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Alexander J Martin

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Alexander is a staff reporter at The Register. His PGP public key can be found here on Keybase.
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Earliest ever recording of computer-generated music is restored

Audio Kiwi boffins have claimed to have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, from 1951. The recording, released today by the Guardian, opens with what the Guardianistas describe as the "staunchly conservative" national anthem, God Save the King. It was made by the BBC at the University of Manchester in …

London-based Yahoo! hacker gets 11 years for SQLi mischief

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to two years in prison for his part in a cyber attack on Yahoo! in 2012. Nazariy Markuta, of Harlesden, London, was a member of the D33Ds Company network, which nicked over 450,000 customer email addresses and passwords from Yahoo! after an investigation by the UK's National Crime Agency ( …
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer

A 49-year-old IT bloke from Essex has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment on two counts of fraud after his cunning plan to steal £450,000 from his employer was uncovered... almost immediately. Adeshola Dada, of Watts Crescent, Purfleet, Essex, was employed in the IT department of Genesis Housing Association, where he …
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Woo hoo, UK.gov has unveiled yet another tech creche – for infosec

Plans are afoot in Westminster to burn even more taxpayers' cash by launching a new cyber-security startup accelerator in Cheltenham. The accelerator will be the umpteenth vehicle for funnelling money to muppets since the coalition government came to power. Other accelerators have included a military technology free-money …
Tom Cruise plays with impressive looking giant touchscreen in still from the movie Minority report (based on book by Phillip K DIck))

Brit boffins get $800k for Los Angeles Twitter pre-crime tech

Researchers from the University of Cardiff have been awarded more than $800,000 by the US Department of Justice to develop a pre-crime detection system. Boffins from the University’s Social Data Science Lab, which brings together a range of scientists to study the methodological, theoretical, empirical and technical dimensions …

MI6 to hire another 1,000 bods 'cos of private surveillance tech

MI6 is set to hire another 1,000 staffers because of the internet, apparently. According to the BBC, the foreign-focused spooks are set to boost their numbers by 40 per cent, "from 2,500 staff to a little under 3,500." The agency, which is formally known as the Secret Intelligence Service, argues that the increase in …
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Financial Conduct Authority: No need to look any closer at insurers’ use of Big Data

The Financial Conduct Authority has said there’s no need to launch a full market study into insurers’ use of big data, despite concerns that insurers' could be using to charge consumers more. Following a call for inputs last year on the use of data and analytics in home and motor insurance, which returned 27 written responses …

Lenovo denies claims it plotted with Microsoft to block Linux installs

Lenovo has denied locking its Signature Edition PCs exclusively to Windows 10 under orders from Microsoft. A Reddit thread this morning accuses Microsoft and Lenovo of conspiring to prevent the installation of non-Windows operating systems on the Chinese goliath's PCs at the firmware level. Linux fans vented on the message …
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Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

Yet another British family has been forced to flee its habitat after an infestation of Brazilian wandering spiders smuggled itself into their nest on the back of a bunch of supermarket bananas. The Brazilian wandering spider's bite is so venomous it can leave males of many species with a painful four-hour long erection before …

Self-service-as-a-service startup Trifacta releases newest product version

Trifacta, the self-service-as-a-service data-wrangling business, has released the fourth version of its data preparation product suite. The San Francisco-based business was founded four years ago, and has been commercial for the last two. It offers data preparation products which transforms unstructured data into something …

Want a Dell printer? Unlucky – they've just stopped selling them

Ahead of the mega-merger with EMC, Dell has decided to quit selling printers as part of its hardware portfolio while its imaging business is being scaled back. Dell's decision to quit the printer business in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific Japan regions was first noted by Stuart Gilbertson over at Consider IT. Gilbertson wrote that …

Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

It was ruled today that Lauri Love, the alleged hacktivist from Stradishall, Suffolk, should be extradited to the United States to face charges of crimes carried out as part of online protests following the suicide of Aaron Swartz. Handing down her judgment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon, District Judge Nina …
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Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

