17th > November > 2011 Archive
Swearing doesn’t help pain if you do it too much
Potty-mouths the world over were celebrating a couple of years ago, when a bunch of boffins demonstrated that swearing relieved pain. Now, the same boffins have turned party-poopers with a new paper.
Rambus tumbles in antitrust reversal
Rambus, the litigious memory tech firm, has taken a beating in the stock markets after losing a key case against Micron over price fixing and conspiracy charges.
Google opens Android music store in iTunes' face
Google has opened up its beta Music service to all US computer users, and has plumped for free as the best model for music streaming.
China outsourcer creates Melbourne jobs
The Victorian government is claiming a payoff for its $AU85m ICT strategy, with US-listed, Chinese-headquartered VanceInfo announcing plans to add 100 new jobs in its Melbourne office.
New openSUSE heads for cloud, virtual markets
The openSUSE Project has shipped its 12.1 build, with enhanced cloud and virtualization integration tools. It's also the first distro to ship with support for Google’s Go language.
HTC wrestles with smutty outfit rival over new handset
A porn company has filed a cease-and-desist letter to phone-makers HTC, demanding that they change the name of their new smartphone, the HTC Vivid, by Monday.
Over 250 suppliers dash to snatch up G Cloud tender
The Government Procurement Service has received more than 250 responses to the tender notice for G Cloud services, according to the official overseeing the programme.
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX923 55in LED 3D TV
ReviewThe KDL-55HX923 is a remarkable Freeview HD TV for many reasons. It’s humungous for one, measuring 148cm diagonally. It’s also overflowing with image technology and network niceties, as befits a flagship product. Even from a design standpoint, this set knocks the ball out of the park.
Make it easy for biz to report cyber robberies, say MPs
Ten British MPS are calling on the UK.gov to make it easier for companies to report cybercrime to the relevant authorities.
Fedora 16: A GNOME lover's paradise
ReviewAfter several delays, Fedora 16 has been delivered. While hold-ups are a characteristic of the distro's release cycle, these latest ditherings have put the latest version of Fedora a few weeks behind its main competitor, Ubuntu.
Implementing, serving, and using cloud storage
Deep diveIntroduction Organizations of all types are trying to control costs and satisfy increasing demands at the same time—demands created by explosive data growth and ever-changing requirements. To address these challenges, storage industry professionals are turning to cloud computing and cloud storage solutions.
Survey: UK biz is using more encryption
Despite a run of high-profile security breaches, almost half of UK corporate laptops remain unprotected against theft and data loss, according to a survey of British businesses published on Thursday.
EU puts Hitachi GST on the menu for hungry WD
The European Union is set to give Western Digital its blessing to buy Hitachi GST and become the world's biggest hard disk drive manufacturer by far, or so says Reuters.
Galaxy Tab case tweaked to evade Germany ban
Samsung has tweaked the Galaxy Tab's casing and added an 'N' to the name to slip it past a sales ban in Germany, though it remains to be seen if the courts approve.
Telcos snub UK.gov broadband cash pot
Telcos are walking away from the government's £530m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project with one ISP citing, among other things, "uncertainties" around incumbent BT's restrictive physical infrastructure access (PIA) pricing plans as the reason for withdrawal.
Caringo predicts stiffer penetration of big data boxes
Marketing veeps love hockey sticks and the idea that sales growth could accelerate in a way resembling the curve of such a stick on a chart really turns them on.
Think your CV is crap? Your interview skills are worse
The applicant stared like a rabbit caught in headlights at the interviewer.
iOS App of the WeekMy never-ending quest for a decent forehand recently turned up this handy little sporting app for the iPhone.
Release the brakes on your virtual servers
One of the dirty little secrets of virtualisation is the performance cost: operating systems running inside a virtual machine are slower than those running natively on the same hardware, sometimes by quite some margin.
New human-brain chip can be adjusted for cannabis effect
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a better way to simulate the processing that goes on in the human brain, and you hardware enthusiasts out there will appreciate this one.
