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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
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
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
Channel Tunnel by Tony Hisgett on Flickr

EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel

British suits on trains hurtling along deep beneath the Channel will soon be able to continue to work online and over the phone with biz colleagues, after mobile carriers Vodafone and EE inked a 10-year deal with Eurotunnel. The companies said that from March this year their 2G and 3G mobile services will be available to …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jan 2014
Cloudy sky

Spinning rust and tape are DEAD. The future's flash, cache and cloud

FCC. That’s the way storage could be going in data centres in the next few years. FCC; flash, cache and the cloud. Amazon’s physical cloud storage gateway development – well, the supposed development – caused little ripples, echoes in my mind, and the many confusing pieces in the constantly developing storage technology jigsaw …
Chris Mellor, 09 Dec 2013
Tascam CD-A750 compact cassette deck and CD player combo

Decks and plugs and rock and roll: Tascam CD-A750 cassette and CD combo

The recent El Reg feature on the Compact Cassette's 50th birthday had many a reader commenting on some of the format's former glories. Names mentioned among the dewy-eyed included Aiwa (a favourite in UK studios) and the audiophiles’ choice, Nakamichi, with both producing state-of-the-art recorders with three heads and a lot …
Bob Dormon, 04 Sep 2013
Thomas Presquet EVA training with NASA photo ESA

Dry, cold and volatile: How to survive Mars, and your fellow crew

What did you want to be when you grew up? Chances are as a follower of Dr Who, you wanted to be a Time lord. While travel in time sadly isn’t on the cards, space travel is becoming a reality with Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo working through 50-plus rocket-powered test flights to qualify for passenger flights and with the Space …
Dave Wilby, 21 Nov 2013
The Space Graphics Solutions team poses with the wrapped Vulture 2

LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane

Cue the traditional portentous drumroll and fanfare of trumpets as we reveal today the finished livery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane – a provocative combination of paint job and vinyl wrap which is, frankly, the mutt's nuts. Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project will recall we asked readers back in …
Lester Haines, 19 Apr 2014

SCIENCE and RELIGION AGREE! LIFE and Man ARE from CLAY

Topflight boffins say they have discovered that life - or anyway the necessary complex precursor chemicals without which life cannot appear - probably originated in ancient "clay hydrogels". "We propose that in early geological history clay hydrogel provided a confinement function for biomolecules and biochemical reactions," …
Lewis Page, 06 Nov 2013

Google shuts Glass store and nixes Video Call feature

After giving the public one day to become "Explorers" of its $1,500 face-computer, Google has shut its online store saying that "all spots have been claimed". The company announced the withdrawal of Glass sales to the hoi polloi on Tuesday night following a one day sale during which the company "sold out" of the tech in white, …
Jack Clark, 16 Apr 2014
Half Life

Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Forget hyper-realistic blood and pointless mayhem: if you want to turn a nice person into a blood-gore-veins-in-the-teeth killer, give them a video game with unplayable controls. That's the hypothesis put forward by researchers from the University of Rochester (US) and University of Oxford (UK), who, intrigued by the phenomenon …
Handshake

Fujitsu and Panasonic about to walk down LSI aisle

Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic are ready to jointly launch a new chip company this autumn as part of the duo’s plans to merge their LSI businesses, according to reports. The new venture will have ¥50 billion (£294m) in funding, with Fujitsu chipping in ¥20bn, Panasonic ¥10bn and the Development Bank of Japan stumping up the …
Phil Muncaster, 15 Apr 2014
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

'China's Apple' heading to Asia and Latin America

China's smartphone darling Xiaomi has revealed ambitious expansion plans that will see the Beijing-based firm launch across Asia and Latin America. Xiaomi Global VP and former Googler Hugo Barra told the audience at the China 2.0 forum in Beijing last Friday that the firm would soon be expanding into Malaysia, Indonesia, the …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Apr 2014

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday

Following last weekend's cancellation of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights due to high winds, the team is relieved to announce that Thursday morning is looking good for a second pop. Saturday's planned missions were scuppered by excessive gustiness at the Herefordshire launch site, …
Lester Haines, 09 Apr 2014
Rotten apple

Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

Huawei insists its won’t splash the cash to compete with Samsung and Apple in Europe’s overcrowded consumer market. Late last year, Huawei became the world’s No 3 phone maker* from a standing start: it only began selling branded phones three years ago. Although Huawei itself is now gigantic with 150,000 employees – and a mind- …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Apr 2014
Kaspersky Lab logo

Kaspersky's Security for Virtualization pushed to XenServer and HyperV

Kaspersky is extending its Security for Virtualuzation Light Agent security tool to the Citrix XenServer and Microsoft HyperV platforms. The company said that the Light Agent tool will launch on April 22 with XenServer and HyperV support as well as new options for VMware's vSphere hypervisor. The company will continue to …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2014

Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age

A massive computer failure at the US Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is reportedly wreaking havoc on US immigration courts, with application outages continuing well into their second week. The agency issued an alert on April 14 warning immigration lawyers that certain key systems were down, but the New York Post …
Neil McAllister, 22 Apr 2014

KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!

