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Scrooge McDuck

Upstart Postmates surfs $16m valley funding on backs of 'slave' couriers

San Francisco delivery company Postmates bagged $16m in funding from eager investors today – though an inspection of worker feedback shows that the startup is not as well-loved by some of its couriers. The series-B funding round will help the small biz improve its app, which people can use to bring "everything from a burrito to …
Jack Clark, 18 Feb 2014
Hadoop Elephant

Elders tell cluster tool Apache Spark it's time to quit chillin' in the crib

The Apache Foundation has promoted a fast data-processing tool out of the Apache Incubator in a further sign of the maturity of the Hadoop family. Apache Spark is a fast processing layer for computing data stored within the open-source Hadoop file system or other shared file systems such as NFS. It supports Scala, Java, and …
Jack Clark, 18 Feb 2014
twitchpokemon

HELL is other people ... Thousands play SAME Pokemon game on TV. Mayhem ensues

What happens if you take a beloved Gameboy game from the late 1990s and wire up the controls to a 75,000-strong chatroom that anyone can enter? The answer is progress, albeit of the achingly slow form. On Monday, netizens closed in on five straight days of collaboratively playing a modified version of Pokemon Red, lobbing …
Jack Clark, 17 Feb 2014
Why did you click to see the picture with images turned off

Big Blue blasts fibre bottleneck with analog-digital double whammy

Big Blue bade farewell to a bottleneck in data transfer this week with a new analog-to-digital converter capable of up to 180 billion conversions per second, and claimed success in mass producing an earlier design, as well. This double whammy of news was revealed at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in …
Jack Clark, 13 Feb 2014
IBM's Power8 processor

Samsung joins IBM's secretive chip consortium

Samsung Electronics has joined IBM's OpenPOWER Consortium, adding another company to stuff Big Blue's chips into a variety of hardware products. OpenPOWER is a scheme by IBM designed to make it easy for companies to license the architecture and customize it for specific needs, like ARM does with its chips. Big Blue unveiled the …
Jack Clark, 13 Feb 2014

Dr Hurricane unleashes FUSION POWER at Livermore nuke lab

Scientists in California have made a major breakthrough in fusion power research, but the path to unlimited clean energy remains long and difficult. The scientists described the significant result – which was recorded last year at the National Ignition Facility in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – in a paper published in …
Jack Clark, 13 Feb 2014
Ciscoblood

Grimly determined Cisco reports weak earnings

Networking giant Cisco has reported weak results in line with its own muted expectations as it continues to face difficulties in emerging markets. The technology bellwether reported a net income of $2.5bn on Wednesday, representing an earnings per share of $0.47 on sales of $11.16bn for its fiscal second quarter, which beat …
Jack Clark, 12 Feb 2014
hand with thumb up

Cut-price Linode competitor spins up Singapore bit barn

Scrappy cloud provider DigitalOcean has started selling cloud servers out of a Singapore data center, giving the cut-price Linode competitor a globe-spanning service. The new facility will sit alongside existing data centers in New York, San Francisco, and Amsterdam, the company announced on Tuesday. What sets DigitalOcean …
Jack Clark, 11 Feb 2014

Google hefts MySQL service into cloud

Google has pushed its MySQL-based cloud database service into general availability, months after beginning a wholesale shift of internal production servers to MariaDB. The new service encrypts customer data, supports databases up to 500GB in size, and has a 99.95 percent uptime service-level agreement, the company announced on …
Jack Clark, 11 Feb 2014

Is it a bird? A plane? No – it's a CLOUD BRAIN

Netflix has created a blueprint for how companies might use neural networks to analyze information in – you guessed it – the cloud. The video-streaming company and long-time Amazon Web Services customer announced on Monday that it had figured out how to apply a technique pioneered by Google AI chief and Stanford Professor Andrew …
Jack Clark, 11 Feb 2014
LanhamNapier

