Friday 30 November 2012

No more fun and games for Zynga as Facebook cuts apron strings

Mummy, you're such a bitch ... bitch

Zynga can no longer cream off users from Facebook, after Mark Zuckerberg's company revised a lucrative deal the games outfit once had with the network.…

via The Register - Networks

US media helped anti-Muslim bodies gain influence, distort Islam

muslim rally

A study published by a sociologist has revealed that fear-mongering non-governmental anti-Muslim organisations have been heavily influencing US media since 9/11, their messages seeping into news articles and television reporting and drawing their ethos from the fringes, straight into the mainstream.

What's perhaps most troubling about the results is how these minor groups, which would ordinarily receive little or no air time, have gained an element of respect that has led to them receiving more funding and coupling with influential bodies. Their influence is such that they have even been able to paint mainstream Muslim organisations as radical, says the study.

By: Liat Clark, Edited by: David Cornish

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Get ahead with the 2013 F1™ Timing and Track Positioning App

The 2012 season may now be over, but for F1 fans eager to get ahead of the game, the official 2013 F1™ Live Timing and Track Positioning App from Soft Pauer is now available at a discounted rate for a limited time only*. Currently at just £17.99**, the only official F1 app is also the perfect gift for all F1 fans

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Japanese ultrasonic speakers fire out digital info rays

'SteganoSonic' system can transmit sound or data

Japanese boffins at Tokyo’s Keio university have been showing off new transmission technology which uses ultrasonic waves to send digital information in highly directional bursts.…

via The Register - Networks

Chinese buyers falling out of love with iPhones

Shunning Samsung, too, in favour of local brands like Xioami

Google famously failed to make a big dent in China and now it looks like Apple may be about to hit the Great Wall too, after new analysis of local sentiment found the fruity company out of favour with local consumers.…

via The Register - Networks

Thursday 29 November 2012

Voda fails again: network melts in Melbourne heatwave

‘Try turning it off and turning it back on again’

Vodafone is once again apologising to customers after an air-conditioner wilted as Melbourne temperatures hovered just under 40°C yesterday.…

via The Register - Networks

Syria cuts off internet and mobile communications

What dark deeds does the blackout hide?

Network monitors are showing that Syria has gone dark for internet traffic and mobile communications as rebel forces fight their way into the capital city of Damascus.…

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Broadband minister admits rural rollout by 2015 is 'challenging target'

Could £530m BDUK project hit the skids?

Broadband minister Ed Vaizey has confessed that the government's £530m pledge to deploy a faster fibre network to rural areas by 2015 is "a challenging target".…

via The Register - Networks

Spaniards Joyn together to hunt and kill the Skype monster

Grab Android pitchforks and flaming torches, compadres

Three Spanish operators have launched interoperable Joyn services, providing VoIP and IP messaging between networks in a belated attempt to take on the plethora of internet services stealing their customers.…

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Drivers play their cards right for charity

Playing cards signed by every Formula One driver on the 2012 grid are currently being auctioned online in aid of London's Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. The StarCards appeal is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and the signatures were gathered by F1 photographer Mark Sutton of Sutton Motorsport Images, who have supported the project since 2004

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ZTE make benefit glorious world's tiniest 4G dongle

Available in Kazakhstan now. Is very nice!

Chinese telecoms kit maker ZTE has bolstered its credentials in the 4G space with the launch of what it claims to be the world’s smallest LTE data card.…

via The Register - Networks

Half of us have old phones STUFFED in our drawers

Other half are presumably just glad to see you

Fifty-five per cent of Brits have an old handset or two lying about the place, as despite the charities happy to recycle them we're surprisingly reluctant to let them go.…

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Microsoft claims Windows Phone sales up 400%

App store bursting at the seams, too – or is it?

Speaking at the company's annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer waxed enthusiastic about Windows Phone 8, claiming sales were off to "a great start."…

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Inquiry ordered after phone exchange fire

Fire at Telstra's Warnambool exchange disrupted telecoms, earns government ire

The Australian government has launched an inquiry into the communications collapse that ensued after a fire engulfed a pivotal Telstra exchange last week.…

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Microsoft's promises slow upgrade for loyal Phone 7 customers

Getting Phone 8 in form, but not in function

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 users may not be able to upgrade their handsets to Phone 8, but an update promised by Redmond will make them look as though they have – though not until next year.…

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Wednesday 28 November 2012

WCIT leak: CHAOS will REIGN if telco talks fail

Dubai discussion of International Telecoms Regulations could also mean nothing

As delegates prepare for the intolerable privation of a five-star junket in Dubai to debate re-framing the decades-old International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), a leaked management briefing from September warns that chaos may reign if the talks don’t reach a consensus outcome.…

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DNS servers filled with wrong Kool-Aid, big names waylaid in Romania

Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, PayPal all graffiti'd

A hacker today redirected web surfers looking for Yahoo, Microsoft or Google to a page showing a TV test card by apparently poisoning Google's public DNS system.…

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'Microsoft to make its own Surface phones' - mutterings

Source of rumours predicted 5 of the last 2 surprises

Microsoft has, apparently, signed up with iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to build its own handset next year, extending the Surface brand into mobile telephony.…

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GigaPan's explorable images bring field trips to geology classrooms

The GigaPan tool

As I can attest firsthand, one of the biggest obstacles to getting students engaged in geology courses is being stuck in a classroom. It's a science meant to be taken in by striding up hills and with a liberal application of hammers. And while it's immensely beneficial to tackle the basic principles using simplified models and diagrams, it's hard to really appreciate them until you've seen them in the stony flesh, connecting with an unfamiliar Earth that's millions or even billions of years in the past.

In a world of tight class schedules and even tighter budgets, opportunities for excursions to the field are few, so the challenge is to bring as much of the outside world into the classroom as possible. Recently, a new tool has made it a little easier for educators to do just that.

