Articles about Desktop

El Reg drills into chatbot hype: The AIs that want to be your web butlers

Analysis “Alexa, are you the best chatbot in town?” “Sorry, I don’t I understand the question I heard,” she replies. Alexa doesn’t know. Nobody does. For a while, Apple had the lead with Siri: the virtual assistant first appeared in October 2011 on the iPhone 4S. Fast-forward five and a bit years and now every major tech player has one …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jan 2017
Still from Back to the Future II. Pic: Universal

Seagate hauls out fat form factor throwback hard drive

It's back to the future for the latest Seagate large form factor disk with a low capacity. The company has introduced a 3.5-inch 1TB and 2TB disk drive spinning at 7,200rpm with a slow 6Gbps SATA interface, and called it an Enterprise Capacity drive. Remarkably, other 3.5-inch Enterprise Capacity drives of Seagate's go up to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

Microsoft Germany has argued that Windows 7 is no longer "fit" to be used in business. A post we've shoved through two online translate-o-tronic services states that Windows 7 “can no longer keep up with the increased security requirements” of the mid-2010s. Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Deutschland, is quoted …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017
Cloud desktop

Cloud hardware spend hits US$8.4bn/quarter, as traditional kit sinks

Abacus-shuffling outfit IDC has updated its Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker with sales data for Q3 2016 and predictions for spend in 2017. In 2016's third quarter the firm says “vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
The new quick VM create tool in Windows 10

Windows 10 memory management changes to give Hyper-V more headroom

The Register's virtualization desk is back from holidays, just in time to report changes to desktop Hyper-V before they go completely stale. Desktop Hyper-V is a Windows 10 feature that offers users the chance to create and run virtual machines on the Windows desktop, a task for which plenty instead turn to Oracle's free …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
Opera Neon

Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Opera, the Norwegian browser maker acquired last year by a Chinese investment consortium, on Thursday introduced the browser equivalent of a concept car. Opera Neon, available for macOS and Windows, is intended as an exploration of browser design alternatives. It isn't a replacement for the current desktop version of Opera and …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jan 2017
Smart phone crowd photo via Shutterstock

Citrix buys Unidesk for massive Microsoft Windows rollouts

Citrix is updating its decades-old relationship with Microsoft, targeting Windows 10 and the cloud. The company has announced its acquisition of Unidesk – founded in 2007 and inventor of what it calls layering - to streamline corporate rollouts of virtual Windows applications at scale. Layering is a container that wraps up …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jan 2017
Mad Saudi

Because I'm bad, I'm bad, Shamoon: PC wiper tried to shut down Saudi snapshot defences

Security researchers have identified a second wave of Shamoon 2 PC-wiping attacks against a further target in Saudi Arabia last November. The new research shows hackers upping the ante and developing more sophisticated, multi-stage attacks. The original Shamoon attack hobbled the network of Saudi Aramco in 2012. Similar …
John Leyden, 10 Jan 2017

Fedora 25: You've got that Wayland feelin', oh, that Wayland feelin'

Fedora 25 is the first of the major Linux distros to employ the Wayland graphics stack by default. Wayland is one of the biggest low-level changes to hit Linux distros in recent memory and what's most remarkable at least when it comes to Fedora 25 is the move is almost totally transparent. Provided your graphics card is …
DJI_Ispire_2_drone

Drones will be able to carry 120GB footage of you in the shower if Seagate has its way

Seagate is partnering with drone maker DJI to develop onboard storage for its unmanned aerial vehicles. They say drone cameras are gaining resolution and flight times are getting longer, both of which mean more data needs to be stored in flight. DJI's Inspire 2 drone can record 5.5K video for example, and a 25-minute flight …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
Oil refinery - engineer checks fuel mix. Photo by Shutterstock

Regular or premium? Intel pumps out Optane memory at CES

CES 2017 Intel has announced Optane memory products in M.2. format to ship in the second 2017 quarter. Optane is Intel’s brand for its 3D Xpoint memory, jointly developed with Micron, and a non-volatile memory that is faster than NAND but slower than DRAM. Intel says (PDF) “a hard disk drive coupled with Intel Optane memory affordably …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
LaCie_d2_and_Rugged_2017

