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Homer Simpson

Data's democratisation: Because there's no doh in Type 0

There has been a slow but steady democratisation of business intelligence (BI) and data science over the years with Excel (and PowerPivot), through introduction of self-service BI and growth of R as the language of choice for statistics. For those from a traditional programming background, Python has become the analytical …
Andrew Cobley, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry's licensing strategy looks smart – and a lot like Nokia's

Analysis BlackBerry didn’t show a new phone in New York City at its annual Security Summit last week, and CEO John Chen sounded a bit fed up that the assembled press corps kept asking about phones. But there was enough in his comments to glean how BlackBerry’s device strategy has evolved - and it’s following a familiar path taken by once …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016
Plan b, image via Shutterstock

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Leaders of many British tech firms were less than thrilled to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. “I was shocked and horrified,” says Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting firm Memset, who we spoke before the June 23 vote. Her comments were echoed by others. Mike Laven, chief executive of fintech …
SA Mathieson, 25 Jul 2016

Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer

Backgrounder Toshiba is pushing flash chip capacity higher on two fronts: through, er, Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) and by increasing a cell's bit count to four. We covered the TSV notion here and now take a look at quadruple level cell (QLC) flash technology. Toshiba will present on this and TSVs in a keynote session at the August 8-11 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2016

Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

Security experts have already waded into the UK government's consultation into self-driving technologies. The two month session comes against a backdrop of increasing concerns about connected cars. Infosec vendors argue security needs to be considered alongside other issues such as changes to driving regulations (the Highway …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016

Successful fintech: UK has some, but it's not in Silicon Roundabout

Open up the business pages of any national newspaper and much of the coverage is focused on the latest fintech startup, the marvel that will transform the global financial system, backed – inevitably – by big name venture capital firms. But is this obsession with fintech deserved? A cool analysis of the phenomenon long term …
Marcus Gibson, 15 Jul 2016
CHILE -FEBRUARY 6: Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile. Photo by Shutterstock

The History Boys: Object storage ... from the beginning

Backgrounder This is a terrific object storage history map from Silicon Valley object storage guy Philippe Nicolas*, who has put together a spreadsheet detailing the history of content-addressable storage (CAS**) – otherwise generally known as object storage. I have heard so many odd things about suppliers and technologies in this market …
Big pipe, photo via Shutterstock

5G: Mother of all pipes, or actually useful?

The 5G standardization timeline is set, demos and proofs of concept are proliferating, and claims to 5G world firsts are on the rise. Yet, many mobile operators and vendors don’t really know what future 5G networks will be needed for beyond better mobile broadband services, and they’re calling on potential industry users for …
Stranded_ships

Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Comment Seagate has announced its latest quarterly results will be unexpectedly good but there will be employee bloodshed. Another 6,500 layoffs on top of the 1,600 announced in June will take place. WDC did say it was cutting 507 US staff in June but these are the tip of an expected iceberg, which will see thousands of positions …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2016
Robots2, image via Shutterstock

A journey down the UK's '3D Tongue' into its mini industrial revolution

One of the few "horizon" technologies that is really making a difference right now is 3D printing. While other "big hope" concepts such as genetic engineering, nanotech and quantum physics have yet to make much of an impact, 3D has been making immediate inroads into traditional, sometimes ancient manufacturing techniques. …
Marcus Gibson, 12 Jul 2016

EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

The passage of the EU Directive on the Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS) will have a profound effect on corporate security across Europe and even in Britain, despite the Brexit vote. The NIS Directive applies to organisations that provide elements of a country’s critical national infrastructure – i.e. operators …
John Leyden, 11 Jul 2016
jigsaw_puzzle_648

NetApp CEO Kurian: Buying SolidFire was a long-term strategic bet

Interview Chief executives of multi-billion dollar corporations have to have several characteristics, including steel, the ability to see things as they are, and possession of a personal value system that meshes with their corporation’s culture. Some CEOs, when promoted to the top chair after long employment in a corporation, sometimes …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016

Is Pure Storage a solid business or is skepticism justified?

Analysis BTIG analysts attended Pure Storage Live, a customer and partner event, in New York City on Thursday, June 27, and came away thinking Pure is the real deal and not another ultimately doomed storage wannabe. Their note points out that: "The market continues to be extremely skeptical that the differentiation is sustainable; it …
Chris Mellor, 8 Jul 2016
Kevin Turner

Farewell to Microsoft's Sun Tzu: Thanks for all the cheese, Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner’s departure as Microsoft’s chief salesman after 11 years marks the final passing of the Redmond old guard. Chief operating officer Turner - KT, as he was known - was a chief of the old-school corporate kind; sales, marketing and Microsoft’s stores all reported into Turner. His departure is part of a massive sales …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Jul 2016
Businessman looks at abstract painting overlaid with server room... he is possibly thinking of or conceiving of a storage/compute concept. Photo by Shutterstock

Apeiron claims NVMe fabric speed without NVMe over fabrics - but how?

