Articles about System

No need to panic, says SwiftKey, as email addresses, phone numbers appear on strangers' screens

SwiftKey has shut down the cloud synchronization feature of its keyboard app after people reported seeing strangers' email addresses and phone numbers on their phone screens. The Microsoft-owned biz insists there isn't a problem with its security. For the past few days, users have complained that SwiftKey's next-word …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Ribbon changes in Office 2016

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Sysadmin blog Microsoft Office remains one of the most important software products available, despite some rather nasty flaws. For me, Microsoft Office and video games anchor me to Windows. While video games seem set to remain largely Windows-only for the foreseeable future, Office is losing its grip. For a long time, I used Office because …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2016

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Comment As your humble HPC correspondent for The Register, I should probably be running Linux on the array of systems here at the home office suite. But I don't. I've been a Microsoft guy since I bought my first computer way back in 1984. You, dear readers, can rip me for being a MStard, but it works worked well for my business and …
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
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
A coffee pot used to brew tea

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

El Reg towers was plunged into internal strife today, with the production desk struggling to keep the news production line humming as senior editors were forced to launch an investigation into the question that has split the editorial team down the middle: is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot? The rift opened up at …
Clodagh Doyle, 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

Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

UK catalogue store chain Argos has changed shop passwords for its drop-off store facility after a Reg reader inadvertently discovered staff relied on weak in-store access credentials to service orders. The reader – who asked not to be named – came across the issue when she went to send two eBay parcels via the Argos drop-off …
John Leyden, 29 Jul 2016
No entry

Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies

The security folks at Google have been detailing how they intend to harden up Android against attack. In a blog post, Jeff Vander Stoep of the mobile operating system's security team said that in the next build of the OS, named Nougat, Google is going to be addressing two key areas of the Linux kernel that reside at the heart …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Customer service motivation cube

Server vendor has special help desk for lying, incompetent sysadmins

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our festive Friday frolic through readers' recollections of jobs gone bad. This week, something a little different from reader “DB” who says “I do server hardware warranty support for a known enterprise server vendor.” DB's been at it for 20 years and says he's spent his career working on PCs, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Businesswoman shoots arrow from cliff at balloon holding up rival... Bit silly conceptual art. Photo by Shutterstock

Sweating Springpath fails to defuse SimpliVity's patent bomb

Hyperconverged software biz Springpath has lost an attempt to have SimpliVity's patent infringement case against it thrown out. If SimpliVity wins its legal fight at trial, Springpath's Data Platform product could be banned from sale, triggering the collapse of its Cisco OEM deal. Cisco's HyperFlex product is based on …
Chris Mellor, 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
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

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
wrecked cargo ship abandoned on sea bay. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

I, for one, welcome your ship of FAIL

Hyperconvergence is one of those relatively new names for something that many of us having been doing for years: consolidating sprawling infrastructures into tight, largely virtualized setups that vastly reduce the number of devices one has to manage (not to mention the number of things to spend maintenance fees on, and the …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Jul 2016
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Exclusive transcript: WikiLeaks reveals ass call from a zoo

WikiLeaks has started to promote a subset of the documents retrieved from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) as “The DNC recordings”, offering the world 29 MP3 files retrieved from the DNC voice mail system. The Register's crack forensics team can reveal that one of the voice mails may be what experts refer to as “an ass …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Tesla crash

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report into the Tesla crash that killed Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old Ohio man who was using the car's Autopilot function at the time of his death. Brown was driving down US Highway 27A in Florida when a truck hauling a 53-foot trailer packed with …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Drone jammer

Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

Vid A new joint venture between aircraft manufacturer Airbus and California startup Dedrone is selling a security system that can spot drones miles away and knock them out of the sky. The system uses a network of cameras, radars, microphones, and directional scanners developed by Dedrone that can detect and target a standard …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …

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
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

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

Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?

Nine security holes, four of them still unpatched, have been found in the Osram smart light bulb system, potentially giving attackers access to a home or corporate network. The issues in the Lightify Home and Pro systems range from cross-site scripting (XSS) to problems with the ZigBee and SSL protocols to insecure encryption …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Far Cry 4 in game at 4K

AMD, Nvidia in pro GPU battle

Rival chip designers AMD and Nvidia continue to fight for dominance in the professional graphics processor market. Here's a summary of what's gone down this week: AMD is cooking up a Radeon Solid State Graphics (SSG) card that has 1TB of M.2 flash memory. It'll be powerful enough to scrub through 8K video at 90 frames per …
Chris Williams, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry snips Alcatel label off a midrange biz 'Droid, sells it for $299

BlackBerry today took the wraps off its first phone of the year, the cryptically named DTEK50. As rumoured, BlackBerry has based its second Android phone on a reference design from TCL, which owns Alcatel, and "security hardened" it with BlackBerry's Android. BlackBerry also confirmed that a monoblock QWERTY Android was on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 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
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
Battle for ctrl

