25th > November > 2013 Archive

Microsoft Xbox Kinect

Confirmed: Apple gives nod to gobblement of Kinect-maker PrimeSense

Apple has reportedly confirmed its interest Israeli company PrimeSense, which helped to develop Microsoft's Kinect motion sensor, by buying it.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013

Most of Dread Pirate Roberts' treasure still buried, say researchers

While the FBI found a Bitcoin wallet worth around $122m on the laptop belonging to a man suspected of being the “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR), two Israeli researchers believe that's only about 22 per cent of what the Silk Road kingpin would have held.

Ditch your boring iPhone for a hot Android piece, says Google's TOTALLY UNBIASED Eric Schmidt

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has shown that as a marketer, diplomat and technical writer, he makes a pretty good figurehead/roving-technology-talker-upper – by penning Eric’s Guide: Converting to Android from iPhone.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013

Indonesia raises volcanic Defcon level as Mount Sinabung rumbles

Updated: Indonesia is the most volcanically-active nation on earth and is home to some of the planet's nastiest fire mountains, as anyone familiar with Krakatoa knows well. So brace yourself, humanity, because a volcano villagers that was thought to have been dormant for a few centuries has rumbled back to life, leading authorities to order evacuations and take country's disaster agency put the volcano on a Level 4 (Caution) alert*.
Playground spring horse

Racing Post p0wned, accounts accessed and passwords pinched

Popular horse racing news and gambling portal Racingpost.com has suffered a substantial security breach.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013

What turns Americans on? Everything but XMAS and OSAMA

As Britain enjoyed the royal wedding, the rest of the world was "searching for Kate's nude pictures", according to a leading porn site.
Jasper Hamill, 25 Nov 2013
Solar flare on July 12, 2012

Boffins baffled after Sun fails to fry satellites

Predictions from 2011 that sunspot cycle 24 would be a fizzer are turning out to be optimistic.
We don't know if Marissa made this herself

Microsoft releases wonderfully loopy experimental GIF-jiggler

Microsoft Research has released something rather interesting: a GIF-maker that analyses the patterns in a video and re-orders discrete sections of the frames to produce the best possible output.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013
Author with e-cig

Reg man inhales the smooth, non-cancerous, taste of USB nicotine

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vapes, sound like a great idea because they deliver a nicotine hit in a familiar form factor, but without the nasty stuff you'll find in conventional smokes.
Pledging fealty

We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

The soaring price of BitCoin has prompted the cybercrooks behind the infamous CryptoLocker malware to reduce the levy they impose on victims from 2 BTC to 0.5 BTC.
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013
Night scene of bank station in central london

London: Hey Amazon, wanna slip your speedy packages down our tubes?

Transport for London (TfL) is apparently talking to Amazon about moving into the soon-to-be-vacated ticket offices on the London Underground and turning them into drop boxes for its goods.

Meet the BlackBerry wizardry that created its 'better Android than Android'

Exclusive Some remarkable technical wizardry lies behind BlackBerry’s Android coup. When it was launched in January, BlackBerry’s new OS was brand new BlackBerry 10 and largely app-less. But today it can execute Android apps at impressive speed. How did they do it? Thanks to some helpful inside knowledge, The Register will reveal it all.
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013

LOHAN buffs body for sizzling vinyl wrap

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission continues to attract enthusiastic and expert support from around the world, and following the welcome news last week that we're getting a bit of help with the Vulture 2 spaceplane's autopilot, we're delighted to announce that said rocket ship is poised to get the sizzling vinyl wrap treatment, courtesy of Reg reader Chris Pyper.
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2013
Electric Imp

Little devil: Electric Imp is an Internet of Things Wi-Fi PC-ON-AN-SD-CARD

Review Most products’ origins are prosaic: an inventor or a suit spots a gap in the market and attempts to fill it. Other products, however, have rather more bizarre beginnings. A case in point: Electric Imp came about because co-founder Hugo Fiennes wanted to connect the lights in his new bathroom to the internet.
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013

How much should an ethical phone cost? An extra penny? Or $4bn

As the Dodd Frank regulations about conflict minerals approach the date at which people actually have to do something about them, it's worth seeing if they're really the monstrously ghastly clusterfuck I've been predicting they will be. Much to my surprise they're not: they're worse.
Tim Worstall, 25 Nov 2013

EMC borgs VMAX and VNX: Arrays in a merger, no new storage bed

EMC has re-organised itself internally with a momentous change: the high-end VMAX block array and mid-range unified file and block storage VNX array businesses are being combined in a single organisation run by VMAX king Brian Gallager.
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2013

'Best known female architect' angrily defends gigantic vagina

The architect behind Qatar's 2022 World Cup Al Wakrah stadium has denied her creation looks like a giant vagina, describing such comparisons as "nonsense".
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2013
Stradivarius violin reproduction

Shares PLUNGE as Violin posts $34 MEELLION loss

Violin Memory’s losses are deepening faster than its sales are growing and that is surely unsustainable. El Reg’s storage finance desk thinks a shortfall in orders from the federal government exacerbated the stalling of enterprise sales growth – and looming competition and software inadequacies didn't help much either.
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2013
Barbed wire against a clear blue sky

Cisco untroubled by mega-clouds fleeing its proprietary ASIC grip

Networking giant Cisco is facing the same onrush of terrifying low-cost competitors that server vendors and chipmakers are dealing with, and is now trying to convince the world that its tech is more open and interoperable than people think.
Jack Clark, 25 Nov 2013
Back of iPhone 5

SIM-free unlocked iPhones coming to a channel near you...

