Articles about Pcs

surprised nerd, image via Shutterstock

The rise, fall, and rise (again) of Microsoft's killer People feature

Microsoft has removed the much-anticipated "People Experience" from current beta builds of Windows 10, and will release it later this year instead of this spring. News of the postponement accompanied the latest bleeding edge code drop, build 15014, which appeared yesterday. Released into the "Fast Ring" of the Windows Insider …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2017
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

Microsoft Germany has argued that Windows 7 is no longer "fit" to be used in business. A post we've shoved through two online translate-o-tronic services states that Windows 7 “can no longer keep up with the increased security requirements” of the mid-2010s. Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Deutschland, is quoted …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017

UK's largest hospital trust battles Friday 13th malware outbreak

Malware has infected hospital computers at the UK’s biggest NHS trust. Barts Health, which runs six London hospitals, shut down parts of its network on Friday to prevent the spread of the as-yet-unidentified software nasty. The organization oversees Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017
Nintendo Switch

Nintendo pulls the Switch, fires Joy-con at Microsoft and Sony

Just over a decade after it challenged home gaming with the Wii, Nintendo has aimed a new weapon at Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Nintendo Switch Nintendo’s platform-challenging Switch, unveiled in October, will go on sale on March 3, priced at $299.99, £279.99 and ¥29,980, the firm said on Thursday. The Switch …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jan 2017
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

IT spending to soar a whopping 2.7 per cent, says ball-rubber Gartner

Clairvoyant Gartner has once again dusted off the crystal ball in its quarterly global IT spend divination ritual to predict a 2.7 per cent year-on-year increase in 2017. Companies are due to splash $3.5tr (£2.87tr) on IT this year, globally, although that is down from its previous projection of three per cent. Worldwide …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017

Shadow Brokers spew Windows hack tools after exploit auction flop

Security exploit peddlers Shadow Brokers announced their retirement on Thursday – and released 58 tools for hacking Windows PCs for free by way of a parting gift. The shady group is essentially giving up, and shoving malicious code – most of which is detected by Kaspersky and a few other antivirus makers – into the hands of as …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017

Two tickets to the ARM show: HPE buffs up the StoreVirtual line

HPE has given its SV3200 software a workout to strengthen its muscles with a raft of enhancements, but draws the line at using ARM for file access. The company introduced a low-cost, entry-level, block-access array with its StoreVirtual 3200 in August last year. It comes with a pair of active-active 64-bit ARM controllers, not …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Recent Mirai-style attacks against home broadband routers have had some effect but the majority of users have failed to act. A survey of 2,000 broadband users found the majority (53 per cent) have not changed the Wi-Fi password and other default settings, potentially opening themselves up to attack. The poll by ISP comparison …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017
Privacy

New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Microsoft has built an online dashboard of privacy controls in an attempt to soothe lingering anger over Windows 10 and its ability to phone home people's private information. The new web portal lists some of the personal data that is collected from PCs and devices and sent back to Redmond, and allows people to somewhat limit …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2017

Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

Over to North Dakota, US, now and a new front in the war against cyber-smut has opened up. A proposed law will force porno-blocking filters onto computers and smartphones sold in the conservative state – with a charge to remove the censorship. Bill 1185 [PDF] will require laptops, cellphones and other internet-capable devices …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jan 2017
android logo

Google caps punch-yourself-in-the-face malicious charger hack

Google has capped a dangerous but somewhat obscure boot mode vulnerability that allowed infected PCs and chargers to put top end Nexus phones into denial of service states. IBM reported the flaw (CVE-2016-8467) which allows infected computers and malicious power chargers to compromise Nexus 6 and 6p phones. Google badged the …
Darren Pauli, 09 Jan 2017
LEGO BOOST robot photo LEGO

BOOST! LEGO's computing future and its ground-breaking past

CES 2017 Smart Wi-Fi-enabled hairbrush? Virtual reality shoes? Some visions of the future at this week's CES trade show simply won’t materialise. But what about building a 'bot made of LEGO? Toymaker LEGO unveiled its Boost line this week at CES – a set of 840 programmable bricks for your kids to control self-made robots with. Boost …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Jan 2017
Surprise VR googles photo via Shutterstock

