Neil McAllister

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US govt now says 21.5 million people exposed by OPM hack – here's what you need to know

The US Office of Personnel Management has come clean on the full extent of the massive data breach that it first disclosed in June, and it's far worse than what was initially thought. On Thursday, OPM announced that records including data from background checks of some 21.5 million people – including present, former, and …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2015

IBM GATE-CRASHES chip world, boldly exclaims: 'We've cracked the 7nm barrier'

IBM has reached a major milestone in its computer chip R&D efforts – by shrinking transistor gates down to 7nm, far below today's proportions. On Thursday, Big Blue announced that it has successfully produced test chips with functional transistors using a 7nm (nanometer) process technology, and claim an industry first. …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2015
Logi, by Logitech

LOGITECH - TECH = 'LOGI' ... that's non-Logitech tech, is it?

Venerable desk-rodent maker Logitech says it will move into new categories of products. To mark the occasion it's introducing a new brand based on chopping the end off its old one. Get ready for "Logi." The company's name isn't changing, a Logitech spokesperson told El Reg via email. But it will use the Logi label for …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2015

Microsoft rains cash on OpenBSD Foundation, becomes top 2015 donor

Microsoft has handed a pile of money to the OpenBSD Foundation, becoming its first-ever Gold level contributor in the process. "This donation is in recognition of the role of the Foundation in supporting the OpenSSH project," the Foundation said via a post to the OpenBSD Journal website on Tuesday. The exact amount of the …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2015

Cheaper-than-Oracle Rimini defiant as Oracle drags 'em back to court

Oracle's long-running copyright case against independent support vendor Rimini Street is set to be heard before a jury in September, the database giant said on Tuesday. "There are no active settlement discussions between the parties," Larry Ellison & Co said in a statement. "Oracle seeks more than $200 million in damages and …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2015

Google hits TurboFan button on Chrome's JavaScript engine

Google says its new optimizing compiler tech is gradually speeding up JavaScript execution in its Chrome browser – and it one day hopes it can rip out all the old compiler code and replace it with something better. The new optimizing compiler is known as TurboFan, and it has been shipping as a component of the V8 JavaScript …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2015

Firefox to speed up dev cycle, go multi-process, rip and replace UI – soon

Mozilla is planning big changes in how it builds its Firefox web browser, including speeding up its release schedule and – in the long term – getting rid of some of the Mozilla-specific technologies that have traditionally been used to build the browser's UI and add-ons. The decisions were discussed at Moz's "Coincidental Work …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2015
AMD underwater

AMD looks at sinking sales, gulps: It's worse than we thought

Struggling chipmaker AMD warned investors on Monday that its second-quarter results, which are due to be announced on July 16, will be lower than previously expected. During a conference call with financial analysts at the end of the company's previous quarter in April, AMD chief financial officer Devinder Kumar said he …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jul 2015
management regulation2

Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer's code theft conviction overturned AGAIN

Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs programmer who was charged with stealing code from the firm's high-frequency trading software, has had his conviction overturned a second time. Justice Daniel Conviser of the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan tossed out the conviction in a ruling on Monday, The New York Times …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jul 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Microsoft has shared more details about how it plans to roll out Windows 10 beginning later this month. We already knew the OS will start shipping to members of the Windows Insider program on July 29. On Thursday, however, Microsoft OS boss Terry Myerson explained in a blog post that not everyone should expect to receive their …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015
Web browsers 2015

Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Microsoft is encouraging companies that use its Silverlight media format on their web pages to dump the tech in favor of newer, HTML5-based media playback systems. "The commercial media industry is undergoing a major transition as content providers move away from proprietary web plug-in based delivery mechanisms (such as Flash …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015

Intel 80386 queen Renée James quits as chipmaker's president

Intel president Renée James is leaving the silicon giant to become chief exec of another firm as part of a set of leadership changes announced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Thursday. "When Brian and I were appointed to our current roles, I knew then that being the leader of a company was something that I desired as part of my …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015

