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Neil McAllister

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PHP

What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

A group of Facebook developers has decided to break with 20 years of tradition and release a formal specification for the PHP programming language. The initial draft of the spec was released on Wednesday and is available via a Git repository hosted on PHP.net. Language specs, in and of themselves, are nothing new. Many of the …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014
Firing squad

Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

In a surprise move, HP has granted OpenVMS a new lease on life, effectively reversing last year's decision to mothball the venerable server OS. HP hasn't changed its mind about its latest OpenVMS roadmap, which has it ending standard support for some versions of the OS next year and pulling the plug completely by 2020. Rather, …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014

Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Microsoft has lost the first round in its fight to stop the US authorities from seizing customer data stored inside its overseas data centers. Following a two-hour hearing before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that a US warrant ordering Microsoft to …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014

Oracle: That BUG in our In-Memory Option will be fixed in October

After much back-and-forth on blogs, Twitter, and online forums, Oracle has admitted that there is a bug that can cause its new in-memory database option to be reported as being in use when it's not, although the actual risk it poses remains unclear. As reported by The Register last week, database pro Kevin Closson was the first …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014
Partnership

Red Hat rallies hardware makers with 64-bit ARM server partner program

Red Hat has upped its commitment to support servers based on the ARM processor architecture, with the formation of a new partner program specifically for vendors of 64-bit ARM hardware for the data center. The Red Hat ARM Partner Early Access Program is aimed at both chipmakers and server builders, and its early members include …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
Roger Bamford

Oracle cluster daddy jumps ship to NoSQL upstart MongoDB

Roger Bamford, a pioneering database engineer who spent 30 years at SQL stalwart Oracle, has jumped over to the NoSQL side and landed in a new job at MongoDB. Bamford joins the seven-year-old startup with the title of distinguished engineer and will be part of the senior engineering team that develops the MongoDB database. " …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Amazon has laid out its reasons for wanting to drive the retail prices of ebooks downward, claiming that contrary to popular belief, the practice is actually beneficial for retailers, publishers, and authors alike. "With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out- …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
TwitterIPO

Twitter shares balloon on another quarter of ho-hum results

Despite continued growth, Twitter's earnings report for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 didn't look much better than the first quarter's results, with the company still bleeding money even as it continues to ramp up its advertising and user-engagement efforts. Twitter's earnings beat analysts' estimates at $0.02 per …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2014
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

China in MONOPOLY PROBE into Microsoft: Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 yuan

Chinese regulators have confirmed they are investigating Microsoft for possible breaches of anti-monopoly laws, following a series of surprise visits to Redmond's offices in cities across China on Monday. In a Chinese-language statement posted to its website on Tuesday (see robo-translation), China's State Administration for …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2014
Windows Phone 8

Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes

The website wranglers at Microsoft appear to have accidentally let slip some details about the forthcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1 – as well as some hints at what we can expect from future handsets running Redmond's mobile OS. A page on the software giant's site – first spotted by the Windows Phone watchers at WPCentral on …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2014

Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready

The developers behind the stripped-down CoreOS Linux distribution have pushed version 367.1.0 to the Stable release channel, marking the first time the project has delivered a production-ready release. Unlike other Linux distros, CoreOS is a minimal OS that ships each new version as a single unit, rather than updating individual …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jul 2014
Great Wall of China

Microsoft in Chinese burn ENIGMA: Anti-trust agents' 'sudden visit' to offices

Four of Microsoft's offices in China were "visited" by antitrust regulators on Monday, but neither the software and devices giant nor the Chinese government has explained why. "We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we will address any concerns the government may have …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jul 2014
No Sale

NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all

IBM's hopes of unloading its loss-making semiconductor division to GlobalFoundries have reportedly been dashed, with GlobalFoundries refusing to budge on price. Word that Big Blue was planning to sell off its chips business first surfaced in February, when the company retained investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help it put a …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014
Steel mill

Rackspace touts cloudy, single-tenant OnMetal servers to world+dog

Underdog cloud provider Rackspace has announced pricing for its new OnMetal servers, which it has made generally available on Friday following a limited trial phase. The new offerings, details of which were first unveiled in June, are dedicated, single-tenant, bare-metal machines that allow customers to run applications without …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014
Photo of a US Passport

Need a US visa, passport? Prepare for misery: Database crash strands thousands

An unspecified glitch in a global database used by the US government to issue passports and travel visas has left countless people around the world unable to travel for the last few days, according to State Department officials. "The Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with our passport and visa …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014
yawn

Google devs: Tearing Chrome away from OpenSSL not that easy

Google is trying to migrate its Chrome browser away from the buggy OpenSSL cryptography library toward BoringSSL, its homegrown fork, but swapping out the crypto code is proving more difficult than it sounds. Google engineer David Benjamin posted a revision to the Chromium source code version control system this week with a …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2014

Come close, dear reader. Past those trees you'll see a non-Microsoft Nokia Oyj in the wild

Nokia – the Finnish networking firm, not the Microsoft division that sells low-cost mobes running Windows Phone – reported earnings for another difficult quarter on Thursday, yet showed signs that its operations are beginning to stabilize since punting its Devices and Services business off to Redmond. Net sales for the second …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jul 2014

Stop! Yammer time: Microsoft's social biz service becomes one with Office 365

David Sacks, cofounder and former CEO of Yammer, has left his position at Microsoft after having steered the enterprise social networking service for nearly six years. Sacks, a former PayPal exec who has been an angel investor in various startups and even once dabbled in producing and financing an independent feature film, …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jul 2014
Qualcomm

Little trouble in big China: Are some of Qualcomm's chip slingers fibbing?

