27th > November > 2012 Archive
US & EU celebrate 'Cyber Monday' by seizing 132 websites
Law-enforcement authorities in the US and the European Union celebrated "Cyber Monday" – the internet's shopping-frenzy equivalent to brick-and-mortar stores' Black Friday – by shuttering 132 websites for selling counterfeit merchandise.
‘Anonymous’ takes down Texan RFID-tracking school
Activist group Anonymous, or persons using its insignia and name, claim to have taken down the website of the US schools that have made it compulsory for students to wear RFID tags.
Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 arrives, first of many
Microsoft has released the first major update to Visual Studio 2012, in what company reps say is only the first in "a regular cadence" of planned improvements to its flagship developer tool suite.
Samsung suppliers broke labour laws, but didn't hire kids
Samsung Electronics has said it is now taking “corrective actions” after a month-long audit it set up identified several instances of suppliers breaking local Chinese labour laws, although not-for-profit groups remain sceptical about the prospect of widespread and lasting change.
Network giants want software-defined network standards
Software-defined networking (SDN), the concept that's so hot VMware spent $US1.05 billion buying market leader Nicira, is on the way to becoming a standard for telecommunications networks.
Outsourcing fingered as UBS cops £30m fine
The perils of outsourcing have again come under the spotlight after regulators investigating the $US2.3bn loss at Swiss bank UBS pointed to key risk management failings at a third party provider based in India.
Man facing rare refusal-to-unlock-encryption charge: Court date set
A 20-year-old Brit will appear before magistrates in Maidstone, Kent, on 20 December charged with launching denial-of-service attacks on the websites of Kent Police and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Google plans touchscreen Chromebook for 2013 - report
Undeterred by the luke-warm response its partners have had launching their browser-only Chromebook laptops, Google is set to hit the market with a touchscreen version at the end of 2012, according to reports from Taiwan.
Fallen flash pioneer's CEO bets $600k it can rise again
Struggling SSD supplier STEC has received a vote of confidence from its own CEO - Mark Moshayedi has just bought $593,000 worth of shares.
Tool time with Trevor: 'Organic' sysadmins' spice mush still pretty edible
Sysadmin blogI've talked before about Spiceworks as a social network. It's time to look at the application that serves as the carrot to get you hooked on that social network. Spiceworks has an organic development history; it has grown through developer vision but also through end-user and vendor feedback. This is both Spiceworks's greatest strength and its kryptonite.
Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review
The Nokia Lumia 820 is the second of Nokia's two new Windows phones. It's the neglected sibling of the flagship Lumia 920, and is barely mentioned in Nokia's presentations. But I found it a very capable handset, with plenty to commend it. Why does this sound a bit familiar?
BT.com blats small privacy bug, ignores GAPING HOLE
BT has squashed a mild website privacy bug reported by a Reg reader - but the telco has refused to address a related issue that allows anyone to add paid-for features to any BT landline.
Capita cans Employee Forum a year after launch
Capita IT Services (CITHS) staffers are scratching their heads after the Employee Forum was disbanded just a year after it was set up.
Eucalyptus pushes pedal to metal, turns cloud control knob up to 3.2
Eucalyptus Systems, the company behind the open-source cloud controller of the same name, has just rolled out the 3.2 release of its software. With its latest release, it is sticking to its cloud fabric knitting and ramping up its business and customer base, and it certainly needs to get on top of this, especially while OpenStack and CloudStack are stealing all the headlines and Amazon's eating up all the oxygen in the cloud room.
Only Kinect: Microsoft boffins build Minority Report-style tools
In the two years since Microsoft launched Kinect, there’s been huge interest among enthusiasts in adapting the hands-free controller to new settings beyond gaming.
Druva: We can do a mixture of anything you can do
Mobile, desktop and notebook backup startup Druva has dropped file sharing into its product mix and reckons it's distanced itself from pure-play endpoint backup vendors and file sync 'n' share players.
BYOD: A bigger headache for IT bosses than Windows Metro?
Nothing elicits passionate debate quite like the suggestion that consumer technology is dictating workplace IT - with the exception of arguments over the Windows 8 Metro desktop, perhaps.
