Thursday 28 February 2013

Barcelona day one - Webber on top for Red Bull

Mark Webber sent Red Bull to the top of the timesheets for the first time this year as pre-season testing resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday. The Australian set his fastest time of the day in the afternoon after heavy rain had blighted the morning session. Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for Mercedes, with Jean-Eric Vergne third for Toro Rosso

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Nominet ditches shorter .uk domains plan (for now)

Proposal to drop .co from clear as mud

Dot-uk registry Nominet has rejected its plan to offer shorter domain names - such as - to British businesses after a three-month consultation process ended in utter confusion.…

via The Register - Networks

Clownfish wiggling helps anemones breathe at night


Red Sea clownfish help the sea anemones in which they live to breath more easily at night by wiggling their fins and burrowing about in the anemone's tentacles.

The level of oxygen available after sunset falls considerably as plants on coral reefs are no longer able to photosynthesise. Previous research has found that some reef-dwelling organisms have struck up respiration-based partnerships -- damselfish waft oxygen-rich water over corals at night -- but no studies had investigated how anemones coped with the oxygen crash.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Sutil secures Force India race seat

Force India have confirmed that Adrian Sutil will race for them in 2013, ending the long-running speculation over who would claim the vacant seat at the team alongside Paul di Resta. Sutil, 30, raced for the Silverstone-based squad between 2007 and 2011, before losing his drive to fellow German Nico Hulkenberg

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EMC intros self-service VMAX CE for cloud-slingers

New model prods service providers to move that AAS

In May last year EMC rolled out a VMAX for service providers, the VMAX SP. Now we have its successor, VMAX Cloud Edition, which provides tenant self-service provisioning and pre-organised storage service classes to make life easier for cloud storage slingers. The upgrade provides a new payment model, too.…

via The Register - Cloud

GSMA: Help us, OneAPI proxy, you're our only hope

Mobile operators fight off OTT players with an 'Exchange'

Continuing the fight against OTT players, mobile operators' group the GSMA has launched the OneAPI Exchange, a moderated proxy providing access to OneAPI functions across operators that are too lazy and uninterested to implement the standard properly.…

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Wednesday 27 February 2013

'New' Canadian BlackBerry security scare emerged in 2011

Hypegasm points to crisis for democratic process, not deadly new flaw

Reports that Canada has just awakened to the perils of BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN messaging in government should be taken with a pinch of salt – the nation knew about the problem back in 2011.…

via The Register - Networks

Spook-clouds ahoy! Panzura cloud storage cleared for restricted data

Goal: Help government agencies trim IT staff

Panzura's global cloud-storage controller has been cleared to handle restricted data, which should make it easier for the US government to move to private clouds and get rid of IT staff.…

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Apprenda adds Java to its .NET PaaS

Touts single- to multi-tenant conversion features

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider Apprenda has come up with a way to morph single-tenant Java applications into multi-tenant hydras without developers having to do much legwork.…

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Microsoft unwraps sysadmin-friendly Office 365 for biz update

Desktop Office apps included

One month after lifting the curtain on the updated version of its Office 365 subscription service for home users, Microsoft has officially launched the equivalent service for business customers with three new offers for small and midsized companies.…

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iPhones, 'droids go to WAR: US soldiers invade TOP-SECRET cloud

Chiefs stop short of letting BYOD tech onto classified networks

Spooks and soldiers will get iPhones and Android kit after the top brass promised to open up its top-secret communication networks to handsets beyond BlackBerrys.…

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MasterCard tries to zap PayPal with own-brand mobe wallet

MasterPass eyes lead in pay-by-mobe race

Walk into any of Apple’s 400 shops, pick up an accessory, boxed software or any one of the other items the Mac maker’s stylish emporia have out on shelves, and, if you have an Apple ID and an iPhone, you can buy the products you want without having to interact with one of the firm’s happy-clappy minions.…

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PayPal founder sets up mobile payment service verified by ... FACEBOOK

2-click buy-now-pay-later system

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has launched his new payments startup, Affirm, to fight it out in the rapidly expanding arena of mobile payments.…

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4D printing sees materials form themselves into anything

Skylar Tibbits

There are 3D printers that build things up, adding one sliver of plastic at a time, and 3D mills that tear things down, grinding away one small chunk at a time. But Skylar Tibbits offer a very provocative alternative: technology for 3D printing where the chunks start separated and intelligently arrange themselves into basically any object.

Tibbits' latest technology for so-called "4D printing," unveiled during a talk at the TED conference on 26 February in Long Beach, California, uses water to activate and power strands of material that fold themselves into desired shapes.

By: Ryan Tate, Edited by: David Cornish

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Teams set for crucial, final pre-season test in Barcelona

Formula One racing's 11 teams are gearing up for the final, four-day, pre-season test which takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona from Thursday. It's the final opportunity the teams will have to develop their cars on-track before the season-opening Grand Prix in Australia on March 15-17

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EU Digital Chief: Europe's slow on 4G, but 5G GLORY WILL BE OURS

Vice-prez pledges €50m to design ultra-fast mobe networks

A top Euro politician has urged Europeans to get cracking on rolling out 5G networks after falling behind Asia and America in adopting 4G.…

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New social network is for DEAD PEOPLE

'Immortalize the loved ones who are no longer with you'

Not content with worming their way into every aspect of daily life, a new Indian social network has decided to do the same for the afterlife.…

via The Register - Networks

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Downloads FTW: Music industry sees revenue rise for first time since 1999

Back in 1999, global recorded music revenue was at $38 billion (£25 billion converted today) -- and it's been falling ever since.

