Articles about Merits

VirtualBox 5

VirtualBox 5.1 debuts

Well that was quick. Mere days after announcing a release candidate, Oracle has emitted VirtualBox 5.1 Big Red reckons the following new features are worth getting excited about: Improved Performance: Significantly improved performance for multi-CPU virtual machines and networking. Bug Reporting Tool: New utility able to …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2016

Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

The well-groomed throng of bourgeois protesters that shunned the weekly Waitrose shop and headed for London’s Parliament Square on Saturday had something in common other than a common desire to remain in the EU. The demographic that closely mirrors keen Remain voters is more likely to download content illegally than any other UK …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016
letters stuffed in a mailbox. Photo by SHutterstock

Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Brexit A petition for a second EU referendum in the UK has been hit by suspicions of computer automated ballot stuffing, possibly by politically motivated hackers. 77K fraudulent signatures have been removed from a petition calling for a second vote on the UK’s relationship with the European Union. The so-far identified fraudulent …
John Leyden, 27 Jun 2016

Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment

The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO's independent Boards of Appeal published a report [PDF] Thursday in which it decided not to dismiss the …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Analysis The internet could go one of three paths in the next decade, according to an elite group of policymakers: open and global; unequal and uneven; or dangerous and broken. And the path to righteousness? It's contained in the recommendations of the 140-page report that the grandly named Global Commission on Internet Governance ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
Man shreds documents. Photo by Shutterstock

BOFH: Follow the paper trail

Episode 8 "We were wondering.. what you were doing with... the storeroom?" the Boss asks. I notice a salivating consultant in the background and immediately recognise this for what it is - a land grab. Every now and then someone thinks that because computers are getting smaller there must be a stack of room available for them in our …
Simon Travaglia, 17 Jun 2016

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

Comment Oracle will ultimately prevail in its Java copyright lawsuit against Google. And if you're a free software developer or supporter, you should be cheering them all the way to the wire. Blogger John Gruber last week observed that virtually no one is rooting for Big Red. This is really quite astonishing. That's because Google has …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jun 2016
Theresa May

Labour asks for more concessions on the UK's Snoopers' Charter

IPB After winning a review of Blighty's Investigatory Powers Bill, the Shadow Home Secretary has repeated Labour's discomfort over the Snoopers' Charter. In an open letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Andy Burnham stated he was “grateful for the changes that [the Home Secretary had] agreed to make on the two issues that you …

Google still faces legal spat with SEO biz that claimed it was wiped from web

Analysis An attempt by Google to get a competition case against it thrown out on free speech grounds was itself thrown out this week. The case [PDF], e-ventures LLC vs Google, working its way through a Florida District Court, has received little attention so far. It's noteworthy mainly because it's the first time an SEO (search engine …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 May 2016
Carry on Cleo

Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Something for the Weekend, Sir? YOU LOVE IT YOU SLAG This was, as alert followers of my column may recall, the first SMS text message I ever received on my first ever mobile phone, sometime during the last century. I did not bother to find out who sent it to me. It was a wrong number, of course... but not knowing with absolute certainty ensures that the …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
Man on laptop has ethical dilemma (represted by angel and demon on either shoulder). Photo by Shutterstock

The case for ethical ad-blocking

When is ad-blocking ethical? How about when the adtech industry is behaving so unethically it destroys people’s livelihoods? Musician and music rights campaigner David Lowery last year made the incendiary suggestion that musicians should encourage their fans to block the advertising running on music-streaming sites – even …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016
Peace in our time?

Microsoft, Google bury hatchet – surprisingly, not in each other

Microsoft and Google have agreed to sort their issues out between themselves rather than getting state regulators to investigate each other's actions. "Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," Redmond said in a statement to El Reg. "We will continue …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2016

The FCC, once seen as a telco-thrashing hero, is sadly losing the plot

Analysis The FCC's continued push against the powerful telco lobby has swung a spotlight onto the American regulator's archaic work practices and increasingly partisan atmosphere. Appearing in front of a US Senate subcommittee (again) yesterday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and his four Commissioners were quizzed about a range of plans to …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2016

