14th > November > 2011 Archive
Grabble heads for Silicon Valley
A startup from Wollongong which just handily happens to fit the “founded in a garage” narrative beloved of the tech sector has been acquired by WallMart and is off to Silicon Valley.
Slapped: Oz TV show spikes Dutch torrent site
Netherlands-based BitTorrent site Diwana.org is no more, reportedly following action from Australian copyright attack dog AFACT.
AMD rides Bulldozers into the x86 server chip war
SC11Advanced Micro Devices was expected to launch its "Interlagos" Opteron 6200 server processors about now in conjunction with the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle.
Sony Walkman NWZ-A866
ReviewRumours that Apple would kill the iPod may have been far from the mark, but it doesn't stop rival companies wrestling for their own portion of the portable music player pie, despite smartphones eroding this market. Indeed, Sony still knocks out respectable PMPs and its latest A-series Walkmans are slick, lightweight models with storage options from 8GB to 64GB to suit different budgets.
Nexsan adds NAS range topper
Mid-tier storage array supplier Nexsan continues rebuilding its product line with the E5510 array, topping 1PB in capacity.
Cray lands $188m Blue Waters NCSA contract
SC11If there was a reason that Cray CEO Peter Ungaro, who formerly ran IBM's high performance computing biz, was a little extra perky when the company announced its third quarter financials two weeks ago, it was not just because the SC11 supercomputing trade show was coming to Cray's hometown of Seattle this week. Or that Advanced Micro Devices was once again late with an Opteron launch and had hurt its numbers.
Chinese hacks face life ban for nicking rumours from web
The Chinese government has issued new regulations for journalists that require them to provide two sources for everything they print.
Overland still shovelling cash into tape
New mid-range tape libraries from Overland Storage indicate older models may be heading for the chip, and show there's life in the supposedly moribund tape dog yet.
PSP owners must pay to port games to PS Vita
Sony has released details how PlayStation Portable users can continue to play their UMD titles on the upcoming PS Vita.
BSA name-and-shame tactic may have backfired
The processes – or lack of them – applied by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to determine if crimes against software were committed have been placed under the spotlight.
Netflix signs Reservoir Dogs film firm for UK streaming
Netflix has won the agreement of Lionsgate Films to stream the movie distributor's offerings to its UK subscribers when it launches over here in 2012.
Israeli air raid vs Iran nukes boardgame out in time for Xmas
Speculation regarding a possible Israeli air campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities has been rife for years – a pair of MIT students wrote an analysis on the subject back in 2007, and countless articles have appeared before then and since. Now, however, it's possible to do more than simply talk about such a battle: should you wish to, you can set aside the Monopoly or the chess set in favour of a rousing boardgame pitting one player as Iran against another as Israel, with preservation or destruction of Tehran's nuclear capability as the prize.
Don't get privates trapped in Facebook's silos, warn experts
The EU information security agency (ENISA) has warned that people can get too easily "trapped" into "personalised information silos" when using social networks.
Ion Audio Piano Apprentice
Geek Treat of the WeekIt might look a bit silly, but the Piano Apprentice from Ion Audio, the company famous for its USB LP decks, is good fun – and could actually help you learn to play the piano.
Top cop calls for tougher sentencing of cybercrooks
Cybercrims should get tough sentences, according to the head of Scotland Yard's e-crime unit, who criticised judges for going easy on e-banking fraudsters while throwing the book at the their old-school cohorts in crime.
Apple recalls first iPod Nanos over battery flaw
Apple is asking for its six-year-old first-generation iPod Nano back.
Mystery radioisotopes in Czech air are not from Fukushima
The International Atomic Energy Agency has said that traces of radioactive isotopes have been detected in the atmosphere over the Czech Republic.
Ex-councillor jailed for grooming blackmailer posing as teen
A 52-year-old Londoner has been jailed for 15 months after he was caught attempting to sexually groom a child online.
