Thursday 31 January 2013

Competition watchdog seeks NBN forecast data

Access debate rolls on

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is setting itself the task of analysing the revenue forecasts for Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), and has written to NBN Co requesting the release of a bunch of data to help.…

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Marussia to launch MR02 at first Jerez test

Marussia have announced that their 2013 car, the Cosworth-powered MR02, will be revealed to the media at the start of next week's first pre-season test session in Spain. The car will be rolled out in the Jerez pit lane early on Tuesday morning, before making its track debut in the hands of British rookie Max Chilton

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McLaren: We've taken an ambitious approach to new car

McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale says the team have taken an 'ambitious' approach to their new car, the MP4-28. Speaking at the unveiling of McLaren's 2013 challenger at the squad's headquarters in Woking, UK, Neale said that the team will benefit from a less conservative strategy. “In order to fight for wins and to fight for the championship you have to develop throughout the year and go deep into the season,” he said

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WORLD temporarily FREED from BURDEN of TWITTER!

Productivity surges ahead as some work finally gets done

Twitter is broken for an unknown number of its 500-million-strong userbase.…

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Button: McLaren will bring out best in Perez

Jenson Button was full of praise for new team mate Sergio Perez at the launch of McLaren's 2013 car, the MP4-28, on Thursday, suggesting that the best is very much yet to come from the young Mexican driver. Perez, widely known in the paddock as 'Checo', finished tenth in the 2012 standings for Sauber, scoring three podiums along the way

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Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

* Delete as appropriate depending on mobile OS allegiance

Startling figures show that iPhone owners pay bigger phone bills - but the stats are silent as to whether that's because they make a lot of calls or are just too stupid to notice.…

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Nokia tries its luck with a sub-£150 Win Phone 8: The Lumia 620

But will the colours distract Apple from the rounded corners?

Nokia’s latest budget smartphone brings the price of admission to Windows Phone 8 below the £150 mark. From today O2 will sell the Lumia 620 at £149.99 on pay-as-you-go, a bargain considering what’s inside. The network will also chuck in an additional free colour cover.…

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Single pixel camera makes 3D ghost image

Single pixel image

A single pixel device which can record three-dimensional images has been built at the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics in China.

Single pixel "cameras" are already capable of of generating two-dimensional pictures through a process known as ghost images but the team in China have used a timed laser pulse to give the system the ability to detect spatial arrangements.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Liat Clark

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Button and Perez unveil the McLaren MP4-28

The wraps came off McLaren's 2013 car on Thursday morning, as drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez revealed the Mercedes-powered MP4-28 at the team's UK base in Woking. Following a cavalcade of historic machinery from McLaren's past - the team celebrate their 50th anniversary this year - Button and Perez entered driving the company's latest road cars, before uncovering their new F1 challenger

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BT inks 2 more gov-funded broadband deals

But work WON'T be done 'til 2016

BT bagged two more government-subsidised broadband contracts on Wednesday, when it confirmed that work on those separate rural projects would not be completed until 2016.…

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Warcraft movie gets acclaimed sci-fi director Duncan Jones

World of Warcraft

Duncan Jones has been announced as the director of Legendary Pictures' live-action World of Warcraft movie.

The project has been in the works since 2006 when Legendary acquired the film rights to Blizzard's franchise and was previously assigned to Sam Raimi.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Horner extends Red Bull contract

Christian Horner is to remain as Red Bull team principal for the foreseeable future after renewing his contract with the reigning world champions. A team spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that Red Bull have agreed a multi-year extension to Horner's contract, as their partnership with the Briton prepares to enter its ninth F1 season

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Forget cupcakes: What you find on Facebook and Twitter is TARTS

Social marketing - that poke could go viral

Sex trade workers have taken to using Facebook and Twitter as a 21st Century phone box by posting calling cards on the networks that show them clearly touting for business.…

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Wednesday 30 January 2013

RIM ends Reg headline pun filth (and launches two new phones)

They were all RIMmed out, anyway. Plus: specs for new BlackBerry OS 10 mobes

As expected, RIM today launched its much-delayed QNX-powered smartphone operating system, BlackBerry OS 10, along with two new handsets. The Canadian company also changed its name from Research In Motion to BlackBerry along the way.…

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US retail kingpins swoon: Nobody bonks like Google does

Ad giant will win the e-wallet war - survey

US retailers reckon Google will end up dominating the pay-by-bonk/eWallet business, sidelining PayPal and bypassing operator-backed ISIS simply because the Google Wallet juggernaut is unstoppable.…

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RIM blows on the dice, gets ready for its FINAL THROW

Desperate to get out of Last Chance Saloon crapgame

In a matter of hours RIM will reveal the pricing, specification and launch date for the new BlackBerry 10 device on which the future of the whole company depends.…

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Ferrari's new car to be named F138

Ferrari have revealed that their 2013 car will be called the F138. The machine, the 59th single-seater the Scuderia have built for Formula One racing, derives its name from a combination of the current year and the number of cylinders in its engine. The name pays tribute to the V8 engine, which is being replaced next year as the sport's standard power-unit configuration by V6 turbo engines

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Startup decloaks, rolls out cloudy security 'conductor'

Let all make sure we're on the same hymn sheet here

Security startup NetCitadel is tackling the problem of automatically applying security policies across physical and virtual environments with a cloud-based approach.…

via The Register - Cloud

The Death of Voice: Mobile phone calls now 50 per cent shorter

'Did you get my email?' 'Yes' 'Oh'

Vodafone reckons the average duration of phone calls on its network has halved in five years. People how talk for around one minute and forty seconds, rather than over three minutes.…

