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Andrew Silver

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Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

New research has documented a species of finch evolving on the Galápagos island of Daphne Major, 1,000km off the west coast of Ecuador, in just two generations. It's called the "Big Bird" lineage because, um, as finches go, the birds are relatively large. The work, led by Uppsala University's Sangeet Lamichaney with Princeton …
Andrew Silver, 24 Nov 2017
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

The city of Munich will spend €49.3m (£43.9m/ $58.4m) going all-in on Windows after local politicos agreed to call time on the failing 15-year open source project. The city council voted 50 to 25 to migrate all of its remaining Linux computer systems to Windows 10 in 2020 as part of a €89m IT overhaul, Social Democrat …
Andrew Silver, 24 Nov 2017
Dolly sheep. Photo courtesy  University of Nottingham

Clone poster girl Dolly the sheep's arthritis was 'normal for her age'

New research suggests the arthritis plaguing Dolly the sheep – the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell – was normal for her age. Dolly was born in the lab. To keep her DNA around, scientists replaced an egg cell's nucleus with one from an adult somatic cell. The egg cell was then zapped with an electric current to …
Andrew Silver, 23 Nov 2017
Bookshelf in the British Library basement

Sci-Hub domains inactive following court order

Several domains of the controversial academic paper filesharing site Sci-Hub have been made inactive following a court order earlier this month. According to Whois records, sci-hub.io, sci-hub.ac and sci-hub.cc have their domain set to "serverHold", an ICANN code meaning the "domain is not activated in the DNS". Records for …
Andrew Silver, 23 Nov 2017
man hatches out of easter egg

'Gimme Gimme Gimme' Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

The maintainer of the Linux manual program man has scrapped an "Easter egg" after it broke a user's automatic code tests. On Tuesday, Unix systems administrator Jeff Schaller wrote in a Stack Exchange post: "We've noticed that some of our automatic tests fail when they run at 00:30 but work fine the rest of the day. They fail …
Andrew Silver, 22 Nov 2017
Cyber

Loake Shoes admits: We've fallen victim to cybercrims

Miscreants, hackers – call 'em what you will – have pilfered email addresses from an unknown number of Loake Shoes customers. In a letter sent to punters on its database – seen by The Register – the premium footwear maker said it has been "the victim of a cyber attack". "Despite having stringent security measures in place, …
Andrew Silver, 22 Nov 2017

Royal Bank of Scotland website goes TITSUP*

Updated Users who bank online with the Royal Bank of Scotland are having a tough time logging in this morning. Over 80 people have reported issues with online banking, payment cards and the website since around 0909 UTC on the site downdetector.com. RBS users last experienced downtime just one month ago. For some of the Twitterati, …
Andrew Silver, 21 Nov 2017

Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

Linux distro Debian is under fire for distributing a software package containing an "ASCII representation of zoophilia." Specifically, a sheep shagging a cow. According to a bug report filed this month, Debian user Felicia Hummel installed a package called "cowsay", which renders text in speech or thought balloons with ASCII …
Andrew Silver, 21 Nov 2017
Astronaut on mars . Photo by shutterstock

The Independent 'live streamed' space vid recorded in 2015

For reasons unknown, on Sunday The Independent "live streamed" footage from space that was more than two years old. The BBC reports the newspaper played International Space Station spacewalk footage from February 2015 on its Facebook page, stopping and taking down the video after being contacted by the Beeb. A spokesperson …
Andrew Silver, 20 Nov 2017

How is 55 Cancri e like a Sisters of Mercy gig? Astroboffins: It has atmosphere

A new physical model has added more support to the theory that the large exoplanet 55 Cancri e has an Earthlike atmosphere. A study describing the work by researchers Isabel Angelo, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Renyu Hu, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was published Thursday in The Astronomical Journal …
Andrew Silver, 20 Nov 2017
closed

Shamed TLS/SSL cert authority StartCom to shut up shop

Controversial certificate authority StartCom is going out of business. Startcom board chairman Xiaosheng Tan told The Register the business will close its doors on January 1, 2018, at which point new certificates will no longer be issued. CRL and OCSP service will continue for two years from then, when StartCom's three key …
Andrew Silver, 17 Nov 2017
American Express

American Express inks blockchain deal: Will use tech to pay UK folk who bank with Santander

Blockchain tech found another friend in American Express and UK customers of Santander. Well, sort of. The firm has slipped inside its international payments platform the network of the digital startup Ripple, according to a press release. The network allows select American Express business customers to make payments to …
Andrew Silver, 17 Nov 2017
FLAMING BASEBALL WITH JUSTICE SCALES LOGO

$232m blockchain startup Tezos faces sueballs for alleged investor fraud

Tezos, the blockchain startup that raised $232m in July, has been served with at least two US class-action lawsuits for allegedly defrauding fundraisers as well as breaking rules for offering securities. According to court documents filed in the Middle District of Florida on Monday, plaintiff Alejandro Gaviria is seeking for …
Andrew Silver, 16 Nov 2017
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

