9th > May > 2014 Archive

Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

You sometimes have to wonder if the US Patent and Trademark Office is augmenting its staff with a few barely trained gibbons – and its latest patent does nothing to ameliorate that view.
Iain Thomson, 09 May 2014

US officials vote to allow Bitcoin for political donations

The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) has officially approved Bitcoin as a medium of exchange for political donations.
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014

China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Chinese officials have outlined a massive – no, that's an understatement; make that mind-bogglingly Brobdingnagian – vision of a globe-girdling high-speed rail network that would have as one of its legs a line that would run from northern China up through Russia, under the North Pacific, through Alaska, then Canada, and finally into the contiguous United States.
Rik Myslewski, 09 May 2014
ZTE Open C

ZTE Open C, the Firefox OS mobe you'll almost want, now on eBay

Chinese mobe-maker ZTE has announced that the ZTE Open C, its latest phone running Mozilla's open source Firefox OS, is now available for sale worldwide via eBay.
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2014
Windows XP boot screen

Windows XP market share decline stalls, Mac OS X surges

Windows XP's been without support for a month and a day now, but seems not to be falling out of favour any faster than happened when it was supported
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014

Bitly shortens life of users' passwords after credential compromise

URL-shortening and online marketing outfit Bit.ly has warned its systems have been accessed by parties unknown and suggested users change their passwords.
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014
A160T Hummingbird drone joins the US Army

UN to debate killer drone ethics

In an effort to stop killer drones before they start, humanity is about to unleash its most fearsome weapons: a long, drawn out bureaucratic process and a committee.
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014

Silly sysadmins ADDING Heartbleed to servers

Updated At least 2,500 website administrators have made their previously secure sites vulnerable to Heartbleed more than a month after the bug sent the world into a hacker-fearing frenzy.
Darren Pauli, 09 May 2014
German ransomware

Oh aye, a mobe grumble-flick player? No – it's a 'droid ransomware nasty

Ransomware scumbags have widened their net with a new software nasty that infects Android smartphones and tablets.
John Leyden, 09 May 2014
ION USB turntable

Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point

Hipsters. They're this decade's yuppies, but with worse facial hair. And an annoying predilection for pointless retro-technology fetishm that manifests itself in a love for vinyl records.
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014
Dell's FX100 Remote Access Device thin client

Licensing changes mean Redmond's IoT plan brings cheap VDI

Microsoft has just posted some advice on how to do Windows desktop virtualisation (VDI) on the cheap.
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014
iPhone 4

Apple pulls iPhone 4 from sale in India after just four months

Back in February, Apple made the odd-looking decision to resurrect the iPhone 4 in India alone, in order to bring a cheaper offering to the country.
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2014

Ericsson puts 5G towel on Japanese deck-chair

We don’t know what exactly Ericsson might mean by "5G", since the next generation of mobile wireless internet technologies is still very much in the committee stage, but the Swedish firm is rolling out a trial in Yokosuka, Japan anyway.
Simon Rockman, 09 May 2014
Star Wars

'We don't think of antivirus as a money maker in any way'

Quotw This was the week when Symantec declared that its whole reason for being was dead, kaput, totally and utterly over.
The wing begins to emerge from the nylon powder

Suffering from IPO interruptus? Perhaps your Box is full of the same soap as the others

You don't have to have a monopoly to build a successful company, but it sure helps. And if you've not got a monopoly then you do need something, anything, to differentiate your product so that there's actually some compelling reason why customers might actually use your services and pay you a margin.
Tim Worstall, 09 May 2014

UK's pirate-nagging VCAP scheme WON'T have penalties – report

The much-anticipated voluntary UK scheme to reduce online copyright infringement, VCAP, has not yet been signed according to sources – but parties still hope it will be implemented this year.
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2014
Google Loon balloon envelope

Hey, operators... 'member our edge-of-SPAAACE interwebs balloons? Help! - Google

Having failed to license spectrum around the globe, Google is now talking to mobile operators to make its Loon project work.
Simon Rockman, 09 May 2014

Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Howls of protest sound across the globe as I write this. I’ve been hired to help with the managed migration of incomprehensible volumes of data from one multi-intercontinental, instant-access media library system to another.
Alistair Dabbs, 09 May 2014

Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

Netflix is hoping to retain its UK subscriber base by fixing its price tag for existing customers for two years, in a move designed to stop them abandoning the video-streaming service and its relatively small catalogue of films and TV shows.
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2014
Close-up of the HackHD

US alliance strengthens LOHAN imaging arsenal

Vids Watch Video
Lester Haines, 09 May 2014
NetApp product range

Life in the FAS lane: We reveal NetApp's four new flash-disk arrays

Exclusive NetApp is replacing the top and bottom of its FAS array range with new boxes – and getting rid the separate FAS3000 class mid-range product.
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2014

