27th > June > 2011 Archive

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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.
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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.
homeless man with sign

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 Iconia A500
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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.
Hard Reg, 27 2011
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6

Does Office 365 keep its promises?

Broadcast The end of June marks the launch of Microsoft's biggest cloud initiative so far: Office 365. Some of you will have been playing with the beta, some of you will have it scheduled for the future, and some of you will see it implemented over your dead bodies.
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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.
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Google kills sickly health, energy projects

Google is killing its Health and PowerMeter products due to a lack of interest from would-be customers.
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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.
Bill Ray, 27 2011
Asus Eee PC X101
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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.
Hard Reg, 27 2011
The Register breaking news
9

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.
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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 III: The Clone Wars

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.
Caleb Cox, 27 2011
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4

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

Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook

Review Tight 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.
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3

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.
Bill Ray, 27 2011
channel

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.
Joe Fay, 27 2011
Withings WiFi Scales

You have to have standards – or do you?

Part one Given 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?
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'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.
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HTC to follow LG with 3D smartphone

HTC has followed LG's lead by fitting its latest smartphone with a glasses-free 3D display.
Caleb Cox, 27 2011
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Councils and police to publish speed camera data

Local authorities and police forces are to publish figures on the results of installing speed cameras.
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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.
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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.
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1

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.
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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.
Joe Fay, 27 2011
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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.
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8

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.
PossessedHand

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.
Caleb Cox, 27 2011
cloud

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 CoPilot for Android

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.
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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.
SGI logo hardware close-up
5

Wiltshire Council on its Windows 7 roll-out

Case study Amalgamation of four separate authorities, 270 offices that needed to be reduced into four hubs and 70 outlying offices, and many constraints including a host of governmental regulations, were among the challenges facing Wiltshire Council as it planned to roll out Microsoft Windows 7, which was at the core of its workplace transformation programme.
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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.
Bill Ray, 27 2011
channel
9

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.
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Filer maker BlueArc refiles for IPO

Filer maker BlueArc has refiled for an IPO and wants to raise a hundred million bucks.
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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.
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2

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.
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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.
cable
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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.
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Microsoft nails second Android device maker

Microsoft has nailed a second Android device maker to a patent licensing agreement.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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All aboard the flash array train?

Comment A flash train is thundering down the track, coming right at the storage array vendors. Will they step aside, get run over, or leap aboard?
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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.
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3

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.
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Commercial math attracts NBN Co’s attention

Australian software company Biarri has won a contract to supply software and co-development work to NBN Co, the government-owned company building the country’s National Broadband Network (NBN).