29th > December > 2008 Archive
Comment So how are we going to get out of this recession thing, then? If we just cut interest rates to zero and crank up the printing presses, will everything return to being fine and dandy? Well, possibly, although I have to say that I personally severely doubt it. Such alarmingly simplistic Keynesian policies might help us along the way, but I don’t think that they’re the entire answer.
Review Now we're in the season of the long winter break, with its long train, car and plane journeys, we thought a comparison of some noise-cancelling headphones from Denon and Sennheiser would be timely.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been considering a topic which is close to our hearts, but which is not often discussed (not online, anyway) – that of the relationship between IT professionals in development and operations roles.
Christmas gifts of Samsung Digital Picture frames could come with the unwelcome gift of malware, Amazon has warned.
A US Department of Homeland Security privacy report published earlier this month reveals that the DHS remains in violation of both US law and the DHS-EU agreement on the handling of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. The report itself claims that the DHS is in compliance on both counts, but according to the Identity Project, it "contains multiple admissions that support exactly the opposite conclusion."
Security researchers have uncovered weaknesses in low-assurance digital certificates that create a means for miscreants to mount more convincing man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
The culture secretary Andy Burnham has suggested the UK should lead an international effort to introduce cinema-style age ratings on websites to prevent children accessing "unacceptable" material online.
Updated CastleCops, the volunteer security community, has called it a day.
Analysis In 2008, the wheels fell off the DAB digital radio platform. Last week, after a year of deliberation, the government’s Digital Radio Working Group concluded that outdated DAB technology should be the sole broadcast platform for UK radio, irrespective of global market conditions or the impractical cost of its implementation. Whilst nobody would argue against a digital future for radio, the Group's particular and peculiar vision of that digital future is more contentious. It recommends that existing FM and AM transmitters should be switched off, to be replaced by DAB, once radio listening has passed a threshold of 50 per cent via digital platforms. However, there are a number of challenges that would need to be overcome before such a plan could be realised.
Indian outsourcer Satyam has confirmed the departure of two directors and an early board meeting to discuss its future after a disastrous few weeks.
Terry Childs, the allegedly rogue sysadmin accused of locking San Francisco authorities out of their own network at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, will stand trial on four charges of tampering with a computer network.
NSFW If you think it's a bit nippy now in good old Blighty, you'd better get your thermal undies warming on the radiator because the worst is yet to come, according to the Daily Star:
Social networking sites will start going titsup in 2009, according to analysts, and may begin trying to charge users for the ability to publish videos of their cat playing the piano.
RBS WorldPay belatedly admitted last week that hackers broke into its systems.
Ian Tree, the chief architect at IT consultancy Hadleigh Marshall Netherlands b.v. of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has some free advice for IBM's Software Group: Take the Notes/Domino groupware stack open source with a community-developed programming model. The idea is to keep the Notes client and the Domino server relevant in a world becoming more accustomed to open source products.
Credit crunch and economic meltdown aside, if 2008 is remembered for anything in tech it will be for the domination of the phrase "cloud computing". The "cloud" was seized on by start-ups and tech giants rushing to catch the next wave or remain relevant.
The US Navy has settled a whale-saving lawsuit filed by environmentalists challenging the use of military sonar for testing and training exercises around the world, with both parties proclaiming victory.
With some 2 million-plus physical boxes still being shipped every quarter on a global basis, the server racket is still a pretty good one. In the first three quarters of 2008, vendors peddled some $40bn in gear, and if you use IDC data as a gauge, they've collectively managed to boost revenues by 3.5 per cent for the year so far. For all intents and purposes, the fourth quarter of 2008 is done in terms of server sales, but we won't know how well or how poorly vendors performed in Q4 for a few months yet. It takes time to dice and slice the numbers.
In the States, tech giants can't build their own electric-car-battery plant without begging the government for the money. But in Japan, things are different.
On Christmas day, the US Patent & Trademark Office slipped a little present under our collective trees: an Apple patent application entitled "Swipe Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards."
Although the rumors of a $99 iPhone 3G from Walmart recently died an ignominious death, that yearned-for two-digit price point has again resurfaced - and this time it's real. To make the deal even sweeter, if you buy before December 31 you can knock another fifty bucks off the price.
Intel has birthed a recession-friendly quad core mobile processor. And you can find one at the heart of a new Acer laptop. Maybe.
On Christmas Eve, South Korean game developer NCSoft received a lawsuit in its stocking from a Massachusetts firm that claims to hold an extremely broad patent for developing online virtual worlds.