8th > November > 2012 Archive
Adobe switches Flash fix schedule to Patch Tuesdays
Users of Adobe Flash Player have grown accustomed to frequent security patches, but beginning with its next batch of bugfixes, Adobe says it will release updates on a new, more predictable schedule – one that just happens to coincide with Microsoft's "Patch Tuesday."
Android adware capability a vulnerability, claim boffins
North Carolina State University researchers have revealed a vulnerability in Android that allows SMS messages to be sent from one app to another without going over the air, something they say could be used for SMS phishing attacks.
Orc Assassin Rogue wins Senate seat
Colleen Lachowicz, aka Rogue Orc Assassin Santiaga in World of Warcraft, has won a seat in Maine's State Senate.
Singaporeans get hard token baked into credit card
Two-factor authentication just got a whole lot more convenient for residents of Singapore, after Standard Chartered Bank's local outfit teamed with MasterCard to offer account-holders a credit card that is also a one-time-password-generating hard token.
Verizon stakes claim as global cloud mobiliser
Armed with an expensive war chest of high end acquisitions in cloud and telematics assets, Verizon is re-positioning itself as “one of the handful” of global players that will survive in the enterprise sector.
Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-Java move
Micro-blogging site Twitter experienced record traffic as the results of the 2012 US Presidential election were announced on Tuesday night, but the service never faltered despite the increased load – something Twitter engineers credit to the company's move from Ruby to Java for its backend software.
Apple is Superman's digital Kryptonite
DC Comics, home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Watchmen, has started to sell individual issues of its comics on Amazon's Kindle, the iDevice menagerie and the Nook e-reader.
Japan Display cranks up ultra low power colour LCD panels
Japanese electronics giants Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi have been showing off new low-power LCD display technology which seems to combine the best of LCD and e-ink by dispensing with the backlight and instead relying on reflected light.
BBC in secret trial to see if you care about thing you plainly don't
In the last month the BBC quietly switched off AM radio transmitters to see if anyone noticed - and it seems not a lot of people did.
Edible iPhone case goes on sale in Japan
Japan’s never-ending quest to fulfil stereotypes about its slightly eccentric approach to technology continued this week after reports emerged of an iPhone 5 case made entirely of edible rice crackers.
Psst: Heard the one about the National Pupil Database? Thought not
AnalysisThe Tories were big fans - in opposition - of labelling the then-Labour government a "database state" as it lumbered from one ID card disaster to another. But now that the Conservative Party is heading towards the mid-term point of its coalition with the Lib Dems, the notion of hoarding ever-more information about British citizens is alive and well - in the form of the under-reported opening up of the National Pupil Database.
EMC offers biz barons tools to manipulate their digital assets
EMC has clearly cottoned on to the security and management problems posed by the growing enterprise cloud as well as BYOD in business, and clearly thinks it is going to sell quite a bit of content management software, if its latest barrage of announcements are anything to go by.
ALIEN DETECTION was SUPPRESSED by the BBC - top boffin
The BBC tried to put the kibosh on rock-star physicist Brian Cox's plan to eavesdrop on a planet with a radio telescope - because the corporation was apparently afraid the discovery of alien life could violate the Beeb's editorial guidelines.
Apple iPad 4 Wi-Fi only tablet review
I didn’t get the iPad at first. When the tablet was first announced, I was interested but couldn’t see the value to me. I had an e-book reader, I had a phone on which I could watch films while travelling and listen to music, and I had a laptop for everything else. Why, I wondered, did I need a tablet too?
Cray scales to over 100 petaflops with 'Cascade' XC30 behemoth
Hot on the heels of the delivery of the 20-plus petaflops "Titan" CPU-GPU hybrid supercomputer to Oak Ridge National Laboratory last week, Cray has launched what is unquestionably a much better machine, the long-awaited "Cascade" system developed in conjunction with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and sporting the new "Aries" interconnect.
Wave of the Future? Smartphone NFC used to buy stuff ONLINE
Mastercard has started trials of online payments using the secure element in an NFC handset in France, and it looks like it could quickly become the standard way to buy stuff on the internet.
London council £1bn outsourcing plan survives vote
An eleventh-hour attempt to kill London Barnet Council's billion-pound outsourcing plan has failed.
