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Terminator display

Self-aware storage? It'll be fine. Really - your arrays aren't the T-1000

Comment In the last few months I have had several interesting briefings with storage vendors. Now, I need to stop and try to connect the dots, and think about what could come next. It’s incredible to see how rapidly the storage landscape is evolving and becoming much smarter than in the past. This will change the way we store, use and …
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON

Our Moon was born after a young Earth smashed its twin Theia, scientists writing in three studies just published by Nature have suggested. Their intriguing evidence reveals the Moon's origins may have been more incestuous than previously thought. Since the 1980s, scientists studying the Moon have largely agreed on the "giant …
Iain Thomson, 9 Apr 2015
NASA's new Europa photo

ALIENS ARE COMING: Chief NASA boffin in shock warning

First contact with alien life will happen very soon, claims NASA's Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan. During a panel discussion regarding NASA's search for habitable worlds and alien life, Stofan said: "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive …
Aibo

Do androids dream of herding electric sheep?

While technology has helped cats take over the world (in terms of video clips at least) it is now simultaneously contributing to the demise of a small, yet respected, section of their canine foes, namely sheepdogs. A number of shepherds are turning to drones as a more efficient way of shifting their flock. Michael Thomson from …
Kat Hall, 9 Apr 2015
Mars glaciers

Drill, baby, drill: HIDDEN glaciers ON MARS hold 150bn cubic metres of precious frozen WATER

Pic Those terraformers with a dream of one day seeing a blue or even green Mars could be in luck. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found dusty glaciers encircling the Red Planet that could water Martian gardens for generations to come. Boffins at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen used radar measurements …
Iain Thomson, 8 Apr 2015

Iridium sat comms module comp goes completely TITSUP

Competition Inventive readers still have until 5pm UK time on Friday to brew up a suitably inspired acronym/backronym for our forthcoming final Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test flight, and the best suggestion will earn its creator a spanking-new RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium satellite comms unit, courtesy of our mates at Rock Seven …
Lester Haines, 8 Apr 2015

Stop climate change by drinking Coca-Cola says Oz government

If you want to understand the quality of advice the Australian government wants in the climate change debate, you need only need one passage from page 56 of a new report into the energy sector. Discussing carbon capture and storage, which currently has “failed technology” status nearly the whole world around, the government's …
brontosaurus

Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

The brontosaurus, loved by kids the world over but cruelly snubbed by paleontologists for more than a century, is back. British and Portuguese fossil boffins have concluded the dinosaur existed as a separate genus after all. It was back in 1879 that paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh named a collection of bones a brontosaurus …
Iain Thomson, 7 Apr 2015
Aluminum battery

Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

Vid Stanford University eggheads have revealed a prototype aluminum battery that's apparently rechargeable, flexible and cheap, and could replace lithium-ion and alkaline batteries. New aluminium-ion battery from Stanford "We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline …
Iain Thomson, 7 Apr 2015

Saturn's rings, radio waves ... poetry? At home with Scotland's Mr Physics

Geek's Guide to Britain Say the the word “radio” and the mind goes to Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian emigrant whose work on the watershed of Cornwall and the Atlantic Ocean helped turn wireless into the defining medium of the early 20th Century. But radio wasn’t invented by Marconi – or any one person. Rather, it was discovered, and the man who drove …
Bill Ray, 6 Apr 2015
A 3D image produced by the new NCI chip. The image, taken from roughly half a metre (1.5 feet) away, shows an angled side view of the penny. Credit: Ali Hajimiri/Caltech

Here we are now, entertain us: Caltech team designs micro, high-res 3D imager

Vid Boffins working for Caltech have developed a tiny, high-resolution 3D imager that they hope could eventually be used in consumer devices such as smartphones. They claimed that it could "soon be possible" to reproduce "a replica accurate to within microns" of an original object snapped on a mobile device. Caltech said: Any …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Apr 2015
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

The world's mightiest particle accelerator was resurrected this morning, following a two-year shutdown to upgrade the proton-shattering Large Hadron Collider. The LHC, which is based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, was brought back into operation earlier today. Scientists said that two proton beams were circulated in opposite …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Apr 2015
Assembled experiment lowered into a high-field magnet system. Image credit: Jason Krizan

Stress me, test me, vex me ... boffins seek Hall Effect in frustrated magnets

Scientists believe a new finding could help future advanced electronics research – and it's all courtesy of some frustrated magnets. The results of a new experiment could help reveal more details about the way the frictionless transmission of electricity works, it has been claimed. Boffins at Princeton University in the US …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Apr 2015

WIN a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Competition As promised earlier this week, today we're giving readers the chance to win an all-new RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium satellite comms unit, courtesy of our chums at Rock Seven. The RockBLOCK "allows you to send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky" via Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), offering the …
Lester Haines, 3 Apr 2015
The UCLA supercapacitor demo

