Neil McAllister

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Cloud security

Xen bug latest: Cloudpocalypse averted, says Amazon

Amazon Web Services now says that despite the recent security vulnerabilities discovered in the Xen hypervisor, the vast majority of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) customers won't need to reboot their virtual machine instances after all. Last week, AWS and Rackspace both said that customers should prepare for a mass reboot of …
Neil McAllister, 02 Mar 2015
Panic button

New Xen vuln triggers Amazon, Rackspace reboot panic redux

Newly discovered vulnerabilities in the open source Xen virtualization hypervisor have once again sent major public cloud companies scurrying to patch and reboot their systems before attackers can pull off a massive exploit. Amazon and Rackspace have both announced that they will need to reboot some of their servers to address …
Neil McAllister, 28 Feb 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

He's baaack: Microsoft's axeman Nadella to give Chinese staff the chop

More Microsoft staffers will lose their jobs next month when the software giant closes two smartphone factories in China, according to reports. Japanese business daily Nikkei was first to report that the software giant plans to shutter its manufacturing facilities in Beijing and Dongguan by the end of March. A Microsoft …
Neil McAllister, 28 Feb 2015
Qualcomm

Make room, Wi-Fi, Qualcomm wants to run LTE on your 5GHz band

Qualcomm says it will begin shipping new chips later this year that will help relieve mobile network congestion by routing LTE mobile broadband traffic over short-range, unlicensed radio frequency bands. The new system-on-chip (SoC) components include support for LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U), an extension of the LTE Advanced protocol …
Neil McAllister, 27 Feb 2015
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

If in doubt, blow $4bn: IBM says it will fatten up on cloud, mobile, Big Data cake by 2018

IBM is betting billions that it can claw its way back to growth by focusing on what it calls its "strategic imperatives," including cloud, data analytics, mobility, social networking, and security. During Big Blue's annual meeting with financial analysts on Thursday, CFO Martin Schroeter said IBM plans to shift $4bn of spending …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
Gerard Butler in 300

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Microsoft says it decided to start from scratch with a new web rendering engine for Windows 10 because keeping up with web standards while maintaining compatibility with older, noncompliant versions of Internet Explorer had simply become too much of a burden. "Fixing long standing interoperability bugs with other modern browsers …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
html5_logo

Flash flushed: Google's AdWords to convert ads to HTML5 automatically

In the latest blow to Adobe's little-loved Flash graphics format, Google has begun nudging customers of its AdWords ad network to wean themselves off Flash by offering automatic conversion of Flash ads to HTML5. "Over half of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices," the Google Ads team said in a Google+ post on …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
Sorry we're closed

Google deal means game over for mobile payments firm Softcard

Google may not have bought Softcard – not exactly – but the online ad-slinger's deal with the mobile payments firm has apparently left Softcard with nothing to do but shut down its service. Google announced on Monday that it had acquired "some exciting technology and intellectual property" from Softcard, but it didn't say what …
Neil McAllister, 25 Feb 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google tackles enterprise BYOD with Android for Work

Google is making a bid for the enterprise with its new Android for Work program, which aims to give businesses more control over the apps and data that employees store on their smartphones. "With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform …
Neil McAllister, 25 Feb 2015
sea_hp_sink

Sales of HP notebooks and servers are UP! And that's all the good news

HP kicked off its fiscal 2015 with a disappointing first quarter, reporting revenue and earnings both down for the three months ending on January 31, as compared to the year-ago period. Total revenues for the quarter were $26.84bn, a 4.7 per cent year-on-year decline that underperformed analysts' estimates. The firm's net …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
Disney's Beagle Boys

Glad you're not on the Anthem hacker hit list? Not so fast – millions more affected

US health insurer Anthem now says that the recent security breach that exposed the personal data of tens of millions of its customers also affected people who never did business with the firm. That's because Anthem's database included data not just for customers of Anthem-run Blue Cross Blue Shield healthcare plans, but also for …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
Scary Skeleton Samba

Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code

Linux admins were sent scrambling to patch their boxes on Monday after a critical vulnerability was revealed in Samba, the open source Linux-and-Windows-compatibility software. The bug, which has been designated CVE-2015-0240, lies in the smbd file server daemon. Samba versions 3.5.0 through 4.2.0rc4 are affected, the Samba …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
Marten Mickos, photo: Andrew Smart of AC Cooper