But that figure is on the rise again for the first time in over a decade. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) reported Tuesday that its 2012 global recorded music revenue is up 0.3 percent over 2011, reaching $16.5 billion (£10.9 billion).

By: Cyrus Farivar, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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Intel takes on all Hadoop disties to rule big data munching

'We do software now. Get used to it.'

Look out Cloudera, MapR Technologies, EMC, Hortonworks, and IBM: Intel is the new elephant in the room. Intel has been dabbling for the past two years with its own distribution of the Hadoop stack, and starting in the second quarter it will begin selling services for its own variant of the Hadoop big data muncher.…

via The Register - Cloud

Mobile data prices rise as capacity crunch bites – ACCC

Regulator also watches NBN migration practices

The capacity crunch in Australia’s mobile airwaves has brought a response from carriers, with the ACCC reporting that real prices for mobile broadband services reversed their long-standing trend and rose in 2011-2012.…

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Google+ goes single sign-in, exec roasts Zuck's 'frictionless sharing'

Promises not to 'spray' Web2.0rhea all over stream

Google+, which is the ad giant's "network thingy", can now be used to sign into third-party apps, the company confirmed today.…

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Cloudera sends in the auditors – for Hadoop

Giving enterprises what they want: auditing, backup, and rolling upgrades

Techies need tools to manage cranky Hadoop clusters, and business managers need to manage and report on access data stored in Hadoop to appease cranky auditors. And so, as part of an update to its CHD4 stack on Tuesday at the Strata conference in San Francisco, Cloudera is previewing a new data visualization and auditing tool that adds this much-needed feature to its big data muncher. The update also includes better data archiving and tweaked Hadoop cluster management tools.…

via The Register - Cloud

Engine Yard plugs multiple IaaS players into back end

PaaS lets your app skip between clouds

Platform-as-a-service Engine Yard has expanded its technical capabilities so developers can rapidly switch their apps between multiple infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds.…

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The swordsmith who keeps Google safe from barbarian hordes

Google swordsmith

Niels Provos is a Google software engineer who spends his weekends forging Viking weaponry. And that's only appropriate.

Google, you see, is caught up in a never-ending arms race. It began in the late '90s, when criminals started using Google's search engine as a tool to find vulnerable websites, and in the years since, it has mushroomed into a battle of enormous scale, with the bad guys trying to flood Google search results with phishing sites, marketing campaigns, and -- worst of all -- webpages that try to attack and install malicious software on any machine that visits them.

Provos is the man charged with keeping those web barbarians at bay -- all of them.

By: Robert McMillan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Darpa wants to make the helicopter faster


Helicopters are great. They're manoeuvrable in very tight spaces, they haul heavy things relative to their small sizes -- and, very importantly, they take off and land vertically, removing the need for a big airstrip or aircraft-carrier deck. That function is so important to the military that the US designed fixed-wing aircraft to do the same thing, like the Marines' iconic Harrier jet or their weird tilt-rotor Osprey.

Yet none of them are any good, according to the Pentagon's blue-sky researchers at Darpa, who are launching an effort to blow up and re-imagine helicopters, jump jets and tilt-rotors. It's time to make these "VTOL" aircraft -- the collective term for Vertical Take-Off and Landing -- much, much faster, without sacrificing their ability to hover or other functionality.

By: Spencer Ackerman, Edited by: David Cornish

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Welcome to our Wi-Fi: Devicescape reinvents landing page

Coffee shop déjà vu for a post-web world

Wi-Fi leeching tech Devicescape has reinvented the Wi-Fi landing page, popping a notification into the Android menu to alert those users for whom the internet is no longer the web.…

via The Register - Networks

Boffin snaps spotty student mobe germ horror

Feeding the bacteria on your phone, what could go wrong?

Dr Simon Park, a senior lecturer in molecular biology at the University of Surrey, has unleashed untold horror on the world in the form of photos of germ colonies on mobile phones.…

via The Register - Networks

Monday 25 February 2013

Samsung, Visa in pay-by-bonk tie up

Mastercard responds with rebadged PayPass

Samsung and Visa have inked an agreement to pre-load the card giant’s payWave application on selected Samsung devices, with the upcoming Galaxy S4 slated to be the first built-in pay-by-bonk Visa device.…

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Hacking disaster: how designers and programmers are helping in emergencies


Relative to the age of our species, the time we humans have spent divorced from the messiness of the natural world has been extremely brief. While a disaster might itself be only brief -- an earthquake, a tsunami -- the destruction of infrastructure that can take weeks or months to repair can throw us back into a state of nature where issues of mortality and disease once again become terrifying real.

That's why technological innovation isn't just confined to the consumer sphere -- aid agencies and eager individuals are just as focused on finding ways to help people with smartphones and smart design as they are with food packages and tents. The altruism and desire to share and collaborate that drives much of the software, design and artistic world translates well into development.

By: Ian Steadman, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Raikkonen and Pic star at ice racing event

Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen and Caterham's Charles Pic were the star attractions at a unique ice racing event in Russia over the weekend. The pair were contestants in the 'Race of Stars', a long-running motorsport event co-organised by Renault in which drivers race 4x4 cars on a specially-constructed ice track within Moscow's Hippodrome

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Goss replaces Lowe as McLaren technical director

McLaren have announced that Tim Goss, formerly the team's director of engineering, is to replace Paddy Lowe as technical director with immediate effect. Goss, who joined McLaren in 1990, said: "I'm delighted to have been offered the technical directorship of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - one of the most prestigious positions in global sport"

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Strand-1 satellite launches Google Nexus One smartphone into orbit

A nanosatellite carrying a Google Nexus One smartphone has been successfully launched into space from India today.

