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Canada quashes Yes Men hoax with phishing claim

Those online pranksters known as The Yes Men may be called many things for their spoofing antics - satirists, provocateurs, major-league assholes - but phishers they're not. Ah, but that's exactly the excuse Canada's department of the environment used to shut down two of the organization's parody website's created last month to …
Austin Modine, 12 Jan 2010
For Sale sign detail

IBM sues ex-customer over unpaid $1.7m tab

IBM claims a New York-based brokerage firm downloaded $1.7 million worth of its online transaction software without bothering to settle a bill. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Big Blue says that the Euro Partners unit of BGC Partners downloaded extra copies of Informix software without paying for licensing fees between 2003 and 2008 …
Austin Modine, 11 Jan 2010
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IBM software: big, blue and boring in the 2010s

IBM's vision for software ain't what it used to be. Biggie Blue's venerable software biz will doubtlessly roll right along into the new decade - make no mistake - but where's the drive and risk taking that made the company actually cool back 10 years ago? One can't help but feel IBM software is settling back into the legendary …
Austin Modine, 11 Jan 2010
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Spain seeks fast track for pirate site shutdowns

Spain has proposed a new anti-piracy law that would let intellectual property police play a speedier game of whack-a-mole with websites serving illegal downloads of music and films. The measure allows a judge to act on a complaint filed by the newly formed intellectual property commission at Spain's ministry of culture by …
Austin Modine, 09 Jan 2010
Greenpeace

Greenpeace: Apple ain't so brown anymore

Nature lovers at Greenpeace have made their - ahem - peace with the folks at Apple after some three odd years of lambasting the firm for using toxic chemicals in its products and not stitching Steve Jobs turtlenecks out of pure organic hemp1. Greenpeace has released its latest hit-list of environmentally friendly and fiend-some …
Austin Modine, 08 Jan 2010
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FCC seeks delay to US broadband plan

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking lawmakers to give it more time to draw up a national broadband plan. In a letter (PDF) to Congress on Wednesday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski requested an extension of the report's February 17 deadline by one month. The plan is to be funded by Congress under President …
Austin Modine, 08 Jan 2010
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El Reg sparks international incident with Olympics committee

El Reg has sparked an international crisis of gun-boat proportions. Seems we've raised the hackles of the US Olympic Commission in our article, Cisco mobilizes US Olympics audience. Our piece quoted from an early Cisco Systems' press release draft that stated the company's Flip video cameras would be passed out to athletes at …
Austin Modine, 07 Jan 2010
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France floats Google music-and-movie tax

France should tax Google and other online US giants to subsidize local music and movie industries, a report commissioned by the country's culture ministry has recommended. A new proposal to tax internet advertising revenue was among the recommendations offered by the government-appointed panel. Money raised would finance the …
Austin Modine, 07 Jan 2010
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Cisco mobilizes US Olympics audience

Cisco is teaming up with US broadcaster NBC to make mobile phone network providers like AT&T squat and receive an HD Olympics video enema. The network equipment giant said Wednesday it has expanded its partnership with NBC as the broadcaster's official network infrastructure provider for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games …
Austin Modine, 07 Jan 2010
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Baidu launches (legal) online video company

A Hulu-esque online television channel is being created for internet users behind China's Great Firewall. The country's top o' the heap search engine Baidu said Wednesday it plans to form a new online venture that will serve free (and legal) copyrighted video content to Chinese internet users. Baidu will spin-out a new, yet-to- …
Austin Modine, 06 Jan 2010
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Fed watchdog barks at cloud security

The US federal consumer protection watchdog is barking at security and privacy risks posed by cloud computing. With ever-more products and services asking users to upload personal and sensitive information to centralized online servers in the nebulous (but trendy) notion of "the cloud," the US Federal Trade Commission is …
Austin Modine, 06 Jan 2010

Cisco trials consumer video call gear

Cisco plans to begin field trials for a consumer version of its video calling products this spring, joining Skype and Polycom in an emerging battle to turn living room TV sets into Jetsons phones. The networking equipment giant said Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the home videoconferencing system …
Austin Modine, 06 Jan 2010

