1st > November > 2011 Archive
The Victorian government has announced an expanded eServices panel of IT suppliers, in a move that should relieve the industry’s fury at cuts to the industry panel announced in July.
Australian-made iOS app darling Filter Squad has hit one million downloads for its Discovr app and has promptly closed $1.1m in seed funding.
Researchers have devised a simple procedure that can be added to many electronic voting machine routines to reduce the success of insider attacks that attempt to alter results. The approach, laid out in a short research paper (PDF), augments the effectiveness of end-to-end verifiable election systems, such as the Scantegrity and the MarkPledge. They're designed to generate results that can be checked by anyone, by giving each voter a receipt that contains a cryptographic hash of the ballot contents.
HP has lost the CTO from its PC division after Phil McKinney announced he was leaving the company for semi-retirement.
Pete Townshend, noted windmill guitarist and child pornography investigator, has called Apple's iTunes a "digital vampire", likened it to big-bucks bailout beneficiary Northern Rock, and admitted that yes, he did once want to cut Steve Jobs' balls off.
SCC team profileSCC team profile Boston University is another first-time SC11 Student Cluster Challenge competitor. The application submitted by the BU Terriers made me laugh out loud – it was very well written and genuinely funny. This team has personality, and it’ll be great to have them in Seattle.
SCC Team ProfileSCC Team Profile The Colorado Buffaloes are one of five teams returning to the fifth annual Student Cluster Challenge in Seattle next month during SC11. Like Purdue, Colorado has participated in every challenge but has yet to take home the gold medal. (There aren’t any gold medals awarded. Pity.)
SCC team profileSCC team profile In five years of Student Cluster Challenge (SCC) action at the annual Supercomputing Conference, Purdue has yet to hoist the championship trophy over their collective heads. (There isn’t a championship trophy, but there should be.) They’ve had an impact, winning the Green Award for most flops/watt in 2008 and 2009, but they haven’t taken either the LINPACK or the overall crown. (There should be a crown too.)
SCC team profileSCC team profile This year’s SC11 Student Cluster Challenge will see five returning teams and three teams that are new to the competition (that’s eight total for those keeping track). One of the returning teams is the pride of Russia, the team from Nizhny Novgorod State University (NNSU).
SCC team profileSCC team profile This is the second year the University of Texas Longhorns will compete in the Student Cluster Challenge at the annual Supercomputing Conference. They brought a lot of personality to the competition last year with a “TACC to the Future” theme combining one of their sponsors (University of Texas Advanced Computing Center) with the series of increasingly crappy “Back to the Future” movies.
ReviewReview Sony may be late to the Android tablet party but it has turned up with something rather unusual and hopefully different enough from the iPad to not suffer the attentions of Apple’s hyperactive legal department.
Computer 2000 has lured Widget UK boss Jo-Anne Foreman to head up its retail biz in the UK.
Ninety-seven per cent of the traffic carried on the Three network is data, according to a company blog posted this afternoon. Do people even make phone calls anymore?
Concerns were raised during a committee hearing in Parliament yesterday over the government's £12bn plan to rapidly roll out smart energy meters in the UK by 2019.
The early signs of another jobs slump are already apparent, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Micron is getting into a spin over STT-MRAM and getting into bed with a Singaporean research institute to develop it.
A group of six men who have spent the past 17 months sealed up inside a spaceship simulator near Moscow - in order to investigate the problems which might arise on a mission to Mars - are about to regain their liberty.
Having made its first commercial flight on October 26, with a chartered promotional flight to Hong Kong, the new 787 Dreamliner enters regular airline service today. This is of course a great excuse for us to talk about the competition between the differing technologies and market visions favoured by rival aerospace colossi Airbus and Boeing.
VidVid Boffins have taken their inspiration from the gecko to develop a tank robot that can scale completely smooth walls and shuffle along ceilings.
The BBC's improbable units department was in fine form last week when it decided to quantify the land area of the United Kingdom in doormats.
An interesting snippet emerges from Asus' latest financial results presentation: it expects to sell rather fewer tablets in the Christmas period that it did during Q3.
Dixons Retail is turning to the dark side this Christmas by hiring jackbooted camp war mongerer Darth Vader to star in a marketing campaign.
Android App of the Week SpecialAndroid App of the Week Special In the absence of anything shiny, the hoi polloi and the media focused on Siri as the The Big Idea at the iPhone 4S launch. Android has supported basic voice commands for ages, but there are now a number of Siri-wannabes in the Market. But are they of any use other than as a bit of mild amusement?
LCCLCC Too many countries are interfering in their citizens’ right to internet freedom, the Foreign Secretary told the London Conference on Cyberspace (LCC).
Amazon has played down the significance of a recently discovered vulnerability affecting its flagship Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform.
Almost half of the UK population now owns a smartphone, and Google's OS, Android, is leading the race.