UCLA trumpets supercapacitor for wearables or implants

A hybrid supercapacitor out of UCLA has got the uni's boffins excited, since they claim they've achieved high energy density but in a thinner-than-paper package. In a paper published at PNAS (abstract), the researchers claim capacitance of more than 1,100 Farads per cubic centimetre – or around 1,145 Farads per gram, which is …

UK's National Museum of Computing celebrates 10 glorious years

The National Museum of Computing (TNMoC), which yesterday celebrated its tenth anniversary as an independent organisation, will this coming weekend formally inaugurate a new membership club for enthusiasts of Britain’s computing heritage, and supporters of the museum. The decade has not been without its growing pains, among them …
Tony Smith, 1 Apr 2015
Rosetta's view of Earth on March 5th, 2005

ESA reveals Rosetta's snaps of MARS and EARTH

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a trove of images captured by the Rosetta probe during its journey to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta launched in 2004 but dipped into Earth's gravity well three times, and Mars' once, to conduct “gravity assist manoeuvres” designed to speed it on its way to 67P. During …
Mushroom cloud explosion

It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

April Fool Molten nuclear powerplant cores from Fukushima – having burned their way down through the planetary crust and plunged into the Earth's centre – are set to emerge again on the other side of the planet and devastate the Falkland Islands, scientists believe. Sensationally, the Register can reveal full details of the impending …
Team Register, 1 Apr 2015
Mississippi River Lock and Dam number 7 with the I-90 Mississippi River bridge downstream. Image: Public Domain

GLOWING TAMPONS hold the key to ending pollution

A paper by a University of Sheffield research team, published Tuesday in the Water and Environmental Journal, has sought to answer one of the eternal questions facing humanity — how female hygiene products can be used to detect sewer misconnection discharge. Professor of Environmental Engineering David Lerner told The Register …

Ding Dong, ALIENS CALLING

Sorry, sci-fi fans: pretty much anyone who's imagined what a near-light-speed spacecraft would look like has got it wrong, because they've forgotten its interaction with photons. Not only that, but according to a couple of scientists working for Raytheon, it doesn't matter whether Einstein's proposition that you'll never …

El Reg lays claws on RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Heads up Our chums at Rock Seven – supplier of Iridium satellite comms units to our audacious spaceplane ballocket mission – have announced the release of the RockBLOCK Mk2. The RockBLOCK MK2 In common with its predecessor, the new kit can "send messages of 340 bytes and receive messages of 270 bytes using Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD …
Lester Haines, 31 Mar 2015
USA, Canada - which one is which?

Secret Bezos delivery helicopters operate from mystery Canadian base to evade US regulators

Amazon's relationship with Uncle Sam's Federal Aviation Authority has apparently deteriorated so much that the web-based retailer has fled its jurisdiction for the more liberal regulatory regime of Transport Canada. Showing off its secret-keeping credentials, the Guardian reports that Amazon has an undisclosed drone-testing …

NASA to take MARTIAN FLYING SAUCER for a spin

Vid NASA is promising a bit of live Martian flying-saucer action on Tuesday with a "spin-table" test of its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) – the future Mars payload delivery tech which may one day combine airbags and parachutes to safely place kit on the Red Planet's surface. From 1700 to 1800 GMT, you'll be able to watch …
Lester Haines, 30 Mar 2015
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling

The eager Igors of CERN are going to have to wait a little longer before they try to destroy the universe: it turns out that the upgraded Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has a short circuit in one of its dipole circuits. Mere days before the LHC's keenly-anticipated Earthproton-shattering return to operations, the main dipole …
MIT's entanglement machine

Atomic clocks' ticks tamed by 3,000 entangled atoms

MIT and University of Belgrade boffins have taken a big step in applying the quantum property of entanglement to macro systems: they're claiming to have roped together more than 2,900 rubidium atoms with a single photon. In what lead author Vladan Vuletić says is a “new class” of entangled states, in work that they believe will …
Opportunity in clean room

Opportunity suffers another flash-memory 'amnesia' moment

A flash memory reformat left NASA's Mars rover Opportunity with a brief episode of what the agency calls “amnesia” – thankfully, without any loss of scientific data. NASA adds that Opportunity was also able to continue its normal activities, such as using its robotic arm to examine a rock target called Athens. It's one of a …
Yawunik kootenayi walkcycle – artist's impression. Credit: Lars Field/Phlesch Bubble

Dino-boffins discover ancient, TOOTHY-CLAWED, four-eyed MONSTER LOBSTER

Scientists have revealed a terrifying-sounding new species of lobster-like marine creature that pre-dates the first living dinosaur by 250 million years. The Yawunik kooetenayi is understood to have swam in Earth's waters some 508 million years ago. "Yawunik had evolved long frontal appendages that resemble the antennae of …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Mar 2015

Easy come, easy go: Euro astroboffins blast brace of Galileo sats INTO SPAAACE

The European Space Agency has successfully launched two new satellites into orbit as part of the Galileo project to offer EU citizens an alternative GPS system from late 2016. Late on Friday night, the brace of birds were blasted into space from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Soyuz rocket. The ESA's sats will …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Mar 2015
Soyuz

