Articles about engineering

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Are you an Olympian of software, a titan of tech? Prove it in our coding competition

Compo If you’ve been itching for a chance to go head to head with your fellow Reg readers to demonstrate your coding chops, and grab yourself a spanking set of gaming hardware into the bargain, we may have just the thing… We’ve gotten together with the folks at IBM to set a coding challenge that will see the lucky winner walking …
David Gordon, 28 Jun 2016
Micron 9100 NVMe HHHL SSD

NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

Review NVM Express (NVMe) is the next generation specification for accessing non-volatile memory such as flash. Traditional technologies such as SAS and SATA are just too slow. In order to demonstrate how much of a difference NVMe makes, Micron has provided 12 9100 NVMe flash drives, 800GB each in the HHHL (standard PCIe card) format …
Trevor Pott, 27 Jun 2016
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016

Australia's Defence Department tips AU$12M to seat spies with students

The Department of Defence has tipped A$12 million (£6.1 million, US$9.1 million) into an information security facility to attract new blood by housing signals spooks alongside Australian National University academics. The "unusual" pairing is hoped to attract skilled students into the information security field and the country …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jun 2016

Opera cries foul over Microsoft Edge power-slurping claims

Microsoft's claim that its Edge browser is the thriftiest with power has drawn a sharp response from rival browser biz Opera, who called for open testing to work out which app provides better battery life. Earlier this week, Microsoft released research which, it claims, shows that the Edge browser that comes with Windows 10 …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2016

From Watson Jr to Watson AI: IBM's changed, and Papa Watson wouldn't approve

Completed in 1983, IBM's prestigious South Bank office in London, on the banks of the River Thames, owes a lot to the Brutalist style of architecture, popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It makes heavy use of concrete: a solid building for a solid company. The IBM logo has been outside that building for more than 30 years, an …
Billy MacInnes, 23 Jun 2016
Man reading newspaper with glasses on his head

Advantec HMI vulnerable

Advantech sysadmins: if you use the company's WebAccess human-machine interface (HMI) product, you'll need to upgrade it against newly-disclosed vulnerabilities. The company mistakenly marked a number of DLLs as safe-for-scripting, when they were intended for restricted use; and there's a buffer overflow that can be triggered …

Datrium adds insane mode to boost speed

Datrium, the startup disaggregating a SAN by having host-based controller SW and flash caches, has added an Insane Mode to turbo-charge performance. The DVX system strips out virtually everything from an external array, leaving a single box with NVRAM and disk capacity (12 x 4TB 7.2K drives and 48TB raw/29TB usable capacity), …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016
Elon Musk

Musk's Tesla to buy Musk's SolarCity for US$2.8 billion

Tesla has made a US$2.8 billion offer for another Elon Musk-founded company, home photovoltaic specialist SolarCity. If the share-swap transaction goes ahead, it would (in Tesla's words) create “the world's only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end energy products to our customers”. That, the company says …
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Google turns to codeless tap factor authenticaton

Google has set up an easier two factor authentication system to allow staff to login with a tap instead of codes. The Prompt feature is available to Google users and will allow them to sign into Mountain View services more easily than copying codes from its time-based Authentication app. Users will need to apply a screen lock …
Darren Pauli, 22 Jun 2016

CloudFlare apologizes for Telia screwing you over

Content delivery network CloudFlare has apologized in part for the massive outages its customers experienced yesterday, but placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Tier 1 provider Telia. In a blog post, the company's Network Engineering Manager Jérôme Fleury put up a post-mortem of the incident – and of an incident a few …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016

Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Analysis The internet could go one of three paths in the next decade, according to an elite group of policymakers: open and global; unequal and uneven; or dangerous and broken. And the path to righteousness? It's contained in the recommendations of the 140-page report that the grandly named Global Commission on Internet Governance ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
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Plump Dell lays its table for the upcoming HPC Stampede

Michael Dell is getting out the good china as his firm prepares to dine on a slice of the world's supercomputer market. Dell’s PC and server shop has rolled out a series of High Performance Computer Systems targeting applications in life sciences, manufacturing and research. They are: the HPC System for Life Sciences, …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2016

Cash-strapped English and Welsh cops prepare to centralise all 43 forces' websites

Plans are under way to consolidate the websites of England and Wales' 43 police forces, in a bid to improve the public's 'digital contact' with the cops – including better online crime reporting. Dan Bowden, digital public contact programme lead at the Police ICT Company, said: "Depending on where you live in the country you …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2016
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

OpenIO pulls up ARM controller SOCs: Kinetic's Marvellous... can anybody do it?

