Articles about Essentials

Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

Security experts have already waded into the UK government's consultation into self-driving technologies. The two month session comes against a backdrop of increasing concerns about connected cars. Infosec vendors argue security needs to be considered alongside other issues such as changes to driving regulations (the Highway …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016
Microsoft Windows Server 2016: launch and pricing details have been announced

Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft lays out Server 2016's future

Microsoft has released details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, and as with Windows 10 it includes a "Windows as a service" model of frequent operating system updates. Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the company's Ignite conference, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. As …
Tim Anderson, 12 Jul 2016

Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

A sheriff’s department in Utah has spent $10,000 on black Labrador they say can sniff out porn and other illicit digital materials. The deployment of the black Lab, dubbed URL but pronounced Earl, in Weber County comes just months after Utah became the first state in the US to declare pornography a full-fledged public health …
Joe Fay, 23 Jun 2016
Microsoft Planner

Do you have a 'co-working mindset' and 'ephemerally involve others' in work?

In the olden days, when Reg hacks rode dinosaurs to work and used chisels and stone to write stories, Microsoft Office offered four applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. These days Office is a sprawling affair with new bits that Microsoft's pitching at those “with a co-working mindset” and keen to be empowered to “ …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jun 2016

UK.biz is still clueless at fending off malware attacks, says survey

Two-thirds of large UK businesses were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past year, according to a UK government-sponsored survey. Nearly seven out of 10 attacks on all firms involved viruses, spyware or malware according to a poll of UK enterprises carried out as part of the Cyber Security Breaches Survey. Following the …
John Leyden, 09 May 2016

Chomp! Barracuda gets its bite back after turning a profit again

The sum of $83.7m exceeded Barracuda’s revenue estimates for its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Feb 29, 2016. It was a 16 per cent rise year-on-year and a 4.5 per cent rise quarter-on-quarter. There was a $3.2m net profit, pleasing after five straight loss-making quarters. The full year revenue number was $320.2m, 15.4 per …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
cloud

Microsoft lures IT pros with breadcrumb trail of candy to its cloud

Microsoft has offered up a grab bag of goodies for IT administrators looking to add cloud skills to their resume, including free trials of Azure and Office 365, plus support and training credits, along with some career advice. "We are in the middle of the cloud technology transition, and IT professionals are not always leading …
Iain Thomson, 20 Apr 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it

Wireless networking is regarded by many as the way to go for corporate networking. No need for expensive structured cabling, no need to re-patch stuff when someone moves desk, and sufficiently secure to make it suitable for corporate use. I am inclined to agree with that last point: rank up the encryption to WPA2-AES and use …
Dave Cartwright, 01 Apr 2016

VMware licence changes put users on upgrade treadmill

VMware's recent vSphere licensing changes are upsetting some users. Virtzilla's changes mean the vSphere Enterprise package goes away, replaced by the vSphere Enterprise Plus. As the name implies, the second package has more stuff in it: you get big data extensions, support for GPUs, a distributed switch and lots more vFun. …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Mar 2016

Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee

Comment Long before its customer service rep Talia Jane wrote a blog post about how her monthly wage wasn't enough to live on, Yelp has enjoyed a reputation for unethical behavior. The publicly listed ratings company is reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on average every two days, typically by small business owners who see …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Continuum gets some Qualcomm mid-range support

Reviewers of Microsoft’s Continuum feature have found it much like Samuel Johnson regarded lady preachers: “like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all". Continuum turns Windows 10 phones into a PC once you add a keyboard and mouse. It has its limitations, the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2016
Seagate_Backup_Plus_Ultra_Slim

Seagate's new drives are so shiny, we should call them ... bling buffers

Seagate is showing three stylishly packaged external disk drive products at the CES 2016 hypemare in Las Vegas this week. The three are: 2TB Backup Plus Ultra Slim; interesting acronymic possibility – BPUS. Bagpuss, perhaps? 1TB LaCie Chromé; a solid state drive being angled like the accent LaCie Porsche Design mobile and …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2016
Open Live Writer is released as open source

Microsoft releases Windows Live Writer as open source

Microsoft has released Windows Live Writer, a popular blog authoring tool, as an open source project on GitHub, under the MIT licence. The original Live Writer was developed by a company called Onfolio, founded by JJ Allaire when he left Allaire Corporation, the business he founded with his brother Jeremy to create web …
Tim Anderson, 11 Dec 2015

