The Week in Summary

Many people, expressions of fear
1

Crappy Christmas! Dixons Carphone dials back profit expectations

Dixons Carphone has slashed full-year profit estimates amid continued downward pressure on mobile phone margins over the Christmas quarter and "more cautious consumer" spending in the UK.
Paul Kunert, 22 Jan 2018
8

HMRC dev support team cc blurtfest: Over 1,400 email addresses blabbed

Almost 1,500 software developers registered to use HMRC's sandbox or API platform have had their email addresses blabbed in a mass email.
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jan 2018
Met police coppers in high vis yellow vests in front of a police box

The Reg visits London Met Police's digital and electronics forensics labs

More than 90 per cent of crime has "a digital element," we were told as The Reg was welcomed into London Metropolitan Police's Central Communications Command Centre, near Lambeth Bridge on the Thames.
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2018
7

PC sales get that post-Brexit vote sinking feeling

PC makers - ones that use middlemen to reach customers - are selling fewer boxes in the UK but generating more cash from them because of post-Brexit vote price rises and demand shifting to higher-end gear.
Paul Kunert, 22 Jan 2018
2

Squeezing more out of slippery big tech may even take tax reforms

Over the next few weeks Facebook, Amazon and Google’s owner Alphabet report full-year results. Inevitably, this will reopen debate on whether big technology companies pay enough tax in countries outside the US bases, something that's been discussed for several years. The difference is that now politicians in several countries are talking about and implementing changes that could mean such companies pay significantly more in future.
SA Mathieson, 22 Jan 2018
Joyce

Take a former NSA head hacker, a Raspberry Pi, weird Kiwi radios and what do you get?

ShmooCon The news that Rob Joyce, former head of the NSA's hacking squad and now White House cybersecurity coordinator, was giving a talk at the ShmooCon hacking conference raised hopes he would offer up some juicy insights into the surveillance state or Donald Trump's cyber policies.
Iain Thomson, 22 Jan 2018
3

Dridex redux, with FTP serving the nasties

Keep your eyes open for yet-another Dridex-based malware attack.
Image: Serazetdinov http://www.shutterstock.com/fr/pic-114819721/stock-vector-illustration-of-a-strong-blast-of-brain.html

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Who, me? Welcome to the very first edition of “Who, me?” a new Reg column we hope will prove as entertaining as our Friday On-Call tales of tech support gigs gone wrong.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2018
Figueroa

Smut site fingered as source of a million US net neutrality comments

SHMOOCON 2018 A new analysis of the comments made on the United States Federal Communications Commission's consultation on the future of net neutrality has shown the whole process of public comments was fatally flawed.
Iain Thomson, 22 Jan 2018
Rainbow paint brushes

Job ad for designer proves its point with MS Paint shocker

The City of Los Angeles has sparked plenty of chuckles with a job ad for a “Graphics Designer” that shows how desperately a new hire is needed by apparently using Microsoft Paint to illustrate the opportunity.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2018
Panic

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

It is now almost three weeks since The Register revealed the chip design flaws that Google later confirmed and the world still awaits certainty about what it will take to get over the silicon slip-ups.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2018
Beam of light
2

China flaunts quantum key distribution in-SPAAACE by securing videoconference

China has revealed more detail of its much-hyped satellite quantum key distribution network.
LInux nutella

Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011

Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2018
2

Europe waves through Qualcomm's NXP slurp

Qualcomm's NXP Semiconductor has been cleared by European Commission regulators, which makes it pretty much a done deal.
Rocket Lab's Peter Beck with a model of Rutherford

New Zealand joins the Space Race

New Zealand has joined the list of spacefaring nations, courtesy of a US-Kiwi startup called Rocket Lab.
dodson
3

Hey American business, here's how to use blockch ... sorry - we've been shut down

ShmooCon 2018 The political maneuvering that has shut much of the US government has delayed the National Institute of Standards and Technology's planned release of guidance about the risks and rewards of blockchain technology.
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2018
grave

Unlocked: The hidden love note on the grave of America's first crypto power-couple

Shmoocon 2018 Among the 400,000 graves at the Arlington National Cemetery – a solemn US military graveyard in Virginia – lies the final resting place of cryptography pioneers William and Elizebeth Friedman.
Iain Thomson, 20 Jan 2018

Cyber-coin crackdown continues: Commission charges couple crypto-currency company chiefs concerning 'conned' customers

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the latest financial watchdog to haul into court companies in the virtual currency space.
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2018
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, JANUARY 2017: Russian traditional toy - Matryoshka with a portrait of Putin and Trump. showcase souvenir kiosk Editorial credit: dimbar76 / Shutterstock, Inc.

Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

Twitter says it will warn hundreds of thousands of tweeters who deliberately or inadvertently interacted with Kremlin bots during the 2016 US presidential election.
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2018
dunce_cap_648

FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

Analysis America's favorite government watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission – has backtracked on plans to downgrade the entire country's internet, agreeing to maintain its current definition of what is broadband speed.
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2018
Soaring costs in San Fran. from www.shutterstock.com

In Soviet California, pedestrian hits you! Bloke throws himself in front of self-driving car

While commuter buses ferrying Apple and Google employees have been rerouted to avoid being shot at – reportedly with a pellet gun – GM Cruise has had less success keeping one of its self-driving cars out of harm's way.
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jan 2018

America restarts dodgy spying program – just as classified surveillance abuse memo emerges

Analysis The US Senate reauthorized a controversial NSA spying program on Thursday – and then, because it's 2018 and nothing matters any more, embarked on a partisan battle over a confidential memo that outlines Uncle Sam's alleged abuse of surveillance powers.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

OnePlus minus 40,000 credit cards: Smartmobe store hacked to siphon payment info to crooks

OnePlus today confirmed thieves siphoned tens of thousands of people's credit card numbers from its online store.
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2018
HGST_7K8_7K6

Talk about a positive mental pl-attitude: WD Ultrastars shed disks without hit to capacity

Western Digital Corp's HGST unit has brought out 4 and 6TB nearline platter-reduced disk drives with an 8TB drive on the way.
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2018
A finger pressing a delete key

Internet giants removing 70 per cent of reported hate speech, crows European Commission

Tech firms are removing more hate speech faster than before – so now EU lawmakers want them to improve their feedback to users.
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jan 2018

Is the writing on the wall for on-premises IT? This survey seems to say so

Research outfit 451 has run a survey that should get the pulses of on-premises IT suppliers beating faster.
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2018

Apple: The exclusive sales channel for an, er, AI toothbrush

Word reaches us of an, er, AI-driven revolution taking place in dentistry but you’ll only be able to get you hands on Colgate’s Smart Electronic E1 Toothbrush from Apple as it is the exclusive sales channel.
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2018
US Supreme Court

There are other, legal ways to nab Microsoft emails, privacy groups remind Supremes

Allowing Uncle Sam to seize emails stored in Microsoft's Irish data centre would violate foreign data protection laws and risk setting a damaging precedent, the US Supreme Court has been told.
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jan 2018
7

Anglo, French space agencies sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G

The British and French space agencies have agreed to team up on more missions together.
Richard Priday, 19 Jan 2018
captain hook BY jeffchristiansen

IBM turns panto villain as The Reg tells readers: 'It's behind you!'

The meltdown in corporate spin at IBM was apparent last week after the flames of publicity were fanned by The Register's report on the firm's proposals to redeploy tens of thousands of Global Technology Services staff.
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2018
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates

Plans by BT to cut its huge pension deficit have been thrown out by the High Court in England. The UK's incumbent telco had wanted to shift the rate used to calculate final salary pension payments.
Kat Hall, 19 Jan 2018
IBM CEO 'Ginni' Rometty

Bigger Blue: Tonic for Ginni as IBM actually does OK in storage

Analysis Diving into IBM's fourth-quarter and full-year results show its storage surge has now run a whole year and possibly pushed Dell EMC into a "Refuse to Lose" channel campaign to regain sales momentum.
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2018

Take a bow, TalkTalk, Post Office, Vodafone! You win most-whinged-about telcos award

TalkTalk, Post Office and Vodafone were the most-complained-about telecoms service providers in the UK between July and September 2017, according to an Ofcom report released today.
Richard Priday, 19 Jan 2018

Digital mortgage service sounds handy, right? Oh, it's through UK.gov's Verify

The UK government is cracking on with plans for a digital mortgage service to be launched this year, which will allow borrowers to sign mortgage deeds online via the Government Digital Service's deeply flawed Verify identity programme.
Kat Hall, 19 Jan 2018
A cloud hovers above a hand

