Articles about Service

Barton aqueduct mid swing, photo Alun Taylor

Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Geek's Guide to Britain There are several fine examples of Victorian engineering still working in Blighty. Tower Bridge in London is one of my personal favourites. I was surprised to discover that another was on my doorstep. Well, 4.34km (2.7 miles) from my doorstep to be more accurate. The Grade II-listed Barton Swing Aqueduct in Salford was built …
Alun Taylor, 28 Jul 2016
Raspberry Pi Zero

Avnet sees Dätwyler's bid for Raspberry Pi slinger, raises to £868m

Avnet, the American technical component distributor, has come in at the 11th hour to outbid an existing offer for Premier Farnell, distributors of the Raspberry Pi. Farnell was all set to be sold to Swiss group Dätwyler Holding for £792m, including debt, but a new offer from Avnet with an enterprise value of £868m has now been …

Hybrid Cloud: The new IT service platform?

So. Hybrid cloud. Let's start with a quick definition, courtesy in this case of TechTarget which describes it as: “a cloud computing environment which uses a mixture of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms”. I like this particular definition as it sums it …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Jul 2016

O2 sales dip 9% as tight-fisted Brits cling to their old handsets

Sales at O2 UK fell by 8.9 per cent to €3.46bn (£2.91bn) for the first half of the year, as customers opted to hang on to their old handsets rather than upgrade. Sales for the quarter fell even further by 12.3 per cent year-on-year to €1.71bn (£1.4bn). However, Philip Carse, an analyst at Megabuyte, notes that, given the weak …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
Mambo Unlimited's gold bug. Pic: Steve Caplin

Avaya data leak bug

A group of security researchers have disclosed a now-fixed bug in Avaya data centre hardware that allows shortest-path first (SPB) bridges to be traversed. It's not remotely exploitable, but it's worth remembering that there's plenty of concern among data centre customers and admins that tenant traffic is private, both from …
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How to upgrade cities to 40Gbps broadband without replacing today's fiber network

Verizon will soon test communications gear that can provide next-generation 40Gbps fiber broadband services in America. Crucially, the hardware is compatible with today's fiber lines, meaning it can be deployed to massively boost speeds without the need to dig up and replace the miles of cables running underneath our cities …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016

Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

Humans have been forced to temporarily interact with their dogs or cats – perhaps both – after PetNet’s internet-controlled smart feeder system suffered a blackout. For $149, the company provides a web-enabled dog/cat feeder that is pre-programmed to dispense food stuffs at certain time and portion sizes. But PetNet warned …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jul 2016
Woman in balaclava with shopping bags. Photo by Shutterstock

Oh deer.io: Cyber crimelords using one-stop DIY web biz shops

Updated Cybercrime miscreants seem to be flocking to a one-stop online web business shop. The use of sites like Deer.io prove the barriers to entry for cybercrime are continually being lowered, according to threat intel firm Digital Shadows. Darkside.global, a URL associated with cybercriminal Tessa88 who has distributed leaked …
John Leyden, 27 Jul 2016
inspector clouseau

Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Police in Essex, UK, are using polygraph tests on convicted criminals – in its own words, “to help manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders.” A polygraph, colloquially known as a lie-detector test, measures the physiological responses of subjects when interrogated. The technology was invented in 1921, by John Larson, …
Heart falls into crack. Photo by Shutterstock

Heart Internet goes TITSUP again

UK-based web host Heart Internet has restored service to customers whose email has been titsup since Monday. Users were unable to use the service due to a single server failure. One reader got in touch to complain: "Apparently in a modern environment, hosted email clustering means only having one server for any individual …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016
CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope

Google Drive trojan fling

Cybercrooks have taken to using a combination of shortened links and a shared file hosted on Google Drive to deliver the 9002 trojan, a cyber-espionage threat. The use of Google Drive to host malicious files is uncommon but far from unprecedented. Palo Alto Networks’ threat intelligence group, Unit 42, reckons that use of a …
John Leyden, 27 Jul 2016
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Getting comfortable with cloud-based security: Whom to trust to do what

There are some bits of computing that you just don’t want to trust other people with. They’re just too sensitive. But at the same time, there are some things that people can do as well or better than you, for a lower cost. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky, but useful. Take cybersecurity as an example. It’s …
Danny Bradbury, 27 Jul 2016
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Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

After roughly 20 years, agile software development has wheedled its way into most every developer's mind as The Way Good Software Is Done. Like flossing, while we can all agree agile is a good idea, we're not quite up to snuff on keeping all our teeth in our heads, so to speak. A recent Gartner survey [registration required] …
Michael Coté, 27 Jul 2016
Projects at risk

MPs reiterate risks of mega £10bn Aspire contract overhaul

UK MPs have warned that HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs) may struggle to overhaul its expensive £10bn IT systems with Capgemini, and that further cuts could ultimately waste more taxpayers' cash. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today said the body remains concerned that HMRC may struggle to integrate …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016