The satellite -- built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) -- is the UK's first CubeSat to launch and will also be the first mission to place a smartphone into orbit. It weighs just 4.3kg and measures 10cm x 30cm. The aim of the mission is to see whether a smartphone could be used to drive a satellite. The satellite will initially by powered by a Linux-based processor with an altitude and orbit control system, but will attempt to transfer control of the satellite to the mobile device. The satellite will also test two innovative propulsion systems -- one using pulsed plasma thrusters and another water-alcohol propulsion system called, somewhat misleadingly, the "Warp Drive".

By: Olivia Solon, Edited by: Nate Lanxon

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BT argues Ofcom is 'mistaken' on Ethernet price capping plan

Plenty of competition, says national telco

BT has hit out at Ofcom over its plans to tighten control of pricing of the national telco's wholesale Ethernet services outside London and Hull by describing the decision to regulate high speed data links as a "mistake".…

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Pirelli: Barcelona degradation levels 'not typical'

Pirelli are confident that drivers will not experience the unusually high levels of tyre degradation seen in last week's Barcelona testing at next month's opening round of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship in Australia. Degradation at the Circuit de Catalunya was such that it prompted speculation that March's Melbourne race could see twice as many pit stops as in 2012

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Microsoft coughs up compensation for Azure cloud cock-up

Embarrassing SSL cert snafu probe launched

Microsoft has vowed to compensate users of its Azure cloud after an expired SSL certificate took the service offline.…

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SpaceX prepares for second ISS flight, Orbital Sciences readies rocket test

Dragon capsule

Space X is making final preparations for its second cargo flight to the International Space Station, currently scheduled for the end of next week. The flight is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on 1 March, and is expected to carry about 680kg of cargo as part of NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Orbital Sciences, the other company with a commercial cargo resupply contract with NASA is scheduled to test its engines later today.

On Monday, SpaceX will complete a practice countdown at its Launch 40 complex at Cape Canaveral, which will culminate with a brief static fire of the first stage engines. The actual launch is scheduled for 15:10 GMT next Friday. After a roughly 20-hour flight and rendezvous with the space station, the Dragon spacecraft should dock with the ISS early on 2 March.

By: Jason Paur, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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Xamarin vs Titanium vs FireMonkey: Abstracting the UI

One platform for all?

Cross-platform development is a big deal, and will continue to be so until a day comes when everyone uses the same platform. Android? HTML? WebKit? iOS? Windows?…

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Itsy-bitsy Wi-Fi brings pay-by-bonk to all

We don't need no stinkin' NFC

Desperate to pay-by-bonk but bored of waiting for the hardware? Then Podifi can help by providing a tiny Wi-Fi access point which turns any smartphone into a bonking wallet.…

via The Register - Networks

Bouncing into Norks any time soon? At least you'll get 3G

Mobe web data for visitors, citizens stuck in the dark

Foreigners and tourists visiting North Korea will soon take advantage of wireless data connectivity closed to those who actually live there.…

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Wikipedia to TXT articles to the developing world

Knowledge for the next billion net users

Wikipedia will shortly become available to readers in the developing world as text messages.…

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Sunday 24 February 2013

Holograms take on crime and bacteria


This kaleidoscope of colour is a hologram reflecting off tiny nanotubes of carbon. "You can create a hologram in any pattern you desire," says Tim Butler, the electrical engineer at the University of Cambridge who created this DayGlo simulation.

The light pattern is made using graphite cylinders, nested within one another. These nanotubes, about 100nm in diameter and about ten micrometres tall, are grown vertically on a silicon base in a specific pattern. Once you've got the shape you want, a laser (a five-milliwatt green laser, in this case) is shone on to the array of nanotubes and the light scatters, producing a hologram. This image can be projected on to any surface.

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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France tries again, with EU20 billion broadband fund

'Terminate the copper' says Hollande

French president Francois Hollande wants to take the cable-cutters to the country’s copper, announcing EU20 billion ($AU25 billion) worth of broadband funding to be spent over the next ten years. His aim is to bring universal fibre-based broadband to the country.…

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Dalek designer dies


Ray Cusick, the BBC designer who created the iconic Dalek baddies in Doctor Who, has died of heart failure in his sleep.

Cusick's daughter said that the 84-year-old passed away after a short illness, nearly 50 years after the Daleks first appeared on the small screen in series one of Doctor Who.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Oldest animal doubles as a thermometer


This glass sponge has been living in the South China Sea for about 11,000 years. Discovered by molecular biologist Werner Muller from the University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany, and a team of researchers, the Monorhaphis chuni sponge "is the oldest living animal, having evolved 700 million years ago," says Muller.

By: Madhumita Venkataramanan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Saturday 23 February 2013

Microsoft brings Azure back online

Red-faced Redmond mends worldwide SSL certificate cockup

Microsoft has managed to repair its Windows Azure cloud, after an expired SSL certificate downed storage and other services for people across the world.…

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Friday 22 February 2013

Microsoft secure Azure Storage goes down WORLDWIDE

Looks like Redmond forgot to renew a security certificate...

