21st > June > 2013 Archive

Photo of the Keon Firefox OS phone from Geeksphone

Foxconn recruiting 3,000-strong army to work on Firefox OS

Foxconn is a firm believer in the Mozilla Foundation's open source Firefox OS – so much so that the Taiwanese electronics giant is reportedly planning to beef up its software staff by as many as 3,000 workers to help support the platform.
Neil McAllister, 21 Jun 2013

Report: Skype set up Project Chess to enable official snooping

For the last five years, Skype has been running an internal team called Project Chess to investigate methods to allow law enforcement to listen in on users' phone calls, sources have told The New York Times.
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2013

Ferocious fungus imperils future of British gin and tonic

Juniper berries, the crucial ingredient in the quintessential British distilled spirit, gin, and thus critical to the revered pick-me-up, gin and tonic, are under attack.
Rik Myslewski, 21 Jun 2013
Raijin at the NCI

New super maxed out on first day of operations

How long does it take to fill a supercomputer? A day, if you're the new Raijin machine at the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI) at the Australian National University.
Richard Chirgwin, 21 Jun 2013
Gartner's Digital Marketing Transit Map

Gartner magicians conjure technological TUBE MAP

Gartner's Magic Qudrants are beloved by vendors (when they appear in its best bits) but often draw disapproving doubts from Reg readers, who doubt their independence
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2013

FIVE DAY tech job interviews on trial at Oz telco Telstra

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has revealed that it's trying out job interviews that run for five days.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2013

Top Norks bone up on Hitler

Rotund nutjob communist dictator Kim Jong-un has been handing copies of Hitler's autobiography to his generals and ordering them to study it “in depth”, according to a North Korean dissident website.
Gareth Corfield, 21 Jun 2013
US flag

India's outsourcers fume over new US immigration bill

Indian outsourcing body NASSCOM has labelled a new immigration bill being considered by the US as “discriminatory”.
Phil Muncaster, 21 Jun 2013
Stratasys Mojo 3D printer

3D printers now emitting merged manufacturers

The 3D printer market is starting to carve itself into a new shape after Stratasys, purveyor of the consumer-friendly Mojo and the industry-focussed devices like the bar-fridge-sized uPrint will hand over $US403m worth of stock to acquire MakerBot and its rather more prosumer-friendly Replicator range.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2013
Two Musudan missiles in Pyongyang in October 2010

NORKS harbouring 3,000-strong cyber army, claims Seoul

South Korean defence minister Kim Kwan-jin reckons Pyongyang has 3,000 highly trained hackers tasked with stealing military secrets and disrupting systems.
Phil Muncaster, 21 Jun 2013
Mug with our Vulture logo

El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

Vulture Central's pursuit of the ultimate cuppa is set to enter the final straight as we prepare to decide once and for all what constitutes the pinnacle of cha perfection.
Lester Haines, 21 Jun 2013

Facebook foolishness foils (un)civil servant's squirm up greasy pole

Welsh bureaucrats are in trouble again for their use of social networking websites: seven civil servants have now been disciplined for their comments on Facebook or Twitter.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013
The Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge

What should replace Linpack for ranking supercomputers?

ISC 2013The Linpack Fortran benchmark, which has been used to gauge the relative performance of workstations and supercomputers for many decades, is looking a little long in the tooth. So, some of the people who love Linpack and know it best are proposing a new benchmark - with the mind-numbing name of High Performance Conjugate Gradient, or HPCG.

RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming

A year ago, RBS experienced its Chernobyl moment – an incident when a case of simple human error by those running critical systems resulted in a crisis.
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2013
Bouncy castle. pic: Shutterstock

Can Jonny Ive's new 'iOS Vista' SAVE the BBC's £100m BRAIN? Yes!

¡Bong!"With physical products, we have to feel we can dominate them" - Sir Jony Ive
Steve Bong, 21 Jun 2013

SACK MORE BRITS, Symantec UK told by US supremos - sources

Symantec UK bosses must redraft their master plan to layoff Brit workers - after their first proposal was rejected by the US top brass for not cutting far enough, sources claim.
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2013

Anons: We milked Norks dry of missile secrets, now we'll spaff it online

Shadowy hacking collective Anonymous has claimed it will leak a huge cache of confidential documents from North Korea's missile programme.
Jasper Hamill, 21 Jun 2013

Rise of the Machines: How computers took over the stock market

FeatureTrading used to be limited by how fast one human could shout at another and agree upon a price. Now it's limited by the speed of an electron through copper wire. This has caused, to put it mildly, some changes.
Jack Clark, 21 Jun 2013

Apple: If you find us guilty in ebook price-fix trial, EVERYONE suffers

Apple has claimed that ruling against it in its ebook price-fixing trial will have a "chilling effect" on how businesses enter new markets.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013

Nominet sacks freshly-hired exec implicated in hospital 'cover-up' scandal

Nominet has sacked its chief commercial officer Jill Finney after just a few months in the post as an alleged cover-up about mother and baby deaths in the National Health Service began to unravel.
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jun 2013

Cultivated dope-smoking Welshman barred from own shed

A dope-smoking Welshman has been banned from entering the "potting shed" he used to grow cannabis, as he awaits sentencing on charges of cultivating marijuana and "possessing it with intent to supply".
Lester Haines, 21 Jun 2013

Pussy galore: Bubble-bath webcam spy outrage

Something for the Weekend, Sir?“I can make money from it, so why not?” This was a soundbite from a Radio 5 Live phone interview with a “Finnish webcam hacker” who claimed to have “sold” the ability to watch women as they sit in front of their laptops.
Alistair Dabbs, 21 Jun 2013

