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Andrew Silver

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Image composite: Microsoft and StudioLondon

Two Brits nabbed in connection with global plot to hack Microsoft network

Detectives have arrested two men in the UK this morning in connection with an international "conspiracy" to break into the Microsoft network. The two 20-somethings are in police custody. The coppers, based in the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, are investigating "unauthorised intrusion into networks that Microsoft …
Andrew Silver, 22 Jun 2017
Money cloud

It's fluffy bottom line time at Adobe. That's a good thing, if you were wondering

Adobe has locked customers into its cloud services, and the fluffy white stuff has continued to, well, fluff up both its top and bottom lines. Total revenue for Adobe's second quarter of fiscal '17 ended 2 June was $1,77bn, up 26.7 per cent year-on-year - beating analyst forecasts - and rising 33.1 per cent for the six month …
Andrew Silver, 21 Jun 2017

Microsoft says Skype outages are over – a few hours too early

Microsoft thought it had fixed global outages for Skype that began yesterday, but so far, no such luck. Skype is still going through ups and downs. In a tweet at 1408 GMT June 19, Skype support admitted that, “There is an ongoing incident affecting the ability to connect to the application.” In another tweet at 1745, Skype …
Andrew Silver, 20 Jun 2017
Eiffel Tower at night with lightshow <a href="">Brian Kinney</a> / <a href=""></a>

Microsoft throws its weight behind Parisian AI startup factory

Today, Microsoft announced that it'll be throwing its resources behind fledgling AI devs at a soon-to-launch startup space in Paris called Station F. Five initial companies will get a year's helping of Microsoft's "scientific, technological, and business expertise". By the end of the year, it hopes to have created an AI …
Andrew Silver, 20 Jun 2017

NASA's Kepler space telescope finishes its original mission catalog

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has finished cataloging possible planets in the direction of the Cygnus constellation. At a news conference today, NASA astrobuffs announced that the telescope has identified 219 new planet candidates. Ten are about the size of the Earth and are in the “Goldilocks zone” – they’re at the magic …
surface laptop

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

It appears as if Microsoft has been following the Apple playbook in creating another laptop whose components you can never replace. DIY site iFixIt tried to take apart the new Microsoft Surface laptop – an ultra-thin and light unit which starts at £979 – and seemingly couldn’t do it without completely and utterly destroying it …
Andrew Silver, 19 Jun 2017

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

In 1991, Sony launched the world’s first commercial lithium-ion battery... and since then the design hasn’t changed all that much. Now, new research suggests that incorporating liquefied gas can allow lithium-ion batteries to work at much lower temperatures than previously possible. Lithium-ion batteries are cheap, pretty …
Andrew Silver, 16 Jun 2017

You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

Today, Amazon announced it will be acquiring the devilishly expensive Whole Foods Market to the tune of $13.7bn. “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said health-conscious Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. The transaction …
Andrew Silver, 16 Jun 2017

Microsoft HoloLens apps to be piloted with 'Hogwarts for the MoD' chapesses, chaps

Education specialist Pearson will begin trialling Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality apps in one UK school this autumn – an independent sixth form college that's sponsored by the MoD. Pearson’s theory is that the apps won’t lead to a dystopian future without teachers, but instead teachers can use them to make education even …
Andrew Silver, 16 Jun 2017

Just like knotted-up headphones: Entangled photons stay entwined over record distance

Pairs of entangled photons created on a satellite orbiting Earth have survived the long, perilous trip from space to ground stations. Crucially, they are still linked despite being picked up by receivers over 1,200km (745mi) apart – the longest link ever seen before. “This is a scientific breakthrough,” says Rupert Ursin, a …
Andrew Silver, 16 Jun 2017

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot

Analysis Back in a bygone era – September last year – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told a developer conference: "We are not pursuing AI to beat humans at games." This week, we learned Redmond has done more or less that – lashed together a proof-of-concept AI that can trounce gamers at Ms Pac-Man, and snatch some headlines along the way …
Mechanical hands produce gold bars on assembly line. Photo by Shutterstock

Misys and D+H borg, form mega-fintech titan Finastra

Fumbling British banking software biz Misys has merged with D+H to create the financial services tech firm “Finastra”. It will be “the world’s third largest fintech company,” according to a spokesperson for the UK firm. The largest providers are American firms FIS and Fiserv. Misys first listed in London for a paltry £8m in …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jun 2017
A dentist examining teeth

