Articles about Spokesman

The Palace of Westminster. Pic: Misko, Flickr

Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it

The UK Parliament is hiring a load of web developers, analysts and UX folk as it prepares to revamp its website – and it's keeping the whole project well away from the Government Digital Service, The Register has learned. Parliament's website, while functional and reasonably clear, is a bit long in the tooth – and its …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jun 2016
TSA gloves

Lycamobile offices 'raided over fraud allegations' – report

The offices of telecoms giant Lycamobile have been raided in France amid allegations of fraud and money laundering. Nineteen people were arrested in Paris last week and nine of them were charged on Friday, including Lycamobile’s general manager in France, Alain Jochimek, reported Buzzfeed. The Register has contacted UK- …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Exclusive Microsoft invited a UK government cabinet minister from the Remain camp to give its troops the big sell on why Blighty should stay in the EU – but shelved the meeting following the murder of MP Jo Cox, the company confirmed. The senior politician was to debrief the Windows giant's Brit workforce on the benefits of staying …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Fat fibre taxes strangling us – UK broadband providers

Broadband providers have hit out against a forthcoming hike in business rates which will dramatically increase the tax paid on fibre optic networks. The increase in tax is decided by the Valuation Office Agency, which sets rates for all businesses accessing land. The body is in the process of updating the rateable values of …
Kat Hall, 17 Jun 2016
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

NHS e-prescription problems persist after Cegedim fixes fault

The issues affecting the NHS electronic prescription service (EPS) which began on Monday 6 June have still not been fully resolved, despite supplier Cegedim anticipating they would be “completed over the weekend.” While new prescriptions are being processed through Cegedim at the moment, those issued during the fault have got …
Piledriver. Photo by Shutterstock

Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Thousands of South Londoners have been knocked offline due to a blunder by a construction worker slicing through a Virgin cable. On Tuesday afternoon, a major segment of Virgin Media's fibre cabling was cut by a pile driver on a construction site in Brixton. The cabling has yet to be repaired. Approximately 4,300 customers …
Kat Hall, 15 Jun 2016
Bear attack

Russian government hackers spent a year in our servers, admits DNC

The US Democratic National Committee (DNC) has confirmed that hackers thought to be part of Russian state intelligence have had access to their servers for nearly a year. They have read emails, chat logs, and opposition research documents. The attack was uncovered six weeks ago, after IT admins noticed something strange was …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2016
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

British Airways slaps 'at risk' sticker on nearly half its app delivery dept

Almost half the application delivery techies at British Airways (BA) might be pushed out of the company in December under redundancy plans outlined to staff. The airline is in cost-cutting mode, and the GMB union warned in February that BA was considering outsourcing and offshoring IT to Indian titan Tata Consultancy Services …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jun 2016

Dragons' Den-run cloud biz Outsourcery close to sale – sources

Cash-strapped AIM-listed infrastructure services biz Outsourcery – co-run by former Dragons' Den badass Piers Linney – is close to wrapping up a pre-pack administration, multiple sources have told The Register. Trading in the firm's shares was suspended on Friday after top brass postponed publication of last year's results and …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jun 2016

Letters prove GCHQ bends laws to spy at will. So what's the point of privacy safeguards?

IPB Letters between GCHQ and an official overseeing the spy agency shed new light on how Blighty's eavesdroppers interpret laws to suit their surveillance efforts. The memos were obtained by campaign group Privacy international and handed to The Register today. Although the letters date from 2004, they show how the agency is …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2016

Cisco axes unloved M-Series modular servers two years after launch

Exclusive Cisco will kill off its M-Series modular server line, citing lack of customer interest. In an internal company memo, seen by The Register, Cisco data center/virtualization VP Frank Palumbo said stalled demand for the modular line convinced Cisco to end sales for the compact servers less than two years after their introduction …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2016
Phone thief, photo via Shutterstock

Home Office staff: Over 100 of our work mobiles lost or pinched last year

The UK Home Office has revealed that its ICT losses for 2015 amounted to 125 devices. In a publication today, notably pushed out shortly after The Register's expose of the department's mega database project, the Home Office has published information about its annual ICT losses for 2015. These losses may provoke concern as the …
Lawyer up

Oracle to sue cloud sales 'whistleblower' for 'malicious prosecution'

Oracle isn't known as a shrinking violet when it comes to legal battles, and it's coming out swinging over allegations that it was playing fast and loose with its cloud revenue reporting. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco claiming that she was fired from the company …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop

Another quarter and another round of people are being crammed into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services’ employment cannon – 500 poor souls in the UK and Ireland have been told to stand in line. As revealed by El Reg some months ago, HPE’s Enterprise Services (ES) division – the one being merged with CSC – put nearly 1,100 …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jun 2016
Remote control

TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

Updated TeamViewer users say their computers were hijacked and bank accounts emptied all while the software company's systems mysteriously fell offline. TeamViewer denies it has been hacked. In the past 24 hours, we've seen a spike in complaints from people who say their PCs, Macs and servers were taken over via the widely used remote …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Google is the EU Remain campaign's secret weapon

Google has demoted the site EU Referendum to “below the fold” in searches for the term “EU referendum”, where it isn’t visible to most web surfers unless they scroll down. The political site, which was founded by author and researcher Richard A.E. North in 2004, was the top search result for the topical expression across all …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 May 2016

Are EU having a laugh? Europe passes hopeless cyber-commerce rules

Analysis The European Commission (EC) has approved a series of ecommerce rules designed to make Europe more competitive online. In true European fashion however, the proposals contain a lengthy series of inconsistent compromises and avoid altogether the most complex policy issues, making them largely worthless. Vice-President for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016

Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

HMRC is pushing ahead with its own plans to build an online authentication portal following the decommissioning of the current Gateway portal in 2018, according to multiple sources. One source said the department is building its own authentication capability that will deal with businesses – something the Government Digital …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Three UK: Our MMS prices are up. Get around us with WhatsApp or Skype

From next month Three customers are advised to be more selective when sending pics of their food, cats or drunken escapades - as the mobile operator is more than doubling its pricing. Or, you know, you could just use an OTT app. Yes, like the ones that are eating mobile operators' breakfasts with internet voicecalls over Wi-Fi …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2016
Loon balloon

Inside Project Loon – Google's megaplan to build a global internet

Google I/O 2016 Google's I/O developer conference isn't just about code – the Chocolate Factory has many schemes and attendees have been drawn to a large balloon hovering in a corner of the conference venue. The balloon is an example of Project Loon, Google's plan to loft thousands of balloons equipped with LTE antennae that will bring …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2016
Cloud seeding drone

Nerds make it rain in Nevada. The Las Vegas strip? No, cloud-seeding drones over the desert

Cloud seeding – spraying chemicals into the air to encourage rainfall – used to be regarded as a fringe science at best, but now it's kind of a big deal. As such, eggheads in Nevada hope to use drones to turn parts of the largely arid US state, otherwise famous for the Las Vegas adult playground, green. The Desert Research …
Iain Thomson, 05 May 2016

Cavium snubs MIPS, picks 64-bit ARM for next-gen network SoCs

Cavium – the brains behind the chips in big-brand networking products – has plumped for the ARM architecture over MIPS in its next-generation network processors. It's a sign that more and more serious networking gear is likely to be ARM powered rather than MIPS in future. The Octeon-TX family of system-on-chips, announced …
Chris Williams, 02 May 2016
Man rools out fibre cable from a large wooden cable reel on a suburban street. Pic via Pixabay

UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London

The government may claim that 90 per cent of the UK have access to superfast broadband, but in reality an analysis of customers' speeds in 20 major cities, including London, found most folk aren't even getting 24Mbps speeds. Data from comparison site USwitch analysed actual speeds rather than available top speeds, indicating a …
Kat Hall, 28 Apr 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Wanna walk the plank voluntarily? You got it

Exclusive Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to initiate a voluntary redundancy (VR) option nearly two months after putting 1,092 UK staff in Enterprise Services (ES) on the chopping block. Techies at HPE were told they were in scope for compulsory job cuts in March including 780 in IT Outsourcing and 173 from the Application Business …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016
#Unlockjustice

NYPD anti-crypto Twitter campaign goes about as well as you'd expect

A social media campaign by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Manhattan District Attorney to garner public support for forcing tech companies to install encryption backdoors has backfired spectacularly. "The debate over encryption is often referred to in terms of privacy and security, with little regard for the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2016
Flash Gordon

Exploit kit writers turn away from Java, go all-in on Adobe Flash

Exploit kit writers are no longer fussed about Java vulnerabilities, focusing their attention almost entirely on Adobe Flash. All of the top 10 vulnerabilities targeted by exploit kits during 2015 are related to Adobe Flash, according to a new study [PDF] from NTT Group. In 2013, by contrast, the top 10 vulnerabilities …
John Leyden, 19 Apr 2016
Old Bailey Lady Justice

BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

One-time monopoly telco BT is in court on charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an engineer fell seven metres onto a concrete stairwell and broke both his ankles. The three-week trial, over allegations that BT failed in its duty of care to the engineer, is taking place at the Central Criminal Court – …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2016
Air traffic control at NATS

Sweden 'secretly blames' hackers – not solar flares – for taking out air traffic control

Sweden suspects a hacker group linked to Russian intelligence was responsible for an attack on its air traffic control systems last November, it is claimed. Air traffic control systems across much of Sweden were unavailable on November 4. Computer problems meant air traffic controllers were unable to use their displays, an …
John Leyden, 12 Apr 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Fujitsu Services hacks bonuses to pay for minimum wage hike

Exclusive Folk at Fujitsu Services Engineering Services Ltd (FSESL) have claimed that changes to their bonuses made to accommodate a rise in the minimum wage will actually leave some of them worse off. From 1 April – the Fools’ Day – the UK organisation complied with new government legislation to raise the National Living Wage for those …
Paul Kunert, 08 Apr 2016
glow in the dark cat could cure aids

Illegal drugs and dodgy pics? Nah. Half the dark web is perfectly legal

Despite its reputation, less than half of the sites on the dark web are illegal, according to a new study by security intelligence outfit Intelliagg. On the 48 per cent of the dark web which crosses the line, the unlawful content is mostly related to financial crime rather than drugs or sexual perversion, contrary to tabloid …
John Leyden, 07 Apr 2016
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has defended criticism of his company's culture in a letter to shareholders. Still reeling from a damning report in The New York Times last year, which revealed harsh internal evaluations and a culture of pressured over-working, Bezos fell back on the old canard of the company not being the right fit for …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Apr 2016
Doctor Who – The Zygon Invasion. Pic credit: BBC

The BBC flashes £560m ICT deal at hungry tech suppliers

The BBC has once again opened its wallet and is enticing suppliers to bid for a £560m ICT and hosting contract – part of its plans to replace its mega £2bn Atos contract. Over the next eight years it expects to splash between £400m and £560m on the deal, via a "single contracting entity" for end user compute services, hosting …
Kat Hall, 05 Apr 2016
China

Sanctions-slapped Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE swaps execs

Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE is overhauling its management board just one month after the biz was slapped with sanctions by the US government over accusations it had violated trade rules in Iran. The company today confirmed it will meet this week to install a new team, following revelations in the Wall Street Journal over the …
Kat Hall, 04 Apr 2016
Road closed

Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

A tarmac vigilante with a tin of spray paint has attempted to shame a local council into filling-in potholes in Cock Lane, Fetcham, England, by daubing penises the length of the thoroughfare. The irate road campaigner has been dubbed the Cock Lane Crusader, after spraying their penis images around the Surrey street’s notorious …
Team Register, 24 Mar 2016
BT Openreach van outside Comedy Pub

Ofcom wants to crack down on pisspoor BT Openreach biz lines

Ofcom wants to impose "strict new rules" on BT Openreach to improve its leased line services to businesses, in draft proposals today recommending faster installation times, lower prices for high-speed lines and greater access to its “dark fibre” network by competitors. In its Business Connectivity Market Review proposals the …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Union warns of second round of 'massive' layoffs at IBM in Europe

IBM staffers in Europe face another wave of deep cuts, according to a top union official. Marc Born, secretary of Big Blue's European Works Council, has warned a "second massive restructuring" effort at the company will kick off in 2016. This comes six weeks after the IT giant announced a round of layoffs in late January – its …
Chris Williams, 22 Mar 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

Universal credit, the proposed one online benefits system to rule them all, has always been Iain Duncan Smith's brainchild – but with his shock departure from the Department for Work and Pensions, will the government finally put a bullet in the troubled project? Announced with great fanfare in 2011, the programme intended to …
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2016
Bread/pretzels in the shape of zeros tumble out of a paper packet. photo via sHutterstock

Zero-day vulnerability count up by, er, zero in 2015

The number of zero-day vulnerabilities last year was the same as in 2014, according to a new study by vulnerability management outfit Secunia. Last year Secunia Research at Flexera Software recorded a total of 16,081 vulnerabilities in 2,484 products from 263 vendors. The big majority (84 per cent) of vulnerabilities in all …
John Leyden, 21 Mar 2016

