11th > December > 2008 Archive
Solwise readies multi-gadget powerline networking box
Got a stack of devices all sharing a single power outlet? Want three of 'em to be networked too? Then how about this VeseNet powerline Ethernet power strip?
Microsoft's Silverlight 'so good' it claims Netflix tech jobs
Netflix's decision to dump Microsoft's Windows Media Player for Silverlight will result in 50 technical experts exiting the online movie specialist.
Microsoft recruits OpenID evangelist
Microsoft has recruited an open-systems digital-identity expert to help give users of Windows services a flexible system of identity and single sign-on.
FCC boss gets knuckle-rapped
Current FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin may not have broken any specific laws, but he's a leading candidate for America's Worst Boss, he's running a "dysfunctional" agency that has "a very serious morale problem," and he has "manipulated, withheld, or suppressed data, reports, and information."
The Mother of All Demos — 150 years ahead of its time
Sometime in the late sixties, as Douglas Engelbart was preparing what would one day be called The Mother of All Demos, his boss flew to Washington to meet with the money man.
Titanium puts open source mettle against Adobe AIR
Memset CEO gets female biz-leaders' award from IBM
Famed skydiving hosting-biz queenpin Kate Craig-Wood, head of Memset, last week won an IBM and NatWest sponsored award for successful women in business.
2008's top three netbooks
Kit of the YearLaunched as a product class in 2007, it was only in 2008 that the netbook hit the big time, with World+Dog rushing to follow Asus and launch one, and the rest of us dashing to buy one.
HP puts Linux on business PCs
With the economies of the globe heading south - and Linux getting its first real crack at newbie end users not familiar with open source thanks to the burgeoning netbook market, maybe now is the time to start rethinking the use of Linux on commercial desktops.
WordPad zero-day adds to MS security woes
Microsoft bumper patch batch on Tuesday failed to address not just one but two zero-day vulnerabilities, each of which has become the scope of targeted attacks.
Netbook SSD usage to fall under 10% in 2009
Has the solid-state drive had its day - at least as a key component of Small, Cheap Computers? That's what one Asian market watcher reckons.
Love-triangle astronaut nappies will not be trial evidence
Representatives of Lisa Nowak, the former NASA astronaut famous for allegedly plotting nefarious deeds against a love-triangle rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot, have contacted the Reg to point out an error in our coverage of the case.
Europe tells states to get with the mobile TV programme
The European Commission has told member states how to encourage mobile TV services to be implemented quickly.
Dell confuses with festive SATA/Santa mix-up
Santa usually only visits well-behaved children, but this year he’s decided to drop in on the website of PC manufacturer Dell.
EMC wants more of the data warehousing pie
EMC has set up a data warehousing/business intelligence competency centre to tie its virtualised servers and desktops, Clariion and Symmetrix storage, to DW/BI application vendors' software.
Max Planck Institute punts 'hot, young housewives'
Chinese-savvy subscribers of the German-language Max Planck Research got a unexpected treat when the magazine featured a cover punting "hot, young housewives" in an ad for a Hong Kong strip club.
No Zune phone at CES, says Microsoft
Microsoft has officially silenced speculation that it will launch a Zune phone at the Consumer Electronics Show next month.
Yahoo! waves goodbye to 1,500 workers
Yahoo! began laying off more than 1,500 employees yesterday as part of the struggling company’s latest painful round of job cuts.
iPhone owners to help clean up vomit
An army of busybodies wielding expensive portable telephones is set to be unleashed on Britain's streets from today, as part of a campaign to pester councils into fixing potholes and cleaning up vomit.
Sony sued for collecting kids' data
Sony BMG is being sued in the US for collecting data on children without their parents' consent. A $1m payout to settle the suit is reportedly close to agreement, Bloomberg reports.
Nortel shares sink on titsup fears
Nortel shares fell another 20 per cent yesterday on stories that it has hired lawyers to explore filing for bankruptcy if its latest restructuring fails.
High-spec iPod-friendly wireless music streaming kit launched
US AV company Audioengine has hooked up dockable iPods direct to its wireless music streaming technology, courtesy of an transmitter dongle the plugs right into the player.
