24th > February > 2014 Archive

Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Microsoft may slash price of Windows 8.1 on cheap 'slabs

Microsoft has reportedly slashed the price of Windows 8.1 for anyone willing to install the operating on a device that sells for fewer than $US250.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
Printed key

Saving private spying: IETF Draft reveals crypto-busting proxy proposal

A draft put forward to the Internet Engineering Task Force has drawn the ire of prominent privacy activist Lauren Weinstein as “one of the most alarming Internet proposals” he's ever seen.

Netflix coughs up to cruise on Comcast

Video streaming service Netflix and carrier Comcast have struck a deal to “Provide Customers With Excellent User Experience”.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

MIT wants quasars to help put free will to rest

The last of three loopholes held to remain in Bell's Theorem, “setting independence”, is under the spotlight with an MIT research group saying that quasars could be used as random number generators and help prove* the validity of quantum mechanics.

Cloud Foundry laps up attention in EMC, IBM, HP, Rackspace, SAP, VMware love-in

The Cloud Foundry open-source project looks set to become a standard piece of technology in the thriving distributed systems ecosystem: its main backer, Pivotal, has persuaded IBM, HP, SAP and Rackspace to join a new foundation dedicated to the tech.
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014
Timo Boll faces the Agilus robot at ping pong. Credit: KUKA

Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Everyone knows that the robots can already beat the best the human race can offer at chess, Jeopardy, probably global thermonuclear war etc. But for games of agility, until now the human athlete has in general retained his or her superiority.
Lewis Page, 24 Feb 2014
Facebook data center - server racks

Juniper, HP join the MWC NFV frenzy

MWC 2014 As the countdown to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona nears zero, another two major vendors have added their names to the NFV – network function virtualisation – list: Juniper and HP.
Magellan eXplorist 710 GPS

Microsoft tries to re-invent GPS with cloudy offloads

Microsoft has released a tool that it hopes will make it possible to add location-sensing abilities to many more devices.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

An "environmental economist" has produced a study in which he claims that climate change this century will "cause" millions of violent crimes in the United States, over and above those that would have happened anyway.
Lewis Page, 24 Feb 2014
Volvo V60

Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

There are few sadder sights than a desperate-looking shopping hostage waiting outside a changing room while their partner tries on a prospective purchase.
Jasper Hamill, 24 Feb 2014

Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

Sysadmin Blog It's mobile update month at my company, and that means it's time for a look at the smartphones. I've researched every single unit that will work on a Canadian cellular network and come to some interesting conclusions. For the first time I'm looking at a refresh cycle more from the standpoint of a business owner and end-user rather than as a gadget-obsessed nerd and that changes things significantly.
Trevor Pott, 24 Feb 2014

Pics: 'Bitcoin ATMs' spring up in the US

America is getting its first IRL dealing with Bitcoin as a pair of digital currency "ATMs" went online this week.
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2014

Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

MWC 2014 Three years after it announced a switch to Windows Phone, Nokia launched a family of Android-based phones today at Mobile World Congress 2014.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014

WhatsApp founder: Believe us, internet! 'Twas a DODGY network router WOT DONE IT

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has said that a network router caused the outage of the messaging service this weekend, just a few days after it was acquired by Facebook.

NHS England DIDN'T tell households about GP medical data grab plan

NHS England patients who went to the trouble of opting themselves out of junk mail being crammed through their letterboxes did not receive the health service's recent leaflet about its data grab plan with GP medical records, it has been revealed.
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2014
Global Wireless solutions coverage testing backpack

Mobe operators, need to check your network? There’s an app for that

MWC 2014 US mobile network checking company Global Wireless Solutions says there is a gap between its traditional way of testing mobile coverage using vans driving around with $300k of testing kit in the back and crowd-sourced reports on quality of mobile network coverage.
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014

Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

A French entrepreneur is hoping that by 2015, those with €100,000 in spare change will slip the surly bonds of earth aboard his Vaylon Pégase (Pegasus) flying car.
Lester Haines, 24 Feb 2014
Bletchley Park Manor House, photo: Gavin Clarke

Battle of Bletchley Park: TNMOC chief calls for review of museums' Mexican standoff

The National Museum of Computing has called for an independent review in a bid to solve a long-running dispute with the Bletchley Park Trust - chaired by ex-MI6 chief (or "C") Sir John Scarlett, famous for overseeing production of the dossier which took Britain to war in Iraq.
Jasper Hamill, 24 Feb 2014
George Teixeira and Ziya_Aral

Future storage tech should KILL all-in-one solutions, says CEO

El Reg had a conversation with DataCore president, CEO and co-founder George Teixeira about what’s likely to happen in 2014 with DataCore. Software-defined storage represents a trend that his company is well-positioned to take advantage of and he reckons DataCore could soar this year.
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2014

