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ARM buys IoT's camera crew, Eyes of Things biz Apical

Chip-designer ARM has snapped up London-based imaging and embedded computer biz Apical for £242m, in a bid to further branch out from the slowing smartphone market. Apical's imaging products are used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and approximately 300 million other consumer/industrial devices including IP cameras, …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
Still from Minions cartoon trailer.  	Copyright: Universal Pictures

Hey you – minion. Yes, IT dudes and dudettes, they're talking to you

Sysadmin Blog Who are you, dear reader, and why are you reading this? If you've a yen to answer that literally, by all means please do, but the question is somewhat more metaphorical in intent. I'm not seeking an existentialist answer about your sense of purpose in life, but I am hoping that you can answer – to yourself if to no one else – …
Trevor Pott, 18 May 2016

Remember when gov.uk said it would give big biz contracts to SMEs?

The Cabinet Office has lost its enthusiasm for prising open Whitehall's wallet and handing more cash to SMEs, according to a report by the Committee of Public Accounts today. Back in 2010, the government pledged to carve off 25 per cent of its £45bn spend in goods and services to small businesses. But today the committee said …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2016
Music listener rasta

Pandora investor: Sell this company sooner rather than later

A major investor in Pandora wants the company to sell out while it can. Hedge fund Corvex Partners has revealed that it owns 10 per cent of the veteran streaming music company – and that selling out to a larger company is preferable to pursuing a "costly and uncertain business plan." In a US Securities and Exchange Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2016

US power grid still fragile in the face of EMP threat: GAO

America is still under dire threat of an electromagnetic pulse sending it back to the dark ages, according to Chris Currie of the US Government Accountability Office. In testimony given to the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on oversight and management efficiency, Currie reckons there's not …
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YouTube Red comes to Australia

Google has flicked the switch on the Australian version of “YouTube Red”, the twelve bucks a month version of the service that features no ads and allows online viewing. If you pony up you also get access to a clutch of YouTube Originals that extend the output of popular YouTubers and look to be aimed squarely at the youth …
Team Register, 18 May 2016
An eraser

Girls outpace boys in US IT and engineering test

A study from the US government's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has found that girls test higher than boys in engineering and technology. The study, analyzing data from a 2014 round of tests on 21,500 eighth-grade students, found that on average, girls scored three points higher than boys on a series of …
Shaun Nichols, 17 May 2016

Politician claims porn tabs a malware experiment, then finds God

Congressional candidate Mike Webb had an immediate explanation for the porn tabs in his browser: he was conducting his own malware experiment. The Republican, who is vying for Virginia's 8th district, posted a screenshot of his computer to his Facebook page about a call he had received from a staffing agency, but failed to …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have nailed their colours to the EU mast as UK government applies pressure on firms to encourage employees, customers and channel people to support the Remain camp. UK CEO Michael Van der Bel at Microsoft has penned a note in which he stated “first and foremost” the way people decide to …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016

Home Office declares: Detained immigrants shall have internet

The Home Office has issued guidance demanding that immigration detainees are provided with internet access so they can maintain “links with friends, families and legal representatives and to prepare for removal.” Publishing Detention Services Order 04/2016 (PDF) the Home Office has responded to an independent review into the …
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Mega UK distributor DCC Tech: 2016 was our annus horribilis

The once seemingly unstoppable distribution juggernaut DCC Technology hit some unmovable barriers in fiscal ’16 caused by slumping tab and smartphone sales and the loss of a retail gig. The parent of UK trading arm Exertis admitted today it had endured a "very difficult year". The LSE listed firm still managed to bump up …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016

Queen’s Speech: Digital Bill to tackle radicalisation, pirates

Exclusive A new Digital Bill due to be announced in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow will contain a new 10-year maximum sentencing guideline for online copyright infringement, The Register has learned. Plans for a portmanteau bill were first revealed here back in January. The Bill gathers together a range of unrelated provisions on spectrum …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2016

Adpocalypse 'will wipe out display ad growth' by 2020

Ad-blocking threatens to snuff out growth in the digital display advertising market, reckons Optimal, a startup with an interest in talking up the Adpocalypse. According to Optimal’s trackers, 11.7 per cent of online display ads were blocked last year, which when married to a prediction on adblock growth, will see $12bn worth …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2016
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Vodafone posts uptick in Europe but UK still a challenge

Communications provider Vodafone posed a 3.5 per cent fall in UK sales to £6.2bn for the full-year 2016, while fourth quarter revenue in Europe grew for the first time in five years. Group revenue for the biz decreased three per cent to £41bn for the full-year 2016, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and …
Kat Hall, 17 May 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

