Videos

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For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

Vid Microsoft has entered the virtual reality race, announcing a new headset called Evo in collaboration with Intel. The headset will have the same advanced features of current high-end products including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and soon-to-be-launched Sulon Q, but will work with mid-range laptops, the company said. Up to now, …
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Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking

Vid Amid ongoing malware infections of IoT gadgets and armies of commandeered gizmos attacking server, glaring security holes in web-connected CCTV cameras are going unpatched. So say researchers with Cybereason, who claim a pair of high-profile vulnerabilities they spotted in surveillance cams two years ago have been completely …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Dec 2016
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Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

The Circle, Dave Eggers' novel about a society dominated by an omniscient, cult-like Silicon Valley internet company, has been given the big-screen treatment, with the trailer emerging this week. The movie's promo site has a witty parody of the "onboarding" process for a web platform – enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes …
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Robotics is coming on leaps and bounds – literally: Bushbaby bot most vertically agile yet

Roboticists from the University of California, Berkeley, have built the “most vertically agile” robot, capable of jumping better than humans. Salto, the pint-sized robot, can jump up to a metre in height in less than a second. It stands for saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles, and is modeled on one of nature’s most …
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Amazon tries again with AppStream because customers didn't like it

Acknowledging that the initial version of application streaming service AppStream failed to appeal to customers, Amazon Web Services is ready to try again. Introduced in 2013, AppStream offered companies a way to stream Windows desktop apps to users via browser across a variety of devices. It was intended as an alternative to …
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Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

VIDS Hackers are destroying everything from the latest gaming systems, phones, and even cars with a dangerous circuit-frying USB device that could put critical systems at risk. The -220V USBKill device developed last year and since refined is an inconspicious USB stick that can ruin devices in seconds by delivering continous power …
Darren Pauli, 2 Dec 2016
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Chap creates Slack client for Commodore 64

A Kiwi chap named Jeff Harris has created a Slack client for the Commodore 64. Harris has no explanation for why he thinks the world needs a Slack client for the Commodore 64, but built one anyway. As he writes, he just felt like it was a good idea to write one. So he did. To do so, he wrote a NodeJS app for the Raspberry Pi …
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SHIFT + F10, Linux gets you Windows 10's cleartext BitLocker key

Microsoft is working on a patch for a bug or feature in Windows 10 that allowed access to the command line and, using a live Linux .ISO, made it possible steal BitLocker keys during OS updates. The command line interface bypasses BitLocker and permits access to local drives simply by tapping the Shift and F10 keys. BitLocker …
Darren Pauli, 1 Dec 2016
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Inventor of McDonald's iconic Big Mac dies

Michael 'Jim' Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac, has died aged 98. Just how he made it that far, given his fondness for the lard-laden double-decker, is anyone's guess. Delligatti cooked up the Big Mac in 1965 when, as one of McDonalds' early franchisees, he felt the menu needed a rival for local burger bars' two-storey …
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UK cops spot webcam 'sextortion' plots: How vics can hit stop

The NCA has said that "at least four young men have taken their own lives" after being targeted by financially motivated webcam blackmailers, while UK police forces are sharing stats and tips in a campaign to combat the rising problem. Police say they've recorded 864 cases of webcam blackmail cases so far in 2016, more than …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016
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Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Police in Canada says it will be punishing drunk drivers by not only arresting them, but forcing them to listen to corporate boy band Nickelback on the way to the cop shop. A Facebook post from the Kensington Police Department of Prince Edward Island warns would-be partiers in the Great White North to avoid getting behind the …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
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ExoMars probe snaps photos of your next dystopian home world when Earth goes to crap

Video The European Space Agency's ExoMars orbiter has beamed back its first photos and sensor readings of the Red Planet after circling the harsh dust world. The agency's astro-boffins needed some good news: last month, their Schiaparelli Mars lander – which was dropped from the ExoMars craft – smashed onto the Martian surface after …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016
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Student clusterers blow off steam with VR space shooter at SUSE booth

HPC Blog There was some time for fun at the recently concluded SC16 Student Cluster Competition. Fortunately for us, right next to where the competition was held stood the SUSE booth, which was equipped with a great VR "space pirate" shooter. This, of course, captured our students' attention – particularly one from Team Munich. He went …
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50 years on, the Soviet-era Soyuz rocket is still our favorite space truck

On 28 November 1966, Soviet engineers cheered as the first Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Motherland and made it into space. 50 years later, the Soyuz family is still delivering the goods. For the past five years, the rockets have been our only means to resupply the International Space Station. Not bad for a rocket design …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016
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New Euro-net will let you stream Snakes on a Plane on a *!#@ plane

Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia and Thales say they have successfully conducted tests of a network capable of delivering in-flight broadband across all 28 (current) European Union nations. The European Aviation Network (EAN) will blend S-Band satellite coverage provided by Inmarsat with 300 LTE ground stations scattered …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2016
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BlackBerry-driven robo-car spins its RIMs across Canada

Video Today, a trio of self-driving cars – including a BlackBerry-powered ride – hit the streets in Canada for the first time. The autonomous vehicles will be tested by their manufacturers to assess their safety and control systems in the real world. Ontario became the first province in Canada to allow robotic autos on the road on …
Iain Thomson, 28 Nov 2016
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Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History

A 42,000-transistor CPU weighing half a ton and built by hand from full-sized components has been installed at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, England. James Newman’s Megaprocessor, a super-sized CPU big enough to walk through, was born as a result of a 2012 work discussion. "There was a conversation at work …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Nov 2016
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Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

VIDEOS New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science has released videos showing the fault lines that ruptured during the recent earthquakes that moved the nation two metres north. The Kaikoura earthquake struck on November 14th, 2016, and caused extensive damage on New Zealand's South Island. Two people died as a result of the …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2016
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Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

A smartphone app flaw has left Tesla vehicles vulnerable to being tracked, located, unlocked, and stolen. Security experts at Norwegian app security firm Promon were able to take full control of a Tesla vehicle, including finding where the car is parked, opening the door and enabling its keyless driving functionality. A lack …
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2016
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Drops the mic... Hang on, hackers could be listening through my headphones?

Experimental malware has highlighted the possibility that hackers might be able to turn headphones into microphones in order to snoop on computer users. Research by computer scientists at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, has revealed that both headphones and loudspeakers present a potential bugging risk. The boffins put together …
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2016
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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "That member is the wrong way around," confides the gym receptionist in hushed tones, nodding towards a middle-aged fellow ambling into the cardio room. I stare after him, trying to guess how his member might be incorrectly attached. Dressed unfashionably and, I suspect, quite accidentally in a sleeveless side-boob vest, split …
Alistair Dabbs, 25 Nov 2016
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Poison .JPG spreading ransomware through Facebook Messenger

Checkpoint has found an image obfuscation trick it thinks may be behind a recent massive phishing campaign on Facebook that's distributing the dangerous Locky ransomware. The security firm has not released technical details as the flaw it relies on still impacts Facebook and LinkedIn, among other unnamed web properties. The …
Darren Pauli, 25 Nov 2016
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Airbus flies new plane for the first time

Airbus has successfully flown a new commercial jet model, with the first A350-1000 taking to the skies over Toulouse on Thursday. The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 program, Airbus' attempt to offer a long-haul twin-engine jet a little larger and rather more modern than its A330 range, and also cheaper to operate than …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016
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Scotland's Skyscanner sold to Chinese rival Ctrip in £1.4bn deal

Skyscanner, the Scottish travel search business, has been acquired by Chinese competitor Ctrip in a deal valued at £1.4bn. The Edinburgh-based business, which was founded in 2001, will maintain operations independently of Ctrip, China's largest travel search business, which was founded in 1999. Expected to close by the end of …
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Meet the beautiful minds vying to be crowned the Student Cluster champs

HPC Blog So who are the kids competing in the SC16 Student Cluster Competition this year? What are their hopes, their dreams – what makes them tick? Why did they travel all the way to Salt Lake City to chase the Cluster Crown? (There is no actual crown, but there should be, right?) In these videos, we get to know the kids and get a …
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A closer look at HPE's 'The Machine'

Analysis HPE is undertaking the single most determined and ambitious architectural redesign of a server’s architecture in recent history in the shape of The Machine. We'll try to provide what Army types call a sitrep about The Machine, HPE's "completely different" system: its aims, its technology and its situation. Think of this as a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2016
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NASA sets fire to stuff in SPAAACE. On purpose. Because science

VIDEOS NASA's released the videos of its Saffire II experiment, in which the space agency borrowed the Mythbuster's incendiary habits and burned stuff in space. It's all in the name of science, naturally: as we noted on Monday, the agency wants to know how things burn in low gravity, so they can work on better fire control techniques …
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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

A leading education advisor to government ministers in the UK has criticised the aggressive proliferation of software in schools as a "gimmick", and called for ministers to "drain the swamp". British schoolchildren will play Minecraft for an hour as Microsoft's contribution to the global "Hour of Code", a stunt intended to …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2016
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Launch set for GOES-R satellite capable of 30-second weather updates

