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US plots to KILL hackers – with bureaucracy!

A new US government "cyber threat" agency will take information on computer security breaches at private companies, pair it with classified intelligence – and put it back out to businesses so they can learn how to beef up their defences. That's the dream, anyway, according to President Obama's homeland security and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

'Worse than I imagined': FCC commish slams chief's net neutrality bid

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai used a Tuesday press conference to slam net neutrality rules that are expected to be approved by the regulator later this month. "I have studied the 332-page plan in detail, and it is worse than I had imagined," Pai told the room of reporters and tech policy analysts before giving six reasons why he won …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

A California court has once again upheld the legality of the US National Security Agency's Bush-era mass telephone surveillance program, but has withheld its reasoning on grounds of national security. In a ten-page ruling [PDF] on Tuesday, US District Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California said that the …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2015
Tim Cook

Sitting on one's ARSE is the new CANCER, says Tim Cook - and an Apple watch will save you

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared a range of different thoughts and announcements in his keynote address to a Goldman Sachs conference today. During this event he was interviewed by the firm's president, Gary Cohn, who almost drooled as he listed Apple's last financial results. He notified Cook that during his speech, Apple had …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2015

California mulls law to protect your e-privates from warrant-free cops

California is considering a new law that would make police searches of electronic devices such as phones and laptops subject to the same controls as filing cabinets, drawers and other physical objects. State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco has put forward a bill that would require the authorities to obtain a search warrant …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015
Reliance free internet from Internet.org

In India, Facebook and chums boil the internet down to 38 websites

Some people in India can now visit a gang of Western websites without being charged for the mobile data traffic – a handy way to boost user numbers globally for the moneybags corporations involved. Internet.org, a partnership between Facebook and proper tech companies, is behind the special offer to get more people hooked on …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2015
Smilin' Marv

Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs

Another month, another Patch Tuesday, but this release has a special sting in the tail: a flaw in the fundamental design of Windows that's taken a year to correct, and is unfixable on Server 2003. The critical blunder allows miscreants to completely take over a domain-configured Windows system if it is connected to a malicious …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2015

Big data, come to BIG DADDY: HDS gobbles upstart Pentaho

Hitachi Data Systems is snapping up Pentaho for its big data integration and predictive analysis technology. Here's a quick look at Pentaho's history: Oct 2004: Founded by Doug Moran, James Dixon (CTO), Richard Daley (chief strategy officer) and Marc Batchelor (chief engineer) 2005: $5m A-round 2006: $8m B-round 2008: $12m C …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015

Not just Imation's imagination: That sinking feeling is real

+Comment Imation has turned in another quarter of revenue decline and losses and a full year of shrinking revenues. Its management is talking about strategic options and unlocking value with a financial advisor – which sometimes means selling off non-performing assets, though we couldn't say it does in this case. Let's get the numbers …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015
by Jean-Marc Ayrault licensed under CC2.0

French plod can BAN access to any website – NO court order needed

The French government wants to block terrorist and child porn websites so badly that it'll even pay for the privilege. A new implementation of last year’s Terrorism Act (effectively a new decree extending the scope of the existing law) will force internet service providers to block websites within 24 hours if ordered to do so by …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Feb 2015

Sales slip at fine-hit CSC after firm escapes from the NHS

Sales at US computer giant CSC dropped 8.7 per cent to $2.95bn (£1.9bn) for its third quarter - around $150m (£98.6m) below what the company had hoped. The company also recorded an income loss of $313m (£206m) for the third quarter, which was affected by pre-tax pension-related charges of $462m (£303m) and a $195m (£128m) charge …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2015
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Meru Networks CEO: 2014 was a year of Cs & Ds

Business went from bad to worse for troubled WLAN maker Meru Networks in calendar 2014: losses widened and sales shrunk, paving the way for a fresh round of workforce throttling. The NASDAQ-listed firm warned the view from its deck wasn’t pretty in Q4 prelims released a month ago, and it wasn’t wrong – turnover crashed 28 per …
Paul Kunert, 10 Feb 2015

Netflix to Cuba: Care to spend half your wages to see Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights?

Netflix has begun offering its TV and film streaming service in Cuba, where just five per cent of the 11.27 million-strong population has access to fixed broadband connections. The average monthly salary in the country as of 2013 was $17.77 (471 pesos) a month, according to the most recent figures from Cuba's National Statistics …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Feb 2015
Downing Street road sign

UK.gov tempts SMEs with tasty framework, then slaps them in face

Central government is breaking its own commitment to increase procurement from SMEs by squeezing small businesses out of its existing frameworks for "digital services." A number of small businesses have complained that the set-up of the latest version of the Digital Services framework amounts to a recruitment "body-shopping" …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2015
Bitcoin bloodbath

