27th > February > 2012 Archive

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Galaxy is teeming with homeless planets

The galaxy – and presumably, if we’re in a normal-enough galaxy, the rest of the universe – has a bit less empty space than we thought, according to a study by the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics (KIPAC).
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Wikileaks regains relevance with Stratfor doc-drop

Wikileaks has announced a massive document dump of e-mails obtained from Stratfor, which it says demonstrates widespread corruption and even insider trading.
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NEC invests in Nextep network

NEC has made a multi-million investment in its Nextep broadband network in a bid to vamp up its competitive offering ahead of the NBN deployment. The infrastructure investment is the first major upgrade for the network for a number of years but demand and opportunity afforded by the government’s Regional Blackspot’s Programme (RBBP) allowed the vendor to move ahead with upgrade plans.
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Mutant heroes to rescue Ultrabooks from price trap

Is Seagate clever or what? In order to get to a $600 entry price, Ultrabook makers are looking to shave off cost by using hybrid flash-disk drives instead of separate flash and disk drives.
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Ofcom needs you ... to help spend £180m on purifying telly

Ofcom is consulting on the best way to avoid 4G telephony knocking out Freeview, but the regulator seems to be having a hard time putting government plans into words.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
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Avoid flying next to blubberbeasts with seatmate-finding site

Fed up with sitting next to the fat guy eating crisps on those nine-hour transatlantic flights? Well, no one's invented a way to get around that, but airline KLM has a new social scheme to get passengers sitting next to people who interest them.
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Telefonica zaps 100Mbps 4G masts with shrink ray

MWC 2012 Spanish ISP and telco giant Telefonica is beavering away on 4G: it's holding trials in London, Madrid and Barcelona, and rolled out a service in Germany.
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Nearly one in 10 Brits 'fess to shower phone faux pas

MWC 2012 Promoting its waterproofing spray, Oxford-based P2i has polled punters on the soggy environments to which their phones are exposed and expectations on their survival.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD tablet

Huawei pitches 'first ever' 10in quad-core tablet

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 This one is sure to interest Apple's lawyers: Huawei has introduced a 10.1in tablet based around a quad-core processor - the first time this has happened, the company claimed - and its front looks a lot like an iPad.
Orange

Orange treats NFC phone fans to free feed

Orange has launched a partnership with chic sandwich chain Eat to encourage customers with NFC-enabled handsets to make use of the gadgets' contactless data swap tech.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headset

Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headset

Geek Treat of the Week Geek Treat of the Week Jabra’s Halo 2 is a lightweight, easy-on-the-eye Bluetooth headset that won’t attract the kind of disparaging looks that the typical cyborg-style Bluetooth phone attachment will get you.
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Sony Xperia converts flash motors into fancy remotes

MWC 2012 Sony will pre-load RealVNC's server onto all its Xperia handsets in 2012, enabling cars to control phones and customer support to reach out and touch you right on the screen.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Ford B-Max mini-MPV

Ford intros tech'd-up B-Max mini-MPV

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Ford has taken the wraps off the B-Max - the first new class of car it has released for six years - and revealed it'll be the first vehicle to sport the car company's Sync voice-controlled in-car connectivity system.
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Sony brings Samsung and NXP into the FeliCa fold

MWC 2012 Japan's FeliCa system will soon boast NFC alongside the existing proximity system, using chips from Samsung and NXP to provide pay-by-bonk for Japanese abroad and gaijin alike.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung stretches 5in Galaxy Note phonetab to 10in

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 In a spirit, surely, of 'we don't know what the punters want so we'll give 'em everything', Samsung has announced version of its Galaxy Note 5in smartphone-cum-tablet that's almost twice the size of the current model.
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Great Firewall springs a leak: Chinese flood Obama's Google+ page

