Articles about Utility


Take THAT, Tesla: Another Oz energy utility will ship home batteries

The Tesla PowerWall announcement is having an effect in Australia, but perhaps not the one Elon Musk predicted: utilities are moving to head it off with their own solar/storage offerings. Shortly after the Tesla battery launch, NSW's AGL announced its solar customers could add electrical storage, and now Queensland's Ergon …
Nest founder Tony Fadell at Web Summit

Google's Nest partners up with utility company – on smart thermostats

Web Summit Google’s internet-of-the-home subsidiary Nest has announced a partnership with a utility firm, offering its thermostats for free to customers of Electric Ireland. Announcing the deal at Web Summit in Dublin, Tony Faddell said that the partnership was the kind of thing he’d dreamed about when he started the company four years ago …

Mandiant to probe gaps in rusty unpatchable utility systems

Mandiant has launched a managed gap assessment for industrial control systems (ICS) it says will help administrators deal with temperamental systems. It was a "light touch" for legacy or leviathan systems that could fall over in the event of tinkering or patching. Mandiant SCADA bod Dan Scali said the system was geared to …
Darren Pauli, 08 Oct 2014
True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch

True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch

Txt Take Daily product reviews in 140 characters. True Utility FlyEye 7 Pictures True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch True Utility FlyEye 7 LED torch
Tony Smith, 17 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google shakes up US utility with green power tariff

Google is using its giant pile of money to try and change how utility companies work, so that more businesses can buy their power from renewable sources. As part of a $600m expansion of its North Carolina data center, Google's local utility provider Duke Energy has pledged to develop a renewable energy tariff for Google and …
Jack Clark, 19 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

CSC secures A$25m utility deal

Utility Powercor-CitiPower has awarded CSC a renewed five-year IT services contract worth AU$25m. CSC was the incumbent provider of IT services for Victoria's largest electricity distributor. The last time the contract was extended in 2006, the five-year contract was valued at $AU17.8m. The utility giant provides services to …

AGL trumps Tesla with batteries-and-solar-cell package

You could almost pity Australian energy company AGL: while Elon Musk was displaying Tesla's Powerwall to a breathless, waiting world, it quietly entered the consumer battery storage market and nobody noticed. The utility, which has been sniffing around the renewable market for some time and recently decided it would “decarbonise …
The Register breaking news

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

Vid Veteran software outfit Stardock has offered Microsoft an elegant way to escape its Windows 8 Metro Notro dilemma. With Windows 8, Redmond foisted a new and radical touchscreen-driven user interface on a desktop PC market that was already in a once-in-a-generation slump - and both consumer sales and enterprise interest have …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2013

Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Microsoft had one job to do with Windows 10 – but it looks like it's failed to get even that right. Start Menu replacements for Windows 10 are moving almost as fast as they did for Windows 8, which didn't have a Start menu at all, according to Brad Wardell, whose company makes the most popular commercial drop-in Start menu. …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Aug 2015

Here are the God-mode holes that gave TrueCrypt audit the slip

Google Project Zero hacker James Forshaw has found a pair of privilege-elevation holes in the once-popular TrueCrypt encryption package. The bugs have been patched in spinoff app Veracrypt, so if you want to stay secure, you may want to shift over to that package. The flaws are not the fabled backdoors feared lurking in the …
Darren Pauli, 29 Sep 2015

IT supplier? Got a customer who won't pay? Dob them in to the Insolvency Service

From today IT suppliers are encouraged to begin shopping their failing customers into the Insolvency Service, under a new order coming into force that will guarantee payment to providers of companies entering administration. Under Insolvency (Protection of Essential Supplies) Order 2015, the rules have been expanded - …
Kat Hall, 01 Oct 2015
Eagle's head

Storage's boss blogger could be on the way back

Storagebod I intend to start updating here again occasionally as the itches begin to build up, and I feel the need to scratch. There’s a lot going in the industry and there’s a massive amount of confusion about where it’s going at the moment. I’m having interesting conversations with industry figures and many of them are as confused …
StorageBod, 10 Sep 2015
The launch explosion, captured in a Sea Launch video

SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Hundreds of smart electricity meters exploded in California after a truck crashed into a utility pole and caused a power surge on Monday. More than 5,000 homes in Stockton have been affected, according to CBS Sacramento, following a surge caused by a rubbish lorry driver crashing into a utility pole and causing the pole's top …

