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Robin Lettice

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Sat nav blunder places The Rock in Skegness

In an epic, multinational sat nav cock-up, a Syrian lorry driver aiming for Gibraltar left Turkey and ended up in Skegness. Only as Necdet Bakimci inched his 32-ton car transporter down a narrow Lincolnshire lane leading to Gibraltar Point nature reserve did he twig that he might have taken a wrong turn, but by this point the …
Robin Lettice, 22 Jul 2008
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US stops Optimus Prime at the border

Comments Air travel was a major theme last week, starting with the news that the US is to require those travelling under the Visa Waiver Program to register their details at least 72 hours prior to leaving for the States. At present citizens of participant countries can enter the US without first obtaining a visa, but from January next …
Robin Lettice, 09 Jun 2008
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Vista isn't crap but the 'leccy is

Comments On Tuesday the UK's electricity network was shaken by the failure of two major power stations within minutes of each other and a further seven succumbed as the day went on. The crisis is over, but there's chatter over power-rationing, only made stronger by these events. Cospiracy Theories will no doubt abound. (Nice to see the …
Robin Lettice, 01 Jun 2008
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Scientologist ASBOed for being over 36

Comments A man dubbed "Leeds’s dumbest criminal" has been served with an ASBO forbidding him from posting videos of criminal activity on the internet. Andrew Kellett, 23, had been in the habit of showing off his exploits on YouTube, which made some of you wonder why he hadn't been convicted of the acts he seemed so proud of, and why he'd …
Robin Lettice, 27 May 2008
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Aliens, astronauts and Pope partition PC World

Comments It's been a while since astronauts were last in the public eye, but recently a bunch of them have been quoted as saying that aliens exist. Well, they should know, having undoubtedly exchanged glances with little green men through the windows of their space station. The government suppressed news of these encounters, naturally. …
Robin Lettice, 19 May 2008
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Extreme porn, hard drives and election strain

Comments Windows XP Service Pack 3 dropped this week, later than expected but finally here. This triggered an unending litany of cynicism and doubt from you. Keep up the good work. Very well tested by those redmond jerks then. I just downloaded the iso and the faq.htm linked in by the installer says: More information about installing …
Robin Lettice, 10 May 2008
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Lesbian lesbians fight extreme porn law

Comments The UK Criminal Justice Bill is quietly making its way into law, and its uncertain scope raises some worrying questions. Clause 63 of the Bill could criminalise viewing or owning "extreme pornography" - whatever that is. It's not made clear. This threat brought a lot of you out of the woodwork, with nearly 200 comments at the …
Robin Lettice, 03 May 2008
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Brown fingerprints wanted as Phorm bungles again

Comments In an effort to calm the European Union's anti-trust concerns, Microsoft has released 14,000 pages of coding secrets. The documentation for the first time publicly shows the underlying protocols for Office 2007, Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. It's going to get really fun when the US Supreme Court looks …
Robin Lettice, 15 Apr 2008
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Ubuntu unpwned as CERN prepares to destroy Earth

Comments Distressingly-named Los Angeles law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner is suing Apple for "deceptively" marketing the new 20-inch iMac. This provoked a spray of Apple spittle from readers, and a bit of a tussle: Apple is a corporation. The entire goal of any large corporation is to rape customers just enough to make the most money …
Robin Lettice, 06 Apr 2008
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Heathrow fingered over prints as Apple bungles EULA

Comments Apple cocked up the licence agreement for its Safari browser by forbidding installation on Windows PCs. The EULA only allowed users to install the browser on "a single Apple-labeled computer at a time." Apple quickly changed the licence agreement to say that you can install it on "each computer owned or controlled by you." But …
Robin Lettice, 30 Mar 2008
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SP1 drops, iPlayer falls over and Phorm is less than legal

Comments On Friday the BBC's iPlayer went down because of a back-end database failure. It has since come back online, but the Beeb nevertheless earned your scorn: The irony is that while they are doing all they can to stop the likes of me from using an illicit method to get the programmes, if they produced a Linux version, with the 30 …
Robin Lettice, 21 Mar 2008
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Vista SP1 launched as Phorm declared illegal

IT greenery Personal computers have come in for a lot of flak lately over their impact on the environment, but just how environmentally unfriendly are they? We spoke to Fujitsu-Siemens Computers CTO Dr Joseph Reger to get a better idea of the answer. Whatever the answer, Nintendo probably aren't aware of it. The video games …
Robin Lettice, 20 Mar 2008
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Google-Doubleclick clicks as Phorm loses form