New claim: iPhone 5 was a goer until Jobs bottled it
Apple was planning to launch the iPhone 5 this year, but it bottled it because Steve Jobs wasn't happy, Business Insider reports, quoting a source who claims to have played with a prototype months before the 4S was announced.
BT Tower falls over, crushes X Factor hopefuls
BT's iconic central London tower flipped out on Saturday evening, delaying transmission of an episode of The X Factor for 15 minutes.
Space station resupply 'nauts avoid fiery death
The delayed Soyuz launch of two cosmonauts and an astronaut to the International Space Station lifted off successfully in the early hours of Monday morning.
The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying
For a certain type of alphabetised-DVD-collection Doctor Who fan, there’s a crafty mental reset button that can be pressed when encountering deeply uncomfortable concepts. Concepts such as when the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, casually let it slip that he was actually half-human, or upon hearing the Doctor In Distress charity single, or when Tom Baker told John Culshaw he had erotic designs on Davros.
Iran wrestles Duqu malware infestation
Iran admitted on Sunday that unspecified computer systems in the country had been infected with the Duqu worm, a strain of malware similar to the infamous Stuxnet worm that sabotaged key nuclear plant systems in the country last year.
Intel out to add NFC payment tech to Ultrabooks
Intel wants to build contactless payment tech into Ultrabooks.
Vacuum cleaner set Swedish nuke plant on fire
A nuclear powerplant in Sweden was put out of action for seven months at a cost of 1.8 billion kronor (£170m) after a vacuum cleaner was mistakenly left inside its containment vessel during tests, according to reports.
Robo-bear helps snorers snooze more smoothly
If you're sick of applying Sinex before sleep, fearful that snores will prompt your spouse to groan, prod and eventually stick an old sock in your mouth, then perhaps this robotic polar bear is the way forward.
Dud Mars probe's explosion will spare Earth's cities
The chief of the Russian space agency has assured the public that the stalled and uncommunicative Mars probe Phobos-Grunt will not smash into a populated area of Earth.
Oracle coughs up $35m owed in unpaid overtime pay
Oracle will cough up $35m to resolve a class-action dispute with 1,725 of its workers in the US over unpaid overtime and meal allowances.
Pros thrash amateurs in Hong Kong iPhone 4S race
Apple's iPhone 4S launch in Hong Kong was marred by scuffles, scalpers and the turning away of over 2,000 wannabe customers, according to local reports.
O2 smears 4G trial over capital
O2 is spreading its LTE trial across The Big Smoke, connecting up a thousand people at 4G speeds for the next seven months* to see what Londoners' can do with 100Mb/s.
Diaspora co-founder dies at 22
Open-source social network Diaspora has launched a redesigned alpha version of its software, with invites going out to users of the site hours before it was confirmed that co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, had died.
Samsung RV720 17in Core i3 notebook
ReviewDesktop replacement laptops are a genre of portable computer apparently intent on chuntering on forever without ever truly succeeding or dying. By nature, they tend not to be petite, and Samsung's RV720 is no exception.
Kindle Fire ignites blazing developer interest
Amazon's Kindle Fire has built up quite a head of steam among gadget fans in anticipation of its Tuesday release – and now a new survey shows that that developers are feeling the warmth, as well.
Conflict mineral laws haven't helped Congolese
So the tantalum for the capacitors in our electronics comes from columbo-tantalite, which is coltan, which comes from militias in the Congo, so we should have a law making sure that no tantalum for our electronics comes from militias in the Congo. Fine, we do have that now, it's part of Dodd Frank*, and how's it working out?
Freebie Android anti-malware scanners flunk tests
Many free-of-charge antivirus products fail to protect Android smartphone against malware effectively, leaving users with a false sense of security as a result.
Never lose that .uk again: Decade-long renewals OK'd
UK businesses will be able to register their .co.uk internet addresses for up to a decade at a time under a new and more flexible policy agreed by registry Nominet.
