Articles about Information Technology

Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Information Technology Supplier Advocate job abolished

Australia has abolished its Information Technology Supplier Advocate, a Canberra-based role designed to help small biz jump through the hoops of government contracting. The incumbent, Don Easter, finishes work next Monday. The position of Information Technology Supplier Advocate was created in 2010 when, as Labor Senator Kate …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2014

US, China, ink tariff-free technology trade pact

The United States of America and the People's Republic of China have agreed to abolish tariffs on each other's technology products. Announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Beijing on Monday, the deal won't immediately mean unfettered access for US and Chinese companies, because the agreement was …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014
Apple signs for auction

Thought Apple was kidding about diversity? Here's 50 MEEELLION reasons you're wrong

Apple has announced a $50m donation to help improve diversity in the science and technology fields. The company revealed on Tuesday that it would be pledging the cash to a group of charities aiming to train women, minorities, and military veterans for careers in the information technology sector. "We wanted to create …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2015
Ganesha street art by Flickr user avlxyz https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/

Prostrate yourself before the GNU, commands Indian DEITY

The best-acronymed government department in the world – India's Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) – has laid out a new policy (PDF) commanding the nation's government to use only open source software. The policy statement is rather blunt: Government of India shall endeavour to adopt Open Source …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2015

Unsurprising report: UK local govt sites remain totally crap

Although tech is often characterised as a fast-paced industry, in local government IT change happens at more glacial speeds, at least according to a report on the councils' websites. A study by public sector organisation the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM) found local authority websites have "failed to …
Kat Hall, 12 Feb 2015

Hooray! China suspends ban on foreign tech in banking

EU tech firms are heaving several huge sighs of relief, as China lifts a ban on foreign tech in banking, although it may only be a stay of execution. Beijing officials notified authorities on Thursday that they would “suspend the implementation” of a controversial new law that effectively blocks any non-Chinese tech company …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Apr 2015
TwitterIPO

Twitter fears big EU tech payout to pacify lawmakers over data-slurping concerns

A fretful Twitter has told investors that it may be forced to shell out cash on IT infrastructure in Europe if the Safe Harbor pact between the EU and the US collapses. The profit-shy company, which derives most of its revenues from advertising, revealed its fears in Twitter's annual report published on Tuesday. Meanwhile, it …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Mar 2015
Toshiba MQ03ABB300

Toshiba shares go over a cliff after probe into hidden losses

Toshiba's shares have dived 22 per cent in a week after the company commenced a probe into accounting irregularities, rescinded previous profit guidance and cancelled a planned dividend payment. Toshiba's Notice Regarding Establishment of Independent Investigation Comittee (PDF) explains that some projects went pear-shaped, but …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2015
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

A group of North Korean journalists will visit the UK next year to "observe how multimedia websites work at British media companies". The Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded project Inside Out: Working in North Korea to connect its journalists to the internet world aims to give North Korean journalists a greater understanding …
Kat Hall, 01 Dec 2014

India to develop an API for entire government

India has released a “Policy on Open APIs for Government of India” (PDF) that calls on the nation's government to develop APIs to let departments share information with each other and with the public. Many of India's government agencies are infamously moribund and Indians bemoan the short working hours, can't-do attitude and …
2001: A Space Odyssey

GCHQ: Ensure biz security by STOPPING everyone from TALKING

GCHQ is advising organisations to consider stripping staff of smartphones and memory sticks in order to make themselves less exposed to cyber attacks. The advice from the intelligence agency's CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) information assurance arm comes against a backdrop of increased concerns about the theft …
John Leyden, 19 Mar 2015
Apple Mac Mini late 2014

What a hang-up: AT&T dumped from Dow index, Apple installed

Apple will boot giant telco AT&T off the oldest and most famous stock market index later this month, the people running the Dow Jones Industrial Average announced this morning. The change will come into effect on the morning of Thursday March 19 and is timed to coincide with a stock split by Visa, one of the other 29 companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Mar 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia finds AU$131m for data retention, $254m for e-gov luvvies

BUDGET 2015 Australia's treasurer Joe Hockey has outlined several technology-related items in the nation's budget for 2015/16. In a surprise announcement, the treasurer announced the government will abolish fringe benefits tax “on all portable electronic devices used for work, like mobile phones, laptops and tablets.” Fringe benefits tax …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2015
botnet

