21st > November > 2012 Archive

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NASA admits hiding 'really good' news from Martian soil

It appears the Curiosity rover on Mars has had some exciting news, but NASA controllers have said that they're keeping quiet about it until the facts have been checked.
A photograph of the Canberra suburb of Chapman showing the path of a fire tornado

First FIRE TORNADO documented in Australia

A fire in Australia grew so powerful that it spawned a tornado nearly 500 metres wide, contributing to the destruction of more than 500 homes.
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Mozilla's Social add-on MERGES Facebook with Firefox

Do people say you spend too much time on Facebook? Do you actually worry that viewing other websites might be cutting into your Facebook time? Then the Mozilla Foundation has the Firefox add-on for you.

Epic e-tail fail down under

Australia’s IT and retail communities are picking up the pieces today, after an epic e-commerce fail that has seen a much-hyped ‘click frenzy’ fail to satisfy most punters.

BT: Olympics cyber attackers were amateurs

Twelve year old hacktivists and journalists with infected laptops were the biggest info security threats to the London 2012 Games - an event which in the end was notable for the absence of a major cyber attack, BT has revealed.
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Web users: We've got NO IDEA if we're stealing content or not

An Ofcom survey, paid for by the UK's Intellectual Property Office, has found that almost half of internet users think they're stealing stuff, but they're far from certain.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
Flag France

Sacre Bleu! US fingered for Flame attack on Élysée Palace

US-sponsored snoopers hacked into the computers of the Élysée Palace earlier this year ahead of the French presidential election and lifted top secret information, using what appears to be the notorious Flame malware, a French newspaper has alleged.
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Evildoers can now turn all sites on a Linux server into silent hell-pits

An advanced Linux malware strain can automatically hijack websites hosted on compromised servers to attack web surfers with drive-by-downloads.
Sharp 90in Aquos HDTV

Sharp chopper falls on early-retire plan as employees flee in droves

Ailing Japanese electronics maker Sharp has been forced to suspend its early retirement programme ahead of time due to the large numbers looking to cash in and check out.

UN: APAC is world's most digitally divided region

The Asia Pacific region is the world's most digitally divided, with huge investment in land and sea-based fibre optic networks and improved public-private partnerships necessary to close the gap between the haves and have-nots, the UN has said.
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LAST EVER British typewriter manufactured in Wales

Britain's last ever typewriter has rolled off the assembly line at Brother's factory in Wales.
Xcom: Enemy Unknown

Ten... PC games you may have missed

Product Round-up So now my Panda is Level 90 I thought it might be time to get my head out of the Brewmasters keg and have a look a selection of other games that have been released while I have been in my MMO reverie. If you don't fancy playing COD: BO2 or Halo 4 and are bored of relentless franchise titles then take a look at the games below. Hopefully, they will keep me busy until Neverwinter and Bioshock Infinite show up next year.
Lucy Orr, 21 2012
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YARR! Library Wi-Fi PIRATES can't be touched by Queen's men!

Identifying your nearest public library will soon be dead easy: just look for the skull-and-crossbones flag draped over the entrance, or follow the greasy-haired blokes in trench coats.

Nearly 90% of SAP customers find its cloud pricing confusing

SAP users don't understand the software giant's cloud pricing and more than half think the firm is not offering enough incentives to move online.
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Pocket Wi-Fi hotspots paralyse Chinese metro lines

Shenzhen Metro is blaming customer Wi-Fi for disruptions to its service. The subway system for the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China, depends on the unlicensed 2.4GHz band to link up its signalling systems.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
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ScaleIO virtual SAN firms begins to surface, mostly still concealed

A pair of NetApp/Topio bright young things with a dash of Storwize and XtremeIO have their very own virtual SAN startup, ScaleIO.
Apple's online store splash page on June 11, 2012

Want to run your own Apple shop? Start with £70k of German chairs

Marvel at the lavish Corian countertops and the shimmering metallic shelving forming a temple of Jobsian worship. Be still and know that you are in the hands of one of Apple's premium resellers.
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Prince William 'day with my chopper' pics reveal more than intended

The UK's Ministry of Defence was obliged to reset user names and passwords following the publication of pictures of the Duke of Cambridge at work on a military base.
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PGP Zimmermann teams with Navy SEALs, SAS techies in London

Encryption guru Phil Zimmermann is going after security conscious users with his new venture Silent Circle, a security start-up offering ultra-secure VoIP and texting services.
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Beeb rights swapper swaps shop to swap-shop for red-tops