By: Scott K. Johnson, Edited by: David Cornish

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Nokia RIM shot: Seeks royalties after winning wireless patent spat

Struggle for Apple-Samsung leftover scraps turns nasty

RIM's decision to take its Nokia patent licensing troubles to an arbitration tribunal has backfired somewhat, as the adjudicator found the Canadian firm wasn't sticking to its side of the cross-licensing bargain the two firms struck nearly 10 years ago.…

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Williams confirm Bottas and Maldonado for 2013

Williams have announced that Finnish test driver Valtteri Bottas will be promoted to a race seat for 2013, partnering Pastor Maldonado, who has been retained for a third season. Bottas, with Williams since 2010, replaces Bruno Senna in the team's line-up. "It has always been my life-long dream to compete in the Formula One world championship,” said Bottas, 23

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Speaking in Tech: WTF is Software Defined Networking, anyway?

SUSE joins Canonical and Red Hat in using Ceph to puff OpenStack cloud

Gets out Crowbar to pop it in

Now that OpenStack is a technically viable infrastructure cloud controller, all of the main Linux distributors are lining up to have a go.…

via The Register - Cloud

Fujitsu's canine cloud keeps pets petite

Canine health management the latest money-spinner from Japan

Japanese tech giant Fujitsu has tapped its considerable expertise in cloud and mobile computing to produce a canine health management system designed to stop pet dogs from getting too fat.…

via The Register - Cloud

Microsoft 'fesses up to Windows Phone 8 reboot bug

Patch coming in December

Windows Phone 8 users frustrated by their handsets' tendency to randomly reboot will soon be offered relief, after Redmond 'fessed up to the existence of a problem and promised a patch.…

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Your brain, the Internet and the Universe

Could there be a ‘universal law’ for network growth?

Correlation does not imply causation. However, some correlations are at least fascinating, and here’s one that’s getting a lot of attention: the apparent structural similarity between the growth of the universe, that of the human brain, and complex artificial networks like the Internet or Twitter.…

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Tuesday 27 November 2012

Melbourne IT looks to offload business units

Tough times for SME services

Battling disappointing trading results, Australian domain name custodian Melbourne IT is seeking buyers for some of its ailing business units.…

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Rogue Hurricane Sandy volunteers are redistributing wealth

sandy aftermath

New Yorkers weary of urban inequality have taken it upon themselves to pilfer equipment from luxury development sites in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and redistribute it to those in need. The group is operating offline because of recent government "zeal" for monitoring social network activity.

Speaking to, an anonymous member of the group said its targets are in the double digits, in Manhattan and almost exclusively luxury residential condo towers "financed with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the usual Wall Street banks".

The group began its deliberate redistribution of thousands of dollars worth of goods prior to Thanksgiving, after becoming frustrated with the lacklustre relief efforts on the ground following a storm that left thousands displaced, millions without electricity and caused an estimated $20 billion in damage to New York City alone.

By: Liat Clark, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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FCC: Let Dish deploy 4G? Imagine a $1bn pile of cash ... ON FIRE

LTE in sat-phone frequencies 'will turn public asset into private windfall'

Letting Dish roll out LTE into its satellite frequencies will obliterate the value of neighbouring radio spectrum that the US government hopes to sell for billions, said the FCC.…

via The Register - Networks

Nintendo launches Wii Mini with tiny price to tempt new gamers

Wii Mini

Not content with launch one new console before the end of the year, Nintendo is also going to launch the Wii Mini -- a smaller version of the company's six-year-old console that costs the equivalent of just over 60 quid.

The bad news is that it's going to be exclusive to Canada until next year, and so that price is drawn from the Wii Mini's $100 Canadian price.

By: Nate Lanxon, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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Nowhere to hide for Google users as Play is given Plus treatment

Anyone reviewing products now gets name, photo attached

Google is continuing its efforts to make anonymous posts on its services a thing of the past by forcing customers wishing to leave product reviews on its recently overhauled Android Marketplace online shop - now dubbed Play - to do so with their real name.…

via The Register - Networks

MIT smart room detects humidity, temperature and light for your comfort

The WristQue

Indoor spaces are getting smart; now they are embedded with sensors that monitor humidity, temperature and light. "The challenge is connecting to this nervous system," says Joe Paradiso, director of the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab. His solution: WristQue, a plastic wristband that gives you remote control over your surroundings (shown above, on its charging dock). The low-power, 16-bit device has buttons to control temperature and electronics, and a slider to adjust lighting. The building stores weekly usage patterns for each room; when people enter, it adjusts heat and light based on the previous week's data. When they leave, windows are closed and air conditioning is turned off, which cut energy use by a quarter during a three-week test.

WristQue can also identify who's in the space and automate their preferred conditions. What if some like it hot and others like it cold? Easy: "We give you a happy medium," says Paradiso.

By: Sam Scott, Edited by: David Cornish

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Data cops: Facebook privacy plans must be 'modified'

We don't need your consent ... bitch

Two privacy campaign groups have urged Facebook to rethink plans to change its terms of service, designed to help the social network squeeze more money out of ads. Meanwhile data regulators have stated that the plans will have to change so as to comply with privacy rules.…

via The Register - Networks

Eucalyptus pushes pedal to metal, turns cloud control knob up to 3.2

'Harder on the inside, softer on the outside'

Eucalyptus Systems, the company behind the open-source cloud controller of the same name, has just rolled out the 3.2 release of its software. With its latest release, it is sticking to its cloud fabric knitting and ramping up its business and customer base, and it certainly needs to get on top of this, especially while OpenStack and CloudStack are stealing all the headlines and Amazon's eating up all the oxygen in the cloud room.…

via The Register - Cloud

Network giants want software-defined network standards

Virtual networks coming to mobile and metro networks … and beyond!