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm reported solid results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Wednesday, with revenues, earnings, and chip shipments all reaching record highs. The California company saw its revenues reach $6.81bn for the three months ending on June 29, 2014, a 9 per cent year-on-year increase that handily beat …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014

Chinese chipsters promise 64-bit ARMs for cheap Android slabs

Chinese cheap'n'cheerful chip designer Allwinner has boasted that its first 64-bit ARM system-on-chips for tablets will in punters' hands by the end of 2014. Allwinner said in a statement on Wednesday that the new components will be based on the ARMv8-A architecture and will include support for 4K video and hardware H.265 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
Oracle Linux

Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

For each new Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, a new version of Oracle Linux is never far behind, and RHEL 7 is no exception. Red Hat shipped its latest version in June, bringing such features as support for Linux Containers, XFS as the default file system, improved integration with Microsoft Active Directory domains, and more …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked up the big changes he has in store for the company during a conference call with financial analysts on Tuesday. And among his plans were "universal" apps that can run on any Windows platform. There was little talk of layoffs, beyond what Nadella and new Microsoft phones boss Stephen Elop …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
Microsoft campus

Microsoft bags more CASH – but profit's flat as Nadella waves axe

Microsoft posted solid yet unspectacular results for both the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014 and the full fiscal year, even as investors braced for new CEO Satya Nadella to axe as many as 18,000 staffers. Revenues for the quarter beat analysts' estimates slightly at $23.38bn, a 17.5 per cent gain over the same period a year …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014

Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch

Rumors that Apple will unveil a smartwatch this year became slightly more concrete on Tuesday when the news broke that Cupertino had been granted a patent for a wearable device that may or may not be called iTime. As detailed in US Patent 8,787,006, the device is "an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user," which …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung looks to up Tizen market share ... by upgrading Galaxy Gear

Owners of the original, Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in the US will soon have the option to switch their devices to the Tizen operating system, a change which might, counterintuitively perhaps, actually be a good idea. Samsung shipped its first smartwatch model running a stripped-down version of Android – …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Sorry we're closed

Samsung supplier halts assembly line amid child-labor probe

Debt collectors are literally circling the factory of a Chinese supplier to Samsung, where the assembly line remains halted following allegations that it hired underage workers. Samsung, which claims to have a "zero tolerance policy on child labor," said in a statement last week that it had temporarily suspended its relationship …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a revamped Windows 8.x Start Menu

August Patch Tuesday to bring Windows bug fixes AND FEATURES – report

Microsoft's next major update roll-out for Windows 8.1 may be less than a month away, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but just what will be so "major" about it is still anybody's guess. Over the last few months, we've heard plenty of talk about a follow-up to April's Windows 8.1 Update – itself a release so significant …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
Nosferatu

Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

If you've been wondering why the battery life on your Windows laptop or tablet seems so lousy, your Chrome web browser might be to blame – and it may have been sapping your system's juice for years. A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project seems to account for the mysterious power drain that some …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jul 2014
Lenovo ThinkPad 8

For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Lenovo has pulled some 8-inch Windows tablet models from the US market, citing lack of demand, but a Lenovo spokesman has told The Register that contrary to reports, the Chinese firm has no intention of giving up on smaller Windows fondleslabs in the US. ITworld was first to claim that the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 and the smaller model …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014
Photo of HIV/AIDS researcher Dr Joep Lange, who was killed in the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

Several passengers aboard downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 were headed to the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia when the plane crashed, according to reports. On Friday, the International AIDS Society confirmed in a statement [PDF] that "a number of colleagues and friends" were aboard …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014

Google's revenues swell yet again, yet big earnings elude it

Google continued to mint money in the second quarter of its fiscal 2014, with revenues booming compared to the year-ago period, yet its earnings still managed to disappoint eager Wall Street analysts who were expecting even greater returns. This quarter, the online ad-slinger posted revenues of $16.0bn, which soundly beat the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox OS lands in Germany – with France, Asia, and more to come

Mozilla's Firefox OS continues its slow march across the globe, with carriers set to begin shipping devices running the open source, browser-based smartphone platform in additional developed markets this week. Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica has previously sold Firefox OS phones in Spain, but the bulk of its efforts have been …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014
Assange

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Head WikiLeaker Julian Assange™'s latest bid to move off Ecuador's couch and back into normal digs has failed: a Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant against him on allegations of sexual assault. Assange's lawyers filed a petition to withdraw the warrant on Tuesday, in hopes that the WikiLeaks founder could avoid …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014

Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

Maria Zhang, the Yahoo! executive accused of sexual harassment by former staffer Nan Shi, has filed a countersuit for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, claiming Shi's allegations are nothing but a pack of lies. Lawyers representing Zhang filed the cross-complaint in the California Superior Court in …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2014

Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers

Microsoft is still keen to shift its perpetual-license Office customers over to the Office 365 subscription model, and to that end it's planning a shakeup of its Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses to offer customers more value and greater flexibility. Beginning on October 1, Redmond will launch three new Office …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2014

Can nothing trip up the runaway cash monster that is Intel? Well...

