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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

Public sector contractors in the UK are starting to down tools across a range of projects ahead of the new tax regime in April, leaving numerous projects hanging in the balance. Multiple sources have been in touch with The Register to report that professionals are leaving in droves rather than face the IR35 tax changes. From …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2017
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HPE's started firing people at Simplivity, say former employees

HPE looks to have started writing pink slips for Simplivity people. The Register has heard from former-as-of-last-week regional sales manager at Simplivity who tells us that folks in marketing, channel, finance and inside sales have all been shown the door. Our source says plenty of sales engineering and outside sales people …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2017
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Failed cancer data integration project means labs can't see patient histories

The Australian government's attempt to rush the rollout of a privatised cancer registry has backfired, with Telstra Health unable to meet a March deadline for data integration. As a result, the May 1 launch for the National Cancer Screening Register has been ditched. Telstra Health won the AU$180 million contract in May 2016 …
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Energy market operator used urban data only, undershot heatwave forecast by 3°C

Another revelation has emerged that won't reassure large-scale electricity users in Australia: the market operator missed a coming heatwave because it didn't consider State-wide weather forecasts, relying instead on data from just two urban weather stations. That snippet emerged in a report issued by the Australian Energy …
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Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

The engineer who claims Uber is rife with sexism and lying executives has said someone is researching her background for a smear campaign. On Sunday, Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer and O'Reilly author, published an explosive blog post telling of her time at the scandal-hit ride-hailing biz, including claims of …
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2017
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Toxic Uber sued after driver allegedly tried to rape passenger in car

Uber, facing scrutiny for its "toxic" culture of sexual harassment and for alleged trade secret theft from Alphabet's Waymo, has been hit with yet another lawsuit alleging that one of its drivers attempted to rape a passenger. Attorneys representing an unnamed ("Jane Doe") plaintiff filed a complaint against the company in …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2017
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Surveillance software boss thrown in the clink for cooking the books

The head of a defunct surveillance and communications software company has been given the longest-ever prison sentence for back-dating stock options. Jacob "Kobi" Alexander will spend the next 30 months behind bars, ordered by Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York. Alexander had been the CEO …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2017

Oh, irony of ironies: Gov.UK's transparency report reveals... nothing

The British government has published a transparency report into the use of disruptive and investigatory powers by State actors, which ironically reveals absolutely nothing about the use of said powers. Introducing the 110-page report [PDF], the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, wrote that the government "is committed to increasing …
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New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Insurers would be primarily responsible for paying out damages stemming from accidents caused by "automated vehicles" under new UK legislation laid before the UK parliament. The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill sets out how the liability for accidents involving automated vehicles should be apportioned, and factors in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Feb 2017
Man and woman arguing

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly look at readers' memories of hibs gone bad. This week, meet “Jared” who tells us that “I have for a number of years worked with my wife in our small company. She sells, and I keep her IT (and the rest of the company) working so she can sell. This all happens in Spain, which Jared said “ …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017
A man buried in paperwork

How to nuke websites you don't like: Slam Google with millions of bogus DMCA takedowns

Analysis Big corporations are abusing the system for taking down files and links to copyright-infringing content by sending millions of fake links, according to Google. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), online providers are given legal protection from having illegal content on their servers if they respond to requests …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2017
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Brit lords slip 30Mbps Universal Service Obligation into UK Digital Economy Bill

An eleventh-hour amendment has been added to the UK government's Digital Economy Bill, proposing an increase of the Universal Service Obligation from 10Mbps to 30Mbps. Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn managed to slip in the increase in the Bill yesterday, which would also set upload speeds of 6Mbps per second. He said: "Everyone …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
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Managed file transfer peeps Axway gobble sharetakers Syncplicity

French managed file transfer (MFT) company Axway has bought file sync and share supplier Syncplicity. EMC sold Syncplicity to Skyview Capital for an undisclosed sum in June 2015. Now Skyview has sold it to Axway in an all-cash transaction, again for an unrevealed amount. Axway, which has more than 11,000 customers in 100 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Elon Musk

Elon Musk promises Tesla investors Trump won't send him to Mars

Amid larger than expected losses at Tesla, founder Elon Musk promised he would not be diverted by a mission to Mars and intended to stay at the company "forever". During an investor call Musk was asked if numerous reports suggesting the Trump administration is in favour of accelerating a mission to send humans to Mars could …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
An angry woman looking at her phone

