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Guy Kewney

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RIP Personal Computer World

Comment - Updated If you could find the subscription list of Personal Computer World Magazine (PCW) in its startup year, 1978, you’d have a Who’s Who of the UK tech business today. The mag has died – killed by the banking recession, and Private Equity leveraging – but the industry it kick-started will always remember it. I was a founder …
Guy Kewney, 11 Jun 2009
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No writing on the wall is bad news for the GSMA

Comment I've been trying to work out what GSMA does – apart from Mobile World Congress, that is. The list is rather impressive: it does a lot of very wonderful things. The trouble is, all of those splendid projects seem to depend on MWC being a financial success. I can't see much else that makes money for the GSMA. I can see a lot, …
Guy Kewney, 23 Feb 2009
cable

What if computers went back to the '70s too?

A Wizard whispers in your ear: "The password of Sheffield Library Packet Switching Service is ABC1234XYZ." That would be a conversation thirty years ago, on the Multi-User Dungeon, or MUD. The Dungeon was actually a minicomputer at the University of Essex. I won't tell you the name of the wizard, because he's a big noise in the …
Guy Kewney, 29 Nov 2008
globalisation

Get ready for the coming data centre crunch

"If there's going to be a theme of the Press Summit this year," mused one delegate on the flight to Portugal, "then it's going to be power, and heat." He should have been right. We covered femtocells, 100-gig Ethernet, managed wireless, specialised security-oriented operating software for network switches, media gateways and ( …
Guy Kewney, 30 Sep 2008
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'Idiot' pulls cables, downs ISPs at Telecity

A hamfisted worker at colo provider Telecity shut down "several" ISPs and their customers across the country when he started pulling plugs at one of its datacentres late last night. The hapless wire-scrapper then proceeded to make matters worse, by trying to fix the mess himself. El Reg hasn't been able to discover the …
Guy Kewney, 18 Sep 2008

Axon takes 100mpg wonder car for a spin

It's just a car. it's called Axon, and it's just a car. It has a petrol engine, four wheels. So why is it supposed to be the greenest breakthrough in the automotive sector? "Because it can do 100 miles to the gallon with less than half the CO2 emissions of an average car," said Steven Cousins, the founder of Axon. Axon …
Guy Kewney, 17 Sep 2008
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Cambridge tech boss rips gov over innovation cash

The head of one of the UK's top innovation centres has predicted a future for British citizens as impoverished peasants, painted blue and dancing for tourists because funding for high tech innovation has been pulled. Walter Herriot, Director of St John's Innovation Centre in Cambridge he said, the money needed for this operation …
Guy Kewney, 17 Sep 2008
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Mobile broadband: What's it for?

In the next few weeks (hint: CTIA is in three weeks) I'm expecting mobile operators to be offered a new tool, which will allow them to work out what on earth their mobile broadband customers are doing. The mystery, however, is not "what is this tool, Guy?" - all will become clear quite quickly. What is mysterious is the answer …
Guy Kewney, 26 Aug 2008
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Operation Sprogwatch: Keeping tabs on the kids

It's every parent's dream - reliable and easy-accessed information on what your offspring are up to. Electronics systems such as Spyphone II 8210 actually allow you to dial into your child's mobile, and eavesdrop on their conversations. And now, there's the "buddi", which will track wherever the brats go, showing a GPS path …
Guy Kewney, 22 Jul 2008
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Thieves take out Cable & Wireless centre

Updated Cable and Wireless's Watford network site went offline at 1am this morning, after thieves apparently stole vital equipment. Several Reg readers emailed us to report the outage when websites hosted at the Watford centre suddenly went kaput. They were told robbery or vandalism caused the downtime. The outage has been blamed for …
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An iPhone with a keyboard?

It is an article of faith, of course, that whatever Steve Jobs does is right. And so, since the iPhone currently has no keyboard on it, it must logically follow that it is wrong to have a keyboard, and therefore that Steve Jobs will never produce a version that does have a keyboard. Fervent fans can therefore see no reason to …
Guy Kewney, 30 Jun 2008
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It's time for a close-up look at mobile porn

Column Apparently, someone has discovered that you can watch videos on the iPhone, and that "videos" includes "porn." Mobile porn... wow. So I asked a purveyor of photo-porn on the web what made the iPhone special for his customers. "No idea, but we think it's the zoom," he said. "You can get to see the detail, you know?" What we …
Guy Kewney, 24 Jun 2008
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The web rip-offs nobody cares about

