Articles about Silicon

Made in China

IBM, Microsoft, US Govt all to blame for globalisation backlash: Jack Ma

Silicon Valley’s tech plutocrats have kept a relatively low profile at Davos, the WEF’s schmoozefest for corporate, government and NGO elites. But into the void stepped Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Alibaba is the gigantic, tat bazaar that has eclipsed the company it copied: eBay. Ma used to encourage new hires to perform …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jan 2017
Lost box, photo via Shutterstock

Cumulus Networks writes its name on a white box

Open networking operating system vendor Cumulus Networks is about to start selling hardware – but it's not going to start actually making the stuff. Rather, the maker of the Cumulus Linux distribution has decided to give new users an easy entry-level purchase by installing and configuring its operating system on bare-metal …
Photo by Cat Walker / Shutterstock

Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is suing dozens of families in Hawaii to force them to give up land they've owned for generations. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that the Zuck's secluded sanctuary on the garden island of Kauai is at the heart of court proceedings between islanders and the billionaire exec who, by the way, …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2017

Is Qualcomm price gouging phone makers? Not everyone thinks so

Analysis America’s competition commissioners didn’t want to prosecute Google, which operates a monopoly in over a dozen markets, so why are they complaining about Qualcomm? Yesterday, the FTC filed a complaint against the San Diego chip giant following a South Korean indictment, and two EU probes into Qualcomm’s practices. Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2017
Oracle logo, image by GongTo via Shutterstock

Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

In late 2016, The Register received credible-but-ultimately-unverifiable reports that Oracle was scaling back Solaris development, perhaps with significant sackings. We chose not to publish because Oracle denied the specific allegations we'd received. We’re aware of rumours about the demise of Solaris. Our best efforts have …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jan 2017
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Toshiba may sell silicon biz to contain fallout of nuke plant problems

A troubled nuclear power station strategy in the USA has Toshiba considering the partial sale of its Japanese semiconductor business. Nikkei (in Japanese) names Western Digital as a potential buyer, along with several investment funds. The company hopes to get between $1.77bn and $2.65bn for a 20 per cent stake in the …

Valley techies to protest outside Palantir – Trump adviser's creepy citizen database biz

Silicon Valley engineers will protest outside the headquarters of data analytics firm Palantir Technologies Wednesday, demanding greater transparency over how its databases may be used by the incoming Trump Administration. "Palantir and Peter Thiel should be held accountable for potentially enabling Trump's efforts to deport …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2017

Prepare for ReRAM speed! Crossbar samples SMIC chips

ReRAM startup Crossbar has sample embedded ReRAM chips from SMIC that are currently undergoing evaluation. SMIC is using a 40nm process and there are plans for a 28nm process in development but Crossbar envisages scaling at least to 16nm and 10nm but then lower. The chip design uses non-conductive amorphous silicon (a-SI) …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Nantero NRAM chip

Market researchers big up NRAM

A market-research report suggests carbon nanotube storage developer Nantero could be on the verge of a breakout after years of disappointment and struggle. A tipping point could be its licensing deal with Fujitsu, which the BCC Research report, "Is NRAM Creating Market Volatility?" mentions. Nantero did not sponsor the BCC …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

Google has published a Infrastructure Security Design Overview that explains how it secures the cloud it uses for its own operations and for public cloud services. Revealed last Friday, the document outlines six layers of security and reveals some interesting factoids about the Alphabet subsidiary's operations, none more so …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017

Drone biz Lily Robotics takes $34m in pre-orders, ships nothing, shuts down, gets sued by San Francisco DA

Lily Robotics says its decision on Thursday to shut down and return pre-order payments for a never-delivered drone, which came on the same day that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón charged the company with false advertising and misleading business practices, was purely coincidental. "We had been in the process of …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jan 2017

Reg straps on goggles from upstart that wants to 'democratize' VR

A Silicon Valley startup is hoping to get ahead of the rapidly moving VR market with software that offers what companies have been chasing for the past few years: inside-out tracking. Eonite Perception has released what it claims is the most-accurate and lowest-latency solution for cameras attached to a VR device, with …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2017
Car polishing photo via Shutterstock

Qualcomm/NXP, Nvidia and Intel: The race to define the car platform

CES 2017 So the stakes are high, and many companies are already playing hard. There were important announcements from two of the most established chip suppliers in the auto sector, NXP and Nvidia – the former particularly closely watched because it will soon be part of Qualcomm. Its launches reminded the industry how strategic an …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jan 2017

