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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

She’s a huge advocate of drones — quite a surprising position to take for a first class fighter pilot. Mary "Missy" Cummings was one of the US Navy’s first female fighter pilots, taking to the air after the service lifted its ban on women in combat, and flying from 1988 to 1999. She piloted F18 Hornets and became one of the Navy …
Photo of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at Red Hat Summit 2014

Ex-Microsoft man takes up arms for Red Hat's open-cloud crusade

“We want to be the undisputed leader in enterprise cloud,” Red Hat’s chief executive Jim Whitehurst said recently. It’s a big target to set yourself. There’s plenty of competition from incumbents such as Microsoft (now changing its game), and new entrants such as Amazon (breaking down the doors). One thing both have to help …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Oct 2014
Jaguar XJS modified for fuel efficiency

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Crawling from the Wreckage Cars are mass-produced consumer products sold to users who mostly know very little about them. They are optimised to make a profit for the manufacturer, so low build cost is paramount for most manufacturers – which automatically excludes many design and engineering ideas that would raise efficiency. John Watkinson has been busy …
John Watkinson, 19 Oct 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014

Make life easy for yourself when you move to the cloud

So the boss has decided that the company needs a “highly scalable elastic cloud infrastructure” and in true Dilbert style, the rank-and-file IT people have to build said cloud yesterday. The most important first step is: don't do anything... Yet. An organisation’s, or at least the IT department’s, staff need to understand not …
Stuart Burns, 17 Oct 2014

Keep a beady eye on your business's cloud service shopping

If you believe the hype, it is only a question of time before every Tom, Dick and Harriet in your organisation becomes a tech decision maker who can spend your company's money, with the power to do so a mere click away. “Shadow IT”, the term emerging to describe the buying of IT and technology services without any central …
Stuart Burns, 16 Oct 2014
Lenticular Cloud

Cloud skills certification can add zeros to your pay cheque

As IT recruiters collectively bemoan the dearth of cloud professionals, the doom-and-gloom predictions that cloud services would result in the death of the IT department now seem nothing short of laughable. The most recent research from industry body the Cloud Industry Forum suggests that cloud computing has achieved mainstream …
Rachel Willcox, 16 Oct 2014
Children wash hands Plan photo Hatai Limprayoonyong

CIO of children's charity: Data re-org will change the giving game

There’s nothing charitable about working in the third sector. In fact, it’s extremely unforgiving, as children’s charity Merlin discovered in 2013. The charity merged with Save the Children after management determined they couldn’t raise the kinds of funds that corporate sponsors wanted to see it raising. The giving scene is …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Oct 2014
Harry the Rottweiler - aka small poodle called Patsy

Man bites dog: HTTPS-menacing POODLE is 'hard to exploit' – unless you're on public Wi-Fi

Analysis Mozilla will ditch support for the insecure SSL 3.0 from Firefox next month, following the discovery of a design flaw in the protocol that allows hackers to hijack victims' online accounts. SSL v3 will be disabled by default in Firefox 34, due to be released on 25 November. Security experts are unanimous that sysadmins and …
John Leyden, 16 Oct 2014
Charles Petzold

Influential scribe Charles Petzold: How I figured out the Windows API

Interview Charles Petzold’s book Programming Windows (in various editions) was how a generation of developers learned to code for Windows – 25 years ago when Microsoft’s operating system was the hot new thing. Charles Petzold Petzold now works for Xamarin, and I caught up with him at the company's Evolve conference in Atlanta last week …
Tim Anderson, 14 Oct 2014
Cat on computer

Be Your Own Big Brother: Peeking at pussy

Feature Last year, the BBC's Horizon programme treated the cats of a Surrey village to individual cameras, and their own prime-time spot on TV to share the results. And now the Beeb is at it again with Cat Watch 2014, hoping to find out a little more about what our feline companions get up to. Youtube Video Whether you're a dog or a …
Nigel Whitfield, 12 Oct 2014
Digital Voice Recorders