Apple tells iPhone court 'the Founders would be appalled' by Feds

Apple's latest response to US Department of Justice (DoJ) demands that it alter its operating system to allow access to a terrorist's iPhone using the 1789 All Writs Act is typically blunt. "According to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually …
Iain Thomson, 16 Mar 2016

SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

Analysis Microsoft is porting SQL Server to Linux, with a private preview available now and full availability “in mid-2017”. This is a big strategic move for the company. Microsoft’s server applications, including Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server and Dynamics CRM, and the various components of System Center, have …
Tim Anderson, 09 Mar 2016

Machismo is ruining the tech industry for all of us. Equally

Opinion How people in IT treat one another is a subject whose taboo nature is having a deleterious effect on talent acquisition and retention. Some see it as chauvinism and machoism run amok, especially if their axe to grind is the lack of women in tech. Others have different views, but the topic is so charged that any attempt at …
Trevor Pott, 04 Mar 2016
Mark Wahlberg and his come-to-life teddy bear in bed in the movie Ted. Copyright: Universal Pictures

Move over, Google. Here’s Wikipedia's search engine – full of on-demand smut

Wikipedia developers have sketched out designs for a Wikipedia Search Engine, which would give users a one-click replacement for Google search. The search engine could also be embedded in devices such as the Kindle, or smartphones. It’s an fascinating strategic option, and an aggressive one. Google’s site scraping algorithms …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Feb 2016
Puppy and bone, image via Shutterstock

Software devs' new mantra: Zen dogs dream of small-sized bones

One of the primary principles of DevOps is moving from large software releases to a series of small batches. What do we mean by “large”? Six-to-12-month (or longer) projects that follow the infamous “water-scrum-fall” model. While development teams may create builds weekly, the code isn’t deployed to production and used by …
Michael Coté, 04 Feb 2016

Is security outfit Norse Corp dead or just temporarily TITSUP?

Security startup Norse Corp has gone ominously dark. The outfit, famous for picking scabs from FreeBSD and mesmerising users with a “live DDoS map”, isn't contactable on the Web right now. Early in January, The Register reported layoffs in the business, amounting to as much as half its staff at the time. Now, Brian Krebs …

T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

Analysis T-Mobile USA's BingeOn gamble of removing video consumption from its subscribers' data bundles appears to be defying its critics, with large increases in mobile video viewing. The mobile network, a minnow in the US market that sees itself as the challenger brand, claims some users have doubled their usage, while one partner …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
Sheep, image via Shutterstock

Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

A high-speed car chase in New Zealand's south island ended rather improbably when a carload of perps was brought to a halt by a flock of sheep. The police pursuit began at 8am last Friday when cops unsuccessfully attempted to pull a Honda Integra for speeding and having no numbers plates. During the subsequent race around …
Lester Haines, 22 Jan 2016

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple

An upcoming European Commission ruling on tax laws could result in Apple having to pay as much as $8bn (€7.33bn, £5.6bn) in back taxes. This according to Matt Larsen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who expects the Cupertino maker of iStuffs will be found to have incorrectly reported its financial figures in Ireland and, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2016

Never mind the patent trolls. Here's a riddle: What about the inventors?

The mania for hoverboards is causing an outbreak of painful patent ignorance, says a top litigator. EIP’s Matthew Jones, who has litigated in tech and pharma cases, highlights the seizure of a Chinese hoverboard maker’s wares at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month as an example. Changzhou makes the “Surfing …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jan 2016

Short weekend break: Skegness or exoplanet HD 189733b?

Our recent piece examining the extreme weather on exoplanet HD 189733b prompted some readers to suggest that conditions on the distant hot Jupiter are in fact more benign than those enjoyed by visitors to British seaside resort Skegness. Well, for those of you thinking of taking a short weekend break over Xmas, the better to …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Those of you who've been knocking around the El Reg forums for a while will know that we have a badge system designed to honour invaluable commentard contributions to the site, or at least acknowledge a certain degree of commitment to giving forth. To get a foot on the first step on the ladder of glory - the bronze badge - you …
Lester Haines, 17 Nov 2015
Windows 10 nag screen