HP cloud reorg shock: Ex-Eucalyptus boss Mårten Mickos backs off

Leadership at HP's cloud division is in flux once again, with senior vice president Mårten Mickos backing away from day-to-day operations of the unit and familiar faces stepping up to take his place. "As we look at both the short and long term strategic direction of our business, the time is now to open up some additional …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
Google Wallet 'vision' illustration

Google hooks up with group formerly known as ISIS to battle Apple Pay

Google has inked a major deal with mobile payment alliance Softcard that will see its Google Wallet payments system pre-installed on phones sold by American carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The carriers will begin shipping the Google Wallet app later this year on mobes running Android 4.4 "KitKat" or higher, according to a …
Neil McAllister, 23 Feb 2015
management regulation1

NO CLASS: Judge chucks out two class-action lawsuits against Google

A California court has dismissed two class-action lawsuits, which accused Google of bad business behavior, on grounds that the plaintiffs couldn't provide sufficient evidence to support their claims. The oldest suit of the two, which was filed by law firm Hagens Berman in May 2014, alleged that Google's habit of requiring …
Neil McAllister, 21 Feb 2015
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world. Corbet raised the issue at his annual "Kernel Report" talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in …
Neil McAllister, 20 Feb 2015
Jim Zemlin, speaking at Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2015

Critical 0-days in open source? The problem isn't code, it's CASH

Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin thinks the information security world needs fewer surgeons and more personal trainers, and he's putting his organization's money where his mouth is. Speaking at this year's Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, an invite-only event taking place this week in Santa Rosa, California, …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
Pushmi-Pullyu

BlackBerry's money-making QNX unit touts virty dual-OS devices

QNX Software Systems, the BlackBerry subsidiary that markets operating systems and tools for embedded systems, has released new virtualization software designed to allow device makers to deliver rich graphical UIs without sacrificing reliability or safety. QNX Hypervisor allows embedded devices to operate two OS instances at the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
Linux kernel development

Linux kernel dev has gone well and truly corporate – report

The Linux kernel is growing and changing faster than ever, but its development is increasingly being supported by a select group of companies, rather than by volunteer developers. That's according to the latest survey of Linux kernel of development by the Linux Foundation, which it published to coincide with the kickoff of this …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
14nm Samsung Exynos 7 Octa

Samsung pulls ahead of Qualcomm in mobe chip race with 14nm Exynos

Samsung says it has begun mass production of silicon based on its new 14-nanometer FinFET process, pulling ahead of its competitors in the race to reduce the transistor size of mobile computing chips. The first product to make use of the tech will be a new version of Samsung's own Exynos 7 Octa, with adoption to expand to other …
Neil McAllister, 17 Feb 2015
Paul Winchell and dummy

Google cuts Microsoft and pals some slack in zero-day vuln crusade – an extra 14 days tops

Google has adjusted the terms of its controversial Project Zero vulnerability scouting effort, loosening its 90-day disclosure policy somewhat to give companies a better chance of fixing their security bugs before they become public knowledge. Among the changes, Google says it will no longer disclose bugs on weekends and public …
Neil McAllister, 14 Feb 2015
FBI badge and gun

Accused Goldman Sachs code pilferer sues FBI for 'wrongful arrest'

A former programmer for banking firm Goldman Sachs who has been accused of stealing company secrets has filed suit against the FBI agents who arrested him for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. Sergey Aleynikov, 45, has been battling it out in the courts ever since his 2009 arrest on charges that he absconded with …
Neil McAllister, 13 Feb 2015
OnePlus One Android smartphone

So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Upstart quasi-Android smartphone maker OnePlus says it has hired an assortment of "Android rockstars" for its OxygenOS team, who will be in charge of developing the homegrown firmware that will soon ship as standard on its phones. "Our team has some of the most talented industrial designers and mechanical engineers in the world …
Neil McAllister, 13 Feb 2015
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft loves Surface pen maker N-trig so much it bought it – report

Microsoft has reportedly gobbled up N-trig, makers of digital pen technology for PCs and tablets, for an undisclosed sum. The sale of the Kfar Saba, Israel–based firm was reported by the Israeli business daily Globes, citing sources who valued the deal at around $200m. N-trig makes the pen tech for Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015
Human cannonball

Microsoft launches wobbly Windows 10 phone preview for Lumia daredevils only

Some four months after it unveiled the first build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft has now kicked off the early access program for its smartphone OS, known as ... Windows 10 Technical Preview. The naming is in keeping with Redmond's insistence that Windows 10 will be a single operating system for all screens great …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015
Han Solo

It's not over yet: Now South Korea launches Qualcomm antitrust probe

Mere days after settling its antitrust dispute with China, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm faces a new investigation into its business practices, this time in South Korea. Perhaps sensing blood in the water, South Korea's Fair Trade Commission – the country's top antitrust regulator – has launched a probe into whether Qualcomm is …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015

Whose GPUs let it cruise to record revenues? Nvidia, that's who!

