28th > November > 2011 Archive
Oz gummint looks into seniors’ cyber-safety
Older Australians, it seems, have better sense than people think: concerns about Internet security is crimping their enthusiasm for getting online, so the government is launching an inquiry.
Future of computing crystal-balled by top chip boffins
If you thought that the microprocessor's first 40 years were chock full of brain-boggling developments, just wait for the next 40 – that's the consensus of a quartet of Intel heavyweights, past and present, with whom we recently spoke.
Jawbone Up wearable health sensor
ReviewJawbone is known for its excellent Bluetooth headsets and a very cool, if pricey, portable speaker called the Jambox. By any standards, its new product is pretty out there. It’s a rubberised wristband with a motion sensor in it. When you connect it to its free companion iOS app, it becomes something to help you become healthier.
Randy plods plundered police records just to get a date
Checking out women "for sexual purposes" was just one of the ways Welsh police have breached people's data protection rights.
Dawdling EU countries smacked over telecoms reforms
The European Commission has sent formal requests to 16 EU countries asking them to completely transpose the EU's Telecoms Package of reforms into national law.
Online store offers secondhand MP3 marketplace
One of the most disappointing aspects to the digital music era is the decline of the secondhand CD and LP trade.
Wales relaunches bilingual online traffic info service
The Welsh government has relaunched Traffic Wales, its online traffic management and information service, with new features aimed at helping motorists plan their journeys.
Intel preps Thunderbolt docking tech for Ultrabooks
Intel is developing a would-be standard docking connector for Ultrabooks. The technology is based on its Thunderbolt bus.
Smith's tablet turns web into jumbo reading club
Kobo's new e-book reader not only tells everyone what you're reading, but lets them share your margin notes too, just as Amazon once predicted its Kindle would do.
Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi's free bar
Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi's development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.
Irish banks settle with Oracle over banking software 'fiasco'
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) has settled its lawsuit with Oracle over Flexcube, a product the bank claimed was "beset with serious technical problems".
BMW, Fiat join Connected Car Consortium
Fiat and BMW have joined the Car Connectivity Consortium, a body developing a standard scheme for linking smartphones to in-car entertainment and navigation systems that already numbers Daimler, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and VW among its members.
Pocket Boom portable vibration speaker
Geek Treat of the WeekThere are a number of these little ‘vibration speaker’ gadgets that allow you to turn everyday objects into speakers, but the Pocket Boom is cheaper and a bit more portable than many of its rivals.
Intel readies Xeon E5 mobo assault
Cast your mind way back to when Intel was more or less content to be a server CPU maker and let the system makers adopting its Pentium, Xeon, and Itanium processors decide the defining characteristics of the computers that used those x86 and IA-64 processors. Not so any more. Intel may not call itself a server-maker, but for all intents and purposes, with the upcoming Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon E5 processors, Intel controls the show and controls the design and manufacturing of the server platform – from processors and chipsets to networking motherboards – as proprietary server-makers from days gone by were able to do.
iPhone 4/4S 'self combusts' in airliner inferno
An iPhone caused a small emergency in an Australian airplane after it inexplicably started to glow red and emit "significant amounts of dense smoke" as the craft touched down in Sydney airport.
Flood-hit Sony snubs shoppers to shore up sales
Sony is aiming to drive up sales in non-consumer products, including medical equipment, to an annual ¥2 trillion ($26bn, £16.7) from ¥1.5 trillion within the next five years.
Chancellor to raid pensions, Whitehall to revamp UK broadband
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is expected to deliver a gloomy autumn statement to MPs tomorrow when he will unveil the Treasury's gambit to boost the economy by pumping £30bn into the UK's ageing infrastructure - which includes more cash for broadband.
Stonehenge finds hint at rituals far more ancient than the stones
Scientists using the latest in modern boffinry to peel back the layers of time report that they have made important new discoveries at Stonehenge, hinting that the site was already a very ancient centre of ritual when the stones were erected more than 5,000 years ago.
Psst, kid... Wanna learn how to hack?
AnalysisDespite all the excitement and expectation encompassing the RaspberryPi, the most remarkable thing about this low-power credit card-sized computer is its price tag: little more than £20 for a fully functional system capable of, among many things, 1080p video playback and hardware-accelerated graphics.
HTC faces Xmas sales ban misery in Germany
HTC has withdrawn its appeal against a decision in favour of patent-hoarder IPCom, which is now pitching to get HTC handsets off the shelves in Germany by Christmas.
