Articles about Conflict

UC Davis chancellor suspended after headlines like this one undo $175,000 online name-scrubbing efforts

Linda Katehi, the chancellor of the University of California, Davis, has been suspended pending an investigation into the decision to spent hundreds of thousand of dollars improving Google search results for her name, amid a range of other questionable activities. The decision to put Katehi on paid administrative leave was …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Apr 2016
St Petersburg Russia

SpyEye duo behind bank-account-emptying malware banged up

A two-man team responsible for spreading the SpyEye malware that caused more than a billion dollars in financial hardship is now starting extended sentences in American prisons. The malware's author – Aleksandr Panin, 27, of Tver, Russia – was sent down for nine years and six months by United States District Court Judge Amy …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2016
Scotty in the original Star Trek

Field technicians want to grab my tool and probe my things

Something for the Weekend, Sir? There’s a woman at the front door. She has come to twiddle my knobs. Here we go, you’re thinking: yet another puerile SftWS column opening with cheap sexual innuendo. Well, not this time, young Bucky. It’s been four years almost to the day since I first began writing these weekly rantings, so it’s about time I put an end to …
Alistair Dabbs, 08 Apr 2016

Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Analysis The Brexit debate continues and, with the Leave and Remain camps neck and neck, it looks likely that the undecided few will carry the result. It seems that we can expect more headline-grabbing soundbites until the vote on June 23. The polarised nature of this debate is throwing up some interesting oddities, so you might be …
Frank Jennings, 31 Mar 2016

Tech's big dogs snarl at UK.gov over Snoopers' Charter

IPB The biggest internet businesses in the free world have written to the British government to politely urge that its Investigatory Powers Bill is improved. Written evidence submitted to the committee looking over the Investigatory Powers Bill, from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo!, has been published today …

The FCC, once seen as a telco-thrashing hero, is sadly losing the plot

Analysis The FCC's continued push against the powerful telco lobby has swung a spotlight onto the American regulator's archaic work practices and increasingly partisan atmosphere. Appearing in front of a US Senate subcommittee (again) yesterday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and his four Commissioners were quizzed about a range of plans to …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2016
wham_bang by Roy Lichtenstein

Cyberthreat: How to respond...and when

Spotting threats in cyberspace is like star gazing. There are lots of them out there, but telling them apart and working out which ones are about to go supernova takes experience and skill. You don’t want to pour the same resource into protecting yourself against every single perceived threat, because no budget can support …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Mar 2016
Astounding Science Fiction

A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Analysis Buried deep in the pages of the March 1946 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine sits a short story by Murray Leinster that, 70 years on, has proven a remarkably sharp prediction of both 21st century consumer technology and culture. One of two pieces contributed by Leinster, a pen name used by author William Fitzgerald …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2016

T-Mobile US finally lets websites escape Binge On's web vid crusher

T‑Mobile US will let video-streaming websites opt out of being included in Binge On. This is the service that lets people watch stuff online without the downloads counting against their monthly limits, although the video quality is deliberately reduced to 480p. Subscribers using Binge On can stream as much as they like all …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2016
Home Secretary Theresa May introduces draft Investigatory Powers Bill to MPs. Pic credit: Parliament TV

Only 12% of UK thinks Snoopers' Charter is 'adequately explained'

IPB Only 12 per cent of the British public believe the Home Secretary has “adequately explained the impact of the Investigatory Powers Bill to the UK public and presented a balanced argument for its introduction”. A survey on data privacy issues conducted by Open-Xchange has found that the "internet-savvy" public in the UK, …
Oric-1 advert

Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

Ad slinger Opera is to add ad blocking to its eponymous web browser – but the company insists there isn’t a conflict. The Opera Mediaworks advertising business contributes 75 per cent of Opera ASA’s overall revenue, and it’s a booming business, up 40 per cent year on year to $145.5m. The Opera board has recommended that it …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2016

European Patent Office inks deal with staff union it isn't locked in death spiral with

The European Patent Office (EPO) has come good on its promise to sign an agreement with its staff union – just not the union that it has spent more than a year locked in combat with. The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and chair of the EPO arm of the FFPE European civil …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2016

We survived a five-hour butt-numbing Congress hearing on FBI-Apple ... so you don't have to