A number of websites were taken offline yesterday, and remained down this morning, after a load of servers run by Gloucester-based hosters Fasthosts fell over. Services on the hosting side are back up now, but the outage provoked angry responses.
A Canadian politician has rather deliciously insisted that vast tracts of his nation were opened by "the relentless pursuit of beaver", an agreeable concept that for some reason conjures an image of Silvio Berlusconi furiously paddling a kayak through white water rapids in pursuit of a fleeing supermodel.
Deep diveDeep dive Cloud is everywhere. Every day we read news about new cloud applications and new cloud providers. But will it really solve all our problems?
HTC's supersize Sensation has landed in Three stores across the UK today.
All change on the Barracuda front: despite the disastrous floods in Thailand, Seagate will ship its terabyte-per-platter Barracuda desktop drives this month. At the same time it's phasing out its slower rotating Barracuda Green drives and says it will transition the Barracuda XT to hybrid flash and hard disk technology.
Disk drive shipments are set to plummet by nearly 28 per cent in Q4 – 48 million fewer units than a year ago – in the wake of the devastating flooding in Thailand, says beancounter iSuppli.
ITU Telecom WorldITU Telecom World The ITU's Youth Challenge flew 45 young people to Geneva to pitch their innovative ideas, with six of them pocketing around £6,000 each to develop those ideas into products.
Air travellers in the US can rest easy that they can happily pack sex toys in their luggage after the Transportation Safety Administration began a "removal" action on an errant employee.
LCCLCC The UK seems to be hoping for some sort of lasting agreement from its gathering of governments and businesses at the London Conference on Cyberspace (LCC).
LCCLCC As various bods gather in London for a conference on cyber-security, leading online rights campaigners have penned a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague urging the government to maintain freedom and privacy while promoting security.
It has been a year since I have talked about securing browsers against privacy invasion. In that time, things have got worse, not better. In addition to the threat of malware and malicious scripts, we have the frightening new evercookie.
ReviewReview Even the staunchest opponent of all things games would have been hard pushed to avoid the determined advertising campaign waged on us by EA of late. TV spots, billboards, websites, magazines, sides of buses, newspapers, even logos on tanks in one recent London stunt, all liberally displaying brand Battlefield.
Ofcom has published the first of its triennial reports on the UK's communications infrastructure, but more importantly there are pretty maps too.
BroadcastBroadcast More data more often than not means more disks. It was ever thus - but in these cash-strapped times, just buying more kit is no longer an option. But is it really that easy to stop the growth/spend cycle and make what you’ve already got work harder? Could you solve everything by throwing a bit of elastic cloud storage into the mix, or does that just move the problem?
It’s the kind of thing that a conference organiser dreams about: a product launch that goes around the world. That’s what last week’s Electric Vehicle Conference in Brisbane got when a local collaboration launched an Australian-built e-sportster.
Netflix and Amazon have extended existing content deals with Walt Disney Company in a clear sign that the meeja world wants online video streaming to become big business Stateside and, presumably, beyond.
Butter-fingered civil servants are continuing to hurl away their personal tech devices, figures released to the House of Commons yesterday show, with BlackBerrys particularly prone to going walkies.
French nuclear power group Areva may have fallen victim to an operating system-level electronic attack, which was first detected in September.
LCCLCC Police forces need to be better equipped to deal cybercrime and online misbehaviour, a couple of web grandees have declared.
Private equity house Better Capital has merged seven specialist mid-market software resellers under the m-hance brand with a single management team.
The two ringleaders of a gang that siphoned more than £2.8m from bank accounts were jailed on Monday following an investigation by the Met's Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU).
Google has begun telling users of its Gmail service exactly why it is serving up specific ads that creepily refer to the content detailed in individual email correspondence.
LCCLCC Twitter and Facebook didn’t start the revolutions in the Middle East, but they did accelerate them, according to Yemeni activist Atiaf Alwazir.
Yahoo! is buying advertising network Interclick, which is best known in these pages, at least, for winning a lawsuit brought against its cookie respawning and history sniffing techniques.
If large-scale storage networks were managed in the same way as city road traffic systems the result would be catastrophic, with traffic jams, delayed delivery and lost messages. Network Fabric management, unlike road traffic management systems, has both real-time traffic management and an end-to-end view to find faults fast and fix them.
Nokia's Lumia 800 has been given an official launch date here the UK, with punters able to pick one up from 16 November.
Battlefield 3 has become the fastest-selling videogame in EA's history, with ten million units leaving the publisher's distribution centres since last week's release. Half of those were picked up by gamers in the space of a few days.
Josh Holly, the self-confessed Miley Cyrus hacker, has avoided jail for unrelated computer crimes, receiving three years' probation at a sentencing hearing on Monday.
