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In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Worstall on Wednesday Given the massive, but not startling*, success of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder it might sound, well, it will sound, a little odd to state that in one way at least they're like the anti-internet. For what that internet does is abolish geography as a binding limit on who one can socialise with. From the earliest BBS through …
Tim Worstall, 15 Apr 2015
European Union Flag

EU bods Oetti and Ansip: We must digitise EVERYTHING

The EU's warring digi-chiefs — Vice President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Gunter H-dot Oettinger — finally seem to be singing from the same hymn-sheet. On Tuesday, both gave speeches highlighting the need for the wider industry to “get digital” as well as bemoaning the Digital Skills Gap™. Ansip and Oettinger quoted the same …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Apr 2015
Cisco and Veeam's UCS backup scheme

Veeam lobs backup bombs, with Cisco lighting the fuse

Veeam's making waves again, with two new initiatives sure to get backup software rivals – and tin-makers – a little riled. Software rivals have to figure out how to contend with the new free endpoint backup tool the company flagged last October and released today. The tool's pitched at anyone who wants to back up a Windows PC, …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed rumours about a possible merger by saying it will happen, as “The two companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for all of the equity securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent”. Each Alca-Lu share will be exchanged for 0.55 of a new Nokia …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

Yahoo! adopts! Ceph! to! underpin! Flickr!, plans! storage-as-a-service! service!

Strap yourself in, storage-buyers: those pushing a software-defined approach and/or object storage will soon be telling you that their wares are ready for anything because Yahoo!'s exascale photo storage service has re-platformed itself on Ceph. The Purple Palace also says it will soon have hundreds of petabytes under software- …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015

30 – count 'em – 30 orgs sign up for Cumulus on Dell networking kit

UPDATE January 2014, Dell announced it would make it possible to run Cumulus Networks' operating system on its networking gear. 15 months later, 30 organisations have done so. As in a three followed by a zero. Worldwide. So says John McCloskey, executive director for enterprise solutions at Dell Australia and New Zealand. McCloskey's …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2015
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out Skype for Business – the service formerly known as Microsoft Lync – across its subscription-based Office 365 cloud this month. "Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May," said the Skype team …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015

It's 2015 and a RICH TEXT FILE or a HTTP request can own your Windows machine

Microsoft has delivered its latest monthly batch of security updates to address flaws in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. Redmond's latest Patch Tuesday payload includes 11 bulletins, four of which are rated critical as they allow attackers to execute malicious code on victims' computers from across the internet. The full …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2015
Microsoft on Android

Microsoft cramming free stuff into Galaxy S6es? Not so fast – US telcos

Microsoft has been working with smartphone makers to get its mobile apps onto more customers' phones, but as long as carriers have a say in it, Redmond might not be able to obtain the broad reach it's hoping for. Samsung announced in March that its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagship phones would ship with Microsoft's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015
Good riddance to bad Java

Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

The latest release of the Chrome web browser, version 42, will block Oracle's Java plugin by default as well as other extensions that use the deprecated NPAPI. The Chrome 42 – available now – brings about the end of official support for NPAPI, a move that will render various plugins incompatible with the browser. Among those …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015

What just went down on Intel for three months? Er, PC and mobile chips

Intel announced its earnings based on its new financial reporting structure for the first time on Tuesday, but despite having lumped its ailing Mobile & Communications unit in with its PC Client business, there was no hiding that the three months ended on March 28 were a tough quarter for Chipzilla. Total revenue for the first …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015

Adobe, Level 3 drive a stake through heart of vid-stream creature before it attacks again

The US Patent and Trademark Office has torn up parts of a video-streaming technology patent used against Adobe and Level 3 Communications in a patent-infringement legal scrap. The office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated chunks of patent 5,995,091, which describes a "system and method for streaming multimedia data …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015
Handshake

MySQL maestro Percona makes NoSQL play with Tokutek gobble

MySQL consulting and services outfit Percona has acquired Tokutek, makers of a commercial, transaction-safe distribution of the open source MongoDB NoSQL database. "TokuMX, a fully functional transactional, document (row) level locking NoSQL derivative of MongoDB, will now be serviced, supported and remotely managed by Percona's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015

Selfie sticks BANNED by Apple: No hipster tools' tools allowed at WWDC

Apple is selling tickets to this year's Worldwide Developers Conference – though if you get hold of one, leave your selfie stick in the hotel room. Those wishing to attend have until Friday to register for Cupertino's lottery system. The confab will be held between June 8 and 12 in San Francisco's Moscone West conference center …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2015
WD_Purple_NV