Bitcoin trade biz MyCoin goes dark, investors fear $387 MEEELLION lost

Investors fear they may be $387m (£254m) in the red after a Hong Kong Bitcoin biz fell silent. The investment and trading website MyCoin reportedly closed its Kowloon offices a few weeks ago, and the company has not yet responded to inquiries from The Reg and other publications. According to the South China Morning Post, MyCoin …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015

IBM drops patent bomb on Priceline.com

IBM is taking discount leisure travel service Priceline.com to court claiming patent infringement. The global systems giant alleges that Priceline infringed on four of IBM's patents in the running of its websites, among them restaurant reservation service OpenTable and travel-booking agent Kayak.com. Big Blue is seeking …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2015
Young hipster man wearing hat, suspenders, bow-tie and fake-looking tattoo-sleeve. Image via shutterstock

About that UK digital biz renaissance? Not so fast

Guest Opinion The Gibson Index business database has been surveying UK businesses since 2003. Here, founder Marcus Gibson explains why the Tech City quango’s "Tech Nation" survey touting the success of "digital" Britain is deeply flawed. The Tech City quango last week claimed to conduct the "first national" survey of the UK’s digital …
Marcus Gibson, 10 Feb 2015

Governments beg Twitter for more data; network offers birdcage droppings

Governments' demands for data on Twitter users surged 40 per cent in the last six months of 2014, according to a new report by the avian network. America, Turkey, and Russia were behind the lion's share of that increase, with the former increasing its information requests by 29 percent. Turkey upped its demands by 150 per cent, …
Darren Pauli, 10 Feb 2015

Back off – it is ILLEGAL to make us accountable, claim ICANN lawyers

A row has blown up at global domain-name overseer ICANN, after the group looking into improving the corporation's accountability was told many of its ideas were illegal. At issue is the power of the board versus the power of ICANN's members – should the board always have the power to overrule its membership? It's proposed that …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015
management regulation1

Symantec to cough up $17m after bloody dust-up with patent troll

Symantec must pay out $17m after losing a patent infringement battle to IP-hoarding house Intellectual Ventures. A jury in Delaware found in favor of Intellectual Ventures on two of three infringement claims, awarding the biz $8m in damages for one claim and $9m for the other. Symantec was found to have infringed on two patents …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015

Net neutrality in the US: Look out! It's Neut-gate! Or is that Net-ghazi?

Comment In what promises to be the latest version of an unreasonable and largely pointless pissing match between Congress and the White House, the House and Senate have sent document requests to find out just how much pressure the White House put on the FCC over net neutrality rules. On Friday, chair of the House Oversight Committee, …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015
Troll in cross hairs

IEEE rubber-stamps new patent policy

As expected, the IEEE has adopted a patent policy designed to reduce the scope for trolling for standards-essential technologies. While companies contributing to IEEE standards often hold patents covering their contributions, there's always been an expectation that they would allow competitors building products under a standard …
RadioShack

RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America

Bankrupt headphones and USB memory stick chain RadioShack has posted the complete list of 1,784 shops it hopes to close across America. The gadget flogger said these stores [PDF] are potentially set for closure. The threatened shops include high-profile spots in Market Street in San Francisco, New York City's Flatiron district, …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015

World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak

In 2008, HSBC IT exec Hervé Falciani blew the whistle on the huge tax-avoidance maneuvers used by some of the planet's wealthiest people. This week, sensitive documents obtained by the 43-year-old have been published online for the world to see. Falciani has fled across Europe, swerved extradition requests, and, fearing for his …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2015

Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out

Microsoft's patent row with Samsung over Android licensing has ended with a whimper, not a bang. Redmond has announced that the two firms are now back on speaking terms, and that no, you can't know the details. In a terse statement, Microsoft says actions both in US courts and arbitration in the International Chamber of Commerce …
Qualcomm

Qualcomm, China shake hands, all is forgiven – if Qualcomm pays $975m

Qualcomm says that although it is "disappointed" that China has slapped it with nearly $1bn in penalties for alleged antitrust violations, it plans to pay the fine and move on. The California mobile chipmaker said in a press release [PDF] on Monday that the PRC government has fined it 6.088 billion Chinese yuan renminbi, or …
Neil McAllister, 10 Feb 2015
Smart TV

Data retention: It seems BORING ... until your TV SPIES ON YOU

If there's one thing we can thank this whole Samsung privacy brouhaha for, it's casting data retention debates in a whole new light. As readers of The Register now know, Samsung decided that the best way to process voice commands in its new smart TVs is to send them off to the cloud. Since it can't distinguish speech meant to …

'Kickass' Somali pirates get their asses kicked by Japanese ass-kickers

KickassTorrents clearly thought Somalia would be a good place to set up shop, given the ungovernable country's long association with pirates. But just two months after the hugely popular file-sharing site shifted from its kickass.to address to kickass.so, the team has had to go back to its previous domain – after kickass.so was …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015
Maxwell Morton

