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Red alert: Pure Storage IPO could maybe hit as early as next week

A well-informed storage industry source with close ties to startups suggests that Pure's IPO could happen as early as next week – yes, the one beginning Monday, October 5. We expected it to be delayed to mid-2016 to allow Pure to get better quarter-on-quarter growth numbers. But our insider said companies these days don't file …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015
Google Toilet Paper

AdSense fraud still too easy, says Spanish boffin

A bit of code-work is all it takes to sidestep one of Google's key AdSense protection mechanisms. That's the conclusion of Spanish researcher Manuel Blázquez, a PhD and professor at the Complutense University of Madrid. In a paper just published at Arxiv, he says a combination of cross-site scripting (XSS) and old-fashioned …
Spaghetti with tomato sauce

Pasta is now a THING, says Cisco

QR codes are now officially part of the Internet of Things hype-cycle. That news comes courtesy of Cisco, which has inked a deal with Barilla, under which the codes will be printed on pasta packs to try and add some kind of Thingish excitement to one of the world's starchy staples. No, really. Here's The Borg's press …

Yahoo!: Who! cares! what! US! taxman! thinks!, we'll! spinoff! Alibaba! anyway!

Yahoo! says it's going to press ahead with its plan to spin off its multibillion-dollar stake in Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, despite failing to receive a favorable ruling from the US Internal Revenue Service. CEO Marissa Mayer first announced the plan, which would see Yahoo! transfer its 384 million Alibaba shares to a …
Neil McAllister, 29 Sep 2015

Now you can be tracked online by your email addy. Thanks, Google!

Companies can upload your email address to Google so when the internet goliath detects you surfing across the web, it can throw better-targeted adverts at you. So if you buy a bike and give the store your email address, and the store gives that information to Google, the internet billboard giant can find the Google account …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Sep 2015
Satya Nadella

Axed-ya Nadella swings blade through the forest of Microsoft again

In Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's latest move to dismantle the legacy of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, the software giant has announced that it's changing its financial reporting structure ... again. The last time Redmond reorganized how it reports its earnings to investors was in the summer of 2013. Ballmer would step aside …
Neil McAllister, 28 Sep 2015

HP's Mad King Léo ignored Autonomy iceberg, emails claim

Leo Apotheker of former HP fame ignored warnings from his own board and shareholders about the ill-fated $11.1bn Autonomy acquisition that resulted in a $8.8bn write-down and allegations of accountancy fraud, a cache of internal emails suggests. The messages were filed in a northern California district court at the end of …
Kat Hall, 28 Sep 2015

ICANN taking over the 'net from Uncle Sam? Ted Cruz to the rescue!

Four leading Congressional figures, including US presidential candidate Ted Cruz, have questioned whether the Obama Administration has the legal right to transfer control of the internet's key technical functions outside the US government. In a letter [PDF] to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), chair of the Senate …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2015

'Miracle weight-loss' biz sued for trying to silence bad online reviews

A US watchdog is suing a health biz that allegedly used the terms and conditions on its diet powder to silence disgruntled customers. In a complaint [PDF] filed to the Middle Florida US District Court, the FTC accused Roca Labs of peddling an ineffective weight-loss product, then threatening customers who posted negative …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2015

World panics, children cry, workers sigh ... TITSUP

Updated Bosses cheered worldwide as fell over once again, forcing people to put down their phones, close their private-browsing tabs, and do some work. Yes, even if it is Monday. It appears is completely dead now, apart from a static error page, although it showed some signs of life for a few people earlier. …
Team Register, 28 Sep 2015

Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

The fallout from Volkswagen's use of software to cheat on emissions tests is spreading: Audi and Skoda (both of which are owned by VW) admit that some of their cars carry the dodgy code. In all, Audi says 2.1 million of its vehicles are using the dodgy system – the vast majority of those are in Europe. The car maker told El …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2015
The new Pirate Bay logo

Pirate Bay cofounder and computer hacker Anakata freed

Pirate Bay cofounder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been released from prison in Sweden following three years behind bars, we're told. Svartholm Warg, who went by the online handle Anakata, was sent down in Sweden and Denmark for various computer hacking offenses. He is best known, however, for cofounding the famed Pirate Bay …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2015

The UN made privacy a human right – but that's not good enough for Team Snowden

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has backed calls to make privacy a basic human right. Y'know, Article 12 of the United Nations' declaration of human rights states that "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy," but whatever. It seems Snowden wants all governments, including those not in the UN, to …
John Leyden, 28 Sep 2015

Quadsys Five hacking fraud trial set for mid-December

The fraud case against the Quadsys Five accused of hacking into a rival security reseller’s systems is due to start in earnest on 14 December. As we revealed last month, Quadsys owner Paul Streeter, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and in-house security consultant Jon Townsend were charged with …
Paul Kunert, 28 Sep 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

