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Thomas Claburn

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Visual Studio Code replumbed for better Python taming

Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, the company's Electron-based source code editor for Linux, macOS and Windows, has been bestowed with the company's Python Language Server, making it more fluent in the popular programming language. The language server, Microsoft explains, powers the company's IntelliSense autocomplete system, …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2018
Logos of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter make it easier to download your info and upload to, er, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter etc...

Allowing developers to siphon millions of netizens' personal information didn't work out so well for Facebook, given the Cambridge Analytica affair. Nonetheless, the misinformation and ads platform has decided to build a data takeout service for account holders, allowing people to download their information in a standardized …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2018

Get rich with Firefox or *(int *)NULL = 0 trying: Automated bug-bounty hunter build touted

Do you love Firefox, Linux, and the internet? Are you interested in earning money from the comfort of your own home? Are you OK with a special flavor of Firefox quietly gobbling up memory in a hunt for exploitable security bugs? If so, Mozilla has a deal for you. The open internet organization (and search licensing revenue …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2018
code on-screen

Acquisition Galvanize'd: Code bootcamp Hack Reactor eyed up by hungry tech trainers

Galvanize – a for-profit tech training biz headquartered in Denver, USA – said today it plans to acquire Hack Reactor, a San Francisco-based code bootcamp provider, for an undisclosed sum. The deal comes as the code bootcamp industry, booming since 2012, retrenches and reinvents itself in response to increased regulatory …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jul 2018

Windows Server 2019 tweaked to stop it getting clock-blocked

Microsoft Windows Server 2019, coming later this year, will include UTC-compliant leap second support, both for added and subtracted time. But there will be no smearing. Since 1972, leap seconds have been added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to compensate for divergence with mean solar time (UT1) – which slows with the …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jul 2018
Google Cloud sign on HQ

Google Cloud Platform reins in its trigger-happy account-axing AI cops

With no mention of Tuesday's Cloud Platform service troubles, Google on Wednesday heralded the arrival of click-to-deploy Kubernetes apps in the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace. "With GCP Marketplace, you can now easily find prepackaged apps and deploy them onto the cluster of your choice," said Anil Dhawan, product manager …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jul 2018
Containers in the fridge

IBM attempts to graft virtual machine security onto container flexibility

IBM researchers have developed a new flavor of software container in an effort to create code that's more secure than Docker and similar shared kernel container systems. Docker and its ilk are considered less secure than VMs because the compromise of a shared kernel puts all associated containers at risk. With VMs, the kernel …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jul 2018
Tech law image

Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

In a victory for those supporting open access to technical specifications, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday vacated injunctions [PDF] that prohibited Public.Resource.Org (PRO) from publishing copyrighted technical standards online. The appeals court reversed a partial grant of summary …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jul 2018
Mind the gap image

Don't panic about domain fronting, an SNI fix is getting hacked out

Over the weekend, at the IETF Hackathon in Montreal, Canada, software engineers from Apple, Cloudflare, Fastly and Mozilla made some progress toward closing a privacy gap affecting network communications. The programmers built an preliminary implementation of a privacy-oriented draft protocol called Encrypted Server Name …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jul 2018
People wearing biohazard suits after nuclear explosion

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

Analysis While staying at a Marriott hotel in San Antonio, Texas, US government staffers left nuclear material, recovered from a non-profit research lab, in a rented SUV overnight. The following morning, these individuals – described as "security experts" at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory – found their Ford …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jul 2018
Ads in NYC

The cybercriminal's cash cow and the marketer's machine: Inside the mad sad bad web ad world

Special report Digital ad fraud is potentially lucrative, difficult to detect, and getting worse. "It is one of the biggest ways bad guys have of pulling money out of the online economy," said Louis-David Mangin, co-founder and CEO of Confiant, a firm that helps publishers mitigate the damage done by hosting bad ads, in a phone interview …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Jun 2018
Brave Browser with Tor

Brave Brave browser's hamburger menu serves Tor onion routing

Brave Software has updated its web browser so that its private mode actually supports privacy, or nearly – a few lingering technical issues still need to get ironed out. The outfit's latest desktop release, Brave 0.23, integrates Tor, the free open-source software that aims to help netizens evade online surveillance, in its …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Jun 2018
User interface whiteboarding

Facebook, Google, Microsoft scolded for tricking people into spilling their private info

Five consumer privacy groups have asked the European Data Protection Board to investigate how Facebook, Google, and Microsoft design their software to see whether it complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Essentially, the tech giants are accused of crafting their user interfaces so that netizens are …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Jun 2018
Software containers

K8s awaits due date for latest, greatest slate: Extension versioning will reach beta, mates

Kubernetes, the software container orchestration system, is expected to hit version 1.11 on Wednesday, bringing with it a handful of potentially useful enhancements. The software currently supports an alpha version of Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs), an API that allows people to define custom resources (aka extensions) to …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Jun 2018
Sysadmin clutching his head

Who wants to cram some BOFH skills into their brains? How about from, er, Google?

