The Week in Summary

Brown dwarf

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf at edge of our galaxy

Pic Astronomers claim to have identified the largest and purest brown dwarf – measuring in at a record-breaking 90 times the mass of Jupiter – hovering around the edges of the Milky Way.
Katyanna Quach, 25 Mar 2017
Visa
5

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

US embassies have been told to examine social media accounts of visa applicants who have ever set foot in Islamic-State-controlled areas.
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2017
ISIS fighters

After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

In the wake of a terror attack in the heart of London this week that left five dead, the UK government has turned its ire onto online companies – including Google and Facebook – for not doing enough to remove extremist webpages and other content from their services.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2017

'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Updated Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers.
Thomas Claburn, 24 Mar 2017

Pure Silicon Valley: Medium asks $5 a month for absolutely nothing

Analysis Silicon Valley prides itself on disrupting industries – but it has bitten off more than it can chew by trying to take on an already highly competitive market suffering from major money woes.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2017
1

GiftGhostBot scares up victims' gift-card cash with brute-force attacks

Cybercrooks are using a bot to automate the process of breaking into and draining online gift card accounts.
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2017
Elastic band photo via Shutterstock
6

Capacity shortage hits AWS UK micro instances

Amazon's brand-new UK T2 micro instances reached saturation point on Friday, with users being told the AWS service had run out of local capacity.
Gavin Clarke, 24 Mar 2017
Man throws briefcase in the air happily on the beach. Photo by Shutterstock

Alternative vet Quartermaine exits Daisy, Daisy...

Brit IT services giant Daisy Group has waved goodbye to former Alternative Networks CEO Mark Quartermaine – just months after it bought the comms and tech integrator, an internal document has confirmed.
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2017
Boss leans back comfortably in desk. Pic via Shutterstock

Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs AGAIN

Lloyds Banking Group is throwing more UK techies overboard ahead of the big outsourcing deal with a “single strategic partner” that El Reg previously revealed was IBM.
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2017
Power outage
7

Oz companies fume as Enetica outage enters its second day

Australian web service firm Enetica has provoked consternation among customers frustrated about a prolonged outage now entering its second day.
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2017
A US V-22 Osprey tiltrotor lands aboard HMS Illustrious in 2013. Crown copyright

UK.gov confirms it won't be buying V-22 Ospreys for new aircraft carriers

Britain is not buying V-22 Osprey aircraft to fly from its new aircraft carriers, the government has confirmed.
Gareth Corfield, 24 Mar 2017
drone

Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2017

Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

Twitter, the profitless microblogging website, has floated the idea of offering a paid-for version of its Tweetdeck product – and this is going down amongst the site’s users like a cup of lukewarm vomit.
Gareth Corfield, 24 Mar 2017
logo for mcubed conference

There's just a week to show us how AI really works in business

Events There are just seven days left until we close the call for papers for M3, and we would really love to hear how you’re putting artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to work in business.
Team Register, 24 Mar 2017

I've Been Moved: IBMers in same division slapped with 2nd redundo scheme in 2 months

IBM UK appears to have fired the starting gun on a 2.0 redundancy programme for the Infrastructure Services Delivery division – before the first one has even concluded.
Paul Kunert, 24 Mar 2017
"Bad dog": Owner wags finger at naughty bulldog

Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Ofcom has begun consulting on the UK government's desire to compensate consumers and SMEs when telco companies fail, as set out in the Digital Economy Bill, even though the Bill hasn't reached the Royal Assent stage yet.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2017
4

Did you know: Crimelords behind DDoS attacks offer customer loyalty points?

The DDoS attack business has advanced to the point that running an attack can cost as little as $7 an hour, while the targeted company can end up losing thousands, if not millions of dollars.
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2017

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “For heaven’s sake, stop waggling it in my face! Kuh-rist, keep still! Right – you’ve asked for it!”
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Mar 2017

MPs slam 'dismal' cost savings of government procurement body

The UK government body created to save cash buying common goods and services centrally has so far provided "dismal" savings for the taxpayer, the Committee of Public Accounts said in a report today.
Kat Hall, 24 Mar 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

The government will need to splash £145m per year on 2,000 digital staff - or £244m using contractors - if it is to meet the serious shortfall in skills, according to the National Audit Office.
Kat Hall, 24 Mar 2017
Squirrel

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

On-Call Ooh! Friday is here! Which means it's time for On-Call, in which Reg acknowledge that misery loves company by sharing stories of jobs gone awry.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
7

