Ric on Twitter

  • 10 September, 2012 - 10:55
    Any watch freaks out there? Time for some early Xmas shopping! http://t.co/kM5C8cyx
  • 25 July, 2012 - 10:14
    Have you kicked the tires on the Joomla 3 Alpha? If so, I'd love to know what you think.
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    The Alpha release of the new Joomla! 3.0 is out now. The release is primarily intended for extension developers... http://t.co/eX31fk0o
  • 9 July, 2012 - 23:45
    My latest book is out: Joomla! Search Engine Optimization http://t.co/3lToGUhh #joomla #seo

Feed Roundup

HP settles lawsuit after Mad Leo's WebOS and PC biz shenanigans

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 19:41
Firm to pay $57m to investors

HP has agreed to pay $57m to shareholders miffed by the management of Leo Apotheker. This comes after the plaintiffs sued the firm for defrauding them by abandoning its business model.…

Categories: The Essentials

Documentary "Stripped" shows the past and future of comic strips

Boing Boing - 1 April, 2014 - 19:23

Stripped is a new film about comic-strip history and cartoon artists, and about the scary and wonderful future we're living in, that's been four years in the making. It was funded in part by two Kickstarter campaigns and produced by two guys, long-time buddies, who had never made a full-length feature film. And it's wonderful from start to finish.

Stripped goes on sale today (April 1) at iTunes, and the filmmakers are hoping to make a splash and drive it up in the rankings to expose it to more people. On April 2, it will be released for the same price as well on Google Play and on VHX, a DRM-free distribution service, where you can stream on any compatible device as well as download the film for later playback.

The film traces the history of comics in America, telling the story about the end of the age of engraving that spurred creation of cartoons as a genre; through the heyday, when cartoonists were among some of the best-known celebrities; across the decline in fortunes of newspapers; and into the present and future, including the folks behind PvP, Penny Arcade, Family Man, The Oatmeal, and more.

Don't worry: this isn't a movie that fetishizes the past or grumbles about the transition to digital and the Internet. One of the co-creators of the movie is one of the longest-working webcomics artists, Dave Kellett! (His collaborator is a veteran cinematographer, Fred Schroeder.)

The filmmakers interviewed over 80 people, and snippets from dozens of those interviews are in the movie. It's a work with scope, heart, and insight. It includes parts of an audio interview with Bill Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes, who also drew the film's poster — his first public cartooning work in 19 years!

You can listen to a recent interview I conducted for The New Disruptors with Bill and Dave.

I've read cartoon strips and panel-style comics since the moment I could make out words, and have spent a sizable amount of the intervening years in that activity. While I fell away from comic books for a good two decades, and only returned in the digital reader era, I never stopped picking up a newspaper every morning. When comics came to the Web, I added those to my rounds, too.

Stripped is both for old fans, like me, who remember when comics were reproduced in newspapers at a larger size than today, and made more of an impact on culture and politics; and new ones, who grew up alongside webcomics and may have never seen any traditional long-rectangle, square, or circle formats in print or even online.

The guys behind the film, Dave and Fred are two of the nicest people you might ever meet, and their sweetness shows through: this is a love letter to the field, and fills a gap in documentary history. Dave has two Master's degrees in cartooning, and they plan to make sure the raw footage is available to future researchers, too.

(Note that this film is quite specific to comic strips: recurring work with typically, but not exclusively, a repertoire of regular characters and sometimes ongoing storylines, published at frequent intervals, such as daily, in a periodical or online. This also includes work published a bit at a time and later collected into book form. Even with that focus, which excludes most editorial cartooning and comic books, the film still bursts with material.

As a kid in the 1970s, I recall seeing newspaper and magazine stories about cartoonists, and was a huge fan of Charles M. "Sparky" Schulz. But the movie makes clear how ridiculously famous some of them were across decades of their careers. People recognized them in the street, they were regular guests on talk shows and game shows, and could make the front pages like a movie star.

There was also more power to prod and provoke change in the past. Al Capp's L'il Abner caused fashion trends and political arguments, while Pogo was the Doonesbury of its day, even more so. And Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury, at its height in the 1970s and 1980s, unnerved presidents and politicians.

A trenchant analogy for the business of strips: a video-game boss fight

It's hard to imagine a comic strip having this sort of impact in 2014: newspapers have lost their power, readership of all media is splintered, and the strips that remain have little ability to shift opinion. Trudeau's idea of social justice these days is, rather than an ongoing parody of Kissinger teaching a university class, some of his protagonists listing off Starbucks' employment benefits.

