11th > January > 2013 Archive

The Register breaking news

Help a US gov't agency switch to open source, win $3 million

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to upgrade the 25-year-old software that powers its nationwide health care system, and it's betting real money that open source is the way to do it.
Nokia Asha 308/309

Nokia decrypts browser traffic, assures public not to worry

Just as Nokia announces numbers that look like it may avoid irrelevance, the mobile supplier has become embroiled in a privacy row centered on the behavior of its browsers.
The Register breaking news

ST-Ericsson uncloaks 2.5GHz Jekyll & Hyde smartphone chip

CES 2013 The CES 2013 show floor may be crammed with smartphones, tablets, and other ARM-powered gadgets, but there's more news from the show than just the gadgets themselves. There's also a new chip that can power them – namely a new 2.5GHz part from ST-Ericsson.
The IBM PureApplication platform cloud

IBM scales down PureApplication cloudy boxes

If you are looking for a low-end pre-configured, automated, application-ready cloud in a box but you don't need a big behemoth of a machine, then IBM finally has a configuration of its PureApplication systems that might be appealing to you.
Plants Vs Zombies

Boffins develop microwave weed-zapper

Reg readers frustrated by the never-ending presence of weeds in their veggie patches may find salvation in the next few years in the form of a microwave device that can pick out garden invaders and blast them into mulch.
The Register breaking news

Nokia's Q4 'beat expectations' despite ongoing sales slump

Nokia announced preliminary financial results for its fourth quarter of 2012 on Thursday, claiming that its smartphone business had "exceeded expectations," despite the fact that overall sales are still trending downward.

SAP plans HANA education push to channel partners

SAP is planning a serious education push to the channel about its super-fast Business Suite based around its HANA in-memory database software, which will be the basis for all of the company's future apps and development projects.
Mozilla's latest Firefox beta can display PDFs without a plugin

Mozilla to Adobe: PDFs don't need no more steenking plugins

Mozilla's come right out and said what plenty of people think about PDF-reading browser plugins: they're often woefully insecure, generally replicate things browsers can already do and rely on proprietary technology.
The Register breaking news

Hackers deface Indonesian president’s website

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has come under cyber attack after hackers defaced the homepage of his website for several hours, apparently in protest at growing corruption and wealth inequality in the country.
Pebble Pebble E Ink watch

Time has already run out for smart watches

It's been a big year for smart watches.
Great Wall of China

China censors chat users outside China

China’s largest internet firm, Tencent, is reportedly now censoring messages sent by international users of its popular WeChat service.
The Register breaking news

Razzies set to torpedo pop minx Rihanna's Battleship

This year's Razzies look set to be a head-to-head between Battleship and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 to see which movie can walk away with the most gongs for serious celluloid undertainment.

Raise a beer: Titans of tech fill out 'Worst CEOs' list

Tech bosses were rapped for drinking beer during conference calls, wearing hoodies in the boardroom and losing huge amounts of money in a round-up of 2012's worst CEOs.
The Register breaking news

Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

13,000 households in the UK still watch TV in black and white, telly licence fee collectors have revealed.
French cartoon, 1790: devil disguised as man walking tightrope

Happy now? Mobiles, cloud, big data now 'a growing security risk'

Innovations in mobile and cloud computing, social technology and the use of "big data" present an emerging risk to organisations' IT security, experts have warned.

Blighty's schools shake on new 3-year deal with Microsoft

The Department for Education claims a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft will save schools £10m on licensing over the next three years, in part by "factoring freeware" into the deal.

Nipper's toy train enjoys journey to edge of SPAAAAACE

Video Toy train stories are like number 13 buses - you wait ages for one and then two turn up at once. Following our report earlier this week on wooden train outfit Bigjigs' audacious bid to run the West Coast Mainline franchise, we received news of a US dad who dispatched his young son's model locomotive to the stratosphere.

Which sneaky storage upstart is drilling into software-network craze?

PernixData is a startup in stealth mode developing a data platform for the software-defined data centre (SDDC).
The Register breaking news

Fatty French Kilogram needs a new-year diet, say Brit boffins

The world's official kilogram has put on weight according to boffins who fear the mass needs a new-year diet.
LG curved OLED TVs

Ten stars of CES 2013: Who made the biggest splash?

CES 2013 As the 2013 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) wraps up in Las Vegas, we’re left to ponder whether it as was a good show this time round. In 2012, IT vendors, buoyed by Intel encouragement and marketing money, were keen to show off their first Ultrabooks. A year on, and the chip giant’s skinny laptop brand has largely failed to capture the public’s imagination, not least because of the high price attached to the machines it’s stamped upon. Windows 8 may yet push the platform forward, but many of the novel machines it has led to were unveiled well before CES.
BT Wormshill Telephone exchange

Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

Four kilometres to the north of here, in semi-rural Kent, the pavements are stuffed with fibre-optic cable and the streets are lined with drab green cabinets, all nicely tooled up for superfast broadband. But here, we rely on plain old ADSL piped in from a small BT exchange, 1.7km to our south (as the crow flies). You can see it is an exchange from the sign on the wall.

Why mergers LOSE money, but are GOOD for the economy

So the distribution sector has had yet another round of consolidation. Mergers, takeovers - these are the things that make an M&A banker's heart* thumpety-thump with joy.
The Register breaking news

O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

Exclusive UK telecoms provider O2 has refused to deny that it is planning to offload its fixed line home broadband product later this year.
The Register breaking news

'Mauro, SHUT THE F**K UP!'

