Articles about Six Years

The first color picture of Mars from Viking 1

40 years ago today the US govt sent a taxpayer-funded robot to invade an alien hostile world

Pics The surviving members of the Viking Mars probe team have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first probe to make it down onto the surface of the Red Planet, send back pictures, and perform scientific experiments. The Viking 1 lander hit dirt on Mars on July 20, 1976, 16 days late. The probe had been planned for …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Top IT bod Sally Howes leaves the UK's National Audit Office

Sally Howes, the executive lead at the UK National Audit Office responsible for working with departments on their IT programmes, has stepped down after six years in the role. Howes joined the NAO in 2010 as a director, and was appointed executive leader with responsibility for digital and innovation in 2013. She also oversaw …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2016
open_door_648

US gov open data, code push

The White House has set a deadline of September 15 for all US government departments to post details of their "open government" plans. The letter [PDF] from the country's chief technology officer Megan Smith and chief information officer Tony Scott requires all departments to post what they are doing with a host of open …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016

Verisign keeps its dot-com cash cow until 2024

Verisign will retain control over the dot-com registry until 2024, providing it with a multi-billion-dollar cash cow for the next eight years. Verisign's contract to run the internet's most valuable naming structure is not due to end until 2018, but in a sign of the power politics at the top of the internet, the agreement will …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jul 2016

IBM storage has a new boss: The same one it had six years ago

IBM has a new storage boss, Ed Walsh, Storage Division General Manager, replacing interim GM Greg Lotko who keeps his VP development slot in the unit. Walsh had been CEO and president of copy data management company Catalogic since July 2014. He joined Big Blue for the first time in 2010 when it bought Storwize, a storage …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016
Pulling the plug

Bank tech boss: Where we're going, we don't need mainframes

Dutch finance giant ING is moving away from mainframes as “aggressively” as it can, rejecting vendors’ hopes that a little sprinkling of Agile dust will give the venerable platform a new lease of life. Speaking at the DevOps Enterprise Summit in London on Thursday, Ron van Kemenade, CIO ING Bank, detailed the bank’s …
Joe Fay, 01 Jul 2016
Vuture Velo cycling jersey

Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Extra technology is being wheeled out for this year's Tour de France to scan bikes for hidden electric engines. In the past few years, there have been several cases of cyclists concealing small battery-powered motors in the tubes of their velocipedes to give a bit of extra speed during competitions. To protect the integrity …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2016
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

An IT consultant has been jailed for four years after lying about his income to avoid paying £170,000 in tax. Hamauon Khan, 46, also known as Billy Khan and Billy Love, was sentenced after an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation proved he had failed to declare his earnings. Khan had claimed he was unemployed for at …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016

Meet the 1,000 core chip that can be powered by an AA battery

Six years after University of Glasgow researchers first achieved the feat, an American university has demonstrated a 1,000 core processor. While Glasgow used a FPGA, the “kilocore”silicon produced by the University of California Davis’ VLSI* Computation Lab differs by putting 1,000 independently programmable cores on a single …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2016

Man-in-the-middle biz Blue Coat bought by Symantec: Infosec bods are worried

Analysis Symantec’s deal to to buy Blue Coat, the controversial web filtering firm, for $4.65bn will bolster its enterprise security business. But some security experts are concerned about the potential for conflict of interest created by housing Symantec’s digital certificate business and Blue Coat’s man-in-the-middle SSL inspection …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016
ALP NBN policy outline

Labor's broadband policy decides 39% fibre is healthy NBN diet

Australia's opposition Labor Party (ALP) has released its national broadband network (NBN) policy (PDF) the centrepiece of which is a pledge to replace as-yet-unbuilt fibre-to-the-node sites with fibre-to-the-node. Labor's policy does five things. Firstly it's an attack on the incumbent Libera/National coalition government's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 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
Seasonal Temperature Pattern Indicating Martian Dust Storms

Mars' dust storms follow seasonal patterns say NASA boffins

Mars boffins reckon they've found seasonal found patterns in Mars' dust storms. Detailed in a Geophysical Research Letters research letter titled Interannual similarity in the Martian atmosphere during the dust storm season, David Kass, who runs the Mars Climate Sounder, and co-authors identify: Type A storms, that start as …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016

Welcome to the jumbo: Axl Rose tries to take a bite out of 'Fat Axl' internet meme

Legendary rocker Axl Rose has faced struggles with drink and drugs, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew with an effort to remove his own fat meme from the internet. Back in 2010, at a concert in Winnipeg, Canada, Rose appeared on stage in a red bandana and an unbuttoned shirt: traditional garb for the Guns n' …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016

Is a $14,000 phone really the price of privacy?

