10th > November > 2011 Archive
Drag queening for the birds say Spanish boffins
Fetch out the sequins: Spanish biologists working in western France have explained a curious characteristic of a bird called the marsh harrier: some males “dress” as females in their permanent plumage to win chicks and territory.
Barnes & Noble complain to DoJ over Redmond nobbling
Barnes & Noble has reportedly complained to the US Department of Justice over Microsoft’s recent lawsuit alleging patent violations for using Android.
Server biz saves Cisco profits
Networking giant and server upstart Cisco Systems' financial results for its most recent quarter show that it's moving in the right direction – even though it has some ways to go and a rabble of competitors that want to take a piece out of its hide.
HP earns Greenpeace eco-purity snog
The latest annual Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics is out, and Nokia has lost its three-year reign at the top to an up-and-coming HP.
Google ices native Gmail app for BlackBerry
Beleagured RIM continues to suffer the slow torture of death by a thousand cuts: Google is dropping support for its native Gmail app for BlackBerry.
City IT manager accused of brazenly stealing mayor's email
A former IT manager for the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, was arrested on Wednesday on charges he intercepted emails sent to and from its sitting mayor and other top city officials, and forwarded them to others.
Divorcing couple ordered to share Facebook and dating site logins
A squabbling couple have been ordered to exchange the passwords for each other’s Facebook pages and dating website accounts.
Nokia Lumia 800
ReviewFor the first time in ages, it's possible to recommend a Nokia phone to somebody in the pub. Nokia's first Windows-based device is the company's most attractive consumer product for some years, at least in the modern era of touchscreen smartphones.
NetApp proudly exhibits fresh box
NetApp has updated its entry-level FAS2000 products with a new FAS2240 and a lower-priced entry-level array.
Virgin Media, TalkTalk snub kind offer to block Newzbin2
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has asked two other UK internet service providers (ISPs) to consent to a court order that would force them to block their customers' access to a copyright-infringing website.
Basement-dwelling BOFH to be sent into Spaaaace
A UK company has launched a competition to send one lucky database administrator into space.
Pollution from car exhausts 'helps city dwellers fight stress'
Toxic carbon monoxide emitted from engine exhausts, inhaled in low levels by city dwellers, has a narcotic effect which helps people to resist various other stresses of urban life such as noise – that's the controversial claim made by an Israeli professor investigating conditions in Tel Aviv.
IBM's UK captain Bligh relieves TalkTalk biz boss
TalkTalk Business UK bigwig Paul Lawton has quit to "pursue opportunities outside of the business", the carrier has confirmed.
NHS staff rapped for gossiping about patients on Facebook
Improper use of social media, especially Facebook, is leading to disciplinary action against staff at a number of English trusts.
Mars, Moon, solar system could be littered with alien artifacts
It's one of the top alien-related puzzlers: Given the vast number of stars out there, and the great age of the universe, if intelligent life other than ourselves exists even very uncommonly ... why haven't we met it yet? Surely, somewhere in the multitudes of other stars, at some remote juncture in the past, some alien civilisation should have done the same sort of things we have done – for instance sending out space probes similar to the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft, which are even now headed out into interstellar space perhaps to be discovered aeons hence by denizens of some far-flung star system.
iOS App of the WeekInstapaper has been around on Macs, PCs and various mobile platforms for a few years now and I’d started to take it for granted, only using it to save the occasional long or important article that I knew I’d want to come back to at a later date. However, the iOS app has just had a big update to version 4 that has reworked the interface and reminded me how useful it can be.
Apple: No Siri for old iPhone owners. Well, not from us
Siri will not be rolled out to the owners of older iPhone models a blogger has claimed.
Amazon ups Kindle Fire production...
Demand for Amazon's 7in tablet, the Kindle Fire, is sufficiently strong to prompt the online retailer to increase its production orders by 42 per cent, it has been claimed.
Dating sites can be haven for sex pests, say cops
The capital's coppers are warning lonely hearts to think about their safety when signing up to online dating sites because they can be a haven for sex offenders.
Mystery of MAGNETIC ROCKS FOUND ON MOON cracked
Scientists say they may finally have cracked a long-standing boffinry conundrum – the mystery of why it is that the Moon rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts of the 1960s and '70s are magnetic. The Moon, unlike the Earth, has no global magnetic field – a compass would not work on the lunar surface – and so its rocks shouldn't be magnetised. But they are.
New tap turns water into super-cleaning potion
Scientists in Southampton have been given a grant by the Royal Society to develop an ultrasonic tap head that makes water clean better.
Is Apple nobbling iPhones to avoid more patent misery?
iOS 5 has a hidden autocorrect function, suggesting words along the top of the keyboard in an Android-like XT9 fashion, which can be enabled with a minor configuration tweak.
Sony: Pssst! Want access to the PlayStation on Android SDK?