Rackspace shares pummelled by CEO retirement shock

Hosting provider Rackspace delivered good results on Monday along with the shock news that its chief executive Lanham Napier would be stepping down. The Texan hoster-turned-cloud-seller reported a solid set of results for its fourth quarter of 2013 with net revenue of $408m, up 16 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012 and …
Jack Clark, 10 Feb 2014
UPennNanomotor

Rise of the (tiny) machines: US boffins make nanomotor breakthrough

US researchers have controlled nanomotors embedded within cells, a breakthrough that gives scientists a new tool for probing the inner structure of cells, and opens up a new front in research for futuristic cancer treatments. The result was announced by Penn State researchers in a paper published in the journal Angewandte Chemie …
Jack Clark, 10 Feb 2014

Netflix speed index shows further decline in Verizon quality

Verizon insists it "treats all traffic equally" but new data from Netflix indicates that the network provider's customers have seen a degradation in service quality in the past months. The streaming video company released its monthly ISP speed index for January on Monday, and the results show another significant decline in …
Jack Clark, 10 Feb 2014
Photographic plate image of the colliding galaxies NGC 6769, 6770, and 6771.

IBM opens 'JumpGate' code to help devs navigate among clouds

IBM has developed a tool to tackle fragmentation in the cloud management ecosystem, and hopes its approach will encourage more providers to support OpenStack-based applications without having to run OpenStack. The "JumpGate" technology was announced by SoftLayer engineer Nathan Beittenmiller in a blog post on Thursday, and sees …
Jack Clark, 07 Feb 2014
Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison: Technology has 'negatively impacted' children

Tech magnate and extremely rich chap Larry Ellison bemoans the effect technology has on children. Billionaire Larry Ellison was asked at the Oracle Human Capital Management summit on Thursday about what changes he thought technology might have on the world. After plugging a movie his daughter produced – "Her" – as a good …
Jack Clark, 07 Feb 2014
ITPACTruck

Inside Microsoft's Autopilot: Nadella's secret cloud weapon

Satya Nadella may have just taken the reins as Microsoft's chief executive, but he's already intimately familiar with one of the company's key internal tools to let it compete with Amazon and Google: a complex software system named Autopilot. Autopilot is the system that lets Microsoft knit together millions of servers and …
Jack Clark, 07 Feb 2014

Report: IBM to peddle its chip wing

IBM is rumored to have retained Goldman Sachs to help it put a price on its semiconductor division. The news was reported by the Financial Times on Thursday afternoon, California time, and follows IBM's long-expected announcement of the sale of its server division to Asian electronics giant Lenovo. At the time of writing …
Jack Clark, 07 Feb 2014
big red wheelie bin and pallet full of rubbish in London street

Google admits 'garbage in, garbage out' translation problem

Google's ever-so-clever Google Translate service may be falling foul of a problem known to grizzled engineers across the globe: garbage in, garbage out. The problem was discussed by Google's director of research, Peter Norvig at the Nasa Innovative Advanced Concepts conference at Stanford, California on Wednesday, in response to …
Jack Clark, 06 Feb 2014

Twitter offers boffins a free sip of its data firehose

Natter emitter Twitter will give boffins access to a free squirt of its data firehose, paving the way for more studies that make use of the swelling amounts of donated information on the network. The company announced its "Data Grants" program in a blog post on Wednesday after filing bleak financial results that showed swelling …
Jack Clark, 06 Feb 2014
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Q: What's government-owned, designed to kill, and now more transparent? A: DARPA!