A Swedish appeals court has upheld the European Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, who is sought in the country on allegations of rape, which he denies. Assange had sought to appeal the warrant for his arrest, though not the charges, as a means of achieving escape from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has been holed up now for …
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Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

Comic Relief’s internal systems are down for the third day running after a ransomware attack on one of the charity’s servers on Wednesday. Founded in 1985 by comedy scriptwriters, the charity behind the UK’s Red Nose Day telethon took down all of its internal systems in the wake of the attack. An email sent on Wednesday to the …
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Elastic acquires predictive analytics firm

Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, has acquired behavioural analytics biz Prelert. The Amsterdam-based parent company, with an additional HQ in Mountain View, today announced that it has acquired Prelert and will integrate its analytics technology into the Elastic Stack. The financial terms of the deal were not …
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Azure is on fire, your DNS is terrified

Microsoft Azure DNS suffered a wobble Thursday afternoon UK-time, taking down a number of services. According to a status update on Microsoft's site, the issues began around lunchtime. Customers using Azure DNS in multiple regions experienced difficulties connecting to their goodies at the moment due to the mysterious issues …
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Exploding public cloud just getting bigger, will be worth $200bn in 2016 – Gartner

The global public cloud services market is set to grow by more than 17 per cent in 2016. According to Gartner, cloud services were worth $178bn in 2015. This is set to increase to $208.6bn in 2016, higher than the nominal GDP of Portugal. This growth will be driven by cloud system infrastructure services, which are projected …
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Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers

+Comment More research into electronic cigarettes has reported positively on the devices, finding evidence of their use as smoking cessation aids and finding that they do not appear to cause any serious side-effects. An update to the Cochrane review on electronic cigarettes has restated the findings of the initial research, which was …
Two execs in a server room. Has to have happened some time heh. Photo by Shutterstock

Dell overtakes HPE in server shipments as worldwide sales shrink

Worldwide server revenue is down 0.8 per cent while shipments are up by two per cent, according to Gartner, and Dell has pipped HPE to the top spot for shipments. The second quarter of 2016 saw very regionalised trends in server revenues and shipments. Everywhere except for Asia/Pacific and North America is in decline, though …
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US National Security Agency gets CREST smile

CREST, the UK-based certification and accreditation body for the infosec industry, has signed an agreement with the National Security Agency to take over its incident response accreditation programme. Supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, which is seeking to promote the UK's professional cyber security …
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

So, Gov.UK infosec in 2015. 'Chaotic'. Cost £300m. NINE THOUSAND data breaches...

The Cabinet Office is failing to coordinate the UK's government departments' efforts to protect their information according to a damning report by the National Audit Office. The NAO found that the Cabinet Office failed in its duty and ambition to coordinate and lead government departments’ efforts in protecting such …
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Straight outta Staines: Attenda has finally been sold... to US biz Ensono

The Staines-based managed service provider Attenda has been sold to Ensono, and we called it. Initially due to be up for sale by owner Darwin Private Equity last year, Attenda wasn't flogged due to its fairly poor results. As we we reported at the time discussions began, Arma Partners worked as financial advisers for the deal …
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UK oversight body tipped to examine phone snooping tech in prisons

The secretive use of IMSI grabbers in the UK is set to receive oversight from the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO). IOCCO is awaiting a formal request from the Prime Minister to provide oversight of the use of mobile phone eavesdropping devices in prisons, its head has confirmed to The Register. …
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Microsoft leads group pelting 'heavy duty' robot maker with $10.5m

RotM Sarcos Robotics has received $10.5m in investment from Microsoft, Caterpillar and other backers. Salt Lake City-based Sarcos, which has offices near Microsoft in Redmond, was founded 25 years ago. It was acquired by Raytheon in 2007 before being bought back by a consortium led by its former president at Raytheon. Now, …
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Action Fraud warns of fraudulent anti-fraud warnings posing as Action Fraud

Fraudsters are phishing for what remains in fraud victims' bank accounts under the guise of British anti-fraud campaign Action Fraud. An email using the City of London Police logo – Action Fraud works closely with it – has circulated offering free money from the Fraud Intelligence Unit and National Fraud Intelligence bureau. …