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Takign medicine, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

There’s nothing like sweetening the bad news medicine, and that’s what Microsoft’s tried with its latest internal staff memo. It wasn't until the penultimate para of Satya Nadella’s saccharine, 20-paragraph ramble about magical things that Microsoft's CEO delivered the bad-tasting medicine. “Tough choices” are coming in …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jun 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google creates cloud code cache

With an uncharacteristic lack of fanfare, Google has decided to hang around the kitchen at the code repository party. With Microsoft, AWS, and Atlassian and BitBucket already eyeing off the popularity of GitHub, it's probably no surprise that the Chocolate Factory would also like a piece of the action. Google has been quietly …
Harry Potter

Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years. So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2015
Photo by Heather Sorenson / sxc.hu

Hey devs. Forget Siri – Amazon's Alexa will show you a $100m good time

Amazon is reaching out to developers in an effort to build a rival to voice assistant services like Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana. The online retail giant has released APIs and a software development kit (SDK) in an effort to build up its new Alexa voice service, which is built into its Echo smart speaker. It has also …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jun 2015

Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

At the annual Yahoo! shareholder's meeting, CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled her new strategy for making the struggling web portal popular again by buying its way into Oracle's Java upgrade software. Begining with the next Java update, Yahoo! will replace the current invitation to make Ask your default search engine. Instead, you'll …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jun 2015
server room

US SaaS firm bows to Snowden concerns with UK-based datacentre

Project management as a service vendor Clarizen will open a European datacentre this summer as it seeks to assure customers here that the US government will not rifle through their Gantt charts whenever they feel like it. The San Mateo-based firm will partner with Equinix to serve European customers from an Amsterdam-based …
Joe Fay, 25 Jun 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google meets more EU apparatchiks than anyone else in Brussels

Google tops the list of companies lobbying in Brussels, according to a report published on Wednesday by Transparency International (TI). TI analysed the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 and found the Chocolate Factory came out on top for individual …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Spaghetti with tomato sauce

How to turn application spaghetti into tasty IT services

The promise of IT service management is to deliver services that make sense to their business users. To do that, though, IT departments must be able to untangle their own internal resources. IT services must be accessible in one place so that users can find them easily and administrators can manage them. And the back-end …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Jun 2015
Docker Red Hat

Red Hat: PaaS or IaaS, everything's about CONTAINERS now

Red Hat Summit Docker wasn't the only firm blabbing away about containers this week. On Wednesday, top Linux vendor Red Hat unveiled two new offerings at its Red Hat Summit conference in Boston, and both had containers at their cores. The first of these was OpenShift Enterprise 3, the latest version of Shadowman's locally deployable platform- …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2015

Docker shocker: It's got a commercial product, and is ready to SELL IT

DockerCon 2015 The themes of Docker's past conferences has been increasing adoption of the container tech, but the theme of this year's DockerCon was moving beyond experimentation and into production deployment. By extension, it was also about how Docker plans to make money. The startup is well-heeled, having received enough venture cash in …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jun 2015
Office for Android Phone

Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Redmond's plan to get its code running everywhere took another step forward on Wednesday when it released free versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Android phones. Ever since Satya Nadella took the top job at Microsoft he's been banging on about getting its software on every platform. iOS got it first, then …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2015
Scott Johnson and Mark Russinovich at DockerCon 2015

Docker and Microsoft unite Windows and Linux in the cloud

DockerCon 2015 Microsoft has doubled down on its support for Docker, further integrating the software container tech with Azure and Visual Studio Online and demoing the first-ever containerized application spanning both Windows and Linux systems. The software giant first showed off its support for Docker on its Azure cloud at the DockerCon …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jun 2015
storm

Ex-Microsoft chief rolls elastic-SQL challenge to Amazon Redshift

SQL Server, with Windows and Office, helped make Microsoft. The database sits in a $13bn business unit and while Microsoft’s server products grew 11 per cent – $1.7bn last year – that was driven primarily by sales of SQL Server. The man who paved the path was Bob Muglia. A 24-year Redmond veteran, he was SQL Server’s first …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jun 2015
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Online gov services are mostly time-wasting duplicates, says EU

Sick of repeating the same information every time you need the authorities to help you out? So is the European Commission. According to a new study on eGovernment services, users are still asked to fill in forms with information already available to bureaucrats more than half the time. And if you’re on the move it gets worse – …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015
sheep_herwick_648

Facebook dunks Instagram in new search filter sheep dip

Facebook has beefed up Instagram's search functions to pull the photo-sharing service into line with the rest of Mark Zuckerberg's siloed empire. It's hardly a surprising move, given that the announcement comes just weeks after Facebook confirmed plans to blast the photo filter app with ads. Instagram's revamped search feature …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2015
Google Play Music

