8th > September > 2011 Archive
Rocks from Isua in south-west Greenland have been hailed as providing evidence for what geologists believe is the source of complex and heavy elements on Earth: an asteroid shower that endowed our young planet with gold (as well as platinum, iridium, nickel and tungsten).
While the solar industry continues its campaign against the new NSW state government, which in its first budget cut back further on subsidies to solar installations, another landmark event has passed with much less notice: various experts and analysts now put PV power cost at parity with the cost of buying electricity from the grid.
In the great tradition of pranking Google’s photographers, someone has penned a phallus on a Google StreetView camera-van in Australia.
At last. Hitachi Data Systems is buying hardware-accelerated filer supplier BlueArc for an undisclosed cash sum, leaving NetApp as the last significant man standing from the filer side of the industry and giving HDS a powerful file storage capability.
Android phone manufacturer HTC has sued Apple using nine patents it bought from Google. And Google acquired four of the nine from Motorola.
ReviewReview The lack of any direct storage expansion in Apple's iOS products has been one of the more enduring causes of complaint for those using or pondering on owning one of these devices. Kingston Technology demonstrated its idea of a workaround when it previewed the MobiSX at CES at the beginning of the year. Now in production, with a name change to boot, the Kingston Wi-Drive relies on wireless data transfer to deliver its 16GB or 32GB iOS storage expansion.
A survey into attitudes ten years after the 9/11 attacks has found that three out of ten Americans are happy to let the government read their emails without a warrant. And this rose to 47 per cent for emails addressed to foreigners.
A medical student who copied the private data of 87 patients onto a memory stick – and then lost it – has landed the University Hospital of South Manchester in trouble with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
Fraudsters will not be able to extract confidential information from a person's contactless bank card or other compatible technology as the type of data held on such cards will be restricted, Will Judge, head of future ticketing at Transport for London (TfL) has said.
Poorly secured embedded systems in next-generation cars create a way in for hackers, according to a new study by McAfee.
One of the latest buzzwords to contaminate this great language of ours is ‘consumerisation’. According to many marketeers, it defines the future of end user computing.
Today, The Register's official Twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/regvulture reached 5,000 followers. OK, so no biggie and never let anyone say that we are pioneers in such things. But in mitigation we are quite a big website with thousands of active commentards, albeit mostly of the anti-social media kind. Any ways, in recent weeks The Reg has gotten into a social media outreach groove. For instance, last Sunday we manned the Tweetdecks to handle questions about and speculation concerning the site when Turkish hackers hijacked our DNS records from Netnames. Also, we are getting into the Facebook schtick, setting up an official page at facebook.com/VultureCentral just a few weeks ago. Dilatory? Us? About 650 people have found their way there. Do feel free to join us. Bootnote
Another day, another tech giant starts a patent lawsuit.
Despite the impact of the global downturn on global markets, disk sales in the second quarter were 4 per cent higher than in the first.
HP has updated its 11.6in notebook-not-netbook machine, the dm1.
iOS App of the WeekiOS App of the Week There are plenty of PDF viewer apps available for iOS devices, so it’s a little surprising that it’s taken this long for Adobe - deviser of the Portable Document Format - to release this CreatePDF app.
Take this as you will, but it's claimed that many upcoming Ultrabook laptops will use a fibreglass chassis to bring production costs down to the point where their vendors can sell the machines for under $1000 (£627).
TransferSummitTransferSummit Yet another government definition for the term "open standards" is incoming because the Home Office isn't satisfied with the current wording of its so-called Action Plan.
Data security problems have led to the suspension of a free-videogame-with-every-Radeon-graphics-card offer from AMD and Codemasters.
SCC has expanded its French operation after acquiring Boulogne-based IT services outfit LNA for an undisclosed sum.
Fancy a wallchart detailing the evolution of videogame console controllers?
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we're well and truly flattered that JP Morgan has taken a leaf out of the El Reg Bootnotes book and decided that figurines are the best way to illustrate important news.
TransferSummitTransferSummit As the government works on drawing up yet another definition for open standards, the man in charge of the Cabinet Office's team of IT coders is keen to talk about a future where all government tech is based on, well, open standards.
ExclusiveExclusive The UK PC channel is stuffed for 2011: both in terms of unsold kit and weakened demand across all market segments, according to Gartner.
Samsung has demo'd flexible, foldable OLED displays, and here's a concept one designer has posted to show how such a screen might change the phones we choose.
Amazon is planning to roll out digital lockers in the UK, so people with busy schedules can go to pick up their online purchases instead of taking the day off work to wait for the postman.
Top boffins reviewing data from a NASA satellite dedicated to probing the secrets of the Sun say that some solar flares directed towards Earth deliver much more energy than had previously been thought.
