Articles about Merits

Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Worstall on Wednesday I note from a technical publication of repute that Microsoft has announced that marriage equality is a fundamental and core value for the company itself. To which, OK, great, and why not? As I pointed out previously, “taste” discrimination against people because of anything other than their working skills is a costly endeavour …
Tim Worstall, 11 Feb 2015
Broken bottle by CC 2.0

iPhone vs. Galaxy fight hospitalises two after beer bottle stabbing

Tulsa, Oklahoma, TV station KTUL is reporting that two men were left with “cuts all over their bodies … covered with blood” after an argument over the merits of Android and iOS “escalated”. The station's report suggests the two were discussing the competing merits of the iPhone and Samsung's new offering – probably the Galaxy S6 …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015

Short weekend break: Skegness or exoplanet HD 189733b?

Our recent piece examining the extreme weather on exoplanet HD 189733b prompted some readers to suggest that conditions on the distant hot Jupiter are in fact more benign than those enjoyed by visitors to British seaside resort Skegness. Well, for those of you thinking of taking a short weekend break over Xmas, the better to …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2015
TSA gloves

EU probes Qualcomm over possible antitrust issues

The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by chipzilla Qualcomm, including allegations of "predatory pricing". The investigation concerns Qualcomm's baseband chipsets used to process communications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices. Qualcomm is the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015
Neil Cardy's massive bacon sarnie from a cafe on the A90

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

In really, really bad news for bacon lovers, a shock report says the World Health Organisation (WHO) will next week add processed meat to its "carcinogenic to humans" list. That's according to the Daily Mail, which claims that, according to "a well-placed source", a gathering of international scientists have checked the …
Lester Haines, 23 Oct 2015
VMware nutella

VMware vs German kernel dev: Filings flung in Linux-lifting lawsuit

Software Freedom Conservancy has spat out a “high level” update on the GPL enforcement case it is backing against VMware, ahead of an expected first hearing next year. SFC said that VMware had filed its defence against the suit brought by German kernel developer Christoph Hellwig back in March, which alleges VMware's …
Joe Fay, 29 Oct 2015
Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. Credit: NASA

Lettuce in SPAAACE: Captive ISS 'nauts insist orbital veg is 'awesome'

VID As promised, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have eaten the first ever "fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space" - "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce. Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui were the first to sample the produce from the Veggie orbiting vegetable patch, although …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015
management regulation2

Wanna fight Google’s alleged European evildoing? Then join us, says US legal firm

As Google’s European antitrust woes continue (and problems in India appear) lawyers and lobbyists have teamed up to help facilitate more cases against the Chocolate Factory. American legal firm Hausfeld and Avisa, which styles itself as a “boutique public affairs consultancy” – that’s a lobby agency to you and me – on Tuesday …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Sep 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Those of you who've been knocking around the El Reg forums for a while will know that we have a badge system designed to honour invaluable commentard contributions to the site, or at least acknowledge a certain degree of commitment to giving forth. To get a foot on the first step on the ladder of glory - the bronze badge - you …
Lester Haines, 17 Nov 2015
Oil Pump Jack by  cc 2.0 attribution

Could our fear of fracking be appeased with CO2 sequestration?

A plan to use CO2 to replace the water used in controversial energy technique fracking has been met with a mixed reception by experts contacted by The Register. New Scientist reported on work done by Andres Clarens and his team at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, to pump CO2 into fracking sites, which could act as a …
Simon Rockman, 20 Aug 2015

AT&T, Verizon and pals eat own head in effort to kill off net neutrality

Lobbying group USTelecom – AT&T, Verizon etc – has filed a petition against itself in an effort to prevent new net neutrality rules from taking effect. Demonstrating that when it comes to net neutrality, the telco industry loves nothing more than some self-serving hypocrisy, the group wrote in its petition [PDF]: "Unlike all of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Google can't hide behind Alphabet, EU competition commish warns

Google's parent company Alphabet could face more competition charges in Brussels, antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has signalled. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she spoke about the lengthy, multiple probes into Google's business practices, and said that each investigation was at a different stage, …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Oct 2015

