Articles about Desktop

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
cloud

Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

Teradici's launched a new range of zero clients powered by silicon it did not design, a departure from its usual practice the company hopes will spread its PCoIP protocol far and wide. Teradici's meat and potatoes is virtual workspaces delivered as nothing but pixels: all the compute happens in the server and zero clients do …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
FACEPALM

Telstra launches Australian homes onto the Internet of S**t

Telstra's decided that Australian homes aren't insecure enough, launching its very own Internet of S**t Things offering based mostly on generic home-branded kit. The service, offered to Testra and non-Telstra broadband users, currently comes in two starter flavours: a home security offering with window sensors and camera; or …
banksy_hmv_nipper_bazooka_648

Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

A security researcher has discovered that when the Mac version of Shazam is switched off, it simply stops processing recorded data. The recording itself continues. The music identification service admits the behaviour but says it only keeps recording purely for technical reasons. Patrick Wardle, a former NSA staffer who heads …
John Leyden, 15 Nov 2016
Cloud desktop

Amazon's cloudy 'WorkSpace' desktops-as-a-service gain a GPU

Amazon Web Services' (AWS') desktop-as-a-service “WorkSpaces” just grew up. And got all muscly, too: the cloud colossus has announced a new option to add 1,536 CUDA GPU cores with 4GB of graphics memory. The new “Graphics bundle” also offers eight virtual CPUs and 15GB of RAM, plus a 100GB virtual disk for users on top of the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Junghoon Lee. Image: Darren Pauli / The Register

Pwnfest drops a nasty surprise on VMware

VMware's rushed out a patch for the serious desktop hypervisor bug turned up at the Pwnfest hacker convention. CVE-2016-7461 is a critical-rated out-of-bounds memory access vuln present in VMware Workstation and VMWare Fusion. The bug scores a critical rating because it could allow a guest to “execute code on the operating …
Embarrassed/exhausted man sits in front of laptop in hipstery office. Photo by Shutterstock

Pay up or your data gets it. Ransomware highwaymen's attacks on small biz octuple

Small businesses faced eight times more ransomware attacks in the third quarter of 2016 than the same quarter last year, according to stats from Kaspersky Lab. Kaspersky Small Office Security thwarted 27,471 attempts to block access to corporate data in Q3 2016, compared to 3,224 similar attacks in Q3 2015. Ransomware makes …
John Leyden, 14 Nov 2016
SEagate_Backup_Plus_Portable_5TB

Portable drive, 5TB capacity. Hmm, there's something fishy here

Sitting in my desk drawer is a 500GB Hitachi Life Studio Mobile. External drive, pathetic capacity. Seagate has a 5TB Backup Plus Portable external drive in the same physical size, with ten times as much storage space. The Backup Plus is 20mm thick and comes in 4TB or 5TB configurations having, we understand, a 15mm thick …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2016
Darin Fisher at the Chrome Dev Summit

Google's crusade to make mobile web apps less, well, horrible

Chrome Dev Summit At SFJazz – the first freestanding jazz arts center in the US – on Thursday in San Francisco, Google riffed on the virtues of Progressive Web Apps as a vehicle for efficient and engaging content delivery. "Our mission is to move the web platform forward," said Darin Fisher, VP of Chrome engineering, at the Chrome Developers …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Nov 2016
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Something for the Weekend, Sir? This week, I have been worried about getting it to stand up. The more I worry, the greater the difficulty in ensuring a sturdy erection that doesn’t immediately flop over. I hope you understand that this has never happened to me before. Perhaps I could try again in a few minutes? Ah, there we are. Nice and stiff and thick …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Nov 2016
Office war photo via Shutterstock

Slacker or Team playa? Microsoft's Mr Business takes on messaging's corporate raider

The early days of the internet provided ways to chat, bicker and "collaborate" with others in the world, and decades later we're still working on making that experience better. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) ruled the roost for many years but never really found a place in the enterprise world. It isn't complicated to use yet …
Adam Fowler, 11 Nov 2016
The Register Roundtable Room at The Soho Hotel

CIOs: VDI? Maybe, just maybe, it really will be different this time...

Register Roundtable Sometimes technology visions bubble along under the radar, quite often scorned then, following a change of name or emphasis, ubiquitous. Utility computing became the cloud, and we know how that’s taken off. Groupware became collaboration. Thin clients have morphed into VDI, and… Well, seems like a good time to get a bunch of …
Joe Fay, 11 Nov 2016
The Starship Enterprise

Rolling out flash in the enterprise? It's a matter of application

Flash SSD is changing the way that we store data. Vendors would like you to use it for all of your applications – and you probably will at some point – but which applications does it make most sense for today, and which might you have to work a little harder on to justify its use? Some rarified high-performance applications …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Nov 2016
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Veeam ponders hyperconverged data protection play

Veeam is pondering a product to protect data stored inside hyperconverged systems, the company's new president and chief operating officer Peter McKay tells The Register. McKay is visiting Australia for VMware's “vForum” mini-gabfest and dropped in at Vulture South for a chat before the day. He said the company wants more …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2016
HP's forthcoming Elite X3 Windows Phone

HP Elite x3 phablet: The three-in-one business has been waiting for?