ReviewReview If during the last 12 months you wanted a cheap but decent prepaid smartphone there was really only one choice, the Orange San Francisco. But now its big brother is in town – the Orange Monte Carlo.
Dialling your neighbour is going to take longer as Ofcom abolishes local calls in some areas of Britain, warning that numbers are running out.
HPC and big data storage supplier DataDirect Networks (DDN) is gearing up for expansion, growing its operations and adding information extraction software onto its data storage platform roots.
The UK's smallest operator, Three, has launched a preemptive strike against the NFC gang of three which was announced in June, claiming its exclusion is competitively motivated.
Google's next major Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be out in the October-November timeframe, Eric Schmidt has revealed.
Swedish police were called to the aid of a pissed-up elk after it chomped on fermenting apples and became trapped in a tree that had been doubling up as its free bar.
QQ, the world's biggest social networking service, is to launch its own handset and yet another fork of Google's Android, bringing the count up to four Android variants in China.
We didn't really expect Larry Page to take two full days out of the Googleplex to sit down and talk about patent infringements with the software company Oracle – he's got maths to do, nerds to manage and Google+ updates to write. But Google could have come up with someone a bit senior to meet the mediation team from the enraged software company.
Amazon has cut a deal to lay down its arms in its battle with Californian legislators over the introduction of a sales tax for online retailers in the state.
The day after Seagate launched its 4TB external drive, Hitachi GST did exactly the same with its launch of its 4TB desktop whopper.
AnalysisAnalysis Security watchers warn that hackers might be able to develop potent attacks that would be extremely hard to foil by combining DNS hacks of the kind that affected The Register and other high-profile websites over the weekend with DigiNotar-style forged digital certificates.
Cybercrooks are gearing up for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a range of malware traps and hacking attempts both on social networks and the wider internet, net security firm BitDefender warns.
UK DVR maker TVonics is looking for "a small amount" of folk who own its DTR-HV250 set-top box to test its implementation of BBC iPlayer.
LG Electronics may cut 20 to 30 per cent of its overseas mobile staff in a bid to reform the loss-making unit.
Google has acquired Zagat, the US restaurant guide, to tag onto its search engine and mapping application. The purchase price is undisclosed.
Samsung and Microsoft will show off a Windows 8 tablet next week.
Still smarting from a counterfeit secure sockets layer certificate that threatened at least 300,000 of its users in Iran, Google has no plans to fortify its Chrome browser with an experimental technology that bypasses the current system for validating websites. In a blog post published Wednesday, Google security researcher Adam Langley said he didn't think the technology known as Convergence “is something we would add in Chrome.” Moxie Marlinspike, a researcher who has made a career out of exposing huge architectural cracks in the net's foundation of trust, designed the system to address security vulnerabilities and privacy weaknesses in the current SSL system. In a nutshell, Convergence is a crowd-sourcing technology that allows endusers to query people or organizations they trust to vouch for the validity of certificates used to authenticate Gmail, eBay, or any other website that uses an https suffix prefix. In its current incarnation, the system relies on a handful of “notaries,” including Marlinspike's organization and the the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It's capable of accommodating an unlimited number of notaries and would allow end users to query as many or as few as they want.
Microsoft has inked patent-licensing deals with Acer and Viewsonic that cover devices running both Google's Android operating and its browser-based Chrome OS.
The word out of Taiwan is that the iPhone 5 is now being churned out of Foxconn Electronics sweatshops factories at a rate of 150,000 per day, and that five to six million of the li'l fellows will be shipped by the end of September.
Mozilla has directed all web authentication authorities trusted by its software to conduct security audits to ensure they aren't being abused to issue counterfeit secure sockets layer certificates. Thursday's note from Kathleen Wilson, who oversees the certificate authorities included in the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client, gives all participants eight days to confirm their systems are secure from the same type of compromise that recently hit Netherlands-based DigiNotar. Hackers penetrated the authority's certificate issuance systems and minted at least 531 counterfeit credentials, including one for a Google.com that was used to spy on Iranians accessing their Gmail accounts.
Enterprise computing practices are under attack by a rapidly advancing army of cloud-hungry mobile devices.
Big Blue wants to make more sales in the small and medium business space, and it is shelling out $1bn over the next 18 months to make it happen.
Optus will continue to sell, market and invest in wireless services despite a stringent condition regarding wireless marketing contained in its $AU800 million agreement with NBN Co.
A Cologne court has dealt yet-another setback to the music industry’s international strategy to force ISPs to police its copyrights.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has given telecommunications providers a five deadline to improve customer services as a result of the 12 month investigation into the industry’s consumer code of practice.