Four National Broadband Network myths
I believe in public debate, but I also believe in facts. In the ongoing row about Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), facts are an early casualty. Some of the non-facts bandied about are to do with the NBN’s technology, but instead, I’d like to deal with aspects of the political and business dealing that are widely misunderstood.
Travelodge still doesn't know who hacked it
Travelodge is still trying to find out who got into their customer database and snaffled names and email addresses.
Court orders trader to repay customers after failure to deliver goods
A court has ordered an online trader to refund consumers to whom he failed to deliver goods or pay refunds, the UK's consumer protection regulator the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said.
Acer Android 3.1 update leaks out early
Acer's Android 3.1 Honeycomb update for its 10in Iconia Tab A500 tablet has leaked out ahead of schedule.
SLAs keep demands for business applications under control
It is not uncommon for the IT department to find itself some way down the food chain. You know how it is: the business guys decide to implement their shiny new applications and the IT department somehow has to find the platforms to run it on.
Google kills sickly health, energy projects
Google is killing its Health and PowerMeter products due to a lack of interest from would-be customers.
Cambridge gets a white (space) wash
A consortium of Cambridge-based companies is to start testing white space radios in the UK, to see if they can coexist with each other, and everyone else.
Asus $199 MeeGo netbook out next month
Asus announced its MeeGo-based netbook, the 10in Eee PC X101, earlier this month, but said little else about the specs. Now a few tech details have emerged.
US Spec-Ops offered camouflage for a specific site
Everybody knows how obsessive the world's elite special-ops forces are about preparing for a task. Prior to the recent, headline-making raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed, US Navy SEALs built a complete mockup of the compound where he lived and spent weeks practicing attacks on it, for instance.
PS3 hacker Hotz accepts job at Facebook
Facebook has reportedly hired George Hotz, the hacker best known for defeating the security measures of iPhones and PS3 consoles.
Lego Star Wars to be celebrated in TV special
George Lucas has picked up the building blocks again by readying a Lego Star Wars TV special, to broadcast sometime this autumn.
Facebook elbows past Microsoft in UK
Facebook crept past Microsoft in the UK for the first time last month, when it became more popular than every other site surfed in the country with the exception of web kingpin Google.
Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook
ReviewTight spots don’t come much trickier than the one netbook makers find themselves in. Squeezed from above by prettier, more interesting tablets, netbooks such as Samsung’s £350 N350 are barely appealing alternatives to Apple’s glossy view of the future.
Denmark gets its own NFC consortium
The four Danish network operators have banded together to create a standard NFC platform, and admitted that it is the threat from Google that has driven them to do so.
Opera boss walks off stage, citing musical differences
Jon S von Tetzchner is leaving Opera, the browser company he co-founded back in 1995 and headed until last year.
You have to have standards – or do you?
Part oneGiven that so much of the time and effort expended by you technical and computing types revolves around standards, just how important are they in the larger sense? And if they are important, who ought to be devising them, and should they be voluntary or imposed?
'Robots can save America', says Obama
President Obama has announced an ambitious plan to revitalise the economic health of the USA by deploying a mighty nationwide task force of robots.
HTC to follow LG with 3D smartphone
HTC has followed LG's lead by fitting its latest smartphone with a glasses-free 3D display.
Councils and police to publish speed camera data
Local authorities and police forces are to publish figures on the results of installing speed cameras.
Automation begins with keeping track of your assets
Automating effectively requires you to know what is connected to your network and what patches it needs, and to be able to push patches on to the right device at the right time.
Groupon faces multitude of legal headaches in US
Groupon may have rather more legal woes than people generally think. The problem isn't particularly that it's doing anything wrong - it's that the major limitation on most innovation is the old way of doing things. In this case, that's the laws about the old ways of distributing and using coupons.
Russian payment processing boss held over DDoS-for-hire plot
The co-founder of Russian payment processing firm ChronoPay was arrested last Thursday over allegations that he hired a hacker to run a denial of service attack against a business rival.
Vatican launches second website in just 2000 years
The Vatican is to update its notoriously creaky comms operation this week, with a new easy to use and doctrinally sound news portal.
