Articles about Engineers

Vibrant Evening Sunset At Twistleton Scar In North Yorkshire, UK. Photo by Shutterstock

Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

This Damn War This Damn War image via Shutterstock I took the plunge and became a freelance IT consultant in 2001. Through an unlikely series of coincidences (former colleague from London goes to travel show in France and bumps into two guys from Yorkshire who are looking for a software and database architect) I ended up in North Yorkshire …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016

Cyanogen Inc 'axes 20%' staff

Cyanogen Inc, which develops an alternative flavour of Google's Android, has reportedly laid off a bunch of staff. The Seattle-based US startup takes code from the open-source CyanogenMod project, adds in some proprietary features, and tries to get phone makers to ship the package with their handsets. Basically, it seems, that …
Team Register, 23 Jul 2016

White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

The White House has said the US federal government will underwrite loans totaling $4.5bn to expand the use of electric cars. But before you go rushing to Elon Musk asking for a set of Falcon doors, note that it is only for building out charging infrastructure. The Department of Energy has expanded its existing loan program to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016

IETF boffins design a DNS for digital money

Digital currency engineers are working on a domain name system (DNS)-style protocol to enable money to be shared across different networks. The idea of digital currency – and particularly blockchains – has taken off in recent years, but there remain a number of competing networks that are unable to talk to one another: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016
Downtime, outage

BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

BT customers in the UK are once again banging their heads against their keyboards this morning: a power outage has thrown them offline for the second day running. Today the issue is a power outage at Telehouse North in London. An email message from BT Wholesale, with the subject line 'Major Service Interruption' – seen by The …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016
Symantec director government affairs Brian Fletcher (left) with Microsoft assistant general counsel Cristin Goodwin. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

Microsoft and pals re-write arms control pact to save infosec industry

Microsoft and a team of concerned engineers from across the security sector have joined forces to suggest a major re-write of the arms control pact the Wassenaar Arrangement, as they fear the document's terms are a threat tot he information security industry. The pitch is the result of brainstorming by the group to redefine …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
airplane just kidding shot

BT internet outage was our fault, says Equinix

Telecity data center owner Equinix has 'fessed up to a "brief outage" that knocked 10 per cent of BT internet subscribers offline in the UK as well as a number of other providers on the morning of 20 July. A spokesman from the group, which slurped up Telecity for £2.3bn in 2015, confirmed that the outage occurred at Equinix's …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2016
Penguins and wellies, image via Shutterstock

UK.gov digi peeps hunt open source chief

The British government’s Digital Service is looking for a chief penguin to head up open source. GDS has created a brand-new position for an individual to conduct open source technology projects, adoption and working practices for the government's IT arm. Moreover, the chosen candidate will be charged with forging …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jul 2016
red_hat_648

Red Hat redraws Ansible Tower so even enterprise managers can get it

Red Hat has given its Ansible Tower a good scrubbing down before smoothing the UI to better penetrate big money corporate accounts. Tower is Red Hat’s paid for version of the open source Ansible automation platform, effectively a GUI and services package around the core product. Well, we say GUI, but Tower 3.0, released today …
Joe Fay, 20 Jul 2016
Power outage

Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

A raft of BT customers in the UK were knocked offline this morning due to a power problem at one of its web peering partners’ sites in London. According to outage monitoring website Down Detector, customers reported a spike in problems at around 9am today. One customer got in touch to report that all their BT Infinity …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2016
Image by beccarra http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1124891p1.html

Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Unrestcon It takes nothing more than a home address for hacker "Nixxer" to find enough information to ruin your life. Nixxer is one of Australia’s most skilled good-guy social engineers and at a recent event, and in subsequent chats with The Reg, demonstrated the potential damage rather than actually ruining a life. But the arsenal he …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2016

Correction: There was no hangman's noose, claims Hyperloop countersuit ... it was a cowboy's lasso

An extraordinary fight at tube-travel company Hyperloop One has hit warp speed with a court filing filled with more wild claims. Faced with accusations of physical threats, financial mismanagement and nepotism in a lawsuit from its former CTO Brogan BamBrogan, the company's management has fired back with a 46-page cross- …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016