The film traces the origins of comic strips back before my knowledge, despite having read a few academic books on the subject. Periodicals employed huge numbers of engravers as publications were able to produce issues more cheaply and faster with the combination of hot-lead typesetting and printing improvements.

But the moment offset photographic reproduction became possible, engravers who had honed their art were mostly out of work, and turned their hands to creating a new popular culture medium. (David Malki of Wondermark is a historian of this era, mining it for his strip, and explains it in fascinating detail.)

The movie also deals frankly with issues surrounding syndication, with cartoonists explaining how much money they gave up, but also the incredibly tedious and intensive sales work that syndicates did (and still do) to get strips picked up and to get them to continue to run.

One of the most short-sighted things newspapers ever did was shrink cartoons and trim their numbers: as a licensing expense, it was modest; newsprint costs drove more of it. People are loyal to local sports scores (including high-school teams), local news, the weather, and the comics. Newspapers forgot that.

Legendary cartoonist Griffy is among those in interviewed for Stripped.

I grew up in a medium-sized town with a single newspaper, but many cities had two or more newspapers through the 1980s and even 1990s; a few still do. In those towns, part of the competition among newspapers was for specific popular strips, and some ran two to four pages of comics at somewhat larger sizes.

As the confluence of increased paper costs and Internet-fueled circulation declines led to cutting staff and pages, comics were seen as part of the ballast to be flung off to keep the high-flying margins aloft. (Newspapers commonly made 25 percent or higher profit margins because of a captive advertising market.)

Thus we visit the present and glimpse the future, through a clever video-game style walkthrough of how online comics have taken off. Dave and Fred know from Dave's firsthand experience, starting with an independent online-only comic in 1998, and talked to other pioneers, as well as folks who have made a partial transition fro, or hybrid between print and online, and newly minted popular cartoonists, like Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant.

Though his story isn't told in the movie, Rich Stevens (Diesel Sweeties) is a perfect example. Cartooning was a side project for him, and he moved it to the fore. He was syndicated, but his quirky strip intended for digerati failed to find an audience, and he had to meet newspaper standards and reproduce it in black-and-white. He made terribly small amounts of money. The syndication world wasn't a fit, but he's developed a huge audience over years online that supports all the different work he creates.

Stripped is a rare film that gives you a fair, in-depth, emotional, and factual runthrough of an entire slice of (mostly American) artistic and creative history. The filmmakers plan to release more material over time; crowdfunding backers received access to extended and additional interviews, and more of that will come out over time.

The biggest mistake you could make (beyond not buying a copy) would be fast forwarding through the credits. At the end of the film, a music video with a neat combination of stop-motion, animation, and live action with Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates, recaps the entire history of picture-based storytelling.


    





Categories: The Essentials

Nightswimming with Hannibal: "Mukozuke" review [s2e5]

Boing Boing - 1 April, 2014 - 19:19

This is the second time since the premiere that we've opened Hannibal with a visual juxtaposition of how similar yet different Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter are. This go round it was meal preparation. Some slices of Beverly Katz as the cornerstone of a healthy sadist's breakfast. Will can brood in his prison cell and retreat to his memory palace and toy with Dr. Chilton and even get all strapped into an iconic mask for a prison transport, but Will is no Dr. Lecter.

We know this. Will insists he knows this, but I think this episode was the first time Will, in all his new found clarity, knows he could be Dr. Lecter if he wanted.

Sure, on the surface, I think we're supposed to believe Will learned that he was not the kind of person who can order a hit on Hannibal in his anger and guilt over the death of Beverly. (A moment of silence please.) But even if Will felt like he had crossed a line by getting his very own swimfan to do his bidding, it would be supremely unsatisfying for Will -- and viewers -- to miss out on Will doing his own dirty revenge work. But, damn, if that creepy orderly didn't come very, very close in making a Hannibal-as-Christ tableau.

And Will would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that meddling Dr. Bloom, aka Miss Chicken Soup for the Homicidal Soul.

Loved the suspense and beautiful underwater cinematography of the last act. The sound of water flowed all throughout the episode, foreshadowing the big setpiece. We listened to drops fall from a thawing corpse, a river rushing through Will's imagination, a leaky faucet, a sink overflowing with blood.

