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Ben King

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Open sourcing Second Life

Comment The panic that broke out in Second Life last month over a copybot raised many questions about the security of property in the virtual universe. Unlike most massively multiplayer games (if you can even call Second Life that), Second Life "residents" are allowed to actually own the stuff they create. So if you could copy …
Ben King, 21 Dec 2006
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Ubuntu heads for the mainstream

Interview Mark Shuttleworth, millionaire cosmonaut and self-funded Linux guru, has managed to make his Ubuntu project the Linux distribution of choice in just two years. But now the friendly brown OS with the cute drumming noises faces an awkward journey towards the commercial mainstream. Ubuntu has had quite a ride in those two years. …
Ben King, 25 Jul 2006
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Google at work on desktop Linux

Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business - desktop software. A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as 'Goobuntu'. Google has confirmed it is …
Ben King, 31 Jan 2006
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How Britain lost Sendo

New filings cast light on the sad demise of Britain's only mobile phone manufacturer, Sendo. Following protracted legal battles with former partner and shareholder Microsoft and others, the group finally ran of money, and its assets were sold to Motorola in June. Motorola seems to have got rather a bargain, according to …
Ben King, 28 Sep 2005
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Zopa – the bank that likes to say 'Hello There!'

A new financial services company is taking on the banks which like to say 'No'. So will Zopa succeed in giving banks the peer-to-peer treatment? Zopa's launch, in March, generated quite a flurry of press interest, and now the founders are even considering a US launch. The idea is pretty simple – instead of one set of customers …
Ben King, 29 Jul 2005
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MS wants to Pimp My Raid array

Microsoft’s server operations are going well – this year it stuck its nose in front of its Unix rivals for the first time ever. November sees the next phase of this world domination bid, with a raft of innovations to make the care and maintenance of Windows servers less of a headache. So, the Reg caught up with Andy Lees, …
Ben King, 13 Jul 2005
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Home automation players lock horns...

This week, two wireless home automation technology groups held showcase events in two different Nordic capitals. And their products both begin with a ‘Z’. Both companies sell low power radio networks cheap enough to install all over your house. Yesterday ZigBee alliance showcased its products in Oslo, attended by Ethernet …
Ben King, 16 Jun 2005
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Paoga - an answer to the privacy problem?

Information wants to be free, as the dotcom era cliché would have it. Sadly, that is true of your private personal details as anything else. The problem goes beyond spam, or the cataract of junk mail that pours through any letterbox with a postal address. If you send your CV to a recruitment consultant, how do you know it will …
Ben King, 08 Jun 2005
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Pingtel open source VoIP attacks Europe

Open source VoIP has been touted as bigger than Linux, and the competition is hotting up in Europe as one of the US pioneers crosses the Atlantic. The normally sleepy world of office telephony hardware, the private branch exchange (PBX) systems which put you on hold and transfer you to people’s secretaries, has already been …
Ben King, 22 May 2005
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Asterisk – a star of the future?

asterisk logo Larry Ellison has his super yacht, Bill Gates has his humanitarian fund. For Mark Spencer, the symbol of his success is a hot tub. It may not be the most expensive trophy, but Spencer’s achievement may well prove to be just as revolutionary - turning the world of enterprise telephony on its head. The tub, now …
Ben King, 16 Mar 2005
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Cannes demos the next fast thing

3GSM One of the few reliable laws in the technology industry - if the demo works, it’s probably been faked. Every vendor worth the name is demonstrating HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) here this year. The next enhancement to 3G, inevitably known as 3.5G, it promises to make the downlink a whole lot faster – from 384kbps up …
Ben King, 16 Feb 2005
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3G sets Cannes smoking again

3GSM If the thick fug of cigar smoke in the lobby of the Majestic Barrière is anything to go by, the good times are coming back to the mobile phone industry as it makes its final visit to Cannes. 3G is finally taking off, GSM Association CEO Rob Conway told those 3GSM World Congress attendees who got up early enough to hear his …
Ben King, 15 Feb 2005
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Will 3G save the phone repair industry?

As Vodafone bids for space in Santa’s sack with the long-awaited launch of 3G mobiles, it could be a long awaited Christmas present for a sector of the mobile industry which has been having an utterly miserable time. Nokia’s repair outfits have seen catastrophic falls in business, as the Finnish giant finally gets to grips with …
Ben King, 15 Nov 2004

Small.biz goes a bundle on SBS 2003?

It’s been nearly a year since Microsoft launched a Small Business Server - a strategic move into a market that everyone wants a piece of. For those who missed the announcement, SBS 2003 is a normal Microsoft server with a load of extra stuff bundled in – Exchange and SharePoint Services, and for anyone who still uses such …
Ben King, 25 Oct 2004
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Orange's big push into push-to-talk

How about this for a business idea? Take a very useful service, like mobile phones, make it less good by making it one-way, like a walkie-talkie. Charge more for it. Make it jumpy, more expensive to run, and only available in half the country. Call it something baffling like say, push-to-talk, which is a pretty good description …
Ben King, 06 Oct 2004
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From soup to nuts with Microsoft’s collaboration chief

Interview Forget competition - Microsoft is all about collaboration now. At least, it is if you’re Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the real-time collaboration group at Microsoft. He’s Bill Gates’s former ‘personal technology assistant’, spending 20 hours a week with the Great Helmsman from 2001 until 2003. He has been right at …
Ben King, 30 Sep 2004
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Why did Sendo bury the hatchet with MS?

Analysis Microsoft and Sendo have brought an end to a legal war that looked like it could bankrupt the Brummie start-up phone maker. Just shy of two years after the dispute began, the two parties have lit the peace pipe on terms which remain undisclosed. For the year to the end of September 2003, the case cost Sendo a hefty £6m. That …
Ben King, 13 Sep 2004
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Will the first Linux carwash clean up?

Trading has started slowly at the world’s first Linux-only computer shop and carwash. The pioneering retail concept has only been open a week, and is selling “a few systems a day”, says co-founder David Silverman. Plus lots of carwashes. Sub500.com is the brainchild of Marc (32) and David Silverman (37), carwash owners, …
Ben King, 16 Jul 2004
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Ballmer has seen the future, and it’s Danish

Toronto Steve Ballmer has seen the future, and it’s Danish. At least, he’d like it to be. It’s not Denmark’s bacon, or its viking-hatted football fans the Microsoft CEO admires, but the Danes’ matchless appetite for Microsoft Business Solutions. Talking at Microsoft’s World Wide Partner Conference in Toronto, he explained how Denmark …
Ben King, 13 Jul 2004
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Microsoft preps Marketplace

Toronto Microsoft is to build an online marketplace to help customers find approved vendors of hardware and software. When it first launches, Windows Marketplace will concentrate on packaged hardware and software, and downloadable software. The site will initially be limited to the US, expanding to other countries later on. In due …
Ben King, 13 Jul 2004