NASA aims Curiosity's percussive drill at pink, veiny target
NASA has selected the first site for the Curiosity rover to drill into, the first time a man-made object has penetrated the bedrock of the Red Planet.
Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way
Patent trolling is a "cancer" that poses an "existential threat" to US business – especially startups – according to a panel of experts at last week's CES 2013. But there are plans in the works to fight back.
Juniper to build its own software-defined networking stack
Juniper Networks is not, it turns out, all that enthusiastic about the OpenFlow technology that is at the heart of a lot of software-defined network (SDN) strategies these days. But don't be confused. That does not mean that Juniper doesn't believe in SDN or has not been quietly putting together its own SDN battle plan to take on Cisco, which has its own ideas about SDN, just like other OpenFlow enthusiasts who are trying to break up the network control and forwarding planes and make them more malleable and manageable.
Symantec to offload Altiris: report
Almost six years to the day since announcing it would acquire infrastructure management outfit Altiris for a cool $US830m, Symantec is said to be offloading the company.
Security audit finds dev outsourced his job to China to goof off at work
A security audit of a US critical infrastructure company last year revealed that its star developer had outsourced his own job to a Chinese subcontractor and was spending all his work time playing around on the internet.
Microsoft to give free TV ad to top-voted Windows Phone 8 app
Microsoft wants to convince more developers to build apps for its Windows Phone 8 smartphone platform, and to do so, it has taken its cue from none other than Research in Motion.
Myanmar to open telecoms to foreigners
One of Asia’s last closed telecommunications markets is to loosen up, with Myanmar announcing its tender for two telecommunications licenses will be open to foreign companies.
Soot forces temperatures more than thought: AGU
A paper just published by the American Geophysical Union has elevated the role of soot – “black carbon” in the science – to a new high in terms of its climate influence.
IT boom driving candidate hungry Honkers
Ex-pat IT professionals looking to kick start the new year with a new career in a far-flung destination could do worse than Hong Kong or Singapore, where the tech sector is short of job candidates and is snapping up new recruits, according to international agency Hudson.
Social networks give Australia a throat to choke
Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo! and YouTube have stuck out their necks and offered Australia’s federal government the chance to choke them under a new “Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling” launched by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In return, the four get regular meetings with government.
Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries
South Korean boffins have discovered the secret to flexible, shape-conforming lithium ion batteries in what could be a major step on the road to flexible smartphones.
China shoves Beidou intro tractors, trucks and buses
The Chinese government has mandated the use of its new satellite navigation system Beidou (BDS) in several classes of vehicle across nine provinces, as the sat nav war between it and the United States' GPS heats up.
EMC polishes up entry-level VMAX for biz types
EMC has revved up its entry-level VMAX 10K system with faster processors, a new Enginuity version and the addition of Federated Storage Tiering and cold data compression, among other goodies.
Amazon rainforest starts making phone calls
Trees in Brazil are being fitted with mobile telephones so they can call for help when they're cut down, alerting the authorities to illegal logging as soon as the logs get into range.
The forkers saving open source from a corporate bear hug
Open ... and ShutOpen source has long had a strong corporate element to it, perhaps starting in earnest when IBM pledged to spend $1bn on Linux back in 2000. Despite the benefits of corporate funding of open-source software - more money, more source code written - some question whether open source has become too corporate. For those who worry about the commercialisation of open source, I'd like to introduce you to Pedro Algarvio, contributor to the SaltStack project.
Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov
It will be legally safe to insult someone on the street - but not online - according to Home Secretary Theresa May.
STEC's flash daddy on SSD rivals, NAND and having your OWN controller tech
Mark Moshayedi, CEO of flash pioneer STEC, doesn't think "flash is forever". While his firm is now battling it out in the enterprise solid state drive space, he has a different vision for the future. El Reg storage desk recently met with Moshayedi, where he expanded on the firm's current strategies and explained how it had saved millions by developing its own caching software. He also told the Vulture that STEC's ownership of its own controller tech was what would help it beat its rivals.
Facebook shoves biz pal Microsoft aside, unzips new Graph Search
AnalysisFacebook took a major step away from Microsoft on Tuesday by confirming it had built a search product for its network without any involvement from its Redmondian biz partner, which has a $240m stake in Mark Zuckerberg's ad empire.
Datatec sets off profit drop klaxon as Westcon sales slip
South Africa-based channel powerhouse Datatec issued a sales and profit warning this morning after revealing weaker than expected trade in its distribution wing Westcon.
