6th > February > 2013 Archive

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Microsoft to open 11 new retail stores by summer

Microsoft has announced that it will open six new retail stores in North America by summer 2013, in addition to five locations that were previously announced in December.
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Study: Gay marriage support linked to pr0n consumption

A research paper by two American academics has concluded that one of the key factors in the increasing support among straight men for same-sex marriage comes down to how much pornography they consume.
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Amazon patents digital resale market

If Apple ever wants loan-or-onsell capabilities in iTunes, it will probably find itself discussing patents with Jeff Bezos.
Surface Pro hero

Review: Living with Microsoft's new Surface Pro

While the Surface RT was aimed at Apple's iDevices, its posh Pro cousin is Microsoft's Windows 8 showcase in the PC space, and on midnight on February 9 the first units will go on sale. But we got one early, lived with it for a week, and have, ahem, surfaced to tell of our experience.

Boffins find 17,425,170-digit prime number

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has struck again, finding the largest-ever Mersenne prime number.
ENIAC programmers, photo: US Army

US military advisor calls for McKinnon pardon, recruitment of "master hackers"

A leading US military strategist has urged the Obama administration to soften its stance if it wants to attract the kind of “master hackers” that would enable it to compete in cyber space with China, starting with the symbolic gesture of pardoning Gary McKinnon.
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Pinging in the rain: Boffins track wet spots using phone masts

Dutch university boffins working with meteorological experts and, er, T-Mobile have mapped rainfall using records of radio attenuation, producing real-time maps as good as radar and a lot cheaper.
Bill Ray, 06 2013

Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

Microsoft says Windows 8 PC sales were cursed by the unholy trinity of a slow economy, incursions by Apple and Android tablets, and the "ambitious" user interface design.

UK web snoop charter: Just how much extra info do spooks need?

Analysis MI5 makes the most requests for information on Brits' phone calls and internet activities, according to a panel of MPs and peers scrutinising Home Secretary Theresa May's draft communications surveillance law. The controversial bill calls for much wider spying on online activity.
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BSkyB to flick switch on network-level smut-'n'-violence filters

BSkyB will switch its broadband service to network-level filtering later this year in a clear move away from giving subscribers control over what content they want their families to access online in their own homes.
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Ex-ICO: Draft EU privacy rules will turn every citizen 'into a liar'

Britain's Information Commissioner wants the force of the European Data Protection Directive to fall on rogues, not on businesses which already face mountains of paperwork. That's the message that Chris Graham will be taking to Europe when he goes there to hash out a compromise on the new European Data Protection Directive sometime before July.

Raspberry Pi on a diet: New skimpier, cheaper model on sale

An even cheaper Raspberry Pi has gone on sale in Europe with less stuff on it so the tiny ARM-compatible Brit-puter can consume even less power.

The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Analysis The Ministry of Defence is in the pillory again today, being corporately pelted for the recent unedifying sequence of events in which the Coalition government decided in 2010 to fit the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers with catapults - and then abruptly changed its mind in 2012, reverting to the former plan which will see them able to carry jump-jets and helicopters only.
Index picture of the OOB and Console port of a Dell switch

Life after Cisco: I've got 99 problems but a switch ain't one

Test lab Pending network upgrades have reignited an old debate: what exactly makes a switch "good enough?" I have the opportunity to give two switches a truly thorough battering; my lab contains a Dell PowerConnect 8132F and a Supermicro SSE-X24S. Try as I might, I can't find fault with either unit.

Stricken 2e2 sacks 627, winds down, retains a few data centre caretakers

Stricken UK integrator 2e2 - in administration and unable to find a buyer - effectively started to wind down operations today by confirming 627 people were being let go with just a small group of data centre staffers left to keep things "ticking over".
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Cable Cowboy lassoes Virgin Media with HUGE £15bn deal

The world's second biggest cable company - Liberty Global - has confirmed its plans to buy British ISP Virgin Media for $23bn (£15bn), after the telco said on Tuesday it was in talks with the corporation run by American billionaire John Malone.
Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell

Will Michael Dell become the Marlboro man of the PC age?

Comment The mooted Dell takeover, the one to take it private again, is now happening. The big question is why?
Dell XPS 10

Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

Windows RT: unholy fondleslab abomination or clever integration of a grown-up desktop and touch-friendly tablet UI? Opinions veer wildly and violently between one and the other extreme.
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Profitless internet biz Pinterest seeks $2.5 BILLION valuation

Online scrap repository Pinterest is trying to raise a new round of funding that would value the as-yet-profitless firm at $2bn to $2.5bn.

