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Blackmail

FTC wants a date with Ashley Madison's fembots

The US Federal Trade Commission has decided to add Ashley Madison's “fembots” to the company's long list of woes. The existence of the fembots – fake profiles used to keep men on the “Life is short, have an affair” forking out funds in case they got lucky – was revealed after the infamous hack of the site. The investigation …
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Chap fails to quash 'shared password' 'hacking' conviction

A man who used his colleagues' passwords to swipe confidential information from his employer has failed to overturn his computer hacking conviction. In a 2-1 decision [PDF] today, the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court's judgment that David Nosal broke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Maybe China's on to something: Clickbait articles now need to be 'verified' by officials

China has stepped up its online censorship efforts with a declaration that from now on all news stories will need to be "verified" for accuracy. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has published new rules that say websites should not publish unverified news stories from social media outlets. "It is forbidden to use …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Jul 2016

EU uncorks €1.8bn in cybersecurity investment. Thirsty, UK?

The EU Commission has launched a public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger €1.8bn ($2bn) of investment by 2020. The EU is promising to invest €450m ($502m) in a bid to spur innovation in cybersecurity with the remainder coming from the private sector. Some security commentators reckon the Brexit …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016

Data protection, Brexit and campaigners: Privacy policy? Eh?

Were you phoned up by the Leave or Remain Campaigns on your ex-directory telephone number during the Referendum Campaign (probably in breach of PECR)? I was. If so, how did they get my number? How did one of the Campaigns, for example, know who was a Millwall fan so the caller from a Campaign gloated (sorry, I mean …
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DRAM and blast it: Micron staff face axe after flash woes

Micron made a loss of $215m in its latest quarter, job losses are coming, and the Seagate eSSD partnership hasn’t taken off. Its fiscal third 2016 quarter revenues were $2.9bn, compared to $3.85bn a year ago and $2.93bn a quarter ago, when it made a $97m loss. Things have gotten a whole lot worse since then on the price-mix …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016

Microsoft: Enterprise Advantage will be 'a step in quite a long journey to modernize our licensing'

Recognizing it has to do something about its tortuous licensing deals, Microsoft has come up with a new program: Enterprise Advantage. Enterprise Advantage – not be confused with an Enterprise Agreement – will be available from early 2017 to companies with a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). It's aimed at …
Chris Williams, 04 Jul 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

BAM! Astroboffins now have a second way of picking up black holes' collision super kicks

Gravitational waves released from black hole “super kicks” may soon be detectable, according to new research published in Physical Review Letters. Einstein realised that gravitational waves were a product of his theory of General Relativity, which found that spacetime behaved like a fabric. When objects with mass – such as …
Katyanna Quach, 01 Jul 2016
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StoreServ's ASIC architect must have one heckuva crystal ball

StoreServ arrays use special hardware, an ASIC, to accelerate storage array operations, and this is redesigned for each major generation of the arrays. The current design is generation 5. Siamak Nazari is an HPE fellow and StoreServ architect, and is heavily involved in the design of the forthcoming gen 6 ASIC. An ASIC design …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016
Google building Madrid (on the left) in  Madrid Torre Picasso on  Pablo Ruiz Picasso square.  Photo by Juan Fuertes via Shutterstock - editorial use only.

Google Spain raided by Agencia Tributaria in latest European crackdown

Google's Madrid offices are its latest to be raided as the search giant faces a series of tax probes across the European Union. The raid was approved by a court in Madrid, Reuters reported, following a request by the Spanish tax authorities. Reuters cited a spokeswoman giving the company's rote statement on such matters, …
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Amazon has slashed the cost of its mobile handsets in return for customers eyeballing more personalised spam – its latest attempt to foist more e-commerce tat on consumers. The deal is open to Amazon Prime members who will have to sign up to "personalized offers and ads displayed on the phone's lockscreen." Customers will be …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2016
Communist fist, photo via Shutterstock

ODM for the masses? Facebook's OCP still ain't for you, brother

Go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and you’ll see a strange contraption cobbled together from commodity motherboards purchased from electronics stores. It’s one of Google’s first production servers, built in 1999 when it didn’t have money to waste on dead-end projects like Wave, NexusQ and Buzz. …
Danny Bradbury, 30 Jun 2016
red shoes. Photo by shutterstock

