2nd > February > 2009 Archive

The Register breaking news

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses.
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LG Prada II fashionista phone

Review Times have certainly changed since Prada's first touchscreen phone strutted into UK stores back in early 2007, bringing minimalist chic touch control to the fashion conscious, cash-splashing phone buyer months ahead of the iPhone’s arrival.
The Register breaking news

Judges: Don't know the law? It's understandable

The common assumption is that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" – but if a recent case in the Court of Appeal is anything to go by, even highly paid officers of the court are finding it increasingly difficult to know what the law says on any given matter.
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Microsoft says it again - no second beta for Windows 7

Microsoft has restated that its next milestone release for Windows 7 will be the Release Candidate test of the OS and not a second beta.
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Germany announces ITER fusion-reactor supercomputer

German supercomputing chiefs are chuffed to announce today that the Forschungszentrum Jülich supercomputing centre will provide the main computer for the ITER fusion reactor, the international effort intended to solve the human race's energy problems.
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Japan takes smile detection to new heights

Smile detection features on many compact cameras nowadays. But an offshoot of the technology’s now been designed to detect the strength of your subject’s smile.

Sony stands by 10m PS3 full-year sales forecast

Despite experiencing a dip in sales, Sony is adamant that it’ll achieve its goal of selling 10m PlayStation 3s by the end of its current financial year.
The Register breaking news
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Gov portal hits Teletext and Freeview

Directgov, the UK government's information website, is now available on your telly via Teletext and Freeview.
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Exploiting laptop connectivity

Business communications have never been better, so we are told. The combination of pervasive, high speed connectivity and a variety of portable devices untethers the workforce and enables real time communication, higher levels of responsiveness and better collaboration. In theory.
The Register breaking news

Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt

England was plunged into a Siberian winter this morning with train company websites frozen right across the South East.
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Netbooks: A bit popular

If you have a desktop or notebook computer and are aged between 25 and 55, there's nearly a one in five chance you have already bought a netbook.
The Register breaking news

Subatomic nanoholograms smash 1-bit-per-atom barrier

Imperceptibly tiny news from the world of nano-publishing today, as a new record has been set by American scientists for exceedingly small writing. Boffins at Stanford University say they have managed to write "SU" in letters smaller than atoms.
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Pentax unveils hundred-quid 10Mp compact

In years gone by, £100 didn't get you many megapixels for your money. But Pentax has expanded the cheap compact camera market with a feature-rich shooter.
The Register breaking news
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Black hats poison Google video search

Miscreants have poisoned Google Video search results in a bid to trick the unwary into getting infected with malware.
The Register breaking news

HMRC bigs up success of online tax returns

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has hailed a record response from the number of taxpayers filing their self-assessment tax returns online this year, even though some people have claimed they were unable to access the system.
The Register breaking news

Arizona Super Bowl fans cop eyeful of todger

An Arizona TV company has described itself as "dismayed and disappointed" that some cable viewers of its Super Bowl feed were treated to a short excerpt from a grumble flick "just after the last touchdown by the Arizona Cardinals".
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AMD Phenom II Socket AM2+ CPU

Review AMD has updated its quad-core Phenom processor with a die-shrink from 65nm to 45nm. The first fruits of this labour are the 3.0GHz Phenom II X4 940 and the 2.8GHz Phenom II X4 920, which are both clocked higher than the 2.6GHz Phenom X4 950 so the die shrink has an immediate benefit in terms of raw clock speed.
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NetApp kills off StoreVault

It always was a mystery why hotshot channel head Leonard Iventosch suddenly left NetApp last summer. Perhaps this sheds some light, though - NetApp has just announced the end of life for its main SME channel product, the S Family, formerly known as StoreVault. Users are complaining of being shafted.
The Register breaking news

Fresh privacy fears over IE 8 Suggested Sites

A top security researcher has called for Microsoft to rethink aspects of its Suggested Sites feature in IE8. The optional feature in the next version of Microsoft's browser allows users to "discover websites you might like based on sites you've visited", as Microsoft explains it.
The Register breaking news
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DARPA seeks Transformer helicopters

Pentagon crazytech researchers look to be revisiting a long-speculated-upon idea: that of helicopter blades which could extend or shorten in length during flight. This would offer major performance benefits, and such options as whisper mode or easier operations in confined spaces.
The Register breaking news

Tories choose sub-prime beard for maths post

The Tory party has chosen ex-Countdown presenter and secured loan advertiser Carol Vorderman to provide a public face for the party's "Maths Taskforce".
The Register breaking news

Brand sponsors - 'The most worrying trend in music'

Sponsorship by corporate brands will replace the disappearing record label, Avril Lavigne's manager Terry McBride told us one soggy summer day last year.
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Unannounced Motorola spied online

Talk of a Motorola handset unofficially dubbed the ZN300 has been heard before. But the first image of what’s claimed to be the device itself has now been leaked online.
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Xbox 360 NXE fix inbound?

