5th > November > 2013 Archive
Crack our 'military-grade' email encryption and we'll give you 5% of our firm
Vulnerability testing is commonplace these days, and a lucrative business for some, but a Hungarian biz is offering an unusual prize for anyone who manages to crack its email encryption system – a five per cent stake in the company.
Kepler's new mission: spotting black holes and supernovae
AnalysisNASA's precious $530m Kepler space telescope's exoplanet-hunting powers may have been destroyed by the failure of its gyroscopic stabilisers, but it turns out the craft is still capable of functioning as a useful astronomical instrument.
Watchdog FCC gets new overlord ... so, how about that net neutrality, eh?
The new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally relaxed into his office chair.
US soldiers preparing for civilian life taught coding skills by Microsoft
Microsoft has launched a new program aimed at teaching programming skills to active-duty US soldiers as they transition out of the military.
Japanese boffins unveil INVINCIBLE robot rock, paper, scissors 'bot
Boffins from Tokyo University's Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have devised a robot that always wins at rock, paper, scissors.
WTF is ... 802.15.4e?
Among the causes of the serious bushfires that are still burning near Sydney, Australia, was a tree branch falling over a powerline.
Quantum-classical crypto sends secret vote from Switzerland to Singapore
Quatum cryptography is already useful in protecting “good” parties against interference from an evil outside world, but until now, it hasn't protected a “good” Bob from an “evil” Alice, or vice-versa.
Bitcopocalypse! Top cryptocurrency can be hijacked, warn boffins
The Bitcoin crypto-currency is vulnerable to manipulation by greedy miners, researchers have claimed, which poses a threat to the stability of the funny money.
Western Digital 'fesses up to Mavericks data loss mess
Western Digital (WD) has pulled some versions of its data management software after users of external disk drives from Western Digital reported data loss after they upgrade their Macs to OS X Mavericks.
Can't stand the heat? Harden up if you want COLD, DELICIOUS BEER
Why does warm water freeze faster than cold? Researchers from Singapore believe they've cracked the long-standing paradox – it's down to the way stretched hydrogen bonds store energy.
Microsoft buys all electricity from Texas wind farm
Microsoft has decided to acquire the entire output of a wind farm.
Ubuntu nails colours to the CloudFoundry mast with OpenStack PaaS
OpenStack SummitUbuntu backer Canonical has announced two major new projects with EMC-and-VMware offshoot Pivotal designed to bring Platform as a Service capabilities to all OpenStack implementations.
Unsung DEAD WHALE EXPLODER hero, who gave the early internet a purpose, passes away
ObituaryThe internet is mourning the sad death of George Thomas Thornton, the man who gained immortal fame for blowing up a dead whale on TV and so created what was probably the first truly viral video.
MIT boffins: Use software to fix errors made by decaying silicon
Smaller transistors means more noise means more errors means the collapse of everything we know and love about computers, such as their infallible ability to run with perfect stability for years on end … right?
FLASH, AH-AAAH! Saviour of the universe Rackspace cloud?
The "fanatical service" acolytes of Rackspace have added a hefty flash-backed range of servers to their cloud as part of a strategic revamp.
Adobe users' purloined passwords were pathetic
Adobe's security breach just got worse for the company and the world, after a security researcher revealed that 1.9 million of the company's customers us the string “123456” as their password.
China funds devs to write smog-clearing vidcam code
The Chinese government has been forced to ask digital experts to solve a particularly trying problem: how to adapt surveillance camera technology to see through the cripplingly thick smog that regularly blankets urban areas in the middle kingdom.
From here to ETERNUS and beyond: Fujitsu refreshes array lines
Fujitsu has replaced virtually all of its ETERNUS storage product line, bar the entry-level and high-end products, with a new generation promising unified block and file access, deduplication and greater performance.
Amazon lashes Nvidia's GRID GPU to its cloud: But can it run Crysis?
Amazon has chugged Nvidia's new virtualized GPU technology to spin-up a new class of rentable instances for 3D visualizations and other graphics-heavy applications.
Aussie bloke hacks way to top of music charts with MIDI-based tunes
A security engineer has successfully hacked his way to the top of the music charts in Australia with songs whose quality can only be enjoyed while on Class A drugs, apparently.
Big Beardie's watching: Alan Sugar robots spy on Tesco petrol queue
A division of Lord Alan Sugar's firm has launched a surveillance campaign which will see shoppers' faces scanned at hundreds of Tesco petrol stations.