Peter Moore: IT consultant and Iraq hostage – Part One
InterviewOn May 29, 2007, IT consultant Peter Moore and four British guards were taken hostage by an Iraqi militia during what was supposed to be a quick three-month posting to Baghdad. It would be another 946 days before he was released.
Amazon's secret UK sales figures revealed by Parliamentary probe
Globe-spanning giant etailer Amazon has given the UK government access to its British sales figures for three years, after MPs grilled the firm over its tax payments in Blighty.
Harley allows Apple to use 'Lightning' brand on 'playthings'
Apple has acquired the trademark "Lightning" from motorbike makers Harley Davidson, but only for use on a limited set of goods and services, a European trademark filing has revealed. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Steam stats show surge in honest PC gaming
PC gaming is on the rise… if the popularity of Valve's Steam platform is anything to go by, that is.
Yahoo! email! hijack! exploit!... Yours! for! $700!
A cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw on Yahoo! Mail creates a means to steal cookies and hijack accounts, according to a hacker who is offering to sell an alleged zero-day vulnerability exploit for $700.
ITU to EU: We don't want to control the internet... honest
The ITU has reiterated that it does not want control of the internet, this time refuting a motion passed by the EU, which has joined the bandwagon fighting to preserve Google's future.
Revealed: Google's manual for its unseen humans who rate the web
It's widely believed that Google search results are produced entirely by computer algorithms - in large part because Google would like this to be widely believed. But in fact a little-known group of home-worker humans plays a large part in the Google process. The way these raters go about their work has always been a mystery. Now, The Register has seen a copy of the guidelines Google issues to them.
Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?
FeatureThere’s been a right fracas in education this year, with the government proclaiming that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) teaching is dull and demotivating, and that kids need to be be taught more programming, and less use of applications.
Elon Musk envisions small town of vegetarians on Mars
Billionaire space pioneer Elon Musk wants to get a Martian colony of 80,000 people up and running by ferrying folks out there for $500,000 a trip.
Data cops: Facebook privacy plans must be 'modified'
Two privacy campaign groups have urged Facebook to rethink plans to change its terms of service, designed to help the social network squeeze more money out of ads. Meanwhile data regulators have stated that the plans will have to change so as to comply with privacy rules.
Second PAC-MAN orbiting SATURN: Local absence of dots explained
NASA's Cassini mission has discovered a second Pac-Man moon in the Saturn system: Tethys.
One in 10 Brit smartphone owners 'can't afford' to pay for apps
Brits like smartphones, but half of them don't like paying for apps and two-fifths of those who've downloaded one say they'd never hand over cash for the privilege.
Video: High school kids fend off university challenge in student cluster battle
SC12The SC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) has seen university teams from around the world vying to prove their cluster competence. But this year has been marked by a number of firsts, including the first team composed entirely of high school students. The Skyline High School Eagles, located in Salt Lake City, entered the LittleFe Division of the SCC and competed against three teams of older and more experienced university students.
Power station, airport SCADA defences 'dead as a dodo'
Researchers have discovered yet more security vulnerabilities in crucial equipment used by power plants, airports, factories and other critical systems.
Nowhere to hide for Google users as Play is given Plus treatment
Google is continuing its efforts to make anonymous posts on its services a thing of the past by forcing customers wishing to leave product reviews on its recently overhauled Android Marketplace online shop - now dubbed Play - to do so with their real name.
Conmen swipe 100,000 Brits' sensitive info in UK.gov fraud bid
Crooks attempted to defraud the UK government after swiping sensitive details on tens of thousands of civil servants, postmen, BT staff and public-sector workers, The Register has learnt.
Lawsuit launched against HP following Autonomy catastrophe
Investors are suing HP over accusations that senior execs hid negative information on multibillion acquisition Autonomy which subsequently led to a share price collapse.
Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan
Google is attacking Germany's politicos in an effort to prevent the country's Parliament from passing a copyright law in the country that would force search engines to pay publishers for running links to newspaper stories.
Bradley Manning to speak in public for first time in two years
US Army private Bradley Manning will speak publicly for the first time in two years, when he's called as a witness in a pre-trial hearing later today.
Cloud-building Fedora 18 goes into beta
The Fedora Project is kicking out the first and only beta of its Fedora 18 release of Linux, and this time around the focus is on cloud, cloud, cloud.
