Gavin Clarke

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HMRC photo, Gov.uk

HMRC is to tax OpenStack cloud with UK citizens' data

Britain’s taxman has embraced OpenStack for a fledgling cross-channel digital tax service. HMRC is rolling out its vaunted multi-channel digital tax platform (MDTP) on OpenStack from relatively unknown cloud start up DataCentred. That means what was once billed as a Linux for the cloud has become the web and data centre …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2016
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Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Canonical is courting Google’s Android partners in the hope they'll break ranks with the Chocolate Factory and deliver devices powered by Ubuntu. The Linux shop has received commitments from Android smartphone and tablet makers to ship devices using its Linux with devices “later this year.” Chief executive Jane Silber told …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Feb 2016
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RSA awards 7-year infrastructure overhaul deal to Wipro

RSA, one of Britain's oldest insurance firms, has awarded a seven-year IT infrastructure transformation deal to software company Wipro. Wipro will assume responsibility for RSA’s data centres, cloud, and end-user services, plus a multi-lingual service desk in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. The value of the deal was not …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Feb 2016
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Like your iPhone, but not enough to touch it? This patent's for you

Do you baulk at the size of Microsoft’s mega Surface Hub whiteboard, and want something a little more Apple-tastic for your wall? Fear not. Cupertino has filed a patent raising the prospect of interacting with your iOS device without touching the screen. US Patent 9,250,734, awarded to Apple on February 2, will: Use one or …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Feb 2016
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Former Oracle man Block fills Salesforce's COO slot

Oracle's former US sales chief Keith Block has been handed the keys to Salesforce by his boss Marc Benioff. Block has been named chief operating officer but will continue to lead global sales in addition to alliances and channels, industry strategy, and consulting. He was lifted from Oracle in 2013, where Block was executive …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Feb 2016

SAP pays $3.9m to settle Panama government bribery case

SAP will pay nearly $3.9m after a senior executive was found to have bribed officials in the government of Panama to land lucrative deals. The software giant has agreed to pay $3.7m in profit plus an extra $188,896 in interest. SAP did so without admitting or denying the findings of the regulator that brought the bribery case …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Feb 2016
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Oracle hires cloud 'success' pushers, denies EMEA customers are floating away

Oracle is expanding its platform-as-a-service cloud team in Europe, but denied it is a move to revive renewals. The database giant confirmed it is hiring 150 people across EMEA to join the firm’s Customer "Success" programme under Carmen Romero. Oracle told The Register the move is in response to growing customer demand and …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Feb 2016
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Google peddles Linux based load balancer to open sourcers

Google has developed an open source infrastructure software build using its Go language. The ad-flinger has released the Seesaw load balancer for Linux, built to replace two existing systems. Code has been released to GitHub here. Google’s site reliability engineer, Joel Sing, blogged that Seesaw would increase the …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Feb 2016
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Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Microsoft’s second fiscal quarter showed a company at a dangerous stage in its transition. It also revealed a firm that is unable to rely on the certainties of old. Not so long ago, Microsoft could call on three engines of growth to drive its business – Office/personal productivity, server and tools, and Windows client …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jan 2016
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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

The iconic Land Rover Defender is to cease production today after 33 years in continuous production. Built by Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull factory, the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Land Rover was conceived by …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Jan 2016
Facebook Sweden data center

Hell, high water, and ice: Facebook's Dublin data center choices

Facebook is to spend US$218m (£153m / €200m) on its second data center in Europe. Mark Zuckerberg's firm has promised an "innovative, environmentally friendly data center." It is easy to view the construction of this particular Facebook's answer to the expiration of Safe Harbor last year, to throw up a repository within the …
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Safari iOS crashing: Suggestions snafu KOs the Apple masses

A bug has struck Apple’s Safari, causing the browser to crash on iPhones, iPads and Macs. The problem is triggered when you tap on the address bar and begin to type, which would normally pop up website suggestions. Displaying these suggestions – sent from Apple's servers – appears to be at the heart of the issue. Game …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Jan 2016
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Docker for OS X devs: 'Easier' containers spun up for Apple Macs

A web developer turned real-time software maker has produced code to simplify Docker for OS X devs. &yet has released code for DLite, software that lets you virtualize without sweating the environment variables and setup. The idea is that DLite is simpler to use than boot2docker and docker-machine for Mac. DLite is the work …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jan 2016
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Microsoft struggles against self-inflicted Office 365 IMAP outage