Software-defined networking (SDN), the concept that's so hot VMware spent $US1.05 billion buying market leader Nicira, is on the way to becoming a standard for telecommunications networks.…

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GE study pimps ‘industrial Internet’

How’s that SCADA security going, gentlemen?

General Electric thinks that as much as $US15 billion could be added to global industrial output, merely by connecting global industrial operations to the Internet.…

via The Register - Networks

Monday 26 November 2012

Horsehead Nebula could be giant petroleum refinery

Horsehead nebula

Molecules discovered in the Horsehead Nebula hint that the region may function as a kind of gigantic natural petroleum refinery.

Observations made using the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy's (IRAM) 30 metre telescope have detected the presence of hydrocarbon molecule C3H+ in the Horsehead Nebula which sits around 1,300-1,500 light years from Earth in the constellation of Orion.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Liat Clark

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Phone with Facebook hardware button lobbed out by Nokia

Press this for instant adverts and jabber

Nokia's latest Series 40 blower, a dual-SIM model aimed at developing markets, has a Facebook button, the first device from the Finns to feature such an innovation.…

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Facebook tries to stop its staff using iPhones in 'dogfood' push

Need to appeal to the non-beret-wearing user

Facebook's campaign against the Apple iPhone has moved up a notch: staff are urged to grab an Android gadget and bug test the social network's mobile app as more punters plump for Google's operating system.…

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Nexus 4 actually has 4G: But only in Canada, and potentially ILLEGAL

Maple syrup-suppers dig up hidden functionality

The Nexus 4, Google's surprisingly cheap Android flagship, has another trick up its sleeve: an LTE radio which can be activated from some hidden settings.…

via The Register - Networks

Infographic: History's most influential people, ranked by Wikipedia reach


This infographic reveals the world's most influential people, born before 1950, using data from all language editions of Wikipedia. "It shows you how the world perceives your own national culture," says C├ęsar Hidalgo, head of the Media Lab's Macro Connections group, who researched the data. "It's a socio-cultural mirror."

Rankings are based on parameters such as the number of language editions in which that person has a page, and the number of people known to speak those languages (L/BN). "We use historical characters as proxies for culture," says Hidalgo. "It's easier to track knowledge about Shakespeare than about each of the characters he created in his writing."

By: Joao Medeiros, Edited by: David Cornish

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Ethan Zuckerman: 'Africa's hackers are today's world-class tech innovators'

Ethan Zuckerman

Growing up in the US, I didn't have much first-hand knowledge of technological progress in other countries. I assumed some countries were rich, which meant they had lots of cars, computers and electricity, whereas others were poor, which meant that most people cooked on charcoal, used kerosene for light and went through their lives without making a phone call. I'd developed a (not uncommon) cognitive shortcut: technological progress happens in parallel, so countries are high-tech or low-tech, never a blend of the two.

One trip to sub-Saharan Africa is all it takes to demonstrate the failings of this mental shortcut. Wireless ISPs were common in the Ghanaian capital of Accra before public Wi-Fi nodes were widespread in the US. My hacker friends in Lagos work from taxicabs, logging on to 4G networks. In Kenya, 70 percent of adults use M-Pesa, a phone-based payment system, to buy groceries and send money to family. On much of the African content, telecoms infrastructure is world class, whereas transport, power and other infrastructures lag far behind.

By: Ethan Zuckerman, Edited by: David Cornish

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Vettel wins 2012 DHL Fastest Lap Award

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company and a Global Partner of Formula 1, announced Sebastian Vettel as the winner of the DHL Fastest Lap Award for 2012 at a special handover ceremony ahead of the final Grand Prix of the year - the Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil 2012 - on Sunday

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Sunday 25 November 2012

FIA post-race press conference - Brazil

Drivers: 1 Jenson Button (McLaren), 2 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari). Podium interviews (Conducted by Nelson Piquet) Q: First of all, a question for the winner. For sure, you've done a fantastic job all year round? But the best race was the most exciting race I ever saw in Formula One. The question for you is, I'm sure you're very happy in this race, but are you happy also that you get Hamilton out of the way

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Race - Button first, Alonso second, Vettel champion

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel may have finished only sixth in a stunning Brazilian race on Sunday, as McLaren's Jenson Button headed the Ferraris of title rival Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa home, but it was enough to make him the first triple world champion since the late Ayrton Senna. Light rain made the start difficult, but then Vettel was spun through 180 degrees in Turn Four as he was hit by Bruno Senna's Williams, which then took out Sergio Perez's Sauber.

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Race - selected team and driver quotes

Williams' Bruno Senna and Sauber's Sergio Perez on very early ends to their races; McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg on their collision; Mercedes' Michael Schumacher on ending his final Formula One race in seventh; McLaren's Jenson Button on his cool-headed victory; Ferrari's Fernando Alonso on missing out on the title by three points; and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on claiming a third successive championship. The drivers and senior team personnel report back on Sunday's action…

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Paddock Postcard from Sao Paulo

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel may be fully focused on the main prize and the rest of the paddock may be feeling a little jaded after a 20-round season, but nowhere is a better tonic for reinvigorating the soul than the ever-atmospheric Interlagos. And as usual the paddock at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace was full of familiar faces from Brazil's racing scene. The country's first world champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, was joined by his brother Wilson and Wilson's son Christian, Nelson Piquet Sr also made an appearance, and was joined by fellow countrymen Maurizio Sandro Sala, Luciano Burti, Alex Ribiero, Rubens Barrichello, Ricardo Rosset and Lucas di Grassi, while racers from other shores included steward Tom Kristensen, Mexican former CART driver Adrian Fernandez who is managing soon-to-be McLaren driver Sergio Perez, Argentine Tarso Marques and Scot Allan McNish.