Radio hams pick up Mars rover Curiosity's signals
Amateur radio enthusiasts using a restored dish antenna in Germany say they have successfully picked up telemetry from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, now outward bound for Mars carrying a one-ton nuclear powered robot rover named Curiosity towards a date with destiny in the Elysium Planitia.
Apple preps updated 11, 13, 15in MacBook Airs
There'll be new Apple MacBook Airs out in Q1 2012, component supplier sources have claimed. Expect update 11.6 and 13.3in models - and a new 15in model, they say.
HTC: Apple and Samsung won't steal our lunch
HTC is insisting it'll do better next year as its shares plummet amid fears over its profits.
Feds seize 130 sites in Cyber Monday crackdown
US feds seized control of more than 130 websites last week as part of a crackdown on counterfeit goods ahead of the Christmas shopping rush.
Panasonic to punt smartphones in Europe
Panasonic is drawing up plans to launch mobile phones in Europe.
Phoenix sales and profits falling as UK economy burns
Phoenix IT Group is set for a structural revamp after the loss of major contracts in each of its operating divisions forced down sales and profits for the half year to 30 September.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android smartphone
ReviewThe much-anticipated new Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first phone to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – or ICS if you’re being very 'now' – the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. It also includes one of Samsung’s top of the range HD screens, a dual core processor and 1080p HD video recording – not too aspirational then.
Humans saved from EXTINCTION by Viv Westwood
Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood is handing over £1m of her nest egg to science, convinced that humans will become extinct.
Vodafone coughs to Galaxy S II GPS glitches
Vodafone has acknowledged complaints from Samsung Galaxy S2 owners who claim their handsets' GPS functionality was adversely affected by a recent firmware update.
Spooks take the wheel in UK's £650m cyber-war operations
AnalysisThe British government's Cyber Security Strategy is giving the intelligence agencies a greater role than ever in defending business and the public against internet threats.
LG names smartphone Android 4.0 recipients
LG has named the smartphones that will gain the in-demand Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS upgrade.
Ken Russell dies aged 84
ObitFilmmaker Ken Russell, the controversial helmsman who brought the world Women in Love and Tommy, died yesterday aged 84.
Biology miss punts homemade smut to pupils
A group of Argentinian schoolkids copped a righteous eyeful of smut last week when their female biology* teacher handed them a USB memory stick containing a couple of vids of her going hammer and tongs with her boyfriend.
Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office
Films, according to Charles Simonyi – the man behind Microsoft's Word and Excel used by 500 million people – are great for showing the future of computing.
Phobos-Grunt 'crippled by US aurora station', 'is a bio-weapon'
"As to Mars - it is a planet that does not like earthlings. Only 30 per cent of Soviet-Russian launches to Mars were successful, the Americans have had 50 per cent success, while all attempts by Japan and Europe have failed so far" - Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Ebuyer knocked out by own £1 deals site
UK gadget retail site Ebuyer has been knocked offline as its £1 laptop deals caused an online stampede that flattened the site's servers.
World may be short 70 MILLION disk drives
Tied in a strangling knot by the Thai floods, the world could be shy of 70 million disk drives this quarter, sending retail prices rocketing, limiting PC supplies and creating an opening for flash drives.
Galaxy Nexus audio bug patched... unofficially
Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone awaiting the official fix for the handset's spontaneous volume reduction bug may want to avail themselves of an unofficial fix in the meantime.
UK.gov to build child army of software coders
IT and computer science in schools is in serious need of reform, the creative industries minister Ed Vaizey said today, thereby indicating that changes to the school curriculum were on the agenda.
Manila AT&T hackers linked to Mumbai terror attack - cops
Police in the Philippines have arrested a group of four suspected hackers accused of funnelling profits from attacking corporate telephone networks to an Islamic terrorist group blamed for the attacks on Mumbai three years ago.
Networking integrator Redstone staggers back to its feet
Massive cost-cutting and restructuring activities have helped to reduce losses at networking integrator Redstone.
Free cluster for a good cause
Silicon Mechanics, a mid-sized manufacturer of rackmount servers, clusters, and storage arrays, is celebrating its 10th birthday by giving away a lot of stuff. First, the company did a great job sponsoring Boston University in this month's SC11 Student Cluster Competition in Seattle (SCC11).
Ball-gazer casts magic runes to heal HP's credibility
HP has improved its Gartner Magic Quadrant rating by buying 3PAR - but Dell's rating has worsened following its Compellent buy, which has not compensated for its dropped EMC OEM deal.
Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge
Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Black Friday: Bargain-hunting mobs on the rampage
Despite all the doom and gloom in the global economy, Black Friday online sales in the US jumped by 26 per cent from last year.