Backgrounder Apeiron Data Systems' external ADS1000 array uses NVMe media to deliver block storage access using NVMe over Ethernet (NOE) but not NVMe over fabric technology, (NVMeF) which can use Ethernet. How does this subtle distinction work and what is the difference between NOE and NVMeF? NVMeF is a way of using the NVMe protocol, …
Chris Mellor, 8 Jul 2016
Artist's impression of the podule in flight, under the balloon. Pic: World View

Capacity limits are utter tosh: Toshiba fattens SSD, disk with flash layers, helium

Analysis Toshiba is looking to boosted flash and disk capacities to grow storage revenues and help returned the troubled company to growth. In a July 6 in-house presentation investor relations briefing by Yasuo Naruke, President and CEO of Toshiba’s Storage and Electronic Devices Solutions Company, information was revealed …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jul 2016

Three years in: Can Kurian heal sickly NetApp's woes?

Profile After three years of flat and declining revenues, NetApp needs to regain its mojo and George Kurian is the CEO tasked with doing just that. Kurian, a year into his CEO role, is running NetApp at a time when this external array company par excellence is facing numerous threats: rampant all-flash array competition, hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jul 2016
Micron_16nm_NAND_wafer

Etch a stretch: 3D NAND layer cake flop leads to 'string stacking'

Backgrounder Adding 3D NAND layers is butting up against aspect ratio limitations in the chip production process, which will limit the number of layers. String stacking is a technology that could provide an escape from this aspect ratio trap. Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D NAND, its third generation product; that’s the equivalent of 48 …
Chris Mellor, 6 Jul 2016
Tupperware image via Shutterstock

One container to rule them all? No. Um, a plastic box* refresher

Analysis Containers are the cool toy meaning two things: new technology and hype. At heart, containers are simple: group the minimum set of files needed to run a particular program into a single directory tree, then run it with some kind of isolation mechanism, so that as far as that process is concerned, it's the only thing on the …
Liam Proven, 5 Jul 2016
London stock exchange, photo via Shutterstock

London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

The London Stock Exchange takeover by its German competitor Deutsche Boerse (aka the "Merger of Equals") should still be going forward despite Brexit, but a planned vote by their respective shareholders throws another wildcard into how job cuts are shared between London and Frankfurt. The £12bn deal, announced in March, is due …
Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

Feature Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love's mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery. In his dressing gown and pyjamas …
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

When Facebook in January became the latest big-tech name to join Ireland’s roll call of data centre operators, its chief broke out the green flag – renewables. At the announcement in County Meath, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg boasted the planned new facility would be “one of the most advanced and energy efficient …
Communist fist, photo via Shutterstock

ODM for the masses? Facebook's OCP still ain't for you, brother

Go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and you’ll see a strange contraption cobbled together from commodity motherboards purchased from electronics stores. It’s one of Google’s first production servers, built in 1999 when it didn’t have money to waste on dead-end projects like Wave, NexusQ and Buzz. …
Danny Bradbury, 30 Jun 2016
A freight train travels through the Bow Valley - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Photo by Brian Lasenby via Shutterstock

The problem with Canada? The price of broadband is too damn high

Opinion Openmedia, a digital rights advocacy group, has quickly become one of Canada's leading civil liberties organizations. Established in 2008 by Steve Anderson, Openmedia has run a series of successful campaigns which have made it the bane of Canada's telecoms oligopoly. Past campaigns have focused on everything from net …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2016
Digital feet, photo via Shutterstock

Body of evidence: Biometrics and YOU

The proliferation of password protection has become an assault on the senses. The rise of biometric authentication is helping to create some balance, enabling verification with a simple interaction, which, for many, is the fingerprint reader on a mobile phone. And once you start using the fingerprint/phone combo for NFC payments …
Bob Dormon, 29 Jun 2016
Gnome two fingers, photo via Shutterstock

Looking good, Gnome: Digesting the Delhi in our belly

GNOME 3.20, released recently, sees the project beginning to find its footing again. It has been a long road from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3.20 and there's been plenty to complain about along the way - there still are things worthy of complaint - but 3.20 is the first release in a long time that feels like GNOME has its mojo back. …
Logs and an axe

Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Analysis A petition to nullify the UK’s EU referendum and hold another appear to be riddled with fraudulent data. Raw data examined reveals that many of the participants come from outside the UK, or use IP addresses outside the UK. Only UK or British citizens and residents can create or sign a petition, according to the rules. You can …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2016
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016