Maybe Dr. Gideon is more to blame for Will's failed vengeance, since he tipped both Hannibal and Alana off that Will is brewing some kind of plot from his cell. The allegiances on this show are getting murky. Especially when it comes to all of these doctors. Chilton and Hannibal are in a professional standoff - "Neither of us gains anything by exposing the others' misdeeds." Of course, Chilton is too vain and stupid to know how he's really serving Hannibal's design. But I can't quite figure what Gideon has to gain by helping Hannibal, the man who nearly let Will Graham shoot him last season. Or maybe Gideon is really just helping Will, in his own twisted fashion.

If only Gideon were as easy to read as Dr. Lecter.

Allow me a moment to say I knew Hannibal killed the judge and staged it to look like the orderly's work. That death had a poetry in it, that's Hannibal's tell. And of course there was a grim poetry in the dissection of Beverly, who walked right into Hannibal's hands by dissecting evidence too closely. How beautiful and creepy was that Damien Hirst-like display? It reminded me of Tarsem Singh's movie The Cell -- a good recommendation for Hannibal fans who enjoy their serial killer dramas art-directed to within an inch of their lives. The Cell also centers on a psychiatrist literally entering the mind of a killer, so it's a fitting cinematic nod.

Beverly's disturbing corpse was made even more obscene not just because we loved her, but because of where she was on exhibition -- the same observatory where Jack Crawford found his protege Miriam Lass' arm. This is another death that will weigh heavily on Jack, even after he was spared losing his wife last week. The professionalism in the face of grief shown by the remaining BAU team was so human and tasteful. Scott Thompson made my heart sink. I'm glad he's still around. I guess that means I'd have been less upset if Aaron Abrams got killed off, but that's only by default I swear.

That's really it for Beverly. What a bummer. Hettiene Park wrote a great essay in response to criticism that Bryan Fuller unjustly fridged her character. It was a smart read and it's easy to see how Park made Beverly come to life in such a likable way. I look forward to watching her career.

On the one hand, I was worried that Beverly's death would be used to make Will do something really extreme in his sorrow -- a classic example of exploitation of a female character's death -- but this hour kind of swung to the opposite extreme and I didn't quite feel like everyone was shocked and suspicious enough. There's definitely more suspicion on the horizon as the evidence presents itself, but I would have appreciated more time to see Jack react.

Next week's promo suggests I might get my wish and also induce some Kermit the Frog-like arm flailing after a series of tantalizing, disturbing images. As we reach the midpoint of the season, Hannibal's coming to a rapid boil not a moment too soon.

Final Bites:

•Well, I'm put off burgers for about a year. Hannibal's smile as he grinds Beverly's kidney was so grotesque. But I loved Janice Poon's madcap hockey mask crust for that Katz-meat pie.

•The pie crust and Will's mask weren't the only nods to Silence of the Lambs. This season's been heavy with them. The orderly's instructions to Freddie were word for word Barney's warnings to Clarice Starling upon her first visit to the state hospital.

•"That was rude, Ms. Lounds." The menace in that voice.

•Still, my favorite line of the night was pretty much anything Eddie Izzard said as Dr. Gideon. It's a toss-up between the ominous "He is the Devil, Mr. Graham. He is smoke," or the cheeky "No need to stand way over there. I'm a cutter, not a pisser." Oh, but you are a pisser, Mr. Izzard. I'm so glad Dr. Gideon is still with us. It's like he gets to do his impersonation of Anthony Hopkins' Lecter while Mads Mikkelsen gets to continue his own interpretation.

•Palate Cleanser of the Week: Not gonna lie, Mads Mikkelsen in swim trunks was not unpleasant. Now we know how he keeps his physique despite all that heavy French food. Discuss this post #respond {display:none;}
    





Categories: The Essentials

HullCoin is first local government digital currency in UK

from News.com - 1 April, 2014 - 19:17
The British city of Hull has introduced its own version of Bitcoin to help local residents suffering after government cuts.
    





Categories: Open Source

Scality slips its Ring around Kinetic drives

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 19:17
An object of Seagate’s exercise

Scality is developing its RING object storage system to use Seagate’s Kinetic drives.…

Categories: The Essentials

Filling the gaps: Microsoft contest locates new prime numbers

from News.com - 1 April, 2014 - 19:10
Prime numbers are endlessly fascinating to computing and math fans, and there's an infinite supply of them. A Microsoft contest succeeds in fleshing out the list of primes that aren't actually the largest.
    