'Boring' Amazon computational rival scoops $8m VC backing

A self-confessed “boring” computational startup challenging Amazon has piqued the interest of VCs, who’ve awarded it an $8m windfall., founded in 2010, was given the lump sum as part of an A-round of cash – following on from two seed rounds totaling $5.4m. The venture crew included Baseline Ventures, Bain Capital …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Sep 2015

Danish telcos hang up on merger plans after EU pressure

Telenor and TeliaSonera have abandoned their merger plans following pressure from the European Commission. In an official statement on Friday, the pair called off the deal as they were unable to meet the Brussels competition watchdog’s demands. The Commish opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in April. “The merger …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

EU’s digi VP: More telco consolidation! What about competition?

After just one year in the job, Europe’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has already made a name for herself as being tough on telecoms mergers. Now her colleague, veep Andrus Ansip, has publicly backed her, telling industry representatives in Brussels this week that competition, not M&As, is the future. Last …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2015

Thanks for open sourcing .NET say Point of Sale villains

Trend Micro researcher Jay Yaneza says Point of Sales malware has begun using Microsoft .NET, following its release as open source last year. Yaneza found the new so-called GamaPoS malware being distributed to US organisations including credit unions, developers, and pet care businesses through the resurgent Andromeda botnet. …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jul 2015

FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it will implement its net neutrality provisions despite objections from telcos. The FCC issued a ruling on Friday denying a motion from trade groups USTelecom and CTIA, among others, to stay the FCC's Open Internet proceedings pending legal challenges to the FCC order. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2015

Is Alphabet-Google 'too big to jail'? The Lords find out

Europe's examination of Big Tech's dominant platforms – like Alphabet-Google and Amazon – is only just beginning, but Parliament got a teaser of the battles ahead this week, as two antitrust professors sharply disagreed on the merits of the enquiry. Professors David Evans, of UCL, and Ariel Ezrachi, of Oxford University, at …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015
Windows 10 nag screen

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Comment Microsoft's decision to push out Windows 10 upgrades as automatic Windows Update downloads is one of those ideas that sounded great in a Redmond meeting room, but will cause more problems than it solves. Right from the get-go Microsoft has made it clear that it is looking for a very fast rollout of Windows 10. The new …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2015
The Playmobil bank set, complete with armed robber

Banks, must work together to beat cyber-nasties

Government must work closely with UK banks to improve financial institutions' infrastructure and resilience to cyber attacks, the Bank of England has warned. Banks currently view cyber attacks as a "technical" problem, rather than an issue which merits "board-level attention," it said on Tuesday in its Financial Stability Report …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2014

Ashley Madison lawsuit drops GoDaddy and Amazon as defendants

Amazon and GoDaddy have been dropped as defendants in an ongoing lawsuit over hosted data from have-an-affair site Ashley Madison – as the plaintiffs try and force offending websites to delete the data ahead of any future trial. As we reported last week, three John Doe plaintiffs filed a complaint against Amazon Web Services, …

Spectra's BlackPearl: Sailing through oceans of data just got easier

Archival product supplier Spectra Logic has announced its Arctic Blue nearline disk array using powered down, shingled disk drives with object storage data striped across them. Spectra Logic's specialty is dealing with oceans of cold data. Its Black Pearl product tech enabled object storage to use tape and it's now embellished …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2015

NSA domestic dragnet NOT authorised by Patriot Act, rules US Appeals Court

The NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone call records may be illegal, a US federal appeals court has ruled. The US Second Circuit Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that the NSA's bulk telephone metadata1 program was not authorised by section 215 of the Patriot Act, voiding an earlier ruling by a lower court. The US District …
John Leyden, 07 May 2015

US braces for WW3 with Cyber Command 'Vision' of integrated cyberops

Admiral Michael S. Rogers, commander of the United States' Cyber Command, has released his vision statement for the US's warfighting arm in cyberspace, coincidentally advocating a much larger role for his command and agencies in the national defence apparatus. Rogers, who is also head of the NSA and the Central Security …

