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Davos Diary: POVERTY disruption in ACTION. Cash-poor? Just mine a #BongCoin!

After last year’s fiasco in the Andes it was a relief to arrive safely for the World Economic Forum's annual gathering in Davos - which is a kind of week-long hackathon with fondue. Here, exclusively for THE REGISTRAR are a few highlights from my diary. Is it really 18 years since the great internet pioneer John Perry Barlow ( …
Steve Bong, 31 Jan 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Furious MyCloud users descend on WD website as borkage continues

When a Western Digital president mass mails MyCloud users about the ongoing outage, you know it's a serious matter. Angry users generated 33 pages of complaints on WD’s community website after El Reg reported the MyCloud outage last week. Some users say that their devices are not visible while others complain of never-ending “ …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

After Jobs: Apple and the Cult of Disruption

I have a list of some words that really should be banned in polite conversation. The only reason not to ban them is that they're useful indicators, an unambiguous warning that the speakers are going to be a serious waste of our time. The use of any of these words is like wearing a giant invisible hat that says: "I have no …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Aug 2011
WD Caviar Green 2TB

Growing revenues, profits on the up: WD sails on serenely

WD’s latest quarter shows untroubled growth as the disk drive business sails serenely on, untroubled by any flash storm. For its second fiscal 2014 quarter, ended Dec 27, 2013, revenues were a clean $4bn, nicely up from the first quarter’s $3.8bn and the year-ago quarter’s $3.8bn. Net income was $430m, lower than the previous …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2014

Beauty firm Avon sticks spike heel into $125m SAP-based sales project

Avon is writing off a massive SAP-based order management project following a failed pilot in Canada earlier this year. The cosmetics giant, famed for its door-to-door sales reps, is writing off development and future rollout of an order management system that has cost $125m and is based on SAP ERP and CRM applications with a …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Dec 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Google hit by Monday morning blues: Talk, Hangouts, Sheets crash

Three Google services were gripped by disruption today – just four days after the company dramatically reduced prices for one of its online storage lockers. The web giant's online instant-messenger Talk, video conferencing system Google+ Hangouts, and office spreadsheet app Sheets were unavailable on Monday morning, US West …
Jack Clark, 17 Mar 2014
blackmail

Extortion racket borks Basecamp servers with 20Gbps web bombing

Users of Basecamp's project management software experienced an outage this morning, with more possible in the future, after the company was blown off the internet in a distributed denial-of-service attack when it refused to pay off crooks. The attack hit at 0846 Central Time (1346 UTC) on Monday and knocked the company's servers …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2014
Great Wall of China

Communist party boss blames Kunming knife attack on VPNs

The Communist Party’s chief official in western China’s Xinjiang region has blamed online videos and virtual private networks (VPNs) for the knife attack at Kunming station last week that left 29 dead and dozens injured. Speaking during a meeting at the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, Zhang Chunxian …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014

Kick us as hard as you like, RIGHT IN THE CYBERS, says Japan

Japan will today follow the UK’s lead by carrying out a major cyber security drill which will see ethical hackers attempt to infiltrate and disrupt 21 government departments. The drill is designed to test the country’s emergency response capabilities to the full as Tokyo prepares to host the games in 2020. London carried out a …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2014

XP, Win7, Win8, App V…making Microsoft migration simple

XP to 7, XP to 8, anything to App V, changes in the data centre, the need for security, BYOD and impending upgrades...it all means that many of you are going through a desktop refresh. The potential for disruption and delay is huge: lost settings, migration of data, incompatible legacy apps all turn what should be a bonus for …
David Gordon, 04 Dec 2013
Zombie cloud

Microsoft teams up with Feds, Europol in ZeroAccess botnet zombie hunt

Microsoft has teamed up with the FBI to launch a renewed attempt to disrupt the operations of the infamous ZeroAccess botnet. ZeroAccess is responsible for infecting over two million computers, specifically targeting search results as part of a click-fraud scam that Redmond estimates is costing online advertisers $2.7m a month. …
John Leyden, 06 Dec 2013

Cellular desperation in France drives not one, but two SFR offers

While there is merger mania among both fixed and cellular operators around the world for very positive reasons (in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere), the desire to acquire in France is fuelled by slightly desperate appetites. For French operators, the disruption caused by two years of cellular market-share-grabbing …
Faultline, 10 Mar 2014