Explo-Xen! Bunker buster bug breaks out guests from hypervisor

Code dive A super-bug in the Xen hypervisor may allow privileged code running in guests to escape to the underlying host. This means, on vulnerable systems, malicious administrators within virtual machines can potentially break out of their confines and start interfering with the host server and other guests. This could be really bad …
Chris Williams, 27 Jul 2016
Russian hacking

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Poll Security intelligence firm ThreatConnect thinks it has found a smoking gun that links the leaked US Democratic Party emails to Russian hackers. The biz has analyzed the communications methods used by Guccifer 2.0, which is thought to be a team of miscreants who obtained the somewhat embarrassing internal emails and gave them …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
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Services income helps Juniper keep Q2 from collapse

The tough networking market continues to make growth difficult for the big names: Juniper Networks has reported flat year-on-year Q2 2016 revenue and has warned of a flat outlook. Second quarter 2016 revenue was US$1.221 billion, and its operating margin fell year-on-year from 19.9 per cent in Q2 2015 to 16.7 per cent for the …
Tim Cook, photo by JStone via Shutterstock

What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything

Apple is trying to put the best face on another bad quarter by saying it has exceeded its own meager expectations. The Cupertino giant had previously warned that its revenues would be down, and Apple execs boasted that they at least were at the high end of those lowered expectations. For Apple's fiscal 2016 Q3, ended June 25 …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again. It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “ …
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

Sharon White, the boss of UK comms watchdog Ofcom, hopes plans to legally separate Openreach from BT will force it to increase its investment of two million fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connections over the next four years. White was speaking at a briefing following the announcement by the regulator this morning that Openreach …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016
Man types something into Mac while sipping a glass of lemon water. Not a brilliant idea. Photo by SHutterstock

Gridstore deal done: Wrap your mouth around HyperGrid HCIaaS

Gridstore has gone ahead and bought DCHQ. It's also renamed itself HyperGrid and says it delivers the first "HyperConverged Infrastructure-as-a-Service (HCIaaS), an application aware offering that brings the simplicity and ease-of-use of HCI together with a pay-as-you-consume pricing model that scales elastically." CEO and …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry's new best pals: Microsoft, Google, Samsung

BlackBerry didn't drop any bombshells at its annual Security Summit last week. Unlike previous years, there were no surprise acquisitions or products. But it did conspicuously share the limelight with a number of partners, some of which may make jolly good new owners. On the stage were Samsung, Google and Microsoft. The latter …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Venomous snake

BT to get Infinidat-driven storage

BT's Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering is being extended and is using Infinidat storage. Infinidat offers hybrid and high-end flash/disk arrays with seven "nines" availability. BT already offers IaaS with a storage component – a mix of storage types including enterprise grade, cloud-based object storage. We asked Infinidat …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2016
Homer Simpson

Data's democratisation: Because there's no doh in Type 0

There has been a slow but steady democratisation of business intelligence (BI) and data science over the years with Excel (and PowerPivot), through introduction of self-service BI and growth of R as the language of choice for statistics. For those from a traditional programming background, Python has become the analytical …
Andrew Cobley, 26 Jul 2016

Failing projects pray blockchain works as 'magic middleware'

“This is the year of pointless blockchain projects” and anything you build with blockchain will need to be ripped out and replaced within 18 months, according to Gartner fellow Ray Valdes. Speaking to The Register in Sydney today, Valdes said blockchain is among the most secure technologies he's ever seen, having survived …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jul 2016

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …

Microsoft offers admins free Win 10 upgrade lube

Microsoft has offered free lubricant to ease the insertion of Windows 10 across PC fleets. Redmond's preferred wheel-greaser is called the Upgrade Analytics tool will help admins evaluate system readiness for Windows 10 in a bid to ease driver drama and kernel panics. The ointment provides admins with a panel showing the …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Boffins snoop on snooping Tor nodes

A pair of researchers from Northwestern University are working on a framework to let users identify misbehaving Tor nodes. In a brief paper presented to last week's Privacy Enhancing Technologies symposium in Germany, they suggest their proof-of-concept worked, turning up 110 snooping relays on Tor. Northwestern University's …
Iraq fake bomb detector in use

Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

So-called Advanced Detection Equipment (ADE) used by the Iraqi army to find explosives have been scrapped – more than three years after the devices were proved to be fakes. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a halt to the use of the dowsing-rod-like gadgets after they failed to detect explosives on a truck that killed …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2016

Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

A money-laundering case in Florida has unraveled after a judge declared Bitcoins are not a valid form of money. Judge Teresa Pooler cleared [PDF] defendant Michell Espinoza of running an unlicensed money exchange and money laundering charges on the grounds that the Bitcoins he sold to two undercover investigators were goods …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
private investigator

Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

A private investigator hired by Uber potentially broke the law while digging up dirt on someone suing the taxi app biz, a New York judge has ruled. Information gathered by the dodgy sleuth cannot be used in court by Uber, the beak added. Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick were sued by New Yorker Spencer Meyer, who accused them …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016

