Feeds
The Register Columnists

James Watson

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

BT and Cisco's new channel offering

BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) and Cisco today teamed up to announce Integrator, a channel programme that provides resellers with a one-stop shop for Cisco's kit and BT's telephony and network offerings. Integrator is in essence a virtual distribution platform for BTIC to widen its reach into SME customers, a market that brother …
James Watson, 14 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Buy an Entrepreneur Wife on eBay

Kay Hammond, a 24-year old blonde 'Internet entrepreneur' from Birmingham, has auctioned herself off on eBay with a reserve price of £250,000. Ms Hammond, currently MD of TAMBA Internet, says one of the only things she hasn't succeeded at is getting married. The description of eBay item 1677522500, "Buy an entrepreneur wife", …
James Watson, 14 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Oracle profits down 12%

Oracle's revenues fell 11 per cent and profits dropped 12 per cent, as the software maker battled its way through its toughest quarter in a decade. Earnings of $549.5 million were made on the back of $2.36 billion in sales. Revenue from software licenses was $803 million, down 27 per cent year on year from Q2 2000's $1.1 …
James Watson, 14 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Messiah does not play pirate software, humans do

Channel Technology has slammed Sony for forcing it to to stop distributing a PlayStation mod-chip product. On its web site, the company attacks legal actions from the consumer electronics giant and defends the legality of its Messiah mod-chip. The site's owner, calling himself Gazza, says the mod-chip can be used for legal …
James Watson, 13 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Online Xbox gaming in six months

Microsoft will launch online gaming services for its Xbox console in the US within the next six months, presumably around May. The Japanese market, scheduled to get Xbox by late February, will get their broadband gaming services around August - or within six months of its arrival there. Microsoft and NTT communications …
James Watson, 13 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Chips, chipsets & mobos, Intel i845D

Mobos, chipsets and other inner bits: X-bit labs has a lengthy piece discussing Intel's i845D chipset, the first one from Chipzilla to support DDR SDRAM (up to DDR266). It's much the same as the existing i845 chipset, but with a modified memory controller. There's no new support for any new things like USB 2.0 or ATA 133, …
James Watson, 13 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Microsoft shows off streaming technology

Microsoft yesterday showed off its next generation Windows Media Technology, code-named "Corona", which it hopes will improve Internet media streaming capabilities in terms of audio and video quality, as well as reducing bandwidth consumption. In a simultaneous announcement, five major DVD chipmakers - Cirrus Logic, ESS …
James Watson, 12 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Dell sued over MPEG patents

Six major technology companies are suing Dell for infringing various MPEG 2 patents by installing software on its computers without obtaining a licence. The companies - Sony, Mitsubishi Electric, France Telecom, Scientific-Atlanta, Philips and Victor - together own 44 patents which are used for video compression on the MPEG 2 …
James Watson, 12 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Sony is killing PlayStation mod-chips

Sony is cracking down on PlayStation mod-chip makers, forcing them to halt the distribution of their products or face the wrath of its corporate legal might. Two UK-based companies, Channel Technology and Playstationmods.com, have halted sales of their products with immediate effect. A third company, Italian-based Origa, has …
James Watson, 12 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

ICL cuts 1500 jobs

ICL today says it will cut 1500 employees - about 13 per cent of its 11,500-strong UK headcount. It will provide a window period for voluntary reductions, which will be followed by "selected redundancies" to make up the total. The reductions are expected to be completed by March 2002. Sources inside the company say the message …
James Watson, 12 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Sony preps online gaming

Sony Computer Entertainment and NTT Broadband will launch an online gaming service for the PlayStation 2 in Japan next April. The service is linked with the release of an add-on module for the PS2 which includes a 40GB hard drive and an Ethernet port. Sony released a revised PS2 model this year with the ability to handle the …
James Watson, 11 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Chinese take sip of Linux tea

XTeam, a Linux software developer, will list on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market today, as part of its bid to push penguin-power into Mainland China. Having shifted its focus from trying to attain market share on the desktop level, the company is now hoping to target the burgeoning server market in the region, using the HK$ …
James Watson, 11 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Optimise XP, personal sky-cars, geek fashion