Intel posted solid earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday, yet for all its encouraging growth, Chipzilla remains hard hit by the soft PC market and it still shows worrying weakness in the otherwise-booming mobile sector. Total revenues for the three months ending June 28 were $13.8bn, a 7.8 per cent year- …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia emits Windows Phone 8.1 'Cyan' upgrade for Lumia gear

Nokia is rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 as an over-the-air update that comes bundled with "Cyan," a special feature package that's exclusive to Lumia devices. The move comes two months after the Finnish firm launched the Lumia 630, its first new device since becoming a Microsoft subsidiary and the first phone to ship with Windows …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014

New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

A purportedly leaked screenshot of what appears to be an upcoming version of Windows has given us a closer look at the much-rumored new "hybrid" Start Menu, suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later. We were given our first glimpse at Redmond's future UI direction at the company's annual Build developer conference in …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014

Chinese biz bloke builds his OWN 3,500-mile Tesla charger network

Disappointed at the lack of charging stations for his Tesla S electric car in his home province, a Guangdong-based businessman has responded in typically Chinese fashion: he built his own. And not just one, either. According to English-language news site Caixin Online, 44-year-old Zong Yi used his own money to buy and install an …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2014

Female! ex-Yahoo! coder! says! female! boss! fired! her! for! refusing! sex!

A female ex-Yahoo! employee has filed suit against Maria Zhang, a top company exec, alleging that Zhang retaliated against her and ultimately had her fired from the Purple Palace after she refused Zhang's sexual advances. In documents [PDF] filed with the California Superior Court in Santa Clara on Friday and obtained Monday by …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2014
LibreSSL

LibreSSL crypto library leaps from OpenBSD to Linux, OS X, more

The OpenBSD project has released the first portable version of LibreSSL, the team's OpenSSL fork – meaning it can be built for operating systems other than OpenBSD. The LibreSSL project, which aims to clean up the buggy and inscrutable OpenSSL code, was founded about two months ago by a group of OpenBSD developers, so it only …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a Windows Apportal

Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Microsoft is once again trying to convince businesses to get on board with its touch-centric computing vision, with the introduction of a new tool called Windows Apportals. Billed as a way to "integrate your entire Line of Business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience," Apportals allow companies to build …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jul 2014

Samsung Z mobe a NO-SHOW at Moscow Tizen Developer Summit

Samsung has suffered another setback in its quest to offer the world an alternative to Android, having failed to launch the first smartphone running its Tizen mobile OS as planned. The Tizen-powered Samsung Z does exist. There were plenty on display at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco in June. What conference …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

Dish Network to FCC: Block that Comcast/Time Warner merger

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either. The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing a …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
Child labourers

Another Samsung supplier fingered in new 'child labor' probe

Samsung is once again under fire from a watchdog that claims the South Korean leviathan sources components from suppliers that employ child laborers. China Labor Watch (CLW) on Thursday identified a factory called Shinyang Electronics, located in Dongguan, China, that it alleges hires children to work long hours for little pay …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

Electric-car mogul Elon Musk has agreed to help fund a museum dedicated to the late scientist Nikola Tesla, to the tune of $1m. Musk, who named his car company after Tesla, reportedly agreed to help support the museum after a phone conversation with web cartoonist Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal. Popular geek Inman has …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

After months of claiming it had "no Plan B" if it lost its case before the US Supreme Court, TV-streaming outfit Aereo has told a judge that it wants to remain in business – as a cable operator. In a four-page letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, first revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, Aereo's attorneys make the case for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

YES, you CAN install paid-for apps on Android Wear – if devs rebuild them

Google has published a workaround that allows paid-for apps to be installed on Android Wear devices, but it's hardly straightforward and it's nothing device owners can do themselves. Early adopters who purchased LG G or Samsung Gear Live smartwatches have been stymied by a glitch in the Google Play store's app encryption scheme …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2014
Photo of burning books

Amazon woos dispute-stung Hachette scribes with 100% ROYALTIES

Amazon has turned up the heat in its ongoing dispute with book giant Hachette, having approached several of the publisher's authors and their agents with a proposal that sounds too good to pass up. For the last few months, Amazon has been playing hardball with Hachette over pricing of the publisher's e-books. Among other …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014

Bloodied Samsung's profits down 25% as it clings to mobe crown

Samsung issued unaudited earnings guidance for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday – and although it once again pulled in an impressive pile of coin, all is not going as well as was hoped for the world's biggest smartphone maker. The company said it now anticipates revenues of around 52.0 trillion South Korean won …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014