17th > December > 2008 Archive

The Register breaking news

Internet gambling mogul surrenders $300m in guilty plea

An internet tycoon who made billions of dollars building an online gambling empire has agreed to forfeit $300m after pleading guilty to violating the US Wire Act.
Dan Goodin, 17 Dec 2008
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Palm store now sells catch-up

Palm today revamped its Software Store to allow Palm and Windows Mobile users to directly download 5,000 applications and games onto their mobile devices.
Rik Myslewski, 17 Dec 2008
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Fly-tipping yes, dog poo no - Jacqui promises Ripa changes

Much-loved Home Secretary Wacky Jacqui Smith today announced changes to the code of practise which governs use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and promised to remove the under-tens from the DNA database.
John Oates, 17 Dec 2008

2008's top three music phones

Kit of the Year The mobile phone may not have killed the MP3 player, as some pundits prediced, but that hasn't stopped it trying. So if you're going to put music on a mobile, which give the best performance?
The Register breaking news

Europe-wide emergency number is go

The last country in Europe, Bulgaria, has now signed up to the universal emergency number 112.
John Oates, 17 Dec 2008
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Designer pitches solar-powered AA battery

It’s time to bin recycle your traditional batteries, according to one designer who’s dreamt up a solar battery that can be rolled up and slotted into your gadgets.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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NASA inks deal for ISS plasma drive tests

Plans to test a super-efficient plasma space drive aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been confirmed. The Ad Astra Rocket Company, which is developing the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), has announced the signing of an agreement for the tests with NASA.
Lewis Page, 17 Dec 2008

iPhone 3G finally unlocked

If an O2 contract’s all that’s standing in-between you and an iPhone 3G, then hardware hackers the iPhone Dev Team have a treat for you: an upcoming unlocking tool.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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Adobe sales are flat in tough market

Adobe Inc saw revenue rise less than one per cent to $915.3m from $911.2m, notching up its slowest growth in seven quarters for Q4.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008
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Motorola prepping four-strong phone launch?

Motorola has been pretty quiet of late, but the discovery of pictures of four potential new models could mean the manufacturer’s looking to kick-start 2009 with a bang.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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EA misled gamers with Wii Woods ad, says watchdog

Electronic Arts has been slapped on the wrists by the Advertising Standards Agency, following complaints that adverts for Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 on the Wii used footage from the Xbox 360 version of the game.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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IBM wins borders deal

The UK Border Agency has awarded a £3m contract to IBM to set up its immigration casework management system.
Kablenet, 17 Dec 2008
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Minister confirms low Lorenzo usage

Health minister Ben Bradshaw has acknowledged that so far just 24 people are using one of the core systems in the NHS National Programme IT (NPfIT).
Kablenet, 17 Dec 2008
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Economists: European ancestors are what make you rich

A pair of American economists believe they have found out the underlying factor which predicts which people will be rich and which ones poor. The men believe that the wealth of a country is directly related to what proportion of its population's ancestors lived in Europe five hundred years ago.
Lewis Page, 17 Dec 2008
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Censored scenes from the Congress WMD report

World at Risk, the final report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, received a good build-up. Its publicity stretched from reports outlining a draft of it in the Washington Post over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, with more news and private and public briefings the following week. We are, the general consensus went, in deadly danger.

Sony Rolly dancing MP3 player

Review The silence at the end of the phone was unusually ominous. “We've got something for you,” said the voice from Vulture Central. “Great - what is it?” Silence, then: “Just open the box when it arrives...”
Alun Taylor, 17 Dec 2008
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'Complacent' businesses turn blind eye on IP crime, says UK.gov

The government has accused UK businesses of not doing enough to protect their intellectual property.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008
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Three short papers about desktop TCO

Our weekly ransack of the Reg Whitepaper library yields three Wintel papers all promoting best desktop PC practice. First up is Intel and vPro, which has been a bit of a marketing flop and, in its first iteration, a tad lacking on the management front. Intel wants us all to look again at vPro for reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) and all round environmental goodness. And then to Microsoft for its seven-phase model of the enterprise lifecycle.
Team Register, 17 Dec 2008
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European Court OKs rich Finns text list

A company that sends text messages revealing the income of Finland's wealthiest citizens is subject to European data protection laws but could be protected by an exemption for journalism, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Dec 2008
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Don't delay: Delete your DNA today