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Infiniti to become Red Bull Racing title sponsor

Red Bull Racing have agreed a four-year extension of their partnership with Infiniti, the premium automotive brand from Japan, which first began in March 2011. The increased agreement will see Infiniti become title partner from 2013, meaning Red Bull Racing's team name will become Infiniti Red Bull Racing from the start of next season

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The ‘subversive adult Disneyland’ where iPods track your every move

El Reg visits the Museum of Old and New Art, where IT budgets are boundless

David Walsh invented what he calls “a money mine”, and when he decided to spend some of its contents on an art gallery, he gave his IT team more than four years to provide the best visitor experience of any museum in the world.…

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Saturday 24 November 2012

Why 'slow light' might just save the Internet

Photonics lights a path to a high-speed, low-energy, Internet

If we want to keep expanding the performance and the reach of the Internet, we need an inflection point: otherwise, its electricity consumption will become catastrophic.…

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FIA post-qualifying press conference - Brazil

Drivers: 1 - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren); 2 - Jenson Button (McLaren); 3 - Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing). Q: Lewis, a fantastic pole position, it must give you great satisfaction, particularly in your final Grand Prix with McLaren. Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a good weekend so far. Grateful to be able

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Maldonado handed 10-place grid penalty

Williams' Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 10-place grid penalty by the Brazilian stewards after failing to bring his car to the weighbridge when called to do so by officials during Saturday's qualifying session. Maldonado, who had qualified in sixth, received a reprimand for the incident but because it was his third reprimand of the 2012 season, he was automatically dropped ten places on the Interlagos grid.

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Qualifying - Hamilton on pole for title decider in Brazil

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso now knows that he has a mountain to climb in Interlagos on Sunday afternoon if he is to beat Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to the title. As McLaren locked out the front row in qualifying at the Sao Paulo track on Saturday, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and Mark Webber outpaced Red Bull team mate Vettel, the Spaniard could do no better than eighth in his Ferrari.

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Qualifying - selected team and driver quotes

Lotus's Romain Grosjean on his clash with HRT's Pedro de la Rosa, which ruled him out in Q1; Mercedes' Michael Schumacher on missing out on a top-ten start for the last Grand Prix of his career after leaning towards a wet set-up; title contender Fernando Alonso on securing eighth on the grid; and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on locking out the front row for McLaren. All 24 drivers and senior team personnel report back on Saturday's action

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Final practice - Button pips Vettel at Interlagos

Jenson Button took over the pacesetting from McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session here at Interlagos on Saturday, which might be the last dry running on the track as rain is forecast this afternoon. Button set the pace all the way through, cutting down to 1m 13.188s on the medium Pirelli tyres. A late run from Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel put the defending champion second in 1m 13.245s, as team mate Mark Webber narrowly headed Hamilton with 1m 13.385s to 1m 13.389s.

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Ten amazing hacks from Music Hack Day London

Music Hack Day

Music Hack Day London was held at the Facebook offices on 17 and 18 November, 2012. The goal? To create, over the course of 24 hours, something amazing and innovative for digital music. We picked out ten favourites.


YouBox is a "gamification of the party experience", according to creators Panagiotis Tigas, Raul Santos-Rodriquez and Tijl De Bie. It's a mobile app where party attendees can request tracks, and offer feedback on what's playing. Interestingly, the software automatically identifies the best DJs among the partygoers.

By: Duncan Geere,

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StartupBus Europe heads to LeWeb


Entrepreneurs will be given just a few days to develop a startup from idea to working prototype aboard three StartupBuses heading to Paris for LeWeb.

One will be travelling from London, one from Spain, and one from a third wildcard country which was voted for by participants. The winner was Copenhagen, and its bus has been dubbed the VikingBus.

By: Duncan Geere,

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European Parliament votes to fight ITU internet power grab

Hey you, get off of my cloud

The European Parliament has passed a resolution protesting plans by the International Telecommunications Union to seize regulatory control of the internet.…

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Friday 23 November 2012

FIA Friday press conference - Brazil

Team representatives -Eric Boullier (Lotus), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber), Ross Brawn (Mercedes), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren). Q: Eric, first of all great news from you yesterday on the Burn sponsorship. Can you tell us a little more about it? Is it a title sponsorship? How big is it

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Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes

It was a busy day in Sao Paolo as the paddock made the best use of the dry weather to hone their set-ups and try out some prototype Pirelli tyres. By the end of play there was little to split the top teams with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton leading from the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. All the drivers, and senior team personnel, reflect on their early progress...

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Practice Two - Hamilton stays ahead for McLaren in Brazil

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton continued to dominate in Sao Paulo on Friday afternoon, finishing Practice Two 0.274s ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel as the top nine cars were again within a second of each other. Hamilton set his best time of 1m 14.026s on Pirelli's medium rubber, and Vettel got closest with 1m 14.300s before everyone switched to race runs. Behind them Mark Webber was again on strong form in the second Red Bull with 1m 14.523s as Felipe Massa yet again outpaced Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso with 1m 14.553s to 1m 14.592s.

via - Latest Headlines Podcast 102: Naked Scientists, killer robot ban, sad chimps

Wired podcast

This week the team discusses the proposed ban on fully automatic killer robots, the army saving rhinos in South Africa, Europe's plan to visit Mars and the BBC's sad plan to axe the show of some fellow podcasters.

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Institute of Ideas debate: can technology set us free?

The Battle of Ideas took place in a 'dinner party' setup

Can technology set us free? That was the title of the Battle of Ideas, held on 22 November by the Institute of Ideas -- a seemingly impossible question to answer in two short hours in a packed room at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Shining examples of the liberating power of tech touted in the opening remarks of the discussion, led by David Bowden, were of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic games -- spectacles of the innovation and technologies intimately entwined in the British story. The other side of that coin; had technology become a force that deprives people of their freedom, their raison d'etre, as the smartphone transform leisure time into work time?