You want a 6% Google Tax? Get lost, German copyright bods told

After months of deliberations, Germany's national arbitration board on copyright has told German copyright collection company VG Media to go whistle over its proposal for a six per cent “Google Tax”. Although the ancillary copyright tax law does indeed apply to Google, said the board, which is part of the German Patent …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Sep 2015

'Disruptive Innovation'? Take this theory and stuff it: MIT Profs

Comment "Disruption" – Silicon Valley's favourite buzzword for intimidating other, profit-making parts of the economy – has taken a knock. Founder Clayton Christensen, a Harvard business Prof, spawned a consultancy and investment company off the back of his 1998 business bestseller, The Innovator's Dilemma. The buzzwords "disruptive …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

DfID becomes second ministry to SPURN Cabinet Office IT scheme

Exclusive The Department for International Development is the second Whitehall ministry to shun the Cabinet Office's major back office outsourcing deals, The Register can reveal. The news raises serious questions around the viability of the privately-run shared services centres, both operated by business process outsourcing biz "arvato …
Kat Hall, 28 Sep 2015

EU data protection chief: Snaffling all air traveller data goes too far

Europe’s data protection tsar has warned law-makers that collecting and storing information on all airline travellers risks breaching EU privacy laws. The so-called PNR (passenger name record) scheme is back on the table after being rejected by MEPs in 2013. The plan is to force airline operators to store every scrap of …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Sep 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

M2, Vocus merge to form down under’s newest billion-dollar telco

Fibre and data centre owner Vocus and consumer/business carrier and service provider M2 are merging to create what they are calling a “full-service vertically integrated telco”. Assuming shareholders agree and the plan gets nodded through by regulatory authorities — both seem likely — they will merge early next year to become …
Bill Bennett, 28 Sep 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by

Sprint passes on premium spectrum

Sprint says it will not take part in next year’s 600 MHz auction in the USA. In a press statement, CEO Marcelo Claure says: “Sprint has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future.” Instead of beefing up its airwave portfolio, the company says it will focus on improving services on the frequencies …
Bill Bennett, 28 Sep 2015

AGD: silence about metadata retention plans is about security

The Attorney-General's Department has told The Register national security considerations lie behind it discouraging telcos and ISPs discussing their data retention plans. Last week, The Register reported that the department was telling the sector if companies discussed their data retention implementation plans with other …
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NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

Volkswagen was reportedly warned about rigging emissions tests on its vehicles years ago, not only by one of its suppliers but also the German car giant's own engineers. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, VW's technicians flagged up concerns about the engine management software the company was …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2015
Oliver Twist

Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it

Worstall @ the Weekend I think we'd all agree that we'd like the world to be a better place. And I think most of us would, if it didn't take too much effort, support attempts to make it such a better place. There's even some more energetic than I who go out there and do in fact make it a better place: and well done them. However, we do need to, …
Tim Worstall, 27 Sep 2015
Zuck balloons

Facebook to users (sorry, PEOPLE): Party like it's 2005 and blog your little hearts out

Facebook has rejigged its Notes feature by turning it into a blog-like function, while skirting any mention of the B-word – perhaps to avoid making the free content ad network appear too retro. Retro as in, say, 2005. The overhaul probably won't appeal to the younger segment of the market, many of whom are fixated with …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Sep 2015

Get on with it! Uncle Sam's right-hand man schools ICANN powwow

After a fruitless and frustrating day of discussion in Los Angeles, US Assistant Secretary for Commerce Larry Strickling had clearly had enough. "I've been trying to decide whether to come up and say anything or not, but the issue was forced by the fact that I'm leaving in 15 minutes," he said. "So if I was going to say …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2015
The fashion world’s most privileged urchin lounges in a luxury hotel in Paris, 1993. © Geoff Wilkinson/RexUSA

Hilton hotels in credit-card-stealing malware infection scare

Someone has hacked the Hilton's sales registers, and made off with guests' credit-card details, it's claimed. The hotel chain confirmed today it is investigating the alleged breach of its computer security. Investigative journo Brian Krebs says malware in point-of-sale (POS) terminals is believed to have nicked the card …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Sep 2015

Here, near the shore of Santa Monica, we see ICANN in its natural habitat – doing nothing

Every professional has job-specific nightmares. It could be a doctor delivering a baby from the Exorcist, or an engineer standing on a bridge that collapses. If a professional facilitator were to wake up screaming, in a cold sweat, they would likely have been dreaming about a meeting just like the one currently taking place at …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2015
VW Scirocco logo

US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Car makers have been warned by regulators that all light vehicle models in the US will be inspected to make sure no manufacturers are gaming air pollutions tests, Volkswagen-style. A week ago the The US Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen had used engine management software to detect when a motor was …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015

US, China manage to keep a straight face while promising to not hack each other's corps

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have announced an cyber-peace deal in which neither side will engage in commercial spying online. "We have agreed that neither the US nor the Chinese government will conduct, or knowingly support, cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property – including trade secrets …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015
GCHQ road sign

