6th > February > 2009 Archive
Ubuntu shops believe in Ubuntu
Is Ubuntu ready for prime time in the enterprise? Ubuntu users think so, according to a recent survey from Ubuntu's commercial sponsor, Canonical, and IT consultancy Red Monk.
Apple rethinks battery bondage
Three Apple patent applications have surfaced indicating the company may be rethinking its policy of using non-user-serviceable batteries in its mobile devices.
NASA births cliff-hanging yo-yo bot
NASA boffins said today they've built and tested a small and relatively simple robot that can rappel down cliffs, traverse steep terrain, and tarry about in inhospitable craters other rovers would fear to tread.
High-slider integrity planned for Windows 7 UAC
Microsoft has promised changes to a frustrating Windows security feature inside Windows 7, following reported vulnerabilities and an avalanche of criticism.
Reading punts free mobile info service
Reading Borough Council has launched a free service for locals and visitors interested in live information on buses, parking spaces and even cinema times, all through a mobile phone application.
IBM adds dedupe to Tivoli Storage Manager
IBM has announced a major release of its Tivoli Storage manager backup, archive and compliance product, adding scalability to up to a billion data objects, up to 3X faster backup speeds, and de-duplication.
Pentax K-m entry-level digital SLR
ReviewWe’ve all been there: you go into a store with a fixed budget in mind then spot a product that makes you think: 'Hmm. If I spend a bit more, I can get an even better model than the one I had planned for.' Well, if you’re setting out to buy a high-end digital compact, you could well change your mind if you clamp your eyes on the Pentax K-m digital SLR.
Acronis on the prowl?
With a brand new CEO, established revenue stream and neat technology, you could be forgiven for thinking that privately-owned Acronis was looking to be acquired.
New Zealand bolts net filtering regime into place
If you thought that net filtering and grandiose firewalls were the exclusive preserve of West Island (or "Australia", as the locals like to call it), think again. New Zealand is showing that it, too, is ready to play its part in the great Antipodean censorship stakes.
BlackBerry bosses settle share option row
The joint chief executives, president, chief financial officer and other board directors of Research in Motion - the firm behind BlackBerry - have settled a probe by Canadian regulators over the backdating of stock options.
Of laptop data security
Perhaps the first thing to say is: “It's nobody's fault.” We could blame the laws of physics for the current capabilities of laptops, but not those who discovered them, nor those who have successfully pushed the data storage of hard disks to terabyte capacities. Nor indeed, the people who squeezed the processing equivalent of several mainframes into the flat rectangle of electronic wizardry that we give to our mobile workers.
Fusion-io: Wozniak gets involved
CommentApple co-founder Steve Wozniak is to become chief scientist for PCIe-connected solid state drive vendor Fusion-io and help devise a strategy to penetrate global corporate customers. His track record in this, unlike his Apple engineering record, is sadly unimpressive.
MS lines up two critical updates for Patch Tuesday
Microsoft is lining up four security updates - two of which earn the dread rating of critical - for the February edition on its regular monthly Patch Tuesday update cycle.
Xbox 360's NXE patch births RRoD complaints
The New Xbox Experience (NXE) patch - released earlier this week to fix an HDMI audio issue caused by downloading the NXE interface itself – appears to have brought the dreaded Red Ring of Death (RRoD) to rather a lot of consoles.
British troops to wear smart earplugs in Afghan combat
British troops getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan are being issued with electronic sound-cancelling earplugs designed to let them hear what they need to - orders, conversations, enemy footfalls - but prevent hearing damage caused by explosions, gunfire and so on.
El Reg pays tribute to father of Playmobil
It was with heavy hearts earlier this week that we reported on the death of Hans Beck, the man who in 1974 gave the world Playmobil.
Google finally soups up Gmail search
Google has at last added a new feature to Gmail Labs that allows users to simultaneously view multiple panes in the online email service without having to open another browser window.
HP UK pulls Linux from all new netbooks
HP has decided UK consumers don't want Linux-based netbooks. Actually, it appears to believe business buyers don't want the open-source OS either.
Lords say surveillance society erodes foundations of UK
The House of Lords Constitution Committee has warned that increasing use of surveillance by the government and private companies is a serious threat to freedoms and constitutional rights.
