18th > November > 2011 Archive
Obama security in Oz lost booklet FAIL
The frenzy and excitement surrounding President Obama’s visit to Australia seems to have been too much even for some hapless staffer in the entourage: a booklet outlining his down-to-the-minute schedule and details of his security convoy has been found in a Canberra street.
Microsoft and Samsung uncloak slimmer Surface
Microsoft and Samsung have confirmed that the next iteration of the Surface tabletop computer system will go on sale soon.
Yelp plans $100m IPO on value of '$1bn to $2bn'
Here comes yet another web-based company's initial public offering: crowdsourced reviews site Yelp has filed a Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, indicating that it plans to raise $1m in an IPO.
World's first Win 8 malware 'bootkit' to debut next week
A security researcher said that he has developed malware for Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system that is able to load during boot-up when it's run on older PCs.
Telstra creates new digital unit - tosses in fun stuff
Telstra has re-focussed its ambitions to morph into a media-centric carrier, consolidating all its media businesses into a single division - Telstra Digital Media.
Panasonic SC-BTT270 5.1 Blu-ray home theatre
ReviewFor an all inclusive Blu-ray home cinema, this Panasonic system sure comes in a small box. But everything you need for 21st century surround sound is inside, including satellite speakers and subwoofer, Blu-ray receiver and metres of colour coded bell-wire. Thankfully, the SC-BTT270 sounds somewhat larger than it looks.
Seagate's Luczo: 'Expect a year of misery'
Seagate boss Steve Luczo reckons suppliers should brace themselves for 12 months of disk drive pain.
eBay opens real-world UK tat bazaar for Xmas greed peak
eBay is launching its first UK store, albeit temporarily, this Christmas to allow shoppers to browse in the physical world before buying online.
Web smut barons sue over .xxx 'shakedown'
Two of the biggest porn companies on the net want to put a stop to the .xxx top-level domain, and they've taken their demands to court.
Microsoft names and shames pirate software traders
Microsoft has reached out-of-court settlements with five computer resellers that 'fessed up to illegally loading hard disks with pirated software and flogging bootleg programs.
Attention swingbellies: Pizza sauce is a healthy vegetable
The US government will officially declare pizza sauce a vegetable* in its own right, if Congress passes a rule change to recategorise the runny topping as a full-fledged vegetable this week.
Kids demand Apple kit for Chrimble
You grown-ups may not give a fig for fruit-flavoured products, but it's clear youngsters love Apple. Respected US market research firm Nielsen asked a playground full of 6- to 12-year-olds what they want for Christmas, and Apple kit took the top three places on the list.
Android Market free-for-all blamed for malware avalanche
Android mobile malware samples have increased more than five-fold since July alone, according to a study by Juniper Networks.
Microsoft Dryad trampled in Hadoop stampede
Microsoft is surrendering to the Google-inspired Hadoop it once sought to challenge with its own big-data crunching architecture.
Henge Docks Docking Station
Accessory of the WeekIt’s less technically sophisticated than the Techne Byte-Dock port replicator we reviewed recently, but the Docking Station from Henge Docks is a darn site prettier and a lot less expensive.
Microsoft wants slower flash chips
Microsoft wants slower flash chips that skimp on power use in its big, big data centres.
Northamber: PC stock mountain hurt us
Sales at veteran distie Northamber collapsed in its fiscal Q1 ended 30 September as the IT market ran aground and it steered clear of unprofitable product lines.
3m iPad 3 'retina' screens sent to Apple by month's end
Apple's next iPad will indeed feature a 2048 x 1536 "retina" display - if an Asian whisperer is right to say LG, Samsung and Sharp have already shipped more than one million such screens to the fruit-flavoured firm.
Assange hires Pirate Bay lawyer
Julian Assange has ditched his Swedish legal counsel and lined up a new defence team in readiness for a likely return to the country to face allegations of sexual molestation and rape against two women.
Southampton hampton vice shocker: Exclusive snap
The eye-watering story last week about the Southampton bloke who got his wedding tackle trapped in a metal ring prompted the usual reader calls for photographic proof of the todger vice ordeal.
Nominet claws back cops' automatic .UK takedown power
UK cops hoping to swiftly shutdown .uk websites accused of being involved in counterfeiting will have a harder time under proposed changes to Nominet policy.
'Morons! Zuckerberg, are you listening?'
QuotWThis was the week when recruiter Dominic Connor was stirring equal measures of admiration and ire from Reg readers with his calculated putdowns of IT job-getting skills, both at the application stage and once the BOFHs get their foot in the door.
Nokia's next Windows Phone leaked in dev ad
Nokia's next addition to its WinPho range has slipped out in a commercial for developers. Say hello to the Nokia Lumia 900.
Silicon Valley web giants face 10-year tech exit
Open ... And ShutSilicon Valley companies continue to get outsized valuations, cast as high-growth tech companies. But while Twitter, Facebook, Google, Groupon, and other so-called tech bellwethers continue to grow, it's increasingly difficult to tell them apart from their kissing cousins in the media, advertising, and retail businesses.
