Google Translate spews doomsday messages, Facebook snatches boffins, and more in AI
Roundup Hello, welcome to this week's roundup in AI. The machines have been sending us spooky messages on Google Translate, Facebook is hiring more academics to start new labs and some prat decided to step on a self-driving car in California.
LabCorp ransomed, 18k routers rooted, a new EXIF menace, and more
Roundup This was the week of blunders by Venmo, million-dollar bank heists, and beefier bug bounties.
Microsoft Visual Studio Code replumbed for better Python taming
Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, the company's Electron-based source code editor for Linux, macOS and Windows, has been bestowed with the company's Python Language Server, making it more fluent in the popular programming language.
Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks
NSFW Artificially intelligent software is used more and more to automatically detect and ban nude images on social networks and similar sites. However, today's algorithms and models aren't perfect at clocking racy snaps, and a lot of content moderation still falls to humans.
Microsoft: The Kremlin's hackers are already sniffing, probing around America's 2018 elections
Microsoft says it has already uncovered evidence of Russian government-backed hacking gangs attempting to interfere in the 2018 US mid-term elections.
Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers
Up to 90 per cent of the average online retailer's login traffic is generated by cybercriminals trying their luck with credential stuffing attacks, Shape Security estimated in its latest Credential Spill Report.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter make it easier to download your info and upload to, er, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter etc...
Allowing developers to siphon millions of netizens' personal information didn't work out so well for Facebook, given the Cambridge Analytica affair.
Crypto gripes, election security, and mandatory cybersec school: Uncle Sam's cyber task force emits todo list for govt
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) this week released the first report from its Cyber Digital Task Force – which was set up in February to advise the government on strengthening its online defenses.
Doctor, doctor, I feel like my IoT-enabled vacuum cleaner is spying on me
Vulnerabilities in a range of robot vacuum cleaners allow miscreants to access the gadgets' camera, and remote-control the gizmos.
Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare
Comment Two contradictory ideas run through statements by Microsoft executives this week.
Cybercrooks slurp nearly $1m from Russian bank after pwning router at regional branch
Hackers stole almost $1m from a Russian bank earlier this month after breaching its network via an outdated router.
Accounting software biz Intuit flogging bit barn to throw its lot in with AWS
Financial software flinger Intuit is binning its biggest data centre and plonking its corporate backends onto AWS – in another win for the public cloud's biggest player.
As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?
Four years ago at the height of smartwatch hype, it was the most desirable mineral in the world. The tech superpowers jostled to obtain supplies of the material, just as the superpowers jostled to secure their nitrate supplies* ahead of the First World War.
UK's Huawei handler dials back support for Chinese giant's kit in critical infrastructure
A UK government-run oversight board has expressed misgivings about the security of telecoms kit from Chinese firm Huawei.
♫ The Core i9 clock cycles go up. Who cares where they come down?
Owners of laptops fitted with Intel's Core i9 high-performance processor, including computers made by Apple and Dell, are finding that the machines slow down compared to the pace of older models.
If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1
There was a lull after the 3D printer sales storm in 2017 as shipments of personal/desktop boxes declined in the first quarter of this year for the first time, according to distributor stats.
Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling
Comment The European Commission wants to see a thousand Android forks bloom as the result of its decision yesterday to demand remedies from Google for its anti-competitive conduct on mobile.
What if tech moguls brewed real ale?
Competition The fine people at CAMRA are also fans of The Register, and are giving away both free and half-price tickets for possibly one of the greatest show on Earth: the incredible Great British Beer Festival at Olympia next month.
Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?
Something for the Weekend, Sir? Try as I might, it won't go in.
You're burning £1.2bn for what? UK spending watchdog gives digital court plans a kicking
UK Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has told HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) that it has "much to learn" as it ploughs on with its ambitious £1.2bn court digitisation project.
What does AI and machine learning mean for finance, security, energy?
Events If you’re looking for practical advice on what machine learning and AI can do for businesses like yours, you should secure your place at MCubed, our three-day exploration of all of the above, in October.
Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions
On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, in which Register readers share their stories of silly tech support incidents.
Alien sun has smashing time sucking up planets
Scientists believe they have captured direct evidence of a star feasting on its own planets for the first time.