Yet another job menaced by AI! Uh, wait, it says here... Dance Dance Revolution designers

Dance Dance Revolution – one of the few computer games that causes players to break into a sweat – is getting a boost from artificial intelligence.
Katyanna Quach, 24 Mar 2017

Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more

Analysis The OpenSSL project, possibly the most widely used open-source cryptographic software, has a license to kill – specifically its own. But its effort to obtain permission to rewrite contributors' rights runs the risk of alienating the community that sustains it.
Thomas Claburn, 24 Mar 2017
Robot talks unto robot photo via Shutterstock
8

First the Rise of the Machines, now this: UK military's Exercise Information Warrior

Comment Fresh from signing contracts to put artificial intelligence into its warships, the Royal Navy is now running an exercise to demonstrate robotic warfighting tech at work – Ex Information Warrior.
Gareth Corfield, 24 Mar 2017
FedEx's No Flash offer

FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash

FedEx is offering customers US$5 to enable Adobe Flash in their browsers.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017

Boffins reveal how to pour a perfect glass of wine with no drips. First step, take a diamond...

Video A biophysicist has found a way to save precious wine drops from leaking down the side of the bottle after it’s poured into a glass.
Katyanna Quach, 24 Mar 2017
8

Google slaps Symantec for sloppy certs, slow show of SNAFUs

Updated Google's Chrome development team has posted a stinging criticism of Symantec's certificate-issuance practices, saying it has lost confidence in the company's practices and therefore in the safety of sessions hopefully-secured by Symantec-issued certificates.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
Han Solo

Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

Disney CEO Bob Iger has told a conference that the company is contemplating “what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
Sunspots from Feb 2017 vs March 2017

Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has spotted nothing for the last two weeks, which is unusual.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
6

Australia bins safe harbour, presses ahead with Minister-as-NetAdmin plan

Australia this week shelved planned safe harbour reforms to copyright and decided to proceed with laws that would make its attorney-general NetAdmin-in-chief.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
Bezos

Amazon dodges $1.5bn US tax bill: It's OK to run sales through Europe out of IRS reach – court

Champagne corks will be popping in Seattle after US taxmen lost their case against American web giant Amazon over the non-payment of taxes on overseas earnings.
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2017
SpaceX robot

Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

Pic A robot has been spotted on the landing pad of SpaceX's floating barge Of course I still love you, and the rocket biz is refusing to say what it is for.
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017

Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

Startling leaked documents show the CIA could purchase Apple Macs and iPhones, install spyware onto them, and give them to targets.
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2017

We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

The number-one complaint to US comms watchdog the FCC right now is about robocalls – a remarkable 200,000 complaints from consumers last year alone.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2017

Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications."
Thomas Claburn, 23 Mar 2017
Riot police

If you were cuffed during Trump's inauguration, cops are trying to crack your smartphone

Vid The inauguration of President Donald Trump in the US capital was marked by protests, with cops collaring more than 200 people on the day. Now court documents reveal the US government's efforts to crack the arrestees' locked phones and slurp their contents.
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017
Raining money

US Senate votes to let broadband ISPs sell your browser histories

The US Senate has voted to kill privacy rules that would have prevented ISPs from selling your browser history, under the fantastic logic that mobile operators aren't under the same restriction.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2017
image of a conductor

CoreOS Tectonic shift: Now you can run it on Azure and OpenStack

CoreOS is extending Tectonic, its enterprise Kubernetes platform, beyond Amazon Web Services and bare metal environments to run on Microsoft Azure and OpenStack cloud infrastructure.
Thomas Claburn, 23 Mar 2017
7

Android Forums resets passwords after hack

Add Android Forums to the growing list of web properties that have suffered a security breach.
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2017
google_vs_ms_648

As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Analysis Several US-based advertisers have now suspended their advertising with YouTube, following over 200 pull-outs in the UK and Europe. Google had run big brand advertising on hate videos including jihadist groups. Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, AT&T are the latest to hit pause, or withdraw ad budgets from YouTube altogether. AT&T is one of the top-five advertisers in the US, the New York Times notes. In 2015 it was the third biggest spender with $3.3bn across all media, according to AdAge.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
Call centre worker looks frustrated and unhappy. Photo by Shutterstock

Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Call centre staff at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are to be axed in the latest expenses purge, company insiders have told us.
Paul Kunert, 23 Mar 2017
shutterstock_mobile_wtf
2