China’s infamous tool of internet censorship the Great Firewall appeared to fail last week, allowing hundreds of web users in the People’s Republic to access and post comments on US president Barack Obama’s Google+ page.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Android 4.0 tablet
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Samsung selects UK as first to get next-gen tablet

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Samsung has revealed that its third-gen Galaxy Tab Android tablet will hit the UK first when it begins its worldwide rollout next month.
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Navigation app CoPilot Live goes freemium next month

MWC 2012 Premier navigation app CoPilot will go freemium next month, with a cut-down version designed to convince users to throw away their dedicated satnav and buy in for 20 quid.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
HTC

HTC stimulates Sense with snap-happy One series

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 HTC has brought a fresh dollop of Sense to Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, with the HTC One series, a collection of premium smartphones focused on audio and camera capabilities.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012

Secret high-security Chinese shipments point to iPad 3 exports

Fresh paperwork uncovered in China points to an early March launch for the long-awaited Apple iPad 3 - and apparently batches are already shipping to the US from assembly plants in the People’s Republic.
Panasonic Eluga Power
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Panasonic invests smartphone with Eluga Power

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Panasonic has shown off its second Eluga smartphone, only a week after unveiling the first of its new Android handset line.
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Vodafone: Do you take Visa?

MWC 2012 Vodafone and Visa have joined forces to push an international payment brand, using NFC for pay-by-bonk functionality and a Visa prepaid card to carry the credit.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Uncharted

Ten... PlayStation Vita launch games

Product round-up Product round-up Sony has made sure the Vita doesn't suffer from the same lack of games the Nintendo 3DS did upon release, so there's a broad set of launch titles to keep fans happy. Combine that with dozens of third-party offerings and you have a quality bunch to pick from. I had to narrow down ten from a collection of more …
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
Sony PS Vita handheld games console

Sony PlayStation Vita

Review Review The PlaySation Vita is Sony's latest attempt to take portable gaming to new heights, and it finally hit UK shelves last week. With quad-core smartphones waiting in the wings and gaming apps aplenty, the company's refreshed PSP has its work cut out.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012

Microsoft Tangos into cheap smartphones

MWC 2012 Microsoft is targeting the global market for smartphones outside the high end with its next Windows Phone, while promising most existing apps will continue to work with less hardware.
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Facebook denies poaching your text messages on Android

Facebook has dismissed allegations in The Sunday Times that the web giant's Android app can hoover text messages from phones as "creative conspiracy theorising".
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Viglen veteran Rolfe heads to Lenovo

Viglen old-timer Ashley Rolfe, right-hand man to chief exec Bordan Tkachuk, has pitched up at Lenovo as a tech evangelist.
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Viewsonic risks Apple backlash with Android Phone 4S

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Viewsonic focused on those with multiple mobile accounts this week, making an appearance at Mobiel World Congress (MWC) 2012 to reveal a collection of dual-Sim smartphones.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
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Playboy, Virgin Galactic tout zero-grav nookie in spaaaaace!

Quality journalism bastion Playboy has teamed up with boffins at Virgin Galactic to create the one thing missing in the universe - a Playboy Club in space.
Philips 2012 Smart TV UI

Philips puts Smart TV centre stage for 2012

Philips has introduced an updated UI for its smart TVs and promised to support IPTV across a broader array of tellies this year.
Reg Hard, 27 2012
Sony
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Sony conjures up 'magic' Xperias

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Sony boosted its smartphone lineup at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 today, with official unveils for the the Xperia P and the much rumoured Xperia U.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
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Sony pauses for breath, coughs up two more Xperia mobes

MWC 2012 Two new Android phones – and one re-announced one – are not the real story from Sony, however hard it tries to make it so. When Sony and Ericsson hooked up there was a pause as the two companies tried to make the strange marriage work. But while the parting of ways seems completely harmonious, there are clearly some things to sort out.
Reg Hardware Mobile Week

