Articles about Context

We're not quitting the UK: Microsoft quashes Brexit fake news

Microsoft has committed itself to the UK after comments by a manager were ripped out of context. In a Channel 9 webinar last week explaining Brexit to Microsoft customers not familiar with the details, Owen Larter, government affairs manager at Microsoft UK, expressed optimism for post-Brexit UK's digital economy. Asked …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jan 2017

HummingBad malware returns in new, more annoying variant

The HummingBad malware first discovered in February 2016 is making a return visit to the charts. The original was cleaned up, but not before the malware's authors Yingmob racked up around US$300,000 per month at its peak. Check Point Software Technologies says it's spotted the return version, which it's dubbed HummingWhale, …
Judge gavel, photo via Shutterstock

Bane of Silicon Valley patents sets its sights on Rackspace and NetApp

Cloud host Rackspace and storage vendor NetApp are fighting a patent holder who's targeted some of tech's biggest names in the notorious Eastern District of Texas. The duo are standing up to Realtime Data over the firm's claim they violated seven patents it owns, spanning compression and deduplication. Realtime has filed six …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jan 2017
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock

Balancing miners borks blockchains, say boffins

The financial sector's enthusiasm for blockchain technology might be misplaced, according to a pair of Australian distributed computing experts. The problem: if everyone in a consortium trusts each other, they don't need blockchains to protect themselves; if they don't, current blockchain protocols have a flaw that allows a …
AI

Sysadmin chatbots: We have the technology

Storage Blockhead Chatbots are flashing up in our future view as something that could improve an admin's lot. Instead of using a GUI with nested and drill-down screen forms to do their job, they'll have a new form of Command Line Interface, only this will be a Chat Line Interface to a chatbot. Array vendor Tintri is showing how this could be …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017

Shadow Brokers spew Windows hack tools after exploit auction flop

Security exploit peddlers Shadow Brokers announced their retirement on Thursday – and released 58 tools for hacking Windows PCs for free by way of a parting gift. The shady group is essentially giving up, and shoving malicious code – most of which is detected by Kaspersky and a few other antivirus makers – into the hands of as …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Seagate laying off 2,217 employees

Reuters reports Seagate is closing its Suzhou disk drive manufacturing plant in China, shedding a whopping 2,217 jobs. The 1.1 million ft2 plant was formerly owned by Maxtor; Seagate having bought Maxtor for $1.9bn in May, 2006. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers puts the closure in the context of Seagate wanting to lower its quarterly …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017
Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 1 – The Magician's Apprentice. Pic credit: BBC

Snapchat chooses London for international headquarters

The company behind teen sexting phenomenon Snapchat has chosen London for its international HQ. The Snap Group already has 75 staff here. The company cited proximity to the UK’s world-class creative sector, which in this context means digital adland. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat, which deletes photos after a short time …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

Analysis Prosecutors are turning to fraud charges in cases against people supplying set top boxes that can be used to access copyrighted material without paying for it because it makes cases easier for juries to understand. But a barrister who acted in one recent such case has told Out-Law.com that those conspiracy to defraud charges …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jan 2017
Lock on a board. Photo by shutterstock

Researchers work to save trusted computing apps from keyloggers

Intel's Software Guard Extensions started rolling in Skylake processors in October 2015, but it's got an Achilles heel: insecure I/O like keyboards or USB provide a vector by which sensitive user data could be compromised. A couple of boffins from Austria's Graz University of Technology reckon they've cracked that problem, …
Lester poses with the Vulture 2

The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Obit "So what are going to say about him now that he’s gone? Are you going to say he was a good man? Will you be saying he was a happy man?...  Fuck no." Legendary Vulture Lester Haines Lester Haines: 1960-2016 Lester Haines was born in London in September 1960, and was the eldest of five: he had three brothers and a sister. …
John Oates, 27 Dec 2016

White House report cautiously optimistic about job-killing AI

In a followup to its smash hit, Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, the White House on Tuesday released Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, a report that attempts to outline the economic consequences of expected advances in automation and machine learning without actually risking a prediction …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Dec 2016

