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Rik Myslewski

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

After 2,035 days writing 2,531 stories containing 1.65 million words (thanks, Word Counter), this aging hack is celebrating his 26th birthday by hanging up his trusty MacBook Air and slipping off into semi-retirement. It's vanishingly unlikely that I'll be around to toast birthday number 27, so this year's binary natal day …
Rik Myslewski, 27 Jun 2014

Intel, Ford: Project Mobii will harpoon unsafe, unauthorized drivers

Intel and the Ford Motor Company have announced a joint effort to equip the automaker's vehicles with cameras – but not ones that will survey the driving environment; instead, interior-mounted eyes will keep their gaze on you and your passengers. The in-vehicle camera effort comes with a whale of a name: Project Mobii, for …
Rik Myslewski, 26 Jun 2014

Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

Do you fear extreme weather events as climate change increasingly roils our atmosphere? Chill, Cassandra; a US physicist has a plan for preventing devastating tornadoes in the American midwest: build a series of Brobdingnagian 300-metre-high walls to enclose Tornado Alley. Tornado Alley map Fear not, Reg readers, San …
Rik Myslewski, 26 Jun 2014

Oculus seeks partners in drive to get a billion people into virtual reality

Oculus, the company behind the ski-google Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, is borrowing a page from Google's Android business-model playbook, and will seek partners to help it blanket the real world with virtual ones. "If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we're not going to sell 1 …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Jun 2014

Apple wins patent to pump ads to your iDevice while you're watching TV

Apple has been granted a patent for a "second screen" scheme for providing associated content – ads, info, and the like – to a secondary device such as a smartphone or tablet when you're viewing content on your primary display, e.g. your big-screen TV. Apple patent illustration for 'System and method for delivering companion …
Rik Myslewski, 24 Jun 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Samsung loses again: Judge awards Apple, Nokia $2m in leak-investigation fees

A US district court has awarded Apple and Nokia over $2m to reimburse them for legal fees incurred during their investigation of leaks of "attorneys' eyes only" information by Samsung's legal firm, Quinn Emanuel, during the long-running patent infringement dust-up among the companies. US magistrate judge Paul Grewal is evidently …
Rik Myslewski, 24 Jun 2014

Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

Owners of Google's $1,449 LTE Chromebook Pixel are discovering that the two – or possibly three – years of free 100MB-per-month data-download service they were promised are being terminated after just one year. "Pixel LTE owners are discovering their data plans have been disconnected," writes JR Raphael for Computerworld. "The …
Rik Myslewski, 24 Jun 2014

Senate heavyweights forge bipartisan accord on phone unlocking

Two US senators – the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – have announced a rare bit of bipartisanism in the fractious US government: they've agreed on a bill to allow consumers to unlock their smartphones once their carrier contracts expire. Democrat Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Republican Chuck Grassley …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Jun 2014

Intel teams with Micron on next-gen many-core Xeon Phi with 3D DRAM

Intel has released more details about its future "Knights Landing" Xeon Phi many-core processor, including a new high-speed interconnect tech called Intel Omni Scale Fabric, as well as on-package Micron Gen2 Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) DRAM of up to 16GB. Intel presentation slide: what's new in Knights Landing Intel's Silvermont …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Jun 2014

AMD details aggressive power-efficiency goal: 25X boost by 2020

AMD has announced an ambitious 2020 goal of a 25-times improvement of the power efficiency of its APUs, the company's term for accelerated processing units – on-die mashups of CPU, GPU, video-accelerator, or any other types of cores. Although AMD has committed itself to that goal, it won't be an easy one to achieve. Efficiency …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Jun 2014

Apple's October iWatch beefy, 'arched' – report

The iWatch – or whatever Cook & Co. choose to call their next gamble innovation – will go into mass production at Taiwan's Quanta next month and will be available to adorn the wrists of the world this October, a new report claims. The October release date is not new, but three of those ever-loquacious sources "familiar with the …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Jun 2014

Apple files patent for camera lens controlled by 'artificial muscle'

Apple has filed a patent application for using "artificial muscle" technology to focus cameras in devices such as its iPhone and iPad, a tech that could allow for slimmer mobile shiny-shiny. Illustration from Apple patent application 'Artificial Muscle Camera Lens Actuator' Fire up that 'muscle structure' to pull the lens …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Jun 2014

