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Robin Lettice

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Children fight back against RIAA, take over Mensa

Comments Science, smarts and children seem to dominate this week. We hope you all had the smarts to avoid the following occupations. Noted science red-top Popular Science has published a list of the ten worst jobs in science. "Microsoft Security Grunt" made number five, but you had your own suggestions: I wonder where body recovery …
Robin Lettice, 29 Jun 2007
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Unplugged life supports and padlocked manhoods abound

Comments Happy Friday, everyone! It's time for another round of comments. Anxious for sleep in an intensive care ward, a German teenager unplugged the funny, beeping machine that his immediate neighbour didn't seem to be using for much. It was a pity that it happened to be the patient's life support system, but heroic hospital staff …
Robin Lettice, 22 Jun 2007
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Rufus, Mok and Lai urinate on mean customers' baggage

Comments Another Friday, and another batch of comments, some of which almost have an IT angle. Let's get stuck in. A Lancashire lad got into trouble with plod for doing 140mph on the M65. Kids today, eh? Most of you did not approve: Lets hope the little prick gets a jail sentence. The speed is one thing, but I'm surprised he didn't …
Robin Lettice, 15 Jun 2007
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Naked builders hate ugly logos, but don't frequent Google Maps

Friday again, folks, and you, our very own chattering masses, have been pressing enter like crazy. We'll start with an issue that seemed to unite us all for a few days. The London 2012 Olympics logo was launched on Monday to universal derision. Opinions were divided over what it was meant to be and what it actually looks like, …
Robin Lettice, 08 Jun 2007
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Dr Who saves Thailand from evil canine unmentionables

Comments It's Friday again, and time for another batch of comments. Your televisions are quite dear to you, as evidenced by how worked up some of you got over our first bit of news. Doctor Who is to get the axe at the end of this series. Or not. Maybe. Anyway, The Sun reported it, so it must be true. You were divided, but those who …
Robin Lettice, 01 Jun 2007
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Linux fans go nuclear over Microsoft's patent teasing

Comments A week has passed and we're back with another Best of Comments feature. You've been busy, and as a consequence, so have we. So let's get started. Microsoft announced that Linux violates 235 of its patents, and then declined to reveal which patents this covered. The reason? The paperwork. You didn't buy it: "I could be wrong …
Robin Lettice, 25 May 2007
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Paris and Lara share a cell with rude speeder

Comments We recently rolled out comments pages to most stories on the site, and it seems we opened a bit of a floodgate. You guys just won't shut up. And in the best traditions of appeasement we are announcing a new regular feature: a Best of Comments article. We may just be crazy. First up, a speeding motorist made a rude gesture at a …
Robin Lettice, 18 May 2007
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Teen eBay fraudster sentenced to 12 months

A teenager who conned eBay customers out of £45,000 has been sentenced to one year's detention today. Philip Shortman, now 18, of Chester Close, New Inn, Pontypool, South Wales, admitted 21 counts of obtaining property by deception in October of last year, and has asked that another 64 offences be taken into account. Cardiff …
Robin Lettice, 04 May 2005
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IBM wins $125m car black box deal with UAE

IBM has won a $125m deal with the government of the United Arab Emirates to install tracking devices into tens of thousands of cars by the end of next year. The four-year deal is believed to be the largest in the telematics sector to date. IBM will equip cars and trucks in the state with a telematics device and global …
Robin Lettice, 15 Apr 2005
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Cloned kitten sold for $50,000

Califoria-based biotech firm Genetic Savings & Clone (GSC) has made its first sale: a cloned male kitten, for $50,000. Little Nicky, bought by a Texas woman identified only as 'Julie' because of fears that she would be targeted by anti-cloning groups, is genetically identical to the owner's previous cat, 'Nicky', a 17-year-old …
Robin Lettice, 24 Dec 2004
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Boffins decode Chromosome 16

Scientists at the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) have finished analysing and sequencing Chromosome 16. This completes the US share of the Human Genome Project, JGI said yesterday. The research, published in today's issue of the science journal Nature, analysed the 880 genes, together consisting of 78m …
Robin Lettice, 23 Dec 2004
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Sony ships Vaio Pocket MP3 support update

Sony has at last posted a firmware update which brings native MP3 support to its Vaio Pocket music player. The update, which was announced on the Japanese giant's Vaio support site earlier this month, is accompanied by updated versions Sony's music transfer applications, SonicStage and Vaio Transfer. Until now, both apps …
Robin Lettice, 22 Dec 2004
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Mobile phones 'alter human DNA'

