11th > December > 2009 Archive
Mozilla man sends Firefoxers to Microsoft Bing
Mozilla director of community development Asa Dotzler - co-founder of the original Firefox project - has encouraged Firefox users to switch their search engine from Google to Microsoft Bing in the wake of Eric Schmidt's now infamous words on net privacy.
Rambus soothes EC ire with lower prices
The European Commission is letting Rambus off the hook now that the US firm has offered to cap licensing rates for some of its industry-standard chip technology.
Florida judges banned from 'friending' lawyers on Facebook
Florida judges are barred from becoming Facebook friends with local lawyers because the online relation implies they're BFFs in RL, the Sunshine State's legal ethics board has decided.
Parcelforce to drop Windows 7 compatibility through letterbox in New Year
Parcelforce plans to overhaul its website early next year to allow Windows 7 users to access its service.
Apple preps adaptable gadget adapter
Apple has filed a patent application for a gadget dock that conforms to the shape and size of whatever you plop upon it.
IBM punts Linux-only mainframes
It's nearly a year before the next generation of mainframes is expected from IBM, and that means the marketing and sales people are going to have to get clever about packaging and pricing to peddle more MIPS. That is what the new Linux-only, mainframe-based Enterprise Linux Server is mostly about.
Linux devs exterminate security bugs from kernel
Developers have exterminated two bugs from the Linux kernel that threatened the security of people using the open-source operating system.
HTC HD2 'pink blob' patch produced
HTC has released a software patch designed to fix the Touch HD2 smartphone’s infamous ‘pink blob’ camera glitch.
Steel-woven wallet pledges to keep RFID credit cards safe
Worried someone may try to wirelessly nab your personal details from those RFID cards in your wallet? Get some peace of mind with the “identity theft preventing privacy wallet”, its seller claims.
Oracle plays hardball with Euro regulators
Oracle remains confident that the European Union will cave in and abandon objections to its proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems.
2009's Top E-book Readers
Kit of the YearE-book viewers prompted plenty of Register Hardware reader interest during 2009, a year in which market stalwarts Sony and Amazon finally saw some notable rivals, iRiver in particular. In response, perhaps, Amazon started offering the US-centric Kindle to overseas buyers - will ours arrive in time to change the selection here? But Brits will have to wait longer for Sony's US-only wireless Reader Daily Edition.
Gov slams critical database report as opaque, flawed, inaccurate
The Government has slammed as opaque, inadequate and riddled with factual errors a think tank report that claimed that a quarter of Government databases were operating illegally. The Government has said the report was methodologically flawed.
James Cameron poised to make Fantastic Voyage
20th Century Fox is moving forward with plans to remake 1966 sci-fi movie Fantastic Voyage, with James Cameron on board as producer and pensmith Shane Salerno (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) tasked with adapting the original.
Secondary pupils get free iPhones in edu-app trials
Pupils at a London secondary school have been given iPhones to test applications for education
Acer's first 'Pine Trail' netbook: details emerge
Acer's first netbook based on Intel's next-gen Atom processor has peered out of the shadows.
Asus said to be making gadget inspired by gadget Apple is said to be making
You just can't argue with this kind of tittle-tattle (surely, 'insightful speculation' - Ed), can you? Asus is said to be preparing a handheld tablet with a 4in and/or 7in display and both mobile internet device and tablet PC functionality.
We made the kit that makes Freeview HD possible, boasts NEC
NEC piped up this week to reveal it supplied the DVB-T2 kit used to begin Freeview HD broadcasts earlier this month.
Kidnap fears kybosh charity car rally
ExclusiveThe Plymouth to Dakar Challenge - a charity drive across the Sahara using highly unsuitable cars - has been forced into a last minute cancellation because of warnings of al-Qaeda snatch squads targeting drivers on the route.
Boffins build bendy Flash array
Japanese boffins have created a flexible sheet of Flash memory out of organic transistors.
National space agency for Blighty, says Drayson
Biznovation minister Lord Drayson has announced that the UK is to get a proper space agency along the same lines as the USA's NASA, French CNES and German DLR.
Hackers root Motorola Droid
UpdatedHackers have successfully rooted Motorola's Droid smartphone, allowing users to install applications or services of their choice outside the set menu offered by operators.
Pig plague alert: Our safe sex guide
NSFWCosmopolitan's recent advice on how to avoid copping a dose of pig plague while getting your rocks off - specifically by avoiding the missionary position - prompted the Vulture Central Public Health Bureau to compile an equally nifty cut-out-and-keep guide.
Headteachers slam 'disproportionate' vetting database
Yet more bad news for the government’s vetting and barring scheme, which went live in October of this year. Head teachers today condemned it as bureaucratic and unlikely to guarantee the safety of those it is meant to protect.
Microsoft urges Flash makers to pay fat dollar for exFAT format
The brouhaha between Microsoft and Linux software vendor TomTom at the start of 2009 now seems - to Redmond at least - like a distant thunderclap. So much so that the firm spun out a program to licence the Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) format yesterday.
Liverpool declares itself an ID-free zone
Liverpool City Council passed a motion last night vowing not to co-operate with Home Office plans to extend its ID card trial to the city early next year.
Police snapper silliness reaches new heights
After lagging well behind other forces for most of the year, City of London Police are now making a late surge to take the coveted El Reg prize for most absurd photographic intervention of 2009.