Oh, Red Hat. Contain yourself and your 'new innovations' talk

Red Hat Summit Red Hat is going full tilt after bringing containers and traditional Linux apps together under its management with a raft of announcements. The company has launched: A Linux container operating system via Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host. Red Hat OpenShift container development and …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016

Dixons, UK's fifth 'emergency service', brushes off Brexit scare stories

Dixon Carphone - which, god help us, wants to become the fifth emergency service in the UK - this morning played down the personal impact of market “volatility” that a post-Brexit vote will “inevitably” cause as it reported bumper profits for fiscal ’16. The retailer said like-for-like group sales edged up three per cent year- …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

Alleged hacker Lauri Love, of Stradishall, Suffolk, who is said to have hacked into a number of US government agencies' websites, is at risk of killing himself if British authorities allow him to be extradited to the US, a court heard yesterday. Westminster Magistrates' Court in London began to hear the extradition request …
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PAC slams UK.gov for lack of evidence-based science investments

The Public Accounts Committee has advised the UK government to take a more evidence-based approach when deciding spending on science projects, according to a report published today. The report comes at a time when the future of science funding hangs in the balance after the UK voted to leave the European Union. The EU gives …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Jun 2016

Another container-sized nugget: Scality S3 server joins nice and small party

Scality has announced a new S3 server, so small that it can run in a container. By doing so, it has joined a few others, like Minio and OpenIO, in providing a new tool for developers as well as opening new, interesting and unconventional applications for object storage deployments. This is an open source project which is also …
Harry Potter

All right, pet? Getting owlish about Hedvig

Comment Trying to position Hedvig's software-defined storage in a market function way is next to impossible as the software is so flexible. And that could be a brilliant position for Hedvig to be in. The startup's distributed storage platform can provide storage for traditional workloads, new-style containerised workloads, hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
Padlock

Google's Widevine DRM doesn't quite manage

Google's much-trumpeted Widevine digital rights management (DRM) system has the kind of hole that gives content owners nightmares: users can access local, decrypted versions of protected content. Ben-Gurion University PhD student David Livshits has unearthed the issue and published a proof-of-concept, but is waiting for Google …
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Three men and a container engine: Let's commoditise this baby

Backgrounder Portworx Enterprise hits general availability in July to provide containerised storage for containers. The software runs on commodity servers, captures and aggregates their storage into a virtual SAN providing scale-out block storage, then provides storage for containers, at container granularity, and with a global namespace. …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016

Quick note: Brexit consequences for IT

Blog Well, I'm not an economist and even less interested in politics - but UK exiting the EU is huge. I have several friends and acquaintances who have migrated to the UK in the last few years because there are more job opportunities, meritocracy and higher wages. This could all change very soon. But this is one aspect. The other one …
Rosetta's view of Earth on March 5th, 2005

Dimes for Fuijitsu

Lucy Dimes is the latest person to jump into the boss chair at Fujitsu's UK and Ireland operations. Dimes takes over from Regina Moran, who has now moved into an EMEIA-wide role within Fujitsu’s Business & Application Services division. Dimes was previously Chief Operating Officer of Equiniti and CEO for the UK & Ireland at …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016

Hackers peer into Uber passenger privates, find and plot trips on maps

Three hackers have found eight holes in Uber that can reveal user e-mail addresses, and found more than 1000 of valid coupon codes including one giving drivers $100 extra in fare rides. The flaws have been reported to Uber which is working through to develop fixes. The team of Vitor Oliveira (@r0t1v), Fábio Pires (@ …
Darren Pauli, 27 Jun 2016
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Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection

BREXIT What price the UK's secession from the European Union? “It's far too soon to tell,” has been the sober and much-repeated line of legal and privacy professionals following the United Kingdom's referendum which voiced public opinion to leave the European Union. Speaking to The Register this morning Andrew Joint, commercial …
London, United Kingdom - June 23, 2016: British Referendum. A voting station in inner London is the grand entrance to St Matthew's Church. UK is voting to stay or leave the EU. pHOTO Ms Jane Campbell/SHUTTERSTOCK - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