CSC grabs pistol, plays employment paintball with P45s

Wimbledon is around the corner, the hippies are getting ready for Glasto and sickly integrator CSC is cutting jobs again - the summer season is upon us. Almost like clockwork, the US-headquartered company has again kicked off yet another redundancy programme - it ran one in June last year and one in May 2014. In a memo to the …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise hiring temps to cover for redundancies - sources

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is hiring temps to cover gaps caused by the exit of hundreds of techies it recently axed, some of whom provided services to clients including the Department for Work and Pensions. This is according to multiple insiders, who told us the picture might have been worse had HPE not halted some of the job …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
Prison

Insider trading hacker pleads guilty to p0wning press releases

A Ukrainian ne'er-do-well who broke into market computers for an insider trading scheme has entered a guilty plea in the US. The 28-year-old, Vadym Iermolovych, has put his hands up to three charges – conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and aggravated identity theft. The US Department of …
Super-villain Dr Evil puts finger to lip in scheming manner, asks for one million dollars. Pic: New Line Cinema

Bitcoin-ransoming Romney tax 'hacker' faces 25 years inside

A self-confessed hacker who sought a million-dollar Bitcoin payment in exchange for then-US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax records has been found guilty of extortion and fraud. In August 2012 Michael Mancil Brown, 37, sent a letter to one of Romney's accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), claiming to have hacked …
Iain Thomson, 17 May 2016
FCC paddling

Help! We're being crushed, cry billionaire cable giants

US cable carriers are crying foul against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over what they say are overbearing and heavy-handed regulations being placed on their market. Speaking at an event in Boston, Michael Powell - CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and former FCC chairman - said that …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2016

When the reach-around goes wrong. Or is that right?

Silicon Valley, HBO's satire on the eponymous tech haven, is at its best when it takes the brilliance and idealism of engineers and contorts them to fit the barmy business end of the industry. And so it was with the latest episode. As predicted, the show rebounded from a drab third episode to dive straight back into the …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2016
trollstation

Art heist 'pranksters' sent down for six months

Four men that staged two art gallery thefts and a kidnapping as part of a "prank" for their YouTube channel have been jailed by a judge in the UK. The group, operating under the name Trollstation, staged faked thefts at the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain art museum in London this summer, causing panic among …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2016
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Spied upon by GCHQ? You'll need proof before a court will hear you...

The UK's only judicial body for hearing complaints against the intelligence services has ruled claimants must show why their communications are "potentially at risk" of being collected by the government's mass-surveillance activities. On Monday the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) handed down its judgment which threatened …

Uncle Sam tells Verizon and worker unions to settle spat

The US Department of Labor (DOL) said it is now working with Verizon and the Communication Workers of America (CWA) to negotiate an end to a worker strike that is entering its second month. On Sunday Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez had a sit-down meeting with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, CWA president Chris Shelton, and …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2016

HSBC swinging axe on UK IT department, 840 heads to roll

HSBC is to wipe out more than 800 of its UK-based techies in a move Unite the union has condemned as a ‘reckless’ drive to offshore jobs. The redundancies are part a wider cost cutting drive that will see the bank slash 8,000 positions in Blighty and a total of 50,000 worldwide by the end of next year, with the aim of saving $ …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2016

UK needs comp sci grads, so why isn't it hiring them?

Computer science degrees need to have a clearer focus on making grads more employable. In fact, according to a report into the low employment rates among students, institutions offering comp-sci courses are so terrible at it that employers look to holders of other degrees to fill the comp-sci-shaped hole. Unemployment among CS …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2016
GCHQ is following you on Twitter, Faceboo, email...

GCHQ's Twitter move: Wants to be 'accessible', people to 'understand'

GCHQ has belatedly joined Twitter. The UK government spy agency’s first message to the global micro-blogging platform on Monday morning was the brief “Hello, world”, something that GCHQ probably hopes will resonate with computer programmers worldwide.1 Simple and in keeping with the banal first entries of many Twitter users …
John Leyden, 16 May 2016

Time to talk about stupid and preventable failures

Study If you spend any time reading vendor press releases you could be forgiven for thinking that IT resources are available in infinite supply at no charge whatsoever. The fact no IT resources are available without cost is rarely mentioned. The days when the deliberate overprovisioning of resources at day one of a project are long …
Tony Lock, 16 May 2016

Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

A claims spam company from Blackburn has been fined £250,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after making over 17.5 million nuisance calls. Check Point Claims had harassed people illegally with automated calls encouraging them to claim compensation for job-related hearing loss. The ICO launched its …
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving - and for Alphabet's Google, it could just be the start. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices - or around half of Google’s European …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2016

Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

On-Call Yes, we know that On-Call is supposed to be weekly and appear on Fridays. But we let some writers go on holidays and our mailbag is overflowing after recent stories of Microsoft help desk staff hanging up after 15 minutes and the reader paid to do nothing for three months. So when reader “Will” wrote with a similar story we …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016

ZFS comes to Debian, thanks to licensing workaround

The ZFS file system has come to popular Linux distribution Debian, but in a way the distro's backers think won't kick up another row over compatibility of open source licences. Ubuntu 16.04 added ZFS, despite pre-release grumblings from Richard Stallman to the effect that anything licensed under the GNU GPL v2 can only be …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016
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Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

Microsoft has laid out new rules for its Bing search engine designed to crack down on tech support scams. Redmond said that it will no longer allow advertisers to pitch their third-party support and repair products as "official" or branded tech support. Under the new rules, Bing search ads will have to present themselves …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2016
Magic act, image via Shutterstock

Is uBeam the new Theranos?

A former VP of engineering at a startup that promises fast, wireless charging of electronic devices has claimed that the technology doesn't work and its CEO is misleading people. The engineer in question, Paul Reynolds, posted his claims - as well as a number of other critical pieces on uBeam's CEO Meredith Perry - on a …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2016
Photo by Michael Vadon

Guilty! Trump delivers orange justice to Amazon

Donald Trump has launched a stinging attack on Amazon after the Bezos-owned Washington Post launched an investigation into his background. In an interview on Fox News, the Republican's party's pick for president claimed a group of over 20 journalists at the Post were investigating his entire life. Far from an act of the power …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2016
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Want to get $1bn from Apple? Step 1- move to China. Step 2- copy Uber

Apple says it has invested $1bn in a Chinese ride-sharing company called Didi Chuxing. The Cupertino Mac-maker said that it would be pouring the cash into the China-based Uber competitor as part of an effort to expand its financial reach in the mainland. In breaking word of the investment to Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook that …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2016

Motion Picture Ass. of America to guard online henhouse

The Motion Picture Ass. of America will be given a direct line to kill domain names that it says contain pirated information. Under an agreement signed [PDF] with Radix Registry, the MPAA will be a "trusted notifier" across the whole range of Radix registries that include .website, .tech, .online, .space and .host. If the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2016
Plug, image via Shutterstock

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

A date has been set to formally decommission the government's online identity Gateway portal by 2018 - a move that raises serious questions as to whether the Verify replacement will provide a fit for purpose alternative. The deal to pull the plug on Gateway - which is most importantly used for self-assessment tax users - has …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
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Quadsys Five: Judge dismisses abuse of process application

A Crown court judge has dismissed an abuse of process application made by three former directors of reseller Quadsys, who are facing trial over allegations of hacking into a rival’s database to steal customer and pricing info. In August, Thames Valley Police charged five men at the reseller including owner Paul Streeter, MD …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2016

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Revolutions have started for flimsier reasons than draconian new laws that assault the population’s health. In the past, a ruling bureaucratic class has had to do something demonstrably stupid to signal to the people that it’s unfit to govern: like dramatically increase the price of staple foods such as bread, or introducing …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2016
Titanic sinking

Symantec: I know we said things'd get better when we sold Veritas...

Symantec is slipping back into cost-cutting mode just months after the split with storage arm Veritas was supposed to provide the healing balm the business so clearly needed. The standalone security biz wants to carve out savings of $400m via an “efficiency programme” that includes “eliminating stranded costs” from the sale of …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2016

UK.gov is about to fling your data at anyone who wants it. How? Why? Shut up, pleb

Analysis The government is poised to legislate on how it intends to use your data for public services – but its woefully worded “data sharing” consultation suggests it hasn't learnt much from the ongoing controversies of Care.data. Whitehall is due to publish a response to the consultation, set out in Better Use of Data - Consultation …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
Trump poster, image via Shutterstock

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Apart from marrying an American, the best known route for foreign techies wanting to (legally) share their expertise for a fee in the US is a work visa. But this route is overcrowded, increasingly expensive and, should Donald Trump become America’s 45th president, it'll likely slam shut for many hoping to work in Silicon …
SA Mathieson, 13 May 2016