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For $800 you can buy internet engineers' answer to US government spying

The long-awaited response from internet engineers to Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US government has been launched in Berlin. The CrypTech project launched an alpha prototype of its open-source crypto-vault at the 96th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and held a two-day workshop …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

The recent high-profile crash of a Tesla driving in Autopilot mode has sparked a rush to develop new laws for self-driving cars. Just as there is a race on in the engineering departments of many large car companies to develop autonomous car technology, so legislators are working fast to develop the rules to cover it. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Euro cracker

How to scam $750,000 out of Microsoft Office: Two-factor auth calls to premium-rate numbers

Gaming two-factor authentication systems with premium rate phone numbers can be very profitable – or it was until the flaws got reported. Belgian security researcher Arne Swinnen noticed that the authentication systems used by Facebook-owned Instagram, Google and Microsoft allow access tokens to be received by a voice call as …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016
Opera singers

Opera sells open-source Chromium browser for $600m to Chinese bods

Opera will sell its web browser technology to Chinese investors for $600m after a larger sale worth $1.2bn fell apart. The Norwegian company said in a filing to the Oslo Børs stock exchange that it had agreed to an arrangement that will see the Chinese-backed Golden Brick Capital Management private equity fund take control of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2016

15-year-old security hole HTTPoxy returns to menace websites – it has a name, logo too

A dangerous easy-to-exploit vulnerability discovered 15 years ago has reared its head again, leaving server-side website software potentially open to hijackers. The Apache Software Foundation, Red Hat, Ngnix and others have rushed to warn programmers of the so-called httpoxy flaw, specifically: CVE-2016-5385 in PHP; CVE-2016- …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
Shipping_containers

Lock up yer cargo: Commvault wants to be your container bouncer

Data-protection slinger Commvault has plans to deliver stateful container protection by the end of the year. Although we understood Commvault had an intent to protect containerised servers we didn't know there was a plan to to so. There is. Chief communications officer Bill Wohl said: "We are working to support containers …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2016

Boffins unveil 500TB/in2 disk. Yeah, it's made of chlorine. -196˚C, why?

Nano-tech scientists have managed to create the world’s smallest hard disk. The 500TB/inch2 disk can store a kilobyte of memory in a few tiny chlorine atoms, according to new research published in Nature Nanotechnology. Atomic memory is an attractive idea as only a few nanometres of space are needed to store a bit. A team of …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jul 2016
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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

The closure of the UK government's Department of Energy & Climate Change should result in a major rethink of the organisation's shambolic and costly £11bn Smart Meter programme, campaigners have urged. Last week DECC was merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to form the newly anointed Department of …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Ruby slippers from wizard of Oz

We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

Microsoft has had a database since 1989, initially working with Ashton-Tate and Sybase to create a variant of Sybase SQL Server for IBM’s OS/2. But it wasn’t until 1995 that Microsoft really got serious with SQL Server 6 for Microsoft’s rock-solid server operating system Windows NT. Back then, however, engines like SQL Server …
Mark Whitehorn, 18 Jul 2016

Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer

Backgrounder Toshiba is pushing flash chip capacity higher on two fronts: through, er, Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) and by increasing a cell's bit count to four. We covered the TSV notion here and now take a look at quadruple level cell (QLC) flash technology. Toshiba will present on this and TSVs in a keynote session at the August 8-11 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2016
Pokemon toys

Trump? Terror? Turkey? Whoa, there's a Tentacool in that Bush...