Ten technology FAILS
Nokia's N-Gage, Palm's Foleo, Motorola's Atrix, Apple's Newton MessagePad, HD DVD, Sony's Rolly, Sony's Mylo, Philips' CD-i, Commodore's CD-TV, IBM's PCJr, the Camputer's Lynx, Gizmondo, the Phantom, Atari's Jaguar, MySpace, Beenz - behind every iPad there are dozens and dozens of technology products that aspired to greatness but were successful only in their distinct lack of commercial success.
FCC: Let Dish deploy 4G? Imagine a $1bn pile of cash ... ON FIRE
Letting Dish roll out LTE into its satellite frequencies will obliterate the value of neighbouring radio spectrum that the US government hopes to sell for billions, said the FCC.
Nintendo shrinks Wii for Crimbo
Nintendo has officially unveiled a new version of the original Wii console, a smaller, top-loading model that shows the Japanese firm hasn't quite given up on its old tech yet.
Ericsson sues Samsung for un-FRANDliness
Ericsson has filed a patent suit against Samsung in the US alleging that the Korean firm has refused to renew a licence to use some of its technology on the same terms other companies have accepted.
Minnesota store CUPBOARD was full of rocks FOUND ON MOON
Small pieces of the moon have turned up in a Minnesotan basement and no one is quite sure how they got there. The five samples of Moon rock along with a small Minnesotan flag were transported from the Moon after Neil Armstrong's historic first visit to the Earth's satellite.
OS/2 a quarter century on: Why IBM lost out and how Microsoft won
Twenty-five years ago IBM unveiled its master plan to reclaim the PC industry. In November of that year the first floppy diskettes of OS/2 version 1.0 trickled out. Microsoft had co-developed the software with Big Blue. The world would look very different if the plan succeeded. And the world was already changing significantly. It was 1987.
Antarctic discovery: ALIEN LIFE may be FOUND ON MOON of Jupiter
Boffins reckon the evidence of live microbes deep in the dark, cold, briny depths of Antarctic lakes suggests that life may thrive in similarly hostile environments on other worlds and moons of the solar system - and beyond.
New iMac in shop windows FRIDAY but you'll wait to take one home
Apple insists its svelte new iMacs will hit UK shelves on Friday, but the company isn't forthcoming on how it'll push the computers into Blighty's distribution channel.
Chevrolets to get 'Eyes Free' mode for driving with Apple Siri
Cars controlled by Apple's voice assistant Siri will be on the road from early 2013, a General Motors exec announced today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
Apple's former retail boss spills magic beans on store strategy
Apple doesn't just construct retail stores it brews a magical experience that transforms your very existence, or so said Ron Johnson, former retail veep at the firm.
Apple granted patent for microphone silhouette
As if further proof were needed that something is broken at the US Patent and Trademark Office, it took a full 411 days for their staffers to grant Apple a design patent for iOS's Siri voice-recognition icon.
Hotel blames burglaries on hacked Onity card locks
UpdatedA Texas hotel is claiming to have suffered multiple burglaries stemming from flaws in a common type of electronic lock, exploits for which were demonstrated at this year's Black Hat hacking conference.
Red Hat takes OpenShift platform cloud private
With the the rollout of its OpenShift Enterprise, Red Hat wants to put programmers and system administrators on an assembly line. And not just its own people, but you and your colleagues in the IT department – and it's for your own good. Well, for the good of your bean counters, at least.
Melbourne IT looks to offload business units
Battling disappointing trading results, Australian domain name custodian Melbourne IT is seeking buyers for some of its ailing business units.
Exec responsible for Apple iOS map fiasco walks the plank
Apple's lamentable mapping application has claimed another victim with the apparent firing of Rich Williamson, who headed up the fiasco project in Cupertino.
LHC CMS yields unexpected 'new stuff'
Is there any phrase in science more exciting than “that’s odd”? MIT researchers right now would probably say “no”, since they suspect that LHC collisions may have yielded a previously-unobserved state of matter.
Astrobioboffins seek funds to search for ALIEN HAIRSPRAY
Forget searching for radio-frequency signal patterns or exoplanetary megastructures. The new hotness in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is the detection of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the ozone-eating greenhouse gasses formerly found in refrigerators and cans of hair spray.