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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

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

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
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 …
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
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

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
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

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

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
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
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

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
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
bug on keyboard

Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft has suspended distribution of April's Windows 8.1 Update to some enterprise customers after a bug was discovered that could bork affected machines' ability to receive future updates. The issue affects businesses that distribute software updates via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2, which shipped …
Neil McAllister, 09 Apr 2014
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
medical_doctor_health_channel

Whitehall and Microsoft thrashing out 1-year NHS WinXP lifeline

The Department of Health and Microsoft are thrashing out a one-year support deal for tens of thousands of NHS PCs running Windows XP. The agreement would give hospitals, trusts and GPs across England and Wales time to back away from Windows XP and implement a newer operating system. A deal would mean Microsoft continues to …
Metropolitan Police's e-Smart

Straight to 8: London's Met Police hatches Win XP escape plan

The Metropolitan Police are bypassing Windows 7 and going straight to Windows 8 as they ditch Windows XP from nearly 40,000 PCs. But the force will not have finished the move before April’s end-of-support deadline from Microsoft. Rather, the Met has agreed a custom support agreement with Microsoft to keep Windows XP machines …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Mar 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
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

First the PCs, now System X: Is IBM ready to flog server biz to Lenovo?

Is IBM selling all or part of its x86 server biz to PC giant Lenovo? Nothing has been confirmed by either party, but it sure looks like there’s something in the works. So what might this deal look like? I don’t see IBM selling off the entire System x division to Lenovo. What they’ll sell is the most commoditised and least …
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
HP CEO Meg Whitman at Discover 2012

HP hammered in servers, storage, and PCs in fiscal Q3

Remember a long time ago, how Compaq put the squeeze on its supply chain, dropped the boom on PC prices, and essentially made it impossible for IBM, the former market leader, to stay in the PC business? Well, Dell and other competitors in the PC, server, and storage rackets are trying to do the same thing to HP now, and its …

HP workers under shadow of the axe edge towards ballot box

The Public and Commercial Services union is to ballot members working at HP over 600 planned job cuts to the services operation in the latest futile exercise to influence the company's decision making. As world + dog knows, HP's Make It Better Programme to rationalise the workforce is due to conclude by the end of October, by …
Paul Kunert, 01 Apr 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
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 …
Dell logo in crosshairs

Dell's server, net bizzes do well, but PCs slammed as expected

If Michael Dell and his partners had hoped to turn in a bad quarter to help justify the relatively low price the Dell & Friends consortium wants to pay to take the IT giant private, Dell's sales force in the enterprise server, networking, and services units did not do their part to help. The PC business did – but not as much as …

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
Q and Bond, Skyfall

How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

A leaked NSA cyber-arms catalog has shed light on the technologies US and UK spies use to infiltrate and remotely control PCs, routers, firewalls, phones and software from some of the biggest names in IT. The exploits, often delivered via the web, provide clandestine backdoor access across networks, allowing the intelligence …
Iain Thomson, 31 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Oil and gas giants' PCs polluted by new cyber-spy Trojan

Hackers bent on espionage have infiltrated a large oil company in the Philippines, an energy biz in Canada and a military organisation in Taiwan among others, claim researchers. The crooks also targeted other as yet unidentified businesses in Brazil, Israel, Egypt and Nigeria, according to the preliminary results of a probe by …
John Leyden, 21 Sep 2012
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA's TURBINE robot can pump 'malware into MILLIONS of PCs'

The latest batch of top-secret intelligence documents from the hoard collected by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the massive increase in the agency's use of its Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit – including a system dubbed TURBINE that can spam out millions of pieces of sophisticated malware at a time. The …
Iain Thomson, 12 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Boeing zaps PCs using CHAMP missile microwave attacks

Boeing has successfully conducted a test of a missile capable of blasting a building's electronics with an energy beam without harming the structure itself. The era of EMP weapons has arrived it seems. The Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is an air-launched device that uses a high-powered …
Iain Thomson, 25 Oct 2012
Shop bargain sign

Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

The question most taxing the minds behind the personal computer industry right now is how to persuade punters to spend their money not merely on new notebooks and desktops, but specifically on more powerful - and thus more expensive - machines. All the evidence suggests they are currently not doing so. More problematically, they …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2012
Dell's FX100 Remote Access Device thin client

HP, Dell stack up back-end iron for XenDesktop 7 virty PCs

Companies whose staffers work from tablets and smartphones don't have to buy Microsoft's Surface tablets or Windows Phones to enable them to use the firm's Windows applications. Businesses can instead slice up a bunch of servers into virtual PCs and stream them out to workers' fondleslabs or smartphones using either VMware View …
The Register breaking news

Chinese upstart smears Android's Ice Cream Sandwich over PCs

A Chinese startup has successfully ported Google's Android OS to Windows, perfect for those who want an Ice Cream Sandwich-shaped box in a Windows desktop. The application is suitably beta, with the usual caveats about crashing the host system, but the interest promptly took down the SocketeQ's sever so we're reliant on a …
Bill Ray, 28 Jan 2013
union_jack

Box shifters cram UK market with crusty PCs to make room for Win 8

PC shipments into the UK channel declined in the last quarter as vendors focussed on lobbing out Windows 7 machines ahead of the Windows 8 launch. However, in the midst of a recession, no one really noticed any shortages of computers. Abacus-fondling Gartner reckons 2.98 million desktops and notebooks were pushed into the UK …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2012

