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(An allegedly) Bad dog's police mug shot...

Advisory body to 'reconsider' ethics of hanging onto 'mugshots'

The UK's national biometrics ethics advisory body has promised to reconsider the government's use of custody images. The National DNA Database Ethics Group last year raised ethical concerns about the retention and use of "custody images" – which include pics of people who have never been convicted of a crime – on Police …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Oct 2017
Security guard watches footage from hundreds of camera. Photo by Shutterstock Snoop laws not 'significant' obstacle to EU data protection talks

The UK's Snooper's Charter should not be a "significant" obstacle to data protection negotiations with the European Union, the government has said. In a letter (PDF) to peers, digital minister Matthew Hancock reiterated that the UK was still aiming to gain an adequacy-plus model on data protection after the UK leaves the bloc …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Oct 2017

Crisis? What crisis? Samsung is raking in $109m profit a day

Samsung announced new leadership this week following the resignation of CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, and the jailing of the empire's heir apparent. The latter, Lee Jae-yong, had effectively run the chaebol for over two years. He is appealing his five-year sentence for corruption. The company had already indicated third-quarter record …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Oct 2017

Yeah, Autonomy's ex-chief financial officer is still up for wire fraud

A judge has thrown out an appeal by Autonomy's former chief financial officer, who had asked that the felony fraud charges relating to his role in the ill-fated multibillion-dollar sale to HP be dismissed. Sushovan Hussain had argued in the San Francisco Northern California district court that the wire fraud charges against …
Kat Hall, 31 Oct 2017

LTE it snow: Microsoft to punt out LTE-tastic Surface Pro in December

Microsoft's Surface Pro with added LTE goodness is due to land in the UK on 1 December, just in time for enterprise punters to request one from the local Santas residing in their procurement and IT department. Panos Panay, corporate veep of devices, took to the stage at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London to confirm the …
Paul Kunert, 31 Oct 2017
A Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet of the French Air Force. Pic: Shutterstock

French senator demands public inquiry into Microsoft military deal

A French senator has put down a parliamentary motion demanding an investigation into Microsoft's framework deal with France's defence ministry. Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam tabled the motion, which calls for the creation of a 21-strong investigative committee, earlier in October. It is part of a long-running issue in France …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Oct 2017

Google AMP supremo whinges at being called out on team's bulls***

The creator and lead developer of Google's news-sucking AMP service is unhappy about being called a liar. Malte Ubi responded Monday morning to a blog post written by Irish web developer Jeremy Keith in which Keith called Google out for painting its service as something for the greater good rather than a corporate money-making …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Oct 2017

Fake tech support 'scam' husband and wife banned FOR LIFE from computer repair world

A husband and wife team accused of scamming people with dodgy tech support calls about bogus malware infections have been barred for life from offering IT support and repairs. America's trade regulator, the FTC, said today that its settlement deal with Madhu and Ila Sethi would comprise both a $2m fine and an order that …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2017
Donald trump reading fake news

Why you can't boycott the Mail: Google makes a mint from 'fake news'

Publishers hiding their identity from advertisers accounted for 60 per cent of Google's news network ad revenue in a study conducted by a non-partisan ethics watchdog. The Campaign for Accountability examined over 1,000 "hyper-partisan" news sites frequently associated with "fake news", including Breitbart and the Mail Online …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Oct 2017

Boffins befuddled over EU probe into UK's tax rules for multinationals

Experts are mystified as to why the European Commission has launched a probe into the UK tax arrangements of multinationals. Last week the commission opened an investigation into a UK government scheme it claims exempts large companies from anti-tax avoidance measures, believing the dispensation may break EU competition rules …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2017
NBC suit worker image via Shutterstock

UK industry bods: Re-train ONE MEEELLION manufacturing workers to deal with new tech

The UK lacks effective leadership in digital manufacturing technologies, with a fragmented skills system and poor support for startups in the field, a review has said. Made Smarter UK (PDF), commissioned by the business department and published today, was led by Siemens UK boss Juergen Maier. The purported aim is to create " …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Oct 2017

Algorithms, Henry VIII powers, dodgy 1-man-firms: Reg strokes claw over Data Protection Bill

The House of Lords will today start poring over the UK’s Data Protection Bill, line by line, as it enters committee stage. The peers have to agree to every one of the 194 clauses in the bill and debate 32 pages' worth of amendments, so it's no surprise this stage can often take more than seven days to complete. The bill, …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Oct 2017
Bitcoin ban

