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Cisco splats Bash bug in busy swatting season

Cisco has begun its response to the Bash “Shell Shocked” vulnerability, the 20-year-old bug that's sent the *nix world into a frenzy. It's going to be a long slog for the Borg, but in its advisory, Cisco has so far identified 31 individual products vulnerable to Shell Shocked, compared to seven confirmed not vulnerable. Another …
eyeofSauron

Telstra, Vodafone at odds over data retention

As the government's new national security legislation returns to the House of Representatives to be rubber-stamped, division is emerging among Australian carriers about what metadata they might consider retaining. Data retention isn't in the current tranche of legislation, but the government intends to put its metadata retention …
ello

Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT

Ello, the social network site intended to serve as something of an antidote to ad-stuffed Facebook, was hit by a suspected Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack today. The outfit, which has gained plenty of press coverage in the past week after employing the classic invite-only marketing trick to lure in more users, said on its …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Sep 2014
Blofeld's white cat

Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights

The UK needs a digital bill of rights to protect citizens against the government's "indiscriminate online surveillance", world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said on Saturday. The Greatest Living Briton™ was speaking at the Web We Want Festival in London. He lobbied politicos in Blighty to take action in the run up to next …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Sep 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

Microsoft boss Nadella makes fleeting visit to China for conciliatory competition talks

Microsoft's boss Satya Nadella reportedly visited Chinese antitrust officials in Beijing on Friday. At the start of this month, the software giant was given 20 days to submit written details to China's competition authorities explaining how the company's Windows operating system works together with its bundled Office suite. …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Sep 2014

BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobes do not bend out of shape quite as easily as was claimed by bloggers earlier this week, according - that is - to a more rigorous test carried out by Consumer Reports. The US product reviews outfit used its lab equipment to see if there were obvious design weaknesses in Apple's anodised …
Team Register, 28 Sep 2014
Bug bounties

SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches

A fresh dump of Shellshock patches were released on Friday night in the latest move to stamp out the Bash shell security vuln that has the potential to blight millions of Linux, Unix and Mac OS X machines. Red Hat said in a blog post that the threat from Shellshock was receding now that patches had been issued for most operating …
Team Register, 28 Sep 2014

Labour outsources digital policy, Tories turn up to finish it

Do tax avoidance, monopolistic business practices or your right to determine your digital identity bother you? Well don’t look for help in the new "digital manifesto" that the Labour Party launched this week. The audience for the crowdsourced "mashup" policy document is VCs, the media, and nervous unions – not you. The People’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2014
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

Regina Eggbert gives her signature rundown of the week's tech news

Vid Youtube Video Tune in for a brief rundown of the week's eggiest tech tales from The Reg's avatar news anchor Regina Eggbert. Then find out more about this week's stories, including shell-shocked Bash, PC abandonment issues and bent mobes – here, here and here. ® Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
Angry woman on mobile

EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers

Outraged EE customers who have reported flawed data usage spikes on their accounts are being told not to panic by the mobile operator. The glitch in the company's "My EE" app has led to some confused subscribers paying for more data, it has been claimed. Register reader Andy told us that his account had first been hit with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Sep 2014

'Could we please not have naked developers running around the office BEFORE 10pm?'

eXpat Files Welcome back to The eXpat Files, a new Weekend Reg regular in which we chat to an IT professional who's decided to seek his or her fortune in another land, so you can learn how to follow in their footsteps. This week, meet 33 year-old James Hudson who hails from Australia, now lives in Berlin, Germany, and has also spent time in …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Sep 2014

Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

Worstall @ Weekend You can't have failed to notice those massed ranks of people stamping their feet and going blue in the face as they shout about how inequality is rising and something, anything, really must be done to stop it. However, you may not have noticed those arguing the opposite, that inequality is falling, which is why we should carry …
Tim Worstall, 28 Sep 2014

Renault Twingo: Small, sporty(ish), safe ... and it's a BACK-ENDER

Vulture at the Wheel Forget the Renault Twingo. That was not the car you were looking for. The new Twingo, on the other hand, now that’s a different matter. The original Twingo has a strong place in French affection. Pic: Simon Rockman You see, when Renault initially launched the Twingo, it had a bit of a 2CV vibe going: it was cute, Gallic and …
Simon Rockman, 28 Sep 2014
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT

CoTW What should you do when a mature and sensible website like The Register (stop that sniggering at the back) offers you an anonymous commenting option? Why, abuse it flagrantly to blame the victim, of course! First, though, before the tidal wave of infuriated outrage clicking the headline reaches the commentard in question and …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Sep 2014

Rackspace to hit GLOBAL CLOUD REBOOT button to flush out Xen security nasty

Rackspace has warned its customers that it plans to reboot all of its servers across the globe to nix a security bug that was first spotted in the Xen virtualisation platform earlier this week. The managed cloud outfit told its customers about the "maintenance work" in an email, seen by The Register, that was sent out early on …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2014
Our artist's impression of how BA handles lost baggage complaints

iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport

An iPad-obsessed bloke reportedly triggered an irritating security alert at Sydney Airport in Australia earlier today. The passenger apparently skipped the screening process and instead used an exit at the airport's Terminal 3, which is used for domestic flights, because his head was buried deep in his fondleslab. It would seem …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2014