When open-source eats itself, we win

Open ... and Shut For years the headlines have been about open source cannibalising proprietary software. But what happens when open source starts to cannibalise itself?
Matt Asay, 06 2013
The Register breaking news

Astronomers unravel solar system's strange energy 'ribbon'

Astroboffins reckon they may have solved the mystery of the vast ribbon at the edge of our Solar System after three years of puzzling over it.
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Shocked Zynga investors get a penny per share

Zynga has shocked analysts by somehow coming up with a cent in earnings for each one of its shares.
Olympus E-PL1

Big Data versus small data: Unpicking the paradox

NoSQL and Big Data crashed into the ordered world of relational architectures a few years back, thanks to services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Lawyer: 2e2 customers should act quickly as liquidation looms

Any 2e2 customers that clung on in the hope a buyer could be found for fallen channel giant must act now to minimise disruption to service, a law firm has warned.
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NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

NASA's Deep Impact probe has sent back images of comet Ison as it heads inexorably towards a close fly-past of the Sun later this year.
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Ex-US Army man: NYT hacks part of wider war on western media firms

Recent hack attacks on the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal may be simply the most prominent out of a wider series of assaults against western media firms, according to a cyber-security intelligence firm.

HP EMEA boss recruits enterprise generals

HP EMEA boss Peter Ryan is bolstering his band of generals by plucking a couple of Brits from HP's UK ops to lead the channel networking and volume server units at a regional level.
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Fed confirms but downplays Anonymous Super Bowl banker hack

The US Federal Reserve has admitted that its systems were hacked during Sunday's Super Bowl, a breach that led to the leaking of personal data on hundreds of US banking executives.
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Antivirus update broke our interwebs, howl Win XP users

Updated Thousands of Windows XP users were blocked from accessing the internet this week after they applied a misfiring antivirus update from Kaspersky Lab.

3 Brits banged up for £300k VAT scam

Three men have been jailed for setting up nine totally fictional firms so that they could get away with £300,000 in a VAT scam.

Speaking in Tech: HP's snarky Dell jab 'doesn't seem very Meg-like'

Podcast Podcast It's another episode of El Reg's enterprise tech cast, with your hosts Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, they're guest-free, which means Sarah can consolidate her high score on Temple Run while the crew get really honest about what they think of the infamous HP press release about Dell going …
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Apple serves up 25 BEEELLIONTH iTunes download

Apple's iTunes Music Store has served its 25 billionth download, and is now shuttling tunes to Macs, PCs, and iDevices at a average rate of 15,000 per minute.
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Watch your back, Amazon: Google coughs $125m for 'shopping engine' firm

Google have bought inventory tracking software company Channel Intelligence for a hefty $125m.
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Google Doodle honors British bone-finder Mary Leakey

Google has honored British archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey with a home page Doodle, celebrating a woman who spent over 60 years uncovering the remains of modern humans and their close cousins.

A new Mac Pro coming this spring? 'Mais oui!'

Apple will release a new Mac Pro this spring, according to a French fanbois website that got its mains on what it says is a memo from a Gallic Apple reseller.
Lenticular Cloud

Brit cloud Elastichosts chases boom to Asia

British cloud operator Elastichosts has splashed down in Asia, renting space in Sydney and Hong Kong data centres and declaring it is ready to cash in on the boom in cloud and the healthy economies of Asia.

Data centers to go bonkers over microservers

Intel can't hold a press conference these days without being harangued about ARM-based servers and the potential for microservers based on low-powered processors to bite into its Xeon server-chip biz. And for good reason: there is a growing consensus that these baby servers are going to catch on because of the inherently distributed and non-virtualized workloads at hyperscale data centers.
The Register breaking news

Speedy MySQL 5.6 takes aim at NoSQL, MariaDB

Oracle has announced general availability of MySQL 5.6, even as many MySQL users prepare to transition to alternatives such as MariaDB because of what they claim is Oracle's overweening handling of the open source database.

Bug kills Intel gig-E controllers

Star2Star CTO Kristian Kielhofner has identified a buggy implementation the Intel 82574L Ethernet controller that makes some kit subject to a “packet of death” that hangs the port receiving the packet.