Avere climbs higher up the Google cloud mountain

Filer speed turbocharger Avere has a faster virtual filer in the cloud and front-ends Google Nearline and DRA cloud storage. It's adding the three-second data retrieval Nearline and Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) support to its existing FXT front-end caching box' support of Google cloud storage. This means that data in …
Chris Mellor, 02 Oct 2015

Derelict TrueCrypt Russia portal 'is command hub for Ukraine spying op'

Malware used to attack Ukrainian government, military, and major news agencies in the country, was distributed from the Russian portal of encryption utility TrueCrypt, new research has revealed. Security peeps at ESET discovered a connection to a Russian version of the now discontinued popular source-is-available encryption …
John Leyden, 30 Jul 2015
The Register breaking news

Trojan poses as skeleton key jailbreak utility

Miscreants have created a Trojan that poses as a rumoured jailbreak utility for the latest iPhones. A utility reportedly in development will allow users to run software of their choice on any Apple smartphone, even those running iOS 4.0.2 or iOS 4.1. The greenpois0n utility takes advantage of a security shortcoming in bootrom …
John Leyden, 22 Sep 2010
Huawei Watch

They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch

IFA 2015 Samsung teased its Gear S2 smartwatch at IFA on Thursday night. Like others I’ve seen here, it looks really handsome: expensive, well made, and well designed. Makers now realise they have to look like luxury goods to justify the price. But the Gear S2 is no exception to the fundamental challenge they all face. They’re all, …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2015

Cisco hooks Angler Exploit Kit infrastructure

Security researchers at Cisco have struck a blow against crooks behind the notorious Angler Exploit Kit, blocking or re-routing access around dangerous domains on the interwebs. Angler has been linked to high-profile malvertising and ransomware campaigns over recent months. The utility uses software vulnerabilities (in …
John Leyden, 06 Oct 2015

TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Updated Encrypted disk users who upgrade to Norton 2015 have been confronted by the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Norton 2015 appears to trigger a crash on Windows 8.1 PCs that runs a disk encryption driver, according to user complaints about the problem in a thread on a Symantec support forum. Many of those affected are running …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015

Tesla still burning cash: each car loses $4,000

Whatever its utility, Tesla's robo-charger video did one thing for the company: it distracted attention from the company's latest financial reports. Outlets like Reuters aren't impressed, with this report noting that Elon Musk's baby “burned US$359 million in cash last quarter in a bull market for luxury vehicles”. Tesla's …
The Register breaking news

Water utility hackers destroy pump, expert says

Updated Hackers destroyed a pump used by a US water utility after gaining unauthorized access to the industrial control system it used to operate its machinery, a computer security expert said. Joe Weiss, a managing partner for Applied Control Solutions, said the breach was most likely performed after the attackers hacked into the …
Dan Goodin, 17 Nov 2011
management cloud2

vCenter gains power to manage multiple clouds

Server virtualization management tool maker HotLink has enhanced the cloudy capabilities of VMware's vCenter by giving it the power to manage multiple public clouds. The company's new Cloud Management Express imbues vCenter with the power to manage VMs in Microsoft Azure, vCloud Air, OpenStack and Amazon EC2, and also to …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2015

Post-Stuxnet hack group builds formidable LinkedIn phish network

An accomplished Iran-based attack group known as "Cleaver" has created a network of at least 25 well-developed LinkedIn profiles to assist a social engineering campaign hitting targets across the Middle East. The group is alleged to have formed in the wake of the Stuxnet attacks against Tehran's Natanz Uranium enrichment plant …
Darren Pauli, 08 Oct 2015
The Register breaking news

Australian utility evaluates EV charging kit

Queensland-based electricity utility Ergon Energy is seeking expressions of interest for companies to help it evaluate electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Earlier this month, US-based Portus announced that Ergon would run tests in the north Queensland city of Townsville to see how well Portus’s electric vehicle support …
Spoon feeding

Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Microsoft would really, really, really like you to upgrade to Windows 10. So much so that even if you've opted not to request the upgrade, you'll get it anyway, even if you never intend to install it. The software giant confirmed to The Register on Thursday that it's been pushing out the necessary files for the upgrade to …
Neil McAllister, 10 Sep 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock

Aw, don't be iDict! Apple kills brute force iCloud cracker

Apple has applied a security update that breaks a recently distributed iCloud hacking tool that took advantage of the flaw that led to the mass hack of nudie pics belonging to celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. iDict was purportedly created to force Cupertino into belatedly fixing a wide open security flaw most …
John Leyden, 07 Jan 2015
management project

Logicalis takes wrapping off shiny Brit-based SMC practice

Troubled Logicalis is, as expected, replicating a pure tech sales consultancy in Blighty to dish out professional services for customers that are looking to overhaul their IT estate. The service management consultancy practice was established in the Netherlands several years back when the integrator acquired some European …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
Ransom note saying "Pay Up" in blackmail type

Cyber-crypto-criminal-cock-up. Little money and (probably) embarrassed

A newly released crypto-ransomware strain has been broken, thus allowing victims — in over two out of three cases — to get back their data without paying. The Scraper ransomware has a flaw, meaning that in about 70 per cent of cases files can be decrypted, according to Kaspersky Labs, with the Russian security firm publishing a …
John Leyden, 10 Apr 2015
Power generators, Holborn, photo: Gavin Clarke

The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

A fire in the Victorian tunnels beneath Kingsway in central West London on Good Friday, in April, pulled the plug on thousands of businesses in a small area. The blaze – which burned for a day and a half – succeeded in damaging 19 high-voltage cables, leading to a significant loss of load on local utility provider UK Power …
Rachel Willcox, 08 Jun 2015

CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

Analysis Lenovo has sold laptops bundled with unremovable software that features a bonus exploitable security vulnerability. If the crapware is deleted, or the hard drive wiped and Windows reinstalled from scratch, the laptop's firmware will quietly and automatically reinstall Lenovo's software on the next boot-up. Built into the …
Chris Williams, 12 Aug 2015
Google Chrome logo

Google takes ARC Welder to Android, grafts on Windows, OS X

Google has released a tool that runs Android apps on Windows, OS X, and Linux computers via its Chrome browser. The beta-grade utility is called ARC Welder – ARC standing for App Runtime for Chrome, which works as a wrapper around Android software. Google released a beta version of ARC last year to allow Chrome OS users to run …
Kat Hall, 02 Apr 2015

Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

The Cupertino fruit factory has decided to boot old versions of Windows out of the camp, quietly not-announcing that only Windows 8 and 10 will run on the latest flavours of the dual-boot "Boot Camp" utility that ships with this year's new Macs. The new policy means that the recently-announced MacBook Air and 13” MacBook Pro …
SMS inventor Matti Makkonen

Vale Matti Makkonen, SMS dreamer

Matti Makkonen, a figure widely held to have influenced the development of SMS, has died at the relatively young age of 63. According to BT, it took some years for Makkonen's pitch to Finland's Telecoms and Postal agency in 1984 to become a reality in 1992. It took even longer for SMS to really hit its straps, because carriers …
Tesla Model X

Elon Musk unmasks Tesla's Model X – the $132k anti-bioweapon SUV for the 1%

Pics and video Elon Musk finally got to unveil Tesla's Model X luxury electric sports utility vehicle, and showed off some literally ludicrous features the car has to offer. Youtube Video The delayed Model X is a four-door SUV that uses the power unit and drive system of Tesla's Model S sedan and produces nearly as good performance, albeit …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2015
DDoS image

Obsolete – and IP-baring – Anon tool linked to feminist blog DDoS

A feminist blog hit by a DDoS attack on International Women’s Day has used the attack to its advantage. Amber Gordon, founder of, said although the site is no stranger to Distributed Denial of Service assaults, Sunday's attack differed in being unusually intense. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s …
John Leyden, 09 Mar 2015
Tesla's Elon Musk

Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla is about to unveil a home storage battery that could compete with the electricity companies as a power source, he said in an earnings call. Musk said yesterday the company has completed the design of the battery. "We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery for use for people's houses …
Kat Hall, 12 Feb 2015
Apple location tracking patent application

Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

The fruit of Apple's 2013 acquisition of indoor mapper WiFiSlam seems to have fallen from the tree and landed at the patent office, with Cupertino filing for a find-my-friends feature. Back when the acquisition happened it was speculated that Apple wanted to get into the follow-my-footsteps business that mobe companies have …
NBN Logo

Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Australia's government is looking for industry input into National Broadband Network (NBN) migration policy, and wants submissions by August 20. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement says the new round of consultation seeks a migration framework that is both industry-led and focussed on the end user. The …
True Utility Scarab

True Utility Scarab and KeyTool micro multi-tools

Review My Victorinox CyberTool multiplex knife goes with me everywhere. But while it's bloody useful of disassembling hardware and putting it back together, it's not exactly compact. Ditto your average Leatherman multi-tool. Hence my interest in True Utility's Scarab, which squeezes a handful of tools down into a 50 35 x 7mm, 46g unit …
Tony Smith, 23 Aug 2010
Tails logo

Snowden's favourite Linux - Tails - rushes sec-fix version to market

Tails, the secure live-boot Linux made famous by Edward Snowden, has had a major revision release to Version 1.3. The new version, released after testing since February 12, combines various security fixes with new apps and simplified install, the developers say. The developers want to kill off the previous version, Tails 1.2.3 …

Slippery Windows Updates' SOAP bubbles up SYSTEM priveleges

Blackhat 2015: Microsoft has bungled Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), according to hackers Paul Stone and Alex Chapman, with insecure defaults that let them hijack OS updates. Attackers that have previously gained admin privilege on a target system can elevate themselves to system-level access by skipping the normal signed update …
Darren Pauli, 07 Aug 2015

ScaleXtreme adds patch management to cloudy utility belt

ScaleXtreme, the upstart cloud-based systems management tool maker that is taking on heavyweights like IBM, CA, HP, and BMC, is adding patch management to its utility belt. The company launched its Xpert cloud-based systems management tool last June, which can build images for physical and virtual servers as well as public …
Picard Facepalm

Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

It had to happen, we suppose: since even a utility-grade wind turbine might ship with a handy Webby control interface, someone was bound to do it badly. That's what's emerged in a new ICS-CERT advisory: CVE-2015-0985 details how turbines from US manufacturer XZERES allow the user name and password to be retrieved from the …
The Register breaking news

Second water utility reportedly hit by hack attack

Images posted online suggest that hackers may have gained unauthorized access to computers controlling a second water treatment facility, a claim that raises additional concerns about of the security of the US's critical infrastructure. Five computer screenshots posted early Friday purport to show the user interface used to …
Dan Goodin, 18 Nov 2011

Mohawk Valley, NY to become the new Silicon Valley in fab fab deal

A deal between SUNY Poly (State University New York), the state of New York, GE and Austrian sensor and analog IC company AMS will see an East Coast US chip fab built to research and make nano-scale devices. AMS is putting an initial $2bn into their venture, which the state will top up with $200m. GE will stump up $200m and …
Simon Rockman, 24 Aug 2015

Cumulus Networks gives network admins a little DevOps loving

Cumulus Networks has launched a management config of its Linux network distro to give white-box sysadmins the kind of capabilities they're used to in the world of proprietary switches. The Cumulus Rack Management Platform (RMP) OS is designed to provide a single “common interface and operational model” to users of white box …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

nbn has made ZERO fibre-to-the-node and cable connections

Australia's national broadband network continues apace with nbnTM announcing that it's adding more than 12,000 premises per week to its serviceable footprint. Over the 12 months to March 2015, the network more-than-doubled the number of premises connected to its fibre network, to nearly 390,000 (compared to just under 167,000 at …

Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

Some of the UK's ISPs may want to rethink their routing schemes after a massive fire near Holborn tube station in London knocked out power and internet access across several regions of the capital. There are now around 70 firefighters at the #Holbornfire no reports of injuries and local offices have been evacuated pic.twitter. …
Iain Thomson, 01 Apr 2015

Singapore wants nation-wide internet of things, hold the internet

The government of Singapore, famously keen on connectivity, has issued a tender seeking a fibre network to connect an island-wide sensor network. The sensors will include surveillance cameras, according to AsiaOne, and are due to be rolled out by the end of the year. There will also be sensors in drains to provide flood …

SEX: Naughty female stegosauruses offered it on a PLATE

Differences in stegosauruses' armour plating may have had distinctly sexual origins, the University of Bristol's Evan Thomas Saitta suggests. Sophie, the teenage Stegosaurus starlet on display at the Natural History Museum, has 19 plates along her back. These are quite thin, suggesting no particular utility in defence. …