Iain Thomson

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The first color picture of Mars from Viking 1

40 years ago today the US govt sent a taxpayer-funded robot to invade an alien hostile world

Pics The surviving members of the Viking Mars probe team have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first probe to make it down onto the surface of the Red Planet, send back pictures, and perform scientific experiments. The Viking 1 lander hit dirt on Mars on July 20, 1976, 16 days late. The probe had been planned for …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Facebook laser receptor

Raving mad: Glow sticks are secret weapon in Facebook's 2.1Gbps laser internet drones

At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed more details about his laser-firing drones that will encircle the world and relay Facebook, sorry, the internet to far-flung places, reaching potentially all seven billion of us. The first solar-powered Aquila autonomous drones to do that job have now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Tim Peake

ISS chases the Dragon

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule has arrived at the International Space Station after a two-day trip in orbit. .@SpaceX #Dragon captured at 6:56am ET/10:56am GMT w/@Astro_Jeff & #AstroKate at @CSA_ASC #Canadarm2 controls. https://t.co/PQ2DE0o7YM — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) July 20, 2016 The capsule was captured by …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
WikiLeaks

300k Turkey govt emails leak

The Turkish government is blocking WikiLeaks after the whistleblowing website published a huge archive of emails from officials of the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP). The archive was obtained from the inboxes of AKP staffers and members of parliament before the attempted military coup last week. The initial batch …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
loud

After Monday's landing, SpaceX wants to do it in triplicate

SpaceX has applied to local authorities for permission to build two new rocket landing pads in Florida ahead of the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket later this year. The Falcon Heavy consists of three modified Falcon 9 rockets strapped together – a more complex machine that Elon Musk describes as having a "heavy pucker factor …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
fire helicopter

Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

A man was arrested by officers from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection after his drone allegedly got in the way of them tackling a major blaze. Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill, California, was cuffed on Friday after posting drone-shot footage of the Trailhead Fire, which has burned for three weeks and …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
results

What's big, blue and red all over? IBM. Profit, z Systems down, cloud up

IBM today reported its second quarter financial results and the figures don't look good, with profits falling nearly 30 per cent. The venerable computing giant did perform slightly better than analysts expected, however GAAP revenues and profits are both down year-on-year. It's the 17th straight quarter of revenue declines for …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016
Euro cracker

How to scam $750,000 out of Microsoft Office: Two-factor auth calls to premium-rate numbers

Gaming two-factor authentication systems with premium rate phone numbers can be very profitable – or it was until the flaws got reported. Belgian security researcher Arne Swinnen noticed that the authentication systems used by Facebook-owned Instagram, Google and Microsoft allow access tokens to be received by a voice call as …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016
mistake

Samsung spills beans on mystery username, password emails to devs

Weird emails from Samsung to third-party developers containing usernames and passwords had some worried that the chaebol had been hacked. But the electronics giant says it's nothing to worry about. Earlier in the week, several Reg readers got in touch after they each received an email from Sammy titled "Your Login Information …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
BOSS map of universe

Go catch Pokemon in this, nerds: Our space neighborhood of 1.2m galaxies mapped in 3D

Pics After ten years of work by hundreds of scientists, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III has produced the most complete map of our nearby universe covering over a million galaxies. "We have spent five years collecting measurements of 1.2 million galaxies over one quarter of the sky to map out the structure of the Universe over a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Autopilot

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Tesla is misleading drivers about the efficacy of its Autopilot feature and is putting lives at risk, according to Consumer Reports. The automaker's autopilot system, when engaged, is supposed to control the speed of the vehicle and its distance from other rides and objects – but it's more of a super-cruise-control than a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

Empty your free 30GB OneDrive space today – before Microsoft deletes your files for you

Microsoft is cutting its free 15GB OneDrive cloud storage space down to 5GB, and eliminating the 15GB free camera roll for many users. Files will be deleted by Redmond until your account is under the free limit. Back in November, Microsoft announced it would no longer provide free unlimited storage for Office 365 users, …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2016
IDA

Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration

NASA has shown off a shiny new piece of hardware that's going to make it easier to bring future gear onboard the International Space Station. Fresh supplies will be sent up to the orbiting science lab by a SpaceX rocket due to take off on Monday, weather permitting. The largest item in the manifest is the International Docking …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2016
Twiki

White hat hacker AI bots prepare for DARPA's DEF CON cyber brawl

The research wing of the US military has picked the seven teams who will compete to build machine-learning software that can find and patch bugs automatically to fend off hackers. The DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge will be held at the DEF CON hacking conference next month. The agency has put up $2m in prize money in the unlikely …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
scrooge

Generous Fiat Chrysler offers $1,500 for car security bugs – or two minutes of annual profit

Fiat Chrysler has finally got around to offering a bounty on bugs found in its cars. But the scheme is unlikely to get any takers considering the pitiful amount of money on offer. Last year car-hacking artistes Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek took remote control of the engine, brakes, and minor systems of such Fiat Chrysler …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Meet Riffle, the next-gen anonymity network that hopes to trounce Tor

Next week, top eggheads will unveil a new anonymizing internet tool that they claim is snoop-proof and faster and more reliable against attack than Tor. Dubbed Riffle, the system was developed by MIT and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. It uses the same onion-encryption system as Tor, which wraps …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
skylon

Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

The makers of the newfangled Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) have secured the necessary funding to fire up their hardware by 2020. Reaction Engines – the Oxfordshire, England-based team behind the next-gen engine – signed a collaboration contract with the European Space Agency at the Farnborough Air Show on …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
Johnny English

FBI arrests satellite engineer on charges of espionage

A US military contractor is alleged to have tried to sell Uncle Sam's satellite secrets to someone he thought was a Russian intelligence officer, the Feds claim. Gregory Allen Justice, 49, of Culver City, California, worked as a security tester on military satellites, including the GPS system, the Milstar military …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2016
Juno

Juno probe spins up its sonic screwdrivers for Jupiter flyby

NASA is firing up the nine scientific instruments on board the Juno probe orbiting Jupiter ahead of its first data collection mission. The spacecraft successfully went into orbit around the solar system's largest resident on July 4 after a five-year trip and has used some of the instruments already to take pictures as it …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016

Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

Police in Dallas, Texas, used a bomb-carrying robot to blow up a cornered sniper who earlier shot 12 officers during a protest. The suspected gunman was holed up in a building not far from where the shootings took place, we're told. Negotiators tried to persuade the ex-US Army reservist to surrender – but the talks broke down …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016