Seagate performs upgrade transplant surgery on LaCie external drives

CES 2017 With two Seagate LaCie drive revisions, we see the storage industry doing what it does best at a device level; capacity and connectivity upgrades so as to store more data and get at it faster. The LaCie d2 and Rugged products are nattily designed by Neil Poulton and are external drives for creative video, image and music …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017

Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

Because it’s not complicated enough already, Windows 10’s Start menu will support folders in a forthcoming release. The Windows 10 Redstone 2 release, also dubbed the “Creators Update”, will allow apps to be nested, much as with Windows Phone 8, and the mobile edition of Windows 10. The update is expected around April, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Dec 2016
Apology

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Microsoft's marketing boss Chris Capossela has confessed the infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up that tricked so many people into installing the thing was a step "too far." Speaking on this week's Windows Weekly podcast on Twit.tv, Capossela was asked to list his low points of the year for Redmond (it's 17 minutes …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2016
Raspberry Pi Foundation's PIXEL OS on a PC

Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

The Raspberry Pi foundation has ported the PIXEL OS it released in September to the PC and Mac. PIXEL stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight” and is, says Pi founder Eben Upton, “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
cloud

IT ops doesn't matter. Really?

Listen to some DevOps evangelists talk, and you would get the impression that IT operations teams exist only to serve the needs of developers. Don't get me wrong, software development is a good competence to have in-house if your organisation depends on custom applications and services to differentiate its business. As an ex- …
Dale Vile, 19 Dec 2016
5.25 in floppy disk

It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

On-call Welcome to festive On-Call, in which we take our regular Friday tales of jobs gone wrong and run lots more of them because there's sod-all news to write in the week before Christmas. And also because we have lots of lovely submissions that deserve a run. Today: tales of floppy disks. Let's start with “Steve”, who once took a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016

London's Winter Wonderland URGENTLY seeks Windows 10 desk support

The annual Christmas kitsch fest that is Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland in London is desperately seeking two desktop bods to provide IT support for Windows 10. The job ad, which was posted today, reads: "We are URGENTLY seeking candidates for 2 X Desktop Support Engineers for a short term contract opportunity based at Hyde Park …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2016
Hunter photo via Shutterstock

Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems. A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java. Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Dec 2016

Infosec bods: This is a backdoor in Skype for Macs. Microsoft: No.

A security hole in Skype for OS X allowed installed apps to silently delve into the user's chat logs, record their calls, and leaf through their contacts. The authentication bypass vulnerability was discovered by security researchers at Trustwave SpiderLabs, which described the flaw as a backdoor that allowed access to all …
John Leyden, 14 Dec 2016

Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

Security patches for Windows, macOS, iOS and other Apple firmware, and a host of Adobe products, were emitted this week. The final scheduled patch dump of the year sees Microsoft deliver fixes for multiple products, while Apple has security updates for iOS, macOS, Safari, and iTunes, and Adobe patches nine products including …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016

Meet Hyper.is – the terminal written in HTML, JS and CSS

Zeit, a San Francisco-based software startup, has released the 1.0 version of Hyper, a terminal emulator written in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Why? Well, why not? Hyper is based on Electron, an open source framework for creating cross-platform desktop applications using HTML and JS. Developed by GitHub for its Atom text …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Dec 2016
Hospital, photo via Shutterstock

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

The NHS is still running Windows XP en masse, two and a half years after Microsoft stopped delivering bug fixes and security updates. Nearly all of England NHS trusts – 90 per cent – continue to rely on PCs installed with Microsoft’s 15-year-old desktop operating system. Just over half are still unsure as to when they will …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Dec 2016

Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

Feature "Go to this McDonald's," Chris Gatford told me. "There's a 'Create Your Taste' burger-builder PC there and you should be able to access the OS. Find that machine, open the command prompt and pretend to do something important. "I'll be watching you." Gatford instructed your reporter to visit the burger barn because he …
Darren Pauli, 08 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Xen 4.8 debuts, gives ARM servers vendors a reason to hope

A new version of the Xen Project's hypervisor has emerged blinking into the light. The Project reckons the best bit of version 4.8 is support for live patching of ARMv8-A CPUs, noting that such silicon is likely to appear in servers. And server users, of course, love anything that avoids operational disruptions. So Xen has …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2016
Microsoft flagship store, New York

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

First, it fired shots at Intel's data center margins. Now Qualcomm is gunning for its rival's notebook processor cash cow. Qualcomm and Microsoft are hooking up to port full-fat Windows 10 to smartphones, tablets, PCs and virtual reality goggles powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit ARMv8-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips. These …
Chris Williams, 08 Dec 2016

Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking

Vid Amid ongoing malware infections of IoT gadgets and armies of commandeered gizmos attacking server, glaring security holes in web-connected CCTV cameras are going unpatched. So say researchers with Cybereason, who claim a pair of high-profile vulnerabilities they spotted in surveillance cams two years ago have been completely …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016
Game environments in Universe played by human demonstrators.