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Fujitsu reveals data transfer protocol 30 times faster than TCP

Japanese tech giant says UDP-derived tech reduces latency to a sixth of current levels

Fujitsu has taken the wraps of a new data transfer protocol which it claims is 30 times faster than TCP and will help speed up mobile web browsing and file downloads and reduce virtual desktop latency.…

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Tuesday 29 January 2013

Webber raring to go after pain-free training programme

Red Bull driver Mark Webber has expressed his relief after enjoying his first pain-free pre-season training programme in three years. In an interview published on his official website, the Australian revealed how he was able to resume his fitness regime just weeks after an operation on his leg in December

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Microsoft builds observatory to spy on Earthlings' spectrum

Mapping the unseen as a prelude to invasion

Microsoft has launched its first European Spectrum Observatory, joining research efforts in Redmond, Seattle and Washington to work out which airwaves might be empty enough to exploit better.…

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Paolo Čerić turns gifs into a psychedelic art form


The majority of Gifs usually fall into two categories. The first depict a small, cute animal, engaged in a whimsical action of some sort that, when looped, brightens any day. The other captures the moment a celebrity or actor makesthatfacial expression, perfectly emoting your brooding feelings toward the Monday morning commute.

The Gifs of Croatian artist Paolo Čerić fail to fit into either category. The pulsating, hypnotic animations the 22-year-old student of electrical engineering and computing transcend the usual Gif memery, highlighting the wider potential that the looped animation form holds for digital art.

By: David Cornish, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

Web too slow? Pro-tip: Try it 4am

Do you want your home broadband to work at the speed advertised by your ISP? Then set your alarm and log on at 4am, according to a new survey that tested connections speeds across the UK at different times.…

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Darpa wants to create dissolvable spy hardware

Darpa dissolvable tech

Forget about a kill switch. Planned obsolescence? Already obsolete. In the US, the Pentagon's blue-sky researchers want tomorrow's military hardware to literally cease to exist at a predetermined point. Welcome to the age of suicidal sensors.

The Pentagon's think tank Darpa isn't imagining planes or ships that melt into a metallic puddle when their replacements come off the production line. The research agency is thinking, in one sense, smaller: sensors and other "sophisticated electronic microsystems" that litter a warzone -- and create enticing opportunities for adversaries to collect, study and reverse-engineer. Since it's not practical to pick them all up when US forces withdraw, Darpa wants to usher in the age of "transient electronics."

By: Spencer Ackerman, Edited by: David Cornish

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Navigating towards software defined networking

Capability management for clouds

If you're implementing a private or a hybrid cloud, then your network fabric needs a refit. You've virtualised your servers - but even in a mostly static environment, traffic patterns have changed. Add the flexibility of a dynamic IT infrastructure, and you need a network that can reconfigure instantly as loads move.…

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Google fills in the blanks on North Korea map data

Crowdsourcing helps map the unmappable

Google has announced comprehensive new mapping data on North Korea, enlisting a team of citizen cartographers to chart the country's gulags, nuclear facilities and golf courses.…

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Chinese Apple pirate Kuaiyong sets sail for rest of WORLD

iTunes rip off to launch English version in blow to developers

Bad news for iOS application developers – Chinese language service Kuaiyong, which allows users to install pirated apps on their iDevices without jailbreaking them, is set to expand overseas with the launch of an English language version.…

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PayPal crawls after messaging glitches

Some punters pay double, PayPal promises to 'make you whole' in recompense

PayPal has been hit by glitches that have in some cases confused users of the service so much they paid for the same item twice.…

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ITU signs off on H.265 video standard

High Efficiency Video Coding said to need half the bit rate of H.264

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has signed off on High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), a video compression standard expected to succeed the wildly popular H.264.…

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Monday 28 January 2013

NBN Co trials migration incentives

$AU108 to encourage customer adoption

Last week, NBN Co – the comany building Australia’s National Broadband Network – announced trials of a $AU108 migration incentive for retailers.…

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Valsecchi lands Lotus third-driver position

Lotus have announced reigning GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi as their third driver for the 2013 season. The 26-year-old Italian drove for the team in last year's Abu Dhabi young driver test and has previously tested for HRT and Caterham. “I'm really happy that the team want me on board and I'm excited about the future,” said Valsecchi

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Lotus first to launch with the new E21

Lotus have become the first team to unveil their 2013 car after the wraps came off the Renault-powered E21 in an online launch ceremony broadcast from the team's UK factory on Monday evening. With the new machine Lotus aim to build on their successful 2012 campaign, which saw Kimi Raikkonen win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix en route to the team finishing fourth in the constructors' championship

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Wolff gets expanded Williams role

Williams have confirmed that Susie Wolff will continue in her role as the team's development driver during the 2013 season. The 30-year-old British racer will have an increased programme in the team's simulator and a greater amount of in-car testing...

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Venture inside the rocket dust storms of Mars

Electric dust storm

Scientists have modelled the internal workings of lightning-filled "rocket dust storms" on Mars that rise at speeds 100 times faster than ordinary storms and inject dust high into the Martian atmosphere.

The Red Planet is a very dry and dusty place, with global storms that sometimes obscure the entire surface. Satellites orbiting Mars have seen persistent dust layers reaching very high altitudes, as much as 30 to 50 kilometres above the ground, though scientists are at a loss to explain exactly how the dust got there.

By: Adam Mann, Edited by: David Cornish

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Sunday 27 January 2013

Synthetic alcohol: booze without the hangover

No hangovers

What is non-alcoholic and non-toxic but gives you the buzz of a beer? Synthetic alcohol, according to David Nutt of the Brain Sciences Division at Imperial College London.