Coming advances in technology have a majority of Americans optimistic about the future, yet nervous about looming technologies, a survey has found. According to a Pew Research study, 59 per cent of those polled believe that technological change will make people's lives in the future "mostly better" compared to just 30 per cent …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2

LOHAN spaceplane 'Punch and Judy' test flights live online

If you're looking for some light entertainment this fine April morning, then tune in to the live launch of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights. Dave Akerman and I are at Blighty's Baikonur in Herefordshire, determined to get two mighty orbs aloft. The live feed from the launch site is …
Lester Haines, 10 Apr 2014
SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling

Eco-friendly fluid keeps SGI supercomputer cool and moist

Intel and SGI have built a new supercomputer using an advanced coolant from 3M flowing directly over the hardware to slash the running costs of such systems, and possibly to boost performance. SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling Don't try this with water The SGI ICE X system uses Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors for grunt, and …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

The dust has pretty well settled on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Punch and Judy test flights, and we now present for your further entertainment a round-up of the two missions. Watch Video As you can see from the above timelapse video of the launches last Thursday, we did finally get off the ground after a …
Lester Haines, 16 Apr 2014
Looks cooler than a flux capacitor

UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan

Grant money amounting to over £28m will be awarded to four British engineering companies to take technology initially designed for Formula 1 cars and develop it for more widespread use. Four energy-efficient projects will receive a total of £28.8m in grants to "support investments of £133m". These grants is the first tranche …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2014
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

SPARC and Solaris will live until at least 2019

Oracle has quietly published a roadmap for its legacy Sun SPARC and Solaris platforms. Big Red's not offered a whole lot of detail, confining itself to the single slide below. The slide is available here as a PDF or as an embiggened image here. Oracle's SPARC and Solaris roadmap Oracle's SPARC and Solaris roadmap. Bigger …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Apr 2014
Whiptail XLR8r appliance

Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure

A recent report based on views gathered from resellers reveals Cisco reps are enthusiastically selling Invicta all-flash arrays as both stand-alone and UCS converged arrays against EMC's XtremIO and Pure Storage. William Blair's Data Networking and Storage Tracker findings are based on "in-depth interviews with 41 US and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

Update at 14:12: Today' flights have been cancelled due to high winds. Highly irritating, but that's the British weather for you. We'll let you know when we've formed an alternative plan. The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights are about to kick off - assuming the wind doesn't scupper …
Lester Haines, 05 Apr 2014

Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades

Monday was a busy day for the gaming guys and gals at Nvidia, with the release of a new beta DirectX 11 driver, version 2.0 of the multi-talented GeForce Experience gaming enhancer, and an update to the company's Shield mobile gaming device that includes Android 4.4.2, aka KitKat. "Our new 337.50 Beta driver enhances the …
Rik Myslewski, 08 Apr 2014
Stock ticker board

Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

If you thought cloud computing was complicated now, just wait until next year, when pin-striped traders will buy and sell contracts in the stuff. At least, that's the plan of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which announced on Monday that it had signed a "definitive agreement" to build a commodity exchange dedicated to the …
Jack Clark, 14 Apr 2014
cloud

Signiant to SkyDrop files into Amazon and Azure clouds

Signiant, a supplier of large (100GB and up) file transfer services to media companies, has launched a new product it calls SkyDrop to send the files to Amazon or Azure instead. The company already has a Media Shuttle product which is used by many digital media customers to send large files to customers and partners in the …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2014

Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach

As the officials investigating the Target data breach are settling in for what they believe will be a long and complex process of catching the hackers behind the heist, another US retailer is admitting that it lost millions of customer payment card details. Arts and crafts store chain Michaels said that it has confirmed the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014

Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, Google and friends shower OpenSSL in $$$s to make it all better

Tech's biggest names have vowed to pour cash into crucial open-source projects that glue the web together – and hopefully kill off any dire bugs that could wreck the net. The Linux Foundation announced on Thursday that it had formed "The Core Infrastructure Initiative" to fund open projects that are critical to the functioning …
Jack Clark, 24 Apr 2014
Titanfall

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

A "servers are cattle, not pets", DevOps-style approach is the only feasible way for a small number of people to run modern cloud-scale data centres. Small teams running large server farms are necessary to grind down costs so as to keep up with the Amazon-fearing race to the bottom. But even when cloud computing works exactly as …
Trevor Pott, 01 Apr 2014

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show is GO for Saturday

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights are go for tomorrow (Saturday 5 April), and as ever we'll be streaming proceedings live over the interwebs so you make yourselves a nice cuppa, kick back and follow the action live from the comfort of your PC. First up, we have the Punch rocket motor …
Lester Haines, 04 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Nadella names his Xbox and Cloud OVERLORDS