Mobile phone users have been advised to use a landline whenever possible after researchers claimed that mobiles can damage DNA. In a four-year study, German researchers exposed human tissue to low-power microwaves, which are emitted by mobile phones, and found that the radiation caused damage to the DNA within the cells, which …
Robin Lettice, 22 Dec 2004

WD ups Caviar HDD capacity, lowers thermals

Western digital announced this week that its Caviar family of hard drives now runs at significantly lower temperatures and uses less power - not only than the company's own drives but less than all of its rivals' products, the company claimed. The new models, which spin at 7200rpm, also run cooler than many slower, 5400rpm …
Robin Lettice, 22 Dec 2004
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Property tycoon buys fantasy island

A 22 year-old Australian gamer has bought a virtual island for $26,500 in the largest Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) purchase ever. Treasure Island exists only in the MMORPG Project Entropia (website: www.project-entropia.com), and was auctioned off for 265,000 Project Entropia Dollars, equivalent to $26, …
Robin Lettice, 17 Dec 2004
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'Horoscopes' is AOL's most searched word

America Online today released its most popular search terms, which showed that Britney Spears has reclaimed the title of most searched person of 2004 from rapper 50 Cent. Platinum recording artist and teen movie star Hilary Duff was the most searched person by children and teenagers, while Usher was the most searched male. …
Robin Lettice, 14 Dec 2004
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iTunes now accepts PayPal

Apple and PayPal announced on Friday that the iTunes Music Store in the US now accepts payment via PayPal's Virtual Wallet. "We are thrilled that PayPal users can now buy their music on the world's number one online music store," said Todd Pearson, general manager of PayPal's Merchant Services. PayPal allows customers to pay …
Robin Lettice, 13 Dec 2004
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Southpaws thrash righties: study

Researchers have suggested that left-handed people are better at surviving fights to the death. Charlotte Faurie and Michel Raymond of the University of Montpellier in France found that the greater the homicide rate in unindustrialised cultures, the higher the proportion of left handed people. Industrialised cultures were …
Robin Lettice, 10 Dec 2004
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HP launches low-end PC for China

HP, the world's second largest producer of PCs, has begun selling a 3,999 yuan ($483) computer in China. The announcement comes as major players in the PC industry start to produce low-end PCs targetted at people living in small towns and the countryside of China. Most of China's 1.3bn people live in these areas. The model, …
Robin Lettice, 10 Dec 2004
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EC presses for safer internet

The EU Telecommunications Council today today launched Safer Internet Plus, a scheme to help parents and teachers control what children view online. An EU-wide survey on internet use has found that almost 60 per cent of parents do not know where to report illegal content. In response, Safer Internet Plus will set up hotlines …
Robin Lettice, 09 Dec 2004
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SMS shorthand is annoying: official

Nearly half of mobile phone users want a guide on 'text etiquette', a study by research company YouGov has found. The study, carried out for predictive text software provider Tegic Communications, shows that of the 2,680 mobile phone users polled 44 per cent would approve of a guide to 'text etiquette'. Text shorthand is not …
Robin Lettice, 09 Dec 2004
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UK failing CO2 targets

The UK will miss its targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction, unless it pulls its socks up, The Department of the Environment said today. The Government wants to cut CO2 emissions from 1990 levels by 20 per cent by 2010. but this goal, will not be reached, as things stand. Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett is …
Robin Lettice, 08 Dec 2004
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GM cocaine 'grown in Colombia'

Colombian coca plant farmers have developed genetically modified strains of the plant, the Financial Times claims. Anti-drug officers in the remote Sierra Nevada region of northern Colombia have discovered a new variety of coca plant that can grow up to 2.7m (9ft) tall - double the normal size - and produce four times as much …
Robin Lettice, 08 Dec 2004
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Rat brain flies jet

Florida scientists have grown a brain in a petri dish and taught it to fly a fighter plane. Scientists at the university of Florida taught the 'brain', which was grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a rat embryo, to pilot an F-22 jet simulator. It was taught to control the flight path, even in mock hurricane-strength …
Robin Lettice, 07 Dec 2004
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Jambo OpenOffice released

Jambo OpenOffice, the Swahili version of OpenOffice, has been released, the Open Swahili Localization Project (Kilinux), announced on Saturday. According to the press release, "Swahili is the most spoken of the Bantu languages and conservative estimates indicate that is the first language spoken by more than 70m people, chiefly …
Robin Lettice, 07 Dec 2004