Weakened Apple slab grab sees Q1 growth slump to RECORD LOW

Apple's iPad shipments into distribution have fallen faster than at any point since the slab was brought to market and yet the wheels aren't close to coming off of the fruit-emblazoned sales juggernaut.
Paul Kunert, 09 May 2014

Cortana, remind me to patch Windows, IE, and Adobe gear next Tues

Microsoft will release eight security updates next Tuesday to squash remote-code execution bugs in Windows and Internet Explorer among other flaws.
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Skype co-founder's VC firm sues ex-staffer and consultant

The London-based venture capital firm of Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom is suing a former employee and one of its consultants for allegedly diverting investors towards their own VC firm.
TX4 Black Cab

London cabbies to offer EVEN WORSE service in protest against Uber

As if London didn't have enough traffic on its streets, the capital's cabbies have vowed to bring the city to a standstill in a protest against the taxi-booking phone app Uber.
Jasper Hamill, 09 May 2014

Quantum dedupe sales droop: But you can't say it didn't TRY

Quantum's latest results show that all the tape firm's sweat, gritted teeth and dogged determination hasn't come good - yet.
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2014

Webcast: How to build an open cloud

It's a hybrid world. But proprietary clouds are hard to integrate and less flexible. On the other hand, you're already using them.
David Gordon, 09 May 2014
An Atlas V launch. Pic: ULA

Spy sat launch wannabe SpaceX fails to stop rival gobbling Russki rockets

SpaceX has failed to stop its rival United Launch Alliance from buying Russian rocket engines.

Goodbye HANA daddy, assorted cloud bods: SAP gets corporate

Analysis The cloud “talent” is leaving SAP and the suits are taking over. Is it time to panic for SAP?
Gavin Clarke, 09 May 2014
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler

Winklevoss twins eye up NASDAQ: Publicly traded Bitcoin fund... what could go wrong?

The Winklevoss twins have set out plans to list their Bitcoin trust exchange on the NASDAQ to create what would be the world's first publicly traded cryptocurrency biz – if it were approved.
Jasper Hamill, 09 May 2014

Moshtix admin account popped by party-pooper hipster-hating hacker

Skiddies logged into a staff account of Aussie ticketing outlet Moshtix and caused havoc for fans snapping up tix.
Darren Pauli, 09 May 2014

WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Special Report This weekend, earnest young men - several of whom appear to have beards - are camping out in Washington DC. They're protesting against "plans to allow a pay-for play internet".
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2014
FlashRay slide 1

Psst, keep this under your hat, but NetApp's new flash wunderkind will be unveiled on...

NetApp is holding an Insight event in Las Vegas in October – and its new all-flash box FlashRay is set to steal the show.
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2014
Qualcomm Atheros hybrid home network

Don't fret over SOHO routers and Heartbleed. But yeah, there's LOADS to fear on home kit

The infamous Heartbleed bug doesn't affect home routers in practice, according to new analysis by security researchers at TripWire.
John Leyden, 09 May 2014
Beached whale

Beached whale Symantec watches revenues recede 7%

Symantec’s latest results show that you can wring more profit out of declining revenues by slashing costs but its not enough to bring you back to growth.
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2014

Point DNS blitzed by mystery DDoS assault

Updated Domain hosts Point DNS has been hammered with a high intensity DDoS attack on Friday, knocking servers out for hours.
John Leyden, 09 May 2014
Ari Partinen

Nokia Camera guru: I'm finished being Finnish, and off to 'the company you're thinking of'

Microsoft's Stephen Elop is no doubt busy digesting the mobile remains of Nokia, but he has lost a key engineer – Lumia photography lead Ari Partinen – to the clutches of Cupertino – Apple, in other words.
Iain Thomson, 09 May 2014

Anti-theft mobe KILL SWITCH edges closer to reality in California

The Golden State is one step closer to passing a law which would require mobile phone vendors to implement remote bricking capabilities in all handsets.
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014
Apple iMac

SMASH AND GRAB iThieves run car through front of Berkeley's Apple Store

A daring thief drove a car through the front of a California Apple store on Friday in what police believe was a planned robbery.
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014
The SDO captured the flare

Earthly astronomers catch best-ever image of MASSIVE solar flare

Pics and video A combined effort by four space telescopes and one Earth-bound observatory has successfully snapped the best images yet of a huge solar flare that erupted from the Sun's surface.
Iain Thomson, 09 May 2014
Slide from Oracle's 2012 case against Google using Java

Oracle vs Google redux: Appeals court says APIs CAN TOO be copyrighted

In a major victory for Oracle, a US Appeals Court has overturned an earlier ruling in the database giant's multibillion-dollar intellectual property lawsuit against Google, finding that Oracle's Java APIs are in fact covered by copyright.
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2014