6th > June > 2013 Archive

Telstra mulling asbestos-free future

In a move likely to last just as long as it takes for its bean-counters to beat its lawyers into submission, Telstra has reportedly told the government it is willing to consider the removal of all asbestos from its network.
Richard Chirgwin, 06 Jun 2013

Curiosity prepares for year-long road trip to Mount Sharp

Ever since landing on Mars, the Curiosity rover hasn't moved around that much – just 733 meters to date. But that's about to change as NASA prepares to send the rover on an eight-kilometer trek to the base of Mount Sharp.
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2013

Big Switch Networks quits OEM-led SDN scheme

Big Switch Networks, a startup with everything to gain from adoption of its software defined networking (SDN) technology, has left an SDN group dominated by traditional OEMs who had much to lose, after the group went with Cisco's tech over Big Switch's as the base of an SDN spec.
Jack Clark, 06 Jun 2013

Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

The USA's National Security Agency (NSA) has harvested all the call data from US mobile provider Verizon since April, according to a secret court order leaked to The Guardian.
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2013

Copyright troll Prenda Law accused of seeding own torrents

Prenda Law – whose odious scam was to find porn downloaders, and humiliate them into a payoff with the threat of exposure – may have been dismembered by the US legal system, but there's still some fun to be had dancing on its grave.
Richard Chirgwin, 06 Jun 2013

Raspberry Pi DUMBS DOWN to target world+dog

The Raspberry Pi was conceived of as a device so cheap that anyone could buy one, but also just raw enough that putting the computer to work would require users to learn a little about topics like installing operating systems and confronting BIOS settings.
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2013
Larger Envisat image of the Icelandic volcano ash plume 15 April 2010, 13.25 CEST. Credit: ESA

Boffins develop 'practically free' sulphur-powered batteries

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA have demoed a battery technology that makes two radical departures from the past: the main material is the superabundant sulphur, and it's an all-solid battery without a liquid electrolyte.
Richard Chirgwin, 06 Jun 2013
OpenStack logo

OpenStack head unworried by Dell, IBM, reversals

Imagine for a moment that you head a large enterprise software effort and two major partners stiff you in quick succession.
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2013

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock postpones Rockall holiday to 2014

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock has postponed his attempt to occupy Rockall until next year after the cruel sea ended his attempt to land on the Atlantic granite outcrop last Friday.
Lester Haines, 06 Jun 2013
Microsoft Exchange Server

LinkedIn snarfing contacts from Exchange

UpdateLinkedIn offers lots of chances for its users to hand over credentials so the social business network can suggest new connections. But a new offer to do so for Microsoft Outlook means contacts can be sucked out of Microsoft Exchange and exposed to the world.
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2013
Panasonic My Home Screen

Smart TVs riddled with DUMB security holes

It's been known for some time that “smart TVs” are dumb about security, but a German researcher has demonstrated that the stupidity goes so far as to enable remote snooping or even a takeover of the in-set computer.
Richard Chirgwin, 06 Jun 2013
Fighting Fantasy: Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos

Microsoft and FBI storm ramparts of Citadel botnets

The ZeuS-derived Citadel botnet, which rose to public prominence last year, is being progressively disabled by Microsoft and the FBI is on the hunt for its masters.
Richard Chirgwin, 06 Jun 2013
Doctor Nick Riviera

Hmm, you do look ill. I prescribe a good dose of mobile data

Adopting "mobile health" - the use of mobile technology as an interface between health providers and patients - could apparently save the EU €100bn by 2017, and make us €93bn too, if only governments would get out of the way and let it happen.
Bill Ray, 06 Jun 2013
Robot babe

Who wants a 'robot companion'? Look no further than Intel Labs

InterviewCan you imagine IBM Research ever developing a social robot companion? Intel CTO Justin Rattner can’t, but he’s happy for his own researchers to build one – and for the technology to find its way into the market. Eventually.
Joe Fay, 06 Jun 2013
Steve Jackson

Interview: Steve Jackson, role-playing game titan

FeatureThere aren’t many interviews – particularly when it comes to those offered because someone has a new video game to promote – that take place at the home of the interviewee. Such was the case, however, when I went to meet Steve Jackson. A man who, along with university chum Ian Livingstone, not only founded Games Workshop, but also coined the term Fighting Fantasy.
Mike Plant, 06 Jun 2013
Being haunted

All major UK ISPs prepping network-level porn 'n' violence filters

AnalysisTalkTalk - it would seem - has blazed an unlikely trail for Britain's big name ISPs by being the first telco to switch on network level filtering of web content. Now, after many months resisting the urge to apply such controls to their services, the other major providers - BSkyB, Virgin Media and BT - have all decided to follow suit.
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jun 2013
Amazon Video

