15th > December > 2010 Archive
Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman has attacked Google's still-gestating Chrome OS, arguing it's designed "to push people into careless computing."
FBI agents looking into the theft of customer data belonging to McDonald's are investigating similar breaches that may have hit more than 100 other companies that used email marketing services from Atlanta-based Silverpop Systems . “The breach is with Silverpop, an email service provider that has over 105 customers,” Stephen Emmett, a special agent in the FBI's Atlanta field office, told The Register. “It appears to be emanating from an overseas location.”
Police must obtain a warrant before accessing emails stored by internet service providers, a federal appeals court has ruled in a landmark decision that also struck down part of a 1986 law that allows warrantless interception of some digital data. The unanimous decision (PDF), from a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, rejected prosecutors' arguments that there was no reasonable expectation that email is private when it's stored for more than 180 days. Such reasoning is antiquated today, when email conveys people's most guarded personal and business secrets and often lives on servers for years. As such, email should enjoy protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, the judges said.
The US Air Force is barring its personnel from using government computers to view The New York Times and 25 other websites that posted diplomatic memos released by WikiLeaks, according to news reports. When personnel try to view the banned websites -- which also include The Guardian, Germany's Der Spiegel, Spain's El País and France's Le Monde -- they see a screen that says "Access Denied: Internet usage is logged and monitored," according to The New York Times and other publications. Maj. Toni Tones told CNN that not all of the sites that generate such messages are WikiLeaks related, but couldn't seem to explain what they were or why.
Product Round-upProduct Round-up Budget PMPs are the missing link between a high-end video job and a standard MP3 player. With modern devices so advanced, some would class these PMPs as cell-phones without the option to call, a view I generally shared. However, without the distraction of ringtones and txt msgs, they have space to focus on getting the rest right and your phone doesn't suffer from a low battery life. Here, in alphabetical order, is a selection of what's available for less than £150 from each end of the spectrum.
Consumer protection watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has forced a network of bloggers to make it clear when companies are paying it for coverage. The OFT investigated Handpicked Media under consumer protection laws.
Hewlett-Packard and European energy mammoth E.ON IT announced they have signed a five-year, $1.4bn infrastructure tech-outsourcing services contract.
Black cabs "capable of zero tail pipe emission operation" will start to appear on the streets of London by the year 2020 under plans announced yesterday by mayor Boris Johnson.
Three has upgraded its The One mobile phone tariff to add "all-you-can-eat data" to the package.
The ASA has ruled that it's perfectly plausible to claim that Windows 7 was developed by a bunch of rugby players' girlfriends, "private-browsing" dads, and spud-faced kids in Spanish cafes rather than a bunch of highly trained, generously paid developers in Redmond.
British prisoners aren't as connected as they were last year - or prison wardens are losing the ability to find contraband mobiles.
French services giant Atos Origin is buying Siemens IT unit Solutions and Services (SIS), after signing an €850m deal with the German multinational.
Yahoo! began laying off around four per cent of its staff yesterday.
Microsoft released a bumper total of 17 bulletins on Tuesday - collectively addressing a total of 40 software security vulnerabilities - as part of its largest ever Patch Tuesday update.
Boffins believe they have discovered the first "cryovolcano" known to the human race: a mountain on Titan, ice moon of Saturn, which has appeared in much the same way as an Earthly volcano - but which is made of ice and spews freezing slush rather than blazing molten rock.
Mozilla user-interface guru Aza Raskin is leaving the open source outfit to start a new venture called Massive Health.
The future of 3D TV is "event television" reckons eminent broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, the implication being that stereoscopic broadcasting isn't much cop for anything else.
Hosted appsHosted apps Stick enough kit and multi-tenant software in one huge data centre and there is no arguing with the economies of scale that can be achieved. Megahosters like Google and Microsoft playing this game can deliver web search capability and online consumer services such as email, office and social networking tools at minimal cost per user. Even that cost is then covered through advertising and the sale of user and usage information to advertisers. As consumers, we get highly functional “free” services that most of us now take for granted. These same megahosters have recently upped the ante on the business services front.
Nokia is cutting back on staff while grappling with its new E7 Communicator, which will now not ship until next year.
Analyst rankings of virtual server backup software put CommVault Simpana 9 and CA ARCserve r15 in place as the best all-round products.
The BBC's own research has discovered that DAB radio leaves the audience nonplussed. "Although we did speak to some real fans of DAB, most licence fee payers we spoke to do not yet view DAB as an essential service in the way they do Freeview, for example," notes the study. "This certainly coloured their reaction to some of the trade-offs they encountered between funding distribution and content."
Security watchers have urged Wikileaks to stop hosting its material with a "bulletproof" Russian ISP believed to primarily cater to, or be controlled by, Russian cyber criminals.
Allegations that the FBI may have smuggled back doors or weaknesses into openBSD's cryptography have created uproar in the security community.
A man was caught masturbating in a public library while perusing Lord Alan Sugar's autobiography.
The IEEE has put in place a programme to devise a standard that will bridge wired and wireless network technologies in the home.
ReviewReview Will someone please do something interesting with the netbook. Even Asus, the company that created this category of computer, doesn't appear to be able to do anything with it, if it's latest Eee PC, the 1015PEM, is anything to go by.
Following an FOI request instigated by yours truly, it has emerged that GCHQ are keeping tabs on FOI requestors. Even those requestors who have asked public authorities for a copy of GCHQ’s widely distributed, declassified, IT security documentation...
The NOOKcolor e-reader, from Barnes & Noble, is going to get Android 2.2 (Froyo) next month, very nearly turning the $250 e-reader into a usable tablet computer.
It's all go in the world of hypervelocity railguns this week. Following Friday's 33-megajoule test shot carried out at a US Navy laboratory, it has also been announced that a different railgun known as "Blitzer" has recently carried out firings which suggest that it is almost combat ready.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has defied WikiLeaks supporters to claim Time magazine's Person of the Year™ crown.
Symantec has developed a specific file resource management product to help users weed out inactive and orphan files from the onrushing flood of unstructured file data heading their way.
The European Commission has raised "significant concerns" with Britain over schools that collect and store children's fingerprints.
Everything Everywhere has rather upset Which? by mooting the idea of tariffs based on services, rather than raw quantities of data.
Yahoo! search went downmarket yesterday, and defaulted to serving up porn to users.
Google had rolled out IT admin controls for deploying and configuring its Chrome browser across business networks.
AnalysisAnalysis A federal appeals panel has upheld a ban on the distribution of a once-popular World of Warcraft bot in a sprawling ruling that is sure to anger just about everyone with a stake in the debate over whether gamers have the right to tweak the titles they play. Tuesday's 3-0 decision from the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals said the Glider bot, which automatically plays early levels of WoW to save users time, violated provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that bar the circumvention of technology designed to prevent access to copyrighted material. Glider maker MDY Industries added the measure to evade a feature called the Warden, which WoW maker Blizzard Entertainment added to enforce terms of service that forbid the game's 10 million users from employing bots.