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Infosec whitecoats: Robots are riddled with security bugs

Common security flaws in mainstream robotic technologies leave them wide open to attack, infosec researched have warned. IOActive made the admonition after evaluating the security of multiple home, business, and industrial robots. The array of vulnerabilities identified in the systems evaluated included many graded as high or …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2017

2017 was a record year for us, says Workday CEO

It was a record-breaking year for finance and HR cloud purveyor Workday for all the right and the wrong reasons: sales reached a new high aided by Oracle’s disruptive buy of NetSuite, but losses soared too. Revenues for the year ended 31 January crossed the line at $1.569bn, up 35 per cent year-on-year, including subscription …
Paul Kunert, 28 Feb 2017

Scality guarantees 100% availability

Object storage house Scality is offering a 100 per cent data availability guarantee. How so? It’s for customers using its RING object storage, now in its sixth and S3-focused generation, and involves the use of its HALO Cloud Monitor, along with customer RING installation checking and individual customer pricing. HALO is a …
Chris Mellor, 28 Feb 2017

The most l33t phone of MWC: DarkMatter's Kubit

MWC There’s exclusive and then there’s exclusive. If you need to ask how much the DarkMatter Katim phone costs, you’re not a serious customer. The first handset to come from the UAE-based security company doesn’t have a price. But then it’s a very unusual phone, as Suresh Bollapragada, DarkMatter VP of Systems Engineering and a …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2017

Cisco Jasper IoT bod: Smart home? Nah. Farm pest control - that's a cool use case

Interview Macario Namie, head of IoT strategy at Cisco Jasper, has been working in the connected device space "before it was known as IoT” and was with Jasper for nine years before it was acquired by the networking borg in 2016 for $1.4bn (£1.1bn). The outfit began as a machine-to-machine wireless comms specialist, Jasper Wireless, …
Kat Hall, 28 Feb 2017

Health firm gets £200k slap after IVF patients' data leaks online

A private health firm has been fined £200,000 after fertility patients’ confidential conversations leaked online. The £200,000 monetary penalty was levied following an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation into the way the Lister Hospital was transferring, transcribing and storing recordings of IVF appointments …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2017

Imation to fork out $11m in patent suit

A jury has found that flash-flinger Imation must pay $11m damages to ioengine for patent infringement. The US patent in question is number 8,539,047 (the ’047 Patent entitled Apparatus, method and system for a tunnelling client access point). A company called ioengine, which owns the patent, involving secure USB devices, had …
Chris Mellor, 28 Feb 2017
Woman works from laptop by the pool. photo by sHutterstock

IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

Exclusive IBM is clamping down on its remote workers in Britain, with the Global Technology Services team being centralised in one of a number of as yet unnamed “colocation hubs”. Tosca Colangeli, IBM’s UK veep of GTS, warned employees in a recording, seen by The Register, that a “big feature” of 2017 is a “desire to be colocated …
Paul Kunert, 28 Feb 2017
The view from the QE II conference centre

Continuous Lifecycle: Early bird tickets ready to fly

You’ve got less than two weeks to snag early bird tickets for Continuous Lifecycle London and save yourself a packet on three days of the best in DevOps, Containers, Continuous Delivery and Agile. There are savings on both the conference sessions on May 17 and 18 and for the all-day workshops on May 19, all of which take place …
Team Register, 28 Feb 2017
Weight lifter photo via Shutterstock

AWS's Kubernetes dilemma: It's a burden and a pleasure

Amazon Web Services became the 800-pound cloud gorilla by catering to developers. It expects to own the container crown with the exact same strategy, touting convenience and productivity gains to users of its EC2 Container Service (ECS). There are signs, however, that this fight won’t be as simple, and that a cross-cloud …
Matt Asay, 28 Feb 2017

Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams

More than half of the UK’s local authorities have used body-worn cameras, with only a third of them having considered the privacy impact on the public, according to best practice. The rush to use body-worn video (BWV) by local authorities is not being scrutinised closely enough, according to civil liberties group Big Brother …

Hong Kong chip boffins wheel out another NB-IoT reference design

A few days after ARM bought a couple of Internet of Things startups focused on digital signal processing and integrated IoT chip offerings, a Hong Kong-US joint venture has wheeled out something that looks very similar. Hong Kong’s Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), in conjunction with signal processing …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Feb 2017
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

nbn™ puts the acid on Australia's ISPs to speed up its NBN

The chief executive officer of nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has told Senate Estimates that retailers need to pay more attention to their networks in order to avoid disappointing customers. In his opening statement, CEO David Morrow told Australia's Senate that “ …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2017
Bomb on PC screen