Make it rain: NetApp sets up Cloud Infrastructure biz unit

NetApp is setting up a Cloud Infrastructure business unit, giving it FlexPod, SolidFire and StorageGRID, and hiring a cloud services hotshot to run it.
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2018

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It could get steamy in here. I have stripped off the layers and am now looking to turn up the heat. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of delightful tenderness with plenty of oohs and aahs.
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Jan 2018

Delve into the hidden corners of security at CyberThreat18

Promo If you are a cybersecurity practitioner who feels on top of the latest developments in your field, CyberThreat18 may make you want to think again.
David Gordon, 19 Jan 2018

You may not be a software company, but that isn't an excuse to lame-out at computering

I don't begrudge organisations who want us to start calling them "software companies". People are free to do whatever they like with such trivial labels, I guess. But the tick of such labelling has always been an annoyance to me.
Michael Cote, 19 Jan 2018

Don't panic... but our fragile world is drifting away from the Sun

As the Sun ages and sheds mass, the gravitational pull it exerts on its planets weakens.
Katyanna Quach, 19 Jan 2018
European flag with sad face

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s weekly reader-contributed tales of facepalm-worthy failures in the field of tech support.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018
Wine photo via Shutterstock

Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed

Version 3.0 of Wine Is Not an Emulator – aka WINE – has arrived, and offers all sorts of new emulation-on-Android possibilities.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018

.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

Special report Nominet, which runs the UK's domain-name registry, has abandoned its own charitable foundation, raising questions about the organization's direction and accountability.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018
ripper3

Baywatch hero drone saves silly struggling swimmers Down Under from going down under

Video Australian politicians are claiming a world first after a drone saved two teenagers from drowning in heavy surf.
Iain Thomson, 19 Jan 2018

Text bomb, text bomb, you're my text bomb! Naughty HTML freezes Messages, Safari, etc

A specially crafted webpage will knacker Apple's Messages and Safari software on iOS and macOS, allowing miscreants to spread merry mischief by texting fans a link to the dastardly HTML.
John Leyden, 19 Jan 2018

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com

It's been known for a long while that people can use similar-looking non-Roman characters to create internet addresses that look similar to real ones.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018
Emirates A380s at Dubai airport

A380 saved as Emirates orders another 20 planes, plus 16 options

Three days after warning the A380 might not have a future, Airbus says it will likely keep making the plane into the 2030s.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018
Flag of India

Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

India has successfully tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018

Linux's Grsecurity dev team takes blog 'libel' fight to higher court

Open Source Security, Inc., the maker of the Grsecurity Linux kernel patches, suffered a setback last month when San Francisco magistrate judge Laurel Beeler granted a motion by defendant Bruce Perens to dismiss the company's defamation claim, with the proviso that the tossed legal challenge could be amended.
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jan 2018

IBM lifts its 22-quarter shrinking sales curse: Finally, a whole 1% uptick

For 22 quarters in a row, IBM's sales have been shrinking. But not any more. In the final three months of 2017, Big Blue's revenues grew 3.5 per cent compared to year-ago quarter, the first such rise in about six years.
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2018
Citrix
4

Goodbye Netscaler, Xen. Hello Citrix SD-WAN, Citrix Desktop, Citrix...

Exclusive Citrix will try to reinvent itself with integrated cloudy products – and ditch some of its long-standing brands in favor of a naming scheme without the Xen badge it has nurtured for years.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018
Apple iPod touch

You get a lawsuit! And you get a lawsuit! And you! Now Apple sued over CPU security flaws

Add Apple to the list of companies facing a legal backlash in the US over the Spectre and Meltdown CPU security fiasco.
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2018
Australian money at a crime scene

Plutus Payroll victims asked to explain themselves to receiver

Contractors left out of pocket by the collapse of alleged tax-skimming scammers Plutus Payroll have been asked to provide copious details of their employment history by receiver Deloitte, which appears to have few details of claimants’ status or relationship to Plutus and its associated companies.
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jan 2018

Sad-sack Anon calling himself 'Mr Cunnilingus' online is busted for DDoSing ex-bosses

An electronics technician pleaded guilty on Wednesday to orchestrating distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a former employer and other organizations – and to unlawfully possessing a firearm as a former felon.
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jan 2018
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Sili-spurned Valley! No way, San Jose! Amazon snubs SF Bay Area in search for HQ2 city