Fear the dentist? Strap on some nerd goggles

Wearing a virtual-reality headset in the dentist's chair could make you more relaxed, a new study suggests. "We know lots of people are scared of dentists," says Sabine Pahl, a psychologist at England's Plymouth University, who worked on the project. Previous research has shown that virtual reality can make kids calmer when …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jun 2017

Situation normal, blurts T-Mobile, while network continues to crap itself

Word of T-Mobile US outages has reached customers, social media, support representatives and The Register – just not the network's marketing team. A T-Mobile spokesperson told The Register in an email at 13:30 BST on 12 June that "all is operating normally". But El Reg spoke with two support staff who confirmed that there are …
Andrew Silver, 12 Jun 2017
Wide angle image makes the moon look much bigger than the earth

Shoebox-sized satellites made by civs win trip on NASA's newest rocket

Three citizen teams in the United States will get to fire deep-space satellites from NASA's newest rocket, Space Launch System, as part of the agency's Cube Quest Challenge. The teams' shoebox-sized "CubeSats" will then compete in a space-themed, robotic version of Survivor to win $5m, NASA's largest-ever prize pot. Heart- …
Andrew Silver, 09 Jun 2017
Man on old phone, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

Microsoft has officially decommissioned the Skype-calling support service SkypeKit, leaving some old VOIP handset users on hold. "I have just been royally upset by them," writes Tim Moore, a RTX Skype phone owner in South Devon, in an email to The Register. According to Microsoft, SkypeKit gave internet-connected devices and …
Andrew Silver, 09 Jun 2017
Elon Musk

Would you let DJ E-to-the-Musk set the playlist for your roadtrip?

Tesla might turn tastemaker, CEO Elon Musk let slip yesterday at the annual shareholders meeting, suggesting that the company may move into music "matching algorithms". "I think it's very hard to find a good playlist with good matching algorithms," Musk rambled as he tried to field questions from Twitter users. "We have …
Andrew Silver, 07 Jun 2017

Two hot Jupiters around two similar stars orbiting at similar distances look similar, right? WRONG

WASP-67 b and HAT-P-38 b are two far-flung exoplanets orbiting near-identical stars at similar distances. Their size and temperatures are also pretty close. So, naturally, astronomers thought that their atmospheres wouldn't be too far apart. They were wrong. "We don't see what we're expecting," said Giovanni Bruno, a …
Andrew Silver, 06 Jun 2017
cartoon of short order cook. illo by shutterstock

State of DevOps: Everyone's slinging code out faster

Deployment is up in the world of DevOps. The "lowest" performing IT organizations are deploying software between once a week and once a month — up from every month or six months in 2016, according to the latest State of DevOps report. The data was clustered into three distinct performance categories based on how frequently a …
Andrew Silver, 06 Jun 2017
Snakes on a Plane, kind of

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

It's the fear of anyone who watches Snakes on a Plane and books a flight – what if your plane crashes? Now take a deep breath and imagine that you're travelling on a plane or rocketship with no pilot. A new NASA research project hopes to find ways to certify unmanned autonomous aircraft systems for safety. The easy part, says …
Andrew Silver, 05 Jun 2017

Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

“A small portion” of Windows mobile users hoping the unexpected cool new update would start the month off the right way got burned yesterday. Microsoft “accidentally” released a development build of Windows 10 that can transform your phone into jelly if you try to install it. “We apologize for this inconvenience,” said …
Andrew Silver, 02 Jun 2017

Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

The uptake for Microsoft's long-suffering search engine, Bing, continues to be so dismal that Redmond has resorted to paying people to use it. The "loyalty scheme" offers points that can be exchanged for charity donations or music, games, devices and other stuff on the Microsoft Store. Users are awarded three points per search …
Andrew Silver, 01 Jun 2017
Pop art style illustration of man exclaiming "WHAT?" in shock/horror/bemusement. Illustration via Shutterstock

Toshiba asset-swap shock: Western Digital is not impressed

Loss-ridden Toshiba has pulled an unexpected move which it hopes will allow it to auction off its flash memory unit for a big pile of cash within the month. It says it has reabsorbed assets from its flash foundry JV with Western Digital Corp. In a letter obtained by the Financial Times, Toshiba’s lawyers announced it is …
Andrew Silver, 01 Jun 2017

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