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Takign medicine, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

There’s nothing like sweetening the bad news medicine, and that’s what Microsoft’s tried with its latest internal staff memo. It wasn't until the penultimate para of Satya Nadella’s saccharine, 20-paragraph ramble about magical things that Microsoft's CEO delivered the bad-tasting medicine. “Tough choices” are coming in …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jun 2015
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Bitcoin, schmitcoin. Let's play piggyback on the blockchain

Bitcoin may have generated countless salacious news headlines, but it’s a cameo player in a much bigger act. The blockchain is the real innovation that that makes Bitcoin work, and could well outlast the upstart currency. But it’s in trouble – and Silicon Valley has forked out millions to try and save it. The blockchain is a …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Jun 2015
Elephant

We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

The BBC has decided that the EU's controversial “right to be forgotten” diktat won't succeed in making its news stories vanish from Google. To get around Google's Euro memory hole, which has resulted in the Chocolate Factory getting 270,000 requests to drop search search links, the UK national broadcaster has decided to list any …

Britain beats back Argies over Falklands online land grab

It's been 33 years since the United Kingdom went to war with Argentina and won back the Falkland Islands, but the battle still continues – including online. On Thursday, there was a meeting at the United Nations about the islands that resolved the UK and Argentina should get together and negotiate a solution to the ongoing …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jun 2015
Reported mobile black spots

Telstra, Voda bag blackspot bucks

The Australian government has embarked on a mobile blackspot crackdown with funding released for the creation of 499 new mobile base stations to improve coverage in rural and remote areas. The new base stations will provide an extra 68,600 square kilometers of handheld coverage, and 150,000 square kilometres of external antenna …

Facebook! exfiltrates! Yahoo! security! boss!

Facebook has poached NSA-clashing Yahoo! security man Alex Stamos to head up its infosec operations. The hire means Menlo Park has filled a three-month vacancy left when security boss Joe Sullivan who oversaw a crackdown on Facebook scammers and scum left for Uber. Stamos fittingly announced his migration on his Facebook …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jun 2015

Win the business services race with run-book automation

Bringing a more service-based culture to your IT department is a great idea, but who will manage it behind the scenes? Service-based IT is the holy grail for IT departments that want to improve their standing in the business. In the bad old days, IT was a black art, practised behind closed doors by Merlin-like figures. No …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Jun 2015
Harry Potter

Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years. So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2015

Courtney Love in the crossfire! Paris turns ugly over Uber

In a development many thought an impossibility, Paris has turned decidedly ugly, as traditional taxi drivers clashed with Uber, dragging pop singer and 1990s grunge leftover Courtney Love into the battle. In protest against the ride-sharing app service Uberpop, taxi drivers brought the French capital to a standstill, in …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Crapita logo

Capita: Call centre workers, can you fall on your swords? Please?

The kind souls at Capita are placing hundreds of workers at risk of redundancy at call centres across the UK that service O2 clients, according to documents seen by The Channel. The work was outsourced to Capita back in 2013, the contract is valued at £1.2bn over ten years and is the biggest of its kind. The Communications …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
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SCC: Look at our bulging figure(s). We're fatter than some MSPs

Classic product reselling at privately-owned Midland tech dynasty SCC’s UK biz has crashed by a fifth but the company execs are still smiling. Why? The shift to services is paying off. Revenues generated in Britain for fiscal ’15, ended 31 March, dropped 13.3 per cent on fiscal '14 to £662m – including a full-year’s contribution …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
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As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

Heads are set to roll at the Office of Personnel Management as director Katherine Archuleta continues to receive a grilling from Senate committees, who are beginning to realise that the country's entire intelligence workforce has been utterly pwned, probably by a hostile nation. Archuleta, alongside OPM's Chief Information …

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Proof, were it needed, that El Reg is down wiv da lingo comes with the inclusion of "backronym" in the Oxford English Dictionary – one of 500 new words just added to the bulging lexicon. As regular readers know, we like a nice backronym, hence "Paper Aircraft Released Into Space" (PARIS), "Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator" ( …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2015
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Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

Teenaged* German MEP Julia Reda, who believes that “your life is illegal” because of copyright laws, has successfully conned a gullible newspaper into reporting that sharing your own photos will soon be illegal too. The Telegraph’s skiing expert ran a story suggesting that British holidaymakers “may face legal action” for …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jun 2015

UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO

The global domain-name and patents agency WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation) is under investigation by the UN's corruption investigation unit – the Office of Internal Oversight – The Register can reveal. UN investigators based in Vienna have opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of DNA theft, …
John Oates, 25 Jun 2015