Amazon reaping $600m a year in ad sales

Amazon made more than $600m from advertising last year and is on track to make $835m in 2013, thanks to knowing what we buy and not having to share the wealth.
Bill Ray, 06 Jun 2013

Publishers put a gun to our heads on ebook pricing, squeals Amazon

A top Amazon executive has said that publishers gave the etailer an "ultimatum" to let them set the price customers would be charged for ebooks.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 06 Jun 2013

MYSTERY Nokia image-mangling mobe spotted in public

More images of Nokia's so-called EOS Windows smartphone have popped out on the web, and this time they show what looks like a final industrial design with a PureView-like camera.
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jun 2013
Lyonesse I and II

Jack Vance: Science fiction’s master of magic, mischief and sex

ObituaryI was on holiday in the Mediterranean, finishing the third book in Jack Vance’s Cadwal Chronicles trilogy, when I heard of his death at the age of 96. Vance hadn’t written any major works for a few years, but readers and writers of science fiction will be nonetheless poorer for his passing on 26 May, 2013.
Tony Smith, 06 Jun 2013

Culture Sec: You - Google. Where's the off switch for all this filth?

The UK government wants the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft to do more to stop child-abuse images, hate speech and other offensive material appearing on their websites.
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jun 2013

Q10 India: Another last-chance saloon guzzle for BlackBerry

BlackBerry's last, best hope has launched in India to cautious reviews which like the hardware - but echo concerns that it's too little too late.
Bill Ray, 06 Jun 2013

Gourmet chemists sniff out ultimate cheese on toast

The splendidly monikered British Cheese Board has launched a search for the "perfect cheese on toast formula" - a quest that will nicely complement our own efforts to nail the ultimate bacon sarnie and pinnacle of cha perfection.
Lester Haines, 06 Jun 2013

Albert Einstein brings cheese and clean pyjamas to space station

The European Space Agency has launched another heavy-hauling ATV robot cargo podule on a mission to bring supplies of cheese and fresh pyjamas to the International Space Station.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 06 Jun 2013

Russian cops lack kit to fight cybercrooks, says Brit security buff

CyCon 2013A shift in perspectives in Russia over the last 18 months means the country has ceased to be a safe haven for cybercrime.
John Leyden, 06 Jun 2013
Rusty rail wagon

Network Rail axes hundreds of tech suppliers

Network Fail Rail has canned more than 260 IT suppliers after wrapping up all its tech requirements in a single framework with five hefty integrators.
Paul Kunert, 06 Jun 2013
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

Whitehall grants copyright pirates safe haven until 2015

Just as the Bahamas and Panama provide a safe haven for tax evasion, the UK will provide a safe haven for copyright pirates … until at least 2015.
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jun 2013

UK plods, Vietnamese feds cuff 11 in $200m cred-card forum blag swoop

British bobbies and Vietnamese rozzers have joined forces to smash a web forum allegedly dedicated to trading stolen credit card data.
Jasper Hamill, 06 Jun 2013
WD Sentinel DX4000

Western Digital promises long hot summer of S&M products

Western Digital’s SME business will expand on its Sentinel range over the summer, as it looks to step up from the S to the M part of the market
Joe Fay, 06 Jun 2013

BT links with Huawei raise national security concerns, say MPs

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has dismissed claims that its technology, which is used by BT, is a threat to the UK's national security.
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jun 2013

Amazon cloud database graduates into general availability

Amazon's cloudy database service has donned its cap and graduated into general availability, after three and a half years of dealing with data workloads.
Jack Clark, 06 Jun 2013

Obama administration defends mass call-data slurping

A senior White House official has said that the US National Security Agency is perfectly correct to be downloading the mobile metadata every US caller, and politicians on both sides of the political divide have rallied to defend the practice.
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2013

Google says it can predict movie box office with 94% accuracy

What makes a successful movie? Is it a good plot? Strong characters? Popular leading actors? Impressive special effects? Not necessarily, says Google – and moreover, the online giant says it's figured out how to predict a film's box office performance with up to 94 per cent accuracy.
Neil McAllister, 06 Jun 2013

Police 'stumped' by car thefts using electronic skeleton key

Police in California have admitted they are baffled by a series of car thefts where robbers use a small hand-held electronic device to unlock supposedly secure car-locking systems.
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2013
Google chairman Eric Schmidt, speaking at the 'How Green Is the Internet Summit'

Google's Schmidt calls climate-change deniers 'liars'

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has a low opinion of climate-change skeptics and global-warming deniers.
Rik Myslewski, 06 Jun 2013

Study: US iPhone owners tend to be rich, educated, white

Google's Android is the most popular smartphone platform in the US market as a whole, but wealthy, highly educated customers still prefer iPhones, according to a new study.
Neil McAllister, 06 Jun 2013

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