Articles about engineering

Intel and pals chuck money at another Fibre Channel killer

+Comment Kazan Networks just got $4.5m A-round funding from Intel, Samsung Ventures and Western Digital Corp for its storage array access acceleration technology. So what? So Fibre Channel and iSCSI external array access are poised to be devastated by NVME over Fabrics (NVMeF) and Kazan is developing a hot little ASIC number that it …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2016
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UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

Computer science graduates continue to top the UK's higher education unemployment rankings, according to the latest figures compiled by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Ten per cent of computer science graduates failed to find a job six months after graduation in the academic year 2014/2015 - a figure higher than …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jul 2016

IETF boffins design a DNS for digital money

Digital currency engineers are working on a domain name system (DNS)-style protocol to enable money to be shared across different networks. The idea of digital currency – and particularly blockchains – has taken off in recent years, but there remain a number of competing networks that are unable to talk to one another: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016
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XtremIO heading for the bin? Total BS, thunders CTO Itzik Reich

Storage industry jungle drums heard by El Reg suggest EMC is axing XtremIO product line development and putting it into maintenance mode due to scalability and data availability issues. EMC vehemently denies this, saying it's absolute FUD. Three independent sources say XtremIO is headed for a maintenance-only retirement home …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2016
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Solar-panel roofs on cars, compact SUVs, and high-passenger-density urban transport are all part of Elon Musk's self-titled "master plan, part deux" for the world. The SpaceX and Tesla Motors supremo has just finished writing the second part of his blueprint for the future of humanity. The ultimate goal is sustainability, Musk …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jul 2016

All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Much of the current research on the development of a quantum computer involves work at very low temperatures. The challenge to make them more practical for everyday use is to make them work at room temperature. The breakthrough here came from the use of some everyday materials, with details published today in Nature …
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Raving mad: Glow sticks are secret weapon in Facebook's 2.1Gbps laser internet drones

At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed more details about his laser-firing drones that will encircle the world and relay Facebook, sorry, the internet to far-flung places, reaching potentially all seven billion of us. The first solar-powered Aquila autonomous drones to do that job have now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Firefox will next month automatically block invisible Flash content that users cannot see when loading a page, says Mozilla as it continues its campaign against Adobe's plugin. This should protect netizens from dodgy webpages that load hidden malicious Flash files that attempt to infect their computers with malware or perform …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

Review The original Star Trek series and subsequent sequels stubbornly and persistently refused to frame their dramas in black-and-whites. Balance of Terror, for example, transformed heretofore-unseen Romulans from villains into tragic heroes over the course of an hour. As happened in so many episodes, the writers avoided the cheap …
Mark Pesce, 20 Jul 2016
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Red Hat redraws Ansible Tower so even enterprise managers can get it

Red Hat has given its Ansible Tower a good scrubbing down before smoothing the UI to better penetrate big money corporate accounts. Tower is Red Hat’s paid for version of the open source Ansible automation platform, effectively a GUI and services package around the core product. Well, we say GUI, but Tower 3.0, released today …
Joe Fay, 20 Jul 2016
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Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Unrestcon It takes nothing more than a home address for hacker "Nixxer" to find enough information to ruin your life. Nixxer is one of Australia’s most skilled good-guy social engineers and at a recent event, and in subsequent chats with The Reg, demonstrated the potential damage rather than actually ruining a life. But the arsenal he …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2016
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What's big and red and squashes 276 bugs, 19 of them critical?

Oracle has emitted its quarterly patch payload, along the way claiming an unwanted record by squashing an all-time-high 276 problems across 84 products. That's Oracle's biggest bug list to date. Worse still, plenty of them with CVSS scores of 9.0 or above that indicate the problem is critical. Among those nasties are 19 9.8- …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016

Big Blue's boxes: No IBM storage numbers, but it's a drop

+Comment The storage hardware portion of IBM's quarterly revenues continued its long-term decline, with a 13 per cent annual drop. It's a nice welcome for incoming storage boss Ed Walsh with the storage hardware decline glaringly obvious. We don't know the storage software numbers within IBM's systems segment, and nor do we know …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jul 2016

FibreChannel dead? Nonsense, says Brocade, here's our Gen 6 kit

Brocade's having none of this FibreChannel doomsaying, with the launch of its FibreChannel Gen 6 director family. The launch comprises the Brocade X6 Director, SX6 Extension Blade, and for monitoring, two new enhancements to its Fabric Vision. The X6 Director has 384 ports running at 32 Gbps, and supports aggregation of those …

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

Ex-CTO: Yes, Nutanix is buying PernixData

Exclusive PernixData's outgoing CTO and technology evangelist Frank Denneman says Nutanix has bought PernixData. Sources told us earlier this month that Nutanix was gobbling up Pernix, but neither company would confirm an acquisition was underway. Denneman has now told El Reg he has left PernixData, adding: "Nutanix has acquired Pernix …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jul 2016

For $800 you can buy internet engineers' answer to US government spying

The long-awaited response from internet engineers to Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US government has been launched in Berlin. The CrypTech project launched an alpha prototype of its open-source crypto-vault at the 96th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and held a two-day workshop …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