Vietnam bans Bitcoin as payment for anything

The State Bank of Vietman has issued “Information related to the use of virtual currency” that bans use of the cryptocurrency for payments. It won't say why, and doesn't explicitly ban mining or blockchain. The Bank lists conventional payment mechanisms like cheques, payment orders and credit cards as permitted, but then adds …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2017

Spare me the confected 'Innovation Theatre' that is hackfests and their ilk

Secret CIO I had a vasectomy on Tuesday. After the procedure, as I sat sulking on the couch, sipping a cup of tea and clutching an icepack to the affected area, I thought I would quickly check my emails to see if there was anything that would take my mind off the experience. The first email I opened invited me to participate as the guest …
Warren Burns, 30 Oct 2017
RAF F-35B ZM137, visiting the UK in 2016. Crown copyright

F-35s grounded by spares shortage

More than a decade after the first F-35 took to the air, the US military doesn't have a complete set of maintenance instructions, and spare parts shortages are keeping 22 per cent of the fleet out of the sky. A new United States' Government Accountability Office (GAO) report comes a week after the US Navy said it may leave 108 …
The Hewlett-Packard garage

Hewlett-Packard history lost to Santa Rosa fires

Updated: HP responds One of Silicon Valley's most important historic archives, that of the Hewlett-Packard company, was destroyed in this month's Santa Rosa wildfires in California. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat blames the loss of the archives on a decision to remove them from vaults that used to house them. The paper archives, which hadn't yet …

Iceland's Pirate Party loses four MPs in new elections

Still in the hunt to form governing coalition, if it can be bothered Iceland's privacy-friendly Pirate Party has lost four seats at new national elections. In October 2016 the party topped opinion polls and looked set to become a partner in a governing coalition, but ended up with fifteen per cent of the vote and ten seats, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2017
Paying a court fine

Healthcare insurance cheat-bot bros Zenefits cough up $1m to make SEC probe go away

America's financial watchdog will extract $1m from controversial insurance reseller Zenefits and its former CEO to settle claims they lied to investors. The SEC said ex-boss Parker Conrad and the biz he founded Zenefits have agreed to shell out the dosh to end an investigation into whether they misled shareholders about the …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Oct 2017
The black drive

WDC results great and all but Milly's bummed out about Toshiba

Updated Western Digital revenues and profits rose in its first fiscal 2016 quarter but worries surfaced about its access to 96-layer 3D NAND if the Toshiba talks fail and it loses at court. WDC's profits rose sharply, from a loss of $366m a year ago, to $681m this first fiscal 2018 quarter. Revenues of $5.2bn were 10.6 per cent higher …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2017
Business suits, photo via Shutterstock

Backup bods Datto to merge with Autotask in suits' shopping spree

Backup supplier Datto, with its combined on-premises/public cloud offering, has been scooped up by private equity. Datto was founded in 2007 by CEO Austin McChord, harvesting $25m in A-round funding in 2013, and $75m in a 2015 B-round. It bought Backupify in 2014 and Open Mesh in January this year. It is now being purchased …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2017
Wallet stuffed full of bundles of cash

Which reseller pleased fatcats today and rhymes with let's mute a centaur?

Computacenter – one of Europe’s largest resellers – today reported Q3 financials that are sure to warm the cockles of investors' hearts: sales jumped by a fifth as businesses splashed the cash on tech kit and services. Total reported turnover for the calendar third quarter ended September jumped 27 per cent to £931m; this was …
Paul Kunert, 27 Oct 2017
Suitcase full of money

Oracle investors told not to let Catz and co get the cream – reports

Oracle investors have reportedly been told to vote against the company’s executive pay plan, which would give bosses pay packets worth more than $100m. According to Bloomberg, the proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services – which provides advice on asset management – told clients not to rubber-stamp Big Red’s big pay …
Rebecca Hill, 27 Oct 2017
Businesswoman enthusiastically volunteers, raises hand

DXC: Hands up in customer support – who wants redundo?

DXC Technologies is seeking volunteers in customer support teams to strap themselves to the redundancy cannon as the process of shipping jobs out of higher wage locations and into cheaper ones continues. Peter Hands, the Frankenfirm’s UK and Ireland veep of the "deliver" unit, issued a memo to staff yesterday that was seen by …
Paul Kunert, 27 Oct 2017
Chocolate swiss roll

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

On-Call Far out, it's Friday! Which means it's time for another edition of On-Call, El Reg's week-ending reader-contributed tales of support gigs that went south. This week, meet “Jim” who one tended “a reasonably-sized server room/wiring closet, which hosted a number of internal and production systems. We were rather fortunate in …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2017

