Articles about Economics

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Big data and the cloud: It's not even that scary

Sysadmin blog Once all the marketing is cleared away, just what is big data, and how does it help real businesses of all sizes? Marketing would have us believe that big data is new, huge, terrifying, complicated, impossible without their help and yet will deliver unmatched benefits. Like many things in tech, however, big data is really just …
Trevor Pott, 30 Sep 2016
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Optus' HFC problems were never a secret, so why did nbn™ need the network?

Someone check in on former senator Stephen Conroy, would they, and make sure he hasn't laughed himself to death? One of the reasons nbnTM set the Australian Federal Police (AFP) onto the pugilistic parliamentarian was that documents leaked to him suggested Optus' hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) network wasn't fit for purpose. That …

Objects! Aaah-ah ... the savior of software-defined storage?

Comment Software-defined storage (SDS) is one of those terms that has been readily hijacked by vendors over the past few years. The term developed from the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN), used to define the separation of control and data traffic in the networking world, which provides the abstraction needed to deliver …
Chris Evans, 22 Sep 2016

Official: Cloud computing is now mainstream

Cloud computing is so mainstream these days that maybe it should just be called “computing”. That’s what an IDC survey of 6,100 organisations in 31 countries, released today, indicates, with 68 per cent of respondents using public, private or hybrid cloud in their IT mix. This is a 60 per cent jump from 42 per cent of …
Drew Cullen, 20 Sep 2016
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Is hyperconvergence about to take over the enterprise data centre?

The glamour news in data centres for the past couple of years has been all about all-flash arrays, with converged systems providing a growing backdrop. The flash arrays provided hot performance while converged systems (CI) led by Dell EMC's CPSD (Converged Platforms & Solutions Division – formerly VCE) and Cisco/NetApp's …
Chris Mellor, 13 Sep 2016
Office Space

HP Ink buys Samsung's printer business for a BILLION dollars

HP Inc has agreed to purchase Samsung's printer business for over $1bn, the largest print acquisition in its history. Describing the deal as "accelerating the disruption of the $55bn copier industry" HP Ink expects its acquisition of Samsung's tech will help it replace copiers with "superior" multifunction printer (MFP) …

Microsoft wearable makes lazy lardies pay to play on the couch

Microsoft-backed academics have developed a internet-of-things wristband that will send donations to charity when exercise runs are missed. The punishing peripheral is a concept that the team reckons could be developed such that it will raid a lounge lizard's bank account whenever the gyro and body sensor instruments detect an …
Darren Pauli, 09 Sep 2016
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Nokia's 4.9G races Ericsson's almost-5G, yet the finishing line is a mirage

At Mobile World Congress this year, Nokia emerged as the most aggressively "5G-ready" of the big vendors, while Huawei was still stressing "4.5G", a term it coined, but which has been widely adopted. This week saw Nokia going one better with "4.5G Pro" and even "4.9G", recalling the build-up to LTE, when some vendors and …
Wireless Watch, 07 Sep 2016

EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

The European Union has published draft plans to force telcos across the EU to offer customers free roaming for at least 90 days a year. Last year the EU decided to abolish roaming fees from June 2017, after years of negotiations with European telcos. But today the plans contain a "fair usage" concession which mean users can …
Kat Hall, 06 Sep 2016
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Nutanix: Yup, OK, we gobbled PernixData, Calm.io. What you gonna do about it?

At long last Nutanix has come clean and revealed it is buying PernixData (VMware's hypervisor memory caching software biz), and confirmed it also slurped devops software company Calm.io. No prices have been disclosed but we understand the Calm.io deal was the one referred to in a Nutanix S1 amended filing, which involved 528, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Aug 2016

Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Analysis Sprint and T-Mobile US are introducing "all you can eat" internet plans, and as you might expect, someone at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco is horrified. Somebody always is. The EFF tut-tutted at dirt-poor Indian farmers getting Ceefax pages on their mobiles for free – and the Indians obligingly banned it …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2016
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Plexistor unveils storage-stack-perplexing PMoF tech

Plexistor has unveiled specs on its Persistent Memory over Fabric (PMoF), which it says gives app servers access to disaggregated persistent memory in fabric-connected PM Bricks. Plexistor’s software-defined memory combines DRAM and flash in one memory address space to deliver a higher “memory” capacity with persistent storage …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2016
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Rubrik's extra funding as Firefly extended data management flies out of the coop

Bucking any notion of down rounds and funding droughts, Rubrik has completed a massive $61 million C-round – taking total funding to over $112m – and released its Firefly Cloud Data Management platform. The data management company was founded in January 2014 and took in a $10m A-round, plus a $41m B-round in 2015. With the …
Chris Mellor, 16 Aug 2016
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IBM’s DeepFlash 150: Got half a million bucks for a fat, fast JBOF* box?

Combine WDC’s SanDisk InfiniFlash with IBM’s Spectrum Scale and you have the DeepFlash 150 array: probably the world’s fastest parallel file system box. WDC’s InfiniFlash IF150 has from 128TB to 512TB of capacity in its 3U enclosure with up to 64 x 8TB MLC flash cards. It has a 12Gbit/s SAS interface. SanDisk claims it can …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2016
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The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Cloud computing is wonderful, until it isn’t. A digital screw comes loose somewhere, and before you know it the whole engine has ground to a halt in a cascading cloud outage – or, as we like to call it, a cloutage. It has happened before, and Bryan Ford was very worried about it in 2012. Then a Yale Researcher, he published a …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jul 2016
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Getting comfortable with cloud-based security: Whom to trust to do what

There are some bits of computing that you just don’t want to trust other people with. They’re just too sensitive. But at the same time, there are some things that people can do as well or better than you, for a lower cost. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky, but useful. Take cybersecurity as an example. It’s …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jul 2016
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Odds are your office is ill-prepared for network-ransacking ransomware

Organizations are unprepared for future strains of more sophisticated ransomware, a report by Cisco warns. The networking giant's 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report concludes that the next wave of ransomware is expected to be more pervasive and resilient. While current strains typically infect a single computer, future …
John Leyden, 26 Jul 2016

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
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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
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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
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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
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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