TWO BILLION PCs to sell in next five years

More bad news for the PC and tablet market: analyst IDC says the five-year sales slump is set to extend to a decade of decline. The firm now predicts that just 418.2 million units will ship in 2021, down from 2016's 435 million machines, for a compound annual growth rate of -0.8 per cent. There's a tiny ray of sunlight in …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2017
Screengrab of motorola modular phones

You want a 4-SIM mobe? Never mind why – your wish might come true

MWC While recent modular phone experiments from Google and LG have crashed and burned, Motorola’s more sober effort is the one that’s paying off. The Lenovo-owned brand unveiled some new Moto Mods at the current Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and gave a taste of where the accessory range could go. An Amazon Alexa Mod will …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2017
France Germany

Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

The technology industry has hit back at proposed plans by France and Germany to force EU member states to backdoor encryption for the police. Last week, Thomas de Maizière and Bruno Le Roux, respectively the German and French ministers of the interior, sent a letter to the European Commission calling for measures to stem what …
Iain Thomson, 28 Feb 2017

Sony: Never mind the phones – look out at what our crazy lab scientists have done

MWC Years ago, Sony was one of the first of the old tier-one electronics giants to get fully behind Android. With its multimedia prowess, its amazing R&D pipeline and its refined design aesthetic, Sony should have ruled the roost. But it was outfought by its vulgar South Korean rival Samsung, for that's what the public wanted. …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2017

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

MWC Bill Clinton was still US President when the last pocket computer that you could touch type on came out. Back then, almost everyone accessed the internet at home on a dialup modem, not broadband, and no phone yet sported a colour screen or a camera. It was a different era. But after 17 years, a Psion 5-style machine is back, …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Feb 2017
The Porsche Design BOOK ONE will be avaialble in April 2017

Lap(top) of luxury: Porsche Design revs up 2-in-1 Windows 10 slab

MWC Luxury brand Porsche Design has announced, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, its first 2-in-1 computer: a Windows 10 device that will be available in April 2017 for €2,795 or £2,395. According to chief design officer Roland Heller, the Book One is the first Windows device to have both a detachable keyboard and 360° …
Tim Anderson, 28 Feb 2017
T-shirt Cannon

This week on GitHub: Facebook's forecaster and a sysadmin CURSE

Repo Roundup To kick off this week's Repo Roundup, in which we trawl online code repositories so you don't have to, Facebook's emitted a prophecy, and we don't mean Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto: it's a forecasting procedure for R and Python, designed to work with the kind of datasets Facebook slurps. It's aimed at time series data, “based …

So. 256GB. 3D NAND. MicroSD. SanDisk. $199. Any further questions?

MWC SanDisk has slapped a price sticker and availability date on its 256GB 3D NAND flash chip that'll be packaged into A1-class microSDXC cards, as well as USB sticks and other formats. The new microSDXC card will be known as the Extreme microSD card with A1. Unveiled on Monday at the Barcelona MWC, it is an A1-class device with …
Chris Mellor, 28 Feb 2017
Hammer, spanner and screw

Cisco says Smart Install is not a bug, not a vuln, releases blocker anyway

Cisco has reiterated that its Smart Install feature is not a bug and not a vulnerability, and to prove it's not, it's built a tool to help sysadmins block it. Smart Install (SMI) is by necessity insecure: sysadmins used it to give a new switch a minimal setup, so you can ship it to a branch office and, when it's plugged in, it …
Dollar in pocket, photo via Shutterstock

Mozilla makes first-ever acquisition: Web-clipping app 'Pocket'

Mozilla has acquired Read It Later, Inc. the developer of a web clipping app called “Pocket”. Pocket lets you bookmark content from the web and then syncs it to make it accessible on all manner of devices, even when they are offline. The service can pull off this trick for text,images and video. Read It Later, Inc. claims 22 …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2017
ServiceNow visual task board

ServiceNow hires former eBay and Bain & Co man John Donahoe as CEO

ServiceNow has a new CEO: John Donahoe, formerly CEO of eBay and of Bain & Company, was appointed on Monday after the current holder of the positions, Frank Slootman, decided the time was right to make the transition. The company is positioning this as a prudent transition motivated by a desire for planned and smooth renewal. …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2017

Two million recordings of families imperiled by cloud-connected toys' crappy MongoDB

Two million voice recordings of kids and their families were exposed online and repeatedly held to ransom – because an IoT stuffed-toy maker used an insecure MongoDB installation. Essentially, the $40 cuddly CloudPets feature builtin microphones and speakers, and connect to the internet via an iOS or Android app on a nearby …
The Easy Button