Geek fashion: Geek.com decides to find out what fashion is doing to make geeks cool. From Dockers' cargo pants that hide your gizmos to raincoats from Sanyo built to handle PDAs (and some stuff from Technology Enabled Clothing), you can check if your threads are new trends or just retreads. The site also reviews Nokia's 9210 …
James Watson, 10 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Cahoot launches disposable credit card

Abbey National's online banking arm, Cahoot, is launching an Internet-based 'disposable' credit card, dubbed webcard, to reduce online fraud for online. The idea is simple: people with Cahoot debit or credit cards enter their details into the bank's website and it generates a unique 16-digit ID number each time they wish to …
James Watson, 10 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

111,111,111 hits = shag

Julia, an 18-year old German girl, has told a guy desperate to get her into the sack that he has to get 111,111,111 hits on his "Kai 4 Julia" love site - and remain chaste during that time - before she will get together with him. For those not experienced in setting up personal home pages and getting hits, that's a polite way …
James Watson, 07 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

E-paper comes closer

Boffins at Philips Research have taken a big step towards the dream of electronic paper by building a display based on flexible plastic, rather than the usual silicon. Working with scientists at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Philips has crammed 4,096 plastic transistors into a two-inch display, …
James Watson, 07 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Chinese PC makers flirt with Windows

Four Chinese PC assemblers, together comprising 60 per cent of the country's market, say they will preinstall Microsoft's Windows XP on their consumer-targeted PCs. The decision is not as simple as it sounds. With piracy such a widespread problem in the region, assemblers often make PCs available without bundling the expensive …
James Watson, 07 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Acer is not Benq

Acer today says it is still Acer. The company formerly known as 'Acer Communication and Multimedia' is now called Benq. A statement from the latter company issued earlier this week apparently fooled some into thinking that Acer, the PC manufacturer, was to rebrand itself as Benq. As the new press release reads, the pan Acer …
James Watson, 07 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

WStore profitable in early 2002

Corporate-focused e-reseller WStore says it expects to break even in the fourth quarter of this year and will enter profitability in the first quarter of 2002. The reseller's revenue jumped from £5 million last year to an anticipated £14 million this year and is expected to grow to around £20 million next year, reckons MD Tony …
James Watson, 06 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

How to set a record for the number of games sold per console

Microsoft is trumpeting the fact that its console buyers, "can't get enough of the Xbox launch games... gamers are buying 2.4 games with every Xbox, resulting in the highest game attach rate ever recorded for a console at launch". So reads Microsoft's latest press release, but as a few Reg readers have been quick to point out, …
James Watson, 06 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

‘Computers for schools’ promotions ungenerous

School-targeted shopping promotion schemes don't provide particularly good value to participating schools, consumer rag Which? has claimed. The magazine calculates that for a primary school to obtain one free entry-level PC plus printer and digital camera it would need 232 kids to collect 90 tokens each over a ten-week period. …
James Watson, 06 Dec 2001

Bluetooth alive and kicking

Bluetooth chipset shipments are on track to hit 13 million this year, despite adverse market conditions, and are expected to hit 780 million units by 2005. Shipments this year will double those of 802.11b chipsets, with activity picking up in mobile phones, notebooks and adapters, according to research from Cahners In-Stat …
James Watson, 05 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

802.11a rocks, Palm crypto, graphics goods

WLAN: Extreme Technology got its hands on some 802.11a networking kit from Proxim and Atheros to compare its performance with older 802.11b WLAN kit. At first looks, performance is decent, transferring data up to five times quicker (at short distances). It will take some time for this to become mainstream and there are some …
James Watson, 05 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Who's console king?

Console wars: Market research firm NPD Group reports that Microsoft's Xbox had the best-selling video game console launch on record after two weeks of sales. That's not all, gamers are apparently snapping up an average of 2.4 games per box, the highest game attach rate ever recorded, beating Sony's PS2 1.9 average. According to …
James Watson, 05 Dec 2001

BT chops call costs

BT will offer two new phone packages with free national and local calls on evenings and weekends. 'BT Together with unlimited UK calls' will be available for £18.50 per month including the line rental, while the same package with surf calls will sell for £23.50 and gives unlimited off peak Internet calls (to SurfTime numbers …
James Watson, 05 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

BT Retail talks down costs, talks up revenues

BT Retail CEO Pierre Danon today outlined his plans to cut massive costs from the company's bottom line, defending its core revenues and delivering at least three per cent annual revenue growth over the next three years. BT Retail aims to grow revenues in two areas; extending existing business through new initiatives - bringing …
James Watson, 04 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Sharp Linux PDA needs apps now!

