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Andrew Silver

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China's 'future-proof' crypto: We talk to firm behind crazy quantum key distribution network

Two hundred local government employees across the capital of China's eastern Shandong province will soon be encrypting messages with keys that are "impossible" to crack. QuantumCTek, headquartered in the humid, subtropical city of Hefei in eastern China, will next month launch a commercial network for creating and sharing …
Andrew Silver, 19 Jul 2017
Cat and mouse

Me-ow! Ruski tech titan Yandex open-sources ML library CatBoost

Russia's tech behemoth Yandex has open-sourced its first machine learning library, CatBoost. Many big-name tech companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and even Sony already offer machine learning frameworks. These tend to focus on neural networks, computer systems modelled on the human brain that can be trained to …
Andrew Silver, 18 Jul 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google must cough up contact info for 8,000 employees in gender discrimination case

Google has been ordered to hand over personal details of 8,000 employees as part of an ongoing US Labor Department investigation into equal pay. A judge provisionally ruled Friday that Google must provide names, personal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses to the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract …
Andrew Silver, 17 Jul 2017
Amazon data center

Amazon supercharges GPU power, spits out Nvidia-backed G3

Amazon has rolled out its latest GPU computing box instance line, G3. It comes in three flavours: g3.4xlarge (1 GPU), g3.8xlarge (2 GPUs), and g3.16xlarge (4 GPUs). The line is meant for 3D modelling, visualisation, video encoding and other graphics-intensive apps. Amazon's G2 line first came out in 2013. The high-horse, …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jul 2017

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Luxembourg's parliament has passed a law that makes it the first European Union country to offer legal certainty that asteroid mining companies get to keep what they find in space. Take Article 1: "Space resources are capable of being appropriated". "It's a great law," Amara Graps, a planetary scientist, asteroid mining …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jul 2017

Google serves up cloudy services from London

Google today cut the ribbon on a bunch of cloud services for UK customers that will be served up by racks rented from a data centre provider in Blighty's capital. This is the ad giant’s second bit barn in Europe, albeit on a leased basis, adding to the existing facility in Belgium. Future openings are planned for Germany, the …
Andrew Silver, 13 Jul 2017
Bear attack

Uber borgs with Yandex's ride-sharing biz in Russosphere

Uber is getting a little bit of help in Russia and five other countries. Today, the lawsuit-ridden Valley dream announced that it's merging its ridesharing business in and around Russia with Yandex, the local search engine giant. The new company will be called "NewCo" and operate in 127 cities. Covered countries include …
Andrew Silver, 13 Jul 2017

Broadcasters, advocacy groups and nonprofits weigh in on Microsoft's magical broadband

Analysis On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it will pay third-party ISPs in the US to offer wireless broadband on unused TV spectrum, or "white space." As The Register's Kieren McCarthy argued, the financial logic behind this choice is questionable at best – and Microsoft hopes to take a share of revenue spoils. Advocacy groups and …
Andrew Silver, 13 Jul 2017

Micro Focus posts pre-HPE Software borg numbers

It's the last set of results it'll post before its $8.8bn spin merge deal with HPE Software, and the UK's Micro Focus is keen to show it has a clean bill of health. The software company reported unaudited revenues of about $1.38bn for year ended 30 April 2017, up 10.9 per cent from about $1.25bn on year ended 30 April 2016. …
Andrew Silver, 12 Jul 2017
Ice, image via Shutterstock

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Microsoft finally confirmed that Hell has indeed frozen over – Ubuntu is at long last available from the Windows Store. Canonical's Linux distro is now available for installation on Windows Store on Insider build 16215 and higher. Windows 10 already supports Ubuntu via the Windows Subsystem for Linux, rolled out in the …
Andrew Silver, 11 Jul 2017
Neo The Matrix

Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

Microsoft is squishing its major biz products into a single solution called – wait for it – Microsoft 365, CEO Satya Nadella announced at Inspire, Redmond's annual event for businesses that flog its wares. Not a single chair was flung, we can report. Office 365, Windows 10, and enterprise mobility and security, will be peddled …
Andrew Silver, 10 Jul 2017

Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

In early lab experiments on rabbits, eyedrops laced with nanoparticles appear to combat bacterial keratitis, a serious infection of the cornea which can, in severe cases, cause blindness. Researchers hope that these nanoparticles could someday offer a non-toxic alternative to antibiotics, which have the undesirable side effect …
Andrew Silver, 07 Jul 2017
Money cloud

Microsoft offers cloud to Baidu, gets autonomous car in return

Yesterday, China's search engine giant Baidu named Microsoft as a partner on its new open-source autonomous driving platform, Apollo. Technology analysts say the partnership is a smart call by Redmond. Baidu originally announced Apollo in April. It's got cloud services, software and reference hardware/vehicle platforms. It was …
Andrew Silver, 06 Jul 2017
Data at wavelength of 0.45 mm, combined from SCUBA and SCUBA-2, in a false-colour image. The Geminga pulsar (inside the black circle) is moving towards the upper left, and the orange dashed arc and cylinder show the 'bow-wave' and a 'wake'. The region shown is 1.3 light-years across; the bow-wave probably stretches further behind Geminga, but SCUBA imaged only the 0.4 light-years in the centre.