Slack apologises to Europe for TITSUP* services

Slackers of Europe, it might be a good time to enjoy a little me-time as techies at the messaging and collaboration app biz attempt to wake the supposed productivity improvement tool from its slumber. "Connectivity issues" have hit users on the continent and perhaps elsewhere, the company confirmed today. At 12:23 AM PST (08: …
Andrew Silver, 16 Nov 2017
Lloyd's Horse logo on building

Black Horse Down, we repeat... yes, Lloyds Bank, again

Customers of Lloyds Banking Group banks and TSB have been shut out of their online banking this afternoon. This is the second time this month they've been kicked off. At the start of the year, the UK-based group fell victim to a DDoS that led to a two-day outage, and there have been several more glitches since then. Hundreds …
Andrew Silver, 15 Nov 2017

Rocky Ross 128 b might harbour aliens – and it's headed right for us

A new study to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics has detected what could be our closest exoplanet that is not only rocky, but also orbits a star with a low amount of solar activity that could help an atmosphere survive – Ross 128 b. Proxima Centauri b, about 4.25 light years away from our Sun, garnered a lot of media …
Andrew Silver, 15 Nov 2017
Munich beer hall with pretzels

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Munich city council's administrative and personnel committee has decided to move any remaining Linux systems to Windows 10 in 2020. A coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives on the committee voted (PDF, auf Deutsch, natürlich) for the Windows migration on Wednesday, Social Democrat councillor Anne Hübner told The …
Andrew Silver, 13 Nov 2017
Unemployed men queued outside a depression soup kitchen opened in Chicago by Al Capone U.S. Information Agency. (08/01/1953 - 03/27/1978)

Want to provision a new VM on Azure? Get in line

Multiple Microsoft customers have for the past nineteen hours been unable to provision new virtual machines in Azure's UK West and UK South regions. Although there has been no formal notification on the Azure status page, The Register has seen a copy of a Microsoft issue summary report indicating issues since Wednesday morning …
Andrew Silver, 9 Nov 2017
Flying car illustration. Pic by Shutterstock

NASA tells The Reg: For crying out loud. We're not building flying taxi software for Uber

NASA has smacked down reports that it is working with Uber on a flying car, or software for that flying car, or indeed, software for any firm after several announcements from the ride-hailing biz yesterday had the tech press aflame with excitement. screenshot of guardian coverage of uber flying car Are you sure, chaps? Uber …
Andrew Silver, 9 Nov 2017

OVH data centres go TITSUP: Power supply blunders blamed

Updated Power outages have brought some OVH data centres to their knees, and unspecified issues have broken optical cable routing in Europe. OVH boasts it is used by "155 out of the 1000 largest European companies," and "20 out of the 500 largest international companies." According to the outage monitoring service downdetector.com, …
Andrew Silver, 9 Nov 2017

Scientists think they've found primordial goop whence life first sprang

A speculative new study suggests that nucleic acids, proteins and cell membranes – precursors to life Earth – first grew from a single kickstarting molecule named diamidophosphate. Its previous claim to fame was a 2008 barley fertilisation experiment, published in Biologia Plantarum, which found ammonium diamidophosphate …
Andrew Silver, 7 Nov 2017
Two angry businessmen fighting over agreement signing. Coffee is spilled. .Photo by Shutterstock

No, Samsung, you really do owe Apple $120m for patent infringement

Samsung seems to have trouble accepting reality when it comes to a long-running patent spat with Apple. The US Supreme Court today declined to hear another appeal of a May 2014 verdict awarding Apple $119.6m for Samsung's alleged infringement of software patents including "quick links", Reuters reports. An eight-person jury …
Andrew Silver, 6 Nov 2017

Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

The Périgord black truffle has survived UK weather and grown in Wales*. Paul Thomas, who led the research at Lancanshire-based truffle biz Mycorrhizal Systems, told The Register for his team: "It's completely unexpected." The price of the Périgord black truffle, known scientifically as Tuber melanosporum, varies from year to …
Andrew Silver, 6 Nov 2017
Man and a woman share gossip/secret

Boffins: Sun's red dwarf neighbour is looking a little thick around the middle

New research suggests that a dust belt may be circling the closest star to the Sun, a red dwarf named Proxima Centauri. Guillem Anglada at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucía in Granada, Spain, led the work (PDF), which was accepted for publication last week in Astrophysical Journal Letters. He told The Register a belt …
Andrew Silver, 6 Nov 2017
Penguins line up to dive into the icy water from the ice floe.

Linux data-sharing licences: So, will big data hogs take the plunge?

With its new open data licensing framework, announced on Tuesday, the Linux Foundation has created legal frameworks around sharing raw, unorganised data to tempt generous companies, nonprofits, government agencies and researchers to do so. But an expert says their current ambiguity makes them risky, and others are concerned …
Andrew Silver, 25 Oct 2017

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