Column The problem with web crime is "who cares?" It doesn't matter if we're talking about identity theft or credit card fraud, if it's done to you, you may well have to weep alone. The simple economics of crime make it impossible to show a payback for any individual scam. Take the simple question of buying something off a web " …
Guy Kewney, 24 Apr 2008
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Futurists predict a world of IT fairy tales

Here's a nightmare vision of a technology-driven future: Terrorists may attack the internet and the Windows environment, bringing work to a halt globally. A virus placed by terrorists blocks the internet and operating systems worldwide or diffuses through firewalls and systematically deletes huge quantities of business and …
Guy Kewney, 17 Mar 2008
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Qualcomm and the real story behind Mobile World Congress

Analysis The story behind the story is always more interesting, somehow, than the story itself; and the story behind last week's Mobile World congress wasn't just the obvious stuff about backhaul capacity. Instead, people were mumbling furtively about piracy - intellectual piracy, that is. You know, like intellectual property, but …
Guy Kewney, 20 Feb 2008
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Do we need computer competence tests?

Column Indignation is the immediate response if you suggest to any computer user that they should be given a licence to use their PC only if they pass a test. Why is this? When someone crashes a car on the motorway, naturally, our first response is to utter words of sympathy: "Oh, hope they're not hurt..." - but what we're actually …
Guy Kewney, 21 Jan 2008
graph up

Price war looms in corporate 100Mb market

A corporate Ethernet price war could be on the cards, with a newcomer using Next Generation Network (NGN) technology to offer 100 megabit Ethernet for £800 a month. Commercial Internet and other services have been, traditionally, based on legacy systems and up to six months ago the bulk of customers were asking for managed MPLS …
Guy Kewney, 15 Jan 2008
chart

Who's archiving IT's history?

Column The relaunch of the IT History Society (formerly the Charles Babbage Foundation) exposes a problem which the Web has brought to journalism and historians - stuff is not being preserved. There are people, however, who are trying to build proper records of the past. The question is whether this works. The IT History Society is …
Guy Kewney, 21 Dec 2007

Commuters shouting into their mobiles? Just jam 'em

Column When a columnist starts off "Silent, but deadly..." you know he's trying to be funny; and Matt Rudd's recent praise for phone radio jammers is, clearly, not based on the fact he doesn't know what SBD actually means. Anti-social behaviour on trains these days isn't limited to producing methane; it is more commonly believed to be …
Guy Kewney, 26 Nov 2007
globalisation

21CN: It's not the data saviour

Column It does seem to be a rule of data processing that we use all we can get of it. As BT starts to test its 21st century networking (21CN) with partners like Entanet, it's a safe bet that this rule will mean the dream of universal high speed data will turn sour as people try to squeeze more data through a limited pipe. The world of …
Guy Kewney, 27 Oct 2007
channel

Dot, squiggle, plop

Column My first response to the idea of a dot-sex web domain was: "Well, that's a rip-off". And when I heard about dot-tv and dot-euro I wasn't the only one to say: "Here we go again..." And I bet most of us were equally cynical about dot-asia. I mean, most people in Asia don't actually use the Roman alphabet and so (I sort of assumed …
Guy Kewney, 23 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Mobiles give you brain cancer?

Column Call me sensitive if you must, but when someone starts talking about wireless and keeps using the word "radiation" I tend to suspect an agenda. So this week when Occupational Environmental Medicine used headlines such as "Using mobile phones for more than 10 years doubles risk of brain cancer", my first respose was to search …
Guy Kewney, 15 Oct 2007
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The RIAA will come to regret its court win

Column You can understand why an unpublished writer might resort to blooking; but when a successful author with a best-selling business title behind him gives away a chapter a week, it piques curiosity. Gerd Leonhard is an ex-muso, with a message for the recording industry. Judging by the RIAA's triumphant win receiving $220,000 in …
Guy Kewney, 08 Oct 2007
cloud

IPTV over wireless? Why not?

Interview You want cheap Wi-Fi? "You'll get what you pay for," warns Selina Lo. "Wi-Fi makers are in denial. The system doesn't work properly, and will get worse." Thank God, she says happily, "for manufacturers like us!" No, overweening modesty isn't her major personality flaw. And as CEO of Ruckus Wireless, her third start-up company …
Guy Kewney, 01 Oct 2007
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Keeping a Hawk-Eye on those miserable Wii kids

Column The idea that Britain is the worst place in the developed world to be a child has been popping up in comment pieces ever since February this year, when The Children's Society announced its new website. This month for the first time, computer games were added to the list of demons tormenting British youth. Most technology- …
Guy Kewney, 13 Sep 2007