Microsoft offers cut-price Win 8 PCs and fondletops to UK schools
British schoolkids and teachers are to be offered discounted Windows 8 laptops and tabs in a Microsoft programme to close the digital divide.
Skype accused of ratting out user to private security without warrant
Skype is investigating claims it handed over personal information on a teenager implicated in an attack on PayPal without asking to see a warrant.
App designed for safe sending of naughty selfies is rife with risks
A smartphone app touted as a safe way to exchange naked pictures and saucy texts poses a huge privacy risk.
Judge denies move to ban ad-skipping DVR
US satellite broadcaster Dish Networks can continue providing its subscribers with a DVR capable of automatically skipping adverts, a US District Court judge has ruled.
Gaping hole in Google service exposes thousands to ID theft
ExclusiveA security flaw accessible via Google's UK motor insurance aggregator Google Compare has potentially exposed vast numbers of drivers to identity theft.
Desperate broadband minister in Brussels cash splash dash
Culture Secretary Maria Miller, chief of UK broadband policy, has raced to Brussels this morning to have crisis talks with the European Commission's competition boss, Joaquin Almunia, in a move to get state aid clearance for the £530m rollout of broadband networks in rural parts of the UK.
Stob on Quatermass: Was this British TV's finest sci-fi hour?
Stob SpecialIn the pub, with my editor. "Those sci-fi classics of the fifties," he mused. "Not the Hammer remakes - the originals. Are they really classics? How do they compare with modern Doctor Who? Are they even watchable?"
Researcher names world's favourite smartphone
And the world’s best-selling smartphone during July, August and September was... According to market watcher Strategy Analytics, it was Samsung’s Galaxy S III, which beat Apple’s iPhone 4S by a healthy 1.8 million units.
Sellafield's nuclear waste measured in El Reg units
A National Audit Office report into cleaning up Sellafield nuclear plant - described as Blighty's "largest and most hazardous nuclear site" - has concluded there is "considerable uncertainty over the time required and cost of completing facilities to treat and store highly radioactive material held in deteriorating legacy ponds and silos".
Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review
If you ever go down the pub and let slip you’re a tech writer, you’re invariably asked for recommendations. With smartphones, this is pretty difficult these days because they’re all pretty good. No, scrap that, today’s devices are just amazing compared to what you could get a few years ago. They all do a job; you can’t really recommend a ‘bad’ one. Manufacturers and fanbois engage in a furious War of Small Differences.
Box shifters cram UK market with crusty PCs to make room for Win 8
PC shipments into the UK channel declined in the last quarter as vendors focussed on lobbing out Windows 7 machines ahead of the Windows 8 launch. However, in the midst of a recession, no one really noticed any shortages of computers.
Apple kicked out of China smartphone top 5 by, er, Yulong and pals
Chinese smartphone makers managed to force Apple out of the top five in their domestic market in Q3 and account for an increasingly sizeable chunk of global shipments, according to the latest stats from analyst Canalys.
Medical scan record that the NHS says will cost £2k to retrieve: Detail
A hospital trust says it will cost the NHS £2,000 to dig out a copy of a patient's ultrasound scan of his heart and hand it over to him. The steep bill is, we're told, due to the data being held on a magneto-optical disc, and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust would need to fly in kit from America to access it.
What made us human? Being ARMED with lethal ranged weapons
Boffins investigating a find of ancient stone blades over 70 thousand years old argue that it was possession of advanced ranged weapons - and the organisation to make and use them - which allowed humanity to defeat its early rivals and spread out to conquer the world.
Revealed! Prime Minister's iPad 'dashboard' for controlling Britain
Undoubtedly the biggest IT story of the day - if not the year - is the news that David Cameron's custom "iPad app" is now in testing.
Smartphone biz shocker: Nokia sells fewer devices than Lenovo
More upsets from the world of smartphone manufacturing: Sony has been selling more phones than HTC, and they’re both shipping more smartphones then either RIM or Nokia - which has plunged toward the bottom of the world vendor rankings.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Android tablet review
Carl Jung once wrote that a beautiful woman is a terrible disappointment. And so it is with Amazon's long awaited (it's been a year) British release of its Kindle Fire 7in tablets. Having pre-ordered the top-end 32GB Fire HD model, I was thrilled when I found it waiting for me at home and excited as I tore open the box, but grew progressively more pissed off as I spent the night discovering what I couldn't do with it.