Brave Twitter axes Russian media ads 11 months after the fact

Twitter has kicked up a fresh new crop of controversies over both its advertising policies and its user numbers. The San Francisco-based milliblogging giant said Thursday it would stop taking ads from two major Russian state-backed media outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, effective immediately. Both publications had recently …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Oct 2017
Uber office in San Francisco

If you say it loud enough, Uber will sound atrocious: Super Cali juristic discrimination process

Uber is once again being hauled into court, this time on allegations it deliberately underpaid women engineers and staff who were not white or asian. The lawsuit (PDF), filed in the San Francisco Superior Court this week, alleges violations of California's Equal Pay Act and Private Attorney General Act, and demands back wages …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Oct 2017
Dollar pound image via Shutterstock

The EU is sooo 2016. We're all about the US now, say Brit scaleups

UK scaleups' interest in expanding into Europe nosedived after the Brexit vote, while US and China grew in popularity, according to Deloitte. As part of a broader report on UK scaleups, the consultancy surveyed 500 young businesses on their views before and after the UK voted to leave the European Union. When quizzed on plans …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Oct 2017
Arrested, image via Shutterstock Use police body cams to grill suspects at scene of crime

The Home Office wants cops to use body-worn cameras to carry out suspect interviews away from the police station, according to revised rules on the tech. If accepted, the draft proposals – which are part of a broader update to the codes of practice in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act – will grant police the power to use …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Oct 2017

Roaming charges drop smacks O2 daddy Telefonica in the profits

Operating profit at Spanish telco Telefonica - owner of UK cell network O2 - dropped 1.9 per cent in its third quarter to €4.1bn (£3.6bn), mainly due to the loss of roaming revenue and changes to exchange rates. Revenue dropped 2.5 per cent in the quarter to €12.7bn (£11.3bn), for the quarter. Sales in Blighty were up 1.1 per …
Kat Hall, 26 Oct 2017

Missing out on a bunch of big-ass deals dented Commvault revenues

Analysis Commvault revenues grew in the last quarter – not enough to please Wall Street, but a reference architecture reselling deal with Cisco might mollify the wolves. Second-quarter revenues in Commvault's fiscal 2018 grew 5 per cent year-on-year, and 1 per cent sequentially to $168.1m. On its own that should have been enough, but …
Chris Mellor, 26 Oct 2017
Older woman on phone gives credit card number.

BT agrees to cream off less profit from landline-only customers

Former UK state monopoly BT has agreed to Ofcom's requests to hack more than a third off the price of monthly line rental for its one million landline-only punters across the UK. Even though wholesale costs of providing landlines had fallen, rental prices had risen, pointed out Ofcom, which said it was concerned that landline- …
Paul Kunert, 26 Oct 2017

WhatsApp? You still don't get EU privacy laws, that's WhatsApp

WhatsApp's privacy policies have come under fresh scrutiny from the European Union's data protection regulators, who say the Facebook-owned business has failed to smarten up its act. The Article 29 Working Party, which comprises data regulators from EU nations and the EU itself, believes that WhatsApp's latest terms and …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Oct 2017
IBM engagement pulse word cloud

Go on IBMers, tell us what you really think

If an IBMer of your acquaintance appears to have shed some stress, we've discovered the reason why: the company is circulating its annual “Engagement Pulse” survey of employees' attitudes towards the company. The parts of the survey seen by El Reg are mostly anodyne, asking questions like whether managers have managed well, …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2017
Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. If you haven't seen it, it's about a man forced to endure reliving the same day over and over. Pic: Columbia Pictures

Apple vs. Samsung to climb back into rounded rectangle of justice

Samsung has won a retrial to reconsider damages in its patent suit against Apple. Chaebol-versus-Cupertino was revived courtesy of Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California, who agreed with Samsung that it's worth revisiting the 2012 decision that handed Apple US$399 million. Samsung's also seen other decisions …

Google India must pay back-taxes on $225m after cheekily funneling cash through Ireland

Google has been ordered to pay business taxes on 14,570m rupees ($224m) of profit to the Indian government after losing a six-year legal battle. The nation's Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) decided this week that Google India had engaged in a "clear and conspicuous" case of tax evasion when it sent all of its pay dirt to …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Oct 2017
Teen takes selfie with patient in hospital bed (in homey setting)

UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

The NHS has been criticised over plans for an "Airbnb"-style scheme in which homeowners will be paid £1,000 a month to host patients in their spare rooms. Startup CareRooms is working with trusts and councils in Essex. Folks who sign up are asked to cook three microwave meals for their patient each day, provide them with …
Kat Hall, 25 Oct 2017

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