24th > February > 2009 Archive

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Digging into Apple's hot-key mechanism

Mac Secrets Before Christmas, I explained how to use an undocumented class within PreferencePanes.framework to easily convert key codes and modifiers into human readable string representations.
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Jobs to skip Apple shareholders meeting

Apple's Steve Jobs, on medical leave until June, won't attend attend the company's annual shareholders meeting this Wednesday, fueling rumors that Apple's savior is phasing himself out.
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Crypto hash boffins trip on buffer overflow

Two of the programs submitted in the first round of a competition to find the next cryptographic hash standard contain buffer overflow errors that could make them prone to crashes and security problems.
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Microsoft courts customers for search help

Microsoft is turning to customers for advice on how to build an online advertising platform - four years after it started.

The Meta Cloud - Flying data centers enter fourth dimension

Just when you thought the cloud metaphor couldn't stretch any further, it has. The tech world is still coming to terms with the rather abstract idea of a data center that floats on air, and now more than a few free-thinking web startups are hoping to abstract the abstraction. Beware of The Meta Cloud.
Cade Metz, 24 2009
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Flash mem giant Spansion slashes 35 per cent of staff

Flash memory maker Spansion is cutting approximately 3,000 jobs, or 35 per cent of its workforce. Most of the cuts will come at the company's manufacturing sites, as it works to restructure itself amidst a sinking economy.
Cade Metz, 24 2009
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VirtenSys PCIe cloud switch arrives

Virtensys has delivered pre-production units of its server I/O virtualising VMX5000 switch to potential server and storage OEM partners. Its use enables the sharing of I/O adapters and storage among connected servers using PCIe connections.
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NASA's CO2-scan sat set to launch

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) is set to lift off this morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base on its projected two-year mission to monitor atmospheric carbon dioxide.
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CRM, The Credit Crunch, and you

So the first white paper to tackle The Recession tips up in the Reg Library.
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HIS HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo graphics card

Review HIS describes its HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB as its "Fastest Single GPU Graphic Card Ever", complete with all of those capital letters. HIS is an AMD partner, so that’s another way of saying that this particular IceQ 4+ is an overclocked Radeon HD 4870 - the 4870 X2 is excluded by virtue of being based on two GPUs.
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North Korea announces missile test sat launch

North Korea is preparing for a further test of its long-range ballistic missile the Taepodong-2, according to reports. The missile design is thought capable of reaching parts of the United States, though it has not yet achieved a successful trial.
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Samsung shows off 12Mp, HD-recording camera duo

Samsung has unveiled two compact cameras that introduce a couple of world firsts for display quality and shooting capability, the company claimed.
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VMware makes world takeover bid

VMWorld VMware is introducing a new vSphere architecture and management product to manage a data centre as an internal or external cloud of services.
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Anti-mafia cops want Skype tapping

A European Union agency is investigating how to snoop on crooks using Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol services to avoid traditional police wiretaps.
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Microsoft U-turns on overpaid redundo packages

Microsoft has reversed its decision to ask some of the 1,400 people it sacked last month to return part of their redundancy packages.
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Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband

Virgin Media will begin upgrading its "up to" 2Mbit/s broadband subscribers to "up to" 10Mbit/s from May, it said today.
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Google's email service goes down

Updated Google's Gmail has once again plummeted out of the cloud and the company is scurrying to fix the problem nearly an hour after it went titsup.
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MS spills blood red Resident Evil Xbox beans

Recent rumours of a red Xbox 360 were more than pure speculation, it seems, because Microsoft has now released official pictures of its resprayed console.

Blu-ray Disc sales to hit 100m by Xmas

Punters across North America, Western Europe and Japan will buy in excess of 100m Blu-ray Discs by the end of 2009 - almost three times as many as were sold in 2008, a market watcher has predicted.
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Pininfarina woes hinder EV rollout?

'Leccy Tech Back in November 2008, we reported that production of the the Pininfarina B0 – that's B 'zero', not B 'oh' – electric car had slipped from this year to a rather vague “late 2009/early 2010”.
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Nokia, Nintendo and Sony struck in wireless patent spat

Friday the 13th is always a dodgy day - for the paranoid at least. And for Sony, Nintendo and Nokia, it seems - it was the day that a US firm chose to file a patent violation lawsuit claiming all three of them have trampled over wireless data transfer technology it owns.
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Nokia cash for Symbian

Nokia has borrowed €500 million from the European Investment Bank to fund development of Symbian handsets and technology, as the competition heats up to see whom is most open.
Bill Ray, 24 2009
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Rogue Facebook app creates malign buzz

A Facebook application using misleading messages spread quickly over the weekend. The application itself did no harm beyond making a mess but may be part of an indirect attempt to attract surfers towards sites promoting scareware packages.
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Vodafone confirms layoffs

UK network operator Vodafone has confirmed it is laying off 500 staff in its continuing effort to cut costs in the face of falling profits.
Bill Ray, 24 2009
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NASA CO2 scan satellite launch fails

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) satellite has failed to reach orbit after "problems separating" from its launcher rocket. The space agency describes the launch as "not successful".
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Microsoft on the shrink's couch: time to get touchy feely

Radio Reg You really have to question the strategic judgment of Microsoft's management team.
Lexmark E260DN

Lexmark E260DN networked mono laser printer

Review Unless the vast majority of your documents need colour, you'd do well to look at a mono laser as your main printer. Lexmark has a wide range and maintains its reputation - a hangover from its days as IBM's printer division - for producing good, reliable office-oriented printers. The E260DN is a mid-range machine handy for the home as well as the office.
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HP refuses to make suicidal leaps on pricing

