15th > December > 2011 Archive
Fairfax 'hacking' allegations blow up
Australia’s own “hacking scandal”, in which Fairfax’s Melbourne masthead The Age is accused of illegally accessing an ALP member database, has blown up spectacularly with an Australian Federal Victoria Police raid on the newspaper’s offices.
Feds charge eight former Siemens officials with bribery
US officials have charged more than a dozen former executives and contractors of Siemens of conspiring to spend $100 million in bribes to secure a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards for Argentine citizens.
Asus Zenbook UX31E
ReviewI honestly thought it would take the industry a lot longer to start producing Windows Ultrabooks for under a grand that are this good. The Asus Zenbook is as flat and skinny and as light as a MacBook Air without trying to look like one, and is a darn sight better connected.
'Flash Gordon' supercomputer powers up in January
Say hello to Flash Gordon; the world's first flash-powered supercomputer will come online in the San Diego Supercomputer Centre in January.
WD slashes warranty periods on Blue and Green drives
Western Digital is cutting the distribution warranty period for Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three to two years.
Google gives £550k to Bletchley Park
Google has donated over half a million pounds for restorations at Bletchley Park, the site which commemorates the birth of modern computing and the code-breakers who helped bring the Second World War to an end.
Whitehall Post-Its, Ministers' GMail to come under FOIA?
CommentIf you see puffs of black smoke drifting over Whitehall this week - don't be alarmed. The Information Commission is expected to rule that "backchannels" such as private email accounts, and other information recorded by Ministers and public servants must be revealed to the public.
ICO warns: Just six months to comply with EC cookie rules
The Information Commissioner's Office won't begin enforcing the new cookies law for another six months yet - in the meantime, the regulator has issued a reminder to web outfits warning them to prepare to comply with the legislation.
Sony: PS3 sales ahead of target
Sony will sell 15m PlayStation 3 consoles by the end of March 2012, the consumer electronics giant has insisted.
iOS App of the WeekThere are quite a few apps that can be used to stitch together a series of overlapping photos in order to create a single, wide-angle panoramic picture.
LG to tune in TVs to Intel's WiDi
Intel has won LG's backing for its Wireless Display (WiDi) video-over-Wi-Fi initiative.
The moment a computer crash nearly caused my car crash
Sysadmin blogI very nearly had a terrible car accident: my car almost left me stranded on the tracks of my city's light rail transit. The short version of the story is that my car started acting up, of all times, as I was on the way to the mechanic for an oil change.
Super black hole about to scoff speeding space dinner
Star-gazing boffins using the European Southern Observatory's aptly-named Very Large Telescope have discovered that supermassive black hole Sagittarius A is about to chow down on a huge gas cloud.
Southampton Uni climbs aboard LOHAN spaceplane project
The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is delighted to announce today that a heavyweight team of postgraduate students from the University of Southampton will be tackling the design of our Vulture 2 spaceplane.
Google Wallet fails to encrypt punters' personal data
Security researchers have discovered that Google Wallet stores sensitive information unencrypted on devices, including the cardholder's name, transaction dates, the last four digits of credit card numbers, email address, and account balances.
How to get a top 10 iOS app: a Wednesday launch in Italy
Getting into the top ten apps on iTunes is something developers aspire to, but figures from Distimo show the huge disparity between iTunes markets around the world and across the week.
Grand Theft Auto 3 fires towards fondleslabs
This time ten years ago, Rockstar's first 3D rendition of the GTA series was keeping PlayStation 2 owners up all night. Grand Theft Auto 3 now seeks to inflict similar insomnia on fondleslab fanatics, after it was released today for iOS and Android.
Prada and LG peg up third fashion phone
The tech meets trendsetter partnership between the fashion tour de force Prada and Korean electronics giant LG continues where others have failed. Indeed, that was the message both companies were pleased to convey as the third Prada phone by LG was unveiled with some seriousness at Claridges in London yesterday.
Feds cuff KISS rock star's DDoS suspect
The FBI has arrested a man suspected of taking part in a DDoS attack that smashed KISS bassist and reality telly star Gene Simmons’ web site off the internet.
2011's Best... Hi-Fi and AV Kit
Xmas Gift GuideWith hi-fi and home cinema now two sides of the same coin, it’s inevitable that these 2011's Best... heroes come in every shape and size. But while price points and technologies differ, all can be considered solid gold entertainers.
Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy
Ofcom has taken a long, hard, look at the quantity of advertising on television, and concluded that the existing caps are just fine and nothing needs to be done.
Mario decorations drive gamers up the wall
Here's a cute one for all you retro game fanatics: fully licensed Super Mario wallpaper... that moves. Sort of. If you move it.
Apple mulls new chip boffinry HQ in Israel
Apple is planning to set up a research and development centre in Israel, the first ever outside of its Cupertino HQ.
