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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Battle of Ideas The idea that computer programming should be compulsory in schools is hugely popular with metropolitan media luvvies and quango-hoppers - but serious questions were raised by people who do it and teach it this weekend. Some argued that the current overemphasis of the field, rather than encouraging an enquiring technical mind, …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2014

Violin: Don't weep for Tier 1 storage... it'll soon be flashtastic

Comment Flash will replace all enterprise tier 1 storage, and shared arrays will prevail over server-side SANs, while network latency remains a solvable computer science problem, argues Violin Memory CEO Kevin DeNuccio. The market and technology shocks waves of cloud, virtualisation and flash are coming Violin's way, with the all-flash …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Sportsman with moderated rifle in snow. Pic: Juha Perovuo

Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Analysis The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register. The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security. …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2014
Blood image

SDI Wars: EMC must FORGET ARRAYS, adapt or disappear

Sysadmin blog Register storage supremo Chris Mellor has recently been reporting on EMC's slow descent into corporate depression due to a combination of activist investors and recalcitrant internecine political strife. There's nothing surprising here, I've been hearing the same things all across the EMC federation, though I've no inclination …
Trevor Pott, 20 Oct 2014
Germany celebrates winning Fifa world cup 2014 in Brazil

You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data

Evidence-based decision making is so clearly sensible because the alternative — making random decisions based on no evidence — is so clearly ludicrous. The “evidence” that we often use is in the form of information that we extract from raw data, often by data mining. Sadly, there has been an upsurge in the number people who move …
Mark Whitehorn, 20 Oct 2014
ITU logo

ICT ministers mark out net-regulation patch ahead of ITU plenipot

The ITU has kicked off three weeks of wrangling over the future of the Internet – the 2014 Plenipotentiary – with a ministerial statement that's likely to spark concerns about the direction of the coming summit. The Busan Declaration, issued at the close of the Busan ICT ministerial meeting, is filled with high-minded language …
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators book cover

Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Page File This is an enthralling but slightly flawed read written by Walter Isaacson – of Steve Jobs' authorised biography fame. Computers first entered human consciousness just over 170 years ago, when Charles Babbage was working on his mechanical difference engine and Ada Lovelace described programming. Since that seminal time, the …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2014

EU Competition chief: So what if I didn't tame Google? You're all 'irrational' anyway

Analysis Europe’s unelected competition czar has signed off with a sour burp aimed at his elected critics in Parliament. "I don't think antitrust investigations should be part of the conventional political debates," Joaquín Almunia complains in the Wall Street Journal. He was quizzed on his failure to deal with Google, a case which …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014
Lego Gears of War gun

SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?

Sysadmin blog The Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) war is coming, and it will reshape the information technology landscape like nothing has since the invention of the PC itself. It consists of sub-wars, each important in their own right, but the game is bigger than any of them. We have just been through the worst of the storage wars. …
Trevor Pott, 17 Oct 2014

Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Comment Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho has talked of her discomfort that the internet is made by humans who have a penis. The former Martha Lane Fox, CBE, told the Radio Academy's Radio Festival in Salford that she felt uneasy "that something that is now fundamental, like the water, for everybody’s daily life has been entirely produced by …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Oct 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Sysadmin Blog Controversy has erupted around Microsoft's Windows 10 preview. More specifically, questions are being raised about the amount of tracking – and the depth of tracking – that was built into the preview. The Windows 10 technical preview goes so far as to monitor your typing, potentially crossing the line from instrumentation of …
Trevor Pott, 14 Oct 2014
Internet of Things

Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Opinion Is the Internet of Things a nightmare, a glorious utopia, or might it just never happen? Last week I was asked to offer a few thoughts in a panel discussion for over 200 PriceWaterhouseCoopers staff, ranging from hackers to business geeks. I’ve only touched on IoT briefly, when David Cameron at CeBIT announced he was throwing a …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Oct 2014

Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author

Interview Operation Elop, a new book on Nokia, got plenty of attention last week, with its suggestion that Nokia’s former CEO was the “worst CEO in history”. After I ridiculed the idea that Elop alone was solely responsible for Nokia’s crash, co-author Pekka Nykänen got in touch to say that isn’t quite fair. So we invited him to talk …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Oct 2014
Spying image

Wide-ranging UK DATA SHARING moves one step closer

Comment I suspect the UK government is going to ditch the Law Commission recommendations on data sharing; this is because it wants a quick implementation of its own extensive data sharing proposals. In short, general data sharing powers are now on the political agenda again. This is the third time in a decade the government has tried to …
Nutanix NX-3000 server-storage node

Iron out the kinks and all-flash servers just might have a future

Comment Nutanix's NX-9000 is an all-flash, scale-out, hyperconverged server/storage/networking system, with a single logical pool of SAN storage aggregated from the NX nodes in a cluster. In other words, it's a clustered, disk-less server. It's disk-less, and so less prone to mechanical and electro-mechanical errors and needs less power …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2014
Vulture

Activist investors DESTROY COMPANIES. Don't get me started on share dealings...

