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Cram my freebies into Android phones and get a royalty discount, says Microsoft (allegedly)

A new report claims Microsoft hasn't been offering Android device vendors any money to bundle its mobile apps on their phones and slabs; rather, it has offered to reduce the tolls it collects from the mobe-makers. Citing sources among supply chain players in China and Taiwan, DigiTimes Research says Redmond has offered to cut …
Neil McAllister, 16 Apr 2015
ChambersCiscoLive2014

Cisco boss Chambers: It's our fault H-1B visa shakeup is struggling

Cisco CEO John Chambers says the tech world has to win over the American public if it wants the US government to issue thousands more H-1B work visas to foreign nerds. H-1B visas are like Willy Wonka's golden tickets: about 85,000 a year are granted to skilled foreigners – such as software engineers and other techies – allowing …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2015
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

'Arkansas cops tried to hack me with malware-ridden hard drive'

A lawyer representing three police whistleblowers has claimed a hard drive sent to him with evidence for his case was deliberately infected with password-stealing malware. Matthew Campbell, a lawyer with the Pinnacle Law Firm in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is working on behalf of three past and present officers of the Fort …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015
Photo of HP Enterprise office

What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

Pic Meg Whitman, who will take the reins as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise later this year, has unveiled the branding system for the soon-to-be-created company, and it's just as bland and lifeless as anyone could have anticipated. Hewlett Packard Enterprise logo The new Hewlett Packard Enterprise logo is short on razzle-dazzle …
Neil McAllister, 15 Apr 2015
DJI Phantom 2 Drone

Sticks and stones may break my DRONES – but I'm worth $10bn, laughs China's 'copter giant

Chinese drone company DJI could become the world's most valuable unmanned aerial vehicle biz, following a round of fundraising said to place the manufacturer's worth at a cool $10bn (£6.7bn), according to reports. The Chinese maker of remote-controlled “quadcopters" is seeking to raise money from Silicon Valley venture firms …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2015
Fixed toy octopus

Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

Google is in talks to allow advertisers to target ads in search results using existing customers' email addresses, according to reports. The ad flinger has suggested that advertisers hand over customer information such as email addresses as part of moves to track users’ online and offline activities for marketing purposes, …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2015
Google UK office logos

WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

Analysis Google made the internet a bit more crappy and considerably less diverse, breaking its own vows along the way. That’s what the EU’s competition division declared earlier today, in a formal Statement of Objections. So what’s their beef? If you’ve a long memory, you’ll find uncanny parallels with Microsoft’s behaviour in the 1990s …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2015
Nick Clegg. Pic: Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem manifesto: Spook slapdown, ban on teen-repelling Mosquitos

Election 2015 The Liberal Democrats published their election manifesto today, promising stronger protections for freedom of speech and claiming to be the party pushing back against mass state surveillance. While many of the tech promises echoed those of the two bigger parties, the main difference for the Lib Dems appears to be a pushback on …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2015
Terminators

Google’s plan for WORLD DOMINATION takes shape. And it begins with a patent

Google has been awarded a patent related to systems and methods for "allocating tasks to a plurality of robotic devices". Sprawled across its Mountain View base, the Chocolate Factory hivemind may indeed be plotting world domination, but for the moment it is at least conscious of the need to collaborate with the state in …

Internet kingmakers cry mercy over mad dash to fill global DNS throne

The internet's backstage community is crying for mercy over the work schedule for deciding the fate of IANA – the crucial body that allocates IP addresses and runs the world's DNS for domain-name overseer ICANN. Despite a week-long meeting in Istanbul last month, volunteers designing improvements to the top level of 'net have …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2015

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

Google has 10 weeks to respond to Brussels' preliminary finding that the world's largest ad broker abused its dominant position in the search market in Europe. However, the company was quick to attack competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's decision to issue a Statement of Objections against Google on Wednesday. Mountain …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2015
Rows of washing machines in shop aisle

Just LOOK at this filthy Imation linen, screeches furious Clinton Group

The Clinton Group, wanting to have its own slate of Imation board members, has released an emphatic diatribe of a proxy vote presentation, designed to disgust investors with what it says are the value-destroying failings of the current board and CEO. The activist investor group pulls no punches, repeatedly saying that Imation's …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015

EU says dominant Google ILLEGALLY FIDDLES search results

The EU’s chief competition regulator alleged today that Google is illegally abusing its dominant position in the search market. Antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has now taken the first official step towards fining the ad-slinging search monster. “I am confident that Google has artificially boosted its position in the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Apr 2015

