14th > December > 2012 Archive


Google gives fat fingers the flick before they click

Google has admitted what an awful lot of people have learned first-hand (or perhaps first-finger): in the cramped environs of a smartphone's screen, it’s easy to mistakenly click on an ad.
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2012

HP pretexting affair ends with jail time for last player

The HP pretexting scandal has finally ended, with the last person involved getting three months in prison for illegally accessing the phone records of journalists.
Iain Thomson, 14 Dec 2012

Polish man mistakes hot iron for mobe

The scenario sounds familiar: your significant other heads out, so you decide to relax with some sport on the tellie, a beer and, because you don't want to be found out as a total layabout, out comes the iron to press a shirt or two.
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2012

N. Joseph Woodland, inventor of the barcode, dies at 91

ObituaryThe inventor of the bar code, Norman Joseph Woodland, has died at his home in New Jersey at the ripe old age of 91.
Iain Thomson, 14 Dec 2012

Dexter malware targets point of sale systems worldwide

You could be getting more than you bargained for when you swipe your credit card this holiday shopping season, thanks to new malware that can skim credit card info from compromised point-of-sale (POS) systems.
Neil McAllister, 14 Dec 2012
A self-portrait taken by the curiosity rover

NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

NASA has published a long and detailed explanation of just how its Curiosity rover managed to take a self-portrait.
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2012

Analyst offers cut-price fondleslab recipe

SSA Digital is a little-known Chinese company that is very good at two things.
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2012

GlobalFoundries CEO: Europe must 'wake up' and help industry

The CEO of chip-baker GlobalFoundries, Ajit Manocha, believes that European Union bureaucrats – "Brussels," as he refers to them – need to "wake up" or the continent's industrial base will suffer.
Rik Myslewski, 14 Dec 2012

Suspected fake internet cop trio collared by real cops

UK cops have arrested three people in Staffordshire on suspicion of running a ransomware scam that fooled victims into paying £100 fines.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012

Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

VidResearchers from the University of Sydney have explained why a spring dropped from a height - in this case the toy “slinky” – appear to ignore the force of gravity for a time.
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2012

Sniff.. Phew! WORLD'S OLDEST CHEESE discovered in Poland

Ancient cheese-making technology has been discovered in Poland - proving Man was making proto-mozzarella approximately 8,000 years ago.
Anna Leach, 14 Dec 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III Android smartphone

The best smartphones for Christmas

This was the year the smartphone wars really got hot, both on the high street and in the courts. Of course the former was a driving force behind the latter: neither Apple nor Microsoft gave a toss about Android’s alleged patent infringements - real or imaginary, reasonable or ridiculous - until handsets running Google’s mobile OS started selling like cheeseburgers in a famine zone.
Alun Taylor, 14 Dec 2012

Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza 'bigger than North Sea oil'

AnalysisThe government has given the go-ahead for further exploration of the UK's shale gas reserves. Independent surveys suggest these reserves may yield more energy for the nation than North Sea oil.
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Dec 2012

Spanish airport cops seize cocaine-packed Bulgarian airbags

A 20-year-old Panamanian woman was cuffed at Barcelona Airport earlier this week for packing over a kilo of Bolivian marching powder in two Bulgarian airbags.
Lester Haines, 14 Dec 2012
anonymous logo

UK cops: How we sniffed out convicted AnonOps admin 'Nerdo'

Analysis of IRC logs and open source intelligence played a key role in the successful police prosecution that led up the conviction of a member of Anonymous for conspiracy to launch denial of service attacks against PayPal and other firms.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012

Apple confirms Amazon ebooks bendover, EU watchdog drops bone

Four of the major publishers – Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and the Hachette Book Group – and Apple have agreed to pacify Eurocrats by changing their electronic book terms. The offer, discussed here back in September, was formally accepted yesterday.
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Dec 2012
Apple II with monitor and floppy-disk drives

The 30-year-old prank that became the first computer virus

To the author of ‪Elk Cloner‬, the first computer virus to be released outside of the lab, it’s sad that, 30 years after the self-replicating code's appearance, the industry has yet to come up with a secure operating system.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012

'It’s called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this'

QuotwThis was the week when the Snoop Charter to implement 1984 conditions on Brits online was scrunched up into a tiny little ball and punted out the door by MPs and peers.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 14 Dec 2012

Kelway splits with COO Lamey after six months

Kelway has parted company with chief operating officer Steve Lamey just six months into his tenure.
Paul Kunert, 14 Dec 2012

John Lewis agrees to flog Microsoft's Surface RT tablets

Microsoft has brought in premium retailer John Lewis to flog its Surface RT slablet just days after shooting down its pure direct sales strategy.
Paul Kunert, 14 Dec 2012
Lilienfeld's transistor

Happy birthday, Transistor

The transistor, the ubiquitous building block of all electronic circuits, will be 65 years old on Sunday. The device is jointly credited to William Shockley (1910-1989), John Bardeen (1908-1991) and Walter Brattain (1902-1987), and it was Bardeen and Brattain who operated the first working point-contact transistor during an experiment conducted on 16 December 1947.
Tony Smith, 14 Dec 2012