Vodafone's NB-IoT launch dates for Ireland and Netherlands slip

Vodafone has admitted that the commercial launch of its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in Ireland and the Netherlands has been delayed by a whole season.
Gareth Corfield, 23 Mar 2017
Baby clings to mum's leg. photo by shutterstock

Three to lawyer up unless Ofcom intervenes in spectrum market

Three has renewed calls on Ofcom to intervene in the UK's mobile spectrum market, warning it could lawyer up unless the regulator curbs the proportion of airwaves owned by Vodafone and BT's EE in the forthcoming auction.
Kat Hall, 23 Mar 2017
Cambridge bikes photo MK Jones via Shutterstock

Cambridge wheels out latest smart city platform, ready for devs

Brainbox greenhouse Cambridge has rolled out the latest stage of its smart city network, the Intelligent City Platform, which talks to the city’s existing LoRaWAN Internet of Things network.
Gareth Corfield, 23 Mar 2017
Desk beer - pint at a keyboard. Photo by shutterstock

Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Moderate drinking is good for you, a BMJ-published study has found, directly contradicting the advice of the UK government's "Chief Medical Officer", who advised last year there was "no safe level" of drinking. A daily pint reduces risk of a heart attack and angina by a third, a big data study of Brit adults has found, while total abstinence increases the risk by 24 per cent.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017

'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Comment "The iPad is done," writes Europe's shrewdest hardware scribe Volker Weber in the aftermath of Apple's annual revamp of its tablet line.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2017
Layered clothing for warmth, photo by Shutterstock
9

Defence in Depth: A 'layered' strategy can repel cold attackers

The principle of Defence in Depth (“DiD”), says OWASP, is that “layered security mechanisms increase security of the system as a whole”. That is, if one layer of protection is breached, there’s still the opportunity for the attack to be fended off by one or more of the other layers. If anyone’s ever drawn something that looks like an onion on the whiteboard – a load of concentric layers with your infrastructure in the middle – that’s the concept we’re looking at. It’s actually a military term that’s been adopted by security types in the IT industry who want to be tank commanders when they grow up.
David Gordon, 23 Mar 2017
Robots in love image via Shutterstock

Yahoo!'s big, fat clustered Google Machine Learning wedding

Analysis Yahoo! last month married clustered compute to Google’s machine learning.
Gavin Clarke, 23 Mar 2017
cloud

Always wanted to build an imaginary hyperscale network? Now, you can

An MIT student has created a scheme to shadow packets as they pass through networks, to help take the risk out of experimenting with changes to network configurations.

Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Carnegie-Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute has followed-up its secure C programming rules from last year with a similar set of standards for C++.

eBay dumps users into insecure authentication mechanism

Web tat bazaar eBay appears to be suggesting its readers adopt known-to-be-insecure practices when logging on to the service.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2017
frustration

Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins at Microsoft, the Windows giant has been talking up how much it loves Linux – but it appears this hasn't trickled down to its OneDrive team.
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017
7

LinkedIn starts piping sales data to Salesforce and Dynamics

LinkedIn has revealed a new version of its SaaSy Sales Navigator that pipes activities from the network into Salesforce.com.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2017

NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

NASA hopes to use lasers to shoot data to and from the International Space Station and Earth at gigabit-per-second rates by 2021.
Katyanna Quach, 23 Mar 2017
shutterstock_300234617-signal

Fake mobile base stations spreading malware in China

Chinese phishing scum are deploying fake mobile base stations to spread malware in text messages that might otherwise get caught by carriers.
huawei store in shanghai , china   http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-511162p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00 by J. Lekavicius /Shutterstock - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Huawei picks SUSE for assault on UNIX big iron

Huawei's tightened its relationship with SUSE for extremely high reliability computing, while also denting Microsoft's and Red Hat's prospects.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2017
trappist1

TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Boiled dry or extra-terrestrial snowballs, it turns out that the multi exoplanets orbiting the star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 are almost certainly inhospitable to life.
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin

Ubuntu splats TITSUP bug spread in update

A simple library update turned into a white-knuckle ride for Ubuntu sysadmins, who have lit up Reddit and StackOverflow to complain that their 'net connections went TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance).
strike

Strike that: 17,000 AT&T workers down tools in California, Nevada

More than 17,000 workers for AT&T belonging to the Communications Workers of America downed tools and went on strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday after restructuring talks broke down.
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017

Grab 'em by the pussy! Trump's lawyers 'send cease-and-desist letters' to a KITTEN website