By: David Cornish, Edited by: Liat Clark

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Practice One - Hamilton sets Sao Paulo standard

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton carried on where he left off last week in Texas, on top of the pile after first practice here at Interlagos on Friday morning. But the times were incredibly close as a second covered the fastest 11 cars. It was a slightly curious session as most drivers set their fastest times on Pirelli's prototype 2013 tyres and then switched back to the 2012 hard tyre, so after a certain point there were few significant improvements.

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Huawei hawks sub-hundred pound handset hupdate

Will the Android-based Ascend G330 be the new king of budget blowers?

Huawei's refreshed sub-£100 Android phone, the Ascend G330, will be available in the UK from early December, the manufacturer said today.…

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Pic moves from Marussia to Caterham for 2013

Charles Pic was announced on Friday as one of Caterham's race drivers for the 2013 season and beyond. The French driver joins the Anglo-Malaysian team on a multi-year contract after impressing in his first Formula One season with Caterham rivals Marussia. "I am very proud to be able to confirm that I am joining Caterham F1 Team next year and I'm looking forward to many seasons of successful racing cooperation

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Gutierrez lands 2013 race drive with Sauber

Sauber have finalised their 2013 line-up with confirmation that test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez is to be promoted to the team's second race seat. The 21-year old Mexican will partner Nico Hulkenberg, who joins Sauber from Force India. Dutchman Robin Frijns has also been signed as the Swiss squad's new test and reserve, leaving current racer Kamui Kobayashi, at Sauber since 2010, without a confirmed drive for 2013

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Apple's ambitious Campus 2 delayed until 2016

Apple's plans for their new Campus 2

Apple's impressive, futuristic-looking "spaceship campus" is lifting off later than planned.

The company's galactic headquarters, which will house 13,000 employees, was slated for completion in 2015, but that's been pushed back a year because Apple was late in delivering its second set of plans to the city of Cupertino. The company had hoped to break ground on the 0.71-kilometre square campus by the end of the year, but that probably won't happen until 2014 because Apple didn't file the revised proposal until November. It was due in September.

Oops. But don't think that's got anyone at City Hall upset.

By: Christina Bonnington, Edited by: David Cornish

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Ofcom: White Space. We're bloody serious this time. ONE YEAR

Could this be the future of ALL radio spectrum? Eh?

Ofcom has laid out the rules regarding White Space devices, kicking off a consultation process which could see devices on the shelves around the end of next year.…

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Apps-for-feature-phones leader BiNu scores more cash

$US4.3m to enter markets where feature phones still rule

Australian developed mobile platform biNu, which aims to give all mobiles access to smartphone apps, has secured a fresh round of VC funding to further expand into emerging markets.…

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Lenovo set for Chinese smartphone crown in 2013

Next stop the WORLD...

Chinese PC giant Lenovo is set to oust Samsung as the top smartphone manufacturer in the People’s Republic by next year, thanks to success at the mid-to-low end of the market, according to Gartner.…

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Hexing MAC address reveals Wifi passwords

Researcher says Belkin boxen at risk of simple substitution attack

The default WPA2-PSK passphrase used in some Belkin routers simply replaces a digit of the device’s MAC address with a hecxadecimal character, according to security blogger Jakob Lell.…

via The Register - Networks

Thursday 22 November 2012

FCC plans to make Twitter, mobile networks disaster proof

'It's an essential part of life'

The Federal Communications Commission is to have a series of talks around the US to figure out how to stop mobile network outages during natural disasters.…

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FIA Thursday press conference - Brazil

Drivers - Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Bruno Senna (Williams), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Q: A very important weekend for everybody, the final weekend of the championship and lots of pressure all round, apart, perhaps, from Michael Schumacher

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Data cops seek 'urgent clarification' on new Facebook advertiser plans

We advertise to you next to your own content ... bitch

Facebook never fails to whip up a frenzy about privacy each time it proposes changes to its personal-content advertising platform. This time around users are slowly starting to complain about the risk to security posed by the company's plans to help "improve the quality of ads."…

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RIM shares jump as analyst decides it isn't as dead as he thought

Could edge out Microsoft for last place, suspects chap

Analyst Peter Misek has told investors he thinks RIM could yet pull out of its nosedive, predicting a 20-30 per cent chance of BlackBerry 10 gaining significant market share.…

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Legal wigs to sort out rules on internet defamation and contempt

The law is the law, but we only have so many courts

In the wake of Lord McAlpine's lawyers threatening to sue thousands of Twitter users for libelling his name with false allegations of child abuse, as well as the multiple issues surrounding tweets that may be in contempt, the Attorney General has clarified that the same legal framework applies on the internet that applies offline.…

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McLaren: 2013 DRS changes will need two zones

FIA plans to limit DRS use in practice and qualifying next season to the designated DRS zones should not have a fundamental impact on how teams approach its usage - as long as there are two zones at each track. That is according to McLaren technical directory Paddy Lowe

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Plan to let you phone people up from within Facebook

Well, not you. Unless you happen to be French

Orange customers in France will soon be able to tap on a Facebook contact to give them a call, and even set up conferences, without sharing phone numbers with anyone.…

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Facebook wants to share your data across all its businesses


Facebook has unveiled data policy changes which would see the social media platform able to share user data with Instagram and other affiliate businesses.

Members of the site have been alerted to the proposed Data Use Policy via email, although the message focuses on how and where user data appears within the confines of Facebook and does not explicitly mention the affiliate information sharing clause.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Judge to Apple: You WILL tell Samsung what you got from HTC

Cupertino's US tax on smartphones likely to be flat

A US judge has told Apple it had better cough up its whole unredacted licensing agreement with HTC in the fruity firm's case against Samsung, a move that could help the Korean company fight a potential sales ban in the country.…

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US student suspended for refusing to wear school-issued tracker

The RFID tracker the pupil refuses to wear

A Texas high school student is being suspended for refusing to wear a student ID card implanted with a radio-frequency identification chip.