Amazon has trimmed its list of potential cities where it wants to build its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. The Bezos Bunch says it has narrowed down a list of 238 proposals to 19 US cities and one in Canada.
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2018
Stock traders
7

Feds charge Barclays trader with fraud in Hewlett-Packard deal

The former head of foreign currency exchanges at Barclays New York has been charged in the US with devising and executing a "scheme to defraud HP of money and property", according to an indictment entered yesterday.
Richard Priday, 18 Jan 2018
smug windsailing man on turquoise ocean makes surfer sign at gopro camera
6

DigitalOcean cuts cloud server pricing to stop rivals eating its lunch

Faced with a customer base being lured away by cheaper cloud compute services at its competitors, DigitalOcean has cut prices and increased RAM and SSD storage for its users.
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2018
FACEPALM

Home Office admits it sent asylum seeker’s personal info to the state he was fleeing

An asylum seeker has won £15,500 from the UK’s Home Office after it blabbed confidential information about his persecution in his home country - to authorities in the state.
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jan 2018

Scumbag who tweeted vulnerable adults' details is hauled into court

A man from Kent, England, has been prosecuted under the UK's Data Protection Act for leaking sensitive police information on Twitter.
Richard Priday, 18 Jan 2018
caracal

Someone is touting a mobile, PC spyware platform called Dark Caracal to governments

An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and security biz Lookout has uncovered Dark Caracal, a surveillance-toolkit-for-hire that has been used to suck huge amounts of data from Android mobiles and Windows desktop PCs around the world.
Iain Thomson, 18 Jan 2018
Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell, lead RAF test pilot, F-35 trials

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Interview What's it like to fly an F-35 fighter jet? We interviewed the chief British test pilot about a uniquely British flying technique – and then had a play with a full cockpit simulator to find out for ourselves.
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2018

DXC confirms veep level shake-up in new world order

Exclusive DXC Technologies is splitting with exec veep and general manager Mike Nefkens - previously the boss for HPE Enterprise Services before the spin merger with CSC - amid a massive shake-down of the exec line-up.
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2018
Google Chromecast 2

Google fuels up Chromecast Wi-Fi flooding fix

Google has confirmed plans to issue a patch for Chromecast and Google Home aimed at resolving a traffic flooding problem that was swamping home networks.
John Leyden, 18 Jan 2018
IpHONE x family line-up

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

A top-end smartphone isn’t just for Christmas: it’s for 18 months, maybe two years, two-and-a-half at a push. So here at The Reg, we let the stardust settle around Apple's iPhone X launch before putting the product to test in the field for longer than an afternoon. Fanboi squeals written up just after you peel away the cellophane are no use to anyone.
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Jan 2018
Oracle
1

And Oracle E-biz suite makes 3: Package also vulnerable to exploit used by cryptocurrency miner

A third Oracle enterprise package has been patched against a crypto-mining exploit.
John Leyden, 18 Jan 2018
surprised nerd, image via Shutterstock

M&S extends customer support contract with, er, Capita

Despite ditching other tech suppliers in a consolidation push, Marks & Spencer – purveyor of Brit middle-class dreams – has extended a customer support agreement with everyone's fave outsourcing titan, Capita, for £70m.
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2018
Theresa May glass of water photo via Shutterstock

What do voters want? An IRL Maybot? Sure, give that a whirl

A local Tory candidate has suggested the party creates a chatbot to up its digital cred and boost engagement with voters. Its name? Theresa Maybot.
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jan 2018
Penguins photo via Shutterstock

NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

The small team behind an ambitious NHoS Linux project are calling it a day, citing receipt of a trademark infringement warning from the UK Department of Health's (DoH) "brand police" as the "final straw."
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2018
Hipster dad explains facts of life to teen son. Photo by shutterstock

Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property? Anyway, indeed, why would you want to? No matter, the UK's Intellectual Property Office has launched a cartoon answering the question no one has ever asked.
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2018
5

The Register Lecture: The Secret Spitfires

When Britain’s future hung in the balance in 1940, a covert army of men, women and children set to work in network of sheds, garages and bus depots across Britain building desperately needed Supermarine Spitfires for the RAF’s war effort.
Team Register, 18 Jan 2018