Lenovo shows off 'Microsoft-friendly' VR cosplay at CES

CES 2017 The PC market may be flaccid but Lenovo is taking a punt on virtual reality headsets with Microsoft. Lenovo used CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, to show off prototype headgear that'll supposedly work with Microsoft's Holographic platform. We say "supposedly" – gadget-press reports say Lenovo's device isn't actually working yet. …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Jan 2017

The Register's Top 20 Most-Commented Stories in 2016

Brexit and Windows 10 stories dominated reader discussions in 2016. It’s no surprise that the departure from the European Union of its second biggest economy should be a major talking point. It was the biggest political shock in the UK since 1945, few UK readers are unaffected, and it most likely terminates a political project …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Dec 2016
Apology

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Microsoft's marketing boss Chris Capossela has confessed the infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up that tricked so many people into installing the thing was a step "too far." Speaking on this week's Windows Weekly podcast on Twit.tv, Capossela was asked to list his low points of the year for Redmond (it's 17 minutes …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2016
Merry Christmas Australia

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, the column on which we conduct a Friday forage through the inbox full of readers' stories of jobs gone wrong. Today, we wrap our special week of Festive On-Call and so our topic is ... drumroll please ... Christmas. Let's start with “Mike” who told us that “Back in the Christmas of 1995 I was working …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
Surpised man mobile phone photo by Shutterstock

Windows 10 nags, Dirty Cow, Microsoft's Linux man love: The Reg's big ones for 2016

Systems got bigger and more removed from ordinary mortals during 2016 as West Coast tech firms centralised more and more computing on server farms. Google, Facebook and Microsoft wanted us to slap on virtual reality goggles and ask artificial intelligences to serve our voice-activated commands. Cars, lorries and taxis minus …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Dec 2016
Raspberry Pi Foundation's PIXEL OS on a PC

Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

The Raspberry Pi foundation has ported the PIXEL OS it released in September to the PC and Mac. PIXEL stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight” and is, says Pi founder Eben Upton, “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016

Evolved DNSChanger malware slings evil ads at PCs, hijacks routers

Malware that spreads via evil web ads and menaces broadband routers has been discovered – and it's going to be particularly horrible for small business and home internet users, which it targets. This latest variant of the years-old DNSChanger nasty, just spotted by Californian infosec biz Proofpoint, works like this: some …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2016

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

On-call Welcome again to a special festive On-Call, in which we dredge worthy tales from the On-Call inbox and give them a spin to compensate for the lack of pre-Christmas news. And also because lots of people write in and we should give lots of you a go. Today: stupid, stupid people with stupid explanations for simple things. Let's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Lawmakers in South Carolina are mulling over banning the sale of computers, tablets and phones unless they have a device that automatically blocks pornography from popping up on-screen. The Human Trafficking Prevention Act amendment, introduced by State Representative Bill Chumley (R‑Spartanburg), calls for manufacturers and …
Iain Thomson, 19 Dec 2016
5.25 in floppy disk

It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

On-call Welcome to festive On-Call, in which we take our regular Friday tales of jobs gone wrong and run lots more of them because there's sod-all news to write in the week before Christmas. And also because we have lots of lovely submissions that deserve a run. Today: tales of floppy disks. Let's start with “Steve”, who once took a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
Hunter photo via Shutterstock

Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems. A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java. Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Dec 2016

BlackEnergy power plant hackers target Ukrainian banks

The same hackers who turned out the lights at Ukrainian utilities last December have been running attacks against the same country’s banks over recent months. Security firm ESET reports that the gang slinging the TeleBots malware against Ukrainian banks shares a number of similarities with the BlackEnergy group, which …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2016
Matthew with the magic spheres

Bluetooth: Remember us? Internet of Things before it was a Thing?