EU wants power to fine behavioural data bad boys and the ad men aren't happy

The EU has proposed only incremental changes to data protection law in Europe, but their significance lies in a new ability to fine digital services – including the giant platforms – for privacy breaches. The law covers the consent users give to the acquisition and processing of behavioural data. This is considered valuable by …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jan 2017

This'll be the next thing Trump crows about: Apple assembling servers on American soil

Apple boss Tim Cook and US president-elect Donald Trump aren’t exactly best buds. However, the iPhone maker could soon land the honor of a congratulatory tweet from the jumped-up telly celeb – after it revealed it is expanding its manufacturing in America. Two years ago, Apple announced it would build a $2bn data center in …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jan 2017

How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

iPhone at 10 Apple's iPhone wasn't just a shiny new thing that was irritatingly and madly overhyped. Before long, it shattered a benevolent kind of crony capitalism in which Europeans took great pride, but that was short-serving the public. And it needed an outsider to do this. Ten years ago, Europe could be excused for feeling a little …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017
K2s

Kaminario gets cash for K2 biz flash dash

All-flash array supplier Kaminario has gained an additional $75 million funding in an F-round, taking total funding to $218 million. Private equity firm Waterwood led the round; its strategy is to invest in growth-stage technology companies. Cash also came from new and existing investors, including Sequoia, Pitango, Lazarus, …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jan 2017
logo for mcubed conference

Get smart on machine learning before the machines beat you to it

Reg Events 2017 looks like being the year of AI. Or at least that’s what a friendly computer keeps telling us. So we’re partnering with our friends at Heise to bring you M3, a conference which aims to bring together researchers, academics and, crucially, practitioners, to show you how to put the latest in artificial intelligence, machine …
Team Register, 09 Jan 2017
Lady eating a sandwich checking her mobile phone

CloudByte chews on Elastistor, sinks teeth into OpenEBS

Analysis Startup CloudByte is having a substantial exec and strategy makeover as it embraces an open source approach to containerised storage. We came across CloudByte just over a year ago when it popped up with its ElastiStor software running on OEM’d SanDisk (now WD) InfiniFlash hardware, the box with a bunch of flash inside it. …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2017
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Put walls around home Things, win $25k from US government

America's Federal Trade Commission has kicked off a challenge to see who can come up with good ideas for securing the Internet of Things. While the US$25,000 top prize will probably end up in the pocket of an infosec pro, the FTC interestingly says it's interested in hearing from “tinkerers” and “thinkers” as well as from …
Robot AI Woman

‘Artificial Intelligence’ was 2016's fake news

“Fake news” vexed the media classes greatly in 2016, but the tech world perfected the art long ago. With “the internet” no longer a credible vehicle for Silicon Valley’s wild fantasies and intellectual bullying of other industries – the internet clearly isn’t working for people – “AI” has taken its place. Almost everything you …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jan 2017
Trump with flag photo via Shutterstock

A vintage year for snoopers and big state-ists

Year in Review If 2016 proved anything, it proved the existence of the law of unintended consequences making this a miserable year for lovers of liberty and privacy. A vote by the British electorate to secede from the European Union in June led to former Home Secretary Theresa May becoming Prime Minister — to the fright of many who had …

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Silicon Valley’s desire to open up the software that controls heavy vehicles has come under criticism from industry experts. This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) renewed its call for the legal protection that manufacturers use to safeguard automotive software to be relaxed. For three years, farm machinery maker …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Dec 2016
Surpised man mobile phone photo by Shutterstock

Windows 10 nags, Dirty Cow, Microsoft's Linux man love: The Reg's big ones for 2016

Systems got bigger and more removed from ordinary mortals during 2016 as West Coast tech firms centralised more and more computing on server farms. Google, Facebook and Microsoft wanted us to slap on virtual reality goggles and ask artificial intelligences to serve our voice-activated commands. Cars, lorries and taxis minus …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Dec 2016

Smartphones crashed, Samsung burned: Mobile in 2016

End-of-Year Round Up The mobile landscape this year was dominated by an air war of far greater importance taking place over the players’ heads. Giant telcos went shopping for giant media companies, while Silicon Valley continued to work to destroy the value of both pipes and content, mostly by trying to queer the regulatory pitch. Down below, back …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Dec 2016