Nutt, formerly the government's senior drugs adviser, has identified a substance that is alcohol-free but acts as a substitute. It has a chemical structure similar to benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs that treat anxiety and insomnia. The as-yet-unnamed drug can produce alcohol's desirable effects such as sociability and relaxation, but without negative effects such as nausea.

By: Sam Scott, Edited by: David Cornish

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Vinepeek lets you see the world in six-second snapshots


Following the release of Twitter's Vine app, a website has sprung up that shows a real-time feed of six-second videos shared with the world.

The results are enthralling. Depending on the time of day you log into the site, you'll get a glimpse of life in different timezones. In the European morning, for example, you get to see nightlife in East Asia, afternoon in Russia and India, and other people waking up in Europe.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Glasgow will be UK's first 'smart city'


The Scottish city of Glasgow has won a £24 million grant from the UK's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to become Britain's first "smart city".

The money will be spent by the council on services for residents that will make the quality of living in the city better. Glasgow beat 30 other UK cities to the prize.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Friday 25 January 2013

Don't like your cell network? Legal unlocking ends TONIGHT in US

Land of the free big corporate operator

Unlocking a phone to use it with another carrier will be illegal in America from midnight tonight unless the cellphone is already in your hands.…

via The Register - Networks

Japanese cafe produces chocolate version of your head for Valentine's Day

Chocolate Faces

Walk ten minutes up the road from Tokyo's Shibuya station and you'll find an unusual cafe that will make chocolate versions of your face -- in the name of love.

Fab Cafe is offering the service as a Valentine's Day promotion. Over the course of two sessions, you are encouraged to have your face and head captured in a 3D scanner. A cast is then produced on a 3D printer and chocolate is poured in. Once that is complete you'll get a collection of chocolate faces to give to your loved one and the cast is yours to keep for future sculptures.

By: Nate Lanxon, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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NFC Forum: We're not just about paying by bonk, you know

Special interest groups show other ways to make the tech pay

Five new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will promote the use of Near Field Communications as the panacea which can cure what ails ya, rather than the electronic-wallet tech it has become.…

via The Register - Networks Podcast 108: Revenge porn, beatbox science, talking lamp posts

Wired podcast

This week we discuss the murky world of revenge porn, get behind the science of human beatboxing and discuss the rest of the week's best Wired news.

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Broadband ESSENTIAL to life, titsup ISPs must cough up - court

Aber nur in Deutschland, ha ha. Entschuldigung Engländer!

Home broadband isn't yet deemed a vital utility in Europe, but that hasn't stopped a German court ruling that ISPs should compensate customers who suffer from network service disruptions.…

via The Register - Networks

Cisco and NetApp fatten up Flexpod, chuck it at cloud biz

Also fling out ExpressPods for branch offices

Cisco and NetApp are drawing closer together with their FlexPod converged system effort, an attempt to grab branch office, data centre and public cloud infrastructure business.…

via The Register - Cloud

Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown faces new charges

Barrett Brown raid

Barrett Brown, a self-proclaimed spokesman for Anonymous, has been hit with new charges by authorities in Texas for concealing evidence.

It's the third round of charges in a case that his former attorney describes as an attempt to silence the outspoken and provocative activist.

"Clearly they're more worried about what they perceive as his egging people on to go after defence contractors and secret spy organisations," says Brown's former attorney Jay Leiderman. "Barrett believes in privacy for individuals and transparency for corporations and government. The government doesn't like his belief system. And Barrett was effective in expressing that belief system."

By: Kim Zetter, Edited by: David Cornish

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Tiny tech ZigBee harnesses puny power of the press

Batteries? Where we're going we don't need batteries

The ZigBee Alliance - which looks after the low-power radio comms standard - has now introduced wireless communications that are powered by the act of pressing a key.…

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Ministry of Fun assembles crack team to speed up rural broadband rollouts

BDUK consultants, Whitehall mandarins sent to the sticks

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has assembled a Whitehall, BT and bumpkins* crack team in Norfolk to try to speed up the process of broadband deployment to local authorities in mainly rural areas.…

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Sympathetic Scots scoff-house offers hard-up Apple fanbois a discount

Understands their Cupertino habit will leave them penniless

iPhone users feeling the strain from chucking wads of cash into the Apple's cavernous maw can now get a bit of relief in the form of money off potato scones and haggis spring rolls in Aberdeen.…

via The Register - Networks

Belkin buys Linksys from Cisco

Ongoing tie-up means Cisco's not entirely free of low-end business

Cisco has found a buyer for its unwanted and unstrategic Linksys low-end networking brand, in the form of accessories and small networks player Belkin.…

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Thursday 24 January 2013

Nokia turns a PROFIT. Sort of

Ship may not be sinking but passengers seemingly prefer lifeboats

Nokia announced a pre-tax profit of €375m for the fourth quarter of last year today, suggesting the deep cuts of the past year, including the axing of around 20,000 employees, have allowed management to steady the ship. The profit included sales of its corporate HQ and $250m support payments from Microsoft.…

via The Register - Networks

THQ dissolved as court approves sale of studios and titles


The US Bankruptcy Court has approved the sale of assets of the once-mighty games developer and publisher THQ, with stuidos and titles heading in a variety of directions.

The court approved the sales of three THQ owned studios and a host of titles, which will raise the THQ estate $72 million (£45.6 million).

