Articles about Services

Google rolls out HSTS

Google has begun its rollout of HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) across its domains. The HSTS automatically forces browsers to upgrade insecure HTTP connections to encrypted HTTPS. Google tried rolling it out at the end of last year but faced technical issues that knocked the Chocolate Factory's Santa tracking service …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2016
A crying child

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Telcos try to kill net neutrality

A group of US telcos has formally asked the courts to overturn the Open Internet rules put in place by the FCC, America's broadband nanny. A series of petitions filed by the likes of AT&T, CTIA and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) asked the court to throw out a June verdict from a district court …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2016

Give .gay to the gays, roars exiting ombudsman

The independent ombudsman at DNS overseer ICANN has used his last day on the job to fire a broadside over the ".gay" top-level domain. In a ruling published on his own website, Chris LaHatte argues that the organization's board should reject a recommendation by its own governance committee (BGC) and should grant special …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jul 2016
Colleague high fives in the office. Photo by Shutterstock

Why Big Business is usually last to the party

Big businesses tend to be exceptionally risk averse. There's a general reluctance to adopt new, bleeding-edge technology because the priority – understandably – is to be able to maintain productivity. Small companies can live with the occasional glitch in systems – a couple of dozen people without email for a couple of hours …
Dave Cartwright, 29 Jul 2016
Customer service motivation cube

What's Niu? No longer profitable, revenues down... but we're hiring!

Once-profitable managed services business Niu Solutions is now burning cash and CEO Shaun Ledgerwood reckons the company will take three years to get back in the black. Based in Surrey, Niu Solutions flogs services to the retail and financial sectors, collecting monthly fees on contracts ranging from one to five years. …
Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Group Policy changes in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, set for release shortly, mean that users of the Pro edition can no longer disable some of the more intrusive aspects of the operating system. Group Policy is a mechanism by which system administrators can configure Windows settings centrally, for PCs joined to a Windows …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2016
I quit

Comparex boss Mike Chambers packs bags and heads for hills

Comparex's veteran UK boss has left the Microsoft enterprise licensing reseller, the business has confirmed to The Channel. Mike Chambers was one of the early employees at the Harrow-on-the-Hill-based organisation, branded PC-WARE when he joined as managing director in 2004. “We can confirm that Mike Chambers has decided to …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016
Parachutist image via Shutterstock

The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Cloud computing is wonderful, until it isn’t. A digital screw comes loose somewhere, and before you know it the whole engine has ground to a halt in a cascading cloud outage – or, as we like to call it, a cloutage. It has happened before, and Bryan Ford was very worried about it in 2012. Then a Yale Researcher, he published a …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Jul 2016

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Vid Microsoft is laying off a further 2,850 smartphone and sales staffers on top of the 1,850 workers it axed in May. The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its …

Bezos bags bonkers bucks as almighty AWS astounds again

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is on a roll after closing a financial quarter in which its operating income more than doubled. Amazon as a whole posted a solid quarter, with net sales of $30.4bn, up from $23.1bn, and net income of $857m, up from $92m. Much of that was due to the success of the cloud computing business. For the Q2 …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2016
UAE

Don't use a VPN in United Arab Emirates – unless you wanna risk jail and a $545,000 fine

A royal edict from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have effectively made it illegal for anyone in the country to use a VPN or secure proxy service. Those caught could face jail time and fines of between 500,000 and 2,000,000 UAE dirham (US$136,130 and $544,521). The change was announced this week by the UAE …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016

Flame Canada, flame Canada ... Botched govt payroll computers spew smoke ahead of probe

The Ottawa data center housing Phoenix – the Canadian government's bungled payroll system for federal workers – was shut down on Wednesday after smoke was detected inside. The Shared Services Canada server warehouse also housed computers handling government email, as well as some government websites, which were switched off, …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn™ switches on first Telstra HFC-powered broadband services

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has announced its first services delivered over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) cables formerly owned by Australia's dominant carrier Telstra. Ocean Reef, a suburb of the Western Australian capital Perth is the lucky recipient of the new service …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
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AT&T fined for school gouge

US watchdog the FCC has fined AT&T for overcharging on the internet service it provided to schools in Florida. The Commission will take a $106,425 penalty from the telco after it was found to have violated laws limiting the fees it can charge for government-subsidized E-Rate service. The E-Rate Program rules state that …
Shaun Nichols, 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
Undrey http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-950635p1.html

Security FUD and malware outbreaks boost Sophos' coffers

Revenues at Sophos were buoyed by the growing threat of ransomware and the like to its target mid-market customer base. For the quarter ending 30 June 2016, Sophos recorded revenues of $127.4m, 12.2 per cent up from the $113.5m its business brought in during Q1 2016. Kris Hagerman, chief executive officer, commented: "Our …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2016
Man weighs himself on imperial scale. photo by shutterstock

BT sees 35% sales gain as it digests hearty EE meal

Sales jumped by 35 per cent for BT's first quarter to £5.7bn, with profit before tax up 16 per cent to £802m - mainly due to its £12.5bn slurp of EE. The mobile operator contributed £1.2bn for the quarter and £84m in operating profit. Elsewhere other parts of the biz were lacklustre. Its Wholesale biz fell 10 per cent to £ …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
rebranding

Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

Hosting provider Skyscape is changing its name to UKCloud, following allegations from Sky that it has infringed the broadcaster's registered trademarks. In July 2014, Sky's solicitors wrote to Skyscape alleging that Skyscape was infringing registered trademarks owned by companies within the Sky Group. Sky pointed to the …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
Heartbeat graph

Apps record your heartbeat but now you worry the Census will remember your name?