Elon Musk-backed OpenAI reveals Universe – a universal training ground for computers

Hoping to teach AI agents the common sense they need to solve arbitrary tasks without specific training, OpenAI on Monday will introduce Universe, a collection of virtualized video games, browser interfaces, and applications that serve as a training ground for code-based decision making. Universe is open-source middleware that …
Thomas Claburn, 05 Dec 2016

Amazon tries again with AppStream because customers didn't like it

Acknowledging that the initial version of application streaming service AppStream failed to appeal to customers, Amazon Web Services is ready to try again. Introduced in 2013, AppStream offered companies a way to stream Windows desktop apps to users via browser across a variety of devices. It was intended as an alternative to …
Thomas Claburn, 02 Dec 2016

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

November lies behind us in all Reg-reading jurisdictions, so it's time to again consider the state of the desktop by gazing at the three services we use to assess desktop operating system market share. Those three – StatCounter, Netmarketshare and analytics.gov, each assess OS share by looking at web traffic. The first two …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Dec 2016
Heartbeat graph

PC sales outlook improves: Now terrifying instead of catastrophic

There's no sunrise in sight yet, only a slightly paler night: IDC reckons a lame uptick in convertibles and slim laptops will slow the PC market's collapse. Convertible and slim, sorry, “ultra slim” laptops will make up 63 per cent of notebook shipments by 2020, IDC reckons (by that time, Vulture South wonders, how many new …
empty pockets

Qubes goes commercial to keep its secure VM-focused OS dream alive

Financial necessity is forcing the security research group behind Qubes OS to begin establishing commercial funding to support its continued development. Warsaw-based Invisible Things Labs was founded in 2007 by low-level security researcher Joanna Rutkowska, who spoke at the Chaos Communications Congress last year about the …
disk head crash

Spinning rust supply chain seizes up after BIG disk demand spike

Storage analyst outfit Trendfocus says that the hard disk industry has just posted its best growth in seven years, but that it comes with its own problems. The firm classifies Q3 2016 as having delivered the industry a “strong rebound in demand”, thanks largely to demand for nearline storage. But the disk-counters says …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016
Lego gandalf by https://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/  CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ attribution sharealike

systemd free Linux distro Devuan releases second beta

The self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” forking Debian in the name of init freedom have released Beta 2 of their “Devuan” Linux distribution. Devuan came about after some users felt it had become too desktop-friendly. The change the greybeards objected to most was the decision to replace sysvinit init with systemd, a move …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

Ommm... devs, align your Chakra, whispers Microsoft, you don't need Google's V8...

Microsoft has released an early version of Node-ChakraCore for macOS, following a similar release for Linux at Node Summit in July. Why is this important? Well, Node-ChakraCore is Microsoft's open-source glue that plugs Node.js into ChakraCore, the MIT-licensed JavaScript engine within its Edge web browser. It's all part of …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2016

Oh no, software has bugs, we need antivirus. Oh no, bug-squasher has bugs, we need ...

Flaws in security products are among the most commonly encountered desktop software vulnerabilities, according to a new study. Eleven of the 46 products that made it into monthly top 20 most vulnerable product charts between August and October were security packages, Secunia reports. Products from vendors including AlienVault …
John Leyden, 29 Nov 2016

Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

Hands On Can you believe Huawei’s luck? Imagine discovering a new planet, populated entirely by Irish people, which has a dozen orbiting satellite moons all harvesting shamrocks, all the year round. That lucky. Through extraordinary timing, the Chinese giant finds itself with the big screen phone category to itself, thanks to its new …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2016
Cloud desktop

Liquidware gets the job of managing Amazon's cloud desktops

Amazon Web Services has all-but-enlisted desktop virtualisation specialist Liquidware Labs to help manage its cloudy desktops-a-a-service. Liquidware's schtick is monitoring desktop performance, either for the sheer joy of wallowing in action-suggesting metrics or to advance understanding of how to virtualise said desktops and …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2016

