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Ex-VMware engineers chuck $4.5m and OpenStack at AWS

A pod of former VMware engineers armed with OpenStack and $4.5m in venture cash have thrown their hats into the ring against Amazon’s AWS. The virty giant’s ex-coders have removed their company, Platform9, from startup mode, announcing they’d landed the money from Redpoint Ventures. Manning Platform9 are Sirish Raghuram, …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Aug 2014
The existing, human crewed Caterpillar 797B

Tired of arguing with suits? Get ready to argue with engineers!

Since time immemorial, IT professionals have been told they must serve their employers by delivering infrastructure that ensures both uninterrupted operations and delivers competitive advantage within moments of a new product or service being imagined. The reality is rather messier, leading to endless commentary to the effect …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Feb 2014

Dell thuds down low-cost lap workstation for cheap frugal creatives or engineers

Dell has introduced an entry-level mobile workstation, the 15.6-inch Precision M2800, to fill the gap between business-level laptops and top-of-the-line mobile workstations such as the 17.3-inch Dell Precision M6800 and HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation. Dell Precision M2800 mobile workstation Yes, it's a Core i5 or i7 laptop – …
Rik Myslewski, 07 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

A study carried out by psychology researchers in Sweden has shown that people who go into engineering are less caring and empathetic than those who enter professions such as medicine. Trick-cyclist Chato Rasoal and his colleagues determined this by surveying 200 students from six different study programs, using a "well- …
Lewis Page, 21 Jan 2013
CastAR2

Ex-Valve engineers raise begging bowl for 3D holographic-like goggles

Two former engineers from gaming giant Valve have launched a fundraiser for an ambitious holographic-like augmented-reality display technology. The KickStarter for the "castAR" technology was launched on Monday by Valve technologists Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, who are seeking funds to take their invention to market. The …
Jack Clark, 14 Oct 2013
Maurice Moss, IT Crowd

SAP in search of autistic software engineers who 'think different'

SAP wants to hire engineers diagnosed with autism - or people who "think differently" in the words of the enterprise software giant. In a big push to fill out its ranks of developers, testers and bods involved in data quality assurance, SAP has turned to Specialisterne, a group dedicated to finding work for those with autism. …
Gavin Clarke, 23 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Apple scrambled to hire iOS 6 maps engineers DAYS before launch

Apple posted job adverts for six iOS map engineers within the past ten days, perhaps preempting the storm of criticism over the controversial new map app in iOS 6. Any effort to boost the software's team could be seen as too little, too late after fanbois and fangrrls across the world branded the new satnav-like service as …
Anna Leach, 21 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Dr Alex Moulton: 'An inspiration for generations of engineers'

Dr Alex Moulton, the engineer and inventor famous for designing small-wheeled bicycles and car suspension gear, has died at the age of 92. Moulton pioneered full-suspension small-wheel bikes, which were super popular in the 1960s and are still being built by hand in Bradford on Avon by The Moulton Bicycle Company. He also …
The Register breaking news

Mexican Zetas ENSLAVING engineers to run crimelords' radio net

Engineers are being kidnapped in Mexico, not for ransom but to build and maintain Los Zetas' radio network, as criminal gangs need reliable connectivity just like everyone else. InSight Crime reports on the spate of kidnappings, which haven't resulted in the usual ransom demands and do seem to have been targeting engineers …
Bill Ray, 02 Nov 2012
iStruct ape-like robot

German engineers demo ROBOT APE

Balance is relatively easy for humans because we spent millennia evolving into walking upright, but it's difficult for robotics researchers. Researchers at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence have decided to skip bipedism in favour of a robot that walks like an ape. The 18 kg robot, dubbed iStruct by its …
Sinclair Research ZX80

Google chap reverse engineers Sinclair Scientific Calculator

A Google employee named Ken Shirriff has delved into computing history by reverse-engineering the code running Sinclair Radionics' 1974 scientific calculator. Shirriff's story of the calculator's genesis notes that in the early 1970s a scientific calculator was an expensive and extraordinary tool for which the likes of HP could …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Now UK must look out for crappy SPACE weather - engineers

Britain needs immediate plans on how to defend itself against extreme solar superstorms, the Royal Academy of Engineering has warned. Solar superstorm effects In a rather doom-heavy missive (PDF, 2.8MB), the RAE has said that although Blighty is better prepared than some other countries when it comes to the off-chance of …