The Register Lecture: Detecting deception

Billions of pounds are lost annually to lies. As we become more digital and more connected through web, devices and social the reach of liars and the consequences of their actions assume bigger and more personal proportions - compromised bank accounts, stolen personal data and lost intellectual property.
Team Register, 18 Jan 2018
1

The Register Lecture: What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies

It’s the end of the road for the internal combustion engine, right? Volvo will only make electric and hybrid vehicles after 2019 while Britain, France, Germany and others have pledged to stop the sale of petrol vehicles during the next 20 years.
Team Register, 18 Jan 2018

All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight

Anyone who has grown up watching the antics of Apollo astronauts aboard Skylab or the acrobatics of Shuttle and ISS crews has likely dreamed of experiencing weightlessness. Ideally in a way that doesn't involve either a sickening drop in an elevator or alarming turbulence over the Atlantic.
Richard Speed, 18 Jan 2018
Yahoo! branded bus

How many Routemaster bus seats would it take to fill Wembley Stadium?

A strong contender has emerged for an addition to The Register Standards Soviet's list of officially approved weights and measures: the Routemaster Fleet.
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2018

VTech fondleslabs for kids 'still vulnerable' despite sanctions

New InnoTab child learning devices still have the same security flaw first found by researchers at Pen Test Partners two years ago.
John Leyden, 18 Jan 2018
A Lobster

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers says insects are the new lobsters

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers has launched his very own venture capital firm.
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jan 2018
Mozilla's new logo for 2017

Mozilla edict: 'Web-accessible' features need 'secure contexts'

Mozilla has decided to further locking down the Internet with the announcement that developers can only access new Firefox features from what it calls “secure contexts”.

Red Hat slams into reverse on CPU fix for Spectre design blunder

Techies are scratching their heads after Red Hat pulled a CPU microcode update that was supposed to mitigate variant two of the Spectre design flaw in Intel and AMD processors.
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2018

Software that predicts whether crims will break the law again is no better than you or me

Software that predicts how likely a criminal will reoffend – and is used by the courts to mete out punishments – is about as smart as a layperson off the street.
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jan 2018
rat
5

North Korea's finest spent 2017 distributing RATs, wipers, and phish

South Korea was the target of a barrage of malware campaigns last year.

YouTube turns off cash tap for automatic video nasties

YouTube’s changed its rules to exclude low-traffic channels from its Partner Program, the scheme that sees it share ad revenue with video-makers.
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jan 2018
5

Industrial systems scrambling to catch up with Meltdown, Spectre

Vendors of industrial systems have joined the long list of vendors responding responses to the Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities.
Illustration of a small person seated by giant feet

Broadcom confirms anti-trust probe, professes zero worries

Broadcom has confirmed it's under investigation by the United States' Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over antitrust issues, but doesn't believe that's going to affect its business.
Table tennis bat with broken ball

Poison ping pong prompts patch from Cisco

Cisco admins, it's your weekly patch notice.

Crypto-cash exchange BitConnect pulls plug amid Bitcoin bloodbath

Amid a cryptocurrency price correction that has seen the price of Bitcoin drop by half from its mid-December peak, UK-based cyber-cash lending and exchange biz BitConnect said it is shutting down.
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jan 2018
6

Free gift for all readers: Google's AutoML launch translated into plain English (where possible)

Google today tore the covers off something called Cloud AutoML, a new service that's part of its "mission to democratize AI."
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jan 2018

Make Apple, er, America Great Again: iGiant to bring home profits, pay $38bn in repatriation tax

Apple announced today it will start to repatriate back to America some of the massive profits it accumulated outside the USA – and will use the cash to Make America Great Again.
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jan 2018

Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter

Ethical hacking to find security flaws appears to pay better, albeit less regularly, than general software engineering.
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jan 2018
8

Hey. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Get in here... so we can shake your hands – US Senate cyber-terror panel

The US Senate's commerce committee basically gave executives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube a back-rub at a hearing on Wednesday morning.
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2018
Grzegorz Milka

Who's using 2FA? Sweet FA. Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication

Usenix Enigma It has been nearly seven years since Google introduced two-factor authentication for Gmail accounts, but virtually no one is using it.
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2018
tinfoil hat (shutterstock)

