7th > May > 2009 Archive

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Google data center takes leak on God's green earth

Google is under investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency after one of its data centers allegedly leaked refrigerant onto God's green earth.
Cade Metz, 07 2009
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US air traffic faces 'serious harm' from cyber attackers

The United States' air traffic control system is vulnerable to serious cyber attack, according to a watchdog report that detailed several recent security breaches that could have been used to sabotage mission-critical networks.

AMD merges processor and graphics biz

AMD and ATI are officially tying the knot after living together in corporate sin for nearly three years.
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Microsoft's new search - Built on open-source

When Microsoft purchased Hotmail in December of 1997 for an estimated $400m, it ran on FreeBSD. But Redmond ripped out the open source OS and replaced it with Windows 2000. Or at least, it tried to.
Cade Metz, 07 2009
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Cisco profits drop, spirits rise

Cisco reported double-digit drops in both sales and net income for its third quarter of fiscal 2009 on Wednesday, but you'd never know it from the glowing optimism of its skipper.
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Aussie censors implement six degrees of separation policy

The Australian Government yesterday broke new records for web censorship by requiring the takedown not just of a page containing harmful content, nor even a page linking to harmful content, but a page linking to a link to allegedly harmful content.
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Disk platter sizes vary with drive speeds

Comment When is a 2.5-inch form factor drive not a 2.5-inch form factor drive?
Asus Eee Box B206

Asus Eee Box B206

Review On the outside, there's little to distinguish the Asus Eee Box B206 from its predecessor - put the two side by side and you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference. The only real external clue is the DVI connector on the back of the original Eee Box has been replaced by an HDMI port instead.
Will Head, 07 2009

Intel playing virtual silly buggers

Opinion You're supposed to be able to run an x86 app on any Intel x86 (or AMD x86) processor. That's what x86 compatibility means, right? Wrong: Windows 7 XP Mode won't run on many multi-core Intel processors because Intel is arsing about with its Intel VT feature.
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Home Office to keep innocent DNA samples

The Home Office has rejected European Court of Human Rights demands that innocent people should not have their DNA stored on the national database.
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Carphone and Best Buy shrink store plans

Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy are scaling back their plans for a UK High Street invasion.
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Science tests for 11-year-olds to be scrapped

The government has agreed to scrap national science tests for 11-year-olds. However, teaching unions still plan a boycott of the remaining tests in English and Maths, saying that these make primary school teaching "narrow". The teachers also object to the revelation of schools' test results in public league tables.
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Intellectual Property Office approves software patent for UK

Software that allows programmers to program a mobile phone system remotely from a computer can be patented because it is more than just a software program, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has ruled.
Asus Eee PC 1002HAE

Asus updates Eee 1002HA processor

Another day, another new Eee PC. This one, announced today in Japan, is the 1002HAE, is essentially the older 1002HA with the latter's 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor swapped out for a 1.66GHz N280.
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Dell to launch Android netbooks

Dell is preparing to launch a Google Android-based netbook, one of the firm’s loose-lipped business partners has revealed.
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UK spectrum map uncovers mysterious emissions in Cumbria

A five-month project to map spectrum usage has yielded 200GBytes of data, which shows that hardly anyone in the Highlands is using wireless, but the rest of the country is swathed in electromagnetic radiation.
Bill Ray, 07 2009
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English vocab poised to hit 1m words

The English language is poised to reach the 1m word mark at 10.22am on 10 June, with "noob", "greenwashing" and "defriend" among the neologisms vying to be the one millionth addition to our burgeoning vocab.
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Exam bosses target faster cheat takedowns

Authorities worried that the imminent exam season will see questions leaked online have appealed to ISPs for help arranging for them to be pulled from the web quicker.
Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem Forever developer defunct, says staffer

Duke Nukem Forever, probably the best known example of vapourware in PC gaming, may now never be completed. Developer 3D Realms has shut down, a company employee has stated.

