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bug on keyboard

How's it going, Microsoft users? Patching your PCs? You SHOULD be

Brace yourselves, users and administrators, Microsoft and Adobe have released another monthly batch of critical security updates for their products. The December edition of Patch Tuesday will fix five critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft software, two which are being exploited in the wild by miscreants. The first of the …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Dec 2013
Life of Brian

Unionised workers vote to become thorn in HP's side

Some HP workers in the Application Services (AS) division based at Lytham and Warrington have voted against plans to relocate 400 roles to regional delivery centres. According to numbers from HP and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, 99 of the 331-strong base of unionised workers at the two sites returned a ballot …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jul 2014
arrow pointing up

Lenovo posts an INCREASE in desktop PC and notebook sales

Lenovo, the world’s largest maker of PCs, saw its profits leap 24 per cent this spring. The China-based manufacturer reported first-quarter profits of $211m, compared to $170m for the year before. That was from revenue that jumped 18 per cent to £10.39bn. Earnings per share for the giant were up, from $1.65 to $2.03 for the …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Aug 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked up the big changes he has in store for the company during a conference call with financial analysts on Tuesday. And among his plans were "universal" apps that can run on any Windows platform. There was little talk of layoffs, beyond what Nadella and new Microsoft phones boss Stephen Elop …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Gaming app ENSLAVES punter PCs in Bitcoin mining ring

A competitive gaming company has admitted that for two weeks in April its software client was hijacking league members' PCs to mine Bitcoins. In an eyebrow-raising turn of events, the company, ESEA Gaming, admitted on Wednesday that its software client had been running Bitcoin-mining algorithms on customer PCs since April 14, …
Jack Clark, 02 May 2013

Western spooks banned Lenovo PCs after finding back doors

Chinese PC giant Lenovo has been banned from supplying kit for the top secret networks of western intelligence agencies after security concerns emerged when backdoor vulnerabilities were detected, according to a new report. Unnamed intelligence and defence “sources” in the UK and Australia confirmed to the Australian Financial …
Phil Muncaster, 29 Jul 2013
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

Regina Eggbert gives her signature rundown of the week's tech news

Youtube Video Tune in for a brief rundown of the week's eggiest tech tales from The Reg's avatar news anchor Regina Eggbert. Then find out more about this week's stories, including shell-shocked Bash, PC abandonment issues and bent mobes – here, here and here. ® Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
The Register breaking news

HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7

Windows 8 got you down? Don't worry; even if you buy a new machine with Windows 8 preinstalled, you should be able to downgrade it to Windows 7, if you prefer – that is, unless you bought a new consumer PC or laptop from HP. It's a little-known fact that Windows licenses include the right to downgrade to earlier versions of the …
Neil McAllister, 08 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Fake Facebook photo tag ruse smears malware on PCs

Spam emails have attempted to trick Facebookers into visiting virus-stuffed web pages by claiming users have been tagged in photos. The counterfeit messages appear to have been sent by the dominant social networking website, but the "From" address is misspelled as "Faceboook.com" among other mistakes. The emails feature …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Zombie PCs exploit hookup site in 4Square-for-malware scam

Security researchers have discovered a strain of malware that uses the geolocation service offered by an adult dating website as an easy way to determine the location of infected machines. Thousands of infected machines in a zombie network all phoned home to the URL promos.fling.com/geo/txt/city.php at the adult hookup site …
John Leyden, 08 May 2012

MoJ IT workers 'n' pals extend strike action over privatisation

Unionised civil servants at the MoJ have extended strike action over plans to outsource back office functions to a French integrator amid fears of wide-scale job cuts. As revealed first by us last month, members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union voted in favour of industrial level protests over the MoJ's decision …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

HP's Whitman promises 'more beautiful' PCs

Building PCs and laptops that are better looking and more instantly recognizable to consumers is a key component of HP's strategy to turn around its struggling PC division, according to CEO Meg Whitman. "I don't think we kept up with the innovation," Whitman said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "The whole market …
Neil McAllister, 17 Sep 2012

Microsoft offers cut-price Win 8 PCs and fondletops to UK schools

British schoolkids and teachers are to be offered discounted Windows 8 laptops and tabs in a Microsoft programme to close the digital divide. Government-funded schools have become eligible to receive Windows 8 Intel-based laptops and tablets from Asus, Acer and RM Education that are loaded with software and that have had 30 per …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Nov 2012