O2 daddy Telefónica reports 12.5% drop in UK sales

Sales at Telefónica UK, which owns O2, plunged 12.5 per cent to €6.8bn (£5.7bn) for the firm's full year, mainly due to currency changes. Organic revenue fell 1.5 per cent. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 11.4 per cent for 2016 to €1.7bn (£1.4bn), increasingly organically by 1.7 per cent. …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017

IBM: Voluntary redundo offer? Ticked. Min stat terms? Ticked

Exclusive IBM is hoping to lighten monthly payroll costs by, er, dangling minimum statutory redundancy terms in front of UK staff who volunteer to cut short their career at the creaking tech titan. As El Reg revealed yesterday, Big Blue told staff in the Technical Services Support unit it was forming an Employee Consultation Committee …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2017

Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

Customers are losing £5.8bn per year by sticking with the same mobile supplier, according to research from comparison site uSwitch. One-quarter of mobile users have never switched mobile network, according to the survey of 2,000. For those over the age of 55, the proportion rose to one-third. If extrapolated across the …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
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HP Ink says ink sales are down but PC sales are up, up, up!

HP Inc has reported its first quarter results with a highlight being increased sales and revenue for PCs, but a dip for printer-related activities. The company offered the following graphical depiction of its quarter in its earnings presentation, and it explains the state of affairs better than we could do with prose. HP Inc …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017
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Arris slaps down US$800m to buy Brocade's wireless bits

Arris Technologies will buy Ruckus Wireless from Broadcom, for US$800m. Ruckus came to Broadcom when it acquired Brocade in November 2016. Selling the company seems a little odd as wireless was one of the few bright spots in Brocade's final earnings call as an independent entity. In Q2 2016, Ruckus added 51 per cent to Brocade …
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IBM to UK staff: Get ready for another game of musical chairs

Exclusive IBM is about to fling another bunch of Technical Services Support staffers down the redundancy chute, internal documents leaked to The Register reveal. In a letter to permanent employees in UK and Ireland, Paul Simmonds, director of TSS, part of Global Technology Services, confirmed the formation of yet another Employee …
Paul Kunert, 22 Feb 2017
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Smart Hosting offers up service credit in bid to hang on to clients

After provoking dissatisfaction from customers during its recent support ticket pile-up, Smart Hosting has apologised and offered £10 in service credit. Following Smart Hosting's merger with the equally pint-sized British hosting business Krystal, complaints over a pile-up of unanswered support tickets were met with radio …

Speaking in Tech: Taxing robot labour for benefit glorious taxpayer

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Regular tech podcasters Greg and Ed are joined by Josh Atwell of NetApp to discuss the rapid pace of innovation and automation and the impact on employment and society. The crew also discuss sexual harassment in the tech industry and Oracle “clawbacks”. The details… (0: …
Team Register, 22 Feb 2017
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Lenovo to build and run SAP's cloud in China

What China wants, China gets – in this case an exception to SAP's usual practice of running its own cloud. Behind the great firewall that job's just gone to Lenovo, which “will deliver a new enterprise cloud solution created exclusively for customers holding licenses for the SAP HANA platform in China.” Lenovo will also run …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2017

Tosh in deeper financial doo-doo as banks crank up the pressure

Toshiba is looking to raise almost $9bn (‎¥1 trillion) by selling off a majority stake in its memory chip business, according to Reuters, and so repair its finances, which have been devastated by cost overruns in its US nuclear power business. That is costing it around $6.3bn but Toshiba's banks want it to raise more to cover …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017

$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!

Yahoo! will be gobbled by Verizon for $4.48bn, $350m cheaper than the initial deal, apparently due to the damage done to the company's value by widely reported successful cyber-attacks. Verizon slashed its acquisition offer in the wake of Yahoo! confessing to cyber-attacks, and the companies will now share the liability for …
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Capita swallows £50m blow after writing down historic contracts

Everyone's favourite cuddly outsourcing corp Capita is writing off a cool £50m worth of assets related to certain deals with customers after a "comprehensive review across its major contracts" base. The listed firm today told the London Stock Exchange that top brass had decided to "impair, at the year end 2016, a number of …
Paul Kunert, 21 Feb 2017
European flag with sad face

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings. Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

