11th > November > 2011 Archive
Hydro fuel-cell truck built by RMIT
A group of researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne has unveiled what they say is the country’s first truck to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Gamers stuff Nvidia's pockets with cash
The latest round of high-def video games for PCs – namely Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and the impending launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic – have saved graphics chip maker Nvidia from being slammed by a slowdown in PC sales.
Nokia loses sales lure as Maps and Music apps cracked
If Nokia is banking on its Music and Maps software will give it an edge over other Phone 7 handsets, it’s in trouble – the copy protection behind the code has been cracked.
Feds win access to WikiLeakers Twitter account data
US Justice Department investigators have won a hard-fought campaign to access the Twitter records of three current and former WikiLeaks associates, rebuffing arguments that the document demand violated the constitutional right to free speech and a prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Republicans lose key vote to block FCC net neut rules
In a rare legislative victory for the Obama administration, Senate Republicans failed to pass a resolution to express that body's disapproval of the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality regulations.
Facebook offers 20-year privacy settlement to FTC
Facebook appears to be close to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over complaints of users’ privacy being abused by the social networking giant.
Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita
First LookIt seems fair to state that for a while now Sony's PSP handheld games console has been experiencing something of long and undignified death. Even the Japanese technology giant itself saw fit to limit PSP software releases to largely redundant updates of its EyePet and Invizimals franchises – a move hardly likely to cause a flagging system to reignite.
IT bods to prove their prowess in bed with spooks
The British Computer Society has launched a pilot scheme to certify information assurance professionals in government.
Dish Networks looks forward to 'seat at the table' in wireless
As LightSquared continues to battle for the right to deploy LTE in its mobile satellite spectrum, the other major holder of such frequencies, Dish Network, has remained enigmatic. However, on its third quarter earnings call, chairman Charlie Ergen enlarged somewhat on the firm's plans, saying it would use its proposed LTE-Advanced network to support mobile video services to complement its existing offerings.
Amazon quietly acquires voice capability
A company specialising in voice-recognition technology has apparently been snapped up by Amazon, and is now operating under an assumed name, for reasons which remain obscure.
Expert: 'Right to be forgotten' could cause problems for publishers
A system where newspaper stories can be 'locked away' – but not entirely deleted from archives – under new data protection law proposals could be used to ensure a balance is struck between privacy and free speech rights, a media law expert has said.
Toyota, Intel connect to connect cars to web
Toyota and Intel are to co-operate on the development of next-generation in-car systems.
New array scoffs disks like a fat bloke gobbling doughnuts
DataDirect Networks customers can grow capacity with fewer racks and enclosures because it has upped the drive count from 60 to 84 drives in its new SFA12K storage products for the big data markets.
Another new Russian nuclear powerplant comes online
The newly-built Kalinin-4 nuclear power plant northwest of Moscow has achieved criticality, according to plant owner Rosenergoatom, some two weeks after completion of fuelling was achieved. The new power unit is expected to go into service shortly, and will become Russia's 33rd operational nuclear power plant and the fourth new one to come online since 2001.
Logitech Wireless Touchpad
Accessory of the WeekMost Wintel laptops now support a limited range of multi-touch gestures on their trackpads, such as the two-finger swipe to scroll up or down through long documents and web pages. However, Logitech’s new Wireless Touchpad is the first device that I’ve come across that attempts to offer PC users the same range of multi-touch features provided by Apple’s Magic Trackpad or its MacBook trackpads.
Randy dwarf galaxies are making billions of baby stars
The Hubble telescope has picked out distant dwarf galaxies that are churning out stars at an enormous rate compared to the Milky Way.
Apple posts 'battery fix' iOS update
Apple last night rolled out iOS 5.0.1, promising that the update flattens bugs that have caused iPhone 4S owners to suffer from rapidly depleting battery syndrome.
European boffins on voyage of discovery to the Earth's core
Top European scientists say they are ready to commence an exciting voyage of discovery - to plumb the very depths of the Earth's core, and find out the mechanism by which the planet's magnetic poles disappear or reverse themselves. A titanically powerful machine employing nuclear atom-smasher technology, diamond "anvils" and outrageously powerful laser beams has been readied in France at the foothills of the Alps, and was declared officially ready to go yesterday.
Tech sugar daddies shovel millions into Hadoop war
Open ... And ShutThere was once an idyllic time when people like Joe Kraus described an entrepreneur's dream of starting robust companies on a shoestring budget, powered by open-source software and cloud infrastructure. Apparently Cloudera and Hortonworks didn't get the memo. Both Hadoop competitors recently raised mountains of cash at sky-high valuations, fuelled by open-source software and cloud infrastructure. And now Cloudera investor Ping Li has declared that his firm, Accel, is prepared to dump $100m more into Hadoop's meta-market, Big Data.
