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Gavin Clarke

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Ultimate Doctor Tom Baker REGENERATES, RETURNS to WHO

Tom Baker is reportedly breaking his legendary Who hiatus to appear in tomorrow’s BBC TV special, the Day of the Doctor - marking Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. And you'll be able to check El Reg tomorrow for coverage. With his flowing scarf, 1970s ‘fro and pockets full of jelly babies, Baker left an iconic mark on the sci-fi …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2013

Lead ONTO your pencil: Bill Gates pours cash into graphene condoms

A graphene condom so thin that blokes won’t look for excuses to avoid using it is on its way, thanks to Bill Gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $100,000 to University of Manchester boffins who’ve proposed making condoms built using the wonder-material, so far earmarked for use in electronics and computing …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2013
Hortonworks logo

Rob 'Flipper' Bearden plans to FLOAT his Hadoop heffalump

To some, Rob Bearden is a hero. In just a few years, the venture capitalist flipped two open-source startups, turning diamonds in the rough into gems in the corporate M&A crown. In 2006, he sold app server disrupter JBoss to Red Hat within a few years of joining for an estimated $350m, and just a year after joining SpringSource …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Nov 2013

Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

Steve Ballmer has spoken to shareholders of his vision of a diversified Microsoft which includes both Bing and Xbox, with the backing of the tearful Bill Gates. Ballmer said Tuesday that under the re-org that he announced this summer, Microsoft won’t be limited to a single set of activities, rather it would span “a family of …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Nov 2013
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Salesforce, HP pit newly grown 'Superpods' against Amazon jungle

Salesforce is partnering with Hewlett-Packard in a huge strategic nudge to make Marc Benioff’s cloud company more like Amazon. Salesforce today announced it is giving customers the option of taking out dedicated instances on its vaunted multi-tenant cloud. This marks the first time the customer relationship management (CRM) and …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Nov 2013
Applied Graphene's Jon Mabbitt, photo: Applied Graphene Materials

Brit graphene maker poised to go public: Yes, wonder stuff WILL float

A British startup whose goal is to seriously expand production of graphene and push Blighty to the front of a global race goes public on Wednesday. Applied Graphene Materials will IPO on London's AIM stock exchange with the goal of raising £11m from investors hungry to get in on the ground floor of what’s been hailed as a " …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Nov 2013

Salesforce forces Force sales-force sales: Or tries to anyway

Salesforce is rebooting its mobile strategy, reportedly killing existing versions of its mobile CRM software-as-a-service in exchange for an Android and iOS love-in. The company has announced Salesforce1, a new CRM platform that it claims will make it easier to build and customize Salesforce services for Apple and Google …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Nov 2013
Cloud security

DropBox puts locks on doors, hopes biz bods will buy the house

DropBox is tightening up its service for businesses rather than risk getting kicked out by security-conscious CIOs. The collaboration service, hyped by Silicon Valley, will start offering secure and remotely managed connections between people's personal and business DropBox accounts on PC and mobile from next month. Its DropBox …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Nov 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Botched network maintenance has been blamed for a huge crash at Saleforce’s data centres, taking out customers’ CRM and data services across the US and Europe. Seven of Salesforce’s 17 North American instances and two out of four in EMEA went down. Servers started dropping out just before 2am UTC on 15 November, with outages …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Nov 2013
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM. HUMAN-crushing SUPERCOMPUTER Watson. The Cloud. You know where THIS is going

IBM is exposing the super computer brain that crushed puny humans in a TV quiz show to the entire internet. Big Blue announced its IBM Watson Developers Cloud on Thursday, inviting all comers to build big data apps that tap the cognitive powers of its Watson super computer. The idea is to tempt application authors keen on …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Nov 2013
Steve Ballmer

Departing Ballmer shakes up Microsoft's top engineering boffins

Steve Ballmer has shuffled some Microsoft top boffins around, using his closing days as CEO to cement his massive summer re-org. Harry Shum, Bing engineering chief and ex Microsoft Research managing director for Asia, has been named executive vice president of technology and research. Shum replaces Eric Rudder who has been …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Nov 2013
The Tardis: Oooo-eee-ooooo © BBC 1963, Courtesy of BBC Worldwide

Want to BUILD YOUR OWN Tardis? First, get a star and set it spinning...