Comment OpenIO, the French object-storage startup, is progressing its work with Kinetic drives. The idea is that object storage stores data on server nodes, and those nodes could be individual Kinetic disk drives. Such drives have a micro-server, so to speak, running on them, providing direct Ethernet access and an object-style Get: …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016

Apple pollutes data about you to protect your privacy. But it might not be enough

Comment At its WWDC developer event last week, Apple strongly emphasised the difference between data harvesters such as Google and Facebook, and its own privacy practices. It isn’t a new line, as Apple hasn’t been on reliant on digital advertising as these consumer data processing giants. But with Microsoft joining Google and Facebook …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jun 2016
Data centre

What's DriveScale up to? Mix-'n'-match server and disk storage, for starters

Backgrounder DriveScale is a startup that emerged from a three-year stealth effort earlier this year with hardware and software to dynamically present externally connected JBODS to servers as if they were local. The idea is to provide composable server-storage combos for changing Hadoop-type distributed workloads. It is meant to share the …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Container-ship

Contain yourself – StorageOS is coming

DockerCon StorageOS is a UK-based startup offering simple and automated block storage to stateless containers, giving them state and the means to run databases and other applications that need enterprise-class storage functionality without the concomitant complexity, rigidity and cost. It runs as a container in a Linux system and …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2016
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You've got petabytes of unused storage, says Formation. Er, do we?

Formation Data Systems says there is stranded storage capacity in virtual server environments., The firm says it can locate this in servers and storage across a data centre, pool it, and provision it as a flexible shared storage pool, giving extra storage capacity with no extra hardware purchase. How much? Oh, terabytes or …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2016
Sunway TaihuLight that was built for the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. Pic courtesy of The Next Platform

Home-cooked tech helps China topple US as top supercomputer user

ISC For the first time since the Top 500 rankings of the most powerful supercomputers in the world was started 23 years ago, the United States is not home to the largest number of machines on the list – and China, after decades of intense investment and engineering, is. Supercomputing is not just an academic or government …
VMware Photon

VMware fires Photon missile

VMware has released version 1.0 of Photon OS, the lightweight Linux it cooked for containers running inside vSphere. Available here on GitHub, the OS has a 384MB memory footprint and requires 396MB of disk space in minimalist configuration. VMware says “kernel boot times are ~200ms”. VMware's announcement of the 1.0 release …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Immigration is an issue swaying electorates around the world, including Britons, who will next week decide whether to leave the European Union and Americans, who will soon decide whether to vote for Donald Trump as president in November. While this is generally assumed to affect low-pay, low-skilled jobs, it can affect those in …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jun 2016
Web browsers 2015

Edgier Edge pledge: TLS fledge no speed wedge, Redmond man said

Microsoft will speed up HTTPS encryption in its Edge browser with support for TLS 1.3 and performance extensions. Edge engineer Christian Huitema says the changes which also include support for TCP FastOpen will be introduced into the Preview edition of Edge. It means Redmond's new flagship browser will have the latest TLS …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jun 2016

Feds warn of skyrocketing business compromise scams

The FBI is warning that businesses have handed some US$3.1 billion to email scammers, a whopping 1,300 percent increase in 18 months. Businesses are tricked into sending the cash to would-be chief executive officers who have sufficient company information, obtained through open source searching or hacking, that makes the …
Team Register, 17 Jun 2016

Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Google has announced a dedicated machine-learning research group in Europe, based in its Zurich office. Dubbed Google Research, Europe, the office in Switzerland will give its engineers and researchers "the opportunity to develop products and conduct research right here in Europe, as part of the wider efforts at Google." In a …

