22nd > November > 2011 Archive
Microsoft has been seeking to recruit developers to the Kinect platform using one of the most potent bribes in the book: bacon.
New HP CEO Meg Whitman sure does have her work cut out for her, but she managed to notch up a quarter that was slightly better than Wall Street expected on the revenue and profit fronts. But don't call victory quite yet. HP took some significant hits in its core PC, server, and printer businesses in the past three months.
The Tor Project is tapping Amazon's EC2 cloud service to make it easier for volunteers to donate bandwidth to the anonymity network. Developers with the project have released preconfigured Tor Cloud images that volunteers can use to quickly deploy bridges that allow users to access the service. The new system is designed to take some of the pain out running such Tor relays by reducing the work and cost of deploying and running the underlying hardware and software.
ReviewReview There is no shortage of home cinema speaker packages priced at around the £300 mark. It is less common to find one incorporating a large floorstanding pair but that’s exactly what long-established Danish brand Jamo is offering with this bundle. It seems too good to be true, yet somehow it is.
The BBC was justified in broadcasting the unblurred face of a trucker who was pulled for being on the phone, and subsequently arrested for being drunk at the wheel, despite his right to privacy, Ofcom has ruled.
Despite suggesting that Steve Jobs was a Moses of consumerism who had brought sadness to the world, Britain's Chief Rabbi uses an iPad every day and has no criticism at all to make of Apple's contribution to technology, said the Office of the Chief Rabbi.
A couple of months after rejecting DataDirect in favour of NetApp E-Series kit, IBM has included DataDirect SFA10K storage in a cluster config.
Pentagon boffinry powerhouse DARPA has announced plans to fit a giant new US military command and control airship - known as "Blue Devil Block 2" - with through-the-air optical links offering bandwidth normally achievable only by fibre cables. This is to be done using newly-applied technology developed in the 1990s for use in astronomical telescopes.
Britain's sad bid to ape American traditions - trick or treat, I ask you… - continues this month as retailers launch Black Friday sales even though we have no Thanksgiving Day holiday to precede it.
Tablet computers need skinnier hard drives to provide more capacity than flash, with flash caches adding speed to the single spinning platter mix.
The three returning crew members of the International Space Station touched down safely last night, marking another success for Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.
Android App of the WeekAndroid App of the Week When it comes to photography apps, iOS still has an advantage over Android. But the little green robot is catching up. The latest iOS-standard photography tool to hit the Market is a rather tasty time-lapse app.
A man, arrested in August on suspicion of menacing Tory MP Louise Mensch via Twitter and threatening emails, has been charged under section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act.
The majority of Android smartphone users are walking around with insecure devices running out-of-date OS builds, leaving personal and business data at greater risk of attack.
Apple has not ridden roughshod over 3S Graphics' intellectual property rights, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided.
Some of the world's top space boffins have proposed a new way to figure out the odds of finding life - but not as we know it - on another planet.
An Ohio man could face six months in the slammer after his enormous red chopper induced panic in a woman.
OpinionOpinion Developers conjure something from nothing, all day, every day; to my mind this is creation in its purest sense. Okay, we’re not knocking up a universe in seven days or putting the final touches to The Scream – although it may often feel like that – but building order, fun, even beauty, from a tapestry of ones and noughts is surely a creative endeavor. But are coders considered creatives? Nope. My experience of business sees that title handed to graphic designers above all else; a troupe of ne’r do wells who pinch from a Google image search and spend the rest of their day colouring-in.
Miami cops last week slapped the cuffs on a transgendered woman accused of performing a buttock enhancement with "cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant".
MacBook Air competitors may have to be made out of plastic, rather than aluminium, because Apple has first dibs on the factories that make the light metal cases.
Boffins have come a step closer to creating a Terminator-style field of vision with contact lenses that give hands-free info updates.
Open ... And ShutOpen ... And Shut Amazon's new Kindle Fire is almost certain to be a financial success for Amazon, and may finally make a name for Google's Android in tablets. If only the success and acclaim were deserved.
Researchers at Facebook and the University of Milan reckon that the degrees of separation between any two people in the world have been reduced to 4.7 from social psychologist Stanley Milgram's "small world experiment" of six back in the '60s.
Microsoft sources have denied a claim that Xbox Live has been hacked, stating instead that gamers said to have had up to £100 lifted from their accounts were victims of phishing scams.
Flash-enhanced iSCSI array startup Nimble Storage is going to add scale-out clustering to its boxes.
A flower that only opens in the hours of darkness has been found in the primeval forest of the New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea.
Another analyst has claimed Apple's iPad display makers have started punching out 2048 x 1536 panels for the tablet's next incarnation.
