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Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Imation: Data storage? No, come to us for, er, investment advice

Analysis Activist investor-controlled Imation is setting up an investment advisor subsidiary and putting $20m into an offshore investment fund controlled by the activist investor controlling Imation. In an 8-K SEC filing, Imation stated its management "approved a plan to establish a registered investment adviser as a wholly-owned …
Chris Mellor, 9 Feb 2016

Pure as the driven CEO: El Reg chats to Scott Dietzen on taking the flash array high road

Analysis Scott Dietzen is leading Pure Storage along the flash array high road, determined not to cede any advantage at all to flash array rivals and driving Pure to stay in the flash market forefront by investing for growth. He's been in the CEO chair at Pure for five and a half years now, and three months post-IPO sees the firm …
Chris Mellor, 5 Feb 2016
Crypto fingers

Row over GCHQ-built voice algo MIKEY SAKKE rumbles on

GCHQ has defended its controversial MIKEY-SAKKE phone encryption protocol against criticism that it leaves a backdoor into systems that support the technology. The CESG assurance arm of the UK government’s signal intelligence agency has taken the unusual step of publishing a background document and FAQ in defence of the …
John Leyden, 4 Feb 2016
EMC Cork's DSSD D5 unit

We've just stepped out of our time machine, and we can reveal ... EMC's new kit for early 2016

Analysis EMC has new storage products coming in both external shared array form and in its converged and hyper-converged systems lines of products, using new VSAN capabilities. These will be announced over the next two quarters and will change the shape of EMC's product lines. We think we now have an overall view of what the mainstream …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2016
Cheshire Cat

Intel and Micron's XPoint: Is it PCM? We think it is

Does 3D XPoint memory use phase change memory (PCM) technology or not? After IMTF co-chair Guy Blalock said XPoint uses a chalcogenide material, like Phase-Change Memory (PCM), your storage correspondent sent a mail to Intel and Micron saying: “According to my understanding phase-change memory is a non-volatile, chalcogenide …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Stephen Hawking is scared. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking has said. With the creeping integration of soft AI into our lives in the form of Siri and personalized ads on social media, these computational mini-minds serve as a constant reminder that the evolution …
Lucy Orr, 29 Jan 2016
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Years ago, we were told that mass democratic participation was was going to be revolutionised by the web. One click was all it would take to effect change - if only enough people clicked. We would tweet truth to power. Instead of arranging to see an elected representative, we could fill in a handy web form. The future belonged …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
A person measuring her waistline

Reg readers speak out on Thin Client technology

Survey Results Managing PC estates is a time-consuming, expensive and thankless task. Better provisioning and management tools can obviously help, but implementing one or more of the various forms of desktop virtualisation available nowadays may also be beneficial. The virtualisation option, and particularly the use of hardware-based thin …
Dale Vile, 28 Jan 2016
Robots, image via Shutterstock

AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

By the early 22nd century, Mega-City One will stretch down the eastern seaboard from Montreal to Georgia. It will be home to some 400 million citizens. Almost all of them will be unemployed. Judge Dredd’s vast satirical dystopian backdrop in the pages of 2000 AD is one of the comic’s most colourful settings. A predominant …
Alistair Dabbs, 28 Jan 2016
Sprint

Pivot3 pivots, buys NexGen

Analysis In a major pivot, all-flash and hybrid array startup NexGen is merging with hyper-converged infrastructure appliance software startup Pivot3 in a cash-free stock merger. When startups merge that’s generally a sign that the original mission is failing and/or the backing VCS are getting nervous. What makes this more surprising …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016
Breakwater at Portland Harbour

How to be certain about your data in an uncertain future

If it wasn’t for users, managers, or compliance execs, IT would be an easy place with goalposts that stayed put. The real world is far less predictable. The rules of play may change. So how do you design data strategies to cope? Data regulations are a good example. The EU’s Safe Harbour legislation made the rules clear when it …
Danny Bradbury, 28 Jan 2016
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock

Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016

Techie on the ground disputes BlackEnergy Ukraine power outage story

Updated A Ukrainian telecoms engineer has raised doubts about the widely reported link between BlackEnergy attacks and power outages in his country. Illia Ilin said that reports suggesting Russian state sponsored hackers used the BlackEnergy malware to infect the control systems of energy distribution utilities and cause blackouts …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2016
Inside the reactor copyright, Dounreay Site Restoration LTD and Nuclear Decommission Authority

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Geek's Guide to Britain On the northern tip of Scotland stands Dounreay – 74 hectares of nuclear site encompassing the world's first fast breeder reactor, and one of the first nukes to be wired into a national grid. Built in an age of optimism – an era that wanted to turn the destructive power of The Bomb into energy that was too cheap to meter – …
Bill Ray, 26 Jan 2016
Chick egg, photo via Shutterstock

From DNA to Twitter: Data's digital journey to commodity

Big Data and All That In attempting any technological history, one of the traditional difficulties is to know where to begin. This difficulty follows from a flawed assumption that there is a story that is linear and began in one place at one time. The real world is not like that. Technology is more like a river that has its origins in any number of …
John Watkinson, 22 Jan 2016
Cable maze image via Shutterstock

Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Nightmare before downtime Blame cloud, blame DevOps, blame the increasingly prevalent trend towards managerial OCD, but server installations are becoming tidier. The influx of suites and external suppliers, such as Amazon and Microsoft, means that as tech's become “transparent” the back room's become more presentable. But you can’t blame tech’s …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jan 2016
man crying, image via Shutterstock

Eight budget-friendly 1TB SSD data packers for real people

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of a 2.5in 1TB class SSD roundup would have been laughable mainly because the very idea of a 1TB drive aimed at the consumer market would have been considered a flight of fancy. Until recently large capacity SSDs were the domain of the corporate and enterprise sectors with the accompanying …
Simon Crisp, 21 Jan 2016

Asda slammed for letting vulns fester on its cyber shelves

Supermarket chain Asda has come under fire for sitting on a potentially serious set of web vulnerabilities on its website for almost two years. As first reported by The Register on Monday, UK security consultant Paul Moore warned Asda about a shopping list of online vulnerabilities in March 2014. Asda upped the grade of its …
John Leyden, 21 Jan 2016
Cat 5 cable

Bridgeworks reveals VMware-like tech for TCP/IP cable virty'ing

Feature Bridgeworks has found way to improve wide area TCP/IP transmission of large, streamed files that compensates for packet loss, radically improving the performance of NetApp SnapMirror and SnapVault which are hobbled by packet loss. It’s been working on the technology to virtualise a TCP/IP connection for several years. Here’s …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2016
Diagram of the Great Cannon

What if China went all GitHub on your website? Grab this coding tool

A security developer has released a coding tool that aims to help websites test their defences against a China-style GitHub attack. China upgraded its infamous website blocking system, dubbed The Great Firewall, last year so that it was capable of blasting foreign businesses and orgs off the internet. The weaponised …
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2016

What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains

Interview Veteran software pro Tom Slee was one of the first critics of so-called “Sharing Economy” outfits like Uber and AirBnB. His forthcoming book What’s Yours Is Mine: Why The Sharing Economy Isn’t draws attention to the dark side of their operations – and strongly argues for regulation. But this creates a dilemma. They’re hugely …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2016
Still from the Star Trek original series episode "arena" of enterprise using photon torpedo.  Pic copyright:  Paramount Pictures, CBS Studios

Photon taster: Flirting with VMware's CoreOS gambit

There's growing interest in VMware’s Photon. Essentially, Photon lets highly optimised Docker containers into VMware Land. One of the great things about deploying Docker is that it can take mere seconds to spin up a new instance. Photon can be thought of as a competitor to CoreOS and similar offerings. What is different about …
Stuart Burns, 15 Jan 2016
Are you being served?

Serving up IT on a silver platter, also known as ITSM

In the 1950s, we imagined a world where everything was automated. Robots would clean for us, and small boxes would instantly produce hot food. Now, we have the Roomba and the microwave, and shortly, cars that drive themselves. Even Zuck is preparing his electronic butler. To top it all, there’s not a dodgy-looking Jetsons …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Jan 2016
Penguins and wellies, image via Shutterstock

2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

For the desktop Linux user, 2015 was a great year. There were major updates for nearly every single desktop available, launches of brand new desktops, even an impressive new distro that's forging its own path. Popular software packages also saw impressive updates – like GIMP, Inkscape and LibreOffice to name just a few – and …
USS reliant by https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanyamaha/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Improve, automate, rinse and repeat: All aboard the starship DevOps

Steve Ballmer once famously ran around on stage screaming "developers, developers!" You never hear anyone jumping about shouting "sysadmins!" or "quality controllers!". That’s because code conventional wisdom dictates that code trickles down from the ivory tower, while the boys in the engine room make like Scotty in Star Trek, …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Jan 2016
Checkout_lanes

DataCore scores fastest ever SPC-1 response times. Yep, a benchmark

+Comment DataCore has recorded the fastest ever SPC-1 microsecond response times, which are three times faster than all-flash EMC VNX. Together with DDN it demonstrates that parallel IO processing using multiple cores is set to become the new norm. El Reg was contacted by an industry source to provide contextual background to the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2016
Samsung Chef Collection Oven

Samsung turns to smart home, wearables chips as mobile declines

Analysis Looking for a radical change in culture and product mix is Samsung, which has ridden high on the smartphone boom but is now refocusing its growth efforts on the IoT, chips and displays. The decade of the smartphone will end this year, and growth in sales will fall below 10 per cent for the first time ever, according to …
Wireless Watch, 11 Jan 2016
ENIAC

Fan belts only exist, briefly, in the intervals between stars

Book review It's a full four years since it was published, but Reg contributor Geoffrey G Rochat has finally gotten around to reading George Dyson's worthy tome Turing’s Cathedral. He finds it's not just a Best Book list lurker, but something actually worth reading. Ostensibly about the beginnings of computers, Turing’s Cathedral is chock- …
Surprise image via Shutterstock

Was Android moving to OpenJDK really a Google gift to devs?