Get rich with Firefox or *(int *)NULL = 0 trying: Automated bug-bounty hunter build touted
Do you love Firefox, Linux, and the internet? Are you interested in earning money from the comfort of your own home? Are you OK with a special flavor of Firefox quietly gobbling up memory in a hunt for exploitable security bugs?
Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year
Microsoft has closed out a massive fiscal 2018 that saw the Redmond giant lay claim to more than $110bn in total revenue.
Boffins mix AI and chemicals to create super-fast lab assistant
Machine learning can help robots perform chemistry experiments faster than fleshy boffins, according to research published in Nature.
Acquisition Galvanize'd: Code bootcamp Hack Reactor eyed up by hungry tech trainers
Galvanize – a for-profit tech training biz headquartered in Denver, USA – said today it plans to acquire Hack Reactor, a San Francisco-based code bootcamp provider, for an undisclosed sum.
Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines
Savants reckon radiation released by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear kerfuffle has made its way into California's wine.
Mmm, yes. 11-nines data durability? Mmmm, that sounds good. Except it's virtually meaningless
Analysis What do data durability numbers mean? Azure brags 12 and even 16 nines durability, while Amazon S3, Google Cloud Platform and Backblaze tout 11 nines. What does this mean?
Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto
Efforts by British boffins to thwart Russian cryptographic cyphers in the 1920s and 1930s have been declassified, providing fascinating insights into an obscure part of the history of code breaking.
Architects? Power-hungry GPU fiends? HP has something for you
Demonstrating that there is still life in the old dog, HP Inc has ripped the covers off a line-up of workstations aimed squarely at users seeking a lot more oomph from a smaller form-factor.
Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts
A cross-sector alliance incorporating leading UK organisations has been created in response to government plans to develop a national professional body for cybersecurity.
Adobe on internal systems security hole: Panic not. It isn't critical
Adobe has attempted to play down the significance of a vulnerability in its internal systems.
Spooked Cisco chief phoned AWS, asked: You're not making a switch, are you?
Network hardware makers can rest easy: the tech titan that is Amazon Web Services isn't going to be selling switches any time soon, which will likely be music to the ears of current AWS supplier Cisco.
Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz
As the big red ball in the sky continued to shine on the UK, internet providers decided to have a bit of a lie-down, with Sky, TalkTalk and leased line specialist M24Seven all taking a turn on the sun-lounger.
Liquidators appointed for Tintri UK as DDN bids to become reseller
Liquidators were today appointed to squeeze Tintri UK for whatever cash they can get out of the fallen business.
Azure running out of internets in UK South, starts rationing VMs
There are rumblings that Azure is having capacity issues once again, with customers in the UK South region reporting problems getting new VMs provisioned.
British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage
Exclusive The British Airways IT system failure that caused the grounding of flights around the world yesterday was caused by an outage at third-party travel tech supplier Amadeus.
Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service
The water wells across parts of England* may be running dry but Southern Water has kept the taps running on its long running managed service deal with Capita, extending the contacts initially by five years for £30m.
5G whizz: Ericsson just turned in first profit since 2016
Ericsson has dodged a loss for the first time in two years, after 18 months under the strict regime imposed by CEO Börje Ekholm, who took the reins at the vendor at the start of 2017.
Azure promises to keep your backups safe and snug for up to 10 years
Microsoft continued its drive to encourage SQL Server customers to move their precious data to its cloudy towers with the announcement that long-term retention and automatic failover had finally hit the big time.
Want to save more on Serverless Computing? You’ve gotta be FaaS
If you like simplifying your infrastructure, saving money, and beating deadlines, you’ll want to know that you’ve got just one month to save hundreds of pounds on tickets for Serverless Computing London.
Why why why Di Data? Brit limb Advanced Infrastructure has date with administrators
Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure (DDAI) will not be providing network plumbing to the construction industry again – at least in its current guise – because the business is in administration.
Airbus UK infosec gros fromage: Yep, we work with arch-rivals Boeing
Airbus's UK infosec chief, Ian Goslin, has said that cyber-attack attribution is a matter for "nation states" – and has questioned whether some critical national infrastructure companies are taking the infosec threat seriously.
Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century
Slackware, the oldest Linux distribution still being maintained, has turned 25 this week, making many an enthusiast wonder where all those years went.