CommentComment So the House of Lords Science and Technology committee has reported on the state of the UK's nuclear industry and government plans for carrying it forward: and, as anyone who follows these matters would expect, the noble lords have reported on a situation of total, shambolic chaos.
Product Round-upProduct Round-up Back in the day you had to resort to a cabinet-sized rear projection TV if you wanted to watch Dallas on anything larger than a 37in CRT. Thankfully times have changed. Technically advanced, visually stunning super-screens are now the order of the day from every major brand. You need only oust some living room essentials – sofa, coffee table, partner and cat – to make room for one. It’s a sacrifice well worth making, so bring on the mega-TV monsters…
Hard work and the competition's ineptitude saw Microsoft Word thump WordPerfect, Bill Gates told a US court hearing the $1bn anti-competition case brought by Novell.
"Rely on the sun and the other eco-friendly things that Mother Earth has given us. We need to stop being dependent on the corrupting effect that is oil now!" – HuffPost Super User "ProgressivePicon86" The next energy revolution is coming - and promises the biggest disruption since the industrial revolution.
Video rental firm Netflix, soon to be hitting the UK shores, has raised $400m in fresh capital from long-time investors to try to boost the firm after a tough few months.
Part 2Part 2 A few years ago I suddenly saw my energy bills as another performance metric that I could tweak just like optimising Lehman Brothers' derivatives calculations that I was nominally paid squillions to do.
Facebook is working on a phone, and has called it "Buffy" in tribute to the impossibly-hard-to-kill vampire slayer of the same name, but don't expect to see it until 2014.
A Russian diplomat was an epic 15 times over the drink-driving limit when he was collared by Polish cops on Sunday.
A dodgy survey of surveys by online pawnbrokers CashGenerator.co.uk has compiled a list of bad phone habits that are stopping the world's smartphone owners sleeping, socialising and having sex.
World number four PC-maker Acer is focusing on the folk still buying computers and hoping to grow its China sales by 20 to 25 per cent next year.
Boffins from the Russian space agency are baffled by the odd behaviour of the Phobos-Grunt probe, which seems to be flying all on its own without the aid of its non-firing engines.
IBM is rolling out a solar-powered data centre in India that will, it says, be one of the first data centres that don't need the electricity grid – but 80 per cent of the time the sun isn't shining brightly enough.
ReviewReview Look who it is. Just when you thought that the dust-gathering ornament you used to call a Nintendo games console was in permanent retirement, back it bounds. Why? Because there’s a new Legend of Zelda in town - a game most will have played before in one guise or another, and one that Nintendo always finds a way to freshen up.
A law enforcement Trojan takes advantage of the same recently patched iTunes flaw also used by Ghost Click botnet, according to a demo at a recent German trade show.
As we recently reported, El Reg's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has taken delivery of an AeroTech RC 32/60-100NS rocket motor – the proposed power plant for our Vulture 2 spaceplane.
Security biz Websense has drawn up a list of the five most common spam subject lines.
The official results of the Student Cluster Competition were revealed at the lavish SC11 Awards Gala, a luncheon held at the Seattle Sheraton. I was a little put out that I wasn’t invited for the lunch, but felt better after I got a good whiff of it. Besides, I was busy working to find exactly the right position from which to shoot video of the SCC winners hearing the news of their triumph. I needed to find a spot that would give me a both a good angle on the stage and the students sitting in the audience, plus good audio quality. I needed to do these things… but mostly didn’t. Still, it worked out fine. The reaction from the winning team and the congratulations they received from the other teams was priceless. Take a look – you’ll see what I mean. Keep in mind that this IS the big prize. There aren’t any scholarships, trophies, or any other material rewards. The real reward, according to the students, is what they’ve learned, the friendships they’ve made, and the experience of challenging themselves to excel. Everyone who participated won, and they were all pretty stoked about it. I’d still like to see a real crown or trophy, but maybe next year. ®
South Korean electronics giant Samsung is next in line to jump into the sack with Google on its TV services, ignoring the lacklustre uptake.
Southwark council breached the Data Protection Act after it left an unencrypted computer and papers containing sensitive information on 7,200 people in one of its buildings when it was vacated, which were then disposed of by the building's new tenant, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said.
In just 40 years from now, global food demand could double with potentially devastating consequences for planet Earth, a top eco professor has warned.
The much-awaited Mirasol display has made its debut in an South Korean e-reader, offering the colour of LCD combined with the clarity, and power consumption, of electronic ink.
London banks are taking part in a simulated cyberattack exercise on Tuesday designed to test the resilience of the UK's financial service industry to a collapse of telecoms systems and Olympics-related transport disruption.
Microsoft announced this week that the Surface 2.0 table it built with Samsung is now available to order, with an expected delivery date of next year.
