Articles about Prevalence


Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

The growing prevalence of smartphones and tablets in homes and schools may be retarding kids' development of IT skills, according to an Australian study. The research in question was conducted by Australia's National Assessment Program (NAP_, a body that undertakes research of students' skills. Every three years, NAP assesses …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015
NBN Logo

Australia’s opposition promises more fibre in national broadband diet

Australia's shadow communications minister Jason Clare has promised to deploy more fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections on Australia's national broadband network (NBN) should the opposition Labor party (ALP) of which he is a member win the nation's next election. Clare hasn't revealed just how the ALP will re-introduce …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2015
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Obscure Chinese web servers at the end of your connections? It's legit, and growing

Netcraft has issued an update to its regular rating of the world's most-used web servers and found two Chinese nginx forks on the rise. The usual suspects top the charts: Apache's out in front with 86,528,264 active sites, a 49.99 per cent market share. nginx's 27,855,455 users give it 16.09 per cent share. Microsoft and …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015

Roundworm infection increases female fertility

Scientists have – slightly improbably – discovered that infection by the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides increases fertility in women belonging to Bolivia's Tsimane ethnic group. In their abstract, published in Science, the researchers explain that they studied "nine years of longitudinal data from 986 Bolivian forager- …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2015

Major web template flaw lets miscreants break out of sandboxes

Black Hat 2015 A serious fresh category of web security vulnerability creates the potential for all sorts of mischief, security researchers warn. Template engines are widely used by web applications in order to present dynamic data via web pages and emails. The technology offers a server-side sandbox. The commonplace practice of allowing …
John Leyden, 05 Aug 2015

Boffins tell sleep-talking Android apps to SHUT UP

Too many Android apps are battery hogs when the screen is off, so researchers at Purdue University have released to a tool to shut them up. As the university explains here, badly-behaved apps can drain nearly 30 per cent of an Android phone's charge when the user thinks it's sleeping. “Out of the 45.9 per cent of daily …
Interactive Office - And pigs might fly... by CC 2.0 attribution small crop at top of image

Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

Windows 10 looks to be doing alright, according to measurements taken by StatCounter. We usually consider desktop OS market share data from StatCounter and Netmarketshare in the first week of each month, but the former analyst also offers weekly data. With the debut of Windows 10 just 11 days behind us, a look at weekly data …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2015
Gold Hat stinking badges

Linux Foundation wants open source projects to show you their steenking badges

LinuxCon 2015 The Linux Foundation says it plans to introduce a new, voluntary badge program designed to help IT admins identify open source projects that have made security a priority. The new effort is part of the Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), which aims to fund and support open source projects that are critical to …
Neil McAllister, 19 Aug 2015

Rip up secretive patent royalty deals, says new tech'n'biz coalition

Did you know that about $60 of the cost of a $400 smartphone goes to holders of something called "standards-essential patents" (SEPs)? And, when you consider that up to 250,000 patents could affect smartphones, you can see why there are such rich pickings for patent trolls ... more politely known as non-practicing entities. …
Drew Cullen, 17 Nov 2015

Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

A regulator in Germany says websites must only offer downloads of sexually explicit ebooks between 10pm and 6am. Essentially, the Youth Protection Authority in Bavaria says 2002-era rules that protect kids from blue movies on TV also cover digital books, publishing trade mag Boersenblatt reports. Telly stations in Germany can …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2015

'Traditional' forms of thuggery decline in UK, cybercrime on the rise

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information suggesting cybercrime incidents are growing more prevalent in British society than traditional criminal incidents, and has noted that this may be due to more criminal enterprises transitioning to the digital world. Included for the first time among the ONS's …

Chips can kill: Official

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has grimly concluded that those tucking into fried potato products run an increased risk of damaged DNA and developing cancer. The culprit is the chemical acrylamide (AA), which "naturally forms in starchy food products during every-day high-temperature cooking (frying, baking, roasting …
Lester Haines, 08 Jun 2015
Hitler as Fanboi