Security researchers face wrath of spy agencies

Researchers tasked with revealing attacks by intelligence agencies are being harassed, locked out of tenders, and in some cases deported, Kaspersky researcher Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade says. Retaliation by the unnamed agencies is in direct response to news of prominent advanced-persistent threat campaigns that have coloured …
Darren Pauli, 22 Oct 2015

First Congress, now top govt watchdog digs into ICANN's internet grab

It's not just US Senators digging into ICANN's takeover of the internet's control panel. America's powerful Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been asked to interview key people in Washington DC over the proposed move – and the results are likely to form the basis for a number of hearings in the new year. And we managed …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Nov 2014

HP one of the fairest, claims Gartner's magic quadrant on the wall

Gartner has announced that HP has joined the leaders in its all-flash array magic quadrant, while Violin Memory, Nimbus Data and Cisco have been demoted, and Dell and HDS are excluded altogether from the MQ because of the research giant's peculiar classification criteria. The MQ classifies suppliers in what Gartner calls the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2015

.hotels. .hoteis ... not a typo but a window into ICANN's baffling world

Analysis Domain-name overseer ICANN is facing widespread criticism after it emerged victorious from an independent review into its decision over the top-level domain .hotels. Despite winning, the ruling [PDF] has put a spotlight on the systems that are supposed to hold ICANN to account. Not only are the mechanisms inadequate, it's …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015

Sky talks up subscription 3D merits

Channel 4’s week-long 3D TV spectacular only started last night, but rival broadcaster Sky has already chipped in with its opinion on how viewers should experience 3D in their living rooms. While Sky told Register Hardware that it isn’t “blasting” C4’s 3D TV week, a spokesperson for the subscription-only broadcaster said...ahem …
James Sherwood, 17 Nov 2009

BOFH: An architect and his own entirely avoidable downfall

Episode 12 "Well, you know what they say," the Boss says, faking sadness. "The candle that burns twice as bright..." "... Should be thrown into the pool of diesel from a safe distance?" the PFY responds. "No, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long." "Is that a thing though?" the PFY asks. "I mean, if you're talking …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Aug 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015

NetMundial 'rule-the-internet' ISC project gets grudging support of civil society

Civil society groups have decided they will not boycott the proposed new internet governance program, the NetMundial Initiative. In a letter sent earlier this week, representatives from the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG) noted that there were "very significant misgivings across a broad segment of …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2014

Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

Telcos, terrified of being consigned to eternal status as ‘dumb pipes’, keep coming up with crazy ideas for over-the-top (OTT) high-value services. In America, they’re buying entertainment properties. Comcast, easily that nation’s most hated company, purchased NBCUniversal so that they’d have something to transmit over all that …
Mark Pesce, 06 Aug 2015

Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

Google has “backburnered” a controversial feature that would have hidden full details of web addresses from Chrome users. The feature was called “origin chip” and, as we explained a few weeks back it removed all the characters beyond the top-level-domain from Chrome's Omnibox, as you can see below. The ad-slinger's rationale …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jun 2014
The European flag

EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

New EU tax rules that come into force on 1 January could kill thousands of mini and micro online businesses. The new VAT rules have been on the cards for six years and are ostensibly aimed at preventing big companies (yes, we mean you, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks) from claiming that all their European profit is made in …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Dec 2014
Google UK office logos

Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

Google is taking legal action against the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, alleging he exceeded his authority in suing the ad giant over piracy – and taking his cues from the Motion Picture Ass. of America. In October 2013, Hood filed a subpoena against Google, accusing the web ad giant of encouraging online piracy, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2014
Jamie Oliver

'There is NO SUCH THING as a safe site anymore' – security bod

QuoTW This week we broke our PCs, debated the merits of a $17,000 watch, and scored a free logic board from the Beeb. Here are the best quotes we picked up along the way … AVG CEO Gary Kovacs had some good advice for vendors on simplifying their privacy guidelines to keep users better informed on consent: Get your privacy policy …
Team Register, 15 Mar 2015
The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.

