12th > February > 2009 Archive

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Elevator music files for Chapter 11

Muzak isn't just musically bankrupt. It's financially bankrupt.
Cade Metz, 12 2009
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Gmail adds location-aware signatures

Google must be on a location-aware kick this month. Just a week after the search firm released its Latitude mobile device friend-tracker, Google Labs has a new tool that lets Gmail automatically include your location in an e-mail's signature.
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Cuba crafts extra-communist Linux distro

Cuba has launched its own Linux variant, dubbed Nova.
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Barcelona boffin births swarming microrobots

ISSCC Microrobotics just took a giant step toward reality, according to a paper presented at this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.
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New Windows virus attacks PHP, HTML, and ASP scripts

Researchers have identified a new strain of malware that can spread rapidly from machine to machine using a variety of infection techniques, including the poisoning of webservers, which then go on to contaminate visitors.
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Silverlight for Linux hits with Microsoft punch

An open-source version of Silverlight has been released with Microsoft's support, as Flash rival Adobe began crowing about the new media player's death.
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Kids online: Parents need to regulate, says Ofcom

Parents should take greater responsibility for what their children get up to on the internet, according to Jeremy Olivier, Ofcom’s Head of Convergent Media.
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BT profits crash

BT's pre-tax profit fell 81 per cent compared to the third quarter of last year.
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Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

A defunct Russian satellite has collided in orbit with another from the Iridium satcomms fleet, according to reports. Both spacecraft were wrecked, creating two large clouds of hazardous high-speed debris. The International Space Station (ISS) is not thought to be in danger, however.
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Software body slams uk.gov's 'special treatment' of music biz

The Government's Digital Britain plan is a failure that gives favourable treatment to the music business and props up failed business models, a software trade body has said.
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Tesla names Model S rollout date

'Leccy Tech Tesla has finally set a date for the unveiling of a road-usable prototype of its four-door Model S electric car. The date? 26 March. The place? The Tesla Design Studio inside the SpaceX factory in Hawthorn, California.
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NetApp restructures after $75m loss

NetApp a turned in $75m loss in the third quarter after corporates went on a buying strike and the firm took a $128m hit from a dispute with a US government agency
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McKinnon UK trial decision delayed

A decision on whether or not to prosecute Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon in the UK may come later than expected.
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Bletchley Park fires up Big Green-Eyed Monster

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has announced the revitalisation of two PDP11-based radar stations which, as part of the IRIS investigative radar recording system, for 25 years helped control the UK's airspace from "without a single incident ever being attributed to an Air Traffic Control failing".
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NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution

Counter Terror Expo News of a possible viable business model for P2P VoIP network Skype emerged today, at the Counter Terror Expo in London. An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic.
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Garmin-Asus unveils M20 Nüvifone

A partnership between Garmin and Asus to develop mobile phone-cum-satnav devices has resulted in a new addition to the existing Nüvifone range: the M20.

Apple White MacBook Early 2009

Review Recession or no recession, Apple’s latest set of quarterly financial results saw the company top $10bn in sales for the first time ever. As well as selling zillions of iPhones and iPods, it also increased Mac sales by almost ten per cent. That growth was largely down to the success of its MacBook range of laptops, which were completely redesigned and upgraded in October 2008.
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'World's first' eco satnav hits the road

The new Econav satnav can’t make calls like Garmin-Asus’ M20 Nüvifone can, but maker Vexia has promised that its navigation device will help cut your carbon emissions.
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BlackBerry seduces punters but not profits

RIM, owner of the BlackBerry brand and service, has increased projections for subscriber growth, but still expects revenue to come in at the lower end of expectations.
Bill Ray, 12 2009
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Capgemini reports flat 2008 revs, expects 'modest' decline

IT consultancy firm Capgemini now expects to see a “modest” drop in its first half sales, but hopes to keep its operating margin above 6.5 per cent despite the global economic downturn.
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Pioneer unplugs tellies and 10,000 workers

Gadget maker Pioneer is axing jobs and pulling out of making flatscreen tellies because "there are no prospects for improving profitability under current conditions".
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MI5 to get unmanned 'manned unmanned' robo spyplanes?

Counter Terror Expo In a confusing tech-pendulum backswing, it has now emerged that so-called "manned unmanned" spy aircraft are now able to operate without a crew. Yes, that's right: the unmanned manned unmanned robotic surveillance plane has arrived.
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Nokia chops and changes for cost-efficiency

Nokia will close its Jyväskylä product-development site by the end of 2009, and scale back its Salo site - a shame for those who got relocated there in the last round of cuts.
Bill Ray, 12 2009
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Spotify: We kick the tyres

Review Spotify, which opened up to all UK users this week, is a streaming music access service that's gathered an ecstatic response from some users. It's even "made illegal file sharing look like too much hard work" according to one Reg commenter. That's a pretty big claim - but then it's a pretty ambitious service. So what it is Spotify, and how does it stack up? And in an unforgiving commercial environment, will it last longer than a bat of a eyelid?

Pioneer turned off HD TV

Kuro TVs look set to become something of a collector’s item, because Pioneer has announced plans to leave the telly market.