Do the job shuffle In an unexpected move - and that's putting it lightly - Intel hired former Transmeta CEO David Ditzel and put him in its Digital Enterprise Group. Wannabe head of mobile at Motorola Stu Reed has become the latest exec to jump ship. It seems he took being passed over for the top spot to heart. Mobile software …
Robin Lettice, 14 Mar 2008
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'Vista capable' isn't and Yahoo! foils MS proxy attack

Wikileaks stays afloat A court decision against Wikileaks, a website for whistleblowers to publish info exposing unethical practices, has been reversed. US District Judge Jeffrey S White has rescinded his orders to shut down Wikileaks after its operators raised two fingers in his direction by setting up on a "bulletproof" …
Robin Lettice, 07 Mar 2008
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Naked old pilot executes unauthorised barrel roll

Comments A brash Cathay Pacific pilot has been sacked after an unauthorised wheels-up, low-level flypast in a new Boeing 777-300ER. Well, he did get permission from the air traffic control tower, but the sacking was based on the fact that he didn't get it from his employers. You lot had a good old argy-bargy over whether it was fair, and …
Robin Lettice, 01 Mar 2008
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Microsoft class action to go ahead as spammers crack Gmail captcha

Privacy matters Google continues to try to muddy the waters around the debate over the privacy of IP addresses by saying that, sometimes, IP addresses can change and be shared. Which, of course, implies that sometimes they remain a way to identify people. Meanwhile, the Information Commissioner's Office has dropped its probe …
Robin Lettice, 29 Feb 2008
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Nude Marilyn Monroe flambés dog, serves atop fire extinguisher

Comments A particularly militant anti-smoker doused his girlfriend with the contents of a fire extinguisher on Sunday. The 42-year-old German lost it after his squeeze refused to stop smoking in his apartment. You applauded and derided him: I gave up the weed years ago and have periodically felt smugly superior for my triumph. Alas, this …
Robin Lettice, 22 Feb 2008
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Reins put on key Vista SP1 update as Microhoo! is released into the wild

Suits and suits A former contract worker is suing Google for $25m. He claims that the search giant stole his idea for Google Sky, an addition to Google Earth that allows users to browse the night sky. But at least Google can take heart in the fact that it has not been convicted of crimes against humanity. Pennsylvanian Dylan …
Robin Lettice, 22 Feb 2008
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Exploding moose steals copper cables

Comments An illegal immigrant evaded security at Heathrow airport by having it away on her legs,. Later, she worked as a cleaner at the House of Commons. You cheered her on: Absolutely hilarious. I think she should be given a visa and allowed to stay indefinitely. She has done an invaluable service to this country, she has exposed a fool …
Robin Lettice, 16 Feb 2008
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Microsoft closes in on Yahoo! amidst BlackBerry black out

Microsoft scents Danger, circles Yahoo! Microsoft picked up Sidekick designer Danger Inc this week for an undisclosed sum, in a play for a stronger position in the mobile market. But the main event of the week is Microsoft's attempts to woo Yahoo!. The exclamation-bedecked firm remained coy by rejecting Redmond's initial offer …
Robin Lettice, 15 Feb 2008
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NHS Direct launches text message service

NHS Direct has launched a text messaging service providing details of local health services. The pilot is linked to the already-available information service on Freeview digital TV, which was launched in December. Send a text message to 61121 containing the name of the service required and a postcode and a response will be …
Robin Lettice, 13 Feb 2008

Microsoft dishes out six critical updates

Microsoft released eleven patches yesterday, with six of them meriting a critical rating. The critical updates affect the WebDAV Mini-Redirector, Object Linking and Embedding Automation, Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office 2000, XP and 2003, and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac. They all focus on flaws in the …
Robin Lettice, 13 Feb 2008
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Microsoft acquires Sidekick designer

Microsoft has agreed to purchase mobile software developer Danger Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which has not yet been finalised, means the software vendor has closed at least one bid this week - its unsolicited bid for web search competitor Yahoo! was officially snubbed earlier today. Danger designed the popular T- …
Robin Lettice, 11 Feb 2008
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Fermented fish symbiotically pollinate model's hardwood feet

Comments Swedish police are investigating a case of an open can of surströmming which was hurled through the bedroom window of a 52-year-old Motala man. The strong-smelling local delicacy has a deserved reputation as a potent biological terror agent, so the offence is a very serious one. Just as serious as the comments: Had a swedish …
Robin Lettice, 09 Feb 2008
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MS woos Yahoo!, bugging investigated and fraud costs skyrocket

EU likes patents, hates patio heaters The cost of European patent protection is to plummet on May 1, when full English translations will no longer be required. Translations will, at most, have to be available in English, French and German. The EU is gunning for patio heaters, which have proliferated massively since the smoking …
Robin Lettice, 08 Feb 2008