Phone-hack saga: Cop bung probe nets seventh suspect
A 37-year-old woman was arrested this morning by Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Elveden, which is an investigation into allegations of "inappropriate payments to police".
EC resolves antitrust probe into IBM mainframe biz
IBM rivals now have a better chance of competing with the tech giant in the mainframe market, after the European Commission got Big Blue to loosen its grip on the business.
Nokia lightens Dark Knight with Batman blower
Nokia has created a run of limited edition Lumia 800 handsets to tie in with Christopher Nolan's next Batman blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises.
Logica axes 1,300 jobs as profits set to be just £240m
Logica is cutting jobs across Europe as it tries to sell its wares in the increasingly gloomy IT services market.
Facebook rolls out Timeline to world+dog
Facebook is finally rolling out its Timeline feature worldwide, after the company first announced the latest tweak to its social network in September.
Lloyds TSB online banking, ATMs titsup in server crash
Lloyds TSB's online banking and cash machines went down this morning due to network server cutting out, the Register has been told.
Cheap energy revives US manufacturing, skint Brits shiver
The battle of crystal ball gazers over how much we'll be paying for energy in the future rages on. The government's advisory panel on global warming has weighed in, with a report on household energy bills. The Climate Change Committee uses slightly different assumptions to the Energy Department, and only looks at a slice of the market, but arrives at the same cheery conclusion: carbon policies will add a mere £110 a year to fuel bills by 2020.
Cops target climate-sceptic bloggers in three countries
Police have targeted at least four climate bloggers in three countries, with constabulary taking computers and networking equipment from a science blogger in the UK.
Nearest supernova since 1986 blasts boffin off her chair
Boffins across the world have united to study a young supernova just 21 million light years away, to help figure out more about the way that various chemical elements - including those making up our own bodies - are formed.
London 'Tech City' quango burns through £1m on admin
The taxpayer-funded quango given the job of rebranding and promoting the nontrepreneurs of Shoreditch has blown through £1m on admin costs alone in a year.
Carrier IQ meets feds 'to educate them'
The makers of the controversial smartphone app Carrier IQ have reportedly been quizzed by federal regulators over concerns that its technology tracked user activity and uploaded data to mobile operators behind the back of consumers.
Journos can tweet from UK courts: But who's a journo?
Journalists will be able to tweet freely from courts says new guidance from the UK Judiciary, but members of the public will still have to ask the judge's permission to be able to use Twitter in a court-room.
Comet Lovejoy spotted plunging toward fiery doom
The comet Lovejoy has been snapped by ESA and NASA's SOHO spacecraft merrily continuing on its path to obliteration in the Earth's sun.
Apple's Galaxy Tab ban was best advertising ever - Samsung
Ah, sweet revenge! After winning its court battle to lift the ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, Samsung is making the most of the fondleslab injunction saga.
Microsoft copies Google with silent browser updates
Internet Explorer is about to do more than just look like Chrome - it'll silently update on your PC just like Google's browser, too.
Amazon goes south with São Paulo data center
Amazon's expanded its server footprint for a second time just over a month, this time opening a data center serving customers in South America.
Stolen, remote-wiped iPhones still get owner's iMessages
Victims of iPhone theft have discovered that remotely wiping the nicked kit won't stop iMessage content being delivered to the thief, who can continue to respond under the owner's name.
Facebook won't deny it is sitting on huge mountain of cash
Facebook has declined to comment on a report that suggested the dominant social network had already tucked away sales of $2.5bn for the first nine months of 2011.
Visa probes reported security breach of card processor
Credit card issuer company Visa is investigating the possible breach of a payment processor in Europe that may have compromised more than 10,000 cards in Eastern Europe.
Ballmer can exhale: Bill Gates rules out Microsoft return
Bill Gates won't be coming back to Microsoft to retake the reins from embattled CEO Steve Ballmer – so says none other than Bill Gates himself.
Foo Fighters gig goes seismic
In a scene that could have been written by Douglas Adams, a Foo Fighters gig in Auckland in quake-prone New Zealand has shown up on seismic monitoring stations.
BigPond customers targeted by phishers
Telstra’s beleaguered BigPond customers, who suffered a major security breach last week when customer details were leaked to the web, are now subject to a targeted phishing campaign.
Oz gov launches $AU200m green energy fund
Southern Cross Venture Partners has been appointed the lead fund manager of a $AU200 million renewable energy venture capital fund, Australia’s largest to date.
US spy drone hijacked with GPS spoof hack, report says
The US stealth drone broadcast last week on Iranian state television was captured by spoofing its GPS coordinates, a hack that tricked the bird into landing in Iranian territory instead of where it was programmed to touch down, The Christian Science Monitor reported.