Technology as a catalyst for cultural change

IT departments can do a lot to improve performance by optimising the infrastructure and the way they work internally, but the level of success ultimately depends on the prevailing business culture. Recognising this is important to achieving the best results. It is also key to understanding how the smart and creative use of …
Dale Vile, 20 Dec 2016
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

IBM staff petition for right not to work on Trump's pet projects

IBM staff have petitioned the company to – among other things – express concern that “IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers' core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.” The petition's authors respect Rometty's “willingness to engage in …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
Uber self-driving car

Uber to Cali DMV: Back off, pal, our 'self-driving cars' aren't self driving

Shrugging off a demand from California's Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a permit to operate its self-driving cars on state roads, Uber contends it doesn't need a permit because the DMV's rules do not apply. Following Uber's announcement on Wednesday that its self-driving cars are available as a pilot test for customers …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Dec 2016

Arista takes a round off Cisco in long-running legal battle

Arista's taken a round from Cisco, as the two companies continue their long-running legal wrestle. This time the jurisdiction was the Northern District of California and the matter under consideration was Arista's command line interface and whether it breached a Cisco patent, or Switchzilla's copyrights on syntax or a user …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
A man with his hands chained up

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

A provision in Samsung's 2014 patent-sharing settlement with Google could hurt the South Korean electronics giant's efforts to rebound from the Note 7 recall. Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor says that efforts by Samsung to recover from the disastrous phablet release and subsequent removal from the market …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016
shutterstock_annoyed_man_on_phone

Brit telco EE's ads banned for 'misleading' 4G speed claims

Brit mobile provider EE has had to remove a number of TV, homepage and press ads for advertising "misleading" 4G speeds. Rival Three and two members of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that a number of speeds claims made were misleading and questioned whether they could be substantiated. On its …
Kat Hall, 07 Dec 2016

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

The media have spoken and they are unimpressed: the polls – this time the US presidential polls – got it woefully wrong, and therefore burn the witch! Or in the absence of witches, let's set fire to Nate Silver, who until around 2am (GMT) on November 9 was the doyen of US polling and go-to person for all US forecasts. At which …
Jane Fae , 05 Dec 2016
Passenger in back of cab using smartphone app/cab app. Photo by Shutterstock

EU court to determine how Uber's business should be defined

The EU's highest court has begun hearing arguments on how Uber's business should be legally defined in a case that could have widespread implications for other businesses, an expert has said. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has been asked to rule on whether Uber is a transport service provider, information society …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2016
StorSimple 7010 appliance

Microsoft to lift and shift StorSimple data into Azure blobs

Microsoft's ambition to paint the enterprise azure is accelerating, with the news that Redmond's StorSimple arrays will be able to convert the data they store into Azure Blobs. StorSimple started life as a vanilla iSCSI unified storage array that, at the time of its launch, could store VMs, databases or files but also offered …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Dec 2016

What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

AWS re:Invent At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services tipped its hand to reveal its battle plan for invading new markets. The Jeff Bezos cash machine has kicked out a laundry list of new services and virtual machine instances for AI applications, databases, and software that requires specialized hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
Space_Shuttle_launch

Nutanix makes thundering great loss, stock market hardly blinks

A thundering great loss: that’s the first thing to notice about Nutanix’s latest quarterly results. It’s more than three times worse than the loss of the previous quarter: $162.2m vs $49.9m and the year-ago quarter’s $38.5m loss; sales grew only 19 per cent sequentially so the rate of loss-making would seem to have accelerated …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2016

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors. As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Turnbull's hand-picked disruptor disrupts disruption by departing

Paul Shetler, the head of Australia's Digital Transformation Office/Agency has resigned. A brief canned statement from the Agency offers no information on the reasons for his departure. Beyond a promise to appoint a replacement “in the new year” and a few boilerplate words expressing thanks for his contribution, there's no …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Review Does anyone buy phones purely on specs? If so, this one might interest you. If software updates, support, and overall fit and finish can be ignored, then perhaps Blu, a Miami-based phone brand might make you pay attention. That’s because Blu enters the UK market with a £229 5.5-inch model, which on the surface looks an …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2016

Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Analysis When the first fixed-line phone systems were installed, you paid for everything, but particularly for each minute of each call. Later they had broadband added to the copper and a flat rate began to become the order of the day. As phone calls went to IP, the same applied to calls for the most part. While there are upper limits …
Faultline, 25 Nov 2016
Skeptical hipster. photo by shutterstock

Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

The BPI has embraced the post-human era, with a report of the use of AI in music by consultancy MusicAlly. “AI is enabling the creation of hyper-personalised playlists using contextual data and deep analysis of the relationship between songs, while artists and labels are now using chatbots to engage fan-bases in campaigns,” we …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Nov 2016
Neural network image via Shutterstock

CompSci boffins offer new bug-rating system to get you home on time

If you're in charge of a couple of thousand boxen, you can't patch every vulnerability report at once, so sysadmins will welcome help sorting out their priorities. That's what a couple of researchers hope to offer in what they call NCVS, the Non-Intrusive and Context-Based Vulnerability Scoring framework: making sense of the …
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

AI is all trendy and fun – but it's still a long way from true intelligence, Facebook boffins admit

Researchers at Facebook have attempted to build a machine capable of reasoning from text – but their latest paper shows true machine intelligence still has a long way to go. The idea that one day AI will dominate Earth and bring humans to their knees as it becomes super-intelligent is a genuine concern right now. Not only is …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Nov 2016
DNS privacy slide from Dan Gillmor, ACLU

IETF plants privacy test inside DNS

The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) years-long effort to protect Internet users has taken a small step forward, with one option for better Domain Name System (DNS) privacy reaching the test stage. "Stubby", created by the getdns project team, lets users test encrypted DNS queries. The idea isn't to flick the switch …

Microsoft's cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell in Windows 10 preview

Updated Taking timeworn advice for authors to "murder your darlings," Microsoft is seemingly nudging the classic Windows Command Prompt toward the slaughterhouse door. The newly released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14971 for PC has made PowerShell the default command line tool, a promotion that coincides with PowerShell's 10-year …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Nov 2016
Screenshot of fake news item falsely claiming that the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump for the US presidency. SOURCE: screengrab from Pinterest

Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Comment Facts all come with points of view Facts don't do what I want them to Talking Heads The internet is filled with things that aren’t true, the world discovered this week. Gosh. Who would have thought it? The platforms’ propagation of bogus “news” is the latest "blame anyone except us" theory to account for the election of …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Nov 2016
Vmware cloud logo

vSphere 6.5 goes GA, gains surprise powers to predict the future

VMware's quietly revealed that vSphere 6.5 is now generally available and therefore on-sale to world+dog. VSphere 6.5's had a long gestation. The Register understands an early version of the upgrade was used to run infrastructure for VMworld Europe 2015. A beta commenced in February 2016 and the update was then formally …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016

The solution to security breaches? Kill the human middleware

Versus16 It's a computer security truism that human beings are the biggest network threat. Sysadmins have always assumed that means users, but it may be time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. At the Versus conference in San Francisco on Thursday – a conference that its organizers say they set up to challenge the security status …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2016
Drought

Low-end notebook, rocking horse shit or hen's teeth

A low-end notebook drought is likely coming to a town near you, multiple analysts and tech distributors have told The Reg. NAND flash is one component that has been in short supply in recent months, and glass panel manufacturers are shifting priority to higher margin areas including TVs, sources told us. Tim Coulling, senior …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2016

Brace yourselves! Blighty is turning to AI for help

The UK government is looking at ways to revamp its digital services with the help of machine learning and AI, according to a new report released by the Government Office for Science. AI is the biggest trend taking over technology, and with the looming presence of autonomous vehicles and robots, governments are beginning to …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Nov 2016
HPE presentation at DOES '16

Just what everyone needs right now – an HPE chat bot wrapped in a Docker container, right?