UK government negotiates new comms framework
The Office of Government Commerce contracts arm, OGCbuying.solutions, has negotiated new contracts with communications suppliers that could save public-sector organisations £40m.
USB fuel-cell prototype unveiled
A portable fuel-cell’s been unveiled that its maker claims can provide up to 25 hours of power and support every device from MP3 players to mobile phones.
PS3 Home is '2005 tech', says Xbox exec
Sony's Home hasn’t even been out for 24 hours yet, but the PlayStation 3 online community has already attracted criticism from arch-rival Microsoft.
Junk science and booze tax - a study in spin
Putting the price of alcohol up to a minimum of 40p a unit would keep 41,000 people a year out of hospital, save the NHS £116m a year, and avoid 12,400 cases of unemployment, a report from Sheffield University claimed last week. These appear to be remarkably precise predictions. The government used the report - widely quoted in the press - to justify higher duties and greater regulation of the sale of alcohol. Yet on close examination, the report appears to be a prime example of "policy-based evidence making".
Groupware put to the test and found wanting
Over 300 of you responded to the business productivity mini-poll. Thank you very much. But what did you say? Is groupware a dog or a god? Well, let's put it this way, when it comes to productivity, it currently ranks just above Search/Discovery and Graphical Tools. And they're the least popular.
Intel takes legal swing at Korean antitrust decision
Intel is taking South Korea’s fair trade watchdog to court after it decided to fine Chipzilla for undercutting its semiconductor rivals.
BBC, ITV propose 'open' TV-over-net platform
Having had their plan to combine their broadband TV services kyboshed by the Competition Commmission, the BBC and ITV today said they plan to do it anyway - but this time to open up the infrastructure to all comers.
Mozilla security boss bails
Mozilla's security chief, Window Snyder, is leaving the Mozilla Corporation at the end of the year.
Broadcasters and ISPs cosy up for iPlayer on Freeview
The BBC, ITV and BT are working on technical standards aimed at offering on demand TV over broadband to the UK's more than 15 million Freeview households.
ArseASA rules 'Feck' non-offensive
A poster for Magners cider that featured the words 'Feck off bees' has been cleared by the UK's advertising watchdog. The word 'feck' is unlikely to be seen as a swearword, said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Datawind PocketSurfer 2R internet palmtop
ReviewDatawind's PocketSurfer 2R is all about delivering the internet on the move, for next to nowt. And that's all. It's not a phone. It's not a fashion statement.
Hawaii says 'aloha' to Phoenix electric SUVs, pick-ups
'Leccy TechThe US state of Hawaii has announced not one but two electric vehicle deals, all in the space of a week.
Steering the IT Function
The exact quote is proving elusive, but to paraphrase Sir Macca when asked whether Oasis sounded anything like The Beatles, ‘You’d have to be riding blindfold, backwards across the desert on a camel not to have noticed.’ And similarly blindingly obvious is that, for IT to be done right, it needs some level of co-ordination – an architectural view, if I may.
Mac supremacists annexe Maidstone
As of Saturday, the good burghers of Maidstone will be able to enjoy the well-stocked premises of what's described as the "biggest flagship store" of Blighty's "largest independently owned Apple Premium Reseller" - the snappily-named "Stormfront" chain whose tentacles already extend to Exeter, Plymouth and Salisbury.
Hutton robs forces, pours MoD cash into UK arms biz
AnalysisA long-awaited announcement regarding the British forces' ongoing equipment programme has just been made by Defence Minister John Hutton. As had been expected, Mr Hutton has decided to pour cash into the lame-duck UK helicopter industry and to postpone spending on the Royal Navy's planned aircraft carriers. He has also decided to have a new competition for the Army's vehicles budget, as the last one was won by a non-UK company.
iPhone gets virtual Windows desktop
Virtual desktop provider Citrix has, again, announced it'll be developing a client for the iPhone, providing the option of a Windows desktop on an iPhone: albeit at a distance.
