22nd > September > 2011 Archive
Aussies’ password habits still slack, says study
“Through 20 years of effort, we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess,” is how xkcd puts it*.
Microsoft: Mango arrives in two weeks
Microsoft will begin rolling out the Mango upgrade to its Phone 7 platform within the next couple of weeks, according to a senior staffer.
Hackers of Japanese military contractor fluent in Chinese
Software used to breach the security of a Japanese maker of sensitive weapons systems contained simplified Chinese characters, making it difficult for those who don't speak the language to carry out the hack, Japan's biggest daily newspaper reported.
Schmidt ducks antitrust questions lobbed from Congress
When Google's Eric Schmidt testified before Congress on Wednesday, the first question came from Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights. And Schmidt responded with the sort of holier-than-thou attitude you find only at Google.
Red Hat swells sales and profits in fiscal Q2
Commercial Linux distributor and virtualization and cloud computing player Red Hat just continues to grow organically like a batch of yeast. Or an open source collective from outer space (well, North Carolina anyway) that feasts on Unix servers.
$20m to find 'next transistors'
Research into the use of graphene in semiconductors is one of 12 projects to share $20m in funding from the National Science Foundation and Semiconductor Research Corporation.
Acid3 browser test drops DOM tripper-upper
A browser test that tripped up Microsoft and helped pull the company into greater compliance with web standards has itself been updated for the changing web.
Mars trips could blind astronauts
A manned trip to Mars could end up blinding its astronauts suggests research by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The report says that long amounts of time spent in space damages astronauts' eyes.
Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty phone
ReviewHTC's ChaCha aside, BlackBerry-style Android messaging phones are a rare and unimpressive breed. And I, for one, am not all that sure about the look, price or point of the Facebook-centric ChaCha.
Scottish Boundary Commission: We don't need no stinkin' PDFs
The Boundary Commission for Scotland (BCS) has said it will publish shapefiles of its initial proposals for constituencies after the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) was criticised for not doing so.
EU dons kid gloves for Google competition probe
Google's business model is forcing EU regulators to take "special care" in their assessment of whether the search giant is abusing its market dominance in breach of EU laws, Europe's Competition Commissioner has said.
Lancs shale to yield '15 years' of gas for UK
The Cuadrilla Consortium has published its eagerly expected estimate of shale gas reserves in the North West of England. The group reckons it can extract 200 trillion cubic feet from sites near Preston and Liverpool – more than the current national estimates for Poland.
Google cleared in ad keyword-squatting court case
Google has been cleared of misleading web users in a court case brought by an Australian watchdog that accused the Chocolate Factory of mixing adverts into search results. However, Trading Post – the country's top online classified advertising site – was rapped for buying ads on Google using keywords for brands it didn't own.
Twitter discovers MMS for photo tweeting
Twitter users can now pump pictures directly into their tweet stream using the Multimedia Messaging Service that has been languishing, barely used, for years.
Sage sells off US healthcare biz
British software firm Sage is selling off its US healthcare unit to a private equity firm for £205m so it can focus on its core American customer base.
iOS App of the WeekFlipboard has been around for a year or so now, and has garnered all sorts of awards along the way. However, it was updated recently and has just gained the tech industry’s ultimate accolade: that of being imitated by Google, which is reported to be developing a "Flipboard killer" under the codename ‘Propeller’.
US military satellite to get attack-warning equipment
A US military satellite is to be fitted with equipment which will enable it to detect hostile action and inform ground controllers what's going on, according to reports.
EMC exec flames El Reg
FlameSmack! Our story about Nexenta at the VMworld 2011 Hands-on Lab (HoL) created a frisson, more than that in fact, and an impassioned EMC exec who was quoted in the story sent in this rebuttal comment. It's forthright stuff. Here it is:
OnLive pushes game stream service to UK punters
Cloud-based game service OnLive opened its gates to the UK public this morning, providing access to over a hundred titles and offerings exclusive deals for punters with BT internet connections.
Surviving the Facebook app 'swamp' with Azure
“Developing with Facebook is like building a house on a swamp,” says Microsoft’s Nathan Totten. He should know. He used to work at social media company Thuzi, and when the company needed to write a C# Facebook application, he and his colleague Jim Zimmerman were so disappointed by the existing C# SDKs that they built their own.
Former HP exec to run Citrix EMEA
Citrix has lured HP's global networking head Carlos Sartorius to run its EMEA operation.
Ministers kill off failed £12.7bn NHS IT revamp
GPs and hospitals have been told to look locally for IT help as the government finally spikes a £12.7bn nationwide NHS computer system.
Bargain-basement botnet kit – yours for just €5
Bargain-basement cybercrooks have begun selling a cut-price botnet tool on underground forums for just €10 or less a pop.
Ford spins pop-out anti-prang door shield
Time was when many car doors were fitted with a rubber doohickey to stop drivers and passengers opening them too rapidly and scratching the paint or denting the car they were parked next to.
TalkTalk still the most whinged about telco
TalkTalk has retained its tarnished crown as the telco consumers complain most about, according to Ofcom's sums.
Acer Ethos 5951G 15.6in Core i5 notebook
ReviewThe Acer Ethos 5951G laptop, with its matt black casing and blue activity LEDs, looks rather purposeful. I continued to be impressed by the cosmetics as I hefted the 3.3kg slab onto my lap even though a closer look revealed the brushed finish on the lid was nothing more than plastic, rather than the implied aluminium skin.
Attention metal thieves: Buy BT, get 75 MILLION miles of copper
AnalysisBritish Telecom is, as a telecoms company, worth minus £30bn. Yes, that's a negative number there. And yet it is literally sitting on top of billions in assets.