While one part of the US government tries to slink further back into the shadows, another is pushing itself into the light via a new transparency scheme at DARPA. The US's defense boffins at DARPA announced the launch of the its Open Catalog on Tuesday – an initiative designed to drum up support from the wider research community …
Jack Clark, 05 Feb 2014

Verizon: Us throttling AWS and Netflix? Not likely

Verizon has strenuously denied claims that it is throttling IP addresses associated with Amazon Web Services. The telco was forced to issue a statement on Wednesday after a blog post gained attention which claimed that Verizon was throttling bandwidth to sites associated with AWS IPs. The blog post in question was published on …
Jack Clark, 05 Feb 2014
The USB Chameleon

Orchestrate launches Chameleon-like database service at developers

Some of the bright minds behind Riak database company Basho have conjured up a cloud service that gives developers an elegant way to query a single datastore in lots of different ways. The Orchestrate.io service launched on Tuesday and gives developers access to a cloud-based data repository that stores JSON objects that can be …
Jack Clark, 05 Feb 2014
Ross Ulbricht

Alleged Silk Road kingpin slapped with indictment in NY

The man thought to be behind the Silk Road drug bazaar has been indicted in a New York district court, and charged with narcotics conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprises, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and money laundering conspiracy. The charges against Ross William Ulbricht were announced by Preet …
Jack Clark, 04 Feb 2014
PluribusNetworks

Sons of Sun roar 'Freedom!', uncloak server-switch

Cisco's embattled business gained another nimble competitor on Tuesday as startup Pluribus Networks bellowed "Freedom!" and lobbed a Frankenswitch over the networking giant's ramparts. The Frankenswitch – a "Server-Switch", in Pluribus Networks' terminology – is designed to compete with Cisco, Juniper, and Arista switches in …
Jack Clark, 04 Feb 2014
management cloud7

Heroku adds Big Gulp 'XL' option to cloud menu

Salesforce has upgraded its Heroku cloud to take advantage of more powerful technology in the Amazon Web Services infrastructure upon which it floats, as it tries to support larger, more complicated customers. Heroku is an Amazon-based application runtime service that takes pride in its ease-of-use for developers who prefer to …
Jack Clark, 03 Feb 2014
The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF): an image of a small area of space in the constellation Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope datafrom combined Space Telescope exposures taken over a decade

MIT scientists craft a storage system fit for THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE

Distributed file systems may be cheap to run, but their performance can be atrocious when the network becomes saturated, and some boffins are hoping to change this so to better simulate our universe. MIT researchers have tried to solve the network saturation problems bought about by SSD-loaded distributed storage systems with a …
Jack Clark, 31 Jan 2014
GCHQ Oakley Sign

Brit security startup turns to France for help

British security startup Darktrace has nabbed Andrew France, the former head of the UK government security snoops at GCHQ, as its chief executive. "We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the team," said Darktrace's chief operating officer Stephen Huxter in a canned statement. "Andrew's experience of national cyber operations and …
Jack Clark, 31 Jan 2014
An Amazon Coin

Amazon reports rare profit and is punished by Wall Street

E-retail bellwether Amazon badly missed Wall Street expectations on Thursday, causing its shares to fall – even though it reported a healthy profit. The e-retail giant reported earnings per share of $0.51 and net sales of $25.59bn for its fourth quarter of 2013 on Thursday, missing Wall Street estimates of $0.66 and $26.06bn by …
Jack Clark, 31 Jan 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Amazon mints a BILLION BUCKS from its cannibal cloud

Amazon's cloud division has brushed off competition from Google and Microsoft to report record revenue of $1.234bn, and grew its business abroad to historic highs as well. Amazon took in $1.234bn in cash in its "other" revenue segment in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company announced on Thursday, up from $1.011bn in the …
Jack Clark, 30 Jan 2014
A Dyson vacuum cleaner

Facebook unwraps Paper, a content-hoover application

Facebook has announced a new application that is designed to get more people to donate more information to the social network, and to let more people spend more time viewing the ad-wrapped content. The "Paper" smartphone app was announced by Facebook in a blog post on Thursday as part of a new strategy by the company to gather …
Jack Clark, 30 Jan 2014
Quanta19Rack