Categories: Open Source

MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 19:04
No 'meaningful competition', committee says

The UK government has completely screwed up the deployment of faster internet connections to Brits living in the countryside because it failed to properly address competition concerns as a result of its awarding all its broadband contracts to BT, politicians concluded today.…

Categories: The Essentials

Expiration Day: YA coming of age novel about robots and the end of the human race

Boing Boing - 1 April, 2014 - 19:00


Expiration Day is William Campbell Powell's debut YA novel, and it's an exciting start. The novel is set in a world in which human fertility has collapsed, taking the birth-rate virtually to zero, sparking riots and even a limited nuclear war as the human race realizes that it may be in its last days. Order is restored, but at the price of basic civil liberties. There's a little bit of Orwell (a heavily surveilled and censored Internet); but mostly, it's all about the Huxley. The major locus of control is a line of robotic children -- all but indistinguishable from flesh-and-bloods, even to themselves -- who are sold to desperate couples as surrogates for the children they can't have, calming the existential panic and creating a surface veneer of normalcy.

Expiration Day takes the form of a private diary of Tania, an 11 year old vicar's daughter in a small village outside of London. Tania's father's parishioners have found religion, searching for meaning in their dying world. He is counsellor and father-figure to them, though the family is still relatively poor. Tania is a young girl growing up in the midst of a new, catastrophic normal, the only normal she's ever known, and she's happy enough in it. But them she discovers that she, too, is a robot, and has to come to grips with the fact that her "parents" have been lying to her all her life. What's more, the fact that she's a robot means that she won't live past 18: all robots are property of a private corporation, and are merely leased to their "parents," and are recalled around their 18th birthday, turned into scrap.

This identity crisis is quite a nice twist to the usual coming-of-age story, and it adds a wonderful sense of intensity and urgency to Tania's normal drama of making and losing friends, being bullied, discovering sex, forming a teenaged band, dealing with school and teachers. Against all this is the many mysteries of Tania's world -- how bad has the birthrate crisis become, really? What is happening behind the new iron curtain that separates Africa from Tania's world? Who of Tania's schoolmates is truly a human, and who is a robot?

It all builds up to a powerful and deeply moving climax, which I won't spoil for you. Suffice it to say that if you're not in tears by the last chapter, you've got a harder heart than me.

Powell's novel isn't perfect by any stretch. I was very uncomfortable with the free ride he implicitly gives to paternalistic authoritarianism as a necessary and unavoidable evil in times of crisis; I also felt like his future was only sketchily defined, with many niggling contradictions lurking in the background. But the fact that I fundamentally disagreed with some of this book's message and still enjoy (and recommend) it is a mark in its favor -- as one of Powell's characters points out, an endorsement from your opponent is worth much more than one from a friend.

I'm told that Powell's novel is also one of those rarest of books: a novel that came into Tor Books's "slushpile" -- the mountain of unsolicited, unagented manuscripts sent by the bushelload to major publishers -- and ended up in print.

Expiration Day
    





Categories: The Essentials

Hacker Hymn [Jasmina Tesanovic]

Boing Boing - 1 April, 2014 - 18:35

Recently I saw a movie on the life and death of Aaron Swartz, who is nowadays often called a martyr for the freedom of the Internet.

People, nations and governments like martyrs. They love them, they need them. Martyrs are part of our bipolar, black and white society constructed from good and bad guys, who always do good and bad deeds. Martyrs are those who have escaped our human condition, of being judged by people as people. Martyrs are beyond judgement, they become the scapegoats for our biggest failures, for the banality of evil, as Hannah Arendt phrased it.

I don't believe Aaron Swartz ever wanted to become a martyr. He just wanted to live within a world that he believed he could fix, a world that was technically malleable and hackable, where he could be active and ingenious, even if that reform effort might involve a few false steps.

I find it unjust, unfair, maybe even outrageous to treat his suicide as a martyrdom. The legal machinery that crushed Aaron Swartz could have crushed any of us, at least if we happened to get apprehended and charged within the USA. We need to pay due heed to the fates of those who get singled out as examples. The system by its nature represses hackers, freelance thinkers or Internet activists. Some will die of that mistreatment, especially if they are neglected, or shunned, or met with public indifference and numb stupidity. The exaggerated honor we pay to "martyrs" is a guilty, posthumous reparation for our failure to keep them alive.