Comment Public companies have four groups of stakeholders: shareholders; execs paid with share performance in mind; other workers; and their customers. Shareholders and share value-incentivised execs are ripping the heart out of many public companies, siphoning off their wealth, going for short-term in favour of long-term interests, and …
Chris Mellor, 9 Oct 2014

Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

Review Stephen Elop's decision to bet the farm on Windows Phone makes him the world's worst CEO, according to a new book published this week. Operation Elop by Pekka Nykänen and Merina Salminen interviews former Nokia staff and arrives at its judgement based on the decline in Nokia's market value from 2010 to 2013: from €29.5bn to € …

EqualLogic founder Paula Long on privacy, storage sprawl and her new startup

Interview After selling EqualLogic, the company she founded, to Dell in 2007, Paula Long wanted to get back in the storage business with what she considered a game-changing idea: data-aware storage. DataGravity was founded to bring this technology to market, and won the "best of show" award at VMworld 2014 in the new technology category …

Speaking in Tech: Startup funding – a little wine, dim lights, et voilà ... seed capital!

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week, Speaking in Tech regular Greg Knieriemen has fled the country, leaving the ever-capable Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela to host our weekly tech-cast. Today's episode was recorded at Spiceworld with special guests Scott Abel, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, and David …
Team Register, 8 Oct 2014

Shouty investor Elliott makes PUBLIC CALL for VMware sale

Comment Activist investor Elliott Management, the holder of a billion dollars' worth of Hopkinton shares, has publicly called for a VMware sale in a letter to EMC's CEO and board. Its release has been nicely timed to closely follow on from HP's decision to split itself into an printer and PC company on the one hand (HP Inc) and a …
Chris Mellor, 8 Oct 2014

Yes. Economists DO love MAGICAL, lovely HUMAN SELFISHNESS...

Worstall on Wednesday Over the weekend we were treated to the quite startling news that economists think that selfishness is just great. TheOtherHobbes had this to say in the comments section of a Reg opinion piece about consumerism: Economists actually believe – no really, they do – that if you allow people to be selfish then everything magically …
Tim Worstall, 8 Oct 2014

An EMC-HP Borg cube will totally ANNIHILATE its storage worlds

Comment Suppose EMC and HP merged: the result would be an outrageous nightmare of overlapping storage products. Managers would run screaming into the darkness, and bean counters would spend millions converging products. It’s a no-go area, really. Quick and dirty look at HP and EMC storage products A quick and dirty look at HP and EMC …
Chris Mellor, 8 Oct 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Moneymen dash to hand cash to storage upstarts

Comment There has been a sudden rush of venture capital cash to storage startups as mainstream vendors respond to the upstarts' products and squeeze their growth window. The backing VCs want fast growth to IPO level run rate revenues so they can get their exit before the startup's growth fizzles out. Only last year, storage startups …
Chris Mellor, 6 Oct 2014
Billy_Connolly

Bring your spade: The BIG DATA Gold Rush has begun

The forty-niners rushed to California in search of gold. Some even found it. But most stayed poor and the only people who got reliably rich were people who made and sold the picks and shovels the miners needed. Is that the way it is with big data? Will the only people to get rich be the suppliers of big data computer software, …
Chris Mellor, 3 Oct 2014
three amigos movie poster + three speaking in tech podcast hosts: Greg Kniereman, Sarah Vela, Ed Saiptech

Speaking in Tech: HP-EMC merger 'redonkulous' says EMC man Chad Sakac

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Join Greg Knieriemen and Ed Saipetch, hosts of our weekly techcast, with their guest Chad Sakac, senior vice president of Global Systems Engineering at EMC, to chew on the HP-EMC merger rumours, talk about avoiding Oracle OpenWorld (and accompanying drunken brawls), look at …
Team Register, 1 Oct 2014
Privacy image

Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Comment According to most of the broadsheets, if there is a Conservative government after the next General Election, the European Court of Human Rights will no longer be able to overrule British courts. Under plans unveiled today at the Conservative Conference, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to state that a future …

Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

+Comment Humblebrag site Ello, which has positioned itself as a worthy Web2.0rhea antiserum to the ad-poisoned Facebook, has come under attack from spammers. Just days earlier, the social network was temporarily forced to wave goodbye to its users late on Sunday night, after it claimed to have suffered an apparent distributed denial-of- …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Sep 2014
Design Mobel Pause bed

Is Cleversafe the object storage of HP's affection?

