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China gets free pass from EU commish as telco probe dropped

The EU has decided to make friends with China despite earlier worries that it may have been giving an illegal boost to telco manufacturers. On Monday, the European Commission decided to drop an investigation into alleged illegal subsidies and dumping of telecommunications equipment by Chinese exporters. Following “intensive …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Oct 2014

Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

She’s a huge advocate of drones — quite a surprising position to take for a first class fighter pilot. Mary "Missy" Cummings was one of the US Navy’s first female fighter pilots, taking to the air after the service lifted its ban on women in combat, and flying from 1988 to 1999. She piloted F18 Hornets and became one of the Navy …
Photo of Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at Red Hat Summit 2014

Ex-Microsoft man takes up arms for Red Hat's open-cloud crusade

“We want to be the undisputed leader in enterprise cloud,” Red Hat’s chief executive Jim Whitehurst said recently. It’s a big target to set yourself. There’s plenty of competition from incumbents such as Microsoft (now changing its game), and new entrants such as Amazon (breaking down the doors). One thing both have to help …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Oct 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Android smartphone

Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Review The decisions that must be going on at Sony’s mobile R&D division are certainly intriguing, if not baffling. Six months after it was launched, the Xperia Z2 has been replaced by the Z3 and barely nine months after it was launched, the Z1 Compact has been replaced by the Z3 Compact (there wasn’t a Z2 Compact, so don’t panic). …
Alun Taylor, 20 Oct 2014

Routine WHAT NOW? Bank of England’s CHAPS payment system goes TITSUP

The CHAPS system used to handle most bank-to-bank transfers in the UK has collapsed, with all mortgage payments currently on pause. We were told that the problem was due to an update over the weekend, when the details of new CHAPS users were being added and old ones removed. This is meant to be a routine operation, but a glitch …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Oct 2014

The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Battle of Ideas The idea that computer programming should be compulsory in schools is hugely popular with metropolitan media luvvies and quango-hoppers - but serious questions were raised by people who do it and teach it this weekend. Some argued that the current overemphasis of the field, rather than encouraging an enquiring technical mind, …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2014

EU digi tzar: 'I like the nickname STEELIE NEELIE. Yeah, why not'

Outgoing Brussels' unelected digi commissioner Neelie Kroes was in London this morning for her swansong in the UK's capital city, ahead of the vice-president's tenure ending later this month. Steelie Neelie surprisingly remarked that she liked the nickname The Register had given her. When asked about the moniker, she said: "Yeah …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Oct 2014

Violin: Don't weep for Tier 1 storage... it'll soon be flashtastic

Comment Flash will replace all enterprise tier 1 storage, and shared arrays will prevail over server-side SANs, while network latency remains a solvable computer science problem, argues Violin Memory CEO Kevin DeNuccio. The market and technology shocks waves of cloud, virtualisation and flash are coming Violin's way, with the all-flash …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Image two from the patent document

Hey, iPhone 6 fanbois: Apple's bonk to 'Pay' app IS GO

Apple will open up its new bonk-to-pay system to its newest phones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, today, allowing fanbois to bonk shiny-shinys to purchase stuff online or at 220,000 stores. However, non-Americans need not cut up their cards just yet, because Apple Pay is only available Stateside and it is unclear when it will …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Oct 2014
IT Crowd. Source: Channel 4 / 2entertain

Sophos to offshore American support operations

Exclusive Sophos plans to offshore support operations from the US to Canada and the Philippines as part of a wide-ranging restructuring of its support operations. The plans were outlined in an internal email to staff from Mary Winfield, SVP Global Support, leaked to El Reg by an anonymous tipster. "Another year, another round of layoffs …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2014
FabricCache from QLogic

QLogic: Healthy fibre boosted our bottom line

QLogic has reported second quarter revenues of $127.5m, up 7 per cent on the previous quarter, and 13 per cent on the year-ago period. The server storage and Ethernet interconnect business also reported flat year-on-year profits of $11m, but up a whacking 83 per cent from the first quarter. Second quarter growth was attributed …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Malware

Twitter 'news' spreads faster than Ebola #FakeCures #Malware

Social media has become a conduit for the spread of fake cures and treatments for Ebola. As if that weren't bad enough, confusion about the epidemic is also being harnessed to push malware and other cybercrime scams, security watchers warn. The hoaxes began in the Twittersphere with the spread of false ways to treat Ebola. Late …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2014
Sportsman with moderated rifle in snow. Pic: Juha Perovuo

Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Analysis The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register. The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security. …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2014

