26th > June > 2009 Archive

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Apple sued for 30¢ $5m

Now that all the world's injustices have been resolved, peace and harmony reign throughout the land, and the lion has lain down with the lamb, a US court has been asked to resolve the last remaining inequity still disturbing our perfected existence: Whether Apple's iTunes gift cards misrepresent the cost of an iTunes tune.
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Great Australian Firewall to censor online games

The Great Australian Firewall will try blocking websites that host or sell video games not suitable for children under the age of 15.
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Cash-strapped LucidEra 'exploring options'

One-time software-as-a-service poster child LucidEra seems to have shut its doors for want of cash from its venture-capital backers.

Sun CTO douses own cloud in cold water

Structure 09 Despite his employer Sun Microsystems fashioning an Amazon-like public cloud, chief technology officer Greg Papadopoulos doubts enterprises will move their existing applications onto this or any other data center in the sky. But Amazon cloud prophet Werner Vogels disagrees.
Cade Metz, 26 2009
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Firms must go to court to stop all counterfeit hauls

Companies will have to go to court every time they want counterfeit goods to be stopped at the UK's borders following a policy change that could send costs soaring for intellectual property rights holders.

LG XD4 500GB

Review There's plenty to commend LG's XD4 external hard drive for: it looks good, it's reasonably quiet and it comes with some handy extras. It's not without its quirks, mind.
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ISPs vs BBC iPlayer: Missing the point?

Industry opinion The last month has seen substantial media coverage of the latest row that has erupted between BT Retail and a number of content providers including the BBC. However, we think a fundamental issue is being missed. Instead of BT Retail focusing attention on the BBC et al to contribute to its increasing costs, it should instead be tackling its wholesale provider to reduce the price of bandwidth. Here I explain why this has a wider significance to ISPs and the industry as a whole.

BT axes 20 jobs at Dabs.com

BT has laid off 20 Dabs.com staff at the e-tailer's Bolton warehouse.

Garmin wrestles with failing satnavs

Garmin has landed itself in a sticky situation following a spate of complaints claiming the the firm's satnavs are faulty.
fingers pointing at man

Is Ocarina missing a trick?

Opinion Ocarina dedupes/compresses image files like no other product, and is selling into image-rich businesses like media companies - but that's not where the most images are. Is Ocarina missing a trick?
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Web swoons as Jackson dies

The death of Michael Jackson yesterday brought US websites low as fans old and instant sought to confirm they were indeed experiencing their own JFK moment.
Joe Fay, 26 2009
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US kids busy bullying, sexy texting

A survey of 655 US teenagers aged 13 to 18 has revealed disturbing amounts of bullying going on via the mobile phone networks, despite the fact that most of them seem to understand the risks of sharing too much data online.
Bill Ray, 26 2009

Apple MacBook Pro firmware fritzes third-party HDDs

Apple's firmware upgrade, which restores the 3Gb/s Sata link speed to MacBook Pros, has also caused some 'unauthorised' hard drives to fail.
graph up

HP shows off Simple home backup

HP has extended its home external storage offering with SimpleSave portable and desktop products using WD drives.
The Register breaking news

Spammers swift to exploit Jackson death to punt malware

Updated Miscreants have wasted no time exploiting the shock death of Michael Jackson to run email harvesting and banking Trojan campaigns.
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Boffins 'cage the demon' of white phosphorus

Cambridge boffins have discovered a crafty molecular "cage" which can be used to imprison the "demon" chemical, white phosphorus, famous for burning inextinguishably and for its sometimes questionable military uses. Cleanup and transport of white phosphorus should now become much simpler and safer.
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Rogue knob could ground space shuttle Atlantis

NASA is pondering how to remove a rogue knob which has firmly wedged itself between a window and the dashboard of space shuttle Atlantis - an apparently minor affair which could actually result in a six-month delay in the venerable vehicle's STS-129 mission to the International Space Station, or even see the shuttle grounded for good.

iPhone 3G S unlock path discovered

Hardware hackers the iPhone Dev Team claim to have discovered a way to both unlock and jailbreak the new iPhone 3G S.
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In-building coverage: What’s the problem?

Most mobile calls, voice and data, are made inside a building – at home, at work, in the shops. Although the issue of adequate coverage in business premises has not been critical up to now, this is increasingly more than just a nagging concern for many organisations. In some cases, such as emergency services, good in-building coverage is essential.
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Qantas cancels $3bn Dreamliner order

Oz airline Qantas has cancelled its $3bn order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the BBC reports.

Firefox 3.5 gets third release candidate

Mozilla Corporation spun out a third release candidate for Firefox 3.5 yesterday.
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Why would anyone run their own base station?

