Chris Williams

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Chris is The Register's Editor in Chief, based in San Francisco, California. When he's not editing news and features, he writes about semiconductor chips and software engineering. You can look him up online at, find him on Twitter, or give him a call: (+1) 415-866-4969

Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

Updated The UK's privacy watchdog wants to fine Equifax £500,000 ($660,000) after hackers siphoned off 15 million Brits' info from the credit-score agency's databases. Or in other words, three pence for each of the affected British citizens. The fine could have been much larger had it fallen under Europe's GDPR. However, the security …
Chris Williams, 20 Sep 2018
Ampere's 64-bit Arm server chip

Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

Carlyle Group-backed Ampere Computing, run by ex-Intel president Renée James, says it is, at last, shipping its 64-bit Arm-compatible server processor. It represents another attempt by the Arm world to grab a chunk of the lucrative data-center server market, which is virtually 100 per cent locked up by Intel and its x86-64 …
Chris Williams, 18 Sep 2018

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Linux kernel firebrand Linus Torvalds has apologized for his explosive rants, and vowed to take a break from the open-source project and seek help. In a mailing list message on Sunday, Torvalds admitted his "flippant attacks in emails" to fellow Linux programmers and project contributors "have been both unprofessional and …
Chris Williams, 17 Sep 2018
Some people discussing design stuff

Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

Today's the day we flip the switch, and make our new homepage design live – with an opt-out for those still unsure of the layout. We've been gradually redeveloping the front page over the summer, and we will continue to do so, pushing out fixes, nudges, and features here and there. What you see today is not its final form, …
Chris Williams, 13 Sep 2018
Not singing in the rain

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

Folks around the planet are today unable to use Microsoft Skype and Office 365's Outlook due to a baffling "Throttled" error message. The weird text box pops up in the chat software and cloud-backed email client, preventing people from sending messages, and talking to contacts. This is, according to Microsoft, due to a …
Border Grill at Mandalay Bay

VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

VMware has been accused of slyly shutting down and evicting a partner's four-day tech event running this week alongside the VMworld US conference in Las Vegas. Just as IT industry bods were biting into their lunch at the Border Grill restaurant in the Mandalay Bay hotel during the second day (27 August) of enterprise software …

It's 2018 – so, of course, VMware is touting open-source blockchain code, Internet-of-Things tools

VMworld US It's day two of VMware's VMworld 2018 US conference in Las Vegas, and here's a quick guide to what's new. The hypervisor giant has emitted an Apache 2.0-licensed codebase dubbed Project Concord, and put it on GitHub. This is roughly 30,000 lines of open-source C and C++ code that can be used to build blockchain-based software …
Chris Williams, 29 Aug 2018
Slide teasing ESXi for Arm64

ESXi on Arm? Yes, ESXi on Arm. VMware teases bare-metal hypervisor for 64-bit Arm servers

VMworld US VMware today showed off a port of its bare-metal ESXi hypervisor for 64-bit Arm servers at its VMworld US shindig in Las Vegas. This morning's keynote audience briefly glimpsed vSphere Client managing a 64-bit Arm Cortex-A72-powered host that was running four virtual machines. The box apparently had four logical processors, …
Chris Williams, 27 Aug 2018
VMware at a trade show

VMware AWS cloud goes down... under, launches in Asia-Pacific, touts devops-ish tools, etc

VMworld US The VMware world's VMecca – VMworld 2018 US – is upon us this week in Las Vegas. The virtualization giant has a large bunch of stuff to announce to kick off its three-day conference today. It likes to talk about holistic experiences such as empowering the vision of cloud native workload deployment velocity synergies with the …
Chris Williams, 27 Aug 2018
Photo by drserg / Shutterstock

Heads up: Fujitsu tips its hand to reveal exascale Arm supercomputer processor – the A64FX

Hot Chips Fujitsu has unfurled the blueprints for its homegrown high-performance Arm-based processors dubbed A64FX, the brains of its Post-K supercomputer. The designs were shown on Tuesday at a gathering of semiconductor engineers in Silicon Valley. The Post-K is a 1,000 peta-FLOPS monster – an exascale machine – that will supersede …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2018
Spooky computer chips

Three more data-leaking security holes found in Intel chips as designers swap security for speed

Intel will today disclose three more vulnerabilities in its processors that can be exploited by malware and malicious virtual machines to potentially steal secret information from computer memory. These secrets can include passwords, personal and financial records, and encryption keys. They can be potentially lifted from other …
Chris Williams, 14 Aug 2018
People designing a web design... in some sort of Nathan Barley utopia

The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?