Management gobble food-tracing-by-Microsoft firm Anglia

The management at Anglia Business Solutions has completed a £6m buyout of the Cambridge-based Microsoft Gold partner.
Paul Kunert, 14 Dec 2012

UN telecoms talks FOUNDER as US, UK, Canada and Aussies quit

WCIT2012The ITU's new binding treaty on regulating the internet and global communications is effectively dead in the water after Western nations including the US, UK, Canada and Australia refused to sign it.
Bill Ray, 14 Dec 2012
Windows 8 tiles

Windows 8: At least it's better than ‘not very good’

Something for the Weekend, Sir?By the pricking of my thumbs, and by the noisy crowd booking out half the pub, the wickedness of office party season has kicked in big time. Certainly, 'tis the season to be jolly and to suffer the indignities of itinerant workers debasing themselves in order to get invited.
Alistair Dabbs, 14 Dec 2012

Stephen Hawking pushes for posthumous pardon for Alan Turing

Peers and scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking are once again pushing for an official pardon for codebreaker Alan Turing.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 14 Dec 2012

UK.gov hires data-handling privatisation point man as CTO

The Cabinet Office has promoted its ICT futures wonk - Liam Maxwell - to the role of chief technology officer.
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Dec 2012

Assange voted in to play John McAfee in upcoming blockbuster

Reader pollJulian Assange™ is the natural choice to play John McAfee in a movie of the anti-virus pioneer's colourful life, according to a poll by Reg readers.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012

UK.gov backs away from ISP level filtering plan to protect kids

The government has decided to stop short of forcing telcos to filter websites at a network level, after discovering that there wasn't a major "appetite" for such a system among parents who want to prevent their kids from accessing supposedly inappropriate material online.
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Dec 2012

NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON

VidNASA's twin lunar-orbiting GRAIL spacecraft are preparing to smash into the surface of the Moon as a final send-off.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 14 Dec 2012

Next IPCC climate assessment due 2014 now everywhere online

A draft of the United Nations organisation's fifth climate report (IPCC AR5), due to be completed 2014, has been leaked onto the internet.
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Dec 2012

Pentagon hacker McKinnon will NOT be prosecuted in the UK

Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon will not be prosecuted in the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced in the past hour.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012

Dragons' Den badboy's biz Expansys is soaked in red

The recovery at Expansys - the consumer electronics etailer owned by Dragons' Den meanie Peter Jones - has proved shortlived.
Paul Kunert, 14 Dec 2012

Microsoft puts off fees overhaul... the resellers are restless

Microsoft has postponed the UK implementation of a rebate rejig in response to biting partner feedback.
Paul Kunert, 14 Dec 2012

iPhone 5 launches in China, late and expensive. Chinese say 'meh'

The iPhone 5 has finally launched in China, but reaction has been lukewarm.
Anna Leach, 14 Dec 2012

Dutch script kiddie pwns 20,000 Twitter profiles

A Dutch teenager successfully hijacked 20,000 Twitter profiles to post a message dissing their owners for being slack with security.
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2012
Convirture logo

Convirture finally control freaks ESXi hypervisor

Convirture, one of the early entrants to put out virtualization and cloud management tools, has finally done what it has needed to do for years to break into the big-time with enterprises: Support VMware's ESXi hypervisor with its ConVirt control freak.

Bolshy investor sinks teeth into weakened Emulex, tears off another chunk

Under-performing storage network adaptor outfit Emulex is being stalked by activist hedge fund investor Elliott Management, run by billionaire Paul Singer. Elliott snaffled up an extra 1.34 per cent stake in the firm to bring its slice up to 11.3 per cent, making it the largest shareholder. This represents the best hope for Emulex investors angry at its $130m bid for Endace. Is an Elliott bid for Emulex coming?
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2012

Microsoft: IE mouse tracking vuln no big deal. Sort of...

Microsoft has dismissed allegations that Internet Explorer can allow attackers to track the position of the user's mouse cursor, arguing that the original report was self-serving and that the observed behavior does not represent a credible threat.
Neil McAllister, 14 Dec 2012

Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has written to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asking for a rethink of the rules governing the use of in-flight electronics, and has threatened legislation if the agency won't shift its position.
Iain Thomson, 14 Dec 2012

iPad mini to outsell iPad, get Retina Display? iPad to slenderize?

It was close. We Apple fanbois nearly had to endure an entire week without an iPad rumor, but as the week drew to a close those intrepid rumor-mongers at DigiTimes gifted us with two – in the same brief article, no less – and NPD Display Search added a third.
Rik Myslewski, 14 Dec 2012

Police use 24/7 power grid recordings to spot doctored audio

Forging audio recordings is a lot harder than it used to be, thanks to a new method of authenticating recordings based on the buzz of the electrical power grid at the time they were recorded.
Neil McAllister, 14 Dec 2012

Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

Police in New Hampshire have defended the tasering of a 44-year-old woman by one of its officers after she refused to leave a local Apple Store.
Iain Thomson, 14 Dec 2012

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