Northside Independent School District in San Antonio began issuing the RFID-chip-laden student-body cards when the semester began in the autumn. The ID badge has a bar code associated with a student's Social Security number, and the RFID chip monitors pupils' movements on campus, from when they arrive to when they leave.

Radio-frequency identification devices are a daily part of the electronic age -- found in passports and payment cards. Eventually they're expected to replace bar-code labels on consumer goods. Now, schools across the US are slowly adopting them as well.

By: David Kravets, Edited by: David Cornish

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London Underground platform Wi-Fi set to cost £2 daily for many

And will drop out once the train leaves for everyone

Virgin's underground Wi-Fi network, which stretches to platforms at 72 London Tube stations, will start charging from January: but customers on the right network will continue to get a free ride.…

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FIA press conference line-up - Brazil

The two title protagonists ahead of their final showdown, a seven-time champion ahead of his last Grand Prix, and a 21-time McLaren race winner ahead of his final outing for the team - add in two local heroes and it's a stellar cast for Thursday's media session. And on Friday top team bosses get their say in Sao Paulo. The line-up in full

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Cloud upstart Nirvanix bins another round of US sales bods

New sales boss broom sweeps out staff

Cloud storage biz Nirvanix has laid off some US sales staff as new veep Tina Gravel sweeps through the organisation.…

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Asus eyes China and Japan for private cloud growth

Hardware giant could tap BYOD with international expansion

Taiwanese hardware giant Asus has confirmed it’s eyeing expansion for its burgeoning enterprise cloud services business to China and Japan in 2013.…

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Pakistan bans 'immoral' late night mobe deals

Whatever you're talking about late at night, Pakistan doesn't want to hear it

Pakistan's Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has banned mobile packages offering cheap late night calls after deeming that they go against the country’s “values”.…

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Wednesday 21 November 2012

Amazon EC2 cloud does Windows Server 2012

Cloudy OS-on-Elastic Beanstalk action

Microsoft wants you to build your clouds out of the new Windows Server 2012 operating system, and it wants you to run applications on its Windows Azure cloud, too. But if it can't get you to go all-Redmond, then it will settle for you running Windows Server 2012 on Amazon's cloudy competition, the EC2 compute cloud and the Elastic Beanstalk autoscaling feature for it.…

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Samsung brews half-asleep OCTO CORE phone brain MONSTER

Set to burst upon a terrified world late in 2013

Samsung will tear the wraps off an eight-core ARM processor in February although half of the chip will spend most of its life asleep.…

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Google to UN: Internet FREEDOM IS FREE, and must remain so

Fears 'secretive' govs plan to make it pay for stuff

Google has attacked a "closed-door meeting" of United Nations' regulators organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) taking place next month. The Chocolate Factory claimed that some of the proposals to overhaul the 1988 comms treaty could be bad news for free speech.…

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Governments register objections to .wtf, .islam and .baby TLDs


An international panel representing a selection of governments from around the world has registered more than 240 objections to proposed generic top level domains including .wtf, .baby and .islam.

The Governmental Advisory Committee has contacted each applicant directly with an Early Warning notice which generally asks for further information or requests clarification but in some cases advises withdrawal of an application.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Liat Clark

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Dish: With these restrictions, FCC, you are totally crippling us

H Block? Chopping block more like, snivels wouldbe cellco

FCC Chair Julius Genachowski has said that Dish Networks will get its licence for a US mobile network, but with restrictions that the company claims will fatally undermine its business.…

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Skype 3.0 lands on Android tabs, says all your bass are belong to it

And heeyy, take a look at this cool Microsoft login ...

Skype for Android is up to version three, promising better sound and tablet-friendly menus along with Microsoft account sign-in as Redmond continues to merge user accounts.…

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Nokia HERE iOS maps app review

Can the Finnish phone firm solve Apple's navigation woes?

There’s never been a better time to publish a mapping app for iOS. Apple’s own Maps app is a laughing stock and Google is apparently dithering over whether to bother submitting an app version of its mapping solution for Apple’s approval, or lack thereof. So Nokia has stepped into the breach with HERE, a re-branded version of its highly-regarded Maps navigation offering.…

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Another not very long period of time, another GiffGaff collapse

Bumbling mobile service tumbles into gutter again

O2's cut-price operation GiffGaff is down again, with customers unable to make outgoing calls for the last half hour - and no sign of a fix in sight.…

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How to understand a smile


If a computer can spot a fake smile, so can you. Last May, MIT researcher Ehsan Hoque trained a machine algorithm to analyse smiles. "Our algorithm was almost twice as good as humans at identifying fake smiles," says Hoque.

Here are some tips on how to spot a fake, from Hoque's machine.

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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MIT's 'Slam Force Net' quantifies the power of a slam dunk

How hard is a slam dunk?

How hard does star US basketball player Kobe Bryant dunk? Add aerospace tech to a basketball net and you can find out, right down to the joule.

The Slam Force Net, by MIT researchers Dan Novy and Santiago Alfaro, quantifies dunks. The pair replaced the string net with carbon-impregnated silicon rubber used for O-ring drive-belts in the aerospace industry. Its electrical resistance changes as it stretches; this change is measured to derive a calculation of how much energy, in joules, the dunk adds.

By: Tom Cheshire, Edited by: David Cornish

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Architect turns busy urbanites into farmers in their spare time

Urban farming

Architect Jennifer Broutin wants to turn busy urbanites into farmers in their spare time. "Imagine if people in your neighbourhood grew food in small quantities," she says. "We could change the way good, fresh food is produced and distributed in cities." So Broutin, a graduate student at MIT's Changing Places lab, built a little patch of synthetic land -- a 30cm squared module that can be installed in even the smallest home.