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Comment Microsoft's decision to push out Windows 10 upgrades as automatic Windows Update downloads is one of those ideas that sounded great in a Redmond meeting room, but will cause more problems than it solves. Right from the get-go Microsoft has made it clear that it is looking for a very fast rollout of Windows 10. The new …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2015
VMware nutella

VMware vs German kernel dev: Filings flung in Linux-lifting lawsuit

Software Freedom Conservancy has spat out a “high level” update on the GPL enforcement case it is backing against VMware, ahead of an expected first hearing next year. SFC said that VMware had filed its defence against the suit brought by German kernel developer Christoph Hellwig back in March, which alleges VMware's …
Joe Fay, 29 Oct 2015
Prison

Is Alphabet-Google 'too big to jail'? The Lords find out

Europe's examination of Big Tech's dominant platforms – like Alphabet-Google and Amazon – is only just beginning, but Parliament got a teaser of the battles ahead this week, as two antitrust professors sharply disagreed on the merits of the enquiry. Professors David Evans, of UCL, and Ariel Ezrachi, of Oxford University, at …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015
vestager_648

Google can't hide behind Alphabet, EU competition commish warns

Google's parent company Alphabet could face more competition charges in Brussels, antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has signalled. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she spoke about the lengthy, multiple probes into Google's business practices, and said that each investigation was at a different stage, …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Oct 2015
Neil Cardy's massive bacon sarnie from a cafe on the A90

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

In really, really bad news for bacon lovers, a shock report says the World Health Organisation (WHO) will next week add processed meat to its "carcinogenic to humans" list. That's according to the Daily Mail, which claims that, according to "a well-placed source", a gathering of international scientists have checked the …
Lester Haines, 23 Oct 2015

Security researchers face wrath of spy agencies

Researchers tasked with revealing attacks by intelligence agencies are being harassed, locked out of tenders, and in some cases deported, Kaspersky researcher Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade says. Retaliation by the unnamed agencies is in direct response to news of prominent advanced-persistent threat campaigns that have coloured …
Darren Pauli, 22 Oct 2015

Spectra's BlackPearl: Sailing through oceans of data just got easier

Archival product supplier Spectra Logic has announced its Arctic Blue nearline disk array using powered down, shingled disk drives with object storage data striped across them. Spectra Logic's specialty is dealing with oceans of cold data. Its Black Pearl product tech enabled object storage to use tape and it's now embellished …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2015
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

EU’s digi VP: More telco consolidation! What about competition?

After just one year in the job, Europe’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has already made a name for herself as being tough on telecoms mergers. Now her colleague, veep Andrus Ansip, has publicly backed her, telling industry representatives in Brussels this week that competition, not M&As, is the future. Last …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2015
The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.

Team Microsoft: Device Police... 'Are you pumped? I'm pumped'

Analysis “Someone out there must have a family,” Panos Panay remarked yesterday, surveying his audience of potato-shaped gadget bloggers. An optimistic view, I thought. Panay was presenting Microsoft’s Devices event in New York, an event designed to get bloggers’ juices running. And boy, it did. Years ago, I was in a MacWorld audience …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Oct 2015
bbc_logo_648

The BBC's Space: A short history of 21st Century indoor relief

Special Report It was Open London last weekend, where for two days we got to see inside buildings normally closed to the public. With Doctor Who’s Tardis being unavailable, my kids found themselves on the Dazzle Ship moored in the Thames*. They were at once accosted by someone showing them an app. Take a photo, slap it on your own Dazzle …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2015

'Boring' Amazon computational rival scoops $8m VC backing

A self-confessed “boring” computational startup challenging Amazon has piqued the interest of VCs, who’ve awarded it an $8m windfall. Iron.io, founded in 2010, was given the lump sum as part of an A-round of cash – following on from two seed rounds totaling $5.4m. The venture crew included Baseline Ventures, Bain Capital …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Sep 2015
cheating_648

Ashley Madison lawsuit drops GoDaddy and Amazon as defendants

Amazon and GoDaddy have been dropped as defendants in an ongoing lawsuit over hosted data from have-an-affair site Ashley Madison – as the plaintiffs try and force offending websites to delete the data ahead of any future trial. As we reported last week, three John Doe plaintiffs filed a complaint against Amazon Web Services, …
vestager_648