Look ma, no hands! The machines are speaking our language

From Hal, the malfunctioning computer in Stanley Kubrick’s ground-breaking film 2001: A Space Odyssey, through to last year’s Spike Jonze film Her, in which a man falls in love with a computer voiced by Scarlett Johansson, film makers and sci-fi writers have long been imagining a future where speech recognition is commonplace. …
Eira Hayward, 10 Oct 2014
The Black Knight

The phoney war: EMM vendors joust in jam-packed market

Analysis Charles Brett is principal analyst at Freeform Dynamics, The Register's research partner, where he covers end user computing, with a particular focus on the infrastructure. In June 2014, we examined how Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) was evolving and the ways in which the market was consolidating. Four months later this …
Charles Brett, 10 Oct 2014
Beached-Whale

Splitters! First HP's cut in two, now it's Symantec’s turn – report

Analysis Multiple reports say Symantec is thinking of splitting itself up into separate security and storage businesses. Symantec bought Veritas for a massive $13.5bn in 2004, promising synergies between its existing security business and Veritas’ backup and storage management software. The synergies didn’t appear and Symantec's storage …
Chris Mellor, 9 Oct 2014
London Apple store queue for iPhone 6

Windows 10 feedback: 'Microsoft, please do a deal with Google to use its browser'

When Microsoft announced the preview of Windows 10, it emphasised the “opportunity to influence product development decisions through the new Windows Feedback app directly within the product". Users can not only give feedback, but also see — and vote on — the feedback of others, giving all of us a chance to assess what users …
Tim Anderson, 8 Oct 2014
LG LTE

LTE's backers vow to KILL OFF WI-FI and BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, weightless and Sigfox, not to mention GPS and TETRA: LTE’s proponents plan to make every one of them redundant, while also ensuring their own advanced wireless standard becomes the only one anyone, anywhere, will ever need. And all this by March 2016. Long-Term Evolution's supporters have never hidden their …
Bill Ray, 8 Oct 2014
management cloud2

Leading like Mad Leo: HP's Whitman rolls out Apotheker's PC plan

There’s something in the water at Hewlett-Packard. No, I’m not referring to the "HP Way", that pseudo-Victorian philanthropic work creed. It’s the propensity for those running this tech giant to make really big bets — multi-billion-dollar rolls of the dice have become standard operating procedure. Three of HP’s most recent …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Oct 2014
Fraud image

BIG trouble in Big China: Samsung cops it RIGHT in the wallet

Analysis Competition from Chinese smartphone makers has mashed Samsung's China sales, resulting in a warning from the Korean company that its third quarter earnings would drop by 60 per cent when compared with the previous year. We’ve seen how Xiaomi, whose CEO fashions himself on Steve Jobs, is more of a threat to Samsung than Apple. …
Simon Rockman, 7 Oct 2014
Fixed toy octopus

ARM spreads tentacles up and down the stack

Signs of slowdown in mobile device growth have driven ARM to expand aggressively into new areas for its processor IP – from servers to home equipment to the internet of things (IoT). Its IoT strategy has been evolving over a couple of years, but in the past few weeks, the scale and ambition of that strategy has become clear. …
Wile E. Coyote goes over the edge again

CONSUMERISM IS PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE: Die now, pay later

Crawling from the Wreckage John Watkinson, in his latest instalment for El Reg, argues that consumerism, as it is practised today, is an invention that now does more harm than good both to quality of life and the environment. We are on a driverless train to nowhere and we need to jump off. The economic crash exposed all that is wrong with how we conduct …

Why US Feds and g-men kick up a stink about a growing smartphone encryption trend

Analysis Over the last few weeks law enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic have been kicking up a fuss over Apple and Google deciding to include effective encryption on their smartphones. On Thursday, the Europol assistant director and head of European Cybercrime Centre issued a warning about the technology, and here in the …
Iain Thomson, 4 Oct 2014
X300 SSDs