Apple is like HITLER says Chinese billionaire

One of the ways Chinese kids like to pass their time is watching video on a site called Leshi TV that's sufficiently popular the company's CEO Jia Yueting is ranked among the planet's billionaires. Jia is also an enthusiastic user of Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent. And late last week he used it to post the image above …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015

PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

Windows 7's market share appears to have peaked, according to two sources we use to assess what's running on the world's desktop computers. Those sources are Netmarketshare and, two outfits that make their assessments of operating system prevalence based on traffic hitting web servers. That's an imperfect …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Feb 2015

Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

Windows 7 remains the planet's dominant desktop operating system, but Windows XP again claimed second place during December 2014 according to data from and Netmarketshare. We've tracked the two firms' data for a year now and both have produced some odd dips and surges, reflecting their imperfect methods of …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jan 2015
Monster virtual machine

Magic quadrant of four squares, who's the virtualisation Mayor?

The analyo-mages at Gartner have emitted their Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure for 2015 and found a race in two between Microsoft and VMware, the only companies rated “leaders” in the field. The latter company's retained the prize position at top right in the Quadrant despite Gartner's mages not …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2015
Presidetn Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

Barry Obama declares national emergency over foreign hackers

US President Barack Obama has signed a new executive order authorizing economic sanctions against overseas individuals who are believed to have participated in online attacks or espionage. The order declares the prevalence of foreign-launched internet attacks a "national emergency" and cites the International Emergency …
Neil McAllister, 01 Apr 2015

Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't

Microsoft has taken the final step in sunsetting a dangerous server setting, announcing that all future versions of ASP.NET will enforce the deprecation of EnableViewStateMac=“false”. Since December 2013, when this security advisory landed, Redmond has warned sysadmins that the setting had a privilege escalation vulnerability. …

Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

In certain parts of the world, campaigners against wind farms argue that clusters of giant turbines make nearby residents ill. Australian researcher Professor Simon Chapman's work in the field asserts that “wind turbine sickness” is a “ psychogenic” disease that only occurs when people are told that wind farms might make them …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2014
Good riddance to bad Java

NINETY PER CENT of Java black hats migrate to footling Flash

RSA 2015 Almost every Java-hacking black hat is now popping Adobe Flash, after Microsoft's hard-line patch policy made it harder to target software such as Java. The stricken scum now face a choice: work harder to find Java zero-days or abandon ship and start exploiting old Flash bugs. Redmond's security brains trust – Tim Rains, Matt …
Darren Pauli, 27 Apr 2015
Hack the planet

Verizon to world: STOP opening dodgy phishing emails, FOOLS

Phishing and web app security problems remain the most common way for hackers to gain access to sensitive information, according to US telco giant Verizon. Two out of three breaches were the result of weak or swiped passwords, making a case for strong two-factor authentication, the latest edition of Verizon’s annual Data Breach …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2015
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus

Offensively-and-dangerously-in-control of her sexuality popette Miley Cyrus has declared that social media is worse than drugs. In an interview with Australian news magazine program Sunday Night ahead of a tour down under, Cyrus was asked whether her use of marijuana has deleterious effects on her health. Her response was to …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014

Apple stabs Heartbleed bug in AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule gear

Apple has posted a security update to address instances of the Heartbleed security vulnerability in its AirPort router and file back-up gadgets. The company said that a firmware update for the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule home network appliances would address the infamous CVE-2014-0160 OpenSSL security vulnerability …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2014
Money image

Comcast-Time Warner merger: CloudFlare's fare flare fair warning

Distributed web host CloudFlare says its costs rise dramatically in places where telcos have little to no competition. The company, which is hired by website owners to rapidly sling pages and other stuff at visitors, today published a report detailing its peering operations – and the deals it signs with internet connection …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2014
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

Boffins plot global (browser) cookie crumb trail

Privacy laws covering the use of personally-identifiable information are, on a global scale, creating a dizzying patchwork of cookie-cutter cookie-serving companies created to sniff our Web browsing. That's one conclusion of research led by Marjan Falahrastegar at Queen Mary University, London. The group, which included …
Windows 8.1 update 1 power search

Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town

Microsoft has promised to crack down on rogue apps in its Windows Store following criticisms that the marketplace is littered with "scam" software. Windows Store – which debuted with Windows 8 – is littered with misleading apps. Typical problems include knock-off "unofficial" packages of free apps such as the VLC media player. …
John Leyden, 21 Aug 2014

Not even CRIMINALS want your tablets, Blighty - but if that's an iPhone you're waving...