ESET antivirus cracks opens Apple Macs to remote root execution via man-in-middle diddle

Bored hacker looking for fun? We couldn't possibly suggest you attack the latest vulnerability in ESET's antivirus software, because it's too basic to offer any challenge at all. As outlined in this advisory today, all you need to get root-level remote code execution on a Mac is to intercept the ESET antivirus package's …

Privacy watchdog to probe Oz gov's right to release personal info 'to correct the record'

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is investigating whether it's acceptable for an Australian government department to release personal data when seeking to correct the public record when clients recount their interactions with government agencies. The office has told The Register it's “making inquiries with …
Soaring costs in San Fran. from

San Francisco uni IT bods to protest Tuesday over cuts, outsourcing

Dozens of IT workers slated to be laid off from their jobs at the University of California, San Francisco are planning a protest this week. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) labor union says that it will be helping some of the 78 laid-off techies take part in a protest Tuesday outside the research university's …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Feb 2017
The Windows 10 Store

Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store

A feature in the Windows Insider Preview Build 15042 allows administrators to block the installation of any Win32 application that is not fetched from Microsoft's software marketplace. This configurable barrier is a new option presented in the beta Windows build. Users – with admin account permissions – will be able to allow …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Feb 2017

US Supreme Court set to kill Twitter, Facebook ban for sex offenders

The US Supreme Court looks set to kill off a North Carolina law that prevents sex offenders from accessing social media sites, for being unconstitutional. During oral arguments [PDF] on Monday morning, a majority of the Justices appeared to agree that the law infringes on people's First Amendment rights in a way that is not …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2017
GOES-16 Earth with Moon

LUNAR-CY! SpaceX announces a Moon trip-for-two it'll inevitably miss the deadline on

Two unnamed and presumably very well-heeled people have booked a flight around the Moon using unproven hardware from SpaceX. The announcement was made on Monday by CEO Elon Musk. He said the two passengers will be launched in a Dragon 2 capsule using Falcon Heavy rockets for a trip around our natural satellite. They will …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2017

Apple's macOS is the safer choice – but not for the reason you think

Apple's Mac operating system may be the safer choice – but only because cybercriminals can't get their hands on people who know how to exploit it. That's according to security showman Eugene Kaspersky, who gave a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. In recent months, Kaspersky has made a habit of giving …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2017

Google Chrome 56's crypto tweak 'borked thousands of computers' using Blue Coat security

Updated The availability of Transport Layer Security protocol version 1.3 was supposed to make network encryption faster and more secure. TLS 1.3 dispenses with a number of older cryptographic functions that no longer offer adequate protection, and reduces the amount of time required to negotiate "handshakes" between devices. Google …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Feb 2017

US Air Force terminates Predator drones. Now you will fear the Reaper

After more than 20 years of service, the US Air Force fly boys have today announced that the MQ-1 Predator drone is going to be phased out within a year. Since its first operational deployment in the Balkan wars in the mid-1990s, the Predator has evolved from a pure surveillance drone to an armed flying weapon that has become …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2017
Microsoft store opening

Did you buy anything from Microsoft's glum Apple Store knockoff? You may be owed $100

Microsoft will cough up $1.2m to settle a class-action lawsuit after its retail stores leaked a little too much information about shoppers' payment cards. On Friday, the Redmond giant agreed to give up roughly seven minutes of its quarterly revenue to a gaggle of Microsoft Store customers who claimed that their receipts …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2017

81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

Feature The retro computing and gaming scene is seeing no shortage of interest these days. Old fans and curious millennials are flocking to take nostalgia trips on the popular consoles of the 1980s. While the likes of the ubiquitous NES, Atari 2600 and Apple II have all received attention, there are other, lesser-known machines that …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2017

Fujitsu staff will strike from midnight over pay, pensions and layoffs

Unionised staff at Fujitsu are downing tools for 24 hours from midnight in protest over cuts to jobs, pay and pensions. It appears the conciliation service ACAS failed to find a common ground that suited all parties. Trade union Unite was unable to say how many of its 1,200 members employed at Fujitsu will be on the picket …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2017
Tony Hall, BBC Director General. Pic: BBC

Licence-fee outsourcer Capita caught wringing BBC tax from vulnerable

Capita, to whom the BBC has outsourced its licence fee shakedown efforts, has been found to be targeting vulnerable people as part of an aggressive bonus scheme for its collectors. An investigative report by the Daily Mail has found Capita to be offering bonuses of up to £15,000 a year to its 330 enforcement officers, who have …

