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Curiosity Mars rover's latest hole in Mars

Curiosity GOUGES AND SCORCHES Mars with drill and laser

Nuclear-powered space tank Curiosity as struck another blow for humanity by scorching Mars with seven smears of its mighty lasers. NASA published photos of the rover's latest exploits yesterday, explaining that the latest unfurling of Curiosity's laser weapons was done after the vehicle had first unleashed its drill and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2014
John Legere

T-Mobile boss: 'High and mighty' Verizon and AT&T are 'raping you for every penny you have'

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is outspoken at the best of times, but went further than ever before in his criticism of the conduct of Verizon and AT&T in the US market at the company's latest Un-carrier initiative launch. "These high and mighty duopolists that are raping you for every penny you have," Legere said. "The fuckers hate …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2014
Terminators

Who wants a ROBO-BUTLER? Google and pals do – and they've just put $2m towards it

Google has placed a bet on a robotics company that is working to create "services" robots for use in hospitals, care homes or hotels. Mountain View's investment arm, Google Ventures, handed over an undisclosed sum of money to startup Savioke, which is headed up by Steve Cousins, former CEO of PR2-maker and robotics pioneer …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Apr 2014
The original 'Bondi Blue' iMac G3

The Mac at 30: Hardware and software wars – again and again and ...

The countdown continues as we step through the 10 most important events that have shaped the evolution of the Apple Macintosh over the past 30 years. Click here for Part 1... or read on. In this episode: the return of the prodigal son, the attack of the clones, the invasion of Chipzilla, and how an old enemy came to the rescue …

Ericsson and Ciena ink SDN development and distribution deal

Telecoms giant Ericsson will develop capabilities targeting software-defined networking and IP-optical convergence under a distribution deal with network specialist Ciena. Under the agreement, Ericsson will sell Ciena’s Converged Packet Optical systems, including the 6500 Packet Optical Platform and 5400 family. The former …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Feb 2014

Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

Apple godhead Steve Jobs was known for his love of superb but pricey design and flawless aesthetics. So why on Earth has the fruity firm decided to immortalise him with a monstrous statue that's been described as a "huge dildo" for fanbois? Twitter critics have erupted in rage and disbelief after the statue was unveiled on the …
Jasper Hamill, 27 Feb 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry sets BBM Voice and Channels live on iOS and Android

Terminally consolidating smartphone firm BlackBerry has added support for its Voice and Channel services on the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for Android and iOS. The company said that the update would bring a new set of collaboration and telephony options to users who still run BBM on their Apple and Android devices. The BBM …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Feb 2014

Windows users: You get a patch! And you get a patch! And you get a patch! Everybody gets...

Microsoft has issued its usual warning to admins ahead of this month's Patch Tuesday – and servers are getting some serious fixes. Redmond will be pinging out six parcels of patches; two critical batches, three important and one rated moderate – the latter covering the service bus for Windows Server. But Windows RT, Server 2008 …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014
The guts of a Unitrends hardware appliance

Dell and Unitrends both bulk up their backup

There’s feverish development in the SME backup market as Dell and Unitrends follow NAKIVO in fortifying their product offerings. Dell has added stuff to its SME AppAssure backup products with a new SW version and a new appliance, the DL1000. It’s also added the DR2000v to its deduplicating backup appliance range. The latest …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014

Unbridled BONKING and rampant ROGERING at YOUR office!

Youtube Video Sex sex sex, that’s all we think about, apparently. I think I read somewhere that men think about sex every seven seconds. But then you shouldn’t believe everything you read because a person could hardly concentrate on (SEX) matters on a day-to-day basis if this was the case and you would turn into a (SEX) machine …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Jul 2014
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

China blocks Flickr and OneDrive

China appears to have tweaked the Great Firewall to block Yahoo!'s Flickr photo-sharing service and Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage offering. The timing of the blocks, reported by transparency monitoring outfit GreatFire.org, looks convenient inasmuch as Hong Kong this week saw substantial pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jul 2014
From left to right: Mastodon, mammoth, gomphothere. Credit: Sergio de la Rosa

Native Americans KILLED AND ATE DUMBO, say archaeologists

The primitive folk assessed by many archaeologists as being the original native Americans – that is, the Clovis people – killed and ate the lovable prehistoric elephants that inhabited the continent alongside them, scientists say. From left to right: Mastodon, mammoth, gomphothere. Credit: Sergio de la Rosa Majestic, delicious …
Lewis Page, 15 Jul 2014
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Microsoft has decided it won't replace the Masters-level certifications it once described as the "pinnacle" of a Redmond-centric IT pro's education. Redmond ”retired” the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications last year. At the time …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
Artist’s impression of deep blue planet HD 189733b

MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

Everyone knows that exoplanets need to be in the sweet Goldilocks spot (“not too hot, not too cold, just right”) next to their sun to support alien life: but now British boffins have said they reckon oceans might be necessary too. Artist’s impression of deep blue planet HD 189733b Researchers at the University of East Anglia …
Atari Games: Gauntlet

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Rumours of a new version of the Atari classic Gauntlet at E3 took me straight back to the arcade circa 1985. I remember being dwarfed as a preteen by the fearsome presence of Gauntlet’s massive cabinet. It dominated the arcade and the rest of the machines in the room with its huge screen and impressive multicoloured keypad. …
Lucy Orr, 16 Jul 2014

Out of Luczo, Seagate? Revenues and profits are shrinking again

Seagate chairman and CEO Steve Luczo is watching his company's revenues and profits shrink for the second year in a row – Seagate’s immense disk business business is spinning more slowly these days. For its fourth fiscal quarter, ended 27 June, revenues were $3.3bn, 37 per cent down on last year’s Q4 and 3 per cent down on the …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014
Ben Goldacre

VMware wants IM clients to hookup with calendars and databases

Not content with building a chatbot that lets servers tell you what ails them over instant messaging applications, VMware is also seeking a patent to let messaging tools rummage around in your calendar and suck down data from Google. The newly-published patent application, numbered 20140195621 and titled “Intelligent Chat System …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2014
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Apple and Android split Santa's stash, go on Xmas PC and tab high

Apple sold more tablets and PCs than anybody over the Christmas trading period but – just like everybody else – it felt growing pressure from Google’s Android. That is the story of PC and tablet makers for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the first numbers for the period from analyst outfit Canalys, given to The Register …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Jan 2014
Ejection_seat

Donahue grabs Atlantis double crown: Takes CEO and pres titles

Atlantis Computing, the ILIO VDI and USX VMware acceleration software company, has replaced its CEO. Jason Donahue will be taking over from Bernard Harguindeguy. Donahue becomes CEO and president and joins the board. Chetan Venkatesh, the chief technology officer and founder of Atlantis, said: “Jason Donahue is someone who …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014

British data cops: We need greater powers and more money

The UK's data privacy watchdog is lobbying for greater powers and funding after reporting a bumper workload. The latest annual report from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (PDF) reveals that the bureau responded to a record number of data protection and freedom of information complaints in the year to April 2014. The …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2014

FBI and pals grab banking Trojan zombielord's joystick

Law enforcement and the security business have teamed up to disrupt the operation of the Shylock banking Trojan. The UK's National Crime Agency joined forces with Europol and the FBI to take down and seize the command and control servers key to running the botnet. Law enforcement also took control of the domains Shylock uses for …
John Leyden, 11 Jul 2014
Great Wall of China

VMware launches vCHS in Japan and reveals China Telecom partnership

As El Reg predicted last week, VMware will offer its cloud hybrid service (vCHS) in Japan, and has also revealed a plan to launch the service in China. In Japan, SoftBank will deliver the service from a single Tokyo data centre. A private beta of the service started today and Sanjay Mirchandani, VMware's senior veep and GM for …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2014
2001 HAL poster

Microsoft's new 'Adam' AI trounces Google ... and beats HUMANS

The battle for neural-network dominance has heated up as Microsoft has developed a cutting-edge image-recognition system that has trounced a system from Google. The company revealed "Project Adam" on Monday and claimed that the system is fifty times faster and roughly twice as accurate as Google's own DistBelief system. In one …
Jack Clark, 15 Jul 2014

Stephen Elop: 'Hello there' (and goodbye to 12,500 of you)

How would you like to be told that you may have lost your job? Probably not with an email which started with the phrase: "Hello there." But that's how Microsoft mobile boss Stephen Elop began his missive to the Microsoft Devices Group, burying the news about killing off Nokia X in par four, and the bit about which operations in …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a revamped Windows 8.x Start Menu

August Patch Tuesday to bring Windows bug fixes AND FEATURES – report

Microsoft's next major update roll-out for Windows 8.1 may be less than a month away, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but just what will be so "major" about it is still anybody's guess. Over the last few months, we've heard plenty of talk about a follow-up to April's Windows 8.1 Update – itself a release so significant …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
using mobile when, er, upwardly mobile