Unisys cozies closer to Intel, 'sunsets' proprietary processor

Unisys is hastening the retirement of its proprietary – and geriatric – mainframe processor, beginning with 12 new ClearPath systems based on Intel Xeon processors. "Continuing the ongoing evolution of the ClearPath family to an open architecture based on Intel x86 processors," the company said in a statement, "the new models …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Jun 2014

Splash! Three times as much water as ALL of Earth's oceans found TRAPPED underground

A group of US researchers has discovered evidence that deep below the Earth's surface there may be as much as three times as much water as in all of our oceans combined. Schematic cross section of the Earth’s interior showing water trapped under the Earth's mantle Unfortunately, at such extreme depths, the new-found treasure …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2014

Twitter for iOS embraces Bing Translate in time for World Cup 2014

Just in time for the multilingual, global sportsgasm that is World Cup 2014, Twitter has added Bing Translate to its iOS apps for Apple's iPad and iPhone. Twitter with Bing Translate Spanish? No problema. Turkish? Büyük sorun. (click to enlarge) It's another iOS win for Microsoft's Bing. Last week, Apple SVP for internet …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2014

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

The venerable Oxford English Dictionary has added a word beloved by the Twitterati to its collection of 171,476 current and 47,156 obsolete words: hashtag. "The OED famously tends to wait until a word has been attested for several years before entering it into the dictionary, although exceptions are made for words which are …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2014

Cisco: You think the internet is clogged with video now? Just wait until 2018

Networking megafirm Cisco has released a numbingly comprehensive report forecasting IP traffic up to and including 2018, which comes to the unsurprising conclusion that the market from which Cisco earns its bread and butter will continue to balloon for the foreseeable future. The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) contains a …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Jun 2014

Soccer Football in SPAAACE! ISS 'naut nails zero-G bicycle kick

Unless you've been living on a deserted island for the past year or so, you know that the World Cup kicked off today with a match between Brazil and Croatia – and three crew members of the International Space Station have produced a video to celebrate the greatest team-sports event in the world over which they're orbiting. …
Rik Myslewski, 12 Jun 2014

Déjà spew: US would accept higher bills for less CO2 by two-to-one

You don't have to be a Kumbaya-warbling liberal to be willing to pay more for energy if it means reducing carbon emissions, nor do you even have to believe that climate scientists are on the up-and-up "when they warn about climate change." A poll commissioned by Bloomberg News found that 62 per cent of Americans said they'd be …
Rik Myslewski, 12 Jun 2014

PCIe eyes the Internet of (the next big) Things

PCI Express – aka PCIe – is already firmly established as the go-to interconnect of choice in the server, workstation, and PC markets, so the standard's champion, the PCI-SIG, is seeking new worlds to conquer – and where else would it look for new territory than in the buzzmarket du jour, the Internet of Things? "The 'PCI-ness' …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Jun 2014

Cheap, backwards-compatible PCIe 4.0 on track for 2015 2016

Development of the fourth generation of PCI Express – unsurprisingly dubbed PCIe 4.0 – is moving along nicely, but don't expect the final specification to be completed until at least late 2015 or more likely early-to-mid 2016. That's the bad news. The good news is that moving up to the new 16 gigatransfers-per-second standard – …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Jun 2014

Google to acquire satellite eye-in-sky Skybox for $500m

Google has entered into an agreement to acquire its Mountain View, California neighbor Skybox Imaging, a five-year-old satellite imagery and data-analysis startup. "We're thrilled to announce that Skybox Imaging has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!" the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. The deal will …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Jun 2014

FIGHT! Intel disputes ARM's claims of Android superiority

Last month, The Reg published test results performed by ARM that the UK chip designers said show that mobile processors based on its technology have significant advantages over Intel's chips when running Android apps. Intel would beg to differ. "Someone's gotta be the truth squad around here, right?" Intel corporate …
Rik Myslewski, 05 Jun 2014

Two more Eagles land in AMD's bird-of-prey aerie

Last month, AMD unveiled its beefy 2nd Generation Embedded R-Series APUs (née "Bald Eagle"), and it has now let the other shoe drop, announcing the line's lower-power siblings, the 2nd Generation Embedded G-Series. Well, two shoes, actually: one code-named "Steppe Eagle" and the other "Crowned Eagle" – and no, The Reg does not …
Rik Myslewski, 04 Jun 2014