Top 500 Supers: Détente in East, West petaflops race
SC11For the first time since the Top 500 rankings of supercomputers was started back in 1993, the top 10 machines on the list are ranked in exactly the same order as they were in the list six months ago. But the HPC racket is set to explode, with multi-petaflops machines in the works using new processors and GPU coprocessors.
Google flings Bing into search engine bin
A worrying trend for Microsoft's search engine was revealed last Friday: Bing's market share remained flat over the last two months while Google clawed back web surfers.
Lego movie greenlighted by Warner Bros
Film studio Warner Bros has given the green light to its animated Lego movie, which is now expected to be released in 2014.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
ReviewSkyrim is set in the land of the Nords, a craggy treacherous landscape that reminds me of George R R Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire and has the same epic scale. After the King of Skyrim is assassinated the land is plunged into civil war and the region has become severed from the rest of the empire. The game starts by leading me to my execution, luckily it is cut short by a very fiery intervention.
SGI to put Intel's Xeon E5s in ICE X systems
SC11Supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics has been chomping at the bit for Intel to get its "Sandy Bridge-EP" Xeon E5 servers to market. And rather than wait until early next year to launch its new ICE X parallel machines to market, and give rival Cray and its Opteron 6200-based XE6 and XK6 supers all the headlines at the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle this week, SGI decided to preview the dense-pack ICE X machines that will employ the Xeon E5s and have actually begun shipping to selected customers.
Dixons rolls out cut-price 3D, smart TVs
Dixons has launched its own brand of 3D TV, Logik, with the hope of encouraging consumers lacking confidence back into the shops with low prices.
Web keeps bent politicians honest, says Google boss
Google supremo Eric Schmidt reckons that the internet is making politics work better, telling business leaders at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC conference in Honolulu that the web keeps governments of the world honest.
Facebook ad helps Scot cops seize fake goods, drugs
Cash, drugs and illegal goods have been seized in Scotland after coppers logged into Facebook to snare the crooks.
Sega honours Sonic's 20th birthday with documentary
Sega is celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary this year and has pieced together a documentary detailing how the blue speedster came to be.
Sage sued for pulling out too soon
British accounting software firm Sage is being sued for pulling out of a deal to buy Australia's MYOB in August.
iPhone baby clothes shop mauled by Apple
Not content with firing patent suits at tech rivals, Apple's lawyers have forced a baby clothes retailer to halt sales of items styled on the iPod and iPhone user interfaces and icons.
Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing
Papier-mache is no longer just for primary school art projects: eco-nuts in Suffolk have decided to start packaging wine in the stuff. You could soon be supping a fine Rioja poured from an oblong paper shell lined with a plastic bag, thanks to British start-up GreenBottle.
Intel implants cash register to help flog Ultrabooks
MasterCard and Intel have announced they'll be working together to put NFC readers into Ultrabooks that will secure online shopping as well as user identity.
Meanwhile in Japan: Your new best pal is a vending machine
VidAlmost a million vending machines in Japan will be ready to start a personal relationship with shoppers, rewarding regulars with weather checks and even remembering their birthdays.
What's that sound? It's PC sales plummeting into abyss
The UK PC market could be bottoming out after most of the major vendors posted sequential quarterly growth, abacus stroker Gartner has claimed. However HP, Acer and Dell PC sales are still in a nosedive compared to last year's shipments.
Intel takes the heat off power management
Intel has a new piece of software called Data Center Manager (DCM), which provides power management ranging from the individual server level up to the bird's-eye-view of your entire data centre.
Proprietary interconnects blaze the networking trail
Given the great strides that Ethernet and InfiniBand networking have made in the past decade, you would think that there wasn't much room for proprietary interconnects linking together nodes in parallel supercomputers.
NetApp's £1m challenge won by precisely no one
Nobody won a million pounds of kit from NetApp because data centre nerds thought the offer was unbelievable or couldn't be bothered with the paperwork.
Now Barracuda bitten by Thai disk drought disaster
The deadly floods that wrecked electronic component factories in Thailand are sending Barracuda disk drive prices rocketing.