China pushes green PCs to punters

It’s been a good few days for the green tech brigade as China announced a whopping 14bn yuan (£1.4bn) subsidy to encourage households to purchase energy-saving electrical appliances including PCs, while members of the APEC bloc agreed to slash import duties on over 50 green technologies. The surprise announcement from China on …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Sep 2012
arrow pointing up

Dell bundles Ubuntu Linux on PCs in China

Commercial Linux distributor Canonical and PC and server maker Dell are tag teaming to peddle Linux on PCs in China. According to a blog post, Dell and Canonical have announced a partnership to push Linux on consumer PCs in China through 220 retail stores operated by Dell in the country. Dell Ubuntu PCs in China Dell's Chinese …
The PC's interior, caked in dust

These old PCs want some VDI loving. But what about the server?

A request from The Register Forums where David Dawson writes: This is a question for a potential project I'm about to embark on. There's a charity that I have some association with, they've got around 30 windows desktops that are fast approaching the end of their working life. They have to use windows for various reasons, but …
Drew Cullen, 20 Jul 2013
Feinstein

CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has issued a rare public rebuke to the CIA after the agency hacked into a Senate committee's computers to remove documents describing agents' torture enhanced interrogation of terrorist suspects. "I have asked for an apology and a recognition that this CIA search of computers used by its …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2014
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

One Win 8 to rule them all: Microsoft talks up 'universal apps' for PCs, slabs and mobes

Eight months after launching its pushbutton App Studio GUI development kit for Windows Phone, Microsoft has extended the tool to include support for building apps for Windows 8, too. The latest beta version of the web-based tool formerly known as Windows Phone App Studio, announced at Microsoft's Build developer conference on …
Neil McAllister, 04 Apr 2014

Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

It was claimed by one market watcher this week that tablets will outsell notebook computers during 2013. By 2016, says another, slates’ share of the PC market will have surpassed all other devices combined. The research firm in question is Canalys, and it reckons Wintel’s share of the PC market will drop from 72 per cent in 2012 …
Tony Smith, 10 Jan 2013

New fear: Worm that ransacked US military PCs was blueprint for spies' super-malware

A mystery worm that burrowed into US military computers to steal secrets six years ago may have inspired the development of subsequent government-grade malware Red October, Turla, Flame and Gauss. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab reached this conclusion after finding similarities between Agent.btz – the worm that attacked in 2008 – …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2014

Intel prods PC market's corpse, corpse shouts 'I'M NOT DEAD!'

Chipmaker Intel has raised its revenue expectations after discovering that the PC market is less moribund than it imagined. Chipzilla said on Thursday that "as a result of stronger than expected demand for business PCs," it was raising its second-quarter growth revenue estimate from $13bn to $13.7bn. "Intel now expects some …
Jack Clark, 12 Jun 2014
germany

Germany warns: You just CAN'T TRUST some Windows 8 PCs

Microsoft's new touchy Windows 8 operating system is so vulnerable to prying hackers that Germany's businesses and government should not use it, the country's authorities have warned in a series of leaked documents. According to files published in German weekly Die Zeit, the Euro nation's officials fear Germans' data is not …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Aug 2013
pcmountain

China risks mountain of unsold PCs

China’s domestic PC market is set to go from strength to strength in 2012 with shipments forecast to rise at three times the rate of the global market, although analysts warn there could be trouble ahead. The China Electronics Research report from market watcher IHS iSuppli claimed that PC shipments in the People’s Republic …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Jul 2012
Intel's Next Unit of Computing bare bones PC

Intel plans Core i7 bare bones mini-PCs

Intel has launched the first unit in a range of bare bones mini-PCs it says will first appeal to system integrators creating digital signage solutions and then eventually excite businesses of almost any size. The new device is part of Chipzilla's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range. Intel currently plans three NUC devices, each …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2012
Amazon Web Services Workspaces

AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC

Amazon Web Services has made a significant enhancement to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, by allowing support for Teradici's PC-over-IP protocol and “zero clients” that run it. Workspaces is a US$35 a month service that offers Windows Server 2008 re-skinned with the Windows 7 UI. Until today, consuming the service …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