Microsoft's Windows Azure storage cloud is having worldwide problems with secure SSL storage, probably because Redmond let the HTTPS certificate expire.…

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Rackspace cuts network bandwidth prices on its cloud

Adds tiered pricing with volume discounts for storage capacity

Rackspace, which bills itself as "the open cloud company", is cutting prices in its ongoing effort to tear a chunk or three of business away from closed source Amazon Web Services, the public-cloud leader.…

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Barcelona day four - Hamilton quickest as second test ends

Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes as the second pre-season test of 2013 drew to a close in Barcelona amid damp conditions on Friday. The 2008 world champion's best time around the Circuit de Catalunya was set on slick tyres during a brief break between rain showers

via - Latest Headlines Podcast 112: PlayStation 4, 'functional' necrophilia and asteroid hunting

Wired podcast

This week we learn what Sony's got in store for its PlayStation 4, talk about the Amazonian frog that has developed a "functional necrophilia" strategy and get to know the teams that are protecting us from near-Earth asteroids

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Orange offers €40k for the best bit of NFC bonking

App compo to drive adoption of the radio comms tech

France Telecom-Orange is offering forty grand in prize money to best applications using NFC, with a €5K bonus if it relies on an Orange SIM too.…

via The Register - Networks

Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter hipsters exposed in Zendesk data raid

Hacker slurps email info from helpdesk biz

Customer service provider Zendesk has been hacked - potentially blowing the lid on the anonymity of some users of Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.…

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Official: More than 7 million Brits have NEVER accessed the interwebs

Oldsters, disabled and poor all left behind

Brits who are disabled, over the age of 75 or poor are among the vast majority of people living in the UK who make up more than 7 million citizens found to have never been online, official government figures show.…

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Facebook reveals plan for new archival data centre

Bit barn will hold all the photos you don't care about any more

Facebook has discussed details of a new data centre it is building to house photos nobody looks at any more.…

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Thursday 21 February 2013

Google in cloud-support price war with Amazon, Microsoft

Intros revolutionary 'how much can you afford?' model

Google has updated its cloud support packages, and in doing so has opened up another front in its cloud pricing war with Amazon and Microsoft.…

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Oracle plans deep integration of Eloqua marketing tech

Promises to support Microsoft and Salesforce systems as well

Oracle will make sure its recently acquired Eloqua marketing cloud plays along with Microsoft and Salesforce systems, though it plans to closely link the marketing suite with its own sales technology as well.…

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Barcelona day three - Alonso sets the pace for Ferrari

Local hero Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets on day three of this week's pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Thursday. The Ferrari driver set his best time on a short run in the morning session with soft-compound tyres. Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg clocked the second-quickest time of the day, with Romain Grosjean third fastest for Lotus

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Logo scanning lets companies see how you view their brands


A service called gazeMetrix allows brands to scan photos posted on social media to see how their logos are being used.

The image recognition tool offers the opportunity to collect raw numbers data -- how many times a logo appears -- but also (and more valuably) offers the brands the chance to see the context in which it appears. Is it a happy snapshot involving a branded coffee cup or is it brimming with ennui or unmet expectations?

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: David Cornish

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Penis size matters (to golden moles)


A study investigating the genitals of Hottentot golden moles has noted that lady moles might be using penis size to judge the quality of their prospective partner.

Zoologists conducting the research noted that "the males do not sequester females and that in the absence of visual cues the female may use penis size as an indicator of phenotypic quality."

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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WTF is... Miracast?

The AirPlay alternative for streaming video, games from your Android to your telly

Less than six months ago, there were just a handful of Miracast-certified products listed in the Wi-Fi Alliance’s kit database. Now there are nearly 150. A spectacular improvement for a little known technology. So what is it?…

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Study: Dolphins may assign themselves their own names


What might dolphins be saying with all those clicks and squeaks? Each other's names, suggests a new study of the so-called signature whistles that dolphins use to identify themselves.

Whether the vocalisations should truly be considered names, and whether dolphins call to compatriots in a human-like manner, is contested among scientists, but the results reinforce the possibility. After all, to borrow the argot of animal behaviour studies, people often greet friends by copying their individually distinctive vocal signatures.

By: Brandon Keim, Edited by: David Cornish

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Quit the 2D internet, flee your cave, and GET LAID, barks rock star

Jack White's charming message for Record Store Day

Rock star Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes and The Dead Weather, has told fans to switch off the "two-dimensional" internet, get out of their "cave" and start experiencing something in "the real world".…

via The Register - Networks

Sony announces PlayStation 4


Sony has officially announced the launch of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) -- the next generation console from the Japanese company.

Sony's Andrew House revealed the console at a launch event in New York and it marks the next major step for PlayStation gaming.

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Wednesday 20 February 2013

OnApp packs bullet-proof SAN into v3 of its cloud software

Hey, telcos, fancy some cut-rate cloud storage?

UK cloud control freak OnApp has released the third version of its OnApp Cloud, which packs in its distributed SAN for telecommunications companies that want to spin-up Amazon-like iterations.…

via The Register - Cloud

'On demand' fibre: Could it happen in Oz?

Trying to find the subsidy

A question posed by El Reg to Australian opposition communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull has opened up something of a can of worms.…

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Barcelona day two - Perez quickest for McLaren

McLaren's Sergio Perez set the pace on day two of this week's pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Wednesday. Perez's best lap around the Spanish track was marginally quicker than Sebastian Vettel's fastest for Red Bull. Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton were also within a second of the Mexican's time

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Amazonian frog employs 'functional necrophilia' breeding strategy

A species of frog has been found to operate a "functional necrophilia strategy" whereby males extract eggs from dead females and then fertilise them.

