5th > November > 2013 Archive

photo by phylevn/ licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.
Iain Thomson, 05 Nov 2013
NASA's Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft

Kepler's new mission: spotting black holes and supernovae

Analysis NASA'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.
FCC logo

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.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2013
A soldier equipped with the latest iteration of Land Warrior. Credit: GD C4 Systems

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.
Neil McAllister, 05 Nov 2013
Human fist before and after a punch

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.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2013
Astronaut Chris Hadfield's photograph of flames from space

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 bit commitment setup

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 crypto-currency 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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo

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.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2013
Openstack log

Ubuntu nails colours to the CloudFoundry mast with OpenStack PaaS

OpenStack Summit Ubuntu 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.
Phil Muncaster, 05 Nov 2013

Unsung DEAD WHALE EXPLODER hero, who gave the early internet a purpose, passes away

Obituary The 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.
Team Register, 05 Nov 2013
Windows 9x BSOD

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?
Racks inside Rackspace's Sydney Data Centre

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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013
Borked computer keyboard

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.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Phil Muncaster, 05 Nov 2013
From Here To ETERNUS

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.
Chris Mellor, 05 Nov 2013
Die shot of Nvidia's 'Kepler2' GK110 GPU chip

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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013
78rpm records

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.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Nov 2013
Aln Sugar's not a Sugababe

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.
Jasper Hamill, 05 Nov 2013

Antivirus bods grilled: Do YOU turn a blind eye to government spyware?

Analysis Security 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.
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2013

Managing your business devices through System Center 2012

Training On 28 November at 11am GMT, we’re broadcasting a live training session to show you one way of solving the business-critical challenge of managing multi-vendor devices. You'll be able to watch it for free from the comfort of your desk/sofa/bed.
David Gordon, 05 Nov 2013

The 10 most INHUMAN bosses you'll encounter: A Reg reader's guide

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.
Dominic Connor, 05 Nov 2013
Battlefield 4

Forget 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' - how does its rival from EA stack up?

Review To 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.
Mike Plant, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013

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".
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013

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".
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Jasper Hamill, 05 Nov 2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts

OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

Roundup2 The 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.
Hans Grenade, 05 Nov 2013
OpenStack's "Dope 'N Stack" campaign

Inside OpenStack: Gifted, troubled project that wants to clobber Amazon

OpenStack Summit OpenStack 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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013

XP, Win7, Win8, App V…making Microsoft migration simple

Live demos XP to 7, XP to 8, anything to App V: changes in the data centre, the need for security, BYOD and impending upgrades mean that many of you are going through a desktop refresh. The potential for disruption and delay is huge: lost settings, migration of data, incompatible legacy apps all turn what should be a bonus for users into a nightmare for them and you alike.
David Gordon, 05 Nov 2013

A use for the Internet of Things: ROBOCOP Neighbourhood Watch

LADIS 2013 The 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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013

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.
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013
New platypus species Obdurodon tharalkooschild, with a close-up of its tooth

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.
management mobile6

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.
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013
Clint O'Connor's pinhole camera. Pic: Clint O'Connor

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...
Lester Haines, 05 Nov 2013

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.
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2013
Facebook-supplied security screen

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 2013 The 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.
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars

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.
Tony Smith, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013
hands waving dollar bills in the air

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.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Chris Mellor, 05 Nov 2013

'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.
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Nov 2013

Tech today: Popular kids, geeks, bitchfests... Welcome back to HIGH SCHOOL, nerds

Sysadmin blog Brand 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.
Trevor Pott, 05 Nov 2013
Fujitsu Oakleaf-FX PrimeHPC super

5,000 job cuts later: Fujitsu boss says bloodletting's almost over ... for now

Fujitsu Forum Fujitsu’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.
Joe Fay, 05 Nov 2013
Hitachi glass storage

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.
Tim Worstall, 05 Nov 2013
The US Cyber Command official seal

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.
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2013
Prison window

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.
Iain Thomson, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2013

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.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Nov 2013
Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5: So easy to fix, it's practically a DIY kit - except for ONE thing

Teardown The 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.
Iain Thomson, 05 Nov 2013
Oliver Twist

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.
Neil McAllister, 05 Nov 2013

Mind waiting for compute jobs? Boy, does the cloud have a price for you!

LADIS 2013 It'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.
Jack Clark, 05 Nov 2013

CMS Distribution swallows Interactive Ideas

Specialist storage and CE wholesaler CMS Distribution has hoovered up open source distie Interactive Ideas for an undisclosed sum.
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2013
Apple Contact Hero shot

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.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Nov 2013
More flaws found in Java

Want a support contract for GlassFish 4.0? Tough luck, says Oracle

Oracle will no longer provide commercial support for the GlassFish Java Enterprise Edition application server, effective as of the current version.
Neil McAllister, 05 Nov 2013