Hewlett Packard has walked away from some hardware deals in the UK as the recession encourages other vendors to adopt "suicidal" pricing policies to chase corporates' shrinking IT spend.
Joe Fay, 24 2009
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Spaceborne-forces planners meet with orbital joyride firms

Pentagon space warfare planners want to work with the nascent private space-joyride industry, according to reports. Ambitious US Marine plans to fire a few good men round the world on the same timescale as nuclear warheads have been scaled back, and might instead involve shorter one-way trips using variant Virgin Galactic rocketplanes.
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Pay cut consultations could trigger redundancy payments

Companies which follow computer maker Hewlett-Packard's lead and attempt to cut staff wages risk triggering redundancy law payouts if they do not consult staff properly, an employment lawyer has warned.
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Lads from Lagos crack cabinet minister's webmail account

Advanced fee fraudsters have broken into the webmail account of UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw to mount an audacious, and potentially politically embarrassing, scam.
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'Like pedos in a playground' - the media and Web 2.0

Cyburbia Don't judge a book by the title. Especially if the title is something like Cyburbia. James Harkin, who worked with Adam Curtis on The Trap, has produced the first proper full-length critique of Web 2.0 - tracing the daftness back to the cybernetics pioneers of the 1940s.
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Olympus brings tiny DSLR into focus

Olympus has launched what it’s claimed is the world’s smallest digital SLR camera with image stabilisation built into the camera body rather than the lens.
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VMware's ESX Server 4.0 lost in the clouds?

Virtualization juggernaut VMware kicks off the VMworld Europe trade show in Cannes today, and the opening salvo of the company's own announcements are rather muted because ESX Server 4.0 (or whatever the future hypervisor will ultimately be called) is not being launched. At least not on the first day of the event, as far as we know.
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Visto makes Good

Visto has taken rival pushed email vendor Good Technology off Motorola's hands, doubling the size of the company and expanding the offering into the enterprise.
Bill Ray, 24 2009
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MIT boffins fashion working plasma rocket from Coke can

Vid MIT astro brainboxes say they're on the track of tech which could greatly prolong the life of satellites, as well as helping them avoid banging into each other. They have illustrated this by fashioning a crude plasma thruster out of a Coke can and a glass bottle.
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Bean pouch rivals Nike+ trainers

A universal adaptor’s bean been launched to rival the Nike+ exercise kit, providing cheapskate runners with a more cost-effective option.
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Unofficial patch plugs 0-day Adobe security vuln.

Updated Security researchers have developed an unofficial patch for a zero-day Adobe Acrobat and Reader vulnerability that's become the subject of hacker attacks.
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Skateboard, gesture-based gaming add-ons inbound, claim moles

This year and next will see several exciting videogame peripherals launched into the console market, according to independent sources.
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'No Office 14 this year,' says Ballmer

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has confirmed that the company’s upcoming Office package, codenamed 14, won’t land in 2009.
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Girl develops 'PlayStation palmar hidradenitis'

Do you have red, sore lumps on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet? If the answer’s yes, then you could be suffering from… ahem … PlayStation palmar hidradenitis.
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Nokia calls for Voluntary Resignations

Nokia is to introduce a global "Voluntary Resignation Package" to encourage staff to walk the plank, as well as trying to get them to take holidays and sabbaticals, in order to cut costs.
Bill Ray, 24 2009

World's 'smallest, lightest' laptop launches

A Korean firm’s unveiled what it claimed is the world’s smallest and lightest notebook to date.
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Apple squeezes JavaScript juice from Safari 4 beta release

Apple has released a public beta of its Safari 4 web browser today, which comes loaded with a new JavaScript engine and support for the latest web standards.
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Auction tools firm roots out malware infection

Auction tools site Auctiva.com has cleaned up its systems after it became the unwitting participant in a malware attack late last week.
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Obama balks at recovery of lost Dubya emails

The Obama administration promises transparency and accountability in Washington, but it's siding with George W. Bush's view of executive privilege in an attempt quash recovery of what could be millions of missing White House emails.
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Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again)

Google's DoubleClick ad network has once again been caught distributing malicious banner displays, this time on the home page of eWeek.
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Yahoo! mines search logs for banner ad targeting

When brand new CEO Carol Bartz told the world that search is a "very valuable part" of Yahoo!'s business, she meant it.
Cade Metz, 24 2009
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Adobe Flash vulnerable to remote-execution exploit

Updated Already under the gun for a critical hole in its ubiquitous Acrobat Reader, Adobe's security team has pushed out a fix for another serious vulnerability, this one in the company's Flash animation software.
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Microsoft boffins devise 'secure' Gazelle browser

Microsoft has developed a browser whose security it says beats many of today's generation of browsers, including Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome.
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Gartner: Global IT spending will rise in 2009 (slightly)

While IT spending is projected decline in some industries in 2009, the prognosticators at Gartner are thus far saying that despite the economic meltdown, IT spending across all industries and geographies will rise a tiny bit. Some industries and geographies are going to do better than others, of course. And there are some areas that are not going to see growth at all.
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Asian IT in good news shock

There's a smattering of good news coming out of Asia. It seems that the death grip of the global financial crises may be easing its hold on the gasping throat of the technology industry.
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Super Micro squeezes four servers into one chassis

Super Micro Computer will soon push the envelope on server density. In early mach, at the CeBIT 2009 trade show in Hannover, Germany. In early March, the whitebox server and motherboard maker will delivers a new four-in-one server dubbed the Twin2.
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Ballmer bets on R&D amidst Meltdown

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer wants to spend research and development dollars like it was the 1930s-era Great Depression.
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Google backs EU's Microsoft antitrust battle

Google has backed European regulators in their effort to prevent Microsoft from bundling the Internet Explorer browser with its ubiquitous Windows operating system.
Cade Metz, 24 2009