30th > December > 2008 Archive
Novo Minoru - the world's first 3D webcam
ReviewBig-name film directors Steven Spielberg and James Cameron seem to think that 3D is the future of the film industry. Sky predicts that it'll be broadcasting programmes in 3D within just a few years. And now you can get in on the act as well, thanks to Minoru – the world’s first 3D webcam.
Demise of British tank industry
CommentOh woe! The country which invented the tank (Blighty) may soon no longer have a tank industry! The end of yet another era is at hand. It's just like Concorde! And the Vulcan, Lightning, etc. Let gloom be unconfined - Santa won't be bringing any more British tanks for Christmas in years to come.
Google Calendar phishing scam surfaces
Fraudsters are using Google's Calendar service as a means to develop a new strain of phishing scam.
AMD details job cuts
AMD laid off 600 people in the fourth quarter of 2008, rather than the 500 it expected to let go.
Windows Media Player flaw denied
Researchers reckon a security bug in Windows Media Player creates a means for hackers to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems. However Microsoft has denied this, saying that the bug only creates a means to crash the software without posing a more damaging security risk.
Record industry refused Jammie Thomas appeal
The judge in the Jammie Thomas filesharing case has refused the Recording Industry Ass. of America's (RIAA) attempt to revive arguments that "making [music files] available" is copyright infringement.
Free wireless broadband boosted
FCC Chair Kevin Martin has proposed dropping the content-filtering requirement attached to the AWS band, in the hope that someone will build a network if they're not required to remove all the pornography.
HP caught flogging to Iran
HP has been selling printers via a third party distributor to Iran, in probable breach of US sanctions.
French get iPhones everywhere
French retailers have started selling iPhones, previously only available from network operator Orange, though at such a high mark-up that the offer is not that tempting.
Motor quango thumbsup for satnav speed restrictions
A new report from an influential quango looking into the idea of satnav speed governors for cars has come out in favour of such plans. The Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT), working with the Motorists' Forum, believes that useful safety gains and some carbon-emissions savings could be achieved by the use of the devices.
Health minister promises Rate-My-Doc! service
Ben Bradshaw, the UK health minister, wants the NHS Choices website to include a rate-your-doctor section where patients can mark their GP's skills, bedside manner and even post anonymous comments.
Kiwis deploy nut-crush powered jumbo
Air New Zealand says it has successfully carried out the first airliner flight test using "second generation" biofuel, manufactured from plants which don't require good farmland to grow. Such biofuels-2.0 potentially have no ill effects on food prices or deforestation, yet could seriously lower airlines' carbon numbers.
Ghost of Lennon punts laptops for kids
Fans of Ollie Reed's posthumous exit from Gladiator - digitally knocked together from outtakes after the hellraising thesp inconveniently popped his caligulae during filming of the Roman epic - will doubtless enjoy this punt for One Laptop Per Child, featuring a seamless performance from John Lennon:
Tiscali TV's Italian cousin gets whacked
Tiscali has told subscribers it will close its Italian IPTV service, raising questions over the future of its apparently unpopular UK equivalent.
Government pipedreams on internet ratings doomed to fail
Proposals by UK Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, to introduce cinema-style ratings for websites across the globe might benefit from a little more fact-finding and a little less rhetoric. On the other hand, the danger of open-minded research, is that it might just expose New Labour waffle to the harsh realities of how things actually work.
Google scrubs urinating woman from Street View
If you're ever caught short in broad daylight and decide you really must relieve yourself behind a parked car, it's probably a good idea to make sure there isn't one of Google's Orwellian Street View spymobiles lurking nearby:
Boffins bust web authentication with game consoles
Researchers have uncovered a weakness in the internet's digital certificate system that allows them to forge counterfeit credentials needed to impersonate virtually any website that relies on the widely used security measure.
Chilean anti-piracy law drafted on pirated software
Chilean lawyer Guillermo Frêne is having a bit of a bad hair day after it was revealed that draft legislation aimed at cutting the internet connections of illegal downloading ne'er-do-wells was presented in .doc format written on pirated software.
US only kidding about 'clear to fly' January deadline?
Do you feel lucky? Registration with ESTA, the US 'clear to fly' system for visa waiver programme travellers to the US, is currently optional, but as of 12th January becomes mandatory. Or possibly, not - sort of mandatory but not compulsory instead.
Bank robber leaves pay stub at scene of blag
Criminal mastermind Thomas Infante's bank-robbing days look to be over after he wrote a threatening note on the back of a pay stub and then left it at the scene of the heist - helpfully providing the FBI with his name and home address.
Sand storm menaces Scottish Highlands
Those of you up there in the Scottish Highlands who are bracing for the expected -130°C big chill predicted yesterday by the Daily Star would do well to add Bedouin protective headgear to your inclement weather clothing checklist, if the BBC's five-day forecast for Aviemore is correct:
German beaver escapes from Dartmoor
A German beaver being held prisoner behind an electric fence on Dartmoor has escaped, according to reports. The furry trunk-muncher is now carving a swathe of destruction through Cornwall, mowing down mighty trees like corn to satisfy its animal lusts.
Social networks talk hidden architectures
Social networks are almost pervasive. Even if you're not actually on one, it's becoming impossible to avoid hearing of them and often it's the same networks that keep popping up, such as Facebook or MySpace.
Microsoft eyes metered-PC boondoggle
Microsoft hopes to charge you for PC hardware and software in much the same way wireless carriers charge you for text messages.
LG trumpets 3G wristphone
LG Electronics has lately been trumpeting its plans to debut a 3G wristwatch phone with a touch screen technology at the Consumer Electronics show in January.
Glastonbury new-agers protest WiFi
The new-age residents of Glastonbury are up in arms about the council's deployment of WiFi, claiming the wireless networks are interfering with their chakras and generally getting them down.
Music labels in talks with Hulu
Several major record labels have recently discovered a global system of interconnected computer networks they believe could be used as a new platform for distributing musical videos.
Apple media server rumored for Macworld Expo
The pre-Macworld Expo rumor machine has been in low gear this year - perhaps due to Apple's SVP Phil Schiller taking over keynote duties from His Steveness - but thanks to 9to5Mac, we have a new bit of speculation to report: an internet-based media server from Apple.
iPhone gets Hong Kong eye transplant
If you're an iPhone owner who's disappointed with that oh-so-popular device's oh-so-limited camera, there's good news from Hong Kong gadgeteer USBfever: stick-on lenses.