Software company Trolltech has announced a worldwide developer contest, starting today, to generate apps for Sharp's upcoming Linux-based handheld, the Zaurus SL-5500. Sharp has just demoed the final version of the PDA in California, but will only make it available for sale, "in early 2002". Alas, Sharp has promised there will …
James Watson, 04 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Amazon buys Egghead.com

Amazon has acquired what's left of ailing dotcom Egghead.com. It is temporarily redirecting traffic to a site in its electronics section until it can relaunch Egghead properly. Amazon will get Egghead's URL, intellectual property and business documentation, but not full use of its customer information, due to privacy policy …
James Watson, 04 Dec 2001

HP e3000 death is wrong

Two thirds of companies using HP's e3000 hardware platform don't support its decision to end support for the platform, according to a survey of more than 1,000 users. Last month, HP announced end of support dates for its range of e3000 servers and their associated upgrade kits, as well as the MPE/iX operating system. MPE ships …
James Watson, 04 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Mobile phones name that tune

Philips has developed an m-commerce app which lets mobile phone users identify and buy a song playing on the radio. It works like this: dial a service provider, put your handset near the source of the music for a few seconds and then receive the track title - with an offer to buy - via text message. Developed by CryptoTec, a …
James Watson, 03 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Deckhand killed playing PlayStation

An Australian deckhand was electrocuted while thumbing the controller of a Sony PlayStation when a wave smashed into the boat's wheelhouse. The 19-year old man, Richard Wells, was sitting at a metal table playing with the console when a huge wave broke through the cabin window. The trawler was lying off the southern Queensland …
James Watson, 03 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

Synad builds dual mode WLAN chipset

Synad, a fabless UK-based chipmaker, today announced Mercury5G, the "world's first dual mode WLAN chipset", straddling both 802.11b and 802.11a networks. The chipset will allow client-side NICs to connect to existing 11Mbps 802.11b networks communicating at 2.4GHz, as well as the new 54Mbps 802.11a networks, which speak on the …
James Watson, 03 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news

AMD uses ads to explain QuantiSpeed

AMD is kicking off a European marketing campaign, 'A New Kind Of Fast' to promote the brand, help users understand its QuantiSpeed branding and convince them that Megahertz don't matter. This is its biggest advertising splash in Europe, covering print and broadcast media in 17 key markets through 2002, although it doesn't say …
James Watson, 30 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

BTopenworld – download beats, beat up on gamers

BTopenworld will take its next charge at the holy grail of profitable online content in January with music and gaming subscription offers. First out of the gates is a classical music service, in partnership with music provider Classical.com. Users can listen online to a catalogue of 5,000 tracks, search through its Amazon-like …
James Watson, 30 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Jaguar workers face sack over ‘inappropriate’ emails

Eleven workers at Jaguar's Halewood, UK factory are facing the sack, with another 19 lined up for possible disciplinary action, after circulating "inappropriate" emails around the office. Jaguar does not comment on what kind of "inappropriate material" had been sent, although an icLiverpool source claims the mails contained …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Dabs.com offers free online credit

Online retailer dabs.com is offering its customers interest free online financing for any purchase over the value of £500. The site teamed up with Halifax-Cetelem to create an online finance approval process. Check-out with more than £500 of goods, choose the interest free finance payment option, fill in your details, wait …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Time bulks up retail lines

Time Computers' retail stores will have an additional 250 product items on the shelves from Monday. The company add a range of consumable goods (cartridges, paper, etc.), as well as stand-alone goods like digital cameras, scanners and printers. Buyers can also pick up on various deals like a free DVD player with selected PCs or …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Toshiba drops desktops in US

Toshiba will stop selling its desktop PCs in the US after pushing them unsuccessfully for the past four years. It will focus instead on its various mobile products, such as notebooks, portable servers and wireless networking. Since getting into desktop sales there in early 1997, it never claimed more than one per cent of the …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