The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

It was devastating. Absolutely devastating. It's hard to imagine anyone surviving such a shocking revelation. But they probably will of course. Thanks to their connections, if you know what I mean. What are we talking about? Take your pick because election season is upon us and everyone, absolutely everyone is up to no good …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016
Zen garden

Zen loses its chill: UK biz ISP falls offline for four hours and counting

Updated Beloved business-friendly ISP Zen has been suffering an outage for more than four hours today in the UK – and the carrier has no timetable for when service will be restored. A Zen status notice said that many of its business and residential customers are unable to connect to its network from mid-afternoon, UK time, due to what …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2016
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SFW is Safe For Civica: EU Ref software biz gobbled up

Civica Group has swallowed specialist public sector developer SFW – which created the digital service used to collate the results of the EU Referendum. SFW employs around 200 people, split between its UK offices and a dev centre in India, writing CRM-based apps, workplace collaboration wares and digital platforms. The …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2016

Alleged hacker Lauri Love will learn his fate in September, says judge

Lauri Love will not find out whether he will be extradited to the US until September, District Judge Nina Tempia said today at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Judge Tempia will hand down her judgment on the US authorities' attempt to have Love handed to them for trial on Friday 16 September at 2pm. There were more than 20 …
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Not-BT-Openreach' biz CityFibre sextuples pipeline

Cable-layer CityFibre has booked a six-fold increase in contracts during its first half of 2016, with £53.8m in the pipeline compared with £8.1m for the same period last year. New contracts signed in the period comprise 3,702 new customers, more than three times the total amount on the books in 2015 (1,110), and more than …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016
Cookie Monster

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Last week the BBC launched a mobile app, called BBC+, delivering “customisable content collections” to your phone or tablet. It’s a personalised service which requires an email address. Last year, when the corporation announced its plans for personalised services, it made several data protection promises. Specifically, Phil …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016
Vibrant Evening Sunset At Twistleton Scar In North Yorkshire, UK. Photo by Shutterstock

Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

This Damn War This Damn War image via Shutterstock I took the plunge and became a freelance IT consultant in 2001. Through an unlikely series of coincidences (former colleague from London goes to travel show in France and bumps into two guys from Yorkshire who are looking for a software and database architect) I ended up in North Yorkshire …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016
cloud

Verizon wants to replace your net gateways with 'a simple mux'

Verizon has launched the next piece of its seven-year strategy to virtualise its enterprise services, announcing a bunch of multi-vendor virtual security, WAN optimisation, and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services. And Friday's launch has an unusual characteristic: it breaks the decades-long practice among telecommunications …
Strike a match

Cryptography vs. bigotry: The debate Australia needs to have

Australia's newly-elected senator Pauline Hanson has called for a ban on muslim immigration on national security grounds. But her position is ignorant and bigoted because it takes an idea to turn someone to terror and it's now impossible to stop the flow of ideas. Once Hanson realises that stopping immigration won't of itself …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2016
Password

US standards lab says SMS is no good for authentication

America's National Institute for Standards and Technology has advised abandonment of SMS-based two-factor authentication. That's the gist of the latest draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline, here. Down in section 5.1.3.2, the document says out-of-band verification using SMS is deprecated and won't appear in future …
A businessman in handcuffs

IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

A former lead systems engineer with a US software development company has been accused of laundering $2.4m (£1.8m) in an IT consulting scheme. The office of the Texas Attorney General has filed 11 counts of fraud and money laundering against Albert Shih-Der Chang, who worked at One Technologies, a Dallas-based firm that …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

IT contractors in Blighty could bear the brunt of UK government plans to clamp down on self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes - with HMRC targeting 20,000 public sector contractors. The taxman is currently consulting on whether to shift responsibility for compliance with the intermediaries legislation, …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

Third time unlucky? HPE in redundancy talks with UK services staff

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has told UK and Ireland Enterprise Services (ES) staff they face the axe once again – in a third round of redundancies in less than a year. The company, which is offloading the division to CSC in the next financial year, is asking for volunteers this time unlike the previous compulsory job cuts. In …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jul 2016
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Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. Overall revenue dropped by 4.5 per cent to €13.37bn (£11.2bn), with sales in Europe also dipping by 3.5 per cent to €8.7bn (£7.3bn). The biz blamed its …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
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Forget your RTO*: Real world Disaster Recovery needs garbage bags and bubble wrap

On-Call If it's Friday morning it must once again be time for On-Call, El Reg's end-of-week meander down memory lane to explore readers' reminiscences of jobs that went bump in the night. This week, reader “Olaf” shares his experience in Thailand's 2011 floods. Yup, those floods that left Western Digital's hard disk factory under …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

IETF boffins design a DNS for digital money

Digital currency engineers are working on a domain name system (DNS)-style protocol to enable money to be shared across different networks. The idea of digital currency – and particularly blockchains – has taken off in recent years, but there remain a number of competing networks that are unable to talk to one another: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016