Gluster techie shows off 'MySQL of object storage' Minio projects

Backgrounder Minio and its µServer were first described by El Reg in December a year ago. Now we have had a closer look, courtesy of a press tour to Silicon Valley earlier this month. The basic product comes as three software items: Open source µServer Open Source Client Software development kit The µServer is a lightweight piece of …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2016

Speaking in Tech: The really HUUUUGE 2017 Predictions Show

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Intrepid techcasters Greg, Ed and Melissa wrap up the year with Brad O'Neill, serial entrepreneur and SVP of Global Sales, Operations & Services at SurveyMonkey and Amy Lewis of Geek Whisperers and NetApp. This week they review last year's predictions as well as making even …
Team Register, 21 Dec 2016

Name's BOND, JBOND: Igneous's ARM strap-on is for your drives only

Analysis You wait for a bus for ages, and then two come along at once. Two data-transfer buses. Something like that. Both OpenIO and Igneous have launched plug-on ARM server cards for storage drives: these single-board computers each snap onto a hard drive to form nano-servers that are organized into a grid of object storage nodes. …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2016
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google's latest legal opponents: Shooting victims' families – and a cheesed-off ex-manager

Families of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year are suing Google for failing to take down online materials they say influenced the killer. The complaint, filed in the US Eastern Michigan District Court on Monday, claims the internet advertising titan – plus Facebook and Twitter – …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Dec 2016

BlackBerry sees a rainbow just around a corner

BlackBerry, finally able to describe itself as a “a software company and the market leader in mobile security”, posted a $117m GAAP net loss on revenue of $289m today. But sunnier times are ahead, CEO John Chen told investors. The company expects to achieve non GAAP profitability for the full financial year (which ends …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2016

Zuckerberg turns his home into Creepy Robot Buddy

Guess what task the goal-driven nerd billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s fifth richest man, set himself this year. Solving the Kashmir crisis? Eradicating polio? Choosing and solving one of the problems in the Millennium Prize? Don’t be daft. He’s turned his house into a robot buddy. “My personal challenge for 2016 was …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2016

Itchy-fingered OnePlus presses refresh, out pops value champ 3T

Hands-on It may seem reckless for a manufacturer to replace its flagship after only five months with one that’s more expensive, but few buyers of the new OnePlus 3T will care very much. At £399, this phone scoops the prize for the best value top-end Android. And it’s even more ludicrously good value at £429 for a 128GB model. Consider …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Qualcomm joins Xen Project Advisory Board

Qualcomm has joined the Xen Project's Advisory Board, the group of companies “committed to the market and technical success of the Xen Project” and who “provide financial support, technical contributions, and set high-level policy decisions.” And it's done so “to accelerate ARM-server and hyperscale cloud development, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016

Uber's self-driving cars can't handle bike lanes, forcing drivers to kill autonomous mode

Uber's claim that its self-driving cars don't qualify as self-driving cars, a stance challenged on Friday by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, becomes more complicated in light of findings that the vehicles, while under software control, can't follow the law when it comes to cyclists. In an article published on …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Dec 2016
Kirk and Spock fight

Startup grind is over: Now Primary Data must compete with storage giants

Analysis Startups arrive with fanfares of new tech and product surprise and then face the long grind to grow their business to newsworthy market status while adding bells and whistles to the basic product. Getting the first product out of the door is a validation of all the technology trend analysis and development struggle involved in …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2016

Not OK Google: Tree-loving family turns down Page and pals' $7m

It seems that there is something that Google can't buy, beg or steal: a small piece of land right in the heart of its Silicon Valley campus. Like real-life versions of Up's Carl Fredricksen, the Martinelli family refuse to sell their one-acre lot even though the tech giant has offered $7m for it in order to expand its …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Dec 2016

FCC chairman confirms he will step down, make way for Trump choice

Analysis Following weeks of speculation and a refusal to state his plans, on Thursday chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Tom Wheeler, announced he would step down from the role on January 20, allowing president-elect Donald Trump to select a new head of the US comms watchdog. "Sitting in this chair has been the …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Dec 2016

Kids, look at the Deep Learnings! (We’re just going to slurp your data)

Comment Just weeks after Evernote announced that it is migrating users’ data from its own servers to Google’s servers, the company has now casually dropped a privacy bombshell. In order for some (unspecified) occult AI magic to work in the future, your data will be merged with other data. Oh. And Evernote staff can read all your notes …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Dec 2016
Trump meeting with tech leaders