Nokia intros updated Comes With Music touchphone
Nokia has introduced its latest Comes With Music phone, the 5235, though the handset's not set to go on sale until Q1 2010.
Last splash for Flash support on elderly PowerPC G3s
Adobe will end Flash Player support for Apple’s aged PowerPC-based G3 machines after the release of version 10.1 of the software, which isn’t expected to land until early next year.
Canon Powershot S90
ReviewThe S90 marks the re-introduction of Canon’s acclaimed PowerShot S series. Aimed at the serious amateur or professional photographer, it combines full manual capability with the simple design of a point-and-shoot, all in a pocket size camera with near-DSLR performance. Unsurprisingly, it comes with the hefty price tag of £449.
Privacy furore forces partial climb-down from Facebook
Facebook's revised privacy settings have been almost universally panned by users and security watchers, but at least one group is happy - internet marketers.
Sunday night is Geminid night
The Geminid meteors will this year peak at 05:10 GMT on Monday morning, guaranteeing that for 90 per cent of Reg readers, the hour will be marked by cloud, driving rain and the annual sense of despair which follows the vain hope that we might for once cop an eyeful of a decent lightshow.
Moffat denies SEC's insider trading charges
Former IBM hardware boss Robert Moffat asked a US court this week to dismiss the insider trading civil charges brought against him by the SEC.
Congressmen steam over Wikileaks TSA breach
Three US Congressmen, outraged that parts of US government airport security manuals were inadvertently published and then posted on Wikileaks and Cryptome, are demanding to know what legal weapons are available against whistleblowing websites.
RAF's new military airlifter finally lumbers into the air
CommentAnother doleful milestone for British taxpayers and servicemen today, as the A400M military transport plane takes to the air for its first test flight. The A400M - a decade late and massively overbudget - continues to drain the UK's defence coffers though better alternatives are readily available: meanwhile our fighting troops overseas desperately need more airlift.
Zuckerberg pictures exposed by Facebook privacy roll-back
Illuminating pictures of Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg have been exposed by Facebook's privacy roll back.
Vodafone drops top-of-the-range HTC
Vodafone has stopped selling HTC's flagship, the HD2, citing problems with reliability and stock. Plus the forthcoming iPhone makes the HD2 redundant.
Radio Society tries to beat back powerline networks
The Radio Society of Great Britain has set up a Spectrum Defence Fund to challenge Ofcom's view of powerline networking.
Red Hat opens up Spice desktop virtualisation protocol
In keeping with its practice of eventually open sourcing the software technologies it acquires or creates, commercial Linux distributor Red Hat has said that it has let go of the code behind the Spice protocol. This was a key ingredient of the Solid ICE desktop virtualisation platform that it got its hands on when it bought KVM hypervisor maker Qumranet in September 2008 for $107m.
Unused phone lines to be taxed for rural broadband
Unused landlines will be taxed under government plans to subsidise rural broadband, and VAT will be charged on the new 50p per month tax.
WebGL draft spec brings 3D interweb future one step closer
The Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera-backed WebGL project took a significant step forward yesterday, after the Khronos group pushed out a public draft specification of the WebKit-derived code.
HP strike off - for now
The Public and Commercial Services Union called off yesterday's strike by 1,000 of its members employed by HP, ahead of talks next week.
Apple responds to Nokia lawsuit, in kind
Apple has filed a countersuit to Nokia's, alleging that Nokia is infringing its patents rather than the other way round.
Sage payment processor goes titsup - again
SagePay has been hit by what appears to be yet another spectacular outage, only three months on since the payment processor, which serves 25,000 firms in the UK and Ireland, collapsed for 24 hours on 8 September.
Sun brews up Java EE 6
Sun Microsystems is still the steward of the Java programming language and its related virtual machine and runtime environment. Despite its PR blackout as the $7.4bn acquisition of Sun by Oracle is mulled by European regulators, Java Enterprise Edition version 6, or Java EE 6, has been released. Sun has also delivered versions of its GlassFish Web application server and NetBeans development tools that are based on Java EE 6.
Stolen bank data mixed into list of French tax dodgers
The legality of a French crackdown on suspected tax evaders earlier this year has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that stolen data was among the mix of information used by financial investigators.
US bests UK in iTunes Xmas giftiness
Santa Jobs has opened his big bag of iTunes toys and come up with an album of Christmas goodies for good little US girls and fanbois.
Remote execution flaw mars older Thunderbird versions
Developers of the Thunderbird email client are in the process of patching a vulnerability that could allow attackers to remotely execute malicious code on end users' machines, security researchers said.
US Congress seeks control over NASA moonshot
Members of the US Congress are preparing to battle Obama's White House over control of NASA's Constellation moon-rocket program.
Mozilla to open - gasp! - Firefox add-on store
Add-on-ConMozilla has said it will "probably" open a marketplace for Firefox add-ons sometime next year.
Video surfaces of alleged Apple tablet
The French website Nowhereelse.fr has obtained what it suggests may be a video of the long-rumored Apple tablet:
Testimony spills messy details in eBay-Craigslist squabble
The founder of Craigslist has admitted that eBay was free to compete with his website under terms of a contract both parties signed, numerous news outlets reported Friday.