20th > May > 2010 Archive

Radio Amnesty

DAB lobby launches radio scrappage scheme

This weekend you can trade in your trannies and recycle your radios in exchange for money off brand spanking new digital tuners.

Google backs open codec against patent trolls

Google I/O Google is "very confident" that the newly open-sourced VP8 video codec will stand up to the sort of patent attack Steve Jobs warned of when he defended Apple's decision to shun VP8's predecessor, the open-source Ogg Theora.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
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Highways Agency seeks £40m central IT system

The Highways Agency has published two separate pre-tenders, for a centralised database and for data transmission and telecommunications cables.
Kable, 20 2010
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Carmakers and blind boosters boost noisy leccy plan

Car trade organizations and advocacy groups for the vision-impaired have joined forces to set noise standards for electric and hybrid cars.
Freeview HD logo
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Freeview HD Set-top Receivers

Group Test Freeview’s HD service is rolling out around the UK, and about half of the population should be able to receive it in time for the World Cup this summer. The new service also promises better picture quality for a range of programmes on BBC HD, ITV 1 HD and Channel 4 HD, with Welsh viewers swapping Channel 4 for the S4C Clirlun service instead.
Freeview HD logo
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Buyer's Guide: Freeview HD Set-top Boxes

Group Test You might think that getting Freeview HD is just a matter of buying an HD box that you like the look of and connecting it to your TV with an HDMI cable, but there are other considerations besides the cosmetic. Important though they are, the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), user interface and remote control aren’t necessarily at the top of everyone’s list.
Bush DVB680
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Bush DVB680

Review Bush, once a noble British brand, is now a house brand for Argos. Whether that explains the DVB680's low-quality feel, I can't say, but this box certainly seems cheaply made.
Humax HD-Fox T2
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Humax HD-FOX T2

Review The Humax HD-FOX T2 was the first Freeview HD box to go on sale. It’s a sturdy unit, with a metal case and - along with the Icecrypt - a built-in power supply.
iCan Easy HD
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i-Can Easy HD 2851T

Review The Easy HD 2851T from iCan has, without a doubt, the most colourful and polished interface of any of the Freeview HD boxes I’ve seen. There’s help built in, and a quick introduction appears when you start setting up, too. It’s all colourful, clear and straightforward.
Icecrypt T2200
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Icecrypt T2200

Review Built for Icecrypt by Topfield, the T2200 sports two CI bays into which modules for pay TV can be slotted, making it compatible with ESPN and potentially Sky Sports too.
Philips DTR5520

Philips DTR5520

Review Philips’ box is designed by Pace and, with the review sample at least, even bears the Pace logo on the top and some of the screens.
Sharp TU-T2
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Sharp TU-T2

Review The Sharp TU-T2 is most expensive box in the group, and it's also one of the ones with fewest features. The front panel, for example, sports nothing more than a power button and a pointless square arrangement of eight bright blue LEDs.
Goodmans GDB300

Goodmans GDB300HD

Review The Goodmans GDB300HD is internally identical to Grundig’s GUD300HGD - the case is the only difference. Both boxes, then, have the same, slick interface, primarily in red, though it seems a little less responsive than the Philips or i-Can receivers.
Freeview HD logo

Freeview HD Set-top Boxes: Best Buys

Group Test If there’s one thing that’s clear from this Freeview HD set-top box group test, it’s that there’s no single box that’s right for everyone.
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UK's secret surveillance regime 'does not breach human rights'

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) violates the human right to a private life. The UK's rules and safeguards on covert surveillance are proportionate, said the court.
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Business Intelligence for today's demands

Live Now! If you're struggling to get your head round how business intelligence can be used to good effect in your business - or struggling to contend with the end user demands for business intelligence in your organisation - then we may have just the tonic.
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Brussels declares war on web virgins

Information and communications technology is credited with half of all productivity growth in Europe over the last 15 years, which is why the European Commission is pushing for a "digital Single Market".
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Climate change 'no excuse' for failure to beat malaria

A team of UK and American scientists say that - assuming global warming proceeds in line with mainstream expectation - there is no reason to fear a global malaria outbreak.
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Carphone Warehouse shoots mobile portal from the hip

Carphone Warehouse is to propagate its own on-device portal, preinstalled on handsets and offering access to content from HipLogic, as well as the inevitable application store.
Bill Ray, 20 2010
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2012 Olympic mascots cop a shoeing

LogoWatch The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) had better run for cover and batten down the hatches - if intial reaction to its official 2012 mascots is anything to go by.
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Symantec lays out $1.3bn to buy VeriSign's security business

