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Theresa May glass of water photo via Shutterstock

Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Britain has a long-term health problem: Britons are living longer with conditions that would previously have killed them. This is obviously great for the people concerned, but not for the government, which is on the hook for most of the nation’s healthcare costs. This election has seen technology, along with new buildings, …
SA Mathieson, 08 Jun 2017

What a tit! Uber CEO hijacks his staff breast-pump room to meditate

Uber boss Travis Kalanick is once again making headlines – this time for taking over a designated employee lactation room to use for meditation. This is according to Uber board member Arianna Huffington, who said during a telly interview that the ride-sharing startup's bro-in-chief has been using the mindfulness sessions as …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jun 2017
Burning money

Receiver appointed to mop up Plutus Payroll

A receiver has been appointed to mop up fallen payroll-for-contractors outfit Plutus Payroll. Veritas Advisory has announced it has the gig and set June 19th as the day for the first creditors' meeting. The Register is aware that several contractors that used Plutus have not been paid their full salaries. Most also say they …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2017

H-1B visa applications from India plummet (and Trump can't claim credit)

The number of H‑1B visas requested by Indian outsourcing companies has dropped drastically, but not for the reasons you might think. In 2016 the top seven Indian firms filed only 9,356 new H‑1B petitions to US immigration, a drop of 37 per cent, according to non-profit think tank the National Foundation for American Policy ( …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jun 2017
Meg Whitman

Axed from IBM for remote working? Don't go crying to HPE

HPE Discover Chalk up Hewlett Packard Enterprise as being among the crop of tech giants demanding workers clock in at an office every day. CEO Meg Whitman told El Reg on Wednesday that in order to right the ship at her newly severed enterprise company, employees need to be on premises and able to get together in meatspace. "When you're in …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jun 2017
man in suit clutches briefcase full of cash. Photo by Shutterstock

Golden handshakes of almost half a million at Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) recently released a Form 990 for its 2015-2016 financial year. Once again, the foundation took almost a full year to do so rather than the standard five months. The form shows that in the 2015 calendar year, the WMF – which relies on unpaid volunteers to generate the entire content of its …
Andreas Kolbe, 07 Jun 2017
Galileo

Europe to upgrade its continental GPS

The European Space Agency has announced plans to upgrade the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS uses three geostationary satellites and 40 ground stations to verify GPS signals. Output is deemed accurate to within three metres, rather less than the 17 metres assumed for unrefined GPS. EGNOS …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2017

Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

Australia has joined the list of countries whose politicians hope to crack encryption by fiat, with the nation's attorney-general George Brandis saying he’s going to take the government’s concerns to “Five Eyes” partners the USA, UK, New Zealand Canada. Brandis and Australia's cyber security special advisor Alastair MacGibbon …

Uber, er, taxi for the 20-plus bros booted out of upstart for harassment

Updated Uber has told its 12,000-plus employees it's sacked more than 20 staff after investigating harassment at the San Francisco startup. The workers were given the boot following an internal review by lawyers Perkins Coie, according to Bloomberg. A separate investigation led by former US attorney-general Eric Holder, launched in …

July web protest plan: What do we want? Net neutrality! Um, that's as far as we've got for now

A slew of internet companies, including Amazon, Kickstarter, Reddit and Mozilla, have signed up for a "day of action" on July 12 in an effort to retain net neutrality rules. The campaign hasn't decided yet what form the protest will take, but campaign director Evan Greer told The Register it will be designed to "display a …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jun 2017
Image by Dr Flash http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-182053p1.html

Fujitsu PC biz tie-in with Lenovo to happen 'soon'

Japanese tech monolith Fujitsu's long awaited sale "synergy" of its PC business with Lenovo will happen "soon", the firm's president has today promised. "We are in the final stages of working out how best to create synergies for our two companies," said Fujitsu prez Tatsuya Tanaka, adding: "We expect to wrap it up soon." "It' …
Kat Hall, 06 Jun 2017
A railgun. Pic: Shutterstock

No hypersonic railguns on our ships this year, says US Navy

The US Navy is not bolting its new electromagnetic railgun to any of its warships in the coming year, a move sure to disappoint those who rejoice at innovative methods of blowing stuff up. The naval service's budget for fiscal year 2018 contained no funding requests for putting the USN's electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) on a …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Jun 2017
Vodafone bird box signal repeater

Vodafone to block its ads from appearing next to 'fake news'

Vodafone will block its advertising appearing against so-called "fake news" and hate speech from today. It said the decision was a response to evolving technology within advertising and media and the algorithms being used in ad placements. It said that it will use "whitelisting" controls put in place by its global ad agency, …
Kat Hall, 06 Jun 2017
Little girl looks at camera with an "I told you so" attitude. Photo by Shutterstock  Release Information: Signed model release filed with Shutterstock, Inc

