Articles about It

WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

Samsung's smart televisions don't just do what you tell them to – they also use their voice recognition capabilities to tell unspecified third parties what you're saying while you sit in front of them. If that's not a bit worrying, we don't know what is. Sharp-eyed folks have spotted Samsung's confession to that this effect in …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Feb 2015

For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It’s decided: I am going to be an actor. Apparently, actors have better sex lives than any other profession. In fact, according to the press release in front of me, they shag 550 per cent more often than bankers. Oh, hang on. The survey didn’t quote “actors” exactly, it said “those in acting and performing”. Given that some of …
Alistair Dabbs, 21 Feb 2015
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft loves Surface pen maker N-trig so much it bought it – report

Microsoft has reportedly gobbled up N-trig, makers of digital pen technology for PCs and tablets, for an undisclosed sum. The sale of the Kfar Saba, Israel–based firm was reported by the Israeli business daily Globes, citing sources who valued the deal at around $200m. N-trig makes the pen tech for Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 …
Neil McAllister, 12 Feb 2015
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Revenues dip at CGI Group: It was Obamacare that did it

Revenue at Canadian outsourcer CGI Group dipped by four per cent in the first quarter of 2015 to $2.5bn (£1.7bn), compared with the same period in 2014. Meanwhile earnings rose by 24 per cent to $236m (£156m). CGI attributed its first-quarter revenue drop to a one-off spike from its Obamacare IT contract last year. The contract …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2015
Executioner

Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

+Comment If you patched Adobe's screen door of the internet – its Flash plugin – last week, and thought you were safe, even for a few weeks, you were sadly mistaken. The Photoshop goliath is warning that yet another programming blunder in its code is being exploited in the wild, and says it won't have a patch ready to deploy until later …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2015
Samsung 48-inch UE48HU7500T 4K TV

It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

CES 2015 With CES in full swing, the industry’s favourite buzzword is cropping up all over the show floor and in the headlines. But the surveys and reports that are emerging still aren’t painting a picture of 4K’s success on the sales floor, as two datasets show that 4K has still yet to take off. Both Futuresource Consulting and the CEA …
Faultline, 12 Jan 2015
David Bowie life on mars

It's whiff, Jim, but not as we know it: Curiosity sniffs ORGANICS on Mars

Two new papers on the latest data from the compact chemistry laboratory aboard nuclear-tank Curiosity show organic compounds in Mars' atmosphere and rocks – and therefore offer tantalizing clues to the Red Planet's watery past. Youtube Video In the past 20 months Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory has sniffed …
Iain Thomson, 17 Dec 2014
Asteroid BL86 orbit diagram

Is is a Bird? Is it a Plane? NO! LOOK OUT it's an ASTEROID!

Next week, a half-kilometre chunk of rock is going to provide a show for amateur and professional astronomers alike. NASA reckons the asteroid 2004 BL86 flyby, at just three times the Earth-Moon distance, will be the nearest pass by any known object for quite some time to come. The next asteroid to pass similarly close will be …

Let it go, let it go ... Sales of games, video and music up for second year

Blighty sales of video, games and music rose 2.2 per cent to £5.66bn in 2014, with games sales alone up 7.5 per cent to £2.45bn, compared with the previous year. Sales were evenly split between physical and digital purchases, according to preliminary figures released by trade group Entertainment Retailers Association. This …
Kat Hall, 02 Jan 2015

Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

The eXpat files In this week's eXpat files, we're speaking to … well, actually we're not going to use this person's real name, because they may work in Thailand without all the necessary paperwork. Our expat has therefore suggested we use the name “David Green”. So without any further ado, tells us what life's like over there, “David”. The …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2014

It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

Worstall on Wednesday IBM has coughed up $1.5bn to get Global Foundries to take its chip manufacturing arm off its hands as reported here at El Reg. There are a number of economic implications to all of this, perhaps the most important of which is why the eco-lunatic fantasy that we could reverse globalisation is simply nonsense (of course, whether …
Tim Worstall, 22 Oct 2014

Our system handles £130bn and it's BUST. Want the job of fixing it? Apply to UK.gov

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has identified "technical and security vulnerabilities" in its £284.9m central benefits payment system - responsible for underpinning the much-maligned Universal Credit programme and processing 13 million payments each week, The Register can reveal. The Central Payments System's …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2014

IT JOB OUTSOURCING: Will it ever END?

