Articles about engineering

Getting shafted the Silicon Valley way

Recap If there was one standout moment from the latest episode of tech satire Silicon Valley it would have to be when our eponymous hero finds out he is being shafted by his new CEO while in the background a thoroughbred horse is literally shafted by a white stallion. Subtle? No. Hilarious? Yes. And so our favorite valley TV show …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 May 2016

Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Nobody likes having to deal with cold calls to the office. But when you're manning the IT help desk, you have no choice but to pick up the phone – even when it's a pushy sales pitch. So what to do about those annoying calls from over-enthusiastic sales staff itching to shift their technology wares? One spectacularly …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2016
Miguel de Icaza on stage with Steve Wozniak at the Evolve 2016 conference

Miguel de Icaza on his journey from open source to Microsoft: 'It's a different company'

Interview At Xamarin's Evolve conference in San Francisco, I sat down with Miguel de Icaza, the initiator of both the GNOME desktop for Linux and the Mono open source version of Microsoft's .NET Framework. Miguel de Icaza co-founded Xamarin with Nat Friedman, who became CEO. Xamarin, which provides tools for developing mobile …
Tim Anderson, 29 Apr 2016
Elon Musk

SpaceX is go for US military GPS sat launch, smashes ULA monopoly

The US military has awarded SpaceX an $82.7m contract to launch a next-generation GPS satellite into orbit. The move is bad news for the United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, that has been the sole provider of military launches for over a decade, and which has charged the US government an …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2016
data centre

X-IO and Pivot3 enter mutual back-scratch deal

X-IO is going to add Pivot3 hyper-converged products to its customers and provide IP, software and engineering services to Pivot3. Here's the juice. We know X-IO is offering Nexsan's E60 arrays as a cold storage tier to its customers and partners. Now it's allying itself with hyper-converged and hybrid array startup Pivot3 in …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016

Nanoparticle boffinry could boost battery life

The secrets to a longer battery life may lie in the shape of nanoparticles. That's according to a Stanford study published in Nature Materials today. Lithium-ion batteries can be made smaller using nanoparticles as their tiny size allows for faster charging and greater energy storage – which is useful for smartphones where …
Katyanna Quach, 28 Apr 2016
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

One black hole, three galaxies, four BEELION solar masses – found by accident

Astro-boffins commissioning part of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) array have incidentally spotted a monster 3.8-billion-solar-masses black hole created in a three-way galactic collision. In a paper accepted for publication at the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the CSIRO boffins, …
Mars

SpaceX: We'll land on Mars in 2018 (cough, with NASA's help)

SpaceX, a rocket upstart known for making bold promises, has announced its intention to send one of its Dragon capsules to Mars in two years. Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come pic.twitter.com/u4nbVUNCpA — SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2016 This …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2016
Man in woodworking workshop wearing headphones raises sign that reads "I'm not listening". Photo by Shutterstock

Speaking in Tech: Analysts suddenly realise OpenStack exists

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Another week in tech, and another banter-packed episode of The Reg's one-and-only podcast. Join your your hosts, Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela for everything you need to know about tech and the business of IT. This week, the whole gang is together to talk …
Team Register, 27 Apr 2016
Shouting match

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Britain’s membership of the EU has small tech firms divided. A survey of owner-managed businesses by accountant Moore Stephens found 60 per cent of SME owners would vote to stay in the EU with less than one-in-five (17 per cent) supporting Brexit. Mark Lamb, a partner at the firm, said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned …
Marcus Gibson, 27 Apr 2016

Boffins believe buggy Binder embiggens Android attack surface

Bugs in Android's Binder inter-process communication (IPC) mechanism open up a mass of security bugs, according to University of Michigan boffins Huan Feng and Kang Shin. In a paper posted to Arxiv, the duo say developers aren't doing enough sanity checking between Binder server and clients. Specifically, they often forget to …

LG: Stop focusing on Apple and Samsung. There's us. And our G5. Look at it. Look at it

Review Every year LG threatens to steal the flagship crown, but the press pauses briefly only on the device before returning to speculating about Samsung and Apple. LG’s flagships have featured ground-breaking screens (Quad HD), unusual banana shaped glass and consistently good imaging. But still no breakthrough. No wonder LG got fed …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2016
Lego builders, photo by Simone Mescolini, via Shutterstock