A US$14,000 (£9,706, or A$19,352) Android phone has been launched pitching 'military-grade encryption' at privacy-conscious executives. Little information can be found on the Solarin handset's specific security chops other than it will use "chip-to-chip 256-bit AES encryption" for phone calls. That technology is built by …
Darren Pauli, 02 Jun 2016
The Mi 5 has a small screen bevel, making good use of space but giving less to grip

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi

Xiaomi has agreed to buy 1,500 patents from Microsoft in a move that has been framed as an "expansion of their global partnership". Under the deal, Xiaomi will ship Microsoft Office and Skype on its Android smartphones and tablets. Yes, you read that right. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed and it is unclear to what …
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

P-TECH education program trial expanded (but not evaluated)

Why is the Liberal party promising money to recreate vocational training on an American model, when Australia used to have a working vocational training system of its own? It'd be easy to blame Malcolm Turnbull, except that P-TECH pilots that began this year were kicked off by his predecessor Tony Abbott. The current leader of …

36 firms at risk from that unpatched 2010 SAP vuln? Try 500+

Analysis A vulnerability in SAP systems that some enterprises have failed to patch for six years is more difficult to fix than previously reported and estimates of enterprise exposure are way too low, according to the security consultancy that originally found it. US-CERT took the unprecedented move on Wednesday of enumerating in an …
John Leyden, 13 May 2016
Telstra pit by https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/ cc. 20 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A modest proposal: dump the NBN mess on Telstra

Because Australia is now in an election campaign, various hopefuls are holding their breath in case (a) the NBN becomes A Serious Election Issue, and (b) the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) advances an alternative policy that brings fibre closer to the premises. The depressing truth is this: (a1) because of the …

Ireland's tax arrangements are as clear as a pint of Guinness

Comment Ireland has repeatedly been in the spotlight for its favourable and controversial tax incentives - which have attracted numerous large tech companies to its shores. However, the country has also been accused of being less than transparent in some of its tax arrangements. The European Commission is currently investigating the …
Kat Hall, 09 May 2016

Small broadband firms aren't fussed about getting access to BT's ducts and poles

Ofcom's move to open up BT's ducts and poles to competitors is the cornerstone of the regulator's strategy to break the country's reliance on the former state monopoly, but small fibre firms say they are not holding their breath. In February the regulator announced plans to open up BT's Openreach infrastructure to competitors …
Kat Hall, 09 May 2016
Toshiba NB500

Tosh names new boss

Toshiba has named a new CEO. Satoshi Tsunakawa will take over from Masashi Muromachi who himself replaced the previous CEO in July last year following an accounting scandal. Tsunakawa is a veteran of the Japanese electronics giant and will take over in June following approval of his position by shareholders. Muromachi will …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 May 2016

Denham new UK Info Com

Canadian Elizabeth Denham has officially been named the new UK Information Commissioner. She will start June 29. As expected, Denham was formally approved by the House of Commons' culture, media and sport select committee yesterday, following her recommendation by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale last month. Officially she …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Apr 2016
3d_XPOint_structure

Storage with the speed of memory? XPoint, XPoint, that's our plan

Analysis Since the virtual dawn of computing, storage – where data puts its feet up when it's at home – has been massively slower than memory, where data puts on its trainers and goes for a quick run. That massive access speed gap has been getting narrower and narrower with each storage technology advance: paper tape, magnetic tape, …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
Angry man yelling on phone while reading vintage printer paper report. Photo by SHutterstock

LiveDrive drive by: Backup biz's price hikes will kill us, say resellers

Resellers and customers of web backup biz LiveDrive are digesting its recent sweeping price changes with varying degrees of frustration. Some say they’ll quit the service and others are seeking legal advice. As revealed last week, UK-based LiveDrive reseller Monster Cloud, which itself wholesales the online storage services to …
Paul Kunert, 20 Apr 2016
Bank vault