Microsoft engineers are struggling to fix a seven-day-old, self-inflicted Office 365 IMAP outage. IMAP access to Office 365 tanked on January 18, meaning customers could not access emails using Exchange Online via IMAP or connect third-party mail clients via IMAP. Microsoft told disgruntled Office 365 customers that the …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jan 2016
HMRC

Google and HMRC face Parliamentary grilling over £130m tax deal

British politicians will tackle Google parent Alphabet Inc and the taxman over an official £130m back tax settlement. Both the US ad-flinger and HM Revenue and Customs are to be hauled before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Labour MP Meg Hillier has tweeted. Bet individual taxpayers wouldn't get off as lightly …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jan 2016
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SAP profits dented despite cloud expansion

SAP has reported a drop in net profits for its most recent quarter and for 2015 despite an accelerating cloud business. Europe’s largest software firm saw net profit down two per cent to 1.2bn euro ($1.3bn) despite a growth in revenue of 16 per cent to 6.3bn ($6.8bn) euro. SAP was reporting for the period to December 31. As …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jan 2016
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Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Nightmare before downtime Blame cloud, blame DevOps, blame the increasingly prevalent trend towards managerial OCD, but server installations are becoming tidier. The influx of suites and external suppliers, such as Amazon and Microsoft, means that as tech's become “transparent” the back room's become more presentable. But you can’t blame tech’s …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jan 2016
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OpenStack abandons AWS challenge dreams, makes eyes at telcos

OpenStack, once seen as the open alternative to Amazon’s AWS, is positioning itself as virtualized telecoms middleware. The open-source project has rolled out a white paper championing Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) with backing from the big dogs of telecoms. The report calls on developers to get involved with and help …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2016
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Spare a reserved cloud instance, gov? Microsoft's $1bn, 70k charity sales pitch

Microsoft is donating $1bn worth of its cloud services over three years to charities and non profits. The software giant used the annual Davos World Economic Forum media ego fest to unveil plans to recruit 70,000 to Microsoft cloud services in the next three years. Others promoted themselves at Davos in different ways. …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jan 2016
Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Faster, longer battery life, chip-based security – innovation is alive and well in its sixth-generation Core chips, Intel claims, with the company officially launching its sixth-generation Core vPro processors on Tuesday, wrapped in a series of changes it claimed would inevitably drive sales. Two and a half times the …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jan 2016
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SAP UK and Ireland shuffles management cards

The ever-exciting SAP, Europe’s largest software maker, has kicked off 2016 with a management reshuffle. The firm’s UK and Ireland group has hired or moved nine executives around the corporate org chart in the cloud, data, analytics, database and sales business areas. The changes were announced by SAP UKI managing director …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jan 2016
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Ubuntu's Amazon 'adware' feature to be made opt in

Scopes, the controversial feature in Ubuntu, is being “gracefully retired”, says Canonical. The "commercial" search app, which combines product data from Amazon with data from your desktop and phone, is to be turned off by default in 16.04 LTS in April and in Unity 7 and 8. The Scopes in question are for Amazon and Skimlinks …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jan 2016
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VMware UK and Ireland lands SAP industries chief

Virtualization giant VMware’s UK and Ireland operation has bagged a new managing director – from SAP. The German giant’s director of industries and UK and Ireland executive board member David Phull has emerged as VMware UK&I vice president and general manager. Phull had been with SAP since December 2010 but left the head-of- …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jan 2016
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Microsoft's patent tumble: A kinder, gentler IP politics? No

The fact that IBM filed more patents in 2015 than anybody is about as usual as Alexander Lukashenko sweeping to a fresh presidential term in Belarus. For a 23rd year, our glorious leader IBM has been ranked number one in the top 50 US patent assignees, with 7,355 grants. Samsung Electronics came second with 5,072 with Canon KK …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Jan 2016
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Come in Internet Explorers, your time is up. Or not. Up to you

A huge chunk of Microsoft users will today be cut off from the computing giant’s security lifeline, for January 12 is the day when Redmond will stop releasing security fixes for a swathe of legacy versions of Internet Explorer. Extended support has finished for IE8, 9 and 10 on Windows 7 SP1. Only the following are still …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jan 2016
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David Bowie: Musician, actor... tech admirer

Obituary David Bowie, the iconic rock star, has died aged 69 following an 18-month battle against cancer. Bowie’s death was announced on his Facebook page and confirmed by son Duncan Jones on Twitter. A chameleon, Bowie meant different things to different people thanks to a creativity that spanned music, film, fashion, technology, …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Jan 2016
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IBM cloud chief joins top-brass exit

Two more senior executives – one with veteran status - have exited IBM’s $16bn software business. Cloud chief technology officer and staffer of 18 years Danny Sabbah has retired. He goes, however, with just a single year as IBM’s cloud chief under his belt. Also gone is general manager of IBM Security Brendan Hannigan, who …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jan 2016
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Was Android moving to OpenJDK really a Google gift to devs?