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a bot for you. The company has taken GitHub's Hubot code and wrapped it in a Docker container, to promote the conceit of ChatOps, a model for combining communication tools with DevOps automation. At the DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco on Monday, Daniel Perez, software engineer at HPE, …
Thomas Claburn, 09 Nov 2016

Silicon Valley's oligarchs got a punch in the head – and that's actually good thing

Comment Looking for silver linings from the Election of President Donald J Trump? There may not be many – but I might just have found one. A Republican trifecta (controlling the White House and both Houses) would be the big news today as it signals a "change election", and it hasn't happened since 1928. But Trump is Trump, so that isn …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2016
Skeptical manager image via Shutterstock

Amazon pitches 'safe and responsible' AWS at suits

Sandwiched between its third-quarter results and re:Invent conference, Amazon's been pitching AWS as production-ready. Amazon wheeled out a host of corporate big names and government super-users to testify to AWS's suitability beyond pure dev and test at a London event on Tuesday. AWS chiefs sought to reassure the suits of …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Nov 2016
The British Pound - Sterling currency tumbles post Brexit

Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

A second wave of double-digit price hikes are coming to a reseller or retailer near you from the start of next month, both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo have confirmed. Since the referendum, the UK's currency has fallen from $1.49 to £1 to $1.21, a drop of 18.7 per cent and many IT makers have reacted, from the cloud …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2016

'Trust it': Results of Signal's first formal crypto analysis are in

Encrypted SMS and voice app Signal has passed a security audit with flying colours. As explained in a paper titled A Formal Security Analysis of the Signal Messaging Protocol [PDF], published by the International Association for Cryptologic Research, Signal has no discernible flaws and offers a well-designed and compromise- …
Darren Pauli, 08 Nov 2016

Vuln hunter finds nasty shared server god mode database hack holes

Dangerous since-patched vulnerabilities in MySQL, MariaDB, and Percona's Server and XtraDB Cluster have been found that, when chained, allow attackers in shared environments complete compromise of servers. The database servers are among the world's most popular and count all major tech giants as customers including Google and …
Darren Pauli, 03 Nov 2016

HTML 5.1 signed off

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has declared the HTML 5.1 spec is now a "Recommendation", the body's jargon declaring it is done, dusted, signed off and utterly complete. The full spec is here for your reading pleasure and the list of new features is here. Among the more interesting new bits, the <picture> and srcset …
Darren Pauli, 02 Nov 2016
Hillary Clinton

Coding will win you the election, narcissistic techies boasted to Hillary

Comment Can you remember where you were when the Berlin Wall came down, Mrs Thatcher resigned, or – um – David Cameron "learned" some HTML for an hour? Perhaps the first two, but maybe not the third. Yet in Silicon Valley's bubble, the latter signified a "Sputnik moment" for humanity. New disclosures from WikiLeaks highlight Big Tech' …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Nov 2016

No nudes, bloated apps, Android sucks and 497 other complaints about Apple to the FTC

Exclusive Apple and its products prompted almost 500 complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission in the past 22 months – a number that suggests the iGiant has cut the rate at which consumers express dissatisfaction. That of course doesn't include social media ire about the new MacBook Pro. The Register sent a Freedom of Information …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Oct 2016
Speed

Windows Server 2016 persistent memory support supercharges storage IO

Analysis The best IO is... no IO. Windows Server 2016 has code to supercharge data storage IO speed by not treating it as IO anymore. It uses storage-class memory (SCM) as a persistent store, one that is on the memory bus, close to the CPU, and doesn't lose its contents when power is lost, an NVDIMM-N type device. That can be …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2016

Quantum heaves sigh of relief as red ink washes away

Made it! Quantum is back in profit after five loss-making quarters. It made $3.8m profit on revenues of $134.7m in its second fiscal 2017 quarter; they were $117m a year ago, with a net loss of $11.2m, and $116.3m in the previous quarter, which saw a $3.8m loss. Finally all that hard work in building up StorNext revenues …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2016

WD gets flash boom bang from SanDisk swallow

+Comment WD's disk and SanDisk-boosted flash sales boomed as overall revenues in its first fiscal 2017 quarter rose to $4.7bn, up 40.6 per cent on the year-ago $3.4bn. But it reported a net $366m loss. Why a loss? A year ago it made a profit of $283m on lower revenues. This time around there were charges associated with WD’s recent …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2016
trolley_shopping_648

EU ruling restricts rights to resell back-up copies of software where originals are damaged, destroyed or lost

Software companies must enable customers that acquire an unlimited licence to use their product to download a copy of that software to replace originals that have been damaged, destroyed or lost, the EU's highest court has ruled. The right to access a replacement for damaged, destroyed or lost software exists in this way under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Oct 2016