The tiny central Amazonian frog -- the Rhinella proboscidea -- is a species that engages in "explosive breeding", that is, a frantic competition for mates that takes place when large groups of animals gather for a few days. In this case, that means several hundred males congregate in small streamside ponds or headwaters for two or three days. When this happens, there is a brutal struggle to procreate, where many males become exhausted from fighting other males for receptive females. Meanwhile the females can sometimes get unintentionally crushed to death or drowned.

By: Olivia Solon, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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Concurrent gives old SQL users new Hadoop tricks

Lingual lets SQL devs speak HDFS lingo

Application framework specialist Concurrent has given SQL devs a free tool to get at data stored in Hadoop, without having to learn the intricacies of the trendy computational framework.…

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Mobe networks bag UK 4G for a steal - £1bn shy of Osborne's £3.5bn

BT, EE, Three, O2, Vodafone win spectrum licence auction, raise 10% of 3G's £23bn

The rights to use Blighty's 4G frequencies were today sold to UK operators, plus a BT subsidiary without national aspirations, resulting in a mere £2.3bn for the Treasury. That's somewhat short of Chancellor George Osborne's expectations of £3.5bn.…

via The Register - Networks

Nasuni fondles clouds, says Microsoft's is nicest...

Amazon's S3 drops in the rankings

Nasuni says Microsoft's Azure is the best cloud service provider for users of its cloud storage gateway. Last year it ranked Amazon's S3 at the top.…

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Android 4.2.2 slides up skirt slightly, reveals a slip of fishnet

Android@Home and mesh networking - not dead, just sleeping

Obsessives crawling through the minutia of Android's latest changes have spotted evidence that Google's vapourware home-automation system might yet live, and mesh networking too.…

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Tizen mobile OS releases v2.0 code

Android alternative has Samsung's support

The men and women behind the open source Tizen mobile OS platform have stated an early claim to win developer hearts and minds ahead of Mobile World Congress next week with the official release of Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK.…

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Tuesday 19 February 2013

ACCC consulting on NBN POIs, again

Who is using what, where

Having determined during 2012 the suburbs and towns in which Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) POIs – points of interconnect – would be located, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is now delving deeper into POI locations as well as interconnect procedures.…

via The Register - Networks

Telstra shed fried in fire

Oh, yes, it was an exchange

A bushfire on Kangaroo Island in South Australia has destroyed a Telstra street-side exchange.…

via The Register - Networks

BBC Two HD to launch in March as BBC HD channel is axed


The BBC will launch BBC Two HD on 26 March for Sky, Virgin Media, Freesat, Freeview and BT Vision customers in the UK.

BBC Two HD joins BBC One HD, which launched in 2010, and will replace the BBC HD channel on all platforms.

By: Nate Lanxon,

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Python-lovers sling 'death threats' at UK ISP in trademark row

Cops called after venomous vigilantes 'DDoS site, scream down phone at staff'

UK webhosting outfit Veber has called the police after fending off abuse in the wake of its attempt to trademark "python" in Europe. The small biz said it came under fire from fans of the popular Python programming language.…

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Amazon releases OpsWorks, muscles into cloud management

'Do not be alarmed, cherished partners'

Amazon has launched a free add-on for its fleet of cloud services that lets developers better manage and automate their application stacks – a move that stabs at the heart of many of Amazon's technology partners and some of rivals.…

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Barcelona day one – Rosberg and Mercedes lead the way

Nico Rosberg sent Mercedes to the top of the timesheets as pre-season testing resumed in Barcelona, Spain today. The German's quickest lap, posted in the afternoon session, was marginally quicker than those set by Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso

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TransLattice 3.0 dreams of multi-cloud nirvana

All these clouds are yours – except Azure, Oracle, Google...

Distributed database TransLattice has a dream of scalable multi-cloud data for all, but competition among providers may quash it.…

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How Google retooled Android with help from your brain

Android voice recognition

When Google built the latest version of its Android mobile operating system, the web giant made some big changes to the way the OS interprets your voice commands. It installed a voice recognition system based on what's called a neural network -- a computerised learning system that behaves much like the human brain.

For many users, says Vincent Vanhoucke, a Google research scientist who helped steer the effort, the results were dramatic. "It kind of came as a surprise that we could do so much better by just changing the model," he says.

By: Robert McMillan, Edited by: David Cornish

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Vandoorne joins McLaren young driver programme

Stoffel Vandoorne, the reigning Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Champion, has become an official member of McLaren's Young Driver Programme, the team has confirmed. The 20-year-old Belgian, who is graduating to the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in 2013, said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been selected to be part of the McLaren Young Driver Programme"

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MIT wants future US Army uniforms to contain 'functional fibres'

Smart fibres

If a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have their way, the soldier of the future mumbling into his jacket won't be a crazy person. He'll be using microscopic fibres woven into his uniform to communicate with his battle buddies and clear up some of the fog of war.

Can you spot the gold threads in the Army Combat Uniform shown above? They're not included for style -- but they do provide a kind of demonstration. MIT and the US Army wanted to prove that they could fabricate a uniform that included a kind of fibre optic-like thread developed through a joint effort that should allow soldiers' threads to detect light, heat and sound.