How to overcome objections that stop your enterprise from adopting DevOps

Promo In February, Argyle Executive Forum, a talking shop for Fortune 1000 C-Level execs, invited Puppet to host a webinar on DevOps for its CISO members. The event, “Understanding and exploring the impact of DevOps,” went down so well that Puppet is keen to give it a wider airing. You can click here to access the on-demand version …
David Gordon, 26 Apr 2016
cloud

Riverbed pitches cloudy SD-WAN suite following Ocedo buy

Riverbed's acquisition earlier this year of software-defined WAN business Ocedo has delivered its first fruit, with the launch of the company's SteelConnect product suite. The company's ambitious hope is to wean customers off the messy business of running routed networks. Instead, gateways at the customer site connect to …

Intel helps Redmond ingest Objective-C code

Intel has dropped a slab of code into Microsoft's Windows Bridge for iOS project, starting with APIs for vector maths, matrix maths, digital signal processing (DSP) and image processing. According to an announcement posted at Microsoft, Intel wants to make sure that developers working in Objective-C can run their code on Intel …
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Planning to throw capacity at an IT problem? Read this first

Not so long ago the axiom “you get what you pay for” held true in IT. More expensive hardware and software generally produced better results. With the rise of open source and open standards, this is no longer the case. In today's world, if you'll pardon the mangled aphorism, IT isn't about how much you spend, but how you set …
Trevor Pott, 25 Apr 2016
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

NASA saves Kepler space 'scope by turning it off and on again

The Kepler space telescope is back in action after a tense couple of weeks for NASA engineers. On April 8 the space agency reported that Kepler was stuck in emergency mode, which not only made stellar observations impossible but also burns through the telescope's limited fuel reserves at a prodigious rate. In a couple of days …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2016
K2

Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

Hands up, who prayed for AMD? Well, it worked

About a year ago, we asked you to pray for AMD. It's working. AMD has announced a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer that will churn out server processors using mini-Chipzilla's technologies in the Middle Kingdom. It also said it will bank about $1.5bn from three new games console chips over the next three or four years …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016

Come get your free Opera VPN (and bring along something to read)

Opera has built a free virtual private network (VPN) service into the latest version of its browser for Windows and OS X. The other other other browser will allow users running the most recent developer build to knock their connections through the SurfEasy VPN free of charge. The VPN option can be enabled under the Privacy and …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2016
Penguin, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft headhunters seek Linux folk for secret open source unit

Exclusive Microsoft is recruiting from open-sourcers to build a unit apparently selling open-source wares on its Azure cloud. Recruiters working on behalf of Microsoft have been contacting employees of Linux firms, interviewing them for what’s being called an open source practice. Microsoft is specifically looking for those with …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Apr 2016
Scotty in the original Star Trek

Qualcomm channels Star Trek's Scotty as it faces a mobe chip wreck

Analysis Mobile chip designer Qualcomm typically channels Star Trek's Montgomery Scott, the chief engineer who under-promises to appear a miracle worker when he eventually delivers. The California-based biz follows the Scotty playbook by the letter. Just like the Enterprise's engineering guru would suck his teeth, cock his head, say it …
Chris Williams, 21 Apr 2016
Close up of etched silicon

ARM Holdings gives the thumbs-up, reports revenue and licensing uptick

Chip designer ARM has reported revenue and profit increases in Q1, with its shares trading up despite a moody FTSE 100 this morning. Q1 2016 saw a year-on-year dollar revenue rise for ARM at 14 per cent (22 per cent in £) when its results were posted today. Pre-tax profits of £137.5m are an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year …

NASA injects cash into solar electric motor

NASA has announced it has awarded a contract worth $67m to Aerojet Rocketdyne to "design and develop an advanced electric propulsion system that will significantly advance the nation's commercial space capabilities, and enable deep space exploration missions". The Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) will "potentially …
Lester Haines, 20 Apr 2016
Oneness, image via Shutterstock

Pusher's purist: Five steps to reaching your DevOps zen

Pusher describes itself as a hosted real-time messaging service, sporting as it does a selection of APIs, developer tools and open source libraries. The firm’s claim is that it simplifies the integration of real-time functionality into web and mobile applications. Developers are supposed to be attracted to Pusher for its …
Terminator