Why it's time to wrap brains around software-defined networking

Software-defined networking has generated lots of noise in recent months, thanks in no small part to the fact that VMware and Cisco don't know whether it's okay to send one another Christmas cards any more. That pair, and plenty of others, are talking up software-defined networking (SDN) as a must-have technology for anyone so …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Mar 2014
AndromedaGoogle

Google exposes its Andromeda software-defined networking

Google is exposing the beating heart of its distributed infrastructure to developers of its cloud services. The company announced on Wednesday that developers using the us-central1-b and europe-west1-a zones of its Google Compute Engine infrastructure-as-a-service will now be running their apps directly on top of Andromeda, …
Jack Clark, 03 Apr 2014

XP, Win7, Win8, App V…making Microsoft migration simple

XP to 7, XP to 8, anything to App V: changes in the data centre, the need for security, BYOD and impending upgrades mean that many of you are going through a desktop refresh. The potential for disruption and delay is huge: lost settings, migration of data, incompatible legacy apps all turn what should be a bonus for users into a …
David Gordon, 05 Nov 2013
Red pen

Phoenix IT Group shares plunge on loss of £2m contract

A brief statement from Phoenix IT Group confirming it has lost a £2m contract with a supplier sent the share price into free fall this morning and caused a big dent in the market cap. The loss-making IT services firm - a third party maintainer which also sells direct to customers - provided very little colour around the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Oct 2013

Murdoch: I'm a Jawbone fanboi - and it's going to help me live to 100!

Press baron Rupert Murdoch has revealed he wears a Jawbone UP, the fitness-tracking bangle beloved of "quantified self" pushers and fitness fans. Murdoch revealed his Jawbone habit in a speech delivered to Australia's Lowy Institute, a think tank established by billionaire Frank Lowy whose Westfield shopping mall empire brings …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Nov 2013

Nominet bins Optical Express' appeal against 'It ruined my life' website

Optical Express has failed to silence an outspoken critic of the High Street optician, after Nominet chucked out an appeal against the owner of a website that attacks the company's laser eye surgery business. The unsuccessful action taken by DCM (Optical holdings) Ltd, which owns Optical Express, is the latest in a series of …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Apr 2014
traffic lights

Microsoft pulls its crowd-control tech from out of the shadows

Microsoft pushed its Windows Azure load balancing technology into general availability amid a widespread DNS disruption. The rollout of "Traffic Manager" was announced on Thursday, and the tech lets admins apply a policy engine to DNS queries to domain names hosted on Azure. The tech works by redirecting user queries to a …
Jack Clark, 23 Nov 2013

Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

The path to redemption in 2014 lies not through baptism, but blogging. Former Merrill Lynch dotcom analyst Henry "what a POS*" Blodget agreed to a lifetime ban from the finance industry – but bounced back with a blog. And perhaps one-man wrecking crew Steve Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, can …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jan 2014
Houses of Parliament in night-time

Parliament network prang: 'Supplier done it', no Office 365 yet

A botched network upgrade at the Houses of Parliament caused comms bottlenecks, web outages and continuing capacity woes – and could yet delay the full rollout of Office 365 for our lords and masters. Director of Parliamentary ICT Joan Miller emailed staff on 4 March to apologise for the "frustrating and inconvenient" episode …
Paul Kunert, 12 Mar 2014
Google Fiber

Google teases more cities with bonkers-fast fiber broadband rollouts

Google has named nine areas in the US that could be added to its high-speed fiber internet connection service. The ad giant said that the new markets will be considered for broadband rollouts this year, with final decisions to be taken at the end of 2014. The nine candidates include the cities of Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2014
The two Wicked Lasers fired up

FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

While laser pointers are very useful for presentations and distracting cats, the FBI is fed up with idiots using them to try to blind airline pilots, and is offering $10,000 to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest. Laser blinding aircraft pilot Blinded by the light "Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2014
P/2013 R3 breaking up

Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum

The Hubble space telescope has filmed strange asteroid P/2013 R3 disintegrating chunk by chunk as it screams around our Sun. As announced at the orbiting probe's website here, this particular crumbling space rock is something that's never been seen before. It all started when two surveys, Catalina and Pan-STARRS, spotted an odd …

IBM x86 sale will disrupt customers and the channel, shrieks Fujitsu

Channel partners and customers of IBM's x86 biz should brace themselves for a period of uncertainty and unpredictability as Lenovo prepares to wolf down the division, rival server maker Fujitsu is warning. The Chinese firm stumped up $2.3bn for the Intel-based volume server unit last month, although the deal is awaiting …
Paul Kunert, 10 Feb 2014
Gremlin