By: David Cornish,

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Alonso to miss first pre-season test

Fernando Alonso will not get behind the wheel of Ferrari's 2013 car until the second pre-season test next month, it has been confirmed. Instead it will be team mate Felipe Massa who gives the Scuderia's new machine its track debut at Jerez in Spain on February 5. While Alonso focuses on his physical preparations for the new season, Massa will be behind the wheel for the first three days

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Pope: Catholics, go forth and multiply... your Twitter followers

Faithful told to convert atheists 140 characters at a time

The Pope has urged Catholics to use Twitter as a "portal of truth" and a way of converting non-believers to Catholicism.…

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Hamilton: This is a marathon, not a sprint

Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes must adopt a patient approach to their 2013 campaign rather than thinking of immediately winning races. The 2008 world champion, who joined the team from McLaren over the winter, was speaking during a visit to Mercedes' UK factory in Brackley as he continued his preparation for the new season

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Brawn: Development pace key to Mercedes' 2013 prospects

Team principal Ross Brawn believes that lessons learned from Mercedes' disappointing 2012 campaign will pave the way for a stronger 2013, with their focus this year very much on maintaining the in-season pace of development on their new F1 W04 car. Its predecessor won last April's Chinese Grand Prix in the hands of Nico Rosberg, but the team were unable to maintain that level of competiveness

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Victims of 'revenge pr0n' sue GoDaddy, smut site

A reader poll said we should, er, stay up -

Seventeen female victims of a "revenge porn" website have banded together to sue an online outfit that published their names and compromising pictures of them without permission.…

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El Reg drills into search giant's secret boffinry

Google wants permission to build its own wireless 2.5GHz network to test secret technology using 50 base stations and 200 devices.…

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Ofcom mulls dishing out a world of hertz for RFID tags, radio cars

US garage openers might work in Blighty - if mobe operators pipe down

A lot more short-range devices, including US-safe models, could be used in the UK, as Ofcom asks if anyone minds another 12MHz of spectrum being released for public use.…

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Tim Cook hints at Apple's future growth in Q1 earnings call

Tim Cook

Investors may have cringed at Apple's revenue numbers in its Q1 2013 earnings call -- with earnings per share dropping short of market expectations for the first time in nine years, resulting in Apple shares falling by ten percent in after-hours trading -- but CEO Tim Cook took pains to point out that there is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to Apple product sales and profits.

There are a number of different ways Apple could continue to expand iPhone and iPad growth: introducing lower-priced options for emerging markets, bringing major changes to its product lines, or focusing on expanding to new geographic regions. For now, Apple seems to be focusing on the latter.

By: Christina Bonnington, Edited by: David Cornish

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UK way behind pack on broadband speed in Europe

Needs lessons from Swiss Toni (probably)

While superfast fibre lobbyists continue to try and push nations around the world into deploying more nimble broadband networks, a report out today showed a 7 per cent slip in average global connection speeds between the second and third quarter of 2012.…

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Dotcom says German authors' society canned Mega launch vid

When GEMA met MEGA

Another day, another controversy: storage locker launcher Kim Dotcom says a video of the all-signing, all-dancing party for his new Mega service was taken down from YouTube on suspicion of copyright naughtiness after a request from German authors' society GEMA.…

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Microsoft to stream blue movies

Azure Media Services ready to send your bits to almost any device

Microsoft has unveiled a cloudy content distribution service that will intensify its competition with Amazon Web Services (AWS).…

via The Register - Cloud

Asia has fastest internet, launches most cyber-attacks

Hong Kong, South Korea good – China, not so much

Not only is Asia home to the world's fastest internet connections, but it's also the source of the most internet attack traffic, according to new data from content delivery provider Akamai.…

via The Register - Networks

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Cisco pays $475m for Israeli mobile network firm Intucell

Big payday as Chambers seeks mobile cloud control

Cisco has bought Israeli mobile network traffic management software firm Intucell for $475m in cash as it seeks to expand its footprint on the mobile market.…

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Telstra bets on a software future

Protect your incumbency? There’s an app for that

Telstra has announced a new software unit it hopes will deliver revenue streams to help replace the doomed old-telco income from fixed line services – and to protect its mobile business against the threat posed by app businesses.…

via The Register - Networks

Lotus to launch E21 online next week

Lotus are set to become the first Formula One team to reveal their 2013 car when they launch their Renault-powered E21 online next Monday, January 28. Streaming live from Lotus's UK base in Enstone, the launch will be broadcast on the team's YouTube channel

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US government leads global increase in requests for Google user data


According to data released by Google, it is receiving by far the most requests for users' personal data from the US government, but global demand is steadily rising each year.

The search engine published the figures 23 January as part of its efforts for total transparency. The report reveals that the US leads the trend, with 8,438 requests for information about 14,791 users in the second half of 2012 -- India is a distant second, with 2,431 requests for information, followed by France, Germany, the UK and Brazil.

By: Liat Clark, Edited by: David Cornish

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VMware ponies up $30m for Puppet Labs partnership

Getting down to serious – and heterogeneous – control freakage

VMware injected a little money into systems management software upstart Puppet Labs in its third round of funding back in November 2011. But now the server virtualization juggernaut has its hands firmly up the backside of Puppet Labs as it has become one of the bigger investors in the company after doing the fourth round of funding, weighing in at $30m, all by itself.…

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Dotcom's Mega smacks back: Our crypto's not crap

'The '90s called... they want their password security back'

Kim Dotcom's comeback cloud storage service, Mega, has responded to criticism about its approach to cryptography and password security after security researcher Steve Thomas (@Sc00bz) released his MegaCracker tool, which cracks hashes embedded into emailed password confirmation links.…

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Ofcom: You like to make CALLS, yeah? Tell us what you want from mobiles