In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Worstall on Wednesday Given the massive, but not startling*, success of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder it might sound, well, it will sound, a little odd to state that in one way at least they're like the anti-internet. For what that internet does is abolish geography as a binding limit on who one can socialise with. From the earliest BBS through …
Tim Worstall, 15 Apr 2015

IWF took down over 31,000 child sexual abuse URLs in 2014

Last year saw a 136 per cent increase in identified and subsequently removed child abuse imagery, according to a just-released report from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). In its Annual Report for 2014, the body revealed that its new ability to actively seek out criminal content has been effective in allowing it to identify …
European Union Flag

EU bods Oetti and Ansip: We must digitise EVERYTHING

The EU's warring digi-chiefs — Vice President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Gunter H-dot Oettinger — finally seem to be singing from the same hymn-sheet. On Tuesday, both gave speeches highlighting the need for the wider industry to “get digital” as well as bemoaning the Digital Skills Gap™. Ansip and Oettinger quoted the same …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Apr 2015

Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed rumours about a possible merger by saying it will happen, as “The two companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for all of the equity securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent”. Each Alca-Lu share will be exchanged for 0.55 of a new Nokia …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

What just went down on Intel for three months? Er, PC and mobile chips

Intel announced its earnings based on its new financial reporting structure for the first time on Tuesday, but despite having lumped its ailing Mobile & Communications unit in with its PC Client business, there was no hiding that the three months ended on March 28 were a tough quarter for Chipzilla. Total revenue for the first …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015

Adobe, Level 3 drive a stake through heart of vid-stream creature before it attacks again

The US Patent and Trademark Office has torn up parts of a video-streaming technology patent used against Adobe and Level 3 Communications in a patent-infringement legal scrap. The office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated chunks of patent 5,995,091, which describes a "system and method for streaming multimedia data …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015
Handshake

MySQL maestro Percona makes NoSQL play with Tokutek gobble

MySQL consulting and services outfit Percona has acquired Tokutek, makers of a commercial, transaction-safe distribution of the open source MongoDB NoSQL database. "TokuMX, a fully functional transactional, document (row) level locking NoSQL derivative of MongoDB, will now be serviced, supported and remotely managed by Percona's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015
Use google.com button

SMACK! EU set to hit Google with 'abuse of dominance' rap

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger poured fuel on rumours that the European Commission will haul Google over the coals with antitrust charges this week - and now it's happened. Backing up comments he made to a German weekly newspaper on Sunday, H-dot Oetti said: “We have to look more critically at the market position and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015

Spectra reveals shiny necklace of BlackPearl partners

SpectraLogic's BlackPearl disk/object gateway-to-tape archives need front-end apps amended or developed to send data, prompting a raft of partnerships announced at NAB in Las Vegas. The company says BlackPearl-enabled apps using its DS3 (S3-based) API have direct access to its archive of media content stored as objects. These …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
Panic button

SQL Server 2005 end of life is coming, run to the hills...

Microsoft has reminded folk selling and managing IT that another support expiry deadline is looming — SQL Server 2005 goes end of life in roughly twelve months. As of 12 April 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide updates or any form of support unless a business is willing to pay, and those types of arrangements are never cheap …
Paul Kunert, 14 Apr 2015

Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Election 2015 Hot on the heels of Labour, the Conservatives today launched their manifesto – which matched their rivals for the sheer lack of detail on tech-related policy. "We will ensure that Britain seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards," read the manifesto. No …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
No Sale

Quantum not buying Dot Hill. Takes the OEM, master disti path instead

Contradicting rumours we heard that it was buying Dot Hill, storage biz Quantum, already a Dot Hill OEM, is taking on master channel distribution rights for the network array maker's products. Dot Hill manufactures storage systems for OEM customers such as Quantum and others, and has a focus on improving array performance with …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015

Hortonworks to gobble Budapest-based SequenceIQ

Hortonworks decided it needed an automated tool to launch Hadoop clusters in the cloud, or any environment supporting Docker containers, and one buy of SequenceIQ later, ’tis done. The loss-making slinger of enterprise Apache Hadoop is to consume the Budapest-based open source developer of rapid deployment tools, for an …
Paul Kunert, 14 Apr 2015

Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

A Georgia man who took a 9mm pistol to an armadillo also managed to pop a cap in his wife's mum after the round ricocheted off the animal, "hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law's mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in, and into her back". According to cops, 54-year-old Larry McElroy pulled off …
Lester Haines, 14 Apr 2015
The four designs under consideration for the ethical 'Fairphone'

European Parliament mulls law on use of blood metal in tech

MEPs will vote whether or not to make electronics manufacturers find out where the minerals in their products come from. The proposed law is part of an effort to clamp down on so-called conflict minerals. Militant groups in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo often use the sale of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

