20th > December > 2012 Archive


After Sandy Hook, Senator calls for violent video game probe

Gun control remains a politically fraught issue in the US, even after such events as the December 14 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, but one top lawmaker has proposed legislation that could lead to tighter restrictions on firearms – at least the imaginary kind.
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2012

Report: US government plans legal assault on foreign hackers

The US is planning a legal assault on the international hacking community and the companies – and governments – that use IP stolen from America.
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2012
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

Valve hauls down The War Z, offers refunds

Valve has performed a humiliating climb-down over zombie game The War Z, pulling the game from Steam and offering refunds to players.
Richard Chirgwin, 20 Dec 2012
Amazon Web Services

AWS stops some EC2 servers without warning

If you’re thinking about heading to the cloud for über-reliability and an environment in which anything that happens to hardware is someone else’s problem, think again: Amazon Web Services sometimes replaces the hardware virtual servers run on and switches those servers off without elegant or accurate notifications of what’s about to happen.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2012

Yahoo! China! kills! music! search! service!

Yahoo! China has finally decided to follow the lead of rival Google and shut its online music service, ostensibly as part of an overall strategy change but in a move which will also remove a service known for deep linking to pirated content.
Phil Muncaster, 20 Dec 2012

Apache plug-in doles out Zeus attack

Anti-virus outfit Eset has discovered a malicious Apache module in the wild that serves up malware designed to steal banking credentials.
Richard Chirgwin, 20 Dec 2012

Former Windows boss Sinofsky lands Harvard teaching gig

Former Microsoft Windows boss Steven Sinofsky is leaving corporate life behind – at least for a while – for a new gig teaching product development at Harvard Business School.
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2012
Pinball Magic

Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball

Pinball, the popular game shipped with desktop versions of Windows from 32-bit Windows 95 to XP, didn’t make it into Windows Vista because Microsoft just didn’t have the time to port its code into a 64-bit version.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2012
Apple iPad with Retina Display

University of Western Sydney hands out 11k iPads

Every new student at Australia’s University of Western Sydney (UWS) will be given an iPad next year.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2012

Japanese firm lifts lid on Android-controlled toilet

VidJapan has been at the cutting edge of toilet design for decades and has one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration on the planet, so it’s perhaps fitting that it has now combined the two by introducing a hi-tech Android-powered loo which enables hands-free toilet action.
Phil Muncaster, 20 Dec 2012
MeRAM schematic from UCLA

'NAND flash killer now up to 10,000 times MORE efficient'

MeRAM has the potential to succeed NAND flash as the best non-volatile sold state memory with DRAM-like speed, better-than-NAND endurance and density, and now it has taken a step forward, with UCLA research making the stuff 10 to 10,000 times more energy-efficient.
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2012
Members of Poland's Ruch Palikota protest their country's signing of ACTA

Euro Commission abandons ACTA court request

ACTA is completely, finally, no-turning-back dead-and-buried in Europe, with the European Commission admitting that there is “no realistic chance” of the treaty being adopted in Europe.
Richard Chirgwin, 20 Dec 2012

High-powered luvvies given new radio home: 'But DON'T disturb the neighbours'

Production companies will be allowed to operate 10-watt radio links in Channel 38, now that Ofcom has established it won't annoy the radio telescopes operated by nearby countries.
Bill Ray, 20 Dec 2012

Dell slurps BYOD protector firm

Dell is buying BYOD and end-point data protection specialist Credant Technologies for an undisclosed sum, but we make a stab at calculating it below.
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2012

Little spider makes big-spider-puppet CLONE of itself out of dirt

Meet the adroit arachnid that makes a decoy “spider” in its web to mislead predators – and jiggles the strands like a puppet master to make the miniature marionette move.
Richard Chirgwin, 20 Dec 2012

Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

Special ReportIt's that time of year again. As the Christmas lights go up, Wikipedia's donation drive kicks off. Wikipedia claims that the donations are needed to keep the site online. Guilt-tripped journalists including Heather Brooke and Toby Young have contributed to Wikipedia in the belief that donations help fund operating costs. Students, who are already heavily in debt, are urged to donate in case Wikipedia "disappears".
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2012

Muppets launch app store guide for little fingers

App stores from Apple, Google and Microsoft are choked with hundreds of thousands of apps, with the most popular being free games.
Gavin Clarke, 20 Dec 2012

Boffins cook raw numbers, hope to bake PERFECT kilogram

A “recipe” to deliver the perfect kilogram as a mass standard that the world can trust is coming closer to completion as the physicists behind the project bake their raw numbers.
Gavin Clarke, 20 Dec 2012

