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Neil McAllister

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Monty Python Norwegian Blue dead parrot sketch

SpiderOak says you'll know it's secure because a little bird told you

Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users' data doesn't fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a "warrant canary." The term takes its inspiration from the practice of bringing actual canaries into coal mines that …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014

Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database

Microsoft's Visual Studio Online services for software developers are in the midst of a total outage that has lasted for more than four hours. The Redmond giant has blamed a database snafu. The services, which were launched in November 2013 to coincide with general availability of Visual Studio 2013, are hosted on Redmond's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Face recognition

Face-recog tech spots US fugitive wanted for 14 years ... from a photo

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations says it has captured a fugitive who has been wanted for the last 14 years on child sex abuse and kidnapping charges, and it credits modern face recognition technology for the arrest. The accused, Neil Stammer, originally of New Mexico, was arrested in 1999 but released on bond pending …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

Fabless semiconductor firm Marvell has fired the opening volley in its appeal of the record-breaking $1.5bn judgment against it in its ongoing patent dispute with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). "No patent infringement judgment for more than a billion dollars has ever received this Court's imprimatur, and the $1.535 billion …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
Zhang Xinzhu

Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

A Chinese academic has been booted from a government antitrust advisory committee amid allegations he accepted payouts from Qualcomm in exchange for giving testimony favorable to the company in an ongoing monopoly probe. State-run media outlet China News Service reported on Wednesday that Zhang Xinzhu, director of the Research …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
CoreOS

CoreOS takes Manhattan with Quay container-hosting gobble

Cloud-friendly Linux vendor CoreOS has snapped up Docker container hosting startup Quay for an undisclosed sum, in a move designed to flesh out its offering for business customers. "We are building out a set of products to offer a complete solution for users who are running their infrastructure in this new, container-y way," …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
apothekerCHANGES2

Autonomy ex-moneyman: 'Visionary' Léo would have made HP merger work

The former chief financial officer of Autonomy has struck back against HP's claims that he defrauded it and its shareholders, arguing that HP's execs were solely responsible for bungling the company's $10.2bn acquisition of Autonomy in 2011. "HP's Opposition swells with bile, but its sound and fury signify nothing," lawyers for …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014
Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat spruces up 2011's enterprise Linux with RHEL 6.6 Beta

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 hit general availability in July, but that doesn't mean Shadowman has stopped polishing the version 6 branch of its flagship Linux distribution, despite it being nearly four years old. RHEL 6.6, which went into beta testing on Tuesday, is a long-promised maintenance release that will be the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014

WinPhone's Halo hottie Cortana to hit desktop in next Windows – report

Microsoft may be planning to graduate Windows Phone 8.1's Halo-inspired Cortana digital assistant from the small screen to a full-fledged desktop utility in the next version of Windows, if the Redmond rumor mill is to be believed. The snoops over at Neowin.com first noticed Cortana running on prerelease builds of Windows " …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2014
Nokia 130

Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Microsoft's Nokia division has revealed its latest mobile phone – but rather than the sort of high-end flagship number that's designed to take on Apple, it's taking aim squarely at the bottom of the market. It's no less than a plastic mini-mobe that will sell for no more than €19 ($25) before taxes and subsidies. Billed in the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
3D graphics

What's next for OpenGL for the desktop, mobile devices, and the web?

Graphics standards body the Khronos Group has called on industry players to help draft the next generation of the OpenGL spec, a major rewrite that's expected to help unify the OpenGL development model for desktop PCs, mobile devices, and the web. "Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
Intel's 14nm package, codenamed "Broadwell"

Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Intel disclosed on Monday technical details of its new microarchitecture for chips baked using its latest 14-nanometer process, known by the codename "Broadwell." "This new microarchitecture is more than a remarkable technical achievement," Intel VP and general manager of product development Rani Borkar said in a canned …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014
OpenGL

Khronos unveils OpenGL 4.5, broadens OpenCL 2.0 language support

As the 41st Siggraph computer graphics conference kicks off in Vancouver this week, industry standards body the Khronos Group has announced updates to two of its most important specs. The first is OpenGL 4.5, the latest version of the cross-platform, language-independent 2D and 3D vector graphics API that has enjoyed regular, …
Neil McAllister, 11 Aug 2014

eBay bans CD sales of metal band Burzum, citing offensive material

eBay has banned auctions of CDs and merchandise by Norwegian musician Varg Vikernes, on grounds that Vikernes holds views that the company deems offensive. Heavy metal fan site MetalSucks.net was the first to report on the ban, after an anonymous reader said that when he tried to list two CDs by Vikernes' one-man band Burzum for …
Neil McAllister, 09 Aug 2014
Space X Dragon in Orbit

Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

Former employees of Elon Musk's SpaceX filed a class-action lawsuit against the private rocketry firm this week, alleging it unlawfully terminated hundreds of employees without giving proper notice or payouts for back wages and benefits. SpaceX reportedly let go between 200 and 400 workers from its factory in Hawthorne, …
Neil McAllister, 08 Aug 2014
Running girls

Now YOU can build apps for Google's all-seeing gadgets for fat losers

Developers can now download an early version of the software development kit (SDK) for Google Fit, the Chocolate Factory's forthcoming health data platform that was announced at this year's Google I/O conference, although not all of the components are fully baked yet. When it launches this fall, Google Fit will include APIs for …
Neil McAllister, 08 Aug 2014
Dogecoin

Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Researchers at Dell's SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) have identified an exploit that can be used to steal cryptocurrency from mining pools – and they claim that at least one unknown miscreant has already used the technique to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars in digital cash. The heist was achieved by using bogus Border …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014

Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Microsoft has confirmed that it's ending support for old versions of Internet Explorer, and it's giving you just shy of 18 months to get up to date. Roger Capriotti, director of the IE team, blogged on Thursday that beginning on January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of IE on any supported version of Windows will …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014
Good riddance to bad Java

Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Internet Explorer will soon join its rival browsers by automatically blocking old, insecure add-ons – and it's got its eye set squarely on Java. Microsoft said on Wednesday that starting on August 12, Internet Explorer will begin alerting users when web pages try to launch ActiveX controls that are considered out-of-date and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014
HP cloud

Behold the HP Helion Lean cloud, and by Lean, it means not-OpenStack

HP has unveiled a new offering in its private cloud service portfolio that offers a basic level of cloudy functionality while keeping costs down for budget-conscious customers. The new service, dubbed HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Lean, is designed both to attract new customers with a lower price point and to …
Neil McAllister, 06 Aug 2014
AMD FirePro S9150

High five from AMD: New supercomputer GPU maxes out at 5.07 TFLOPS

AMD has upped the ante in its battle with Nvidia for the data center and high-performance computing (HPC) markets, with the launch of two new GPU cards for servers. The company's new big gun is the FirePro S9150 card, which maxes out at a blistering 5.07 TFLOPS peak single-precision floating-point performance and 2.53 TFLOPS …
Neil McAllister, 06 Aug 2014
Dev Ittycheria

NoSQL startup MongoDB names BladeLogic founder as new CEO

MongoDB has appointed venture capitalist and former entrepreneur Dev Ittycheria as its new chief executive, adding fuel to speculation that the NoSQL database firm may be planning to go public soon. Ittycheria, who most recently served as managing director of Openview Venture Partners, replaces outgoing CEO Max Schireson, who …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has at last revealed the date when its second major update to Windows 8.1 will ship to customers: never. Despite months of speculation that the software giant has been planning to push out another major update roll-up for its latest OS this year, much like it did with the oddly named Windows 8.1 Update in April, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

Lawyer for alleged Silk Road kingpin wants all evidence thrown out

The lawyer for accused Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht claims the government's evidence against his client should not be admissible in court because it was collected illegally, in violation of Ulbricht's constitutional rights. In a 100-page Memorandum of Law (PDF) filed with the US District Court of the Southern District of New …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

CloudControl to major chum: We'll gobble Docker's dotCloud

Docker has sold off its dotCloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering so that it can concentrate on its much-buzzed-about eponymous Linux application container technology. According to an announcement at the end of last week, the dotCloud PaaS will keep its name, but it will now be operated by German PaaS outfit cloudControl, …
Neil McAllister, 04 Aug 2014

HP says it will sue former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussein

HP has confirmed that it plans to sue Sushovan Hussain, the former chief financial officer of data analytics software firm Autonomy, whom HP claims "was one of the chief architects of the massive fraud" that forced HP to write down $8.8bn of the $10.2bn it paid to acquire Autonomy in 2011. In documents [PDF] filed with the US …
Neil McAllister, 04 Aug 2014
GoogleFloatingDatacenter

Google's mysterious floating techno barge SOLD FOR SCRAP

Google's hopes of operating a floating technology showcase in the San Francisco Bay appear to have sunk, with word that the online ad-slinger has sold off at least one of two mysterious – or merely hare-brained? – Google Barges. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Google has confirmed the sale of the barge that has sat idle …
Neil McAllister, 02 Aug 2014

Microsoft blasts sueball at Samsung over Android patent royalties

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung in a US court on Friday, claiming the Korean firm was in breach of an earlier cross-licensing agreement relating to Android technology patents. The two companies sealed their licensing deal in 2011, back in the days when Microsoft was threatening to sue all and sundry over patents …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014

Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

The forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update will include plenty of tweaks and fixes for Internet Explorer 11, and while many of them are designed to improve the browser's web standards compliance, Redmond says others are designed to do exactly the opposite. The problem, to hear Microsoft tell it, is that IE11 on Windows Phone is …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014
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