That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

Scientists believe that a "significant fraction" of water molecules found on this planet are older than Earth, the solar system and even the Sun. According to new research led by astro boffin Ilse Cleeves at the University of Michigan, a "significant fraction" of the big drink was created more than 4.5 billion years ago. The …
Team Register, 27 Sep 2014
Satya Nadella

Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

Microsoft is expected to reveal a new moniker for its Windows operating system at an invite-only event next Tuesday. In recent years, under the stewardship of Steve Ballmer, we've seen Windows 7 and Windows 8 names appear on Redmond's flagship product, after the launch of the disastrous Vista brand. But now, with new boss Satya …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2014

Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead

Updated A volcano eruption in Japan earlier today reportedly left 250 people stranded on the mountain, while eight others were understood to have been seriously injured. According to Reuters, which cited TV broadcaster NHK, a witness to the natural disaster said: "It was like thunder." She added: "I heard boom, boom, then everything …
Team Register, 27 Sep 2014

Bendgate backlash: Apple claims warped iPhone 6 Plus damage is 'extremely rare'

Apple has dismissed claims that its iPhone 6 Plus handsets have a design flaw that makes them susceptible to being warped. The company, which has been ridiculed by its competitors over the so-called "bendgate" controversy, told the BBC that such damage was "extremely rare" when the iPhone 6 Plus is used in a normal manner. In …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2014
Alf Garnett and Else

Be your own Big Brother: Keeping an eye on Mum and Dad

Feature Time was, when relatives started to get old, they'd move into the spare bedroom. My grandmother's generation seemed to do a lot of that, with assorted great aunts taking up residence. But it's much less common now. Else and Alf Garnett, Mike and Rita Fancy an alternative to regular visits to Mum and Dad? Source: BBC, Till …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Sep 2014
Michael Pitt and Brit Marling in I Origins

Hollywood's made an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film?!

Film Review There’s nothing like the power of love to screw up a good movie about science. Whether it’s miracle medical cures for the mentally ill who just needed to find “the one” (Silver Linings Playbook) or the old chestnut that feelings about people and nature are just better than science and progress (Avatar), there’s nothing Hollywood …
Google is not the internet - search suggestion

'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'

QuoTW This was the week when the depths of the internet proved even darker and more twisty than usual when Emma Watson, actor and UN ambassador, gave a speech at the United Nations about feminism. The well-received oration pointed out that men also suffered from the restraints of gendered societal pressures and that feminism was about …
HGTTG Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Weekend reads: Douglas Adams' bio in The Frood, The Bone Clocks and Harry Partch, Hobo Composer

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest rivetting reads. David Mitchell, no not that one, beguiles with yet another world of magic and mystery, while Jem Roberts tries not to panic as he explores the life and works of Douglas Adams. Ever wondered where the stranger ideas of American music came from? S. Andrew Granade says …
Mark Diston, 27 Sep 2014

CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Oh bloody hell, grandma, what have you done this time? “I thought that was obvious. It’s your birthday. I bought you a CD.” A CD? That’s so uncool. So unhip. Are you, like, square? “I remembered you used to like music when you were a student. Have you gone off it?” You no’ down wit’ da word, daddio. Grannio. CD is old. Is all …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 Sep 2014
ello

Ello, 'ello, what's all this then? We take a spin on the new social network driving everyone loopy

Pics The history of social networks is littered with failures. Friendster, MySpace, Orkut, all have fallen by the wayside. Now Ello wants to add Facebook to that list: the invitation-only network has been growing by leaps and bounds of late. Google Play redesign Invitation-only at present and Ello warns there's a line ahead ( …
Iain Thomson, 27 Sep 2014
Uber logo

Super Cali so litigious, Uber is the focus. Even German judges say it's something quite atrocious

Taxi biz Uber perhaps can't wait to put this week in its rearview mirror – after it was dealt legal setbacks in four major cities: two in Germany, and two in California. In August, officials in Berlin and Hamburg decided that Uber should not operate in the two cities due to safety concerns and worries about unfair competition …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Sep 2014

Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables

Oracle has confirmed that at least 32 of its products are affected by the vulnerability recently discovered in the Bash command-line interpreter – aka the "Shellshock" bug – including some of the company's pricey integrated hardware systems. The database giant issued a security alert regarding the issue on Friday, warning that …
Neil McAllister, 27 Sep 2014
AOL logos

Yahoo! dumps! thing! that! made! it! Yahoo! and! told! to! bed! AOL!

