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Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

In this week's eXpat files, we're speaking to … well, actually we're not going to use this person's real name, because they may work in Thailand without all the necessary paperwork. Our expat has therefore suggested we use the name “David Green”. So without any further ado, tells us what life's like over there, “David”. The …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2014

It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

IBM has coughed up $1.5bn to get Global Foundries to take its chip manufacturing arm off its hands as reported here at El Reg. There are a number of economic implications to all of this, perhaps the most important of which is why the eco-lunatic fantasy that we could reverse globalisation is simply nonsense (of course, whether …
Tim Worstall, 22 Oct 2014

Our system handles £130bn and it's BUST. Want the job of fixing it? Apply to UK.gov

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has identified "technical and security vulnerabilities" in its £284.9m central benefits payment system - responsible for underpinning the much-maligned Universal Credit programme and processing 13 million payments each week, The Register can reveal. The Central Payments System's …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2014

IT JOB OUTSOURCING: Will it ever END?

HL Mencken once told us that in a democracy the electorate should get what they voted for – and good and hard too. So, on that basis, I present to you a piece on outsourcing, as requested by one Gordon 10. The commenter in question wrote: What would be really nice is [an article] on the race to the bottom on labour outsourcing …
Tim Worstall, 29 Oct 2014
Facebook Rooms

GET A ROOM, yells Facebook as it stumbles on IRC, slaps it in an app

Facebook has built an internet chat-room app that lets people anonymously gossip with one another, just like on IRC. The social network said its Rooms software for iOS lets netizens connect on shared interests and use pseudonyms in order to hide their identities from each other. Just like IRC. People can create their own room …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014

Remember the Aereo streaming TV service? Wasn't it COOL? Well, it's pretty much dead now

Embattled streaming TV service Aereo was dealt a fatal blow Thursday as a US judge barred the service from broadcasting live television streams. Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of the broadcasting companies looking to bar the service from showing their feeds to customers online, issuing a temporary injunction to block the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014

Is it an iPad? Is it a MacBook Air? No, it's a Surface Pro 3

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.0 tablet sees its UK release on 28 August. But why is the Surface fondleslab called Surface? Microsoft hijacked the name from one of its own existing products, the niche tabletop display now called PixelSense, but a remark by vice president Panos Panay at the October 2012 launch of the first Surface …
Tim Anderson, 21 Aug 2014

It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

Mobile operator Three UK is suffering a widespread outage across the country after the service was abruptly halted by server maintenance earlier today. Customers began complaining that they were unable to access the network this morning. The Register contacted Three UK to find out what had gone wrong. Yet the carrier's PR …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Oct 2014
Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond debate Scottish independence

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Scots may vote to leave the United Kingdom, ending a union lasting 307 years, on 18 September. Until a few weeks ago, the referendum on independence looked like an easy win for those wanting to stay in the union - or to use the parlance of the campaign, "no" voters. But a surge in support has put those planning to vote "yes" to …
SA Mathieson, 11 Sep 2014
Red Hat 100 Dollar

Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it

Not content with running the industry's largest enterprise Linux vendor, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says he wants to make the company the industry's leading enterprise cloud vendor – and he plans to "win" that market before someone else does. "Right now, we're in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. It' …
Neil McAllister, 22 Sep 2014
Tor

Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it

Comcast has denied claims that it will cut off subscribers for using the Tor project's anonymizing web browser. "Comcast is not asking customers to stop using Tor, or any other browser for that matter," said Jason Livingood, VP of internet & communications engineering at Comcast in a blog post titled "Setting the record straight …
Iain Thomson, 15 Sep 2014

Storage startups: Hey VCs, it's not just the size, it's the frequency

The funding pattern for storage startups has radically changed as newer young companies in hotly contested marts race for growth. The chart shows the various funding events we have recorded for 32 individual storage startups. These may be declared VC funding rounds or strategic investments. The units are millions of dollars, …
Chris Mellor, 07 Oct 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Social networks for the rich and famous are nothing new: the first one started about ten years ago. But, this week, a new site called Netropolitan has emerged, and thinks it's cracked the reason why so many of them fail – they just weren't charging enough dosh. "No one has ever thought of charging a substantial fee for social …
Iain Thomson, 16 Sep 2014
Register Roundtable at the Soho hotel

CIOs: Want to hit your IT suppliers where it hurts?

