8th > November > 2011 Archive
A tenth of Chinese farmland polluted by heavy metals
A new report on environmental pollution in China has shown that around ten per cent of the country’s farmland is heavily contaminated with lead, zinc, and other heavy metals.
Rackspace: 'We want to be your OpenStack maniac'
Rackspace Hosting, one of the cofounders with NASA of the open source OpenStack cloud fabric, is moving one step closer to running the OpenStack private cloud that you may be contemplating building.
Zuckerberg: 'Make partnerships, not war'
Mark Zuckerberg has said there’s no need for Facebook to fight with other technology companies, but instead it should embrace them all.
Apple expels serial hacker for publishing iPhone exploit
Charlie Miller, the serial hacker who has exposed more than a dozen critical vulnerabilities in Apple's Mac and mobile platforms, was kicked out of the company's iOS developer program after publishing an application that demonstrated a serious new bug in iPhones and iPads.
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 smartphone
ReviewRIM's efforts to create a purely touchscreen device haven't exactly been the most successful departure for the BlackBerry maker. Yes, the Storm handsets had their fans but they were simply not good enough to halt RIM's market share migration to Android and iOS.
Olympic Torch to visit Bletchley Park
The Olympic Torch will be making a stop at Bletchley Park on its way to London next year, it was announced yesterday.
NetApp accused of short-stroking its new hardness
AnalysisNetApp's bombshell NFS benchmark record has generated accusations that it is artificially boosting performance by short-stroking disks behind the scenes and scaling up rather than out.
Comp-sci boffin aims to REPROGRAM LIFE ITSELF
International boffins, led by a computer scientist based in Nottingham, intend to produce what they describe as "a cell’s equivalent to a computer operating system", which would deliver living organisms that could be "reprogrammed" to produce almost anything biological - fresh human organs for transplant, amazing new food sources, tailored micro-organisms able to clean up pollution or suck carbon out of exhausts, maybe dragons or unicorns etc etc.
Frisky Micron flashes its flash
Flash fab operator and drive supplier Micron is going to rapidly strengthen its server flash offerings, as well as developing its desktop/notebook SSDs.
Top cops placed under Freedom of Info law
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), along with the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO) and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), was added as a public authority under the Freedom of Information (Designation as Public Authorities) Order 2011.
OCZ exposes bulging solid disk for 2012
Happy new year: OCZ expects to ship flash drives with a 50 per cent capacity jump next year, starting shipments in January.
London to get another £60m of CCTV surveillance
Transport for London (TfL) has invited companies to join a framework agreement worth up to £60m for the supply of CCTV equipment to a range of public sector organisations in the capital and beyond.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
ReviewLook who’s back. Despite well-documented development team difficulties after the release of Modern Warfare 2, a feeling of increasing apathy for a franchise already over milked and fierce competition from EA in the shape of Battlefield 3, it seems you just can’t keep a good - and immensely profitable - series down.
UK forces offer to temporarily share some spectrum
The Ministry of Defence is offering shared access to some significant chunks of radio spectrum, though only until 2015 when it expects to sell it off properly.
Fujitsu Eternus: It's time to settle this thing
VMAX is modular and Eternus is not really enterprise class, having several limitations, according to an EMC fan. Fujitsu says the person is ill-informed.
HP seeks buyer for WebOS
HP is seeking a buyer for WebOS, the mobile operating system it acquired by buying PDA pioneer Palm last year.
Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars
AnalysisThere's a popular misconception about open source: that it's democratic, that all users have a vote over its direction and development or even the running of the community around it.
UK Space Agency OKs teeny-tiny satellite
The UK Space Agency has approved the design of UKube-1, the UK's first CubeSat mission.
Android App of the WeekBlackBerry Messenger aside, there can’t be many BB apps that Android users have been waiting for. But one such is BeWeather which has just been ported across.
Google's top lobbyist quits amid antitrust probe
Google's top Washington lobbyist, Alan Davidson, has quit the company.
Panasonic preps rubber-clad Android tablet
Looking for an Android fondleslab that's a bit less fragile? Next Spring, Panasonic will release what it hopes will be just the ticket.
Best Buy UK spent £200m on failed megastores
Best Buy's efforts to win over UK consumers were an expensive failure, costing some £200m to set up just 11 big box stores.
Prince Harry given free run of Arizona town's womenfolk
Prince Harry has been given the green light to deflower the maidens of a small US town, after the town manager explained reports Cap'n Windsor had been warned off "fornicating" as "a total fabrication".