Analysis In a marathon session that would have tested the patience of even the biggest Apple fanbois, the House Judicial Committee spent the entirety of Tuesday afternoon discussing the conflict between the FBI and Apple over access to an iPhone. Unfortunately, despite nearly five hours of testimony from FBI director James Comey, Apple …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2016
US Pentagon. Pic: DoD photo by MSgt Ken Hammond, USAF

Pentagon to Dept of Defense: Give us $580bn for cyberwar and spacewar

The Pentagon has asked for $582.7bn to bolster the US Department of Defense's (DoD) capabilities, especially when it comes to a future cyber and space war. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, which regulates the US Government's expenditure, the Defense Secretary Ash Carter explained why his department was …

European Patent Office heads rapidly toward full meltdown

The European Patent Office (EPO) is heading toward a full meltdown, with its president reportedly refusing to accept an official censure over his recent actions. A leaked version of a letter from the board of the EPO's Administrative Council (B28) highlights the depths to which the organization's relationship with its …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2016
empty_pockets_648

Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Oracle has been telling a number of organisations running its database software that they are breaking the company's licensing rules – and therefore owe it millions of dollars in unpaid licence fees. The issue hit the headlines in January after US confectionery giant Mars took Oracle to court in the US over claims Mars had …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2016
Leopard kill

WD CEO: We ain't getting Unisplendour's $3.8bn. But we'll buy SanDisk anyway

Western Digital is facing an investor revolt over its SanDisk buyout and has had the $3.8bn wad it expected from Unisplendour halted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Unis (Unisplendour) is a Chinese corporation, owned by the Tsinghua Unigroup, that proposed to invest $3.8bn in WD thus getting a 15 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016
Andre preview

Become an Andre Previn in your time: DevOps for star conductors

When we talk about "full stack" software, we are most commonly talking about the disciplines and elements (and their associated competencies) that span the complete smokestack of software application development as we typically define it. Laurence Gellert's well-composed piece in 2012 nicely clarified this stack as the strata …

Top new IoT foundation (yeah, another one) to develop open standards

A new non-profit foundation dedicated to creating open standards for the Internet of Things (IoT) has launched. The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) says its main goal is to "help unify IoT standards so that companies and developers can create IoT solutions and devices that work seamlessly together." It is being fronted by …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Feb 2016

ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes

Analysis It’s WAR. CK Hutchison’s Three network will become the first UK mobile operator to block ads, threatening to undermine the $100bn mobile ad business, and app developers and publishers who depend on them. Three confirmed to us that apps will be starved of ads once the blocking is turned on. Although Three is the smallest of …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2016
Selection of Australian banknotes

Failed school intranet project spent AU$1.4m on launch party before crashing and burning

Yet another of Australia's state education departments is mired in allegations of misdeeds, with the state of Victoria's failed Ultranet project now the focus of a corruption inquiry. The project was yet-another grand plan to launch a statewide single portal to connect everybody – teachers, students and parents. It started …

Brit spies want rights to wiretap and snoop on US companies' servers

The US and UK authorities are holding secret negotiations that would allow British domestic spies to tap into servers in the Land of the FreeTM when investigating Her Majesty's citizens. A draft proposal, seen by the Washington Post, would allow MI5 to get access to data stored on overseas computers run by American firms, and …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2016
Ted Cruz

Cruz missile slams into DNS overlord ICANN over Chinese censorship

US Senator Ted Cruz has accused the head of domain name overseer ICANN of being complicit in Chinese online censorship. In a letter [PDF] sent from the Republican presidential frontrunner to Fadi Chehade, Cruz and two other senators demanded that Chehade explain his decision to co-chair a Chinese internet governance initiative …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Feb 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Stephen Hawking is scared. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking has said. With the creeping integration of soft AI into our lives in the form of Siri and personalized ads on social media, these computational mini-minds serve as a constant reminder that the evolution …
Lucy Orr, 29 Jan 2016
Robots, image via Shutterstock

AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

By the early 22nd century, Mega-City One will stretch down the eastern seaboard from Montreal to Georgia. It will be home to some 400 million citizens. Almost all of them will be unemployed. Judge Dredd’s vast satirical dystopian backdrop in the pages of 2000 AD is one of the comic’s most colourful settings. A predominant …
Alistair Dabbs, 28 Jan 2016
Chick and bunny Image via Shutterstock