Some IT organisations seem to have their vendors just where they want them. The rest of us? Well, we’re not keen, and we’re starting to get mean. That’s why, following the success of our July Roundtable on IT governance, we’re asking our senior Reg readers to come to our next roundtable to pick apart another of the big IT …
Joe Fay, 19 Aug 2014
Bubble

Welcome to the HYPER-converged bubble of HYPE! Enjoy it while it's here, storage folk

The hype around hyper-converged systems is huge. Are we experiencing a hyper-converged systems bubble? Companies in the field are growing like crazy, especially Nutanix and Simplivity. Nutanix scooped a billion-dollar-plus valuation earlier this year after a $140m funding round. Meanwhile: Startups like Maxta, NIMBOXX, and …
Chris Mellor, 28 Aug 2014
Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6, Watch: Hate it or really hate it, Apple's now a $604.77bn biz

As Apple unveiled its iPhone 6 and "the Watch" on Tuesday, its stock price went on a rollercoaster ride to $102.92 a share, then plummeted to $96.71, and now – after just one day of trading – it has settled on $101. That means, on Wednesday, Apple closed trading up $3.01 on the start of the day, a gain of 3.07 per cent. It was …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Sep 2014
SOURCE:  http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1412135

Leaky channel tanker Phoenix IT Group: It's steady as she goes

Investors received no nasty surprises in a trading update from leaky channel tanker Phoenix IT Group as the turnaround plan plotted by the latest exec at the helm remains on course. The infrastructure and managed services outfit said in an interim management statement covering 1 April until 11 August that trade is “broadly in …
Paul Kunert, 12 Aug 2014
Bitcoins

Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued its official assessment of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies – and decided it isn't money but can be taxed. The ATO's note says BTC is “neither money nor a foreign currency” and that “transacting with Bitcoins is akin to a barter arrangement”. Australia taxes formal barter …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
Spam

Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

The infrastructure for text messaging is creaking. Not only does it need to be fixed, but it seems mobile operators don’t understand enough about their own systems to do it themselves. This is according to Louise O'Sullivan, CEO of mobile solutions firm Anam Technologies. She maintains that the problem that needs fixing lies in …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014
SAP Match Insights

SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

When England played in Ecuador and Honduras for “warm weather training” in June ahead of the World Cup, they’d already lost the tournament – they just didn’t know it. SAP Match Insights Do the bendy data, SAP Wayne Rooney and Co took to the field in Florida to adjust to the hot and humid climate they’d face in Brazil and to …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jul 2014

Grabby baddie scours Paddy Power's towers: 650k punters leaked and it took 4 years to admit it

Irish bookmakers Paddy Power has admitted miscreants copied from its systems more than 649,000 customer records containing personal information. The snaffled dataset contained names, usernames, addresses, email addresses, phone contact numbers, date of birth, and security question and answer pairs. The leaked data comes from …
John Leyden, 31 Jul 2014
BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Supercar

BMW i8 plug-in hybrid: It's a supercar, Jim, but not as we know it

I almost felt sorry for the BMW press team last November at the i3 press launch. The questions hacks kept returning to were: “When is the i8 going on sale?” and “When can we drive it?”. Fair play to the BMW staffers, who didn't stop telling us how groundbreaking and generally fantastic the i3 was. As indeed it is. BMW i8 Plug- …
Alun Taylor, 15 Jul 2014
Scality Use Cases

Los Alamos National Laboratory likes it, puts Scality's RING on it

Scality has upgrade its RING object storage software to v4.3. RING software distributes object storage across multiple server nodes and uses erasure coding to ensure its integrity. Scality claims v4.3 "improves overall performance across a broad range of applications and workloads and enhances enterprise file operations by as …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2014
Beats headphones

IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

It’s not news that, being a male dominated industry, women face a lot of challenges working in IT. We have to overcome sexism, stereotypes and sometimes outright harassment. I am no stranger to tech shows, particularly the mega events that draw thousands of men from all over the world, and know first-hand what it can be like to …
USB

No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

Computer users have moved one step closer to saving a few seconds twiddling with their USB cables now that the port's reversible Type C connector specification has been cleared for volume production. The Type C connector, first unveiled in April, is fully reversible and considerably slimmer than the USB plug we've been used to …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2014
Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society

Why is VMware hiring data center gurus in JAPAN? It doesn't take a vExpert to work it out...