Ofcom says yes to sat broadband on PLANES (and trains and ships)

A generous allocation of 4,128 MHz worth of spectrum running from 27.5GHz to 30GHz (albeit not contiguous) will give data speeds of 50Mbit/sec to a single plane or ship and an estimated 10Mbit/sec per user thanks to a new frequency allocation from Ofcom. The ruling allows "Earth station antennas" on moving vehicles which will …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2014

Move over Siri and Cortana: BlackBerry's, um, 'Assistant' is here

BlackBerry has formally unveiled a voice-powered assistant due to appear on its BB10 devices later this year. Imaginatively named er, "BlackBerry Assistant", the speech software hooks into web searches, social media and basic phone functions, like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now. We tried Assistant on a very …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
WASP-12b getting devoured by its sun

The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots

The Sun seems to have given itself a few days off. As noted by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, with reference to data from the Royal Observatory of Belgium's Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations (SILSO) project, last Thursday July 17th saw the Sun produce no sunspots. That's the first sunspot-free day since 2011. And …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2014

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

A group of top NASA scientists told the space agency's chief yesterday that the forthcoming generation of space telescopes are likely to discover habitable Earth-like worlds and probably alien life – perhaps within 20 years. We're all someone's Sun "Sometime in the near future, people will be able to point to a star and say, ' …
Lewis Page, 15 Jul 2014
Intel Xeon W5580

Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer

Intel has gone through its fabs and found the greatest possible Xeons, tweaked its firmware, and sold 'em off to Oracle. The two companies announced on Thursday that they had partnered to work on a Xeon chip whose cores can be turned on or off and clock rate manipulated by Oracle's software. The Xeon E7-8895 v2 SKU was tweaked …
Jack Clark, 18 Jul 2014

Ham-fisted farmer fear: A peanut-butter-and-iPhone sandwich

Japanese farmers are claiming some shipments of grain from the USA include smartphones. The phones' presence isn't an Internet of Things play. Nor is it a new food craze. Instead, as reported by Japanese news outlet Mainichi, (through the Associated Press), it appears that US farmers are dropping their phones while they work in …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2014
Hyperbolic map of the internet. Credit: Nature Communications

CAIDA to survey peers, colo sheds and ISPs for new map of internet

CAIDA – the group of router boffins established at the University of California to research 'net traffic and look for solutions to threats to Internet stability – has given itself a new name. If you're thrifty with your letters and don't want to learn a new acronym, you'll be pleased to know that the name change is from the …
Tommy lee image

Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Microsoft has rammed a research rod into the security spokes of the internet by advocating for password reuse in a paper that thoroughly derails the credentials best practise wagon. Password reuse has become a pariah in internet security circles in recent years following a barrage of breaches that prompted pleas from hacked …
Darren Pauli, 16 Jul 2014

Mozilla and Facebook snip a further five per cent from all JPEGs

Just four months after loosing the mozjpeg encoder on a waiting world, Mozilla has updated it to version 2.0, at the same time announcing that Facebook is testing the new iteration. The Social NetworkTM has also slung Mozilla $US60,000 towards the development effort in anticipation of mozjpeg 3.0. Mozjpeg, first released in …
Valiant Hearts

Battle ready: Valiant Hearts and Company of Heroes: Western Front

Later this month we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Europe's plunge into the deadly turmoil of World War I. Valiant Hearts War stories The role of dogs in the Great War was varied – sniffing out explosives and lugging equipment are just two of their tasks that spring to mind – but I can presume they played a much …
Lucy Orr, 08 Jul 2014
Video

Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

British television's 9pm watershed is 50 years old this month, and TV watchdog Ofcom has published figures showing that while it's still relevant in protecting kiddies from the worst televisual excesses, viewers are increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language. The watershed ensures there's a non-abrupt transition to …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014

Google right to be forgotten 'looks odd and CLUMSY'

Something was rotten in the state of the internet this week, though it’s unclear who’s to blame. Reports started emerging from major news outlets that links to their stories had been pulled from the European web as part of Google’s new commitment to the EU right to be forgotten. Was Google hamming things up by letting slip the …
Christina Chong in Line of Duty