Apple starts clock on HTTPS app rule

Apple says that iOS app developers will need to adopt HTTPS security before the year is out. Speaking in a session (iOS or Safari required) at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, head of security engineering and architecture Ivan Krstić announced that effective at the end of this calendar year, Apple will mandate the use …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016
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Digital adaption, you're doing it wrong. STEM education needs rethink

With surprising timing, the Productivity Commission has dropped a report during the election campaign, criticising the widespread belief that science, technology, maths and engineering (STEM) education is an employment panacea in the digital era. In a report likely to be dismissed by both sides of politics, the commission also …
Doh image via Shutterstock

I know for certain what software-defined storage is. It's the new black

I’m not going to re-define software-defined. Instead I’d like to look around and try to make sense of different interpretations and architecture designs that make this claim. I have intentionally left out some solutions because they are not software-defined for me, while for others, I may have just forgotten to mention them or …
Extended GPIO B+ raspberry pi

Raspberry Pi distributor Premier Farnell in £792m Swiss buyout deal

Premier Farnell, British Raspberry Pi distribution firm, is set to be purchased by Swiss group Dätwyler Holding for £792m. In a letter to investors released today Premier Farnell said an agreement had been made to allow Dätwyler to take over the company, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Leeds-based Premier …

How does the FutureStack up for you?

Promo New Relic’s FutureStack 16 Tour: London conference is taking place in London on 5th July and is your chance to hear how leading brands are monitoring their app performance to deliver a better customer experience. Whether you’re in DevOps, engineering, ecommerce, digital or application support, the event is designed to help you …
David Gordon, 14 Jun 2016
Internet-enabled baseball

JFrog's marriage made in ... well: Internet of Things, meet DevOps

CD vendor JFrog has proclaimed the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next frontier in DevOps as it ponders how to spend the $50m investment shot it received earlier this year. The vendor announced a raft of alliances and product tweaks at its user conference in Napa at the end of last month, including binary and container …
Joe Fay, 14 Jun 2016

Apple launches HomeKit app – but where are the products?

Apple has finally launched its internet-of-things (IoT) smart-home service with a new mobile app called "Home." The only problem? A distinct lack of products to work with. Speaking on stage at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier today, senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi outlined a …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016
Apple Watch running MacOS 7.5.5

Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Apple WWDC Apple has rolled out its plans for updating all four of its major operating systems. The 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco saw Apple showcase updates for iOS, OS X (now macOS), watchOS and tvOS. All four of the updates are being made available to developers today, with general release builds due to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2016

Australian CompSci boffins score Queen's Birthday gongs

Australian technologists have scored awards in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours. Professor Michael Ralph Fellows has been made a Companion In the General Division Of the Order of Australia (AC) for his numerous contributions to computer science but especially for co-founding the “new field of theoretical computer science …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2016

Bendy see-thru mobes? Materials scientists make nanofilm advance

Researchers have created a new flexible nanomaterial film that boasts a “world record” combination of transparency and electrical conductivity, making it an ideal candidate for roll-up touchscreens. Transparent nanomaterial films have been used for bendable screens before. Lenovo showcased its CPlus, a flexible phone that can …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jun 2016
Violin_Tailpiece_and_bridge

Violin Memory CTO and co-founder walks, starts up own outfit

Jon Bennett, co-founder and CTO of Violin Memory, has left Violin and set up DBM Cloud Systems, where he is CTO. Violin chief marketing officer Amy Love said: “He has moved on after more than 10 years with Violin Memory. He has joined Dixon Doll’s early stage company as CTO. We hosted an employee party for him at the end of …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jun 2016
Hand painted with EU flag shakes robot hand. Photo by Shutterstock

Forget about Brexit – let's talk Orbits, Digits, Robots

If you’ve had it up to here with politicos arguing how we should redefine our relationship with Europe, join El Reg at our summer lectures where we’ll be discussing how to redefine the relationship between Earth, space, technology and humanity itself. This year’s run will be kicked off by International Space University’s Prof …
Joe Fay, 13 Jun 2016
Tom Perkins