IBM: Please, take our chip unit. We'll give you $1.5 billion

Big Blue is going to become slightly less Big and Blue by paying Global Foundries $1.5bn to take on its chip-making business, according to multiple media reports. The giant's retreat from hardware continues following the transfer of the X86 server business to Lenovo. Bloomberg and others reported an IBM statement saying it is …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Blood image

SDI Wars: EMC must FORGET ARRAYS, adapt or disappear

Sysadmin blog Register storage supremo Chris Mellor has recently been reporting on EMC's slow descent into corporate depression due to a combination of activist investors and recalcitrant internecine political strife. There's nothing surprising here, I've been hearing the same things all across the EMC federation, though I've no inclination …
Trevor Pott, 20 Oct 2014
The Tardis: Oooo-eee-ooooo © BBC 1963, Courtesy of BBC Worldwide

Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

Doctor Who has been pressganged into the BBC’s “Make it Digital” push to help kids understand computers rather than just playing with them. Its answer: an educational video game. The cunning plan is to sweeten the task of understanding basic coding by sneaking it into something that is fun, in order to reach the kids who don’t …
Dominic Connor, 20 Oct 2014
Germany celebrates winning Fifa world cup 2014 in Brazil

You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data

Evidence-based decision making is so clearly sensible because the alternative — making random decisions based on no evidence — is so clearly ludicrous. The “evidence” that we often use is in the form of information that we extract from raw data, often by data mining. Sadly, there has been an upsurge in the number people who move …
Mark Whitehorn, 20 Oct 2014
Brute Force

Visual voicemail hack makes your messages a snack

Ruxcon Sydney penetration tester Shubham 'Shubs' Shah has urged US and European researchers to probe their telco's voicemail security after he found accounts held by local telcos Vodafone and Optus were open to attack. The two telcos were vulnerable because design flaws mean neither limited the number of password guessing attempts in …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2014
IE8 patch

Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

Another Patch Update Tuesday, another red face for Microsoft, which has again been forced to pull a patch to prevent nasty side-effects. Explained at TechNet, the patch that aimed to add “SHA-2 Hashing” to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has instead raised some concerns among Redmond's customers. The company is therefore “ …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

The man that Australia's Federal Police once described as "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec)" has been sentenced to 15 months of home detention, after a local magistrate decided he was just a very naughty boy. Flannery was sentenced last week in a case that has to date evaded law reports and media …
Malware

Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz

Analyst firm Gartner has departed from its usual areas of expertise to issue advice on how to combat the Ebola virus. The firm's advice, which it says it is offering for free because “issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest”. The advice is so earnest that it almost sounds comical. For example, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is firing up an investigation into millimetre-wave frequency spectrum allocations, and Google has filed an application to fool around with the same band. The FCC “notice of inquiry” is intended to work out what the US's regulatory response will be to the use of frequencies beyond 24 …
Sheep

STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants

A flock of sheep that are about to meet their maker at the abattoir got high on cannabis plants worth £4,000, after the drugs were ditched in a Surrey field. "My sheep weren't quite on their backs with legs in the air but they probably had the munchies," farm shop manager Nellie Budd told local rag the Surrey Mirror. "They …
Team Register, 20 Oct 2014
ITU logo

ICT ministers mark out net-regulation patch ahead of ITU plenipot

The ITU has kicked off three weeks of wrangling over the future of the Internet – the 2014 Plenipotentiary – with a ministerial statement that's likely to spark concerns about the direction of the coming summit. The Busan Declaration, issued at the close of the Busan ICT ministerial meeting, is filled with high-minded language …

WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Google's practice of leaving Easter Eggs in Android appears to have continued, with a chap spotting a Flappy Bird clone in the new version 5.0, aka Lollipop, release. Here's his video of how to invoke the game, and a look at its gameplay. That Flappy Bird aficionados among you will notice that the game scrolls from right to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

FIRST standards to clean up messy CERTs

The global gathering of incident responders FIRST is spearheading a global standards effort to reform and unify the operations of government and large enterprise computer emergency response teams (CERTs). The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) has tipped US$500,000 into the effort and has received backing from …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2014

Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Comet Siding Spring has made a close pass by Mars, apparently without incident to the human-built machines in the neighbourhood. NASA says the “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … continues operating in good health after sheltering behind Mars during the half hour when high-velocity dust particles from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

Austrian telco trials G.fast as 'interim solution'