Watchdog asks users for metrics to help it rate operators

Ofcom has discovered that mobile phones are used for making calls, and that mobile data is generally used to access the internet, so now it wants help deciding what to find out next.…

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Telefónica slapped with €67m anti-competitive fine from EU

Portugal Telecom gets €12m penalty for deal with 'mate'

Spanish communications giant Telefónica has been fined €66.8m by the European Commission for agreeing not to compete with Portugal Telecom, which was slapped with a lighter €12m penalty by Brussels officials.…

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BT in £52m contract tussle: West Country bumpkins hit with broadband delay

Somerset and Devon still trying to agree terms with telco

A £52m government-subsidised superfast broadband project in rural parts of Somerset and Devon that was won by national telco BT has been delayed over "contract issues".…

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Wad of BlackBerry OS 10 pics 'leaks' from RIM's inner circle

Hundreds of screenshots overflow the web

A "leak" of more than a hundred screenshots purporting to be from the release version of BlackBerry OS 10 has washed up on a blog.…

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Pirelli unveil 2013 F1® tyre range

Formula One tyre suppliers Pirelli have unveiled what they describe as a 'revolutionised' new range of tyres for the 2013 season, with the aim of producing more pit stops and increasing overtaking. Both the dry and wet weather tyre ranges have been revised with compounds becoming softer, the structure of the tyres more flexible and the shoulder of the tyres reinforced

via - Latest Headlines

Injured service personnel to fly microlights to South Pole

Microlight pilots

A team of wounded or injured service personnel are planning to fly light aircraft to the South Pole to raise awareness of problems facing veterans with disabilities.

The British Antarctic Microlight Expedition which is being run by Flying for Freedom and Help for Heroes launched on 22 January but will not see the polar pilots taking their trip until early 2014.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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UK 4G auction kicks off in total silence

Money is on the table, but no details 'til the fat lady sings

The UK has opened its auction of radio frequencies suitable for high-speed 4G mobile internet services. Who exactly is bidding in which bands will remain a secret until the sale ends.…

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GM's massive wind tunnel helps to make car design less of a drag

Driving data with the wind

You are looking into the world's largest wind tunnel devoted to automobile testing. This tunnel is the heart of General Motors' Aerodynamics Lab in Michigan, where the automotive giant tests the shape and design of every car it develops. With a 5.5 x 10.5-metre test area, this cavern is where General Motors appraised its most streamlined cars from last year, including its electric model, the Chevrolet Volt, which has a drag coefficient of 0.28 (the lowest in the company's 104-year history), and the Opel Adam, one of the most fuel-efficient cars of its class, which was unveiled at September's

Paris Motor Show 2012.

"To simulate what happens when cars move through air, we move air past cars at speeds as high as 220 kilometres per hour," says Frank

Meinert, the lab's senior engineer. "In the 32 years that we have been in operation, we have run about 21,000 tests in total."

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Programming bootcamp converts lawyer into hacker


Felix Tsai was as far from a hacker as you could get. He was a lawyer.

In the mid '90s, he practiced corporate law for a firm in Manhattan. During the dot-com boom he did mergers and acquisitions. But he never loved his work. After quitting law and starting a pair of tech-minded companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, he realised that what he really wanted to be was a programmer. So he went to bootcamp. And now he is.

By: Klint Finley, Edited by: David Cornish

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Flash, cloud boom flings storage startups into piles of money

Cloud gateway, flash = storage slingshots for suppliers

Nasuni, Nimbus, TwinStrata and Whiptail have all announced flying starts to 2013, suggesting it's going to be a quite a year for both cloud storage and flash array technology.…

via The Register - Cloud

Find your way without GPS with NAVSOP

Life without GPS

If you've experienced the frustration of a jammed GPS while driving, BAE Systems' new device will be good news. NAVSOP (Navigation via Signals of Opportunity) is an alternative to GPS that uses local-radio, mobile and TV-transmitter signals to locate itself. "Whereas GPS uses data from satellites orbiting Earth, NAVSOP builds up a database of satellites on the ground, which don't move," says the project's principal scientist, Ramsey Faragher. "If GPS is jammed, or fails due to adverse weather, NAVSOP kicks in at the same level of accuracy."

What's unusual is the way it calculates its location. "We wanted something that learns independently, so after a few days it doesn't need any external sources of data to work." The NAVSOP uses a learning algorithm that constantly corrects and recalibrates itself, based on confirmation from GPS. Quickly, it learns which signals to trust. "Eventually NAVSOP starts to treat GPS with suspicion and can tell if it's been tampered with," says Faragher. "All those signals can't lie to you."

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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'Love to wait -- wonderful things are happening on your behalf'

Delivery time

The website for the United Parcel Service receives 32 million package-tracking requests per day. That's more than two for every package they ship. Clearly, people hate waiting - just think back to the last time you suppressed the urge to hit your computer while staring at an endlessly… loading… progress… bar.

Not surprisingly, companies have responded to our wait hate by speeding things up whenever possible: faster search, faster shipping, faster service. But speed can sometimes backfire: when we get what we want too quickly, we can feel that the company didn't really do that much for us -- leading us to question why we're paying so much for something that took so little time and effort.