Punters lose backups in cloud storage biz spat
Users relying on an online backup service have lost all their uploaded data after a major falling out between a cloud provider and one of its resellers.
Obama says his birthplace is 'in Asia'
In a recent speech President Obama has described his birthplace as being "in Asia": but even the maddest "birther" – the term for people convinced that Mr Obama was not born in the USA and thus is not eligible to be President – probably can't draw much comfort from the error.
Taiwan source forecasts mass exit from tablet biz
PC companies will begin to exit the tablet market in 2012, it has been claimed.
Orange revisits San Francisco with another budget blower
Orange has gone all Golden Gate Bridge again, announcing the successor to its own-brand Android blower, the San Francisco.
Ten... remastered videogame classics
Product Round-upAs the interest in this week's release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition shows, remakes of classic videogames are all the rage. Developers are dusting off canvasses and applying a fresh layer of high definition paint to the hits of yesteryear.
UK Treasury flogs Northern Rock to flirty Virgin
Northern Rock was a major victim of 2008's credit crunch - but it survived with help from the then Labour government, which nationalised the Newcastle-based money outfit. Now the Tory-LibDem coalition is shoving it back into the corporate world.
£1m 'Nobel prize of engineering' named after the Queen
Britain will play host to a biennial £1m engineering prize which it's hoped will come to confer the same status as a Nobel award. The cash is being coughed up by British industry and the trophy will be known as "the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering", but recipients can be of any nationality.
McKinnon might get UK hacking trial after all
Accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon could be tried in UK and not extradited, according to Blighty's top legal adviser.
Boffin bothers frogs until they spill super power secrets
A springy catapult tendon is what sends frogs flying far beyond what their muscles alone could achieve, a boffin researching frog jumps has discovered.
Jilted man swaps engagement ring for Halo suit
There's nothing worse than splashing out on a hugely expensive engagement ring only to be dumped before you can drop to one knee. When such tribulation was bestowed upon Halo fan Eric Smith, though, the traumatised chap wasted no time toughening up.
US general: 'We're cleared to cyber-bomb enemy hackers'
The US military is now legally in the clear to launch offensive operations in cyberspace, the commander of the US Strategic Command has said.
Java's 'Steve Jobs' moment in 2012?
Open-source Java: Part TwoFive years after Sun Microsystems finally released Java under the GPL, Oracle has been pushing hard on the OpenJDK.
IPO: Should stand for Intellectual Property Obliteration
CommentThanks to Yes, Minister, the idea of bureaucrats running the country is embedded in the nation's imagination. Governments change and ministers come and go with barely enough time to master the jargon. Public policy is quietly made in private, and while the media focuses on the elected government, the real one, our bureaucracy, quietly goes about its business. How true is this, really?
Samsung confirms Android 4.0 update for Galaxy S II
Samsung UK has confirmed that the Galaxy S II smartphone will get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But it can't say when.
No charge after woman gave fellow prisoner a cop-car BJ
A Texas woman arrested on drug charges has escaped additional sanctions for allegedly giving her fellow prisoner a blowjob in the back of a squad car en route to the county lockup.
Oops: Public backs web blocking in Google-funded poll
AnalysisTalk about an inconvenient fact. A survey into US attitudes to internet piracy shows strong public support for blocking access to websites guilty of serial copyright infringement. No fewer than 58 per cent support the idea of ISPs blocking the pirate sites, and 36 per cent disagree with this. Of the respondents, 61 per cent want sites like Facebook to take more action to screen for infringing material.
PETA claims anti-Mario campaign was a joke
PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has responded to fan backlash over this week's anti-Mario campaign, insisting it wasn't an attack on the Ninty mascot, but a humorous attempt to raise awareness of a serious issue.
Romanian authorities cuff NASA hack suspect
Romanian authorities have arrested a 26-year-old suspected of breaking into NASA's systems, causing damages estimated at $500,000 in the process.
