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Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover

Who is out there waiting to spy on you or steal your data?

The growth rate of digital attacks continues to alarm. According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, the number of reported incidents rose by 48 per cent this year to 42.8 million, the equivalent of 117,339 attacks a day. Add to those the masses of unreported attacks and you have an awfully messy …
Tom Brewster, 21 Nov 2014

FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Data Journalism* The BMI-fuelled "obesity epidemic" bandwagon continues to rumble along, with the latest ridiculous report claiming that swingbellies are now twice as serious a menace to human prosperity as climate change. No, really. The giant brains of the McKinsey Global Institute have assembled this authoritative graph, which ranks the …
Lewis Page, 21 Nov 2014

Giving mobile users the applications they want is child's play

Working on the move has become most people's normal way of operating. We are used to having our world in our pocket and being able to read and write emails, produce simple documents and generally stay in the corporate loop whether we are in the office, in the pub, on a train or (sadly) sitting on a beach trying to be on holiday …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Go on, buy your workers a smartphone. You know it makes sense

Choose your own device (CYOD), the latest incarnation of mobility device management, is being promoted as a smarter alternative to BYOD (bring your own device), with more benefits for everybody and fewer pitfalls. How is CYOD defined in the real world and what are the advantages and challenges for business owners, IT teams and …
Dave Wilby, 19 Nov 2014

DRaaS-tic action: Trust the cloud to save your data from disaster

In modern computing, disaster recovery can be thought of in the same way as insurance: nobody really wants to pay for it, the options are complicated and seemingly designed to swindle you, but it is irrational (and often illegal) to operate without it. All the big IT players are getting into disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS …
Trevor Pott, 19 Nov 2014
Shop Direct Skyways House entrance

The Big Data wrangling CIO you've probably never heard of: But his kit probably knows YOU

Shop Direct is a £1.7bn group that owns some of the best-known brands in retail - firms that pioneered what the cutting edge of shopping. Among the names it holds are Kays and Littlewoods, household brands that actually first pushed the idea of shopping without leaving your home to the UK using paper catalogues, home delivery …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Nov 2014

YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Some sysadmins will go to extremes to secure a network, viewing it (wrongly) as their property. For proof, look no further than Terry Childs, the City of San Francisco sysadmin who lost his job and subsequently refused to give over the system's virtual keys to his superiors in 2008. It took just under a million dollars, several …
Stuart Burns, 19 Nov 2014
smartphones

So you want to introduce a BYOD plan. Where do you start?

Like it or not, BYOD (bring your own device) is here to stay. Being able to get your emails on your personal iPad and such is all very well but it comes with both a cost and a risk. Often the success or failure of a BYOD deployment is determined before the first machine is touched. BYOD comes in two distinct flavours: "I want …
Dave Burn, 18 Nov 2014

How to keep everything fluffy in your hybrid cloud world

Cloud computing is a big deal these days. Old farts like me can debate ad nauseam whether cloud is just a new word for what we use to call managed or hosted services and whether it is barking to call an on-premise virtualised infrastructure a private cloud. The fact remains that whatever you call it there is a vast amount of it …
Dave Cartwright, 17 Nov 2014

Cyber security: Do the experts need letters after their name?

Despite its reticence over everything Snowden, GCHQ has been awfully proud of its work with academia over the last year. Though it has always worked closely with universities, the Cheltenham-based spy agency has given its backing to various government initiatives designed to give a fillip to British cyber-security wannabes and …
Tom Brewster, 17 Nov 2014
PlayStation Vita

Sony SPILLS GUTS on OTT service, so far for PlayStations only

Analysis Sony has unveiled its widely expected PlayStation Vue OTT TV service, telling us everything we need to know except the most important part: the price. At present it is just a US phenomenon, which makes sense – if it can make it there it can make it anywhere. It is referred to as a cloud-based TV service and claims to reinvent …
Faultline, 17 Nov 2014
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

BAD SANTA: Don't get ripped off this Christmas

Feature The season of horror and expense will soon be upon us, and with it lots of gift guides telling you what you should be forking out for. But before we get stuck into that, how you should buy it is just as important. Youtube Video As the recent collapse of Phones4U showed, even something as simple as choosing the wrong way to pay …
Nigel Whitfield, 16 Nov 2014
Selection of eggs on the bar

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

It's been two years since we at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau brought hungry readers the last of our post-pub nosh deathmatches – a lively head-to-head featuring souse versus scrapple – and by popular demand we've decided to reheat the concept as part of Vulture Central's Weekend Edition. To recap, the idea was to present …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2014
Cloud security

Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble

Size isn't everything. Big data may be about storing terabytes or petabytes of information but it is also about complexity, and complexity often brings security challenges. Are you ready to handle them? Right now, someone in a marketing or finance role somewhere in your organisation is probably putting together a big data …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Are dangers lurking on your workers' operating systems?

