Articles about Economics

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …

Need a Brain Lift? Welcome to the Reg Summer School

Reg Events Whether you’re getting ready to hit the beach, or just hit the sofa, holidays needn’t necessarily mean turning off your brain for the summer. But how to keep the grey cells ticking over while you’re topping up your tan - or just your gin and tonic? Well, you could do worse than dip into our repository of Register lectures, …
Joe Fay, 21 Jul 2016

GMB tests Uber 'self-employed drivers' claim at London tribunal

UK union the GMB has brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal today to determine if Uber acted unlawfully by not providing its drivers with “basic workers’ rights”, such as holiday pay and a national minimum wage. This is the first time that Uber's claim that drivers are self-employed has been tested …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Jul 2016

Successful fintech: UK has some, but it's not in Silicon Roundabout

Open up the business pages of any national newspaper and much of the coverage is focused on the latest fintech startup, the marvel that will transform the global financial system, backed – inevitably – by big name venture capital firms. But is this obsession with fintech deserved? A cool analysis of the phenomenon long term …
Marcus Gibson, 15 Jul 2016
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Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

David Davis MP today becomes the highest-achieving computer science graduate in British politics. Strictly speaking, Davis graduate with a BSc in “Molecular Science/Computer Science” in 1971 from the University of Warwick. He is now the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (or “SSEE-U”), a freshly-minted post. Davis later …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Special Report If the fMRI brain-scanning fad is well and truly over, then many fashionable intellectual ideas look like collateral damage, too. What might generously be called the “British intelligentsia” – our chattering classes – fell particularly hard for the promise that “new discoveries in brain science” had revealed a new …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2016
Yoga print - people doing yoga. Image via shutterstock

My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

¡Bong! [The following memo was found in a pilates studio in Shoreditch earlier this month, and forwarded to us anonymously. It is sourced to "BV Strategic Relations”, a highly secretive firm apparently registered in Panama, which describes itself as a "bespoke crisis management consultancy to governments”. The authenticity of the memo …
Steve Bong, 28 Jun 2016
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016
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Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

One thing the Brexit debate hasn't been short on is hyperbole, with much talk about a potential economic Armageddon triggered by a leave scenario. Certainly there has been no shortage of tech companies loudly nailing their colours to the remain mast. Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise even went so far as to email staff …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016

Microsoft's paid $60 per LinkedIn user – and it's a bargain, because we're mugs

Analysis How can you explain the $25.4bn price tag for Microsoft's acquisition of widely-loathed social network LinkedIn? It's easy. It's all about your personal data, of course. But the price Microsoft puts on your personal data is of particular interest here. Two years ago, Facebook splurged $18.4bn for the over-the-top IM app …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2016
drinks cans

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Soda drinks are under attack in the US and the UK, but the weapons employed on the two fronts are different. In the US, San Francisco enacted a law last year that requires advertisements for soda and sweetened drinks to alert consumers: “WARNING: drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth …

England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

The head of the wind industry’s trade body in the UK has admitted England isn’t windy enough for any more wind farms. “We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England. The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it,” Hugh McNeal, head of Renewable UK told the …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2016
Captain Mainwaring

Will you get reimbursed if you're a bank fraud victim? Brits think not

Bank customers worldwide are often in the dark about whether or not they’ll be reimbursed for fraudulent transactions. Customers’ understanding of bank terms and conditions is often sketchy, according to a international study by academics. The researchers found that there is significant variation worldwide, and even within …
John Leyden, 06 Jun 2016

The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Special Report We stroll down Memory Lane and ask: was this The Ultimate Curse of Fry? Spring cleaning the other day, my wife found a Windows wristband. It was in a box where ten year old 4MB MMC cards went to die, along with paperclips, odd screws and a lot of dust. Keep or chuck? Chuck, I said, before looking closer, and realising that it …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 May 2016
whitehall road in London. <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-637816p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Albert Pego</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

Watchdog snaps: Privatise the Land Registry? What a terrible idea!