NASA meteorologists have given a 90 per cent chance of good weather for the launch of the revolutionary Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series (GOES‑R) on Saturday. GOES-R is possibly the most advanced weather satellite ever produced, capable of providing high-definition, multi-spectrum snapshots of …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2016
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Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I would like it to be known that mine is bigger than yours. And yours is bigger than everyone else's. Only losers waste their time with small. We do big. The IT industry is notably keen on letting us know that everything they do is big, especially when it comes to data security breaches. Cyber-attacks on individuals are never …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Nov 2016
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Hackers' modular worm builder hoses popular team web chat apps

KIWICON Hackers everywhere can now more easily compromise popular chat apps to steal users' webcam and audio feeds using a worm framework published online - and they even have a new zero day to help the plundering. The framework, dubbed "Little Doctor" after the planet-annihilating super weapon of Ender's Game will compromise …
Darren Pauli, 18 Nov 2016
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US Director of National Intelligence legs it

Videos James Clapper, who as Director of National Intelligence was economical with the truth when it came to acknowledging US domestic surveillance activities subsequently revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, has announced his resignation. Clapper isn't resigning over lies, but instead because it's traditional for heads like …
Iain Thomson, 17 Nov 2016
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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

How do you get a sniff of a locked computer? Tell it you're its gateway to the entire Internet IPv4 routing space. That's the basic principle behind a demo from brainiac cracker Samy Kamkar. Plugged into a victim, his Raspberry Pi Zero-based "PoisonTap" isn't just a network sniffer, it's a backdoor-digger. MacOS users can …
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Nokia's great lost smartwatch? #SavedYouALandfill

Footage has emerged of Nokia's never-released smartwatch – suggesting Microsoft was wise to kill the project when it acquired the Finns' mobile division. The Nokia watch prototype in the video dates to the zenith of the smartwatch hype in 2014. Nokia showed the device in private at that year's Mobile World Congress, and it was …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Nov 2016
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Swedish prosecutor finally treks to London to question Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is finally being questioned by prosecutors more than six years after he was first accused of rape in Sweden. Ingrid Isgren, Sweden's deputy chief prosecutor, arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy this morning, according to The Guardian, ending a stalemate which began in 2012 when the South American …
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OpenStack brings cloud at the press of a button

HPC Blog Eddy Shvartsman, self-described head nerd of the IBM OpenStack Toolkit for OpenPOWER, outlined the newest version of the toolkit at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona. He characterised it as a one-button cloud configuration that includes hardware, management software stack and operations management software. …
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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

VIDEO Monty Python members Eric Idle and John Cleese have penned a tune titled “Fuck selfies”. As you might conclude from the title, the song is not entirely complimentary to selfies and labels those who take them with celebrities as “gits”, “lunatics” and “pricks”. There's even an exhortation for those who wield selfie sticks to …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016
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Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds

Power of Community The Google Pixel fell to a team of Chinese hackers alongside Apple Safari and Adobe Flash at the PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul on Friday. Mountain View's latest offering was smashed by white-hat friendlies from Qihoo 360, who used an undisclosed vulnerability to gain remote code execution for $120,000 cash prize. The …
Darren Pauli, 11 Nov 2016
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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Something for the Weekend, Sir? This week, I have been worried about getting it to stand up. The more I worry, the greater the difficulty in ensuring a sturdy erection that doesn’t immediately flop over. I hope you understand that this has never happened to me before. Perhaps I could try again in a few minutes? Ah, there we are. Nice and stiff and thick …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Nov 2016
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Top of the bots: This AI isn't a cold, cruel killing machine – it's a pop music hit machine

Feature AI are often seen as cold, calculating machines, devoid of any warmth or humanity. One way to make AI more relatable and human-like could be encouraging them to take part in human activities like making music. Using AI is one of the geekiest ways to make tunes, and has been around since the 80s. It’s a thriving area of …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Nov 2016
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Terror plot spy project helps Kinetica crank up database speed

HPC blog Kinetica presented its in-memory database solution at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona, and served up some benchmark results. You can see the entire presentation in the video below, but here are a few highlights. First, for those of you unfamiliar with Kinetica, the company came out of a US military research …
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IBM: Why our Power9 CPU is going to make data centers great again

HPC blog Rani Borkar, IBM’s vice president of OpenPOWER development, gave attendees at the OpenPOWER Foundation Summit in Barcelona at the end of October a sneak peek at the vendor's upcoming Power9 processor. I captured it on video (see below) to show you what to expect. The first Power9, due in 2017 (probably mid-year but IBM didn’t …