26th > January > 2009 Archive


AMD keeps promise with fresh Shanghai

AMD has ramped up its 45 nanometer chip making process, delivering lower-voltage and higher-clock-speed variants of its "Shanghai" Opteron processors. These Shanghai chips are coming to market just when AMD said they would, representing a tiny bit of good news in a twelve-month cycle that has been pretty hard on AMD, its partners, and its shareholders.

Nokia N79 smartphone

Review We reviewed Nokia's N78 back in the summer of 2008 and even in the quick turnover world of mobile phones it almost seems a little too soon to be looking at its successor. But here it is, looking leaner, fitter and offering some significant improvements – it's almost as if Nokia just couldn't wait to get it out there.
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Thames windfarm execs: We need more subsidy

One of the firms participating in the London Array project, under which the world's biggest offshore wind farm would be built in the outer Thames Estuary, has questioned the scheme's economic viability.
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Yahoo! freezes! pay!!

Yahoo! is freezing all staff pay, blaming the tough ad market.
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Microsoft Songsmith ad trumps Seinfeld shocker

Those of you who are still recovering from exposure to Microsoft's Seinfeld advertising campaign are advised to look away now, because Redmond has pulled off the impossible and produced something worse - a "pseudoinfomercial" so profoundly traumatising it could "make you want to kill your family", as Gawker.com puts it:

CommVault first to de-dupe to tape

CommVault has updated its data protection and management product Simpana so it can store de-duplicated data on tape - something no other product does.

RIM chief: buggy smartphones the 'new reality'

A Research In Motion (RIM) executive has admitted that malfunctioning smartphones are now par for the course, thanks in part to the complexity and high-volume production of devices like the BlackBerry Storm.
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Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely

Feeling unsafe in your life? Looking for reassurance? The Metropolitan Police Service can help you with a touchy-feely new innovation. It's called stop and search.

Expansys leaks Samsung talker trio

Online phone retailer Expansys has leaked details of three Samsung phones set to launch early this year, including one running Windows Mobile 6.5.
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Absolutely Fabulous ups sticks to LA

Fox has picked up a pilot for a US version of cult comedy Absolutely Fabulous, the Jennifer Saunders creation which ran for five series plus specials on the BBC, but has to date defied attempts to rehash it for the transatlantic market.

Microsoft merges Windows Live with Office Live

Microsoft will fold its less than successful Office Live product into its less than successful Windows Live product, presumably to allow the increasingly cash-sensitive firm to rein in costs.
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Conficker botnet growth slows at 10m infections

Infections as a result of the infamous Conficker (Downadup) worm have peaked at around the 10m PC mark.

Samsung LE40A786 'smart LED' 40in LCD TV

Review When flatscreen TVs first arrived, they were expensive and had picture quality considerably inferior to traditional CRT screens. But they meant that large screens were a possibility without taking up acres of real estate in the living room. And although picture quality wasn't so good, the TVs looked great with the picture off. Better, often.
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Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'

Fail and You Linux will never make any meaningful headway into the desktop. Nope, never. I could cite market share numbers, growth figures, and total cost of ownership studies, but none of that matters (plus, it's boring). Linux will never, ever defeat Windows because Windows has the little blue E.

Games outsold home video formats in 2008

Global sales of videogames outweighed those of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs combined for the first time last year, according to market analysts.
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Accusations fly as another Nominet director quits

Nominet, the not-for-profit in charge of the .uk domain registry, will drop a High Court action against one of its own directors after a boardroom battle culminated in his resignation last week.
hands waving dollar bills in the air

NetApp - just like perfection?

Talking to NetApp about storage is like entering a holiday village where everything is well-ordered, well-run, efficient and clear-cut. The world outside can be messy and confusing, but inside the holiday village gates the lawns are mowed, the pavements clean, everything is signposted clearly and it's all consistent. Why would you ever want to leave?

Satyam shortlists bosses and banks

Satyam's board of directors is expected to announce a new CEO and CFO this week, and is also close to finding short-term funding.
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Iron Maiden axe cut ribbon on 'rock’n’roll' hotel

Iron Maiden's management and nightclub owner Mark Fuller are poised to cut the ribbon on the £6.5m Sanctum Soho Hotel - a 30-room London sanctuary for rock stars boasting paparazzi-busting security operatives, receptionists clad entirely in black and minibars cunningly housed in speaker stacks.
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Deviants, perverts, 'weirdos' - who's going down?