Symantec has bought VeriSign's identity and authentication business for approximately $1.28bn in cash.
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Kodak's waterproof 1080p camcorder splashes down in UK

Kodak's bid to be the best in compact YouTube camcorders is finally about to debut in the UK.
Caleb Cox, 20 2010
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Coalition agreement website exposes database password

A government website this morning wrongly exposed its database hostname, password and username to anyone wishing to read up on the coalition's agreement.
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Megan Fox exits Transformers 3

Fans of Michael Bay's Transformers will have do without the charms of Megan Fox for the franchise's third outing, since the 24-year-old actress has either been dumped or has declined to participate, depending on whose side you prefer to take.
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US iPhone ready to be tied down?

The latest iPhone OS has options to enable tethering, not to mention a custom-dictionary editor and a control to stop the screen spinning around every time you lie down.
Bill Ray, 20 2010
LaCie Network Space Max

LaCie intros Raid ready home network storage box

LaCie is punting a new network storage box it claims can provide better data security than your average router-connected hard drive.
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Apple opens international iPad store ahead of rollout

Apple has opened the iPad section of the iTunes app store for business outside the United States - kinda, sorta. Previously, iPads not being on sale yet anywhere other than the US, the iPad just wouldn't let you log into the app store directly unless you had a US iTunes account. Now it will, although in various respects the non-US stores still seem to be not quite with us.
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McKinnon hearing abandoned

A planned judicial review of the Gary McKinnon case due to take place next week has been adjourned.
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Samsung and Toshiba squeeze NAND market

Samsung and Toshiba dominate the NAND flash market, leaving little for anyone else, first quarter revenue figures show.
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Robothopter in biomimetic butterfly boffinry breakthrough

Vid Japanese aerobiomimetics boffins have developed a tiny ornithopter modelled on a swallowtail butterfly.
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Boffins aim to warm watersports enthusiasts

Government-boffins-for-hire at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have claimed a breakthrough in wetsuit design that will enable watersports enthusiasts to frolic in Britain's frigid seas for longer.
The Register breaking news

Opportunity rover breaks Mars longevity record

NASA's Opportunity rover today breaks the "longevity record" for operating on the surface of Mars, passing the six years and 116 days set by the agency's Viking 1 Lander.
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Osborne pledges simpler biz taxes

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told the CBI last night that he wants a simpler corporate tax system and lower rates.
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OFT won't block BBC's über set top box

When Microsoft attempted to nobble an open industry technical standard to its own ends, there was a loud outcry. But what happens when a cartel of broadcasters try to do just that? Perhaps because the BBC is leading the charge, a popular uprising is nowhere to be found.
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John Lewis flogs first 3D TV

There you go, John Lewis - the Oxford Street branch, naturally - has sold its first 3D TV set. This is what the buyer, biz consultant Matt Rajah (28) has to say for himself.
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iPad pawprints for voter registration

Santa Clara County is now accepting voter registration verified with a finger-scrawled signature, showing how an iPad or iPhone really can do anything paper can.
Bill Ray, 20 2010
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The nightmare users: Solving the problem

Blog Before me sits a window which contains what is supposed to my third and final piece on managing user data. To get here has taken weeks of research, several test environments, seemingly endless conversations and debates with co-workers and an awful lot of reflection on the decade I’ve spent trying to solve this problem.
The Register breaking news
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BT shrinks phone book to fit in letter boxes

BT is reducing the page size of its phone books to make them fit in letter boxes. We guess this will reduce delivery charges, but it will certainly save paper - about 2,000 tonnes a year.
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ConLibs issue orangey blueprint for government

The coalition government has issued its "wish list" - a combination of the hopes expressed in both parties' manifestos.
The Register breaking news

LibCons to reduce vetting and barring

The new government has announced plans to scale back vetting and barring.
Kable, 20 2010
Seesaw
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SeeSaw adds telly show rentals

Online TV-on-demand service SeeSaw has activated lots more BBC series.
The Register breaking news

Ed Vaizey takes charge of Digital Economy Act

Jeremy Hunt's ministerial underling in the culture, Olympics, media and sport department - Ed Vaizey - has taken charge of overseeing the implementation of the Digital Economy Act.
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Heartland coughs $41m to settle MasterCard claims

Heartland Payment Systems has agreed to pay up to $41m to Mastercard in settlement for claims arising from a high-profile breach involving the payment processing firm two years ago.
SGI logo hardware close-up
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Cisco shells out $99m for CoreOptics