Google's new free music service is classic Google: Take someone's idea and slap ads on it

A week before Apple launches its streaming music service, Google has sneaked out a free-to-use rival. Youtube Video Google's new advert-crammed streaming service won’t cost you a penny to tune into. Be aware, though, that you won’t be able to pick artists directly; instead, you have to stream from playlists (or "stations") with …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2015

ISC2 launches security cert training for cloud-defending cherubs

ISC2 has announced the dates of its training courses for its new cloud security certification, created alongside Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), beginning with exam availability in PearsonVUE testing centres from 21 July. The pitch for the ISC2- and CSA-developed Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification …

Uber app will soon maybe track you 24/7, cry privacy warriors

Uber's smartphone app will soon track and report back the whereabouts of its users even when they're not using the software, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) now fears. The campaign group is also upset that the app may send copies of people's address books to Uber, and has filed a formal complaint to US watchdog …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jun 2015
Docker CTO Solomon Hykes

Inside the Open Container Project: Docker sings kumbaya

DockerCon 2015 For a while, it looked as though software containers were heading for the kind of standards squabble that has plagued the tech industry too often in its history. On the one hand, Docker – the plucky startup that's almost singlehandedly responsible for the recent explosion of interest in containers in the Linux world – had argued …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jun 2015

Even Apple doesn’t mess with Taylor Swift

Analysis Tech oligarchs aren’t supposed to say sorry. And no, Apple hasn’t formally apologized to the music community for demanding that it works for Apple for free, Apple still comes out of it with plenty of credit. Ten days ago, the contracts for Apple’s new Spotify-ish streaming service leaked out, and they contained an unprecedented …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ didn't illegally spy on Brit NGOs, tribunal rules

Privacy International and Liberty failed today to convince the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that GCHQ had unlawfully intercepted the communications of, and snooped on, UK-based human rights groups. The IPT, in its third and final judgment relating to the spying activities of Blighty spooks, said in its ruling on Monday …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jun 2015
airplane

Polish airline LOT was grounded after 'IT attack' took hold

An unspecified IT attack has left 1,400 passengers of Polish flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines stuck in Warsaw, after the company discovered it was unable to file flight plans for its departing aircraft. Reuters reports that the airline's ground computer system — used to issue the flight plans — had been "hacked" on Sunday …
Woman looks immensely happy while staring into blank screen of unplugged monitor

Microsoft U-turns on 'free' Windows 10 upgrade promise for ALL previewers

Microsoft has been forced to quietly edit a misleading blog post that seemed to suggest that anyone could get their mitts on Windows 10 for free – if they first installed a test version of Redmond's upcoming operating system for PCs. The only caveat appeared to be that folk had to use a Microsoft Account (MSA) that's connected …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jun 2015
Dale Winton in Trainspotting

Supermarket tweet: Twitter ankles balloon in product, places shopping frenzy

Twitter has began testing new shopping features on the micro-blogging site and app as the firm seeks more ways to bolster its revenue. The San Fancisco-based company said in a blog post on Friday that it was playing around with two new functions to "make it easier for you to discover rich and relevant content about products and …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jun 2015

Google: Help us! Our search engine is STUFFED FULL of your 'revenge smut' pics

Google has promised it will yank from its web search results links to "revenge porn" pics – which are typically sexy snaps leaked online by jilted exes – if the subjects of the images ask nicely. The ad giant said people whose nude photos have been published without their consent will be able to file requests via an online form …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jun 2015

Google endures wobbly Wednesday in the cloud

Google's endured a wobbly week in the cloud, suffering three brown-outs of varying severity. On Wednesday, the company's App Engine had trouble with its task queues that meant some users had trouble deploying applications. Later that day, the Big Query streaming API struck trouble. Next came trouble connecting to Cloud SQL. The …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2015
Scrooge McDuck

Open-source Linux doesn't pay, said no one ever at Red Hat

Red Hat's sales jumped 14 per cent, year-on-year, in the quarter that ended May 31, thanks to contracts with government and cloud providers. The GNU/Linux distro maker recorded US$481m in sales in its first quarter of its fiscal 2016 year, and a net income of US$48m, up 26 per cent on the year-ago period. The 44 cents per share …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jun 2015
SR-71 'Blackbird' testing. Pic: US Air Force

FBI says in secret that secret spy Cessnas aren't secret

The FBI has told Congress not to worry about its shell-company-owned surveillance aircraft, which are decked out in the best surveillance tech, as they are engaged in an unclassified operation - which they were unwilling to talk about in a Congressional briefing. The snooping Cessnas were spotted over Baltimore during the …
Terminator head