Team Microsoft: Device Police... 'Are you pumped? I'm pumped'

Analysis “Someone out there must have a family,” Panos Panay remarked yesterday, surveying his audience of potato-shaped gadget bloggers. An optimistic view, I thought. Panay was presenting Microsoft’s Devices event in New York, an event designed to get bloggers’ juices running. And boy, it did. Years ago, I was in a MacWorld audience …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Oct 2015

Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

In one of the first rulings of its kind, a French court last month ordered Google to remove links to defamatory information from its search results globally. Up to now, most rulings have limited themselves to the local top level domain – such as However, the decision of the High Court in Paris was that this would be …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 2014

New Dell FX2 chassis mixes 'n' matches server innards

Dell is making its converged IT play with a new chassis that can blend compute, networking and storage kit in many configurations to allow the assembly of 2U machines tuned to different workloads. The new beast is called the PowerEdge FX2 Enclosure and Dell's building a range of modules with which you can fill it. Whatever you …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Nov 2014
Throwboys' iCEO

Just like Elvis, dead Steve Jobs to appear all over America in 2015

A highly-sensitive leaked US government document reveals Steve Jobs will appear all over America in 2015. The memo comes from the perforation-happy Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, an agency “tasked with evaluating the merits of all stamp proposals.” The document, uncovered by the Washington Post, reveals that Jobs will be …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Fibre fanaticism overrode proper NBN planning says report

Early planning for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) focussed on “how best to implement the government’s policy objectives, rather than considering the merits of different options.” So says Australia's Productivity Commission in a draft report (PDF) on the state of the nation's public infrastructure. The report's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2014

Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

Sysadmin Blog American politics are something of a national sport in Canada. No matter who runs for either side, Canadians throw popcorn at the screen and try to pretend our choices are any better. We debate the relative merits of the boob tube's highest stakes biennial reality TV soap opera. Things can get heated, sometimes, but we enjoy …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2015

Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Vulture at the Wheel The Tesla S is astonishing. I’d driven one around the London Docklands at a launch, but a week with one has me converted to merits of auto electricity. I have to admit I was sceptical. Electric car owners as a tribe can be quite hard work. They are always convinced that their cars are wonderful, even the ones with G-Wizzes. …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jan 2015
Team Boston at the ISC student cluster competition

American HPC cluster kids feed data-nomming beast with fat nodes

HPC Blog Two student teams from the United States travelled to the ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition in Leipzig, Germany to defend the red, white and blue – and, perhaps, to bring the ISC cluster Chalice of Victory* to the US for the first time. University of Colorado: ISC’14 marks the record-breaking eighth time Colorado has competed …

Intel pleads for €1bn EU fine to be overturned, is DENIED

Remember when Intel gave rebates to PC makers who bought its chips? The world’s largest computer chip maker has now lost its attempt to overturn the ancient €1bn fine from the European Union over its anticompetitive war with rival AMD. The record €1.06bn fine was handed down by the European Commission’s antitrust division …
Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier sneers at IBM's NSA denials

Ten days ago IBM issued ”A Letter to Our Clients About Government Access to Data” that, as we reported, swore on all that is good and holy that it did not hand over data to the NSA and would never do such a thing. But the letter did not satisfy security commentator Bruce Schneier who's penned an open letter of his own to Big …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Mar 2014
Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 launches – and gets Android in on the act

Pics Adobe has updated its Creative Cloud Suite for 2015, bringing enhancements and new features to 15 desktop applications and delivering tighter integration for its desktop and mobile users. Adobe has also let Android in on the mobile party with versions of Brush, Color, Ps Mix and Shape being made available to the platform for the …
Bob Dormon, 16 Jun 2015
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

ACCC should be regulated: Vertigan NBN review

The first slab work by the Vertigan panel, the group assembled to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of Australia's National Broadband Network (NNB), has landed and suggests the industry is happier with dealing with NBN Co than it is with the Australian Competition and Consumer Comission'ss (ACCC's) regulatory processes. Broadly, …

Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on

After much debate and a seven-city tour of Europe, Google’s self-appointed advisory board has finally published its opinion on the so-called “right to be forgotten”. Last May, Google was ordered to remove links to “outdated or irrelevant” information about a Spanish individual by the European Court of Justice. Since then, …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Feb 2015