BREXIT The UK has voted to leave the European Union, confounding the polls, the "experts" and the British establishment in the biggest turnout for a vote here in 24 years. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation at 8:30am this morning. The count stands at 51.9 per cent Leave, and 48.1 per cent remain – and more than a …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2016
Mega processor cables

Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

Have you ever seen an up-close view of how a computer processor works? If you're in the UK, you can head over to Cambridge and see the process firsthand, thanks to the work of Reg friend James Newman, who has finally finished constructing his 16-bit masterpiece, the Mega Processor. You may remember the story of James and his …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016

Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment

The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO's independent Boards of Appeal published a report [PDF] Thursday in which it decided not to dismiss the …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
FRANK-PAUL NUUAUSALA by https://www.flickr.com/photos/naparazzi/  Cc 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/  attribution sharealike

Are DataCore's SPC benchmarks unfair?

Storage Architect DataCore has been active over recent months with benchmarks based on their new SANsymphony Parallel Server offering. The most recent of these claims 5.1 million SPC-1 IOPS at $0.08/SPC-1 IOPS and 0.32 millisecond response time. Other vendors are crying foul on these results, claiming they don't represent a true test because …
Chris Evans, 23 Jun 2016
Aligator eating a crab

Google beefs up Fiber with Webpass gobble

Google has acquired fellow ISP Webpass in a move designed to expand the reach of its high-speed Fiber service. The deal will give Google yet another way to deliver its internet service to additional markets in the US, specifically those in apartment buildings in markets where Google does not already have cable laid. Webpass …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016
Rosetta's view of Earth on March 5th, 2005

Pure expands Evergreen

Pure Storage has two additions to its Evergreen storage program: a Capacity Consolidation program and a Right-Size Guarantee. With Capacity Consolidation, customers install new capacity into their FlashArray, and data on the older, consolidated capacity is automatically and non-disruptively migrated by Shelf Evacuation …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016
Mitch McConnell

US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote

The US Senate has struck down an amendment that would have allowed the FBI to track internet histories and communications without judicial oversight, but a re-vote could be called as soon as today due to Senate rules. The amendment [PDF] to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act would have …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jun 2016

77 per cent ignore company social media policies

An extraordinary 77 per cent of employees simply ignore their company's social media policy, using Facebook, Twitter and other similar services how they wish. That's according to Pew Research, which spoke to just over 2,000 adults in the US, and has written up its findings in a new blog post. The stats show a complex picture …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2016
Gmail icon photo by I AM NIKOM via Shutterstock

Google enlists Microsoft VoIP partner to unseat Office 365+Skype

Google's going after Office 365 and Skype users in a cloud telephony partnership with Microsoft VoIP ally RingCentral. The search giant and RingCentral on Wednesday announced RingCentral Office Google Edition, a package letting you make online calls from within Google's Apps. Apps are integrated using WebRTC, the real-time …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jun 2016
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Comment I like this tweet: History of Europe: War War War War War War War Arguments about bananas. To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain — Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) 29 April 2016 Never mind any arguments about the UK being sucked into a superstate and whether that's a good thing or the …
Ants steal ham croissant from picnic. Photo by Shutterstock

Datastax comes for Oracle's lunch with new graph database release

NoSQL startup DataStax has announced the release of the newest version of its enterprise edition database, DSE 5.0, which ships with a graph database for cloud applications. Santa Clara-based DataStax now claims it has more than 500 customers in over 50 countries, including Netflix and eBay. Its "does what it says on the tin" …

Police ICT Company head: Eat your cloud, cops, it's good for you

A national strategy on using public cloud services is needed so British police forces can cope with the increasing weight of unstructured data storage, the head of the Police ICT Company has said. Martin Wyke, head of the body, outlined storage as a key challenge for police because of the explosion of unstructured data, through …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016
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Google turns to codeless tap factor authenticaton

Google has set up an easier two factor authentication system to allow staff to login with a tap instead of codes. The Prompt feature is available to Google users and will allow them to sign into Mountain View services more easily than copying codes from its time-based Authentication app. Users will need to apply a screen lock …
Darren Pauli, 22 Jun 2016

Bees with numberplates will soon be buzzing around London. Why?