Twitter joins Skynet arms race with terrifying acquisition of Whetlab

Twitter has acquired artificial intelligence start-up Whetlab, probably to assist with what it considers "barriers to consumption" by foisting machine-curated content on unsuspecting tweeters. Confirmed in less than 140 characters, Twitter announced its capture of the machine learning startup on Wednesday (June 17). The …
Death Star cannon

Hey Google, what’s trending? Oh, just the death of journalism

Mountain View has announced "the biggest expansion of Google Trends since 2012" in a move set to thicken the already impenetrable walls of its media-baiting echo chamber. "Every journey we take on the web is unique" began the traffic consolidator's announcement. Offering churnalists the opportunity to find real-time data on …
obama_oompa_loompas_648

Client-attorney privilege up for grabs in Google fishing trip

A judge will decide whether a fishing expedition by Google to uncover, and then request, documents protected by client-attorney privilege is legitimate, in the latest twist of the Mississippi Saga. Mississippi is one of several states wanting to find out whether Google has complied with a 2011 legal agreement with federal …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2015
One Microsoft Way by https://www.flickr.com/photos/36182550@N08/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ cropped to 648-432

Windows Server 2016 to inherit Azure's load balancer, data plane

Microsoft's drip … drip … drip of information about Windows Server 2016 has revealed a couple more droplets of detail, and one big splash of news about Redmond's approach to the new OS. The splash is that Azure is the wellspring of Microsoft's plans for your data centre. The whole cloud first thing is no mere mantra: Redmond is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015

git commit -m 'Add $200m to GitHub, tweak valuation to $2bn'

Code-sharing website GitHub is pursuing a new round of venture capital based on a US$2bn (£1.26bn) valuation. Bloomberg cited sources familiar with the matter in reporting that GitHub is in the middle of a series-b funding push to raise US$200m in capital. That dosh would give investors a 10 per cent stake in the company under …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2015
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

'Oracle, why are your sales f-' CLOUD CLOUD CLOUD, blasts Larry

Investors had their knives out for Oracle once again on Wednesday after the database giant's fourth-quarter results missed analysts' estimates on both earnings and revenue. The report capped off a disappointing year for Oracle, one in which its total revenue for the twelve months was flat from the previous year, at $38.23bn. It …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2015
storm

Brace yourselves: Public cloud is coming. When? Er... soon, possibly

Spending on Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-as-Service is rapidly increasing, but will still add up to less than 10 per cent of the overall infrastructure services market by 2018, research from analyst firm TechMarketView has concluded. Widespread uptake of the public cloud is not happening anytime soon, despite …
Kat Hall, 17 Jun 2015

British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

It's the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta: the document that King John was forced to sign by English barons in 1215, and which has served as the cornerstone for many of the world's judicial systems ever since. And to commemorate it, the British Library has published its crowdsourced version for the digital world. The Digital …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

Amazon looks to be exploring a new way to cut costs by turning you - or anyone willing to deliver parcels - into its drones. In an idea that's most likely a stick with which to beat its delivery contractors, the retail Leviathan reportedly wants Americans to download an app, and if they see a parcel delivery that's convenient to …

Auto-playing video ads? People love auto-playing video ads – Twitter

Twitter will automatically play videos, Vine vids, and animated GIFs. The San Francisco-headquartered post-profit upstart is concerned that you, a Twitter user, may be missing “something that you care about,” because of all the effort involved in lifting your finger to tap on a video to play it. Therefore, videos will now play …
Tim Anderson, 16 Jun 2015
SHUT UP!

'Get your ass to Market Street!' Arnold Schwarzenegger to give drive-by directions

Action film star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is offering his voice to Google's Waze navigation app. The new voice option, part of a promotion for the film Terminator: Genisys, will have Waze offering driving directions with Schwarzenegger's voice in place of its normal navigation voice. "From the first …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jun 2015

Pirate Party founder: I wanna turn news into a series of three-line viral gobbets

Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge* has declared war on “oldmedia”, which he spells as one word. His Falconwing News service will pump out three-sentence “stories” scraped from real news sources and posted as images. Advertisers will be able to inject their ads into this stream. He vows that he’ll pay writers “better” than “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015

Apple no-pay-for-plays streaming risks indie boycott

The independent music sector may opt-out of Apple Music – at least for its launch – because of the decision by the $731bn-valued giant to pay musicians and composers the big fat round sum of $0 for music streamed during the three-month trial period. Allied to anxieties about cash flow, it means Apple Music could roll out on June …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015