Bank of England CIO: ‘Beware of the cloud, beware of vendors’

The Bank of England is loosening up on IT delivery and recruitment, but not its resistance to public cloud. John Finch, CIO of the UK's central bank since September 2013, Wednesday ruled out the use of any public cloud by the bank for the foreseeable future. Cloud has however crept into the Bank’s IT margins, where it’s been …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

GoFundMe shows users how it's done, cashes in with $600m valuation

Online hat-passer GoFundMe has sold off a controlling stake of its business to investors who value it at roughly $600m. The Wall Street Journal cited sources familiar with the matter in reporting the donations broker had completed a round of venture capital funding that culminated with investors taking over the majority control …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google meets more EU apparatchiks than anyone else in Brussels

Google tops the list of companies lobbying in Brussels, according to a report published on Wednesday by Transparency International (TI). TI analysed the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 and found the Chocolate Factory came out on top for individual …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Freescale Internet of Things overview

We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

As US lawmakers call on the Government Accountability Office to assess the world of the Internet of Things, Eugene Kaspersky has unloaded on the thingification of home appliances. A bipartisan group of US Senators (Brian Schatz and Cory Booker for the Democrats, Deb Fischer and Kelly Ayotte for the Republicans) released the …
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

Facebook frees Messenger from its gilded cage

Online ad network Facebook has made it possible for new users to sign up for its Messenger chat service without the need to first be a member of its social network. All that’s required is a phone number. The sign up option is initially available in four countries - the US, Canada, Venezuela and Peru – but is expected to flow …
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Oz politicians SUCK at drafting trade agreements

Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership have had a key defeat in America, with the Senate passing crucial “fast track” legislation that lets President Barack Obama push ahead with the deal. The vote is crucial to letting the White House get the stalled negotiations moving again. Meanwhile, one of Australia's most doctrinaire …
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

Juniper pals up with Ruckus Wireless, targets Cisco (again)

Juniper Networks is moving to fill out footprint in enterprise wireless access, signing a deal to integrate kit from Ruckus Wireless into its Ethernet switch range. The gin palace has long longed to compete with Cisco in the wireless market. It first tagged the segment as important back in 2003, while more recently dropped US$ …
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

EU threesome promises good times for data protection reform

Things can only get better. That’s the message from all parties negotiating the new EU Data Protection Regulation. Following the first so-called trilogue meeting on Wednesday, negotiators representing the European Parliament, the European Commission and the council of national justice ministers said that citizens’ data would be …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015
Central Intelligence Agency

CIA-funded spy data safe Palantir doubles in value in 18 months

CIA-backed Big Data analytics outfit Palantir is about to embark on a fundraising round that will value the biz at $20bn (£13bn), according to reports. The funding comes off the back of bumper forward revenues this year, sources have told The Financial Times [paywall]. It means Palantir will become one of the most valuable …
Kat Hall, 24 Jun 2015
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Login creds for US agencies found scrawled on the web's toilet walls

A threat intelligence report into the availability of login credentials for US government agencies has identified 47 agencies across 89 unique domains may be compromised. The findings resulted from an analysis of open source intelligence (OSint) from 17 paste sites, carried out between 4 November 2013 and 4 November 2014. The …

Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

The Illuminati have revealed themselves once again, this time through their "intelligent personal assistant" Siri, which immediately reports device owners to the police when they ask about 9/11. CBCnews reports that 114 budding truthers were redirected to the police over a two hour period on Sunday morning. Police believe the …
Stacks of bitcoin CC2.0 attribution by FD Comite https://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/

Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

Worstall on Wednesday Matt Levine tells us the story of the Sand Hill Bitcoin Exchange, another one of those bright ideas that turned out not to be so bright and ended in a $20,000 fine from the SEC. The real underlying point is that it really was a bright idea: one that would improve the economy by making the valuations of large pre-IPO tech …
Tim Worstall, 24 Jun 2015
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Online gov services are mostly time-wasting duplicates, says EU

Sick of repeating the same information every time you need the authorities to help you out? So is the European Commission. According to a new study on eGovernment services, users are still asked to fill in forms with information already available to bureaucrats more than half the time. And if you’re on the move it gets worse – …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015
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Facebook dunks Instagram in new search filter sheep dip

Facebook has beefed up Instagram's search functions to pull the photo-sharing service into line with the rest of Mark Zuckerberg's siloed empire. It's hardly a surprising move, given that the announcement comes just weeks after Facebook confirmed plans to blast the photo filter app with ads. Instagram's revamped search feature …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2015