AMD tops processor evolution with new mobile Kaveri chippery

AMD has unveiled the mobile version of its "Kaveri" desktop processor, topping off its series of processors in which CPUs and GPUs not only reside on the same die, but also work together in shared-memory harmony – or heterogeneity, to be more precise. AMD Kaveri for Mobile: overview The top end of AMD's new mobile Kaveri line …
Rik Myslewski, 04 Jun 2014

iOS 8 to PROBE your GUTS and your HOME

Apple's iOS 8, introduced on Monday and due to reach the masses this fall, has a raft of upgrades, but perhaps two of the most interesting items announced at the company's developers shindig are APIs that involve monitoring your vital signs and controlling your home. The HealthKit API and the Health app – united to keep an eye …
Rik Myslewski, 03 Jun 2014
Evil Android

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook took a few minutes of his two-hour keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday morning in San Francisco to stick his thumb in Android's eye. "Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device," Cook told the 6,000 developers …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Jun 2014

US citizens want stricter CO2 regulations by two to one – Yale poll

Next Monday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to propose limits on CO2 emissions from existing power plants, regulations that have caused the US utilities industry to see red even before they've seen the proposed rules. Although the EPA has its enemies, it also has its supporters, says a new poll conducted by …
Rik Myslewski, 30 May 2014

Intel unveils kit to speed evolution of digital driving

Intel has announced a new "application-ready platform" that it says will help automakers get customized in-vehicle systems up and running more quickly and efficiently. Intel In-Vehicle Solutions Compute Module Want to fill your car with digital delights? This board can help (click to enlarge) "We see the real value here is …
Rik Myslewski, 29 May 2014

Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

An intriguing rumor is a difficult thing to kill – and the long-whispered switch by Apple of its Mac line from Intel to ARM-based chippery has again resurfaced, Rasputin-like, to live another day. Jeffries & Co. industry analyst Hyunwoo Doh, Barron's writes, has released a report that recommends his clients stock up on Samsung …
Rik Myslewski, 27 May 2014

Poll: Climate change now more divisive than abortion, gun control

A recent poll has discovered that – in one US state, at least – climate change is now a more divisive issue than even the long-bubbling "pro-choice/pro-life" and gun-control dust-ups. The poll, conducted in January and February of this year by the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute and released last week, found that …
Rik Myslewski, 27 May 2014

Intel marries Chinese chippery firm to SoC it to low-end tablet market

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced Chipzilla's lastest move in his effort to "take pragmatic and different approaches" to tackling the low-end of the tablet market: partnering with Chinese fabless semiconductor company and mobile SoC maker Rockchip to design an Atom-based, Intel-branded platform that will be targeted …
Rik Myslewski, 27 May 2014

Launching a hardware startup? The stars are aligned in your favor

Launching a hardware startup is more difficult than springing software upon the world – all a coder needs, after all, is a keyboard and a creative mind – but recent developments are removing barriers and creating a new startup gold rush. "It used to be really difficult to start a hardware company," Renee DiResta, a Principal at …
Rik Myslewski, 24 May 2014

The Internet of Things helps insurance firms reward, punish

The more the Internet of Things knows about you, the more that insurance companies are able to slurp that data and incentivize you to walk the straight and narrow. "You know the way that advertising turned out to be the native business model for the internet? I think that insurance is going to be the native business model for …
Rik Myslewski, 23 May 2014

Autodesk CEO: '3D printing has been way overhyped'

3D printing may be all the rage these days, but the headman at one of the world's leading 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services companies thinks its promise has been overblown. "Much of what's been said of the benefits of 3D printing has been way overhyped," Autodesk president and CEO Carl Bass said at …
Rik Myslewski, 22 May 2014

Robotics evangelist: 'Personal robots' should be invisible beings

Personal robots are fast approaching reality, says one robotics evangelist – but not as the humanoid servants so often portrayed in futuristic fantasies. "Robots are the new black," said Andra Keay, managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, speaking at the O'Reilly Solid conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. "That …
Rik Myslewski, 22 May 2014

Robotics pioneer: Intelligent machines are 'scary for a lot of people'

One of the world's leading robotics gurus reports that the rise of intelligent machines is meeting resistance – both technological and social – but has a few ideas of what the next steps in their development should be. "How we're going to interact with [intelligent machines], how we're going to deal with them is different – and …
Rik Myslewski, 21 May 2014

AMD unleashes savage bird of prey on Internet of Burly, Brawny Things

AMD has released the second generation of its R-Series chips, code-named "Bald Eagle", aiming them squarely at the high end of the embedded market. What segments might those be? How 'bout arcade and casino gaming, medical imaging and imaging-assisted surgical systems, ultrasound, industrial control and automation, military and …
Rik Myslewski, 20 May 2014