Chinese researchers inadvertently release IE7 exploit code
Chinese security researchers have admitted that they inadvertently released code that might be misused to exploit an unpatched Internet Explorer 7 vulnerability.
Microsoft Surface helps Earth stand still
Microsoft Surface has already wowed punters around the globe. But now the interactive coffee table’s made the Earth stand still, sort of.
Google brings Street View to Windows Mobile and S60
Google's latest version of mobile mapping software finally brings Street View to mobile phones - excepting the iPhone, which gained that capability when the iPhone 2.2 Software Update was released on November 21.
Sun shutters Scottish manufacturing site
Sun Microsystems is to close its manufacturing operations in the Linlithgow, Scotland, site with about 130 people losing their jobs.
World's first 'thought images' seen on screen
Asking 'shall we watch a film?' could soon be replaced by 'shall we watch a dream?' For the first time, researchers have successfully reproduced images on a PC screen that were captured inside a human brain.
Rogue Android apps rack up hidden charges
Applications installed on an Android handset are capable of automatically switching on data connectivity, and roaming, so their owners run up huge data charges.
Choruss: legal file sharing on campus
The plan to provide US students with compulsory flat-fee music finally has a name, it emerged this week. Choruss LLC will provide participating universities with a replacement for their current subscription services such as Rhapsody, and has the backing of the the EFF and the tacit support of the RIAA. That alone indicates the magnitude of the initiative. When have those two lobbying groups ever agreed on music policy?
Cisco may sell blade servers
A Cisco Systems executive has implied that Cisco might enter the blade server computing market and compete directly with Dell, HP and IBM, who all partner Cisco.
Clouds mass over data warehousing
CommentSuddenly the data warehousing sector seems to be hotting up. There's EMC's new competency centre and now Kognitio's in-memory data warehouse which threatens to brush server vendors aside if the idea gets adopted big time. How does that one work?
Why port your Firefox add-on to Internet Explorer?
Add-on-ConIs there a good reason to build a browser add-on for Internet Explorer as well as Firefox? Yes, according to Microsoft IE evangelist Joshua Allen. Building an add-on for IE is so difficult, he said, your browser app competitors won't even bother.
Latest Firefox beta gets touchy on Mac
Newer MacBook owners can set their fingers to work on the latest beta build of Firefox, which adds multi-touch gesture support for trackpads.
Brit consultancy wants to scrooge IBM out of mainframe upgrades
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there in the global economy, and British mainframe consultancy and performance expert Macro 4 is putting its mouth where IBM is hoping its upgrade money will be - but maybe not, if mainframe shops take Macro 4 up on a dare.
Lenovo talks potential acquisition
Lenovo, the Beijing-based PC manufacturer that acquired IBM's PC unit for $1.75bn in 2005, is in talks to buy another computer builder, this time in Brazil.
Atari promises it won't suck this time
Atari is quite simply a brand with too much history to let die, despite it rarely being more than a financial sinkhole since the video game crash of 1983.
Security pros groan as zero-day hits Microsoft's SQL Server
Yet another zero-day vulnerability has been identified in a popular Microsoft product, this time in its SQL Server database. The revelation comes as miscreants are stepping up attacks on a particularly nasty bug in the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Apple files 3D-interface patent
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published a collection of Apple filings, including a 3D interface that may herald the most radical - or, dare we say, the most bizarre - usability development since Doug Englebart first demoed a window-based GUI 40 years ago yesterday.
Google web toolkit upgrade due Q1
Google has pinned-down release plans for the next update to its Web Toolkit (GWT), stating version 1.6 is on target for a Q1 2009 debut.
Microsoft's IE8 app dev survival guide
Add-on-ConWill Internet Explorer 8 break your existing IE add-ons and IE-dependent desktop applications? It may. But those breaks are easily mended, says Matt Crowley, Microsoft program manager for IE "extensibility."
Red Hat and Novell duke it out in real time
When it comes to processing financial transactions, money can be won or lost in milliseconds. That's why high throughput, low latency, and consistent latency for transactions are the name of the game. Financial institutions are fanatical about their market data and trading systems, and Linux distros want to cash in on that.