Hot naked Asian racks in Cali: El Reg snaps Open Compute servers for all

Manufacturers in Asia are taking Facebook's Open Compute server blueprints, tweaking the designs, and selling the manufactured kit to the masses, The Register has learned. Here at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit in San Jose, California, Facebook has spent two days talking up the benefits of its customizable, low-cost …
Jack Clark, 29 Jan 2014
ARMteaser

ARM lays down law to end Wild West of chip design: New standard for server SoCs touted

Brit processor core designer ARM has forged a specification to smash through a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of its highly customizable chip architecture in data centers. That barrier-smasher? A specification that aims to standardize how ARM system-on-chips (SoCs) interoperate with low-level software, and in …
Jack Clark, 29 Jan 2014
FBBluRay

Reg snaps moment when Facebook turned air Blu: 1PB box for unloved pics

Facebook has developed an archive storage system that uses Blu-ray discs to stuff a petabyte into a single cabinet. The as-yet-unnamed 42U box was revealed at the Open Compute Summit in San Jose, California, on Tuesday. Facebook's chief of infrastructure engineering Jay Parikh said the social networking giant plans to publish …
Jack Clark, 29 Jan 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Home-grown server kit saves Facebook 'a BEELLION dollars'

Facebook says it has saved itself more than a billion dollars over the past three years by customizing its data-center hardware. By using gear assembled by the likes of Quanta and Wiwynn, the web giant has saved a significant amount of money, Facebook's veep of hardware engineering Jay Parikh said on Tuesday. The social network …
Jack Clark, 28 Jan 2014
Ciscoblood

Dell taps Sons of Cisco for networking Manhattan project

When you have a techology division that, in real estate terms, would be generously termed a "fixer-upper" there's little to lose by giving the keys to a young, ambitious competitor and welcoming them in to give the crumbling place a lick of paint. At least, that seems to be Dell's view – why else would it cede strategic control …
Jack Clark, 28 Jan 2014
MicrosoftServerDesign

Wanna make your own Azure? Now you can: Microsoft joins Open Compute Project

Microsoft has given away the secrets of its data centers for free by joining Facebook's Open Compute Project. The shock move will be announced at the Open Compute Summit on Tuesday and means that the server designs Microsoft uses to support Bing, Office365, and Windows Azure will be available for cloud-wannabes across the world …
Jack Clark, 27 Jan 2014
HGST SSD1000MR

Amazon slides first flash hardness into Redshift data muncher

Amazon has added compute nodes with flash drives to its cloudy data warehouse Redshift – as the e-retailer turned computer-renter takes on Teradata, Greenplum, Oracle, IBM and the like. The two "Dense Compute Nodes" were announced today by Bezos & Co: these are solid-state-drive-backed server options to sit alongside the disk- …
Jack Clark, 24 Jan 2014

Microsoft slices Azure prices just days after Amazon's cloud shave

The infrastructure-as-a-service industry behaves like a topsy-turvy oligopoly, where far from keeping prices high, the major corporations are grinding prices into the dirt. Now Microsoft has just announced a price cut to its Azure cloud's block, blob and disk storage services. Microsoft declared last year that it would price …
Jack Clark, 24 Jan 2014

Oracle nemesis SkySQL gins up enterprise MariaDB product

Anti-Oracle software startup SkySQL has put the finishing touches on a subscription service that wraps up the MariaDB database, Galera cluster tech, and a proprietary manager, as the company tries to get more organizations to dabble in the drop-in replacement for MySQL. The new MariaDB Enterprise subscription service was …
Jack Clark, 23 Jan 2014
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

MemSQL bods develop new transaction: $35m now in-pocket

The in-memory former-Facebook database jockeys at MemSQL have taken in $35m in valley lucre. The series-B funding round was announced on Wednesday and saw Accel Partners lead an investment round in the database technology. MemSQL's in-memory database is designed to run on scale-out commodity hardware, and pulls off various …
Jack Clark, 23 Jan 2014