Whew! How to tell if a DevOps biz is peddling a load of manure

Comment If you are a data centre provider with a new DevOps division that is actually just two blokes sat in a call centre who kind of know what DevOps is, then you're probably not doing DevOps. Also, if your DevOps toolset doesn’t include quantifiable tasks metrics and call stack analysis technology, then that's probably not DevOps, …

Techie on the ground disputes BlackEnergy Ukraine power outage story

Updated A Ukrainian telecoms engineer has raised doubts about the widely reported link between BlackEnergy attacks and power outages in his country. Illia Ilin said that reports suggesting Russian state sponsored hackers used the BlackEnergy malware to infect the control systems of energy distribution utilities and cause blackouts …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2016
Alex Stamos

Facebook CSO slams RSA Conf for repping 'the worst parts of the security industry'

Usenix Enigma Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos is not a man to mince words. Today, he delivered a stinging rebuke to the RSA Conference, due to be held in San Francisco next month. "In my opinion, RSA represents some of the worse parts of the security industry in its direction and it's not very helpful," he told attendees at …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jan 2016
Lancaster B.I PA474. Credit: John5199, Flickr

Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

This week marked the 97th birthday of one of the world's greatest ever airmen, Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown RN, who flew nearly 500 different types of aircraft. Here's a quick look at some notable daredevils from World War Two. Eric “Winkle” Brown Captain Brown began his aviation career after being taken for a flight in a …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jan 2016

FireEye buys iSight Partners for $200M

Security giant FireEye has bought threat company iSight Partners for US$200 million, marking a notable consolidation in the sector. It brings the threat intel company, notable for its research into sophisticated and nation-state attacks, into the fold of the network security mammoth. FireEye will pay another $75 million in …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jan 2016
arsenal_b_dortmund_champions_league_648

Database rights are no 'impediment' to Europe's data-driven economy

Opinion The existence of database rights does not hold back EU businesses from developing innovative new uses for data, despite what a recent report backed by two European Parliament committees says. Examples from the sporting world show that database rights can in fact support innovation in uses of data and, in contrast, highlight …
ENIAC

Fan belts only exist, briefly, in the intervals between stars

Book review It's a full four years since it was published, but Reg contributor Geoffrey G Rochat has finally gotten around to reading George Dyson's worthy tome Turing’s Cathedral. He finds it's not just a Best Book list lurker, but something actually worth reading. Ostensibly about the beginnings of computers, Turing’s Cathedral is chock- …
Boardroom_and_directors

Basho bashed by bolshy backer, ex-boss claims in court brouhaha

Basho Technologies is being sued by its cofounding ex-CEO, who alleges a major investor caused a disastrous fall in the company's finances. Antony Falco and Earl Galleher founded Basho in 2008. The biz, based in Bellevue, Washington, develops the Riak distributed NoSQL database that can store massive amounts of unstructured …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jan 2016
Hammer, spanner and screw

Say oops, UPSERT your head: PostgreSQL version 9.5 has landed

PostgreSQL has pitched its latest release with a cheeky dig at MySQL as a "legacy" database. Version 9.5 of PostgreSQL adds a feature called UPSERT – INSERT, ON CONFLICT UPDATE – which it says removes the last barrier for MySQL users to migrate. The feature targets web and mobile environments, by handling conflicts between …
ZenPad_RealRacing

Amazon, Azure and Google in race to the bottom ... of cloud storage pricing

Storage 2016 A period of quiet, rest and reflection is what the storage industry needs after a frankly hectic and very eventful 2015. It won't get it. The opposing forces of simplicity and complexity, access speed versus capacity, server versus array, on premises versus cloud, and tuned hardware and software versus software-defined are …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2016
TIE Fighters and Millenium Falcon credit Lucasfilm Disney

After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Star Wars special Despite the quasi-disaster of The Phantom Menace run of films, expectations are high for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 1977, Star Wars achieved a rare feat in sci-fi film history – going boldly where Star Trek went before, and establishing a look and feel so distinct and so powerful it spawned a whole culture. Not just …

3 continents, 8 countries and one cyber attack on a fake petrol company

Organisers are praising the success of a multi-nation exercise – hosted by the UK – that aimed to test response to serious cyber crime. Exercise Silver Shadow, which was run by the National Crime Agency (NCA)’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and supported by the Home Office, saw …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2015