Consultancy titan EY to shift jobs to Indian outsourcer TCS

Exclusive Consultancy goliath Ernst & Young is planning to outsource a number of IT jobs to India in its latest wave of outsourcing. An email from EY, seen by The Register, told staff it has decided to work with India-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to deliver its application support. It said: "We recognise this is a big change …
Kat Hall, 06 Jun 2017

La Trobe Uni CIO Peter Nikoletatos resigns, heads for private sector

To suddenly leave one prestigious university CIO gig may, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, be regared regarded as misfortune. But to suddenly leave two? In three years? That's what's happened to Peter Nikoletatos, who left the Australian National Univeristy “by mutual agreement” in March 2014. He took on an acting role as director …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2017
Shouting match

The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

Comment In a predictable but still shocking pronouncement, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has put much of the blame of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester on the internet and internet companies like Google and Facebook. "We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed," she argued in a speech following the …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jun 2017
Picket signs

AT&T cuts fresh deal with 17,000 CWA strike-threat union workers

AT&T has agreed to a new contract with 17,000 union workers who were threatening a strike. The deal will cover both AT&T and DirecTV workers who handle the telco's network and services in California and Nevada. It will run for four years, should it be approved by union members. According to the Communication Workers of …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2017
shutterstock_197065211

UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

The UK's Prime Minister has been taken to task for trying to make the internet "both more and less safe" at the same time – and failing to publicly acknowledge the dichotomy. Following the attacks on two major British cities in the past fortnight, Theresa May yesterday gave a speech saying that "enough is enough", calling for …
Rebecca Hill, 05 Jun 2017
frustration

Partners tearing their hair out over Dell EMC invoice system borkage

The merger between Dell and EMC has caused havoc for partners attempting to raise invoices with the borg, as its "new combined customer base" is having problems issuing purchase order numbers. One UK-based distributor told The Register: "This has been the bane of my life for the past 10 days. I have five major orders that have …
Kat Hall, 05 Jun 2017
Stamped word 'nope'

IBM: ALL travel must be approved now, and shut up about the copter

IBM UK and Ireland has told the Global Technology Services team that all travel to customer sites must be approved by divisional general manager Tosca Colangeli irrespective of "value or business justification". This is a more extreme version of the previous directive issued by IBM for its calendar Q2 that all employee trips …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jun 2017
Theresa May photo by Frederic Legrand COMEO via Shutterstock

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

British prime minister Theresa May's statement in response to the terror attacks that saw seven people murdered in London on Saturday night has again called for internet companies to make life harder for those who would discuss hateful and violent ideologies. May's statement calls for four changes in the way the UK combats …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2017
A Walmart worker delivering a package for the company

Walmart workers invited to shuttle packages

As Amazon tests drone-drops for online orders, Walmart wants sales associates to double as delivery drivers. The global retail giant has launched a program to enlist its employees to deliver packages on the way to and from their jobs at the company's stores. Participation in the program, Walmart insists, is voluntary. Marc …
Thomas Claburn, 03 Jun 2017

Pai guy not too privacy shy, says your caller ID can't block IP, so anons go bye

FCC boss Ajit Pai has put forward a new set of changes to the rules it will use to govern US telcos, potentially reducing privacy protections and local government rights in the process. The US comms chairman said on Thursday that the rules will help to improve competition among broadband providers and make it easier for police …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2017
screenshot form youtube vid by l1fechooser

The Big Blue Chopper video that IBM might want to keep quiet

Here is the short video that IBM didn’t want the world see - it shows CEO, president and chairman Ginni Rometty mounting a Big Blue chopper following a trip to the Hursley R&D labs in the UK. Youtube Video El Reg first reported last month the company overlord had boldly ignored the £75 travel restriction earlier imposed on …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jun 2017
Old man's hands typing on laptop

Retirement age must move as life expectancy grows, says WEF

The ratio of people in the workforce to those in retirement will fall from 8:1 to 4:1 by 2050 if retirement ages do not change, and the global economy will not be able to bear the burden, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said Life expectancy has been growing globally by an average of one year every five years since the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Jun 2017
Command line icon

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

ON-CALL Friday's here again and so, therefore, is On-Call, our weekly dip into absurd tech support tales contributed by readers. This week, meet “Rick” who kicked off his career supporting laptops running Windows 95 and tells us that “One day I had a call from a sales rep who said 'My new laptop computer needs to lose some weight, it' …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2017
Trump

Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement

United States President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the Paris climate change agreement has been met by a chorus of disgruntlement from the technology industry. Elon Musk has followed through on his threat to consciously uncouple from the Presidential councils on which he serves and Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2017
VMware nutella

