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Judge OKs HP's cash-free settlement plan in Autonomy investor suit

HP has won court approval of a deal that would settle a lawsuit brought by shareholders over HP's botched acquisition of software maker Autonomy. US District Judge Charles Breyer has granted preliminary approval of the latest version of HP's proposed settlement, Bloomberg reports, despite having rejected similar proposals twice …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015
Cyanogen

Cyanogen said to be hoovering up cash, but NOT from Microsoft

Sources say Android alt-firmware outfit Cyanogen is close to closing a new round of funding, but Microsoft reportedly won't be among the investors. Bloomberg reported on Friday that Cyanogen is close to an agreement that would see it raise $110m from a group of financiers including PremjiInvest, the investment firm of Wipro …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015
Cryptowall sucks kid

Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

The top-level domain .sucks will launch later this month, sparking a fresh round of controversy over what is rapidly becoming the most notorious internet registry. Even before the current owner, Vox Populi, won the rights to run all .sucks domains in an auction – paying an estimated $3m for the pleasure – the domain was the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

Disney CEO: Dead Steve Jobs choc-blocked me!

Disney CEO Bob Iger would be helping to guide Google these days, were it not for one Steven P. Jobs. The mouseketeer-in-chief said Apple cofounder Steve Jobs convinced him not to take a spot on Google's board a few years ago, citing the ongoing conflict between Apple and the Chocolate Factory. In the new biography Becoming …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Mar 2015
Peekabooty - censorship bears

Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it

Comment The internet is gradually gaining a whole lot of new top-level domain names, from the useful (.app, .dev) to the more whimsical (.ninja, .lol), thanks to ICANN's dot-word gold rush. Most of these dot-words are available to world + dog to register fresh domains, such as theregister.science. However, some owners are keeping their …

This isn't the one-stop EU data protection you're looking for

“Nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed.” So said EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova on Friday announcing a partial agreement on the proposed new Data Protection Regulation. Clear? It gets worse. Jourova announced that Europe’s data protection ministers had agreed on a so-called “one-stop-shop” mechanism for dealing …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Mar 2015

Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

After deadlock for almost three years, Swedish prosecutors have finally agreed to travel to London to question WikiLeaks' co-founder Julian Assange™ on suspicion of sexual offences. In a statement Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, reiterated her view “that to perform an interview with [Julian Assange] at …

Attack of the Digital People: The BBC goes fully Bong

Comment Imagine this. At vast expense, the BBC launches a chain of launderettes - digital launderettes, that we shall call "BeebWash". Each BeebWash "space" (they love the word "space") would show BBC programmes and no doubt, "facilitate community engagement". So expansive and vague is the BBC's current Royal Charter, that BeebWash …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2015
management regulation1

Court nixes four HP patents in ServiceNow infringement case

Hewlett-Packard has suffered a setback in its patent infringement lawsuit against help-desk competitor ServiceNow. Four of the eight technology patents HP had asserted ServiceNow had trampled over have been thrown out of court by the US judge hearing the case. US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, sitting in California, had …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Mar 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

IBM staffers climb over each other in race for redundancy payout

IBMers working in the Systems Middleware (SM) division are falling over themselves to volunteer for redundancy, with the programme heavily oversubscribed. Some 110 people want to leave the company with a big fat cheque, which is way more than the ten per cent of the division’s 736-strong workforce that IBM had in mind. The …
Paul Kunert, 13 Mar 2015
BlackBerry and Android, together at last

Droidberry dangles: Why the BlackBerry-Samsung alliance is big potatoes

Analysis There’s something about BlackBerry that even its biggest fans can forget. BlackBerry has never been a phone company – it has always been a network company. For over thirty years, BlackBerry has done clever things to and with networks. It brought efficient data management, security and intelligence to mobile packet networks – …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2015

Angry Austrian could turn Europe against the US - thanks to data

In a David versus Goliath battle, an Austrian law student may topple the biggest EU-US data sharing deal when he gets his day in court in a couple of weeks' time. Max Schrems, who set up the Europe v Facebook group, alleges that Facebook violated the so-called safe harbour agreement which protects EU citizens' privacy. He says …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Mar 2015

Universal Credit could take 10 YEARS to finish, says Labour MP

The government's disastrous £700m Universal Credit programme could take up to 10 years to complete, Labour MP Stephen Timms informed El Reg on Thursday. "I've been reliably told by someone formerly working on the programme that it will take ten years to complete. Based on the evidence, I have no reason not to believe that time- …
Kat Hall, 13 Mar 2015
Blood image

Ericsson unplugs 2,200 more staff

Ericsson's move to focus on software is to hit another 2,200 jobs in Sweden, the telco vendor has announced. The cuts focus on roles in R&D and supply, the company's statement says, but admin and sales roles will also be affected, along with external consultants. The vendor says R&D remains important, but reducing the number of …