For $800 you can buy internet engineers' answer to US government spying

The long-awaited response from internet engineers to Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US government has been launched in Berlin. The CrypTech project launched an alpha prototype of its open-source crypto-vault at the 96th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and held a two-day workshop …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

One of the seminal developments in modern telecommunications turns 50 years old this month: the paper that bootstrapped the world of optical fibre communications. With this publication in the July 1966 issue of Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET), Charles Kao upended then-current research into …

Newbie NVXL flashes takes-a-kicking NVMDurance offering

NVXL is bringing an enhanced endurance SSD to market by using NVMdurance technology. NVMdurance is an Irish startup that uses firmware in an FPGA to control and manage how data is written to an SSD in such as way as to extend its working life up to 10 times longer than before. It has a partnership with Intel to use the Altera …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2016

Ivory tower drops water bombs on dumpster fire

A veritable Who's Who of the tech industry have signed an open letter aggressively criticizing Donald Trump and his proposed presidential policies. "We are inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector," the letter begins. "We are proud that American …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

Nest has launched its first new product in several years: an outdoor surveillance camera. The Nest Cam Outdoor is effectively a rebuild of its existing Nest Cam designed for the outside. We had an early peek at it and came away with the sense that the company once famed for reinventing the thermostat has found at least some of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016
Image by Daniel Wiedemann http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-89719p1.html

CloudFlare probes mystery interception of site traffic across India

An unknown agency in India, possibly telco Airtel, is quietly capitalising on encryption gaps in sites tended by DDOS-buster CloudFlare to intercept and redirect users. Little is yet known about the attacks, so far detected targeting piracy torrent site The Pirate Bay and a handful of other outfits. CloudFlare engineers have …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jul 2016

Hyperloop One lynched in hangman lawsuit

Tensions at the tube-traveling startup Hyperloop One have burst into the open with a lawsuit alleging physical threats, financial mismanagement and a sugardaddy chairman leaving a hangman's noose on a cofounder's chair. The lawsuit [PDF] was brought before a Los Angeles court yesterday by Hyperloop cofounder Brogan BamBrogan, …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jul 2016

Google broke its own cloud again

Google has 'fessed up to breaking its own cloud. Again. The most recent mess occurred on June 28 when Google Compute Engine SSD Persistent Disks in us-central1-a “experienced elevated write latency and errors in one zone for a duration of 211 minutes.” The mess meant that disks probably stopped accepting writes and instances …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2016
Power outage

4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Hosting provider Fasthosts has been hit with an outage lasting four days, which has knocked some customers' sites offline due a number of its cloudy services being out of action. According to the Gloucester-based provider's service update page: "Over the weekend one of our platform specialists, in conjunction with Dell and …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2016
Layout of IBM's four superconducting quantum bit device. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. This is the best configuration to add more qubits to scale to larger systems. (Credit: IBM Research)

Chrome anti-quantum crypto

Google is experimenting with encryption in Chrome that, in theory, cannot be cracked by powerful quantum computers. Today's quantum computers are science experiments, but it is believed future machines – if they ever materialize – will be able to perform the calculations needed to break today's cryptography. With that fear in …
Chris Williams, 07 Jul 2016
STT_MRAM_wafer

Just the facts, STT-MRAM: Your DRAM replacement's on its way

Spin Transfer-Torque Magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM) is a future DRAM replacement candidate. It uses one of two different spin directions of electrons to signal a binary one or zero. IBM and Samsung scientists have published an IEEE paper* demonstrating switching MRAM cells for 655 devices with diameters ranging from 50 down to 11 …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2016

Oracle says it is 'committed' to Java EE 8 – amid claims it quietly axed future development

Exclusive Oracle has told The Register it is "committed" to Java amid growing fears the IT giant had all but given up on Java EE – aka Java Platform, Enterprise Edition. The Redwood City titan said it will present fresh plans for the future of Java EE 8 at its JavaOne conference in San Francisco in September. Version eight is due to be …
Chris Williams, 07 Jul 2016
Curiosity selfie as it drills for water

