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Irish flash extender startup goes 3D

Flash drive life extender NVMdurance has enlarged its market by developing techniques for extending the life of 3D flash drives. Its current Pathfinder product is a suite of machine learning algorithms that can be applied to planar (2D) MLC (2bits/cell) and TLC (3bits/cell) flash to find the best way register values for NAND …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017

LTE-Broadcast has broad deployment models. What it doesn't have is the iPhone

Analysis LTE-Broadcast is poised for mass adoption at last, claims the Alliance which was set up last April to promote it. The Alliance aims to make a splash at next month’s Mobile World Congress, to boost operator confidence in the mobile TV standard and outline some of its use cases beyond the consumer TV sector. For instance, the UK …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jan 2017

Jersey Telecom wheels out LoRa IoT network, says it's 'not ruling out' other techs

Interview Jersey Telecom recently rolled out a LoRa network covering the entire island. The telco’s wholesale director, Tom Noel, spoke to The Register to elaborate a little on what it hopes to achieve. The Tier One telco, based on the eponymous Channel Island, prefers to be known as JT. It has a surprisingly large global footprint, …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2017

El Reg drills into chatbot hype: The AIs that want to be your web butlers

Analysis “Alexa, are you the best chatbot in town?” “Sorry, I don’t I understand the question I heard,” she replies. Alexa doesn’t know. Nobody does. For a while, Apple had the lead with Siri: the virtual assistant first appeared in October 2011 on the iPhone 4S. Fast-forward five and a bit years and now every major tech player has one …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jan 2017
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Kill it with fire: US-CERT urges admins to firewall off Windows SMB

The US computer emergency readiness team is recommending organisations ditch old versions of the Windows SMB protocol and firewall off access to file servers – after a potential zero-day exploit was released by the Shadow Brokers hacking group. The call from the US security clearing house does not name the Shadow Brokers as …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jan 2017
Oculus Rift package

Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg shed new light on the social network's 2014 acquisition of Oculus VR Tuesday in a Dallas federal court. Zuck took the stand as part of a trial between Oculus and ZeniMax, the rival games developer that has accused Oculus of stealing the virtual reality technology that it uses at the heart of its …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
People party in a nightclub. Photo by Shutterstock

WANdisco stuffs IBM-boosted deal cash wads into its flared trouser pockets

WANdisco's OEM selling deal with IBM has brought home the Big Blue bacon with total bookings up 72 per cent year-on-year to $15.5m. The UK provider of Fusion replication software says it has enjoyed a business and revenue boost since IBM's sales force started selling its product to help enterprise customers send transactional …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Password

Credential-stuffers enjoy up to 2% attack success rate – report

Hackers achieve a success rate of 0.1 to 2 per cent when reusing stolen credentials to access other sites, according to a new study by Shape Security. More than three billion credentials were reported stolen worldwide in 2016, with 51 companies admitting a breach. These stolen credentials are routinely abused by cybercriminals …
John Leyden, 17 Jan 2017

Phoney McPhoneface: The thrilling tale of ZTE's crowdsourced mobe

Engineers and designers hate committee-led engineering and design, hence the proverbial joke about the camel. And ZTE's effort to allow passing strangers to design and brand a new mobile device perhaps illustrates why. In August, ZTE announced Project CSX, allowing "the community" to build a new product. The Chinese giant …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jan 2017

AI and robots? Will someone think of the jobs, says HPE CEO Whitman

Cynics might say Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is on thin ice when discussing job preservation in the era of AI and robotics given her own track record, but that was the thrust of her speech at Davos. Business tycoons and global politicos swooped on the the highest town in Europe this week to attend the World …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jan 2017
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CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme to recruit and retain overseas talent in a post-Brexit Britain. The call from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) came as it emerged that European Union citizens have started to look to countries other than Britain to take up working positions. CBI deputy …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Jan 2017
A man holding a cup of coffee