NRA: Video games kill people, not guns. And here's our video game
Just weeks after the vice-president of the US National Rifle Association blamed video games for gun crime, the outspoken organisation has released an iPhone video game.
Spy romp Zero Dark Thirty: The tech behind the special effects
High capacity and fast data access is vital in the world of digital film processing, and its IT bods are always on the look out for their next speed and capacity fix.
France stalls plan to make Google and pals foot broadband rollout
France has put off plans to force Google and other web giants to help build broadband networks. The nation has instead handed off the controversial issue to a governmental panel described by activists as "an obscure committee".
BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog
BT misled customers by wrongly claiming that one of its broadband products was "free for six months", says Blighty's ad watchdog. This is the second time this year the national telco has been scolded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Lynch mob of bankers say they'll stump up cash to take Dell private
Dell is a little bit closer to selling itself off, with at least four major banks willing to put up the money, according to knowledgeable sources.
Here we go again: New NHS patient database plan sets off alarm bells
A paperless NHS that stores patient records in the cloud will be floated by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today. His plan to get medical files into a giant database by 2018 is already stoking fears given the public sector's poor record of protecting sensitive information.
Look out, fanbois: One in two nicked mobes is an iPhone - cops
Half of the phones stolen in London over the summer were iPhones, the capital's cops reported this week.
Skytap fires up Hadoop data-chewer as cloud crash-test dummy
Hadoop might be a popular tool for munching on unstructured data, but setting up and tuning the software requires a lot more expertise than many people have and it takes a lot of time, too. That makes it a perfect piece of software to put on a cloud, provided you can either generate your data there to begin with or pipe it over there once you gin it up.
Playboy fined £100k by Blighty watchdog for FLASHING SMUT at kids
Playboy - the world's best-known porn brand - has been fined £100k ($160k) by Britain's communications regulator, after the publisher failed to prevent children from accessing smutty material on its websites.
Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations
Two US power stations were infected by malware in the last quarter of 2012, according to a report by the US Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT).
Fusion-io touts cheap-as-chips flash to Apple, Facebook and chums
Fusion-io is pushing the idea of all-flash servers for HPC and other large scale data centre applications that need a 100 or more commodity servers, and has made its 1,000+ server hyperscale flash card technology available for down market.
Bloke blasts Sprint for fingering his home as phone thieves' den
Phones lost and stolen in Las Vegas are mistakenly telling their owners they're at the house of one Wayne Dobson, who's getting pretty angry at the late night demands and visits from the police.
Another Apple retail chief crashes out the door
The Apple exec tipped to take over as head of its Retail unit has just quit the company, it was announced yesterday.
Fans of dead data 'liberator' Swartz press Obama to sack prosecutor
A new online petition has called for the firing of US attorney Carmen Ortiz for pursuing Aaron Swartz with charges that could have put him in prison for at least three decades.
Woz flash firm Fusion-io has a gift for Facebook open-sourcers
Fusion-io is open-sourcing its ioScale hardware design and plans to donate it to Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP). But anyone who uses the ioScale design kit will have to use Fusion-io's own-brand controller tech.
AMD+friends forge 'Roadrunner' Open Compute server mobo
Open Compute 2013Struggling server processor and chipset maker Advanced Micro Devices is getting some friendly help from the Open Compute Project, the open-source hardware effort started by Facebook in April 2011.
Globalstar: Don't be afraid of our private Wi-Fi superhighway plan
Globalstar's plan to refarm its satellite spectrum into a privately held Wi-Fi channel has come under fire from the Wi-Fi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG, which reckon it will edge out the unlicensed users.
Surprised? Old Java exploit helped spread Red October spyware
Unpatched Java installations may have helped spread the malware responsible for the recently uncovered "Red October" cyber-spying campaign, researchers at Seculert have revealed.
AMD lawsuit claims spying ring took secrets to Nvidia
AMD is suing four former managers for intellectual property theft, claiming that they set up a spying ring within the company before jumping ship and joining its rival, Nvidia.
Facebook friends bash servers, storage, and racks into bits
Open Compute 2013When you are the company the size of Facebook, you get to dictate the terms of your server acquisitions to your vendors, and a year and a half ago, the social network did a remarkable and unselfish thing and opened up the hardware specs for its first data center and the servers that were built to run in them as the Open Compute Project.