SanDisk hopes to lure in enterprise clients with a little TLC (SSD)

Analysis SanDisk has launched its X300 3-bit per cell TLC SSD, which has neat-looking read performance – although the reported write endurance is less impressive. The X300 comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacity points and is classed by Sandy as a client SSD, a mainstream corporate drive, meaning it can replace business users' …
Chris Mellor, 3 Oct 2014
H.264 image scaling

HEVC patent prices are out. Look who's NOT at the codec party: Microsoft and Google

Analysis The MPEG Licensing Authority (MPEG LA) has released pricing for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) that is almost certainly low enough to claim the market overnight. HEVC is the successor to the tech used to encode video stored on Blu-ray Discs and streamed in high-definition digital TV transmissions the world over. The …
Faultline, 3 Oct 2014
SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD

The magic storage formula for successful VDI? Just add SSDs

Every pure solid-state disk (SSD) and hybrid storage vendor on earth would like you to know how brilliant it is at handling virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads. VDI may be a niche, but it is a miserably difficult niche, in which storage plays a huge role. There is a lot more to making VDI work well than just throwing …
Trevor Pott, 2 Oct 2014
Frodo and the Ring

One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Analysis “Whether it’s building a game, or a line of business application, there’ll be one way to write a universal application that targets the entire product family,” said Microsoft Executive VP Terry Myerson, announcing Windows 10 yesterday. One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types One Windows: Windows 10 …
Tim Anderson, 2 Oct 2014
Artist's impression of thunder-thighs kicking a lesser dinosaur into touch. Pic: UCL

Larry Ellison: Who's the DINOSAUR NOW, cloudy rivals?

There’s more to cloud than putting an ad on the back of The Economist, as a relatively contrite Larry Ellison and Oracle tried to demonstrate this week. His PR people rattled out the product news at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, California, like he, or they, were trying to prove something. What could it be? “ …
Gavin Clarke, 2 Oct 2014

Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Analysis Microsoft is courting corporate types with the newest version of its operating system, Windows 10. START MENU - Windows 10 preview The new Start menu mixes elements similar Windows 7 with live tiles from Windows 8. Redmond previewed an early build of the next Windows at a press event in San Francisco. The update, which skips …
Tim Anderson, 1 Oct 2014
Windows 10 Start Button

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Vid+Pics Microsoft has shown off Windows 10, and described it as a blend of Windows 7 and 8. Redmond thinks the new operating system is so revolutionary, it skipped over version 9 and went straight to double digits. "We will carry forward all that is good in Windows," Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the operating systems …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2014
Alf Garnett and Else

Be your own Big Brother: Keeping an eye on Mum and Dad

Feature Time was, when relatives started to get old, they'd move into the spare bedroom. My grandmother's generation seemed to do a lot of that, with assorted great aunts taking up residence. But it's much less common now. Else and Alf Garnett, Mike and Rita Fancy an alternative to regular visits to Mum and Dad? Source: BBC, Till …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Sep 2014

Investment climate hostile to optical sector: Alca-Lu

Alcatel-Lucent is warning that the telco sector is skewing its investment cycles – and that could have disastrous affects down the track. At issue is that investments in the boring business of science into products don't rate as highly as the more sexy flavour-of-the-month sectors like software defined networks (SDN) and network …

All awash in red ink, but Overland Storage is still swimming

Analysis Overland Storage, the troubled tape and low-end scale-out disk array storage vendor, is still battling on, with a swell in revenues despite increasing losses. How does CEO Eric Kelly do it? Overland's fourth quarter (Q4) and fiscal 2014 year headline numbers are, well, impressive comes to mind: Q4 revenues of $24.2m, up 100 per …
Chris Mellor, 24 Sep 2014

Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Western regulations like the mooted US changes enforcing “net neutrality” will hold back internet development for consumers, Huawei President and board member Ryan Ding told us today. Ding said it was absurd to have a put up with one-speed slow, dumb networks when different consumers and applications had different requirements …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2014
DTS interactive audio

Fake tape detectors, 'from the stands' footie and UGH! Internet of Things in my set-top box

IBC 2014 At this time of year, the tech press is often focused on IFA, the massive electronics show in Berlin where many companies unveil their latest products, including smartphones, flatter, curvier TVs than ever before, and all manner of other things. Taking place a week later in Amsterdam, IBC, the International Broadcasting …
Nigel Whitfield, 24 Sep 2014
Targeted Spam

Mushy spam law's IDEAL for toothless watchdog: Spamhaus slams CAN-SPAM

Antispam organisation Spamhaus has reacted phlegmatically to a recent survey that one in 10 of the world’s largest online retailers are still violating the CAN-SPAM Act, a full 10 years after the US anti-spam legislation went into effect. Richard Cox, CIO of The Spamhaus Project, suggested the Online Trust Alliance (OTA)'s …
John Leyden, 22 Sep 2014

Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

Analysis The internet was in a tizzy this week following the disappearance of what's assumed to be a warrant canary in Apple's latest report on governments demanding users' private data. The mere presence of the canary paragraph is supposed to signal that no information has been extracted. Thus, if it vanishes, it's assumed records have …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2014
medical_doctor_health_channel

Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

To outsiders, Britain’s National Health Service must look like a monolith, with more than a million staff marching under one three letter acronym to provide healthcare free at the point of delivery, paid for by the taxes. But the NHS is actually an assortment of several hundred organisations. Each UK nation runs its own health …
SA Mathieson, 19 Sep 2014
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't

Analysis What's the difference between God and Larry Ellison? God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison. So goes the title of Mark Wilson's 2003 biography on Ellison, Oracle's now former chief executive – a man who by force of will forged a multi-billion dollar software empire. In the process, Ellison became not just the best-rewarded CEO on …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Sep 2014
Snowden image

Snowden's NSA leaks have galvanised the storage world

Anyone following the fortunes of the world’s biggest technology companies will have noticed a trend: every one of them has gone potty for privacy. This is not out of some sudden moral urge but because their futures depend on proving that they are good at protecting people’s personal data. The Edward Snowden leaks, in particular …
Tom Brewster, 18 Sep 2014
HGST_Active_archive_platform

Aggressive HGST hurls flashy humdingers at online archiving

Comment Holy Moly, HGST is getting ambitious. It's building an active archive platform product in competition with some of its OEMs and its aiming to rewrite server clustering with a flash fabric - oh and develop helium-filled disk drives - and shingled drives with its own slant - and thinking of Phase Change Memory chips with DIMM …
Chris Mellor, 18 Sep 2014
IMFT 25nm Flash die

Will multi-tier flash arrays come to a data centre near you?

Multi-tier storage is a familiar concept in data centres and large server installations. In the old days, this was often a simple case of having a single-access bus type with different-speed disks, for example SCSI-based disk arrays with 15,000rpm disks in the “fast” set and 7,200rpm or 5,400rpm in the “slow” set. Commonly, …
Dave Cartwright, 17 Sep 2014
Seagate hybrid drives

Seagate's BUMPER State of the Storage Nation announcement

Analysis Positioning itself as a data steward, Seagate has presented its storage state of the nation pitch, announcing: three new disk drives; LaCie Thunderbolt external storage; two server flash cards and a controller; an HPC array; a new backup appliance; and a bright and shiny cloud and enterprise business unit. Seagate is continuing …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2014
Withings Home camera

Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Feature If you've ever had the misfortune to be burgled, you'll know how nervous it can make you feel. After my own experience some twenty years ago, it took a long time before I could leave the flat without fretting, and perhaps using my new-fangled mobile phone to call the home computer and check that it was still there to answer the …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Sep 2014