Australia will conduct a census on August 9th and for the first time will retain name and address details in the data set created by the nationwide data dredge. That's got privacy advocates worried that your data could be linked to multiple other government data sets, so much so that friend of The Register Jack Skinner has …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

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

Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

In the latest of a series of implausibly appalling statements, Republican presidential nightmare Donald Trump encouraged the Russian government to hack into the servers of US government officials in order to provide him political ammunition against his Democratic rival. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Trump said …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Q in James Bond

NATO holds up £2.5bn platter of IT procurement deals: Help yourselves

Anti-Soviet defence pact NATO's IT division wants to award €3bn (£2.5bn) worth of “cyber, air and missile defence” contracts, spanning everything from buying new keyboards to improving space satellites. The NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency's bumper pack of potential deals includes a £2bn (€2.5bn) satellite …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jul 2016
Woman in balaclava with shopping bags. Photo by Shutterstock

Oh deer.io: Cyber criminals* 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
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
Comically sad tearful man doing fake-looking wail of despair. Photo by Shutterstock

Boo hoo. Brexit to hit Capita's bottom line

Outsourcing giant Capita has hinted that the UK's decision to leave the EU will have an impact on its bottom line, while recording a sales increase of 5 per cent to £2.4bn for its first half-year results. Profit before tax rose by 27 per cent to £186.1m, compared with the same period in 2015. Andy Parker, chief exec of Capita …
Kat Hall, 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
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
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, “ …
Verizon corporate building

Verizon blames striking workers for dent in sales

Fresh from its $4.8bn acquisition of Yahoo!, Verizon says its sales dropped five per cent year-on-year in its latest quarter, the three months to the end of June. Essentially, US telecom giant's wireless and wireline revenues fell over the year-ago quarter. Here's a summary of VZ's Q2 2016 results: Revenues of $30.5bn were …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
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Commvault's growing, even if profits dipped into losses this quarter

Commvault has sustained its recovery for a third quarter although it has recorded a loss after a much smaller income tax benefit was applied than a year ago. The first fiscal 2017 quarter saw a 9.6 per cent rise in Commvault's revenues to $152.4m: they were $139.1m a year ago, and $159.6m in the seasonally higher preceding …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2016
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A10 snaps up Appcito

Application networking and security firm A10 Networks has acquired cloud application firm Appcito. Financial terms of the deal, announced Monday, were undisclosed. A10 Networks said Appcito’s microservice and container architectures tech will allow it to deliver comprehensive secure application services. Products and services …
John Leyden, 26 Jul 2016
Two fingers, photo via Shutterstock

EMC insiders say Salesforce has ordered $75m of its kit

EMC landed a punch on behalf of tech's old guard after it won a $75m deal to furnish Salesforce with shiny new on-premises storage hardware, sources have claimed. Salesforce last month took infrastructure services away from its cloud server staff and put them into the hands of AWS in a contract valued at $400m. But company …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jul 2016
fail

TechCrunch defaced by self-professed 'white hat' hackers

Startup tech news blogger TechCrunch appears to have suffered a security breach by online graffiti vandals. The site, which at the time of writing blogs about Google, AOL and various startups nobody's ever heard of before or since, appears to have had one of its bloggers' login credentials compromised. You got pwned Devin …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jul 2016
Newsroom

Mirantis Fuels up containers

Clever Mirantis is containerising OpenStack with its Fuel plug-in using Kubernetes for container orchestration. It says it is collaborating with Intel and Google to turn OpenStack into a microservices application, and the three companies will work with the OpenStack community to package OpenStack into Docker containers to be …
Chris Mellor, 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
STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …
Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

UK comms regulator Ofcom has said today Openreach must become a "legally" separate company from BT – with its own independent board – under plans to reform the former state monopoly's infrastructure division. In February, Ofcom identified serious failings with BT's ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of …
Kat Hall, 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 …
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 …
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
The big split

Systemax flogs German sub to CANCOM

The break up of Systemax’s European operations may have just started after it brokered a “definitive agreement” to sell the Misco German subsidiary to CANCOM for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal, staff and customer lists will be transferred to the new owner. The deal is subject to closing conditions and is …
Paul Kunert, 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

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016