If you're reading this, you've probably seen a link offering to opt you into checking out our new homepage design – and you're perhaps wondering what it's all about. Right now, The Register is alpha testing a new front page layout, which we started talking about publicly in July. Back then, you had to click on a link in an …
Internet of Things

Google unwraps its gateway drug: Edge TPU chips for IoT AI code

Google has designed a low-power version of its homegrown AI math accelerator, dubbed it the Edge TPU, and promised to ship it to developers by October. Announced at Google Next 2018 today, the ASIC is a cutdown edition of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) family of in-house-designed coprocessors. TPUs are used internally at …
Chris Williams, 25 Jul 2018
Must go faster must go faster

Core blimey! Apple macOS update lifts boot from MacBook Pro neck

If your 2018 MacBook Pro laptop is slowing down unexpectedly, then download and install today's macOS 10.13.6 Supplemental Update, and cross your fingers. This patch attempts to address frustrating slowdowns experienced by owners of Apple's latest top-end 13in and 15in notebooks that use eighth-generation quad and six-core …
Chris Williams, 24 Jul 2018
Dabbsy's Reg mug

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Here at El Reg towers, our backroom boffins have been toiling away improving our proudly Perl-based homegrown online publishing system. Among their latest work is rejigging The Register's website so that it looks spiffing on desktop and mobile, automatically adjusting the layout depending on your device's screen size. Whether …
Chris Williams, 17 Jul 2018

Up in arms! Arm kills off its anti-RISC-V smear site after own staff revolt

Arm has taken offline its website attacking rival processor architecture RISC-V within days of it going live – after its own staff objected to the underhand tactic. The site – – was created at the end of June, and attempted to smear open-source RISC-V, listing five reasons why Arm cores are a better choice …
Chris Williams, 10 Jul 2018

Another data-leaking Spectre CPU flaw among Intel's dirty dozen of security bug alerts today

Exclusive Intel will today emit a dozen security alerts for its products – including details of another data-leaking vulnerability within the family of Spectre CPU flaws. This bundle of disclosures is the start of the processor giant's efforts to move to a quarterly cadence of updates, we understand. Rather than drop surprise alerts …
Chris Williams, 10 Jul 2018
Two people standing talking by a water cooler

I think I'm a clone now: Chinese AMD Epyc-like server chips appear in China. What gives?

Watercooler  Hey El Reg, over the past few days I've seen news that Chinese chip biz Hygon is producing server-grade processors virtually identical to AMD Epyc processors. I'm kinda getting deja vu – you, too? You're not the only one. We reported back in April 2016 that... AMD and THATIC – Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment …
Chris Williams, 10 Jul 2018
A bunch of young-ish people

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

A laid-off IBM cloud sales ace is suing the IT giant for age discrimination, alleging he was forced out for being too old. Jonathan Langley joined Big Blue in 1993, and worked his way up the ranks over the next 24 years. Then, in 2017, as worldwide program director and sales lead of the Bluemix software-as-a-service, he was …
Someone looking at their smartphone shocked

Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms

Samsung's Messages app bundled with the South Korean giant's latest smartphones and tablets may silently send people's private photos to random contacts, it is claimed. An unlucky bunch of Sammy phone fans – including owners of Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 8 gadgets – have complained on Reddit and the official support forums that …
A SD850 Windows 10 laptop reference design

Qualcomm still serious about Windows 10 on Arm: Engineers work on '12W' Snapdragon 1000

Qualcomm is seemingly working on another high-end 64-bit Arm-compatible system-on-chip for Windows 10 PCs – the Snapdragon 1000. Here's the US chip designer's line up so far for personal computers: the Snapdragon 835, which made its way into a few moderately overpriced and slightly lackluster touchscreen laptops; the 845 …
Chris Williams, 25 Jun 2018
Apple MacBook Pro 15-in WRD mid-2015

At last! Apple admits its MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards utterly suck, offers free replacements

Apple has finally admitted the utterfly-mechanism keyoards in its Macook ad Macook Pro laptops are diaolical, and has offered free repairs and replacemets. It's funy what tens of thousads of complaints and a lawsuit will do. These minimalist noteook keyoards, asically, are terrile: the key tops fall off, ad they ecome …
Chris Williams, 23 Jun 2018
No, this isn't the official TLBleed logo (unless you want it to be)

Meet TLBleed: A crypto-key-leaking CPU attack that Intel reckons we shouldn't worry about

Updated Intel has, for now, no plans to specifically address a side-channel vulnerability in its processors that can be potentially exploited by malware to extract encryption keys and other sensitive info from applications. A team of researchers at the Systems and Network Security Group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the …
Chris Williams, 22 Jun 2018
Microsoft Azure on show at Ignite in Orlando

Microsoft Azure Europe embraced the other GDPR: Generally Down, Possibly Recovering

Updated Microsoft Azure tumbled over in northern Europe – and services have effectively stayed down for unlucky customers for around five hours. The disruption was caused by problems within the cloud platform's storage and networking systems, we're told. Today, from 1744 UTC to now, at time of writing 2115 UTC, according to the …
Chris Williams, 19 Jun 2018
Illustration of a circuit board

Now Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design

Updated Microsoft has ported Windows 10 and Linux to E2, its homegrown processor architecture it has spent years working on mostly in secret. As well as the two operating systems, the US giant's researchers say they have also ported Busybox and FreeRTOS, plus a collection of toolkits for developing and building applications for the …
Chris Williams, 18 Jun 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018