Docker loads up $15m to push containerization into bit barns

Containerization expert Docker has slurped $15m in filthy valley lucre to help it push its tech further into data centers under the leadership of a new, experienced chief executive. The funding will give the company the money needed to grow its engineering team while also ploughing more money into sales and support, says new …
Jack Clark, 22 Jan 2014

AMD starts year, checks watch, hurries out Warsaw Opterons

Chip fiddler AMD has delivered two new Opteron chips for data centers keen on getting their mits on low-cost servers built to Facebook's "Open Compute" design. AMD's new 16-core Opteron 6370P AMD's new Opteron 6370P – 16 cores, no waiting (click to enlarge) The new Opteron 6300 chips, code-named Warsaw, were announced by …
Jack Clark, 22 Jan 2014
Bezos headshot

Amazon's 'schizophrenic' open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders

Amazon is one of the most technically influential companies operating today – but you wouldn't know it, thanks to a dearth of published research papers and negligible code contributions to the open-source projects it relies on. This, according to multiple insiders, is becoming a problem. The corporation is described as a "black …
Jack Clark, 22 Jan 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Just as Google, Microsoft catch up with Amazon cloud prices, Bezos whips out the axe on S3 again

Amazon has slashed the price of its mainstay cloud-based storage service, S3, undercutting rival offerings from Google and Microsoft. The cut was announced today alongside a further price cut to its Elastic Block Store usage, and the launch of two further "M3" rentable server instances. With the cuts Amazon has dropped the …
Jack Clark, 21 Jan 2014
TerminatorGoogle

Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

Google's skunkworks "X" lab is building a contact lens that can monitor glucose levels in the tears of diabetics, and warn them when it drops too low. The wireless-communicating device was unveiled by Google in a blogpost on Thursday, and may also one day contain tiny LEDs that'll light up if the wearer becomes hypoglycemic. " …
Jack Clark, 17 Jan 2014
IBM_Compute_book

IBM plays with its Lego, hits upon System X server redesign brainwave

IBM's new range of System X servers are built like Lego, but rather than letting you build castles or spacecraft, Big Blue hopes they'll become the foundation of fat databases with tough input-output requirements. The sixth generation of the x86 servers were announced by IBM on Thursday and, as previously reported by El Reg, …
Jack Clark, 17 Jan 2014

Intel treads water despite drowning PC biz clinging to Chipzilla's legs

Intel beat analyst expectations on sales and missed on earnings as the world's largest chip designer had trouble tacking into the winds of change that are reshaping the world's tech market. Full-year revenues in 2013 were $52.7bn, with a gross margin of 59.8 per cent, down slightly on $53.3bn and 62.1 per cent a year ago. Net …
Jack Clark, 16 Jan 2014

Garantia lassoos IBM data-center for Microsoft-beating Redis tech

Though IBM bought SoftLayer six months ago, that hasn't prevented Big Blue from quickly inking deals with third-party software providers to make its newly acquired cloud competitive with Amazon, Microsoft and other big rivals. The latest step forward comes in the form of a Redis-as-a-Service tech courtesy of Redis experts …
Jack Clark, 16 Jan 2014

Amazon's public cloud fingered as US's biggest MALWARE LAIR

Amazon's public cloud is the largest haven of malware spreaders in the US, according to security company Solutionary. The claims are in the outfit's "Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report" [PDF], which uses data from Solutionary's ActiveGuard Security and Compliance Platform. It was published on Wednesday. "Malware and, more …
Jack Clark, 16 Jan 2014

You came for the free tools, stayed with your credit card – Amazon's new cloud brainwave

Amazon Web Services has pressed a hundred products within its vibrant software ecosystem into a monthly try-before-you-buy scheme. The AWS Marketplace Free Trials giveaway was announced by the company today. Tools and servers from SafeNet, Compuware, Barracuda, Riverbed and others will become available as time-limited, free …
Jack Clark, 15 Jan 2014