How many VMs can you stuff in that box? How to get into the VDI biz

Greenbytes and Pure Storage are both start-ups well under way with fast and ground-up designed all-flash arrays. Both have a strong VDI focus and say that serving virtual desktop images from their flash arrays is consistently and reliably fast, affordable and secure, and makes hard disk drive arrays look like sluggards.
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2012

Sharp-elbowed BT dives into 4G spectrum auction

BT is among the bidders in the 4G auction, communications regulator Ofcom confirmed today.
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2012

Windows Firefox stiffs Adobe Flash, plays H.264 YouTube vids

Users of the Firefox web browser on Windows can now dump Adobe Flash and still watch H.264-encoded videos online.
Gavin Clarke, 20 Dec 2012

US patent office: Nice try Apple, but pinch-to-zoom is NOT a new invention

The US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent because prior patents covered the invention.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 20 Dec 2012

Samsung spaffs $3.9bn on chip factory in TEXAS

Samsung's has announced that it will be spending $3.9bn upgrading its iPhone chip-making factory in Austin. The South Korean firm said it had finalised the deal after talks with state government officials in Texas.
Anna Leach, 20 Dec 2012

Cameron defends U-turn on web filth ban, leaves filtering to parents

Prime Minister David Cameron today reminded British families that they will be nudged by ISPs to consider blocking online pornography, self-harm websites and similar material at home.
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2012

Wheee....CRUNCH: Google chucks Moto's set-top box biz out window

Google has sold Motorola Mobility's set-top box business to Arris Group for $2.35bn in cash and stock, in a deal that will go through next year.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 20 Dec 2012

PGP, TrueCrypt-encrypted files CRACKED by £300 tool

ElcomSoft has built a utility that forages for encryption keys in snapshots of a PC's memory to decrypt PGP and TrueCrypt-protected data.
John Leyden, 20 Dec 2012

US: We'll drag cyber-spies into COURT from their hideouts

The US Department of Justice has floated a plan to advance criminal prosecutions against cyber-spies.
John Leyden, 20 Dec 2012

SPUDS ON A PLANE! Boeing boosts in-flight Wi-Fi with tater tech

VidBoeing engineers have filled an aeroplane with potatoes to improve wireless internet coverage on flights.
Anna Leach, 20 Dec 2012

Outlook 2013 spurns your old Word and Excel documents

Microsoft is cutting support for exporting and importing legacy Office documents in the latest version of its Outlook email client.
Gavin Clarke, 20 Dec 2012

Oracle's Ellison wanted an NBA team for Xmas - instead he got Eloqua

Larry Ellison has made no secret that he wants to own a professional basketball team. Now he owns a company called Eloqua, which does the marketing for some NBA teams and about 1,200 large corporations.

Dotcom titan funds 'Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents'

It's not like there's not enough money in the sector. Patent lawyers have been the main beneficiary of the global lawsuits created by the world's richest tech companies suing each other over patents such as "pinch to zoom", page scrolling and round-cornered rectangles.
Anna Leach, 20 Dec 2012

TSA agrees to review of perv scanner radiation risks

The US Transport Security Administration (TSA) has finally agreed to take another look at the potential side-effects of its backscatter Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanners, over a year after promising the Senate they'd be right on it.
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2012

Cheaper, slimmer Google Nexus 7 rumored for Q1 2013

Google may be readying a revamped model of the middle sibling in its Nexus line of Android devices for as early as the first quarter of 2013, if the supply-chain snoops at Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes are correct.
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2012
Cloud Sherpas logo

Cloud Sherpas bags $40m for cloud consulting expansion

The opportunity represented by cloud computing is not just in infrastructure hardware and virtualization, orchestration, and other kinds of software. There is also a services angle, and companies far and wide are scrambling to get in on the action so that the big IT suppliers and consultancies don't get to the top of the mountain first.

RIM tax break gives firm $14m profit for third quarter

A settlement of an outstanding tax issue, which netted $166m, has allowed RIM to declare a quarterly profit for the first time in many financial announcements.
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2012
Apple maps offers this route from Darwin to Mount Isa

Aussies in 'don't understand location services, just use them' shock!

The most frequent users of mobile location services are the most clueless, according to research conducted for Australia’s telecommunications and media regulator.
Richard Chirgwin, 20 Dec 2012

Apple said to be testing 46, 55-inch big-screen TVs

Apple's much-rumored big-screen TV effort – the one that CEO Tim Cook recently called "an area of intense interest" – is merrily cranking along in a Foxconn factory.
Rik Myslewski, 20 Dec 2012

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