Comment With Europe's first femtocell deployment due in two weeks, it's worth taking a moment to consider why you might want to spend your money on extending your operator's coverage, if not just from general goodwill.
Bill Ray, 26 2009
The Register breaking news

PC repair techs police dangerous picture law

A visit to your PC repair shop could be swiftly followed by a trip to court and a short stay in your local jail if it harbours any remotely questionable material - whether you knew about it or not.
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ICANN appoints former cybersecurity chief as new boss

Internet oversight agency ICANN has hired former US cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom as its next boss.
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HSBC online banking goes off the wall

Many HSBC customers are currently struggling to access the company's online banking system.
fingers pointing at man

Dell takes Reg readers to the Cloud

Last week Samy Aboel-Nil, Dell market dev director, popped into Vulture Central to discuss the company’s ambitious drive into Cloud-based software and security services.
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Copyfraud: Poisoning the public domain

Special report The public domain is the greatest resource in human history: eventually all knowledge will become part of it. Its riches serve all mankind, but it faces a new threat. Vast libraries of public domain works are being plundered by claims of "copyright". It's called copyfraud - and we'll discover how large corporations like Google, Yahoo, and Amazon have structured their businesses to assist it and profit from it.
Samsung 256GB SSD

Samsung to drop 1.8in HDDs, focus on SSD?

Samsung has canned the development of 1.8in hard disks in favour of a focus on solid-state drives, it has been claimed.

Seagate shines under Luczo's law

Comment Luczo's law seems to suit Seagate - it's just raised its quarterly revenue guidance.

Contactless payment tech in all phones next year, says Ericsson boss

All mobile phones will feature Near Field Communications (NFC) technology within 12 months, a mobile industry executive has claimed.

DARPA: Can we have a one-cabinet petaflop supercomputer?

Famous US military crazytech agency DARPA has issued a challenge to the IT community: do you think it's possible to build a petaflop supercomputer that fits in a single air-cooled 19 inch cabinet and requires no more than 57 kilowatts of power? One which requires no special programming skills to use?

Electric plane takes to the skies

Leccy Tech Chinese model aircraft maker Yuneec has unveiled what may soon become the world’s first commercially available electric aircraft.

Ten of the best... iPhone beaters

Round-up The iPhone 3G S is now upon us, bringing with it incredible new things like MMS, video recording, laptop tethering, stereo Bluetooth and the marvel of cut and paste. Hang on. Haven't other smartphones been doing this sort of thing for ages?

Blue chip FTP logins found on cybercrime server

Security researchers have found a treasure chest of FTP passwords, some from high profile sites, on an open cybercrime server.
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Google's real YouTube strategy

Telco 2.0 There is an ongoing debate about the size of the losses at YouTube and for how much longer the parent, Google, can afford to fund its errant child’s excessive lifestyle. Credit Suisse put a high price on it; Brough Turner criticised their analysis; RampRate decisively debunked it.
Telco 2.0, 26 2009
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Apple races developer to censor smut

Yesterday's apparent opening of the iPhone to adult content has turned into a race between Apple and the developer about who decided to remove the application from iTunes and why.
Bill Ray, 26 2009

Freeview HD to debut in December

The first BBC HD broadcasts on Freeview will start in December, it has been confirmed.
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Man+dog plunged into 'faecal lagoon'

The powers that be are investigating just why Swedish bloke Thomas Sundberg and his mutt Rex weren't warned of an impending ducking in a "faecal lagoon" at Kramfors-Sollefteå airport - a merdurinous "pool of filth" into which they were without warning cast.
The Register breaking news

Faux Foreign Secretary dupes UK press with Jackson Tweet

British MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband did not Tweet about the death of Michael Jackson yesterday. But this fact was lost on The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, and the AFP news service.
Cade Metz, 26 2009

Facebook knuckle-raps Intel, AMD

While social networking site Facebook doesn't seem inclined to pull a Google and build all of its own servers, the company's top techies are frustrated enough with the current crop of x64 boxes that they may be giving the idea some thought.

Apple ups stake in UK mobile chippery

Updated Apple and Intel have seen the future, and it's mobile - and both companies are putting big money into a UK company whose chip designs are becoming increasingly attractive to companies battling in the mobile arena.
The Register breaking news

UK climate change funding cut by 25%

The Met Office, home of UK weather soothsaying, is getting its climate research budget chopped by a quarter after the Ministry of Defence ended financial support to focus on "current operations."
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Google Android code goes native

Android developers can now slip native code into apps written for Android-based devices using Google's new native development kit (NDK).
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eBay scuffles with Skype founders

eBay's plan to spin off Skype with an initial public offering in 2010 is being threatened by a dispute with the VoIP service's co-founders, who still own a key part of the software.
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Ecopocalypse causes giant fish ears

Under the sea, fish are growing abnormally large ear bones - and it's all our fault.

Judge says IBM dude gets the Dell (job)

IBM was dealt a legal setback on Friday in its effort to prevent an ex-exec from taking a position at rival Dell.