'Vicious' neutron star caught collecting dustbunnies

A new study suggests a dangerous, young neutron star could be attracting planet-forming matter around it as it swims through space. The first planets around pulsars were discovered in the early '90s. Astronomers aren't quite sure how planets can form around them because their environments are so inhospitable. Geminga, a …
Andrew Silver, 06 Jul 2017
Africa Studio

PCs will get pricier and you're gonna like it, say Gartner market shamans

PCs should become more expensive this year but consumers will continue to buy them, Gartner has read in the tea leaves. The market analysis firm has realised that PC components (we're looking at you, DRAM and SSDs) are getting more expensive around the world. And although vendors are absorbing some of the costs, they're also …
Andrew Silver, 05 Jul 2017
Cars crash, man looks on - illustration.

New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

RoTM In a version of the infamous Trolley Problem, you're sitting in a runaway train on a fatal collision course with five people. You can flip a switch to change tracks, but on the other track you'd still kill one person. Now change the numbers, who the people are, pretend the trolley drives itself, and welcome to the crazy world …
Andrew Silver, 05 Jul 2017
A person hiding in a box

Cloud sales shift as enormo Microsoft reorg continues – sources

Microsoft is in the process of squishing more of its various sprawling limbs and partners into a single group. Multiple sources close to the tech giant have told us jobs would be cut during the upcoming revamp, although they could not name a number. Our sources are expecting a shift in the org chart of the tech behemoth, which …
Andrew Silver, 03 Jul 2017
Station F, Paris

Exposed pipes – check. Giant pillows – check. French startup mega-campus opens

Giant tech startup incubatory "space" Station F, which describes itself as the world's largest startup campus, officially pulled the dust covers off the scatter cushions last week in Paris's 13th arrondissement. The 34,000 m2 building will host over 2,600 entrepreneurs – who have fought fiercely for their places – inside 26 …
Andrew Silver, 03 Jul 2017
Office 365, photo by dennizn via Shutterstock

Oh my Word... Microsoft Office 365 unlatched after morning lockout

Updated Users of Microsoft's Office365 cloud productivity suite struggled to log in today. A handful of reports on identified login, server connection and Outlook errors in the past 24 hours. In a tweet, Office 365 Status admitted: We’re investigating reports of users unable to log in to the Office365 service. An …
Andrew Silver, 30 Jun 2017

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Out of 17 IT brands, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have taken the crown for devices that are the hardest to repair or upgrade – and their displays are the fiddliest bits of all. It's all about the complex designs, adhesives and proprietary parts such as screws, Greenpeace discovered in a repairability survey (PDF) of 40 popular …
Andrew Silver, 30 Jun 2017
Neural network image via Shutterstock

Sony open-sources NNabla neural network learnings

Last night, Tokyo-based Sony open-sourced its deep learning framework, which it has dubbed NNabla – Neural Network Libraries. The libraries support static and dynamic computation graphs as well as functions, operators and optimizer modules for neural networks. On the backend, the code is written primarily in C++11. If you …
Andrew Silver, 27 Jun 2017
frog peers around plant... pic by shutterstock

JFrog leaps, wolfs down CloudMunch

After a $50m investment January 2016, Israel-based software delivery automation vendor JFrog is in acquisition mode – specifically, it's eating some analytics brains. JFrog is acquiring the $3.5m-backed CloudMunch, which offers collaboration and software delivery lifecycle analytics. "The DevOps revolution started with …
Andrew Silver, 26 Jun 2017

Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

A new anti-glare film could help us see our phones a little bit better on a bright day. "Ambient light is everywhere," says Jiun-Haw Lee, an electrical engineer at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Natural light lowers the contrast of display screens, making them appear much darker. That's because when light from the sun …
Andrew Silver, 26 Jun 2017
Boy slapping another boy on the head

Amazon squares up to Walmart over boycott calls: Talk sh!t, get hit

The fight between Bezos' poster child and Walmart just got real – Amazon has officially called out the groceries juggernaut for petty schoolyard tactics. Earlier this week, Walmart made waves by advising its tech vendors to use anything except Amazon Web Services. In a statement, Walmart admitted its call for boycotts was …
Andrew Silver, 23 Jun 2017
Image composite: Microsoft and StudioLondon

Two Brits nabbed amid probe into global plot to hack Microsoft network

Updated Detectives have arrested two men in the UK this morning in connection with an international "conspiracy" to break into the Microsoft network. The two 20-somethings are in police custody. The coppers, based in the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, are investigating "unauthorised intrusion into networks that Microsoft …
Andrew Silver, 22 Jun 2017

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