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Complete Coverage

Mobile Week Mobile Week Mobile World Congress - MWC to its friends - takes place in Barcelona this week. It's the most important show for the mobile industry and is the launch pad for many of 2012's most important mobile and smartphone products.
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Molesworth and the New Latin

Stob 'In his speech [...] the Education Secretary Michael Gove appeared to accept in its entirety the argument that ICT had become little more than training in office skills and something far more rigorous was required [...] While Alex Hope's slogan "coding is the new Latin" did not appeal to some, it must have appealed to the classicist in Michael Gove' - Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC website
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ServiceKey protests innocence in Oracle 'grey market' spat

ServiceKey - one of two channel defendants named in an Oracle lawsuit last week - says it has been wrongly caught up in the litigation.
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Hubble snaps exploding star's near-fatal weight-loss bid

Pic NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning shot of the Eta Carinae system's largest star suffering a near-death experience before it goes supernova in the near future.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and friend

Asus outs 1920 x 1280 Android ICS tablet

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Asus has joined Huawei to become a second announcer of a 10in tablet with a 1920 x 1280 display - the one it was teasing us about last week.

Kaminario array slips on protection but won't go down on you

Kaminario has added enterprise disk drive array-like protection and availability features to K2, its solid state SAN storage boxes. You won't need to take one of those machines down, ever.
Samsung

Samsung punts smartphone with built-in projector

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Samsung lit up MWC this week, bringing the Samsung Galaxy Beam to Western markets. It's a phone that lets users to cast content directly onto walls using its built-in projector.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
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IBM and Huawei hook up to start Chinese takeaway

MWC 2012 IBM's enterprise consultancy, IBM Global Business Service, has joined up with Huawei to create enterprise solutions, initially for Chinese companies but with global aspirations.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
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Child abuse suspect won't be forced to decrypt hard drive

A federal appeals court has ruled it improper to compel a child pornography suspect to decrypt his hard drive because such an act would violate his Fifth Amendment rights.
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Mozilla backs Facebook's mobile web standards push

MWC 2012 Open-web-loving Mozilla is backing Facebook's move to bring together smartphone-makers, carriers and developers to sort out standards for mobile internet and mobile app payments.
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Blighty's taxman offers smartphone levy refund

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs officials have decided that smartphones are phones, not PDAs, so anyone paying tax on one can now claim it back.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Asus Padfone

Asus peddles three-in-one smartphone, tablet, netbook

MWC 2012 MWC 2012 Asus has officially launched its anticipated Padfone at MWC 2012, the all-in-one smartphone, tablet and netbook it announced almost a year ago.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
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ZeuS Trojan embraces P2P – becomes even more sneaky and sticky

New variants of the Zeusbot/SpyEye cybercrime toolkit are moving away from reliance on command-and-control (C&C) servers towards a peer-to-peer architecture.
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Fallen DRAMurai warrior Elpida files for bankruptcy protection

Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory filed for bankruptcy protection today after failing to find anyone willing to save it.
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Handbags at dawn: Hermes loses Chinese trademark battle

Sacré bleu! Apple isn’t the only big name brand facing a trademark KO in China at the moment, after French fashion giant Hermes lost a key legal battle with China’s Trademark Appeal Board.
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Cloud Store: Next wave of services due by April

G-Cloud bigwig Chris Chant has confirmed the second wave of Cloud Store services will go live in April and that public sector customers will finally be able to rate suppliers, helping to shore up the flaky accreditation process.
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ITU supremo offers top tips on thwarting next Arab Spring

MWC 2012 The International Telecommunication Union's general secretary reckons the Arab Spring spate of revolutions is pretty much over, except possibly in Syria, and to keep it that way we need better-connected countries.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
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It's game over for pinball pioneer

Steve Kordek, the man widely dubbed as the Godfather of Pinball, has fired his last steely sphere at the ripe age of 100.
Caleb Cox, 27 2012
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Crap mobile networks shamed by Carrier IQ API