Microsoft rides to Dell's rescue, wrecks rogue root certificate

Microsoft has killed Dell's user-pwning root certificate and its self-reinstalling .dll with its antivirus Defender tool. The certificate is a big blunder because it opens a universal means for attackers on public networks to hose new Dell laptops. That's because bright minds planted a self-signed root CA certificate and …
Darren Pauli, 26 Nov 2015
Microsoft's Connect event in New York targets cloud developers

Microsoft revamps its developer tools with a new cloud focus

Microsoft has announced new developers tools and services at its Connect event under way in New York. The forked, open source version of the .NET platform, called .NET Core, is now at Release Candidate status, as is ASP.NET 5.0, Microsoft's web application framework. These are now available under a "Go-Live" licence, which …
Tim Anderson, 18 Nov 2015

GCHQ director blasts free market, says UK must be 'sovereign cryptographic nation'

IA15 Speaking this morning to CESG's Information Assurance conference, Robert Hannigan, director of GCHQ, declared that Britain was a "sovereign cryptographic nation" and reproached the free market's ability to provide adequate cybersecurity. The claim was delivered to a cybersecurity shindig attended by government employees and …
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

UK SMEs with weak security risk procurement exclusion – survey

SMEs need to take cyber security seriously or face being frozen out of the procurement process, according to a new survey from management consultants KPMG. In a poll of UK procurement managers, nearly all (94 per cent) agreed that the cyber security standards of their supplier are important when awarding a contract to an SME. …
John Leyden, 03 Nov 2015
Old beardy man thinking. Pic: Henadz via Flickr

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

Worstall @ the Weekend So here's a fun little game for a Sunday morning: what was, or is, the third great invention of all time? I have a candidate for it and it's very much to do with what youse guys do all day. But I'm not entirely sure that it is the proper winner of third place: certainly, most economists wouldn't rate it there at all. Of course …
Tim Worstall, 18 Oct 2015

NetApp flexes all-flash array, flashes Flexpod revenues

NetApp, the soon-to-be undisputed leading stand-alone storage company, has announced all-flash array guarantees nicely timed to resonate with the uncertainties now affecting EMC and Dell storage array products. It is said that, compared to enterprise database applications running on traditional non-flash, disk-based systems, …
Chris Mellor, 14 Oct 2015
FAS8080_EX-bezel_detail

NetApp slims down latest controller, beefs up channel efforts

NetApp has announced a slimmed down top-end array, cutting the controller box size in half. It is a 6U-sized version of the AFF8080 EX, NetApp's most powerful AFF8000 system. The 8000 series product line previously started with the 3U AFF8020, passed through the 6U 8040 and 8060, and peaked with the 12U (2 enclosures) AFF8080 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Sep 2015

UK.gov creates £500K fund to help universities teach cyber skills

The UK government is putting up a £500,000 fund to develop cyber security skills within universities and colleges, essentially helping them construct innovative teaching methods to provide the skills needed to protect the UK from hackers, malware and other information security threats. The Higher Education Academy will …
John Leyden, 23 Sep 2015
Acer Aspire E5-511

Back to school: Six of the smartest cheap 'n' cheerful laptops

Product Roundup The summer’s been and gone already, and it’s the time of year when our brightest and best leave home to enter the hallowed halls of academia. Any young student will need a decent laptop to help them out with essays and other work, but the chances are that most students will also be on a pretty tight budget. Fortunately, every …
Cliff Joseph, 01 Sep 2015

We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

With Windows 10 now just days away, we thought we'd put it on a small slablet of the sort you can pick up cheaply and see how it did - in this case a Linx 8. In short, it did not do well. These devices have a 1280 x 800 8" display and just 1GB of RAM. They also have 32GB of storage, of which 5GB is taken up by a recovery …
Tim Anderson, 27 Jul 2015
Apple iPod touch

Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation

Review The iPod is dead. The sales figures say so. The absence of updates to the range says so. The lack of concern about the absence of updates to the range says so. There are neither ‘Shock – new iPod!’ stories, nor are there “shock – no new iPod!” stories. It’s inert. It has ceased to be. The only thing it’s shuffling is off this …
Adam Banks, 21 Jul 2015

Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

Windows XP holdouts are even more danger than ever after Microsoft abandoned anti-malware support for the ancient platform. Redmond overnight stopped providing XP support for new and existing installs of its Security Essentials package. The run-as-needed Malicious Software Removal Tool has also been axed, while support for …
Darren Pauli, 15 Jul 2015

NetApp cackles as cheaper FlashRay lurches out of the door

FlashRay lives! All-flash FAS is now a price/performance beast – which now comes with a substantial price cut. NetApp is doubling down on its 3-product all-flash arrays; the EF Series, All-Flash FAS (AFF) and FlashRay with its Mars operating system. Yes, FlashRay lives and has not been gobbled up and absorbed into the FAS …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2015
Windows 10 Mobile build 10136