Public clouds need to be global, so VMware is shortly going to open an Asian hub for its vCloud Hybrid Service, judging by job postings seen by The Register. The virtualization company is preparing to announce a new data center location for its vCHS cloud, we understand, and it looks set to put down roots in Kyushu, Japan, based …
Jack Clark, 08 Jul 2014
Cisco's UCS customer count over time

Cisco doesn't make hyper-converged gear, but if it did, it'd probably look like this

Cisco is big in converged systems but nowhere in hyper-converged ones. What we mean by that is that Cisco is big in converged systems, such as VCE's Vblocks and the Cisco-NetApp FlexPods, but it doesn't have systems in the Nutanix and Simplivity class, which are more integrated than the Vblock and Flexpod systems. Now that Dell …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2014

Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

It's generally assumed that it would mean a disaster for the planet if the rainforests of the Amazon were to be replaced with farmland. But it turns out that, actually, much of the area was indeed farmland just a few thousand years ago. We learn this from new research just published in the august Proceedings of the National …
Lewis Page, 08 Jul 2014
Twitter girl

Move over, John Pilger, let us IT scandal-mongerers stick it to you

Many thanks to the gentle readers who wished me well over the last couple of weeks as I lay in bed watching the ceiling spin. For those of you who enjoy listening to people whose name you are familiar with but whom you don’t really know talk at length about their petty illnesses as if they were life-threatening events of …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Jun 2014

VMware's super-secret MARVIN: It's software-defined war on future IT

The virtualisation community is all atwitter with speculation about VMware's MARVIN. MARVIN, for those who don't know, is supposedly VMware's hardware'n'software answer to hyper-converged competitors like Nutanix. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a theory – but VMware itself is carefully keeping schtum. I have some …
Trevor Pott, 03 Jul 2014
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

NOW! It's news to us at Vulture Central

Youtube Video The Reg serves up the highlights of this week with consummate avian avatar Regina Eggbert. This week, Regina fills us in on what's new with wearables, RBS's costly regulatory rap for 2012's massive IT meltdown and the crowdfunded British mission to the Moon. If you want more on this week's stories, click here, …

You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

The comical success of the messaging app Yo is apparently proof perfect that Silicon Valley is doing everything wrong. It is supposedly proof, if any were needed, that the hypercapitalism of the tech scene means that people just hunt for the next quick flip rather than attempting to grapple with the real problems that besiege …
Tim Worstall, 25 Jun 2014
Maurice Moss, IT Crowd

Countdown contestant pays homage to IT Crowd's Moss

In one of the world’s greatest self-referential in-jokes, Countdown contestant Danny Davies has worn a T-shirt commemorating the appearance of Maurice Moss on Countdown in an episode of The IT Crowd. Youtube Video Davies appeared on the show wearing a T-shirt that said “Good morning, that’s a nice TNETENNBA” in homage to Moss, …
Robonaut 2 with stuff. Credit: NASA

Automating repetitive tasks: If it moves, script it

DBAs can often fall into the trap of carrying out repetitive tasks and processes. The good news is that you can automate a lot of these tasks to save time, money, and above all, sanity. The bad news is that few database administrators (DBAs) are doing it. In its 2013 database manageability survey, the Independent Oracle User …
Robin Birtstone, 30 May 2014
Police outside 10 Downing Street. Credit: zongo

Home Office: It's an EMERGENCY! We need proper comms

The Home Office is seeking suppliers for its Emergency Services Network contract, part of moves to replace the incumbent gaffe-prone £2.9bn Airwave contract due to expire in 2016. Contracts will be awarded in 2015 for radio, television, communication, telecommunication and related equipment, with the new ESN will going live from …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014

If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

Google has received all kinds of plaudits for quickly introducing its “right to be forgotten” procedure. However, from what I have read in the press, its procedure for the removal of URLs is not fit for purpose. Google’s procedure appears to be defective. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you want to have a URL removed …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums

Youtube Video This week, Regina talks about Facebook's new (non-unfriend) News Feed feature and its seemingly underused Messenger app, the surprisingly creepy Amazon Echo, and the Microsoft Lumia that is not (repeat not) a Nokia. Didn't get enough info from the talking egg? Click here, here, here or here for more. ® Regina …

The optic NERVE of it: Intel declares WAR on InfiniBand

It's no surprise when Intel announces a new processor architecture – that's its main game, after all. However, along with the Knight's Bridge chips released at SC'14, the company seems to have declared war on the HPC mainstream, announcing an optical comms architecture designed to compete with InfiniBand. The Omni-Path …