Worstall on Wednesday HL Mencken once told us that in a democracy the electorate should get what they voted for – and good and hard too. So, on that basis, I present to you a piece on outsourcing, as requested by one Gordon 10. The commenter in question wrote: What would be really nice is [an article] on the race to the bottom on labour outsourcing …
Tim Worstall, 29 Oct 2014

Storage for BUILDERS: No, it's not a roomy cupboard, it's Nasuni's BIM file bash

Cloud storage gateway startup Nasuni has added global file locking tuned for Autodesk's building design software and a natty little desktop gateway box. V6.2 of its Nasuni Service software has had its global file locking software developed to support the work-sharing features in Revit, which is Autodesk's Building Information …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2014
Facebook Rooms

GET A ROOM, yells Facebook as it stumbles on IRC, slaps it in an app

Facebook has built an internet chat-room app that lets people anonymously gossip with one another, just like on IRC. The social network said its Rooms software for iOS lets netizens connect on shared interests and use pseudonyms in order to hide their identities from each other. Just like IRC. People can create their own room …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014

Remember the Aereo streaming TV service? Wasn't it COOL? Well, it's pretty much dead now

Embattled streaming TV service Aereo was dealt a fatal blow Thursday as a US judge barred the service from broadcasting live television streams. Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of the broadcasting companies looking to bar the service from showing their feeds to customers online, issuing a temporary injunction to block the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014

Is it an iPad? Is it a MacBook Air? No, it's a Surface Pro 3

Review Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.0 tablet sees its UK release on 28 August. But why is the Surface fondleslab called Surface? Microsoft hijacked the name from one of its own existing products, the niche tabletop display now called PixelSense, but a remark by vice president Panos Panay at the October 2012 launch of the first Surface …
Tim Anderson, 21 Aug 2014

It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

Mobile operator Three UK is suffering a widespread outage across the country after the service was abruptly halted by server maintenance earlier today. Customers began complaining that they were unable to access the network this morning. The Register contacted Three UK to find out what had gone wrong. Yet the carrier's PR …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Oct 2014
Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond debate Scottish independence

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Scots may vote to leave the United Kingdom, ending a union lasting 307 years, on 18 September. Until a few weeks ago, the referendum on independence looked like an easy win for those wanting to stay in the union - or to use the parlance of the campaign, "no" voters. But a surge in support has put those planning to vote "yes" to …
SA Mathieson, 11 Sep 2014
Red Hat 100 Dollar

Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it

Not content with running the industry's largest enterprise Linux vendor, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says he wants to make the company the industry's leading enterprise cloud vendor – and he plans to "win" that market before someone else does. "Right now, we're in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. It' …
Neil McAllister, 22 Sep 2014
casino_security

Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

US director of National Intelligence James Clapper has accused Iran of orchestrating a 2014 hack of the Las Vegas Sands casino. The attack crippled the magnificent cultural institution's IT infrastructure. Clapper told a US Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday (US time) that the hack of the US$14 billion casino was the …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015

Phoenix IT Group 'trading comfortably in line with forecasts'

It is almost a year since Steve Vaughan grabbed control of Phoenix IT Group, and the once-troubled tech services outfit no longer seems so ... well, troubled. The LSE-listed Northampton company issued an interim today to say group trading is “comfortably in line with market profit expectations”, and talked up a number of …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015

Flashy upstarts facing IPO pressure. Get on with it then

Comment Conventional wisdom has it that VC-funded tech start-ups get acquired or, hopefully, go through an IPO to become successful stand-alone companies. However, such may not be the fate of the five main surviving all-flash array (AFA) vendors in the face of fast and furious mainstream supplier reaction to their success. Step back a …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2015
Tor

Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it

Comcast has denied claims that it will cut off subscribers for using the Tor project's anonymizing web browser. "Comcast is not asking customers to stop using Tor, or any other browser for that matter," said Jason Livingood, VP of internet & communications engineering at Comcast in a blog post titled "Setting the record straight …
Iain Thomson, 15 Sep 2014
NASA S/390 91

Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA

The IT runs strong in my family. One day -- this is more than thirty years ago -- when I pulled myself out of the code mines, I found my Aunt Anna visiting. I mentioned (proudly) that I was mastering the arcana of assembly language programming on the TRS-80, using Microsoft’s MASM macro-assembler. “Really?” she replied. “A …
Mark Pesce, 26 Feb 2015
Privacy image