Facebook switches itself off and on again after GLOBAL meltdown

Facebook suffered a huge outage today that prevented millions of people from posting status updates on the giant advertising network for up to two hours. The Register understands that the company had no choice but to get engineers to do the walk of shame to the server room and turn it off and on again. Facebook said: Earlier …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Oct 2013

Chillax, cranky commentards: Anger can KILL YOU

A new study has shown that within the first two hours after an angry outburst, you're five times more likely to suffer a heart attack and four times more likely to have a stroke than if you had kept your cool. To reach this conclusion, a trio of researchers from Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center performed a " …
Rik Myslewski, 05 Mar 2014

UK tech channel in RUDE health as bankruptcies dip in Q1

It's time to crack open the bubbly: corporate fatalities in the UK channel have fallen for the fourth consecutive quarter, official stats from credit rating firm Graydon UK reveal. Some 61 companies bit the dust in the first three months of the year versus 64 for the same period of 2013, indicating that the UK IT industry has …
Paul Kunert, 04 Apr 2014

EasyJet website crashes and burns

Barrel-scraping orange airline easyJet is apologising to customers over a "technical" error that has brought down its website worldwide, preventing punters from booking flights or checking in online. The easyjet.com site has been down for several hours with the firm taking to Twitter to 'fess up to the unspecified gremlins …
Paul Kunert, 15 Oct 2013
Derisive laugh

BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

BT misled consumers with a TV ad that wrongly claimed that mobile phones and radios caused interference with wireless networks, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. A voice-over in BT's commercial crowed that such devices, alongside other household gadgets, caused "no end" of disruption to Wi-Fi internet connections in …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2013
eye

Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Nominet has ruled that a gripe site, which allows people to claim that Glasgow headquartered Optical Express blighted their eyesight, can live on – despite a second complaint being lodged against the owner of opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk. The dot-UK registry company said in a Dispute Resolution Service decision (PDF) on 1 …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Jan 2014

NASDAQ halts stock trading, citing data-feed glitch

A technical problem halted Nasdaq securities trading on Thursday, putting stocks such as Apple and Microsoft into limbo. The glitch was due to problems with the trading systems that disseminate pricing quotes, and led to a freeze in the trading of NASDAQ-backed securites at 12:14 Eastern Time. In a statement, the Securities and …
Jack Clark, 22 Aug 2013
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman

Yahoo! boss! Mayer! sez! soz! for! lengthy! mail! outage!

Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer appeared to be furious with her company late on Friday when she took to the Purple Palace's official Tumblr blog to apologise to users of its email service, who were locked out of their accounts for several days. "This has been a very frustrating week" she said, before adding "we are very sorry." …
Team Register, 16 Dec 2013

'Database failure ate my data' – Salesforce customer

An apparent database corruption is being blamed for nearly five hours of severe disruption for Salesforce customers last week. Users running their applications on Salesforce’s EU3 instance experienced blackouts and intermittent service between 6.21pm and 11.36pm on 5 August. Salesforce at the time promised customers a "detailed …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Aug 2013
Oahu, Hawaii before and after Maps update

Keep Landsat flying forever, says US Academy of Sciences

America's National Academy of Sciences has called on the US government to guarantee the future of the country's venerable Landsat missions amid uncertainty engendered by the country's slow-motion budgetary train wreck. Fearing that the program, which began in 1972 with the launch of the Earth Resources Technology Satellite ( …
The Register breaking news

Titsup Apple app dev nerve-centre hauled back online after hack scare

Apple has revived its online base for app developers a month after the plug was pulled over a "security intrusion". The developer.apple.com site was taken down on 18 July, just hours after a London-based bloke claimed he had exploited vulnerabilities in the website to prove it was riddled with flaws. Apple started resurrecting …
Jasper Hamill, 12 Aug 2013
Google_skull

Gmail falls offline, rest of Google struggles on: NO! Not error code 93!