Aussie banks stage secret secret intel sharing meetings

ACSC2016 Carders targeting Australian banks may have a tough time re-using attacks thanks to a regular invite-only gathering of anti-fraud boffins. Adam Cartwright. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register. The information-sharing meetups known as "Interbank" have taken place for about six years. The meetings first included representatives …
Darren Pauli, 14 Apr 2016
Hair inside an ASUS S6F

Managing infrastructure, a newbie's guide: Simple stuff you need to know

We all have IT and telco infrastructure equipment that's getting older. Time marches on and few of us have the funds or resources to renew everything when it reaches its official point of being written off by the bean-counters. We all, then, have some kind of legacy kit clinging onto its existence – even if it doesn't quite …
Dave Cartwright, 07 Apr 2016

French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

The French government has slammed the agreement to move the domain name system out from under US control and hand it to Californian non-profit ICANN. The French believe the move hands too much control to internet giants like Google and Amazon. Speaking to leading French newspaper Le Monde, French government officials said …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2016

Lost in the obits: Intel's Andy Grove's great warning to Silicon Valley

Analysis A few years ago, Andy Grove took the Davos crowd to task. The received wisdom at the time – and it still is – was that America's future was as a "knowledge economy." It was 2010, and the former Intel CEO lamented that Foxconn employed more people – 800,000 in total – than Sony, Intel, Apple, Dell, Microsoft and HP combined. …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2016

Canuck named as next UK privacy watchdog

Canadian Elizabeth Denham has been named as the UK's next Information Commissioner. Following a confirmation hearing by a parliamentary select committee, she will take over the post from Christopher Graham, who has been in the role since 2009, sometime this summer. Culture Secretary John Whittingdale confirmed that Denham was …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2016
Microsoft dancers at GDC

Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Microsoft's attempts to brand itself as a modern inclusive company were seriously derailed last night. The Xbox giant hired dancers in skimpy schoolgirl outfits for its party at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco. Someone sent me photos and and an OH: "We've got the best spot in the house, don't we?" (Deleted …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2016
Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May. Photo by Twocoms/Shutterstock.com

Lessons from history for UK Home Sec Theresa May's Investigatory Powers Bill

IPB “Let me be clear,” Theresa May said on the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Bill in Blighty, “the draft Bill we are publishing today is not a return to the draft Communications Data Bill of 2012.” She was referring to the previous, the UK's previous coalition government's attempt at a Snoopers' Charter. This was true …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Bell done: Nokia delivers super-speedy 100Gbps links fresh from the Labs

Nokia has pushed out the first high-capacity optical systems it has introduced since it absorbed Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs Electro-Optic Innovations – the latter being the source of the underlying technologies we're talking about today. Let's start down at the silicon. The PSE 2 (photonic service engine) is the home-grown …
Asus Chromebook Flip

Don't fear PC-pocalypse, Chromebooks, two-in-ones 'will save us'

Growing sales of ultra-portables and Chromebooks will help to offset the drop in PC shipments. This according to a report from analyst house ABI Research, which predicts that between 2015 and 2021, notebook shipments will remain steady as Chromebooks and ultraportables (tablet convertible notebooks) take up an increasing share …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Mar 2016
Prison

Former Systemax execs ordered to repay $35m to the biz

Two brothers who held high office at Systemax before being found guilty of perpetrating a multi-million pound swindle have been ordered to repay $35m to the company. Gilbert and Carl Fiorentino were sentenced in March 2015 to five and six years behind bars respectively for masterminding a $27m fraud at the reseller and one- …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2016
EXtreme_Pro

Commodity flash just as good as enterprise drives, Google finds

If you're loading up a heap of flash drives for your data centre, don't bother with “enterprise-class” SLC (single level cell) technology, because cheaper MLC (multi-level cell) drives will do the job just as well. However, the data centre biz needs new techniques to predict drive failures, because the unrecoverable bit error …
The Xamarin team at its Evolve conference in 2014

Microsoft finally ties the knot with Xamarin, snaps up mobile app biz

Microsoft has bought its long-time partner Xamarin for an undisclosed sum. "With today's acquisition announcement we will be taking this work much further to make our world-class developer tools and services even better with deeper integration and to enable seamless mobile app dev experiences," said Scott Guthrie, VP of …
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2016
Dispatchers are vital to co-ordinating on the ground activities