Apple has filed its defence against the European Commission's claim it owes €13bn in back taxes in Ireland. Apple on Monday filed a defence in which it dismissed the very idea of the US$13.75/£11bn bill, calling for the total or partial annulment of the European Commission decision that set the case in motion and suggesting …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2017
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Australia commences critical infrastructure protection consultation

Last month, Australia's federal government established a Critical Infrastructure Centre. Now it's decided to ask what the centre should protect. Attorney-General George Brandis has announced a month-long consultation into the security of the country's critical infrastructure. The statement says the consultation includes …
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Software glitch, not wind farms, blacked out 60,000 in South Australia

Yet another reason that isn't wind farms has emerged for recent blackouts in the Australian State of South Australia: dodgy software. The ongoing politicking sparked by last year's “megastorm”-driven blackouts was revived earlier this month, when a heatwave swept across the country and caused another round of blackouts in the …
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NZ High Court rules US can extradite Kim Dotcom after all

The businessman otherwise known as Kim Schmitz, aka "Kimble", aka "Kim Dotcom", has lost his High Court appeal in New Zealand to be extradited to the USA. In January 2012, Schmitz's mansion and property were confiscated in raids relating to an investigation of his Megaupload.com website, a file-sharing site that is accused of …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
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BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Rivals BT and Virgin Media have joined hands to collective moan that a forthcoming hike to business rates will result in tripling of their collective tax bill to £1.3bn over the next five years. The Valuation Office Agency‘s revaluation of business rates will come into force on 1 April 2017. But Virgin and BT complained the …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2017
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Amazon has announced its intention to increase its UK workforce to over 24,000 this year. The company said it would be welcoming an additional 5,000 staff to its UK headcount, with the majority expected to be staffing its warehouse “fulfilment centres” dotted around the nation, although no breakdown was provided. Amazon told …
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Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017

New EU rules on portability of online content services move closer

Planned new EU laws aimed at making online content more accessible to those that subscribe to it are closer to being finalised after a deal struck on the new rules earlier this month was endorsed by representatives of national governments across the EU. At the beginning of February, the Maltese presidency of the Council of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Feb 2017
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Deloitte goes all gooey for SAP HANA on AWS

Deloitte, Amazon Web Services and SAP have cooked up a cloudy consulting confection. The consultancy has created a new practice dedicated to AWS that we're told will have 2,500 suits poised to spring off the mythical “bench” upon which under-employed consultants dwell. Many will be either AWS certified Solution Architects or …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
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Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook are buying all the best cloud tech

Those of you contemplating a cloud startup have two options: get acquired by one of five companies or build an automatic sueball flinger. So says Sam Altman, president of startup factory Y Combinator, in his annual letter describing the organisation's activities. The letter's full of StartupLand cliches - “Our mission is to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017

In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering

Updated Colour us surprised: a Silicon Valley darling famous for belligerent market entries, raising middle fingers at regulators and having a relaxed attitude to tax has been accused of also completing a bingo-card of bad management that includes sexism, arse ass-covering, empire-building and malicious management. That startup is …
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Competition and wholesale costs, not lack of fibre, crimp broadband in Australia

Like the sun rising, the release of a new Akamai State of the Internet report inevitably leads to opinion columns bemoaning Australia's slide on global league tables for broadband speed, most attributing it to the much-hated “multi-technology model” NBN. We're going to swim against the tide and suggest otherwise: the problem …
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BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Long-ago phone-builder BlackBerry has been sued by hundreds of employees who say they were tricked into quitting their jobs. Canadian law firm Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP says it is representing a class-action lawsuit of more than 300 people who were told by BlackBerry their jobs were being transferred to Ford Canada, a …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017
Wire wastepaper bin filled with scrunched up paper. Photo by Shutterstock

Round-filed 'paperless' projects: Barriers remain to Blighty's Digital NHS

It was hard to hear UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s recent backtracking over his plans for a paperless NHS by 2018, without wondering to what extent digital health documents have contributed to global forest depletion over the last decades. To some extent all tech programmes in the NHS are still overshadowed by the …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
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UK recruitment biz Coal Intelligent Technology ceases trading

Contractors and employees at London-based tech recruitment outfit Coal Intelligent Technology may be left out of pocket after the company ceased trading yesterday. A letter from the administrator to contractors seen by the The Register, said the company went into administration on 10 February. It said: "The Administrator is …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017

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