Look – over there!
An applied maths professor and her team have dreamed up inflatable origami structures they say could save time and energy in erecting emergency shelters, such as those vital to refugee camps.
Taking inspiration from the ancient Japanese paper-folding art, the team have designed and produced a structure that expands from a flat structure into a 3D construction and locks into place when pumped full of fluid, most likely air, according to a paper in Nature this week.
Katia Bertoldi, professor of applied mechanics at Harvard University, and her team showed a tent-like shelter of 2.5m × 2.6m × 2.6m in size can be produced from a folded form of 1.0m × 2.0m × 0.25m and be held in shape automatically with internal hinges without the need for continuous inflation. Applying a vacuum can then collapse the structure when necessary (watch the video for a demonstration).
British domestic spy agency MI5 wants to dispel the idea it is staffed by martini-quaffing layabouts who spend implausible amounts of time lounging around top-end bars and hotels. It has therefore opened an Instagram account.
News of the agency's foray into the Facebook-owned platform, which shows you heavily filtered photographs from the perspective of somebody whose world consists of estate agents' marketing photoshoots and perfume ads, came this morning as part of a recruitment drive.
MI5 chief Ken McCallum said in a statement about @mi5official: "You can insert your own joke about whether we will be following you."
Canadian AI chip startup Tenstorrent, which is headed by former top AMD engineers, has picked one of SiFive's latest RISC-V CPU designs for its unconventional machine-learning processors.
Specifically, Tenstorrent will license SiFive's Intelligence X280 processor cores to slot them into its homegrown AI training and inference chips alongside its own Tensix cores.
The X280 is a 64-bit multi-core-capable RISC-V CPU design that supports the open-source instruction set architecture's vector math extension. That extension is expected to prove useful in accelerating machine-learning applications.
Whether it's a chilling situation or a welcome one is up for debate, but what started as an attempt to pare down an operating system to just the browser has become something more fully fledged, as the latest update to 10-year-old* Chrome OS demonstrates.
The newest version of the Linux-based operating system, Chrome OS 90, has been packed with features you'd reasonably expect from a first-class operating system. First on the list: the ability to monitor battery health as well as CPU and memory usage.
On Chrome OS 90, this information has been tucked away in a new Diagnostics app, which can also perform routine performance and health tests to determine whether the machine has an underlying hardware problem.
Capgemini has won a £150m contract with the Student Loan Company (SLC) as the non-profit looks to write the next chapter in a troubled history with information technology.
The outsourcing and consultancy firm is to become a "Strategic Partner for Platform Delivery and Technology Services" to the non-departmental public body, according to a tender notice. It is expected "to deliver a wide range of services across our Platform Delivery and Technology Services area with the SLC Technology Group".
The contract started on 15 April 2021 and is set to run until 14 April 2028, the document said.
Astronomers have described the most energetic solar flare yet detected from Proxima Centauri, the Sun's closest stellar neighbor.
It was a cosmic belch so intense, it's now pretty clear the star cannot provide the right conditions to support familiar DNA-based life on its exoplanets.
On May 1, 2019, researchers led by the University of Colorado, Boulder, spotted a sudden burst of light erupting from Proxima Centauri unlike any other flare previously seen before.
Bork!Bork!Bork! Windows for Billboards appears to be a thing and, judging by this example of the breed, it is a little under the weather.
Unless, perhaps, the billboard spotted by Register reader Paul last month is a bit of snark directed at Redmond by an opportunistic arch-rival. What better way to demonstrate the occasional wobbliness of Windows than by flinging up a truck-sized error dialog for all to see?
More likely it is a sign that there are some places where Windows simply doesn't belong, and smart signage is one of them.
Review I was three-quarters of the way through the third rewrite of this review before I remembered I was actually at Apple's WorldWide Developer Conference in 2005 when Steve Jobs got up and said: "Yep, we're going to Intel."
I mention that memory because the last Apple chip transition was quite a long time ago now. Maybe you've blanked out some details, but I'm confident you can't say it left any permanent scars.
If we're honest, decades of continually improving silicon speeds mean the release of a faster computer shouldn't be noteworthy. Perhaps the fact that this continues to fill us with wonder should be.
Apple's AirDrop has a couple of potentially annoying privacy weaknesses that Cupertino is so far refusing to address even though a solution has been offered.
A bug-hunting team at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany reverse engineered AirDrop – iOS and macOS's ad-hoc over-the-air file-sharing service – and found that senders and receivers may leak their contact details in the process. More than a billion people are said to be at risk of this, in that there are now more than a billion active iPhones at any one time. Despite the team alerting Apple to the oversight in May 2019, and suggesting ways to address it last October, the iGiant hasn't issued a fix.
"We started looking at the protocols in 2017," Dr Milan Stute at the uni's Secure Mobile Networking Lab told The Register on Wednesday. "We reverse engineered a lot of stuff and found two major issues."
Throughout 2020, VMware told anyone who would listen that its end-user compute products enabled work from anywhere, on any device, with marvellous security, and were therefore just the thing to keep your organisation operating safely during lockdowns and whatever came next.
But now the virtualization giant wants you to buy more services to achieve the same outcome, with more sophistication.
Which seems odd because in March last year, VMware shared stories of customers who felt that the company’s Workspace ONE application publishing suite let their employees work from anywhere in a zero-trust environment.
Video Microsoft this week released a preview version of Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI, or WSLg, which provides a way to run Linux applications with graphic interfaces on Windows devices.
Foretold last year at the software titan's virtual Build 2020 conference, WSLg takes the previously released WSL 2 beyond Linux command line tools and apps and makes it the foundation of a functional Windows/Linux desktop chimera.
"You can use this feature to run any GUI application that might only exist in Linux, or to run your own applications or testing in a Linux environment," explained Craig Loewen, program manager for the Windows Developer Platform at Microsoft, in a blog post.
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