Cash-strapped Chicago slaps CLOUD TAX on Netflix, Spotify etc users

New changes to tax law in the city of Chicago have effectively raised the prices of online streaming and cloud services in the Windy City, beginning on Wednesday. The Chicago Tribune reports that an update to the city's "amusement tax" adds a 9 per cent tax to Chicagoans' subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015
HP Logo splitting in two

We read Hewlett Packard Enterprise's 316-page post-split blueprint so you don't have to

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of two new companies that will emerge once the current HP splits off its PCs and printers business from its enterprise IT offerings, has filed Form 10 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, an important milestone in the separation process. "Today, I'm more convinced than ever that this …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015
Crypto fingers

Amazon just wrote a TLS crypto library in only 6,000 lines of C code

Amazon Web Services has released a new, open source library that implements TLS encryption – the standard behind the secure HTTPS web protocol – using far less code than the prevailing OpenSSL library. Dubbed s2n for "signal to noise," the new library comprises just over 6,000 lines of C code. By comparison, OpenSSL consists of …
Neil McAllister, 01 Jul 2015
GlobalFoundries Fab 8

IBM gets green light to sell off chips biz to GlobalFoundries

IBM looks to be in the clear to sell off its ailing chippery division to GlobalFoundries after US regulators gave the deal the nod on Tuesday. GlobalFoundries was spun off from AMD in 2009 with substantial funding from the Advanced Technology Investment Company, a wholly owned investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2015
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

HP's split surgeon Bill Veghte splits from HP

Bill Veghte, the HP exec who since October has led the company's effort to split into two separate businesses, is parting ways with the firm. "The decision to leave a company and people you are passionate about is never an easy one," Veghte said in a statement. "It has been a privilege working with Meg [Whitman, HP CEO] and a …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2015
Don Draper is Sad

Microsoft to offload display ads biz to ... hang on, AOL?

Microsoft has retreated from its online display ads business having struck a deal with AOL. Under the plans, announced on Monday, Redmond will hand off ads sales and management on several of its prime online properties to AOL. Fnancial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. AOL will take over ads for such sites as MSN …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2015
US Supreme Court

Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of Oracle's case against it in the matter of the Java API copyrights, leaving it up to a lower court to decide what - if any - damages Google owes. Google was hoping the Supremes would weigh in on the issue of whether software APIs are copyrightable under current US …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jun 2015
Harry Potter

Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years. So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2015
Docker Red Hat

Red Hat: PaaS or IaaS, everything's about CONTAINERS now

Red Hat Summit Docker wasn't the only firm blabbing away about containers this week. On Wednesday, top Linux vendor Red Hat unveiled two new offerings at its Red Hat Summit conference in Boston, and both had containers at their cores. The first of these was OpenShift Enterprise 3, the latest version of Shadowman's locally deployable platform- …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2015

Docker shocker: It's got a commercial product, and is ready to SELL IT

DockerCon 2015 The themes of Docker's past conferences has been increasing adoption of the container tech, but the theme of this year's DockerCon was moving beyond experimentation and into production deployment. By extension, it was also about how Docker plans to make money. The startup is well-heeled, having received enough venture cash in …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jun 2015
Scott Johnson and Mark Russinovich at DockerCon 2015

Docker and Microsoft unite Windows and Linux in the cloud

DockerCon 2015 Microsoft has doubled down on its support for Docker, further integrating the software container tech with Azure and Visual Studio Online and demoing the first-ever containerized application spanning both Windows and Linux systems. The software giant first showed off its support for Docker on its Azure cloud at the DockerCon …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jun 2015
Docker CTO Solomon Hykes

Inside the Open Container Project: Docker sings kumbaya

DockerCon 2015 For a while, it looked as though software containers were heading for the kind of standards squabble that has plagued the tech industry too often in its history. On the one hand, Docker – the plucky startup that's almost singlehandedly responsible for the recent explosion of interest in containers in the Linux world – had argued …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jun 2015

Docker unfurls software-defined networking, plugin blueprints

DockerCon 2015 As its DockerCon conference kicks off today in San Francisco, Docker has announced new features for its software container technology, including software-defined networking (SDN) and a swappable plugin architecture. The SDN features are a direct result of Docker's acquisition of SocketPlane in March but were developed with …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jun 2015