Quotw The week's chatter has provided fewer gems than usual and a lot more "Look at this great new product I launched at CES", but luckily you can always rely on Linus Torvalds to come out with a zinger.
The Register breaking news

'Better than Adobe' Foxit PDF plugin hit by worse-than-Adobe 0-day

A new security bug in the popular Foxit PDF reader plugin for web browsers allows miscreants to compromise computers and install malware. There's no patch for this zero-day vulnerability.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Ultrabook

Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 convertible Ultrabook

To be fair to Lenovo, reviewing the IdeaPad Yoga shouldn't really be all about Windows 8. After all, this touchscreen Ultrabook – that bends over backwards to become a fully fledged tablet – is a well crafted piece of hardware with engineering merits of its own. So what, if it runs Windows 8? So do a lot of PCs these days. The fact is, if Windows 8 didn't exist, the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and a whole host of touch and type ‘convertible’ laptops wouldn't need to exist either. Windows 7 seemed to do the job quite nicely, after all.
European Union Flag

EU floats growth plan: Aim power hose of cash at oldsters, web start-ups

The European Commission's new action plan that encourages entrepreneurship in order to boost economic growth says that member states should target their support at the sections of society least likely to be sitting on beanbags in Shoreditch.
The Register breaking news

New tool jailbreaks Microsoft Surface slabs in 20 SECONDS

Microsoft was quick to brush off the debugging hack that allows locked-down Windows RT Surface slabs to run any unauthorised desktop software. But now the exploit has been packaged into a slick jailbreaking tool that can unlock a Redmond fondleslab in seconds.

iPhones, tablets... Pah: By 2020, we'll froth over hot new SOFTWEAR

Sysadmin blog Within some admittedly fuzzy error bars, computing adoption seems to work in decade-long phases over the course of about 50 years. By my reckoning, those decades roughly work out to precursor technologies, niche adoption, commercialisation, mass market and eventual displacement. Within my lifetime, I have seen the rise of the PC, of notebooks, and of personal mobile devices; I know what I want the next round to be.
The Register breaking news

Apple rubbishes rumours of iPhone for the masses

Apple has denied that it is considering increasing its market share and beating off competitors with a cheaper iPhone.
The Register breaking news

EU antitrust chief growls at Google, hopes to avoid sanctions

Brussels' competition chief Joaquin Almunia has sniffed at any suggestion that the European Commission would follow the US consumer watchdog by allowing Google to avoid a tough settlement over its alleged "abuse of dominance" in the online search market.

British armed forces get first new pistol since World War II

The British regular forces are to receive their first new pistol since World War II, as the long-serving Browning 9mm sidearm is replaced by a new weapon from the well-known Austrian firm Glock.
The Register breaking news

Vodafone goes titsup for BlackBerrys in mobile data outage

BlackBerry users on Vodafone have had another long day, or perhaps a relaxing one, as data services for many users dropped out this morning and are still on the fritz.
Bill Ray, 11 2013
The Register breaking news

Europe's cybercrime fighters get new digs... complete with Faraday room

The EU’s new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) will be inaugurated at Europol in The Hague later today.
Nokia Asha 201

Nokia: Ship's now stable, all we need is passengers

Analysis Europe's biggest technology company Nokia caught a few people by surprise with its outlook yesterday. Nokia released far more information than a company typical discloses in a preview - an unusual amount.

Biz users, hard-up punters: Nobody loves Windows 8

Windows 8 was never expected to set the business world alight in the short term - maybe not even in the long term - and indeed it hasn't, official sales figures from distributors reveal.
The Register breaking news

Largest ever spiral galaxy spotted - may give birth to dwarf baby

The universe's largest known spiral galaxy and its nearest neighbouring galaxy have been interacting for some time, say astrophysicists. And all of this canoodling may result in the birth of a new tidal dwarf galaxy system 212 million light years from Earth.
The Register breaking news

Next-gen H.265 video baked into Broadcom's monster TV brain

Vid 720p video at 30 frames per second and less than half a megabit a second: that's the promise of the H.265 vid compression tech, which is up for ratification any day now and already has chips ready to decode it.
Bill Ray, 11 2013
1983 PCN/MRIB UK home computer charts teaser

Bad news: PC slump worse than feared. Good news: It's Friday

Sales of personal computers – fat workstations, clunky desktops and laptops not running Android or iOS – took a bigger dive as 2012 wound down than the box counters at IDC had expected.
The Register breaking news

Vibrator guru on pleasure tech: 'Of all the places you'd want a quality UI....'

CES 2013 CES is the world's premier gadget-fest, so it's perhaps unsurprising that this year it would devote a keynote at its Digital Health Summit conference track dedicated to a device owned by over 50 per cent of Americans: the vibrator.

Forrester: IT spending facing challenges in 2013

The prognosticators have been reading their tea leaves, analyzing entrails, and gazing into their balls to try to figure out what the IT spending picture will look like, and the news from Forrester Research is much the same as El Reg is seeing elsewhere: growth will be a bit slow in the current year, and improving out beyond that.
The Register breaking news

Reuters rubbishes report rubbishing cheap iPhone rumor

So is Apple planning to release a cheaper iPhone or isn't it? The answer seems to depend on whom you believe – and Reuters, for one, says it doesn't believe the Shanghai Evening Post.
The Register breaking news

Oracle management tools top critical list in quarterly patch party

As part of its quarterly patch release cycle, Oracle will be unleashing 86 of the things on Tuesday, January 15, over half of them critical enough to allow full remote code execution without piffling details like a password.