First up, here's Ray, who moved with panther-like agility to nail this black ops vehicle in Bristol:
Scientists have spotted a new candidate for a moon existing outside of our solar system, with only a 1 per cent chance the observation could be an anomaly.
More than 4,000 exoplanets have been mapped since the first was found in 1992. Although the finding of worlds beyond the Earth's immediate star system generated much excitement at the time, exoplanets are not so rare a discovery in recent years: US space agency NASA once found 700 in a single haul.
However, the existence of moons outside the solar system has yet to be confirmed. Going with the thinking that there's nothing particularly special about our own solar system, which is host to more than 200 moons, then we might assume they are also commonplace elsewhere.
Spending on compute and storage infrastructure for the cloud rose by 6.6 per cent during the last quarter following a cooldown in the middle of 2021 due to overprovisioning by cloud providers in response to the pandemic.
The figures come from IDC's latest worldwide quarterly enterprise infra tracker that traces buyer and cloud deployment. The report shows that spending on compute and storage infrastructure products increased to $18.6bn during the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
This resumes the underlying trend of net positive year-on-year spending growth in each quarter, which, according to IDC, saw a dip in the second quarter of 2021 when spending actually decreased by 1.9 per cent.
Umbrella company Parasol Group has confirmed why it shut down part of its IT last week: it found unauthorised activity from an intruder.
As reported by us on Friday, the umbrella company's MyParasol portal, where timesheets are submitted, was not accessible due to a multi-day outage starting on 12 January, impacting the processing of payroll.
Tech freelancers suspected a cyberattack was to blame for the blackout and sure enough the Group wrote to customers at the close of last working week to explain in more detail what had happened.
Microsoft appears to have delivered the unwanted Christmas gift of email blocklisting to Linode IP addresses, and two weeks into 2022 the company does not seem ready to relent.
Problems started as large chunks of the world began packing up for the festive period. Complaints cropped up on Linode's support forums when customers began encountering problems sending email to Microsoft 365 accounts from their own email servers.
On that thread, a Linode staffer acknowledged there was an issue and suggested a number of alternative third-party email services as a stopgap as well as saying: "Microsoft has acknowledge[d] the problem and looking into it [sic]."
Why do we mention it? Well, thanks to keen-eyed Reg reader Calum Morrison, we've spotted a bit of the former, and a hint of what lies beneath the Beeb's digital presence, when he sent in a snapshot that implies Old Auntie might be using a 32-bit Linux in iPlayer, and something with a kernel older than Linux 5.10, too.
That 2020 kernel release was the first able to serve as a base for a 32-bit system designed to run beyond 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038.
Worldwide spending on edge computing is expected to see double-digit growth this year, according to new figures from analyst IDC.
It also predicted investments in edge will reach $176bn in 2022, an increase of 14.8 per cent over last year.
"Edge computing continues to gain momentum as digital-first organisations seek to innovate outside of the data centre," IDC research vice president Dave McCarthy said in a statement, adding that the diverse needs of edge deployments have created a market opportunity for technology suppliers, increasingly through partnerships and alliances.
Opinion There's much talk of the Open Source Sustainability Problem. From individual developers to Google's White House lobbying, the issue seems simple but intractable. Is the willingness of volunteer coders a solid enough basis for the long-term health of essential infrastructure?
This is, of course, balderdash. It's not an open source problem, it's a software problem. All software needs resources to adapt as the working environment changes, resources the changed environment may not provide. Look how many out-of-support versions of Windows still limp on like superannuated footy players in the Sunday leagues.
According to StatCounter, as of December 2021, one in seven PCs still runs Windows 7. One in 200 is on XP. Try getting Microsoft to update either.
Who, Me? "Expect the unexpected" is a cliché regularly trotted out during disaster planning. But how far should those plans go? Welcome to an episode of Who, Me? where a reader finds an entirely new failure mode.
Today's tale comes from "Brian" (not his name) and is set during a period when the US state of California was facing rolling blackouts.
Our reader was working for a struggling hardware vendor in the state, a once mighty power now reduced to a mere 1,400 employees thanks to that old favourite of the HR axe-wielder: "restructuring."
In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.
A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.
Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.
In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.
“Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.
Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.
Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.
Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.
Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.
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