The semiconductor supply chain is bracing for impacts from the flooding in Thailand, but sales were good through the end of September, according to statistics compiled by the Semiconductor Industry Association. Global semiconductor sales hit $25.8bn, up 2.7 per cent sequentially from August. That's the positive spin. The negative spin is that on a year-on-year basis, the SIA reckons that chip sales slipped 1.7 per cent.
LCCLCC UK Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that government “doesn’t own the internet, run the internet or shape the internet”, despite having said that he was considering shutting down social media during the London riots.
Calxeda, formerly known as Smooth-Stone in reference to the river rock that the mythical David used in his sling to slay Goliath, doesn't think the server racket can wait for the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture (announced late last week) to be designed and tested in the next few years. And that is why Calxeda has spent the past several years tweaking the 32-bit ARMv7 core to come up with its own system-on-chip (SoC) and related interconnect fabric suitable for hyperscale parallel and distributed computing where nodes have only modest memory needs.
Hewlett-Packard might have been wrestling with a lot of issues as CEOs and their strategies come and go, but the company's server gurus know a potentially explosive business opportunity when they see it. That is why HP has put together a new hyperscale business unit inside of its Enterprise Server, Storage, and Networking behemoth and is getting out the door first with a server cluster that makes use of the EnergyCore ARM RISC server chip just announced by upstart Calxeda.
Parliament's Business Select Committee heard some interesting news today, as they mulled the Hargreaves Report’s recommendations. Executive director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock told MPs that the UK’s copyright laws were deterring investors and new businesses. Alas, he could have picked a better example.
The word on the street is that a Gmail app for iOS is about to hit Apple's App Store. If true, not only would iPhone and iPad Gmailers benefit, but Android device makers would lose one of their advantages over Apple's iDevices.
Open ... And ShutOpen ... And Shut In the latest round of Silicon Valley navel-gazing, CNN's recent airing of Black in America gets technology prophet and pundit Michael Arrington on the record as not "know[ing] a single black entrepreneur."
Asian countries collectively relayed more than half (50.1 per cent) of the world's spam last quarter.
Dutch adult entertainment star and - apparently - avid gamer Kim Holland was uninvited from a VIP Call of Duty bash after Activision discovered what she does for a living.
LCCLCC US Vice President Joe Biden has made it clear that America is not interested in the sort of global internet rules that China and Russia have been calling for.
China has successfully launched an unmanned capsule into orbit and is beginning to maneuver it into place for the nation’s first orbital docking.
Samsung is demanding the source code of the iPhone 4S firmware, while Apple wants copies of Samsung's contract with Qualcomm and both companies are looking to France in their Australian case.
New details have emerged about who, why, and how Microsoft killed off its Courier dual-display tablet 18 months ago. The simple answers: Bill Gates, Windows, and abruptly.
The Duqu malware used to steal sensitive data from manufacturers of industrial systems exploits at least one previously unknown vulnerability in the kernel of Microsoft Windows, Hungarian researchers said. The zero-day vulnerability was triggered by a booby-trapped Word document that was recently discovered by researchers from the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security, or CrySyS. The security consultancy provided bare-bones facts on its homepage, and researchers from Symantec elaborated on them here. The Word document was phrased in a way to “definitively target the intended receiving organization,” Symantec researchers said.
AT&T has announced that the first two phones for its nascent LTE network – the HTC Vivid and the verbosely monikered Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket – will be available this Sunday, November 6.
Adobe continues to spend up expanding its advertising business with the acquisition of Auditude, an online video ad management platform.
The OpenBSD Foundation has released version 5.0 of the popular operating system and has made it available for download – or for purchase via CD if you want the bonus party pack.
Curtin University has awarded a $AU1.3 million contract to Fremantle-based Poseidon Scientific Instruments to supply electronics packages for the Murchison Wide-field Array telescope.
New Zealand’s first crop of internet content stealers will soon receive copyright infringement notices under the recently introduced ‘Skynet’ law.
A chronic gambler from the ACT has been denied bail over charges that he stole money from ATMs in late October.
Advanced Micro Devices has made business tough for supercomputer maker Cray once again. But it won't get a third chance.
Riverbed has become the latest vendor to take formal membership of the OpenStack community.
UpdatedUpdated A small array of scripts programmed to pass themselves off as real people stole 250 gigabytes worth of personal information from Facebook users in just eight weeks, researchers said in an academic report to be presented next month. The 102 “socialbots” included a name and picture of a fictitious Facebook user and used programming interfaces from iheartquotes.com to automatically embed pseudo-random quotes into status updates. They also used Facebook interfaces to send connection requests to about 5,000 randomly selected profiles. They then sent connection requests to the friends of those who accepted the initial invitation, and with each acceptance, they scraped whatever information was available. At the end of the eight-week experiment, the researchers recovered 250 gigabytes of personal data, much of it configured to be available only to people on the user's list of friends. (They strongly encrypted and anonymized the collected data and deleted it once they were done analyzing it.)