Government plans to flog off the Land Registry have been heavily criticised by the Competition and Markets Authority, which warns it will create a private monopoly hold over public data. Proposals to privatise the body are in danger of creating a monopoly business with an incentive to abuse its position, said the CMA in its …
Kat Hall, 23 May 2016
School Computer Lab from Shutterstock

Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Students who have access to computer devices in the classroom do significantly worse than colleagues without them, a study has found. In a study by MIT's School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative, titled The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military …
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A UK-wide fibre broadband investment plan? Don't ask awkward questions

Analysis The pace of fibre broadband deployment in the UK remains a highly contentious issue. But the current lack of fibre isn't our biggest problem: it's the absence of any national strategy. To put our fibre-to-the-premise broadband infrastructure into international perspective, FTTP services are only available to two per cent of UK …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2016
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA rules out fast-tracking drone regulations

America's Federal Aviation Authority has ruled out changing low-altitude airspace rules for drones at least until 2019. Organisations like Amazon, which is dead-set convinced it can handle the economics of drone deliveries if only regulators would do their bidding. Last year, Bezos' bros asked the FAA to segregate airspace …

I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

"If you are going through hell, keep going." – Albert Einstein, 1991. I remember reading that quote on a motivational poster somewhere or other many years ago. I have carried it with me uncomfortably ever since. There's no easy way to fold a poster into your pocket. I think I am now finally at peace with what old Bertie meant …
Craig Wright, 03 May 2016

The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

Analysis The EU’s enquiry into online plantations platforms will recommend a hands-off approach that will delight Silicon Valley. A draft of the enquiry was leaked this week. The study, part of the EU's Digital Single Market wheeze, also sneaks in one of the EU bureaucrats' top favourite obsessions: national ID cards. You shouldn't be …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016

Brit AI daddy Sir David MacKay dies

Obit David MacKay, or more formally Sir David John Cameron MacKay, FRS, FInstP, FICE, was a true polymath who achieved greatness in the fields of physics, computer science and energy policy. He died of cancer this week aged 48. His Royal Society Biography listed just some of his achievements here: David developed a way to correct …
Drew Cullen, 15 Apr 2016

Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

Analysis If you want to understand the economics of the music industry, imagine that you make wellies: Prestige Boots. They’re excellent wellies, well reviewed and loved by customers. You deserve to crack the big time, so you arrange a meeting with Hypothetical Hypermarkets. In his swanky office, the Hypermarket buyer tells you how …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Apr 2016

Ruckus: A strong buy for Brocade, but leaves Juniper isolated again

Comment Pity poor Juniper. The networking company’s alliance with Ruckus Wireless last summer raised hopes that it would strike it third time lucky in the Wi-Fi market, filling the gaping wireless gap in its platform. Now Brocade has snatched carrier Wi-Fi leader Ruckus from under its rival’s nose with a $1.2bn acquisition. It's the …
Wireless Watch, 13 Apr 2016
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Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

Sysadmin Blog Dear readers, I apologize in advance for the cursing, horrible metaphors, similes and so forth that will populate this blog. I am writing this after a day of dealing with a network cryptolocker outbreak and finally hitting that wall where I no longer care about anything except venting unto the world that silent rage that has …
Trevor Pott, 12 Apr 2016
Illustration of a "bitcoin" dissolving into numbers. Photo by SHutterstock

Cash, fear and uncertainty: The Holy Trinity of Bitcoin and blockchain

Feature Writing anything about Bitcoin or blockchains is a challenge. It's not the easiest technology to understand – not because it's particularly complex, but because it's grown into something of a confused mess of different technologies and applications. It also "looks" strange compared to most technologies that we're used to. Plus …
Matt Reynolds, 12 Apr 2016
Philips Hue Starter Pack

Hue, not Three, could be Hutchison’s crown jewel as MNO model morphs

The European Commission has two months to decide whether to allow the takeover of Telefonica’s O2 UK arm by CK Hutchison, owner of 3UK, and if it does, what conditions will be imposed. One of the most likely demands will be for the merged entity to divest some of its infrastructure for a new entrant, or at least to earmark a …
Wireless Watch, 04 Apr 2016
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Nexenta wins Lenovo as server partner

Lenovo and Nexenta are developing combined System X X86 server/DAS/NexentaStor software offerings, joint go-to-market strategies, and Lenovo service and support. Lenovo is the third-largest server shipper worldwide. Nexenta’s NexentaStor offers open source storage software offering file and block access scalable out to …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
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Don't take this the wrong way, Pure Storage – are you the next NetApp?