Paper PCs design rolled out

A materials manufacturer has produced a paper-based compound which may soon find its way onto hardware factory lines, with recyclable PCs mooted as one possible target. Paper PP Alloy promises to cause a revolution in the world of laptop production, with its inexpensive production, super strength and environmentally friendly …
Caleb Cox, 16 Feb 2012

Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

Nearly half of the unionised techies at the UK's Ministry of Justice have voted to strike over proposals that could shift IT service work into the private sector. At the heart of the matter is the Cabinet Office's excitingly titled Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, which was published in March 2013: the strategy's …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2014

Lenovo recalls 160,000 all-in-one PCs after blaze warning

Lenovo wants punters to send back a grand total of 160,000 ThinkCentre all-in-one desktop PCs because the machines' power supplies might overheat and burst into flames. The Mexico-made machines went out under the monikers M70z and M90z during the period May 2010 through January 2012, Lenovo said. Lenovo ThinkCentre M70z US …
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2012

What PC sales slump? That's ALL OVER, declares Gartner

An optimistic new report from Gartner suggests that the PC market may actually be returning to growth, with most of the sales going to top-name vendors. By Gartner's estimates, worldwide PC shipments were essentially flat for the second quarter of 2014, growing just 0.1 per cent when compared to the same period a year ago. But …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2014
india

Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

The Indian State of Tamil Nadu will solve its Windows XP problem by adopting Linux. Tamil Nadu is home to over 70 million people and its capital city is Chennai, a hub for India's business process outsourcing industry second only to Bangalore. The decision to move to Linux is outlined in this letter (PDF) from the State's …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Apr 2014

Cybercrooks breed SELF-CLONING MUTANT that STEALS your BANK DETAILS

Cybercrooks have put together a botnet client which bundles in worm-like functionality that gives it the potential to spread quickly. Seculert warns that the latest version of the Cridex (AKA Geodo) information stealing Trojan includes a self-spreading infection method. Infected PCs in the botnet download a secondary strain of …
John Leyden, 02 Jul 2014
Panic button on keyboard

Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!

With the not-quite-panic over the end of support for Windows XP behind us, you'd think it's a time to chill out for a bit. Not quite, and especially not if you're still using Windows Server 2003 R2: Microsoft's product lifecycle advisories suggest support for that operating system expires on July 14th, 2015. Which is 450 days …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2014

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Six months from now, on 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop pushing out security updates for Windows XP – and that's going to be a big deal. At time of writing a whopping one-third of the world’s millions of PCs were still running Microsoft’s 13-year-old client operating system. According to Gartner, the global installed base of …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Chemical biz 'Nitro' hackers use Java to coat PCs in poison ivy

The crew behind last year's "Nitro" industrial espionage attacks are among hackers exploiting the two potent Java security vulnerabilities patched this week. The team, which attempted to lift sensitive blueprints from companies by compromising workers' computers, is now using holes in Oracle's software to install Poison Ivy on …
John Leyden, 31 Aug 2012
Smart TVs

Connected TVs snatch online video viewing crown from PCs

More people watch internet-sourced video on their TVs than their PCs - at least in the US. Another sign, maybe, that the PC is losing its place at the centre of consumers' digital lives, at least for video entertainment. According to NPD, a North American market watcher, during the past 12 months the proportion of folk watching …
Hard Reg, 26 Sep 2012

Microsoft preparing for diskless Windows 8 PCs

Microsoft has imagined future computers that don't include onboard disks, but do boot from external USB 3.0 devices, and has prepared Windows 8 so that it can install and operate in such environments. Microsoft's Michael Niehaus, a senior product manager and the lead developer for the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, revealed the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2012

Citadel botnet resurges to storm Japanese PCs

Citadel, the aggressive botnet at the heart of a widely criticised takedown by Microsoft back in June, is back and stealing banking credentials from Japanese users, according to Trend Micro. The security vendor claimed to have found “at least 9 IP addresses”, mostly located in Europe and the US, functioning as the botnet’s …
Phil Muncaster, 04 Sep 2013

Feeling lucky, punk? Storage biz crams virty PCs into RAM

Software house Atlantis has updated its ILIO product, which juggles the storage of virtual desktops in data centres, so that virtualised machines run entirely in a server's memory - sans a SAN or local drives. Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 lets Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View customers run persistent virtual desktops in- …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2013
For Sale sign detail