Each module, called a SeedPod, is made of a reflective plastic fitted with discs of neoprene, a black rubber into which seeds are planted. "You don't need any soil or water, because we provide water and nutrients in the form of a misted spray," says Broutin, 30.

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Laser-thinned Scotch tape used as tiny robotic claw

Tape claw

Strips of laser-thinned Scotch tape have been adapted to create a robotic claw capable of collecting small liquid samples.

The claw -- not dissimilar to toy grabbers in amusement arcades -- is the work of engineers at Purdue University and uses four strips of tape to create a functional and low-cost mechanism which could be used to collect biochemicals or bacteria from water.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

Got an amazingly huge coat with pockets too far away?

Bluetooth has achieved its dream of being in a remote control, sadly it’s a remote for a mobile phone and not a TV, but surely a step in the right direction.…

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US federal transport crash investigators ditch BlackBerry for iPhones

Hm, this train wreck seems to involve RIM in some way

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has followed other federal agencies in ditching Blackberry for iPhone.…

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Pocket Wi-Fi hotspots paralyse Chinese metro lines

Using free band to run trains oddly didn't turn out well

Shenzhen Metro is blaming customer Wi-Fi for disruptions to its service. The subway system for the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China, depends on the unlicensed 2.4GHz band to link up its signalling systems.…

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Nearly 90% of SAP customers find its cloud pricing confusing

Can't you make this fog more transparent, plead users

SAP users don't understand the software giant's cloud pricing and more than half think the firm is not offering enough incentives to move online.…

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UN: APAC is world's most digitally divided region

Urges massive investment in land and under-sea fibre

The Asia Pacific region is the world's most digitally divided, with huge investment in land and sea-based fibre optic networks and improved public-private partnerships necessary to close the gap between the haves and have-nots, the UN has said.…

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Tuesday 20 November 2012

Facebook starts going encrypted by default in North America

Only WE are allowed to spy on you ... bitch

Facebook is finally deploying secure browsing for its 1-billion-strong userbase over the coming weeks.…

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Brussels blesses British BDUK broadband boost blurt

£530m cash prizes cleared for largely one-horse races

Maria Miller's mercy dash to Brussels earlier this month appears to have paid off, after the European Commission confirmed today that it had cleared £530m in state aid investment for broadband deployment in the UK - along with what appear to be limp-wristed concessions.…

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Microsoft's OWN tests on Kin 'social phone' foretold its doom

'Kin hell, is it 'cos I didn't touch it enough? - tester

Videos purporting to show Microsoft's internal testing of Kin show just how bad it was, and make Redmond's decision to launch the social phone all the more remarkable.…

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HTC: $8 per phone for Apple patents? We're not CRAZY!

Still won't give Samsung the juice on what it's forking out though

HTC has rubbished claims that it's paying $6 to $8 per Android phone to keep Apple off its back.…

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EE touts 4G Sim-only tariffs

How do its one-year contracts compare with rival offerings?

EE - currently the UK's only 4G network provider - has launched Sim-only plans touting one-year contracts for as little as £21 a month.…

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Nokia launches comprehensive maps and navigation app Here for iOS

Here maps app

Nokia has launched its own global maps and navigation app on Apple's iOS devices -- simply called Here -- built on its Navteq database of locations and traffic reports.

The app uses the same database as Nokia's previous Maps product, which Here replaces, and which has been well-liked as an alternative to Google Maps by numerous critics.

By: Nate Lanxon, Edited by: Liat Clark

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Brain-controlled helicopter comes to Kickstarter

Puzzlebox Orbit

A brain-controlled helicopter project is hoping to make the move from classrooms to homes with the help of some Kickstarter capital.

As well as getting a product to market, Puzzlebox, the company behind the mindcopters, are also keen to promote education around mind-controlled devices and will release guides and software to make it easy for owners as young as ten to understand -- and eventually rebuild and modify -- their helicopters.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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Six-Forty by Four-Eighty: physical pixel art

Copy and paste with pixels

Can you copy and paste in real life? Marcelo Coelho and Jamie Zigelbaum wanted to do exactly that with Six-Forty by Four-Eighty, an interactive light installation. "A lot of the experience people have with computers happens through displays, through screens," Coelho says. "So we created these pixels that are physical objects." Each "pixel" is a self-contained unit, with a circuit board, microbattery, controller, an RGB LED and wireless communication system inside.

By: Tom Cheshire, Edited by: David Cornish

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Google's autonomous driving programme hires US government policy expert

Google's autonomous cars programme has gained a vital federal link

Google's autonomous driving programme might have engineers, technicians and lobbyists working overtime to bring self-driving cars to the world, but it's been missing one very important post: a government policy expert.

That will be rectified come 7 January 2013, when Ron Medford, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) deputy director, takes a position at Google as the company's Director of Safety for Self-Driving Cars.

By: Damon Lavrinc, Edited by: David Cornish

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Microsoft to power data centre with sewage-sourced methane

Microsoft plan to power their data centre with biogas collected from sewage

After years of careful research, Microsoft has uncovered the data centre's long-lost cousin: the sewage treatment plant.

On 19 November, the software giant announced that it will invest $5.5 million (£3.5 million) in a futuristic data centre -- called the Data Plant -- that will be completely powered by methane harvested from the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. That's right, it will convert poo into computing power.

By: Robert McMillan, Edited by: David Cornish

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'The People's' cell operator to offer expensive data - but it's for cheridee

Can't be bothered having a phone and making donations?