MIPS squeezes Android into set-top box

MIPS Technologies is hoping Google's Android OS can find fame and fortune outside the mobile world where Google hasn't set its sights on making a device of its own (yet). The California-based chip designer plans to trot out what it reckons will be the first commercially available set-top boxes based on the Android OS, along with …
Austin Modine, 06 Jan 2010
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Oracle gobbles last firm for the decade

Oracle gobbled its last company for the past decade with the acquisition of Silver Creek Systems, a company that makes software for simplifying and standardizing product descriptions across supply chains. Over the past four years, Oracle's appetite for firms both large and small has grown immensely. At the turn of the 'naughties …
Austin Modine, 05 Jan 2010
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NASA's Kepler telescope finds 5 new planets

NASA's Kepler space telescope has already uncovered new astronomical oddities and five large planets in its first six weeks of searching for Earth-like bodies outside our solar system. Although the quintet revealed by Kepler are all much larger than Earth and far too hot to harbor any life known to science, NASA said the …
Austin Modine, 05 Jan 2010
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Record-fine Napsterer wants retrial with RIAA

A Boston University graduate student ordered to pay record labels $675,000 for illegally sharing 30 songs on Napster and Kazaa is asking a judge to grant him a new trial or reduce damages, which he claims are "grossly excessive" and unconstitutional. Joel Tenenbaum and his copyright-shunning techno-Utopian attorney Charles …
Austin Modine, 05 Jan 2010
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EMC slides Archer Technologies into security quiver

Storage behemoth EMC started down the 2010 acquisition trail on Monday by announcing an agreement to purchase Archer Technologies, a privately-held maker of IT governance, risk management, and compliance software. The vendor did not disclose the acquisition's price tag, but said the transaction is not expected to have a material …
Austin Modine, 04 Jan 2010

Cisco, IBM tackle home video conferencing

Cisco and IBM are expected to introduce home video conferencing services this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On Monday, IBM and Polycom said they have expanded their partnership from selling pricey corporate video conferencing wares to introducing new services targeting consumers. The service will rival yet- …
Austin Modine, 04 Jan 2010
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The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

Two thousand nine Anno Domini was a magical year for US technology patent applications. For each spin around old Sol we're consistently stunned by what major companies claim to have invented - but we dare say the bounty from this year will forever hold a special place in our hearts. (For another week or two, anyway. We've got …
Austin Modine, 28 Dec 2009
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DDoS attack scrooges Amazon and others

Service to Amazon, Wal-Mart and several other shopping sites was briefly blocked on Wednesday evening when their DNS provider was hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Neustar, which provides DNS services to high profile website addresses under the UltraDNS brand, said the flood of malicious traffic, just two …
Austin Modine, 24 Dec 2009
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BlackBerry outage hits America for second time in week

North America has been hit with its second Blackberry email outage in seven days.. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has not commented on the extent of the service interruption, but reports indicate the Tuesday outage was widespread for consumer BlackBerry users throughout both North America and South America. The service …
Austin Modine, 23 Dec 2009
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Microsoft loses appeal on Word injunction

Microsoft must remove custom-XML editing from Word or face a permanent injunction barring the company from selling recent versions of the software, a federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $290m patent infringement judgment against Microsoft, won by Toronto-based …
Austin Modine, 22 Dec 2009
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US politico calls for cancer warning on cell phones

There's no consensus among scientists whether mobile phones actually slow-cook human brains, but one US legislator is hoping her state will be the first frightened enough to assume they do. Maine state legislator Andrea Boland plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would require mobile handsets in the …
Austin Modine, 22 Dec 2009
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ISS gets Soyuz visitors for the holidays

Three fresh crew members for the International Space Station blasted off from Kazakhstan on Sunday to staff an orbital construction team over the holidays. NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi launched at 5:52 pm ET (10:52 pm GMT) from the …
Austin Modine, 21 Dec 2009
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Microsoft delays Visual Studio 2010 launch

Microsoft will delay the release of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 in order to have more time to address performance issues. The software giant said Friday it plans an additional test version — a release candidate — to launch in February while the tool set's engineering team focuses on improving performance. "As you …
Austin Modine, 19 Dec 2009
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Obama banks on NASA's big launcher

US President Barack Obama will ask Congress to jettison NASA's plans to develop its next-generation Ares I crew launch vehicle and increase funds for the "simpler" Ares V heavy lift rocket to replace the space shuttle fleet. The revised direction for US human space flight was decided Wednesday at a White House meeting with NASA …
Austin Modine, 18 Dec 2009
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Design firm sues Microsoft over Bing trademark

A small graphic design firm that uses "Bing!" for its branding is suing Microsoft for using the same word for the name of its search engine. Missouri-based Bing! Information Design filed a case in St. Louis circuit court on Tuesday, arguing the software giant's aggressive advertising of Bing search has "gutted" its efforts to …
Austin Modine, 18 Dec 2009
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Space 2010 - the future is fantastic!