Comment Back in 1992, NetApp was founded and competed with Auspex in the file storage array market. It overtook Auspex and grew and grew, entering the Fortune 500, becoming a storage platform company and a multi-billion dollar revenue corporation. No other startup has managed that feat since. Could Pure Storage be the first one to …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016

Crap IT means stats crew don't really know how UK economy's doing

Clunky IT systems at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have contributed to inaccurate reporting of economic growth, according to an independent review of UK economic statistics. The report (PDF), by Professor Sir Charles Bean of the London School of Economics, said the ONS's current technology estate "is in dire need of …
Kat Hall, 11 Mar 2016

Californian tycoons stole my sharing economy, says Lily Cole

Big Money has poisoned the utopia of the sharing economy, says the millionaire supermodel and “social entrepreneur” Lily Cole. Once upon a time, unicorns grazed innocently over websites like Cole’s own Impossible.com, the “gift economy” website that was powered only by love (and a gift from taxpayers). Contributors were happy …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2016

Rent a denial-of-service booter for $60, wreak $720k in damage

Criminals can pay distributed-denial-of-service attackers less than US$60 to inflict as much as US$720,000 in damage to an organisation per day, researcher Dennis Schwarz says. The so-called booter or stresser services are commonly sold as would-be legitimate tools for security professionals. These tools are supposedly used to …
Darren Pauli, 04 Mar 2016

Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Analysis According to the head of ARPA-E – the research arm of the US Department of Energy – a number of breakthroughs in battery technology have been achieved, with huge implications on the use of renewable energy and electric cars. Speaking at an ARPA-E event in Washington DC this week, director Dr Ellen Williams told an interviewer …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2016

IBM plugs SanDisk's flashy JBOF rig into its spectrum

IBM and SanDisk are jointly adding Big Blue’s parallel filesystem software Spectrum Scale to SanDisk’s InfiniFlash all-flash array. Spectrum Scale, formerly known as GPFS, is a mature and well-used parallel file system, that IBM has been continually updating to keep it current. SanDisk’s InfiniFlash is a 3U enclosure with …
Chris Mellor, 02 Mar 2016
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SimpliVity is Vimply Vedding no Valty tears over Visco's HyperFlex

Cisco Partner Summit Has the Cisco HyperFlex announcement delivered a hammer blow to SimpliVity and its UCS server-based partnership? We talked to a person familiar with SimpliVity and its channel to get their sense of how SimpliVity's hyper-converged product offering compares to Cisco's HyperFlex product with its OEM'd SpringPath software. This …
Chris Mellor, 01 Mar 2016

No tit for tat, or should that be tat for tit ... Women selling stuff on eBay get lower bids

It's no secret that women tend to be paid less than men across many professions, and now researchers say the pay gap even extends to goods sold online. A pair of academics in Israel studying eBay auction results over a three-year period found that when selling the same items, both new and used, female sellers got a lower …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2016

ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes

Analysis It’s WAR. CK Hutchison’s Three network will become the first UK mobile operator to block ads, threatening to undermine the $100bn mobile ad business, and app developers and publishers who depend on them. Three confirmed to us that apps will be starved of ads once the blocking is turned on. Although Three is the smallest of …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2016
Soaring costs in San Fran. from www.shutterstock.com

How tech firms can drive growth without making inequality worse

For many cities, tech hubs have been a key to jump starting economic growth in the wake of the global financial crisis. In an era of uncertainty, tech-sector growth is proving to be a driving force for nations attempting to reach into the “next economy”. In the UK, for instance, the sector is – optimistically – predicted to …

Free science journal library gains notoriety, lands injunctions

A repository of 47 million research papers is playing a game of internet cat-and-mouse with publisher Elsevier. Last month, Sci-Hub was forced to relocate to the sci-hub.io domain after its previous home at sci-hub.org was shut down when Elsevier won a preliminary injunction against it. Likewise the addresses libgen.org, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2016

TTIP: A locked room, no internet access, two hours, 300 pages and lots of typos

A German MP has given an insight into the surreal restrictions imposed around the upcoming US-EU trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Katja Kipping has written a personal account of her visit to a special reading room at the German Ministry of Economics that was set up after Parliamentarians …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Nokia kicks off pre-MWC race with tech show-and-tell