Docker and chums unveil standards org for software containers

DockerCon 2015 Docker has joined forces with the Linux Foundation to create a new organization that will oversee and manage open standards for application containers. Announced at the DockerCon conference in San Francisco on Monday, the Open Container Project (OCP) will maintain and develop a common container runtime and image format based in …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jun 2015

JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla, has announced a new project that could not only speed up web applications but could eventually see the end of JavaScript as the lingua franca of web development. Dubbed WebAssembly, the new effort is a kind of successor to Asm.js, the stripped-down JavaScript dialect that backers describe …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2015
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

'Oracle, why are your sales f-' CLOUD CLOUD CLOUD, blasts Larry

Investors had their knives out for Oracle once again on Wednesday after the database giant's fourth-quarter results missed analysts' estimates on both earnings and revenue. The report capped off a disappointing year for Oracle, one in which its total revenue for the twelve months was flat from the previous year, at $38.23bn. It …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2015

Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

The Debian Project thinks it's fixed an issue where Google's Chromium web browser snuck proprietary code into the fiercely Free Software oriented Debian Linux distro. That hasn't stopped Debian users from wondering how the issue got past project maintainers in the first place. Debian user Yoshihito Yoshino first raised the red …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2015
Facepalming statue

There's a new build of Windows 10 Mobile, but you can't upgrade to it

Microsoft is back with another build of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview, but only the most eager testers will be able to get their hands on it. For starters, Redmond is only making Build 10136 available to Windows Insiders who opt for the Fast release ring. As with Windows 10 for desktop PCs, Redmond is being conservative …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jun 2015
A lamb

Devs to pour Java into Amazon's cloud after AWS Lambda update

Amazon Web Services has expanded its AWS Lambda programming model to support functions written in Java, the cloud kingpin said on Monday. Lambda, which allows developers to run event-driven code directly on Amazon's cloud without managing any application infrastructure, launched in November 2014 and initially only supported code …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jun 2015
Node Knockout code

It's about forking time: Node.js, io.js to mend differences, remerge

The Node.js open source project and its fork, io.js, have decided to kiss and make up, with the aid and support of the Linux Foundation. Node.js is an open-source, OS-agnostic runtime environment that allows developers to write server-side web applications using JavaScript. Several prominent Node.js developers forked its code …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jun 2015

LastPass got hacked: Change your master password NOW

Password-storing cloud biz LastPass is urging its users to change their master passwords after hackers broke into its network at the end of last week. The intrusion reportedly happened on Friday afternoon, but many LastPass users are only learning about it now. LastPass last had a security scare in 2011. "In our investigation, …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jun 2015
Hyperloop car

POD RACING: SpaceX will build the Hyperloop railgun tube-way – you bring the ride

Elon Musk's private space transport company SpaceX is throwing its weight behind Musk's concept of the Hyperloop ground transport system, although it says it's not doing it to make money. "Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies," the firm said in an online post on Monday. "While we are not …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jun 2015

How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

Analysis If the latest reports are true and Chinese hackers have managed to pilfer as much data about US government employees in sensitive positions as is thought, the Obama administration may be headed for a serious intelligence crisis. According to an Associated Press report on Friday, hackers linked to China may have compromised …
Neil McAllister, 13 Jun 2015

Dossiers on US spies, military snatched in 'SECOND govt data leak'

A second data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management has compromised even more sensitive information about government employees than the first breach that was revealed earlier this week, sources claim. It's possible at least 14 million Americans have chapter and verse on their lives leaked, we're told. The Associated …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2015
Human cannonball

Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone

Microsoft has released Build 10130 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview to the Windows Insider program's Slow release ring, despite a few lingering issues – particularly with Redmond's latest hardware. The build was initially only released to the Fast release ring – the one that gets rapid updates of the pre-release OS, even when …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2015
BBC Micro coding session

Facebook: Your code sucks, and we don't even have to run it to tell

Facebook has released the source code to Infer, its static analysis tool, under the open source BSD license. Static analysis tools like Infer are used as a complement to traditional dynamic software testing by scanning the source code of software to spot trouble spots without actually executing the code. In a Thursday blog post …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2015
Christopher Lee as Dracula