Purple strain? Purple gain: WD doubles cam count for spy drives

Western Digital has tweaked its Purple-branded hard drives for video surveillance to double the supported camera count. The 4TB Purple 3.5" disks were introduced in February last year, with a 6TB model hitting the market eight months later. They have a feature called AllFrame in their firmware that's supposed to reduce data …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015

Docker preps on-prem container store, hungry investors give it the D

Linux container-wrangling outfit Docker, flush with cash from a fresh round of funding, says it will release its first commercial product to general availability this quarter. The software, an on-premises version of the firm's hosted container repository called Docker Hub Enterprise (DHE), was launched as a private beta program …
Neil McAllister, 14 Apr 2015
Use google.com button

SMACK! EU set to hit Google with 'abuse of dominance' rap

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger poured fuel on rumours that the European Commission will haul Google over the coals with antitrust charges this week - and now it's happened. Backing up comments he made to a German weekly newspaper on Sunday, H-dot Oetti said: “We have to look more critically at the market position and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Apr 2015

Spectra reveals shiny necklace of BlackPearl partners

SpectraLogic's BlackPearl disk/object gateway-to-tape archives need front-end apps amended or developed to send data, prompting a raft of partnerships announced at NAB in Las Vegas. The company says BlackPearl-enabled apps using its DS3 (S3-based) API have direct access to its archive of media content stored as objects. These …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
Facebookserveraisle

Why are enterprises being irresistibly drawn towards SSDs?

SSDs have been the subject of hype, hype and more hype. Any of us who have used them in our personal computers know the benefits SSDs bring, but personal experiences and hype alone don't explain the robustness of enterprise flash adoption. Flash has a lot of naysayers. Any article on The Register about flash inevitably invites …
Trevor Pott, 14 Apr 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Review Is the Nokia Microsoft Lumia 640 an Office subscription with a free phone, or a phone with a free Office subscription? Either way, it's likely to be the biggest mobile device for Microsoft since the days of Zune and Kin – and the company is getting more aggressive with its marketing. Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone Office …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Apr 2015
Panic button

SQL Server 2005 end of life is coming, run to the hills...

Microsoft has reminded folk selling and managing IT that another support expiry deadline is looming — SQL Server 2005 goes end of life in roughly twelve months. As of 12 April 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide updates or any form of support unless a business is willing to pay, and those types of arrangements are never cheap …
Paul Kunert, 14 Apr 2015

Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Election 2015 Hot on the heels of Labour, the Conservatives today launched their manifesto – which matched their rivals for the sheer lack of detail on tech-related policy. "We will ensure that Britain seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards," read the manifesto. No …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Need for Speed: The Run

Need speed? Then PCIe it is – server power without the politics

How many PCI Express (PCIe) lanes does your computer have? How many of those are directly provided by the CPU? With only a few exceptions, nobody except high-end gamers and the High Performance Computing (HPC) crowd care. Regular punters (maybe) care about how many PCIe slots they have. So why is it that gamers and HPC types get …
Trevor Pott, 14 Apr 2015
No Sale

Quantum not buying Dot Hill. Takes the OEM, master disti path instead

Contradicting rumours we heard that it was buying Dot Hill, storage biz Quantum, already a Dot Hill OEM, is taking on master channel distribution rights for the network array maker's products. Dot Hill manufactures storage systems for OEM customers such as Quantum and others, and has a focus on improving array performance with …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

Apple, IBM jump into bed for health data love in

Apple has partnered with IBM to use Big Blue’s former Jeopardy contestant Watson to crunch cloudy data obtained from Cupertino's fruity and still hard-to-come-by watches. The move is part of IBM’s unveiling of its Watson Health Cloud, intended to provide a platform for health researchers to aggregate information collected from …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015

Hortonworks to gobble Budapest-based SequenceIQ

Hortonworks decided it needed an automated tool to launch Hadoop clusters in the cloud, or any environment supporting Docker containers, and one buy of SequenceIQ later, ’tis done. The loss-making slinger of enterprise Apache Hadoop is to consume the Budapest-based open source developer of rapid deployment tools, for an …
Paul Kunert, 14 Apr 2015
UNIX developers Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie working on a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer

Is hyper-convergence a good thing? Ask a mini computer veteran

Hyper-converged systems integrate compute, storage and networking into a single purchasable entity that is easier to deploy, operate and manage than traditional best-of-breed component systems. They are a step up from converged systems that integrated just storage and compute. That's the simple story – but the definitions are …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015

This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

An open-source hardware project aimed at making the internet "a little bit safer" needs an influx of cash to continue its work. The Cryptech effort was created following revelations from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the US government and its pals are exploiting standards and weak crypto algorithms to gain access to …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2015
Kids on wall. Pic: US Army/Capt Emily Skolozynski