The recent high-profile crash of a Tesla driving in Autopilot mode has sparked a rush to develop new laws for self-driving cars. Just as there is a race on in the engineering departments of many large car companies to develop autonomous car technology, so legislators are working fast to develop the rules to cover it. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
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£19.5m for quantum tech

Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have pledged to invest £19.5m to support quantum technology projects. The funding competition launches today and is aimed at businesses, although partnerships with academia are allowed. The registration deadline is 28 September. The government have defined …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jul 2016
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Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016
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Extortion trojan watches until crims find you doing something dodgy

A newly-detected piece of malware dubbed "Delilah" has been fingered as probably the first such code created with the intention of extorting victims into stealing insider data. The "Delilah" malware was found on exclusive crime forums by Israeli intelligence outfit Diskin Advanced Technologies, who say the trojan relies on a …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
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Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

One of the seminal developments in modern telecommunications turns 50 years old this month: the paper that bootstrapped the world of optical fibre communications. With this publication in the July 1966 issue of Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET), Charles Kao upended then-current research into …

Springpath to focus on Cisco OEM development

Springpath is becoming a Cisco-only development shop, we hear. It’s going to concentrate on its Cisco OEM deal for the hyper-converged Data Platform product and we’re hearing it will defocus from other marketing and selling activities. The hyper-converged infrastructure area is a high-growth one. EMC converged systems …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2016

It's not our fault we don't hire black people, says Facebook

Facebook has explained away another year of dreadful diversity figures by claiming that there simply aren't enough minorities available for it to hire. Despite having been at the receiving end of years of criticism for its overwhelmingly white male workforce, the social media giant's latest figures show that only 4 per cent of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

Nest has launched its first new product in several years: an outdoor surveillance camera. The Nest Cam Outdoor is effectively a rebuild of its existing Nest Cam designed for the outside. We had an early peek at it and came away with the sense that the company once famed for reinventing the thermostat has found at least some of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Interview The Sword of Damocles has not entirely disappeared from above Openreach. Earlier this year, the UK communications watchdog Ofcom stopped short of recommending a full decapitation of the British broadband provider from its parent BT. Crucially, though, it has kept the option on the table. In the next few weeks the regulator is …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
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nbnTM names six shops to re-build Telstra's HFC network

nbnTM , the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has named the six companies it has chosen to turn the hybrid fibre coax (HFC) network it acquired from Telstra into a white-hot broadband delivery beast. Lend Lease, Broadspectrum, Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA are the six firms to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
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Trainline.com dumps Oracle and Microsoft, gulps AWS Kool-Aid

Interview Mark Holt, CTO at TheTrainline.com, is an unashamed AWS believer. He is dumping all of its legacy tech in a complete migration to the cloud, with the US cloud firm now being its sole supplier. "Now we have an Oracle Exadata Database Machine that we are about to throw in the river,” he says. That move has had tangible results …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2016
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A journey down the UK's '3D Tongue' into its mini industrial revolution

One of the few "horizon" technologies that is really making a difference right now is 3D printing. While other "big hope" concepts such as genetic engineering, nanotech and quantum physics have yet to make much of an impact, 3D has been making immediate inroads into traditional, sometimes ancient manufacturing techniques. …
Marcus Gibson, 12 Jul 2016
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NetApp CEO Kurian: Buying SolidFire was a long-term strategic bet

Interview Chief executives of multi-billion dollar corporations have to have several characteristics, including steel, the ability to see things as they are, and possession of a personal value system that meshes with their corporation’s culture. Some CEOs, when promoted to the top chair after long employment in a corporation, sometimes …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
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BMW web portal vulns pose car hack risk – researchers

Two unpatched vulnerabilities in BMW's ConnectedDrive web portal create a mechanism to manipulate car settings, a security researcher warns. The first (and more serious) vulnerability creates a means for a hacker to access another driver’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) before changing in-car settings such as lock/ …
John Leyden, 08 Jul 2016

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I don’t know what to do with my arse. Should I be swivelling on it? Should I do it leaning forward with pressure applied to the small of my back? Or would I be better advised to do the business standing up? For various reasons, I am in the market for a standing desk: that is, a desk that you can work at while standing upright …
Alistair Dabbs, 08 Jul 2016

Three years in: Can Kurian heal sickly NetApp's woes?