Lawyers for US President Donald Trump have sent not one, but two cease-and-desist letters to a website featuring his face being pawed by kittens, it is claimed.
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Mar 2017

It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

The World Wide Web Consortium has formally put forward highly controversial digital rights management as a new web standard.
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Mar 2017
handcuffs

Russian mastermind of $500m bank-raiding Citadel coughs to crimes

The Russian programmer who built the bank-acount-raiding Citadel Trojan has admitted his crimes.
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017

Error prone, insecure, inevitable: Say hello to today's facial recog tech

Facial recognition technology represents a valuable, and likely inevitable, method of identification for cops and Feds. Unfortunately, it's largely unregulated, error prone, and insecure.
Thomas Claburn, 22 Mar 2017

Malware 'disguised as Siemens software drills into 10 industrial plants'

Malware posing as legitimate software for Siemens control gear has apparently infected industrial equipment worldwide over the past four years.
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2017
Surprised cat photo via shutterstock
7

Softcat purrs as customers buy early to dodge Microsoft hikes

Microsoft UK price rises that kicked in at the start of this year weren't bad news for everyone in the country – IT reseller Softcat saw software sales swell as customers purchased licences early to avoid the hefty hike.
Paul Kunert, 22 Mar 2017
Skype Logo

With Skype, Microsoft's messaging strategy looks coherent at last (almost)

Analysis In 2015 we compared, after many years' experience, Microsoft strategy to "a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head". But relatively speaking, there's one product category where its hard work is beginning to appear coherent – at least compared to the competition.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017

Bloke, 48, accused of whaling two US tech leviathans out of $100m

Evaldas Rimasauskas, a 48-year-old Lithuanian man, has been charged with defrauding two major US-based internet companies for more than $100m through whaling attacks.
Javascript photo via Shutterstock
2

JS package catalog npm frees its team software for open source devs

npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.
Thomas Claburn, 22 Mar 2017

Gift cards or the iPhone gets it: Hackers threaten Apple with millions of remote wipes

Updated Hackers who claim to have gained access to over 300 million iCloud and Apple email accounts are threatening to wipe user data unless Apple pays a ransom.
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2017

Can we learn to love AI and sex robots?

If you've wondered how AI and robotics are going to interact with and affect human sexuality – indeed humans full stop – you should really join us on 19 April for our next Register Lecture.
Joe Fay, 22 Mar 2017
IBM REDUNDANCY PROGRAMME BACCARAT - CARD GAME . pic by shutterstock

Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

Word reaches us of Project Baccarat*, IBM’s latest redundancy programme for staffers in the Infrastructure Services Delivery division.
Paul Kunert, 22 Mar 2017
Dog and fence, mage via Shutterstock
2

Metasploit upgraded to sniff out IoT weakspots in corporate networks

Rapid7 has upgraded its popular Metasploit pen-testing tool to help IT security teams and consultants probe for IoT-related weaknesses in corporate environments.
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2017
The inflatable approaches a swell-lashed Rockall in 2003

Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

Pics The Ministry of Defence sent an expedition to Rockall in 1971 to blast the top off the Atlantic islet, a newly released report has revealed.
Gareth Corfield, 22 Mar 2017

Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

Coppers in England and Wales are "persistently" committing data breaches, according to the Police Federation's head of misconduct.
Falling profits

Gemalto profits hit by crummy US card sales, dials back expectations by, oh, €100m

Gemalto warned on Wednesday that its first-quarter revenues will be between 7 to 9 per cent lower compared to the same period of 2016.
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2017
3

Splunk and New Relic say they're now friends with benefits

Operations people are often quite fond of Splunk, because it gives them bucketloads of useful data about the performance of the kit they tend. Developers are often quite fond of New Relic, because it gives them bucketloads of useful data about the performance of the code they tend, and its impact on the user experience.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017
Three store maidenhead

Hutch's Three UK users ripping through over 6GB a month

Three UK's mobile users are ripping through well over 6GB of data a month, prompting questions on whether the increase is sustainable.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2017
Cool guy with shades on. Photo by shutterstock
3

Speaking in Tech: Glassholes are COOL now Apple's doing it

Podcast Podcast This week Ed, Melissa and Peter chew on the week's tech news from Apple, Uber, Nimble and Reduxio before diving in on the implications from Brexit.
Team Register, 22 Mar 2017
Angry-looking woman croses her arms and glares. Pic by Shutterstock

Plusnet slapped with £880k fine for billing ex customers

Broadband provider Plusnet has been slapped with a £880,000 fine from UK comms watchdog Ofcom for continuing to bill former customers.
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2017

London councils seek assurance over Capita's India offshoring plans

London councils with Capita contracts have sought assurances from the outsourcing business that they will not be affected by its plans to offshore jobs to India.
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2017
4

UK vuln 'fessing pilot's great but who's going to give a FoI?

