Items tagged with U.K.

Think your computer is old? Think your computer is slow? You haven't seen anything, yet! Just a few months after we heard that an IBM supercomputer had discovered the oldest English words known to man, a computer just as large and not nearly as potent is about to be restored to working order over in the UK.It's known as Britain's oldest computer, and essentially it was designed only to handle mathematical calculations. In lay terms, it was constructed to be a giant calculator, but too many years of multiplication left it defunct. The unit itself measures 2.4x5 meters, which is plenty to engulf most bedrooms. It was first booted up around a year ago, and it took its last official breath in 1973.... Read more...
The U.K. has joined France in trying to crack down on illegal downloading by instituting a policy whereby consumers found to repeatedly illegally download copyrighted material would have their Internet access suspended. This has commonly been called a "three strikes" policy, as usually the proposal is to give the offender three chances before suspending their access. Earlier, the U.K. had planned to restrict broadband speed, not total access. While that provision remains under the new proposal, it has been joined by a new provision which includes the possibility of blocking access completely. The measure will come up for a vote in Parliament in November. If passed, the U.K. would join France... Read more...
When Palm first unveiled its new Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, one question that was on everyone's mind received a very murky answer. We were assured that a GSM version of the smartphone was in the works, but no one knew when or where it would appear. In fact, it wasn't even clear then when exactly the CDMA Pre would launch on Sprint.Now, however, Palm has issued the details that everyone outside of North America has been clamoring for. Before the end of this year, Palm's first webOS-based device will arrive in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain on each nation's respective Telefónica network, which means O2 for the first three countries mentioned and Movistar for... Read more...
As we've said before, you need to be careful what you post on social networking sites like Facebook. It can get you fired, or in this case, expose the personal details of the new head of the U.K.'s MI6. And the culprit? His own wife. Sir John Sawers will take over as chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (or MI60 in November. However, his wife, Lady Shelley Sawers posted details about their personal lives on Facebook. Not just that, she had almost no privacy protections on their account. Besides the obvious question of: why would someone in such a sensitive position have a Facebook account, there is the obvious question of why someone in such a sensitive position not have privacy controls... Read more...
While US lawmakers hew and haw over providing Internet expansion tax credits to telecommunications outfits willing to bring broadband to the outback, British officials are doing them one better. Believe it or not, every last home in Britain will be "guaranteed access to broadband Internet under plans unveiled by the government on Thursday," which reportedly placed Internet access on par with telephones as "essential services."Culture Secretary Andy Burnham told lawmakers in the House of Commons: "We are developing plans to move towards an historic universal service commitment for broadband and digital services." We're forced to look all the way back to 1840 in order to find something similar... Read more...
Access to editing a Wikipedia article in the U.K. has been effectively blocked after the U.K.'s Internet Watch Foundation added a Wikipedia article on Virgin Killer, an album from German heavy metal group Scorpions, to its blacklist. The album's cover art image, depicting what appears to be a nude underage girl, is what caused the blacklisting. Click through the link above to see the cover art. Reports are that in an attempt to block access to the Wikipedia article, the ISPs Virgin Media, Be Unlimited/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, and Opal began routing traffic through transparent proxies. However, this caused more problems, as the use of proxies means that to Wikipedia editors... Read more...
The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad for the iPhone after complaints that it was misleading. No, it's not about "twice as fast, half the price." Instead it's about the browsing prowess of the iPhone. The ASA received two (yes, only 2) complaints about the ad, which said the following: "You never know which part of the Internet you'll need. The 'do you need sun cream' part? The 'what's the quickest way to the airport' part? The 'what about an ocean view room' part? Or the 'can you really afford this' part? Which is why all the parts of the Internet are on the iPhone." The complaints were definitely from techies and not regular consumers: the complaints were that the... Read more...
If you thought that quad-core rig of yours was fast, wait until you see what the folks at the University of Edinburgh's Advanced Computer Facility have just unveiled..."Hector -- or the High-End Computing Terascale Resource -- can handle 63 trillion calculations per second, which is the equivalent processing power of 12,000 desktop systems and four times faster than its predecessor. The amount of calculations the system can handle is equivalent to every person on earth simultaneously carrying out 10,000 calculations per second. The supercomputer is based at the University of Edinburgh's Advanced Computer Facility near the Scottish capital and will cost $221.3 million (113 million pounds)... Read more...
It wasn’t that long ago that the loss of a laptop or hard disk containing sensitive information about consumers was big news.  Sadly, it’s becoming much more common these days.  In fact, it’s so common that U.K. Information Commissioner Richard Thomas and his staff have looked into some 6000 complaints. "The roll call of banks, retailers, government departments, public bodies and other organizations which have admitted serious security lapses is frankly horrifying," Richard Thomas wrote in a report. "How can laptops holding details of customer accounts be used away from the office without strong encryption? How can millions of store card transactions fall into the wrong hands?" The best leak... Read more...
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