UK cops: 'We thwarted Royal Wedding web attack plot'
UK cybercops have claimed credit for preventing attempts to blast the official Royal Wedding website offline in April, following the arrest of a teenager suspected of masterminding the attack.
Greener Arctic may be down to lemming poo, not climate
Recent satellite observations showing "greening" of some Arctic regions - until now put down to global warming permitting plants to grow more easily in the frozen north - may in fact be explained by large numbers of lemmings defecating on the affected areas, so fertilising green plants.
Irish website promises you'll never miss a funeral again
Irish netizens and their country's diaspora need never miss an important demise in their homeland again, after the launch of DeathIreland.com.
Dell disk drive prices soar as rivals hold firm
Dell enterprise disk drive prices have soared by up to 35 per cent in the two weeks following the events in Thailand.
Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test
The boffins who sent sub-atomic particles on a faster-than-light journey into the past have done another successful experiment that confirms the results.
Archos outs budget 9in Android tablet
Archos has introduced its latest Arnova budget tablet: the 9.7in 9 G2.
Nikon 1 J1 interchangeable lens compact camera
ReviewSomewhat late to the game, Nikon has finally released its Nikon 1 range of compact, mirrorless cameras which use a new CX-format sensor and a range of interchangeable lenses.
Microsoft investors' love for Ballmer wanes
Under-fire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got the backing of shareholders in the annual board election but his popularity has waned slightly.
Reg reader seeks living room Myth advice - can you help?
Reader AssistanceWe received the following plea for assistance from Reg Hardware reader Ian Bonham this morning:
Mysterious sat-pic China desert markings - EXPLAINED
The grids of white lines in China's Gobi desert that have got the world's conspiracy theorists in a lather for a week, are actually calibration targets used to help China's spy satellites, says a NASA researcher.
Woomera: Ghosts of Britain's space past
During our recent Oz roadtrip in pursuit of the World Solar Challenge, El Reg's Special Projects Bureau made a lightning visit to Woomera, where Britain's space programme was played out and, ultimately, laid to rest.
Samsung v iPhone 4S French entrenchment: 'TOTAL WAR'
Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war in the latest battleground for the world-spanning dispute between the two firms.
Ghanaian she-devil chews off bloke's 'nad sack
A 31-year-old Ghanaian woman is unsurprisingly languishing in jail after chewing off a chap's scrotum.
Update knackers hundreds of Zendesk helpdesks
The boss at cloud-based online helpdesk software provider Zendesk has apologised for a brief outage last night that suspended 360 client accounts.
Free the people from office chains and commuting pain!
Norman Baker, the UK's Transport Minister, has outlined a consortium dedicated to getting more people working away from the office, for the good of the economy, and the planet.
Does tech suffer blurred vision on 3D future?
Part 1With the advent (again) of 3D, the movie industry has over the past couple of years turned big-time to IT for support. Over the same period the TV manufacturers have been looking to 3D to boost sales that started flagging once the first craze for HD has passed. So how are the effects of the current 3D phase showing up on the IT industry's bottom lines?
Shock result: UK's largest city best place to get IT job
In a stunning turn of events, it has transpired that the best place in the UK to get a developer job is London, and that Londoners get the best money too, so if you dream of pulling off a C++ coding job in Newquay then change your dream now, though I'm sure it's a nice place to live.
Surprise Royal Society prize win by wave-watching author
British designer and author Gavin Pretor-Pinney has won the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books for his popular science entry The Wavewatcher's Companion.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
ReviewIt might just be me, but as Ezio Auditore effortlessly scales yet another tower, it’s hard to shake the feeling we've been here before. I know it's the continuation of a story arc, and I know that the game's engine – as already rolled out in last year's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – is already adequate enough in its animation and capacity for the dramatic, but this is the equivalent of the yearly football game update.
Brussels: Water cannot be sold as remedy for dehydration
Brussels prompted a flood of abuse this week by apparently banning bottled water vendors from promoting their products as a counter to dehydration.
IBM in the software era: Big Blue man gives HP a seminar
Euro recessionary scares aside, success for IBM is increasingly coming from software.
Overland struggles to keep its head above water
It sure isn't a snap as Overland reported quarterly results that still show hopes of a long-awaited recovery are unsatisfied. One swallow doesn't make a summer but it sure would be nice to see a swallow, any swallow.
Reg readers say: Having the right info is key to productivity
Ensuring that people have the information they need when they need it is the single most important element when it comes to productivity in the workplace. At least, that’s what you guys told us when we conducted a survey on end user productivity earlier this year.
Afghan elders refuse to be labelled pimps by number 39
Plans to extend the London 39 bus route from Putney Bridge Station to Kabul are reportedly on hold after the number of shame caused a bit of a rumpus at a gathering of Afghan elders.