James Lancaster, the former head of rights negotiations at the BBC, has been picked for the new UK digital copyright exchange project.
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Intel pays Creative $50m for ZiiLabs GPU licence, people

Creative Labs is to all sell parts of its graphics chip wing, ZiiLabs, to Intel for $50 million (£31.4 million).
The new eighth-generation iMac family

Total APPLE DESKTOP ABSENCE set to last past XMAS - sources

Apple's channel partners and customers will have a desktop shaped hole in their respective portfolio and shopping list this Chrimbo.
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US federal transport crash investigators ditch BlackBerry for iPhones

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has followed other federal agencies in ditching Blackberry for iPhone.
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Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

Bluetooth has achieved its dream of being in a remote control, sadly it’s a remote for a mobile phone and not a TV, but surely a step in the right direction.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
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Apple: Sure, here's the HTC patent pact. WITH numbers blanked out

Apple has told Samsung that it will provide a copy of its agreement with HTC to a US court, but only if it's heavily redacted and all monetary terms are blanked out.
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NASA SECRET DISCOVERY ON MARS: Meteor offers possible clue

All the boffinry world is alive with speculation as to just what the as yet unnannounced "one for the history books" discovered by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity might be. But a recently-published study may offer a clue.
Toshiba's Viewster

Why do Smart TV UIs suck?

Feature Years ago, TVs were simple. My grandparents’ set, for example, had a single channel-change button which clunked through to the next VHF preset each time you pushed it. My own family's TV had two standards, enabling us to “Switch to U for BBC 2” in time for Play Away.
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Netscape founder pays off MASSIVE tax bill with Facebook shares

Marc Andreessen - a Facebook insider who serves on the company's board - held true to his promise on Monday by selling stock worth $54.1m in the recently floated free-content ad network to pay off tax obligations.
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Another not very long period of time, another GiffGaff collapse

O2's cut-price operation GiffGaff is down again, with customers unable to make outgoing calls for the last half hour - and no sign of a fix in sight.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
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Outrage over AT&T iPad data slurp hacker conviction

A grey hat hacker has been found guilty of breaching AT&T's site security to obtain iPad customer data.
Kevin Murrell and the restored Dekatron, picture: Gavin Clarke

DEKATRON reborn: Full details on World's Oldest Digital Computer

Feature The world’s oldest working digital computer was rebooted on Tuesday following a painstaking three-year refurbishment. The slow-but-steady machine will now be used to educate school-age programmers.
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Sam Sung found in Apple Store SHOCKER

The business card of an Apple store employee in Vancouver has gone loco on the internet as the world delighted in the fact that he was called Sam Sung.
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'There may come a day when Hobbits promote slot machines ...'

Just weeks before The Hobbit hits the big screen, the family of author JRR Tolkien is once again suing the film's producers.
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BLAZING HEAVENLY gas BRIDGE filament links galactic clusters

The European Space Agency's Planck space telescope has discovered a bridge of hot gas connecting two galactic clusters across ten million light-years of intergalactic space.

Speaking in Tech: HP skunks Autonomy - Really, Meg... really?

Podcast Podcast It's another exciting episode of El Reg's techcast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Ed returns from his secret mission while Sarah is on a vision quest in New Mexico. The infamous Marc Farley from Microsoft is the special guest... and gives us the scoop on life as a Microsoftie and …
Nokia HERE iOS maps app

Nokia HERE iOS maps app review

There’s never been a better time to publish a mapping app for iOS. Apple’s own Maps app is a laughing stock and Google is apparently dithering over whether to bother submitting an app version of its mapping solution for Apple’s approval, or lack thereof. So Nokia has stepped into the breach with HERE, a re-branded version of its highly-regarded Maps navigation offering.
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'Rare for tech not to be involved in child abuse cases'

A report that identified more than 16,000 British children who could be at "high risk of child exploitation" during a 12-month period has also highlighted the apparent dangers kids face when using the internet.
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Skype 3.0 lands on Android tabs, says all your bass are belong to it

Skype for Android is up to version three, promising better sound and tablet-friendly menus along with Microsoft account sign-in as Redmond continues to merge user accounts.
Bill Ray, 21 2012

HP: Autonomy had us believing in a false IDOL

HP has laid out the "accounting improprieties and misrepresentations" allegedly used by Autonomy to inflate its value just before HP bought the British biz.
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AARGH! We're ALL DOOMED, bellows UN - right on schedule

