15th > January > 2013 Archive

Image of HAL eye from 2001 movie with Chrome logo in eye

Siri, will Chrome's new speech features kill you?

Arguments that WIMPs' (windows, icons, menus, pointers) status as the dominant user interface paradigm are under challenge like never before just got a little stronger, after Google announced that a new beta of its Chrome browser will adopt the Web Speech API.
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013

RIM adds 15,000 new BlackBerry 10 apps in one weekend

Research in Motion's BlackBerry App World store gained a healthy new crop of apps over the weekend, thanks to the company's "Port-a-thon" promotion, which offered developers $100 apiece to bring their existing apps to the BlackBerry 10 platform.
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2013
Star Wars

Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

Sorry, special effects people, you got it wrong: if the Millennium Falcon can actually do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs*, Han Solo and his passengers won’t see the stars stretching by.
Richard Chirgwin, 15 Jan 2013
Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) logo

DDN grabs first slab of 100PB storage cloud

Data Direct Networks (DDN) will provide storage for a node of Australia's Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI), a $AUD50m project aimed at creating a pool of storage the nation's researchers can use to house large quantities of data, the better to feed it into the nation's supercomputers and subject it other forms of analysis.
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013

Swedish school puts Minecraft on the curriculum

Whereas most schoolchildren have to sneak in a gaming fix at school on the sly, one Swedish hall of education has made playing Minecraft compulsory.
Iain Thomson, 15 Jan 2013

IRENA launches global renewable energy atlas

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has kicked off its third assembly in Abu Dhabi with the launch of an open-access renewable energy atlas.
Richard Chirgwin, 15 Jan 2013

China's Android users warned of giant botnet

Security researchers in China are warning Android users to be on their guard after claiming to have discovered a million-strong botnet lurking on the platform.
Phil Muncaster, 15 Jan 2013

Singapore allows pre-crime strikes against online crooks

The Singaporean government has passed amendments to the city-state’s Computer Misuse Act, renaming it the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, and granting itself powers to take proactive measures against a potential cyber threat before it disrupts critical infrastructure.
Phil Muncaster, 15 Jan 2013

DoJ to Kim Dotcom: We never asked you to retain files

Days ahead of what The Reg has been told will be an “unforgettable evening” at the Dotcom mansion to launch Kim Dotcom’s new Mega service, US authorities have refuted the brash entrepreneur’s insistence that the files he is being prosecuted for hosting were only there because Dotcom was asked to assist with other piracy investigations.
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013

Titsup Windows Phone 8 orders user to cram 'boot disc' in mobe

PicA Windows Phone 8-using wag claims he provoked his Microsoft handset into asking for an installation DISC - with a boot manager error message familiar to anyone who's wrestled with Windows NT.
Bill Ray, 15 Jan 2013

Hooking offshore wind farms into UK grid will HIKE bills, MPs warn

It is "unlikely" that a new licensing system intended to connect offshore wind farms to the national grid will save consumers money, an influential committee of MPs has warned.
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Jan 2013

Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

A Belgian granny who planned an 80km car trip to Brussels ended up in Croatia, after ill-advisedly obeying her satnav's orders to traverse Europe.
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2013

Today's antivirus apps ARE 'worse at slaying hidden threats'

The effectiveness of antivirus products has declined, according to tests by German testing outfit AV-Test.org.
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2013

Microsoft ends Mac users' Windows Phone 8 misery

Microsoft has updated its Mac OS X mobile software so that owners of new Windows Phone 8 handsets can synchronise music and photos with their Apple computers consistently.
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2013

Smooth criminals spared the clink for hacking Sony's Jacko archive

Two hackers were spared jail after admitting breaking into Sony's network and lifting unreleased Michael Jackson songs among 7,900 other files.
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2013

BT's shock new wheeze: Make phone calls from smartphones

BT customers can now make calls over the internet from a smartphone app and have the cost added to their landline bill.
Bill Ray, 15 Jan 2013
Lloyd CArney

Ex-Xsigo CEO grabs reins at Brocade: Will he sell or will he grow?

Ex-Xsigo CEO Lloyd Carney has been given the Brocade CEO spot, replacing long-time incumbent Michael Klayko, who signalled his retirement last August.
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2013
Steampunk Vickey

IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

Big Blue wants to show off its ability to chew on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to predict the next big mainstream fashion: steampunk.
GridIron HFA

Just who is the mystery gobbler of flash upstart GridIron?

GridIron Systems, a SAN accelerating startup, has been bought by a mystery buyer for an unknown amount.
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2013

Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

HMV sought insolvency protection last night, becoming the second big name retailer on the battered British High Street to come close to defeat in the first few weeks of 2013. This comes after the music retail giant spent several years struggling to turn its business around as customers have increasingly shifted to shopping online for CDs, DVDs and digital versions of those goods.
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jan 2013
Evan Powell

Flash pioneer STEC invests in ZFS zealot Nexenta

Sources close to the situation have revealed that solid state memory drive manufacturer STEC has invested in ZFS storage firm Nexenta, substantially too.
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2013

Media barons threaten to spike UK.gov's audacious copyright grab

A major legal challenge threatens to put a spike through the Conservative-LibDem coalition's radical overhaul of copyright, including the proposed Instagram-like land grab of photos, source code and other work.
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2013
Swiss alps

Privacy winds blow through Clouds towards Switzerland

OpinionCloud services are one of the major changes to the way companies use computing services, but the weather may be changing as a consequence of increasing activity of European Data Protection watchdogs.
Peter Houppermans, 15 Jan 2013
ObjectRocket logo

Former PayPal, eBay hackers strap a rocket onto MongoDB

If ObjectRocket told you all of the secrets behind its bespoke cloud for running the MongoDB data store super-fast, then it would have two choices: It would either have to kill you or hire you and make you keep the secret. Alternatively, you could just use the ObjectRocket cloud to host your NoSQL data and not care about how it manages to be faster than other clouds running MongoDB – and that is what ObjectRocket is counting on.

Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?

Facing the shortage of IPv4 addresses, and glacial adoption of IPv6, UK ISP PlusNet is looking for volunteers among its customers to test out sharing the IPv4 addresses on its network.
Bill Ray, 15 Jan 2013
Hortonworks logo

Hortonworks adds Ambari control freak to Hadoopery

Hortonworks, the Yahoo! spinoff that has emerged as the third supplier of commercial support for the Apache Hadoop big-data muncher, is ramping up its Data Platform to the 1.2 release, which includes better security, enhancements to HCatalog data sharing and HBase database services that ride on top of Hadoop, and integration of the Ambari graphical management tool that was in tech preview when Hortonworks kicked out its 1.0 release last June.

UK falls behind in global graphene patent race

Physicists all over the world are scrambling to patent their research on the various different aspects of miracle substance graphene, with Chinese researchers leading the field.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 15 Jan 2013
Google WebRTC logo

WTF is... WebRTC?

FeatureLast week’s release of Firefox 18.0 saw the not-for-profit browser gaining “preliminary” support for a technology called WebRTC. Folk downloading the browser afresh or updating from a previous release may have been keener on Firefox’s new support for Apple’s “retina” displays or the browser’s promised JavaScript performance leap. But bringing WebRTC to the fore - it has been present in developer-centric, pre-release versions of Firefox for a while, and tucked behind a disabled-by-default preference at that - puts this little-known technology on path some analysts will see it become a major disruptive force on the mobile and VoIP industries.
Tony Smith, 15 Jan 2013

Belgian watchdog barks at Apple: Take care when you flog that warranty

A Belgian consumer group is taking Apple to court for providing customers with "unclear" information on product guarantees.
Anna Leach, 15 Jan 2013

Ex-Doctor Who babe Karen Gillan touts dodgy diet pills in twit gaffe

The Twitter account of former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan was compromised to tout dodgy weight-loss pills to baffled fans.
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2013

HP dangles axe over Autonomy salesmen, cash wad over coders

HP plans to lay off sales staff at Brit software subsidiary Autonomy while seeking to shore up the small biz's R&D.
Paul Kunert, 15 Jan 2013

Mysterious Facebook product plumps up shares on Wall Street

Facebook's stock went north on Wall Street - reaching $32 a share yesterday for the first time since July 2011 - basking in the glow of the free content ad network's imminent product announcement.
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jan 2013

Grey Matter cashes in on solving software licensing mysteries

Grey Matter, a specialist in the dark arts of software licensing, had a decent fiscal 2012 with both the top and bottom lines rising.
Paul Kunert, 15 Jan 2013

Google denies smacking Botswanan ass

Google has strenuously denied that it is responsible for the death of a Botswanan donkey after concerned netizens discovered the poor animal, which appeared to have been floored by a Street View vehicle.
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2013
A storm is brewing (Mali, Sahel). Foto: F. Guichard & L. Kergoat, AMMA project, CNRS copyright.

Verizon puffs up Terremark cloud over London and Dallas

It has been two years since telecom behemoth Verizon shelled out $1.4bn to buy cloud computing partner Terremark. And since that time, this poster child for VMware's vCloud wares has been pretty quiet as corporate types work to absorb it into the telco and realize the $500m in "synergies" – that means cross-selling and cost-cutting – that the deal required for it to make economic sense. Two years on, Terremark is integrated into Verizon and is ready to make some noise about its Enterprise Cloud.

Latest Java patch is not enough, warns US gov: Axe plugins NOW

Security experts advise users to not run Java in their web browsers despite a patch from Oracle that mitigates a widely exploited security vulnerability.
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2013

Live blog: Facebook's 'screw you' to Google revealed at last

Facebook has called the world's press down to its headquarters in Menlo Park, and El Reg has braved the Death Race 2000 zone that is California's freeway system at commute time to be here.
Iain Thomson, 15 Jan 2013
The Corvus Supercomputer at eResearch SA

Storage glitches fell Australian supercomputers

Supercomputers at two Australian research organisations have experienced substantial downtime after glitches hit their storage area networks.
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013

NASA snaps pics of China's 'Airpocalypse' pollution disaster

ImagesChina's capital city, Beijing, is suffering from some of the worst air pollution imaginable – and NASA has the images to prove it.
Rik Myslewski, 15 Jan 2013

Google ordered to identify bloggers

Google’s woes at the hands of Australian courts continue, with the State of South Australia's District Court ordering the Chocolate Factory to hand over the identities of anonymous bloggers in a defamation case.
Richard Chirgwin, 15 Jan 2013

Microsoft control freaks Server 2012 clouds with System Center SP1

Redmond is pushing out a Service Pack 1 update to System Center to get all of the functionality it has been talking about out the door.

Long-delayed Fedora Linux 18 arrives at last

The latest version of the popular Fedora Linux distribution has finally been released, just one week later than the already-delayed ship date that was announced in November.
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2013

Empire says ‘primitive’ Earth not ready for Death Star

The Galactic Empire has welcomed the Obama administration’s decision not to build a Death Star.
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2013

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