Feature-rich work in progress: Windows Mobile 10 build 10136

First look Microsoft has released Build 10136 of Windows 10 Mobile, part of the “One Windows” wave set to be released later this year. Windows 10 for PCs is due on 29 July, but the phone version is likely to follow later. It's just as well, since this build still does not feel release-ready, though progress from the last build is dramatic …
Tim Anderson, 18 Jun 2015

OPEN WIDE: Microsoft Live Writer authoring tool going open source

Microsoft will release its blog authoring tool, Live Writer, as open source, according to a tweet from developer evangelist Scott Hanselman. The goal of Live Writer was to make it easy to author blog posts while working offline in Windows. The editor is based on embedded Internet Explorer, and despite that handicap the tool was …
Tim Anderson, 15 Jun 2015
Ask toolbar

Vintage Ask toolbar is malware – and we'll kill Jeeves, says Microsoft

Older versions of the Ask toolbar, the bane of many a computer user over the years, has been declared persona non grata by Microsoft, and Redmond says its security software will now kill it on sight. In a June 11 update to its Malware Protection Center site, Microsoft states that older versions of the toolbar, which set itself …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jun 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ gros fromage stays schtum on Snowden and snooping

Infosec 2015 A top GCHQ official opened the Infosecurity Europe trade show in London with an on-message keynote that focused on promoting best practice rather than dealing with Edward Snowden and the ongoing controversy over the so-called Snoopers’ Charter. Ciaran Martin, director general of cyber-security at GCHQ, gave a broad overview of …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2015
ASUS Chair Jonney Shih Computex 2015 press conference

ASUS reveals 'Zensational' style-over-substance kit

Computex 2015 Computex day zero kicked off in Taipei today, and after some pleasantries got down to business with an ASUS keynote that pitched style over substance as a good thing. Taipei is ASUS' home town and the company is arguably Taiwan's most famous export, so chairman Jonney Shih likes to put on a show before the rest of the vendors …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2015
Knomo Hanover

Zip Style Method: Ten swanky laptop bags for her

Product Roundup I’ve long sung the praises of the Longchamp Le Pilage. Stylish and hardwearing, this super light bag weighs in at just 225g. Yes, you have to add your own laptop sleeve, but what’s not to love? Yet in the daytime commute, women everywhere now haul this stalwart bag. A First World problem it might be, but who wants to be one of …
Jennifer Newton, 24 May 2015
Affinity Photo

It’s Adobe’s Creative Cloud TITSUP birthday. Ease the pain with its RGB-wrangling rivals

Feature Exactly a year ago today Adobe’s Creative Cloud servers went dark for a whole day, leaving some users unable to open their apps. Deadlines were missed, clients were let down, digital editions failed to appear and a generally crap time was had by all. Adobe Photoshop For more challenging jobs, stacking elements and effects in …
Adam Banks, 14 May 2015
Wile E. Coyote goes over the edge again

Win Server 2003 addict? Tick, tock: Your options are running out

Windows XP is officially gone but its server companions Windows Server 2003 and Server 2003 R2 live – just not for much longer. Mainstream support for the server duo ended on 13 July 2010 but the expiration of extended support is now just three months away: 14 July 2015. The date is critical as that’s when security updates and …
Tim Anderson, 07 Apr 2015
PernixData FCP

PernixData RAMs in yet more speed to FVP

PernixData, the clusterable VMware IO cacher, has added compression to its RAM caching, meaning more effective data in RAM and more caching with its FVP software. V2.5 FVP has Distributed Fault-Tolerant Memory with LZ4 compression algorithms (DFTM-Z). These algorithms are fast and lossless and DFTM-Z checks data to see if it …
Chris Mellor, 25 Feb 2015

Jamie Oliver serves up steaming pile of malware

Tousle-haired celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has served up a stomach-churning exploit kit to those who visit his web site. His eponymous .com site, ranked 519 in the UK and drawing some 10 million visitors a month was compromised to plate-up the foul-tasting Fiesta exploit kit to compromise user machines. Malwarebytes senior …
Darren Pauli, 18 Feb 2015
Fear Of Landing Tiger Moth review

Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Vulture in the Air Stepping up from our usual car reviews, we’ve got an aeroplane this weekend. The guest pilot is Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, who runs the Fear of Landing website. What’s it like flying a Tiger Moth? Absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think I can do the experience justice, but I have to try. You can imagine my excitement when Into the Blue …
Sylvia Wrigley, 07 Feb 2015
Adata DashDrive HD710