HTML5 may as well stand for Hey, Track Me Longtime 5. Ads can use it to fingerprint netizens

Usenix Enigma HTML5 is a boon for unscrupulous web advertising networks, which can use the markup language's features to build up detailed fingerprints of individual netizens without their knowledge or consent.
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2018
2

SAP boss promises to cull marketing dross on community network

CEO Bill McDermott has pledged to improve the SAP Community network previously slammed by members for offering a crap user experience and being another mechanism to push marketing messages.
Rebecca Hill, 17 Jan 2018
2

New Quantum head honcho thrown in at the deep end

Comment There's a new president and CEO at Quantum, with the board hoping for a dose of Patrick Dennis magic to fire up the company and return it to growth and profits.
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2018
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

Sueball smacks AMD over processor chip security flaw silence

AMD stands accused of "artificially inflating" its stock price by not making public a CPU design flaw the tech world now knows as Spectre, according to a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of investors.
Richard Priday, 17 Jan 2018

France to lend Brexit Britain sore souvenir of Norman yoke – the Bayeux Tapestry

The French government will agree to lend the UK its most famous memento of the Norman conquest of England after Blighty leaves the EU.
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018
The City of London Magistrates' Court. Pic: Chris Dorney/Shutterstock

Former Santander bank manager pleads guilty to computer misuse crimes

Updated A former Santander bank manager has pleaded guilty to £15,000 worth of computer misuse crimes after her boyfriend talked her into giving him illicitly obtained customer information.
Gareth Corfield, 17 Jan 2018
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

UK.gov slammed for NHS data-sharing deal with Home Office

The UK health service's NHS Digital has been accused of operating to a "lower standard of confidentiality" than rest of NHS, in a heated hearing about a deal that requires patient info to be handed over for immigration enforcement.
Rebecca Hill, 17 Jan 2018
Waiting

Another day, another Spectre fix slowdown: What to expect if you heart ZFS

The widely used ZFS file system software is slowed down in both read IOPS and throughput by Intel CPU microcode fixes for the Spectre processor design flaws, one set of numbers suggests.
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2018

PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

A company that made 75 million nuisance calls in just four months has been handed a £350,000 fine from the UK's data protection watchdog.
Rebecca Hill, 17 Jan 2018
6

Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

UK comms regulator Ofcom is cracking ahead with plans for the forthcoming spectrum auction – despite further delays posed by Three's Court of Appeal challenge.
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018
K2s
6

Going soft: Kaminario exits the hardware business

Kaminario has announced it will leave the hardware business, and said Tech Data will build the certified appliance hardware needed to run its software.
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2018
WHite lab coated scientist looks sceptical in front of microscope. Photo by Shutterstock

National Audit Office report blasts UK.gov's 'muddled' STEM strategy

The UK government's "muddled" attempt to boost skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) risks wasting taxpayers' money, according to a report by the National Audit Office today.
Richard Priday, 17 Jan 2018
sledgehammer reduces cement block to powder
7

SPEC SFS 2014 benchmark smashed by storage newbie

NVMe-over-Fabrics fanboy startup E8 has whupped other suppliers' behinds with a SPEC SFS2014 filer benchmark.
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2018
Staffers worry over the misplaced confidence of boss/fellow staffer

Biggest vuln bombshell in forever and storage industry still umms and errs over patches

Analysis A growing consensus among storage hardware appliance vendors is that, since they don't run external software on their hardware, they don't need to stick performance-hindering patches into their operating systems.
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2018
enigma albert
8

Shafted by bosses, disdained by punters, loved by hackers – yes, it's freelance workers

Usenix Enigma Gig economy workers – the fancy new way to describe short-term freelance serfs like Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders – are well in the sights of hackers.
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2018
smart city concept drawing - self-driving cars, wifi hotspots etc - but no people

Destroying the city to save the robocar

Special report Behind the mostly fake "battle" about driverless cars (conventional versus autonomous is the one that captures all the headlines), there are several much more important scraps. One is over the future of the city: will a city be built around machines or people? How much will pedestrians have to sacrifice for the driverless car to succeed?
BSOD at Heathrow

Heathrow's air traffic radio set for shiny digital upgrade from Northrop

Heathrow Airport is to get new air traffic control radio systems with a surprising amount of internet connectivity baked into them.
Gareth Corfield, 17 Jan 2018
Outsourcing