Men most likely to friend dodgy Facebook strangers
Men are more likely to be suckers for Facebook scams than women, according to a new survey by Bitdefender, and it's usually because they're hitting confirm on friend requests accompanied by pictures of hotties in bikinis.
Oregon offers vote by fondleslab-swipe
The US state of Oregon is pioneering fondleslab-voting for a primary election to replace US Representative David Wu, who resigned after a sex scandal.
Bright Computing bursts HPC to EC2 clouds
SC11If you want to do cloud bursting in an HPC environment, the last thing you want to do is try to manage the movement of running workloads from your own cluster out to a compute cloud like Amazon's EC2 compute cloud. Bright Computing, the maker of the Bright Cluster Manager, would go so far as to say that its HPC cluster control freak is the only thing that should be trusted to do such work.
Samsung PS64D8000 64in plasma 3D TV
ReviewWith Samsung’s domination of the LED TV market all but complete (bwahahaha!) it’s perhaps easy to forget the brand is a major purveyor of plasma screens too. Its current largest is the 64in D8000, which with stand weighs in at over 38kg and dominates all but the largest of living rooms.
Apple trains store bosses to
ignore deal with unions
Apple has begun training its US store managers on how to deal with attempts by retail workers to organise themselves into unions.
Huawei butters up Microsoft to avoid Android patent war
Chinese infrastructure giant Huawei is bucking the trend by talking to Microsoft about patent licensing before launching potentially infringing Android devices.
Honda upgrades humanoid robot to SERVE BEER
Honda's stair-climbing robot, Asimo, has resurfaced now that its developer has given the 'droid the ability to recognise faces and voices, and to pour drinks.
Huawei brings Android tablet to Blighty
Huawei has unveiled its latest smartphone, as well as launching its first tablet here in the UK.
EU advisors: Tighter web privacy will stamp out bullies
Improved safeguards and greater resources for law enforcement are needed to tackle the related problems of cyber-bullying and online grooming, according to a report by an EU security agency published on Tuesday.
New plastic telescope ammo machine gun is light as a rifle
The US Army has announced successful tests of a new, lightweight portable machine-gun which fires special plastic ammunition. The gun and ammo are so much lighter than current weapons and their brass-cased cartridges that some soldiers are suggesting that every infantryman could in future pack the sort of firepower reserved today for heavy-weapons specialists.
The Register Guide on how to stay anonymous (part 2)
In part one of this series, I explored the privacy threats presented by targeted advertising, and asked why we should care. Browser referral, social media buttons and cookies were examined as examples of basic methods used to track our movements across the internet.
Anonymous blasts El Salvador offline
The government of El Salvador's websites were taken out on Saturday in what was a weekend of big hacks by the Anonymous collective.
Red Hat finds its feet in cloud gold rush
Open ... And ShutCloud computing may be the future, but it appears to be one fraught with unpredictable downtime and security breaches. In other words, it's very much like the bad ol' days of corporate data centres, except that this time Amazon, Salesforce and other cloud providers get the blame when things go wrong - rather than one's local IT folks.
New pics of giant black sphere hurtling toward Earth
A vast, inky black sphere approximately the size of a nuclear aircraft carrier is plunging through the void of space towards planet Earth, though NASA rather panickily insists that it will definitely not smash into our planet with devastating force.
Feds warn 'pox party' zealots not to send viruses in post
Health officials in Tennessee have warned parents that giving their children chickenpox-infected lollipops ordered over the internet is not a legitimate substitute for the state's mandatory immunisation programme for the scratch-inducing infection.
Theresa May won't quit job over UK Border Agency fiasco
Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed today that she would not resign from her Cabinet position, despite the UK Border Agency fiasco that led to an unknown number of people entering the country without proper checks.
HTC prepares quad-core smartphone for 2012
HTC is preparing an onslaught in the mobile marketplace by launching the first quad-core handset in 2012.
UK firm slammed for flogging spy software to Iran
A senior lawmaker has called on the UK government to ban the export of British-made surveillance software to repressive regimes.
Report: World digital music sales to soar £250m
Global sales of digital music rose this year and are predicted to top £3.92bn ($6.3bn) by the end of December, an increase from £3.67bn ($5.9bn) in 2010, according to a report from Gartner.
Boffins: Punters can't get a grip on online privacy tools
Privacy tools that offer a means to prevent advertisers from tracking the activity of surfers online are largely ineffective, according to a study by computer scientists.
