Videos

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I, ROBOT ~ YOU, MORON. How else will automated news work?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? They want to replace me with a robot. This is an excellent idea. In a world of unlimited connected information, it’s about time that the middleman stopped getting in the way. Things happen, facts materialise, they end up online, then you read them. Simple, really. What’s a journalist for? Even better, El Reg commentards will …
Alistair Dabbs, 28 Feb 2015
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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Obit Leonard Nimoy, the actor who became the most recognized face of the Star Trek franchise, has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 83. A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP — Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015 Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015
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Laughing gas and rubber: A recipe for suborbital flight?

This summer, the skies above Nevada will thunder to the sound of a mighty hybrid rocket motor, as the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group (BURPG) sends its Starscraper vehicle past the symbolic 100km Kármán line. BURPG group shot at motor test site BURPG: Laughing gas and rubber Having recently tin-rattled its way to …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2015
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Who's un-dot-pressure? .com overlord Verisign sues .xyz kingpin

Dot-com registry operator Verisign is suing the largest new gTLD registry, dot-xyz, alleging false advertising. In its lawsuit filing [PDF], submitted to the eastern district court of Virginia, Verisign claims the biz behind .xyz has violated the Lanham Act, which outlaws trademark infringement and false advertising. Dot-xyz is …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Feb 2015
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FlashRay bang, wallop: NetApp bigwigs play musical chairs

El Reg has learned that NetApp's leadership of its all-flash array project FlashRay is changing: the original engineering head is no longer involved, and the veep for flash storage is absent. NetApp engineering veteran and SVP Brian 'Beepy' Pawlowski founded the FlashRay and Mars OS effort as an internal startup inside NetApp. …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2015
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Must-have sports tech: No, not an Apple Watch, a TOMATO GOB-STUFF BOT

Vid Many inspirations and desires cross a runner's mind while pounding the pavement, but few could honestly say a robot sat on their shoulders force-feeding them tomatoes has ever been one. Thankfully Japanese tomato condiment company Kagome has identified a need consumers never realised they had. Kagome unveiled its 18lb …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2015
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The Extreme Centre, Rise of the Super Furry Animals and The Kind Worth Killing

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest from the literary world. Tariq Ali dons his polemicist hat in support of the disenfranchised electorate. Ric Rawlins charts the success of one of the most celebrated bands to emerge from Wales, and Peter Swanson clocks up his second crime-thriller novel. The Extreme Centre: A …
Mark Diston, 21 Feb 2015
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Be your own Big Brother: Covert home spy gadgetry

Feature Ah, lurve. The sweet strains of Barry White, the bouquets of flowers, the boxes of chocolates. That was Valentine's day. Now it's a week later, and perhaps the nagging paranoia is starting to set in. Why haven't they called? Is your phone still working? Go on, pick it up again and check. On the Street Where You Live On the …
Nigel Whitfield, 21 Feb 2015
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Hello Barbie: Hang on, this Wi-Fi doll records your child's voice?

Vid Toymaker Mattel has unveiled a high-tech Barbie that will listen to your child, record its words, send them over the internet for processing, and talk back to your kid. It will email you, as a parent, highlights of your youngster's conversations with the toy. If Samsung's spying smart TVs creeped you out, this doll may be …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2015
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Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

Vid Former Florida governor, brother of former President George W Bush, son of former President George H W Bush, and Republican frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, Jeb Bush ... has strongly defended the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent people. Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of his run for …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
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Watch a hot, speeding space alien explode all over Earth's Beaver

Video Three NASA cameras have picked up the fiery entrance and explosive exit of a 500lb (226kg) chunk of space rock in the skies over Pennsylvania in the wee small hours of Tuesday. Youtube Video The meteor was spotted at 0450 local time (0950 UTC) sixty miles above Beaver Falls. It was filmed by three video cameras that are part of …
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2015
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Obama turns back on spooks: 'I'm on the side of strong encryption'

+Vid US President Barack Obama has come out forcefully in favour of strong encryption despite the opposition of his intelligence establishment. Encryption has been a hot topic over recent weeks with Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies complaining about encryption-by-default in modern communication tools such as …
John Leyden, 18 Feb 2015
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Australian government's 'cyber-security' review delayed

One day after Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott promised a more hard-line approach to national security, the government has delayed a cyber-security review. Over the weekend, the PM's YouTube channel carried a statement (video at the end of this story) in which he complained that Australia's treatment of immigrants-turned- …
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Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

Apple's Lightning connector protocols have been pried open in what could be a boon for the jailbreaking community. The hack opens access to Apple's serial kernel debugger, previously available on older iDevices, and reportedly gives jailbreak engineers an improved ability to debug kernel issues and iBoot exploits. Apple …
Darren Pauli, 16 Feb 2015
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OpenStack's AB/CD naming is all in the name of LIBERTY for v 12.0