NSW premier pitches 'digital licence' as election stunt

In the throes of an election campaign, the NSW Government has hit upon a way to guarantee that police can require people to unlock their phones: that's where Premier Mike Baird wants your driver's license to be. Pitched as a money-saving measure because today's printed-plastic licences cost tens of millions of dollars, the …

This ISN'T Net Neutrality. This is Net Google. This is Net Netflix – the FCC's new masters

Part two What is striking about the FCC's rules on net neutrality, released today and likely determining how the United States does internet access for the next decade, is how radical they are. Radical is something that federal agencies rarely achieve because radical in the context of the large machinery of government is often a sign …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

Bulgaria nixes 'metadata' law, Paraguay delays

Another data retention domino has fallen, with Bulgaria striking down its spooks'-charter laws as unconstitutional in a Constitutional Court challenge launched by that country's ombudsman. The Sofia Globe reports that the bulk collection mandated by the country's Electronic Communications Act have been struck down, with the full …
Broke - empty pockets

NBN Co says 'ante-up' to fibre applicants

Want to know if you can get fibre to the home instead of the node? It'll cost at least $300 just to ask the question, under a new “Technology Choice Policy” published by NBN Co. The former “network extension” policy (which let satellite users ask about fixed wireless upgrades, and fixed wireless areas ask about fibre) was made …
Bloodbath!

Pathetic PC sales just cost us a BILLION dollars, cries Intel

Intel has lowered its revenue forecast for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 by nearly a billion dollars, citing a weaker than expected PC market. While previously the chipmaker had said it expected to bring in $13.7bn (£9.21bn) during Q1, plus or minus $500m, on Thursday it revised that estimate to $12.8bn (£8.6bn), plus or …
Neil McAllister, 12 Mar 2015
iiNet actor

iiNet to be scooped up by TPG for $1.4 billion

Competition in the Australian broadband market is about to take another step backwards in favour of consolidation, with TPG announcing it's going to buy iiNet. iiNet has long been a favourite of Australia's Internet users for doing battle with "big content" over its right to take piracy cases all the way to end users. It won the …

We've read all 400 pages of the FCC's baffling net neutrality rules – here's what YOU need to know

Part one The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally published its net neutrality rules this morning, comprising 400 pages of text. It was accompanied by statements from all five commissioners. We read it all so you don't have to. Four hundred pages [PDF] of legalese and formal definitions of an "open internet" in America. It …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Mar 2015
eyeofSauron

UK says comms metadata can kill personal privacy

The UK's inquiry into whether it conducts mass surveillance and the legality of such an effort has recommended tighter controls on access to communications metadata. The inquiry, which as we've reported finds that mass surveillance capabilities exist in the UK, but are used appropriately. The inquiry also rejects use of the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015

Revenge porn forbidden: Twitter bans hobby of bitter ex-boyfriends

Twitter has formally banned its users from posting intimate photos of people without their permission. It's a move that will hopefully rid the site of "revenge porn," which are typically sexy snaps leaked online by bitter ex-partners, usually spiteful former boyfriends. The 140-character chatterbox site has updated its rules of …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2015

BOXing clever: Data biz embiggens sales - then its shares slump

Box, the freemium business data sharer, saw satisfying revenue growth and controlled losses for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter and full year, although it disappointed analysts, whose comments prompted a 17 per cent share price fall. Highlights: Q4 FY 2015 revenue was $62.6m, up 61 per cent from $38.8m a year ago Q4 FY 2015's …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2015

US bares its net neutrality enforcement regime to world+dog

US regulators have finally detailed how they'll enforce net neutrality among broadband carriers and service providers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) two weeks ago formally approved a new set of rules that would impose net neutrality. However, the body didn’t say how the rules would be imposed. On Thursday the …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Mar 2015
Downing Street road sign

Ark scoops £700m to host ALL UK.gov's data centre needs

Exclusive Small data centre biz Ark has won a £700m four-year outsourcing megadeal with the Cabinet Office to supply the government's entire data centre estate via its Crown Hosting contract, multiple sources have told The Register. El Reg understands that the estate will initially be run via the company's two data centres in Farnborough …
Kat Hall, 12 Mar 2015

UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

UK data privacy watchdogs raided Thursday a call centre allegedly linked to millions of nuisance calls. Officers from the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) and Trading Standards conducted the operation against a business in the Brighton area suspected of using automatic dialling technology to make four to six million …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2015
chart

Blighty's oldest tech distie feels a little punchy again

Death, taxes and Northamber’s continued sales slide once seemed three certainties in life, but no more – the UK’s oldest tech distie has grown for the first time in years and isn't losing nearly as much cash. It could well be that the new management strategy, led by commercial director Alex Phillips, son of chairman David, is …
Paul Kunert, 12 Mar 2015
Being haunted