By: Michael I Norton & Ryan W Buell, Edited by: David Cornish

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Cautious Brits less likely than US firms to puff on clouds - survey

'The UK attitude is it is inherently less safe with a third party'

A "fragmented" legal framework, the "attitude" of regulators and a naturally cautious approach to security issues are among the reasons why UK businesses have made less use of cloud computing than US counterparts, according to experts.…

via The Register - Cloud

Jocks strap into new gov-funded White Space boffinry base

Silicon Glen is after Silicon Fen's smart radio tech

The Scottish Funding Council has bunged Strathclyde University cash to set up a boffinry base to develop cunning uses of spare radio frequencies known as White Space.…

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Google to devs: Fork with our cloudy code

Github code trove eases entry to Chocolate Factory’s Cloud Platform

Google has released a substantial trove of code for its Cloud Platform to github.…

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‘That’s not art’ says Apple as it pulls nudes from AppStore

I don't care what your friends download, you’re not going out like that young lady

Cupertino’s prudery has struck again, after photography market 500px’s app was pulled from the AppStore over its depiction of nudity.…

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Tuesday 22 January 2013

Spanish startup to ship first Mozilla-phones

‘Developer preview’ devices to ship in February

Mozilla has taken a small step closer to finding out whether the world wants another smartphone operating system, with Spanish startup Geeksphone (working with Telefonica) announcing developer previews of two Firefox-based devices.…

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iPhone hangs on in US, Japan, but EVERYONE ELSE bought an Android

Smartphone wars: WinPhone got some love in Blighty, but it's bad news for RIM

A day before Apple's quarterly results land, Tim Cook will also have to deal with the some unwelcome stats on iOS smartphone market share, showing that the iPhone still trails Android in all markets but the US and Japan.…

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Google vs Microsoft mobile war: Who's REALLY to blame?

It's just like the old days of sparring tech titans

Microsoft first learned about Google's plans to drop support for Redmond's ActiveSync for those signing up for a free Google account last summer, but now it wants the search giant to delay the decision, according to a report.…

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EE discounts UK 4G prices, increases data allowance on plans


UK 4G network EE has announced a change in its pricing and data plans, reducing the price of its entry-level contracts and increasing the data allowances on others.

From today, customers will be able to join EE's 4G network for £31 per month, on a 24-month contract. This is a reduction from the original £36 per month the company launched with.

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Phones 4U scrambles onto EE's back, flings out own virtual network

Everybody's doing it

Phones 4U, the successful reseller, is launching its own network offering, and will operate a mobile virtual network that piggybacks on EE's infrastructure so it can offer 4G later in the year.…

via The Register - Networks

Greedy Sky admits: We crippled broadband with TOO MANY users

Overloaded Unlimited package actually rather limited

Sky has confessed it has overloaded its broadband service by putting far too many Brits onto its network. The media giant told The Register that it has run out of capacity in certain corners of the UK, which has knackered its users' internet connectivity at peak times.…

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Telefonica Germany starts bonking with friends

Slow steps towards making cash history

Telefonica customers in Germany who have a Samsung NFC phone will be able to pay by bonk from next month as the operator starts "friendly user" testing as a prelude to national rollout.…

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Red Bull retain Buemi as reserve for 2013

Red Bull Racing have confirmed that Sebastien Buemi will remain as the team's test and reserve driver in 2013. The 24 year old Swiss racer, who amassed 55 Grand prix starts over three seasons with Toro Rosso, will undertake important simulator work with the world championship-winning squad, as well as being on hand at races to provide cover for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber

via - Latest Headlines

'Illusion' cloaks create ghostly apparitions to fool radar

Ghost Cloak

Less visible (at least in terms of headlines) than invisibility cloaks, illusion cloaks are a field of great interest to materials scientists.

Rather than rendering an object invisible to the senses illusion cloaks would allow the object to appear as something entirely different -- particularly useful for camouflage and in defence projects.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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WD wolfs down Arkeia, gets bellyful of SMB storage

Backup + disk offering = trouble for vendor rivals

Disk drive manufacturer Western Digital, which has angling for a while to muscle into the SMB market, is buying privately owned backup software company Arkeia Software for its backup software and appliances. The myriad other suppliers in the fractured SMB data protection market now face having to compete with a giant. The obvious possibility for WD, of course, would be to link and combine NAS and data protection.…

via The Register - Cloud

Foxit outfoxes fiendish flaw to fix foxed-up Foxit PDF plugin

Buffer-boundary bashing bug blatted

Foxit Software has fixed a critical security hole in its PDF plugin for web browsers.…

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Airlines lose millions as 787 battery investigation continues


Aviation investigators and Boeing are continuing to determine what went wrong with the lithium-ion batteries on the 787 Dreamliner this month, prompting the first grounding of an American commercial airplane fleet since 1979.

As the airplane maker tries to find a fix, its customers are trying to figure out how to juggle schedules and routes to fly passengers with 50 Dreamliners grounded around the world. And at least one of those airlines is already saying it expects to be compensated by Boeing.

By: Jason Paur, Edited by: David Cornish

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Study: Tweeting fitness goals may help you lose weight

Weight loss

Along with being a haven for breaking news, celebrity updates, and bad jokes, Twitter may have another use: a handy weight-loss tool.

Researchers at the University of South Carolina found the support and accountability provided by posting to the social networking site made a difference in how much weight people lost. Although the two groups in the study -- one that tweeted and one that didn't -- lost the same amount of weight during the trial, the individuals within the Twitter group who posted the most also lost the most weight.

By: Jeff Beckham, Edited by: David Cornish

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The eight worst keynote moments that couldn't finish quickly enough


Does anyone know what news Qualcomm announced at CES this year? What products it unveiled? No? But you do know that the chipmaker put Big Bird onstage. And Steve Ballmer.

While the bizarre ritual of the tech company keynote grinds on, the point of these exercises in social awkwardness, astroturfed enthusiasm, celebrity shilling and PowerPoint pandering has long since dissolved into the smoke machine-obscured mists. Of course, we in the media are key keynote enablers. We cover these things relentlessly because they're manufactured for us to cover and, hey, sometimes they even serve up little dribbles of news!

