, Sun Microsystems usually likes to wait until it can actually ship products before it sends out a press release. So while Advanced Micro Devices announced the "Shanghai" quad-core Opterons for servers nearly a month ago, Sun is only making its "Galaxy" x64 launch today because it has enough of the chips to start pumping out boxes.
Firm touts anti-radiation chip for phones
If you believe that mobile phone use puts your brain at risk from electromagnetic radiation, then a Belgian firm’s latest offering may put your mind at ease. It's a gadget that's said to neutralise a phone’s potentially harmful rays.
Pilots survive night on Hudson Strait ice sheet
Two pilots spent 18 hours floating on an ice sheet after their aircraft suffered twin engine failure on a flight from the US to Sweden, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In-the-wild attacks find hole in (fully-patched) IE 7
UpdatedSecurity researchers are reporting in-the-wild attacks targeting a previously unknown vulnerability in fully patched versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. They surfaced on the same day that Microsoft released its biggest batch of security patches in five years.
Google Oompa Loompas cloaking user agents?
Over 10 per cent of Google's internal machines are hiding their software makeup from the outside world, according to data collected by Net Applications, a web analytics outfit that captures user traffic on more than 40,000 sites across the net.
Apple's Snow Leopard set to exploit GPU power
Apple's Snow Leopard bounded closer to reality today - and there's a strong possibility it leapt well past Windows 7 in the process.
Google Native Client challenges Microsoft and Adobe RIAs
Google is entering the rich-client game with a project allowing online applications to tap your desktop through the browser.
2008 goes into one-second overtime
As if the leap day in February wasn't enough stalling for time, scientists intend to delay the arrival of 2009 by one additional second.
Four-year-old Diebold glitch silently drops votes
A four-year-old software glitch wiped out almost 200 votes from a small California county's November elections tally, causing officials to certify results that are now known to be incorrect.
GPLv3 to reinforce FSF open-source license position?
Adoption of GPLv3 has surpassed many older licenses in a short time, according to license watcher Black Duck Software.
Intel plans tiny energy suckers to watch environs
Intel's research labs have worked on some truly sci-fi concepts in their time - shape-shifting micro-robots and online-gaming "anti-cheat" technology, to name just a pair.