Uncivil engineering: US society skewers self-published science

If you thought civil engineers were one of society's more conformist cohorts, think again: according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, they're rampant copyright pirates. Their crime is to publish full versions of their own research papers online, once those papers have been published by the ASCE's journals, and they've …
orbcomm

Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

Elon Musk might have a tight timetable to get humans to Mars, but his SpaceX booster company is behind schedule on its current launch calendar, thanks to an engineering glitch. With minutes to go before launch at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX's latest Falcon rocket was shut down after engineers spotted pressure fluctuations in the unit …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Apple engineers 'pay no attention to anyone's patents', court told

Apple must pay software biz VirnetX $368m after a court ruled FaceTime video calls infringed VirnetX's patents. The fruity firm was on the hook for as much as $900m, but a jury awarded a lower payout during a Texas court hearing yesterday evening, according to VirnetX's lawyers McKool Smith. The jury, which had sat through the …
Angry woman on mobile

MongoDB tosses support lifeline to open source downloaders

Open source NoSQL database vendor MongoDB has added a new support option for customers who want to run the Community Edition of its software in production environments. "Our Production Support offering is now available as a standalone service – separate from our MongoDB Enterprise software," MongoDB marketing director Meghan …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
Dunce

REALLY? Can 10 per cent of Aussie jobs be threatened by pirates?

Nearly one-in-ten Australian jobs are at risk from Google, if the co-chairman and co-CEO of Village Roadshow Australia is to be believed. That's the datum that appears in this opinion piece Graham Burke over at The Age, which continues the copyright industry's leave-no-data-unmolested attack on every threat, real or perceived …
BT Openreach van

Ofcom to BT Openreach: From now on, you'd better kill 70% of gremlins within 2 days

BT faces strict new measures to speed up Openreach repairs on its aged copper infrastructure from the start of next month, the UK's communications watchdog said today. Ofcom warned BT that it will be expected to fix around 70 per cent of phone and broadband faults within two working days over the course of a year. That …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014
BT Openreach van

So: 6,500 Win 8 laptops later, how are BT's field engineers coping?

An unheard-of decline in PC sales figures since launch, a grumbling press and a user base that struggles without a touchscreen: Windows 8 is easy to take a swipe at. Yet BT announced in November last year it was deploying 5,900 Win 8 Panasonic Toughbooks for its "last mile" Openreach division – the engineers who walk the line …
Bob Dormon, 30 Jan 2013
International Space Station

166 days later: Space Station astronauts return to Earth

Three 'nauts have landed safely and on time in Kazakhstan despite bad weather on the ground, ending their Christmas stint on the International Space Station. Youtube Video One NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts touched down in the wee hours of the morning on the snowy steppes of central Kazakhstan on schedule, despite …
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO

Facebook snubbed Google's Silicon Valley wage-strangle pact, Sheryl Sandberg claims

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has claimed her company rebuffed Google's attempt to form a pact that would have suppressed engineers' salaries. According to her written testimony to a US court, obtained and published today by CNBC, Sandberg said she met Google executives who were – it is claimed – keen to stop …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2014
Hacker mug 06.12.02

It woz the Reg wot won it: UK mobe network EE fixes voicemail hack flaw

Since we alerted EE to the security flaw in its voicemail system that allowed us to access the messages of anti-terrorism bods, the mobile telco has been working to close the hole. As we explained in our original article, the vulnerability was only exploitable through certain routes, and we disclosed the problem to EE ahead of …
Simon Rockman, 25 Apr 2014

Microsoft punts FREE Office 365 mail migration, but some are not chuffed with the idea

Microsoft will roll out free email migration services for Office 365 punters from the start of next month as it tries to accelerate adoption. At the same time, it is preparing to once again hurl buckets of cash at channel partners, those selling higher margin stuff, with the aim of getting customers to buy more cloudy …
Paul Kunert, 15 Aug 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum says IT pros changing vote because of FTTN NBN

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has unloaded on the government, offering the following observations about its technology-related policies. "As for the premeditated destruction of the NBN and Attorney-General George Brandis's degrading capitulation to the surveillance state when confronted with the unlawful actions of the US NSA— …

Enraged by lengthy Sky broadband outage? Blame BT Openreach cable thieves

Frustrated BSkyB broadband customers living in parts of London remain without access to the internet or phone lines, after the media giant's service went titsup on Tuesday. The Register has learned that BT's Openreach network infrastructure, which is accessed by BSkyB and other ISPs in Blighty, was targeted by copper thieves. …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2013

Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders

Samsung brought in heavyweight champion Google to fight in its corner in its latest patent bout with Apple in the US on Friday. In the latest instalment of the ongoing patent wars, current veep of engineering for Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, testified that Android was all Google's idea. Much as Apple engineers did in their …
The Register breaking news

Engineers seek funds for world’s largest Tesla coil

A team of engineers is seeking $348,000 in funding on Kickstarter to build the world’s largest Tesla coils, capable of spitting artificial lightning for hundreds of feet. The Lightning Foundry, the brainchild of high voltage engineer Greg Leyh, will stand ten stories high (the original plan was 20 per cent higher) and will be …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2011
Ardbeg head distiller Dr Bill Lumsden in his lab

DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

It is with the deepest and most heartfelt concern that we here on the Register's standards and conduct committee wish to reach out today to our readers and apologise for a very serious violation of our editorial code. The error in question occurred with respect to this article, since amended: Hackers fondle boob tubes in Red …
Lewis Page, 11 Jun 2014

Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

Plusnet's broadband and phone service is slowing coming back to life, after the telco's network suffered a nasty hour-long outage this morning. The BT-owned firm did not cough to the cause of the downtime, which struck customers at 9:30am, but it did confirm that subscribers would struggle to get online. Anecdotal reports on …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Mar 2014
Disney's Beagle Boys

Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

BT is suffering a big outage in a number of areas throughout Blighty, after thieves severed the telecoms giant's fibre cable in an effort to nick copper wiring from the company on Monday. TalkTalk, which is a BT Openreach customer, said on its status page that its service was affected by a "major cable break". BT told The …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Feb 2014
Photograph 13

Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places

BT is recruiting an expert on 4G small cells. What are they up to? The job ad reads: BT is seeking a talented principal engineer who can drive the technical specification and design of LTE small cell products for our consumer Customer Premises Equipment. You will be implementing BT’s mobility strategy alongside the team of …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jul 2014
PHP

What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

A group of Facebook developers has decided to break with 20 years of tradition and release a formal specification for the PHP programming language. The initial draft of the spec was released on Wednesday and is available via a Git repository hosted on PHP.net. Language specs, in and of themselves, are nothing new. Many of the …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014
Grumpy cat

What do we want? CAT VIDEOS! How do we get them? TOR!

The Onion Router project has fired back at the National Security Agency, after it emerged that those who use the network – and read Linux magazines – are considered worthy of surveillance. Tor's blogged riposte points out that “Just learning that somebody visited the Tor or Tails website doesn't tell you whether that person is a …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jul 2014

Silicon Valley 'no-hire pact' lawsuit gets class action status for tech workers

The lawsuit against big tech firms like Google and Apple over their hiring practices has been given class action status, making it easier for the workers to lever greater wads of cash out of the companies if they win. The case alleges a conspiracy between technology firms in Silicon Valley to keep employees' wages down and curb …

Wanna attend Apple's June developers' shindig? Ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'

Apple has announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held from June 2 through 6 this year in San Francisco – but if you want to attend, you'll need, as Alfred P. Doolittle sang in My Fair Lady, "a little bit of bloomin' luck." Apple's announcement for its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference 'For …
Rik Myslewski, 03 Apr 2014
Curiosity self-portrait at Rocknest in the Gale Crater

BAFFLING power cockup halts NASA's nuclear Mars tank Curiosity

NASA has halted its rover Curiosity on Mars for a few days while engineers on Earth attempt to figure out what caused an electrical fault in the robot. Curiosity self-portrait at Rocknest in the Gale Crater Space selfie ... Curiosity in the Gale Crater on Mars (Credit: NASA) The space agency was quick to reassure everyone …
Pearl in oyster

UNBREAKABLE bendy phone screens built, thanks to SHELLFISH

Engineers have borrowed a technique from shellfish to build a pre-stressed form of glass that can bend rather than break. As anyone who has dropped their phone from a height knows, glass has a tendency to fracture when struck. But boffins at McGill University's department of mechanical engineering have developed a new form of …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jan 2014
Apes gather around a giant screw