From Watson Jr to Watson AI: IBM's changed, and Papa Watson wouldn't approve

Completed in 1983, IBM's prestigious South Bank office in London, on the banks of the River Thames, owes a lot to the Brutalist style of architecture, popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It makes heavy use of concrete: a solid building for a solid company. The IBM logo has been outside that building for more than 30 years, an …
Billy MacInnes, 23 Jun 2016
K2 detail

Kaminario 'shelves' future. Between you and NVMe, it could get flashy

Analysis All-flash array vendor Kaminario has been in business a year longer than Pure Storage but is some way behind in sales, size and funding. However, it has begun expressing a technology vision that could accelerate its growth dramatically. We don’t know what Kaminario’s revenues from its K2 scale-up and scale-out arrays built …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

You spend months or years building up a client list for your employer. You nurture the relationship and build up personal ties with the client. When you leave the employer, naturally the client goes with you. And so does the client list, via a USB stick or Dropbox or your webmail account. If you don’t get all the details before …
Frank Jennings, 20 Jun 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Immigration is an issue swaying electorates around the world, including Britons, who will next week decide whether to leave the European Union and Americans, who will soon decide whether to vote for Donald Trump as president in November. While this is generally assumed to affect low-pay, low-skilled jobs, it can affect those in …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jun 2016
Punnets, photo by Graze

When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

“Graze is doing the reverse of most companies,” co-founder and chief technology officer Edd Read tells me. “We started online and we are going offline. We started with bespoke home-made technology and we are beginning to adopt the opposite.” Started in 2008, Graze has done everything considered “normal” in today’s startup …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jun 2016

Net neutrality victory: DC court backs full rules

Analysis Net neutrality rules that make it illegal for ISPs to interfere with data traffic across their networks have been upheld in full by the Washington DC Court of Appeals. The split decision (2-1 in favor) is a big victory, both for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Obama Administration, and a dramatic sign that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016

Man-in-the-middle biz Blue Coat bought by Symantec: Infosec bods are worried

Analysis Symantec’s deal to to buy Blue Coat, the controversial web filtering firm, for $4.65bn will bolster its enterprise security business. But some security experts are concerned about the potential for conflict of interest created by housing Symantec’s digital certificate business and Blue Coat’s man-in-the-middle SSL inspection …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Over Ireland? Bothered by Brexit? Find that new home for your cloud

As we all know, the cloud isn't an amorphous, non-geographical blob of computing. Which is a good thing, because there are plenty of legal implications around where your data lives and where it moves both to and from. The point is, of course, that as the cloud isn't just a cloud, your choice of provider is largely dependent on …
Dave Cartwright, 13 Jun 2016
Still from Waterfalls by TLC - (C) LaFace Arista Epic

Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick... Hang on. They're back

Since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, there’s been a steady acceptance that Agile is the way to go when it comes to software development. The old waterfall method was seen as something rather quaint and old-fashioned, the equivalent of hanging onto your vinyl LPs when the rest of the world was downloading onto their …
European Union Flag

Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

The UK government would be likely to have an "emergency" budget shortly after next month's EU referendum if there is a "leave" vote. It would use that budget to give clarity on its priorities for changes to the tax regime. Its proposed changes to the corporate tax regime would be influenced by the eventual trading relationship …
OUT-LAW.COM, 6 Jun 2016
Bare knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

Salesforce's data centre team 'fought' AWS cloud outsourcing

Analysis Salesforce’s cloud server staff, those behind its flagship SaaS cloud, fought tooth and nail against their employer’s embrace of Amazon’s cloud. Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s chief executive puffed last week he had a “great meeting of minds” with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on embracing AWS. Salesforce has chosen AWS to power its core …
Matt Asay, 3 Jun 2016
Iris flowers

'Limitless enterprise storage'. Really? Digging deeper into Symbolic IO

Backgrounder Remember the company we wrote about yesterday? The startup with the startling technology which claimed its storage and compute technology could run database queries 60 times or more faster than other systems, and offers ”limitless enterprise storage". Well here's a Q&A that sheds a little more light on the tech. The main …
Chris Mellor, 2 Jun 2016
The Twin Jet Nebula. Pic: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This storage upstart knows its technical onions: Symbolic IO

Analysis Symbolic IO is a startup that claims its storage and compute technology can run database queries 60 times or more faster than other systems, and offers ”limitless enterprise storage.” It was founded in 2012 by Brian Ignomirello, a former CTO of Hewlett Packard’s Global storage unit, and secured $1.4m in debt financing in 2013 …
Chris Mellor, 1 Jun 2016
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

The head of a UK industry insurance organisation has called for the government to create a database where companies would be obliged to “record details of cyber attacks”. Insurers are struggling to assess premiums for newly introduced cyber insurance policies in the absence of background info, according to the head of the …
John Leyden, 24 May 2016

Geek's Guide To Britain