We have had enough wake-up calls now, right? Enough squeaky-bum moments. Events over the past year have made it clear that hackers, whether sponsored by the NSA, GCHQ or a crooked millionaire, can and will breach the defences of mobile operating systems of any type. For IT, it has become apparent that guaranteeing the security …
David Gordon, 14 Nov 2014
SanDisk Sansa TakeTV

Welcome to the fast-moving world of flash connectors

Flash is the new storage medium of choice and this has led to an explosion of interconnect options. Magnetic disks are slow and not particularly latency sensitive; interconnects designed for them just don't cut it in a world where flash drives can be 10 times faster and are highly latency sensitive. Let's take a quick look at …
Trevor Pott, 13 Nov 2014
Files

UK.gov teams up with moneymen on HACK ATTACK INSURANCE

+Comment The UK government last week partnered with 12 insurance companies to develop the "cyber-insurance" market. But experts are split on whether encouraging the development of the nascent market will result in the adoption of improved security practices. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that while cyber insurance adds an …
John Leyden, 13 Nov 2014

Can you choose your carrier when a carrier owns the data centre?

Twenty years ago when I began using hosted data centre services, the choice was straightforward. You picked either a co-location service where you rented rack space and installed your own servers, or a hosted option where your data sat on the service provider's equipment. You could then decide on the amount of internet bandwidth …
Dave Cartwright, 12 Nov 2014
Miguel de Icaza

Microsoft .NET released from its Windows chains... but what ABOUT MONO?

Interview Today Microsoft announced that the .NET core framework, which powers web applications using the ASP.NET libraries, will be open source on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. But what are the implications for Mono, the existing open source project which already provides .NET support on Linux and the Mac? The Reg spoke to Miguel de …
Tim Anderson, 12 Nov 2014
Plugs

Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

When Dick Powell, ace designer and co-founder of SeymourPowell, designed the Tefal Freeline, the world’s first cordless kettle, it wasn’t for the likes of you and me. The thinking behind it was that while most people could cope with a power lead, those with restricted mobility could not. The ease of use that it delivered, …
Simon Rockman, 12 Nov 2014

Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

Analysis As we saw from Vodafone's announcement on Tuesday, competition in the broadband market is thriving here in the UK. So, should consumers be fretting about the fierce net neutrality debate going on across the Atlantic? The European Commission, steered by former unelected digi czar "Steelie" Neelie Kroes, would very much like it if …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014
Photo of Ubuntu running on tablets and smartphones

Manage the risks and seize the opportunities of BYOD

Many companies understand the obvious aspects of BYOD (bring your own device) and mobile device management (MDM). Employees work on the devices that they like and use and share data seamlessly, whether that data is personal or business. Mobile devices nowadays can do so much more than texting and sending emails. They can provide …
Swiss alps

Has Switzerland cracked the net neutrality riddle?

Analysis Broadband providers in Switzerland – a country synonymous with neutrality – have formulated new rules for ISPs that may save regulators and lawmakers from fruitless battles over "net neutrality". The code of conduct formulated by Swisscom, Sunrise, UPC Cablecom and Orange pledges to allow all subscribers "to use the content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2014
Hacked sarcasm

Someone has broken into your systems. Now what?

So, you've been hacked. Compromised. Breached and violated. Some criminal Goldilocks has been inside your network and found that your data was neither too hot nor too cold but just right. What are you going to do about it? This could happen to any organisation and what you do to mitigate the problem could define your public …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Managing BYOD starts with asset management

The prevalence of BYOD (bring your own device) activity across the enterprise landscape has seen every IT vendor worth its salt try to offer a solution to the problem of keeping employees' mobile devices under control. There are several worthy options, such as CYOD (choose your own device) and managed virtualised desktop …
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Words to put dread in a sysadmin's heart: 'We are moving our cloud from Windows to Linux'

The worldview of elastic compute, or mine at least, has historically had very little Microsoft involved in it. Recently however, I have attended several job interviews and one question that has invariably been asked is: “We are planning on moving from Windows to Linux. Have you done it before?” This situation usually arrives …
Stuart Burns, 10 Nov 2014
Zoeller at the Samsung forum

Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Analysis Samsung has said that it intends to focus on UHD TVs using LCD panels augmented by quantum dot technology, instead of pushing OLED as a commercial replacement for LCD. This is the kind of decision that might mean that OLED never takes off in the larger form factors. Kim Hyun-Seok, the head of Samsung’s TV business, told …
Faultline, 10 Nov 2014
Measurement train NETWORK RAIL

This 125mph train is fitted with LASERS. Sadly no sharks, though

+Vid & Pics The men – and woman – in orange explained to me that the Network Rail “New Measurement Train” isn’t new. It’s a converted Intercity High Speed Train which has been in operation for more than ten years in this form, and it is used for running new tests for checking the condition of the track. Measurement train NETWORK RAIL The …
Simon Rockman, 10 Nov 2014

Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' but you still have to 'SERVICE' them

QuOTW This was the week in which we learned that Apple shop staff have been ordered to "touch" fanbois – even though many the iSlaves appear to hate their customers. Angela Arhendts, who swapped life at Burberry to head up Apple's retail division, said she expected staff to "service" members of the public. "How do you make sure they …
Jasper Hamill, 9 Nov 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox decade: Microsoft's IE humbled by a dogged upstart. Native next?