WANTED: A plan to DESTROY metadata, not just retain it

Australia's data retention proposal suggests the nation's telcos and ISPs need to store data for two years. But agencies accessing the data can seemingly keep it forever and are not, to date, required to securely store or destroy data they retrieve from the nation's putative data trove of personal information, miscalled " …
Google Chrome warning

Google looks to scrape away scumware, as only it can

Google is looking to cut down on the risk of attacks from web pages serving up unwanted downloads. The company said on Monday that it will add security protections into Chrome, Ads and Google Search in an effort to keep users away from sites believed to be installing adware, browser toolbars and other nuisance programs. For …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2015
Gerard Butler in 300

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Microsoft says it decided to start from scratch with a new web rendering engine for Windows 10 because keeping up with web standards while maintaining compatibility with older, noncompliant versions of Internet Explorer had simply become too much of a burden. "Fixing long standing interoperability bugs with other modern browsers …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015
Vision Mobile Report

Money from apps? It's all about Apple iOS, says survey

A new survey of mobile app developers shows that Apple iOS is where the money is, despite Android's higher market share among mobile devices. VisionMobile surveyed more than 8,000 developers across 143 countries, and the ensuing report presents a detailed snapshot of the state of the mobile app economy. The consistent theme is …
Tim Anderson, 26 Feb 2015

Elementary, my dear penguin: It's the second beta of Freya

Review Elementary Linux has released the second beta of the imminent Freya release of its OS. Elementary follows a somewhat unusual release schedule of major updates every 18 or so months, with two betas at the six- and 12-month marks. That's not the only way Elementary differs in relation to other distros. Almost everything on the …

Brit Linux distro CrunchBang calls it quits

The British developer behind the CrunchBang Linux distribution has called it quits. Philip Newborough, aka @corenominal, posted his decision to stop work on the distro last Friday. “I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Feb 2015
Grim Fandango Remastered

Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

Game Theory There’s no doubt that the gaming remaster is a strange beast. On the one hand we have the likes of a GTA V, which got the treatment in the space of a year. And, on the other hand, we've got Grim Fandango – a game that last saw release in the year Titanic blitzed the Oscars – which has just been released on PS4, PS Vita and …
Mike Plant, 03 Feb 2015

Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out

Microsoft's patent row with Samsung over Android licensing has ended with a whimper, not a bang. Redmond has announced that the two firms are now back on speaking terms, and that no, you can't know the details. In a terse statement, Microsoft says actions both in US courts and arbitration in the International Chamber of Commerce …

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Analysis With commissioners at US watchdog the FCC due to vote on proposed net neutrality rules next week, a poll of Americans has revealed two interesting and important aspects: Most of them don't know what on Earth net neutrality actually is. Most of them want to see the rules before they are approved. This is unlikely to stop the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015

Storage startups: Hey VCs, it's not just the size, it's the frequency

Comment The funding pattern for storage startups has radically changed as newer young companies in hotly contested marts race for growth. The chart shows the various funding events we have recorded for 32 individual storage startups. These may be declared VC funding rounds or strategic investments. The units are millions of dollars, …
Chris Mellor, 07 Oct 2014
Register Roundtable at the Soho hotel

CIOs: Want to hit your IT suppliers where it hurts?

Reg Events Some IT organisations seem to have their vendors just where they want them. The rest of us? Well, we’re not keen, and we’re starting to get mean. That’s why, following the success of our July Roundtable on IT governance, we’re asking our senior Reg readers to come to our next roundtable to pick apart another of the big IT …
Joe Fay, 19 Aug 2014

Wanna free web domain for a year? Hey, it's not rocket .science

This morning has seen the launch of the dot-science top-level domain – and one registrar at least is offering them for free. That's right, AlpNames is offering one year's registration for zero dollars. The typical price for a dot-science domain will be $40 per year, but in order to give the launch a boost the registry owners, …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015
Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple: Fine, we admit it – MacBook Pros suffer wonky GPU crapness

Faced with a class-action lawsuit, Apple has agreed to fix MacBook Pros with knackered graphics electronics free of charge. The iPhone giant said its expensive notebooks must be repaired to address faulty video hardware that causes frequent restarts, distorted graphics and blank screens. The crappy models are the 15in and 17in …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2015
Scrooge McDuck

Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Social networks for the rich and famous are nothing new: the first one started about ten years ago. But, this week, a new site called Netropolitan has emerged, and thinks it's cracked the reason why so many of them fail – they just weren't charging enough dosh. "No one has ever thought of charging a substantial fee for social …
Iain Thomson, 16 Sep 2014
Bubble

Welcome to the HYPER-converged bubble of HYPE! Enjoy it while it's here, storage folk

Comment The hype around hyper-converged systems is huge. Are we experiencing a hyper-converged systems bubble? Companies in the field are growing like crazy, especially Nutanix and Simplivity. Nutanix scooped a billion-dollar-plus valuation earlier this year after a $140m funding round. Meanwhile: Startups like Maxta, NIMBOXX, and …
Chris Mellor, 28 Aug 2014
management regulation1

Microsoft: Look at our cloudy privacy award. Isn't it so ... meaningful?

Microsoft is in self-licking lollipop mode after its cloudy wares passed the privacy water mark set by the International Organisation for Standardisation, letting it paper over customers’ concerns. Data sovereignty is a major hurdle for global companies trying to sign up customers to the fluffy white stuff, particularly in …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

Bad news, IT bods: UK's tech outsourcing up 15% last year

IT outsourcing contracts agreed in 2014 totalled £3.44bn in value, with nearly a third of that value accounted for by deals struck in the energy and utilities sector. Those deals were worth £1.05bn and accounted for most of the 187 per cent year-on-year rise in the sector on £373 million spent on all outsourcing deals in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2015
Hadoop_elephant

Datameer rolls out Hadoop-as-a-service for impatient IT bods

Big-data analytics startup Datameer is rolling out analytics-as-a-service running on Hadoop. Called Datameer Professional, the service targets potential Hadoop users unable to build their own large-scale Hadoop clusters or unwilling to wait for an enterprise-wide rollout. Datameer claims a number of big-name customers for its …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Feb 2015
Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6, Watch: Hate it or really hate it, Apple's now a $604.77bn biz

As Apple unveiled its iPhone 6 and "the Watch" on Tuesday, its stock price went on a rollercoaster ride to $102.92 a share, then plummeted to $96.71, and now – after just one day of trading – it has settled on $101. That means, on Wednesday, Apple closed trading up $3.01 on the start of the day, a gain of 3.07 per cent. It was …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Sep 2014
Ofcom has great power over mobiles

Ofcom: We got it right, but let’s have a licence consultation anyway

Ofcom has announced a consultation, revisiting the revisiting of the revised fees for the most-used mobile radio spectrum. The conclusion of the consultation document is that Ofcom got it right last August and fees should be increased by 247 per cent. This is a smack in the face for the networks which shook hands with the …
Simon Rockman, 19 Feb 2015
HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

HP's great – I prefer it on bacon rather than my printer, though

CoTW What do you do when you find out someone's been shipping PCs with a series of critical flaws baked into the software on them? You blame Microsoft, of course, even though they were completely unrelated to anything that happened. Bronze-badged 'tard Buzzword did just this after reading about Lenovo's Superfish scumware, which came …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Feb 2015

Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping

The XP bubble has well and truly burst, leaving the UK channel awash with unwanted commercial PCs and vendors facing a costly write-down to clear a mountain of misery. Microsoft ending support for the creaking operating system last April revived the industry in 2014, but it seems vendors forgot the sales cycle and that their …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Smart TV

Data retention: It seems BORING ... until your TV SPIES ON YOU

If there's one thing we can thank this whole Samsung privacy brouhaha for, it's casting data retention debates in a whole new light. As readers of The Register now know, Samsung decided that the best way to process voice commands in its new smart TVs is to send them off to the cloud. Since it can't distinguish speech meant to …
Icelandic chasm

FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Analysis A decision by the FCC has opened up a partisan chasm by quashing US state laws that hamper the rollout of city-owned broadband. The commission declared on Thursday that laws passed in North Carolina and Tennessee were unfair barriers to broadband deployment. In so doing has put itself in the middle of two classic American fights …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015
Artist's conception showing the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system. GJ 581g, potentially habitable, is in the foreground. Credit: Lynette Cook/NSF

ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Today, top experts on aliens will debate one of the most pressing issues of modern times: to wit, should the human race send out signals with the aim of letting any possible extraterrestrial beings know we are here? But the brainboxes assembled in San Jose for the annual shindig of the American Association for the Advancement of …
Lewis Page, 13 Feb 2015