Work harder to stop online child abuse, MEPs tell EU states

EU countries are doing too little to combat online child sex abuse, said MEPs on Wednesday. The European Parliament called on national authorities to fully implement the 2011 directive on combating child abuse images and exploitation, adding that more than half of EU member states have so far failed to do so. The Parliament …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Mar 2015
NBN Co logo

NBN Co to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 from 2017

NBN Co, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that from 2017 it will offer DOCSIS 3.1 over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it acquired from Telstra and Optus. The announcement is surprising because just two-and-a-half weeks ago, on February 23rd, NBN Co spoke of designing its …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015
management regulation1

Dutch telcos build data bonfire after judge nixes retention law

A ruling from the District Court of The Hague means that Dutch telecoms companies are no longer obliged to retain internet and phone traffic data for law-enforcement purposes. A coalition of plaintiffs including the Dutch Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Dutch Association of Journalists, civil rights organisation …
Sleeper

Legalising London's bed-hopping economy is POINTLESS

Exclusive There is no evidence to support claims that London residents have been fined for using sites such as Airbnb, despite moves by the government to push through headline-grabbing "sharing economy" legislation, El Reg can reveal. Last month, the government announced it would introduce an amendment to allow London residents to use …
Kat Hall, 12 Mar 2015
Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Melbourne F1 Grand Prix 2015

Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

Another day down the salt mines getting you down? Your correspondent's been lucky enough to get out and about today to the first day of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, where I learned about what might just be the Best IT Job Ever: sysadmin and rear jack operator for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team's (IRBRT) Formula 1 team …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015
Nuclear bomb image

Hold on to your hats, we're ready to talk turkey on cybersecurity law, say ministers

European ministers said on Wednesday they are ready to negotiate a new cybersecurity law with the European Parliament and Commission. The proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive would force operators that provide essential services (such as energy, transport, banking, and healthcare) and key internet enablers ( …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Mar 2015
Scarface

LUST for APPLE WATCH drove me to crime, says alleged meth dealer

A man accused of arranging a crystal meth deal in China has reportedly claimed he only did because he really wanted an Apple Watch. A translated article from the government-run Guangzhou Daily newspaper says a 21-year-old man from the city was arrested for arranging the illegal trade with the hope of using the profits to buy …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2015
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

National Broadband Network names cable broadband trial sites

Three Queensland and one NSW locales will find out whether NBN Co's promise of downloads at 100 Mbps over hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) survives peak-hour traffic, after the company responsible for building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) announced trial sites of the delivery medium. In Queensland, Merrimac, Slacks Creek …

104 Australian orgs report breaches to privacy commissioner

Australian organisations have voluntarily submitted 104 data breach notifications over the last year, the Privacy Office says. News of the breach disclosures arrived today, the first anniversary of the country's tougher privacy policies, among reports of 4,016 privacy complaints, a 43 percent increase over the prior year. …
Darren Pauli, 12 Mar 2015
2001: A Space Odyssey

Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

Google subsidiary Nest has decided the next thing to be Internet of Thinged is going to be the sound system, and wants to get there first. Shortly after irritating Dropcam users by telling them to create a Nest account – even if they don't own any Nest product – Nest has posted advertisements seeking someone to head up Nest …
Hillary Clinton

Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

Analysis Hillary Clinton's admission that she was perhaps unwise to make exclusive use of a personal email account while serving as US Secretary of State has failed to placate critics, some of whom are trying to use the affair to derail her expected challenge for the White House next year. Clinton has issued a minimal mea-culpa stating …
John Leyden, 12 Mar 2015
Dunce

Chief Scientist slams handcuffing research funds to uni reforms

There are faint hints that the Australia's federal government might reconsider the policy that ties future research funds to its attempt to deregulate university fees. At the same time, the Chief Scientist Ian Chubb has gone on the record to call the policy a serious problem for research. The faint scent of a change in policy …

FTC to DirecTV: No more lies! Tell viewers what you really charge

US watchdog the FTC is taking DirecTV direct to court, alleging the satellite TV biz fooled Americans over the true cost of its service. The commission claims California-based DirecTV did not clearly explain to subscribers that it raised the prices on its two-year package after the first twelve months. "DirecTV misled consumers …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2015

Australians! Let us all rise up against data retention

Comment No one likes being watched. The moment another eye sets upon us, we seize up. All our fluid actions become forced, unnatural and overthought. We dream up all sorts of ridiculous schemes that might allow us to hide in plain sight as we wait impatiently for that gaze to move elsewhere. Could we find clothing that blends in with …
Mark Pesce, 11 Mar 2015