What would have stopped TV5Monde hack? Yup, MOAR LAWS

Europe’s Digital Commissioner, Gunther H-dot Oettinger, says we are all far too laissez-faire with our passwords. Oetti made the comments to German weekly Welt am Sonntag after hacked French telly-box channel TV5Monde exposed its passwords on air one day after being shut down by an ISIS cyberattack. Never one to miss a chance …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015
Ganesha street art by Flickr user avlxyz https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/

India joins 'net neutrality debate

Mobile carrier app deals like “Free Facebook with your plan” have controversially entered India's nascent internet neutrality debate, courtesy of that country's regulator and its tech minister. While America is dealing with the inevitable lawsuits over its 'net neutrality rules, India's Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar …

Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Pics BitTorrent has released its Maelstrom combo-browser to all as a beta release. Maelstrom merges the open-source Chromium web browser with a BitTorrent client, so you can fetch and render regular webpages on the internet, and download movies Game of Thrones music Linux ISOs stuff from the BitTorrent file-sharing network, all from …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015

NO, Joe Hockey, a 'Netflix tax' wouldn't raise 'billions'

Where does Joe Hockey, Australia's treasurer, get his data from? While The Register has no ideological opposition to the notion of a “Netflix tax” – that is, that a download bought by an Australian in Australia should be subject to the same 10 per cent GST whether its source is Netflix or locals like Fetch TV or Quickflix – we …
Snake oil salesman

Seriously, stop claiming your two-buck photo app can detect cancer

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a final settlement with an app developer accused of misleading people into believing its software could detect skin cancer. The commission said Health Discovery Corporation, the makers of the $1.99 MelApp application for iPhones, will no longer be able to claim that it can either …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2015

Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut

A powerful US telco lobby group, of which AT&T and Verizon are prominent members, has refiled its lawsuit against the FCC's net neutrality rules. The rules, which will bring internet access providers under stricter regulation, were published in the Federal Register early on Monday – the final step in making them legally …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2015

Labour manifesto: Tech Bacc, not-spot zapping and hi-speed interwebs

Election 2015 Labour was the first major party to kick off the round of pre-election pledges this week, releasing its 2015 General Election manifesto. Amid the usual list of vague-sounding promises were a number of familiar platitudes about plans to "build on our strengths as a leader in digital technology". "Labour will ensure that all parts …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Symantec may flog off Veritas – but where's the CEO hunt at?

Symantec is being pressed to sell its Veritas storage unit to private equity instead of floating it as an independent publicly-owned business, according to reports over the weekend. Symantec intends to split itself into separate security and storage businesses as a way of re-igniting growth for both. CEO Michael Brown will run …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Activist investor Jana Partners calls for Qualcomm break-up

Activist investors in chip giant Qualcomm are reportedly calling for a break-up of the semiconductor biz in order to boost its stock price. Jana Partners, which owns a $2bn (£1.4bn) stake in the biz, is calling on Qualcomm to spin off its chip unit from its patent-licensing operation, according to a letter to Jana investors seen …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2015
Privacy image

Lib Dems wheel out Digital Rights Bill pledge as election sweetener

Election 2015 The Liberal Democrats have announced a new Digital Rights Bill which they want to introduce if they form part of a new coalition government after the general election. A press release from Nick Clegg's political party describes the bill as necessary "following a series of disturbing news reports" after much-publicised data …
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

Legal biz Irwin Mitchell outsources majority of IT to Esteem

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is to outsource IT operations to Esteem from Monday, with the “majority” of staff expected to be TUPEd across, although some are refusing to relocate 200 miles to the Woking call centre The desktop support function was already contracted to Esteem at the end of 2012 for £1.7m with 15 people joining the …
Paul Kunert, 13 Apr 2015

NSA: 'Back doors are a bad idea, give us a FRONT door key'

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for an iPhone, and we'll give you an encryption master key” seems to be the dream of the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA's latest thought bubble, floated in front of noted cryptography journal The Washington Post, is that a “master key” for all products running …
Googorola logo

Google tips LTE patents into mostly-public pool

The LTE rollout has moved a little closer to avoiding sueball spats that have long plagued the tech biz, with Google tipping a bucket of its IP into Via Licensing. Via Licensing, set up years ago by Dolby Laboratories, set up an LTE patent pool in 2012, with ten participants including names like AT&T and Clearwire, KDDI, NTT …
Olympics one month, invading crimea the next

Russian censor warns against meme 'misuse'

A court case over an insulted singer has led the Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor to issue a big “nyet” on a bunch of nearly-ubiquitous social media habits. As well as mockery, the regulator's post on the Facebook-like social network Vkontakte warns citizens against creating parody accounts, or pretending to be a celebrity …