MWC 2012 Caught-out cellphone snoopster Carrier IQ has decided to come clean, hoping that punters will be prepared to have their phones' behaviour logged if they get to see the data too.
Bill Ray, 27 2012
Broken CD with wrench

Fujitsu saddles up its own Hadoop distro

Japanese IT conglomerate Fujitsu is throwing its own elephant into the ring with a mashup of Fujitsu software with components of the Apache Hadoop big data muncher, which it says is better than just using the open-source code all by its lonesome.
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Dell flashes enhanced 12G racks of PowerEdge gear

To say that the x86 server makers are a little anxious for Intel to launch the "Sandy Bridge-EP" processors and get the Xeon E5 transition under way is a bit of an understatement. They are positively champing at the bit.
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10GigE jetpacks strapped on EqualLogic underlings

Dell has added 10Gbps Ethernet cards to two of its 1GigE EqualLogic iSCSI arrays, bumped up their controllers and built in greater Linux and Windows host integration.
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41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers

MWC 2012 Nokia's PureView 808, unveiled today in Barcelona, boasts a 41-megapixel camera - a spec that trumps rivals' 8- and 12-MP sensors spectacularly. Naturally your humble hack had a play with one on the Nokia stand.

Intel smartphones coming to the UK, France, China, India

MWC 2012 Intel has announced three new partners that will soon offer smartphones based on Chipzilla's handset reference platform, and has provided more detail about its mobile-chip roadmap.
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US lawyers float Facebook Credits antitrust suit

Exclusive US attorneys are trying to drum up interest in a potential case against Facebook, claiming its Credits virtual currency is breaking US antitrust law.
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Qualys pushes out cloud-based tech for website protection

Security software-as-a-service specialist Qualys has branched out from vulnerability assessment and policy compliance for corporate networks with a cloud-based website protection service.
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IBM carbon probe views electron movement in molecule

IBM researchers in Switzerland have seen the movement of charge within a molecule for the first time, using a microscope tipped with a single carbon atom.
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Oz channel takes another hit as receiver moves in on WOW

Another of Australia’s struggling bricks-and-mortar gadget retailers is in trouble, with the WOW Audio Visual Superstores chain put up for sale by receivers Ferrier Hodgson.
Broken CD with wrench
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Microbee flies again

Australia’s answer to the ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro, the Microbee, is back.
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Foxtel and Austar set to play nice with IPTV guys

Australian subscription TV incumbents Foxtel and Austar are set to offer selected exclusive content to ISPs in a bid to smooth the path to a green light for their $AU1.9 billion merger.
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Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

Georgia Tech has lobbed a small grenade into the climate change debate, with a study suggesting a correlation between melting Arctic pack ice and snowy winters in the Northern Hemisphere.
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Apple wins battle in Motorola patent war

A German court has ruled that Motorola Mobility can't enforce a patent-battle injunction it won in December that would have prevented Apple's iPhone and iPad from being sold in that country.
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IT staffers on ragged edge of burnout and cynicism

RSA 2012 A survey of stress levels among IT security staff, thought to be the first of its kind, has shown that an alarming number of staffers are suffering dangerous levels of cynicism, leaving them depressed and unable to function properly.
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All-optical RAM to clear comms bottleneck

Japanese researchers are claiming a breakthrough in all-optical memory, one of the key bottlenecks remaining in the optical communications world.

Dell: Not looking for lock-in, just lovin'

Dell doesn't want to be IBM, like HP sometimes seems to, but it wants to be enough like those two that it can kick their asses in the data center and still be best buddies with systems software makers such as Microsoft, Red Hat, and Oracle. That, in short, was the message from the top brass at Dell's PowerEdge 12G systems launch at an event in Silicon Gulch today.
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Motorola upgrades Vic emergency network

The Victorian government has awarded Motorola Solutions with an $AU130 million contract to upgrade and extend the management of Victoria’s Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) network.