29th > January > 2009 Archive

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5,000-year-old 'ice man' was shot to death

The final days of Oetzi, the Copper Age hunter whose frozen body was found preserved in an Italian glacier in 1991, were about as rough as they come.
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US Congress kills digital TV delay

The US House of Representatives today voted down a bill that would have delayed the States' changeover from analog to digital television broadcasting, a move that could shut down the boob tube for an estimated 6.5 million Americans in three weeks.
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Google shamed by Low Countries search

As Google and Yahoo! play Privacy Theatre, at least one search engine has realized your personal data is not a toy.
Cade Metz, 29 2009
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EC will force users to pick a Windows browser, says Microsoft

The European Commission may force PC users to choose between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and other browsers when they set up a new machine.
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GeoCluster - Windows from here to Timbuktu

Double-Take Software - which was founded to provide data replication for servers and their applications - has been transforming itself into a workload optimization and high availability software vendor. And like everyone else, Double-Take is trying to get into the virtualization game - not just to make money, but because servers are being virtualized and their virtual machines need a lot of the same resiliency that was originally provided for physical servers.
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Fujitsu sells out to Toshiba

Fujitsu has agreed to sell its hard disk drive (HDD) business to Toshiba, according to reports.

Asus ENGTX285 TOP overclocked graphics card

Review Asus' ENGTX285 TOP graphics card is based around Nvidia’s latest graphics chip, the GeForce GTX 285. This is the GT200b core, which is a die-shrink from 65nm to 55nm of the GT200 that was the basis for last summer's big Nvidia release, the GeForce GTX 280.
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Extreme pron vigilantes are after you

Just when you thought it was safe to dip your toe back in the waters of internet smut, along comes a bunch of vigilantes who could be about to make life a great deal more worrying. Or perhaps not - read on and make your own mind up.
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Capgemini tells contractors to bite 15 per cent cut

Capgemini has told contractors working on its Aspire contract to accept a 15 per cent cut or leave.
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Universal thaws out The Thing

Variety has confirmed chilling rumours that Universal was planning to remake The Thing - a project described as a "re-imagining" of the classic which first hit the big screen in 1951 and resurfaced in John Carpenter's excellent 1982 adaptation.
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Behaviour trumps 'non-waiver' clauses, says Court of Appeal

The Post Office was not allowed to walk away from a contract because it had continued to perform its duties for 11 months after the other company breached the contract, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
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The A-Team flies into Hollywood

Twentieth Century Fox has enlisted director Joe Carnahan to bring 1980s TV series The A-Team to the big screen, Variety reports.
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Dutch search engine ignores IP addresses

A Dutch search engine has become the first to operate without recording the address of the computer used to make the search. Ixquick said it had taken the move to protect users' privacy.
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NASA ponders Spirit's erratic behaviour

The team controlling NASA's Mars rover Spirit is planning to carry out some diagnostic tests on the venerable vehicle after it earlier this week indulged in some "unexplained behavior", as the agency puts it.
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WD financial platters spinning slower

Western Digital's financial platters are spinning markedly more slowly. Profits in its fiscal 2009 second quarter, which ended on 26th December 2008, more than halved from the year-ago quarter to $123m, and were then almost obliterated by a restructuring charge to just $14m. At least it was a profit.
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LIVE 2pm GMT today: BI for mid-market companies

Regcast Join The Register’s expert panel from 2pm GMT today for this live, free, interactive webcast on the role of IT in enabling business performance.
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'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

It appears that Twentieth Century Fox is none too pleased with Nancy Cartwright's use of Bart Simpson to punt an upcoming Church of Scientology event in a "robo-calling" recording.
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Symantec braces for economic downturn

Symantec's operating profits beat Wall Street forecasts, but the firm still recorded a $6.8bn third quarter loss because of write-downs.
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Nokia intros Classic trio

The annual Mobile World Congress - aka 3GSM - mobile phone shindig is less than a month away, but Nokia can’t wait until then to talk-up its latest phones. So it’s unveiled three new Classic-brand talkers.
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AMD upgrades VIP to VIP status

AMD has promoted VIP Computer Centre Ltd to Master Distributor status, following some successful campaigns by the components wholesaler to flog more AMD product.

Third-gen Apple iPhone in development?

iPhone fans, hold onto your hats. A block of XML in Apple's latest phone firmware has reignited rumours that a new version of the handset's in development.
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Force 1800 superhurricanes snapped on far-off world

Pic Californian astronomers have used a NASA orbital telescope to generate unique "photorealistic" imaging of a planet nearly 200 lightyears away while it swung close by its parent star, causing an "explosion" of terrifically powerful atmospheric storms as the far-off world heated up to 1200°C.
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Sony plans touchscreen Surface-like printer

Sony has submitted a patent application for a device featuring Microsoft Surface-like touch display technology alongside the ability to print out physical photographs.
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Graphics biz feels first real pain since 2000

Q4 2008 was a poor period for manufacturers of graphics chips: all of the key players experiencing sales slumps whether measured on a quarter-by-quarter or a year-on-year basis.
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iRiver Spinn media player

Review The iRiver Spinn seems to have been forged in the white heat of a fierce row about the merits of a touchscreen vs traditional controls. But rather than come down on one side of the fence or the other, iRiver seems to have ended the argument with a petulant 'fine, we'll have both then!'
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Falling chip sales cost more jobs