Chinese buying more PCs than Americans

China bought more PCs than the US in the second quarter this year, making it the largest computer market in the world for the first time, according to market research firm IDC. Long touted as the next biggest market for PCs, China finally managed to beat the US with 18.5 million units worth $11.9bn shipped compared to 17.7 …
The Windows 7 Desktop

Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

Companies should start planning now to phase out their Windows 7 installations, according to research firm Gartner. The analyst house said that even though Microsoft has plans to support the OS until 2020, firms should begin drawing up the process of phasing the software out in order to smooth the transition. Stephen Kleynhans …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

Microsoft hands out tools to sneak Skype onto new PCs

Microsoft is eliminating the download experience from Skype for consumers by giving OEMs the tools to slip the VoIP client into PCs. The company has released a Skype OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for Windows 7, which you can find here. The OPK is designed to give PC makers the tools they need to “silently install” Skype for …
Gavin Clarke, 31 May 2012
The Register breaking news

AMD launches Android app store for Windows PCs

AMD has launched a new web portal designed to connect users with applications and games to run on their AMD-powered Windows PCs – including some 675,000 Android apps, thanks to a partnership with virty Android vendor BlueStacks. Announced on Thursday, AMD AppZone is a showcase for software that has been optimized for AMD Radeon …
Neil McAllister, 28 Sep 2012
British snipers practice with L115A3 rifles. Credit: MoD

MoD signs Microsoft mega licensing deal for 180,000 PCs

The Ministry of Defence renewed a three-year Microsoft Enterprise Agreement late on Friday with Software Box Ltd (SBL) for 180,000 seats in a deal that sources value at roughly £15m per year. SBL has held the Microsoft EA with the MoD for the past nine years and channel folk are not surprised the Large Account Reseller won the …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2013

Hey hipsters: Tabs are so last year, fat phones are where it's at

Following a deep gaze into the crystal ball, IDC has decided the dominant growth trend in personal computing sales is phablet-shaped. Beancounters estimate roughly 175 million devices sized between 5.5 to seven inches will find a home in 2014, up 60 per cent, leapfrogging the 170 million old world portable PCs forecasted to ship …
Paul Kunert, 04 Sep 2014
management management1

Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

With one year to go until Microsoft kills free support for Windows XP, if you haven’t got a migration plan in place it’s time to start doing something about it... but don't panic, say the migration experts. One year from today, on 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop fixing broken code and no longer release security patches for …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Apr 2013

Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers

Workers at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn have reportedly gone on strike to ask for longer working hours, because automated production processes mean there is less lucrative overtime to be worked. Reports from China suggest that Foxconn workers went on strike after HP cut orders at one of the manufacturer's plants. That's bad news …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2014
axe_channel_teaser

VMware sharpens axe for PCs: Horizon boxset brings Windows to iPads

After eighteen months of hints, VMware has unveiled the final version of its “Horizon Suite” end-user computing stack. VMware has wanted more of a desktop presence for years, shelling out for Zimbra in 2010 in the hope enterprises liked the idea of webified email and calendars operating within their own data centres. Zimbra's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2013
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

Zombie PCs are for crimelord chumps: Fear clusters, says infosec ace

It may be possible for a "single dedicated attacker" to run an internet "carpet-bombing" attack by applying Big Data and distributed computing technologies, security researcher Alejandro Caceres warns. The traditional botnet, or network of hijacked computers, has been used for distributed computing problems, such as Bitcoin …
John Leyden, 14 Aug 2013
smut side teaser

Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans

Cybercrooks are targeting Japanese smut site aficionados with a new banking Trojan run. The Aibatook malware is targeting customers of Japanese banks who are also visitors on some of the country's most popular pornographic websites. Security researchers at anti-virus firm ESET estimated that more than 90 smut sites have been …
John Leyden, 16 Jul 2014

IDC: Trying to flog PCs? It's not going to happen

Market analyst IDC now expects fewer PCs will be sold in 2012 than it had earlier predicted. The box-counter has also revised down its estimate for PC sales over the next four years. The world-wide PC market for desktops and portables will grow just 0.9 per cent during 2012, 367 million units, as mid-year shipments slow down, …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Aug 2012