Not all data encryption is created equal

Sysadmin blogI've written a recent spate of articles channelling the tinfoil hat industry that triggered some interesting conversations.
Trevor Pott, 21 Jun 2013

Internal power struggle at Oracle leaves Brits cool on Sun

Oracle's sales force are riding roughshod over channel partners with the total available market for distribution in Blighty shrinking by more than a half in the last year, according to insiders.
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2013

Icelandic biz baron: 'I have a private jet waiting in China for Snowden'

An Icelandic entrepreneur is offering to fly former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden to Iceland on a private plane, should the chilly island nation grant him asylum.
John Leyden, 21 Jun 2013

Google gets gentle Street View slurp slap from UK data cops

Google has escaped a fine from the UK Information Commissioner's Office, after the watchdog concluded its investigation into the company's controversial Street View cars that slurped payload data from unencrypted wireless networks.
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jun 2013

Apple's $17bn bond sale not such a good deal for investors

Investors in Apple's record $17bn bond offering who didn't hedge their bets have seen millions in value wiped off their investment.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013

Vodafone trials femtocell 3G coverage in Shetlands village

The Shetland village of Walls, population 300, now has 3G service courtesy of Vodafone – but the tech deployed, and the way in which it was done, bodes well for the future.
Bill Ray, 21 Jun 2013

Brits' HSBC bank cards, net access goes TITSUP

HSBC in the UK is suffering an unexplained outage across a number of systems today.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013

'That time I hired a call girl to do my taxes while I f****d my accountant'

QuotWThis was the week when international fugitive, criminal suspect and self-described eccentric millionaire John McAfee released a tongue-in-cheek video explaining how to uninstall the security software of his one-time company.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013

Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Anyone who encrypts their emails or uses secure instant message services runs the risk of having their communications stored by the US National Security Agency, according to the latest leaks from former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden.
Jasper Hamill, 21 Jun 2013

'The Decider' quits Twitter to become White House deputy CTO

Twitter executive Nicole Wong has taken a new job at the very top of the American government.
Jasper Hamill, 21 Jun 2013

Dished! Clearwire hops into bed with Sprint

Sprint has upped its offer for Clearwire, outbidding Dish and signing a deal which requires Clearwire to cough up $115m if the acquisition fails for any reason – outmanoeuvring Dish yet again.
Bill Ray, 21 Jun 2013

Tokyo beak rules against Samsung in Apple 'bounce back' case

Tokyo's district judge has ruled that Samsung smartphones and fondleslabs infringe on Apple's infamous "bounce back" feature.
Brid-Aine Parnell, 21 Jun 2013
Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell

Michael Dell: 'Cash in your shares, we are in a mess'

Dell is such a risky bet that it's a wonder shareholders invested their hard-earned cash in the stock in the first place.
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2013
Sony smartwatch crop

Sony set to launch smartwatch in Shanghai next week

Next week Sony will unveil its latest attempt to build a smartwatch market at the Mobile Asia Expo 2013 in Shanghai, according to hints as subtle as an enraged rhinoceros on the company's Twitter feed.
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2013

Leaked docs: GCHQ spooks secretly haul in more data than NSA

The spooks at Brit intelligence agency GCHQ have been secretly tapping hundreds of fibre-optic cables to slurp data, according to leaked documents seen by The Guardian.
Jack Clark, 21 Jun 2013

Tesla unveils battery-swapping tech for fast car charging

Even as Tesla Motors labors to build out its North American network of "Supercharger" recharging stations, the electric carmaker has unveiled an additional system that promises to get its vehicles juiced up and ready to run in less time than it takes to fill a traditional car's tank with fuel.
Neil McAllister, 21 Jun 2013

Wireless traffic-info networks could save BEEELIONS per year

A newly released study contends that adding wireless communication between cars and traffic-sensing infrastructure could add up to an annual savings of €11.4bn ($15bn) in accident prevention, fuel, and pollution costs – and that's in Germany alone.
Rik Myslewski, 21 Jun 2013
ISS against a spring moon

Sunday's night sky to be flooded by MASSIVE SUPERMOON

At 4:32 am PDT on Sunday, the Earth's sole natural satellite will appear as large as it will get this year as it swings through 2013's closest orbital distance – but if you're not in the San Francisco Vulture Annex's time zone, you may also be lucky enough to get your own lunar treat at a time appropriate to your location.
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2013

Facebook bug leaks contact info of 6 million users

Facebook's Download Your Information (DYI) tool has occasionally been criticized for not offering enough transparency into user-account data, but it recently revealed more than it intended when a bug led it to leak the contact information of some six million users.
Neil McAllister, 21 Jun 2013

Oracle set for major Microsoft, Salesforce, Netsuite partnerships

Oracle is embarking on a spree of partnerships to assure the success of its much-ballyhooed 12c database among cloud companies.
Jack Clark, 21 Jun 2013

US DoJ: Happy b-day, Ed Snowden! You're (not?) charged with capital crimes

UpdatedEdward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked secret NSA documents to The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers, received an unwelcome birthday present on June 21; namely, he has been formally accused of spying by the US government.
Neil McAllister, 21 Jun 2013

2012: second costliest year for weather and climate-related disasters

Weather and climate-related disasters in the US during 2012 were the second-costliest since detailed estimates began to be calculated in 1980. Last year's damages were exceeded only in 2005, when four hurricanes made landfall, including New Orleans–destroyer Katrina.
Rik Myslewski, 21 Jun 2013

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