Google is bringing its IT Support Professional Certificate program to more than two dozen US community colleges this fall in an effort to prime the sysadmin supply pump. The Chocolate Factory introduced the online course in partnership with web educator Coursera in January. Since then, we're told, almost 40,000 people have …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Jun 2018
Statue of Achilles dying

Painful truth: DNS, CDNs and CAs are Achilles' Heel for top websites

Internet infrastructure may be fairly resilient thanks to its distributed nature, but the web we've built on top of it appears to be rather fragile. In a paper distributed last week through the ArXiv preprint server, researchers for Carnegie Mellon University find that third-party services such as domain name service (DNS) …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Jun 2018
heat wave

Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

Amid forecasts of heat and fears of water shortage in Ireland on Monday, Microsoft was about to confront a drought of a different kind: an Azure service outage. The disruption, which lasted from 1744 UTC on Tuesday, June 19 to 0430 UTC on Wednesday, June 20, downed a slew of services, as we previously reported. What was not …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Jun 2018
Boot crushes duckling - pic Shutterstock

Smyte users not smitten with Twitter: APIs killed minutes after biz gobble

Updated Twitter, known for its rather rocky relationship with developers, cemented its reputation for missteps on Thursday – by announcing the acquisition of content cleansing and security biz Smyte and almost immediately disconnecting the firm's existing customers. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Twitter to apply Smyte's …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Jun 2018
This is the blockchain. Yes, THE blockchain

Amid 'idiotic blockchain phase,' EY and Microsoft tout smart contracts

In an effort to demonstrate there are actual uses for blockchain technology, global professional services biz EY and Microsoft have teamed up to offer companies a way to manage rights and royalties. Though the system is designed to serve any industry that deals with intellectual property licensing and royalty payments, the …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Jun 2018
angry employee

IBM loses mainframe docs down the back of the web, customers cry 'sabotage'

Earlier this month, IBM's attempt to redesign its website broke links to product documentation – and all hell broke loose. On the IBM-MAIN mailing list, z/OS mainframe customers decried the changes as sabotage. People looking for IBM tools have been unable to find them. One aggrieved individual urged SHARE, an independent …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jun 2018
Dart board

Mate, have a Flutter on the Darts: Google's mobe app toolkit for Fuchsia, others emerges

On Wednesday, Google's cross-platform mobile framework Flutter reached Preview Release 1, a designation that places the code somewhere between buggy beta and less buggy 1.0. "The shift from beta to release preview signals our confidence in the stability and quality of what we have, and our focus on bug fixing and stabilization …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jun 2018
Image by ART production http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-3278237p1.html

Microsoft Edge bug odyssey shows why we can't have nice things

Updated Earlier this year, Jake Archibald, developer advocate for Google Chrome, found a bug affecting Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge – and had two very different experiences trying to get the problem fixed. Mozilla, he said this week in a blog post recounting the saga, responded within three hours. And because the browser maker …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jun 2018
Lock on a board. Photo by shutterstock

Did you have locking down AI and blockchain as possible Intel SGX uses? If so, congrats...

Israel Cyber Week At the Cyber Week security conference in Israel on Tuesday, chip giant Intel plans to discuss how it is addressing threats to the overexposed tech celebrities known as AI and blockchain. Spoiler: its strategy involves enticing other companies to implement Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX). In remarks provided in advance …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jun 2018
Usain Bolt

Facebook floats BOLT to jolt code out of bit bloat

Facebook has open sourced a binary optimization and layout tool, itself optimized into the acronym BOLT, in the hope it can make large applications faster. The compiled code for large applications – the sort Facebook runs – tend to be too big to cram into the instruction cache of a modern CPU, explains Maxim Panchenko, …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jun 2018

How to stealthily poison neural network chips in the supply chain

Computer boffins have devised a potential hardware-based Trojan attack on neural network models that could be used to alter system output without detection. Adversarial attacks on neural networks and related deep learning systems have received considerable attention in recent years due to the growing use of AI-oriented systems …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jun 2018

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