'No evidence' UK.gov has done much to break up IT outsourcing

The scandal around Carillion has put the UK government's addiction to outsourcing in the spotlight. Yet it is a practice that has been going on for many decades - not least in public sector IT.
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018
enigma sedova

Wanna motivate staff to be more secure? Don't bother bribing 'em

Usenix Enigma It's frustrating getting users to keep information and systems secure on a daily basis. However, don't try any smart gimmicks – particularly offering wedges of cash or other prizes for good behavior.
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2018
Network scientists
1

VMware’s NSX world domination plan advances with not-just-point release

VMware’s made no secret of its ambitions for its NSX network virtualization product, which it thinks has the potential to be bigger than server virtualization as organisations start to spread resources out across multiple clouds and on-premises bit barn.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2018
Scary Skeleton Samba

Another round of click-fraud extensions pulled from Chrome Store

A security researcher has claimed that a cumulative half a million Chrome users have been hit by four malicious browser extensions pushing click and SEO fraud.
Racecar

Google's 'QUIC' TCP alternative slow to excite anyone outside Google

Google's contribution to Internet standards, the fast-than-TCP thanks to multiplexing QUIC protocol, has yet to extend much beyond the Chocolate Factory, according to a German report into its adoption.

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

Now that the open source email client Thunderbird is sleeping in a separate bed from Mozilla, the project has called on outside help for a UI redesign.
1

Storage Spaces Direct cheapens itself, hardware-wise, adds NVDIMM support

Microsoft’s released a new Windows Server Insider Preview Build – number 17074, to be precise – and the most notable new bits are in the Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) software-defined storage code.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2018
Submarine cable join

Google sinks cash into more submarine cables, plans more data centres

Google has made more investments in submarine cables, sinking money into three due to come online in 2019.
Robot reading photo via Shutterstock

Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

Analysis Researchers from Microsoft and Chinese cyber-souk Alibaba separately claimed this week that their artificially intelligent software is as good as, if not better than, humans at understanding the written word.
Katyanna Quach, 17 Jan 2018
Frayed string

BIND comes apart thanks to ancient denial-of-service vuln

Back in 2000, a bug crept into the Internet Systems Corporation's BIND server, and it lay unnoticed until now.

What do Cali, New York, Hawaii, Maine and 18 other US states have in common? Fighting the FCC on net neutrality

Twenty-two US State Attorneys General filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to undo the Federal Communications Commission's rejection of net neutrality in America.
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jan 2018
NBN

Australia won't prescribe its national broadband network a high-fibre diet

Australia's federal government yesterday tabled its response to recommendations put by the parliamentary committee on the National Broadband Network, and has mostly rejected its recommendations.
Doctor Nick Riviera

Hospital injects $60,000 into crims' coffers to cure malware infection

A US hospital paid extortionists roughly $60,000 to end a ransomware outbreak that forced staff to use pencil-and-paper records.
Iain Thomson, 16 Jan 2018
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle says SPARCv9 has Spectre CPU bug, patches coming soon

Oracle has told users of its SPARC-powered platforms that they have the Spectre processor design flaw.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
FBI

US senators vow to filibuster FBI, er, NSA's domestic, errr, foreign mass spying program

Updated A number of US senators from both sides of the aisle have said they will filibuster an effort to approve the continuation of a controversial American government spying program.
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

The engineer at the center of a massive self-driving car lawsuit – brought by Google-stablemate Waymo against Uber – neglects his kids, is wildly disorganized, and has a large selection of bondage gear, his former nanny has sensationally alleged.
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

Microsoft Equation Editor was sentenced to death on January 9, 2018 at the age of 17, when a software update from Redmond removed five files necessary for the application to function.
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jan 2018
I AM NIKOM / Shutterstock.com

Android snoopware Skygofree can pilfer WhatsApp messages

Mobile malware strain Skygofree may be the most advanced Android-infecting nasties ever, antivirus-flinger Kaspersky Lab has warned.
John Leyden, 16 Jan 2018

Private submarine builder charged with murder of journalist

Danish submariner Peter Madsen has today been charged with the murder of journalist Kim Wall.
Richard Priday, 16 Jan 2018
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Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has forked out almost €2m in the long legal battle involving Facebook and privacy activist Max Schrems, according to reports.
Rebecca Hill, 16 Jan 2018
A 3D Robotics (3DR) Solo drone with a gimbal-mounted Gopro camera. Crown copyright/AAIB

Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

A pilot flying a 3D Robotics Solo drone let his autonomous aircraft fly itself into a crane that some inconsiderate person erected on a building site.
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2018

Wave Tata, Capita: You've lost mega-contract to rival outsourcer

Financial services slinger Prudential is to kick Capita to the curb, cutting short a 15-year mega deal and switching the administration of its life and pension policies to Tata Consultancy Services.
Paul Kunert, 16 Jan 2018

UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

A customer of takeaway delivery firm Just Eat has alleged a driver from an eatery used her phone number to ask her for a date.
Rebecca Hill, 16 Jan 2018
bubble

Xiaomi the money: China's latest IPO star tastes of bubble tea

Analysis Xiaomi's rush to go public is as much a sign of a speculative bubble as Bitcoin mania. Will it have a happy ending?
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jan 2018
Crying

DXC execs: Here's ANOTHER deadline for skills profiling

DXC Technologies' employees still reluctant to upload their "skill profile" onto a company database they fear will be used in the next big redundancy rounds yesterday got a ticking off from top brass.
Paul Kunert, 16 Jan 2018

Frenchman comes eye to eye with horror toilet python

A lucky Frenchman has narrowly avoided having his todger bitten by a python that crawled up his U-bend.
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2018
Penguins line up to dive into the icy water from the ice floe.

New Mirai botnet species 'Okiru' hunts for ARC-based kit

A new variant of the notorious Mirai malware is exploiting kit with ARC processors.
John Leyden, 16 Jan 2018

Amount of pixels needed to make VR less crap may set your PC on fire

Put on a virtual reality headset and it's hard to believe that your visual system is being stretched beyond its limit. Individual pixels are still visible and the narrow field of view makes it feel like you're wearing ski googles.
David Matthews, 16 Jan 2018
code on-screen

Causes of software development woes

Research "Agile development" can mean different things to different people. To some it's about easing up on traditional rigour, and even legitimising a quick-and-dirty approach to getting stuff out of the door. To others it's about implementing a different kind of rigour, in order to bust project backlogs in a more robust manner, and generally keep up with constantly changing business demands.
Dale Vile, 16 Jan 2018
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Hey Europe, your apathetic IT spending is ruining it for everyone

Listless IT spend in Europe is dragging down the pace of global recovery, according to the latest prediction from entrail-prodders Gartner.
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2018
army

Capita's UK military recruiting system has 'glitches' admits minister

A defence minister has told Parliament that Capita’s pisspoor Defence Recruiting System (DRS) has “glitches”, following reports from The Register giving a glimpse inside the shambolic system.
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2018
The road running through the PRATCHETT landing area
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Veeam buys AWS EC2 instance backup and recovery biz

Veeam has announced the acquisition of N2WS, an IaaS startup, whose board includes Veeam co-founder and President Ratmir Timashev, for $42.5mn cash.
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2018
ServiceNow visual task board
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ServiceNow unleashes its 'Kingston' release

ServiceNow has slipped into 2018 by slipping out a new release of its platform.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
Airbus A380

Airbus warns it could quit A380 production

Airbus has reported its most prolific year to date in terms of deliveries, but also warned that it needs a new buyer of its flagship A380 if it is to continue production.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
3dr_solo_teaser_648

Drone perves defeated by tinfoil houses

If a drone-creeper is snooping on you, you could catch them by grabbing the video stream – but what if it's encrypted?
Virtual servers

Developer plots server virtualization comeback for XenServer

Moves are afoot to revive Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), the open source version of XenServer that existed independently of Citrix before the company released its code to the Xen Project and made its own efforts open source.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
Tiangong-1 illustration from CMSE

China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

Predictions are firming up for when China's Tiangong-1 spacecraft will make its final re-entry-crash-and-burn.
Canada
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Canada charges chap alleged to run stolen data-mart Leakedsource

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has announced it has cuffed and charged a man for selling stolen identities and passwords at LeakedSource.com.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018
Shutterstock Rocket Snail
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Bad benchmarks bedevil boffins' infosec efforts

A group of operating systems specialists has said that sloppy benchmarking is harming security efforts by making it hard to assess the likely performance impact of security countermeasures.

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