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Windows Server 2012 R2 Powershell

Want to deploy virtual machines in a hurry? PowerShell is your friend

Sometimes you just need to do things fast. Being able to deploy new virtual machines rapidly is a necessity when you are prototyping proof of concepts, running virtual desktop deployments or when you just need to roll out new virtual machines in a lab environment. Let’s face it, unless you have written PowerShell scripts to …
Aaron Milne, 10 Mar 2015
Microsoft Bob

HAPPY 20th Birthday MICROSOFT BOB

Tuesday, 10 March 2015, is a day of infamy, for on that day in 1995 Microsoft gave the world Bob, the “social interface” for Windows 3.x and 95. In 1995 PCs were nowhere as ubiquitous as they are today, not least because they weren't very easy to use. Microsoft knew that Windows 3.x wasn't welcoming the rising numbers of first- …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Mar 2015
Array of multicoloured LEDs reminiscent of the matrix

Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

I am a heretic. There, I've said it. My heresy? I don't believe that quantum computers can ever work. I've been a cryptographer for over 20 years and for all that time we've been told that sooner or later someone would build a quantum computer that would factor large numbers easily, making our current systems useless. However, …
Ross Anderson, 9 Mar 2015
Punk-styled girl with piercing gazes at an apple

Network competition? Puh-lease. It's all about the Apple-Android Axis of Fondle

MWC 2015 “Competition is the best protector that a consumer and the best friend that an innovator ever had,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler told Mobile World Congress last week. Regulators worldwide have ensured that there is an equal playing field of mobile network operators (MNOs), usually about four, …
Andy Favell, 9 Mar 2015
Shot of a girl with a mask biking through Beijing

Web protection: A flu mask for the internet

The internet is no longer optional for organisations. It is where business lives. Unfortunately, it is also probably the worst neighbourhood on the planet, filled with cybercriminals, hacktivists, and corporate and state spies. And the internet is both the largest and the smallest neighbourhood. All of these people live just …

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

It's back to basics this time around for our post-pub nosh neckfiller, following an audacious leap into the challenging waters of English muffins and hollandaise sauce. Say hello, then, to classic Czech wobbly dining delicacy smažený sýr ("fried cheese") – aka "smazak" to its mates – which has for years been dispensed by street …
Lester Haines, 8 Mar 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

A solid tumour is the perfect example of a complex adaptive system at work. It is an ecosystem with competitive and cooperative networks of cells at play. This is one of the reasons why cancer is so difficult to treat. Historically, the approach has been to blast tumours with the most toxic drugs at our disposal – cytotoxic …
Sunset over the Texan desert. Photo by ArchBob, licensed under cc0 public domain

A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

The eXpat Files This week's expat is Derek Bergin, a self-described “Scots/Yorkshire hybrid” whose last UK residence was Milton Keynes. After the dot-bomb, he moved to California, but he has recently moved again to Texas. That makes him just about a double-expat in our eyes. Or are we overestimating the differences between Texas and California …
Samsung WW9000 series smart washing machine

OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Feature The emergence of the Internet of Things has analysts in a froth predicting that by 2020 homes will be awash with clever connected appliances. We’re not talking tablets and TVs here, but the brave new world of white goods, where manufacturers are battling it out to smarten up our cooking, cleaning and security systems. So how …
Netflix

You know HOOQ? We don't either. But it's bringing the Asia Pacific OTT fight to Netflix

Analysis Netflix is used to local spoilers blocking its international expansion as it enters new markets - in Canada it had to face off with Crave TV, in the Nordics it battled with ViaPlay and HBO Go and in the UK it came up against Sky’s Now TV. But in Asia, it faces perhaps its most formidable obstacle yet in HOOQ. HOOQ was first …
Faultline, 6 Mar 2015

‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

US prez Barack ‪Obama has criticised China's new tech rules‬, urging the country to reverse the policy if it wants a business-as-usual situation with the US to continue. As previously reported, proposed new regulations from the Chinese government would require technology firms to create backdoors and provide source code to the …
John Leyden, 5 Mar 2015

Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Feature It is far more common to find routers with critical flaws than without – Craig Young It's sad that end-user education about strong passwords, password safes, and phishing can be undone by something as innocuous as the blinking box in the corner of your room. – Peter Adkins Introduction Home and small business router …
Darren Pauli, 5 Mar 2015
connections_global_internet

How does a global corporation switch to IP Voice?