A new mobile phone network in the UK will give a quarter of its profits to charity.…

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Platform clouds generating more noise than cash

All the action is in SaaS and IaaS – and advertising

There's a lot of talk about infrastructure and platform cloud services, but thus far the cloud biz is a relatively small portion of the $3.6 trillion in global IT spending. But its share is growing fast, and that has a lot of people excited and waving their hands a lot.…

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Monday 19 November 2012

Dish flirted with MetroPCS, but went home with Google in the end

Just wants someone to fill its virginal spectrum

Dish offered $4bn for MetroPCS, hoping to seduce the operator with cash, but is seemingly consoling itself in the arms of Google while the former object of its affections is jumping in to bed with T-Mobile.…

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DoCoMo tests blackout-proof hydrogen cell base station in Japan

Ready for the next tsunami

Nokia Siemens Networks, working with Ballard Power Systems, has delivered a cellular base station with an integrated hydrogen cell that replaces battery- or generator-based backup during a power outage.…

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Teams to trial 2013 prototype Pirelli tyres in Brazil

In addition to their normal allocation, the Formula One teams will have two extra sets of next year's prototype Pirelli tyres at their disposal for Friday's free practice sessions in Brazil this weekend, in order to give them an idea of the characteristics of the Italian firm's 2013 rubber. “With no testing until February otherwise, this will be an extremely valuable opportunity for them to see what our new tyres are like as they finalise their 2013 cars

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Apple iCloud collapse forces fanbois to shower, meet face-to-face

Put some shoes on, iMessage, FaceTime is down

Apple's iCloud servers conked out for roughly five hours last night, knackering online chat services iMessage and FaceTime, and iCloud storage.…

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Water-repellant planes for ice-free flights

Plane in cold weather

A super water-repellant coating for planes is being developed to help planes fly safely through icy weather.

The hydrophobic coating would be applied to the whole plane and could help prevent the buildup of ice deposits which disrupt the movement of the craft.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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Windows Phone 8 reboot woe causes outpouring of forum misery

Bloody thing keeps reboo / god dammit, back aga / ...

Early adopters of Windows Phone 8 hardware are complaining that it reboots at random, up to several times a day, and that they're not being offered any prospect of a quick fix.…

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FreeD: a stabiliser for first-time sculptors

A stabiliser for first-time scupltors

FreeD is a tool for wannabe Rodins who don't have time to learn the craft. "I was fascinated by sculpting, but couldn't spend ten hours a day for five years to develop the skill," says Amit Zoran, a computer engineer at the Media Lab's Responsive Environments group. "So I thought of borrowing this ability from a computer."

Zoran, 36, developed the FreeD: a handheld tool that allows you to sculpt freely from a foam block, while software prevents you from making mistakes. Trackers on the tool's head are connected to a CAD model to monitor your handiwork. If the tracker pushes past a geofenced boundary, the tool pulls itself back; if you keep pushing, it turns itself off. Zoran's goal is to bring the artist's hand back into digital fabrication, allowing for a freedom of artistic expression -- backed with the precision of CAD. "The element I'd like to preserve is the quality of authenticity," he says. "There's a very rich literature discussing the importance of craft to the individual and to society. But in a modern environment we lose it, we replace everything by machine because they are much more efficient."

By: Jeremy Kingsley, Edited by: David Cornish

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MMORPG study reveals gamer loyalty conditions

Online gaming

A study of MMORPG players has revealed that loyalty to a particular game depends on socialising, collaboration and control.

The University of Buffalo study investigated why players remained involved and engaged with titles such as World of Warcraft while other massively multiplayer online role playing games struggled to make a dent in the marketplace.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Liat Clark

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COTA shines on triumphant F1™ return to US

After a five-year absence from the United States, Formula One racing was greeted by packed grandstands and an incredible atmosphere as it arrived at its new Texan home, the spectacular Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin. Some of those closest to the inaugural event explain why Sunday's Grand Prix was the start of something big

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Cisco to acquire Meraki for $1.2bn

Payday for Google as Cisco establishes cloud networks division

Cisco has acquired cloud rival Meraki.…

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Brazil preview quotes - Sauber on Sao Paulo

After the newest venue on the calendar, the paddock moves rapidly south to one of its oldest - Sao Paulo's Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace at Interlagos - for a season finale that will decide the destiny of the 2012 drivers' title. Those involved in the Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil 2012 discuss their prospects

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Freeview to be nudged down to clear 5G bands in 2018

Until then, tons of room for HD telly and White Space

Freeview will get bumped down the dial to make way for 5G networks around 2018, but in the meantime we'll get a bunch more HD TV and plenty of White Space to play in.…

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Dodging costly common cloud pitfalls: YOU vill ask ze qvestions

Unt ve shall profide ze answerss, ja?

Whether it’s public, private, or hybrid, there is an emerging consensus that various forms of cloud computing will have a role to play in the future of IT delivery.…

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Chinese regulator pays to bust state internet monopoly

Command economics will see state-funded take on state-owned telcos

China’s broadcasting regulator is set to launch a new government-financed broadband and cable TV service provider with a mission to break the monopoly of the country’s three telecoms giants … all of which are also state-owned.…

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Red Bull: Third constructors' title a 'proud moment'

Sunday's United States race did not go exactly to plan for Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel losing out on victory and Mark Webber retiring, but the result did secure the team the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship for constructors. It is Red Bull's third successive title, making them only the fourth constructor in Formula One history to have achieved the feat

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Cisco to acquire Meraki: report

Payday for Google as Cisco acquires cloud-driven network rival

Cisco has acquired cloud rival Meraki, according to a report.…

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Sunday 18 November 2012

FIA post-race press conference - United States

Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (1st), Sebastian Vettel (2nd), Fernando Alonso (3rd) Podium interviews (conducted by Mario Andretti) Q: Lewis, I know you really tormented Sebastian for most of the race but you have the resolve and did a fabulous race. What I'm interested in, give me some reaction, your reaction to the circuit. Obviously everything's new, first winner, first time winner and all of that.

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