'IE hit squad' helps ease browser babel on office PCs

A browser start-up is building software to help large operations manage the increasing breakdown in dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and the proliferation of various other browsers in the workplace. Internet Explorer hit squad Browsium has announced beta availability of Catalyst, software that manages the creeping …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2012
ARM

ARM rains on x86 as smartphones outship PCs

Netbooks are so yesterday's technology. Shipments of the small, not-so-cheap computers plunged during 2011 by 25 per cent, figures from market watcher Canalys show. The decline worsened during the year, with year-on-year shipments down more than 32 per cent during the final quarter of 2011. All other PC categories experienced …
Tony Smith, 03 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Fujitsu gov workers strike Monday: Unite on, PCS off

Unionised Fujitsu workers have called off their strike set for Monday after bosses at the firm "doubled" the pot of money available for pay rises with an additional £500,000 brought to the negotiating table. This is according to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union which following a ballot of its 720 members planned a …
Paul Kunert, 16 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

France weighing 'culture tax' on phones, slabs, PCs, TVs

The Socialist government of France is mulling a new "culture tax" to be levied on smartphones and other consumer electronics as one possible measure to help fund music, film, and the arts in a rapidly changing media landscape. Last fall, French president Francois Hollande created a special panel, chaired by former Canal+ CEO …
Neil McAllister, 13 May 2013
pc_tumour_01

Hey doc, what's the PC's prognosis? A. Long-term growth below zero

The worldwide PC market suffered the "most severe contraction on record" in 2013, which means it is doing better than expected, analyst house IDC said on Tuesday. PC and laptop shipments declined by 9.8 per cent in 2013, the firm revealed – and it projected further year-on-year declines through to 2014. 315 million PCs and …
Jack Clark, 05 Mar 2014
ipad_big_teaser

iPad grabs lunch money from mobile PCs, pushes them in the stingers

iPad sales trounced sales for netbooks and notebooks in the first quarter of 2012 pushing Apple to the dominant position in the mobile PC market, show new figures from analysts NPD. NPD ran together tablets with netbooks and notebook PCs in their "Mobile PC category" and skyrocketing iPad sales of 13.6 million in the first three …
Anna Leach, 22 May 2012

Insatiable China to gobble up 84 MILLION PCs in 2012

China has cemented its position not only as the global leader in PC production but also an avid consumer, with sales set to surge 13 per cent in 2012 - more than twice the worldwide average. The latest stats from market watcher IHS iSuppli predict shipments of 83.6 million units this year, up from 73.9 million units in 2011 and …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Apr 2012
Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray disc set

Fujitsu: PC market... doomed? LOLZ. NOT FOR US, pal

Japanese firm Fujitsu has been helped along to a profit in the last quarter of 2013 by the weaker yen and strong sales in the enterprise sector. The company even managed growth in the sale of PCs, no mean feat in the current PC market nightmare, as it upped sales primarily to business customers. Fujitsu said its net profit for …
The Register breaking news

1 in 6 Windows PCs naked as a jaybird online

One in six Windows PCs worldwide are hooked up to the internet with no basic security software, according to a study by McAfee. The computer security firm's study, conducted across 24 countries using data from an average of 27 to 28 million personal computers each month, found 17 per cent of machines were running with either …
John Leyden, 30 May 2012

Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we'll take open source collab cloud

The Linux-friendly burghers of Munich are rolling out their own open-source groupware cloud, bucking the trend for going public. The German city has selected Kolab Desktop Client and Kolab web Client for more than 14,000 Linux PCs, surviving Windows PCs and a generation of mobile devices under a four-year project called MigMak, …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Feb 2014
Bittorrent logo detail

BitTorrent offers file sync tool for PCs and NAS

BitTorrent has opened the Alpha testing program for its new BitTorrent Sync tool to all. Announced last January but only available to a select few, BitTorrent Sync looks a bit like the numerous DropBox-without-the-cloud-in-the-middle contenders inasmuch as it lets you set up a source of data, then involve trusted third parties …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2013
The USB 3.1 Logo

USB cuts the cord, again, with WiGig-derived wireless spec

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) Implementors Forum has announced that development is under way on a new “Media Agnostic (MA) USB specification. MA-USB removes the need for USB devices to connect by wire. Instead, they'll use WiGi, WiFi or maybe even UWB to swap data with whatever other systems they connect to. The choice of WiGig …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Password hints easily snaffled from Windows PCs

Punters' password hints are easily extracted from the latest Microsoft Windows machines, security researchers have discovered. TrustWave SpiderLabs uncovered a key called "UserPasswordHint" during wider research into how the Redmond operating system stores password hashes. Subsequent studies showed it was easy to extract and …
John Leyden, 23 Aug 2012
Microsoft

Microsoft markets 'collection' of PCs to consider

Microsoft UK has unveiled its first 'collection' of PCs, chosen by the company to suit lifestyles and budgets. The spring collection features 30 models from nine manufacturers and will be available from all major retailers. The PC makers are Sony, Dell, Packard Bell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Alienware and Scan. The Collection …
Caleb Cox, 19 Apr 2011