Not so long ago I worked with a company that had more than a dozen offices around the world. Each had its own phone system – a total of five different makes – of which only two could handle IP telephony. As a colleague once put it, we used to “spend a lot of time phoning ourselves”. International calls to our own staff, …
Vivaldi

Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

Browsers have been making a comeback. There have been three brand new browsers released and even Firefox, which seems to be sliding further into irrelevancy every day, has released a new version aimed at developers and claims to be working on a WebKit-based version for iOS devices. It’s a refreshing moment. After an initial …
Generic mast

Network vendors need something far more real than ‘5G’

MWC 2015 The big infrastructure vendors all made significant announcements in advance of Mobile World Congress, holding their beauty parades before the distractions of the event itself. While there was a lot of the inevitable "5G" vision-making on show, the main focus was on something more real: new platforms which could be deployed in a …
Panasonic TH-103PZ600

Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Feature This month, the fabulously wealthy owners of houses with curved walls will be delighted to know that the world's largest curved TV arrives at the Knightsbridge tat-palace Harrods. With a 105-inch screen, LG's new set, the snappily named 105UC9V boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio, and all the latest technology. LG 105UC9 105-inch 21:9 …
Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds movie still

At night, scary wildlife comes out to play in the chemical factory

On-call Welcome to On-Call, our semi-regular-ish weekend feature in which readers share experiences that happened late at night, in odd places. This week, the tale of reader "IT Gnome" who tells us "I work on call for a chemical factory, and it wouldn't look out of place at night in a zombie film." "It's perhaps the bleakest scariest …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

There's more than one way to back up your data

In the world of data protection you don't get fired for losing money, you get fired for losing data. Companies tend to make many copies of data, some of which hang around, zombie-like, for years. Data protection is without question critically important and we need to understand how it has evolved if we are to decide which …
Trevor Pott, 25 Feb 2015
Laser heating of magnetic storage

Storage modernisation reality check

Keeping up with evolving storage demands is tough. This came through strongly in a recent Reg research study. Those taking part told us that pressure on the storage infrastructure wasn’t just down to increasing data volumes. New application requirements, the impact of virtualisation, and escalating business expectations for …
Dale Vile, 25 Feb 2015

SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Updated The US Department of Homeland Security's cyber-cops have slapped down PrivDog, an SSL tampering tool backed by, er, SSL certificate flogger Comodo. Comodo, a global SSL authority, boasts a third of the HTTPS cert market, and is already in hot water for shipping PrivDog. What is PrivDog? Let's allow the US Computer Emergency …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
Yahoo Lockport Data Center Servers

Give in to data centre automation and change your life

As an IT professional, unless you’ve been living under a rock you are probably familiar with automation, even if only in passing. Automation process has been in use in the business world for many years, but somewhat paradoxically IT is usually the least automated department in any organisation. Whole data centre automation and …
Aaron Milne, 24 Feb 2015
Marconi and transmission equipment

Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Geek's Guide to Britain This is the story of a 22-year-old technology genius, who, stung by the lack of interest in his work in his homeland, moved to a new country to develop his ideas. In a single year, this individual extended the performance of a key technology of his time by a factor of more than 20. It sounds like an outlandish tale even by …
SA Mathieson, 23 Feb 2015
money notes lifted up

Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

In the last few years IP-based voice communication has increasingly come to the attention of business managers. Internet-based voice communication has been around for years in a number of forms, some hideously cranky and others very effective. My personal watershed in the credibility of long-distance IP voice comms was …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Feb 2015
Trackr Bravo

Be your own Big Brother: Covert home spy gadgetry

Feature Ah, lurve. The sweet strains of Barry White, the bouquets of flowers, the boxes of chocolates. That was Valentine's day. Now it's a week later, and perhaps the nagging paranoia is starting to set in. Why haven't they called? Is your phone still working? Go on, pick it up again and check. On the Street Where You Live On the …
Nigel Whitfield, 21 Feb 2015
Long exposure shot showing patterns made my moving lightsabers

Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Analysis Veteran US antenna team Ethertronics has brought out what it describes as an active antenna system that can offer beam steering for Wi-Fi. The system sits in either the client end of Wi-Fi to stimulate the return path or in an Access Point and will work with any Wi-Fi chip architecture and boost performance by between 15 per …
Faultline, 20 Feb 2015

El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipes have proved immensely popular over the last few months, as we've strived to bring our beloved readers the very best antidotes to a rigorous night on the sauce. However, amid the smacking of lips and the rattling of pots and pans, we have noticed a trend for commentards to decry some recipes …
Lester Haines, 20 Feb 2015
Stella Artois: Queens Tennis Championship. Artwork by stevecaplin.com for The Guardian

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Feature Nothing proves the popularity of a star product more than its name being used as a verb. Rival companies hate it, but carpets get Hoovered, wrapping paper gets Sellotaped. And what do you do to a photo? A poorly Photoshopped picture can arouse horror or derision, while a half-decent one can become an internet phenomenon. Think …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Feb 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

Is cloud the answer to all your storage problems?

The ‘information explosion’ has become a cliché of the IT industry. Pretty much every storage vendor presentation, press release and sales brochure will tell you that data volumes are increasing exponentially, before pitching whatever product or service is being punted. As discussed in a previous article, however, the focus …
Dale Vile, 18 Feb 2015

EU ministers hold Big Meeting on Big Data. But how will they get you to hand it over?