Eight pocket-pleasing USB 3.0 hard drives

Product Roundup My, how time flies. It has been a couple of years since El Reg did a group test of external USB3.0 hard drives and comparing prices for 1TB drives between then and now shows how much the price of conventional hard drives has fallen in the meantime. Then, only one drive was under the £100 barrier, this time around, all the ones I …
Simon Crisp, 09 Jan 2015
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft lets devs with form skip MCSD exam

Microsoft's made it official: if you can code an app for Windows, you can skip some certification exams. Redmond gave this idea a try last year with a program called Review to Cert that made having an app certified for the Windows Store one way to score part of a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification. …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jan 2015
Dingo Gap

Get your staff working on the move: Develop that app for mobile

Working on the move has become most people's normal way of operating. We are used to having our world in our pocket and being able to read and write emails, produce simple documents and generally stay in the corporate loop whether we are in the office, in the pub, on a train or (sadly) sitting on a beach trying to be on holiday …
Dave Cartwright, 01 Dec 2014
Files

UK.gov teams up with moneymen on HACK ATTACK INSURANCE

+Comment The UK government last week partnered with 12 insurance companies to develop the "cyber-insurance" market. But experts are split on whether encouraging the development of the nascent market will result in the adoption of improved security practices. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that while cyber insurance adds an …
John Leyden, 13 Nov 2014
Nokia Lumia 930

Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

We have all seen them: people who wander around with a phone glued to their ear as if their entire world depended on it. And we have all worked with people for whom eye contact means sitting with head stooped peering at texts, emails or, occasionally, videos of real people. This got us wondering: can normal people actually run …
Dave Cartwright, 05 Nov 2014

Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to REAL photography?

Feature Gradually and quietly, there has been a revolution in photography which has seen traditional film eclipsed by digital techniques. John Watkinson argues that the results of the revolution are not all beneficial, not least because the evolutionary path from amateur to professional has been economically closed off by marketing. …
John Watkinson, 02 Nov 2014

BIGGEST THREAT to Europe’s cybersecurity? Hint: not hackers

Forget cyber-espionage, cyber-warfare and cyber-terrorism. The biggest threat to Europe’s infrastructure cybersecurity are power outages and poor communication. On Thursday, ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) held its biggest ever cybersecurity exercise involving more than 200 organisations and 400 cyber- …
Antares rocket fails

KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

Pics+Vid Orbital Sciences just can't seem to catch a break. Monday's launch of its Antares rocket was scrubbed by a rogue sailboat and on Tuesday the rocket exploded just seconds after launching from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Antares rocket fails There has been a vehicle anomaly. We will update as soon as we are …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Cashing it in: Personal finance apps – the best and the rest

Review Greater individual control over personal finance is booming, with the British Bankers Association (BBA) reporting 5.7 million transactions a day are now made from smartphones. This is transformational stuff, but it’s not all about current account apps. Personal finance guru Jennifer Newton follows the money and finds the best …
Jennifer Newton, 26 Oct 2014
Sea Harriers

Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Geek's Guide to Britain He learned to fly aged 22, set up his first aircraft factory aged 24 and by 30 his fighters dominated the skies over the Western Front. Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith - later, Sir – founded the Sopwith Aircraft Company in 1912, turning out aeroplanes from a Edwardian roller-skating rink in Kingston upon Thames. Yes, the …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2014
Lenticular Cloud

Cloud skills certification can add zeros to your pay cheque

As IT recruiters collectively bemoan the dearth of cloud professionals, the doom-and-gloom predictions that cloud services would result in the death of the IT department now seem nothing short of laughable. The most recent research from industry body the Cloud Industry Forum suggests that cloud computing has achieved mainstream …
Rachel Willcox, 16 Oct 2014
DX4200

I want to TRANSPLANT your storage BRAINS: WD desktop NAS refresh

WD has updated its small office Sentinel desktop filer range, adding Windows Storage Server 2012 with its Storage Spaces facility. The Sentinel storage servers are for small and medium businesses that don’t want or need a full-blown racked NAS system running on X86 processors. The DX4200 is basically the same as the 4-bay, 2 …
Chris Mellor, 09 Oct 2014
Samsung 60nm 1Gb DDR 2 DRAM chip and DIMM

DRAM! Speedy software upstart PernixData's caching up fast

VMware IO cacher PernixData has upped the quick access ante by caching virtual machine disk IO in DRAM — much faster for data access than flash. The startup’s FVP software runs in the ESXi hypervisor, and it's also added user-defined fault domains and adaptive network compression to its clustering technology. FVP accelerates …
Chris Mellor, 02 Oct 2014