OpenIO, blind nano-nodes and coffee cup detection

Interview In a story about ARM-powered, Ethernet-addressed, object storing disk drives, I said such drives couldn’t carry out image searches at a drive-level because they would be operating "blindfolded". OpenIO says “Rubbish” to that in a blog it wrote ( I exaggerate.) So I spoke to OpenIO’s co-founder and COO Marie Ponseel, suggesting …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
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Revealed: How Nvidia's 'backseat driver' AI learned to read lips

When Nvidia popped the bonnet on its Co-Pilot "backseat driver" AI at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, most onlookers were struck by its ability to lip-read while tracking CES-going "motorists'" actions within the "car". A slide taken at CES shows the Co-Pilot AI assistant performing four features: facial recognition, …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Jan 2017
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

Microsoft Germany has argued that Windows 7 is no longer "fit" to be used in business. A post we've shoved through two online translate-o-tronic services states that Windows 7 “can no longer keep up with the increased security requirements” of the mid-2010s. Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Deutschland, is quoted …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017
The area recommended as a new search zone in the hunt for MH370

Search for MH370 called off after new theory about resting place is ruled out

Australia, Malaysia and China have suspended the search for missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370. The Boeing 777, which left Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, disappeared on March 8th, 2014. The plane quickly left areas covered by radar and was presumed to have reached an isolated arc of the Indian Ocean to the west of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017

Laser beam sky mirage cannon can spy on enemies and generate Star Trek-style shields

British defence contractor BAE Systems says it has developed a laser-powered "mirage on demand" which can be used to bend the very fabric of the skies to military commanders' whims. The Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens, developed at BAE's Warton factory in Lancashire, works by "changing the Earth's atmosphere into lens-like …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017
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Balancing miners borks blockchains, say boffins

The financial sector's enthusiasm for blockchain technology might be misplaced, according to a pair of Australian distributed computing experts. The problem: if everyone in a consortium trusts each other, they don't need blockchains to protect themselves; if they don't, current blockchain protocols have a flaw that allows a …
Judge with gun

Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality

Comment A bright-eyed MIT undergraduate implausibly branded "the Mark Zuckerberg of guns" has recycled an age-old solution looking for a problem – the smart gun. Kai Kloepfer, the undergrad lad in question, received a $50,000 grant from the American Smart Tech Challenges Foundation in 2014 to develop his idea of a Beretta pistol …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017
AI

Sysadmin chatbots: We have the technology

Storage Blockhead Chatbots are flashing up in our future view as something that could improve an admin's lot. Instead of using a GUI with nested and drill-down screen forms to do their job, they'll have a new form of Command Line Interface, only this will be a Chat Line Interface to a chatbot. Array vendor Tintri is showing how this could be …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017

Nadella calls for AI sector to move beyond 'worshipping' a handful of companies

The tech sector is currently "worshipping" a handful of artificial intelligence companies, but is yet to show how it will make the technology accessible to and useful for its human end users, Microsoft head Satya Nadella has said. Speaking at the DLD technology conference in Munich, he said: "The way at least I have defined AI …
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2017
Scrooge McDuck

Tech moguls dominate Oxfam's rich people Hateful 8

Five of the world's eight fattest fat cats, whose collective wealth equals that of the world's 3.6 billion poorest people – according to a new report by Oxfam – are technology billionaires. Leading the pack is the charity-committed Bill Gates, with $75bn he's honestly trying to get rid of. Carlos Slim Helú has a net worth of $ …

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

Nielsen, eat your heart out: TiVo woos admen with prediction engine

Analysis More data means better performance for advertising – at least on the digital side. Increasingly, marketers are looking to inject data-driven decision making into the “dumbest” box in the house: the TV set. “The whole television industry used to be based on age, gender demographics, in terms of television buying and planning,” …
Faultline, 16 Jan 2017

Calls for UK.gov's tax digitisation plans to be put on the back burner

The UK government's tax digitisation plan could be delayed by at least a year after the Treasury Committee exposed "serious shortcomings" with the programme. In 2015 Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was awarded £1.3bn of digital investment over four years, which it said would yield £1bn in extra tax revenue after 2020 by …
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2017
Portal for the Apple II

Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II

Videos What do you get when you cross a 10-year-old game with a 40-year-old computer? The weekend at El Reg. Vince Weaver, an assistant professor of computer engineering at the University of Maine, used his winter holiday to write a port of the beloved puzzle-driven snarkfest Portal for the Apple II. "My wife got me the original …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2017
James Madison University

Promising compsci student sold key-logger, infects 16,000 machines, pleads guilty, faces jail

A 21-year-old computer science student, who won a Programmer of the Year Award in high school, has admitted selling key-logging malware out of his college dorm room. On Friday, Zachary Shames, an undergraduate at James Madison University in Virginia, US, pleaded guilty in a federal district court to one count of aiding and …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2017

Google floats prototype Key Transparency to tackle secure swap woes

Google has released an open-source technology dubbed Key Transparency, which is designed to offer an interoperable directory of public encryption keys. Key Transparency offers a generic, secure way to discover public keys. The technology is built to scale up to internet size while providing a way to establish secure …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Tech committee slams UK.gov for dithering over digital strategy

The Science and Technology Committee has today slammed the UK government for dragging its feet in releasing a digital strategy, now more than a year late. In a letter to digital minister Matt Hancock, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Stephen Metcalfe, said he was "disappointed" by the "continued absence of …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2017
Boss leans back comfortably in desk. Pic via Shutterstock

Outage-hit Lloyds Bank in talks to outsource data centres to IBM

Exclusive In the week that Lloyds Banking Group suffered multiple outages, it has emerged the UK financial giant is negotiating to outsource management of its bit barns to IBM Global Business Services. Online services were interrupted on Wednesday and Thursday by unspecified technical glitches that prevented people from logging into …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2017
Mark Wahlberg and his come-to-life teddy bear in bed in the movie Ted. Copyright: Universal Pictures

Embrace the world of pr0nified IT with wide open, er, arms

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Would you like to play with me? I’ll show you how to do the moves. Sure, everyone will be watching us online but I promise to take you to the next level. Oh, and I’m well fit. Great, that’s all I need: another personal trainer. After last week’s confessions of a fitness-band wearer, I had rather hoped that the whole sports …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Jan 2017
Trump, photo by uplift the world via Shutterstock

Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

US president-elect Donald Trump's freshly minted cyber-tsar Rudy Giuliani runs a website with a content management system years out of date and potentially utterly hackable. Former New York City mayor and Donald loyalist Giuliani was today unveiled by Trump's transition team as the future president's cybersecurity adviser – …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jan 2017

Everything wrong with IoT (and how to fix it) – according to Uncle Sam

The US Department of Commerce has published a green paper [PDF] on the Internet of Things, the first step in a process to develop formal governmental policies on the technology. Following a public request for comments back in April, the green paper attempts to summarize what a large number of companies, advocacy groups and …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2017
Giuliani

Donald Trump will take cybersecurity advice from, um, Rudy Giuliani

The transition team for US president-elect Donald Trump has announced that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will advise the incoming administration on how to secure America's digital infrastructure. We're told that the Donald may hold meetings with senior private industry executives with experience in online security. …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2017

Congrats, PC slingers. That's now FIVE straight years of shrinking sales

Santa's sack was bulging over Chrimbo, but it wasn't due to PC-shaped presents – computer sales slipped again in the final quarter of 2016, capping off five consecutive years of market shrinkage. According to data from Gartner, shipments to distributors and retailers fell 3.7 per cent year-on-year to 72.6 million units. The …
Paul Kunert, 12 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
Karmera secured Pixel phone photo2 by Kaymera

Security hardened, pah! Expert doubts Kaymera's mighty Google's Pixel

The arrival of a security hardened version of Google’s supposed "iPhone killer" Pixel phone from Kaymera has received a sceptical reception from one expert. Kaymera Secured Pixel is outfitted with Kaymera’s own hardened version of the Android operating system and its security architecture. This architecture is made up of four …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017
The Japanese pulsar-snooping balloon

A deduping backup target startup going public – who'd a thought it?