By: Spencer Ackerman, Edited by: David Cornish

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Ecotricity's Nemesis: turbo tree-hugger breaks UK land speed record


Self-confessed hippy Dale Vince makes for an unlikely supercar builder. "I needed to find a way of reconciling my desires as a petrolhead and a tree-hugger," says the founder of UK green energy provider Ecotricity. On 27 September his pet project, the Nemesis, set a new UK land speed record for an electric car when it hit 243kph.

"When we originally started the Nemesis project in 2008, there was no one offering an electric sports car with the performance I wanted," says Vince, 51. So he set up a development team that included designer Peter Stevens, who styled the McLaren F1 supercar. They bought a Lotus Exige on eBay to serve as a donor car, removed the engine, exhaust and transmission, and replaced them with 96 interconnected batteries and two electric motors. "We really wanted to smash the stereotype that electric cars are Noddy cars that nobody wants to drive," says Vince.

By: Alistair Weaver, Edited by: David Cornish

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Williams unveil the FW35 in Spain

Williams became the final team to launch their 2013 car on Tuesday morning, as the Renault-powered FW35 was unveiled in the Barcelona pit lane at the start of this week's four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya. To be raced by 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado and new team mate Valtteri Bottas, Williams hope the car will help them improve on their eighth place in last year's standings

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LogMeIn uncloaks cloud storage bypass

'Cubby' offers peer-to-peer syncing through, but not always on, a cloud

By now you know the prosumer cloud storage schtick: an agent on your device monitors a designated folder and copies everything in it to the cloud, from where any other device running the service's agent and logged in with the same account sucks down that file so it is available locally.…

via The Register - Cloud

Turnbull says NBN Co could offer FTTN with optional fibre-for-cash

Coalition comms spokesman cites BT Openreach's FoD as decent model

Australia's shadow Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he sees no reason NBN Co could not offer a “fibre-on-demand” (FoD) service that would see those offered xDSL connections under a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) scheme offered the chance to pay for a fibre optic cable to be connected to their premises.…

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Monday 18 February 2013

Incumbents plan new trans-Tasman cable

30 Tbps for TNZ, Telstra, Vodafone

Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand and Telstra have inked a memorandum of understanding for a $US60 million trans-Tasman submarine cable to ease pressure on the limited, crowded links between the two countries.…

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Telstra opens up footy app

AFL for Optus, Voda customers as well

Telstra has surprised “Aussie rules” football fans by announcing that its mobile app will be available to viewers on all carriers for the 2013 season.…

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VMTurbo 'invisible hand' control freak grabs more virty servers

Economic engine to be applied to networks, storage, and public clouds

There are a lot of tools out there to allow system administrators to monitor the various aspects of virtual computing capacity and help them figure out how to manage its use. But VMTurbo wants to get humans out of the way and automate the allocation of resources using the "invisible hand" of market economics - pushing the admins out of the loop. And with Operations Manager 3.3, VMTurbo is once again expanding its range of coverage over virtual infrastructure while at the same time adding some projection capabilities to its control freak.…

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Hard Man of Facebook: We might just eat those cheap TLC flash chips

Micron's teensy 3-bit NAND chips could feed FB data centre beast

Micron has built the world's smallest 3-bits per cell NAND chip, targeting USB stick memory and the like, while Facebook's open source hardware guru has indicated such chips could be used in its cloud's data centres providing ultra-cheap flash storage.…

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They came too soon: the history of tech's premature births

Domesday Machine

"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet... But your kids are gonna love it."

Marty McFly's famous words from the stage of the Enchantment Under The Sea dance at Hill Valley High School left an audience of doo-wop fans speechless. Had McFly picked a more recent decade to crash a party with heavy metal riffs, he might not have been so poorly thought of.

Whether you're a time-travelling Van Halen fan or the CEO of a technology business, timing is everything when it comes to introducing something entirely new. Netflix wouldn't have been able to make a movie streaming business succeed without ubiquitous domestic broadband; Napster did, but the repercussions of its timing may have damaged public appreciation of sound quality forever.

Similarly, Wikipedia succeeds where one experiment on the part of the BBC in the 1980s fell flat on its face; a futuristic ambition let down by the reality of current technological restrictions.

The following is a collection of nine stories of technologies, services, products, people and ideas that arrived too early -- they either failed as a business for simply being ahead of their time, changed an industry for the worse because of the period of their birth, or simply suffered under hands too eager to ship a product.

By: Nate Lanxon, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Sutil to make Force India test return this week

Force India have confirmed that former driver Adrian Sutil will appear for the team at the this week's pre-season test in Barcelona, Spain. The 30-year-old German, who raced for the Silverstone-based squad between 2007 and 2011, will get behind the wheel of the new Mercedes-powered VJM06 on day three of the four-day test on Thursday

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Iceland thinks long and hard over extreme smut web ban law

IP-address blocking and filters proposed to cull violent vids

Iceland is mulling a new law banning access to violent internet porn following research into the effect of extreme grumble-flicks on kids.…

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Barclays: So sorry about LIBOR... How about some free Wi-Fi?

1,500 branches to become coffee shops minus the coffee, food and tables

BT is putting free Wi-Fi into 1,500 branches of Barclays Bank - presumably so that impatient customers can do some online banking while queuing for a teller.…

via The Register - Networks

Satellite settles sloping sea squabble in north Atlantic


Data from the European Space Agency's gravity satellite has been used to resolve an argument over sea sloping on North America's eastern coast.