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made two important albeit expected appointments to his executive team. The big cheese announced on Monday that his company will remove the "interim" from Scott Guthrie's role as interim executive vice-president of cloud and enterprise. Phil Spencer, the boss of in-house games developer …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2014

Snowden files latest: NSA and GCHQ targeted German satcomms

The NSA and GCHQ hacked into the systems of three German satellite communication providers, according to the latest leaks from the files of Edward Snowden, fugitive ex-NSA sysadmin. Der Spiegel reports that GCHQ and the NSA tried to infiltrate internal networks run by satellite comms firms Stellar, Cetel and IABG. Stellar …
John Leyden, 31 Mar 2014

LOHAN team gears up for Punch and Judy show

It's all go on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) front as the British contingent of the team gears up for the forthcoming "Punch" and "Judy" test flights. On 5 April, we'll assemble at the new "Blighty's Baikonur" (formerly in Berkshire, now relocated to Herefordshire) to launch two balloon payloads. The first …
Lester Haines, 31 Mar 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

Reg LOHAN spaceplane: Punch and Judy show in comedy non-explosive climax

It's with more than a degree of staring at the heavens in exasperation that we confirm what those of you watching the live coverage of yesterday's Punch and Judy test flights had already deduced - that the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team failed to make fire in the sky. Dave and Anthony prepare for launch as …
Lester Haines, 11 Apr 2014
Oracle's Iron Man 2 ad

Oracle smacks JD Edwards help site with cease and desist order

A JD Edwards technical reference and help site has been forced to close after being sent a cease-and-desist letter from Oracle. The JDEREF.com site's UK-based webmaster recently revealed that a legal representative from Oracle, which acquired JD Edwards' owner PeopleSoft in 2005, sent the cease-and-desist letter requesting the …
Jack Clark, 07 Apr 2014
Screenshot of Crimea as seen on Google Maps Russia

Rejoice, Russians! The annexation of Crimea is complete and legitimate – Google Maps proves it

Google appears to have sided with Vladimir Putin in the current sovereignty dispute over the Crimean Peninsula – at least as far as residents of Russia are concerned. The online ad giant has made an update to its Google Maps of the region that denotes the border between Crimea and Ukraine as a bold, black line – seemingly …
Neil McAllister, 22 Apr 2014
putin topless

ICANN boss: 'Russia and China will NOT take over interwebs'

ICANN boss Fadi Chehadé appeared before a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday in an attempt to reassure troubled lawmakers that China and Russia will not take control of the internet once the US government pulls out in 2015. "Do you really think that Vladimir Putin ... can't figure out some way to get control? China …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Apr 2014
Tardis

Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space

A gaggle of boffins from University College London have proposed a method to cut data carriage costs for internet service providers (ISPs) and have given their idea the name TARDIS, for “Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability”. Described in this paper, the six authors explain that customers of consumer- …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014

Come to Oz for sun, surf, ratting on co-workers and surveillance

Australia's deserved reputation as a nation whose government likes to pry into almost everything online has "improved" thanks to two new incidents. The first event saw Australia's government promulgate and then retrospectively made secret new social media rules for Australian Government employees. The rules, allegedly published …

Tech Data shows off perky top and bottom line in fiscal '14....

If you set aside the sales contribution it slurped from acquired SDG and the positive impact of foreign currency exchange conversions, fiscal '14 was a damp squib of a year for Tech Data (TD). The box-slinging distie demon today reported a relatively strong close to the 12 months ended 31 January with group turnover up seven per …
Paul Kunert, 09 Apr 2014

BT merges iNet and Engage IT divisions under one roof

BT has slapped together the IT Engage and iNet businesses from today, April Fools' Day, but the move is no laughing matter for staff put at risk of redundancy. The telco had merged the dabs, Business Direct and Engage IT operations back in 2011, plonking long-serving exec John Thornhill into the boss seat to oversee integration …
Paul Kunert, 01 Apr 2014

Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

What do you want in a smartphone? A premium build quality? A high-resolution display that looks the business whether you’re watching a movie or reading a book? Maybe it’s a decent camera so you can ditch your compact snapper. As phones become better at doing all these things, manufacturers struggle to make their products stand …
David Phelan, 23 Apr 2014
CloudSpeed product shot

SanDisk offers Cloudspeed flash options for pockets deep and shallow

SanDisk has revved its CloudSpeed SATA SSD line, adding a tad more random read speed, slowing down the random write speed and reducing the sequential read and write speeds a trifle, too. These are business/enterprise SSDs in a 2.5-inch form factor product line that SanDisk acquired when it bought SMART Storage. There were then …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

The tech world is aflutter over the Heartbleed encryption flaw in OpenSSL, but it seems that the bug was no surprise to the analysts of the NSA, since they have reportedly been using it for two years to spy on data traffic. Two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that NSA staff picked up on the fatal flaw shortly …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014