Nvidia performed better than expected for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2015 and for the year, with strong graphics processor sales buoyed by its swiftly growing application processor business. The chipmaker reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.43 per diluted share on record revenues of $1.25bn, both of which beat Wall …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015

Chip giant TSMC, flush with record sales, plans $16bn fab build-out

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reported sales for January 2015 that were the highest of any single month in its history, amid rising demand for silicon for graphics and mobile computing. TSMC said [PDF] on Tuesday that its net revenues for January hit $2.76bn in US dollars – a company record and a whopping 69. …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2015

ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

A California court has once again upheld the legality of the US National Security Agency's Bush-era mass telephone surveillance program, but has withheld its reasoning on grounds of national security. In a ten-page ruling [PDF] on Tuesday, US District Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California said that the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2015
Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner in "Fall Out"

Joyent: Never mind those other forkers, Node.js has a foundation now, too

The popular, open source Node.js JavaScript runtime engine is getting a new foundation to manage its development, in a move that could help mend the recent schism in the project's community. To date, Node.js has been sponsored and overseen by Joyent, the infrastructure-as-a-service company where Ryan Dahl, the software's creator …
Neil McAllister, 10 Feb 2015
Smart TV privacy issues

Samsung: Our TVs? SPYING on you? HA HA! Whee! Just a JOKE of course

Samsung has responded to the worldwide paroxysm of excitement over its smart TVs listening to people in their living rooms – by insisting that its voice-control technology isn't in any way at all as creepy as its own privacy policy made out. "Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously and our products are designed with …
Neil McAllister, 10 Feb 2015
Qualcomm

Qualcomm, China shake hands, all is forgiven – if Qualcomm pays $975m

Qualcomm says that although it is "disappointed" that China has slapped it with nearly $1bn in penalties for alleged antitrust violations, it plans to pay the fine and move on. The California mobile chipmaker said in a press release [PDF] on Monday that the PRC government has fined it 6.088 billion Chinese yuan renminbi, or …
Neil McAllister, 10 Feb 2015
Maxwell Morton

Boy, 16, cuffed after posting selfie with body of kid he allegedly killed

A western Pennsylvania teenager has been charged with homicide and firearms offenses after he uploaded an image to the Snapchat messaging service of himself posing with the dead body of a classmate he allegedly shot and killed. According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Reuters, and others, 16-year-old Maxwell …
Neil McAllister, 09 Feb 2015
Web browsers

RIP SPDY, we hardly knew ye: Google to retire next-gen web protocol

Google has decided to mothball its home-grown SPDY internet application-layer protocol in future versions of its Chrome browser, in favor of the Internet Engineering Taskforce's HTTP/2 spec. "Chrome has supported SPDY since Chrome 6, but since most of the benefits are present in HTTP/2, it's time to say goodbye," Google engineer …
Neil McAllister, 09 Feb 2015

Fancy radio maker Motorola Solutions reportedly seeking a buyer

Motorola Solutions is looking for a friendly company to take it under its wing, a new report claims. The firm – which was created when the old Motorola was split into two companies in 2010 – makes two-way radios and other communications equipment, primarily for governments and public safety outfits. That could explain why it …
Neil McAllister, 07 Feb 2015
Bank vault

Intuit halts TurboTax filings after states spot mass tax fraud scheme

Accounting software maker Intuit has temporarily suspended the ability of its TurboTax software to electronically file US state income tax returns following reports of widespread suspicious activity. "During this tax season, Intuit and some states have seen an increase in suspicious filings and attempts by criminals to use …
Neil McAllister, 07 Feb 2015
Broke - empty pockets

Bankrupt RadioShack to close up to 2,900 stores, share others with Sprint

RadioShack filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, in a long-expected move that will result in the struggling electronics retailer closing around half of its stores in the US and Canada. The firm is seeking protection under Chapter 11 of US bankruptcy law, which will allow it to continue operations as it attempts to …
Neil McAllister, 06 Feb 2015
TwitterIPO

Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

Twitter finished off fiscal 2014 with a ripper fourth quarter in many senses, during which it doubled sales from the previous year - but the microblurt-based ads site gained fewer users than some investors hoped for. On Thursday, Twitter reported revenues of $479m for the three months ending on December 31, a 97.4 per cent gain …
Neil McAllister, 05 Feb 2015
Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, Year One: Has Microsoft's new CEO cut the mustard?