Nokia: Yes, we're chatting up Alcatel-Lucent

Nokia has confirmed it is in talks to snap up Alcatel-Lucent. In a statement the former phone maker said it is in "advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent." Nokia said there can be no certainty at this stage that these …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Quantum Dot demo

Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

The long-awaited arrival of quantum computers could be one step closer, as boffins from Oz have for the first time encoded quantum information in silicon. Unlike conventional computers, which store data on transistors and hard drives, quantum computers encode data in states of microscopic objects called qubits. The arrival of …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015

Puny humans flub ANOTHER Google cloud patch

No-one says running a globe-spanning cloud is easy, but Google's just borked its own cloud for the fourth and fifth time in a few weeks. This time the problem was with Google Compute Engine instances in us-central1, which experienced elevated packet loss last Friday. The problem wasn't a shocker – it lasted 14 minutes – but was …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Got iOS 8.3 installed? Pssh, you are SO last week… version 8.4 is out

Apple has released beta builds of the iOS 8.4, now the latest version available for registered developers. The Cupertino idiot-tax operation announced the release of the build on Monday. Among the reported features being previewed in the iOS beta is an overhaul to the Music app. Early screenshots of the player suggest Apple is …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015

Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Pics BitTorrent has released its Maelstrom combo-browser to all as a beta release. Maelstrom merges the open-source Chromium web browser with a BitTorrent client, so you can fetch and render regular webpages on the internet, and download movies Game of Thrones music Linux ISOs stuff from the BitTorrent file-sharing network, all from …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015
Google HQ logo. Pic: Bob Dormon

Cloud DNS, VPN, HTTPS load balancing ... Google looks at rivals, thinks: Yeah, we'll do all that

Google has expanded its portfolio of network services, with the aim of ensuring that customers of its cloud infrastructure have responsive, low-latency websites. On Monday, the online ad-slinger announced general availability of Cloud DNS, its managed DNS service. For a monthly fee, Google will handle DNS requests for as many as …
Neil McAllister, 13 Apr 2015
Ransom note saying "Pay Up" in blackmail type

Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Blundering cops in Maine, US, have enriched malware masterminds by paying up to decrypt files held hostage by ransomware. Four city police departments and a sheriff's office in Lincoln County share a common computer network run by Burgess Computer, which hosts the plods' administrative files. Then one day the entire system was …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2015
Snake oil salesman

Seriously, stop claiming your two-buck photo app can detect cancer

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a final settlement with an app developer accused of misleading people into believing its software could detect skin cancer. The commission said Health Discovery Corporation, the makers of the $1.99 MelApp application for iPhones, will no longer be able to claim that it can either …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2015

Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut

A powerful US telco lobby group, of which AT&T and Verizon are prominent members, has refiled its lawsuit against the FCC's net neutrality rules. The rules, which will bring internet access providers under stricter regulation, were published in the Federal Register early on Monday – the final step in making them legally …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2015
Toilet

Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo

A chess grandmaster has been thrown out of an international tournament after he allegedly used an Apple iPod hidden in a toilet cubicle to cheat. Gaioz Nigalidze, Georgia's national chess champion, was playing Armenian granmaster Tigran Petrosian at the prestigious Dubai Open tournament over the weekend when his repeated trips …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2015

Backdoor bot brains snatched after cops, white hats raid servers

Microsoft and Interpol have teamed up to derail a malware infection that compromised more than 770,000 Windows PCs worldwide. Simda is a “pay-per-install” software nasty: fraudsters pay miscreants some sum of money for every 1,000 or so machines they compromise. The hackers effectively earn cash by selling access to the infected …
John Leyden, 13 Apr 2015
Non-sleeper

Self preservation is AWS security's biggest worry, says gros fromage

State-sponsored cyber armies, lone-wolf attackers, denial-of-service attacks ... which keep Amazon’s Web Services security boffins awake at night? None of the above. It’s customers – those who don’t protect themselves adequately against hackers and malware. That’s according AWS head of global security programs Bill Murray, who …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Apr 2015
Sprinter

HGST says its NVMe flash card will manage 750,000 IOPS

How does damn near three quarters of a million random read IOPS grab you? HGST is at last shipping its NVMe Ultrastar SN100 PCI flash card, first announced seven months ago. The speeds and feeds look impressive, with HGST saying it’s the “industry’s highest-performing NVMe compliant SSD series.” The specs are: 1.6TB and 3.2TB …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015
VoLTE compatible: LG Revolution

Korean telco LG Uplus launches first ever 4G voice roaming service

Comment More than two decades after the first digital roamed voice calls, 4G has caught up with what GSM was invented for. You can now speak to someone using 4G when you are not in your home country. There are some limitations: you can only make a call if you are a subscriber to LG Uplus – the number-three operator in Korea – and the …
Simon Rockman, 13 Apr 2015