Blighty gears up for first UK Robotics Week

The acronymically-abundant UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) tentacle of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced further events which will feature at the first UK Robotics Week from 25 June to 1 July. As we previously reported, the event is backed by the Royal …
Lester Haines, 19 Apr 2016

Google found 760,935 compromised web sites in a year

Google and university researchers say the tech giant found some 760,935 compromised websites across the web during a year-long research effort. Google's Eric Kuan; Yuan Niu; Lucas Ballard; Kurt Thomas, and Elie Bursztein joined the University of California, Berkely's Frank Li, Grant Ho, and Vern Paxson in writing Remedying Web …
Team Register, 19 Apr 2016

Hacking Team hole still unpatched, exploit pop doc claims

The hacker who claims responsibility for the flaying of Italian spyware-for-States firm Hacking Team says the vulnerability they used is yet to be patched and has detailed the process by which they claimed to have gained access to the huge trove of data and documents later dumped online. The details are contained in a post …
Team Register, 19 Apr 2016
VMware nutella

VMware signals new open source and developer push with FOSS-meister gig

VMware's signalled a new push into open source by advertising for a Director, Open Source Programs. The ad for the gig says it will live in a “newly-formed Chief Development Officer (CDO) organization” and “shape how VMware views, contributes to, and relates to F/OSS communities.” That's "F/OSS" as in Free-slash-open-source. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2016
Supercomputer, image via shutterstock

Cambridge Uni spins up green and beefy supercomputer project

Cambridge University is leading a £2.7m project building energy efficient, high-performance supercomputers. Called Project Superspin, the project will attempt to marry research into electron spin with research on super conductive materials. The goal is to produce prototype logic and memory devices by 2021 for use in a …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Apr 2016
Register Vulture logo - grey

GoDaddy CTO quits

GoDaddy’s chief techie is leaving the web host, reportedly for Google. Elissa Murphy joined GoDaddy in May 2010 from Yahoo!, where she’d served as vice president of engineering for Hadoop cloud services. Before Yahoo!, Murphy had been with Microsoft since 1997. GoDaddy announced Murphy’s exit in a regulatory filing. GoDaddy’ …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Apr 2016
ruby slippers

Flaw-finding Ruby on Rails bot steams past humans

Boffins at MIT have designed a Ruby on Rails interpreter that can find code flaws much faster than fleshy programmers. Dubbed Space, the software has been tested against 50 popular web applications written in Rails, and found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws. None of the programs required more than 64 seconds for a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2016

Brit AI daddy Sir David MacKay dies

Obit David MacKay, or more formally Sir David John Cameron MacKay, FRS, FInstP, FICE, was a true polymath who achieved greatness in the fields of physics, computer science and energy policy. He died of cancer this week aged 48. His Royal Society Biography listed just some of his achievements here: David developed a way to correct …
Drew Cullen, 15 Apr 2016

Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Interview In the UK, IT Godzilla Fujitsu is perhaps best known for its unwieldy public sector contracts, being responsible for running a sizeable chunk of the government's legacy technology. Indeed most of its UK and Ireland revenue has historically come from the public sector, some 70 per cent at the beginning of the last Parliament in …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2016
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Brit AI genius dies

Sir David MacKay, a pioneer in machine-learning techniques, has died at the age of 48 after battling stomach cancer. MacKay, who was the Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a former chief scientific advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, won acclaim in the artificial …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2016
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Facebook video scam

A new Facebook scam campaign has been discovered that spreads a malicious browser plugin via social engineering techniques. The attack starts by luring a Facebook user into playing a video, most often titled “My first video”, “My video” or “Private video”. After clicking on the link, the victim is directed to a fake YouTube …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2016
Google UK office logos

Google unleashes TensorFlow 0.8 for your distributed machine learning needs

Version 0.8 of Google's open source machine learning library, TensorFlow, has been released, adding support for distributed computing so you can get your whole Beowulf cluster infected with its Skynet. TensorFlow is an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs, and was released under the …

Google broke its own cloud AGAIN, with TWO software bugs

A couple of days ago Google's cloud went offline, just about everywhere, for 18 minutes. Now the Alphabet subsidiary has explained why and issued a personal apology penned by “Veep for 24x7” Benjamin Treynor Sloss. And yes, that is Sloss' real title. Sloss says the problem started when “engineers removed an unused Google …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2016
Aries