A security researcher has welcomed the UK's launch of a vulnerability co-ordination pilot while cautioning that a strategy for handling Freedom of Information requests needs to be developed.
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2017
Pop art style illustration of man exclaiming "WHAT?" in shock/horror/bemusement. Illustration via Shutterstock

Surprise! Thanks to the cloud, you've got a hybrid infrastructure

Hybrid IT infrastructures are rapidly becoming the norm. Even if there isn’t a conscious decision to adopt a hybrid of on-premises/cloud networks and servers (for instance, on-premises servers replicating near-real-time to failover partners in the cloud), the adoption of cloud apps is making many setups hybrid by default, even if not by design.
Dave Cartwright, 22 Mar 2017
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10

Microsoft's supremo for China has told state-owned China Daily that Redmond's ready roll out version of Windows 10 with extra security features demanded by China's government.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017

King Battistelli's swish penthouse office the Euro Patent Office doesn't want you to see

Pics Very few people have seen the 10th floor of the European Patent Office's ISAR building in Munich since it's been renovated – and for good reason.
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Mar 2017
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Uber bans 'brilliant jerks', will train staff on Why Diversity Matters

Throughout its recent sexism and scofflaw scandals, Uber hasn't denied that its culture has some invidious aspects.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017
Hacker
9

Web smut seekers take resurgent Ramnit malware from behind

Aficionados of salacious smut sites in the UK and Canada are picking up some nasty software that infects systems by using corrupted pop-under adverts.
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock
1

Juniper emits heavy duty photonic interconnect with a cloudy tinge

In January 2016, Juniper Networks swallowed BTI Systems with the aim of bringing software defined network approaches to the optical sphere. One of the fruits of that acquisition has now landed, with the company announcing its Open Cloud Interconnect.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Now THAT'S a landslide victory: Astroboffins snap avalanche on a comet in science first

Pics Scientists have seen a landslide on a comet for the first time ever, it was announced on Tuesday.
Katyanna Quach, 22 Mar 2017
Submarine cable join

Nokia blasts 250 Gbps across Atlantic in optical test for Facebook

Nokia has lit up a trans-Atlantic fibre for Facebook, in a field trial that showed off 200 Gbps and 250 Gbps wavelengths on a 5,500 km link.
red iphone

New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

Apple's best products succeed because they solve non-obvious problems.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017
window patch
3

Mac OS IM tool Adium lagging on library security vulnerability

A developer is warning Adium users to pick a different messaging app because of an exploitable vulnerability in its underlying libpurple version.
Mozilla Netflix and Tux logos

Linux-using mates gone AWOL? Netflix just added Linux support

If your Linux-using mates suddenly disappear for a day or two, we can explain why: Netflix has just revealed it's fully and formally available on the OS.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017
Crying

IBM wipes away tiers to join cloud storage price wars

IBM's decided to play the “our cloud storage is even cheaper than your cloud storage” game, but by a different set of rules.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017
DoubleAgent Logo
4

Microsoft's 'Application Verifier' bug-finder is easily pwnable

Updated “Don't create undocumented features” should be tattooed in the corner of every developer's eye: there's one in the Microsoft Application Verifier Provider that provides attack vectors on everything Windows since XP.
Cat with a surprised expression. Photo by Shutterstock

Android O my god! It's finally here (for devs)

Google on Tuesday published a developer-oriented preview of Android O, which turns out to be a software sequel rather than softcore erotica.
Thomas Claburn, 22 Mar 2017

Startup offers $10,000 to Silicon Valley techies … who will leave Bay Area

A startup is offering workers a hefty sign-on bonus – if they move out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Mar 2017

FYI anyone who codes outside work: GitHub has a contract to stop bosses snatching it all

In contrast to the restrictions many companies place on their workers, GitHub believes it can loosen the reins through the release of its Balanced Employee Intellectual Property Agreement (BEIPA).
Thomas Claburn, 21 Mar 2017
safecracker

What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

Updated Password vault LastPass is scrambling to patch critical security flaws that malicious websites can exploit to steal millions of victims' passphrases.
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 includes a host of new features

Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Updated Microsoft cloud services have dived offline, taking down Outlook, Hotmail, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live.
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

The UK has banned airline passengers on direct inbound flights from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa from taking a range of electronic devices into the cabin due to fears of a terrorist attack.
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2017
Image by 9 George http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-607441p1.html

World's worst botnet fiends switch from ransomware to stock scam spam

Cybercriminals behind the Necurs botnet have reactivated the zombie network and returned to their original business of using compromised machines as conduits for spam distribution.
John Leyden, 21 Mar 2017
recruitment_hired
4

Wang, bang, thank you, mang: Acer exec off to sell PCs for Lenovo

The wonderfully named Marco Grieco Wang-Andresen, number two EMEA exec at Acer, is floating across to run rival PC maker Lenovo's ops in the same territory, El Reg can confirm.
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2017
Sparks photo via Shutterstock
4

Sage loses 'trail-blazing' executive after less than six months

British software giant Sage has lost a “trail-blazing” executive brought in to help oversee the transition to cloud from on-prem after less than six months.
Gavin Clarke, 21 Mar 2017
6

Info Commish marks own homework, says it didn't break law over Prince Charles request

The UK Information Commissioner has cleared the Information Commissioner of an alleged failure to apply Freedom of Information laws correctly, following an investigation into itself.
Gareth Corfield, 21 Mar 2017
Fox in snow photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft IE11 update foxes Telerik dialogue boxes

Microsoft’s March Windows 10 Update has claimed a new victim: Windows dialogue boxes built using Telerik objects.
Gavin Clarke, 21 Mar 2017

$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

A popular Indiegogo venture to build a secondary e-ink display for the iPhone has shut down after raising over $1m – and donors will not get their money back.
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
Vint Cerf

Fix crap Internet of Things security, booms Internet daddy Cerf

Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, has weighed in on Internet of Things security, warning that a Mirai botnet-style incident could happen again unless vendors start taking responsibility for their goods.
Gareth Corfield, 21 Mar 2017
Adobe and Microsoft have announced new joint projects

Adobe buddies up with Microsoft for new ways to mine your data

Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms.
Tim Anderson, 21 Mar 2017
Swamp alligators crowd near muddy water pool. Photo by Shutterstock

Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street.
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin
9

Three cops to data breach

Mobile operator Three has admitted that some customers were able to view the mobile account details of other Three users via their accounts yesterday.
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2017
7

ICO scolds UK councils: GDPR is coming. Are you ready? Pop quiz says you're not

Councils in the UK have work to do ahead of the EU's General Data Protection Regulations, according to the Information Commissioner's Office's department for good practice.
child browsing on tablet outdoors. pHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK

Plans to force ISPs to filter content branded 'disproportionate'

UK government proposals to force internet service providers into blocking content inappropriate for children with filters have been branded "disproportionate" by the industry's representative group.
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2017
1

Are your machines learning how to be intelligent? Tell us about it

There are just 10 days left until we close the call for papers for M3, so if you want to tell the world how you’re putting artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to work in business, we really want to hear from you.
Joe Fay, 21 Mar 2017
Charlie Chaplin Modern Times

Google Spanner in the NewSQL works?

The commercial release by Google of its Spanner database as a public beta last month came as both a pleasant surprise and a wake-up call: perhaps the end of NoSQL databases is in sight.
Andrew Cobley, 21 Mar 2017

Huawei's P10 breathing on Samsung's shoulder

Review Huawei began to make significant inroads into the premium phone business in the West last year with its heavily promoted P9 models, and the Chinese giant has got this year’s shot at the market in early: ahead of Samsung and HTC.
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2017
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Home Office admits it's preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

The UK Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Outgoing HPE workers stripped of gym cards and cushy remnants

HPE is ensuring that no unpleasant memories linger for Enterprise Services staff being booted to DXC Technology by informing them they are no longer entitled to membership to the employee discount scheme.
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2017

Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Updated Fears of terrorists smuggling bombs disguised as laptops onto airplanes has triggered a fresh crackdown on carry-on luggage.
Nvidia GeForce
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What 2017 holds for AI: Will you fear or embrace our machine overlords?