More "Internet martyrs" are clearly on the way for a host of nations. Aaron Swartz was a particularly brilliant MIT "burglar" and was therefore repressed with particular vigor by an ambitious American prosecutor. But America has a huge prison system with millions of people behind bars -- everyone but bankers, basically. If Aaron Swartz was still alive today, having pled guilty and gone to American prison for a felony, how much effort would we spend to get him out of jail, or to help him once he was free?

Prosecutors of all nations will always play fast and loose with computer crime laws, if they think that nobody is watching or cares. Recently, three bloggers in Serbia were condemned to one year of prison with a particular ingenious prosecutorial scheme. These bloggers, who were writing under their online nickname pseudonyms, made some sarcastic wisecracks about a right-wing filmmaker who is a darling of violent right-wing Serbian nationalist goons. They bloggers were promptly charged and convicted with hate crime and death threats of this author.

This is the exact sort of behavior that the EU would most like to see out of Serbia: vigorous defense of an imperiled author. They probably didn't expect to see this kind of hate law applied in a vigorous defense of the government's own apologists and some street-fighting right-wing extremists. However, the current Serbian government demonstrates a true genius for stealing the opposition's clothes. So here is a case of online dissidents and university teachers being promptly condemned and sentenced as hooligans.

Most anything said or written can become a verbal crime, if the rule of law doesn't mean much. Back in the Yugoslavian Communist regime, a poet could go to prison for a single word, if it was the wrong one; singing politically non correct song could land a private in court. No Communist ever wrote laws or doctrine to make that situation entirely clear. Legality would have defeated the entire purpose of a totalitarian atmosphere.

You just had to know what was sayable or unsayable, sense it, feel it. If you did not feel it, then you were either hopelessly stupid, or an enemy of the state. Both the stupid and the enemy were entirely expendable. They provided good practical examples for the others, to learn the everyday behavior for a society devoid of rules.

The modern Internet jungle quite reminds me of those lost days. Much like the victims of the Communist regime, the victims of the modern Internet can be pretty much anybody who somehow demands too much, in some awkward, embarrassing or disruptive way. The modern Internet is overrun with spies, hacker thieves, intrusive databanks, filters and censors. This is no longer a free and pristine electronic wonderland -- any more than late-period Communism was all about being genuinely communal.

Of course Communist societies relentlessly described themselves as liberated and avant-garde, and they even claimed that everything was freely shared even when shops were empty. It took real struggle to realize that this blizzard of official rhetoric just didn't coincide with people's lived reality. Today's Internet users haven't gotten this far as yet; they still talk about their "free services," as if not paying for commercial big-data spyware was somehow utopian.

Computer communication systems were not born free. The original freedom of the Internet came as a second-hand unplanned consequence, as the work of brave activists and hackers, and as a glitch.

It's only when you transgress that you can fully feel and understand the borders, the limits. Aaron Swartz's big mistake was to believe in the limitless possibilities of a media system, just because he was good at coding for it.

Serbian computer users also thought they could permanently outsmart the technically illiterate police and blinkered Communist court system. That worked, too, for about a generation's time. However, the current Serbian government isn't by no means a tottering Communist nomenklatura. Today's Serbian state system and its enthusiastic majority voters do not consider the Internet any obstacle to their nationalist and Orthodox religious ambitions. If anything, the Internet helps to reveal who their enemies are, not that they had many doubts. The new state needs new enemies, and new martyrs, too.

The Internet was once an oasis for those who thought and spoke differently, a global arena of public opinion in which to demonstrate the power of the powerless. That's not how it works in this decade. But maybe that is good news of a kind: as we lose our anonymity, that old Internet in which no one knew you were a dog, the chains of the dog's masters also become more visible to everyone.

Serbia is so small and poor that the NSA could scarcely be bothered to spy on it, the NSA being busy spying on its major NATO allies in the EU. However, living out of the imperial limelight has both upsides and downsides for Serbia. The downside is that the modern Serbian state has all kinds of unaccountable power over virtual Serbian life, but the upshot is that the repressed Serbian bloggers are still alive. Their quarrel was too small to get them liquidated, for there just wasn't all that much at stake.

Serbia lacks the public conscience of a major third-world player like Brazil, which fought for years for its own, national, internet civil rights constitution.