Blu-ray Disc player sales on the up

Blu-ray Disc player sales are rising, according to fresh figures from US market watcher NPD. But many people are still either unfamiliar with the format or waiting for prices to drop further.
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Wacky telly firm unveils me-too netbook

Until now Hannspree was only known for its wacky tellies, but now the firm’s set its sights on the bulging netbook market.
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An unthinking programmer's guide to the new C++

Stob Stob So what’s all this about a new C++ standard, Verity?
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RFID goes Underground

London's underground network will benefit from 30,000 RFID tags - one attached to each escalator step - by the end of 2010. This will reduce the time taken to find a specific step from five hours to 45 minutes.
Bill Ray, 07 2009
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Missile data, medical records found on discarded hard disks

A third (34 per cent) of discarded hard disk drives still contain confidential data, according to a new study which unearthed copies of hospital records and sensitive military information on eBayed kit.
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eBay says Skype worth $2bn

eBay's chief executive Jonathan Donahoe believes Skype, which the online tat bazaar is trying to flog, is worth more than $2bn.
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AMD ATI Radeon HD 4770 40nm GPU

Review The RV740 graphics chip at the heart of AMD’s new budget Radeon HD, the 4770, is an interesting wee beastie. It’s wee because this is the first graphics chip to use a 40nm fabrication process rather than the 55nm process used in HD 48x0 series and in Nvidia’s latest GeForce GTX 2xx chips.
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2060: Humvee-sized, bulletproof meat-eating spiders attack

Danish boffins have uncovered an unforeseen, extra downside of the melting of the Arctic ice cap, according to reports. Not only will there be sea level rises and massive flooding*; there will also be a plague of enormous, invulnerable, heavily armoured meat-eating cannibal spiders.
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Mozilla mauls Microsoft on IE, Windows 7 bundle

Mozilla has issued a broadside against Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7 operating system, by claiming it stifles the browser market and gives Redmond’s Internet Explorer an unfair advantage over its rivals.
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Kent council plans giant 'Hollywood' erection

Medway Council has devised a cunning plan to raise the profile of its prime Kent riverside location - by erecting a giant Hollywood-style MEDWAY sign on a local hillside.
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Telecom NZ dodges Vodafone wrath

Telecom NZ will launch its XT network, but not until the end of the month as it agrees to fit more filters to prevent interfering with Vodafone NZ's existing service.
Bill Ray, 07 2009
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Microsoft crimps products after second wave of job cuts

Microsoft is reining in several of its products following the company's second round of lay-offs that kicked off on Tuesday.
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Vatican damns Angels and Demons as 'quite harmless'

The Vatican's inhouse film reviewer has damned Ron Howard's Angels and Demons with faint praise, describing the ludicrous confection of anti-matter, illuminati and dead cardinals as "mostly harmless".
Joe Fay, 07 2009
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7

Google buffs Chrome with security update

Google has pushed out an update for its Chrome browser that lances two vulnerabilities, one of which it defines as critical.
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Curl goes outside browser for Silverlight fight

Microsoft's Silverlight 3.0 is still in beta and it promises major improvements, but the competition is already promising greater power.
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Google extends controversial trade mark purchasing policy

Google has increased by 190 the number of countries in which advertisers will be able to pay for their ads to appear when a rival's trade mark is typed into its search engine. That policy previously only applied in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland.
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Nintendo financials reveal impressive Wii, DS sales

Nintendo’s full-year financial results have seen it fall just shy of projected global DS and Wii sales, but the videogame giant still shifted a shedload of consoles during the year.
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T-Mobile replaces Compact IV with... Compact V

Exactly one year to the day after T-Mobile launched its Compact IV smartphone, the network operator has unveiled the handset’s successor, called, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Compact V.
Renault be bop ZE EV Demonstrator

Renault intros e-MPV

Leccy Tech It's no secret that the Renault-Nissan Alliance has big plans for the leccy car and that Renault's first e-car will be something based on its Kangoo van-cum-MPV. The first draft of Renault's e-car vision saw the light of day last year in the form of the ZE Concept, but things are now firming up with the unveiling of the Kangoo be bop ZE EV Demonstrator.
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Symantec hit by massive goodwill impairment