Softbank gros fromage: ARM will knock out a trillion IoT chips by 2040

MWC Japanese mega-corp Softbank expects its processor-designer subsidiary ARM to fire out a trillion chips for the Internet of Things over the next two decades, its CEO told Mobile World Congress. Masayoshi Son also laid emphasis on the growth of smart devices and thus the need for chips in those devices, telling the Barcelona …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Feb 2017
Thanks, I suppose. Woman contemplates unwanted gift. Photo by Shutterstock

Nimble offers AWS and Azure cloud-wrapper

Nimble Storage claims Azure and AWS clouds aren't ideal for enterprise transaction apps but says it can fix that by wrapping them inside Nimble Cloud Volumes for a $0.10/GB/month starting price. Nimble says it'll provide customers with its Cloud Volumes, which come with six nines (99.9999 per cent) measured storage …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017

Telco Orange to open bank next month

MWC Frenchie telco Orange is reinventing itself as a bank next month, with plans to offset lacklustre revenue by branching out into the rest of Europe and possibly the UK. Speaking at Mobile World Congress, Benedicte Javelot, head of group strategy at Orange, said: "We will be launching Orange Bank in few weeks, which will be …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2017
UK border control photo via Shutterstock

Post-Brexit five-year UK work visas planned – report

The UK government is considering a five-year post-Brexit visa scheme that would allow more foreign employees – including those in the tech sector – to work in the UK, according to reports. Ministers are considering plans that would grant more multi-year visas to migrant workers in “key” sectors, The Sunday Times reported this …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Feb 2017
Wire wastepaper bin filled with scrunched up paper. Photo by Shutterstock

NHS patient letters meant for GPs went undelivered for years

The NHS has been accused of covering up a large data loss involving the loss or mislaying of more than half a million pieces of confidential information. Confidential medical correspondence – including test results, diagnoses and treatment plans – between GPs and hospitals went undelivered during the five years from 2011 to …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2017
Alcatel's illuminated A5 LED is an effort at Android differentiation

Alcatel wants to be Android, but different – and another crack at the Windows market

MWC Alcatel, a brand of Hong Kong-based TCL Communication, has announced the A5 LED at Mobile World Congress, which it claims is "the world’s first interactive LED-covered smartphone." Before you quip "and there's a reason for that", have some sympathy for the plight of Android vendors struggling to differentiate their brands. …
Tim Anderson, 27 Feb 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Gov wants to make the UK the 'safest place in the world to go online'

The government has today announced a “major new drive on internet safety” for which it will enlist the world's largest technology companies in order to make the UK the “safest place in the world for young people to go online.” Going online is serious business for young people, who can now encounter every flavour of evil that …

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Exclusive The original Psion designers have returned to put the classic British pocket computer in a modern body. Martin Riddiford, the designer of the Psion Series 3 and Series 5 keyboards, and co-founder of Therefore, has come up with an entirely new design for the 21st Century. Patents were filed today, and the venture codenamed “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2017

Dell offers crunch-in-a-box set of Edge teeth to Internet of Things things

Dell has developed the Edge Gateway 3000 Series of boxes so IoT customers can do some data analysis at the edge of their IoT network, to make real-time local decisions about the operations of IoT-monitored machinery and reduce bandwidth needs for data transfer to a central site. These embedded systems have been developed from …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017
New Galaxy tablets were the focus of Samsung's MWC announcements

Low-key Samsung: Psst. We've got new Galaxy tablets and new Gear VR

MWC Samsung's press event at Mobile World Congress was subdued in comparison to recent years, reflecting a difficult year for the company, and the conspicuous absence of the forthcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The appearance of a slide entitled Customer Safety reminded attendees of the exploding battery issues that afflicted the …
Tim Anderson, 27 Feb 2017

New prison law will let UK mobile networks deploy IMSI catchers

The Prisons and Courts Bill, introduced to Parliament last week, will force UK mobile networks to deploy fake mobile phone masts around the outside of prisons to snoop on mobile phone users. Provisions in the new bill will allow the Justice Secretary to order networks to deploy so-called “IMSI catchers” to prevent, detect or …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Feb 2017
Huawei's new P10, a slightly better P9

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus: Incremental improvements but a few annoyances

Hands On Another year, another Huawei flagship phone. This time it is the 5.1" P10 (€649) and the 5.5" P10 Plus (from €699), following a similar pattern to the 2016 P9 and P9 Plus. The key feature of the P9 phones was the company’s partnership with Leica to create a device interesting for photographers. The P9s had two 12MP lenses – …
Tim Anderson, 27 Feb 2017