Give it up for SecQuest - a rabbit-hunting spaceplane sponsor

We invite Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans to give it up today for SecQuest, one of the magnificent corporate responders to our Kickstarter tin-rattling to take the Vulture 2 ballocket launch to Spaceport America. We'll be bringing you details on all our splendid sponsors in due course, but let's kick off with a …
Lester Haines, 17 Nov 2014
Cern

CERN IT boss: What we do is not really that special

When the head of infrastructure services at CERN tells you that he has come to the conclusion that there’s nothing intrinsically “special” about the systems at the multi-billion atom-smasher, you naturally want to check you’ve heard correctly. After all, when we sat down with Tim Bell at the OpenStack Summit in Paris recently, …
Joe Fay, 20 Nov 2014

Smartphone chip champ Qualcomm says it's ARMed for server wars

Mobile chip heavyweight Qualcomm has confirmed that it plans to make a run at the server market, although details remain scant. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf revealed that the firm is working on chips for the data center during a meeting with financial analysts in New York City on Wednesday, without giving away any specific …
Neil McAllister, 19 Nov 2014
Don't Panic towel

WinShock PoC clocked: But DON'T PANIC... It's no Heartbleed

Security researchers have released a proof-of-concept exploit against the SChannel crypto library flaw patched by Microsoft last week. The release of a PoC for the MS14-066 vulnerability through the Canvas tool from Immunity Inc underlines the need to patch. The flaw opens the door to remote code execution on unpatched servers …
John Leyden, 17 Nov 2014
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

European Space Agency (ESA) boffins reckon they may have located the final touchdown site for their comet-intercepting Philae lander, after its bouncy landing caused them to lose track of it temporarily. Philae's bouncing touchdown seen in Rosetta NAVCAM pics Philae's touchdown site seen by Rosetta's navigation camera. The …

Huawei: KRYDER STORAGE CRISIS is REAL and 'we’re working on it'

Huawei’s chief storage boffin says the company has looked at the looming crisis in storage technology with concern. Until 2010, the cost of storage per dollar had dropped exponentially. The decline has been dubbed the Kryder rate, or “Kryder’s Law”, a reference to an article in a 2005 issue of Scientific American of the same …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2014
Beats Music The Sentence

Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

Apple will attempt to install a Beats Music app in all recent iThings in early 2015, it's claimed. The music streaming service will be added via an over-the-air iOS update in early 2015, the Financial Times reports. With the software installed, fanbois can stream music over the internet on a monthly basis without having to grab …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014

Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers

Ofcom is planning to nick some of the airwaves currently used by digital terrestrial telly and hand them over for the nation's mobile broadband use. The regulator said today that it would make the 700MHz spectrum available for mobile data to make services faster and cheaper, although the changes won’t come into effect until 2022 …
Smartphones

Go on, buy your workers a smartphone. You know it makes sense

Choose your own device (CYOD), the latest incarnation of mobility device management, is being promoted as a smarter alternative to BYOD (bring your own device), with more benefits for everybody and fewer pitfalls. How is CYOD defined in the real world and what are the advantages and challenges for business owners, IT teams and …
Dave Wilby, 19 Nov 2014
Downing Street road sign

Gov.UK doubles IT outsourcing to £20bn

Public sector IT outsourcing has doubled over the last six years to be worth £20.7bn in active contracts, The Register can reveal. Since 2008, the average contract size of public sector IT outsourcing deals has remained roughly the same, David Howie, partner at ISG Outsourcing told El Reg. This is despite the government's …
Kat Hall, 03 Nov 2014
iPhone shop Shenzhen

ITU thought bubble ponders mass mobe-tracking to kill fake IT

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will next week meet to consider the issue of “counterfeit and substandard ICT products” and what can be done about them, but some of the proposals on the table look more than a little worrying. Notice of the meeting was posted in late September, when the ITU announced next week's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014

Giant bank IT cockup of 2012 'could have brought down ENTIRE financial system'

RBS, Natwest and Ulster Bank have today been hit with a £56m fine from regulators for their IT meltdowns in 2012. They received a £14m smack from the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority and a £42m penalty from the FCA. The PRA said the IT incident could have threatened the safety of the banks and "in extremis" the …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2014