From voice translation to self-driving automobile, AI's impact in everyday life will become more and more apparent this year. The AI and deep learning market will experience even more rapid technological advancement, very rapid growth and adoption, and increasing competition for both hardware and software platforms. While AI fears will remain, the public will become more cognisant and comfortable with social media AI applications.
Mechanic photo via Shutterstock

Wanted: Bot mechanic. New nerds, apply within

Sysadmin Blog The machines are taking over. At the forefront of this change is the US Air Force, which now has more jobs for drone pilots than any other type. This is not likely to be an isolated event.
Trevor Pott, 21 Mar 2017

Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Samsung has shed more light on its virtual personal assistant Bixby ahead of the March 29 launch of its flagship – and hopefully non-detonating – Galaxy S8 smartphone. The S8 will be a big user of Bixby.
Katyanna Quach, 21 Mar 2017
Robots, image via Shutterstock

This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

Artificial intelligence agents can invent their own language and talk among themselves to work out the best way to get a job done, a study has shown.
Katyanna Quach, 21 Mar 2017

Nuclear subs seek virtual SAN, says VMware

VMware says it's been asked to consider how nuclear submarines might use its virtual SAN.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2017
CERN particle trace visualisation

Large Hadron Collider turns up five new particles

Boffins poring over data from the Large Hadron Collider's “Beauty” experiment are blinking in surprise, having turned up five new particles in one hit.
Surprised man photo via Shutterstock

Citrix reveals full Xen combo will be cheaper than Xen lite for Azure

Citrix has revealed a little more about XenApp Essentials, its replacement for the Azure Remoteapp application publishing service that Microsoft killed off last year.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2017

ARM's big.LITTLE now big.LITTLE.fat.SKINNY: CPU designer makes room for accelerators

ARM is today touting a new way of organizing processor chips – one that will squeeze accelerators designed for AI and such tasks into phones, PCs, cars, and so on.
Chris Williams, 21 Mar 2017

Tip for darknet drug lords: Don't wear latex gloves to the post office

Delivery is the weakest link in the “dark web” drug trade: the postal habits of a large-scale trader have led to his undoing.
Snooping image via Shutterstock

DNS lookups can reveal every web page you visit, says German boffin

Domain-name lookups only reveal websites visited, not individual pages viewed, right? Wrong: the interaction between a user and the DNS is more revealing than previously believed, according to a paper from German postdoc researcher Dominik Herrmann.
Sheep, image via Shutterstock
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New Zealand puts the bite on Apple over taxes

New Zealand has joined the international criticism of Apple's tax arrangements, with NZ$4.2 billion worth of sales over ten years yielding zero tax in the country.
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Nest cameras can be easily blacked out by Bluetooth burglars

Updated Nest's Dropcam and Dropcam Pro security cameras can be wirelessly attacked via Bluetooth to crash and stop recording footage. This is perfect for burglars and other crooks who want to knock out the cams moments before robbing a joint.
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
dragon

Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth

After almost a month spent attached to the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has successfully returned to Earth. The podule, laden with science experiments including the bodies of 40 mice, is now on its way to NASA via ship.
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
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Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins

People traveling by air to America from an undisclosed list of countries will no longer be allowed to carry devices larger than a mobile phone in carry-on baggage.
Thomas Claburn, 20 Mar 2017

In the land of Google, Holocaust denial, death threats – all fine. LGBT? Oh, no, that's sensitive

Google has asked its search quality raters not to assume that users looking up Holocaust denials, or whether women or Islam or black people are evil, are "racist or bad people."
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2017

Google Fiber goes full Wizard of Oz: We're not in Kansas any more

Analysis Looking back, it should have been obvious: when Google announced in 2011 that it would roll out its own super-fast internet service for just $70 a month, offering 1Gbps over its own fiber, it started out in Kansas.
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2017
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FBI, NSA top brass: We've seen jack squat to back up Trump's claims of Obama wiretaps

Vid Monday mornings are never pleasant, are they? Take FBI director James Comey and head of the NSA Admiral Mike Rogers, for example, who kicked off their week by being grilled by the US House Select Intelligence Committee.
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2017

'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court ruling of contempt against an ex-cop who claimed he couldn't remember the password to decrypt his computer's hard drives.
Thomas Claburn, 20 Mar 2017

WWE star's swiped sex snaps survey spam snares selfie sickos

Scammers are exploiting a new batch of leaked celebrity nudes, using the stolen selfies to lure in gawpers and make a fast buck.
John Leyden, 20 Mar 2017
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Safe, staffers? We'll let you know

Staff at Safe Computing - Britain’s nearest equivalent to Workday - are feeling anything but secure about their livelihoods after reading a proposal by their new owner to axe some jobs.
Paul Kunert, 20 Mar 2017
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Like a BaaS: IBM offers Blockchain as a Service

IBM's fortunes are set to change, we're sure of it. After 20 straight quarters of sales decline, the business has launched Blockchain-as-a-Service.