Danish telcos hang up on merger plans after EU pressure

Telenor and TeliaSonera have abandoned their merger plans following pressure from the European Commission. In an official statement on Friday, the pair called off the deal as they were unable to meet the Brussels competition watchdog’s demands. The Commish opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in April. “The merger …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015

US braces for WW3 with Cyber Command 'Vision' of integrated cyberops

Admiral Michael S. Rogers, commander of the United States' Cyber Command, has released his vision statement for the US's warfighting arm in cyberspace, coincidentally advocating a much larger role for his command and agencies in the national defence apparatus. Rogers, who is also head of the NSA and the Central Security …
management regulation2

Wanna fight Google’s alleged European evildoing? Then join us, says US legal firm

As Google’s European antitrust woes continue (and problems in India appear) lawyers and lobbyists have teamed up to help facilitate more cases against the Chocolate Factory. American legal firm Hausfeld and Avisa, which styles itself as a “boutique public affairs consultancy” – that’s a lobby agency to you and me – on Tuesday …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Sep 2015

BOFH: An architect and his own entirely avoidable downfall

Episode 12 "Well, you know what they say," the Boss says, faking sadness. "The candle that burns twice as bright..." "... Should be thrown into the pool of diesel from a safe distance?" the PFY responds. "No, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long." "Is that a thing though?" the PFY asks. "I mean, if you're talking …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Aug 2015
Oil Pump Jack by https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_lowry/  cc 2.0 attribution

Could our fear of fracking be appeased with CO2 sequestration?

A plan to use CO2 to replace the water used in controversial energy technique fracking has been met with a mixed reception by experts contacted by The Register. New Scientist reported on work done by Andres Clarens and his team at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, to pump CO2 into fracking sites, which could act as a …
Simon Rockman, 20 Aug 2015
Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. Credit: NASA

Lettuce in SPAAACE: Captive ISS 'nauts insist orbital veg is 'awesome'

VID As promised, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have eaten the first ever "fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space" - "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce. Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui were the first to sample the produce from the Veggie orbiting vegetable patch, although …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015

Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

Telcos, terrified of being consigned to eternal status as ‘dumb pipes’, keep coming up with crazy ideas for over-the-top (OTT) high-value services. In America, they’re buying entertainment properties. Comcast, easily that nation’s most hated company, purchased NBCUniversal so that they’d have something to transmit over all that …
Mark Pesce, 06 Aug 2015

Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

Sysadmin Blog American politics are something of a national sport in Canada. No matter who runs for either side, Canadians throw popcorn at the screen and try to pretend our choices are any better. We debate the relative merits of the boob tube's highest stakes biennial reality TV soap opera. Things can get heated, sometimes, but we enjoy …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2015

Thanks for open sourcing .NET say Point of Sale villains

Trend Micro researcher Jay Yaneza says Point of Sales malware has begun using Microsoft .NET, following its release as open source last year. Yaneza found the new so-called GamaPoS malware being distributed to US organisations including credit unions, developers, and pet care businesses through the resurgent Andromeda botnet. …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jul 2015
TSA gloves

EU probes Qualcomm over possible antitrust issues

The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by chipzilla Qualcomm, including allegations of "predatory pricing". The investigation concerns Qualcomm's baseband chipsets used to process communications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices. Qualcomm is the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015
Distorting_Mirror

HP one of the fairest, claims Gartner's magic quadrant on the wall

Gartner has announced that HP has joined the leaders in its all-flash array magic quadrant, while Violin Memory, Nimbus Data and Cisco have been demoted, and Dell and HDS are excluded altogether from the MQ because of the research giant's peculiar classification criteria. The MQ classifies suppliers in what Gartner calls the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 launches – and gets Android in on the act

Pics Adobe has updated its Creative Cloud Suite for 2015, bringing enhancements and new features to 15 desktop applications and delivering tighter integration for its desktop and mobile users. Adobe has also let Android in on the mobile party with versions of Brush, Color, Ps Mix and Shape being made available to the platform for the …
Bob Dormon, 16 Jun 2015