Now Russians can't even contact their busted Mars probe
Attempts to contact the lost Russian spaceship Phobos-Grunt have so far been unsuccessful, a source in the space industry said.
SAP, EMC and VMware in 3-way cloud orgy
SAP, EMC and VMware have signed a three-way deal about a converged EMC-SAP stack running an in-memory analytic database leading to the possibility of SAP HANA running inside VMAX arrays.
Were Lavasoft's buyers once on its hit list?
Anti-spyware company Lavasoft AB is now owned by a set of online entrepreneurs who have been linked with misleading websites.
Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies
Round-up11 November 2011 - 11/11/11 - is Nigel Tufnel Day, a day to celebrate pushing the envelope as far as it can possibly be pushed - and then pushing it one step beyond that.
Angry Birds to hit shop shelves this month
Angry Birds continues on its course toward global domination today when developer Rovio announced the game will be coming to retail later this year.
Hamburg loses rag with Facebook, threatens to sue
Hamburg's data protection authority has reportedly given up continuing its dialogue with Facebook and is preparing to sue the company over its use of facial recognition technology.
World's first biz computer was British – and sold teacakes
PicturesForget BlackBerry and Bill Gates: the first business computer in the world was British and was used to help sort the logistics for bakery distribution.
Fusion boffins crack shreddy eddy plasma puzzle
Physicists in the US are patting themselves on the back today as they prepare to announce that they've got a grip on a knotty problem troubling anyone designing working nuclear fusion powerplants - which could solve pretty much all of the human race's problems, but have proved very difficult to actually achieve.
WebOS developer? 'Grab a slab, while stocks last'
QuotWThis was the week when HP continued to act erratically and desperately in the marketplace by offering WebOS developers a cheap deal on the final stocks in the channel of its WebOS Touchpad, which you can get "while stocks last". Although why anyone would want a discontinued fondleslab running a soon-to-be-defunct platform is unclear.
Valve admits forum hack exposed gamers' privates
Steam, the online platform of video game firm Valve Corporation, has admitted that customer personal details including encrypted credit card information might have been exposed by a hack attack last weekend.
Asda tempts technophobes with cheap PCs and broadband
Asda is trying to drag its price conscious Luddite punters into an internet world this Christmas by chopping the price of its notebooks and mobile broadband.
Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman
ReviewSony Ericsson is still producing standalone Walkman devices, but the natural home for the oldest portable music player brand these days is on a phone. The Live With Walkman delivers the latest version of the music player in an Android phone with a 5Mp camera and a nippy 1GHz processor.
Sony develops 'new kind of television'
Sony plans to revive its fortunes in the TV market by launching a new type of telly that it hopes will compete with - of all companies - Apple in the future goggle-box marketplace.
Fanboi called 911 repeatedly because iPhone didn't work
A bloke in the US has been arrested after repeatedly calling the emergency number 911 to complain that his iPhone wasn't working.
Is Financial services IT in a mess?
Tech PanelWhether it’s insurance or banking, those working in financial services keep coming in for a lot of stick. Over the years, many organisations have spent shed loads of money on IT, yet customers still complain about bad service, broken processes and the fact that nothing seems to be joined up. This brings the state of IT into sharp focus.
Fondleslabs homing in on desktops in biz sales
Fondleslabs iPads are now the third-largest revenue line for distributors across Europe as adoption by biz customers lifts off, sales-out numbers from Context reveal.
How to make clouds and influence accountants
The cloud might mean that the corporate accountant becomes your new best buddy. Appalling thought, I know, but beancounters aren't all that bad: they can do sums even if they can't do algebra, which puts them a step ahead of the marketing department. Of course, this time of year, when bonuses are being decided, is a great time of year to go and explain to said corporate beancounter why you're about to become his best buddy.
Chicken fillets: The affordable alternative to Bulgarian Airbags
Women wanting the protection of Bulgarian airbags in a car crash situation, but wary about going under the knife will be reassured that a couple of pairs of chicken fillets makes an ample substitute.
EDF security bosses guilty of hacking Greenpeace
French nuclear giants EDF have been fined €1.5m (£1.28m) by a Paris court for hiring spooks to hack computers and gather info on eco group Greenpeace.
Nokia's future phone sees red when you do
Ah, the future! Once the province of sci-fi on our tellies and authors like Jules Verne, but now also frequently the subject of videos from top tech companies.
Apple applies to patent a SIM you can't remove
Apple has been filed a US patent application on an embedded SIM capable of switching between mobile network operators under command from Cupertino, assuming the operators comply.