Chinese cyber-spies hid botnet controls in MS TechNet comments

Cyber-spies are increasingly attempting to hide their command and control operations in plain sight by burying their command infrastructure in the forums of internet heavyweights, including Microsoft. FireEye and Microsoft have successfully shut down the Chinese threat actor APT17’s use of the MSFT TechNet blog to hide their …
John Leyden, 14 May 2015
Keep out sign with deleted expletive

US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

A year or so before American health insurer Anthem admitted it had been ruthlessly ransacked by hackers, a US federal watchdog had offered to audit the giant's computer security – but was rebuffed. And, after miscreants looted Anthem's servers and accessed up to 88.8 million private records, the watchdog again offered to audit …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Mar 2015
Parliament in the clouds

Ex-G-Cloud bigwig Chant weighs in on GDS' framework rebrand

Former G-Cloud head Chris Chant has entered the growing row over the status of the framework under the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS), criticising its decision to ditch a brand "that has won hearts and minds". Last week, the GDS moved the @G_Cloud_UK Twitter handle to the Digital Marketplace platform @GOVUKdigimkt, in …
Kat Hall, 26 Jan 2015
flag.Australia

Australia's eMinister has policy-crush on UK's Liam Maxwell

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offered a little more detail on his plans for electronic delivery of government services and the way Australia will procure the kit required to deliver them. Writing in The Guardian Australia, Turnbull detailed a meeting with Liam Maxwell this week. Neelie Kroes, the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2014

Netadmin wanted for 'terrible, terrible, awful job nobody wants'

Calling network administrators: do you want more stress? A fuller inbox? More demanding and ever-moving objectives?Then apply to be the next network administrator at the Children's Specialty Center of Nevada! The position offers generous benefit packages --and you'll need it for the extra cost of counselling and tissues to wipe …
Darren Pauli, 22 Jan 2015
Un Frog

Merlot and hot dogs: Atos snaps up Xerox's outsourcing biz for $1.05bn

French IT services giant Atos has snapped up Xerox's outsourcing biz for $1.05bn (£670m), as it tries to extend its garlic and lemon-infused tentacles across the American market. The deal for the company's Information Technology Outsourcing unit will add $1.5bn (£960m) of revenue to Atos's €8.6bn (£5.5bn) turnover. Of Xerox's 9, …
Kat Hall, 19 Dec 2014
The flats at Coronation Avenue, as seen on Street View

Gov.UK tells Londoners: You too can cash in on the 'sharing economy'

London residents will soon be able to enter the so-called "sharing economy", under changes to the law allowing them to use websites such as Airbnb without the fear of a £20,000 fine. In the rest of the country, residents are able to let out their homes for short periods. But in London, under Section 25 of the Greater London …
Kat Hall, 11 Feb 2015
School of Rock

Australia throws coding for kids a lifeline in industry plan

Days after a review of Australia's national curriculum recommended against teaching digital technologies – including computational thinking – as a discrete subject in the nation's schools, a new “Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda” has proposed new funding to teach programming. The new Agenda [PDF] proposes to spend …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

Step forward the chief information security officer

What does the modern chief information security officer (Ciso) look like? The role used to be little more than acting as a glorified sysadmin but things have changed. These days, Cisos must be all-rounders, concentrating not just on technology but on business too. “In recent years, the role of the Ciso has become more business …
Danny Bradbury, 15 Nov 2011

Why data storage technology is pretty much PERFECT

Feature Reliable data storage is central to IT and therefore to modern life. We take it for granted, but what lies beneath? Digital video guru and IT author John Watkinson gets into the details of how it works together and serves us today, as well as what might happen in the future. Brain cells at the ready? This is gonna hurt. Digital …
John Watkinson, 18 Jul 2013
putin topless

Putin tells Google, Twitter, Facebook: Have a vodka and censorship on the rocks

The Russian authorities have told Google, Facebook, and Twitter that they face prosecution if they do not comply with the country's crackdown on free speech. Under a new Russian law, the three US firms must register as "organizers of information distribution," and store all data on Russian users in data centers on Russian soil. …
Iain Thomson, 26 Sep 2014
india

Indian DEITY reveals Internet of Things policy

The marvellously-named Indian Department of Electronics and Information technology - DEITY - has created a policy that calls for the nation to create an Internet of Things (IoT) industry worth US$15 billion by 2020. The policy [PDF] looks to leverage other national efforts, including the effort to create 100 “smart” cities …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2014

Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed rumours about a possible merger by saying it will happen, as “The two companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for all of the equity securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent”. Each Alca-Lu share will be exchanged for 0.55 of a new Nokia …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015
Eiffel Tower Shenzhen day

China 'upgrades' Great Firewall. Oh SNAP! There goes VPN access

China's notorious "Great Firewall" is being blamed for widespread reports of virtual private network (VPN) outages in that country. China's Global Times – an English-language subsidiary of the state-run People's Daily – reports that customers of several prominent VPN services based outside the Middle Kingdom have complained that …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2015

Keen to get CRITICAL PAYMENT systems up QUICKLY after HACK?

Restoring payment systems after disruptive cyber attacks could involve compromising analysis of incidents, says report A new report on cyber resilience in financial market infrastructures has highlighted potential conflicts between legal obligations on the reporting of cyber security or data breaches and the need to restore …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2014

IBM chasing ex-staffers for $20 payments

IBM's nasty round of job-shedding is in part due to a pyramid scheme, in the form of a new Digital Sales Center in Cairo, Egypt, home to the nation's most famous pyramids. IBM's not being shy about why it's making new investments in Egypt: its canned statement about the new facility features the CEO of the Egyptian Information …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Feb 2015

Beijing says YES, GIVE US the iPHONE 6 even if it spies for the NSA

Beijing has approved the new iPhone 6 for sale after regulators were reassured that the devices contain no backdoors allowing NSA snooping. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will hit the shelves from 17 October, ending Chinese fanbois' wait to see if the larger iPhone 6 Plus will bend if exposed to the fiery heat of their crotches …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Don't panic! Mega cloud biz group says NSA just one among many threats

Enterprises are being told to not abandon the cloud out of fear of possible threats to their data security posed by US government snoops. The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has advised big companies the benefits of cloud – escaping their legacy IT – far outweigh risks of the National Security Agency pilfering their secrets. …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Jul 2014

Indian DEITY hands down new manufacturing subsidy plan

India's Department of Electronics and Information Technology – which cheerfully uses the domain name deity.gov.in – is making a play to bring more electronics manufacturing work to the sub-continent. India and the Department established a Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) in 2012, offering to rebate up to 25 per …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2014
Police outside 10 Downing Street. Credit: zongo

Home Office: It's an EMERGENCY! We need proper comms

The Home Office is seeking suppliers for its Emergency Services Network contract, part of moves to replace the incumbent gaffe-prone £2.9bn Airwave contract due to expire in 2016. Contracts will be awarded in 2015 for radio, television, communication, telecommunication and related equipment, with the new ESN will going live from …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014
Tor

Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm

The Tor project has urged calm after new research found 81 percent of users could be identified using Cisco's NetFlow tool. A research effort led by professor Sambuddah Chakravarty from the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi found that well-resourced attackers such as a nation-state could effectively …
Darren Pauli, 17 Nov 2014
The World's Smallest Camera

Picture this: Data-wrangling boffins say they have made JPEGs OBSOLETE

Boffins have devised a new way of squishing data which could herald the end of the trusty JPEG picture format. A team at the University of California, Los Angeles, claim their new compression technique is much more efficient than the olden-days ways. As well as being useful for crushing images or streaming video, the new …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Dec 2013
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state

In a move that has garnered little notice beyond India, the Government of Karnataka state early in August passed laws allowing it to pre-emptively arrest copyright suspects. The change happened in the first week of August, when the state amended its Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Gamblers, …
Q and Bond, Skyfall

Security Avengers team up to take down Chinese hacking group

Security firms are claiming credit for putting the skids under a Chinese cyber-espionage crew thought to have been operating for at least six years. The so-called Axiom Threat Actor Group allegedly victimised pro-democracy non-governmental organisations (NGO) and other groups and individuals that would be perceived as a …
John Leyden, 28 Oct 2014
Photo of HP Enterprise office

'Truth in advertising laws apply to you too, mobile app sellers'

QuoTW This week, we blew up our smarthomes, warded off a nasty Microsoft bug and talked tough about Google. Here are the choice quotes: Failing company HP unveiled a new logo for its Hewlett Packard Enterprise business. CEO Meg Whitman was rather proud of the rollout and explained the deep meaning behind the interlocking 't' letters …
Team Register, 19 Apr 2015

BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Episode 5 "Now remember - there are no wrong answers in this exercise," Janice, the huggy-feely HR type says in a non-threatening manner. "What about SH*TBAG?" the PFY blurts. "Well that's more of an outburst than an answer," I point out gently. "Oh," the PFY responds. "My mistake." Getting caught up in exercises designed to "enhance …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Jun 2014

UK's National Museum of Computing celebrates 10 glorious years

The National Museum of Computing (TNMoC), which yesterday celebrated its tenth anniversary as an independent organisation, will this coming weekend formally inaugurate a new membership club for enthusiasts of Britain’s computing heritage, and supporters of the museum. The decade has not been without its growing pains, among them …
Tony Smith, 01 Apr 2015
Facepalm by Ron Mander

FCC: A few (680,000) net neutrality comments lost in 'XML gaffe'

The US Federal Communications Commission misplaced a huge tranche of public comments on its net neutrality proposals – and has blamed its outdated IT system. Four million missives were submitted via the FCC's website and in emails to staff; comments could be submitted in PDF, CSV, or plain text formats, and were converted into …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2014
Terminator 2

IBM shows off phase-shift LIQUID METAL storage tech

IBM Edge 2014 Attendees at last week's IBM's Edge 2014 conference in Las Vegas heard all about liquid metal storage. But don't think of Terminator 2-style shape shifting – think state shifting instead. Yes, really. It was a bit of a throw-away as it was the last bullet point in a list of storage futures presented by IBM chief storage …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2014

Sysadmins and devs: Do these job descriptions make any sense?

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has released an ICT Skills White Paper, titled “Common ICT Job Profiles & Indicators of Skills Mobility”, offering definitions of 25 jobs and what they entail. Available after registration here the document was compiled by surveying 3,629 participants and is designed to “provide a clear …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Mar 2014
Higher Education and Further Education

Lots more virtualisation, cloud, added to TAFE courses

Several new subjects on virtualisation and cloud computing will shortly be added to ICA 11, Australia’s national curriculum for vocational education and training in information and communications technology. ICA 11 defines the curriculum used for courses taught at colleges of technical and further education (TAFEs, a tier of non …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2013
Internet of Things

Sony backs AllSeen Alliance in Internet of Stuff standards slap-fight

Sony has cast its lot with the AllSeen Alliance in the ongoing standards squabble over the pervasive-computing future tech known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The Japanese kit-maker has signed on to the open source consortium as a premier member, joining such consumer tech competitors as LG, Panasonic, and Sharp, in addition …
Neil McAllister, 02 Sep 2014

These lucky people get paid to play CYBER WAR GAMES

Some lucky infosec professionals will be taking part in a cyber war game designed to test the readiness of NATO countries to respond to "large scale cyber attacks targeting information infrastructures" in the pretty city of Tartu in Estonia. Cyber Coalition 2013, a three-day exercise which starts today, will involve staff from …
John Leyden, 26 Nov 2013

New York City plans massive free Wi-Fi zone

New York is poised to set up a huge free Wi-Fi program that could reach 80,000 people. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the NYC Technology Development Corporation and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications will set up the network in Harlem's business districts. Under the plan, a wireless network will be …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2013
Gardiner's frog

IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Updated IBM researchers developing chips that mimic mortal brains say they've built a 4,096-core processor that simulates a million neurons. The SyNAPSE silicon, fabricated by Samsung using a 28nm process, has 5.4 billion CMOS transistor gates, consumes 70mW of power, and uses a processor architecture completely unlike today's CPUs. …
Chris Williams, 07 Aug 2014

London Tech Week: All for the luvvies and the joke's on you, taxpayers

+Comment Yesterday morning I was on a stage listening to the Deputy Mayor of London and trying very hard not to look out of the window. I was the 39th floor of One Canada Square (you know, the building everyone always calls “Canary Wharf”), which had a great view over North London. If only I could sneak a peek, I was sure I'd be able to …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2014

Japan needs 80,000 EXTRA info-security bods to stay safe

Japan has an 80,000 shortfall in infosec professionals, and needs to provide extra training for more than half of those currently in the industry, if it’s to protect key IT systems from attack, according to the government. A government panel of information security experts met back in June to draw up a long term plan to address …
Phil Muncaster, 09 Oct 2013