A joke was doing the rounds at CERN two years ago: “Knock, knock.” “Neutrino.” “Who’s there?” The inspiration for the gag were CERN boffins working on the OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) experiment. They had apparently found that a group of sub-atomic particles called neutrinos had broken a …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Nov 2013

New Internet Explorer chief is man behind Windows Phone reboot

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) has a new chief - the exec who has led the company’s Windows Phone rebirth for four years. Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone program management and design vice president since early 2009, tweeted today that he’s added responsibility for IE and Windows UX (“user experience”) to his “next role focused …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Nov 2013
hands waving dollar bills in the air

ACID-friendly FoundationDB joins NoSQL millionaires club

FoundationDB, the database startup cooking an ACID*-compliant NoSQL, has caught the eye of investors. The company announced today that it had landed a first round of VC funding, $17m in Series A, from investors Sutter Hill and CrunchFund. The money will be used to fund expansion in sales and marketing, engineering and support …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Nov 2013

iTunes-for-corporates private app stores put firms at risk – survey

Businesses risk flunking software licence audits and overpaying for their apps by rolling out their own take on Apple’s iTunes app stores for business. That’s the warning from an IDC and Flexera Software poll that found 63 per cent of companies are planning their own enterprise app stores. Stores will be used by staff to …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Nov 2013
Photo of Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Ultrabook

Dell aims for cloudy orbit with Sputnik Ubuntu developer project

Dell is taking another stab at making the Sputnik Ultrabook it converted from Windows to Ubuntu even cloudier for developers. The company said on Tuesday it has committed fresh engineering brains to the Sputnik project to help iron out remaining wrinkles. Dell has also enlisted open-source virtualization start up Docker to try …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Nov 2013
Surface Pro 2 with keyboard, photo Gavin Clarke

'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

“Daddy, can I use the black iPad?” my four-year-old daughter asks as she spots the Surface Pro 2 I'm reviewing for The Reg. She has, without knowing it, encapsulated Microsoft's problem on Surface in a nutshell. I’d been passing the Surface Pro 2 around to friends and family at a weekend gathering to garner their feedback. …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Nov 2013
Windows 7

Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Internet Explorer 11 arrived for Windows 7 last week but some key features are missing, particularly in the field of HTML5-enabled film, TV and audio. Microsoft has compiled a list of features you'll find in IE11 on Windows 8.1 but which have been pulled from the version of its latest browser that targets Windows 7. Some …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Nov 2013

'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO

What kind of company would Microsoft be under Stephen Elop, we asked. We have an answer... of sorts. Elop would kill Bing and Xbox as a Microsoft chief executive and go "all business" by developing Office for as many non-Windows devices as possible. Nokia’s CEO is reported by Bloomberg be considering the strategy should he …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Nov 2013
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

'Shared databases are crap' Oracle reveals shared database management suite

Oracle, whose CEO Larry Ellison once slagged off multi-tenant clouds, has now released software to manage those very same multi-tenant databases. Ellison's database giant slipped out Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c this week, updated to administer multi-tenant instances on an Oracle 12c database. Oracle Multitenant is an option …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Nov 2013
Microsoft Office v Google Apps advert

Microsoft offers Google-esque multi-meddling options in Office Web Apps

Microsoft has added joint editing capabilities to Office 365 apps. The company announced on Thursday the fact you can jointly and simultaneously with colleagues edit Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App and Excel Web App. Microsoft promised you could see where colleagues are editing text and formatting so you can avoid changes …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013

Skype U-turns on plan to kill off desktop API, spares foot from bullet

Skype has backtracked on a decision to terminate its desktop API next month, a move that would have broken the voice-chat service for millions. Microsoft’s Voice-over-IP unit has said it’s now “extending support” for the parts of the API that work with hardware and allow the user to record calls. Chat through third-party …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013
Internet Explorer Logo

Google 'fesses up: Yup, we're KILLING OFF IE9 support for Gmail, Apps

Google has finally revealed its plans for Gmail and Google Apps to stop working with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9. The internet ads and search giant said it has stopped all testing and engineering work to make Gmail and Apps work with IE9. Microsoft’s customers will start receiving notifications in the next few weeks that …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013
Alicia Keys at a red carpet event in a blue, jewelled gown with upswept hairdo. Photo by Keith Hinkle, licensed under creative commons attribution

Heins didn't have the beans. Can comeback king Chen fish BlackBerry out of jam?

BlackBerry’s plan for rebirth using the dream team of Alicia Keys and chief executive Thorsten Heins has failed. Sybase turnaround king and CEO-of-the-moment John Chen is now its new great hope. Heins lasted less than two years in the hotseat at BlackBerry. He was named CEO in January 2012, taking over from co-CEOs Mike …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013

Microsoft CEO shortlist claim: It's just Elop, Bates, Mulally, Nadella and...