Hundreds of bees with special number plates attached to their fuzzy abdomens will be released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London later today. The bumblebees are from bee colonies raised at the university and are part of a wider effort to step up conservation efforts in the London Pollinator Project. The …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jun 2016

The SPC-1 benchmark is cobblers, thunders Oracle veep

Comment The DataCore SPC-1-topping benchmark has attracted attention, with some saying that it is artificial (read cache-centric) and unrealistic as the benchmark is not applicable to today's workloads. Oracle SVP Chuck Hollis told The Register: "The way [DataCore] can get such amazing IOPS on a SPC-1 is that they're using an enormous …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Bare knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

Netflix picks fight with internet exchange industry

The internet exchange industry is ripping customers off, charging too much for features people don't need, and spending millions on staff salaries, unnecessary marketing and social events. That's according to the vice president of network strategy and architecture for Netflix, David Temkin, who created a stir at a meeting of …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2016
Terminator head

Baidu tech chief: AI smart enough to take our jobs, not our lives. Yet

ISC (RotM) Artificial intelligence is about to transform society in the same way electricity did 100 years ago, but researchers are nowhere near producing the sort of self-aware sociopathic systems beloved of sci-fi writers. At least that’s what Andrew Ng, Silicon Valley-based chief scientist at Chinese Web giant Baidu, when he kicked …
Joe Fay, 20 Jun 2016
Robot touches screen with finger. Photo via Shutterstock

Israel and US forge human-free cyber info-sharing pact

The US and Israel and due to announce a bilateral threat sharing programme involving co-operation between the two allies' Computer Emergency Response Teams. The agreement, due to be signed on Tuesday, was trailed in respective conference speeches by Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of US Homeland Security and Dr Eviatar …
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2016
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TeamViewer not View-ed

Access to TeamViewer has been dodgy today, with complaints spiking on downdetector at 2pm in the UK. A TeamViewer corporate spokesperson told The Register: “Apparently, a global ISP has issues within their network. This may affect our service. However, this is not a TeamViewer issue.” Many other companies have been affected …
stack of newspapers view from the side

Twitter buys Magic Pony

Twitter has announced its acquisition of London-based machine learning firm Magic Pony Technology for an undisclosed amount. Magic Pony Technology, which claims to have more than 20 international patents for machine learning based approaches for visual processing, said it has now joined forces with Twitter to improve the …
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Oz doctors develop surgical robot designed to operate on your wallet

If your wallet is too heavy by AU$10,000 or so, relax: Australian doctors can relieve your pain with a robot surgeon. This paper in the Medical Journal of Australia enumerates the various ways in which patients can get overcharged for cancer treatment. But the standout, from Vulture South's point of view, was in this …
Ricky Gervais

Vid: New 'The Office' trailer

A new teaser trailer for forthcoming flick David Brent: Life on The Road has landed on YouTube. The trailer gives us a hint of the film's content: Brent's left management and office supplies behind to become a singer-songwriter. He has not, however, stopped being an irredeemable and scarcely-tolerated twit incapable of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2016

Google to shower 50%+ more gold on code-bearing bug hunters

Google will pay out potentially 50 per cent or more cash to bug hunters who couple software vulnerability reports with proof-of-concept exploit code or patches. Example exploits alone will bump critical bug payments by 33 per cent from US$3,000 (£2,101, A$4,060) to US$4,000 (£2,802, A$5,413). A "high quality" bug report with …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jun 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Keep on trucking: Dropbox's Magic Pocket and the curse of the loading bay

It's not something the average sysadmin has to worry about, but when you're rolling out terabyte after terabyte into a data centre with a presto time signature, the loading bay becomes a bottleneck. That's the kind of thing Dropbox faced in its rapid-fire move to build its own cloud outside the warm embrace of Amazon Web …

TAFE's troubled TITSUP tech terminated AT BLOODY LAST

The NSW state government has squibbed in its valiant bid to operate the country's most wasteful IT catastrophe, canning part of a miserably-awful SAP-based enrolment system from the TAFE network after spending over $100m dollars on it. The Learning Management and Business Reform (LMBR) network TITSUP (Total Inability To …
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Laser probers sniff more gravitational waves from mega black hole smash

An international team of physicists has announced that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected gravitational waves from a second pair of colliding black holes. The genius of Einstein At the start of the year, the scientific community was buzzing with excitement after rumours started …
Katyanna Quach, 16 Jun 2016