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Kim Gordon with Kurt Cobain, photo courtesy of Charles Peterson

What a time to be alive ... hard and floppy disk drives play Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit

Vid Dead Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain must surely be turning in his grave at the latest cover of the band's huge hit song Smells Like Teen Spirit, which the Seattle grunge god had famously loathed. The pop song has now been set to the crunching, grinding, not-one-bit-annoying music that can be produced by the sound of hard and …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Apr 2015
China censorship

China weaponizes its Great Firewall into the GREAT FIRE CANNON, menaces entire globe

China has upgraded the website-blocking systems on its borders, dubbed The Great Firewall, so it can blast foreign businesses and orgs off the internet. Researchers from the University of Toronto, the International Computer Science Institute, the University of California Berkeley and Princeton University, have confirmed what we' …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2015
FBI badge and gun

Sprint fined $16m for sticking it to The Man: Telco 'overcharged' Feds for phone wiretaps

Sprint has agreed to pay a $15.5m fine after it was accused of overcharging the Feds when carrying out court-ordered wiretaps. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) claimed the American telco had gouged cops and g-men between 2007 and 2010: Sprint allegedly over-billed them by at least $21m for setting up wiretaps to record phone …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA approves Amazon US drone flight just months after firm gave up and went to Canada

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has cut its response time to a measly ten months in approving Amazon's most recent drone flight request. In a letter to Paul Misener, public policy veep for the Sultans of Seattle, the FAA stunned all witnesses in granting permission for delivery drone test flights only ten months after the …
lumia 640

Microsoft Lumia 640, 640XL: They're NOT the same, mmmkay?

Microsoft’s latest mass market Lumia goes on sale today, Friday, for under £100, and its big brother — the 640XL — appears at the end of the month. The 640 is this year’s successor to the popular 630/635 models launched last May, while the impressive 640XL is a solid successor to the phablet-sized Lumia 1320, but with much …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Apr 2015

ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

DNS overlord ICANN – which opened the floodgates to waves of new dot-word domains on the internet – says it needs help in killing one of those dot-words: .sucks. In a letter [PDF] to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA), ICANN claims .sucks domains are being sold to trademark owners …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2015

Wi-Fi hotspots can put iPhones into ETERNAL super slow-mo

A vulnerability fixed in this week's Apple patch run can easily brick iPhones, researchers say. The flaw (CVE-2015-1118) dubbed "Phantom" allows attackers who can trick users into changing their iDevice proxy settings to tap into multiple use-after-free vulnerabilities. Doing so causes constant ubiquitous app crashing including …
Darren Pauli, 10 Apr 2015
management regulation1

Cisco loses logo lawsuit against WiFi inventor boffinhaus

Cisco's suffered a legal reversal in Australia, where the nation's Trade Marks Office has ruled the logo of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is not an attempt to imitate or cash in on the Borg's bridge badge. CSIRO's logo is supposed to be a stylised map of Australia. Cisco's …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2015
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Microsoft is installing an update on Windows 7 and 8 machines which will push users to upgrade to Windows 10. The update – KB 3035583 – is vague about its purpose. The official description states: This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies …
Tim Anderson, 9 Apr 2015

Do your switches run Cumulus Linux? Puppet will pull your strings

Cumulus Networks, home of a Linux-of-choice for white-box switches, has linked arms with Puppet Labs and joined its Puppet Supported Program. While it's “just another” certification from one angle, Puppet's Carl Caum told The Register it's important to the company. He said while there are plenty of tools to manage equipment in …

Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

Last Wednesday's blaze in Holborn, which knocked out power and internet access across London, could have been sparked by thieves pulling a daring heist to pocket £200m in precious stones and metals. "I think that probably was deliberate," John O’Connor, former head of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad told capital radio station LBC …
Iain Thomson, 9 Apr 2015
pipes

Denial of service attacks pour through rift in Network Time Protocol

Red Hat security chap Miroslav Lichvar has revealed two vulnerabilities in the widely used and open-source Network Time Protocol daemon (NTPd) that allow attackers to mess up people's clocks. Lichvar reported the two since-patched holes in which packets without proper message authentication codes are accepted regardless (CVE- …
Darren Pauli, 9 Apr 2015

Cisco security software needs security patch

Cisco's ASA FirePOWER services and ASA CX Services are vulnerable to a denial of service (DoS) bug in the virtualisation layer. The just-updated ASA FirePOWER threat-detection platform and ASA CX (which adds application and user ID awareness to the system) could be forced to reload by an attacker hosing their management …
Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Intel woos the Internet of Things with firmware factory for Atom, Quark

Intel has released a new GUI tool that allows developers to generate custom firmware images for Intel-powered gizmos without touching any source code. The Intel Firmware Engine, which debuted on Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum conference in Shenzhen, China, automatically builds firmware binaries for Intel chips based on the …
The Netflix smartwatch: fun in the urinal, or wherever you want a house of cards

Screw YOU, Apple – Netflix teases world+dog with its own 'coming soon' SMARTWATCH