Symantec announced moderately satisfying but recession-hit numbers for the full fiscal 2009 year, with the final quarter showing a revenue drop. A massive goodwill impairment charge of $7.4bn blew an enormous, non-cash hole into net income numbers for the full year and its final quarter.
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Google: Make newspapers more like Wikipedia

Google, the nemesis of newspapers, was at the Congress yesterday, to turn a blonde deaf ear to their troubles. The company's pin-up VP of products Marissa Meyer described quite a bright future to the Senate's commerce committee - but it's a bright future for Google, and people with a lot of time fiddling with their computers. Also testifying was creator of The Wire David Simon. Let's contrast how each of them addressed the crisis.
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Moblin 2.0 Linux goes alpha (again)

Novell is swearing its oath of fealty to the Moblin variant of Linux for mobile computing devices, based on Intel's Atom low-powered processors and, soon with the Moblin 2.0 release, netbooks.
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Activision spins out DJ Hero

Guitar Hero brought the guitar to gamers who can’t play the real thing and Rock Band did the same thing for drums. Now the franchise’s being expanded to let inept disc jockeys scratch and mix using three coloured buttons.
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Louis Vuitton launches hi-tech... suitcase

Suitcases aren’t something Register Hardware usually writes about, mainly because they’re boring. But images of two hi-tech suitcases have surfaced online, both designed by luxury trunk maker Louis Vuitton.
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DARPA to develop anti-Credit Crunch software

DARPA, the famed Pentagon boffinry bureau occasionally beset by marble-localisation issues, has struck again. This time, the agency seems to be seeking new mathematical tools which could - among other things - prevent any future collapses of global capitalism.

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance

We all own more battery powered products than ever before, and in most cases those batteries are rechargeable. Laptops, music players, phones - they all have rechargeable power packs, almost all of them using lithium.
For Sale sign detail
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Windows Storage Server boosted, killed and resurrected

Microsoft has updated its Windows Storage Server software, ending its existence as a standalone product and folding it back into Windows Server.
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Microsoft teams up with US gov on double 'ard XP

Microsoft has teamed with the US government to refine a locked-down, more secure configuration of Windows XP.
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Microsoft rebrands WGA nagware for Windows 7

A nagware anti-piracy feature in Windows isn't going away, it's just getting a marketing makeover by Microsoft.
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Google auto-links YouTube, Google accounts

As part of its ongoing effort to track everything you do on the web, Google is now forcing those who sign up for YouTube accounts to embrace a Google account as well.
Cade Metz, 07 2009
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US braces for 'bio-Katrina'

President Obama has nominated a tough-talking bioterrorism expert to lead the primary research and development arm of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
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Citrix XenServer 5.5 cleared for June landing

VMware and Citrix seem to be in a match to see who can talk most about products that are not yet shipping.
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Apple spooked by white powder

A building at the heart of Apple's Cupertino campus was evacuated on Wednesday after an employee discovered a mysterious envelope of white powder.
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Irish Wikifiddler hoaxes worldwide journos

In a case of Wikihistory repeating itself - again - a 22-year-old Dublin student has made a mockery of both Wikipedia and the world's news media, fooling another army of brain-dead obituarists into repeating a load of Wikinonsense.
Cade Metz, 07 2009
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Data-sniffing attack costs Heartland $12.6m

Electronic payments processor Heartland Payment Systems said Thursday it has allocated $12.6m to cover a security breach that exposed sensitive card holder data crossing its network.
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Google confirms FTC probe over Apple ties

Google has confirmed reports that the US Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether overlapping board seats between Google and Apple are somehow stifling market competition.
Cade Metz, 07 2009
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Microsoft to patch 'critical' PowerPoint hole

Microsoft plans to patch a hole in its PowerPoint presentation program, the company said in an advanced bulletin that was notable because it contained only a single update.
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Nvidia staggers off the mat

Nvidia had some good news and some bad news for its investors in its first quarter results for its fiscal year 2010, announced Thursday.
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Sudden exit for SugarCRM co-founder and CEO

The chief executive and co-founder of one of Silicon Valley's pin ups for open-source and cloud services has suddenly resigned.