Profile After three years of flat and declining revenues, NetApp needs to regain its mojo and George Kurian is the CEO tasked with doing just that. Kurian, a year into his CEO role, is running NetApp at a time when this external array company par excellence is facing numerous threats: rampant all-flash array competition, hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2016

Palo Alto offers $16,000 in looming CTF hack off

In eight days, Palo Alto is launching a capture the flag competition offering a total of US$16000 (£12340, A$21,245) for the first to complete the six trials. The first to solve all six challenges will receive US$5000 (£3866, A$6640), and can score six lots of US$1000 (£773, A$1328) if they are also the first to complete each …
Darren Pauli, 07 Jul 2016
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OSNEXUS: Storage upstart that funded itself before gaining angel wings

Take one ambitious Citrix engineering director who wanted to start his own storage company, sprinkle in $2m of angel funding and seven years later you find a IBM SoftLayer-blessed 20-person startup competing with DataCore. Nexenta and $100m+ funding, and other VC-backed software-defined storage vendors. How did that happen? …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016
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ARM founder now Hon. Sir

Hermann Hauser, the founder of Acorn Computers and ARM, has been given an honorary knighthood for his services to engineering and industry. Sir Hermann, who is an Austrian national, has been recognised for his “vital role in the growth of Cambridge’s cluster of high-tech companies.” As he is not a British citizen, he was not …
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Etch a stretch: 3D NAND layer cake flop leads to 'string stacking'

Backgrounder Adding 3D NAND layers is butting up against aspect ratio limitations in the chip production process, which will limit the number of layers. String stacking is a technology that could provide an escape from this aspect ratio trap. Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D NAND, its third generation product; that’s the equivalent of 48 …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016
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Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief

Rise of the machines: Spare a thought for the only Rectal Teaching Assistant in the UK who has lost his livelihood to a cold, metal bastard. A bionic booty, comprised of prosthetic buttocks and anus with in-built robotic tech was developed by the white coats at Imperial College London to help doctors and nurses practise …
Katyanna Quach, 06 Jul 2016

So. Farewell then, BlackBerry Classic. You were a classic ... of sorts

BlackBerry has confirmed it won’t make any more BlackBerry Classics, marking the end of an era. US Senate staff were told BlackBerry was ceasing production of all BB10 devices but BlackBerry denies this, and insists that only the Classic production line has halted for good. “It has been an incredible workhorse device for …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jul 2016
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Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

A sociology student has scored a first class degree in sociology, in large part because of her mighty 10,000-word thesis on American reality TV "star" family the Kardashians. And if 10,000 words is enough to score you a Bachelors these days, there must be reams of show-biz journalists out there who just qualified for PhDs. …
Joe Fay, 06 Jul 2016
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SCC and Entanet haul in big hitters

A couple of senior hires showed up in the channel this week with Entanet bulking out its senior management line-up and SCC poaching a big hitter from infrastructure integrator Proact. Midlands-based SCC has hired James Wallis to run its public sector business, a function he performed at Proact. He was on gardening leave but …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2016
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Mind the GaaP: UK.gov needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016

Researcher pops locks on keylogger, finds admin's email inbox

Trustwave researcher Rodel Mendrez has gained access to the inbox of the criminal behind a commercial keylogger used to attack industries including finance, cloud services, logistics, foreign trade, and government. Mendrez's reverse engineering effort found credentials buried within the Hawkeye keylogger that lead through …
Darren Pauli, 05 Jul 2016

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Comment Classic and enterprise HPC storage supplier DDN Storage has opened up a Research and Development centre in Paris to help grow its European business. Its experience exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the European IT skills and startup scene, it says. The centre has 25 staff and should double that by the end if 2017. DDN …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016

Sources: Nutanix poised to gobble PernixData

Exclusive Four independent sources say hyper-converged poster child Nutanix is buying hypervisor flash-cacher PernixData, thus gaining crucial technology to speed up its appliances. A Nutanix spokesman told us: "No comment." A PernixData spokesperson added: "We are not commenting at this time." A PernixData insider told The Register: " …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016

Cracking Android's full-disk encryption is easy on millions of phones – with a little patience

Android's full-disk encryption on millions of devices can be cracked by brute-force much more easily than expected – and there's working code to prove it. Essentially, if someone seizes your Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered phone, they can potentially decrypt its file system's contents with a friendly Python script without knowing …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2016

Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

Comment As Brexit sends London's tech sector and Silicon Roundabout into post-traumatic shock, and protesters out onto the streets of London, inventor Andrew Fentem wonders "what sort of hippy free-for-all is this anyway?" While some sections of the British press celebrate the Brexit vote in the UK, in the technology press there has …
Andrew Fentem, 30 Jun 2016
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EU Investment Bank will honour pre-Brexit deals – but don't gamble on new ones happening

The EU bank that has poured more than £34bn (€42bn) over 10 years into UK projects will honour its existing deals in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote. Projects signed off on in fields such as engineering, education and R&D are not in jeopardy, the European Investment Bank has told The Register. The EIB’s most recent …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jun 2016
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Atlantis retreats to core VDI software and appliance market

Atlantis Computing, the software house that produced a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) offering and then expanded into general virtual server acceleration and on into hyper-converged appliances, is scaling its product line back to workspace software and hyper-converged appliances, with consequent job losses. Its current …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2016

InfiniBand-on-die MIA in Oracle's new 'Sonoma' Sparc S7 processor

Oracle's Sparc S7 processor codenamed Sonoma will not feature on-chip InfiniBand interfaces as expected. The CPU, designed for scale-out systems and revealed in detail by The Register in August, was due to sport an integrated InfiniBand controller capable of shoveling 28GBit/s directly between the processor and other nodes and …
Chris Williams, 29 Jun 2016