Video Netflix says it has a smartwatch “coming soon.” Kind of. The streaming vid titan today released the video below to illustrate its concept for a smartwatch. Spoiler alert: the company may not be entirely serious, as the video features a wrist-mounted smartphone with what looks to be about a five-inch screen. The “watch” is used …

In the time it takes you to watch The Hangover, AT&T will pay a $25m fine for privacy scandal

AT&T will pay a $25m fine after crooked staff leaked subscribers' personal records to criminals flogging stolen cellphones. About 40 of telco's employees in its international call centers leafed through the accounts of 280,000 people without permission, pulling up their names, telephone numbers, and at least the last four digits …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Apr 2015

Bell Canada pulls U-turn on super-invasive web-stalking operation

Following the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's investigation into "an unprecedented number of complaints" regarding Bell Canada, the telecommuncations giant is suddenly back-pedalling on its customer tracking policy. A report from the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's Office (OPC) has urged telecommunications companies to adopt " …
911

FCC taps CenturyLink on shoulder, mumbles about a fine for THAT six-hour 911 outage

US comms regulator the FCC has fined CenturyLink $16m (£10.8m) for a network outage that left 11 million Americans unable to make 911 calls. CenturyLink made a $772m (£520m) profit in 2014. Last month, the watchdog charged Verizon $3.4m for its part in the downtime – and this week has smacked down the ISP and telco CenturyLink. …
Iain Thomson, 8 Apr 2015
Internet of Things

The Internet of Stuff is a gigantic ultra-perv robbery network – study

IoT devices facilitate robbery, stalking and cybercrime. That's the downbeat conclusion of a new study by app security firm Veracode into the insecurity of connected devices. Veracode reached its conclusion after looking into a variety of IoT kit, finding they are often designed without data security or privacy in mind. The …
John Leyden, 8 Apr 2015

Cisco pitches security for SMEs

Small and/or medium businesses and branch offices rejoice: Cisco has joined the ranks of vendors deciding you warrant security you can afford. As incidents like the Target “hack” demonstrated, a small contractor can easily provide a path into an enterprise network, so one of the key chunks of The Borg's latest announcement is to …
ONOS Logo

ONOS to SDN world: here's our numbers, show us yours

The ONOS (Open Network Operating System) software defined networks project has shipped the second iteration of its code, and with it hopes to encourage the SDN controller sector to start publishing detailed performance metrics. Prajakta Joshi, director of products at ON.Lab, told The Register that while SDN is seeing strong …

Mobile 4G spectrum investors actually spent $12.4m on walkie-talkie frequencies – US SEC

Americans were duped into buying duff radio frequencies for $12.4m that they had hoped to sell to cellphone networks for double-digit returns, a US financial watchdog has claimed. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused [PDF] Arizona-based Janus Spectrum of tricking investors into thinking they were acquiring …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Apr 2015

Samsung and HTC: Gaze upon our EMBIGGENED numbers, pesky analysts

Cost-cutting and better-than-expected mobile shipments helped Samsung Electronics and HTC trash analysts' profit forecasts, according to both firms' unaudited Q1 data. Results from the Korean chaebol took a turn for the worse in 2014 as demand for its smartphones and tabs crashed, causing an inventory pile-up that proved costly …
Simon Rockman, 7 Apr 2015
Google car

UK.gov: We want Britannia's mobe-enabled cars to rule the roads

Whatever Apple and Google might be doing with smart cars, the UK government wants Britain to be involved in the industry and so announced its support for the emerging industry at a conference last week. Yet the government – and more importantly, the car industry – has a huge amount to learn before their shared vision of the UK …
Simon Rockman, 7 Apr 2015
Network Functions Virtualisation

OpenMANO: Telefonica's slice of NFV goes live

Another piece of ETSI's network function virtualisation (NFV) plans have emerged as code, with Telefonica putting its OpenMANO project up on Github. ETSI's MANO (Management and Organisation, with an extra “N” thrown in because otherwise the acronym would be MAO) is the orchestration component of the standards body's NFV …
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

The world's mightiest particle accelerator was resurrected this morning, following a two-year shutdown to upgrade the proton-shattering Large Hadron Collider. The LHC, which is based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, was brought back into operation earlier today. Scientists said that two proton beams were circulated in opposite …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Apr 2015
Tim Cook Apple CEO with glowing green eyes, dark glasses a la Demon Headmaster

Apple Watch: When I think about you, I digital touch myself

Apple has released a series of videos to promote its wrist-puter ahead of its planned launch later this month. Cupertino showed off three different functions for its Watch product: messages, faces and digital touch. It teased fanbois that more reveals – such as phone calls, Apple Pay and Siri – were "coming soon". The Tim Cook …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Apr 2015
Fiber optics

Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

So soon after Google promised Atlanta, Georgia, gigabit broadband, Comcast has said it will offer 2Gbps internet to homes in the city in May – and millions more Americans by 2016. The US cable colossus announced Thursday that its 2Gb/s Gigabit Pro service will debut in Atlanta, reaching 18 million homes across the US by the end …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Apr 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