Windows Server 2019 tweaked to stop it getting clock-blocked
Microsoft Windows Server 2019, coming later this year, will include UTC-compliant leap second support, both for added and subtracted time. But there will be no smearing.
Elon Musk, his arch nemesis DeepMind swear off AI weapons
Hundreds of organisations and thousands of techies, including Elon Musk, Demis Hassabis from Google's DeepMind, and the head of the Chocolate Factory's AI lab Jeff Dean have promised never to support the development of autonomous weapons.
Oz researchers, uni unite against Defence overreach
Australia’s research and university communities have united against what they see as Department of Defence overreach: the brass-hats want greater powers to control international collaboration.
Telco IT admins on red alert as Cisco flings out patches for security holes in policy toolkit
Cisco has emitted 25 product security advisories – with four critical bugs flattened in its service provider-oriented Cisco Policy Suite.
ME! ME! ME! – Intel's management tech gets a quartet of security fixes
In case you missed it, Chipzilla has gone public with more security updates for the Intel Management Engine.
Big(ish) Blue: IBM sales creep up four per cent, share price follows suit
IBM is touting the growth in its "strategic imperatives" business lineup with helping its revenues once again gain over the year-ago quarter.
Techie sues ex-bosses, claims their AI avatar tech was faked – and he was allegedly beaten up after crying foul
An engineer is suing Pinscreen, a startup that supposedly uses AI to generate cartoon avatars of people, claiming he was illegally fired and assaulted after confronting the CEO about its allegedly faked technology.
Bloke accused of netting $5m on inside info about Lattice Semiconductor
A Chinese investor has been charged in America with insider trading after allegedly using Lattice Semiconductor secrets to turn a massive profit on Wall Street.
Who's leaving Amazon S3 buckets open online now? Cybercroooks, US election autodialers
Security biz Kromtech has unearthed two more embarrassing – and potentially dangerous – cases of groups leaving mass data caches unguarded on the public internet.
Google Cloud Platform reins in its trigger-happy account-axing AI cops
With no mention of Tuesday's Cloud Platform service troubles, Google on Wednesday heralded the arrival of click-to-deploy Kubernetes apps in the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace.
Will this biz be poutine up the cash? Hackers demand dosh to not leak stolen patient records
Hackers say they will leak patient and employee records stolen from a Canadian healthcare provider unless they are paid off.
Windows 10 IoT Core Services unleashed to public preview
Be still your beating hearts, Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core Services has hit public preview and the software giant has indicated just how much it is all going to cost.
Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix
The great British tradition of huffing, tutting and whinging is in grave peril. Regulator Ofcom has reported a decline in complaints across telecoms, mobile and TV services.
So long and thanks for all the fixes: ERPScan left out of credits on Oracle bug-bash list
Oracle fixed 17 flaws in its products found by ERPScan researchers without acknowledging the application security firm, which was recently and controversially sanctioned in the US.
Mellanox plumps up thanks to the storage world's hankering for high-speed Ethernet
High-speed Ethernet biz Mellanox has posted record revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, driven in part by Dell EMC and HPE's seeming insatiable appetite for Ethernet switches.
Brit watchdog fines child sex abuse inquiry £200k over mass email blunder
The UK's data watchdog today issued the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) a £200,000 penalty after it sent a bulk email to participants that identified possible victims of historical crimes.
Reduxio turns inward and, er, sales off for the channel
Israeli storage startup Reduxio, with its shiny new CEO, is going to sell only via channel middlemen and has waved bye to another exec.
Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave
Analysis What convinced the European Commission that it had a Microsoft-scale competition problem on its hands with Google isn't a mystery. Google engaged in a carbon copy of '90s Microsoft-style tactics.
Microsoft's 'room-scale' Ginormonitor probably not as big as a room
Lovers of big screens in boardrooms, rejoice! The first of Microsoft's Ginormonitors (aka Windows Collaboration Displays) has arrived at Redmond's partner shindig in Las Vegas.
Call records breach let users feel like Movistars (with everyone watching who they're talking to)
Telefonica Spain has inadvertently exposed the personal details of customers of its Movistar division.
Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever
The shape of the smartphone is changing as a fad turns into a long-term trend, a business analyst has noted.