HERE: We're still, er... HERE

HERE has provided the best, and some say only real mobile competition to Google Maps, but this week it dumped its biggest fans: people who own a Windows Phone. So we were keen to hear more about HERE’s strategy - to find out whether we have any part in its future thinking. HERE says Microsoft’s impending shift to Windows 10 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2016
management management4

Crayon still hasn't found what it's looking for... a UK CEO

Microsoft enterprise licensing specialist Crayon is back interviewing staff for the vacancy at the top of the UK organisation after its chosen candidate refused the job at the eleventh hour. The position has been empty ever since former incumbent CEO Gareth Johnson split in January, as we revealed late last year. Company …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016
IBM 26 on/off switch by https://www.flickr.com/photos/mwichary/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Power outage in Sheffield kills e-commerce at Insight UK

Insight Enterprise's UK website has been out of action for almost the entire day following an external power outage in Sheffield that took down its data centre in the same locale. The problems began just after 3.00am today, and El Chan understands that when the electricity returned, a surge killed the power protectors and took …
Paul Kunert, 17 Mar 2016

'Millions' of Android mobes vulnerable to new Stagefright exploit

A group of Israeli researchers reckon they've cracked the challenge of crafting a reliable exploit for the Stagefright vulnerability that emerged in Android last year. In a paper [PDF] that's a cookbook on how to build the exploit for yourself, they suggest millions of unpatched Android devices are vulnerable to their design, …
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Osbo slaps down Amazon and eBay – who'll be liable for traders evading VAT

Budget UK Chancellor George Osborne has said today the government will make online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay liable for traders evading VAT in the UK - in his 2016 budget which outlined a swathe of tax cuts. The growing number of sellers based outside Europe and sell goods online without having a registered VAT number …
Kat Hall, 16 Mar 2016

Met Police cancels £90m 999 call command-and-control gig

The Met Police has canned its £90m command-and-control system responsible for handling 999 calls with Northrop Grumman following major delays to the contract. In January it emerged that a three-year delay to the 17-year contract awarded in 2014 would result in an extra £25m being tacked on to the cost. The Met's current system …
Kat Hall, 16 Mar 2016

FBI channels Kafka with new rules on slurping Americans' private data

Comment The murky world of surveillance turned a little more Kafkaesque this week. The FBI has quietly changed the rules on how it uses data collected by the NSA under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 has been used by the NSA to justify its PRISM program, which collects personal information and the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2016

Home Office is cruising for a lawsuit over police use of face recog tech

The UK Home Office has been warned that its delays in addressing police use of facial recognition technology on innocent people's custody photographs risks inviting a legal challenge. In his 122-page report (PDF) Blighty's Biometrics Commissioner stated he saw “no reason to believe that the situation [regarding the lack of …
SAP logo

SAP software download app exposed passwords thanks to serious vuln

A Java application from SAP that allows downloading of software packages and support notes needs patching following the discovery of a serious security flaw. Core Security found that an attacker who manages to get access to a user's configuration file in SAP’s Download Manager might be able to obtain the stored proxy password …
John Leyden, 11 Mar 2016

FBI says NY judge went too far in ruling the FBI went too far in forcing Apple to unlock iPhone

The US Department of Justice has appealed a decision by a New York judge to refuse the FBI access to an iPhone: one part in a wider legal battle between law enforcement and Apple. The New York case is separate from the San Bernardino case in California, over which Apple and the FBI have been very publicly fighting. However the …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2016
Die shot of the Opteron 6300

AMD to fix slippery hypervisor-busting bug in its CPU microcode

Analysis AMD will release on Monday new processor microcode to crush an esoteric bug that can be potentially exploited by virtual machine guests to hijack host servers. Machines using AMD Piledriver CPUs, such as the Opteron 6300 family of server chips, and specifically CPU microcode versions 0x6000832 and 0x6000836 – the latest …
Chris Williams, 06 Mar 2016

Amazon douses flames, vows to restore Fire OS fondleslab encryption

Amazon has U-turned on its decision to remove filesystem encryption from Fire OS, which powers its Fire and Kindle slabs. We've been told that a version due out within the next month or two will return support for encrypting documents stored on the devices. This decision to restore the feature comes just days after it emerged …
Chris Williams, 06 Mar 2016