Highlights of space exploration missions in the year 2010. The year 2010 is shaping up to be a watershed in space exploration. The biggest change will doubtlessly come after America's planned retirement of its venerable space shuttle fleet next September in favor of the Constellation program (a program that's far behind …
Austin Modine, 18 Dec 2009
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IBM Rational adds new ties for devs

IBM has introduced a fresh batch of updates and software to their portfolio made to help software developers and systems engineers integrate different business processes into its Rational platform. The rollout includes updates to IBM Rational System Architect, DOORS Web Access and Rhapsody, as well as making Rational Software …
Austin Modine, 16 Dec 2009
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Cops need warrant to search phones, say Ohio Supremes

Police officers must obtain a search warrant before snooping through the contents of a suspect's cell phone, Ohio's supreme court ruled on Tuesday. The issue of whether mobile phones fall under US Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures appears never to have been weighed by any other US state supreme …
Austin Modine, 16 Dec 2009
Intel logo teaser

Intel heaps 'connected-TV' hype on partners

The future of television is fiddling around with extra gadgets, closing pop-up advertisements, chatting with friends, and maybe a bit of shows on the side. The familiar gang of social apps and picture-menu navigation will chase us into the living room and into our TV sets in the coming year, according to Intel. Chipzilla's …
Austin Modine, 16 Dec 2009
3D_PS3_SM

Sony PlayStation network moves into reality TV

Sony Computer Entertainment, the folks in charge of the PlayStation game console, are getting into the reality show business. As it attempts to transition from a gaming company to a full-blown media company, SCE hopes to expand its PlayStation Network online platform into an "actual" TV network not unlike the American premium …
Austin Modine, 15 Dec 2009
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US Congress earmarks $30m for anti-piracy fight

The Motion Picture Assocation of America on Monday graciously stroked US Congress for promising $30 million towards fighting IP crime in 2010. Hollywood's top lobbyist, MPAA chief executive Dan Glickman, also praised the success of a six-day Yuletide sting against counterfeit DVDs and CDs called "Operation Holiday Hoax." The …
Austin Modine, 14 Dec 2009
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IT first to abandon Tiger Woods sponsorship

Of the countless companies sponsoring Tiger Woods these days, you'd think a global outsourcing company would find revelations of the golfer's allegedly numerous extramarital affairs the least incongruous with its corporate image. Alas, such self-reflective logic has little place in these matters. The technology services and …
Austin Modine, 14 Dec 2009
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US Supremes to hear text-message privacy case

The US Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether government employers can snoop on their workers' personal text messages if they're sent from department-issued devices. The justices agreed to review a federal appeals court decision that sided with Ontario, California police officers who complained their department …
Austin Modine, 14 Dec 2009
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Microsoft pines for automation firm Opalis

Microsoft said on Friday that it has acquired Toronto-based Opalis Software, a privately-held maker of runbook automation software. The software giant did not disclose financial details of the transaction, but research firm 451 Group says the amount being negotiated in mid-October was about $60m. The acquired firm's flagship …
Austin Modine, 12 Dec 2009
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El Reg uncovers Tiger Woods tech angle

We at The Register would like to take a moment to formally denounce the media's despicable smear job of US golfer Tiger Woods over malicious and unproven claims that he cheated on his wife with — at last count — every single able-bodied cocktail waitress living in the Northern Hemisphere today. What right does does the media …
Austin Modine, 12 Dec 2009
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US Congress seeks control over NASA moonshot

