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Stephen Thackeray

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Children to become Time-modelled citizens

So what does it take to be a good citizen? The government thinks it knows the answer -- and it's revealing all on a sponsored website aimed for children. Launched by David Blunkett, timeforcitizenship.com deliver a "citizenship curriculum" to offer children the chance to stimulate discussion and take action to become involved in …
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Seagate hands over $45m for FDD patent

Disk drive giant Seagate has coughed up $45 million (£27 million) to settle a seven-year-long row over patent infringements with one-time drive maker Rodime. Rodime claims it pioneered the development of the 3.5in drive in 1983 and that Seagate had used it without paying royalties. A Californian District Court dismissed the case …
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Korean housewives get ecommerce call-up

The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication has unveiled details of a subsidised scheme intended to unlock the untapped online buying potential of the Korean housewife. The Korean government will provide courses in 800 private computer centres between March and August next year in an attempt to accelerate growth in …
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China orders Web sites to guard against secrecy leaks

Chinese authorities have imposed security checks on all Web sites in an attempt to protect state secrets. The move is thought to be the first time a government has moved to restrict the availability of free information on the Internet. Chinese journalists found guilty of publishing state secrets now risk imprisonment or could …
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Big White wrong-foots Big Blue

US weathermen are kicking themselves after putting their faith in an IBM supercomputer used to predict the weather, after a massive snowstorm brought much of the East Coast to a standstill and claimed seven lives. The computer had reckoned there was a 40 per cent chance of light snow falling, but this actually turned into a …
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Western Digital serves up Caviar for Compaq

Compaq is to include the ill-fated Western Digital Caviar hard drive in its Deskpro and Presario PC ranges. The Caviar was dubbed 'Cadaver' by some wags after being beset by failures last year. Its range has been bolstered by the addition of a 10.2GB drive. The Caviar can withstand shocks forces of up to 65G and still keep …
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DVD/CD site knowingly undersold

The online CD and DVD-ROM market is largely ignored by high street and online retailers alike, Romsdirect director Fergus Shields reckons. Romsdirect.com launches officially on 1 April with 35,000 titles for academics, professionals and consumers. Shields says: "When you look at online software and entertainment sites will see …
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PCs on the way out for information appliances

The dominance of the PC market will decrease as information appliances take hold said Thomas Rothhaupt, National semiconductors' European Information Appliances Marketing Manager in London today. The PC could soon end up as marginalised as the mainframe computers of the 60s are today, he claimed. The mainframe saw its hay-day in …
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FTSE 100 spurns Net job seekers

Brits are flocking to the Net to look for jobs but hit roadblocks when they arrive at most FTSE 100 sites. Thirty per cent of Britain's biggest companies fail to advertise recruitment opportunities on their Web sites, missing out on the huge gene pool of job-seeking surfers. Twenty five per cent of corporate Web sites target …
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Orange WAP phones in short supply

A shortage of supplies of the Orange flavour of the Nokia 7110 is hitting sales of the trendy WAP based product, it has emerged. One reader told The Register that he had rung Orange and been told that there were "none available" while at the end of last week another person at Orange told him that the company "took delivery of …
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William Hill sets up overseas gambling joint

William Hill will set up a website this week in Antigua, so that British punters can avoid paying nine per cent tax on winnings UK bookmaker Gamblers can even bet on the National Lottery ,which is currently illegal in the UK. Alongside Willhill.co.uk will be a telephone service run from Athlone, Ireland offering a three per cent …
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Roller Coaster for sale today

A new theme park ride is auctioned off online tomorrow with the launch of e-commerce portal Leisurehub.com. Bidding starts at 1:00pm for the family "elephant" ride owned by the manufacturer I E Park and bids are expected to reach $50,000 (£31,250). The ride can be seen at the manufacturer's stand at the Amusement Trades …
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World Online lands on Freeserve's doorstep

World Online is taking a leaf out of Freeserve's book with a free CD distribution strategy through an as yet unnamed High Street retailer. The company, which purports to be Europe's biggest ISP, is targeting punters in the 15-34 age bracket in the retail promotion. An advertising campaign featuring Christopher Reeves (aka …
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Out come the gadget freaks for Cellnet WAP service

"Our customers won't be worried about the price. It's all down to what people spend their money on," a BT Cellnet spokeswoman said at today's launch of its mobile Internet service. "Some spend it on clothes, others spend their money on the latest gadgets." The service will cost 5p per minute until June when new pricing …
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This DVD will self-destruct in three minutes

No it's not Mission Impossible. An American company is developing limited-play CDs and DVDs with built-in self-destruction. Spectradisc, a spin-off from Brown University Division of Engineering, says it can programme the products to expire within three days or three minutes, by applying a chemical coating in varying degrees of …
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High bandwidth with old technology

A former division of electronics giant Motorola claims to be developing technology to provide high-bandwidth speeds of 40Gb per second, using technology that dates back to the early 80s. Details are patchy, but On Semiconductor claims that it can already provide speeds of 6Gb per second using Emitter Coupled Logic (ECL), usually …
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Motorola claims alcoholic PC breakthrough