Busted Russian Mars probe could go to Moon instead
Lost Russian probe Phobos-Grunt could give up its trek to Mars and instead head to the Moon if communication isn't established in the next few days.
Mobile operators warned on 'unlimited' data gouging
A UK watchdog has urged mobile operators to obey the spirit of rules on data billing, not the letter, if they don't want greater restrictions imposed.
Pakistan bans rude text messages
Text messaging has long been derided for diminished linguistic skills and increased profanity, especially among yoof.
Size doesn't matter to database thrusting Clustrix
Clustrix clustered server nodes loaded with Intel SSDs chew through parallelised database queries in a flash.
Jaguar to Titan? Not so bad…
At SC11 I had the opportunity to talk to some of the people responsible for the biggest computer upgrade known to man. Oak Ridge National Labs is upgrading its current Cray XT5 ‘Jaguar’ system to a Cray XT6 system that will be known as ‘Titan’.
Hypersonic missile successfully hits Ronald Reagan
The US Army - yes, Army - has announced a successful test flight by a prototype hypersonic missile. The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) demonstrator took off from the island of Kauai on a three-stage rocket booster at 1:30 AM local time yesterday, and splashed down close to its target coordinates some 2,400 miles away at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll.
Punctured Google+ leaks bored users
Google+ is struggling to retain interest from users who sign-up to the social network.
HP welcomes activist investor onto board
HP has found a seat on the board for activist stakeholder Ralph Whitworth, co-founder at Relational Investors which should buy his silence - in public at least - for a couple of years while CEO Meg Whitman steadies the ship.
Flash array start-up SolidFire begins the hard sell
Flash array startup SolidFire says it virtualises performance. What does it mean?
HELL ON EARTH: The Great Dying
Archaeologists looking at soil in China have seen traces of a time when the earth burned, sulphur filled the air and three quarters of living creatures died.
DARPA boffins develop unfeasibly light metal fluff-structure
Boffins at California's HRL Laboratories have developed what they claim is the world's lightest material, a nickel structure that is a hundred times lighter than styrofoam.
Men busted 'for touting Facebook and Twitter shares'
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has closed down an investment scam that was touting pre-IPO shares in Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and Groupon.
Microsoft's Hadoop-hugging SQL Server 2012 gets closer
Microsoft's delivered a near-final version of the Hadoop-friendly next version of its database.
Narcissistic, greedy: What Wikipedia says about its appeal
NSFWIt's time for the annual Wikipedia fundraising drive. But for once it's providing hours of fun for bored office workers - thanks to an unfortunate juxtaposition.
Some go gracefully in the Channel - and some go messily
Liquidators of defunct reseller Skye IT have confirmed to El Reg that the firm ran up massive debts of £1.9m.
Moon goodness: Far side of Luna in full colour
If you enjoy scanning your eyes over the magnificent curves and craters of our planet's closest companion, then you'll probably love this lush high res stereo image of the far side of the Moon recently uploaded to the net by a team at the Arizona State University.
Sparc M4 chips etched by Oracle, not Fujitsu
ExclusiveThe relationship between Oracle, acquirer of the Sun Microsystems server business, and Fujitsu, licenser of the Sparc instruction set and maker of its own Sparc iron – you can't even call it clone iron since Sun and then Oracle have been selling the Sparc Enterprise M systems for years – has been particularly inscrutable for the past two years. But Oracle has inadvertently cleared up one of the mysteries of its future Sparc processor roadmap.
Cryptocard gobbles tasty, dead number puzzle startup
Cryptocard has acquired the patents and intellectual property of GrIDsure, a UK pattern-based authentication start-up that became insolvent earlier this month. Term of the deal, announced Friday, were undisclosed.
Making connections: The world according to Intel
With the year winding down, I'd like to pull out a crystal ball and peer in. It is not my crystal ball I want to examine here but rather Intel's.
Quest Software hangs toolmaker VKernel on its utility belt
In what has to be the shortest press release in the history of IT, Quest Software announced that it had acquired VKernel, which peddles a capacity management, optimization, and chargeback system for VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.
Google's Brin and wife plop half-million into Wikipedia's hat
The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit publisher of Wikipedia and its affiliate sites, has received a $500,000 grant from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up by Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki, cofounder of "personal genetic information" website 23andMe.
Motorola welcomes Google slurp with open arms
Motorola shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Google’s $12.5bn bid to buy the company’s mobile phone arm, and any patents it may happen to have lying around.
Second water utility reportedly hit by hack attack
Images posted online suggest that hackers may have gained unauthorized access to computers controlling a second water treatment facility, a claim that raises additional concerns about of the security of the US's critical infrastructure.
Microsoft seeks patent on employee spy system
Microsoft has filed a patent for a system that monitors the behavior of employees via computers, phone calls, and physical gestures, and alerts human resources if anyone is behaving outside of preferred norms.