Articles about Context

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Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

Microsoft has announced two new cuts of Windows 10, for schools. “Windows 10 Pro Education” and “Windows 10 Education” have been “designed for the unique needs of K-12 institutions.” That means Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, has been expelled. Kids will therefore be spared the brave new world of context-aware search and …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …
Projects at risk

MPs reiterate risks of mega £10bn Aspire contract overhaul

UK MPs have warned that HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs) may struggle to overhaul its expensive £10bn IT systems with Capgemini, and that further cuts could ultimately waste more taxpayers' cash. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today said the body remains concerned that HMRC may struggle to integrate …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016
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ClusterStor is clearly alive (but Havant's still closing) – Seagate VP

Seagate's ClusterStor arrays do have a future, despite the company's PR side refusing to answer a direct question about them. After Seagate spokespeople declined to comment on the matter, Ken Claffey, veep and general manager of the company's SSG unit got in touch. He had this to say about the Havant factory closure in the UK …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2016
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PHP flaws allowed God mode access to top smut site

A trio of hackers have gained remote code execution powers on servers used by adult entertainment outlet Pornhub, using a complex hack that revealed twin zero-day flaws in PHP. Google sofware intern and security boffin Ruslan Habalov (@evonide) detailed the Return Orientated Programming hack in detailed debriefing explaining …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jul 2016
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They kept that quiet. PC sales via distributors DID rise in Q2

It is a Friday and El Reg is pleased to be able to answer the burning question on the lips of readers across the land - just how did PC sales via distribution do in the second quarter? They went well. Though retailers and wholesalers bought in stock conservatively, as recorded by Gartner and IDC, channel analyst Context …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016

EU Net Neutrality debate heats up as Tim Berners-Lee weighs in

It's hard to work up a good lump in the throat in sympathy for a bureaucrat, but staff at the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) probably need just a little: they're going to have to work through 400,000 submissions about Net Neutrality in the EU. Volker Sypli of German telco regulator BNetzA …

WordPress admin? Thinking of spending time with the family? Think again

The Dutch hacking community's Summer of Pwnage (SoP) has disclosed three vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins, including an XSS in the popular Ninja Forms. Since Ninja Forms claims more than 600,000 users, we'll start there: the now-fixed reflected XSS bug allows attackers to inject malicious JavaScript into the victim's …
Do the right thing on the internet of things

If managing PCs is still hard, good luck patching 100,000 internet things

Internet of Things (IoT) hype focuses on the riches that will rain from the sky once humanity connects the planet, but mostly ignores what it will take to build and operate fleets of things. And the operational side of things could be hell. “IT can barely keep their desktops patched,” Splunk chief technology officer Snehal …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2016

15-year-old security hole HTTPoxy returns to menace websites – it has a name, logo too

A dangerous easy-to-exploit vulnerability discovered 15 years ago has reared its head again, leaving server-side website software potentially open to hijackers. The Apache Software Foundation, Red Hat, Ngnix and others have rushed to warn programmers of the so-called httpoxy flaw, specifically: CVE-2016-5385 in PHP; CVE-2016- …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016

Run Dropbox compression

Dropbox has open-sourced its very own compression code. Available on GitHub the "Lepton" code “... achieves a 22% savings reduction for existing JPEG images, by predicting coefficients in JPEG blocks and feeding those predictions as context into an arithmetic coder." Dropbox's announcement of the release explains the tech in …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
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'We shall overcome' net neutrality, sing Euro telcos in the key of 5Gs

Europe's telcos have found a reason to shed any ambivalence they had about 5G, waking up with a shared vision that the technology can help them fend off Internet neutrality rules. Even better – for the telcos at least – they've found a willing ear in the person of European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society …
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

Google has released two bundles of Android security patches this month: a smaller one to handle bugs in the operating system, and a larger package that tackles a raft of driver-level issues, particularly with Qualcomm's hardware. The first tranche of patches includes eight critical, 11 high severity, and nine fixes that are …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
Windows 10 by Anton Watman, image via Shutterstock