If terror attacks, coups and the prospect of a Trump presidency aren’t enough to convince the end of days might just be at hand, a brief review of the weekend’s Pokemon Go related news should tip the balance. As the augmented reality monster hunting smartphone game rolled out across the real world, players were shot at and …
Joe Fay, 18 Jul 2016
Three cows image via Shutterstock

Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding. Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Hackers

UKFast owner slurps app security biz Pentest

Secarma, the cyber security business owned by UKFast chief exec Lawrence Jones, has bought application security specialists Pentest Limited reportedly for £10m. The CHECK and CREST accredited company, whose 45-strong team work with global blue chip organisations, will add a team of ethical hackers to Secarma's roster. John …
John Leyden, 18 Jul 2016
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Brexit has left a regulatory black hole for digital, say MPs

Brexit has left the UK peering into a digital regulatory void, according to MPs. The government must provide greater clarity on digital regulation and ensure it stays on track in light of the EU referendum result, the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee finds in a report published today (PDF). Issues that …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016
Fossilised remains of Montsechia vidalii

Docker and storage – solving the problem of data persistence

In June I was in in Seattle, the home of Starbucks, Boeing and Microsoft, for DockerCon 2016. Compared to the normal events I attend, this one promises to be a more “casual” affair, so I sported polo shirts and vendor hoodies as my standard attire. One of the more interesting problems yet to be fully solved with container …
Chris Evans, 18 Jul 2016

Euro IP study finds 25 Tor-and-Bitcoin-loving pirate business models

Knock us over with a feather: a study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found that those who infringe intellectual property for a living are quite fond of anonymity technologies that cover their tracks. The Office last week emitted a Deloitte-penned study titled Research on Online Business Models …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
Mr Robot: Credit USA Network

World's worst exploit kit weaponises white hats' proof of concept code

The new wearer of the crown for World's Worst Exploit Kit is compromising users with exploit code for a dangerous new attack published by a white hat researcher. Neutrino is the new king of for-profit p0wnage packages, a market in which criminals create tools to compromise scores of users through the latest vulnerabilities. …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Tor veteran Lucky Green exits, torpedos critical 'Tonga' node and relays

Tor's annus horribilis continues, with one of its earliest contributors, Lucky Green, quitting and closing down the node and bridge authority he operates. Green's announcement is here, and in full below. He specifically declines to describe why it is “no longer appropriate” to take part in Tor, nor why he believes he has “no …
image byemo http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2659924p1.html

Security firm clarifies power-station 'SCADA' malware claim

Malware hyped as aimed at the heart of power plants is nothing of the sort according to security outfit Damballa, which has put its name to analysis claiming the "SFG" malware is run-of-the-mill code without sufficient smarts to target SCADA systems. The so-called SFG malware is the spawn of Furtim, and hit headlines as …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
The Mosque at the Taj Mahal, shot from within the Taj Mahal through the marble screens

India tweaks tech colleges to 'become real power in software'

India's decided its massive successes of the last 20 years aren't enough and will tweak its Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IITs) to create home-grown technology colossi. India's IITs are among the most sought-after educational institutions on Earth: about 1.1 million youngsters sit entrance exams to fight for 10, …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
NASA CAD of Mars 2020 Rover

New Mars rover is GO for 2020 says NASA

All being well, NASA will launch the successor to Curiosity Rover in 2020. And this time the agency hopes to prepare samples for an as-yet-blue-sky manned mission that could one day return them to Earth for analysis. NASA says its Mars Rover 2020 project has passed a “significant milestone” – Key Decision Point (KDP) C – which …
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Intel's SGX tiptoes towards Linux

Intel has fulfilled a promise made in April to open-source a Linux driver for its SGX technology. SGX – Software Guard Extensions – first landed in 2013, and allows programmers to lock up code and data inside containers enforced by the CPU. The idea is to create an environment to assure people "clouding" their enterprise …
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Extortion trojan watches until crims find you doing something dodgy

A newly-detected piece of malware dubbed "Delilah" has been fingered as probably the first such code created with the intention of extorting victims into stealing insider data. The "Delilah" malware was found on exclusive crime forums by Israeli intelligence outfit Diskin Advanced Technologies, who say the trojan relies on a …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
Softbank_structure

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Updated British semiconductor designer ARM is about to be acquired by Japan's SoftBank. The New York Times reports the deal is imminent. The FT has put a value on the deal: US$32.4bn. That's a premium of about $10bn over ARM's market capitalisation. SoftBank is a sprawling company that operates a telco in its Japanese home but is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