HP is rumoured to be in talks with Cleversafe to sell its object storage alongside HP's own StoreAll object storage offering. HP says it might indeed resell third-party products, but it's naming no names. StoreAll is based on acquired Ibrix technology, employs ProLiant servers, scales out to 1,024 nodes and 16PB of capacity. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2014
The Menin Road by Paul Nash

Balls of destruction CRUSH your fancy new storage systems ... better get used to it

Storagebod Has EMC started an unwelcome trend? I had a discussion about roadmaps with a vendor this week, and its reps talked about substantial upcoming changes to their architecture. My questioning, "but surely that’s not just a disruptive upgrade but destructive?" was met with an affirmative. Of course, like EMC's XtremIO upgrades, the …
StorageBod, 30 Sep 2014
Beautiful landscape picture of Kenya, with a man cycling past an acacia tree against a yellow sandy background

Kenyan court case could sound death knell for mobile money

Comment Kenya is pretty much the only place where mobile money works. Now, it seems, the banks want to wreck it. Vodafone-owned mobe operator Safaricom runs M-Pesa, the poster child for mobile payments. It has revolutionised the lives of people who were so poor that the banks were not interested in serving them. However, having become …
Simon Rockman, 29 Sep 2014

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Can people hear the difference between lossy MP3 digital music files and lossless ones? Opinions differ strongly, with much obfuscation around audio cables, mastering and hi-fi componentry muddying the waters. This article was prompted by commentard critiques of Sonos streaming Wi-Fi speaker/player reviews and audiophiles saying …
Chris Mellor, 26 Sep 2014

Seagate cloud bod on EVault's EBA: Why of course we do dedupe

Comment EVault took exception to some points made in a report on some recent Seagate product news, in particular the Backup and Recovery appliance (EBA). Unmesh Kulkarni, senior product management director in the EVault-containing Seagate Cloud Systems and Solutions business, contacted The Reg to provide a comment. We'll do this …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2014
Doomsday clock

Federation fracture: EMC's post-Tucci future is either SALE or SPLIT

Comment Winter has come early for EMC, with hordes of barbarian activist investors pounding at the gates as CEO Joe Tucci's long reign comes to an end. Snowdrifts are building up against the boardroom's windows, blotting out the C-suite's previous sunny vista. One immediate example of EMC's fortunes changing is the reported collapse of …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2014
Photographic plate image of the colliding galaxies NGC 6769, 6770, and 6771.

EMC, HP blockbuster Borg: Big potential or total CATASTROPHE?

Comment Amongst the storage cognoscenti on Twitter, there’s been quite a discussion about EMC and HP possibly merging, despite the recent reported collapse of talks on the issue. Most people seemed to be either negative or at best disbelieving that something like this would bring value or even happen. But from a technology point of …
StorageBod, 25 Sep 2014
DElphix_Replication

Database virtualisation outfit Delphix: Lotsa dosh, few competitors

Interview Production data copier and virtualiser Delphix says it makes the provision of largely structured data to non-production applications a heck of a lot easier, claiming it speeds it up from days or weeks to minutes. The company's software receives a copy of production data and stores it in server engines: servers with direct- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2014
Marten Mickos, photo: Andrew Smart of AC Cooper

Can Marten Mickos make 'Linux for the cloud' work for HP?

Hewlett-Packard didn’t just buy cloudy startup Eucalyptus Systems to build its fledgling OpenStack cloud biz, it also bought Marten Mickos, the firm’s Finnish CEO. HP isn’t the first to pay for Mickos' expertise - that was Sun Microsystems, when it acquired his venture previous venture, MySQL AB, for $1bn in 2008. Just who is …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Sep 2014
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Who's that at the door, storage box flingers? It's the hard drive makers. No, they are not smiling

Analysis Hard drive makers are, metaphorically speaking, shifting from being gunsmiths to arms dealers. In other words, their customers, who take the drives and put them in boxes, better watch out. Let's take a look at where the industry is heading: Seagate acquires Xyratex and sells its ClusterStor HPC and enterprise big data arrays. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Sep 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

The Register has found itself subject to a certain amount of criticism for this author's scepticism regarding whether the NSA has been snooping on optical fibre cables by cutting them. Glenn Greenwald's recent “NSA cut New Zealand's cables” story is illustrative of credibility problems that surround the ongoing Edward Snowden …
Sad cloud

What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

Sysadmin blog Anyone who says public cloud computing is "pay for what you use" is trying to rip you off. The public cloud is pay for what you provision, and that is a completely different thing. In order to move away from the model that pretty much every existing application uses – one where you provision the peak amount of resources required …
Trevor Pott, 17 Sep 2014

Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

Bill Gates in 2004 predicted the death of the password over time. “They just don’t meet the challenge for anything you really want to secure,” Gates said. Ten years on, passwords haven’t gone anywhere and as the recent nude-celeb-pics-on-iCloud proved, the medium is still not up to muster yet is in widespread use in scenarios …
Stuart Burns, 16 Sep 2014
Joe Tucci EMC

Tech starfleet: Will EMC Federation survive a Tucci departure?

Comment Will the tripartite EMC federation set up by Joe Tucci survive his retirement in six months' time? He is the chairman and overall CEO of EMC. The three federated businesses are: EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II) led by David Goulden who is also overall EMC CFO VMware led by Pat Gelsinger Pivotal led by Paul Maritz Joe …
Chris Mellor, 12 Sep 2014

Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?

Comment Staffers at Apple have been working on their latest wearable wheeze for three long years, while the rest of us wondered where on Earth its legendary spirit of innovation had disappeared to. If you believe Tim Cook, Apple was on the job the whole time, beavering away in secrecy to create a timepiece which would once again become …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Sep 2014