Now that a European Court has decided that the retention of the DNA of innocent people is illegal - what should you do now?
David Mery, 17 Dec 2008
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Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

A bunfight has kicked off on the interwebs between fans of the teary-eyed winner of X Factor and fey, navel-gazing muso types who want their Hallelujah back.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008
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Western Digital hits the buffers

Western Digital has faced up to the deepening recession by announcing the loss of up to 2,500 jobs, executive pay cuts and the closure of manufacturing plants in Malaysia and Thailand.
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2008
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Mozilla hastily shoves Firefox updates out door

Mozilla has rushed out updates to plug a few critical holes in versions 2 and 3 of its popular open source Firefox browser.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008
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Best Buy sees dramatic Q3 profit shrinkage

US retail giant Best Buy saw Q3 profit plummet 77 per cent as consumer spending on electronic goods took a nosedive for the quarter.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Rail companies roll out barcode ticket standard

The UK's rail operators have agreed to adopt a national standard for electronic tickets with bar-codes, opening the way for train tickets on mobile phones to be accepted everywhere.
Bill Ray, 17 Dec 2008
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Yahoo! to! kill! most! search! engine! data! records! after! three! months!

Yahoo! has taken Microsoft’s demands for internet giants to slash the time they keep online search query data to six months, and raised it by anonymising most of the info after just 90 days.
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2008

How Warcraft reigned supreme in 2008

Another year gone, and Blizzard's World of Warcraft remains the unrivaled champion of the massive multiplayer online (MMO) genre, and - in many ways - PC gaming in general.
Austin Modine, 17 Dec 2008
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Sony prepping PSP 4000?

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) isn’t dead yet it seems, because Sony will launch yet another redesign of the handheld console next year, a tech source has claimed.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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Xbox iPhone to welcome Metal Gear Solid

We’ve got some bad news for Xbox gamers, but some good news for iPhone users. It turns out that Metal Gear Solid isn’t coming to the Microsoft console any time soon – despite suggestive messaging – and is instead set to launch on the Jesus phone.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008
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TV remote argument allegedly prompts stabbing

Register Hardware hacks get pretty defensive when someone ‘borrows’ their gadgets, but verbal exchanges are usually as heated as disagreements get. But a US man’s been stabbed, allegedly by his ex-girlfriend, in an argument over.. ahem... the TV remote.
James Sherwood, 17 Dec 2008

France liberates Jesus Phone from Orange

On 18 September, French mobile-phone carrier Bouygues Telecoms complained to the country's competition council, charging that the agreement between Apple and Orange - the main brand of France Telecom - violates basic principles of competition.
Rik Myslewski, 17 Dec 2008
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Sprint modem straddles 3G, WiMAX

Sprint has unveiled a wireless modem capable of jumping between its old-school CDMA cell network and the fledgling 4G WiMAX network it recently launched in Baltimore, Maryland.
Cade Metz, 17 Dec 2008
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Motorola to freeze pay rises, pensions

Motorola has announced that many of its workers won't get pay raises next year, that it's freezing US pension plans, and that it's suspending contribution-matching for employee retirement funds.
Austin Modine, 17 Dec 2008
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Leaked memo details Walmart iPhone

According to an arguably authentic-looking leaked memo procured "from a source within Walmart," the oft-rumored Walmart iPhone is a done deal, scheduled to appear on December 28th in a big box near you.
Rik Myslewski, 17 Dec 2008
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Microsoft's Live Search cash-back chief joins exodus

Microsoft's internet strategy involves either replacing all staff or ensuring things are so bad people just can't stand working there.
Gavin Clarke, 17 Dec 2008
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Yahoo! mocks Google Privacy Theatre

Analysis The privacy gap between Yahoo! and Google is greater than you think. It's not just that Yahoo! will anonymize user search data 6 months before Google anonymizes user search data. It's that Yahoo! anonymization is less nonsensical than Google anonymization.
Cade Metz, 17 Dec 2008
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New York 'iPod tax' incites media bleating

It's a sign of the digital times: New York's governor proposes a state budget that slashes spending on education and healthcare, lays off hundreds of workers, and increases taxes on everything from cigars to beer to luxury yachts, and most media reports focus on the proposal's misleadingly monikered "iPod tax."
Rik Myslewski, 17 Dec 2008
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Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Microsoft has issued a rare emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser as miscreants stepped up attacks targeting a vulnerability on hundreds of thousands of webpages.
Dan Goodin, 17 Dec 2008