Telekom Austria is the latest outfit to trumpet the virtues of the yet-to-be-ratified G.fast standard, announcing that a deployment trial conducted with Alcatel-Lucent achieved speeds beyond 100 Mbps per household. The deployment trial covered multi-storey apartments covered by Telekom Austria subsidiary A1, with the carrier …
Apple Mac Pro

vSphere meets iCylinder in new VMware update

VMware has emitted a small update to ESXi that, among other things, adds support for the Mac Pro. ESXi 5.5 patch 3 offers a collection of updates that address security and stability issues. VMware's not mentioning it on the download page, but staffer William Lam has helpfully let us know that the update also means ESXi can now …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
NASA Sunjammer concept image

No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

Reports are emerging that NASA has decided not to go ahead with next year's Sunjammer mission, which was to demonstrate the use of “solar sail” propulsion. The project has attracted US$21 million of NASA cash under a contract awarded in 2011 to Californian company L'Garde. The agency's interest had been piqued by vacuum chamber …

Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE

Primitive, lake-dwelling armoured fish "invented" internal fertilisation and copulation 385 million years ago in Scotland, a top palaeontologist has found. According to Professor John Long at Flinders University in Australia, the discovery is big news for the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction. Male fossils expertly …
Team Register, 19 Oct 2014
Picard Facepalm

Yahoo! finally! releases! Flickr! app! for! iPad! BUT! shuns! Windows! fans!

Yahoo! has finally developed a Flickr app for Apple's iPad – but the move has upset Microsoft Windows' fans who have accused the Purple Palace of having "selective hearing" about its userbase. The Marissa Mayer-run company, which bought photo-sharing site Flickr in 2005, said on Friday that it had cooked up an app for Cupertino' …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014

Whisper chief: 'We're not infallible but strive to do right by our anonymous users'

Whisper's CEO Michael Heyward responded late on Saturday to claims that his company's anonymous messaging app was quietly tracking the location of its users. He admitted in a post published on Medium that Whisper wasn't perfect, but Heyward was quick to defend its business tactics, after revelations emerged that the startup …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014

COMET barrels towards Mars, machines of humanity race for cover

Pic A cosmic rock that is older than mankind is expected to come within 87,000 miles (139,500 km) of Mars today. An artist's impression of comet Siding Spring's flyby oft Mars. Image credit: NASA NASA has been gearing up for the close encounter by hiding its satellites to protect the kit from being damaged by passing comet debris …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops

Downrange The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has announced a legal tweak intended to allow police officers to turn up at the homes of gun owners, without warning, and demand to inspect guns stored on the premises. A new Crimestoppers hotline is also in operation to encourage people to dob in gun owners they suspect of …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2014

'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

The Tory-led government is hoping to push through amendments to existing legislation in England and Wales to crack down on trolls who post malicious comments online. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail On Sunday that tougher sentences were to be introduced in an attempt to try to curb such abusive behaviour. It comes …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators book cover

Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Page File This is an enthralling but slightly flawed read written by Walter Isaacson – of Steve Jobs' authorised biography fame. Computers first entered human consciousness just over 170 years ago, when Charles Babbage was working on his mechanical difference engine and Ada Lovelace described programming. Since that seminal time, the …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2014
Space pizza

Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future

CoTW What's more important: Angry Birds or the Space Shuttle? According to one Register commentard, it's the former. No, really - and yes, it's time for Comment of the Week once again. Silver-badged commentard Irongut opened this week's batting after weighing in on the news that Martha Lane Fox, or Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, doesn't …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2014
David Cameron, UK prime minister

Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Worstall @ the Weekend As is ever the case, by the time squares have caught on to the value of whatever hipsters have been doing this week, the latter are off doing something else entirely. Much the same happens with economic fashions: it takes time for those not actually involved in the subject to grok to what the cool kids are saying and by the time …
Tim Worstall, 19 Oct 2014

'George Orwell was an OPTIMIST. Show me a search history, I'll show you a perv or a crook'

QuoTW Google researchers came clean about a nasty little security vulnerability they discovered in SSL 3.0 this week, though not before El Reg first caught wind of it. The backdoor into the ancient old encryption standard can only be used if you can intercept the victim’s packets, potentially with a malicious Wi-Fi link, but once they …
Jaguar XJS modified for fuel efficiency

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Crawling from the Wreckage Cars are mass-produced consumer products sold to users who mostly know very little about them. They are optimised to make a profit for the manufacturer, so low build cost is paramount for most manufacturers – which automatically excludes many design and engineering ideas that would raise efficiency. John Watkinson has been busy …
John Watkinson, 19 Oct 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014