App-V birthday to you, Win10: Virty tools baked in Anniversary update

Microsoft is packing its desktop virtualization into Windows 10 Anniversary Update next month – but you'll need an Enterprise or Education agreement to receive it. From August 2, the client's release date, Application Virtualization (App-V) and User Environment Virtualization (UE-V) will come as standard for both the Windows …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Jul 2016
The Kardashians. Photo by Tinseltown/Shutterstock editorial use only MUST ATTRIBUTE

Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

A sociology student has scored a first class degree in sociology, in large part because of her mighty 10,000-word thesis on American reality TV "star" family the Kardashians. And if 10,000 words is enough to score you a Bachelors these days, there must be reams of show-biz journalists out there who just qualified for PhDs. …
Joe Fay, 06 Jul 2016
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Mind the GaaP: UK.gov needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016
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One container to rule them all? No. Um, a plastic box* refresher

Analysis Containers are the cool toy meaning two things: new technology and hype. At heart, containers are simple: group the minimum set of files needed to run a particular program into a single directory tree, then run it with some kind of isolation mechanism, so that as far as that process is concerned, it's the only thing on the …
Liam Proven, 05 Jul 2016
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Telstra restarting long-stalled ADSL investment

Telstra CEO Andy Penn, while promising to spend AU$250 million improving the Telstra network, has, without much fuss, re-started investment in ADSL infrastructure. That announcement is in the context of a National Broadband Network that's supposed to make ADSL obsolete. In this blog post, Penn says the mobile network's $50 …

Powerful ARMs, heaving racks ... yes, of course it's this year's student cluster-building contest

HPC Blog It's time for our traditional video look at each of the teams in the ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) 2016 Student Cluster Competition. Let's take it alphabetically this time... Team Boston Green: They're one of two teams utilizing ARM processors to fuel their cluster. A lot of ARM processors, about 800 cores …

Undergrads build 12.6-TFLOPS cluster out of four nodes, 112 cores

HPC Blog The ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) Student Cluster Competition once again cements its reputation as the place where LINPACK records go to fall. Last week we saw not one, but two teams top the current 12.03 TFLOPS record that was established at the ASC'16 spring competition. Team HUST, from the Huazhong …
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Technology shares slide with Brexit vote, except ARM

BREXIT Shares in British technology companies are mostly sliding after citizens of the United Kingdom voted for the nation to leave the European Union. The FTSE 100 fell more than 8 per cent at opening this morning, slicing over £100bn off of the market capitalisation of the UK's most highly rated bluechips, although this has since …
Snake oil salesman

Deploying software every day is... actually... OK – what devs tell their real-life friends

“High-performing organisations” which have employed agile and devops methodologies are decisively pulling away from their fuddy-duddy peers in the number of software deployments they can manage. But while the idea of deploying software 200 times more frequently than low performing companies might fill some developers with …
Joe Fay, 23 Jun 2016
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'Plane Hacker' Roberts hacks cows

"Plane Hacker" Chris Roberts managed to make it to Israel before delivering a barnstorming presentation at the nation's Cyber Week security conference. The larger-than-life Highland Games participant told delegates how he discovered it was possible to hack milking machines in the wake of 2014's Scottish referendum result. …
John Leyden, 21 Jun 2016
Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. Pic: Jennifer Jane Mills

All this Brexit talk derailed UK tech spending, right? That's a big fat NOPE

The monotonous EU referendum is having no detrimental affect on tech spending as reported by the UK’s largest distributors, official statistics seem to confirm. Despite the FUD emanating from both camps for months, and the noise getting even louder as Brits prepare to visit the voting booths, it seems all the fire-stoking has …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2016

This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

Special Report An upcoming EU court decision could strip half a billion EU citizens of their copyright protection, and all because of an accidental translation error. In practice, it means that a link to your stolen family photos (which would never happen because the cloud is so secure, right?) would be free to circulate and there’s nothing …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2016