Analysis Europe’s Industry and Internal Market Ministers have been told to have a good long think about Big Data before showing up to their next meeting in Brussels on 2 March. The “theme” of the next Competitiveness council meeting is “Unlocking Europe's digital potential: faster and wider innovation through open, networked and data- …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Feb 2015
GEC PABX 3 switchboard and operator

Are you ready to ditch the switchboard and move to IP telephony?

When I was growing up it was something of a novelty to have a phone in the house. And when I started working in IT in 1989 my company was still encouraging staff to wait to make calls until after 1pm, when peak time ended. There was something unusual about the new phone system we deployed that year: the Philips Sopho-S was a …
Dave Cartwright, 17 Feb 2015
Beats headphones

Hey Apple - what's the $178bn for? Are you down with OTT?

Analysis After posting a record-breaking quarterly net profit of $18bn, on the back of sales of 74.5 million iPhones, Apple is sitting on $178bn in assets – despite a share buyback programme that has spent $103bn on its own stock, with $57bn of that occurring in the past 12 months. This is a staggering amount of cash, and it is only …
Faultline, 16 Feb 2015

Air gaps: Happy gas for infosec or a noble but inert idea?

Feature Last year Michael Sikorski of FireEye was sent a very unusual piece of malware. The custom code had jumped an air gap at a defence client and infected what should have been a highly-secure computer. Sikorski's colleagues from an unnamed company plucked the malware and sent it off to FireEye's FLARE team for analysis. "This …
Darren Pauli, 11 Feb 2015
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000

Hitachi's storage revenues: Not brilliant, but high-end gear helped – analyst

Analysis Hitachi pulled in more storage revenues in the last 2014 quarter than in its previous and year ago quarters, at least in local currency, but its mid-range was weak – implying its high-end Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays did the business, says an analyst. Hitachi owns HDS, which sells Hitachi storage in every territory …
Chris Mellor, 9 Feb 2015
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover

Don't count on antivirus software alone to keep your data safe

TJX hacking mastermind Albert Gonzalez scoffed at antivirus tools. He and his cohorts wrote malware specifically designed to evade their detection. One can imagine him laughing as his team of hackers broke into corporate networks using SQL injection attacks and gained administrative access. Then he probably guffawed, Bond …
shutterstock_184661174

TalkTalk may begin making 'Three style' low-cost mobile moves

As Telefonica looks to sell its O2 UK outfit to Hutchison Three, it is also supporting two mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals which are adding to the quadplay mayhem of the UK market. BSkyB and TalkTalk both have their virtual mobile services hosted by O2, and both will be harnessing these, while also investing in Wi- …
Bomba alarm clock

At the third beep, the Atomic Clock will be 60 ... imprecisely

Feature The atomic clock celebrates its 60th birthday this year. John Watkinson looks at the story of this enabling technology that lies behind GPS and DAB and discusses its roots in quantum mechanics and relativity. Readers are warned that they might need to lie down for a while after reading this article. The story probably begins …

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie

Our pushing of the culinary envelope takes us into intergalactic space this week, as we present for your post-pub consideration the magnificent Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie, likened to "a cross between food and bowel surgery". That's how Arnold Rimmer described Dave Lister's unholy creation in episode Thanks for the …
Lester Haines, 7 Feb 2015
Fear Of Landing Tiger Moth review

Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Vulture in the Air Stepping up from our usual car reviews, we’ve got an aeroplane this weekend. The guest pilot is Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, who runs the Fear of Landing website. What’s it like flying a Tiger Moth? Absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think I can do the experience justice, but I have to try. You can imagine my excitement when Into the Blue …

Half a billion wearables... and guess whose kit has to support all that data, asks Cisco

Analysis Video will continue to be the primary engine of mobile data growth over the next five years, but will be reinforced by an explosion in M2M (machine-to-machine) applications and particularly wearables as a subset of that, given they are more data-intensive. As a result, total mobile data traffic will reach 292 exabytes (292 x 10^ …
Faultline, 6 Feb 2015
A fresh horse dump

Legalese and coding? Yup, it's the open-source FOSDEM shindig

FOSDEM doesn't get the ra-ra headlines or (thankfully) the "booth babes" but the conference does get networking and top technologists (and Belgian beer). I saw a couple of my tech heroes and big cheeses here a few minutes apart just before writing this, for example, and got some top advice for a specific tech issue a breath …
Fruit and vegetables on display on the shelves of a supermarket

Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

As the Christmas trading figures emerged from the big-name supermarkets last month, the outcome of their price war was laid bare. Consumers benefited from falling food prices while limited-range discounters Aldi and Lidl enjoyed their fastest growth ever. However, this war has not been without its casualties. Morrisons …
Pistol cartridges and a pistol

Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

Analysis Electrical retail Goliath Dixons Carphone has announced deals with mobile networks EE and Three to head off the scenario that killed Phones4u. Phones4U folded when it failed to negotiate contracts to sell mobile network airtime. Dixons Carphone has now announced a multi-year contract with EE and a new range of custom tariffs …
Simon Rockman, 2 Feb 2015