Continuous Lifecycle 2019 call for papers is open NOW
Events Continuous Lifecycle London returns in May 2019, and we want to hear your proposals for conference sessions and all-day workshops, spanning the full range of agile, DevOps, application lifecycle management, CD, and container technologies and methodologies.
Micron-Intel 3D XPoint split: It's not you, it's m... nah, it is totally you
Comment Micron's commercial discussions with Intel over 3D XPoint have concluded that the tech partnership will be dissolved once second-gen development is completed next year.
Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes
Analysis Imagine if Intel had decided in the 1980s that all of its CPUs henceforth would have a vast parallel processing unit worthy of a Cray supercomputer, integrated into every chip. This would quadruple the price of an Intel microprocessor, but "future-proof" its PCs.
Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere
Hands-On I’m typing this story on a phone – a Galaxy S9+ to be precise, lodged in Samsung’s new “DeX Pad” not-a-dock that turns its high-end handsets into passable desktops when connected to a monitor or tellie over HDMI.
PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours
PayPal-owned digital wallet Venmo shares way too much data via its public API, according to Berlin-based researcher Hang Do Thi Duc.
Microsoft to pay new bounties for identity services holes
Microsoft’s launched a new bug bounty program, this time for identity services.
Samsung touts bonkers-fast 8 Gbit DRAM for phones, AIs
Samsung has shown off the first prototype of a somewhat-bonkers DRAM chip: at 8 Gbits, it's not news in terms of scale, but the LPDDR5 silicon pushes bits out the door at 6,400 megabits per second.
People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking
Google thinks the time has come for widespread adoption of PCs-as-a-service, so has offered up its own experience as an exemplar how to get it done.
AI can untangle the jumble of neurons packed in brain scans
Video AI can help neurologists automatically map the connections between different neurons in brain scans, a tedious task that can take hundreds and thousands of hours.
The crowd roars and Ruckus joins in with 802.11ax kit
Ruckus Networks has focussed on high-density environments with its entry into the 802.11ax Wi-Fi market.
Code of conduct claims new Texas Instruments CEO after just six weeks
Former Texas Instruments CEO Rich Templeton will return to the role after a six-week break, because his replacement has been dumped for breaching the company's code of conduct.
Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France
Google has announced its first private trans-Atlantic cable, with landings at Virginia Beach in the US and on the French Atlantic coast.
AWS launches on-premises EC2 instances for reverse hybrid cloud
In a major departure from its usual cloud-only stance, Amazon Web Services has announced it’s now possible to run EC2 instances with on-premises hardware – but only its own Snowball Edge devices.
Blood test biz LabCorp pulls plug on systems over hacker fears
Medical biz LabCorp shut down some of its systems last week after it detected "suspicious activity" on its network.
IBM attempts to graft virtual machine security onto container flexibility
IBM researchers have developed a new flavor of software container in an effort to create code that's more secure than Docker and similar shared kernel container systems.
Webinar: Get a good look at Microsoft’s Windows Analytics suite
Promo Windows Analytics is a cloud-based suite of solutions that provides proactive insights into the current state of a Windows environment.
Scumbag confesses in court: LuminosityLink creepware was my baby
A US software developer has admitted to selling and supporting spyware after originally claiming his remote access tool was legitimate admin software.
By Jove! Astroboffins spot 12 new spanking moons around Jupiter
Jupiter already had the most moons in the Solar System, but now scientists have discovered twelve new ones bringing the total up to 79.
Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court
In a victory for those supporting open access to technical specifications, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday vacated injunctions [PDF] that prohibited Public.Resource.Org (PRO) from publishing copyrighted technical standards online.
US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)
Updated A US voting machine manufacturer has admitted some of its systems sold in the early 2000s had a remote access tool installed.
Commvault simplifies product count, condenses 20 into 4
Just three months after activist investor Elliott Management invaded Commvault’s board-level considerations, the company has announced a radical simplification of its product strategy, shoehorning 20 individual products into four master ones and pumping improvements into its channel program.
Look, what's that over there? Sophos nips Windows DNS DLL false positive in the bud
A Windows operating system library was wrongly identified as malware by Sophos's antivirus scanner for some users on Tuesday.
Devs: This is another fine Mesh you've got us into, Microsoft
From the department of "things punted to public preview before they're totally ready" comes Azure Service Fabric Mesh.