Sony plans movie+game dual-media Blu-ray Discs

Blu-ray Discs holding both games and movies will be launched for the PlayStation 3 this year, a Sony executive has said.
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Police drop investigation into 'rent-a-Lords'

The Metropolitan Police has ended its investigation into four peers - Lord Moonie, Lord Truscott, Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Snape - in part because getting evidence was proving too difficult.
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Photography rights: Snappers to descend on Scotland Yard

Comment The individual right to take photographs is being threatened, and distrust of police and government motives in respect of photography is growing. On Monday, the issue will be defiantly, peacefully raised as a mass demonstration, supported by comedian Mark Thomas, converges on New Scotland Yard to assert the right of snappers to take pictures.
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What did you do on Emergency Services day?

Having agreed on a cross-Europe emergency services number, 112, the EU was shocked to discover that hardly anyone in Europe knew it, and so declared yesterday, February 11, to be "European 112 Day".
Bill Ray, 12 2009
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Colonel: US Army has working electropulse grenades

Contradicting previous reports, a US Army electronic-warfare colonel has apparently confirmed the existence of working non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) ordnance - apparently so portable that it is even available in hand-grenade size.
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Win 7 and smartphones targeted in Pwn2own challenge

An annual hacking challenge has put the security of browsers and smartphones in the firing line.
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Low-end Nüvifone to make 'satnav simple'

Yet another Nüvifone has been unveiled by Garmin-Asus: the G60, which appears to have been built for less technologically-mind fellows.
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Copyright cops launch MS-happy software compliance tool

Fast Consultancy Services has begun selling a software compliance tool aimed at small to medium-sized businesses in the UK that run Windows-based machines, have Internet Explorer as their default browser and £3,500 to spare.
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Brits find accommodation a little uncomfortable

Hot on the heels of the shock news that native speakers of English struggle to spell "embarrassment", a net search engine analysis of "which words received the most queries requesting a correct spelling" revealed that Brits find "accommodation" the most challenging.
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Doubled-sided Acer phone spied on web

Pictures have appeared of an unknown Acer phone with a large screen on one side and a physical keypad on the other.
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Nokia comes clean as Ovi bombs

Nokia's Contacts for Ovi - the Finnish manufacturer's answer to MobileMe - was down for most of yesterday and has lost all amendments made since January 23 when the last backup was taken.
Bill Ray, 12 2009
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Siemens ditches consultants

Engineering behemoth Siemens is canning contracts with external management consultants in order to cut costs.
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Scareware scammers Rickroll Digg

Digg.com has become the latest Web 2.0 service to be abused by hackers in order to punt malware.
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Pope's star watcher to visit Nasa and talk aliens

The Vatican is to go head to head with Nasa over the possibility of life existing anywhere else in the Universe except Earth.
Joe Fay, 12 2009
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Facebook hits back at Italian ban

Facebook has responded to a proposed Italian law that could see the social networking site forced to censor its members' postings and groups.
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Netbook gets Hello Kitty overhaul

If you’re a ten-year-old girl or just looking for a PC that’ll get you laughed at, look no further than the new Hello Kitty netbook.
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PC firm offers Ultra-Quiet Xbox 360

If you’re sick of reaching for the earplugs each time you turn on your Xbox 360, a solution's now available: the Ultra-Quiet Xbox 360.
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MS puts up $250K bounty for Conficker author

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the virus writers behind the infamous Conficker (Downadup) worm.
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Apple animating iTunes stream machine?

Apple will soon offer instant movie-watching gratification.
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IBM, HP, and EMC press for encryption key juggler spec

Any key management platform will be able to communicate across all of a company's encryption systems - if IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Thales, and EMC have their way.
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Google pays $51.7m for newspaper destruction metaphor

If there's one moment that sums up the gradual destruction of the world's newspapers, this is it.
Cade Metz, 12 2009
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Mozilla calls for 'open web' in EU Microsoft row

After days of unrest at Mozilla Towers, the Firefox firm has finally given its official word on Brussels’ preliminary findings against Microsoft for tying its Internet Explorer browser to Windows.
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Heartland data breach hit 160 banks (and rising)

More than 160 banks have been affected by the information security breach at US payment processor Heartland Security.
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Symbian Foundation in anti-Android recruit drive

The Symbian Foundation is limbering up to face the Open Handset Alliance next week, announcing a raft of new members to take on the Android threat, while LiMo and Access Linux lurk nearby looking for scraps.
Bill Ray, 12 2009
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Cray thanks Uncle Sam for juiced revenues

Supercomputer maker Cray pulled some big bucks from the US government in the fourth quarter, nearly tripling sales. But after writing down a few assets, the company posted a loss for the quarter - and for the year.
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Sun pitches JavaFX Mobile into RIA squabble

Sun Microsystems has upped its ante in the rich internet application battle for mobile mind-share, just as Microsoft and Adobe Systems traded shots at each other.
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Lenovo cuts 550 jobs across Europe

Lenovo has begun making about 550 job cuts across Europe, after the Beijing-based PC vendor's latest earnings showed its shipment numbers dropped faster than the industry average in every market except China.
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Opera proxy promises 'game changing' browser speed

Update: This story has been updated the clarify how Turbo operates.
Cade Metz, 12 2009
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Intel convenes iPhone hitman summit

Intel may build its own iPhone. Or maybe not.