NASA curious about Curiosity's fourth 'safe mode' event

NASA mission scientists are puzzling over why the Mars Curiosity rover entered “safe mode” during the weekend. In safe mode, the rover puts itself on hold: it ceases most activity, keeps itself safe, and follows a sequence to resume communications. The unexplained glitch was announced by NASA here. So far, the status update …

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Comment Classic and enterprise HPC storage supplier DDN Storage has opened up a Research and Development centre in Paris to help grow its European business. Its experience exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the European IT skills and startup scene, it says. The centre has 25 staff and should double that by the end if 2017. DDN …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

The first of the Royal Air Force's new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets landed on British soil last night, heralding a new era for the Royal Air Force. The supersonic Lightning II, as it will be known in RAF service, was flown across the Atlantic by RAF Squadron Leader Hugh Nicols, in the company of two US Marine Corps F-35Bs …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jun 2016
New Lanark big globe photo Bill Ray

MongoDB launches Atlas to manage deployments: Taking the Ops out of DevOps

MongoDB is launching Atlas, the company's first DBaaS, offering easy management of instances - initially on AWS, but soon to come to Azure and Google Cloud Platform. The service intends to alleviate devs of tedious evenings wasted with hardware provisioning, covering failure recovery, software patching, upgrades, configuration …
icelandic_hot_spring

Hyperconverger Springpath pivots to OEM channel. Yes, we said pivots. What of it?

Hyperconverged software startup Springpath is on a Cisco express hurtling to assault the market and bring UCS server-based HyperFlex systems to prominence. Springpath CEO Terry Cunningham joined in May 2015, coming from running EVault, the cloud backup service unit of Seagate, which Seagate folded back into its own …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016
sale

Intel mulls sale of Intel Security – reports

Opinion Intel is reportedly looking to offload its Intel Security arm. The IT giant is investigating options for Intel Security cyber security business, the FT reports. These options include selling off the security software business formerly known as McAfee that the chip-maker bought for $7.7bn back in August 2010. Intel is yet to …
John Leyden, 27 Jun 2016

Broadcom plans quarter-BEEELION expansion in Malaysia

Broadcom is going to tip US$250 million into Malaysia, announcing plans to expand its operation in Penang. The company has told local media it wants to add 175 engineers to the office, as well as 60 staff to its global supply chain operations. The Star Online identifies product development and testing, supply chain planning, …
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

Docker taps unikernel brains to emit OS X, Windows public betas

DockerCon Docker will kick off its DockerCon 2016 conference in Seattle this morning with a bunch of announcements: its OS X and Windows Docker clients will be made publicly available as beta software for anyone to try out; out-of-the-box orchestration is coming to Docker 1.12; and integration with Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure is in …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
Terminator head

Baidu tech chief: AI smart enough to take our jobs, not our lives. Yet

ISC (RotM) Artificial intelligence is about to transform society in the same way electricity did 100 years ago, but researchers are nowhere near producing the sort of self-aware sociopathic systems beloved of sci-fi writers. At least that’s what Andrew Ng, Silicon Valley-based chief scientist at Chinese Web giant Baidu, when he kicked …
Joe Fay, 20 Jun 2016
Big Bang

Gravitational waves: A new type of astronomy

The first time physicists announced that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) had detected gravitational waves, on September 14, 2015, it was breaking news. The discovery coincided with the 100-year anniversary of Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which predicted the existence of gravitational …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Jun 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Immigration is an issue swaying electorates around the world, including Britons, who will next week decide whether to leave the European Union and Americans, who will soon decide whether to vote for Donald Trump as president in November. While this is generally assumed to affect low-pay, low-skilled jobs, it can affect those in …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jun 2016

Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Google has announced a dedicated machine-learning research group in Europe, based in its Zurich office. Dubbed Google Research, Europe, the office in Switzerland will give its engineers and researchers "the opportunity to develop products and conduct research right here in Europe, as part of the wider efforts at Google." In a …
Punnets, photo by Graze