Antivirus bods grilled: Do YOU turn a blind eye to government spyware?
AnalysisSecurity guru Bruce Schneier has joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 23 other privacy and digital rights activists to call on antivirus firms to publicly state they do not turn a blind eye towards state-sponsored malware.
10 Types of IT managers from hell
Your boss could well be a barely restrained psychopath. Indeed, it is probable that he is the living incarnation of Cthulhu himself. Or he may be a bumbling incompetent who'll sink your career along with his. You, the downtrodden techie, need to learn how to deal with him - and fast.
Forget 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' - how does its rival from EA stack up?
ReviewTo borrow from football parlance, Battlefield 4 is your proverbial game of two halves. There’s the dry single-player campaign that, for all its bluster, offers few new ideas. Then there’s the juicy multiplayer version that will pull you in and devour your life.
Cloudy firm Coms Plc coughs £9.5m for Redstone
The three-year restructuring at Redstone was effectively wrapped up today after management "conditionally" sold trading subsidiary Comunica for £9.5m in cash to LSE listed cloud-based telephony player Coms Plc.
Co-op Bank to splash £500m on system revamp
The Co-operative Bank has put tech suppliers operating in Blighty's financial services sector on red alert after confirming plans to spend £500m on overhauling its creaking IT infrastructure after years of "under-investment".
New US Apple factory will make INVINCIBLE sapphire glass for SHINY iThings
Apple is planning to open a new factory in Arizona in partnership with mineral crystal firm GT Advanced Technologies, to make sapphire components for its devices.
Google Helpout live vids: Helping you help us help ourselves, says web giant
Bottom-feeders beware! Google is now attempting to eat into "how to" websites with the launch of its latest service dubbed "Helpouts".
Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way
Indian space-wallahs are celebrating the successful launch of an unmanned mission to Mars.
OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'
Roundup2The latest Call of Duty game, Ghosts, is out today, and already websites’ game reviewers are tripping over themselves to reach for the clicks they hope the new Infinity Ward title will win them.
Inside OpenStack: Gifted, troubled project that wants to clobber Amazon
OpenStack SummitOpenStack is just like a precocious child – the open-source data center management and service layer keeps on doing terrifically clever things, while infuriating everyone that deals with it.
A use for the Internet of Things: ROBOCOP Neighbourhood Watch
LADIS 2013The Internet of Things may be a young field, but researchers are already cooking up a filesystem to simplify how devices share information with one another, which could lead to community-backed services such as an automated neighborhood watch.
How the W3C met its Waterloo at the Do Not Track vote showdown
The W3C has set some important rules governing the adoption of web technologies. Yet on the issue of privacy, the standards shop has met its Waterloo.
Late with your ransom payment? Never mind, CryptoLocker crooks will, er, give you a break
Crybercrooks behind the infamous file-encrypting CryptoLocker ransomware have begun offering a late payment option, which costs victim five times as much to "buy" the decryption key necessary to unscramble their encrypted files.
Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey
Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have spent tens of billions of dollars rolling out state-of-the art data centres over the past few years.
Horrific FLESH-EATING PLATYPUS once terrorised Australia
Boffins have found evidence that a giant, sharp-toothed, flesh-eating platypus once roamed the waterways of Australia.
Sources: Azzurri coughs £1m to end O2 call centre spat
Azzurri has settled a seven-figure dispute with O2 after a financial spat erupted over a Glasgow call centre it runs on behalf of the telco, well-placed sources have told The Channel.
Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera
The photography aficionados among you who still recall with teary-eyed nostalgia the days before digital domination might appreciate an agreeable return to the old school, albeit with a hi-tech twist: a 3D-printed pinhole camera...
Reding: NSA, friends don't spy on friends. Europe, let's team up for our own SPOOK CLUB
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has re-floated the idea the European nations should team up to create their own intelligence service by 2020, as a counterbalance against overarching US spying.
Supreme Court WON'T review Facebook's Beacon settlement
The US Supreme Court has decided to let Facebook's settlement of the Beacon privacy lawsuit stand, despite complaints from users that starting a non-profit privacy rights group didn't benefit the millions of plaintiffs.
Excited students, $2,500, quivering racks and dreams of glory
SCC 2013The new "Commodity Track" of the upcoming SC13 Student Cluster Competition has hit a chord with cluster competition aficionados worldwide and Register readers alike.
Mighty Cisco terminates British channel chum Phoenix IT Group
Cisco has confirmed it was the unnamed vendor that gave top certified services partner Phoenix IT Group its marching orders last week - a move which sent the Phoenix share price tumbling by around 11 per cent.
Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who
Doctor Who @ 50‘Classic’ is a word that was already worn out back in the mid-1980s when fanzine editors and contributors couldn’t help themselves attach it to any Doctor Who story they were particularly keen on, whatever its merits. Thirty-odd years on, the word is no less overused, but the release of stories on VHS and, later, DVD has helped rub some of the rose-tinting off fans’ spectacle lens.
Struggling Acer pulls out Wang too late, then calls Wong number
Acer CEO and chairman JT Wang has quit amid widening losses and a resulting company restructure that involves job cuts at the Taiwanese PC maker. The firm has also turned to its retired founder to help carve out a future.
Cash-blackhole Twitter will shower itself in gold by 2015, investors told
Twitter has never been able to secure any profit from its operation since its inception in 2006, but investors claimed today that the would-be ad platform's finances could change seriously over the course of the next two years – to the tune of $200m.
Microsoft offers 'free' backup for Azure users with the cloud fear
EVault has promised a year’s worth of cloud backup and disaster recovery services to biz customers who take out an Azure Enterprise agreement with Microsoft.
'Last EVER REAL Nokia' phone heads for Verizon, leaky pic-spurt reveals
What may be Nokia’s last ever phone – the Lumia 929 – has broken cover, but you won’t be able to buy it here in Blighty.
Tech today: Popular kids, geeks, bitchfests... Welcome back to HIGH SCHOOL, nerds
Sysadmin blogBrand tribalism runs our industry. It's a term that encompasses the mentality of all those fanbois and fangurls whose interaction with products simply doesn't end at the purchase and use of said products.
5,000 job cuts later: Fujitsu boss says bloodletting's almost over ... for now
Fujitsu ForumFujitsu’s international boss said the company was substantially through a painful transformation that saw it shed 5,000 staff, as the firm kicked off its customer shindig in Munich with a raft of storage and cloud announcements.
Secrets of Apple's mysterious Arizona sapphire factory: Our expert whispers all
As already noted here at El Reg, Apple is spending some of its vast cash pile on setting up a sapphire production plant in Arizona.
Playtime's over: Next NSA boss may be torn away from US cyber-war effort
The job of running both the NSA and the US Cyber Command – which tasked with defending Uncle Sam's military computer networks – may be split after their boss General Keith Alexander retires.
Microsoft in a TIFF over Windows, Office bug that runs code hidden in pics
Microsoft has alerted users and system administrators following the discovery of targeted attacks on a security bug present in Windows, Office and Lync.
UK fraud squad bends over Serco, G4S for 'phantom crims' probe
The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a criminal investigation into contractors Serco and G4S after an audit allegedly suggested the companies were massively overcharging for the electronic tagging of offenders.
ZOMBIE apocalypse! The 'LIVING DEAD' are HERE – Fox News confirmed it
Within the past hour, Fox News declared today is "World Zombie Day", and urged us all to "bring out the living dead" in an online cock-up.
Gigantic Apple MaxiPad spotted in China
Fresh reports of an impending big-screen Apple MaxiPad have surfaced in the Mysterious East, with a Chinese-language website saying that a 12.9-inch version of the fast-selling fondleslab may appear as soon as March 2014.
Google Nexus 5: So easy to fix, it's practically a DIY kit - except for ONE thing
TeardownThe teardown team at iFixit has had a bad run of things lately, with Apple and Microsoft's shiny new fondleslabs earning very low ratings for reparability recently. But Google's new Nexus 5 has broken this trend, earning an eight out of ten rating for being easy to open and repair.
Lavabit bloke passes hat for open-source secure email master plan
Ladar Levison, the former operator of the Lavabit secure email service that was once used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, has launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds to release the site's code as an open source project.
Mind waiting for compute jobs? Boy, does the cloud have a price for you!
LADIS 2013It's an open secret that the virtual machines people buy from public clouds have variable performance properties, but it's about to get a whole lot worse as providers prepare to sell people gear with sludgier capabilities than ever before, but at a low, low price.
CMS Distribution swallows Interactive Ideas
Specialist storage and CE wholesaler CMS Distribution has hoovered up open source distie Interactive Ideas for an undisclosed sum.
Apple: How we slip YOUR data to govts – but, hey, we're not Google
Apple has joined Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo!'s transparency club, releasing a detailed report on the numbers and types of requests for personal records it has received from law enforcement and government agencies around the world.