A hedge fund is urging Yahoo! to form a "strategic combination" with fellow internet dinosaur AOL – just as Yahoo! announced it was killing off its founding feature, created about 20 years ago. In an open letter to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, investment house Starboard Value asked her to consider making a number of moves it thinks …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Sep 2014
putin topless

Prez Putin tells Google, Twitter, Facebook: Have a double vodka and censorship on the rocks

The Russian authorities have told Google, Facebook, and Twitter that they face prosecution if they do not comply with the country's crackdown on free speech. Under a new Russian law, the three US firms must register as "organizers of information distribution," and store all data on Russian users in data centers on Russian soil. …
Iain Thomson, 26 Sep 2014

What the HEC? Microsoft resurrects its hardware engineering event – in CHINA

Microsoft is bringing back WinHEC – its erstwhile Windows Hardware Engineering Conference – and this time it's holding the event closer to where the action is. Redmond exec Matt Perry said on Friday that WinHEC 2015 will be held on March 18 and 19 in Shenzhen, China's booming tech capital, with a subsequent event to follow in …
Neil McAllister, 26 Sep 2014
Golf HECKLER! screenshot

Alien gimp gag or cosmic golf ball? NASA tackles question everyone's asking

Pic Mars watchers have spotted another weird object on the surface of the Red Planet: images uploaded from the Curiosity rover feature a small, nearly perfect sphere that was photographed by the machine's MastCam. Mars ball Mars has a tiny ball (click to enlarge) The photo, which was snapped on September 11 and posted on NASA …
Iain Thomson, 26 Sep 2014

Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights

If you fancy spending your next European airline flight sitting next to someone who's carrying on a protracted conversation via mobile phone, you're in luck. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued new guidance to European airlines allowing them to permit passengers to keep phones and other portable electronic …
Neil McAllister, 26 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6 camera

Apple nurses HealthKit apps back to life, discharges iOS 8.0.2

Apple has released iOS 8.0.2 to iPhones, iPads and iPods a couple of days after its botched 8.0.1 deployment. The iGiant said the .2 update addresses a high-profile bug that broke apps using the operating system's new HealthKit feature – those applications were removed by Apple from the App Store when 8.0.0 was rolled out, but …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Sep 2014

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Can people hear the difference between lossy MP3 digital music files and lossless ones? Opinions differ strongly, with much obfuscation around audio cables, mastering and hi-fi componentry muddying the waters. This article was prompted by commentard critiques of Sonos streaming Wi-Fi speaker/player reviews and audiophiles saying …
Chris Mellor, 26 Sep 2014
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry slowly pulls out of power dive into toilet

BlackBerry, which began its comeback in earnest this week with a bizarre new square smartphone, posted narrower losses on slightly lower revenue in the quarter ending 30 August. Its hardware division was back in the black after five quarters of losses. To see how far and how fast BlackBerry fell, see our analysis from earlier in …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2014

Welcome, weary digital titans, to the Disruptive Mindfulness UnSummit

¡Bong! In a pop-up mind gymnasium, 700 miles from Moscow … The warm, salty water of the flotation tank lapped gently around my midriff. In the total darkness, my three companions were beginning to relax. Snowden’s anxious gibbering had subsided into deep breaths. Just then, what sounded like an underwater volcano erupting resonated …
Steve Bong, 26 Sep 2014
Merlin Data Center Interior

Is your data growing too big to handle?

For years we have been told that consolidation and centralisation are good things, especially in the realm of data storage. Not only do they mean fewer boxes to manage, but with the utilisation rate of direct-attached storage running at maybe 30 per cent, moving to shared storage can allow us to dramatically prune back slack …
Bryan Betts, 26 Sep 2014

Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished

Updated The UK's privacy watchdog is urging organisations to protect their systems against the infamous Shellshock vulnerability in Bash – even though the full scope of the security bug remains unclear. The Shellshock flaw affects Bash up to and including version 4.3. It's a vital component of many Linux and Unix systems, as well as …
John Leyden, 26 Sep 2014

Unchanging Unicorn: Don't be disappointed with Ubuntu 14.10, be happy

Review A number of Ubuntu flavours – Kubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, Xubuntu and the brand new Ubuntu Mate (yes, it's official now) – this month participated in the first beta release of the next Ubuntu – 14.10, or Utopic Unicorn. The main Unity Desktop was absent, meaning what's called the second beta (and is now available) is the first and …
Collmotdrones

FAA clears SWARM of MOVIE DRONES for take-off

The US aviation authority has taken the first step on the road to the (potential) over-run of the skies with commercial drones – granting six video and photo production firms an exemption to fly drones for movie-making and picture snapping. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also said that it was considering 40 other …
Noctilucent cloud formation, Mochrum Loch Noctilucent clouds (polar mesospheric clouds). © Copyright David Baird and licensed for reuse under  Creative Commons Licence 2.0

Twitter's Mesos brainbox joins data centre OS venture

The academic brainbox who got his data centre operating system adopted as a piece of critical infrastructure at Twitter has now gone into business. Benjamin Hindman, the co-founder of open-source cluster manager Mesos – which runs at large web properties including Twitter and Airbnb – has joined VC-backed Mesosphere. The startup …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Sep 2014