Netizens complained today that Google's social network Plus was knackered and the webmail service Gmail fell completely offline. In a painful twist of fate, the systems went down just as Google's crack site-reliability team was preparing for a live question'n'answer session on Reddit. And it came after strangers' email addresses …
Chris Williams, 24 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Steve Bong's 3D printing special Xmas showcase

2012 has been the year of 3D printing. It's what happens "when DIY meets Web 2.0", says Chris Anderson - and it's going to be the next industrial revolution - the biggest disruption since the last big disruption, only bigger. We're as amazed as you are by the quality of today's additive printing technologies. So here's a …
Remy from Ratatouille

It's the Shiz: Mutant RAT spotted gnawing at SAP apps

Cyber-crooks are making the first steps towards using advanced malware to target mission-critical corporate ERP applications, such as SAP. A new variant of the well-known Shiz remote access trojan (RAT) searches infected systems for the existence of SAP applications. Previous versions of the malware were designed simply to …
John Leyden, 06 Nov 2013

Samsung whips out 12.2-inch 'Professional' iPad killers

Samsung has taken aim at the professional end of the tablet market with a new line of "Pro" tablets – including two 12.2-inch models – and in doing so has thrown down the gauntlet to not only all other Android tablet manufacturers, but to Apple and Microsoft as well. "What we always hear consistently is that people want to do …
Rik Myslewski, 07 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Radar gremlins GROUND FLIGHTS across southern Blighty

Computer glitches in the UK's air traffic control system have restricted the number of flights over the south of England. It's reported thousands of passengers and holidaymakers face delays thanks to the technology gremlins. National Air Traffic Services (NATS) confirmed that it's "experiencing technical problems" at its …
Barbed wire surrounding communications tower

BBC World Service in a jam as China blocks broadcasts

The BBC has claimed China is blocking shortwave radio broadcasts of its World Service, in what could be retaliation for its attempts to cover the recent hacking allegations against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In a no-nonsense statement, the Beeb said it “strongly condemns” the behaviour, “which is designed to disrupt …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2013
Kim Jong-un

NORKS cyber mayhem cost South Korea £500 MEEELLION

North Korea’s supposed 3,000-strong army of highly trained hackers has caused financial damage to its southern neighbour amounting to over £500 million over the past four years, according to a South Korean lawmaker. Citing figures provided by the defence ministry’s cyber warfare unit, Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party …
Phil Muncaster, 16 Oct 2013

Extreme Networks coughs $180m for 'no overlap' rival Enterasys

Plucky upstart Extreme Networks has swallowed the larger, privately held Ethernet switching player Enterasys Networks for $180m in cold hard cash - and some shares. The buy makes Extreme the fourth largest Ethernet switching maker on the planet in revenue terms, behind Cisco, HP and Huawei, according to ZK Research. NASDAQ- …
Paul Kunert, 13 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Google Drive goes titsup for MILLIONS of users

Google Drive has been titsup for the last few hours with many users being greeted by 502 error messages when they attempt to access the online storage service. For many, it remains stubbornly offline for now. Google confirmed that there was a problem with Drive about two hours ago after users complained about service disruption …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Mar 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Botched network maintenance has been blamed for a huge crash at Saleforce’s data centres, taking out customers’ CRM and data services across the US and Europe. Seven of Salesforce’s 17 North American instances and two out of four in EMEA went down. Servers started dropping out just before 2am UTC on 15 November, with outages …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Nov 2013
peta ops and gila bend plane

Pair of complete tits sorry for pervy app

The developers behind an app called 'Titstare' have apologised for any and all offences caused by the software. Titstare went viral yesterday, in the worst possible way, after it was demonstrated at Tech Crunch's Disrupt conference. The app's functionality, such as it is, offers users the chance to take photos of themselves …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Chocolate Factory chucks out Checkout

Google Checkout is the latest product to check into the Chocolate Factory's hospice, with merchants told it will be farewelled in six months. Merchants using the service are being encouraged to switch to Google Wallet Instant Buy or find another payment processor – a move which involves a lot more disruption to the small …

Google may drop Intel for own-recipe ARM: Bloomberg

Google is considering new ARM-based designs for its home-brewed servers, according to Bloomberg. The financial newswire's report is sketchy, offering the observation that Google “ is considering designing its own server processors using technology from ARM Holdings Plc” together with a quote from Google spokesdroid Liz Markman …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2013
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

PEAK MOBILE: IT biz spending forecasts SLASHED

We're not even a full week into the second month of 2014 and beancounter IDC has lowered its global IT spending forecasts, amid volatility in emerging markets and on fears that smartphone and slab sales have peaked. An eye watering $2tn was splashed on tech last year, including $1tn on hardware, but IDC has already pegged back …
Paul Kunert, 05 Feb 2014