OpenStack has named its forthcoming twelfth release Liberty. The cloudy effort changes names with each release, advancing one letter in the alphabet each time it shoves software out the door, as reflected in names like Havana, Icehouse, Juno and Kilo. Liberty won the community vote this time around, beating off “Lizard”, “ …
Darren Pauli, 15 Feb 2015
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Watch: FIRE-SPITTING time-lapse images of Sol showcase NASA's sun-gazing highs

Vid NASA has released an impressive time-lapse vid of our sun, to mark five years since the US space agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) project began. The video shows off the highlights of NASA boffins gazing at old Sol. NASA said in a back-slapping post to celebrate SDO's fifth anniversary: Capturing an image more than …
Team Register, 14 Feb 2015
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Interstellar sci-fi WORMS its way into spinning black hole science FACT

Vid Boffins who worked alongside Hollywood film-makers on the Oscar-nominated sci-fi flick Interstellar reckon they've come up with new discoveries that reveal the "powerful effects" of black holes – all thanks to the computer code that was used for the movie. As The Register reported back in October, theoretical physicist Kip …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2015
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To Explain the World, Girl in a Band and A Spool of Blue Thread

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest from the literary world with a splendid overview of scientific discovery from Steven Weinberg. Musician Kim Gordon kisses and tells on her life in and outside the band Sonic Youth. And for a Valentine's flavour, we look at the latest from award-winning novelist Anne Tyler. To …
Mark Diston, 14 Feb 2015
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In praise of China’s CROONING censors: Company songs NOW!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Clear the desk of work, put the phone on voicemail, set your email to auto-reply and sign that restraining order against the increasingly desperate Madonna. Allow nothing to interrupt the 3:11 of sheer pleasure that is Cyberspace Spirit, the televised performance of the official anthem for China’s web censors. As soon as I …
Alistair Dabbs, 14 Feb 2015
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Ex-NASA boffin dreams of PREDATOR-ish tech in humble microwaves

A former engineer on the Curiosity Mars rover team has come up with a bright idea to improve the aging microwave cooker: thermal imaging, inspired by the Predator franchise, to check when food is done. Youtube Video “The microwave has pretty much remained unchanged since it’s inception in 1967,” said Mark Rober in a vid …
Iain Thomson, 13 Feb 2015
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Facebook bug could have ERASED the ENTIRE WORLD

Software engineer Laxman Muthiyah has reported a dangerous vulnerability capable of deleting any photo from Facebook, prompting The Social NetworkTM to patch the hole within two hours and issue one of its biggest bug-spotting cheques ever. The flaw potentially allowed mass deletion of photos using the identification number of a …
Darren Pauli, 13 Feb 2015
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Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

Video Creating patriotic songs is an age-old solution to difficult problems, albeit one that is out of fashion in the Western world. Not so in China, which has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
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Ericsson and Qualcomm in BONKERS 450Mbps 4G test lab demo

Combining frequencies to get more bandwidth is part of the LTE (4G) specification. Wireless boffins have now demonstrated the concept, achieving blazingly fast speeds in a test lab. Qualcomm and Ericsson say they aggregated licensed frequencies and unlicensed 5GHz spectrum to achieve very high bandwidths. Use of spectrum across …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
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Hacker kicks one bit XP to 10 Windows scroll goal

Windows operating systems from XP to version 10 can be popped with a single bit, researcher Udi Yavo says. The hacker, formerly chief of the electronic warfare unit for Israeli defence contractor Rafael, detailed how the local privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2015-0057) fixed in this week's Patch Tuesday update could …
Darren Pauli, 12 Feb 2015
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SpaceX HOVER-SHIP landing scuppered by MASSIVE ocean waves

Pic+vid+updates Upstart startup rocketbiz SpaceX has launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying aloft NASA's sun-sniffing DSCOVR satellite – which is destined to take up position beyond Earth's orbit and warn humanity of dangerous solar storms. Sadly, extreme sea weather has prevented SpaceX from attempting to land the lower stage of the reusable …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2015
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Never mind, Samsung, GOOGLE will EAVESDROP as you browse on Chrome

Those uneasy about Samsung's "smart" television terms and conditions are going to have a nervous wobble about a project along the same lines underway at Google’s Chocolate Factory. The realisation that anything spoken near your Smart TV might be recorded and transmitted to a third party is bad enough, but how about the …
John Leyden, 11 Feb 2015
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Air gaps: Happy gas for infosec or a noble but inert idea?