MobileMe web app features shapeshift into Apple's iCloud
Apple confirmed late last week that various web apps currently locked into MobileMe will live on in the company's recently announced iCloud service.
Go Daddy on the block for $2.5bn
Domain names and web hosting provider Go Daddy is reportedly on the verge of being acquired by private investors for up to $2.5bn.
Boffins take REMOTE CONTROL of HUMAN HAND
Now that pacemakers are to be loaded with firewalls and bionic-man body parts are appearing on production lines, the concept of body hacking has become a spooky possibility. Researchers in Japan have begun to try to teach people how to play instruments by remotely controlling their hands.
Side-lined suppliers beat on Police procurement deal
The Home Office's ruling that police buy commodity hardware and software from a single supplier framework instead of a multi-reseller agreement continues to attract biting criticism from side-lined suppliers.
ALK tells CoPilot owners no free upgrade to new release
ALK has formally announced CoPilot Live Premium HD, the latest version of its Android and iOS satnav app. The new release adds a stack of new features, but there'll be no free upgrade for owners of the previous release.
Liverpool cops compulsively snooped footballer's record
Merseyside Police officers were caught illegally accessing the Police National Computer over 200 times in the last three years.
German chemical giant depending on biscuit-based security
Managers at Germ chem firm Evonik are putting their mobile phones into biscuit tins during important meetings, but testing by El Reg has revealed critical flaws in the Faraday-cage qualities of popular brands.
Oracle cranks Sun Fire servers with Xeon E7s
Oracle is struggling a bit with its hardware business right now as it pares down the Sun server and storage business to be a less complex line with more profits. But don't get confused. The software giant and server maker is very much committed to have x64 gear in its lineup to prop up both Linux and Solaris workloads. Especially big, fat boxes for supporting Oracle databases or virtual server slices.
Filer maker BlueArc refiles for IPO
Filer maker BlueArc has refiled for an IPO and wants to raise a hundred million bucks.
600 tonne asteroid in low pass above Falkland Islands - TONIGHT
An asteroid the size of a bus and massing 600 tonnes is barrelling through space toward planet Earth at terrific speed as this report is written. Astronomers say there is no chance that the object, dubbed 2011 MD, will strike our planet but it will corner sharply through our gravitational field and descend to just 7,600 miles above the surface.
Carphone Warehouse makes Euro bill shock boob
You'd expect a major mobile phone seller to have a good understanding of the cost of using a smartphone when you travel abroad.
Avast still focused on Windows, despite new Mac security app
Free security software outfit Avast reckons unprotected Windows desktops still offer its greatest potential area for growth, despite its huge existing Windows user-base of 130 million active users.
Wildfire shuts down Los Alamos nuke lab
Los Alamos National Laboratory – one of the big nuke labs run by the US Department of Energy and a big supercomputing center – has been shut down by the Las Conchas fire that is burning on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Microsoft nails second Android device maker
Microsoft has nailed a second Android device maker to a patent licensing agreement.
US Supremes dump violent video game ban
The US Supreme Court has upheld a lower-court decision that blocked a California law which made the sale or rental of violent video games to minors an offense punishable by fines of up to $1,000.
Hackers pierce network with jerry-rigged mouse
When hackers from penetration testing firm Netragard were hired to pierce the firewall of a customer, they knew they had their work cut out. The client specifically ruled out the use of social networks, telephones, and other social-engineering vectors, and gaining unauthorized physical access to computers was also off limits.
Fusion motherboards beat AMD chips to market
AMD's desktop-bound A-Series Fusion APUs (accelerated processing units) haven't yet officially hit the streets, but that hasn't stopped manufacturers from punting motherboards intended for them.
All aboard the flash array train?
CommentA flash train is thundering down the track, coming right at the storage array vendors. Will they step aside, get run over, or leap aboard?
Google turns over user data in 94% of US demands
The US government filed more than twice as many demands for data about Google users than any other other country in the past six months, according to figures the search behemoth supplied Monday.
China Tel gets busy Down Under
The world's largest fixed carrier, China Telecom, has quietly opened shop in Australia. The Australian branch of China Telecom formally launched operations in Sydney in mid-June.