When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

“Graze is doing the reverse of most companies,” co-founder and chief technology officer Edd Read tells me. “We started online and we are going offline. We started with bespoke home-made technology and we are beginning to adopt the opposite.” Started in 2008, Graze has done everything considered “normal” in today’s startup …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported that two-thirds of …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016
Piledriver. Photo by Shutterstock

Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Thousands of South Londoners have been knocked offline due to a blunder by a construction worker slicing through a Virgin cable. On Tuesday afternoon, a major segment of Virgin Media's fibre cabling was cut by a pile driver on a construction site in Brixton. The cabling has yet to be repaired. Approximately 4,300 customers …
Kat Hall, 15 Jun 2016
Oprah

Linux devs open up universal Ubuntu Snap packages to other distros

Analysis The Snap application container system released in April with Ubuntu 16.04 is now going to be opened up to many other Linux distros after a surprise discovery by developers. In a press call to journalists, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth (accompanied at times by a rather excitable Labrador) explained that shortly after the …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2016
Old Bailey Lady Justice

Judge slams BT for blaming engineer after 7 metre ceiling plunge

BT has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £98,913.51 after one of its engineers broke both ankles after falling seven metres from a loft onto a concrete stairwell. David Spurgeon was fixing a telephone fault in the roof void of a block of flats in Bow, east London, when he lost his balance and plunged through the …
Drew Cullen, 14 Jun 2016

FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard

Howto With the news that Twitter is looking for yet another head of product – the fifth in under three years – it's clear the social media company is still at a loss over what to do next with its service. So here is a simple guide to turn things around and go from the company that everyone shakes their heads at to a bastion of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
Penny farthing

Storage greybeard: DevOps, plagiarism and horrible wrongness

StorageBod Recently I’ve been spending time thinking about what DevOps really means to my teams and to me. A lot of reading has been done and a lot of pondering of the navel. The most important conclusion that I have come to is that the DevOps movement is nothing new; the second conclusion I have come to is that it can mean pretty much …
StorageBod, 03 Jun 2016

TalkTalk scam-scammers still scam-scamming

Updated TalkTalk customers are still being targeted by scammers, following a series of data breaches at the company. In the last four years, TalkTalk has had to admit to four different breaches of data, two directly from the company itself and two others from partners here and in India. Most notorious was its attack in October last …
Kat Hall, 03 Jun 2016
Geeks Guide, BT Tower, photo The Register

Geek's Guide to Britain – now a book. Permission to geek out granted

In 2013, The Register began its travel series Geek's Guide to Britain. Today, that series is available as a book. The inspiration for our series were the scientists, engineers and inventors born or working in Great Britain who made their mark on the world. Jet engines, the internet, medicine, electricity, mass communications …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jun 2016

Science Museum maths gallery to offer the perfect pint

London's Science Museum will on 8 December cut the ribbon on a mathematics gallery featuring a range of stuff including a three-rotor Engima machine, an Islamic planispheric astrolabe and the Handley Page "Gugnunc" experimental aircraft. The Enigma machine and astrolabe. Images: Science Museum The Enigma machine, crafted by …
Lester Haines, 02 Jun 2016

Swiss effectively disappear Alps: World's largest tunnel opens

Tunnel nerds, rejoice. The Swiss are today celebrating the opening of the world's largest underground passage to mark its completion 17 years after construction began. The €12bn (£8.5bn) Gotthard base tunnel is 57km (35 miles) long and will overtake Japan's 53.85km Seikan railway tunnel to become the world's largest and …
Kat Hall, 01 Jun 2016
Space Invaders schematic

ARM Cortex-A73: How a top-end mobe CPU was designed from scratch

Analysis For its latest top-end smartphone processor core – the Cortex-A73 – ARM designed its microarchitecture more or less from scratch. Whereas its predecessor, 2015's Cortex-A72, was drawn up in Austin, Texas, the new A73 microarchitecture was designed by a team in France, starting about three years ago. Although we're told the …
Chris Williams, 01 Jun 2016