Elite DARPA cyber heroes will protect interwebs
DARPA is upping its cyber game in order to protect the internet it came up with, increasing its research budget from $120m (£74.6m) to $188m (£117m) for the fiscal year 2012.
Ultrabooks will rescue PC industry – beancounters
Ultrabooks will give stagnating notebook sales and the wider PC components industry a shot in the arm, but only when prices are chopped, beancounter IHS iSuppli has warned.
Barclays knocks RIM shares down a peg
The shine has been taken off BlackBerry-maker RIM's shares after the firm's stock was downgraded by Barclays. The reassessment of the Canadian biz comes after a string of problems that more than halved its stock price in the last six months.
Upcoming EU data law will make Europe tricky for Facebook
EU-ro-crats are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for Facebook and other social networks.
Dealer bosses jailed for flogging fake Cisco kit
The bosses of US reseller Direct Deals has been sent down for touting fake Cisco gear imported from the Far East.
Secret US 'Jedi' ghost-copters kept out of bin Laden raid
The top-secret "Stealth Hawk" helicopters aboard which elite US Navy SEAL operatives travelled into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden were by no means the most sophisticated aircraft available, according to a new book on the operation. Apparently, even stealthier "Ghost Hawks" - also known as "Jedi rides" - were kept out of the mission as it was feared that the secrets of their advanced technology might be revealed to other nations.
Ryanair ponders in-air mucky movie service
Ryanair has hinted that it may be planning to offer flyers adult entertainment in flight.
Boffins give chatty robots a creepy human face
Boffins from Germany and Japan have teamed up to create a human-like face for robots.
Hackers can spring Death Row crims from cells
Computer systems used to control federal prison facilities are riddled with vulnerabilities that might allow criminals to meddle with cell door opening mechanisms or shut down internal communications systems, according to security researchers.
Only Samsung will challenge Apple's iPad in 2012
Apple's share of the tablet market may be heading downward, but it's still going to sell a shedload of fondleslabs next year.
Flood-hit HDD parts supplier resumes production
Major disk drive motor supplier Nidec has resumed production at several facilities in Thailand, but continues to deal with damage to six sites that are still under water.
NASA deep-space ship gets 2014 unmanned test flight
NASA has announced that it will test-fly its pork-tastic Orion spaceship, conceived under the Bush administration for the purpose of carrying astronauts to the Moon once more and now rebranded as a "deep space" vessel for trips to asteroids and perhaps one day Mars.
Intel stretches HPC dev tools across chubby clusters
SC11Supercomputing hardware and software vendors are getting impatient for the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle, which kicks off next week. More than a few have jumped the gun with product announcements this week, including chipmaker Intel.
Consumer Reports: iPhone 4S antenna doesn't suck
The product testers at Consumer Reports have given the iPhone 4S a clean bill of health.
Optus latest to reveal fibre service pricing
Optus has become the latest carrier to reveal its NBN service pricing, with bundled services starting as low as $AU39.99.
Mozilla updates to Firefox 8, disables add-ons
Mozilla has released the new build of its Firefox browser and, as promised, it’s cracking down on third-party add-ons.
Advertiser settles charges for use of Adobe Flash cookies
An internet-based advertising network has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges stemming from its use of Adobe Flash cookies to track internet users' browsing history, even when they took steps to evade monitoring.
Telstra targets SMEs in next cloud push
While some providers are looking to free trials to get businesses, particularly small ones, to try out the cloud, there’s no such pussyfooting around from Telstra: it’s launched a small business cloud service that ranges upwards from $AU200 per month.
Russian Mars mission launches after multi-year delays
After years of delay, Russia has successfully launched its first planetary probe since the Mars 96 failure at the end of the last millenium.
US Supremes liken GPS tracking to 1984's Big Brother
If the Obama administration wins a crucial case testing when police may use GPS devices to track American's whereabouts, investigators would be free to attach them to all nine members of the nation's highest court without a warrant.
Dymocks dances with Google
Australia’s largest bookstore retailer, Dymocks, has gotten into bed with Google introducing Google eBooks into the local market. The hook-up follows Google’s eBookstore launches in the UK and Canada. Google also announced yesterday that it is also launching its affiliate program in all three countries.
TPG falls foul of ACCC for false ads
National broadband carrier TPG has been busted over an "Unlimited ADSL2+" campaign that the Federal Court has decided was misleading.