By: Marcus Wohlsen, Edited by: David Cornish

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Beware the coming of the ROGUE CLOUDS, wails Symantec

Some of your firm's vital data is already on Dropbox

With one eye on Larry Ellison's Oracle in 2011 Salesforce chief Marc Benioff attacked “fake clouds” saying they aren’t the future.…

via The Register - Cloud

RIM extends BB10 port-a-thon after dev stampede

If this is death, pass the hemlock

Developers have ported another 19,000 apps to BlackBerry 10, leading Research in Motion (RIM) to extend the deadline for its various programs aimed at encouraging coders to commit to its platform.…

via The Register - Networks

Monday 21 January 2013

Telstra inks 4G roaming deal for Hong Kong travelers

Biz travelers will benefit from faster speeds

Australian business travellers to Asia received a boost at the tail end of last week after telco giant Telstra announced the availability of 4G international roaming in Hong Kong courtesy of operator CSL.…

via The Register - Networks

DataStax cranks up Facebook NoSQL to 3.0 with enterprise features

Weaving in the latest Hadoop data muncher and Solr search

DataStax, the company that was founded to take the Cassandra NoSQL data store created by Facebook commercial and therefore usable by mere enterprise data centers, is keeping to its cadence and is rolling up a new release of its DataStax Enterprise Edition.…

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WTF is... Weightless?

Internet of Things enabler in the space between the TV signals

Weightless, the would-be world standard that allows devices to talk to devices without human intervention, is set to reach its first major release milestone this spring. Version 1.0 of the technology specification is set to be published in the March-April timeframe and then it will be able to begin making the much-hyped but yet to be delivered ‘internet of things’ start to happen, or so its backers believe.…

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Forget bonking, now mobes can buy stuff using pay-by-SQUEAK

Chinese spurn NFC, go for acoustic-coupled modem look

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched a mobile wallet app with a more-than-passing resemblance to Apple's Passbook. It enables fandroids to pay each other over the air and squeaks every time it's used.…

via The Register - Networks

Web is turning us into kid-ults with no 'private identities' - report

'Hyper-connectivity' is re-defining who we are

Britons' willingness to post every little detail of their lives online is changing the way their identities are constructed, according to a report from the UK’s chief scientific advisor.…

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Wolff, Lauda, Brawn to form new Mercedes management

In a significant shake-up to their Formula One activities, Mercedes have announced that Toto Wolff, formerly Executive Director at Williams, and Niki Lauda, currently non-executive chairman of the Mercedes F1 team's board, will both become investors. Together with team principal Ross Brawn, they will complete a new management line-up for the German carmaker's F1 squad. Wolff, whose Williams departure was announced earlier today (Monday), will acquire a “significant minority interest”

via - Latest Headlines

Deep Space Industries to join the asteroid gold rush


A new space company will announce plans to mine the minor planets at a press conference in Santa Monica, California, tomorrow, 22 January.

Deep Space Industries intends to build a fleet of commercial asteroid-prospecting spacecraft that can harvest and process these chunks of space rock.

Until the 22 January event, the company's founders are keeping a tight lid on further information about their plans to plunder precious resources for profit.

By: Paul Sutherland,, Edited by: David Cornish

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Matmos: musical telepathic mashup

Musical telepathic mashup

"I thought it would be fun to set up a situation of cause and effect, where a concept is causing a musical outcome," says Drew Daniel, one half of experimental duo Matmos. Along with his other half -- both professionally and personally -- MC Schmidt, he has been making music for more than 20 years. Their latest project is split across an EP and album -- both conceived by a version of the ganzfeld experiment, a sensory-deprivation test used in lab studies of extra-sensory perception.

For four years, the pair have been conducting telepathic experiments in which Daniel attempts to transmit a concept to a subject. The opening riff and the title of their Large Green Triangles EP came from one test.

By: Ailbhe Malone, Edited by: David Cornish

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Wolff leaves Williams to join Mercedes

Williams have confirmed that Executive Director Toto Wolff is to leave the team with immediate effect to take up a new role with Mercedes. Wolff will be relinquishing his seat on the Williams board, but will retain his shareholding in the company. Williams team principal and majority shareholder Sir Frank Williams will continue to oversee the running of the company

via - Latest Headlines

Marussia and Glock announce split

Marussia have parted company with driver Timo Glock by mutual consent. The 30-year-old German, who had raced for the Banbury-based team since their debut season in 2010, will leave the squad with immediate effect

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Caterham to launch at first test

Caterham have confirmed that their 2013 car, the CT03, will be unveiled at the start of next month's first pre-season test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. The Renault-powered machine will be rolled out in the pit lane on the morning of February 5, immediately prior to making its track debut

via - Latest Headlines

China turns to no-name handsets: Android - without the Google-iness

Thanks for coughing up for development, G

There could be trouble on the horizon for Google. Consumers in the world's biggest mobile phone market appear to be shunning big-name Android handsets for no-name Androids - with Google stripped out. That's the trend identified by Enders analyst Ben Evans in a must-read blog post here.…

via The Register - Networks

W3C steps up China outreach with Beijing centre

Standards body wants to tap Sino innovation boom

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has established a new centre for its activities in China with the aim of encouraging more local developers and companies to get involved in the global debate to shape the future of the web.…

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Oracle reveals cloudy engineered systems

Living in your own private Idaho Larrycloud

Oracle is rolling out private infrastructure as a service clouds, with capacity-on-demand (CoD) pricing, based on its various "engineered systems" setups.…

via The Register - Cloud

Sunday 20 January 2013

Mega launches with mega FAIL

Site stalled since launch, offers lots of "no piracy" legalese

Kim Dotcom's new cloud file locker,, has all-but-failed to appear online, with its mastermind claiming global enthusiasm for the site has overwhelmed its resources.…

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The best hacks from Music Hack Day Stockholm

Music Hack Day

Massively-multiplayer theremins, wireless disco lights and audio-mangling running apps were just a few of the creations that sprung out of Music Hack Day Stockholm.