Review HP is making a hugely ambitious return to smartphones, billing the Elite x3 as “one device that’s every device”. No pressure, then. The proposition is that the Elite x3 is a phone that doubles as a PC and tablet replacement. Once connected to an external display, keyboard and mouse, either wirelessly or via a dock, this hefty …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2016
Ellison with watch photo by drserg via Shutterstock

Why Oracle's Larry Ellison shelled out $9bn for NetSuite

Analysis NetSuite's 18-year run as an independent ERP SaaS provider is over after shareholders approved Oracle's $9.3bn acquisition of the firm. Larry Ellison scraped up a narrow majority of unaffiliated shares to land one of Silicon Valley's early SaaS pioneers. Ellison got 53.21 per cent of unaffiliated shares, 21,775,553. Oracle's …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2016
Grand Theft Auto (1997)

Mythbuntu busted as last two devs working on media centre distro quit

The developers behind Mythbuntu, a Linux distribution dedicated to melding the open source digital video recorder MythTV with Ubuntu Linux, have called it quits. The project's death notice offers a simple reason for the distro's demise: the team working on it has shrunk from ten to just two, the remaining maintainers want to …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2016

User danger declines as two thirds of Chromistas now use HTTPS

Two in three web pages served over the world's favourite web browser Chrome are now secured with HTTPS, Google says. The good news applies to Chrome on the desktop and signifies progress in the long-hoped-for decline of insecure cleartext browsing. Chrome security bods Adrienne Porter Felt and Emily Schechter say all …
Darren Pauli, 07 Nov 2016

Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Toy bears and model aeroplanes. Mini tubs of Pringles. Super-expensive watches that look like rusty bicycle parts adorned with a mashed insects. [sings] These are a few of my faaaavourite thiiiiings. Yes indeed, every modern luxury that Western capitalism can conjure are to be found on board this no-frills flight across the …
Alistair Dabbs, 04 Nov 2016

Uncle Sam launches open source trove of government code

The United States government has made good on its policy of requiring agencies to release 20 per cent of their bespoke code as open source by making code.gov live, complete with lots of code. Code.gov is a rather bare bones affair, with a listing of available projects its richest page as it offers code from 13 agencies. Among …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Nov 2016
Bot alert! Bot apps feature in the new Skype app

The Rosetta Stone of chatbot APIs: Upstart touts software bridge

Taking aim at the balkanized bot ecosystem, Message.io, a Y Combinator-backed startup, on Wednesday began offering private beta access to its bot platform. The 12-person company, based in Austin, Texas, aims to provide a single system for managing bot-based communication across multiple messaging services. Its bot syndication …
Thomas Claburn, 03 Nov 2016

Pixel perfect: Nexsan Unity arrays get smartphone and web browser access

Mobile phone users can access Nexsan's Unity storage array, and Nexsan has added web access apps for laptops and desktops. Unity users can access files on the array via iOS and Android mobile phone apps, and by using browser access on their notebook computers or a desktop one. They can do this anywhere there is internet access …
Chris Mellor, 02 Nov 2016
Adobe Project Felix, a 3D design tool

Bow to your Sensei! Adobe adds machine learning and design tool to Creative Cloud

Adobe MAX Adobe has announced a series of updates to its Creative Cloud offering at its MAX event under way in San Diego. What Adobe calls Creative Cloud has always in fact been a hybrid product, with large desktop applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Premier Pro forming the main part of its value. Now the company is …
Tim Anderson, 02 Nov 2016
Tripple Renault photo by Gilles Paire via Shutterstock

Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

Dig through the annals of Linux journalism and you'll find a surprising amount of coverage of some pretty obscure distros. Flashy new distros like Elementary OS and Solus garner attention for their slick interfaces, and anything shipping with a MATE desktop gets coverage by simple virtue of using MATE. Thanks to television …

Mobile beats desktop traffic

In something of a sign of the times, smartphone and tablet traffic has overtaken desktop web browsers. According to StatCounter, in October mobile and tablet data accounted for 51.3 per cent of internet usage worldwide whereas desktop traffic was just 48.7 per cent. We're kinda surprised it hasn't happened already. A graph …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Nov 2016

Grab your code ASAP: Nitrous cloud IDE evaporates in two weeks

Software may be moving to the cloud, but developers have been slow to follow. Nitrous.io on Monday said it plans to shut down its cloud-based development platform in two weeks. In a terse blog post, the company said it will close its Nitrous Development Platform and Cloud IDE on November 14, 2016, and will refund payments …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Nov 2016
woman uses blender. Photo by shutterstock

Put Firefox DE and Chromium in blender. Devs... Is it pure Blisk?

Open Source Insider Firefox Developer Edition offers a fantastic array of tools for web developers. From profiling memory use to debugging WebSocket and other HTML5 APIs, Firefox DE is a very useful tool. Developer Edition is, of course based on Firefox, which isn't to every developer's liking. To say Firefox is slower than Chromium is, in my …
LaCie_Bolt_on_desktop

LaCie flings out super-glam desktop Bolter drive

Seagate’s LaCie unit has announced three Neil Poulton-designed Thunderbolt 3 desktop storage boxes, one being a flash drive moving data at up to 2.8GB/sec. LaCie is announcing: Bolt3 combining Thunderbolt 3 speed and M.2 PCIe SSDs to create the world’s fastest desktop drive, 12big Thunderbolt 3 with up to 120TB of Seagate …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2016