Comment The die is cast. From today, it is illegal to possess "extreme porn" - though exactly what that means, despite two years of debate, is still unclear.
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UK.gov opens up delayed child protection database

The government said it had today finally begun training local authority officials to run the new ContactPoint database, which will contain personal information all 11m children in England and Wales, after months of delays and political controversy.
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Spam volumes increase to pre-McColo takedown levels

Junk mail levels are back to 80-90 per cent of their volumes prior to the takedown of infamous junk mail-friendly ISP McColo in November 2008 last year.
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Gov announces Severn tide-energy scheme shortlist

The government has announced its shortlist of ways to exploit the tidal energy of the Severn estuary, potentially one of the richest renewable-energy resources in the world.
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Open source anti-Semitic as well as communist shock

We've long known that "open source" is a just a mechanism for espousing communist philosophy, but for the anti-Semitic angle we're grateful to yesterday's mailing from the Openmoko project, which explained that President Obama is simply a shill for a Zionist comspiracy.
Bill Ray, 26 2009
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Watchdog issues DABetamax warning

The Consumers Association has reminded punters they can take DAB radios back to the store for a refund - and put the stores on notice against misleading punters. The reminder follows Ofcom's decision to allow consumer electronics retail chains to fit signal digital radio boosters, to help them shift digital radio sets.

Microsoft delays Iowa data centre plans

Microsoft has halted construction in West Des Moines, Iowa where it recently purchased land to build a huge data centre.

Study slams brain-training games' mental improvement claims

A survey has concluded that brain-training games don’t provide the rigorous mental workout you may have thought they did.

PSP Carnival Colours come to town

Few would disagree that the games industry is a colourful business. But it looks set to become even more so, thanks to Sony’s creation of four colourful PlayStation Portables - and, potentially, a redesigned Xbox 360 from Microsoft.
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NASA working on boomless supersonic jets

NASA has announced the completion of a series of flight tests aimed at reducing the "sonic boom" effect, one of the major downsides of supersonic aircraft.

Veteran F1 designer readies 'affordable' sportster

'Leccy Tech Early in 2008, former McLaren and Jordan F1 designer Jim Dowle announced that his company, JJAD, would make a bespoke two-door sports car called the P1. It has now been announced that it will be an electric sports car, so consider our ears officially pricked up.
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Sprint Nextel chops 8,000 workers

When the big banks in the US needed a bailout, Congress had very little trouble coming up with $700bn rescue funds; but when the rest of the economy is waiting for a little stimulus and a new president has the political capital and the need to push through a broad infrastructure improvement spending package, members of Congress are either dragging their heels or stomping their feet.
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Rogue contractor admits Oz gov hack attacks

An Australian has admitted causing AUS$1m in damage after hacking into the computer systems of the Northern Territory Government and deleting records of thousands of civil servants.
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BT going mobile - again?

The Guardian is reporting that UK former-monopoly BT has been having discussions with T-Mobile and 3 about launching a mobile-phone network.
Bill Ray, 26 2009
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Windows 7 public beta end date named

You've got just over two weeks to download the Windows 7 beta from Microsoft, as Redmond starts winding-down the public testing process.

Apple to pay $22.5m for scratched iPods

Apple will pay $22.5m into a settlement fund to compensate buyers of early-release first-generation iPod nanos. You see, these nanos had displays that were easily scratched.
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Philips admits first loss in six years

Royal Philips Electronics reported its first quarterly loss in nearly six years, prompting the consumer electronics giant to announce plans to cut 6,000 jobs worldwide in 2009.
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Kanye West blames Gmail hijack for bisexual porn hoax

Kanye West says someone has taken control of his Twitter. Not to mention his Gmail and MySpace accounts.
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Mac malware tide on the rise

Less than a week after researchers spotted new malware targeting naive Mac users, two additional titles have been spotted.
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Google and the Great Wikipedia Feedback Loop

Google's Wikidependence is worse than ever. And Jorge Cauz thinks it's time for an intervention.
Cade Metz, 26 2009

Microsoft's Windows Vista 'Capable' bill could hit $8.5bn

A Microsoft marketing scheme persuading consumers to buy PCs "capable" of running Windows Vista could cost more money than Microsoft made from the program.
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WTO backs US in Chinese piracy dispute

The World Trade Organization has said that China should change its copyright and anti-counterfeit laws to provide better legal protection to foreign products, based on trade complaints filed by the US government.
fingers pointing at man

IBM sends Blue Clouds back to school

While cloud computing might represent a return of sorts to a shared, host computing model that was pioneered by companies like IBM, a lot of the key research, development, and production work done on cloud computing has been done by the big names in hyperscale, Web 2.0 applications: Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and the like. It's tough for a meat-and-potatoes, server-and-operating-system vendor like Big Blue to figure out how to get its hands on some money in this cloud racket. Just like it was difficult, at least during the first few years of the boom, for the company to get its piece of the dot-com pie.