Lenovo insists it is NOT world's largest PC maker
If Gartner is right and Lenovo has indeed become the largest PC maker on the planet, someone forgot to tell the Chinese juggernaut's top brass.
Habitable HEAVY GRAVITY WORLD found just 42 light-years away
Astroboffins have found another super-Earth planet orbiting a star just 42 light years away from home, but this one could support life as we know it.
Adobe Reader 0-day exploit surfaces on underground bazaars
Miscreants have reportedly discovered a zero-day vulnerability in latest version of Adobe Reader.
RIM good for secret jobs: BlackBerry 10 cleared for Restricted data
BlackBerry 10 has passed the US Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) certification, meaning devices based on the platform can be used to send classified data between government agents. Despite a drop in US government uptake of its kit, this is still something unique to RIM.
Scotland Yard arrests female computer hacking suspect
Scotland Yard officers arrested a 45-year-old woman this morning over alleged breaches of privacy.
Bradley Manning submits partially-guilty plea in WikiLeaks case
US army private Bradley Manning has asked the court to accept a partially guilty plea that takes responsibility for leaking government documents to WikiLeaks.
Patent troll sues just about the whole tech biz over 4 years
A patent holding firm has made it its business to sue just about every tech firm anyone has heard of in its quest to make money from an encryption patent, it has emerged.
Angry Birds Star Wars game review
Rovio expanded its most popular franchise yet again today, transforming Angry Birds for sci-fi fans with a Star Wars theme.
Diablo trousers $28m to create a flash-in-the-DRAM technology
Diablo Technologies, a Canadian start-up founded 10 years ago, has just been given $28m to develop its flash-based in-memory technology.
Obama win may mean NASA 'nauts to Deep Space as soon as 2021
NASA could be getting ready to set up a manned space outpost now that President Barack Obama is back in the White House.
Prime Minister on Twitter: Me and Obama, we're like THAT
PicBritish Prime Minister David Cameron couldn't resist tweeting a cheesy picture of him apparently having a telephone conversation with the re-elected US president Barack Obama on Thursday afternoon.
Apple's Cue gets parking space on Ferrari board
Eddy Cue, Apple’s Mr Fixit - he was recently tasked with putting the firm’s Maps app and Siri on track - and head of Cupertino’s iTunes operation, has won a place on Ferrari’s board of directors.
Apple is granted a patent on the rectangle. No, really
Thinking of making a thing that is portable, has a display and is rectangular with rounded corners? Well, DON'T! You'll be infringing Apple's new design patent.
Twitter: WHOOPS we've broken ourselves. Sorr-ee!
UpdateTwitter has apologised for "unintentionally" resetting the passwords for a large number of its user accounts.
iPhone maker Foxconn hatching US factory expansion plan?
UpdatedFoxconn, the employee-infuriating, child-employing, and brain-damaging manufacturer of kit for Apple, Amazon, Sony, Nintendo, and others, is exploring the possibility of building plants in the US – Detroit and Los Angeles, to be specific.
Storage upstart Huawei snatches NFS filer crown
Chinese storage interloper Huawei has shattered standards body SPEC's sfs2008 Network File System (NFS) benchmark by scoring 3,064,602 IOPS. That's roughly twice as fast as rival Avere and NetApp 6240 clusters.
Egypt takes hard line on internet pr0n, calls for total ban
Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud has called for a total ban on internet pornography to be strictly enforced, and says that he intends to crack the whip on the purveyors of smut.
Crafty app lets phones send data by ultrasound with speakers, mics
VidA Singapore firm is punting ultrasonic sound as an alternative to NFC for short-range wireless communications, pointing out that it works with existing hardware and provides a demo app to prove it.
Australia backs down from Internet filter plan
Australia will not proceed with its plan to filter the Internet on behalf of its citizens.
Intel to slip future Xeon E7s, Itaniums into common socket
They may be coming a little bit later than expected, but the next generation of Intel's server processors, code-named "Poulson" and sold under the Itanium 9500 brand, are out. Intel has also finally disclosed its plans to more fully converge the Itanium and Xeon server platforms, giving Itanium a more secure footing in the data center.
HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7
UpdatedWindows 8 got you down? Don't worry; even if you buy a new machine with Windows 8 preinstalled, you should be able to downgrade it to Windows 7, if you prefer – that is, unless you bought a new consumer PC or laptop from HP.