In case you're unfamiliar with the two sides of the argument, measurements by geodesists had the height of the sea rising as you move up the coast while oceanographers argued that it was actually falling. According to the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), the oceanographers were correct.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Ian Steadman

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Screened: best space and astronomy apps

Space apps

Wired looks at the best mobile apps for space and astronomy enthusiasts

By: Nate Lanxon, Edited by: David Cornish

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Phone-bonker Bump tells desktop users: We swing both ways now

Just press that button and your PC will give up the goods

Bump, the utility for transferring files between phones with a tap, can now invite desktop computers into the bilateral relationship by bashing the space bar to swap data.…

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Icann boss Chehade in China charm offensive

He wants an open and fair internet ... in China?

The new CEO of internet oversight body the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in China this week as part of on-going efforts to reach out to the world’s biggest online population at a time when the country’s crackdown on web freedoms has reached new heights.…

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Sunday 17 February 2013

Maria Konnikova: 'Sherlock Holmes can teach you to multitask'

Sherlock Holmes

A phone heralds the arrival of a text message with a fabulous buzzing. The computer dings when an email has hit your inbox. Your Facebook page pops up a new red alert. Your Twitter feed does whatever it is that Twitter feeds do, drawing your mind to any number of stories and announcements in the course of a second. What is it you were saying again? Or thinking or working on?

In a world as loud as ours, it's hard not to get distracted. Although the problem is far from new -- even the Benedictine monks complained of not being able to focus -- the modern environment plays into our brain's predilection for mind-wandering in uncanny fashion. Neurologist Marcus Raichle has spent most of his career looking at our brain's so-called resting state -- and what he has discovered is that, in that default state, the last thing our minds are doing is resting. Instead, they remain suspended in a state of ever-ready engagement, a baseline activation that constantly gathers information from the environment, flitting from stimulus to stimulus to see which might be important enough to warrant our attention. In other words, our minds are made to wander.

By: Maria Konnikova, Edited by: David Cornish

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Saturday 16 February 2013

Antibiotics hunted in deep ocean trenches


Aberdeen University researchers are hoping to find the next generation of infection-fighting drugs in the depths of the sea.

A team, led by Mercel Jaspars, will sail to a number of deep ocean trenches around the globe and drop sampling equipment to the bottom, dredging it for potential new treatments.

By: Duncan Geere,

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Heroku cops to poor tech performance for last THREE YEARS

'We failed ... we failed ... we failed'

Heroku has admitted that apps running on its Bamboo tech stack have been exposed to shoddy performance for the past three years.…

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Microsoft still reviving Azure SQL Reporting after MONDAY FAIL

'Procedural operations error' leads to lengthy cloud cleanup

Four days have passed since a "procedural operations error" downed Azure SQL Reporting in Microsoft's East US data center, and Redmond is still trying to restore customer data.…

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Friday 15 February 2013

Amazon opens Redshift data warehouse to Joe Public

Traditional IT companies nervously stare at ground

Amazon's Redshift cloudy data warehousing service is now available for general consumption after a trial among blessed customers.…

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Lotus select seven junior team drivers

Lotus have announced the roster of drivers for their newly launched Lotus F1 Junior Team. The lucky seven will be supported by the team in all areas of driving skills, physical fitness, health and nutrition, social and mental development, business ethics and principals, as well as PR training. They will spend the 2013 season contesting

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Firm moves to trademark 'Python' name out from under the language

Open-sourcers struggle against hostile snake snatch

A trademark battle has erupted following a company’s bid to stake a Europe-wide claim to the name "Python" - that of many devs’ favourite scripting language.…

via The Register - Networks Podcast 111: IBM's 'Doctor' Watson, Twitter cashtags and violent robo-rats

Wired podcast

This week we discuss the cancer diagnosis skills of IBM's Watson, how Twitter is letting people pay for products using hashtags and the robotic rats that are used to make real lab rats depressed

By: Olivia Solon,

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Opera gulps Skyfire, takes aim at mobile data applecarts

You want unlimited data with that?

Opera has bought one-time competitor Skyfire, for $50m down with another $100m in performance-related bonus on the table. The idea is to get into cell-operator racks with a view to making mobile pay.…

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Opera gulps Skyfire, takes aim at mobile data applecarts

You want unlimited data with that?

Opera has bought one-time competitor Skyfire, for $50m down with another $100m in performance-related bonus on the table. The idea is to get into cell-operator racks with a view to making mobile pay.…

via The Register - Networks

McLaren receive top FIA environmental award

McLaren have become the first motorsport organisation in the world to receive the FIA Institute's Environmental Award for the Achievement of Excellence. The award is part of a broader initiative between the FIA and the FIA Institute aimed at evaluating and reducing the environmental impact of motorsport

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Maldonado to debut new Williams in Barcelona

Williams have confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will give the team's new Renault-powered FW35 its track debut following its much-anticipated launch at next week's test in Barcelona, Spain. The Grove-based squad are the only team yet to run their 2013 car, having chosen to use a development version of their 2012 machine, the FW34, at the first pre-season test of the year in Jerez

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Traceroute reveals Star Wars Episode IV prologue text

'It is a period of civil war. A rebel network admin, striking from an innocent IP address … '

A bored, snowbound network admin has made something lovely: a traceroute that produces the text of the opening crawl to Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope.…

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Heroku tech change leaves customer with bill-shock

PaaS clouds not easy to run if you don't RTFM

The cloud is not as easy or as simple as its providers' marketing departments may want you to believe – that's the moral of the story of a startup and its platform provider Heroku.…

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Thursday 14 February 2013

Red Hat revs OpenShift Enterprise to 1.1

Fixes bugs, buffs UI, beckons to young devs

Red Hat has whipped out version 1.1 of OpenShift Enterprise, its locally deployable platform-as-a-service.…

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Implant gives rats sixth sense for infrared light


A neural implant gives rats the ability to detect infrared light -- part of the electromagnetic spectrum normally invisible to them.