STMicro is laying off 4,500 people - one in ten of its workforce - and won't provide revenue guidance for next year until the market is clearer.
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Nokia eyes up innovators

Nokia has released details of the 11 finalists in its "Calling All Innovators" competition, picked from almost 1000 entrants and apparently focusing on applications that improve the quality of life on earth.
Bill Ray, 29 2009
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Vladimir Putin bitchslaps Dell-boy

Michael Dell might think twice about dishing out a sales pitch to a world leader in the future after Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin very publicly dissed his patronising offer of help.
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Carter pledges file sharing snoop laws

Digital Britain Lord Carter's interim report Digital Britain promises legislation to force ISPs to identify people using file sharing software, more promotion for DAB radio and a weakening of BT's universal service obligations.
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Digital Britain: A tax, a quango and ISP snooping

Digital Britain Did anyone expect more from Stephen Carter CBE? The former Ofcom boss and No.10 strategy chief (sic) has spent his career moving between the world of advertising and public relations, quangos and party. So it's no surprise that the "vision thing" involves a tax, a quango and a burden by private parties to snoop on the public. It's an administrator's answer.
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British Airways to enable mid-Atlantic texting

British Airways has announced that customers crossing the pond on their new service from City Airport to New York will be able to send text messages and access the internet from the middle of the Atlantic.
Bill Ray, 29 2009
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Kodak quietly unveils its latest compact

Without saying a word, Kodak has listed a new compact camera on its website: the 10.2Mp C180.
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IE8 Suggested Sites suggested to be snoopy

Privacy activists are crying foul over the "Suggested Sites" feature in IE8, but Microsoft insists concerns about the feature, such that it might be used to serve up targeted advertising or that it poses a security risk, are misplaced.
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UK.gov backs ISPs on charging content providers, throttling P2P

Digital Britain The government today rejected any prospect of US-style "net neutrality" laws to prevent ISPs from charging online content providers for traffic prioritisation, or from restricting bandwidth-hungry protocols such as BitTorrent.
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EU funds Antipodes-in-90-mins rocketliner concept

The EU is funding a radical German design for an exo-atmospheric rocketliner capable of making a daily run from Europe to Australia in ninety minutes. The plans might even include winged glider droptanks, recovered in midair after use by aerial tugs. The bad news is, the ship isn't realistically expected in service until 2075.
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Exploding core counts: Heading for the buffers

The top minds at IT analyst Gartner have been mulling over the ever-increasing number of cores on modern processors, and have come to a conclusion that many academic experts have already come to - boosting core counts to take advantage of Moore's Law is gonna run out of gas, and sooner rather than later, because software can't take advantage of the threads that chip makers can deliver. At least not running the current crop of systems and application software.
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Japan gets 3D phone

Since 3G networks and mobile phone-based wallets are run of the mill in Japan, the country’s network providers need to offer pretty advanced handsets if they want to snare more cash. So operator KDDI has unveiled a phone with a 3D display.
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Sky hints at 3D TV launch

Satellite broadcaster Sky has said that UK viewers could be treated to 3D broadcasts inside 24 months.
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UK to rely on mobile operators for universal broadband

Digital Britain The government will turn to mobile operators to deliver the commitment made by Lord Carter today that every home in the UK should be able to get 2Mbit/s broadband by 2012.
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Indian embassy website hack part of wider assault

The compromise of legitimate websites with hostile code ultimately designed to serve up malware onto the PCs continues apace, with the latest victims including the Indian embassy in Spain.

Intel consolidates European R&D

Chipzilla’s lame duck chairman has insisted that Intel will not be cutting jobs at its Irish unit after the firm announced a shake-up of its European R&D unit.
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Intel gives shareholders 'say on pay'

Intel has given shareholders a say on the size of its executive packages.
Cade Metz, 29 2009
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US House OKs Obama's IT stimulus

The U.S. economic stimulus bill espoused by President Obama - and a bunch of IT luminaries hoping to benefit from spending on infrastructure projects - was approved yesterday by the House and will now move on to the Senate.
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AOL lays off 10 per cent, freezes pay

AOL will lay off 10 per cent of its workforce, or about 700 people, to cope with an advertising slump from the US recession, according to a memo sent to employees Wednesday.

Mobile broadband or WiFi? You betcha

Our increasing appetite for sending and receiving data on the move fuels ever increasing need for wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi access and mobile broadband are usual ways of meeting this need. So what's best?
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Feds: IT admin plotted to erase Fannie Mae

A fired computer engineer for Fannie Mae has been arrested and charged with planting a malicious software script designed to permanently destroy millions of dollars worth of data from all 4,000 servers operated by the mortgage giant.
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Microsoft's Automatic Update - the way to browser competition?

Microsoft could restore competition in the browser market overnight by throwing open its Automatic Update service to Google, Mozilla, and Opera.
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CIA's Algeria chief recalled amid rape allegations

The CIA's top officer in Algeria has been recalled to Washington amid accusations he drugged and raped two women at his Algiers residence.
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Google gives world net test lab

Joining forces with some close friends, Google has given the world an online lab for testing the behavior of its internet connections.
Cade Metz, 29 2009
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Business Objects pioneer embraces open source BI

The founder, former chairman and chief executive of Business Objects has turned to open source for his latest venture in business intelligence.
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Amazon expands as etail shrinks

Unlike the average etailer, Amazon actually enjoyed the post-Meltdown holiday season.
Cade Metz, 29 2009