A fuel cell technology developed by Motorola is to use alcohol to deliver longer life for mobiles and notebook PCs. And the so-called "fuel cell technology" uses alcohol and requires refills when the battery goes flat. That means that at the end of a long day, just like your common or garden Register staffer, your laptop will …
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ALi bridges S370, Slot One gap

Acer subsidiary ALi announced a chipset which supports both slot One and socket 370 PC systems and also includes multiple memory support for both PC-133 and PC-100. The Aladdin-Pro 4 chipset is claimed to offer high performance at a cost-effective price but may indicate uncertainty by chipset manufacturers as to where the market …
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AOL profits triple but traders are worried

AOL may have near tripled its quarterly profits but traders fear growth will fall when the Time Warner merger is completed. The world's leading ISP saw profit increase from $86 million to $224 million thanks to the growth in online shopping, rising advertising revenues and increased membership which now stands at 23 million. AOL …
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IT failures not all our fault, says Blair govt

The government is passing the buck over a string of embarrassing IT failures in the direction of the private sector. Many of them were implemented under the private finance initiative, which gives the government an exit route away from the flack it has been taking. Among the high profile system failures have been in the Passport …
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Intel gets down on the farm

Intel is investing £90 million in a 10,000 server farm which will come online in Q2 this year. The sever farm sited at Winnersh, Reading will employ 170 people and offer server space for small businesses who have little resources for supporting e-business. Intel chose the site over Amsterdam and Frankfurt, the decision being …
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T-Rex for sale online

No, it's not Barney. A complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletion is being auctioned online at Lycoshop with a reserve price of $5.8 million. Bidding opened yesterday, but so far there have been no serious offers. However, there have been plenty of hoax bids, according newswire PA. Lycoshop is selling the skeleton with Millionaire.com …
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MOD blows £30m on junk projects

The Ministry of Defence wasted £30 million of taxpayers' money on two bespoke computer systems, abandoned because they failed to work, for the RAF, Army and Navy. Some systems were replaced by off-the-shelf alternatives costing £1.3 million, the National Audit Office reveals. Dud projects included The Common User Data System …
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Athlon 500MHz to get chop RSN

All good things must come to an end - a sentiment close to the heart of many a multi-billion dollar chip maker. And none more so than AMD which is poised to send its 500MHz Athlon part packing once January has bid us farewell. In preparation for the 500's demise, AMD is to cut the price of its 550MHz Athlon part on 23 January, …
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Hate site man charged by US authorities

US Federal authorities have charged a man who labelled a human relations counsellor a "race traitor" and made death threats towards her. This is thought to be the first federal case against a website. Ryan Wilson's site, Alpha HQ, carried photographs and animated pictures of victim Bonnie Johuri's office being blown up. …
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Furniture website slammed for cheap prices

A north London furniture company has been boycotted by one of its suppliers because it is undercutting high street furniture stores. Lordship Furniture says it wants to "shake up the furniture industry" and that it is merely responding to demands by customers for better service and prices in an industry where average mark-ups …
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Recruitment firm woos contractors with share offer

Recruitment firm Spring IT Personnel announced today it will aim to attract contractors by offering 5,000 shares in Spring to professionals at a knock-down price. Applicants for the scheme must apply online before 9 February to take advantage of the offer price of 190p a share or the closing mid-market price on last dealing day …
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One hundred year old babies found in UK

Doesn't time fly! British Millennium babies are now 100 years old after the Y2k bug struck computers at the National Office of Statistics. After all that campaigning by Action 2000 a government organisation gets hit by the bug. Poor show, chaps. Birth certificates issued by the Registry Office surprised parents with birth-dates …
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Eccentricity meets electricity on the Net

What have pylons, mobile phone base stations, insulators and the traffic cone preservation society got to do with the Internet? Answer - they're all linked to an eccentric Web site dedicated to the 'sadly unappreciated' electricity pylon for enthusiasts. The 'pylon of the month' site includes photographs, facts and figures about …
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Cyber police force comes to Britain

In the fight against online crime, the Home Office has assigned £337,000 to the UK National Criminal Intelligence (NCIS) to help police the Internet. As the Net population expands, "Criminals will make ever more use of Internet communications to organise their illegal activities," says an NCIS report. Operation Trawler will …
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Y2k bug ate our spy satellites

The Pentagon is still trying to play down Y2K problems with spy satellites, blaming the weather for an unexpected lack of intelligence. We were never blinded and "no significant intelligence was lost," said Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon in a press briefing. It seems the five secret spy satellites used for military and …
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Nomad tracks Creative music storage

Your whole record collection will fit on a box the size of a CD player in a device to be launched in April priced at under $600 (£360). The 14oz Nomad Jukebox from Creative Technology will hold 150 albums or 2,600 hours in 6GB of storage on a laptop-style hard disk. Using ID3 tags, information about each track can be stored such …
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UK spies recruited online