With the next round of international climate change talks looming, the usual sources are issuing the usual warnings that if massive cuts in carbon emissions aren't agreed then we're definitely really doomed this time.
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Ex-Nokians fish MeeGo out of bin, launch Sailfish OS

A new phone OS based on the work Nokia abandoned on its Linux-based mobile OS has been unveiled in Helsinki. Jolla is a start-up run by former Nokia staffers devised to build on the old MeeGo project, which is now called Mer. The Sailfish OS is Mer with proprietary elements: a new user interface.
The Register breaking news

Dish: With these restrictions, FCC, you are totally crippling us

FCC Chair Julius Genachowski has said that Dish Networks will get its licence for a US mobile network, but with restrictions that the company claims will fatally undermine its business.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
The Register breaking news

The Man Who Stole Greece: Cuffed chap had data on most of country

Greek police have cuffed a suspect who allegedly stole personal data of three-quarters of the country's population as part of an attempted industrial-scale ID theft scam.
The Register breaking news

Apple cultists slaver as Mothership landing now foretold in 2016

Apple's bid to build a UFO-like complex has been pushed back a year because it was late submitting the final plans to officials.
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Microsoft-Motorola patent row: Google wants $4 BEELLION a year

Google has suggested that Microsoft should pay around $4bn a year for the wireless and video patents of Motorola that Redmond uses in its Xbox and Surface fondleslab.
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Google to UN: Internet FREEDOM IS FREE, and must remain so

Google has attacked a "closed-door meeting" of United Nations' regulators organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) taking place next month. The Chocolate Factory claimed that some of the proposals to overhaul the 1988 comms treaty could be bad news for free speech.
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Samsung brews half-asleep OCTO CORE phone brain MONSTER

Samsung will tear the wraps off an eight-core ARM processor in February although half of the chip will spend most of its life asleep.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
The Register breaking news

Russia steps into NASA's place on upcoming ESA Mars plans

The European Space Agency has approved an agreement to get Russian help for the ExoMars missions that NASA dropped out of. The ESA, which just finished its annual ministerial council meeting, said that Roscosmos would get the Martian missions in 2016 and 2018 off the ground with its Proton rockets, sending first a satellite to look for methane and other trace gases in the atmosphere, and then Europe's own rover.
The Register breaking news

AT&T randomly letting some customers use FaceTime on cellular

AT&T customers on tiered data plans with LTE devices can already use Apple's FaceTime over mobile connections, but now the operator is spreading the love just in time for the holidays.
Bill Ray, 21 2012
The Register breaking news

Wii U 'has been JAILBROKEN' via legacy games, say homebrewers

A squad of techies claim they've cracked Nintendo's anti-piracy defences in the Wii U days after the games console hit US shelves.

10 Gigabit Ethernet still too expensive on servers

It may not be entirely clear what is holding back the x86 server racket in the most recent quarter – round up the usual suspects – but networking market watcher Dell'Oro says it knows what isn't helping as it was expected: 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Cluster cake pulled open: Oozes cores, GPU gravy, mineral oil

SC12 At last, I can reveal the final configurations of the systems the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) warriors brought to Salt Lake City last week.
Dan Olds, 21 2012
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Licensing snafu leaves Windows 8 open to PIRATES

Microsoft's decision to offer the Windows Media Center Pack for Windows 8 as a free download may be coming back to bite it, as software pirates have reportedly discovered a way to use the add-on to permanently activate pilfered copies of Windows.
The Register breaking news

Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

Updated A plan by a San Antonio school district to continuously monitor its students using RFID has run into legal problems after one of them took a stand against being forced to use the tracking technology.
Australian Government 2.0 taskforce logo

Australian Government's CIO Anne Steward retires

Australia's Chief Information Officer Anne Steward has retired.
The surface of Makemake. Credit ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

ESO says dwarf planet Makemake lacks atmosphere

Makemake, one of the solar system’s five dwarf planets, has been found to have no atmosphere.

Amazon EC2 cloud does Windows Server 2012

Microsoft wants you to build your clouds out of the new Windows Server 2012 operating system, and it wants you to run applications on its Windows Azure cloud, too. But if it can't get you to go all-Redmond, then it will settle for you running Windows Server 2012 on Amazon's cloudy competition, the EC2 compute cloud and the Elastic Beanstalk autoscaling feature for it.
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Microsoft dragging its feet on Linux Secure Boot fix

The Linux Foundation's promised workaround that will allow Linux to boot on Windows 8 PCs has yet to clear Microsoft's code certification process, although the exact reason for the hold-up remains unclear.