Members of the US Congress are preparing to battle Obama's White House over control of NASA's Constellation moon-rocket program. The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a major 2010 spending bill that would effectively tie Obama's hands if he attempts to make changes to the current Constellation program. The 2010 …
Austin Modine, 11 Dec 2009
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Florida judges banned from 'friending' lawyers on Facebook

Florida judges are barred from becoming Facebook friends with local lawyers because the online relation implies they're BFFs in RL, the Sunshine State's legal ethics board has decided. In November, the Florida Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee determined that judges cannot include lawyers as friends on certain …
Austin Modine, 11 Dec 2009
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Rambus soothes EC ire with lower prices

The European Commission is letting Rambus off the hook now that the US firm has offered to cap licensing rates for some of its industry-standard chip technology. Europe's top antitrust regulator said Wednesday it has dropped charges against Rambus, makes no finding of liability, and will levy no fine against the company. Under …
Austin Modine, 11 Dec 2009
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Rocket glitch delays NASA's sky-mapper launch

NASA has delayed the launch of its new sky-mapping spacecraft because of a last-minute technical issue with a rocket booster engine. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will stay perched atop its Delta II rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for at least an extra 24 hours. Liftoff was set for Friday …
Austin Modine, 10 Dec 2009
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Cisco to counter HP with Chinese expansion

Cisco has vowed to step up its presence in China as a counter measure in its newfound rivalry with HP. Once close partners, the two companies became mortal foes this year by striking each other where it hurts most: their core markets. Cisco whacked HP first by launching its own line of blade servers. HP answered the slight this …
Austin Modine, 10 Dec 2009
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Facebook urges public exposure in 'privacy' revision

Facebook is urging its 350 million users to open their kimonos to the entire internet as part of its revamped security settings. Unveiled on Wednesday, the social network's new privacy controls are designed are to expose a user's personal data - including status updates, posted content, and details about friends and family - to …
Austin Modine, 10 Dec 2009
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BT's unified comm cloud goes global

British Telecom is eying world domination with the expansion of its hosted unified communications services under a new pact with Cisco Systems. BT will expand its cloud-based IP telephony service into the US, mainland Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2010, and into Asia Pacific the following year. Already available in the …
Austin Modine, 09 Dec 2009
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Cisco: We're not a smartphone maker

Cisco isn't interested in competing against Apple or Research in Motion by selling a smartphone of its own, the company's CEO John Chambers said on Tuesday. During an analyst day media lunch at Cisco's HQ in San Jose, the company's top boss said it's content just soaking in profits from the added network demand smartphones are …
Austin Modine, 08 Dec 2009
DVD it in many colours

Cisco vows return of big borging

Cisco boss John Chambers is confident the world economy has recovered enough for a renewed push into new markets. Opening an analyst day at Cisco's headquarters in San Jose, California this morning, Chambers said the company plans a return to its long-term goal of 12 per cent to 17 per cent annual growth that it has failed to …
Austin Modine, 08 Dec 2009
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Facebook forms board to lick molesters

Facebook has called on a fellowship of web safety organizations to prove that it really doesn't want your dumb kid molested online. The social network hub - which recently purged 2,782 registered New York sex offenders in a single sweep - says it plans to organize a special (and properly capitalized) Facebook Safety Advisory …
Austin Modine, 08 Dec 2009
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IBM beams in Tivoli monitoring from the cloud

IBM has been a busy bee floating chunks of its big, complicated, on-premise IT management software into the cloud in order to woo small- and mid-sized businesses. The latest to receive a web-based treatment is IBM Tivoli Live, a web-based service that takes several bits of the company's on-premise Tivoli monitoring products and …
Austin Modine, 08 Dec 2009
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US eyes speedy reviews for 'green' patents

The US Patent and Trademark Office said Monday that it's launching a test program that will greatly speed the review of "green" technology patents. The new fast-track pilot program is expected to shave a full year off the patent review process, which takes an average of 40 months to reach a final decision, according to the USPTO …
Austin Modine, 07 Dec 2009
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eBay wanted to buy Craigslist, Whitman tells judge

eBay wanted to buy Craigslist whole hog when it scooped up a minority stake in the classifieds website in 2004, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman told a judge on Monday. Whitman said the online tat house was looking to expand into new markets when it purchased a 28 per cent stake in the company from an early Craigslist …
Austin Modine, 07 Dec 2009