However, Serbia does have one good thing: genuine activism in the streets. Recently, Women in Black from Serbia had a lynch threat on Facebook. The porte parole of the serbian antiterror police on Facebook, addressing his usual audience of right-wing Facebook hooligans, advised them to beat up Women in Black in the streets instead of uselessly brawling with each other. Women in Black have always been the target of hate and violence and foul language, due to their persistent street presence. However, to have this customary behavior blatantly revealed to everyone on Facebook changed the situation, and the Serbian porte parole will be suspended from duty for his indiscretion. He might even be charged and convicted of something or other,since Women in Black are presssing charges.

There must be some difference between the three Serbian bloggers, who were convicted of death threats and hate speech while meaning no real harm other than sarcasm, and this policeman, an agent of the state who would rather like the state's opponents to come to some extralegal harm at the hand of thugs. That difference is called "justice." The more of that you have, the less need you have to loudly exult about all of your martyrs.


    





Categories: The Essentials

Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 18:27
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...

Video Google's Maps team has made an early entry into this year's April Fools' crop of pranks with the introduction of Pokemon to the mobile application.…

Categories: The Essentials

That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 18:01
They just wanted to beat off Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo!

Gmail shook up the world of free web email in the mid-2000s, but 10 years after going public in 2004, Google’s service offers much more than simply firing emails around the world.…

Categories: The Essentials

Security: Survive the attack of the known unknowns

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 17:31
And keep your eye on the Ts&Cs

Live today Some vendors will tell you that security problems are solved by sticking a device on the edge of your network, but we all know that 100 per cent security is a fantasy.…

Categories: The Essentials

Creating "Homo Minutus" — a Benchtop Human To Test Drugs

Slashdot - 1 April, 2014 - 17:07
Science_afficionado (932920) writes "Vanderbilt University scientists reported significant progress toward creating 'homo minutus' — a benchtop human — at the Society of Toxicology meeting on Mar. 26 in Phoenix. The advance is the successful development and analysis of a human liver construct//organ-on-a-chip that responds to exposure to a toxic chemical much like a real liver. The achievement is the first result from a five-year, $19 million multi-institutional effort led by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to develop four interconnected human organ constructs — liver, heart, lung and kidney — that are based on a highly miniaturized platform nicknamed ATHENA (Advanced Tissue-engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer). The project is supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Similar programs to create smaller-scale organs-on-chips are underway at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: The Essentials

Most of Asia to get HTC One M8 by early May

from News.com - 1 April, 2014 - 17:06
Following a Taiwan launch on March 25, the company's latest flagship will be available in Singapore on April 5, before rolling out to the rest of the region.
    





Categories: Open Source

New iPhone 6 screens to enter production this spring, report

from News.com - 1 April, 2014 - 17:05
Apple said to plan in-cell touch panel technology built into the screens, which will be developed with "thinner construction than with standard touch panel films.
    





Categories: Open Source

NSA plans to FREE YOUR DATA with range of cloud services, analytics

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 17:01
'Why pay providers to store or analyse your stuff? We've already done it'

April Fool An earlier version of this article was published in error carrying a sub-editing note which, if taken out of context, could have implied that we had offered line by line copy approval to an individual named "Sir Iain". We'd like to clarify that this is actually a friendly nickname for one of our editorial staff and that we did not in any way offer copy approval to the head of GCHQ or any other intelligence agency on this piece. -Ed.

Categories: The Essentials

Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 16:33
Maybe we will catch up with Kenya

Vodafone is to launch mobile-money-for-the-masses service M-Pesa in Romania, which introduces and interesting challenge for the European telcos and banks who have spent a decade wrangling over mobile money and got nowhere.…

Categories: The Essentials

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 16:03
Efficiency by numbers: It's wonderful, it's horrible and it is the future

Sysadmin blog A "servers are cattle, not pets", DevOps-style approach is the only feasible way for a small number of people to run modern cloud-scale data centres.…

Categories: The Essentials

Snowden leaks made us look twice at cloud suppliers – biz bods

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 15:24
Survey: Corporates putting cloud firms under closer scrutiny

Businesses are conducting more due diligence on cloud suppliers and demanding more localised storage of their data in the wake of reports about US surveillance activities, according to a new survey.…

Categories: The Essentials

SanDisk offers Cloudspeed flash options for pockets deep and shallow

The Register - 1 April, 2014 - 15:02
'Extreme' means 'Best', 'Eco' means 'opposite of best'

SanDisk has revved its CloudSpeed SATA SSD line, adding a tad more random read speed, slowing down the random write speed and reducing the sequential read and write speeds a trifle, too.…

Categories: The Essentials
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