Dr Hannah Fry: We need to be wary of algorithms behind closed doors

Interview Sure, algorithms are insanely useful, but we need to watch we don't become complacent and unable to question them, University College London's Dr Hannah Fry warned in an interview with The Register.
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year.
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
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Cheap calls gateway operator has been on bail for 7 years

A Kent man has been on bail for seven years over allegations he operated a GSM gateway which allowed consumers to get cheaper calls abroad.
Gareth Corfield, 20 Mar 2017
Hand pulls on a latex rubber glove (disposable). Photo by shutterstock
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FCA straps on rubber gloves, eyes Redcentric's accounting mess

The Financial Conduct Authority is to probe the accounting screw-up at Redcentric that was made public last autumn when the firm admitted to overstating assets and understating net debts by millions of pounds.
Paul Kunert, 20 Mar 2017
Toilet with smiling loo paper

Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse

Beijing authorities are forcing desperate defecators to submit to a facial scan before receiving an allotment of toilet paper, sparking a debate over privacy, crowd control and the toxic qualities of Chinese loo roll.
Clodagh Doyle, 20 Mar 2017
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Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material.
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
Batman. Credit: DC Comics.

Norfolk County Council sent filing cabinet filled with kids' info to a second-hand shop

Updated Norfolk County Council left files containing sensitive information about children in a cabinet that was dispatched to a second-hand shop.

MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

Jeremy Fleming, the deputy director-general of MI5, is to helm GCHQ following the surprise resignation of Robert Hannigan this January.

The world's leading privacy pros talk GDPR with El Reg

Interview You know, we know, everyone knows… the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May of next year for every member of the European Union, and that will include the United Kingdom.
Penguins singing photo via Shutterstock

Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Sysadmin blog Microsoft now runs a bunch of Windows servers on ARM processors. Apparently, these ARM chips are quite good at their jobs and Microsoft might try converting entire categories of workloads over. All around the world the tech press has speculated on whether or not Windows on ARM will be showing up in on-premises datacenters. In doing so, they've completely missed the point.
Trevor Pott, 20 Mar 2017
The new Uber rider app icon

Uber president quits, says company's values inconsistent with his own leadership style

Uber's president Jeff Jones has joined the #deleteuber movement because he's come to realise the company's values aren't compatible with his own.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2017

Effort to fire Euro Patent Office president beaten back – again

A determined effort to take action against the president of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, has faltered again thanks to some strategic maneuvering by his defenders.
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2017
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IBM finds Wanda-ful new way to add China to its cloudy Bluemix

IBM”s found a new way to get its cloud into China – a new deal with the Wanda Internet Technology Group.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2017
Quick fix - worker running while carrying a wrench

Atlassian admins, your Struts 2 patch has landed

Atlassian has joined the growing list of vendors to patch its products against the Apache Struts 2 vulnerability.
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Citrix launches Windows 10 VDI from Azure

Citrix has taken the wraps off the “XenDesktop Essentials Service for Microsoft Azure”, a product that lets you run virtual Windows 10 desktops from Microsoft's cloud. But the XenApp Express product it and Microsoft said would replace Azure remoteapp remains hidden from view.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2017

Git sprints carefully towards SHA-1 deprecation

Following the February controversy over whether or not Google's SHA-1 collision broke Git, its community has taken the first small steps towards replacing the ancient hash function.
Cisco ASR 920 with mountains

A router with a fear of heights? Yup. It's a thing

Cisco's let users of its ASR 920 Series Aggregation Services Routers know they've got a fear of heights.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2017

Cisco reports bug disclosed in WikiLeaks' Vault 7 CIA dump

It looks like Cisco won't be chasing up a partnership with WikiLeaks: it's combing the "Vault7" documents itself, and has turned up an IOS / IOS XE bug in more than 300 of its switch models.
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McDonalds India's delivery app was a golden honeypot

McDonald's India has 'fessed up that its app spaffed personal data to all and sundry and has urged users to install an update.
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'Australia Card 2.0' is dead: Government ditches plan for one ID to rule them all

Australia's federal government is sticking with its plans for a federated identity service, but disruption minister Angus Taylor has moved to quell fears of a revived “Australia Card”*.
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Intel reveals Optane SSDs: 375GB to start, at surprising speed

Intel has finally revealed an Optane product and told us how fast it will go.

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