A new "security concern" has forced the British book publisher Penguin to stop making electronic editions of its new books available to American libraries. Penguin has also banned the libraries from loaning existing Penguin e-books on their shelves to Kindle owners.
Microsoft has bought San Mateo, California-based VideoSurf for an undisclosed sum.
The EU has said it is concerned about the Great Patent Wars being a cover for unfair competition practices by IT firms.
Everyone knows the famous NASA Mars rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity": but not everyone knows that for all their renowned longevity they do not hold the record for robot rover distance rolled on an extraterrestrial body.
While we're waiting for flexible, flat, multi-cavity plasma array light bulbs to hit the market, Samsung has started selling advanced LED bulbs in the US that could last years.
No VC is going to fund a start-up intent on attacking EMC's SAN array heartland with a disk drive array - who would be that foolish - but a flash array which outperforms VMAX/VNX and costs less? Now you're talking - if it's for real.
Something big is cooking in portable TV in the US. It's possibly the equivalent of a Hulu (in that it is owned by content owners), but from a group of broadcasters who have already identified themselves as being behind the ATSC M/H Mobile DTV services: but this time the subject is both social TV and over the top (OTT) content.
Peg Williams, Cray SVP of High Performance Computing, is working on the biggest computer upgrade in history – transforming the 200-cabinet, 42,000-processor Oak Ridge Jaguar supercomputer into its new Titan form. When it’s finished, Titan will have 21,000 16-core AMD Interlagos processors and a roughly equal number of NVIDIA Kepler GPU accelerators. This will boost Jaguar’s 2.33 petaflop performance to an estimated Titan-scale 20 pflops. But a project this large with parts that are just coming onto the market can’t be done all at once. The existing Jaguar can’t be down for long periods; that would bring a halt to a lot of science stuff. So the upgrade needs to be orchestrated in a way that minimizes both downtime and performance degradation. However, this hybrid CPU-GPU system is a new animal for Oak Ridge and they’ll need some time to get to know it, experiment with it, and make sure they’re ready to make the shift. As you’ll see in the video, Peg has it covered with a plan that addresses these important concerns. She talks about the plan of attack for the upgrade and the timeline for turning Jaguar into Titan. ®
If you're a developer who wants the largest target market for your smartphone and tablet apps, write for Android devices. But if you want to make money, write for the iPhone and iPad.
A British baker has seen her entire annual profits wiped out after a Groupon deal went horribly awry.
Convirture is revving up its ConVirt family of server virtualization and cloud management tools to the 3.0.1 level, supporting more operating systems and public clouds, and also including a free trial of its Enterprise Cloud edition.
Apple has succeeded in prying loose a gaggle of iPhone-related domain names that were being used by a porn purveyor to redirect to its digital rumpy-pumpy wares.
HP will forge Integrity and Superdome machines based on Intel's Xeon processors in addition to the Itanium machines it currently is selling, and plans to upgrade through at least two more processor generations.
Amazon is ramping up its activity down under, confirming that it is investing in an Australian data centre via a job advertisement.
Google engineers have enhanced the encryption offered in Gmail, Google Docs, and other services to protect users against retroactive attacks that allow hackers to decrypt communications months or years after they were sent. The feature, a type of key-establishment protocol known as forward secrecy, ensures that each online session is encrypted with a different public key and that corresponding private keys are never kept in long-term storage. That, in essence, means there's no master key that unlocks multiple sessions that may span months or years. Attackers who recover a key will be able to decrypt communications exchanged only during a single session. Google security guru Adam Langley said his team built the feature into Google's default SSL protection using a preferred cipher suite that's based on elliptic curve cryptography and the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange method. They have released their code as an addition to the OpenSSL library to reduce the work necessary for other websites to implement the protection.
A team of engineers is seeking $348,000 in funding on Kickstarter to build the world’s largest Tesla coils, capable of spitting artificial lightning for hundreds of feet.
More University of East Anglia emails from the “Climategate” era have been posted online ahead of the upcoming Durban climate talks.
When Australia Post tapped former banker Ahmed Fahour as its CEO, speculation ran riot that the government-owned enterprise would head into retail banking. Now, it’s added a high-profile telco executive to its ranks, with Optus’ current head of regulatory affairs, Maha Krishnapillai, to join Aus Post in January.
The Attachmate Group, the new owner of Novell, has selected South Yarra in Melbourne as it Asia Pacific headquarters.
Vendors vs consumersVendors vs consumers With retailers in Australia getting shafted by vendors and consumers alike, it’s hardly surprising that the "Iron Curtain" of channel control is starting to fall.
The US Federal Communications Commission has thrown a major stumbling block in the way of AT&T's proposed $39bn acquisition of T-Mobile by taking the unusual step of requesting an administrative hearing on the merger.