The event, one in a long-running continuous series of hack days held in locations across the globe, once again yielded an impressive array of imaginative hacks that fuse music with technology.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Wireless performance will collapse, prices rise: Deloitte

More devices shipping than spectrum to feed them

Deloitte is predicting a looming spectrum crunch that will result in higher prices and poor performance, even on LTE networks.…

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Kim Dotcom unveils Mega


Filesharing kingpin Kim Dotcom has opened a new websitein the wake of the closure of Megaupload at the start of 2012.

Mega will allow users the ability to upload and store files of any kind, like Dropbox or other cloud storage services.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Saturday 19 January 2013

Mercury pollution treaty agreed by 140 countries


UN talks in Geneva have yielded a global treaty that controls the use of mercury, with the objective of reducing the amount of the toxic metal released into the environment.

Delegates from more than 140 countries agreed limits on the supply of and trade in mercury, and the use of the substance in products and industrial processes. There was particular focus on measures to be taken to reduce mercury emissions from small-scale gold mining, and power plants and metal production facilities.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Filabot turns plastic waste into raw material for 3D printing


An American college student named Tyler McNaney is developing a machine that recycles plastic household waste into the raw materials for use in 3D printing.

The Filabot performs the 21st century equivalent of alchemy, melting down unwanted material and turning it into plastic filament - the goop that 3D printers melt down and layer out to form objects.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Friday 18 January 2013

Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

Global agreement for each tiny step turns deadly hunt into slow-mo joke

Operators are bleeding revenue to over-the-top players, and pinning their hopes on the GSMA-based Joyn standard, but a year after launch platform developer OpenCloud thinks the GSMA might be the problem rather than the solution.…

via The Register - Networks

OKCupid's CrazyBlindDate targets casual dating for women


OKCupid's CrazyBlindDate app aims to cut down on profile building and attract more women -- the idea being "Just meet someone. Meet someone quickly."

Unless you're after casual hookups (and Grindr's success will tell you that plenty of people are) it seems that internet dating involves a resource-intensive profile building exercise followed by messaging, browsing, vetting and coming up with a list of appropriate venues which say "I'd like to get to know you better but in a well-lit public environment".

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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Windows 8 licensing: Speak your brains, believe your ears

The fine print explained, 14:00 GMT 22 Jan

What does Windows 8 cost? I don’t mean in the sense of what’s the fallout of poor Q4 sales for Microsoft and the PC makers, but rather: what do you get for your money?…

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How animated cat 'Talking Tom' built an empire

Talking Friends

You might think talking to an animated cat is a waste of time, but you'd be disagreeing with 120 million people. Cyprus-based startup Outfit7 has built a business -- 19 mobile and tablet apps -- out of exactly that. Its Talking Friends series of apps, in which animals repeat what you say, have been downloaded 500 million times in 26 months. Outfit7 has more than 120 million active users, 30 per cent of whom have downloaded two or more apps. With no outside investment, the firm has set up offices in California, London, Slovenia and Seoul.

"When we founded the company in early 2010, the goal was to make a mobile game for pure entertainment," says Narry Singh, Outfit7's "chief business guru". So they launched Talking Tom, an animated talking cat, which is now one of 18 different versions. The apps allow users to feed the animals, play games and watch videos featuring the characters. The company collects vast amounts of data from users: "Talking Tom was fed 1.7 billion virtual glasses of milk [in 2011] by users," says Singh, 44.

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Williams to debut FW35 at second pre-season test

Williams have announced that their 2013 car, the Renault-powered FW35, will be launched at the start of next month's second pre-season test, at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. However, the team will be running their 2013 race livery - and key development parts for the new car - on last year's FW34 at the opening Spanish test in Jerez from February 5

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FIA appoints new Formula 1® medic

Formula One racing's governing body, the FIA, has appointed Dr Ian Roberts as the sport's new medical rescue coordinator, replacing Dr Gary Hartstein. Dr Roberts will work within the FIA medical team at every grand prix during the 2013 season, deploying to the track in Formula One's medical car and supervising the response of the local medical team

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Wikimedia gets the travel bug with Wikivoyage

Just what the world needs: another travel site in search results

The Wikimedia foundation has extended its “mission is to empower a global volunteer community to collect and develop the world's knowledge” by adding a travel site to its portfolio of online services.…

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Mega to launch with mini call centre

50GB accounts for all!

The new will launch with 50 gigabytes of cloud storage for all comers and a global customer support line, but just 15 to 20 staff to handle calls.…

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Thursday 17 January 2013

NBN contracts reveal the state of Telstra’s ducts

$AU300 million going down the tube

Earlier this week, Telstra wrapped up its contracts for the duct remediation the carrier committed to under its National Broadband Network agreements. The telco contracted Visionstream to carry out remediation work in Victoria and Tasmania, at a cost of $AU90 million.…

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Web firms drool as ballgazer spies $11bn mobile ad spend in 2013

Gartner forecasts cash bonanza

Web giants, telcos, media companies and a host of mobile start-ups will be salivating over today's Gartner forecast that predicts a heady doubling of global mobile advertising spend in the next three years.…

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