Met Police hands £250m to CSC in IT outsourcing carve-up

The Met Police has handed £250m in contracts to CSC, part of its potentially risky plan to carve up large chunks of its IT in the hope that outsourcers can do a better job. The contracts are for a £155m end user computing deal to provide managed desktop services, storage over the next five years; and a £95m hosting deal to …
Kat Hall, 24 Feb 2016
Google UK office logos

Google after six-year tax foot-drag: No they're fine about the fine. We're fine. No fine

Google has not been fined for taking six years to settle its controversial £130m tax bill with the UK's HMRC, the company confirmed in front of MPs today. Google told the Public Accounts Committee in Westminster, London, it had not been subjected to a fine for taking six years to agree its tax bill between 2005 and 2015, as …
Kat Hall, 11 Feb 2016

San Francisco prepares to open source its voting system software

San Francisco, home of the tech startup, is trying to show its tech credentials by becoming the first city to use open source software for elections. The proposal to adopt a solution in time for the end of the current contract on January 1, 2017 reappeared at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday when Supervisor Scott Wiener …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2016
Claw hammer

Actifio CEO talks about growth, quietly sacks bunch of staff

Copy data reduction startup Actifio has laid off some staff, the fifth storage startup we've heard about this month to do so. We heard about a RIF of 10 – 15 per cent of the company, with sales, professional services and engineering affected, and more than 40 people affected overall. On being asked about this, co-founder and …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
EAST

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Days after the German chancellor triggered the creation of hydrogen plasma for less than a second, China has announced that one of its fusion reactors has broken the record for plasma creation. On Friday the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that its boffins had created the 102-second plasma burn in its Experimental …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2016

Plan B hoovers up NZ-based cloud outfit ICONZ

The UK’s Hip Hop and soul scene was left bereft today when it appeared that Brit award winning artist Plan B had coughed up an undisclosed sum to take over New Zealand-based ISP and hosting provider ICONZ. Fans of the East London rapper turned actor/director/soundtrack producer have been waiting almost six years for a follow- …
Joe Fay, 02 Feb 2016
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Europe: Go on. Ask us to probe the £130m 'sweetheart' deal HMRC made with Google

The EU's Competition Commissioner has said Europe would probe Google's £130m sweetheart deal with the UK government "if asked" - following growing calls for Brussels to scrutinise the deal. The Scottish Nationalist Party has today written to Brussels to investigate the arrangement. Stewart Hosie MP said: "The truth is that we …
Kat Hall, 28 Jan 2016
Car network architecture

Stop the music! Booby-trapped song carjacked vehicles – security prof

Usenix Enigma The modern car's operating system is such a mess that researchers were once able to get complete control of a vehicle by playing a song laced with malicious code. Malware encoded in the track was executed after the file was loaded from a CD and processed by a buggy parser. "A car is a big distributed system with wheels …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jan 2016
Inside the reactor copyright, Dounreay Site Restoration LTD and Nuclear Decommission Authority

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Geek's Guide to Britain On the northern tip of Scotland stands Dounreay – 74 hectares of nuclear site encompassing the world's first fast breeder reactor, and one of the first nukes to be wired into a national grid. Built in an age of optimism – an era that wanted to turn the destructive power of The Bomb into energy that was too cheap to meter – …
Bill Ray, 26 Jan 2016

GCHQ spies quashed this phone encryption because it was too good against snoopers

The researcher who discovered that the UK government's phone encryption standard has a huge backdoor installed has made another discovery: GCHQ's rejection of a better encryption standard because it didn't allow for undetectable spying. Dr Steven Murdoch has updated his original post on the MIKEY-SAKKE standard, developed by …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jan 2016

NASA books space shuttle delivery truck

NASA looks set to get back into the space shuttle business with the announcement of three International Space Station cargo delivery contracts, one of which has been handed to Sierra Nevada Corporation and its "Dream Chaser" vehicle. The Dream Chaser docked with the ISS. Pic: Sierra Nevada Corporation Coming soon to an ISS …
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2016

Skype finally catches Google with group video chat

Skype will finally provide group video chat for mobile phones, nearly three years after Google offered it with Hangouts. The VoIP pioneer that was bought by Microsoft for $8.5bn back in 2011 has been decidedly slow in getting the service to market, but that didn't prevent it from comparing itself to NASA. "Ten years ago, NASA …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2016