The faint hopes of some Apple resellers were smashed AGAIN this weekend when Ingram Micro became the second tech distributor in a month to confirm it will sell SIM-lock-free Jesus mobes ... in Europe but not the UK.
Paul Kunert, 25 Nov 2013
Microsoft 'Scroogled' mug

Leaked MS ad video parodies Chrome as surveillance tech

A leaked Microsoft ad, meant only for internal consumption, parodies a Google campaign as it portrays Google Chrome as a data-snaffling privacy-stealing parasite.
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013
Tomb Raider

Hooters, shooters and looters: Eidos’s Tomb Raider

Antique Code Show It has been argued that Tomb Raider’s star, Lara Croft, was the first feminist female of video games: a bastion of 1990s "girl power" and the "ladette" culture that was (supposedly) happening at the time, and thus a great role-model for young empowered women everywhere.
Giles Hill, 25 Nov 2013

Ignore the GIGANTIC assets write-off, Universal Credit IT 'is working' – UK.gov

Hundreds of millions of pounds are understood to have been wasted on the government's Universal Credit programme - a huge IT project to cut and shut six benefits schemes into one payment system - but Whitehall insisted today that the tech was working.
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Nov 2013
She likes her Pi

What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

Opinion Simon Hettrick is Deputy Director and Policy & Communications Leader of the Software Sustainability Institute, which is based at the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Southampton.
Simon Hettrick, 25 Nov 2013

Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Microsoft’s high profile Xbox One launch did not attract as many British punters as Sony’s PlayStation 3 notched up some six-and-a-half years ago, UK retail sources have revealed.
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013

Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

Microsoft's hardware chief has given the strongest indication yet that Microsoft has too many operating systems.
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013
Four of EMC/XtremIO's Project X all flash arrays

EMC's flashy XtremIO? I Xpect it will be great... in a few years

Storagebod So we finally have general availability for XtremIO – not that general is much different from directed availability: it is still going to be pretty hard to get hold of an XtremIO if you want one.
StorageBod, 25 Nov 2013
Blofeld's white cat

Facebook's Zuckerberg: US gov 'blew it' on mass surveillance

Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg - whose company is routinely criticised for its dubious data-mining practices - has attacked the US government for being secretive about its online spying activities.
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Nov 2013
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Flash stash on toppa platta: WD's tasty Black² 1TB combo for LAPTOPS

WD hopes to whet the appetites of laptop owners and serious gamers who have the need for speed AND capacity: it has launched a 1TB Black spinning disk drive with a 120GB SSD stuffed inside its case.
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2013
Amazon Android App Store

Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

The Beeb has sent an undercover reporter into a British Amazon warehouse in a bid to show what life is like for its worker drones.
Jasper Hamill, 25 Nov 2013
The NSA Unchained

NSA installed '50,000 malware sleeper cells' in world computer networks

America's NSA had established an army of "sleeper cells" – malware-infected, remote-controllable computers – on 50,000 networks by the middle of 2012. That's according to the latest leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013
Warning! Black Helicopters

SILENCE of the OWLS may mean real-life 'Whisper Mode' for Black Helicopters

Topflight boffins say they may be able to plumb the secrets of silently-flying owls and use them to make all sorts of wing and propeller machinery - planes, helicopters, wind turbines, even submarines - much quieter than they are today.
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2013

URGH! GPS, that's another delayed mess you've got us into - suppliers

Government Procurement Services is running well behind schedule on the forthcoming £1.2bn replacement to its exiting IT product framework before tender documents have even been dispatched to suppliers.
Paul Kunert, 25 Nov 2013

Salesforce $1m hackathon win under scrutiny after brouhaha

Salesforce is investigating the finalists in its $1m mobile apps hackathon to ensure the competition’s rules weren't broken.
Gavin Clarke, 25 Nov 2013
Santa Claus on his laptop

Brits to do £5bn worth of their Christmas shopping online

Online sales in Blighty are forecast to reach £5bn this Christmas, making up just under one-eighth of the total £40.3bn in festive shopping this season.
Jellyfish flying robot

Our TINY flying robot moves like a JELLYFISH, say NYU boffins

Boffins have already come up with mini-robots that can fly like helicopters and others that fly like insects – but the latest flying bot moves through the air rather unusually, in the same way that a jellyfish swims.
AIC JBOD top image