The implant takes the form of an infrared detector on the rat's forehead which is wired to a set of microscopic electrodes in a region of the animal's brain normally associated with touch.

By: Philippa Warr, Edited by: Olivia Solon

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Capita gobbles Northgate Managed Services for £65m

Cloud biz finally finds a buyer

Outsourcing monolith Capita has coughed up £65m to buy Northgate Managed Services (NMS) in a deal announced to the London Stock Exchange this morning.…

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Caffeinated controversy buzzes Australian broadband

Slow EspressoHits per second rate hurts NBN co

NBN Co, the entity charged with spending over $AUD30bn or so building a national broadband network for Australia, has defended the price it pays for coffee.…

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British, Belgian boffins battle buffering bandwidth bogeyman

Golden era of uninterrupted kitten vids may lie ahead

International boffins have been enlisted to stop that most annoying of internet snafus, the buffering circle of doom right in the middle of your kitten video.…

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Wednesday 13 February 2013

USA sinks Atlantic cable cable over Huawei worries

Huawei not wanted on the voyage

The planned trans-Atlantic Hibernia Networks cable project is in limbo due to American concerns at the involvement of Chinese government-linked vendor Huawei.…

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Ericsson readies carrier-grade OpenStack for telcos and SPs

All your mobile service are belong to us

Ericsson is going with OpenStack, and in fact joined the consortium that is steering its development a year ago. The company and now previewing a tweaked version of OpenStack that will run on its network iron.…

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How to set up a Skunk Works

Skunk works

When Kelly Johnson set up the original Skunk Works -- a dedicated lab for top-secret and forward-thinking programmes at the Lockheed Martin aerospace, defence and security company in California in 1943 -- he also laid down a set of rules for its success. These guides are still relevant and can apply as much to business as building fighter jets: follow his advice to create your own fast-moving projects.

By: Tom Cheshire, Edited by: David Cornish

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Cambridge White Space boffins cook up Weightless chips

White Space networking takes a spin into silicon

UK White Space pioneer Neul has got its Weightless protocol into silicon, ready for devices which will then drain batteries as slowly as they'd leak energy when not in use.…

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Big Data: Why it's not always that big nor even that clever

And as for data scientists being sexy, well...

You may not realize it, but data is far and away the most critical element in any computer system. Data is all-important. It’s the center of the universe.…

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Tim Cook talks innovation, retail and possibilities of a cheap iPhone

Apple Store

Tim Cook has never been more bullish about Apple's ability to innovate, and he sees the company continuing to produce great products that deliver a killer user experience, thanks to Apple's ability to meld hardware, software, and services into a single package. And on those days when things aren't going so well, he just takes a trip to the Apple Store, an experience he likened to taking Prozac.

Cook held forth on all things Apple during an unusual public appearance at the Goldman-Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on the morning of 12 February, where he laid out an exceptionally bright picture of the company while responding to softball questions before an adoring audience. Not exactly the best place to glean any insights, but interesting nevertheless.

By: Christina Bonnington, Edited by: David Cornish

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'Strong basis' to claims Nominet board breached duties - legal top gun

Registry's members hire barrister in row over running of UK's web overseer

Directors of UK domain-name registry Nominet have come under fire from a group of Nominet members who have also threatened to take legal action against the board. The group commissioned a legal opinion in connection to claims that certain recommended changes to the non-profit's governance had been deleted from an "independent" review.…

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Supersofts for Australia as Pirelli reveal first 2013 tyre choices

Formula One tyre suppliers Pirelli have announced the tyre compounds that will be used in the opening four rounds of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. In Australia, the medium and supersoft tyres will be used - the first time that Pirelli have nominated the softest compound in the range for Melbourne

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Canada cans net surveillance law

'Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act' is no more

Canada’s Conservative government has decided not to proceed with its attempt to pass the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, also known as Bill-C30, after community opposition to the proposed law’s surveillance measures.…

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TransLattice inks partnership with Amazon's AWS cloud

Flavors Bezos's cloud with Google-esque database tech

Distributed-database company TransLattice has sailed into Amazon's AWS Partner Network, giving developers confidence that they'll get the most out of their database when running it on the AWS cloud.…

via The Register - Cloud

Rackspace rides OpenStack, lassos chubby, cloudy cash cow

'Open cloud and fanatical outcomes' – and that's fanatical in a good way

Rackspace Hosting is doing something right – many things, actually – as proven by its latest financial report that revealed hefty increases in customers, revenues, and profits.…

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Tuesday 12 February 2013

Pertino uncloaks, fires 'cloud network engine' at Cisco

If you take the work out of network, what you have left is net

Plucky startup Pertino Networks has taken aim at Cisco's Meraki with the release of its new network-as-a-service, ummm, service.…

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Fire danger as iOS mislocates towns, again

Making fun of Apple maps, #729

The failings of Apple Maps are in the spotlight again, after an app that uses the service fell foul of its infamous inability to find decent-sized towns.…

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DropBox seeks to woo IT admins with team data controls

Wants to beat down Microsoft, Google, Apple, EMC threats

Dropbox is changing its cloud storage service to reassure IT administrators that they can control their users and not have sensitive information taking wing out of their corporate servers.…

via The Register - Cloud