To BALDLY GO where few have gone before: NASA 'naut twin to spend YEAR IN SPAACE

Pic + vid Three 'nauts are on their way to the International Space Station – and two of them are going to remain onboard the orbiting lab for a full year The pair will tough out the marathon stretch so NASA can understand more about the long-term effects of life in space on the human body. Youtube Video On Friday, the astronauts lifted …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2015
Dog using a satnav, Mark Robinson

Satnav launches are like buses: none for ages then three arrive at once

Satellite navigation satellites turn out to be a lot like buses: there's none for ages, then three come along all at once. The first of the three launched on Wednesday to join the US Global Posititioning System constellation. The new bird is a Boeing-built GPS IIF, the ninth of its type and one of 12 in a fleet of satellites …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2015
Gotenna offers secure communications

Bongfire of Inanity: Jakarta rozzers enforce mass chill-out

A community in West Jakarta was left dazed, confused and peckish after the local rozzers decided to "destroy" three and a half tonnes of cannabis on a bonfire. A series of drug seizures by the West Jakartan Palmerah plod netted over 1.8 kilograms of methamphetamine and 2,500 ecstasy pills, as well as several tonnes of wacky …
My bowls of stew and rice

A Quid A Day for NOSH? Luxury!

WiF It's that time of year as El Reg limbers up for the Quid A Day Nosh campaign and I'm here to point out that in context this is actually a pretty easy challenge. It must be, in technical terms, if one billion mostly illiterate peasants manage it all year round every year. Which is rather the point of the challenge in fact, to …
Tim Worstall, 26 Mar 2015
NASA ARM rock-grabber

NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON

NASA has decided that putting a lump of rock from an asteroid into orbit around the Moon is better than trying to hook a whole asteroid. The ARM – Asteroid Redirection Mission – has settled on what the space agency called “Option B”, sending a spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid big enough to have boulders on the surface and …
Opportunity in clean room

Marathon race ace FOUND ON MARS – NASA boffins overjoyed

Diagasm NASA celebrated a milestone in space exploration on Tuesday when the Opportunity Mars rover's odometer clicked past 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometres) – marking the first time a man-made object has completed a marathon's distance on the surface of another planet. "This mission isn't about setting distance records, of course; it's …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
Artist's conception of a watery asteroid being torn apart white dwarf GD 61

SCARESTEROID of the week to miss Earth on Friday

The UK press has noticed that NASA's Small Object Database Browser seems to show an asteroid passing close to Earth – and therefore we're all going to die on Friday. We won't: while object 2014-YB35 will pass within 2.8 million miles (4.48 million km) of Earth, which qualifies as a “near miss” in astronomical terms, it's not …
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon fires rocket up FAA for dithering on drone approval

Amazon has been complaining to US Congress about Uncle Sam's Federal Aviation Authority dragging its feet over rules that would allow commercial drones to operate in America's skies. Last week the FAA gave Amazon permission to carry out drone test flights, which the cloud giant hopes to use for ferrying small packages for its …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015

El Reg reforms the Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

We're pleased to announce that we've reformed the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse to tackle the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge to exist for five days on just £1 per day for food. Over the last couple of years, we've raised a good wedge of wonga in support of Malaria No More UK, and we hope to do the same from 27 April to 1 May …
Lester Haines, 24 Mar 2015

Tachyon Nexus theorises on ultra fast storage

Any in-memory-focussed clustered system has to deal with failure at some point, and learn how to recover from, or tolerate, it. Replication is a common method but it slows down processing, especially in sequences of jobs in a pipeline. However, upstart Tachyon Nexus thinks it has found a way round that problem, and can go a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015
...that's gonna hurt

HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE

Australia is home to the largest asteroid impact crater on Earth. The 400km-wide crater is more than twice the size of the Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which is often attributed with wiping out the dinosaurs. The new find in the Warburton Basin in Central Australia is a stunning 400km-wide impact zone from a huge asteroid that …
From left to right: Mastodon, mammoth, gomphothere. Credit: Sergio de la Rosa

Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

The long-time staple of sci-fi films to recreate prehistoric colossi could soon become a reality – with the woolly mammoth now a step closer to once again walking the earth. George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard University, has inserted DNA from the frozen remains of a woolly mammoth into cells taken from a live …
Kat Hall, 23 Mar 2015
Inside the CMS experiment

BIG DATA wizards: LEARN from CERN, not the F500

Big data has a problem: it is being abused. One of the biggest misconceptions is that big data is about archiving everything forever, buying the biggest, cheapest storage pool, and building a giant proverbial barn of hay in order to try to find needles. Vendor marketing has abused this. Consider marketing that advises that you …
John Nicholson, 23 Mar 2015
Twisted light image - University of Rochester

Boffins twist light to carry 2.05 bits in one photon

Orbital angular momentum – in photonics short-handed as “twisted light” – can help expand the capacity of comms systems using quantum communications. Since quantum key distribution (QKD) is already a commercial, if pricey, market segment, quantum communication science is of a more practical application today than quantum …