Sony enlists Michael Jackson's GHOST to flog Xperia Z2

MWC 2014 Sony has announced the new Xperia Z2, an Android KitKat phone, as a predictable progression on the Z1 and has enlisted the help of the its single-gloved departed partner, popstar Michael Jackson, to help pimp it out.
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014
management procure6

Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse mull merger

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse (CPW) today confirmed they are locked in negotiations that may or may not lead to a merger.
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2014
Microsoft Nokia logo

Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

MWC 2014 Microsoft was aware of Nokia's plans to release a range of Android phones, the man in charge of the new range told us today. And the new Nokiadroids - of which there are more than anyone predicted - will be coming to the UK - possibly sooner than anyone realises.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014
A cow

Stuff the delays! PM chuffed to have BT's superfast broadband in his constituency

Prime Minister David Cameron already enjoys super speedy internet connections at his constituency home in Dean, Oxfordshire, but locals in the village of Alvescot – saddled with a very slow broadband service – have waited a long time for an upgrade.
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2014
ZTE Goes blue

Cheap'n'cheerful Chinese mobesters ZTE launch Firefox phones

MWC 2014 As Telefonica pushes Firefox as a foil to the dominance of Apple and Android, ZTE is keen to play ball with a couple of new Firefox phones. Called the Open C and Open II, they are looking to ship more than one million devices this year. The new phones run Firefox OS 1.3.
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014
Cray Mongolian cluster

Supercomputer maker Cray: Jobs for HPC kids? There might be some going

HPC blog There are some teens and kids in their twenties who skip out on university courses for a trip abroad with their friends, where they spend days and nights chugging down (caffeine) brew, losing sleep and wrestling with, er, clusters. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing...

Mobile World Congress: It's not about the SHINY SHINY anymore

Comment The industry hog roast and hoedown that is Mobile World Congress used to be all about who had the shiniest new smartphone, tablet or random mobile-related gadget. But things have changed.
Houses of Parliament at night-time

UK citizens to Microsoft: Oi. We WANT ODF as our doc standard

Even if Microsoft bosses collectively whistled Always Look on the Bright Side of Life they'd still struggle to drown out people backing Cabinet Office proposals to adopt the Open Document Format as the official standard for UK.gov missives.
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2014

Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

The ghost writer hired to help Julian Assange with an autobiography deal that ultimately fell apart has described the WikiLeaker as "thin-skinned, conspiratorial, untruthful and narcissistic".
Sina Weibo logo

Sina rumoured to be prepping Weibo for $500m US-based IPO

Chinese web giant Sina has picked two of the big banks to prep its Twitter-alike microblogging site Weibo for an IPO in the US.

IBM gobbles CIA-backed NoSQL database upstart Cloudant

IBM is creeping towards the cloud, picking up startups on the way, including a NoSQL database company to fill in some of the perceived shortcomings of DB2.
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla takes wraps off 25 DOLLAR Firefox OS smartphone

MWC 2014 Ever in search of the next few billion people who will access the internet for the first time in the coming years, Mozilla has unveiled a reference design of a smartphone that it says could sell for as low as $25 (£15).
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2014

NBN Co tells iiNet: Use Broadcom chips in VDSL routers

iiNet, Australia's third-largest internet service provider in terms of subscriber numbers, has been told by NBNCo that it should consider only Broadcom chipsets for its future VDSL modems.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

Chipzilla just won't quit: Intel touts 64-bit Atoms for Android phones, tabs

MWC 2014 Intel has launched one new 64-bit, Android-capable Atom processor platform – "Merrifield" – taken the wraps off a future one – "Moorefield" – and introduced a new LTE modem in its latest bid to crack the mobile market as well as position itself for the buzzword du jour, the Internet of Things.
Rik Myslewski, 24 Feb 2014
Higher Education and Further Education

NetApp to appear in Australian TAFE, Uni courses

NetApp stands upon the threshold of long-held ambition: having its view of storage taught in Australian tertiary institutions.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014

1bn down, 6bn to go: Zuck to grow Facebook by touting 'free internet onramp' for the poor

MWC 2014 Mark Zuckerberg has used his keynote address at this year's Mobile World Congress to expound on his rough plan to expand basic internet services to all humanity as a human right, and then sell them something on the back of them.
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2014

Tizen devices are HERE.... Hello, Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches

MWC 2014 The next generation of Samsung's Gear smartwatches is based on its homegrown Tizen mobile OS, rather than Android, the Korean chaebol has revealed.
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA.
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

Moon flashes Earth after getting pounding from MASSIVE meteorite

Video Scientists have reported spotting the biggest meteorite impact ever seen on the Moon's surface – after a 400kg (900lb) rock slammed into the lunar regolith at an estimated 17km/s, leaving a crater about 50 metres wide.
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2014