Washed out summer? Fear ye not: DVDs for DevOps droogs

Stob Hurrah! Summer is at last well under way, so how better to pass the weekends than pulling the curtains on the rainscape, lolling on the sofa and inhaling a few dozen hours of downloaded TV? I am aware that such an introduction sets up certain expectations. However, rather than treat you to ill-informed speculation regarding …
Verity Stob, 26 Jul 2016

Microsoft stops to smell the roses, creates the Shazam of flowers

Botanists will be positively blooming thanks to Microsoft, which has worked with a team of scientists to create a system to help flower-fanciers identify species in a snap. The Smart Flower Recognition System will help botanists stalk flowers across the world using Microsoft's blossoming library of some 2.6 million floral …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
Splash Screen for classic adventure game The Hobbit

Seminal adventure game The Hobbit finally ported to the Dragon 64

1982-vintage adventure game The Hobbit has been ported to the Dragon 64, 34 years after the program's release. The back story: in 1982, The Hobbit was the hottest ticket in gaming, thanks to its addition of big bold graphics and a syntax that did away with adventure games' annoying habit of allowing only a limited set of verbs …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jul 2016

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
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
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 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 …
Surface_ripples

EMC XtremIO has its quirks but rumours of its death are overblown

Comment A rumour from last week implied EMC was considering shutting down its XtremIO product line. How likely is it – and is there any basis to EMC taking this direction? The rumour seemed to come from a number of separate parties, although we can’t exclude a clever viral marketing campaign from a competitor. XtremIO history EMC …
Chris Evans, 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
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
shutterstock_225964027-pizz

MS warns of ..WSF file worm

Microsoft has pulled apart a current malware campaign, and is warning against e-mails with a double-dotted script file attached. The Nemucod malware isn't new, but what Redmond discusses in this Technet post is a wrinkle designed to trap unwary eyes: a Windows Script File (wsf) attachment with an extra dot in the file …

Cyanogen Inc 'axes 20%' staff

Cyanogen Inc, which develops an alternative flavour of Google's Android, has reportedly laid off a bunch of staff. The Seattle-based US startup takes code from the open-source CyanogenMod project, adds in some proprietary features, and tries to get phone makers to ship the package with their handsets. Basically, it seems, that …
Team Register, 23 Jul 2016
 French bulldog puppy wears plastic devil horns and cute expression. Photo by Shutterstock

Diablo conjures up hell of a DIMM: 128GB NAND pretend-RAM summoned

Diablo Tech's Memory1 128GB DDR4 system memory module is now available, and is claimed to be the highest-capacity system memory on the market. Workloads such as big data analytics, caching, in-memory databases and complex web applications that need large memory spaces can use it with no changes to hardware, operating systems …
Chris Mellor, 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
Mellanox bluefield

Mellanox plans to SoC it to storage speed with Multi-ARM BlueField

InfiniBand and Ethernet adaptor biz Mellanox has storage acceleration SoCs coming to provide faster external array access across NVMe fabrics. Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman talked about NVME over Fabrics (NVMeF) in his company's second quarter 2016 earnings call. His company makes InfiniBand and Ethernet networking devices, and is …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2016
shutterstock_184661174

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

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

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016

Snowden's anti-snoop tool

NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden and hardware guru Andrew “Bunnie” Huang have designed a gizmo that wraps around your iPhone 6 and alerts you when the mobe unexpectedly leaks your location. Basically, if you put your smartphone into airplane mode – ie: maintain radio silence – to avoid being tracked, the gadget will kick off if …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Solar-panel roofs on cars, compact SUVs, and high-passenger-density urban transport are all part of Elon Musk's self-titled "master plan, part deux" for the world. The SpaceX and Tesla Motors supremo has just finished writing the second part of his blueprint for the future of humanity. The ultimate goal is sustainability, Musk …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jul 2016
Verne Global data centre server racks from above

UK councils refuse to push data into the cloud

The majority of the UK's local councils run two or more data centres each, suggesting cloudy adoption is still a long way off for local gov, according to Freedom of Information research. Requests sent to the UK's 100 largest local authorities revealed that two-thirds of councils run at least two bit barns and store 90 per cent …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

Stack Overflow, a popular site for developer and IT admin problem solving, is taking on technical documentation, with support from companies including Microsoft, Paypal, Twilio and Dropbox. The Stack Overflow site was created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, and originally focused only on developer questions. It was …
Tim Anderson, 21 Jul 2016

All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Much of the current research on the development of a quantum computer involves work at very low temperatures. The challenge to make them more practical for everyday use is to make them work at room temperature. The breakthrough here came from the use of some everyday materials, with details published today in Nature …