Numerous gamers have reported audio issues since installing the New Xbox Experience (NXE). But a solution could be en route, following rumours of a Microsoft-designed fix.
The Register breaking news
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Rich-interface patterns get Quince treatment

Infragistics is today expected to open an online community for creating and storing patterns to build rich interfaces using Microsoft and other technologies.
The Register breaking news

BBC pumps 60 quid a head into Gaelic

The BBC's Gaelic-language channel, BBC Alba, has seen its audience drop by a third since launch, with further drops expected as Scottish politicians desperately try to be seen doing something about the death of Gaelic.
Bill Ray, 02 2009
The Register breaking news
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Lloyds sorry for phone problems

Lloyds has apologised to customers unable to use its telephone banking system yesterday.
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Sony taps veins for better biometrics

Sony has unveiled the next step in biometric security: a camera-based system that analyses veins in your fingers.
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Woolies to be resurrected as online-only store

Woolworths has been given the kiss of life as an online-only store after Shop Direct bought the now defunct UK High Street retailer’s brand name.
The Register breaking news
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Blind phone phreaker coughs to harassment charges

A legally blind phone phreaker has admitted prank phonecall and hacking charges.
The Register breaking news

Ares I manned rocket section explodes in testing

NASA has announced a successful test related to its new Ares I astronaut-carrying rocket, the planned successor to the space shuttle. A key part of the structure, critical to safe parachute recovery of the discarded first stage, successfully blew itself up last week during a trial on the ground in Utah.
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Woman jailed for texting while driving

If you’ve ever wondered what the point of phone applications blocking you from driving and texting are, just ask 21-year-old Philippa Curtis.
The Register breaking news

Mac flirts with 10 per cent web share

Web-use statistics prove that the Mac continues to gain market share from Windows-based PCs.
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Ex-IntelCrayAkamai startup rejiggers virtualization

RNA Networks - a startup based in server development hotbed Portland, Oregon - has launched a stack of systems software that provides memory virtualization and pooling for servers that are connected by a network.
The Register breaking news

Three hospital worm infection dubbed 'substantive failure'

A worm attack that forced three London hospitals to shut down their computer networks late last year was entirely avoidable and represented a major failing by the organizations' IT staff, according to an independent review of the incident.
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Gears of War grind to halt

A digital certificate that expired Wednesday ground Gears of War to a halt last week, leaving many unable to launch the original PC-version of the first person shooter until Epic Games works out a fix.
The Register breaking news
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Novell cuts 1000 100 workers

As layoffs go, the ones that took place last week at commercial operating system maker Novell were pretty small, and a lot less than was originally reported out there on the Web.
The Register breaking news

Windows Vista stuck on single digit enterprise adoption

Legacy versions of Windows continue to dominate enterprise computing, with Windows Vista having moved very little in the last half year.
The Register breaking news
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Microsoft fortifies IE8 against new XSS exploits

Engineers in Microsoft's Internet Explorer group continue to refine a new security feature designed to block malicious scripts that can be injected into trusted websites to steal email and account credentials. Judging from the magnitude of the problem, their task may never be completed.
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Intel to spill Nehalem secrets

It's the beginning of a new year, and that means chip makers will soon show off their wares at the annual International Solid State Circuits Conference, which runs next week in San Francisco. This time around, Intel pretty much owns the show as far as microprocessors are concerned,
The Register breaking news

Adobe claims Apple 'collaboration' on iPhone Flash

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has spun yet another pirouette in his company's dance with Apple regarding the development of a Flash player for the iPhone.
The Register breaking news

Transmeta IP sold to not-patent troll

Transmeta - the low-power chip supplier that tried to make netbook silicon before there was a market for netbooks - is officially dead and picked apart. The company's $255m acquisition by Novafora closed late last week and a good chunk of the its patent portfolio jumped to the IP licensing firm, Intellectual Ventures.
The Register breaking news
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Sun taps ex-Merrill, ex-Fannie Mae exec for board

If you were an investment management firm with a big stake in Sun Microsystems, and if you had arranged with the IT vendor to get two independent board members added to the board of directors, where would you look for them?