Silicon Valley granddad and HP boss-killer Tom Perkins dies aged 84

Obit Tom Perkins, seen by many as one of the grandfathers of Silicon Valley, has died at the age of 84 after a prolonged illness. Perkins was born in White Plains, New York, in 1932 and showed an early interest in technology, earning a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1953 and an MBA from Harvard four …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jun 2016
Lenovo Phab2 Pro Tango phone

It takes two to Tango: Lenovo bets on phabs, snap-on smartphones

Lenovo hopes its new smartphones and new phablets will help reverse its tumble in the mobile market. The Chinese computing giant took the stage in San Francisco Thursday to unveil its long-awaited Phab 2 family – which includes its Google Project Tango-enabled phablet – as well as a revamped line of Moto Android smartphones. …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

US govt OKs handover of internet's control panel to ICANN

The US government has formally approved a plan to transition control of the internet's administrative tasks to the private sector. In an announcement Thursday, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) gave the green light to a plan developed over two years by the internet community to hand control of …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2016
Tin foil hat

Not-so Secret Rulers of the World gather to talk cybersecurity, AI and, er, TalkTalk?

It's the conspiracy theorists' favorite time of the year, as the annual Bilderberg Meeting kicks off on June 9 at the luxurious Taschenbergpalais Hotel in Dresden. The meetings, held since 1954, bring together around 130 business and political leaders from Europe and North America. This year ten main topics are up for …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jun 2016

Boffins slap quantum dots on diamonds to create mutant nanomaterials

Researchers have found a new way to speed up the process of doping nanomaterials by adding quantum dots to tiny diamonds, which could advance electronics and quantum computing in the future, according to a paper published in Nature Communications. Nanomaterials have properties that are useful in electronics. Electrons travel …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Jun 2016
FreeBSD logo

Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

Microsoft has created its own cut of FreeBSD 10.3 in order to make the OS available and supported in Azure. Jason Anderson, principal PM manager at Microsoft's Open Source Technology Center says Redmond “took on the work of building, testing, releasing and maintaining the image” so it could “ensure our customers have an …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2016
Burglar sits in kitchen with stolen tablet. Photo by Shutterstock

Cyber burglars love to pillage Euro businesses they've pwned before

Traditional methods including spear phishing and social engineering still account for more than a third of hacker attacks. A new study by Mandiant reports that many hacked European organisations are re–compromised within months of an initial attack, in a similar way to how burglars revisit homes and offices they’ve already …
John Leyden, 08 Jun 2016

Space exploration: Are Musk and Bezos about to eclipse Gagarin and Armstrong?

Once upon a time exploring space required a mix of the “right stuff” and some serious aeronautical chops. Nowadays you’re as likely to need an out of this world ego and background in Silicon Valley financing. At least that’s one take on the modern era of space exploration - and you can explore the subject in depth and enjoy a …
Joe Fay, 07 Jun 2016
Crypto fingers

DNS security can be improved with cookies, suggest IETF boffins

A proposal raised late May at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) suggests adding cookies to the DNS to help defend the critical system against denial-of-service exploits. The domain name system (DNS) is an old and fundamental piece of the Internet architecture, providing translation between human-readable addresses …

Three Four top Cisco execs leave after being made 'advisors'

Updated Last week, a Cisco reorganisation switched three of its big names to advisory roles: this week, they've left the company. The individuals involved are Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani were referred to as “MPLS” within the company (Cisco was an early contributor to the protocol of the same acronym). …
Hacker cons. Image: Darren Pauli

The rise and rise of Australia's community hacking conferences

Special report In Australia and New Zealand, hackers are doing it for themselves by creating vibrant security conferences that run on their own terms and actively avoid the corporate-speak and fear-mongering that characterises so many vendor-led events. These conferences, or "cons", are booming and showcase security skills that rival the …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jun 2016

New Android tricks for modern malware licks

Symantec engineer Dinesh Venkatesan says malware writers have one up on Google with the pillaging of a keystone trick that permits attacks on Android Marshmallow. The method was extracted from white hat proof-of-concept works published initially to show how malware could extract credentials from Android apps. It allows …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jun 2016