France will flog off 700MHz to boost mobe broadband while UK dithers. Thanks, Ofcom

Updated British mobile phone coverage will lag further behind the rest of Europe this year: now the French are auctioning off valuable spectrum space, at 700MHz, to high-speed mobile networks. Ofcom, in its recent strategy review, said it’s targeting 2022 for a similar allocation (although possibly sooner). However, its French …
Simon Rockman, 2 Apr 2015

BT thinks EE customers will FLEE from enlarged four-play mobe biz

BT has warned its shareholders that a tumble in mobile prices is a factor that has to be considered ahead of voting to agree the £12.5bn purchase of EE. In a 104-page circular of legalese (PDF) sent to BT shareholders, the telecoms behemoth recommends that shareholders vote to agree the deal. The company says that this is part …
Simon Rockman, 2 Apr 2015

Cybercrim told to cough up £1m or spend years in chokey

A cybercriminal from Thamesmead has been given six months to turn up £1m, or he'll be spending another four years behind bars. Rilwan Adesegun Oshodi – a 31-year-old Nigerian national, formerly of Greenhaven Drive, Thamesmead, SE28 – is currently enjoying Her Majesty's hospitality for conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to …
The launch explosion, captured in a Sea Launch video

SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Hundreds of smart electricity meters exploded in California after a truck crashed into a utility pole and caused a power surge on Monday. More than 5,000 homes in Stockton have been affected, according to CBS Sacramento, following a surge caused by a rubbish lorry driver crashing into a utility pole and causing the pole's top …

This tool detects then ATTACKS evil twin access points

Mohamed Idris has created a tool to help network administrators discover and DoS rogue access points. The EvilAP Defender open source tool published to GitHub can be run by admins at intervals to determine if attackers are attempting to get their users to connect to malicious networks. Those evil twin attack networks are …
Darren Pauli, 2 Apr 2015

Juniper, VMWare see silver OpenDaylight through the cloud

Updated A couple of OpenDaylight's platinum members, VMWare and Juniper Networks, are scaling down their involvement with the Linux Foundation's SDN controller project. However, it doesn't look as if the project is going away any time soon, since there are still more supporters now than there were in December 2014, and since its initial …

Cisco buys back alumni: wants to acquire Embrane

The Borg has followed up on its 2014 $US14 million investment in virtualisation business Embrane by announcing it intends to buy the business. In an announcement that partner-competitors like Citrix and VMWare will probably wish was an April Fool's release, Cisco said the acquisition will give it a team that lets it “move more …

Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

Some of the UK's ISPs may want to rethink their routing schemes after a massive fire near Holborn tube station in London knocked out power and internet access across several regions of the capital. There are now around 70 firefighters at the #Holbornfire no reports of injuries and local offices have been evacuated pic.twitter. …
Iain Thomson, 1 Apr 2015
Project Spartan in Wndows 10

Project Spartan: We get our claws on Microsoft's browser for Windows 10

First look Microsoft has released the first public preview build of Windows 10 to include Project Spartan, its new web browser. Is Project Spartan really new? The browser engine, called EdgeHTML, is a fork of the Internet Explorer (IE) web engine, called Trident, though with a key difference: EdgeHTML has no compatibility modes and will …
Tim Anderson, 1 Apr 2015

Newly merged Chinese taxi-hailing app now valued at $9 BEEELLION

A coalition of US hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and the largest of China's technology companies have invested in a merger of the country's largest taxi-hailing apps, bringing the combined company's valuation up to almost $9bn. Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, China's leading taxi-hailing apps, announced their intention to …
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

'Modernise' safe harbour laws for the tech oligarch era – IP czar

The Prime Minister’s outgoing IP advisor has said the shift in the balance of power to now-dominant tech multinationals means “Safe Harbour” provisions devised in the 1990s should be modernised and made fit for purpose. Safe Harbour is a blanket term for limitations of liabilities for internet operators against obscenity, …

Locally Integrated Menus back on Vivid Vervet’s menu

Review Ubuntu 15.04, Vivid Vervet, just might be one of the biggest Ubuntu releases in several years. It might be more remarkable, though, for what you don’t see. The beta is now here, ahead of this month’s scheduled release. Anyone paying any amount of attention to the Linux world over the past couple of years has likely at least …

Virgin Media goes TITSUP, RUINS Tuesday evening

Update UK internet service provider Virgin Media suffered a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) event on Tuesday evening, leaving plenty of subscribers without broadband. The outage appears to have impacted customers across the United Kingdom and to have left the afflicted without terrestrial or wireless broadband …
Clouds in blue sky

OpenDaylight and friends spin up 'CloudRouter Project'

Another day, another waft at the software-defined networking (SDN) and/or network function virtualisation (NFV) market, this time in the form of the new “CloudRouter Project” backed by CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, NGINX and OpenDaylight. The latter you probably know – it's the Linux Foundation's effort to create a standard …