The shortlist for Microsoft’s next chief executive is apparently a bit shorter. Five people are now in the frame to run the world’s largest software company, it's believed. Ford Motor Company big cheese Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop are said to be the two leading outside candidates. “At least” three internal …
Gavin Clarke, 06 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. These companies are building massive facilities housing thousands of servers with dedicated fibre and Ethernet connections that shunt tens of gigabytes per second. But when customers are …
Gavin Clarke, 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. By establishing things like XML and HTML as standards, the W3C has helped ensure the web works everywhere – no matter what web server or browser you’re using. Without HTML you’d …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

Want a Microsoft cloud subscription? You'll need to be 'committed'

Microsoft has updated its software licensing with a bundle to woo “highly committed” customers who build their clouds using Windows. Redmond’s November price list (PDF) gives loyal customers the option to consume a smorgasbord of serious server and tools software through subscription instead of using the usual site, server and …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Nov 2013

Salesforce dooms do.com, just can't do Do.com

Dependent on Do.com? Time to move on. Salesforce is killing the web-based productivity tool it inherited in 2010. The software-as-a-service provider said the service will shut down on 31 January, 2014. There was no word from Salesforce on why it’s killing the service but it called the move “a tough decision.” Salesforce is …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Nov 2013
Marc Benioff

Salesforce whips out private-public-ish 'iTunes app store' for enterprise IT

Public-cloud preacher Salesforce.com will deliver a white-label version of its enterprise "app store" for private clouds – so businesses can use it to distribute software to staff. The Marc Benioff-run online giant has dubbed the product Private AppExchange, which companies can individually brand and tailor as required. The …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2013
Fantasy Gadgets

Bucket? Check. Toilet plunger? Check. El Reg's 50 years of Doctor Who

Fifty years ago in November – on November 23, to be precise – the BBC broadcast its first episode of Doctor Who. It was the start of what, in the world of JJ Abrams, we’d call “a franchise”. Just two TV programs have matched the Doctor for endurance and survival: Coronation Street and Blue Peter. In five decades the Doctor’s …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2013
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

SAP: We just can't gobble BlackBerry. We're stuffed with 'mobile solutions'

Business-software giant SAP has ruled out buying struggling handset-maker BlackBerry. Chief financial officer Werner Brandt is reported to have said that BlackBerry wouldn't be a good fit. “Blackberry doesn’t fit with our [company’s] strategy,” Brandt is reported to have told Euro am Sonntag. He pointed to the fact SAP already …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2013

Apple under CEO Angela Ahrendts? Hmm ... (beard stroke)

Cloud king Marc Benioff has hailed "future Apple CEO" Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new head of retail and online sales, as "the most important hire Tim Cook has ever made". Some have interpreted the tweet by Benioff, chief executive of software-as-a-service success Salesforce.com, as more than just a bit of encouragement for his …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2013
Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung is officially the WORLD'S BIGGEST smartphone maker

Samsung outsold every other smartphone maker combined during the third quarter of 2013, according to IDC. The consumer device maker shifted 81.2 million smart phones, giving it 31.4 per cent of the market and increasing its share by nearly half. Apple, Huawei, Lenovo and LG between them scraped up 69 million units. Nokia, the …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Oct 2013
eyeofSauron

Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

The privacy-enhancing Do Not Track standard is wobbling badly after barely surviving a no-confidence vote by the W3C consortium. Held among World Wide Web Committee (W3C) working group members, the vote against drafting a Do-Not-Track (DNT) standard was narrowly defeated by a majority of just five. W3C members working on the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Oct 2013

NetSuite's Nelson mocks SAP for halting work on its, er, 'NetSuite-killer'

NetSuite has slapped down business software rival SAP for abandoning mid-market customers hungry for Software as a Service (SaaS). Zach Nelson, NetSuite chief executive, said SAP’s decision to stop developing its Business ByDesign service proved the danger of relying on a “last generation provider” like SAP for cloud services …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Oct 2013
Tiit Paananen, boss of Skype Development labs, in front of Skype mural in the Estonia head office

Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

Third-party Skype developers are rallying against a Microsoft decision that threatens to break the voice-chat service for partners and millions of users. A Change.org petition has been launched that calls on Skype, and owner Microsoft, to reverse their decision to kill the nine-year-old Skype desktop programming interface in …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Oct 2013
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

Oracle has swallowed BigMachines, but does Salesforce look queasy?

