Articles about Information

Customer service motivation cube

What's Niu? No longer profitable, revenues down... but we're hiring!

Once-profitable managed services business Niu Solutions is now burning cash and CEO Shaun Ledgerwood reckons the company will take three years to get back in the black. Based in Surrey, Niu Solutions flogs services to the retail and financial sectors, collecting monthly fees on contracts ranging from one to five years. …
Crowd watches fireworks at night in the field. Photo by Shutterstock

WD disk revenues spin slower as its flash fireworks go off

WDC beat its own better-than-expected preliminary results estimates with a $3.495bn quarter but swung to a $351m loss with fewer disk units sold. Layoffs are coming. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended July 1, were 9.2 per cent higher than a year ago and 24.8 per cent up on the previous quarter. This quarter …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Encyclopedia Dramatica user hit with £10k damages after calling ex-councillor a 'paedo'

A user of satirical wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica has been hit with libel damages of £10,000 after posting untrue accusations of paedophilia and mocked-up sex photos featuring a former Labour councillor on the site. The case, heard earlier this month in the High Court, was brought by Samuel Collingwood Smith against pseudonymous …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jul 2016
Parachutist image via Shutterstock

The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Cloud computing is wonderful, until it isn’t. A digital screw comes loose somewhere, and before you know it the whole engine has ground to a halt in a cascading cloud outage – or, as we like to call it, a cloutage. It has happened before, and Bryan Ford was very worried about it in 2012. Then a Yale Researcher, he published a …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jul 2016
Smartphone showing Chinese flag

China decrees it will grow world-class enterprise vendors by the year 2025

China has decreed it will grow several more world-class, multinational enterprise technology vendors by 2025. The executive of the Middle Kingdom's State Council met this week, and issued some new policy pronouncements along the way. The key one for the global information technology industries is called the “Outline of …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Sketch of AirTrunk's planned data centre in Derrimut, Melbourne

Startup AirTrunk plans big new data centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Asia

Exclusive A startup data centre builder/operator called AirTrunk has applied to build a substantial data centre on the fringes of Melbourne. AirTrunk outed itself to financial press a couple of weeks ago, claiming it has plans for bit barns in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong, a tenant ready to rent substantial space, perhaps …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Alphabet, the holding company for Google and the Chocolate Factory's other concerns, has reported strong growth in the second quarter ending June 30, with revenues up 21 per cent from this time last year. Google made up the vast majority of this revenue, accounting for $21.3bn for the quarter, with the other parts of Alphabet …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016

Flame Canada, flame Canada ... Botched govt payroll computers spew smoke ahead of probe

The Ottawa data center housing Phoenix – the Canadian government's bungled payroll system for federal workers – was shut down on Wednesday after smoke was detected inside. The Shared Services Canada server warehouse also housed computers handling government email, as well as some government websites, which were switched off, …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
Barton aqueduct mid swing, photo Alun Taylor

Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Geek's Guide to Britain There are several fine examples of Victorian engineering still working in Blighty. Tower Bridge in London is one of my personal favourites. I was surprised to discover that another was on my doorstep. Well, 4.34km (2.7 miles) from my doorstep to be more accurate. The Grade II-listed Barton Swing Aqueduct in Salford was built …
Alun Taylor, 28 Jul 2016
Vladimir Putin

Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Vladimir Putin's air force is flying strategic reconnaissance missions over the UK. Not only is the Ministry of Defence relaxed about it, they're even hosting the Russians in Oxfordshire. What's this all about? The UK and Russia, along with 32 other countries, are signatories of the Open Skies treaty. This was originally …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Jul 2016
MH 370 Search Zone

Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

The Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) overseeing the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has confirmed the plane's captain simulated a flight over remote southern reaches of the Indian Ocean. A new statement confirms US media reports from last week that MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew a …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016

Australian maps and GPS will align by 2020

Geo-boffins are getting ready to nudge Australia to the north, so its national map data agrees with the new world of GPS. The country's maps are currently based on a standard called the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GAD94), which is more than 20 years old and ties map references to locations fixed on the Australian …

Couple in the cooler for sucking $1m out of Uncle Sam via IRS 'Get Transcript' scam

Two people have been jailed for their involvement in a scam that exploited the US IRS "Get Transcript" website to defraud the American government. A couple from Austell, Georgia, laundered more than $1m as part of a larger swindle that abused weaknesses in the taxmen's website to get the personal data needed to file fraudulent …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016

NASA peers through its SpeX: Aha! Jupiter's globe-warming hotspot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be responsible for stirring an atmospheric hotspot into a frenzy, causing it to be hundreds of degrees warmer than anywhere else on the planet. Researchers from Boston University and the University of Leicester have published new evidence in Nature which shows Jupiter’s atmosphere may be driven by …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Jul 2016
Q in James Bond

NATO holds up £2.5bn platter of IT procurement deals: Help yourselves

Anti-Soviet defence pact NATO's IT division wants to award €3bn (£2.5bn) worth of “cyber, air and missile defence” contracts, spanning everything from buying new keyboards to improving space satellites. The NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency's bumper pack of potential deals includes a £2bn (€2.5bn) satellite …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jul 2016
inspector clouseau