Swedish college girls now twice as slutty as in 2001
Sweden's female university students are enjoying twice as many partners but using fewer condoms than their counterparts of 10 years ago, worrying research has found.
Muvizu animation suite
ReviewDigimania's Muvizu is free 3D animation software running on the Unreal engine. It allows you to create movies and even upload them directly to YouTube or Facebook from the application. Considering how much Autodesk Maya or 3DS Max will set you back and how many man hours it will take you to do the simplest of animations (and trust me, I know), programs like Muvizu make me all warm inside with their simplicity and ease of use.
Apple plugs iTunes Ghost Click hole
Apple has updated its iTunes software to correct a security shortcoming that offered the potential for miscreants to mount man-in-the-middle attacks and appears to have played a central role in the infamous Ghost Click botnet scam.
Boring BOFHs want cash prize more than space flight
IT professionals would rather win a wad of cash than a trip to space, the company behind a space flight competition said.
China decrees in-flight cellphone calls are safe
Following two years of study, China has decided that in-flight calls are safe, but anyone hoping to make a call, or access the internet, on a Chinese flight will still be disappointed.
Ice Cream Sandwich phone a no-show on Vodafone
Vodafone has been disappointing punters today by failing to release the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as hoped
Earning cash not a priority for new Foursquare rival
Emerging from Silicon Roundabout's Old Street, complete with Instagram'ed staff photos and an iPhone app, comes Flypost, which promises to promote events and venues to those with iPhones who aren't already using Foursquare.
Boffins build bionic battery
Researchers have devised an electrode material that allows lithium-ion batteries to hold ten times the charge they do today - and recharge ten times as quickly.
One in six Americans used social web to get their job
A study of workers in America showed that one in six (17 per cent) of them found their current job through a social networking site.
Oi! BBX is ours, software biz tells RIM
A US software company is taking BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion to court over its use of the name BBX for its new operating system.
Banks bung hard-up Acer £315m loan
Troubled Acer has penned a new financing deal to cover working capital requirements and pay off a previous loan it took out to acquire Gateway.
Supercomputer Watson too thick to use Siri
Looks like the human race has some breathing space in our intelligence arms race with computers. Though supercomputer Watson beats the best human brains at quiz games, it can't use the iPhone app Siri.
First private-sector space station docking delayed
The first private-sector mission to carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has been delayed, according to reports. Meanwhile NASA funding for such contracted-out missions is to be cut back.
Nvidia's Maximus: Hard-core 3D graphics on speed
BlogPart of Nvidia founder/CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's SC11 keynote session was a demo of something called Maximus that elicited oohs and ahhs from some of the folks around me.
US nuclear aircraft carrier George Bush crippled by toilet outages
The US Navy's newest and mightiest nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS George H W Bush*, has been plagued by continual failures in its lavatories, according to reports. Sailors have been forced into increasingly desperate measures to relieve themselves.
Russians Bear Down at SCC11
SCC11We dropped by the Team Russia booth to congratulate them on their record-setting LINPACK victory and to get their thoughts on SCC11. Is their LINPACK win a sign of things to come? Can they take the whole ball of wax?
Purdue Rolls the Dice
SCC11As can be seen by their LINPACK results on Monday (only .233 TFlop), Purdue either completely melted down or had something up their collective sleeves. It turns out that they had a plan, a cunning plan. One that might give them a leg up on the other competitors on the all-important scientific applications. What was the plan? Why did they do it? Watch the video to find out.
Costa Rica Cluster Finale
SCC11The Costa Rica team gave it their all at their first Student Cluster Competition. We caught up with them just a few minutes before they turned their final results files into the judges....
Buffalo's in the Hunt?
SCC11We grabbed Team Colorado for a few final thoughts before the end of the Student Cluster Competition. Spirits were good, despite a few problems with their hardware and memory usage.