Analysis Bluetooth 5 has finally been unveiled, with headline claims of 200-metre range (quadrupling that of Bluetooth 4) and doubled bandwidth (now 2Mbps). There is a clear focus on Internet of Things devices and applications, but no sign of the proposed mesh protocol, which would do even more to improve the spec’s capabilities. The …
Wireless Watch, 14 Dec 2016

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking

Microsoft has sneaked out a patch to get Windows 10 PCs back online after an earlier update broke networking for people's computers around the globe. Since the end of last week, systems in the UK, US, Europe and beyond have automatically installed software from Microsoft, via Windows Update, that broke DHCP. That means some …
Iain Thomson, 14 Dec 2016

Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

Security patches for Windows, macOS, iOS and other Apple firmware, and a host of Adobe products, were emitted this week. The final scheduled patch dump of the year sees Microsoft deliver fixes for multiple products, while Apple has security updates for iOS, macOS, Safari, and iTunes, and Adobe patches nine products including …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016
iran_flags_648

Dell trips over US sanctions by selling PCs to Iranian embassies

Dell has admitted it violated United States sanctions against Iran. The company has filed an IRANNOTICE and explained the violation in its latest Form 10Q. The violation is not serious because the United States' sanctions are very broad, covering “goods, services, technology, information, or support” that could in any way …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Dec 2016
Image by ART production http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-3278237p1.html

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

A broken software update for Windows 8 and 10 is knackering internet connectivity for users of several ISPs in the UK, Europe and quite likely beyond. Virgin Media in Blighty is the latest provider to confirm the dodgy code is knocking a number of its customers offline. Proximus in Belgium also says a Windows 10 update is …
Kat Hall, 12 Dec 2016

Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

Folks using Windows 10 and 8 on BT and Plusnet networks in the UK are being kicked offline by a mysterious software bug. Computers running the Microsoft operating systems are losing network connectivity due to what appears to be a problem with DHCP. Specifically, it seems some Windows 10 and 8 boxes can no longer reliably …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Dec 2016
google_rebrand_teaser_648

Google found a way to go after 400 MEELLION new users this week

Google this week added Hindi to the languages spoken by its "Allo" digital assistance service, the company's Siri-and-Cortana competitor. The Register fancies this is a pretty significant thing to have done, because the world has about 400 million Hindi speakers in India alone, with plenty concentrated in states like Bihar …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Dec 2016

For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

Vid Microsoft has entered the virtual reality race, announcing a new headset called Evo in collaboration with Intel. The headset will have the same advanced features of current high-end products including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and soon-to-be-launched Sulon Q, but will work with mid-range laptops, the company said. Up to now, …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Dec 2016
Hospital, photo via Shutterstock

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

The NHS is still running Windows XP en masse, two and a half years after Microsoft stopped delivering bug fixes and security updates. Nearly all of England NHS trusts – 90 per cent – continue to rely on PCs installed with Microsoft’s 15-year-old desktop operating system. Just over half are still unsure as to when they will …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Dec 2016
Microsoft flagship store, New York

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

First, it fired shots at Intel's data center margins. Now Qualcomm is gunning for its rival's notebook processor cash cow. Qualcomm and Microsoft are hooking up to port full-fat Windows 10 to smartphones, tablets, PCs and virtual reality goggles powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit ARMv8-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips. These …
Chris Williams, 08 Dec 2016

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Microsoft says buying LinkedIn will help to address the middle class discontent that saw Britain vote to leave the European Union and America vote to leave politics as we know it behind by electing Donald Trump. The company has expressed that sentiment in its post announcing the European Commission's approval of its …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2016

Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas

Here's something fun for Christmas: the folks behind the free and open-source hosted QEMU hypervisor have whipped up an online advent calendar that offers you a new virtual machine to download every day between now and Christmas. The 2016 QEMU Advent Calendar kicked off last week with a download of the 56kb MikeOS, apparently …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

November lies behind us in all Reg-reading jurisdictions, so it's time to again consider the state of the desktop by gazing at the three services we use to assess desktop operating system market share. Those three – StatCounter, Netmarketshare and analytics.gov, each assess OS share by looking at web traffic. The first two …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Dec 2016
botnet

Online criminals iced as cops bury malware-spewing Avalanche

On November 30, simultaneous raids in five countries by the FBI, Europol, and the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) finally shuttered the Avalanche criminal network that has been spewing malware and money laundering campaigns for the past seven years. The Avalanche network was a system of 600 servers around the world that were …
Iain Thomson, 01 Dec 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Drive-by web nasty unmasks Tor Browser users, Mozilla dashes to patch zero-day vuln