In memoriam: Christopher Lee, Hammer's Count Dracula

Obit Christopher Lee, the iconic British actor best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in a series of films from Hammer Studios and for roles in the recent Lord of the Rings and Star Wars film trilogies, has died at age 93. The deep-voiced Lee made his film debut in Corridor of Mirrors in 1948 for future James Bond director …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2015
Microsoft's Surface Hub

Gonna RUB MYSELF against the WALL: Microsoft's Surface Hub 84" monster-slab

Pics Microsoft will take orders for its ridiculo-sized Surface Hub, a huge wall-mounted touchscreen, from July 1, albeit at hefty prices - but it won't be shipping direct to punters. The smaller of the two debut Surface Hub models is a 55-inch, 1080p-resolution version that Microsoft says is designed for offices, small conference …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2015
Facebook privacy image

Windows 8-Facebook sync blown away in API bombing raid

Microsoft will soon drop Facebook integration from Windows and a number of its online products, following a change to Facebook's APIs. It appears Facebook has changed parts of its Graph API that Microsoft's code uses. That change has broken compatibility between Redmond's software and the social network, so now several of …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2015
Space: 1999's nuclear explosion on the Moon

TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track

A malfunction on a docked Russian spacecraft caused the International Space Station to shift from its normal orbital orientation, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday. NASA confirmed that the engines of Soyuz TMA-15M – one of two Soyuz spacecraft currently docked at the ISS – unexpectedly fired at 10:27am Central …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2015
Data center

Mesosphere's 'data center OS' now free for world+dog (almost)

VC-backed Mesosphere says its Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) is now generally available in a free Community Edition. Mesosphere DCOS is a platform for running and managing clustered data center workloads that combines Apache Mesos with a mix of open source and proprietary components. Essentially, it's cloud infrastructure …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2015
Web browsers 2015

Microsoft: FINE, we'll help your web sessions be secure, SHEESH

Microsoft has updated both Internet Explorer and its new Edge web browser to make it easier for sites to encourage visitors to use secure HTTPS encryption. As part of this month's Patch Tuesday batch of security updates, the software giant has added support for HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to its browsers. Sites can use …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2015
Syrian Electronic Army

Armchair cyber-army vandalizes Uncle Sam's website

The elusive hacking group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed it is behind the defacement of US military websites on Monday. Among the messages injected into the US Army homepage was one stating, "Your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting." True to form, the …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jun 2015
Taylor Swift

Apple to tailor Swift into fully open-source language – for Linux, too

WWDC 2015 Apple will release version 2.0 of its Swift programming language as open source, with the aim of getting it everywhere. "We think Swift is the next big programming language," Apple software engineering veep Craig Federighi said during Monday's keynote address at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jun 2015

What's broken in this week's build of Windows 10? Installing it, for one

Microsoft has released ISO disc images of the latest Technical Preview build of Windows 10, but not because they think every tester should install it. Rather, it's because a bug is preventing even some of the more aggressive testers from receiving it through Windows Update. The release, known as Build 10130, was released to the …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jun 2015

HTC execs: Oh dear, did we say we'd sell lots of smartphones? Our bad

The bottom appears to have dropped out of HTC smartphone sales, leaving the Taiwanese firm forced to revise its second-quarter earnings guidance downward by nearly 30 per cent. Just over a month ago, HTC said it expected to see revenue of between NT$46bn and NT$51bn New Taiwanese dollars ($1.49bn to $1.66bn in US dollars) in the …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2015

Life in prison not appealing to Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht – appeal filed

Silk Road boss and armchair drug lord Ross Ulbricht has appealed both his conviction on narcotics trafficking and other charges and the life term in prison to which he was sentenced. Ulbricht's attorney Joshua Dratel notified the court of the appeal via the standard form, which reveals little about his strategy other than that …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2015

Google blames Flash for hobbling Chrome, says it sucks (too much power)

If you reckon Chrome is eating up your laptop's battery, you're not alone. Google is concerned, too, but it says it's not all its fault – Adobe's to blame. Specifically, the culprit is the Adobe Flash plugin that comes built into Chrome and which automatically displays any Flash content it finds on web pages, according to Google …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2015