Car safety agency sparks e-car battery probe
Two further Chevy Volt lithium-ion batteries have caught fire during tests carried out by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after a separate crash-test Volt's battery burst into flames more than three weeks after the impact.
Won't someone think of the .children, begs Russian registry
The company that runs Russia's .ru internet address has revealed plans to apply to ICANN for the right to operate ".children" in Russian.
Apple fanbois get app to summon store staff
Cutting right back on the annoying wait for human interaction while in a shop, Apple stores in the US are test-driving an iOS app that lets fanbois hit a button to alert store employees that they want to talk to them.
Time up for Oracle's HTML5 killer?
Open-source Java: Part ThreeSun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.
Apple killer app Siri struggles with Indian regional accents
Apple's voice-recognition app Siri – the big new feature on the iPhone 4S – doesn't work in India because it doesn't recognise all regional accents in the country, reports website DailyBhaskar.com.
Google bows before Europe for Motorola's hand in marriage
Google has applied to the European Commission for regulatory approval for its acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
Second US Navy robot stealth bomber takes flight
A second X-47B unmanned stealth attack plane is now flying, and the US Navy expects the robot aircraft to demonstrate operations from an aircraft carrier on schedule in 2013.
RFID pioneer taps out one last time
ObitPioneer of radio tagging Charlie Walton has died, aged 89, having successfully predicted – and popularised – the technology, although he saw the potential too early to reap the reward.
Mars rover Curiosity autographed by Obama
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which departed Earth bound for the red planet on Saturday, carries a collection of signatures inscribed on its chassis including that of US president Barack Obama and other worthies including NASA bigwigs and the schoolgirl who named the radical nuclear-powered robot vehicle.
Hacker cuffed in job interview sting with hotel he blackmailed
A job-seeking Hungarian hacker has pleaded guilty to breaking into the systems of the Marriott hotel chain before attempting to blackmail his way into an IT job.
Sony Ericsson: Android 4.0 updates out by March 2012
Sony Ericsson will have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for its 2011 Xperia smartphones out by March 2012.
Nokia has good Black Friday, won't be sharing with NSN
Nokia's shares lifted today after strong sales in the US on Black Friday and the news that it won't be giving Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) any additional capital.
TI throws DSPs at supercomputers
Nvidia had better watch out. Texas Instruments is not only its rival when it comes to making ARM processors that might end up in servers someday, but it is also repositioning its digital signal processors so they can be used as math coprocessors for standard x86 CPUs – and perhaps ARM processors one day.
Russia successfully launches Glonass-M
Russia has successfully launched another Glonass-M navigation satellite into orbit today.
MIT boffin's 'truth goggles' probe print and pols
A student at MIT’s Media Lab is developing a browser plug-in that can check the accuracy of information posted online, and may use it to monitor political speeches for untruths.
Assange shocker: 'Of course I'm a goddamn journalist'
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is running out of patience with those who question his rightful membership with the fourth estate.
Apple's founding contract to fetch up to $150,000
Apple's founding contract is going on the auction block at Sotheby's in New York and is expected to fetch between $100,000 and $150,000.
Pirated software hard drive on display as art
A New York gallery is displaying a piece of “art” that consists of a one-terabyte portable hard drive chock-full of pirated code.
Netflix rules out Kiwi launch
Netflix has rejected New Zealand as a potential international launch spot because of low internet data caps and content rights issues.
Twitter crypto purchase leaves Egypt dissidents in lurch
A company that provided free cellphone encryption to dissidents in Egypt abruptly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could integrate some of its privacy enabling technology into the microblogging site.
Report: SAS controller bug holding up Xeon E5 launch
Everyone was expecting for Intel to launch the "Sandy Bridge-EP" Xeon E5 processors back in September for delivery in the fourth quarter. Butfor reasons that Intel has never explained – much less admitted that this was the original launch schedule – the E5 processor and its related "Patsburg" chipset has been pushed out to an "early 2012" launch.
Mobile number exhaustion accelerating in Oz
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says mobile numbers could be exhausted by 2017, according to a discussion paper canvassing revisions to this country’s numbering plan.
Copyright industry opposes ISPs’ proposed regime
CommentGiven the reception to Australia’s ISPs’ proposal to trial a copyright infringement regime, you have to wonder if people understand what “proposal” actually means.
Hub and spoke gives data analytics a new spin
The idea behind data warehousing is simple: put historical summary data from back-end transaction processing systems in a machine designed to answer queries fast.