Google Maps can now tell cyclists how HIGH they will get

Google has added elevation information for cyclists into its online Google Maps offering, a boon for those biking in unfamiliar areas, as well as for those who – like your humble Reg reporter – are well past their prime. The feature is accessed simply by clicking on the bicycle icon in the map's info box after you input two …
Rik Myslewski, 16 May 2014

Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here's a fix

If you updated to OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 after it was released on Thursday, did your Users folder disappear from the Finder listing of the root level of your startup volume? Happened to some; didn't happen to others. Go figure. No, it hasn't been deleted – that would certainly be a colossal cock-up on Apple's part, now, wouldn't …
Rik Myslewski, 16 May 2014

Apple updates OS X Mavericks, iTunes, Podcasts for iOS

Apple has released updates for OS X Mavericks and iTunes – versions 10.9.3 and 11.2, respectively – plus an update for the rudimentary Podcasts app for iOS, now at version 2.1. Mac App Store listing of changes in OS X 10.9.3 and iTunes 11.2 The OS X App Store offers info on what's new in Mavericks and iTunes (click to enlarge …
Rik Myslewski, 15 May 2014

FCC headman Wheeler calls for an 'open internet' – but what the %$#@! does he mean?

Just how "open" is US Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler's "open internet"? To paraphrase ex-President Bill Clinton's famous weasel words, "It depends upon what the mean of 'open' is." On Thursday morning, Wheeler put to a commission vote a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) "to preserve and protect the …
Rik Myslewski, 15 May 2014

Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

Pity poor FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Not only does he have some corporate heavyweights such as Verizon and Cisco opposing net neutrality and others such as Google and Microsoft supporting it, he now has another group voicing its concerns: rockers, poets, actors, and other members of "the creative community." "The open Internet's …
Rik Myslewski, 14 May 2014

Survey: Patent litigation skyrocketing, trolls top 10 sueball chuckers

A new survey confirms what your own good common sense has already told you: 1) patent-infringement cases are increasing, ii) the most litigious plaintiffs are patent trolls, and C) the most-sued company is Apple. "The patent case load of the district courts has more than doubled since 2008, and verdicts like Apple-Samsung have …
Rik Myslewski, 13 May 2014

Archos ArcBook: An Android netbook for a measly hundred-and-seventy clams

French tablet, smartphone, soon-to-be-smartwatch, and "connected objects" maker Archos has announced an Android-powered netbook that will be available this June for the low, low price of "under $170" – and yes, as you might have guessed, that means $169.99. Archos ArcBook Modesty can be a virtue (click to enlarge) "Archos …
Rik Myslewski, 13 May 2014

GM reveals how much you'll pay to turn your car into a rolling 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

GM has announced how much it will set you back to turn one of its 4G LTE–equipped vehicles into a mobile hot spot for Wi-Fi–only kit such as the one your li'l nipper will use to stream NetFlix in the back seat on the way to grandma's house. "Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will be the first vehicle brands to market with 4G …
Rik Myslewski, 12 May 2014

LG teases 'G Watch' wristable, releases new tablet trio

LG Electronics – manufacturer of everything from electric vehicle traction motors to vacuum cleaners to smartphones – has released a video teasing a few details about its upcoming G Watch wearable, and has unveiled three new tablets in 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch sizes. LG Electronics' G Pad 7.0, G Pad 8.0, and G Pad 10.1 LG …
Rik Myslewski, 12 May 2014

China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Chinese officials have outlined a massive – no, that's an understatement; make that mind-bogglingly Brobdingnagian – vision of a globe-girdling high-speed rail network that would have as one of its legs a line that would run from northern China up through Russia, under the North Pacific, through Alaska, then Canada, and finally …
Rik Myslewski, 09 May 2014
DNA

Boffinry breakthrough: First self-replicating life with 'alien' DNA

After 15 years of trying, researchers have created a living, self-replicating, "semi-synthetic" organism with DNA that contains not just the four paired bases that occur in all living things, but also an alien base pair created in the labs. "What we have now is a living cell that literally stores increased genetic information," …
Rik Myslewski, 08 May 2014

Want a twenty-buck smartphone? Go to China, says ARM exec

According to ARM, smartphone price differentials are spreading rapidly, with the low-end approaching a floor of around twenty bucks thanks to downward pressure coming from – where else? – China. "What you're seeing is this tremendous spread of the actual price of smartphones now, fundamentally from $700 – and actually above, in …
Rik Myslewski, 08 May 2014