Feature Last year Michael Sikorski of FireEye was sent a very unusual piece of malware. The custom code had jumped an air gap at a defence client and infected what should have been a highly-secure computer. Sikorski's colleagues from an unnamed company plucked the malware and sent it off to FireEye's FLARE team for analysis. "This …
Darren Pauli, 11 Feb 2015
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RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America

Bankrupt headphones and USB memory stick chain RadioShack has posted the complete list of 1,784 shops it hopes to close across America. The gadget flogger said these stores [PDF] are potentially set for closure. The threatened shops include high-profile spots in Market Street in San Francisco, New York City's Flatiron district, …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015
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NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack

Video K9 never had to put up with this type of thing: yowls of not-so-serious outrage have greeted the latest vid from bot-tastic US defence contractor Boston Dynamics. What the famous robotics outfit wants to demonstrate is that its latest product, Spot, has great stability and does a decent job of recovering from a momentary lack of …
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BEHOLD the magnificent lunar backside in our MOON VIDEO

Vid NASA has stitched together images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to produce a stunning video showing what the moon looks like from The Other Side. NASA video - A View From The Other Side It shows that there are many more, and larger craters than on the side which faces the Earth. What it doesn’t have is the large dark …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015
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Lugging an HPC cluster to the plane as carry-on luggage? DON'T

HPC Blog In our most recent article, we took a look at the US-based SC14 Student Cluster Competition university teams who are intent on keeping the SC crown firmly in the good ol' US of A. As usual, the SC competition attracted a wide variety of student teams from around the world. At SC14, we interviewed almost all of them to give you …
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Pimp my cluster: GPUs, liquid nitrogen and AAAAAH! ..that new compiler smell

HPC Blog In this article, we're going to take a closer look at the teams that competed in the historic SC14 Student Cluster Competition. As usual, it's a wide mix of returning champions, veteran teams pushing to join the elite, and completely new teams who are trying to figure out what they hell they're doing. (For some background, click …
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'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

Vid An odd little flaw in the new Raspberry Pi 2 has been discovered just days after its geekgasmic release – the PC doesn't like being papped under the bright lights of cameras. It apparently freezes when a Xenon flash is used to photograph the Raspberry Pi 2. The glitch was flagged up in a forum thread entitled "Why is the Pi2 …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Feb 2015
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At the third beep, the Atomic Clock will be 60 ... imprecisely

Feature The atomic clock celebrates its 60th birthday this year. John Watkinson looks at the story of this enabling technology that lies behind GPS and DAB and discusses its roots in quantum mechanics and relativity. Readers are warned that they might need to lie down for a while after reading this article. The story probably begins …
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Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Vulture in the Air Stepping up from our usual car reviews, we’ve got an aeroplane this weekend. The guest pilot is Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, who runs the Fear of Landing website. What’s it like flying a Tiger Moth? Absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think I can do the experience justice, but I have to try. You can imagine my excitement when Into the Blue …
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Smartphones don’t dumb you down, they DUMB you UP

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My wife has asked me to produce my dong when she is least expecting it. Apparently, this will help her to refocus during lengthy meditation exercises. She has also asked me to produce this occasional chiming sound (that’s right, a "dong" – why, what did you think I meant?) from different locations in the room. Better still, to …
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California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

Analysis Google's advisory panel on privacy recommends rolling back 160 years of UK common law, say legal experts, with Google itself creating new interpretations of well-established legal principles. The consequence would be that Google usurps the courts' role in guarding individual privacy, which critics say would be like the fox …
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Avoiding data retention will be as easy as eating a burger

A handy line of questioning by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has outlined the biggest shortcoming of the Attorney-General's Department's artificial distinction between “metadata” and “content”, while also giving those who wish their online activities to be harder to track handy hints on how to circumvent the planned retention …
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NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

President Obama has proposed raising the NASA budget to $18.5bn in 2016 - and the space agency says it would use the funds to plan missions to the water-moon Europa and to capture asteroids and bring them back to Earth's orbit for study. The budget proposal would raise NASA's funding by $519m. NASA's administrator Charles Bolden …
Iain Thomson, 3 Feb 2015
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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Remember BYOD? Well, it’s BYODded off into the sunset. It was the Next Big Thing, just before the next Next Big Thing that came after that and it followed hot on the heels of the Previous Big Thing. Without doubt, BYOD was big and it was a thing – but the party is over. For the benefit of occasional readers of this column who …
Alistair Dabbs, 31 Jan 2015
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Tesla bumps up Model S P85D acceleration – with software update

Vid An over-the-air software update to the dual-motor Tesla Model S P85D will cut its zero to 60MPH time from 3.2 to 3.1 seconds. Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the upgrade: Tesla P85D 0 to 60mph acceleration will improve by ~0.1 sec soon via over-the-air software update to inverter algorithm — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 2015
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Synths of the father: Making some noise at NAMM 2015

+Vids If you want to get an idea of how pop music will be sounding in 2015, then this year's exhibition of the National Association of Music Merchants, better known as the NAMM Show, that took place in California last week was the place to be – think of it as CES for musos. ARP Odyssey Korg reissue Original synth? Korg'a take on the …
Paul Wiffen, 30 Jan 2015