22nd > November > 2004 Archive
Bank of Ireland and HP fight over porn bill
HP and the Bank of Ireland are arguing over who should pick up the bill for the departure of Michael Soden - the porn-surfing chief executive who quit in June.
Dixons ditches the video recorder
High Street electrical retailer Dixons is ditching the VCR because of falling sales and the increased popularity of newer technology. After 26 years of flogging video cassette recorders (VCRs), Dixons said the machines will be out of its shops before Christmas. Sales of DVD players at Dixons are currently outstripping sales of VCRs by 40 to 1. With punters preferring gear like portable and recordable DVD and hard disk drive machines, Dixons has decided to pull the plug on VCRs and focus instead on the "next generation of home entertainment systems".
US extends net access tax ban
The US Congress has passed a three year ban on internet taxes. State and local governments cannot put tax on internet connections - whether they are dial-up access or DSL access.
Swift blasts off on dying star mission
Swift, a satellite space lab that will hunt and study the most violent explosions ever seen in the universe, has finally launched from Cape Canaveral. It was originally schedule to launch on 8 November, but various set-backs meant that it wasn't until 12:16 (EST) on 20 November, that Swift finally got off the ground.
Skulls Trojan keelhauls Symbian phones
Users with Symbian-based mobile phones have been hit by malicious code that disables smartphone features. Skulls, a Trojan horse program that poses as gaming software, is one of the first examples of malicious code to successfully infect mobiles.
Annual privacy report details global erosion of freedom
Last week Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) published this year's edition of their Annual Global Privacy Study. The 800 page report, available free here, covers the state of privacy in 60 countries, and concludes that threats to personal privacy have now reached a level dangerous to fundamental human rights.
RIAA sues filesharing US students
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is suing 761 people for alleged illegal filesharing. University students are a particular focus of the legal action with 25 people named for using university networks to distribute music. The individuals are accused of copyright infringement for using peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and eDonkey to share music.
MS exec to head up Finnish state broadcasting
Microsoft's local Director Responsible for Information Society Relations, Mikael Jungner, has been appointed director general of YLE, Finland's national public services broadcasting company. According to The Register's local informants, Jungner appeared as a surprise winner after months of consideration of candidates with more obvious qualifications in the broadcast industry.
Compuware extends DevPartner Studio
Last week Compuware made two new and very significant announcements with respect to its DevPartner Studio product that push the boundaries of what one can expect from an IDE.
NetServices slams Gio Internet in bill dispute
Some 3,000 broadband customers are facing an uncertain future after being caught in the middle of bitter legal dispute between ISP Gio Internet and Manchester-based wholesale broadband operator NetServices Plc. NetServices Plc is pulling the plug on Gio Internet on December 1 because it claims that the ISP owes it more than £220,000.
Intel ups Indian investment
Chip giant Intel is investing an extra $40m in the next two years to expand its campus in Bangalore. The completed building will provide work space for 1, 200 people.
Norwegian rappers play cat and mouse
A controversial website by Norwegian shock rappers Gatas Parlament (Street Parliament) has returned to the web. Earlier this month Norwegian police closed the site, which urged Norwegians to put a bounty on the head of President Bush.
419er seeks flatshare with Reg reader
Landlords beware - Nigerian 419ers are targeting online UK flatshare sites in an attempt to practice their dark advance fee fraud arts on unsuspecting advertisers.
eBay, PayPal and the Virgin Mary
LettersWe had a huge response to the story How scammers run rings around eBay. This is obviously a hot topic.
Panasonic braves Linux-inspired wrath of Ballmer
Was this what Microsoft (Steve Ballmer) was growling and threatening about, when he told Asian countries: "nice little Linux OS you have here. Be a pity if someone sued you..." yesterday? Is it this mass market 3G Linux phone range for Japan, from Panasonic and NEC...?
Stunned pundit agrees with Gates over passwords
Sometimes people make mistakes, and have to admit that they made a mistake. One of the most interesting mistakes I know of was made by Hartmann Schedel, a physician and cartographer who lived in Nuremberg (in what is now Germany) in the late 15th century.
Air is heavier than we thought, admit scientists
Scientists have discovered that air is heavier that we previously thought, but not by much. The rough composition of air is well known. It is mostly nitrogen (around 78 per cent) and oxygen (21 per cent). The rest is a mixture of carbon dioxide, water vapour and argon. It is the amount of argon that is key here, because the more argon present, the denser the air.
Visa scammers hit UK phones
Credit card fraudsters are trying to fleece UK punters by tricking them into revealing card security information over the phone. The fraudsters, posing as representatives of Visa, are already is possession of card numbers and are after the CVV numbers (commonly printed on the signature panel on the back of the card) often needed to make purchases online.
VIA pitches chipset at multi-display applications
VIA Technologies today announced wide industry support for its K8T890 chipsets for AMD 64-bit processors.
BT faces life-changing three months
Life is full of challenging questions such as establishing which came first - the chicken or the egg? Who cares, they both taste great especially when curried. Then there's the one concerning a leopard's ability to change its spots. Or, the 2004 version of this puzzler - can BT really switch from being a former monopoly with massive market share into something that meets the regulator's vision of delivering "sustainable competition"?
Europe's space council blasts off
The European space council is set to meet in Brussels for the first time on Thursday this week. Ministers who sit on the EU's competitiveness council will attend the meeting along with ministerial officials from the European Space Agency (ESA).
No state regs, taxes for VoIP, FCC says
Washington RoundupThe US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided that states do not have a right to regulate VoIP. FCC - for now at any rate - believes that the matter is best left to the federal government, because VoIP is, in its view, an interstate service. This is generally an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" stance; but it does not necessarily mean that there will never be taxes or other surcharges, but rather that if there should be, the Feds will be the ones deciding who can collect them, and how much they will be.