Comment While you were starting to think Christmas thoughts in November, Google quietly slipped out a pre-seasonal gift of its own: OpenJDK for Android N – the next edition of its smartphone operating system. Christmas is a time of surprises and Google's quiet move lived up to that spirit, because it was a profound change to its …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jan 2016
Steve Mills, photo by drserg via Shutterstock.com

IBM's $16bn software supremo Mills reportedly exits

One of IBM’s most powerful executives is reportedly stepping down. Steve Mills, executive vice president software and systems, is said to have retired on New Year’s Eve, tidily in time for the end of IBM's fiscal year. He joined IBM in 1973. IBM did not respond for comment at the time of writing. Mills added the “systems” …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Jan 2016

Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility

Plans are afoot for Firefox to work with pre-complete web standards as implemented in rivals’ browsers. Mozilla developers have revealed a plan to implement support for a subset of non-standard CSS prefixes used in WebKit, –webkit. Changes are planned for either Firefox 46 or 47, set to be released around April and May. …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jan 2016
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Missed our Christmas crackers? Top stories from the break were...

Things might have slowed down for Christmas and New Year in your workplace but the news did not take a break. Whether you were away for the Christmas and New Year period or logged on but not exactly present, here are the biggest stories you may have missed from The Reg. The death of Debian GNU/Linux daddy Ian Murdock aged …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jan 2016
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Spooks, spyware, Ashley Madison and Windows 10: What you read in 2015

The last 365 days (give or take) have produced more than 11,000 articles on The Register. We covered the biggest tech purchase in history (Dell/EMC for $67bn), the trashing of the US-European Union safe harbour data export deal by European judges, the Ashley Madison hack, and, well, so much more. Big subjects, but what actually …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jan 2016
Hateful Eight

The Infamous Eight: 2015's memes, themes and big pieces

Year in review So, was US Central Command (CENTCOM) hacked, were a LOT of Polish Airlines aircraft cyber breached, and did China block imports of products from Apple and others? The answer in all three cases was a simple “no”. So what of the multiple cloud outages, and Uber’s ongoing global legislative and driver woes? In a 140-character- …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Dec 2015
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2015 wasn't about AWS. It was about everybody getting ready to try to beat AWS

2015 Year Review One star eclipsed all others in the enterprise in 2015: Amazon. Or, rather, its cloud division, AWS. It somehow became a given that AWS leads in Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), with the one-time ebook shop now a major IT infrastructure provider. That ebook flogger has become an IT infrastructure provider for the likes of …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Dec 2015
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SAP business apps rolled as Hitachi cloud service

SAP’s software is to be offered as a private cloud service, says Hitachi Consulting, the services wing of the Japanese tech giant. Hitachi has announced the rollout of its Consulting Enterprise Cloud for SAP for industrial machinery and components. The Hitachi subsidiary promised this would be an “affordable, ready-to-use, …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Dec 2015
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Oracle promises 'next-gen' Texas cloud campus

Oracle has unveiled plans for what looks like the first-of-its kind “next-generation technology” campus inside the US. The database giant has selected Austin, Texas, for a development that will comprise offices plus “affordable” staff accommodation. Austin is home to StackEngine, the Docker container-management startup Oracle …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Dec 2015
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OK Google? Firefox to nibble Chrome extensions from 2016

Code from a project billed as “the future of developing add-ons” in Firefox will debut in early 2016. The code will let extensions written for Google’s growing Chrome run, supposedly unchanged, in Firefox. The WebExtensions API, announced in August and currently in alpha, is expected to see daylight in March 2016, with …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Dec 2015
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Cisco cops to enterprise IOS XE vulnerability