And then there were four: the Big Five mobile network vendors are reduced to a quartet, though Cisco will be hoping that its new alliance with Ericsson will admit it to the inner circle, while Samsung and NEC remain hopeful of harnessing virtualisation to improve their radio access network (RAN) business. But the fight is …
Wireless Watch, 09 Feb 2016

NetApp hits back at Wikibon in cluster fluster bunfight

Comment The Wikibon consultancy has published an analysis saying that the move from NetApp's ONTAP 7-mode to clustered mode (cDOT) wasn't worth it, and suggesting ONTAP was not a great choice in several application areas. NetApp's Lee Caswell, VP product, solutions and services marketing, sent us the following riposte. The Wikibon …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2016
Banksy_death

Don’t get in a cluster fluster, Wikibon tells NetApp users

The Wikibon consultancy, in what amounts to a sustained analytical assault on NetApp’s product strategy, claims NetApp 7-Mode array users shouldn’t update to CDOT (Clustered DataONTAP), its latest FAS array operating system, and should think seriously about moving workloads to other suppliers’ systems. CDOT clusters FAS arrays …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2016
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How to save Wikipedia: Start paying editors ... or write for machines

Comment Imagine that one giant manufacturer dominated the car market. The cars it made weren’t very good, but they were much cheaper and easier to buy than cars from anyone else, so the car company had ended up dominating the market. These cars would often break down, spew noxious gasses, and a lot of the time, didn’t go where you …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jan 2016
The One Laptop Per Child project: kids at the Kagugu Primary School, Kigali, Rwanda, get to grips with new computers

World Bank: What do the poor need – clean water, or email ... take a guess

Efforts to expand IT and internet connectivity in developing countries are producing results that are "far less than expected," according to the World Bank. The 2016 Digital Dividends report [PDF] said that when it comes to quality of life and economic development, campaigns to bring poorer nations online have failed to meet …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2016
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

FTC apologizes for leaking attendee details … to privacy conference

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has put in a strong bid for the 2016 Ironic Idiocy Award when they sent the details of every attendee to one of its conferences to every other attendee. The conference? Privacy CON. The conference, taking place today in Washington DC, is heavy on university research and covers topics like " …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jan 2016
Elastifile

All-flash hot-shot Elastifile pulls open wallet for big B-round

Israeli high-techers strike again. Elastifile, a startup developing storage software for all-flash arrays, has gained $35m in its second round of funding. The company was started up in 2014 in Herzliya, Israel, to develop enterprise-class, web-scale storage software running on all-flash media and providing file, object and …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2016
Samsung Chef Collection Oven

Samsung turns to smart home, wearables chips as mobile declines

Analysis Looking for a radical change in culture and product mix is Samsung, which has ridden high on the smartphone boom but is now refocusing its growth efforts on the IoT, chips and displays. The decade of the smartphone will end this year, and growth in sales will fall below 10 per cent for the first time ever, according to …
Wireless Watch, 11 Jan 2016
Crawling_child

Solving the data silo problem using a crawl-walk-run strategy

Analysis + Comment DataSphere is Primary Data's product and it provides a storage abstraction layer presenting a single interface to multiple individual storage silos. Primary Data told us more about it at a Silicon Valley IT Press Tour event in early December. CEO Lance Smith said the company's technology virtualised data, not storage, and …
Chris Mellor, 31 Dec 2015
SpaceX landing

Getting metal hunks into orbit used to cost a bomb. Then SpaceX's Falcon 9 landed

Analysis Monday's historic landing of the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is possibly the most significant event in rocketry since Apollo 8 showed we could get humans to the Moon and back safely. Landing from helo https://t.co/dYomRtG0Xs — SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 22, 2015 The Falcon rocket's first stage is hugely important …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2015

NetApp sings to Solidfire: All I want for Christmas is buying you

NetApp is buying SolidFire to get scale-out all-flash arrays for cloud provider-like use cases – the sort of use cases that are closed to NetApp's all-flash E-Series and ONTAP systems. The acquisition was rumored this month, and had a $1.2bn price tag attached to it. NetApp is paying $870m in cash for SolidFire, a move …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2015