One year ago, on February 4, 2013, Microsoft's board of directors appointed Satya Nadella the third chief executive in the company's history. So what do we have to show for it, so far? Nadella's predecessor, Steve Ballmer, wasted no time in taking his hands off the wheel in Redmond, even going as far as to resign his seat on the …
Neil McAllister, 05 Feb 2015

Sony Pictures claims 'Nork mega-hack attack' cost it just $15 million

The financial cost of the hacking attack that plagued Sony Pictures Entertainment last year was just a drop in the bucket compared to the movie studio's revenues for the quarter, the Japanese giant has said. In its third-quarter earnings forecast for the three months ending on December 31, Sony pegged the price of the security …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Ross Ulbricht, in the library, with the laptop: Silk Road boss found GUILTY of all charges

Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of running the Silk Road online drugs souk under the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts," has been found guilty of all charges against him. The jury in the Manhattan, New York courtroom where Ulbricht stood trial for drugs trafficking and other offenses took just three and a half hours to deliberate on …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
management regulation7

RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on the last device to ship running Windows RT, casting doubt on the future of Redmond's ARM fondleslab OS. The software giant confirmed on Wednesday to The Register that it has stopped manufacturing the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet with a quad-core ARM processor, an HD …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
Silk Road 2.0

Accused Silk Road boss's lawyer insists he was just a fall guy

The decision in the trial of accused Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is heading for the jury after attorneys presented their closing arguments in a New York City courtroom on Tuesday. Ulbricht's attorney Joshua Dratel presented a brief defense that consisted of a three character witnesses, a private investigator who gave just …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
Microsoft campus

Microsoft takes lid off .Net Common Language Runtime sauce

In keeping with its plan to release all of its .Net Core development platform as open-source software, Microsoft on Tuesday published the code to CoreCLR, the .Net Core code execution runtime. "CoreCLR is the .Net execution engine in .Net Core, performing functions such as garbage collection and compilation to machine code," …
Neil McAllister, 03 Feb 2015
RadioShack

Bankruptcy could see RadioShack close doors for good – report

Struggling electronics retailer RadioShack may not emerge from bankruptcy intact after all, sources claim. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the cash-strapped firm may be preparing to cease all retail operations, citing anonymous sources familiar with the company's plans. Earlier reports suggested RadioShack was in talks to …
Neil McAllister, 03 Feb 2015
EverQuest

Sony hurls Online Entertainment from the mothership

In an unexpected move, Sony has sold off its gaming division Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) – which was responsible for the pioneering massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game EverQuest among other titles. On Monday, SOE announced that it had been acquired by Columbus Nova, a New York–based investment firm, for an …
Neil McAllister, 03 Feb 2015
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and officials in conference

Call Gordon Freeman! Apple to build $2bn 'data command center' – BLACK MESA?

Arizona state and local government officials were beaming on Monday over news that Apple has decided to locate its latest "global data command center" in the state. "It's one of the largest investments ever in Apple history," Arizona governor Doug Ducey said of the $2bn project in a press conference on Monday. "It means a 1.3 …
Neil McAllister, 02 Feb 2015
Illegal drugs

Silk Road trial latest: Ulbricht's Gmail addy appeared on ad for 'Amazon.com for drugs'

Roundup The trial of accused Silk Road ringleader Ross Ulbricht continued despite inclement weather in New York City this week, with prosecutors seeking to rubbish Ulbricht's attorneys' earlier claim that someone else ran the darknet drugs souk. On Monday, Gary Alford, a special agent with the US Internal Revenue Service, gave evidence …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

Sorry, admins: Microsoft says NO new Windows Server until 2016

While it's looking like the final version of Windows 10 for client PCs could ship before the end of the year, it seems data center admins needn't hold their breaths. Microsoft confirmed on Friday that the next version of Windows Server won't arrive until 2016. "As we continue to advance the development of these products, we plan …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015
Intel 5th Generation Core processor with vPro

Intel brings Broadwell to businesses with 5th-gen Core chips with vPro

Intel is pressing onward with its line of fifth-generation Core processors, with the general availability this week of versions of the chips tailored for enterprise customers. The chipmaker launched its "Broadwell-U" line of Core chips earlier this month with a set of 14-nanometer CPUs aimed at mainstream desktops and laptops. …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015