Blighty's GCHQ stashes away 50+ billion records a day on people. Just let that sink in

The enormous scale of GCHQ's surveillance was revealed on Friday by newly published Snowden documents. The files note the growth in capabilities enjoyed by the UK government's snoopers since intercepting communications in bulk from 2007. These details were revealed in a series of documents published by The Intercept including …

We want flying space cars and robo-butlers, and Pure Storage wants $450m in IPO cash

Flashy all-flash-array startup Pure Storage wants $450m in cash from its looming stock market debut. This would value the company at $3.1bn, giving its venture-capital backers a return of up to 6.6x on $470m in total funding. In an amended S1 filing with US financial watchdog the SEC, Pure Storage has priced its IPO shares …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2015

Tits and ads: Malware-riddled banners stiff X-rated websites

An ongoing malvertising campaign that began in August by targeting, and other websites visited by millions of people has expanded to hit smut sites as well. Many porn websites have been fingered with tainted advertisements via an ad network called TrafficHaus, a big player in supplying ads to adult networks …
John Leyden, 25 Sep 2015

Buyout-happy Accenture hits $30bn in sales – as profits slide 10 per cent

Acquisition-ravenous US outsourcer Accenture posted an increase in sales of five per cent to $30bn (£20bn) for financial year 2015, compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, net income dipped 10 per cent to $3.2bn (£2.1bn), following its spending spree over the last year. John O'Brien, an analyst at TechMarketView, …
Kat Hall, 25 Sep 2015

US watchdog POKES STICK at Google's Android over rival-blocking allegations

Google's alleged blocking of rivals' apps and services on its Android phones and tablets has reportedly led to unwanted scrutiny from US regulators. Officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have apparently been poking around the ad giant’s mobile OS business. Representatives from the watchdog have – according to a …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Sep 2015
South Korean flag. Pic: Republic of Korea

Bribing public officials up to $900 is OK-ish, says South Korean court

South Korean courts are doing the best they can to clean the country of corruption, presumably in the face of their uncorrupt and well-behaved best neighbours to the North. A new law, which will come into effect in November, will see officials who receive a bribe of more than ₩1m ($900) immediately removed from office. The …
Team Register, 25 Sep 2015

SAUCY INCEST and brutal VIOLENCE boosts UK space sector

Blighty's space industry received a fillip today, with Sky TV reporting bumper results for its full year – Sky accounting for more than half of the UK government's "look, Britain has a thriving space industry" narrative. Group revenue for 2015 increased by five per cent to £11.2bn, with operating profits up 19 per cent year-on …
Kat Hall, 25 Sep 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

KARMA POLICE: GCHQ spooks spied on every web user ever

New documents revealing GCHQ's mass-surveillance activities have detailed an operation codenamed KARMA POLICE, which slurped up the details of "every visible user on the Internet". The operation was launched in 2009, without Parliamentary consultation or public scrutiny, to record the browsing habits of "every visible user on …
Panic button

How can we manage this internet thing? The Euro gov needs YOU

The European Commission is asking for help in drawing up laws to govern the internet. On Thursday it launched yet more public consultations designed to inform bureaucrats attempting to help create the digital single market. The two new consultations are so broad as to be almost unmanageable: one on “geo-blocking” and the other …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Sep 2015

US military personnel investigated for splashing $96,576 on strippers

An investigation is underway as to whether US military personnel tried to get the government to foot the bill for a total of $96,576 (£63,268) spent on strippers in Las Vegas. The Pentagon's Inspector General is also looking into claims the personnel tried to expense $952,258 (£623,838) spent in casinos. The claims first …
Kat Hall, 25 Sep 2015
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV.  Pic via SXC - no restrictions

'RipSec' goes to Hollywood: how the iCloud celeb hack happened

The chief hacker behind the infamous iCloud celebrity hacks has revealed in a documentary how the group dubbed RipSec shook Hollywood by plundering thousands of naked photos and financial data of Tinsel Town icons. The hacker broke silence and spoke to Canadian tech and producer Travis Doering who provides information security …
Darren Pauli, 25 Sep 2015

Smartphone passcodes protected by the Fifth Amendment – US court

The Feds can't make suspects give up their company-issued smartphone passcodes because doing so violates the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. So ruled Judge Mark Kearney of the federal court in East Pennsylvania in the case of Securities and Exchange Commission v Huang, an insider-trading case brought against two ex- …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015
You can't shut me up, Jennifer Moo, Flickr, CC 2.0

Data retention: Still a shambles ahead of October rollout

Australia's Attorney-General's Department hasn't worked out when money to support telcos' and ISPs' data retention efforts will start to flow. The department, left in the hands of Grand Sysadmin George Brandis in Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet reshuffle, has been criticised by the Communications Alliance for being vague about the …