Cisco Systems, the very rich and ever-acquisitive networking giant, has reached into its front pocket for some change to snap up CoreOptics, a maker of optical networking subsystems based in San Jose but with most of its engineering done in Germany.
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Make Isle of Man drugs paradise, says Jagger

Mick Jagger reckons the UK should legalise drugs on the Isle of Man - cos that's where we test new mobile phones.
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EMC offers storage efficiency guarantee

EMC is offering a guarantee with its Celerra unified storage arrays, saying you will need 20 per cent less raw capacity than from other suppliers, even though previously its bloggers have said such gimmicks are abhorrent.
The Register breaking news

Fader pushers mourn Fritz Sennheiser

The founder of Sennheiser Electronics, Dr Fritz Sennheiser, has died aged 98.
The Register breaking news

'World's largest' airship inflated in colossal Alabama cowshed

The "world's largest airship" - according to its makers - was inflated for the first time yesterday and is undergoing ground tests inside a mighty roofed exhibition hall in Alabama which in normal times offers "the space for 1500 cattle".
The Register breaking news

Google blames developers for lousy Android battery life

Creating a multitasking mobile isn't so easy after all, Google's top execs are discovering. Co-founder Larry Page was pressed with concerns about Android's iffy power management yesterday, and according to reports, all he could offer was a bigger battery. Eric Schmidt blamed third party software developers for using the phone's radio capabilities.
The Register breaking news

Usenet's home shuts down today

Duke University in North Carolina is where Usenet began, and today the institution is shutting down its Usenet server. The college cites "low usage and rising costs" for the decision.
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Google mocks Jobs with Flash on Android

Google I/O Google has unveiled a new incarnation of Android: version 2.2, codenamed Froyo. And yes, it includes support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
The Register breaking news
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Microsoft 'cylinders firing' with business-cloud fluff

Microsoft's floated a key component of its cloud-for-corporations platform, with a code drop of Windows Server AppFabric and BizTalk Server 2010 beta.

iPads may be outselling Macs two to one

Apple's iPad may be selling nearly twice as well as the company's venerable Macintosh — despite Cupertino's admission that it's having a hard time meeting demand, and despite having to delay its international roll-out by a month.
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Google TV: Android and Chrome on your boob tube

Google I/O The Mountain View Chocolate Factory has unveiled the long-expected Google TV, an Android-based settop platform designed to meld the web with your boob tube. The platform will eventually be open sourced, and the idea is to put it on myriad settops.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
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NOAA goes to Cray for climate super

The people of the Tennessee Valley who depend upon the eponymous hydroelectric plants for their electricity may soon start seeing brownouts when what looks like another petaflops-class Cray supercomputer is plunked down at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
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Microsoft declares war on 'sophisticated' click-fraud scheme

Microsoft has mounted a legal offensive against scams targeting its pay-per-click advertising services, filing two lawsuits that take aim at what it says is a sophisticated new form of the crime.
The Register breaking news

Jobs drops hint on Google open video codec

Google I/O Steve Jobs has indicated that Apple is unlikely to embrace Google's newly-open sourced VP8 video codec.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
The Register breaking news

US boffins synthesize self-replicating bacteria

US researchers have fashioned the first self-replicating bacterial cell, "creating new life out of already existing life."
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Google punts sky high storage for devs

Google I/O Google has provided limited access to an online storage service built atop its famously distributed online infrastructure.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
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Server rebound, Perot services boost Dell

The x64 server rebound has been finally confirmed with Dell reporting its financial results for its first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended April 30. Dell's overall revenues were up 21 per cent, to $14.9bn, and net income was up 52 per cent, to $441m.
The Register breaking news
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Google denies carriers fled Nexus One webstore

Google I/O Google Android project lead Andy Rubin has said that wireless carriers departed the company's online Nexus One store only after it had decided to change how the phone was sold.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
The Register breaking news

Most browsers silently expose intimate viewing habits

The vast majority of people browsing the web are vulnerable to attacks that expose detailed information about their viewing habits, including news articles they've read and the Zip Codes they've entered into online forms.
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Google programming Frankenstein is a Go

Google I/O Google's back-end infrastructure is now running applications built with its new-age Go programming language.
Cade Metz, 20 2010
The Register breaking news

.NET for iPad stretches to Google's Android

Call it an unholy three-way, but .NET is coming to Google Android, potentially helping C# developers interested in creating applications for Apple's iPad.