HP may NOT spin off PC biz
In another world, Mark Hurd is getting out of the shower amid a haze of steam as CEO of HP – the sex pest claims were never made and he is still at the helm of the tech titan.
Local radio stations band together against DAB
Ofcom's DAB consultation is supposed to be about measuring coverage and assigning multiplexes, but more than 50 local radio stations have teamed up to voice their frustration over the whole process.
Isle of Man floats government IT into the cloud
The Isle of Man government has set up a cloud-based infrastructure for its public services, moving more than 1,000 applications including email, financial accounting, customer relationship management and health services to the service.
EC: New principles agreed for out-of-print book licensing
Libraries, publishers, authors and collecting societies have agreed principles that will shape future licensing agreements on digitising out-of-print books, the European Commission said.
Cyberspy attacks targeting Russians traced back to UK and US
Security researchers at Trend Micro have discovered a sophisticated cyberspy network geared towards attacking systems in Russia and neighbouring countries.
Gartner: Apple rivals can't touch iPad
Pretenders to Apple's fondleslab crown will not overcome the domination of the iPad any time soon if the beancounters at Gartner are to be believed.
HP storage hobbled by board's indecision
OpinionThe future of HP's vibrant storage business has been made uncertain by HP CEO and board shenanigans, culminating with the latest uncertainty over CEO Leo Apotheker.
Yoof survey: 'Internet as vital as air'
A third of college students and young professionals feel that the internet is as important as air, food, water or shelter, according to a new survey.
Brit ISPs shift toward rapid pirate website blocking
ExclusiveLeading UK ISPs are now privately agreed on the principle of restricting access to websites in response to hastily obtained court orders, according to sources close to discussions that took place in Westminster this week. The shift follows the landmark Newzbin2 ruling in July, which affirmed the responsibility ISPs have to enforce copyright laws.
Web surfers stumble upon new planets
Humans have leap-frogged computers by identifying planets outside our solar system that the machines missed. The internet users detected the rocky Earth-like planets in their spare time by scanning the data from the Kepler satellite on the site PlanetHunters.
CERN's boson hunters tackle big data bug infestation
Tens of thousands of bugs have been eliminated from the program CERN's atom-smashers are using to identify Higgs boson – just don't expect an answer to life the universe and everytime anytime soon.
Cache IQ adds another NAS accelerator
Start-up Cache IQ is adding its caching product to the existing roster of plug-in filer accelerators.
Autodesk shifts design apps to the cloud
Autodesk is planning to take the bulk of its software onto cloud services in the next three years, beginning with AutoCAD WS.
Work begins on radical Gordon super flash-computer
Supercomputer maker Appro International has finally begun building the "Gordon" flash-heavy supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, which was funded by a $20m grant from the National Science Foundation nearly two years ago. The machine is a testbed to analyze what happens when you get the I/O and floating point operations in a parallel supercomputer in balance.
Memo to open source moralists: Put a sock in it
Open...and ShutThose who look to technology for their religious fix are going to be sorely disappointed, despite the fact that a recent article in The Economist highlights a range of priestly types who see Christian principles throughout the open-source software movement.
LightSquared to magic away GPS interference in 2 weeks
LightSquared has signed a deal with Javad GNSS that will see GPS filters capable of resolving interference issues, within two weeks.
Inconvenient truther hints at multiple iPhone October
The use of the letter "s" by a former US vice president has fueled speculation that Apple is poised to release more than one iPhone model this October.
Microsoft turns to FBI in hunt for Rustock ringleader
Microsoft lawyers have sealed their victory over the operators of what was once the world's biggest source of spam after winning a court case giving them permanent control over the IP addresses and servers used to host the Rustock botnet.
Facebook suggests sharing everything all the time
Mark Zuckerberg says new features on Facebook will allow the sharing of everything automatically and give people access to your entire life history.
HP expected to hand Whitman full fat CEO role
Meg Whitman will be handed the reins at HP for the long term, multiple reports said today.
Teradata update chews up, spits out columns
Data warehousing pioneer Teradata is turning up the dial on its eponymous parallel database to 14, adding in slew of new features that include the ability to process columnar data as well as the more standard-row-based chewing in relational databases. The company has also released an appliance running the hybrid row/column nCluster database that it got through its acquisition of Aster Data in March for $263m.
OpenStack adds web dashboard to 'floating Linux kernel'
OpenStack – the open source "infrastructure cloud" project founded by Rackspace and NASA – has released a new version of its platform, adding over 70 tools to the existing code while unveiling two new creations: a web "dashboard" for both administrators and users, and an authentication system that spans the platform.
Finance software bug causes $217m in investor losses
A developer of financial software has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle charges stemming from his concealment of a bug that caused about $217 million in investment losses.
HP dumps Apotheker for Whitman
HP has named Meg Whitman as its new president and chief executive officer, parting ways with Leo Apotheker, who took the reins at the IT giant just ten months ago.
Faster-than-light back with surprising CERN discovery
Only weeks since mathematicians proved it couldn’t be done, CERN boffins have put the smile back on sci-fi fans’ faces everywhere by discovering neutrinos travelling faster than light.
Junior tech moguls rock rich list
Atlassian’s founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have made the top five of BRW magazine’s annual Young Rich List, with combined riches of $AU360 million, up from $AU314 million last year.
Data on the couch: how analysing customers gives companies the edge
It used to be that quality and price were the key differentiators but increasingly these days organisations are relying on business analytics – the methodical exploration of the organisation’s data to measure performance – to deliver competitive advantage.
China links with Taiwan undersea
The first cross-strait cable linking Taiwan and China has been given the green light.
Three more charged in Anonymous hack spree probe
Federal prosecutors filed charges against three men accused of carrying out website attacks as part of an extended campaign linked to the Anonymous hacking crew.