Sperm donors nicer than average, Swede study finds
Swedish sperm donors are more stable and mature and have better social skills than the country's manhood at large, researchers have found.
The Adventures of Tintin: the Game
ReviewUntil I was five, my dad worked at Cern and we lived in the Jura Mountains across the France-Switzerland border. At weekends my mum would take us to Jouets Weber, the largest toyshop in Geneva. It stocked a large number of Tintin books, which my mum translated to me at bedtime.
Universal closes in on EMI. Lawsuits to follow?
UpdatedThe world's largest record company, Universal Music, is set to swallow Britain's biggest - EMI – according to reports in the financial press. The most recent rumour sees EMI going two ways: with the profitable music publishing division heading to Sony for $2.2bn, while UMG picks up the recordings for $1.9bn.
Google buys brace of start-ups to out-Facebook Facebook
Google may want to insist that it is not interested in building a social network, but that didn't stop the company from buying a pair of start-ups yesterday that just so happened to be covered in social goo.
World's only twin jet-engine bike drives onto eBay
A motorbike powered by a pair of pulsejets popped up for auction on eBay this week.
First scientific paper filed from Spaaaace published today
Hard-working astro-boffins have filed a scientific paper from space. Published today in the journal Europhysics Letters, it is believed to be the first article in an earthly publication ever to have been submitted from outside the planet.
Gobble! some! Yahoo! now! – slurp! the! rest! later!
More rumours that private equity might be the route for Yahoo!'s buyout surfaced today: a report suggests firms including KKR and TPG Capital are thinking of buying a little slice of Yahoo! in order to slurp the whole thing later.
Boozed-up ball-biting mum spared jail
A woman who admitted biting a hole in her boyfriend's scrotum was spared a stretch in prison by Newcastle Crown Court on Friday.
Apple offers unlocked iPhone 4S online in the US
Apple has begun selling unlocked iPhones through its US online shop.
Adobe's future is controlling what you watch, not delivering it
AnalysisAdobe's decision to stop developing mobile Flash shouldn't surprise: Adobe can see there's more money in preventing people watching stuff than enabling them to do so.
'Bionic' leg gives amputee ability to ski
If you lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, working on a building site afterward would usually be a tall order.
Feargal Sharkey moves on from UK music org
Feargal Sharkey is to step down as chief executive of UK Music, the umbrella trade organisation for music in the UK, after three years in the job. The organisation, previously known as British Music Rights, represents live music and musicians, publishing and record companies.
Latest Call of Duty day-one sales hit $400m
Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has rung up sales totalling $400m (£250m) during the game's first day on sale.
Student cluster compo SMACKDOWN: Texas holds at 2-1
SC11Another few days of betting gives us a better view of how bettors handicap the SC11 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). So what do we see?
Stats king SAS surfs the analytics wave
BlogOne obvious beneficiary of the rush to embrace enterprise analytics and "Big Data" is the SAS Institute Inc (or just plain SAS – rhymes with "pass"), the granddaddy of statistical analysis software. But it can be argued that SAS doesn’t really need the analytics boom; they’ve been doing quite nicely up until now without it, mining their profitable niche for all it’s worth.
Ringtones still netting $2.1bn for music biz
Gartner's latest figures on the digital music industry show that downloads are growing, but while subscriptions are minimal, ring and ring-back tones are still netting $2.1bn, to general surprise.
Crooks lured investors with fake watchdog site
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has closed down a website that was using its content to dupe investors.
Deep-sea squid go from transparent to dark as fast as a Kindle
US-based scientists have left the tech world flabbergasted today with the discovery that living e-ink displays – very bit as responsive as those found in a Kindle or similar e-reader – have been found swimming about deep beneath the Pacific Ocean.
iOS upgrade swells iPhone battery-suckage grief
If you've experienced runaway battery suckage on your brand-spanking-new iPhone 4S, you won't be alone if you're still cursing your Cupertian smartphone after updating to Apple's supposed battery-fixing iOS 5.0.1.
Yelp update ridicules Republican (ex)-hopeful Rick Perry
Yelp has released an update for its iPhone app, and in doing so snuck in a not-too-subtle dig at Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry.
Fingerprint scanner can detect drugs in sweat
A prototype fingerprint scanner has been developed that can detect the presence of opiates, cannabis, or cocaine in the sweat on a user's fingertip.
Logitech CEO: Google TV a 'gigantic mistake'
The CEO of Logitech has slammed Google’s TV service and has said his company will not develop hardware for the platform in the future.
Duqu targeted each victim with unique files and servers
The creators of the Duqu malware that penetrated industrial manufacturers in at least eight countries tailored each attack with exploit files, control servers, and booby-trapped Microsoft Word documents that were different for each victim, according to research published on Friday.