Boy, 16, cuffed after posting selfie with body of kid he allegedly killed

A western Pennsylvania teenager has been charged with homicide and firearms offenses after he uploaded an image to the Snapchat messaging service of himself posing with the dead body of a classmate he allegedly shot and killed. According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Reuters, and others, 16-year-old Maxwell …
Shop Direct Skyways House entrance

IBM cuts down Amazon with cloudy 10-year ShopDirect deal

IBM has landed a 10-year cloud and services contract with one of the UK’s biggest and most aggressive privately held firms. Shop Direct, the firm behind Very.co.uk and owner of the Littlewoods brand, will use IBM’s SoftLayer cloud. Financial terms of the contract were not revealed. Andy Wolfe, Shop Direct CIO, told The Reg …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Feb 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Capita lands spot on mega £5bn NHS commissioning deal

Outsourcing giant Capita is one of three major companies to be awarded a place on the £5bn Lead Provider Framework for Commissioning Support Services. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be required to re-procure many of their support services by April 2016 in order to comply with EU procurement law, which NHS England …
Kat Hall, 9 Feb 2015

Flogging kit and services to UK.gov? YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE

A raft of major changes to the regulation of procurement in the public sector in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is set to be introduced later this month. Public procurement law expert Stuart Cairns of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said public bodies must "prepare to start doing things differently". On …
OUT-LAW.COM, 9 Feb 2015
ARMteaser

ARM grabs Dutch 'SSL of Things' biz Offspark

ARM has strengthened its security portfolio by buying Offspark, the company whose PolarSSL secure communications is widely used in Internet of Things devices. The purchase is not about organic growth for ARM, while the company isn’t giving out a figure for the value of purchase, a spokesman told El Reg it was well below anything …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000

Hitachi's storage revenues: Not brilliant, but high-end gear helped – analyst

Analysis Hitachi pulled in more storage revenues in the last 2014 quarter than in its previous and year ago quarters, at least in local currency, but its mid-range was weak – implying its high-end Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays did the business, says an analyst. Hitachi owns HDS, which sells Hitachi storage in every territory …
Chris Mellor, 9 Feb 2015
GCHQ as seen on Google Earth

We'll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of 'MILLIONS' of people – Privacy International

Campaigning group Privacy International is preparing to help “potentially millions” of people request that their GCHQ records be deleted, following a landmark ruling by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal on Friday. The IPT ruled that the intelligence-sharing relationship between the US and UK had been unlawful prior to December …
Kat Hall, 9 Feb 2015
Mi Pad

Ericsson drags Xiaomi back to court in India

The ongoing battle between Ericsson and up-and-coming Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi has blown up again, with the Swede saying its rival is ignoring a High Court order. In December 2014, the Delhi High Court blocked sales of some Xiaomi phones in the huge market for not paying royalties to Ericsson. The court order restricted Xiaomi …

Microsoft makes 'business case' for marriage equality

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith has put forward a business case for marriage equality. The “Microsoft on the issues” blog mostly spends most of its time on topics like privacy and education, so tackling marriage equality is a bit of a departure. Smith starts by saying marriage equality is important to Microsoft because …
france

France enacts law to block terror and child sexual abuse sites

France has moved to implement the Internet-blocking regime that became law in October 2014 as part of a suite of anti-terrorism legislation. The 2014 law allowed administrative orders blocking sites hosting child pornography content, or advocating acts of terrorism. The law has now been gazetted, here, meaning it can now be …
Zip HydroTap All-in-one

NBN Co strangles bird: satellite users limited to 20 GB / month

NBN Co is imposing new limits on satellite downloads, forcing ISPs to kill off plans with more than 50 GB monthly allowances. According to documents seen by The Register, the network-builder is once again finding its Interim Satellite Service effectively DDoSed by its popularity. “In response to complaints about poor …

Shy, retiring British spies come out as MEGA HACKERS

The UK government slipped out consultation documents on "equipment interference" and "interception of communications" (read: computer hacking by police and g-men) on Friday. They were made public on the same day that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that the spying revelations exposed by master blabbermouth Edward Snowden …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Feb 2015

Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Worstall @ the Weekend Given that we've a general election coming up, people are starting to actually pay attention to what the various politicians are saying. Which is, of course, interesting, for it's often the first time that said politicos are asked whether their sums add up. So it was when Natalie Bennett of the Green Party was “questioned” - …
Tim Worstall, 8 Feb 2015
management strategy2

Computacenter will NOT replace UK MD Muller

Computacenter will not appoint a director replacement for UK managing director Neil Muller, who left at the end of last month to become CEO of now privately owned Daisy Group. This weekend, colourful CEO Mike Norris told 700 staff at the services-based reseller’s 2015 sales conference that his former general’s duties will be …
Paul Kunert, 7 Feb 2015