Good at crosswords? If so you could have the right mentality for a job at Britain's spy agency GCHQ. Crack the code of five characters in five parts hidden within the GCHQ Web site to reveal the message and then apply for the job. GCHQ – which stands for Government Communications Headquarters - is looking for IT specialists, …
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Win2k virus beats Win2k to release

Windows 2000 hasn't even been released yet, but virus writers are already hard at work. A new virus called Win2K.Inta - written by the 29A virus group – has been identified. Win2K.Inta was spotted by F-Secure – the anti-virus firm formerly known as Data Fellows. Mikko Hypponen, head of anti-virus research at F-Secure, said it is …
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Warner Music partners with MTV-alternative Launch

Internet video streaming company Launch Media has signed its third deal with a major content supplier, adding nearly 10,000 titles from Warner Music's video catalogue to its stock of 1200 titles from Sony and EMI. The deal comes as all the 'big five' record labels -- Warner, Sony, EMI, Bertelsmann Music Group and Universal -- …
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UK at risk from pump & dump

A UK lawyer is warning that Britain is ill-equipped to fend off attack from pump and dump Internet share scams which have taken the US by storm. Speaking to The Register, Steven Phillippsohn of solicitors Phillippsohn Crawfords Berwald said the US has the Security and Exchange Commission to monitor Internet traffic but the UK …
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ATI Q1 2000 profits, revenues up on rising Rage sales

An increase in the demand for ATI's Rage 128 and Rage Mobility chips boosted the 3D graphics specialist's first quarter 2000 earnings by 15.3 per cent, despite product line rejigs and increased costs. Driving that profit gain was 26 per cent sales growth, reaching $413.5 million from the $327.4 million the company --the world's …
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The wearable mobile phone is with us

Trousers that can remember what you had for lunch and an anorak replete with GPS navigation functions could be hitting the catwalks before you know it. France Telecom, the Cnet research centre and research laboratory Starlab hope to create communication clothing for the sports, leisure and business communities. The first …
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Seagate sees $35m loss

Increased competition and price slashing have been blamed for a $35 million net loss from Seagate for Q2, the period ending 31 December. The loss includes a restructuring charge of $23 million. As the PC market pushes prices down, so margins get squeezed in the component market. a factor which will affect not just Seagate, but …
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TFT shortages to end this year

Prices of TFT screens are expected to fall as last year's supply problems come to an end. Shortages will still exist in the notebook PC market but this is unlikely to be major problem during Q1 due to seasonal demand patterns. In Q4 last year, global production was up 41 per cent to 6.46 million LCD-TFT sheets. New mass …
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Kids taught to use mobile phones

Use an ear-piece and put it in a bag, make shorter calls or use a landline. These are some of the lessons on how to use a mobile phone that children as young as five will be taught in the classroom. After the Christmas mobile phone boom, 300,000 of them will appear in the classroom prompting concerns about kiddie callers' health …
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AOL to merge with Time Warner

America Online is expected to announce a merger with Time Warner today, a move wqhich will create a media colossus with turnover of $30 billion and a market cap of around $247bn (£153bn). The merger is expected to be finalised by the end of this year but the deal depends on the approval of shareholders from both companies and …
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Web site offers students careers advice

ITM Communications has signed a deal with the NUS to gain exclusive access to three million students in the lucrative youth market. The company was formed two and a half years ago from mostly media professionals and produces a lifestyle magazine for graduates and undergraduates on CD-ROM and the Internet. It provides careers …
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Palm dismisses WAP out of hand

The much hyped wireless application protocol (WAP) has been described as irrelevant and unsuitable to the PDA market, by the leading handheld device vendor. A senior executive of Palm Computing told The Register that WAP was all well and good, but as it had been developed for mobile phones, it was unlikely to find success in the …
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Threat of jaill not enough to deter piracy

It's an issue which IT managers are fully aware of, but despite the risk of going to prison, take little action over. Software piracy is intentionally or unintentionally a major part of a lot of UK organisations. IS managers are fully aware of their legal standpoint but, according to a survey commissioned by Vector Networks, 20 …
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Security back-door leaves Intel mail servers open

A security glitch in Intel's InBusiness Email Station has left servers open to attack, according to a US security analyst. The hole was part of the original design in 1997 to allow remote control of servers in the event of serious technical problems. Without submitting a password, an intruder can issue commands to delete files, …
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2000 is the year of the Rambus

Direct Rambus DRAM could be in office machines and consumer electronics as early as 2001 as prices fall. By the end of this year, the high-speed next generation memory chip is expected to account for 16 per cent of the DRAM market, with 270 million units sold, according to a Nikkei Market Access survey. Four companies Toshiba, …
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Golf snobs turn backs on scruffy Gates

Bill Gates is cocking a snook at uptight golf snobs, by building his very own £20 million golf course. The exclusive Vintage Country Club in Indian Wells, California laid into the world's richest man for looking too scruffy, in a case of the Emperor's Old Clothes. Vintage rebuked the Microsoft chairman for wearing a T-shirt on …