8th > September > 2011 Archive
Early Earth’s ‘golden shower’
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).
Solar lays hands on Holy Grail
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.
StreetView gets the willies in Victoria
In the great tradition of pranking Google’s photographers, someone has penned a phallus on a Google StreetView camera-van in Australia.
Hitachi Data Systems gobbles BlueArc
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.
Google feeds patents to HTC for assault on Apple
Android phone manufacturer HTC has sued Apple using nine patents it bought from Google. And Google acquired four of the nine from Motorola.
Kingston Wi-Drive wireless flash storage
ReviewThe 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.
Three in ten Americans urge feds to read their email
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.
Lost memory stick had 87 NHS patients' info unencrypted
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).
London public transport tap-cash plans will be 'entirely safe'
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.
McAfee: Cyber thugs will turn your car into Christine
Poorly secured embedded systems in next-generation cars create a way in for hackers, according to a new study by McAfee.
The Reg dips toe into social media ocean
Today, The Register's official Twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/regvulture reached 5,000 followers.
Patent wars: Apple attacks Samsung in Japan
Another day, another tech giant starts a patent lawsuit.
Disk sales up 4%: No sign of Flash or Cloud impact yet
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.
iOS App of the WeekThere 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.
Ultrabook makers turn to fibreglass to cut costs
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).
UK.gov works on YET ANOTHER open-source push
TransferSummitYet 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.
AMD Steam-game offer suspended after keys pilfered
Data security problems have led to the suspension of a free-videogame-with-every-Radeon-graphics-card offer from AMD and Codemasters.
SCC swallows French services firm LNA
SCC has expanded its French operation after acquiring Boulogne-based IT services outfit LNA for an undisclosed sum.
Poster presents evolution of game controllers
Fancy a wallchart detailing the evolution of videogame console controllers?
JP Morgan has a Playmobil moment
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.
UK.gov coder defines open standards: 'A lot like porn'
TransferSummitAs 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.
Gartner predicts UK PC market nosedive for 2011
ExclusiveThe UK PC channel is stuffed for 2011: both in terms of unsold kit and weakened demand across all market segments, according to Gartner.
Designer styles bendy Samsung smartphone
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 solves wait-at-home-for-deliveries problem
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.
Orange Monte Carlo budget Android smartphone
ReviewIf 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.
End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out
Dialling your neighbour is going to take longer as Ofcom abolishes local calls in some areas of Britain, warning that numbers are running out.
Erwan Menard joins fellow HP vets at DataDirect
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.
Three complains to Brussels over NFC exclusion
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.
Ice Cream Sandwich Android out 'by November'
Google's next major Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be out in the October-November timeframe, Eric Schmidt has revealed.
Swedish cops free boozy moose from tree
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.
China sprouts another Android fork
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.
Oracle rejects Google's man for mediation
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 to give up the fight in California
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.
Hitachi GST sandwiches Seagate with 4TB big boy
The day after Seagate launched its 4TB external drive, Hitachi GST did exactly the same with its launch of its 4TB desktop whopper.
Double-barrel net infrastructure hack threatens ecommerce
AnalysisSecurity 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 prey on 9/11 anniversary
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.
TVonics seeks Brits to beta test BBC iPlayer over Wi-Fi
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 may axe up to 30% of overseas mobile staff
LG Electronics may cut 20 to 30 per cent of its overseas mobile staff in a bid to reform the loss-making unit.
Google greedily goobles foodie guide Zagat
Google has acquired Zagat, the US restaurant guide, to tag onto its search engine and mapping application. The purchase price is undisclosed.
MS, Samsung to show Windows 8 tablet at Build
Samsung and Microsoft will show off a Windows 8 tablet next week.
Google: SSL alternative won't be added to Chrome
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.
Microsoft inks new patent pacts over Android...and Chrome
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.
Foxconn churns out '150,000' iPhone 5s a day
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.
Burned by DigiNotar, Mozilla tells cert cops to audit security
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.
Enterprise computing imperiled by cloudy mobes
Enterprise computing practices are under attack by a rapidly advancing army of cloud-hungry mobile devices.
IBM loans SMBs $1bn to buy stuff
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 censored but still selling
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.
Germany nixes EMI suit against HanseNet
A Cologne court has dealt yet-another setback to the music industry’s international strategy to force ISPs to police its copyrights.