Sony is seeking US and UK "content developers" who'd like to code for its PlayStation Suite - the framework that allows Android-based devices to run PlayStation-branded games.
Why your tech CV sucks
No, really. Your CV really, really stinks. I read these things for a living and the quality varies a lot more than it should considering what you are selling.
ICT education quango will learn to wield Sword of Twitter
Jisc, the ICT education quango, has announced that it will take part in a project to find how the social media technology behind Twitter and Facebook can be used to capture educational content and then be fed to users and publishers.
Only an open standard lance can slay EMC's cache demon
Blocks and FilesHaving EMC storage arrays direct hot data into a flash bank is great, but only if you're happy using EMC's cache gear. Wouldn't it be rather nice if there was an open and widely used server flash interface that could be used by all PCIe flash cards and PCIe flash-using vendors?
Mexican drug runners torture and decapitate blogger
The moderator of a Mexican social network has been tortured and ritually murdered by local drug lords in the latest cartel-related killing in the country.
UK to big brands: Get off our Facebook, mate!
Nearly two-thirds of Britons would prefer big-name brands to stay off social networks, according to a new survey.
Another hushed HTC blower set for 2012 debut
Fresh in the wake of this week's quad-core HTC handset leak comes another beefy blower expected for 2012.
Flasher macs popular among data centre nerds
FlashMax sounds like a used car salesman from Essex. It's actually Virident's latest server flash card to replace the TachION and comes as Virident pockets $21m in extra funding from VCs keen to invest in the hottest flash market of them all.
Renault Fluence ZE
First LookWith Renault-Nissan now having splurged €4bn (£3.4bn) on its e-car projects, it’s about time we saw some iron beyond the frankly rather too US-oriented Leaf. That time has now arrived: Renault officially unveiled the Fluence in Lisbon last week.
HP finds role for its ex-networking boss
HP's former UK networking boss Barry Bonnett has made an internal move into the firm's services organisation.
Hong Kongers fight for right to stand in line for iPhone 4S
Apple's Hong Kong store appeared to have banned the traditional queue fest ahead of its launch of the iPhone 4S this weekend, after "tongue fights" between "professional" queuers and their amateur counterparts threatened to get much nastier.
Results in on why life, the universe and everything exists
It's one of the most difficult questions that human philosophy and science have ever faced: Why are we here? Why is the universe and all that's in it here?
Az mayor offers Prince Harry beer and pizza in fornication row
The Mayor of Gila Bend, Arizona has offered Prince Harry a pizza supper and a "beer summit" to lay to rest claims that he warned the third in line to the throne off fornicating with the local ladies.
Ultrabooks are doomed unless prices tumble
Ultrabooks are likely to be a flop with hard-up shoppers until prices fall by at least 25 per cent, market watcher Gartner has warned.
Apple agrees to replace dodgy MacBook power cords
Apple will replace strained MagSafe cords, even if they are out of warranty, to settle a lawsuit brought against the fruity tech titan.
Where are all the decent handheld scribbling tools?
Part 1As the market for computerised devices grows ever bigger and the internet takes over its users' social lives, it's a good time to be a gadget fan. They're everywhere, from smartphones and fondleslabs to pocket games consoles. There are notebooks of every size and shape from netbooks to desktop replacements. What were once mere MP3 players can now show films, play games and surf the web wirelessly.
Murdoch blames other NI execs for phone-hacking scandal
James Murdoch has once again defended himself against allegations that he knew in 2008 that phone-hacking was more widespread than one "rogue reporter" at the company's now-closed Sunday tabloid News of the World.
Nazi Star Trek episode finally broadcast in Germany
German television has finally aired an episode of Star Trek, which was previously held from broadcast due to a Nazi theme that ran throughout.
NetApp faces probe into Syrian spooks' use of its storage kit
NetApp faces a grilling by US senators after its storage gear helped Syrian spooks to spy on anti-government protesters during a crackdown that resulted in more than 3,500 deaths.
Nokia's Windows comeback: Great but what's next?
Reviewer's NotebookBack in February, people muttered that Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop was a Trojan Horse sent to destroy the company and deliver the remains of the chopped up cadaver to Microsoft. Those mutterings continue. But having used Nokia's new Windows phone (here's my review) it doesn't look quite like that. Microsoft's software has given Nokia a quick and vital competitive advantage.
Kansas IT boss found faking CV resigns
The new head of Kansas' state IT department has resigned after he was found to have put a degree from a fake university on his CV.
Smartphones rocket past consoles for mobile game sales
Two years ago, Nintendo's handheld games consoles accounted for 70 per cent of the money made selling mobile games to Americans. This year, they will account for a little over a third of the total.
Atari fires greatest gaming hits onto Android
Atari has released its compendium of classic games on Android.