Cisco’s latest operating system update ships with a vulnerability that could let hackers seize control of network devices. The giant has admitted to the hole in its IOS XE release 16.1.1 that, if exploited, would let an attacker force a device to reload. IOS XE is Cisco’s operating system for routers, switches and appliances …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Dec 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

Microsoft mandates browser-extension defence to malvertising

Microsoft is placing the onus on browser-based security architectures to shield users from malware-laden ads. From March 2016, programs that create ads in browsers and that are served from the Microsoft network will have to use the browsers’ supported extensions to operate. Those building ads must therefore be sure their …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Dec 2015
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Apple swallows 7 year mobile patent payments deal from Ericsson

Apple will pay Ericsson to use patented networking technologies employed by its iPhones and iPads, ending a year-long spat between the pair. The fruity firm will cough up one lump sum royalty payment to the Swedish telecoms equipment giant, followed by on-going royalties for seven years under an agreement announced on Monday …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Dec 2015
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Microsoft grabs ex-Google and Facebook brains for unstructured SQL engine

Microsoft has bought VC-funded big-data SQL start up Metanautix, building what it’s called a data compute engine. Metanautix was founded by Google former engineering director Theo Vassilakis and ex Facebook senior software engineer Toli Lerios in 2012 and landed $7m from Sequoia Capital. Their creation was Quest, released in …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Dec 2015
Tactical facepalm

Facepalm time: MS Office update wipes custom Word autotext

A Microsoft Office update has pranged customised copies of Word. The upgrade for Word version 16.0.6366 renames users' Normal.dotm file. This means a new and empty Normal.dotm is created when Word is restarted after the update is applied, giving people the impression their customizations have been lost. Complaints are landing …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Dec 2015

Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5

Firefox has joined the Netflix community on Windows with the addition of HTML5 video extensions. The box set streaming giant’s HTML5 video player now works with Mozilla’s browser and digital-rights management software from Adobe to police content – Primetime CDM. It means you can stream Netflix to Firefox on a Windows PC …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Dec 2015
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Beleaguered Microsoft customers: Streamline your licensing

Microsoft must simplify its licensing by putting sales targets second. That’s according to the Campaign for Clear Licensing, which reckons the way Microsoft charges for its software is “unnecessarily complex”. “The bundling of products benefits sales objectives over customer requirements,” CCL said in a white paper on its …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Dec 2015
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IBM brews exciting enterprise-grade PaaS project

IBM is brewing an open-source project to improve the operation of languages and tools on different PaaS. The giant firm has revealed it’s working on OMR, to develop reusable and “easily consumable” components for building “all kinds” of language runtimes. Code for OMR comes IBM’s J9 Java Virtual Machine – the heart of IBM’s …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Dec 2015
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Microsoft extends Internet Explorer 8 desktop lifeline to upgrade laggards

Exclusive Don’t worry if you miss Microsoft’s January deadline to dump “legacy” versions of Windows and Internet Explorer. MS has a New Year's treat in store for you. Microsoft has quietly begun offering Custom Support Agreements (CSAs) to those running old combinations of its browser and client after January 12, 2016. The Register has …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Dec 2015

Node.js Foundation gets a small sprinkling of Yahoo!

Its business future might be uncertain, but Yahoo! has committed (technologically at least) to a project pushing server-side JavaScript. Yahoo!, along with API management vendor Apigee and JavaScript startup consultant RisingStack, has joined the Linux Foundation’s Node.js Foundation. The web-portal-email-search-forums …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Dec 2015
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Structure this: Open-source containers project unboxed

An open-source project for vendor-neutral containers has come to life. The Open Container Initiative (OCI) has been ushered into existence with the creation of a technical governance structure. Also, nine new companies have joined the group’s original founding members – Dell is among the latest signups. The new structure …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Dec 2015
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CIOs aren't loving SAP's HANA. Yep, somebody's afraid of commitment

SAP’s all-or-nothing HANA is experiencing a Hadoop moment in the enterprise, with adoption of the business giant’s in-memory database layer being held back because customers either can't afford it or can't establish a business case for it. One of the biggest problems is licensing of the HANA-oriented next version of SAP’s …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Dec 2015
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Red Hat clicks with server foe Microsoft on CloudForms

One-time server foes Microsoft and Red Hat have come a step closer on the emerging platform of cloud. Red Hat has added support for Microsoft’s Azure cloud to the latest release of its CloudForms hybrid cloud management system. With Azure support Microsoft shops can now manage Azure workloads and resources from within …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Dec 2015