Analysis It seems hard to believe but 10 years ago the PC was the only computing interface for billions of consumers and businesses and Microsoft owned them all. A desktop or laptop running MS Windows loaded with Office for creating documents and spreadsheets and Internet Explorer to view web pages. Nearly 100 per cent market share is …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Nov 2014
Koubachi plant monitor

Be Your Own Big Brother: Going to pot

Feature A lot of the tech we've looked at so far in this series has been for safety – like monitoring seniors – or curiosity, like pet tracking. Another very useful area is productivity... and we don't mean the sort that involves management jargon. We're talking horticulture. With the right tech, even the least green-fingered of us …
DDoS image

Japan: Land of cheap booze and slippers in the office

The eXpat files In this week's eXpat files, love is the motivator for British chap Stephen Chadfield to make a new start in Japan, where he endures daily workplace workouts and has the chance to drink cheap booze. Over to you, Stephen ... The Register: What kind of work do you do and with which technologies? Chadfield: My current job is …
Cyberman on steps of St. Paul's

Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

TV Review Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: The thrill is definitely gone. This finale couldn’t lift itself up from the messy morass of the rest of the season, or redeem either Peter Capaldi’s Doctor or Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald. All of it, down to the completely annoying and …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Nov 2014
Various devices including phone, laptop and tablet

How mobile device management is taking on the BYOD challenge

Every IT manager worth his or her salt would really like to get hold of users’ physical devices to lock down security and manage privileges, protocols and permissions in the perpetual quest for control. This is not always possible. The situation has given rise to industry terminology such as mobile device management (MDM) and …

Security products: Best of breed or create your own monster?

IT security is not just about antivirus or firewall products anymore. There is a whole layer cake of different product types designed to protect your organisation in different ways. It is a stack, in much the same way as TCP-IP networking or web server functionality has stacks of functionality. The question is, what's the best …
X300 SSDs

Why solid-state disks are winning the argument

Perhaps the most perplexing question I have been posed this year is: "Why should I use SSDs?" On the face of it, it is a reasonable question. When it was put to me, however, I just sat there staring at the wall, trying to form a coherent thought. Where to begin? As it was late at night, I decided that starting with a brief …
Trevor Pott, 7 Nov 2014
android malware mobile iphone

BYOD: don't let the dream turn into a nightmare

Most vendors and analysts agree: you can’t avoid BYOD (bring your own device). But despite all the excitement about letting people use whatever smartphones, tablets, convertibles or latest thingamajig they want at work, many businesses are still wary of the BYOD trend. Some organisations, by necessity, just cannot adopt BYOD …
Stuart Burns, 6 Nov 2014
Barney Rubble driving with Fred Flinstone

Forget 5G, UK.gov is making 2G fit for the 21st century!

Analysis The government flagged up the biggest shake-up in mobile regulation for 25 years yesterday. Tories who ridiculed Ed Miliband’s intervention in the energy market might need to remove the large wooden beam from their field of vision first. Four major policy options are suggested in the Ministry of Fun’s rural mobile consultation …
Nokia Lumia 930

Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

We have all seen them: people who wander around with a phone glued to their ear as if their entire world depended on it. And we have all worked with people for whom eye contact means sitting with head stooped peering at texts, emails or, occasionally, videos of real people. This got us wondering: can normal people actually run …
IMation_Q3fy2014

Scalable storage outfit Imation SLIDES BACK after recovery

Analysis Formidably troubled storage outfit Imation, the company dragged down by delayed exits from the tape and optical media markets, has recorded a third quarter loss 76 per cent worse than last year on revenues just nine per cent down on the year. The third 2014 quarter saw revenues of $175m, compared to $178.6m a quarter ago and $ …
Chris Mellor, 4 Nov 2014
Pile of mobiles

Hold onto your hats and follow the BYOD generation

A recent survey has suggested that young people would be willing to accept lower pay as long as they could use their own mobile devices in the workplace Really? Would and should an employer be happy to take somebody on who values personal data access over and above core compensation for a job well done? If this trend is real, …
BCE video days: Jack Mullin, Bing Crosby and Wayne Johnson

Raj Samani: The Director’s Cut

Regcast after dark After our recent Regcast in which Raj Samani of McAfee's Intel Security scared us to death about security threats businesses are facing (before showing us how automating our security systems means we’re not doomed if we do the right thing), we got the sense he had more to say. Youtube Video We were right. So we sat Raj down for …
Tim Phillips, 4 Nov 2014