PlayStation 3 to get 45nm Cell 'mid year'
A slimmer PlayStation 3 could hit the shops this summer, because Sony’s finally said when it’ll begin replacing the console’s 65nm Cell chip.
BBC seen to yield over website snooping
The BBC has dropped a controversial tracking system from its UK website after privacy activists complained that it was reporting personal information including their post codes to a US company.
Hacking the Apple TV
Part 1Apple continues to describe its Apple TV set-top box as a “hobby” project: it’ll continue to develop the platform, but it’s not making any money out of it yet. The gadget’s a hobby project for a lot of other folk too. They want to gain access to this closed but surprisingly powerful system to make it more useful.
Amazon to make Kindle mobile
Amazon has confirmed that books currently available for its Kindle e-reader will soon be accessible on mobile phones.
Cisco wireless flaws pose DoS risk
Cisco is urging admins to update their wireless LAN hardware following the discovery of multiple vulnerabilities in its enterprise Wi-Fi kit.
The Boss bitchslaps Ticketmaster
Bruce Springsteen has castigated Ticketmaster after it encouraged US fans to buy tickets online for one of his gigs at inflated prices.
Spysat-spying spysats on track for launch, says Boeing
US aerospace colossus Boeing says it has conducted successful ground testing of America's planned "space surveillance" satellite system. The idea, essentially, is spy satellites to spy on other spy satellites.
Commissioner pours scorn on internet freedom law
New EU laws to protect freedom on the internet and force ISPs to stand up to authoritarian regimes are "unnecessary" and proposed penalties are "heavy", EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding told the European Parliament this week.
TomTom belts up with Renault
You’ll be kicking yourself if you recently bought a top-of-the-range Renault Megane. Because the French car maker’s now updated its faithful Clio line with a swanky integrated TomTom satnav option.
Sony unveils colourful PSP trio
Don’t get your hopes up for Sony’s new Carnival Colours PlayStation Portable series launching in the UK. The Japanese electronics giant’s just unveiled a simple trio of re-sprayed PSPs for Blighty instead.
Insolvency levels show upturn in downturn
UK insolvencies have risen sharply in the past quarter as the recession starts to hit small businesses. But the headline figure is distorted by one group that accounted for 729 separate managed services businesses that all went into administration.
Brits 'a bunch of yellow bastards', says irate Yank
FoTWOur recent shock revelation that South Dakota is awash with American Sterotypes™ did not go down too well with one gun-toting Yank.
OLPC designer styles goes-like-stink electric motorbike
'Leccy TechThe metaphorical dust cover was yanked off the latest 'leccy motorcycle at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Long Beach, California, yesterday - and an arresting looking bit of kit it is too.
Flybe clips IT department's wings
Exeter-based sky bus operator Flybe is sacking a significant proportion of its IT department, according to an insider.
MoD orders £3m anti-friendly-fire 'Combat ID Server'
Controversial gov-plunder warboffinry firm Qinetiq - in partnership with US armsbiz giants - has won a £3m deal from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for a prototype server intended to prevent "friendly fire" incidents.
US sheds 598,000 jobs in January
They say you can't manage what you don't measure. But what do you do when you don't trust what you are measuring or when you are measuring the wrong thing?
NEC shutters European PC biz
NEC has confirmed that it will shutter its European PC operations. After announcing hefty fiscal Q3 losses and 20,000 worldwide job cuts last week, the Japanese technology conglomerate will also outsource its European server manufacturing.
Apple banishes Macs to old folks home
Apple has quietly declared that Power Mac G4s, Xserve G4s, and the PowerBook G4 are now either "vintage" or "obsolete."
FBI releases pics of low-level suspects in $9m ATM scam
The FBI has released pictures of two suspects linked to a multi-million dollar ATM heist.
Intel ships updated Atom chips six months early
Intel has confirmed it is already shipping the next incarnation of the Atom processor.
MySQL chief Mickos quits Sun
Former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos is leaving Sun Microsystems, less than a year after Sun paid $1bn for the free-database outfit he helped build.
Geeks.com settles charges claiming its security was crap
Geeks.com, a large online seller of computer hardware and software, has agreed to allow federal regulators to monitor its website security for 10 years to settle charges it violated federal laws requiring it to adequately safeguard sensitive customer data.
Salesforce.com president and chief strategy officer departs
The president of Salesforce.com has definitely left the building, and two other high-level execs have reportedly been laid off as well.