Exagrid, whch produces deduping disk backup target arrays, announced record revenue for the fourth 2016 quarter; its 12th,consecutive cash-positive quarter. It grew double digits over the previous quarter and same quarter of the prior year as well as for the full year of 2016 over 2015. The company wants to increase the …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2017

IBM: Cognitive computing needs flash arrays, mark our words

IBM has announced all-flash versions of three DS8880 monolithic arrays revealed last year, with increased flash capacities and a coat of cognitive marketing paint. The previous systems were the DS8884, DS8886 and DS8888. Now we have all-flash variants, denoted by an "F" suffix. These arrays are tailored to provide storage for …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2017
Continuous Lifecycle London 2016 logo

Continuous Lifecycle London: First speakers announced

Reg Events We’re chuffed to be able to reveal the first tranche of speakers for Continuous Lifecycle, our three day-extravaganza of DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Containerization and Agile in May. Our call for papers drew a massive response, but our programme committee has diligently sliced that down to a short-list of speakers and …
Team Register, 12 Jan 2017
Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Concerns are growing that some customers switching to BT fibre broadband may not be able to receive the service, despite the ISP "availability" checker saying otherwise – leading some to mistakenly sign up for the service. One customer got in touch with The Register to report he had switched from a £5 TalkTalk package boasting …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017

IBM: Hm, medical record security... security... Got it – we need blockchains

IBM says it will partner with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a study of whether blockchain technology could be used to securely transfer medical information. Big Blue says that its Watson Health unit will work with the FDA on a study aimed at pitching a framework for the use of blockchain technologies to make the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017
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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

Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Having access to the world's information at your fingertips is a handy feature of smartphones, but it's the alarm clock function that folk really appreciate, according to a survey by uSwitch. The comparison site asked Joe Public to name their favourite smartphone features. But in the survey of 2,002 British adults, it was the …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017
Panasonic Toughbook CF-54

Oh ALIS, don't keep us waiting: F-35 jet's software 'delayed'

Key software for the troubled F-35 fighter jet has been repeatedly delayed, causing problems for the British armed forces as they wait for Americans to iron out the bugs. The F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is the heart of the support offering bundled with the F-35 by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jan 2017
Hippie peace, image via Shutterstock

Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

Researchers from Japan's National Institute of Informatics say people's fingerprints could be extracted from photographs using yet-to-be built technology. The eggheads warn that fingerprints can be copied from photographs snapped up to three metres from targets. Prints would need to be captured clearly in strong lighting, …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jan 2017

Now for a really cool micro-drum solo: Boffins chill gizmo below quantum limit

Physicists working at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a way to theoretically cool an object to absolute zero. This groundbreaking technique, detailed in Nature today, has been used to chill a vibrating aluminium membrane to 360 microKelvin, a temperature below the “quantum limit.” …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Jan 2017
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Two former Microsoft employees have sued the Windows giant seeking compensation for the mental trauma of screening child sex abuse photos, murder videos, and other extreme content flowing through the company's online services. Henry Soto and Greg Blauert were assigned to Microsoft's Online Safety Team, formed in 2008 following …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jan 2017

UK can be a 'world leader in 5G', you say? Er, our 4G still takes a beating from Peru

Calls in a government-commissioned report to maximise Britain's position as a 5G "world leader" have been slammed by experts as a case of the Emperor's New Clothes. The UK strategy and plan for 5G & Digitisation [PDF] report this week concluded that "although still not fully developed it is likely that 5G will provide …
Kat Hall, 11 Jan 2017

GCHQ feeds first crop of infosec startups to Cyber Accelerator

The first infosec startups selected for the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator have been unveiled. The accelerator, which officially launches in Cheltenham later today, is part of a UK government-funded Cyber Innovation Centre. The tech crèche is designed to nurture information security startups to the point where they can compete on the …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017