17th > November > 2011 Archive
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, 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 has opened up its beta Music service to all US computer users, and has plumped for free as the best model for music streaming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ReviewReview The 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.
Ten British MPS are calling on the UK.gov to make it easier for companies to report cybercrime to the relevant authorities.
ReviewReview After 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.
Deep diveDeep dive Introduction 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. Hockey sticks are hard to find if you are in object storage but glimmers can be seen, especially through marketeer's telescopes, and storage biz Caringo thinks, and hopes, that vast vaults of unstructured data will deliver the hockey stick it wants.
The applicant stared like a rabbit caught in headlights at the interviewer.
iOS App of the WeekiOS App of the Week My never-ending quest for a decent forehand recently turned up this handy little sporting app for the iPhone.
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.
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. Rather than simulate the firing and spiking of a bunch of neurons in software on massive clusters of computer chips, MIT researchers have created a digital chip with analog properties that emulates the flow of ions between connected brain cells and therefore can directly simulate how neurons actually fire across their synapses.
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.
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.
PC companies will begin to exit the tablet market in 2012, it has been claimed.
Orange has gone all Golden Gate Bridge again, announcing the successor to its own-brand Android blower, the San Francisco.
Ubuntu has lost its "top dog" status on Hewlett-Packard's cloud.
Product Round-upProduct Round-up As 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. Halo is not the end of it. There are plenty more remasters on the way to whet your appetite, including Final Fantasy X, Devil May Cry, Zone of the Enders and the Oddworld collection. There are various ways to remaster an old videogame, and some coders do a better job than others. Older games from the days of the PSOne and before, are generally a tall order to improve. The pre-rendered backgrounds would need an entire overhaul, which effectively means recreating the game from scratch. You can read Reg Hardware's review of Halo here – and below are ten more revamps that are worth taking a look at whether you haven't played 'em for years or you've never done so.
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.
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.
Accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon could be tried in UK and not extradited, according to Blighty's top legal adviser.
A springy catapult tendon is what sends frogs flying far beyond what their muscles alone could achieve, a boffin researching frog jumps has discovered.
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. Smith flogged the lucrative piece of jewellery and bought himself a full body suit of Master Chief armour. Sure showed her.
The US military is now legally in the clear to launch offensive operations in cyberspace, the commander of the US Strategic Command has said.
Open-source Java: Part TwoOpen-source Java: Part Two Five years after Sun Microsystems finally released Java under the GPL, Oracle has been pushing hard on the OpenJDK. The OpenJDK project followed shortly after Sun’s open-sourcing of Java in November 2005; it’s both a free-and-open-source implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE).
CommentComment Thanks 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 UK has confirmed that the Galaxy S II smartphone will get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But it can't say when.
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.
AnalysisAnalysis Talk 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, 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 have arrested a 26-year-old suspected of breaking into NASA's systems, causing damages estimated at $500,000 in the process.
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.
ReviewReview Digimania'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 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.
IT professionals would rather win a wad of cash than a trip to space, the company behind a space flight competition said.
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.
Vodafone has been disappointing punters today by failing to release the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as hoped
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BlogBlog Part 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.
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.
SCC11SCC11 We had a chance to talk to Team Taiwan as the Student Cluster Competition came down to the wire. Although they were their typical friendly selves, there was an air of tension and anticipation in their booth. They have a lot riding on this. They could become the first team to repeat as champions. It's a pretty tall order to fill, but they seem to believe they have a good chance - even if they won't come right out and say it.
SCC11SCC11 We 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?
SCC11SCC11 As 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.
SCC11SCC11 The 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....
SCC11SCC11 We 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.
SCC11SCC11 We 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....
SCC11SCC11 We 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.
Brad Garlinghouse - who oversees AOL Mail, AIM and Mobile - is reportedly leaving the company after joining just two years ago.
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.
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 USA has launched its new logo, with service to follow next year, securing online payments by hosting your wallet in the Visa cloud.
The unmanned Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-8 has returned safely to Earth after giving the country its first successful docking mission.
NetApp's progress seems to be slowing, as it disappointed Wall Street with lower-than-expected quarterly revenues, although profits were up.
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.
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. After infecting a computer, the malware downloads and installs the MetaTrader 5 Tester Agent, software that uses spare CPU cycles to test custom-written software used in financial trading systems. Operator MetaQuotes Software Corp. has more details about how to participate in its MQL5 Cloud Network here. Trojan-Downloader.Win32.MQL5Miner.a, as Kaspersky has christened the malware, sets up an account controlled by the attackers that gets credited.
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.
SC11SC11 The Texas team captured a lot of attention at the Student Cluster Competition this year. Their mineral oil deep-fried cluster was certainly a hit with the crowd, but did it pay dividends when it came to computing? They put in the best non-GPU fueled LINPACK and, assumedly, should perform well on the scientific apps, but will it perform well enough to beat the other teams?
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.
A team of open source enthusiasts is putting together instructions for how to build 50 tools essential to establishing – or reestablishing – a civilization.
Construction has commenced on a new 7,200 km fibre optic cable linking Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Oil, gas and defense data has been boosted from computers in Norway, in what the country fears is its largest-ever data espionage case.
UpdatedUpdated Hackers 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. Joe Weiss, a managing partner for Applied Control Solutions, said the breach was most likely performed after the attackers hacked into the maker of the supervisory control and data acquisition software used by the utility and stole user names and passwords belonging to the manufacturer's customers. The unknown attackers used IP addresses that originated in Russia. Weiss cited an official government report from the state where the regional water district was located. It was dated November 10, two days after the hack was discovered. The document indicates that the utility had been experiencing unexplained problems with its computerized system in the weeks leading up to the breach.
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.
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.
Opinion: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 has explained the principles behind how its Watson machine bested the world’s finest Jeopardy players, even if it can’t handle Siri.
Australia’s CTO office, the Australian Government Information Management Agency, is seeking comment on three documents outlining its attitude to cloud computing.