IBM drops 1200 chip workers

IBM says it will cut around 1000 jobs from its semiconductor division due to the market downturn, nearly five per cent of the unit's staff. It will also chop 180 jobs from its storage technology unit. The microelectronics unit produces processors, circuit boards and other chips for various global customers, as well as other IBM …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
SGI logo hardware close-up

StorageTek feeds TimberWolf

StorageTek has beefed up its high-end TimberWolf 9710 tape libraries by adding support for the recently-released T9840B tape drive, as well as SDLT drives. The company says T9840B is one of the speediest drives around, allowing a transfer rate of up to 19MB per second. This nearly doubles TimberWolf's previous 10MB transfer …
James Watson, 28 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Fujitsu sues Samsung over mobile phone patents

Fujitsu Media Devices is suing Samsung Electro-Mechanics in the US for infringements on its mobile phone component patents. Fujitsu hopes to stop Samsung from importing and selling various components in the US, reports the FT. Fujitsu says its efforts to negotiate with the Korean company over the past two years have been …
James Watson, 28 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

DiData buys Belgian reseller

Networking equipment reseller Dimension Data has acquired Planet CTI, a Belgian computer telephony integrator, for E2.4 million. Planet CTI specialises in delivering CTI middleware with call centre technologies to its customers around Europe, using partnerships with Genesys, Siebel and Accenture. Its customer list includes …
James Watson, 28 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

UK IT salaries hold steady

Salaries for IT professionals increased 1.65 per cent in the third quarter, an overall average of £31,191 for the UK. London-based workers are the highest paid of the lot, with an average salary of £39,395, an increase of 3.5 per cent over the last quarter. Scotland had the largest increase at 5.4 per cent, bringing its average …
James Watson, 28 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Microsoft's eHome out of the closet

Microsoft came out of the closet yesterday on its eHome strategy with a talk from Mike Toutonghi, the man in charge. The title of the presentation, "Thinking outside the box: distributing the power of the PC throughout the home", tells you most of what you need to know. Your Windows-powered PC will deliver entertainment the way …
James Watson, 27 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Europe semicon sales fall

European semiconductor revenues will be $29 billion this year, a 33 per cent drop from 2000. Worldwide, revenues for the sector are set to fall 35 per cent, according to new numbers out from Gartner Dataquest. The research company says 2001 will mark the largest semiconductor revenue downturn ever recorded. On the plus side, …
James Watson, 27 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Mobo wrestling and maxing 3DMark

Mobo wrestling Tom's Hardware Guide gets its hands on with thirteen motherboards, putting VIA's KT266A chipset head to head with nVidia's nForce 420D. Oh the whole, nVidia feels the force of a VIA smackdown, with a board from Soltek holding the champion's belt at the end of it all. Soyo made a close runner up in the race. The …
James Watson, 27 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Grey software is not black and white

UK resellers selling cheap Microsoft software are not necessarily flogging pirated goods. Microsoft is currently locked in legal proceedings with two UK businesses regarding the sale of what it says are counterfeit products, and which the resellers say are products acquired legitimately on the grey market. Matthew Rippon, a …
James Watson, 27 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Law firm urges caution over BSA piracy forms

A major corporate law firm is advising UK companies which receive a software audit form from the Business Software Alliance to "Proceed with Care!" when deciding whether to complete it. According to DLA, anyone who returns the form in good faith "could simply be providing the BSA with the evidence it needs to take action …
James Watson, 26 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Infineon slams Samsung DRAM ‘artificial pricing’

The recent surge in DRAM prices is the result of manipulation by Korean producer Samsung, rather than a ramp-up in demand, Ulrich Shumacher, chief executive of Infineon, claims. According to Schumacher, DRAM pricing should have dropped due to chip supply still exceeding demand when Hynix's creditors rescued it last month. …
James Watson, 26 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Lastminute: two quarters to break even

Lastminute.com says its operations in the UK and France will break even in approximately two quarters. The company's full year financial results, announced today, shows various belt-tightening measures are paying off in a reduction of cash outflow, while sales have shown strong improvement from the last quarter. Quarter-on- …
James Watson, 23 Nov 2001