VMware's third growth business sprouts in Q1, plus a spare month

VMware's posted a strong first quarter for 2018, hauling US$1.74bn through the door, nine per cent more than Q1 2016, and posting GAAP net income of $232 million, up from Q1 2016's $161m. Sharp-eyed readers will by now have noticed that our opening paragraph compares 2018 to 2016. Worry not: our financial literacy hasn't hit …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2017
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Healthcare dev fined $155 MEEELLION for lying about compliance

A health records software company will have to pay $155m to the US government to settle accusations it was lying about the data protection its products offered. The Department of Justice said that eClinicalWorks (eCW), a Massachusetts-based software company specializing in electronic health records (EHR) management, lied to …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2017
Meg Whitman

HPE sales slide, profits evaporate... but think of the future, CEO urges

The long feted turnaround of Hewlett Packard Enterprise has yet to show up after the misfiring tech corp reported another set of quarterly declines, and it’ll surprise no one that cost cutting is going to feature heavily once again. Revenue from continuing operations dropped 13 per cent to $7.44bn, as all but the Financial …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jun 2017
Tech Mahindra sign

No H-1B visas? No problem, we'll offshore says Tech Mahindra

Indian tech services company Tech Mahindra last week revealed that US president Donald Trump's tightening of H-1B visas for skilled workers will be a minor irritant at worst, and perhaps an opportunity to send more jobs offshore. Speaking during the company's FY17 results announcement, vice chairman Vineet Nayyar said "... …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2017

Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht denied bid for new trial

Ross Ulbricht has lost his bid to set aside his life sentence for selling illegal drugs through the now defunct underground website Silk Road. Ulbricht, who operated Silk Road from 2011 through 2013 under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015 on charges of …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Jun 2017
Elon Musk

Elon to dump Trump over climate bump

Elon Musk says he will cut ties with President Trump, should the US walk away from the Paris Climate Accord. The billionaire tech investor said Wednesday that if things go as rumored and the White House pulls out of the Paris Agreement, he will recuse himself from the President's Business Advisory Council. Musk broke the news …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2017

Senators want FBI to vet FCC's 'cyberattack' claims

A group of Senate Democrats is asking the FBI to take a close look at the reported "denial of service" the FCC blamed for the collapse of its comment system earlier this month. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) all signed on to the letter [PDF] today, …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2017

NHS U-turns on blanket IR35 tax crackdown

The UK National Health Service has repealed its blanket decision to shove contractors inside the IR35 tax clampdown by default. Last month the government shifted responsibility for compliance with the IR35 legislation from the individual contractor to the public body or recruitment agency. The Treasury says it hopes to raise £ …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

Former state monopoly BT is considering shutting its "gold-plated" defined-benefit pension scheme in an attempt to close its looming deficit. BT's pension scheme deficit in 2016 is thought to be in the region £14bn, up from £10bn in 2015. Next month the telecoms giant will enter negotiations with pension trustees about the …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2017

Cisco cuts 250 jobs in San Jose, has 850 more pink slips to hand out

Cisco pink slips have started landing, with the company notifying the Californian government of 250 farewells. The layoffs are part of a planned 1,100 job losses worldwide, announced after the company's Q3 2017 earnings report. Switchzilla's trying hard to pivot to software rather than hardware, with its once-core routing …
A person holding a radio

Ad watchdog bites Plusnet over 'unintelligible' radio ads

Plusnet has been rapped over the knuckles by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority after the regulator ruled the terms and conditions of its radio ads were too garbled to understand. The two ads, broadcast in March this year, were straightforward plugs for Plusnet’s ISP wares. Someone complained to the ASA, saying that the …
Gareth Corfield, 31 May 2017

Uber fires robo car exec for insubordination

Uber has fired Anthony Levandowski, the technology exec at the center of Waymo's lawsuit against the ridesharing company that alleges theft of self-driving car secrets and patent infringement. Uber's chief legal officer Salle Yoo dropped the ax on Tuesday in a letter obtained by several media organizations, including The New …
Thomas Claburn, 30 May 2017

Lexmark patent racket busted by Supremes

In a victory for product resellers, the Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday limited the power of patent holders by reversing a lower court decision that gave printer maker Lexmark control over its ink cartridges after they'd been sold. The case, Impression Products v Lexmark International, has been widely watched by …
Thomas Claburn, 30 May 2017

UK biz: Oh (yawn) GDPR? Was that *next* May? – survey

UK businesses are risking damaging fines by ignoring the implications of upcoming data protection rules, according to a new survey. A poll of 2,000 businesses by YouGov exposed a significant lack of awareness and urgency among many businesses concerning the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on …
Team Register, 30 May 2017
Conservative Party Facebook

How the Facebook money funnel is shaping British elections

Britons vote for a new government on June 8 and, until recently, election campaigns have been tightly controlled affairs with limits on how much parties can spend per constituency, the requirement to submit detailed accounts and no political advertising on television. But the rules don't cover online advertising – allowing …
SA Mathieson, 30 May 2017

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