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Police in Essex, UK, are using polygraph tests on convicted criminals – in its own words, “to help manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders.” A polygraph, colloquially known as a lie-detector test, measures the physiological responses of subjects when interrogated. The technology was invented in 1921, by John Larson, …

Microsoft adds useful feature to PowerPoint. Seriously

Some crazy and terrible things have happened in 2016, but none can be more shocking than Microsoft PowerPoint adding a quite useful new feature for presenters. The ubiquitous slide presentation software has finally made a break with linearity. “Presenter was to create presentations—not simply slides,” wrote PowerPoint’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2016
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Getting comfortable with cloud-based security: Whom to trust to do what

There are some bits of computing that you just don’t want to trust other people with. They’re just too sensitive. But at the same time, there are some things that people can do as well or better than you, for a lower cost. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky, but useful. Take cybersecurity as an example. It’s …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jul 2016

Explo-Xen! Bunker buster bug breaks out guests from hypervisor

Code dive A super-bug in the Xen hypervisor may allow privileged code running in guests to escape to the underlying host. This means, on vulnerable systems, malicious administrators within virtual machines can potentially break out of their confines and start interfering with the host server and other guests. This could be really bad …
Chris Williams, 27 Jul 2016

Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?

Nine security holes, four of them still unpatched, have been found in the Osram smart light bulb system, potentially giving attackers access to a home or corporate network. The issues in the Lightify Home and Pro systems range from cross-site scripting (XSS) to problems with the ZigBee and SSL protocols to insecure encryption …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Russian hacking

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Poll Security intelligence firm ThreatConnect thinks it has found a smoking gun that links the leaked US Democratic Party emails to Russian hackers. The biz has analyzed the communications methods used by Guccifer 2.0, which is thought to be a team of miscreants who obtained the somewhat embarrassing internal emails and gave them …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Hackers

3D print biz Shapeways hacked, home and email addresses swiped

Custom 3D model printing biz Shapeways has been hacked, who gained access to customers' shipping and email addresses, usernames and hashed passwords. New York-based Shapeways takes 3D designs and prints them for those unwilling or unable to invest in a 3D printer of their own. Its customers received an email today from CEO …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2016

Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again. It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “ …

Europe gives Privacy Shield one year to work

Europe's data protection authorities will hold fire for one year on the new Privacy Shield agreement, withholding any potential legal challenges until mid-2017. In a statement [PDF] by the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), the influential body noted it was still unhappy with the final text of the agreement – which replaces the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2016

Hacked? Call White House

President Obama has published a directive aimed at establishing a clear chain of command for reporting cyber attacks. The Presidential Policy Directive for incident reports lays out the process for private companies to report a hacker attack to the federal government. This, the White House hopes, will not only give businesses …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

Apple Watch exec Bob Mansfield 'gets into secret Apple car'

A former senior executive at Apple has returned to the company to oversee its secretive but long-rumoured car project, according to reports. Bob Mansfield stepped back from Apple's executive team in 2013, despite earning $85.5m a year, but remained around Cupertino as an adviser on special projects, including the Apple Watch …

BlackBerry's new best pals: Microsoft, Google, Samsung

BlackBerry didn't drop any bombshells at its annual Security Summit last week. Unlike previous years, there were no surprise acquisitions or products. But it did conspicuously share the limelight with a number of partners, some of which may make jolly good new owners. On the stage were Samsung, Google and Microsoft. The latter …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Seagate_Nytro_M2_XM1440_2TB

Seagate soups up M.2 Nytro flash card

Seagate has more than doubled the maximum capacity of its Nytro M.2 XM1440 flash card from 980GB to 2TB. The 960GB XM1440 was introduced in August last year along with the XF1440, a 2.5-inch NVMe drive that had 2TB of capacity. Both used eMLC flash and were launched in August 2015. They came in performance (called capacity and …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2016
fail_parking_meter_648

UK 'leccy car company Ecotricity patches leaky car recharge app

Security researcher Scott Helme has turned up a dumb password reset bug in UK energy company Ecotricity's car charging app. The bug is in the app the company provides for users of its network of 'leccy car recharge points: it had a bad user enumeration bug that would let an attacker reset someone else's password and therefore …
private investigator

Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

A private investigator hired by Uber potentially broke the law while digging up dirt on someone suing the taxi app biz, a New York judge has ruled. Information gathered by the dodgy sleuth cannot be used in court by Uber, the beak added. Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick were sued by New Yorker Spencer Meyer, who accused them …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016
Road Closed sign

Seagate to dismount and fsck its ClusterStor?