What's in a name? For Cambridge Analytica, about a quid apparently
Administrators dealing with the group of firms affiliated with Cambridge Analytica were offered a pound for the now infamous brand – but didn't accept.
Russia's national vulnerability database is a bit like the Soviet Union – sparse and slow
Russia's vulnerability database is much thinner than its US or Chinese counterparts – but it does contain a surprisingly high percentage of security bugs exploited by its cyber-spies.
TalkTalk shrugs off moaning customers to claim 80,000 more
UK comms provider TalkTalk grew its customer base by a net 80,000 in the first quarter of FY19, the company said in a trading update today. 2.1 million subscribers are now on fixed-price plans.
Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart
Denmark-based brewing giant Carlsberg has reported good progress in its attempts to turn Microsoft's Azure AI into a robot beer sniffer.
Yar, thar she blows: Corp-cash-stealing email whaling attacks now a $12.5bn industry
Business email accounts remain a lucrative way for scammers to get into companies and turn a quick buck.
Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach
Updated Capita has admitted a bug in an information management system used by 21,000 UK schools could have incorrectly linked contact details to the wrong pupils – an incident with huge implications for pupils' data protection.
Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no
Security experts have poured scorn on plans by US president Donald Trump to work more closely with Russia on cybersecurity.
Oracle cuts ribbon on distributed ledger service
Oracle confirmed a bunch of firms in financial services - traditionally a conservative sector - were among the first to test its blockchain platform that today was made generally available to all and sundry.
Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1
Windows users still clinging onto to the halcyon days of Skype 7 (aka "Classic") were warned last night to move to version 8 or face the service dying from September 1.
You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way
Here at El Reg towers, our backroom boffins have been toiling away improving our proudly Perl-based homegrown online publishing system.
LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears
Review Samsung's giant rival for 50 years, LG, has gone toe-to-toe with the bigger chaebol throughout the smartphone era. Three years ago, LG was firing all cylinders. Its 2014 flagship had introduced the first QHD+ panel; and its successor offered great design (custom leatherbacks) while retaining the removable battery Samsung discarded as it tried to emulate the clean glass lines of the iPhone.
EU plans for domestic exascale supercomputer chips: A RISC-y business
Analysis The European Union's consortium to develop European microprocessors for future supercomputers has taken a few more steps towards its goal of delivering a locally made exascale chip by 2025.
Azure certifications are awful, Microsoft admits, so it has made new ones
Microsoft has admitted that the certifications it created for Azure admins aren’t very good.
Don't panic about domain fronting, an SNI fix is getting hacked out
Over the weekend, at the IETF Hackathon in Montreal, Canada, software engineers from Apple, Cloudflare, Fastly and Mozilla made some progress toward closing a privacy gap affecting network communications.
Gov.UK to make its lovely HTML exportable as parlous PDFs
The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) has revealed it’s working on a tool that will export its web pages as PDFs.
‘Elders of the Internet’ apologise for social media, recommend Trump filters to fix it
A new Internet Engineering Task Force draft proposes to apologise for social media.
'007' code helps stop Spectre exploits before they exist
Black hats haven't yet found a way to mass-exploit the Spectre vulnerability – but mitigations are already arriving.
Western Digital formats hard disk drive factory as demand spins down
Western Digital will close its hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya, near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, blaming lack of demand for the gear.
Cisco's made DNA Center open enough to out-run Amazon
As we reported yesterday, the idea that Amazon might make its own switches into some kind of a captive gateway between on-premises data centres and the AWS cloud sent shivers through investors in traditional networking vendors – and none so much as Cisco.
Submarine cables at risk from sea water, boffins warn. Wait, what?
University of Wisconsin-Madison boffins have warned submarine cable owners that their landing stations and onshore cables are at risk from rising sea levels.
Intel and Micron downgrade 3D Xpoint relationship from friends with benefits to partners
Intel and Micron Technology will dissolve the partnership that gave the world 3D XPoint storage-class memory.
Official probe into HPE’s Oz 3Par crashes would create 'further negative publicity' if revealed
The final report into the two major failures of HPE 3Par storage area networks at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would likely lead to “further negative publicity” for the vendor – which is one reason the ATO has decided not to release the document.