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

1: These Are Screws Screws Yup. 2: These Are Not Nuts and bolts How can you tell? They have big nuts but no prick!!! LOL!!! 3: Screws Are Traditionally Driven Like This... A screwdriver driving a screw 4: ...Except In Birmingham!!! A hammer and bent screw Classic Brummie builder joke! Excellent!! 5: Did Screws …
The prospective main menu of the Dyson Halo (N066)

Google Glass? Feh. Behold Dyson's 2001 pocket 'puter techno specs with own 'Siri'

Blighty’s best-known modern inventor James Dyson is famous for his vacuum cleaners, fans and hand-dryers, but apparently he could have branched out into smartglasses and fuel cells years ago. Guy models the prototype Dyson Halo (N066) HOW FREAKIN' COOL AM I? Over 10 years ago, the Brit’s eponymous firm started working on an …
usb-heated slippers

Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Microsoft is struggling to sort out an Azure cloud outage that has today left users around the world unable to access various services. According to a message posted to the Azure service status page, the outage spans "Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

BBC engineers see PLT knocking out DAB

Recent experiments carried out by the BBC demonstrate how power-line networking can interfere with FM radio and knock out DAB entirely, but only for those who get a decent data rate. The new study was commissioned by the BBC and authored by one current and one former BBC engineer. The study examines transmissions coming off PLT …
Bill Ray, 13 Apr 2011
A quantum-diamond experimental chip at TU Vienna

Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers

Building simple quantum gates is common, but creating something that could be built on transistor-like scale is a huge challenge. Now, boffins from the Technical University of Vienna, Japan's National Institute of Informatics, and NTT's Basic Research Labs are offering an architecture they reckon can be scaled up. What the …

Google: Why should we pay tax when we make 'intangibles'?

Irritated at global moves to lop the odd choc truffle off its outputs, Google has launched a spirited defense of its right to underpay taxes in Australia, on the basis that the benefits it brings to the local economy are intangible. In an upcoming profile piece in the Australian Financial Review's style-and-fashion supplement …

Fanbois SQUEAL as DNS snafu knocks out iTunes website

Apple suffered a rare outage last night which knocked iCloud, iTunes and several other fruity websites off the internet. What do we check when the Apple System Status site is down?? pic.twitter.com/WShUJmPS7P — Nicolas Melo (@quackyduck) March 12, 2014 The problem has been put down to a DNS snafu, first noticed on Google and …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Mar 2014
The Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral

SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

SpaceX has successfully launched six new communications satellites for Orbcomm after months of delays. However, Elon Musk's rocketeers had less success at landing the used Falcon 9 rocket after its delivery. The Orbcomm birds will be used solely in a machine-to-machine communications network run by the company, and will …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Smartcard firm Gemalto slurps SafeNet in $890m securo-boost deal

Security company Gemalto is buying data protection firm SafeNet. The deal, announced Friday, is valued at $890m and is being financed through cash and existing long-term credit facilities. Once completed the acquisition will add data protection technologies to Gemalto's core authentication products and services (e.g. smartcards …
John Leyden, 08 Aug 2014
A self-portrait taken by the curiosity rover

Two years on, Curiosity's still in the same crater

Its wheels are eroding and its (parody) Twitter account is grumpy, but the Mars Curiosity Rover has celebrated two years in space. Yes, it has been two years since we sat on the edges of our seats, watching (if we were able to) or listening (in the case of this scribe, who was in his car at the time, thankful for the broadcast) …
ClouderaIntel

Intel just installed itself in Hadoop guru Cloudera – and why their rivals should be worried

Intel is canning its own Hadoop distribution in favor of using Cloudera's flavor of the analytics software. And the chip giant is making a "significant equity investment" in the upstart that's higher than had been reported elsewhere. This strategic move was announced by Intel and Cloudera on Thursday following years of heavy …
Jack Clark, 27 Mar 2014
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset

Apple and Samsung are due to open up a new front in their epic patent war in the US today, with the fruity firm seeking an astonishing $40 per infringing device and Samsung planning to get Google engineers in to defend its case. Apple is claiming that 10 Sammy devices, including the popular Galaxy SIII, infringe on five of its …

Lync users see outages as Microsoft wrangles with network problems

Microsoft is scrambling to fix its Lync service after network problems left the platform inaccessible to users. The company said Monday afternoon that it was dealing with what it called "routing infrastrcture issues" in attempting to restore service to the unified communications platform. RT @Office365 We realize some Lync …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014