Amid the looming closure of its Havant facility in the UK, Seagate has nothing to say about the future of ClusterStor, its HPC disk array product line that was engineered there. When we learned Seagate was planning to close its Havant site with 325 job losses, we realized that this was the ClusterStor development shop. …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2016

The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

It was devastating. Absolutely devastating. It's hard to imagine anyone surviving such a shocking revelation. But they probably will of course. Thanks to their connections, if you know what I mean. What are we talking about? Take your pick because election season is upon us and everyone, absolutely everyone is up to no good …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016
Man in suit performs double facepalm, presumably after witnessing incident of great stupidity. Photo by shutterstock

Glassdoor spaffs users' email addresses in bcc fail

Jobs site Glassdoor accidentally outed hundreds of users seeking employment in pastures new when it despatched an email and failed to use the bcc button. The missive was sent to users at the weekend and intended to update them on the company's terms and conditions. One user said: "They later sent a follow up email saying …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
phishing_648

Is digital fraud big in UK? British abacus-botherers finally have some answers

Reports of fraud have doubled, according to official statistics – because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is now including cyber crimes in its figures. The UK's ONS reckons, in crime statistics released last week, that more than two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million online fraud offences took place in …
John Leyden, 25 Jul 2016
Cookie Monster

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Last week the BBC launched a mobile app, called BBC+, delivering “customisable content collections” to your phone or tablet. It’s a personalised service which requires an email address. Last year, when the corporation announced its plans for personalised services, it made several data protection promises. Specifically, Phil …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …
Gil C http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-762415p1.html

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
phishing_648

Clash of Kings hack: 1.8m hit

The forums for hit mobile game Clash of Kings have been hacked, with 1.6 million usernames, email addresses, IP addresses and access tokens swiped, apparently. Account passwords were also taken but they were stored salted and hashed, we're told. The forums have since been taken offline for "maintenance." Clash of Kings is …
Team Register, 23 Jul 2016

WikiLeaks fights The Man by, er, publishing ordinary people's personal information

WikiLeaks prides itself on taking on The Man by finding and publishing information that the world's most powerful organizations want to keep hidden. Unfortunately, on Friday, WikiLeaks took a swing at The Man by standing on the heads of thousands of innocent citizens whose personal details it has published, including their …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Face Palm D'oh from Shutterstock

Please don't upgrade NSX just now, says VMware

VMware is advising users of its NSX network virtualisation not to upgrade it to the version 6.2.3 released in early June. The update addressed CVE-2016-2079, a vulnerability that allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information. In other words, just the kind of thing you probably want to patch, not least because NSX is …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

IETF boffins design a DNS for digital money

Digital currency engineers are working on a domain name system (DNS)-style protocol to enable money to be shared across different networks. The idea of digital currency – and particularly blockchains – has taken off in recent years, but there remain a number of competing networks that are unable to talk to one another: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016

Snowden's anti-snoop tool

NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden and hardware guru Andrew “Bunnie” Huang have designed a gizmo that wraps around your iPhone 6 and alerts you when the mobe unexpectedly leaks your location. Basically, if you put your smartphone into airplane mode – ie: maintain radio silence – to avoid being tracked, the gadget will kick off if …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

Bosses at UK infosec biz Quadsys confess to hacking rival reseller

Five men working at UK-based IT security reseller Quadsys confessed today to hacking into a rival's database. Owner Paul Streeter, managing director Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and security consultant Jon Townsend appeared before the beak at Oxford Crown Court. "All pleaded guilty to …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016
Verne Global data centre server racks from above

UK councils refuse to push data into the cloud

The majority of the UK's local councils run two or more data centres each, suggesting cloudy adoption is still a long way off for local gov, according to Freedom of Information research. Requests sent to the UK's 100 largest local authorities revealed that two-thirds of councils run at least two bit barns and store 90 per cent …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

Stack Overflow, a popular site for developer and IT admin problem solving, is taking on technical documentation, with support from companies including Microsoft, Paypal, Twilio and Dropbox. The Stack Overflow site was created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, and originally focused only on developer questions. It was …
Tim Anderson, 21 Jul 2016

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

A Wi-Fi hack experiment conducted at various locations at or near the Republican National Convention site in Cleveland, US, underlines how risky it can be to connect to public Wi-Fi without protection from a VPN. The exercise, carried out by security researchers at Avast, an anti-virus firm, revealed that more than 1,000 …
John Leyden, 21 Jul 2016

All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Much of the current research on the development of a quantum computer involves work at very low temperatures. The challenge to make them more practical for everyday use is to make them work at room temperature. The breakthrough here came from the use of some everyday materials, with details published today in Nature …

HMRC research finds 'resistance' to proposals to shift contractor tax compliance burden

There is "general resistance" among both the public and private sectors to plans that would shift responsibility for ensuring that third party contractors are paying the right employment taxes from the individual to public sector employers, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has found. Employers surveyed by HMRC were concerned …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016

Whoa! Shanghai Stock Exchange delays $6bn Ingram Micro takeover

Tianjin Tianhai, the Chinese logistics giant, has delayed next week’s shareholder meeting to rubber stamp the $6bn takeover of Ingram Micro as it gathers data requested by the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Tianjin Tianhai, owned by the conglomerate HNA Group, revealed in February its intended acquisition of Ingram, the world …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016