UK smartphone thieves prefer iPhones while their light-fingered counterparts in Germany favour Android, according to the results of a new survey. Mobile security firm Lookout's Phone Theft in Europe study found iPhones are the most popular target of theft in the UK. 39 per cent of stolen phones in Blighty are iPhones, …
John Leyden, 02 Sep 2014


Disgruntled workers are causing more problems for their employers, the FBI warns. Employees, ex-workers or contractors with a grudge against their former paymasters are abusing cloud storage sites or remote access to enterprise networks to steal trade secrets, customer lists or other sensitive information. Insider threats have …
John Leyden, 25 Sep 2014
Windows XP

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Windows XP lost nearly one per cent of global market share during August, according to both Netmarketshare and StatCounter, but there's not been a corresponding bounce in the prevalence of other Microsoft operating systems. The Reg has been tracking the two OS-counters for 11 months now and during that time Netmarketshare has …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Android icon desktop toys

Blurred lines, as consumer tech swallows delivery of BIG IT

A decade of “consumerisation” of IT has, according to Gartner, succeeded in shifting the balance of power within organisations — across departments and from hierarchies to individuals. For IT companies traditionally dominating the B2C market, the opportunities to target the enterprise space looms large. Already consumer tech …
Rachel Willcox, 24 Jun 2015
Peter Gutmann

Crypto-guru slams 'NSA-proof' tech, says today's crypto is strong enough

AusCERT History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on. In a presentation titled "Crypto Won't Save You" at the AusCERT conference on Australia's Gold Coast, respected cryptographer Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland took security bods through a …
Darren Pauli, 16 May 2014
The tag in question

Shove over, 2FA: Authentication upstart pushes quirky login tech

Security upstart LiveEnsure is trying to shake up the authentication market with technologies that verify users by device type, location and user behaviour, as an alternative to established authentication systems. The firm is pushing its smartphone-based services as an alternative to security tokens, biometrics, one-time- …
John Leyden, 07 Nov 2014

Bored with Blighty? Relocation lessons for the data centre jetset

Building a data centre in the UK is a difficult business: the land’s expensive, planning permission is tough and the operating costs are high, particularly where power is concerned. As an epicentre of business and commerce, London is the obvious choice – it hosts the country’s major internet transit hub to boot – but it scores …
Tom Baines, 08 Apr 2015

Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default

The latest release of the Firefox web browser, version 26, now blocks Java software on all websites by default unless the user specifically authorizes the Java plugin to run. The change has been a long time coming. The Mozilla Foundation had originally planned to make click-to-run the default for all versions of the Java …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013
The Four Horsemen Apocalypse ride up the grassy mound that adorns the WinXP desktop

Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Windows XP usage on the web is decreasing as the venerable operating system edges ever closer towards its "end of life" from Microsoft support next week. Data from cloud security firm's Qualys QualysGuard shows that the percentage of XP on machines decreased from 35 per cent as of January 2013 to 14 per cent in February 2014. …
John Leyden, 04 Apr 2014

Romans, Han Dynasty, kick-started climate change

Anthropogenic climate change may not be a recent phenomenon, with researchers reporting ice cores from the first two centuries AD show big spikes in methane prevalence. Those two centuries, the researchers note, co-incide with the most prosperous periods for the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty. A Nature paper, Natural and …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Oct 2012

Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

Despite the fact that users continue to cling to predictable and insecure passwords, the worst of them all is no longer the most popular. Security firm SplashData reports that in 2013, "password" slipped from the top spot as the most popular log-in code. Taking over the dubious distinction of most popular (and perhaps least …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2014
Internet of Things