Updated Mozilla is scrambling to patch a vulnerability in Firefox that is apparently being exploited in the wild to unmask Tor Browser users. Earlier today, a small package of SVG, JavaScript and x86 code popped up on a Tor mailing list that, when opened by Firefox or Tor Browser on a Windows PC, phones home to a remote server and …
Darren Pauli, 30 Nov 2016

Another Canadian uni hit by ransomware, students told to keep Windows PCs away

Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed it has been hit by a ransomware infection that crippled some of the Windows machines on its main campus. Systems at the university started to go down on Tuesday, and its IT department reported that email, network drives and the central university student portal had all …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016

Ommm... devs, align your Chakra, whispers Microsoft, you don't need Google's V8...

Microsoft has released an early version of Node-ChakraCore for macOS, following a similar release for Linux at Node Summit in July. Why is this important? Well, Node-ChakraCore is Microsoft's open-source glue that plugs Node.js into ChakraCore, the MIT-licensed JavaScript engine within its Edge web browser. It's all part of …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2016

Behold, your next billion dollar market: The humble Ethernet cable

Global spending on Ethernet cables will soon cross the $1bn threshold, say analysts. A forecast report from Allied Market Research projects that by 2022, businesses will be shelling out more than a billion dollars annually on copper and fiber cables to transmit data and power. The figures include the spend on fiber and copper …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Nov 2016
Sheaf of £50 notes poised on the rim of a toilet bowl as toilet is flushed. Collage of two photos sourced from Shutterstock

Ransomware scams cost Brits £4.5m per year

More than 4,000 Brits have had their computers infected with ransomware this year, with over £4.5m paid out to cyber criminals, according to Action Fraud. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files of infected PCs before demanding an extortionate payment for the encryption key needed to recover data. The malware …
John Leyden, 28 Nov 2016

Passengers ride free on SF Muni subway after ransomware infects network, demands $73k

Updated Hard-drive-scrambling ransomware infected hundreds of computers at San Francisco's public transit agency on Friday and demanded 100 bitcoins to unlock data, The Register has learned. Ticket machines were shut down and passengers were allowed to ride the Muni light-rail system for free on Saturday – a busy post-Thanksgiving …
Chris Williams, 27 Nov 2016
finger pointing

Dell plotting something touchy-feely on 'Canvas'

Dell's applied for the US trademarks “Canvas” and “Dell Canvas”, both covering “Interactive touch screen computer interfaces”. So what's it up to? The Register reckons the most obvious candidate is something to do with its Surface Hub competitor, the model C7017T 70-inch Interactive Conference Room Monitor, as that's the most …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016
Scrooge McDuck

Enterprise vendors offering big Black Friday discounts

Black Friday and the Cyber Monday that follows have become big discount shopping days for consumers, but enterprise vendors are getting in on the act too with hefty discounts on training and some kit. Cisco Press is running a Buy 2+, Save 55% or Buy 1, Save 35% sale until November 26th, so the CCNP Routing and Switching v2.0 …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2016

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. The Cobalt project should bear fruit within the year, when the "Redstone 3" release of Windows 10 is due to arrive, Mary Jo Foley reports. Ideally, Microsoft wants everyone to convert their old …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2016
scareware

Office Depot halts PC Health Checks amid bogus infection claims

Office Depot has suspended PC Health Check – its malware-scanning service – after it was accused of lying about infections to push antivirus software. Former Office Depot technician Shane Barnett told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that the PC Health Check service would lie to customers that their otherwise-clean PCs were infected …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2016
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Wikibon invokes the old gods to make six tech predictions for 2017

Analysis Wikibon's chief technology guy, David Floyer, has put out his top six disruptive tech tips for 2017, seeing that ARM and Open CAPI will separately grow at Intel's Xeon expense, the cloud at on-premises' Server SAN expense, and flash at disk drive's expense, while XPoint will be a 2017 dud. Here's his list: AWS will …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Hewlett Packard Enterprise to outsource global IT team to CSC borg

Exclusive The global IT team at Hewlett Packard Enterprise that company execs previously praised for managing the smooth break-up of the organization is finally being rewarded – the entire department is being, er, outsourced. The destination for these techies is the CSC and HPE Enterprise Services borg – the businesses are coming …
Paul Kunert, 16 Nov 2016