Dude, relax – it's Just a Bunch Of Disks: Our man walks you through how JBODs work

Sysadmin blog I'm one of those terrible people who "learn best by doing" and have always had a difficult time wrapping my head around exactly how high availability using "JBOD" external disk chassis systems was supposed to work. But my initial ignorance can work for both of us as we learn together.
Trevor Pott, 25 Nov 2013
Export computer keyboard key

Beijing hits back at US: Don't you DARE blame China for collapse of duty-free IT talks

Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng has said it was "irresponsible" of the US to stop trade talks on abolishing tariffs on tech products and to blame China for the breakdown in negotiations.
Google Glass

Google opens Mirror API: Now ANYONE can develop for gizmohead specs

Google has opened up its Mirror API for Google Glass to any and all developers, rather than just the whitelist of early adopters that could previously use it.

SAP: Oh snap, where is everybody... Are we LATE for the cloud?

SAP is looking at accelerating its move into the cloud, and shunting more of its business there over the coming year.
Gavin Clarke, 25 Nov 2013
Autodesk's AutoCAD

Rare AutoCAD malware rigs drafting machines for follow-up attacks

Security researchers have discovered a rare strain of AutoCAD malware that opens up compromised machines to secondary exploits.
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013

Haitian snapper humbles photo giants AFP, Getty Images in $1.2m copyright victory

Photographers have won a landmark victory after a US federal jury awarded $1.2m to freelance photojournalist Daniel Morel after media giants uploaded and credited to themselves some shots he had posted on Twitter.
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2013
Falcon 9 lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Pic: SpaceX

To the MONEY RING: Musk's SpaceX to attempt boldest mission yet

Updated It's yet another fateful day for upstart startup rocket biz SpaceX and its visionary founder Elon Musk. Today the company will attempt for the first time to put a satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit - and so enter the main space arena in which serious commercial money can be made today.
Lewis Page, 25 Nov 2013
NASA composite image of a solar coronal mass ejection event in 2002

Our Sun menaces comet 'of the century' ISON with FIERY DESTRUCTION

Skygazers are nervously awaiting the outcome of Comet Ison's impending close encounter with the Sun, which could put paid to hopes that the icy ball will put on a jaw-dropping display across the night sky.
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2013
Lego: The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien 'almost became WWII code-breaker alongside Alan Turing'

A planned biopic on Tolkien is slated to cover his brush with life as a WWII code-breaker, a role he ultimately didn't take up.
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013

Apple stalls iWatch, 12.9-inch iPad from Quanta rumored for mid-2014

Apple has reportedly chosen its manufacturing partner for a 12.9-inch "MaxiPad" that's scheduled for mass production in the second half of next year, and is presiding over a bidding war to determine which companies will get the lion's share of producing Cupertino's long-rumored iWatch.
Rik Myslewski, 25 Nov 2013
John Chen

BlackBerry chief Chen swings the axe at mobe-maker's executives

New BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen has begun his tenure at the battered smartphone vendor by shaking up its top executives, eliminating at least two positions in the process.
Neil McAllister, 25 Nov 2013

Australia's Silicon Beach is a wipeout

“If only Australia were more like Silicon Valley,” the entrepreneuriat declaims: “Our startups would be more like theirs, and we'd have home-grown Googles or Apples!” I've heard this for years, and I'm uncomfortable with it.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013

HEADS UP, text-flinging drivers! A cop in a huge SUV is snooping on you

New York's finest have bought a fleet of big SUVs that will allow them to look down into other driver's vehicles and catch commuters texting while driving.
Iain Thomson, 25 Nov 2013

Apple guru Sir Jony's RED beer can PC raises $980k for AIDS fight

Apple design whizz Sir Jony Ive helped to raise $26m at a massive charity auction for AIDS research.
Shaun Nichols, 25 Nov 2013

Bad genes? US watchdog halts 23andMe's handy home DNA test kits

Vanity DNA testing company 23andMe has hit a major roadblock, having been told by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it must stop selling its personal genome testing kits.
Neil McAllister, 25 Nov 2013
Meter Readings screenshot

SP Ausnet picks Ericsson for 3G smart meter rollout

Ericsson has put up its hand and declared itself the winner of the contract to provide Australian electricity distributor SP Ausnet with 108,000 smart meters in the State of Victoria.
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013
Cellular basestation antenna

Mobile price competition stirs in Australia

Beleaguered Australian mobile users might be about to get some price relief, if research from Goldman Sachs proves accurate.

Revealed: How Microsoft DNS went titsup globally on Xbox One launch day

Exclusive Microsoft's major outage last week was caused by a policy rollout that derailed its own DNS servers – a blunder that also downed some of the tech giant's internal services.
Jack Clark, 25 Nov 2013
The Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral

SCRUBBED: Technical oopsies halt SpaceX's bid for the Money Ring

The first attempt by SpaceX to launch a satellite into geostationary orbit has been put on hold after a number of technical problems left its Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad.
Iain Thomson, 25 Nov 2013