Comment While you were starting to think Christmas thoughts in November, Google quietly slipped out a pre-seasonal gift of its own: OpenJDK for Android N – the next edition of its smartphone operating system. Christmas is a time of surprises and Google's quiet move lived up to that spirit, because it was a profound change to its …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Jan 2016
Ada Lovelace, credit 2D Goggles

Lovelace at 200: Celebrating the High Priestess to Babbage's machines

A few of computing’s most vivid characters have become cultural icons. Most are from the last few decades, such as Steve Jobs and Alan Turing, but last month the University of Oxford held an academic symposium to mark the 200th birthday of one of the first: Ada, Countess of Lovelace, born on 10 December, 1815. Her …
SA Mathieson, 8 Jan 2016
Clint Eastwood bounty hunter

Invite-only bug bounty criticised for turning up the heat on Tor

Backers of a private bug bounty for Tor have defended the project in the face of criticism from a leading security researcher. The invite-only exploit bug bounty program for the Tor anonymization network is being organised through HackerOne. Tor has long been a target for foreign states and intel agencies. This has been well …
John Leyden, 7 Jan 2016
OpenStack

SwiftStack CPO: 'If you take a filesystem and bolt on an object API'... it's upside down

Interview Open source OpenStack-focused, object storage startup SwiftStack has has early involvement with Seagate’s object storage-focussed Kinetic disk drives, the ones needing server-resident software to manage their IO. We had an email conversation with Joe Arnold, the founder, president and chief product officer of SwiftStack, about …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2016

The Network and Information Security Directive – who is in and who is out?

New cyber security laws agreed on by EU law makers in early December are set to impact on a large number of businesses. Political agreement on the draft Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which could still be amended, was reached by MEPs and representatives of EU  governments in early December. It means the path …
OUT-LAW.COM, 7 Jan 2016
Lego builders, photo by Simone Mescolini, via Shutterstock

Microservices are not the same thing as components

Mention cloud, mention DevOps and it won’t be long before microservices enters the discussion. But what is, or are, microservices? The name implies something small – but what? Is it a part of a bigger thing or a piece of discrete functionality? And how are microservices different to application components? And why should we …
The Office

Ready for DevOps? Time to brush up on The Office and practise 'culture'

DevOps is the Holy Grail that could save your IT architecture – or so we’re being told. Do DevOps properly, and the IT department can deliver software continuously and fix complaints more quickly. This makes line of business managers happier, which is lovely. It also gives you more time to listen to their requests for new …
Rubrik_doughnuts

Rubrik's cube: Storage firm founder drenches us in upstart Kool-Aid

Comment The intellectual firepower at the top of Rubrik’s founding engineering team is exceeded only by the relentless promotion of the company, its founders, engineers and prospects by CEO Bipul Sinha, a VC partner. We met Rubrik during a Silicon Valley IT press tour in December 2015. After drinking coffee and enjoying doughnuts ( …
Chris Mellor, 5 Jan 2016
Data Centre

The Register guide to software-defined infrastructure

Explainer Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI) has, in a very short time, become a completely overused term. Roughly a year ago I discussed what SDI is. As the individual components of SDI have started to become automated the marketing usage of the term has approached "cloud" or "X as a Service" levels of abstracted pointlessness. …
Trevor Pott, 4 Jan 2016
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

Spooks, spyware, Ashley Madison and Windows 10: What you read in 2015

The last 365 days (give or take) have produced more than 11,000 articles on The Register. We covered the biggest tech purchase in history (Dell/EMC for $67bn), the trashing of the US-European Union safe harbour data export deal by European judges, the Ashley Madison hack, and, well, so much more. Big subjects, but what actually …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Jan 2016
youtube_648

YouTube’s 10 years of hits: Global recognition at last for Rick Astley

YouTube’s top 10 most watched non-music videos of 2015 feature a rapper from Atlanta (Silento #WatchMeDanceOn), Liam Neeson's spot in a US Superbowl ad, the Star Wars Episode Seven (or is it VII?) trailer, and a US law enforcement official busting some rhymes from behind the wheel (carefully captured on his dash cam). But …
Crawling_child

Solving the data silo problem using a crawl-walk-run strategy

Analysis + Comment DataSphere is Primary Data's product and it provides a storage abstraction layer presenting a single interface to multiple individual storage silos. Primary Data told us more about it at a Silicon Valley IT Press Tour event in early December. CEO Lance Smith said the company's technology virtualised data, not storage, and …
Chris Mellor, 31 Dec 2015

Cat fight: Watch out YouTube, here comes Facebook

I may not be the best person to write this. I am, after all, a YouTube refugee. Or renegade. Or reject. Roughly eight years ago YouTube booted me for posting a 20-second video I took at an Arsenal soccer match. While I have apparently been granted a recent pardon (I can upload again!), my criminal status has kept me from using …
Matt Asay, 30 Dec 2015
Hateful Eight

The Infamous Eight: 2015's memes, themes and big pieces

Year in review So, was US Central Command (CENTCOM) hacked, were a LOT of Polish Airlines aircraft cyber breached, and did China block imports of products from Apple and others? The answer in all three cases was a simple “no”. So what of the multiple cloud outages, and Uber’s ongoing global legislative and driver woes? In a 140-character- …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Dec 2015