Fujitsu UK calls time on Entatech distie deal

Fujitsu has given Entatech their marching orders following a review of the UK line-up designed to tackle over-distribution, but it has granted a reprieve to Ingram Micro and Arrow ECS to get their act together. Kevin Matthews, UK sales director for Fujitsu’s Technology Products Group, said the review criteria involved sales, …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jun 2016

China pledges tighter privacy as it centralises personal health data

China will create “more comprehensive regulation and legislation in personal information and data protection” to facilitate a new national big data scheme it hopes will improve health policy and services. China's State Council (the equivalent of Cabinet) announced the strategy this week, with premier Li Keqiang declaring that …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
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Big Data: analyse this

The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has announced availability of the TPCx-BB benchmark. It is designed to measure the performance of Hadoop-based systems including MapReduce, Apache Hive and Spark Machine Learning Library (MLlib). TPCx-BB executes frequently performed analytical queries in the context of …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2016
Torus

Torus: Because the world needs another distributed storage software solution

The Storage Architect Last week the CoreOS project announced the release of Torus*, a scale-out storage platform for container clusters built and orchestrated by Kubernetes. At this point in the project’s development, the software isn’t production ready and still being heavily developed. Over the last few weeks, scale-out storage solutions have …
Chris Evans, 07 Jun 2016

So. Why don't people talk to invisible robots in public?

Wilson: Who's Harvey? Miss Kelly: A white rabbit, six feet tall Wilson: Six feet? Elwood P. Dowd: Six feet three and a half inches. Now let's stick to the facts A shock survey that nobody could possibly have anticipated reveals that people don’t want to talk to an invisible rabbit robot when they’re out in public. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2016

Air-gapping SCADA systems won't help you, says man who knows

Hoping to keep industrial control systems out of reach of hackers by keeping them air-gapped is a hopeless mission that’s bound for failure, according to a SCADA guru. Isolating SCADA systems as a means of protection has been suggested by some as a defensive tactic after hackers briefly took out elements of the power grid in …
John Leyden, 03 Jun 2016

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

Comment Oracle will ultimately prevail in its Java copyright lawsuit against Google. And if you're a free software developer or supporter, you should be cheering them all the way to the wire. Blogger John Gruber last week observed that virtually no one is rooting for Big Red. This is really quite astonishing. That's because Google has …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jun 2016
SQL Server 2016 supports hybrid cloud as well as on premises deployment

SELECT features FROM bumf... What's new in MS SQL Server 2016

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2016, adding new security features, improved query profiling, Hadoop integration, hybrid cloud capabilities, and R analytics to its database server, along with numerous other improvements. Calling SQL Server a "database server" does not do justice to its scope. The main components are: …
Tim Anderson, 01 Jun 2016

Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Hands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business. Surface led the category with 61 per cent growth in constant currency, a rise driven by the top products in the line, the Surface Pro 4 tablet and the …
Addison Snell, 27 May 2016
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Tech spending in Europe is slowing, a fatter Tech Data belches

Tech Data has said it is countering the slowdown in IT spending across Europe by nabbing market share from Ingram Micro rivals, though it stopped short of naming those leaky ships it is pinching business from. The IT distie titan reported group sales of $6bn, up one per cent year-on-year for Q1 ended 30 April; revenues in the …
Paul Kunert, 27 May 2016
Train wreck

The screeching of Violin Memory's parting strings is horrible

Another great quarter. Not. Violin Memory made a paltry $9.7m in revenue and posted a $22m loss for its first fiscal 2017 quarter. Revenues were down 20 per cent on the year-ago quarter and 11 per cent on the previous quarter, the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, when revenues of $10.9m and losses of $25.5m were followed by lay- …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2016
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Ansible adds .1 to Ansible 2.0, de-betas networking

Ansible has pushed out version 2.1 of its eponymous automation platform, with a large part of the update consisting of peeling off beta stickers on features it announced earlier this year. The vendor unveiled a foray into networking back in February at its London AnsibleFest. That technical preview has now been formalised as a …
Joe Fay, 27 May 2016
Mark Lawrie of CSC and Meg Whitman of HPE in the video announcing the merger of their services operations

HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC

HP Enterprise (HPE) has spun out its enterprise services business into CSC, creating an entity with US26bn of revenue. HPE has made lots of noise about turning around its services division, largely by aggressively reducing its headcount. In this move, HPE will be senior partner in the new entity by revenue and headcount but …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2016
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Atlassian goes mobile

As revealed by El Reg, Atlassian has created mobile apps for its JIRA and Confluence products. The new apps are aimed at users beyond the development team. Also new is a beta for Bitbucket Pipelines, said to be “a continuous delivery service built right within Bitbucket Cloud.” Better visibility of development efforts across …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016
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Xen says new patch is 'simple and crude' and warns against using it

The Xen project has revealed a new bug, XSA-180, but warns its patch for the problem is itself problematic. The bug means that “When the libxl toolstack launches qemu for HVM guests, it pipes the output of stderr to a file in /var/log/xen.” “This output is not rate-limited in any way. The guest can easily cause qemu to print …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016
Prince philip Thames barrier old control room photo Environment Agency

Landmark computer hacking archive deposited at TNMOC

An archive that tells the story of how the 1980s hack of Prince Philip’s mailbox led to UK anti-hacking legislation has been deposited at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC). Robert Schifreen, the "white hat" at the centre of the 1980s controversy, compiled the archive, which details Schifreen’s two-year-long legal …
John Leyden, 18 May 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

The first of HP Inc’s much-delayed (and cynics might say over-hyped 3D printer) is to hit the market “late” this year – launching into a crowded space with a challenger device the firm hopes will brighten its future. The Jet Fusion 3D 3200 will sell for $130,000 – add another $25,000 for services including post-processing …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Sainsbury’s Bank insurance spam scam causes confusion

Numerous UK surfers were left confused on Monday after receiving email confirmations for insurance products with Sainsbury’s Bank that they never bought. People are receiving emails claiming they have started new policies for travel, home and car insurance from the UK supermarket giant’s banking business. El Reg learnt of the …
John Leyden, 17 May 2016

Exercise apps track you after you stop exercising

Three exercise-tracking apps keeps tracking you long after you stop exercising, according to Norwegian Consumer Council, a consumer advocacy group. The council engaged an independent research outfit called SINTEF to examine what apps do when you stop running, and whether those activities comply with the apps' privacy policies …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016

Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Something for the Weekend, Sir? YOU LOVE IT YOU SLAG This was, as alert followers of my column may recall, the first SMS text message I ever received on my first ever mobile phone, sometime during the last century. I did not bother to find out who sent it to me. It was a wrong number, of course... but not knowing with absolute certainty ensures that the …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

Lie back and think of cybersecurity: IBM lets students loose on Watson

IBM is teaming up with eight North American universities to further tune its cognitive system to tackle cybersecurity problems. Watson for Cyber Security, a platform already in pre-beta, will be further trained in “learning the nuances of security research findings and discovering patterns and evidence of hidden cyber attacks …
John Leyden, 12 May 2016
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Facebook image-tagging to be tested in Californian court

Facebook has lost the first round of a US class action lawsuit in Illinois, with a judge ruling it can proceed to trial. The first sueball in the action was lobbed last September, on the basis that the ZuckerBorg was breaking that state's 2008-era Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Plaintiffs Nimesh Patel, Adam Pezen …
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Twitter block Oz Greens talk

Trying to end a case of hashtag spam, Twitter instead briefly censored political discussion in Australia. Political enthusiasts had started using the #Greens16 hashtag to discuss the Australian Greens in the context of Australia's 2016 election campaign. The trouble started when some idiot in charge of herding porn-bots …
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Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

You’ve almost certainly heard about DevOps and the fact there’s a skills shortage. One study by data virtualisation specialist Delphix reckoned the most implemented DevOps initiatives include virtual databases, agile data masking and continuous deployment. That's opportunity, right? If you want to muscle in on the DevOps …
Rachel Willcox, 06 May 2016