John Lister

Thu
17
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

British Supercomputer Boasts Power Of 12,000 Desktops

Britain's Chancellor -- or, finance secretary -- recently unveiled one of the largest and most powerful computers in Europe. HECToR (High-End Computing Terascale Resource) can handle 63 trillion calculations per second, the equivalent of 12,000 ... standard desktop computers. Its power is equal to every person on earth simultaneously carrying out 10,000 calculations in a second. The $220 million machine is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and takes up 60 wardrobe-sized cabinets. It will be used for projects such as predicting climate change effects, projecting how quickly disease epidemics will ... (view more)

Tue
15
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Faces (Another) Euro-probe

Regulators from the European Union (EU) have begun two investigations to find whether Microsoft is again constructing a tidy monopoly abroad. The first probe examines a complaint by the Norwegian firm Opera, rival Internet browser to Microsoft's ... Internet Explorer. Opera say it's illegal for Microsoft to include Internet Explorer free of charge with Windows, arguing that Microsoft should either include a range of browsers or none at all. A second investigation is currently peering into claims Microsoft didn't give other software firms enough information on how to make their programs compatible ... (view more)

Mon
14
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Writer Strike Great News For YouTube

Online video sites are reaping the benefits of the ongoing writer strikes, with television viewers switching to their PCs to find new programming. Nielsen Online, which surveys and measures Internet use, says YouTube's audience has risen 18% since ... the strike began. Rivals DailyMotion and LiveVideo have both seen similar increases, while Crackle, an offshoot of Sony Pictures, has seen traffic double in the same period. Visitor figures across all video sites have gone up by 10% during the strike. Analyst Alex Burmaster says such rapid growth is far higher than normal and suggests the strike is ... (view more)

Mon
14
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Amazon-Sony Deal Completes MP3 Sweep

Amazon has signed a deal to sell MP3 files from artists on the Sony label without copy protection. It's the first site to sign such deals with all four major record labels (Sony, EMI, Universal and Warner) and is a big step forward in its battle ... with rival iTunes. The agreement means Amazon can now offer songs without digital rights management (DRM) protection. That's where files are 'locked' so that they can only be used on particular computers or players. Some systems only allow the file to work on the computer which downloaded it, while others allow a limited number of machines to play the ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

UK Licensing Rules Slam Lid On Pandora's Box

The Pandora Internet radio service will stop broadcasting to British listeners after the 15 January thanks to a dispute over royalty payments. The site plays music based on the listener's favourite artists or tracks. It analyses songs for musical ... styles, pace, tone and instrument to find similarities between tracks. Users can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each song they hear (similar to the way TiVo works), decisions that directly affect what new songs will be played in future. The idea is to create a radio station customized for the individual listener. In the United States, licensing ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Mozilla Axes 'Offensive' Ad Campaign

Mozilla has apologised for an ad campaign which claimed users of their Firefox browser were less likely to have cancer than those using Internet Explorer. The campaign involved setting up a dedicated 'Firefox Users Against Boredom' site (which is ... now inaccessible to the public). It was designed as a viral campaign; rather than the company paying for advertising, the idea was that Internet users would find the site entertaining and tell friends about it. The site included a list of statistics comparing users of both browsers, including claims that Firefox users were more likely to watch ... (view more)

Thu
10
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Newspapers Fooled By Bhutto Facebook Prank

Facebook has removed two bogus profiles of Benazir Bhutto's son after a British newspaper 'reported' on personal information supposedly revealed on the site. The false details were reported by the Daily Telegraph in Britain, Australia's ABC News, ... and the Agence France Press. According to reports, the profiles revealed that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, expected to succeed his mother as leader of Pakistan's main opposition party, admitted to being hung-over and associating with a lesbian couple, both of which would violate Islamic beliefs. (Source: pinknews.co.uk ) However, Facebook has since ... (view more)

Tue
01
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Monkey Tests Could Help Overcome Paralysis

Tests at the University of Washington have shown it's possible to reroute brain signals to move paralysed limbs. The results could eventually lead to treatment for spinal injury victims. The study works on the idea that, although spinal injuries ... damage the connections which carry nerve signals, victims usually retain both the muscles in the affected limb and the use of the motor cortex, the part of the brain which controls movement. Unlike some parts of the brain, which work on a 'use it or lose it' basis, studies have shown people can retain full control over the motor cortex even after ... (view more)

Fri
28
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

The Queen's Own YouTube Page

The Queen has opened her own channel on YouTube. The British monarch will use the site to broadcast her annual Christmas Day message, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on television this year. Last year's message was, for the first time, ... available as a podcast. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said, "The Queen always keeps abreast with new ways of communicating with people. She has always been aware of reaching more people and adapting the communication to suit. This will make the Christmas message more accessible to younger people and those in other countries." Ironically, this year' ... (view more)

Fri
28
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Adobe Flash Flaw Threatens Websites

A serious flaw in the way people use Adobe's Flash software could leave tens of thousands of websites vulnerable to hackers. The problem lies in Shockwave Flash files (SWFs), which appear on websites and allow the site author to include short movies ... or animated graphics. (Source: half-serious.com ) The way the software currently works means it's possible for hackers to insert their own code into these files. For example, they could program the file to send them copies of personal information that the user types while visiting a site. At the moment, there are no patches available. The problem ... (view more)

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