When THINGS attack! Defending data centres from IoT device-krieg

When good fridges turn bad. It may sound like science fiction, but security experts are warning that the growing prevalence of interconnected “thingbots” is opening up businesses to all sorts of bother. Security-as-a-Service provider Proofpoint warned recently that more than 750,000 Phishing and SPAM Emails had been launched …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Apr 2015
The European flag

ENISA wants mobes to wander freely between carriers in emergencies

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has floated the idea that all mobile phones should be able to roam to another network within their country of residence, in order to enhance the resilience of mobile networks. The idea is outlined in a new report, titled ”National Roaming for Resilience: …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2013
Netgear ReadyNAS 314 (RN31400) 4-bay NAS box

Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Sysadmin blog Is consumer networking gear really crap? As technologists, we tend to have a chip on our shoulder about it because it can't do all the things the latest, greatest enterprise stuff can do, but does that really matter? The capabilities of consumer gear have been steadily increasing, and perhaps some of our ire is unwarranted. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Nov 2014
Artist's impression of Voyager 1 in space

Voyager 1 arrives on ‘magnetic highway for charged particles’

Venerable spacecraft Voyager 1 has arrived in the most distant part of space that can be considered part of the solar system. NASA has labelled this region of space “a magnetic highway for charged particles” because it contains particles radiating out from the sun along with interstellar particles zipping into our neighbourhood …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Dec 2012
P3 uses dedicated hardware

Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

UK readers, what you've always suspected has been proven true – even the weakest mobile networks abroad perform better than some of our best. This is according to German mobile network survey company P3, which this week published solid numbers on mobile network coverage. P3 uses dedicated hardware P3's test equipment And …
Simon Rockman, 26 Nov 2014
Life of Brian

Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

A US computer scientist has released a study claiming to have found out why so many Americans are abandoning their religious faith and says it's the internet's fault. "Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation," reports Allen Downey, professor of computer science at Olin school of engineering. Downey analyzed …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

Australia lacks cash for cybercrime study

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) does not have the resources to repeat its 2009 Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security (ABACUS) study into the prevalence of cybercrime in Australia. An AIC spokesperson told The Register that the cost and complexity involved in an ABACUS study is not something the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2012
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

Target IGNORED hacker alarms as crooks took 40m credit cards – claim

Staff at US chain Target reportedly failed to stop the theft of 40 million credit card records despite an escalating series of alarms from the company's computer security systems. Bloomberg Businessweek claims that security technology from FireEye detected the malware-powered hack – but Target staff failed to act on the alerts, …
John Leyden, 14 Mar 2014

WW II U-boat attacks prompt new US response

May 1943 is held by many to have been the turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic. “Black May”, as it has come to be known, saw 43 U-boats destroyed by allied forces. That number that reduced the size of the German submarine fleet to levels that meant later convoys stood a far better chance of successful Atlantic crossings. …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2013

Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth

Giant herbivorous dinosaurs may have emitted sufficient methane to warm the Mesozoic  climate, according to a new paper in Current Biology. The new theory, expounded in the article Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive Mesozoic climate warmth? starts by advancing a theory that very large, long-necked …
Simon Sharwood, 07 May 2012
Thunderbolt technology block diagram

Acer silences Thunderbolt

Intel's Thunderbolt I/O protocol looks just a little less likely to threaten USB's status as the world's preferred way of connecting stuff to computers, after Acer decided it can't be bothered using it in PCs any more. The Taiwanese company, which is clinging on as the world's fourth most-prolific PC-pusher, last week slipped …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2013

Why a plain packaging U-turn from could cost £3bn a year

Analysis According to friendly "leaks" passed to newspapers overnight, the government may force cigarette manufacturers to sell their wares in plain packaging after yet another review, despite rejecting the policy earlier this year. But the gambit is unlikely to withstand the scrutiny of the Chancellor. Why? Plain packaging legislation …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2013