Tech titans tentatively trot toward Trump Tower to talk turkey today

US president-elect Donald Trump today meets Silicon Valley's tech leaders face to face for a frank chat about what to expect under his administration. Among the big names getting down on one knee and kissing the ring, er, we mean, attending the summit are: Apple boss Tim Cook, Tesla kingpin Elon Musk, Amazon founder and …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016

Trump meets Google – exclusive transcript

After meeting Kanye West, President-elect Trump will meet Google and other Silicon Valley leaders today. We've imagined how the conversation might go. RUSHED TRANSCRIPT TRUMP: So. Peter tells me you’re the smartest guys in America. How do you like the furniture? PAGE: Very nice Mr President Elect. TRUMP: Where’s the Russian …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Dec 2016

Top CompSci boffins name the architectures we'll need in 2030

The International Symposium on Computing Architecture has revealed the five architectural challenges it thinks computer science needs to solve to meet the demands of the year 2030. Their recommendations, distilled from the Architecture 2030 Workshop at June's ISCA in Korea and available here, draws on the contributions of …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Photo by JStone / Shutterstock

Uber-creepy: Dial-a-ride devs accused of stalking pop diva Beyonce

A former Uber staffer claims the amateur taxi app maker routinely pried into customer records to spy on people, including celebrity riders and ex-partners of employees. The allegations against the ride-sharing giant were made by Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator at Uber who is now suing the Silicon Valley biz …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016
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NEC mentions it has a high-end dedupe disk backup box, stretches, yawns for 40 seconds

Analysis NEC has the biggest, baddest scale-out deduping backup-to-disk array on the planet and we virtually never hear about it. NEC is not a top-six purpose-built backup supplier, according to IDC, being neither a unit ship or revenue leader. Yet there are 1,100 customers and 1,800 installations, around three exabytes under …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2016

CoreOS debuts 'self-driving' Kubernetes

CoreOS, maker of a minimalist version of Linux and software for containers, has made Tectonic, its Kubernetes management application, capable of automatically updating K8s clusters. It also made Tectonic free for up to 10 nodes. Previously the software had to be acquired through contact with the company's sales department. Now …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Dec 2016
Confidential on white screen in boardroom. Photo by Shutterstock

Top tech company's IP was looted by China, so it plans to hack back

360° Cyber Security Game The poster child for the green energy revolution is in ruins: its executives say they have hard evidence that China's People's Liberation Army stole its breakthrough technology before it could commercialise it. So now the company plans to hack back. The Prime Minister needed response options, so the head of state asked The …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016

Arista: We only violated two out of six patents that Cisco contested!

The United States International Trade Commission last Friday has issued a new ruling (PDF) in the patent litigation between Cisco and Arista, finding that the latter company is in violation of two Switchzilla patents. The two patents are U.S. Patent 6,377,577 (“Access Control List Processing In Hardware”) and U.S. Patent 7,224 …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016
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Marc Andreessen has a pretty creepy relationship with Zuck

Silicon Valley is very big on virtual reality right now. But imagine a VR “game” where you can control a company remotely, but without any of the fiduciary duty that the law places on a company executive, or an investor? You don’t need nerd goggles to play this game. For it’s very similar to the relationship that’s emerged …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Dec 2016
Christopher Lee as Dracula

Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Having chosen a climate-change denier to head the US government's environment agency, an opponent of minimum wage for the Labor Department, a creationist for Education Secretary, a mine-owner for Commerce, and a wrestling exec to oversee small businesses – president-elect Donald Trump is now considering putting a man with very …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Dec 2016
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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Comment We just didn’t know it at the time, but Pebble’s fate was sealed in May 2013 when it surrendered control to outsiders who saddled it with debt. Yesterday Pebble’s new owner Fitbit lost no time in closing down the operation, not merely snuffing out any prospect of new products, but warning Pebble owners that they’re not going …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Xen 4.8 debuts, gives ARM servers vendors a reason to hope

A new version of the Xen Project's hypervisor has emerged blinking into the light. The Project reckons the best bit of version 4.8 is support for live patching of ARMv8-A CPUs, noting that such silicon is likely to appear in servers. And server users, of course, love anything that avoids operational disruptions. So Xen has …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2016