UK.gov moves to close VAT loophole on etailers
The UK government is planning to close the loophole in tax law that was allowing online retailers to funnel goods through the Channel Islands and thereby evade import VAT.
Thai flood ripples set to impact entire world PC market
The Thai floods have dampened Goldman Sachs outlook for global PC sales forcing it to downgrade forecasts for this quarter and next.
Mobile scaremongers want warning stickers on EVERYTHING
AnalysisMobilewise - the tireless promoters of the dangers inherent in mobile telephony - has a new report blaming mobiles for everything from cancer to infertility, and it wants sticky warning labels to alert the world.
Clean-up begins after biggest ever botnet takedown
A clean-up operation following the takedown of what has been described as the biggest cyber-scam scam ever has begun.
ARM rolls out new GPU, loses head
One of ARM's founders, not to mention a co-designer of the eponymous chip, will be retiring from his presidential role next year to spend more time with his money, though not until May.
Chief inspector sacked for 'advertising uniformed self online for sex'
An unnamed chief inspector, who allegedly trawled a website looking for sex while advertising himself dressed in police uniform, was sacked today.
Apple's iPad not so shiny once you get it home
Many Brits can't be bothered to use their fruity fondleslabs once they have them and don't think they're worth the money, a new study has found.
Eurozone crisis: We're all dooomed! Here's why
AnalysisQuite what is actually happening over the Eurozone I can't actually tell you: it's not that things change too fast to write about them, it's that things change to fast to read about them. Berlusconi still PM? Italian bond yields over or under 7 per cent? That changes as often and as fast as Berlusconi does condoms. France to go bust or not? Greece still bust?
US weather boffins tap IBM for 1.6 petaflops super
The US National Center for Atmospheric Research has fallen behind in the race for more powerful parallel supercomputers, and it needs a petaflops-class machine to run its weather and climate modeling simulations. The only trouble is, there's no power at its Boulder, Colorado facility to juice up such a behemoth.
OFFICIAL: Last Western Black rhino snuffs it
The last of the Western Black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes), a rare species of black rhino, has died and the survival of the northern white configuration hangs in the balance, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
IBM rises to the optimisation challenge
In computing, it sometimes pays to specialise. Generic systems will handle most computational needs, but they may not excel at them.
Happy birthday, Tech City: Have another confusing map
The UK Prime Minister went down to the Silicon Roundabout on Thursday to mark the first anniversary of his Tech City initiative and unveil an interactive map of it all.
Mm, Silverlight, what's that smell? Yes, it's death
Microsoft hasn't denied rumours that they are about to pull the plug on Silverlight, its development platform for rich Web design. Often compared to Flash, Silverlight could be about to get the same treatment as Adobe's platform and get dumped in favour of leaner, quicker, more energy-efficient HTML5.
US doctors demand right to advise on gun ownership
Doctors in America are up in arms over the suggestion that they have no business advising their patients on gun ownership and safety. The incensed medics insist that it's their duty to tell Americans not to keep guns in the home, or if they do, to keep them unloaded and locked away.
Boffins build electric car from a single molecule
Dutch scientists have reported building a car that's a single molecule wide and is powered by electrons.
Apple kills code-signing bug that threatened iPhone users
Apple has patched a serious bug in iPhones and iPads that allowed attackers to embed secret payloads in iTunes App Store offerings that were never approved during the official submission process.
Student Cluster Comp – an inside look
SC11In my continuing effort to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the upcoming SC11 Student Cluster Competition, I spent a few minutes on the phone with Jason Kilmer – a member of the 2010 University of Texas team. The Longhorns were the first team to break the Teraflop barrier (among three) and also notched the highest LINPACK score – but were ultimately whipped by Taiwan for the overall crown. (There still isn’t an actual SCC crown, although I’m working on one.)
AMD revs up server channel for Opteron 6200 push
Chipmaker AMD is getting ready to launch its "Interlagos" line of server processors, which are expected to be called the Opteron 6200s. AMD won't say when the launch is, but it is saying that its server channel is primed and pumped to get peddling.
Lockheed Martin splurges $AU10 million on security lab
Lockheed Martin has added a cyber-security centre in Canberra to an international network of labs that includes facilities in the US and UK.
Alcatel-Lucent secures biggest GPON deal in China
China Unicom has selected Alcatel-Lucent as the key supplier for its proposed fibre broadband access network, one of the largest GPON broadband projects in China to date.
Army to deploy jumping robots in Afghanistan
The US Army will be testing a new type of reconnaissance robot designed to jump over walls and through windows, without putting soldiers in the line of fire.
Death match between site and writer over Twitter account
A mobile products review site is locked in a fierce battle with one of its former writers over who is the rightful owner of a Twitter account with 17,000 followers that was set up before he ended his employment.
Aus radio industry wants content quotas punted
Peak radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia has called for the scrapping of quotas for local music on radio nationally and dropping the minimum local program content rules for regional areas.