New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Some meagre plot details for the new Star Wars movie have leaked online, revealed to BadAssDigest by “multiple sources” (some spoilers follow, obviously). Christina Chong in Line of Duty Newest cast member Christina Chong in Beeb TV show Line of Duty With no official word on plot from JJ Abrams, Disney or Lucasfilm, anything …
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox OS lands in Germany – with France, Asia, and more to come

Mozilla's Firefox OS continues its slow march across the globe, with carriers set to begin shipping devices running the open source, browser-based smartphone platform in additional developed markets this week. Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica has previously sold Firefox OS phones in Spain, but the bulk of its efforts have been …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014
Wifi grumpy cat

Sydney wallows in cesspit of WiFi obsolescence and ignorance

Sophos has brought its Raspberry-Pi-powered World of Warbiking WiFi-sniffing peloton to Sydney and found, as it does everywhere around the world, that some people just can't be bothered with WiFi security. The Word of Warbiking sees Sophos' head of security research James Lynbe strap a Pi and various WiFi cards to his bicycle …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2014
Apple's invitation to its September 11 event in China

Analyst: Chinese buyers shunning IBM, EMC, Oracle and Cisco

For years, the world's largest technology vendors have assumed that China represents a colossal opportunity, albeit with an unusual set of hoops to jump through in order to do business. That view now seems a little dated according to Frank Liu, analyst firm Forrester's chap covering converged infrastructure and big data in China …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2014

Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

The ruler of Dubai has announced that the Gulf state is soon to build the world's first climate-controlled city, which will feature the largest area yet contained under a single transparent dome. The project is referred to by its organisers as "Mall of the World", and is intended to produce an city which can be traversed …
Lewis Page, 08 Jul 2014

Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and others help Google build cloud Trojan Horse

Tech companies large and small are teaming up to develop open-source software Kubernetes, the success of which will reduce the relevance of VMware's virtualization tech in the cloud. IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, Docker, Mesosphere, CoreOS and SaltStack announced on Thursday that they are working with Google to develop open-source …
Jack Clark, 10 Jul 2014
Rolex in Live and Let Die

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

The Tory-led government's "emergency" data retention and investigation powers (Drip) bill currently being rushed through Parliament has caught ISPs off guard, it has emerged. The Register understands that telcos were only gently briefed on the plans ahead of last week's announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron. An industry …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jul 2014

Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Whatever Microsoft is doing to get punters adopting Windows 8.x isn't working, at least if the latest figures from Netmarketshare showing its older operating systems growing faster than its latest progeny are any guide. We've now tracked Netmarketshare's data for nine months and as the table below shows, Windows 7 has enjoyed …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jul 2014
The Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Festival

AWS adds second Sydney direct connect site and puts Melbourne on CloudFront

Amazon Web Services has revealed it has flicked the switch on a new Sydney site for its direct connect service that allows users to build a direct network connection between their kit and The House of Bezos' cloud. The company previously offered only Equinix Sydney 3 as a direct connect node. It has now added Global Switch's SY6 …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2014

British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal

UK and Irish data watchdogs are investigating claims that Facebook failed to seek the consent of its users before allowing researchers to manipulate their emotions via newsfeed meddling. The Register asked the office of the UK's Information Commissioner if it planned to probe Facebook following widespread criticism of its …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

HP and shareholders to gang up against 'Brit Bill Gates'

Hewlett-Packard and its disgruntled shareholders have settled three lawsuits related to the $10.7bn acquisition of British search specialist Autonomy. But the Autonomy fight is not over – far from it. Both sides have now agreed to co-operate in "potential litigation" against Autonomy’s former CEO Mike Lynch and members of his …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jul 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Wannabe Startup CEOs Hate This Guy: Potato Salad man and the $60k

The future of startups is the chopping board, not the computer keyboard. In fact, there's one weird trick that if properly platform-ized could net a canny startup a mouthful of cash. Interested? [This better be good - Ed] That secret to startup liquidity, which The Register is able to reveal to you, dear reader, today, lies not …
Jack Clark, 07 Jul 2014
 Dummy hand grenades are used by the Marines from the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, for practice before throwing the M-67 Fragment Grenades at the firing range.jpg

Dropbox used as command and control for Taiwan time bomb

A remote access trojan (RAT) is using Dropbox for command and control in a targeted attack against the Taiwanese Government, malware analyst Maersk Menrige says. The upgraded PlugX RAT is the first targeted attack to use Dropbox to update command and control settings, Menrige said, as distinct from other malware and ransomware …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jun 2014