Yates of the Yard cleared of misconduct
Former Scotland Yard assistant commissioner, John Yates, has been cleared of misconduct, after it was claimed that he had helped the daughter of a News of the World journalist get a job at the Met.
Pogoplug launches cloud sync'n'store service
Cloud Engines, the company behind the Pogoplug DIY cloud gadgets, today launched an online storage service that doesn't require hardware at home.
Micro Anvika forced into cash-only trading
Fears are mounting over the future of veteran Tottenham Court Road retailer Micro Anvika after credit insurers removed cover for suppliers and it was forced to trade on a cash-only basis.
Legendary investor scoffs IBM stake, nibble by nibble
Super-investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway biz has revealed that he has spent most of this year buying up a 5.5 per cent share in IBM.
Intel ships six-core desktop 'Extremes'
Intel has released two new top-of-the-line, six-core "Sandy Bridge E" processors, the first to bring four-channel memory to the desktop.
AMD shoots lower with Opteron 3000 server chips
SC11Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices said during a restructuring announced two weeks ago that it was going to take low-power servers seriously again. And as part of the Opteron 6200 and 4200 processor launches this morning at an event in Beijing, and at the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle, Washington, AMD has tweaked its Opteron roadmap and brought back the low-end, single-socket server processor.
Google adds 24/7 support for business Apps buyers
Google AtmosphereGoogle is adding round-the-clock telephone support for business subscribers of its Google Apps service, and is making a strong pitch for Microsoft’s cloud customers.
TCP/IP daddy Cerf: 'Don't rewrite the internet for security'
Google AtmosphereThere is no need to rewrite the basic internet protocols to beef up security, Vint Cerf has said. He also warned that governments are making increasingly heavy-handed attempts to take control of the interwebs.
ARM+GPU = dream super?
SC11We've seen a lot of ARM server activity in recent weeks, with ARM chip upstart Calxeda announcing its 5-watt EnergyCore ARM chip (breakdown here) and a partnership with x86 giant HP (outlined here). Also the ARM architecture is getting a necessary but painfully slow 64-bit makeover, slated to roll out in 2014.
Certificate stolen from Malaysian gov used to sign malware
Researchers have discovered malware circulating in the wild that uses a private signing certificate belonging to the Malaysian government to bypass warnings many operating systems and security software display when end users attempt to run untrusted applications.
Spaniards prototype ARM-GPU hybrid supercomputer
SC11The Barcelona Supercomputing Center in Spain has been an enthusiastic supporter of using IBM's Power970MP blade servers as a foundation for its "MareNostrum" massively parallel Linux cluster, which fills 44 server racks and delivers 94.1 teraflops of number-crunching punch.
Nokia Siemens vs Vodafone Oz: the legal games begin
Nokia Siemens Networks is taking legal action against customer Vodafone Australia following a tussle over compensation issues regarding network performance.
World's stealthiest rootkit pushes DNS hijacking trojan
One of the world's most advanced pieces of malware is being used to spread DNS Changer, a trojan at the heart of a massive click fraud scheme that has already hijacked 4 million PCs, security researchers said.
Google opens BigQuery for cloud analytics
Google AtmosphereGoogle is taking its BigQuery cloud data analytics engine to market, after a limited beta over the past year.
Cloud on horizon in CSIRO tender
Along with desktops, laptops and servers for its 80-plus sites, a new tender from CSIRO indicates that the Australian science agency is looking at IaaS-style cloud services.
Mineral oil, GPUs and thousands of cores
SC11The hardware configurations for the 2011 SC Student Cluster Competition in Seattle have been released, and there are quite a few surprises. First, the most surprising surprise: the University of Texas Longhorn team has brought the first liquid cooled system to the big dance.
Spotify looks for local spin guru
Globally-ambitious digital music subscription player Spotify is continuing to ramp up its head count for its impending launch in Australia.
Huawei buys Symantec JV stake for $530m
Huawei is buying Symantec's 49 per cent share in their joint venture for $530m.