Oracle has scooped up a hosted CRM specialist and one-time Salesforce.com investment. Larry Ellison's database giant has bought BigMachines, a 13-year-old provider of hosted sales-to-order software that allows sales staff to create quotes, promotions and proposals using automated workflows. Financial terms of the deal were not …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2013
Microsoft Surface bomb

Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Within just 24 hours, both Microsoft and Apple have refreshed their tablet lineups for Christmas. Microsoft tried to steal a march on Apple by launching Surface Pro 2 and the rebranded Surface RT, now called Surface 2. Dropping the RT from the outside, not the inside Apple dutifully followed suit on Tuesday night with two new …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2013

SAP cuts back on development of Business ByDesign software unit

SAP is halting development of its unwanted Business ByDesign hosted enterprise resource planning (ERP) service and swapping to services running on its HANA systems. The ERP giant has confirmed reports that Business ByDesign will no longer receive any more major feature updates and that it’s now slipping into maintenance and bug- …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Oct 2013

Google stays tight-lipped on IE9 Gmail, Apps death sentence

Google seems to have U-turned on providing Gmail and Google Apps support for Microsoft customers glued to an increasingly outdated version of the ever-unpopular Internet Explorer browser. Gmail, Apps, Apps for Business and Education, and Analytics currently look set to continue supporting three versions of IE: IE11, IE10 and IE9 …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2013
Surface 2

LIVE CHAT: You, El Reg, experts chat about Win 8.1 and Surface 2

By the end of next Tuesday – 22 October – Microsoft will have played all of its Christmas cards. Two new Surface slabs will have officially launched and Windows 8.1 will be working its way through shops, PC makers and download servers. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will bring new chips and graphics processors to make things …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2013
Pin to start in Windows 8.1

Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Microsoft today unleashed Windows 8.1, the version to soothe folks ruffled by the touchscreen-friendly user interface. Crucially, the software giant really didn’t want to make this particular upgrade: it's effectively stepped back from the original Windows 8 blueprint. At 4am Pacific time (7am Eastern, 12 noon UK time), …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Oct 2013

Will you strap on a Google KitKat 4.4 smartwatch this month?

Android could be landing on wrists in its latest incarnation as a smartwatch in just two weeks. According to reports, Google is planning a 31 October release of its eagerly awaited wrist-computer at the same time as the release of version 4.4 of its Android operating system – KitKat. The watch is to be called Nexus, following …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Oct 2013

Luxembourgeois data protection watchdog probes Microsoft in Skype PRISM complaint

Microsoft is co-operating with regulators in Skype’s home country of Luxembourg over its possible participation in the NSA’s PRISM program, a spokesperson has confirmed. A Redmond spokesperson told The Register Microsoft is “happy to answer any questions” that Luxembourg's Commission nationale de protection des données (CNPD - …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Oct 2013
Steve Ballmer as Doctor Evil

Oracle brass past and present tapped for Microsoft CEO - report

Two Oracle execs past and present have joined the list of top industry chiefs who’ve been approached to become the next Steve Ballmer. The software giant’s current hardware chief and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has joined a a list reported by the Wall St Journal of eight Redmond outsiders approached by a Microsoft power …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Oct 2013
Scotland

Scottish gov follows cutting-edge Italian Post Office with Win 8 trial

A small faction of IT bravehearts in the Scottish government are dabbling with Windows 8 – yes, you read that correctly – to see if Microsoft's much-maligned OS is suitable for a wider roll out. In a pilot scheme, the devolved administration is handing out 100 units comprised of Samsung Series 7, Dell Latitude 10 and Samsung …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Oct 2013

Best Buy: Bring us your cowering, unwanted Microsoft Surface masses

US retail giant Best Buy is taking back unwanted Microsoft Surface tablets under a trade-in programme. The company that helped launch Surface RT one year ago has added Surfaces to a list of other consumer computing devices you can now trade in. Best Buy is offering between $79 and $350 to buy back your unwanted first-edition …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Oct 2013
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Ubuntu JuJu voodoo casts Linux on Microsoft's Azure hoodoo

JuJu in Ubuntu 13.10, due for release next week, features tools to create and run Um Bongo Linux instances in Microsoft's Azure cloud. Previous versions of JuJu allow you to set up and manage Ubuntu instances on Amazon’s EC2 and systems running OpenStack. Now techies can use one toolkit to run Ubuntu Linux virtual machines on …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013
By Veni Markovski - licensed under creative commons (attribution unported)

Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee: DRMed HTML least of all evils

Tim Berners-Lee has warned against the risk of not standardising digital rights management (DRM) in the HTML specification, saying an approach that “does the least harm” might be the best approach. Web daddy Lee said Wednesday unless the geeks take charge and devise an acceptable standard, delivering a universal answer to DRM, …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013