Do svidaniya to public record as Russia passes NEED to be forgotten bill

The lower house of the Russian‬ Parliament has given its approval to a new law which will resemble the European Union's controversial "Right to be Forgotten" legislation, but which critics have warned is stricter, arbitrary, and open to abuse. The bill, which was advanced earlier this month, requires search engines to remove " …
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Pure Storage snatches chief marketeer from rival EMC

Pure Storage is at it again: the all flash array startup has raided bitter rival EMC's reservation and made off with chief marketing officer Jonathan Martin, who will fulfil the same function at his new paymaster. Martin served as chief marketing bod at EMC for the past four years and prior to that spent five years at HP. He …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2015

Three-way EU Big Data privacy wrestling match kicks off

The EU will take a big step towards finalising measures to protect its citizens' privacy today, as negotiators from member states, the European Commission, and the European Parliament will come together for the first time to thrash out an agreement on the EU’s planned data protection law. The Parliament agreed its position on …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015
Gavel

Raising a stink in court: Innocent poo banditry warehousers win $2.2m

An Atlanta jury has wiped away the troubles of two warehouse workers who had been accused of devious defecation. The men were awarded restitution after their employer demanded they submit DNA samples, with the employer apparently believing that one of them had already done so. The employer, Atlas Logistics Group Retail Services …
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Kiwis to farewell 'global mode' browsing

New Zealand ISPs' experiment with bundled VPN services is over: CallPlus has settled a lawsuit by agreeing to axe its Global Mode service on September 1. The on-again, off-again, on-again service let CallPlus customers get around geoblocks by giving them a US IP address, and the country's TV broadcasters were outraged and …
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Singapore netizens slap silks for copyright bullying

Singapore's Internet Society is fighting back against lawyers for sending speculative demands on behalf of Dallas Buyers Club. The society says lawyers who sent the letters have breached the Singapore Law Society’s ethical guidelines by using threats of criminal proceedings to advance a civil legal claim. As reported by local …
WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks spaffs files showing NSA spied on French presidents

A diplomatic storm is brewing in France after WikiLeaks published evidence that the NSA has spied on at least three French presidents and their senior staff for the last nine years. "The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally," said WikiLeaks …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2015

Second agent takes plea deal in Silk Road misconduct case

The agent accused of extorting Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht out of his Bitcoins while investigating the case has agreed to a plea deal. In a filing (PDF) to the San Francisco District Court, prosecutors said they had agreed to a plea deal with former DEA agent Carl Force on charges of obstruction of justice and "money laundering …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2015
Google Play Music

Google's new free music service is classic Google: Take someone's idea and slap ads on it

A week before Apple launches its streaming music service, Google has sneaked out a free-to-use rival. Youtube Video Google's new advert-crammed streaming service won’t cost you a penny to tune into. Be aware, though, that you won’t be able to pick artists directly; instead, you have to stream from playlists (or "stations") with …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2015

Another CEO goes overboard from Jay Z's Tidal music website

The troubled celebrity-backed music-streaming website Tidal has lost another CEO: Norwegian Peter Tonstad has quit after just three months in the job. Tonstad had replaced his former boss Andy Chen in April. One month before that, Tidal's parent company, Aspiro, was bought by a consortium of musicians fronted by rapper Jay Z for …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jun 2015

BlackBerry boss vows to keep making phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen told shareholders at his company's AGM today that he’ll stay in the handset business as he reckons he has a good chance at making money from it. Chen didn’t say how: whether he’d stick doggedly to BlackBerry’s own BB10, flirt with Android, or bring them both into a hypervisor-enabled cohabitation …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jun 2015
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Former Cisco money chief cash-lands at Red Hat

Cisco’s departed financial chief Frank Calderoni has landed as CFO and operations chief at Linux distro kingpin Red Hat. Calderoni was the network giant’s CFO for seven years and managed the company through growth, acquisitions, layoffs and restructuring. He replaces Red Hat’s CFO Charlie Peters, who is retiring. During his …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jun 2015

Senior execs at NTT Com Security quit, but not with immediate effect

Top brass at NTT Com Security are hot footing it out of the organisation at the end of next month, the company confirmed today. CEO Simon Church, formerly COO at reseller Integralis (which NTT acquired in 2009 to form the backbone of its security ops), and chief beanie Heiner Luntz, have quit. Climbing into the chief exec’s …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2015