27th > January > 2009 Archive

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14-year-old charged with impersonating Chicago PD

A 14-year-old boy from Chicago has been charged with impersonating a police officer after dressing up in a copper's regulation uniform and reporting for duty at the city's Grand Crossing District station.
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Obama reverses Dubya's tailpipe emissions

Unlike the W that preceded him, President Barack Obama believes that US states should have the right to set their own limits on the greenhouse gases spewed from cars and trucks.
Cade Metz, 27 2009
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TI profits sink 95 per cent in 2008

Texas Instruments has added to the crowd of tech workers clogging their local unemployment offices, announcing that 3,400 of its employees would soon become part of the growing US out-of-workforce.
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Kiwi finds US military secrets on 'MP3 player'

A New Zealand man has been declared the latest winner of find-the-USB-device-containing-classified-government-data hide-and-seek.
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Microsoft's IE 8 beta adds 'special' list

Microsoft has issued a third Internet Explorer 8 beta that includes a list of compatible websites for users less than "web savvy".
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User-generated reviews - blessing or bull?

Analysis Last week, connectivity-hardware maker Belkin admitted that one of its employees had been using Amazon's Mechanical Turk hiring service to pay for positive - and false - reviews of Belkin products.
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Deutsche Telekom births cloud broker

The cloud computing market is not even really a market yet, but a startup spun out of Deutsche Telekom wants to set itself up as cloud buy/sell broker of cloudy resources.
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Dell posts user guide for unseen tablet

Dell has published the service manual for an upcoming tablet PC on its website.
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Edifier Luna 5 iPod speaker

Review MP3 player speaker rigs aren't exactly rare these days, but they have an annoying habit of falling into two categories. On the one hand, you have the 'sounds great but blow me its expensive' devices such as B&W's Zeppelin. On the other, you have nasty little 80-quid plastic boxes that have all the audio fidelity of two empty baked bean cans tied together with a length of string and the visual appeal of a breeze block.
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Red Dwarf finally returns to Earth

It's taken them 21 years, but this Easter the crew of Red Dwarf will finally return to Earth in a two-part special which reunites many of the original cast.

2TB drives arrive down under

Unable to prevent stocked Australian suppliers releasing details, Western Digital has effectively pre-announced its record-breaking 2TB Caviar Green drive.
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Phoenix remains on song despite flat Q3 sales

Phoenix IT expects its Q3 to be in line with expectations despite posting flat sales for the quarter and seeing a three per cent drop in its orders.
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NHS told to prepare to ditch care records

The Public Accounts Committee says that if the NHS Care Records Service is not ready in six months, the government should consider funding alternatives
Kablenet, 27 2009
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ING cuts jobs as exhausted boss quits

Dutch bank ING is cutting headcount and renegotiating IT contracts in a desperate effort to cut costs.
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UK donates Leo Sayer to Oz

The United Kingdom has raised no objection to the release of Leo Sayer from the bonds of British citizenship, and the crooner yesterday celebrated Australia Day by becoming a full-fat Aussie, the Beeb reports.
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PhonepayPlus gets stern on premium raters

Mobile phone content providers who charge more than £4.50 a week for their services must seek the permission of premium rate regulator PhonepayPlus to operate, under new rules which take immediate effect.
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Developer denies malicious Android app allegation

The developer of a controversial memory-boosting smartphone application has hit back at claims his software damages phones based on Google’s Android OS.
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VMware results virtually untouched by recession

VMware turned in solid fourth quarter and full year results, growing in spite of the recession as server and desktop consolidation cost-saving projects remain popular with customers.
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Humvee with frikkin laser on it takes out killer robot

US aerospace leviathan Boeing was delighted yesterday to announce that its Humvee-mounted "Laser Avenger" deathray weapon had shot down a small drone aircraft.
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UK cops' road accident reporting going paperless

The British police road accident reporting and mapping system is to go paperless, it has been announced. Officials believe that replacing paper forms with electronic ones on mobile terminals will allow faster and more accurate identification of trouble spots.
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Spammers target Twitter

After undermining the usefulness of email, turning newsgroups into a forum for promoting sex sites and filling blog comment sections with adverts for penis pill adverts and get rich quick schemes, spammers have set their sights on a new target - Twitter.
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Modular LG phone spied online

Leaked pictures of a previously unseen LG phone have led to rumours that the firm’s developed a modular device that supports a range of plug-in accessories.
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Geeks re-invent breakfast

We all know breakfast’s the most important meal of the day. So ditch your cafe-bought Marmite toastie and cook yourself a slice in the Wii-inspired toaster.
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Niche storage suppliers hold the line in recession

Comment Niche storage suppliers are going great guns in the recession while broad product line suppliers, like IBM and EMC, are suffering.
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Microsoft's Equipt kill date remains MIA amid retail carnage

Microsoft has yet to administer the coup de grace to its Equipt subscription software package two months after it confirmed it would dump the service.
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Doner kebabs: Death wrapped in pitta bread

Those of you with a penchant for the traditional post piss-up English delicacy of doner kebab might do well to keep a defibrillator to hand - if the results of a study by council food standards officers are anything to go by.
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DAB growth turns negative

Sales of DAB radio have reached an unwelcome landmark, figures published this week reveal. Sales fell 10 per cent in the final quarter of 2008, compared to 2007, Ominously, this is the first ever quarter of year-on-year negative growth since DAB sales figures were first published six years ago.

Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB hard drive

Review Western Digital will break new ground later this month when its 2TB Caviar Green WD20EADS hard drive goes on sale. Seagate packed 1.5TB into its Barracuda 7200.11 drive by using four platters and eight heads, but WD has gone a step better and squeezed 33 per cent more storage capacity into the same space.
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PSP 2 rumours surface - again

Like an ageing relative sitting atop a multimillion-pound inheritance, rumours of a PlayStation Portable 2 just refuse to die. But allegedly “credible sources” have now confirmed in an online report that, yes, a new model is definitely coming.
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iPhones will win the war in Afghanistan, says NATO chief

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has said that progress is being made in the international community's battle against terror in Afghanistan - and that progress is being made by iPhones.
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O2 and Be customers suffer network congestion

O2 and Be broadband subscribers are reporting severe network slowdown in the evening and that some online games are unplayable, sparking rumours the pair have deployed bandwidth-throttling equipment.
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US mulls clicks for cameraphones

Dumb law of the day comes from the US where consideration is being given to making it illegal to sell cameraphones which do not make a click noise when a still picture is taken.
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Glasgow Cops pound Facebook to blunt knife crime

Strathclyde Police are confronting their trainee bobbies with the harsh realities of 21st century policing by making them trawl Facebook looking for ne'er-do-wells flashing knives and other offensive items.
Joe Fay, 27 2009
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Easy updates best for browser patching

Easy update mechanisms have a far greater effect on browser patching than perceived threats or other factors, according to a new study by Google and Swiss academics.
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Apple awarded iPhone patent

Apple has been granted a patent for touchscreens and related technologies, many of which have been combined to make up the iPhone.
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Tories put toes on Linux bandwagon

The Tory party will if elected end government over-spending on IT projects by simply choosing open source alternatives and splitting projects up, it believes.
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Fraunhofer boffins tout new 'diamondballs' mech tech

German boffins at the famed Fraunhofer Institutes - developers of mp3 audio compression, among other things - are now working on another critical technology. To wit: bearings covered in ultrahard coatings of artificial diamond.
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Microsoft IE8 rolls out the astroturf

Microsoft is hawking the near-ready version of its Internet Explorer 8 browser at its staff in a desperate attempt to snatch back some of Mozilla’s growing market share.

GM to convert Volts to Amps in Europe

'Leccy Tech Unable to contain itself until 5 March, General Motors has announced that the European incarnation of its Chevrolet Volt five-door will be called the... drum roll, please... Ampera.
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EMC profits down - but it is a profit

Looking at the final quarter and full year numbers, laid-off EMC workers could be thinking that they didn't need to be fired at all. The company made a full year profit (GAAP net income) of $1.35bn, $288m of that in the final quarter, when demand dropped like a stone.
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BNT blade switches track live VM migration

Blade Network Technologies is breathing a sigh of relief. Today, the Nortel spin-off launched upgrades to its blade server switches designed to automatically cope with network settings as virtual machines are live migrated around physical servers inside a blade chassis.
The Register breaking news

Apple threatens Palm chomp

Palm has demonstrated it can still create truly compelling devices, but Apple wields a significant patent portfolio in the area and has made it clear that it isn't afraid to use it. So will Palm's success simply fill the Cupertino coffers?
Bill Ray, 27 2009
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Seven Japanese poisoned by blowfish 'nads

Seven Japanese gourmets in the northern city of Tsuruoka required hospital treatment after ill-advisedly ordering grilled blowfish testicles at a restaurant not licensed to serve potentially-fatal fugu, as the piscine delicacy is known locally.
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MyBarackObama profile hack punts malware

Virus authors are exploiting a website associated with President Barack Obama in order to distribute a Trojan.
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Verizon profits pumped 15 per cent

Profits at Verizon Communications jumped 15 per cent in the fourth quarter as folks continue to numb their sorrows about the troubled economy with television, the internet, and wireless communications.
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Microsoft boasts 'out of box' IE8 clickjack protection

Analysis Microsoft has beefed up its latest Internet Explorer browser with an "out of the box" feature that it says will protect users against a serious class of attacks that allows maliciously controlled websites to manipulate the links visitors click on.

Apple massages iPhone code

Apple today released iPhone Software version 2.2.1, promising improvements in Safari and Mail.
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Google 'GDrive' revisits tech-pundit G-spot

The GDrive rumors have resurfaced. Yet again. And true to form, at least one tech pundit is predicting that Google's alleged online storage extravaganza will murder the personal computer.
Cade Metz, 27 2009
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IBM whittles x64 iron prices

IBM's x64 server business took it on the chin pretty hard in Q4, and today, it formally price cuts for companies who buy direct from Big Blue. The price cuts are probably not an indication of the discounting levels that big enterprises get, but they do show that IBM understands it must compete on price as well as features if it wants to chase the SMB customer.
The Register breaking news

ISS astronauts lose 'alarming' amounts of hipbone strength

Humanity's conquest of the stars may never arrive by the jaunty strides of a Flash Gordon or Dan Dare. Alas, Earth's future finest will likely hobble out the pod bay door on feeble old-lady hips.
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Sun goes eco-friendly with data center compression

Sun Microsystems has been showing off it knows how to build an eco-friendly, efficient data center in the hope it can scare up a little business helping other companies cope with their own inefficient centers.