Microsoft's Neon project to redesign Windows for nerd goggles – reports

Microsoft is allegedly revising its Windows 10 design language to embrace the brave new world of virtual reality viewed through techno-spectacles. Having first annoyed desktop PC users by forcing them to use a phone UI (Windows 8), and then annoyed phone users by forcing them to use a desktop UI (Windows 10 Mobile), perhaps …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "That member is the wrong way around," confides the gym receptionist in hushed tones, nodding towards a middle-aged fellow ambling into the cardio room. I stare after him, trying to guess how his member might be incorrectly attached. Dressed unfashionably and, I suspect, quite accidentally in a sleeveless side-boob vest, split …
Alistair Dabbs, 25 Nov 2016
Scrooge McDuck

Enterprise vendors offering big Black Friday discounts

Black Friday and the Cyber Monday that follows have become big discount shopping days for consumers, but enterprise vendors are getting in on the act too with hefty discounts on training and some kit. Cisco Press is running a Buy 2+, Save 55% or Buy 1, Save 35% sale until November 26th, so the CCNP Routing and Switching v2.0 …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2016
image by TSHIRT-FACTORYdotCOM http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-110716p1.html

Attackers use ancient zero-day to pop Asian banks, govts

Attackers are compromising government and banks across Asia by exploiting a years-old zero day vulnerability in desktop publishing application InPage, which targets users working in Urdu or Arabic. Kaspersky Labs analyst Denis Legezo found the attacks and reported the zero-day to InPage, which he says ignored his disclosures …
Darren Pauli, 24 Nov 2016

Hyperconvergence 101: More than a neatly packaged box of tricks

In a world of complex technologies and unforgiving business environments, simplicity in IT is good. Technology teams want to get the job done with as little fuss – and as little drain on management resources – as possible. Hyperconvergence promises to deliver that simplicity, but how does it differ from more traditional …
Danny Bradbury, 22 Nov 2016

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. The Cobalt project should bear fruit within the year, when the "Redstone 3" release of Windows 10 is due to arrive, Mary Jo Foley reports. Ideally, Microsoft wants everyone to convert their old …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2016
Ice block. Photo by Shutterstock

Glacier melt race increases vastly … for AWS cold storage

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made a few price cut announcements a few days out from its Re:Invent shindig in Las Vegas. The cloud colossus has cut the price of its S3 storage, which now kicks in at US$0.0230/GB/month. Reductions range from depending on volume of data stored and the region you store it in. The company's cold …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2016

Boffins bake Crysis ransomware's keys into handy decryptor

Anti-malware outfit ESET has baked master decryption keys into a tool that lays waste to the Crysis ransomware. Crysis began to gain traction in June after being first noticed February circulating through malicious emails and leveraging the demise of now dead rival TeslaCrypt. The malware encrypts about 200 file types across …
Darren Pauli, 22 Nov 2016
cloud

Dropbox upgrade adds nice bits for sysadmins

Sysadmins need a "nice" user experience, and Daniel Iversen, head of solution architects for Dropbox Asia Pacific, told The Register that was in mind when the company pushed out a bunch of new admin capabilities. In other words: this is “not about a feature race”, he said, rather a more deliberate – and staged – upgrade …
Kamkar's RPi Zero-based attack

PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

How do you get a sniff of a locked computer? Tell it you're its gateway to the entire Internet IPv4 routing space. That's the basic principle behind a demo from brainiac cracker Samy Kamkar. Plugged into a victim, his Raspberry Pi Zero-based "PoisonTap" isn't just a network sniffer, it's a backdoor-digger. MacOS users can …

Telstra's answers El Reg's Smart Home security questions

Telstra has managed to emit a response to The Register's questions about the soundness of its Smart Home service strategy, which we received at 5:10 PM yesterday. Vendors Telstra has, pleasingly, identified the vendors supplying its kit: The platform is powered by Icontrol; Cameras, smart plugs and door sensors are …
A bear and a penguin celebrate with champagne. Photo by Shutterstock

Microsoft just got its Linux Foundation platinum card, becomes top level member

Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a Platinum member, the highest level of membership. The news was announced at the company's Connect developer event in New York. The Linux Foundation is a non-profit trade association which supports and promotes the Linux operating system and related projects, including Node.js, Xen …
Tim Anderson, 16 Nov 2016