Facebook open-sources city-wide WiGig internet comms, phone masts

Facebook's quest to connect the remaining four billion people on the planet without internet access up to Facebook the web is a huge task. On Thursday, Facebook showed off its open-source telecommunications tech that it hopes will get unconnected folks connected, and give those of us already on the internet a smoother ride. …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2016
Mr. Spock goes full 3D

Android N dev preview 2

Google has today released Android N developer preview 2 for people to test drive. The beta operating system includes support for Vulkan, a low-overhead 3D graphics API that brings developers much closer to the GPU hardware to boost performance. "With Android N, we’ve made Vulkan a part of the platform; you can try it out on …
Chris Williams, 13 Apr 2016

Micron, VMware, Supermicro, Nexenta doodle array designs

Micron has devised a set of all-flash purpose-built, scale-out product designs in collaboration with VMware, Supermicro and Nexenta. Micron Accelerated Solution for VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes Micron Accelerated Ceph Storage Solution Micron Accelerated NexentaEdge Solution Micron, Supermicro and VMware have designed …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2016
petya

Infected with Petya ransomware? This tool will rescue your data

An anonymous security researcher has published code that can unlock the encryption used by the Petya ransomware that surfaced last month. The ransomware – first spotted hitting German computer users – reboots the infected Windows PC, pretends to run a CHKDSK program while encrypting the hard drive's file system tables, …
Iain Thomson, 12 Apr 2016
Picard frustrated

Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

A new study has found that almost half the people who pick up a USB stick they happen across in a parking lot plug said drives into their PCs. Researchers from Google, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Michigan, spread 297 USB drives around the Urbana-Champaign campus. They found that 48 …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Apr 2016
Porsche_964_Turbo

You keep using that word – NVMe. Does it mean what I think it means?

Tech explainer NVMe fabric technology is a form of block-access storage networking that gets rid of network latency delays, magically making external flash arrays as fast as internal, directly-attached, NVMe flash drives. How does it manage this trick? EMC DSSD VP for software engineering, Mike Shapiro, defines NVMe fabrics as: "the new NVM …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2016
Microsoft's HoloLens Augmented Reality headset

Former Microsoft HoloLens man: It's NOT about gaming

BUILD 2016 Microsoft showed off its HoloLens augmented reality headsets at its Build event last week, offering hands-on demonstrations and announcing the first shipments of the semi-public, $3,000 Developer Edition. Press were given two hands-on opportunities. The first was a developer workshop showing a little of the coding experience, …
Tim Anderson, 11 Apr 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Fujitsu Services hacks bonuses to pay for minimum wage hike

Exclusive Folk at Fujitsu Services Engineering Services Ltd (FSESL) have claimed that changes to their bonuses made to accommodate a rise in the minimum wage will actually leave some of them worse off. From 1 April – the Fools’ Day – the UK organisation complied with new government legislation to raise the National Living Wage for those …
Paul Kunert, 08 Apr 2016

Google to admins: We'll tell you when your network is pwned

Google software engineer Nav Jagpal says it will start sharing URLs linked to social engineering, unwanted and malicious software, to help network administrators understand the threats they face. Google is monitoring some 22,000 autonomous systems (ASNs) or about 40 percent of total active networks, and provides some 250 …
Team Register, 08 Apr 2016

Fake CEOs pilfer $2.3bn from US biz pockets in three years – Feds

Scammers have bilked American companies out of $2.3bn from 17,642 victims since 2013, the FBI has warned, and the problem is going to get worse before it gets better. Basically, the hustle works like this: miscreants pretending to be top bosses send emails to employees, particularly those handling sensitive financial …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2016
Photo by Saul Bromberger for OpenPOWER Foundation

Power9: Google gives Intel a chip-flip migraine, IBM tries to lures big biz

OpenPower Summit IBM's Power9 processor, due to arrive in the second half of next year, will have 24 cores, double that of today's Power8 chips, it emerged today. Meanwhile, Google has gone public with its Power work – confirming it has ported many of its big-name web services to the architecture, and that rebuilding its stack for non-Intel …
Chris Williams, 07 Apr 2016

Nest's bricking of Revolv serves as wake-up call to industry

The extraordinary decision of Nest to brick its $300 Revolv home automation hub has served as a wake-up call to the tech industry. Both customers and the broader internet of things (IoT) industry were appalled when Nest removed all support for the device, making it as useful as a tub of hummus, as one angry consumer memorably …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Apr 2016