SCC11: Home Stretch
SCC11We spent a few minutes talking to Team China before they submitted their final results for the 2011 Student Cluster Competition. They're happy and had a good time, but it's hard to figure out how they gauge their chances. We'll find out soon....
Team Boston Crunch Time
SCC11We caught up with Team Boston (aka Team Chowder) a few hours before they turned in their results for SC11. They share their thoughts about the competition and their results thus far, along with whatever else their sleep-deprived minds came up with.
AOL AIM boss legs it from yet another web biz
Brad Garlinghouse - who oversees AOL Mail, AIM and Mobile - is reportedly leaving the company after joining just two years ago.
LinkedIn dumped by biggest sugar daddy
Professional networking firm LinkedIn has upped its follow-on share sale from 8 million shares to 8.75 million in a bid to raise around $92.3m for the company coffers.
Couple rewarded for naming newborn after Elder Scrolls Skyrim hero
Earlier this year, Bethesda made a tongue-in-cheek proposal to pregnant mothers: if your child is born on Nigel Tufnel Day, the same date that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released, then name your nipper 'Dovakhiin' after the RPG's protagonist and you'll win free games for life.
Visa's amazing answer to e-wallet domination: A new logo
Visa USA has launched its new logo, with service to follow next year, securing online payments by hosting your wallet in the Visa cloud.
China spacecraft masters the art of docking
The unmanned Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-8 has returned safely to Earth after giving the country its first successful docking mission.
NetApp, Wall St is very disappointed in you
NetApp's progress seems to be slowing, as it disappointed Wall Street with lower-than-expected quarterly revenues, although profits were up.
Big guns turn sights on cancer-causing genes
In the heart of London, researchers are splitting apart the building blocks of life and working towards a cure for cancer. The Biomedical Research Centre, run by King’s College Hospital and Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has a genomic sequencing unit that genotypes tissue from patients with cancer and other diseases.
Crooks make it rain by seeding cloud with zombies
Malware operators are once again trying to generate profits from the cloud, this time by stealing the resources of infected computers and selling them to a new distributed-computing network, researchers from Kaspersky said.
Tech firms jostle for position in LTE market
Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent are staking big early claims in the LTE market, particularly in the US, according to networking and telco research firm Dell'Oro.
SCC11: The Marathon Begins
This short video captures the start of the application portion of the 2011 Student Cluster Competition. The students had spent all day Monday driving their systems to produce the best LINPACK and HPCC result possible. Now, Monday evening at 7:30 pm on the dot, they finally get access to the data sets that they'll use in the four scientific applications that make up the rest of the challenge.
Open source team creates apocalypse survival kit
A team of open source enthusiasts is putting together instructions for how to build 50 tools essential to establishing – or reestablishing – a civilization.
New Asia Pac cable launched for bandwidth express
Construction has commenced on a new 7,200 km fibre optic cable linking Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Phishers net Norwegian secrets
Oil, gas and defense data has been boosted from computers in Norway, in what the country fears is its largest-ever data espionage case.
Water utility hackers destroy pump, expert says
UpdatedHackers destroyed a pump used by a US water utility after gaining unauthorized access to the industrial control system it used to operate its machinery, a computer security expert said.
Amazon prepping cheap-as-dirt smartphone?
Amazon may be prepping a low-cost smartphone for release next year, and their partner in its development is said to be Apple's iPhone assembler, Foxconn.
'Grow up': Assange's mother to Obama-struck Oz
Julian Assange’s mother has dubbed the Australian ruling elite as a bunch of “star-struck teenagers” in the thrall of US president Barack Obama.
Have everything. Own nothing. Learn the difference
Opinion:The nutshell of the story is this: ReDigi has a bright idea about creating a resale market for iTunes-licensed songs; the RIAA objects and has sent the cease-and-desist; and world+dog is supposed to rise up Occupy-style against another outrage by big content.
IBM reveals secrets of Watson’s Jeopardy triumph
IBM has explained the principles behind how its Watson machine bested the world’s finest Jeopardy players, even if it can’t handle Siri.