One of the seminal developments in modern telecommunications turns 50 years old this month: the paper that bootstrapped the world of optical fibre communications. With this publication in the July 1966 issue of Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET), Charles Kao upended then-current research into …
Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

VMware's past holds the key to the future of Microsoft's Azure Stack

By most accounts VMware's first stab at hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL software-defined Nutanix clone, was a decent set of software. But it failed, quickly, and has been quietly removed from the frontline. The reason why is simple: in its first incarnation VMware insisted that EVO:RAIL buyers acquire new vSphere licences. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2016
MeerKAT

Africa's MeerKAT looks at the sky, surprises boffins with 1,300 galaxies

The operators of the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa have switched on its first 16 dishes and, pretty much immediately, spotted more than 1,200 new galaxies. If all goes to plan, by the end of next year the facility will have 64 antennae, and will eventually become part of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA …
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016
mistake

Samsung spills beans on mystery username, password emails to devs

Weird emails from Samsung to third-party developers containing usernames and passwords had some worried that the chaebol had been hacked. But the electronics giant says it's nothing to worry about. Earlier in the week, several Reg readers got in touch after they each received an email from Sammy titled "Your Login Information …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

Coup-Tube: Turkey blocks social networks amid military takeover

Access to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is blocked in Turkey tonight amid an ongoing attempted military coup in the NATO nation. The cyber-blockade has failed to prevent pictures from the unfolding uprising spilling onto the internet, though. An intervention by a faction of the country's armed forces is underway right now as …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
Robot touches screen with finger. Photo via Shutterstock

Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

The maker of the security guard robot that allegedly ran down a toddler in a Silicon Valley shopping mall last week has claimed its droid is innocent. Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng hit the headlines worldwide after his parents claimed he was knocked down and run over by a 300lb Knightscope K5 bot at the Stanford Shopping …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided not to move forward with an investigation into smart-home company Nest and its decision to end support for the Revolv hub. In a letter [PDF] to the Google stablemate, the regulator said it had "decided not to recommend enforcement action at this time," referencing "confidential …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has thrown a hissy fit over the refusal of Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend a Senate hearing on encryption. Opening the Committee on Armed Services' hearing on cybersecurity this morning, McCain went out of his way to note that Cook has declined the senator's invitation to give testimony alongside …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

Adobe says a buggy installer is the reason some people have two different versions of Flash Player on their Windows PCs. The software house told The Register it had to create an additional build of the browser plugin specifically for Microsoft's Internet Explorer after the version made for other browsers – such as Mozilla's …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

Hackers steal millions from ATMs using 'just their smartphones'

Authorities in Taiwan are trying to work out how hackers managed to trick a network of bank ATMs into spitting out millions. Police suspect that two Russian nationals wearing masks cashed out dozens of ATMs operated by Taiwan's First Bank on Sunday and left the country the following day. The crooks stole an estimated T$70m ($2 …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016
Privacy image

Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Hadoop

Commvault stomps out with protection for Hadoop, Big Data analytics systems

Backgrounder Commvault’s Chief Communications Officer Bill Wohl was in London yesterday, and wanting to emphasise how well Commvault has recovered from the dip in its fortunes caused by customers moving to the cloud faster than anticipated. He said Commvault was, in our words, a bridge between product systems and their data and a protected …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2016
Man looking up spiral staircase inside deltalis mountain data centre

Your next storage will be invisible (for a while)

In the last two or three years I've talked a lot about "Flash & Trash." A two-tier storage strategy to best cope with the increasing demand of high IOPS and low latency from primary applications on the one hand, and high capacity, associated with throughput at times, on the other. This kind of need depends on the type of …
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

The upfront market for broadcast and cable networks has taken an unexpected U-turn from last year’s dip, seeing an increase in advertising sales of $800m to $18.6bn in the most recent completion. According to research firm Media Dynamics, this 4.5 per cent increase in TV ad revenue is a blow to OTT video platforms on PCs and …
Faultline, 15 Jul 2016