Russia's blanket phone spying busted Europe's human rights laws

Russia's mass surveillance of all its citizens' telephone communications has been found to be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the country ratified in 1998. The Grand Chamber judgment from the European Court of Human Rights is the product of a complaint made by a Russian national, Roman Zakharov, …
Cohesity_Santa_clara_office

Clean-cut code-warriors behind Cohesity's hyper-converged tech

Comment Startups are always someone's enemy; that's the nature of being disruptive. The disrupted status quo hates you. Rarely though does a small biz face more enemies than Cohesity. Every supplier selling secondary storage hardware, software, or applications faces being killed or grievously wounded by Cohesity. Mohit Aron's startup is …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2015

Star Wars Battlefront: Is this the shooter you’re looking for?

Game Theory Battlefront is DICE's love letter to Star Wars fans. It's for all of us who grew up manually marching AT-ATs across the back garden, or making swooshing noises as we smashed our Luke and Vader figures together. It's like you're actually on Tatooine Every visual cue has been recreated in immaculate detail, from the rivets on …
Mike Plant, 02 Dec 2015

European Patent Office fires up lawyers over claims of cosy love-in with Microsoft

Analysis The European Patent Office (EPO) has fired off legal threats amid allegations the agency has too close a relationship with Microsoft. The claim that the software giant was unfairly getting preferential treatment for its patent applications was first made by Roy Schestowitz on his long-running Techrights site. Schestowitz …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2015
International Space Station

Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act

Comment An event of cosmic proportions occurred on 18 November when the US congress passed the Space Act of 2015 into law. The legislation will give US space firms the rights to own and sell natural resources they mine from bodies in space, including asteroids. Although the act, passed with bipartisan support, still requires President …
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Fujitsu channel man prepares for war on enterprise rivals

Fujitsu UK’s latest channel czar, Kevin Matthews, has promised tighter account management as he struggles to force his way into corporate clients dominated by enterprise rivals. The former HP enterprise man was last month given control of both the channel and the internal direct sales force, following a year of declining sales …
Paul Kunert, 20 Nov 2015

Hackathons: Don't try them if you don't like risks

When organisations grind to a halt, weighed down by their own bureaucracy, inertia and politics, they flail about for something to give a short, sharp shock to their vitals. Something to get them moving again. The techniques used to get things humming along again have varied over the years – a rogue’s gallery of specious …
Mark Pesce, 12 Nov 2015
Hollerith_card_punching

Block storage is dead, says ex-HP and Supermicro data bigwig

Interview Block storage is dead, object storage can be faster than file storage, and storage-class memory will be the only local storage on a server. So said Robert Novak ... but who is he? Novak was until recently a Distinguished Technologist in the HP servers' Hyperscale Business Unit and has had an interesting employment history, …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2015

Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community. Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2015

Condi Rice, ICANN, and millions paid to lobby the US govt for total internet control

Special report Just minutes after the board of internet overseer ICANN applauded the results of a review into its accountability – announced at a public meeting in Dublin – the mood soured. An accountability working group – tasked with making ICANN answerable to the wider public – had decided, following months of pressure from ICANN, not to …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Nov 2015
shutterstock_289670303

Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

ICGS The biggest brake now on virtual reality isn't the hardware or the software, but the wetware, a panel of experts told the Intel Capital Global Summit this week. All the panelists agreed that 2016 will be the year virtual reality takes off, thanks to a combination of affordable hardware from the likes of Oculus and software …
Iain Thomson, 04 Nov 2015
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has unloaded as only he can in a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. At issue is some new networking code that popped up in what was hoped to be the final version of Linux 4.3. Torvalds' first words on the code were: Christ people. This is just sh*t. Torvalds is grumpy because some new code has …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Nov 2015
Syrian refugees, photo by Thomas Koch for Shutterstock.com

Voice, data, help desk: Meet the Syrian refugees' IT infrastructure chief

Special report Humanitarian organisations depend on internet and telecoms connectivity to conduct their life-saving work, and providing that critical service when there is none available is the job of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). This is a global network of organisations who are on call to rapidly deploy when disaster …
Andy Favell, 28 Oct 2015