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Apple location tracking patent application

Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

The fruit of Apple's 2013 acquisition of indoor mapper WiFiSlam seems to have fallen from the tree and landed at the patent office, with Cupertino filing for a find-my-friends feature. Back when the acquisition happened it was speculated that Apple wanted to get into the follow-my-footsteps business that mobe companies have …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

That shot you heard? SSLv3 is now DEAD

We really, really, really mean it this time: take SSL3 and bury it. That's the message from the home of all things Internet the Internet Engineering Task Force, which has issued the “take it behind the shed” edict in this RFC. It's actually only formalising what the IETF and industry already knew: SSLv3 is ancient and insecure …

Facebook! exfiltrates! Yahoo! security! boss!

Facebook has poached NSA-clashing Yahoo! security man Alex Stamos to head up its infosec operations. The hire means Menlo Park has filled a three-month vacancy left when security boss Joe Sullivan who oversaw a crackdown on Facebook scammers and scum left for Uber. Stamos fittingly announced his migration on his Facebook …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jun 2015

MAC address privacy inches towards standardisation

The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) decision last year to push back against surveillance is bearing fruit, with the 'net boffins and the IEEE proclaiming successful MAC address privacy tests. While MAC address randomisation has been a feature of various clients (including Linux, Windows, Apple OSs and Android) for …

Win the business services race with run-book automation

Bringing a more service-based culture to your IT department is a great idea, but who will manage it behind the scenes? Service-based IT is the holy grail for IT departments that want to improve their standing in the business. In the bad old days, IT was a black art, practised behind closed doors by Merlin-like figures. No …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Jun 2015
Herbie

Google takes latest self-driving buggies to the streets

Google has begun public road tests for a line of self-driving cars designed to be free of such fripperies as a steering wheel or pedals. The Chocolate Factory kicked off the tests in its hometown of Mountain View, where it has been running them on private tracks up until now. The cars will be driving on the local roads away from …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2015
Harry Potter

Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years. So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2015
HoloLens testing on the vomit comet

SpaceX to blast Microsoft's HoloLens visors into SPAAAAACE

A pair of Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality goggles will be beamed up to the International Space Station on Sunday as part of the cargo in SpaceX's resupply mission. Youtube Video Astronauts will use the HoloLens kit to communicate with ground control and help with complex space station repairs. The two units on this trip …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2015
Tom Wheeler, Chair of FCC. Image by DonkeyHotey

FCC boss Wheeler: Shove off, big dogs – let the small telcos play

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chief Tom Wheeler has proposed new rules for upcoming wireless spectrum auctions which will limit large telcos' ability to snap up space meant for small carriers. By entering smaller subsidiaries into the small business spectrum auctions, larger carriers are able to bid for more of the …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2015
Sad iPhone

Apple apes Microsoft with iPhone BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

T-Mobile users with iPhones are being beset by a mysterious issue that causes their handsets to randomly flash a blue screen and then reset itself. Multiple users are reporting that their Apple handsets have been flashing the blue screen before going black and restarting without warning. T-Mobile has yet to respond to a request …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2015
Cisco security puff from its website

Cisco in single SSH key security stuff-up

A red-faced Cisco has pushed out a patch for a bunch of virtual security appliances that had hard-coded SSH keys. Since the keys are associated with the virty appliances' remote management interface, a successful login would let an attacker waltz through the devices. The Borg has announced that its Web Security Virtual …

ICANN's leaving the nest, so when will it grow up?

Comment ICANN is 17 years old. It's about to be given the keys to its dad's car. And we are all going to have to take a ride with it every day. On June 30, 2016, ICANN, which oversees the global domain name service (DNS), will take over the IANA contract on a semi-permanent basis from the US government. The IANA contract means very …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jun 2015
A re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg

Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

Apple is removing games that feature the Confederate flag in their titles or gameplay from its App Store. A number of titles previously available on the App Store, mainly combat and strategy games set in the US Civil War, have been taken down, along with some wallpapers featuring the flag. Though Apple has yet to return a …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2015
Photo by Heather Sorenson / sxc.hu

Hey devs. Forget Siri – Amazon's Alexa will show you a $100m good time

Amazon is reaching out to developers in an effort to build a rival to voice assistant services like Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana. The online retail giant has released APIs and a software development kit (SDK) in an effort to build up its new Alexa voice service, which is built into its Echo smart speaker. It has also …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jun 2015

Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

At the annual Yahoo! shareholder's meeting, CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled her new strategy for making the struggling web portal popular again by buying its way into Oracle's Java upgrade software. Begining with the next Java update, Yahoo! will replace the current invitation to make Ask your default search engine. Instead, you'll …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jun 2015
Audio engineer Frank Filipetti demonstrates hi-res audio

Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

High resolution (Hi-Res) audio is not as good it should be, causing an industry group to create new production guidelines to address what it says are "misperceptions" concerning what it takes to create the best recordings. The guidelines will come from the Producers and Engineers wing of the Recording Academy, the organisation …
Tim Anderson, 25 Jun 2015

Courtney Love in the crossfire! Paris turns ugly over Uber

In a development many thought an impossibility, Paris has turned decidedly ugly, as traditional taxi drivers clashed with Uber, dragging pop singer and 1990s grunge leftover Courtney Love into the battle. In protest against the ride-sharing app service Uberpop, taxi drivers brought the French capital to a standstill, in …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Crapita logo

Capita: Call centre workers, can you fall on your swords? Please?

The kind souls at Capita are placing hundreds of workers at risk of redundancy at call centres across the UK that service O2 clients, according to documents seen by The Channel. The work was outsourced to Capita back in 2013, the contract is valued at £1.2bn over ten years and is the biggest of its kind. The Communications …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

BT is asking Ofcom to be freed from its obligation to provide ordinary PSTN/POTS voice telephone connections across the UK. The telecoms giant would prefer to provide only internet services, and let customers use them for voice calls. The Telegraph reported that BT wants to move "all domestic and business customers to internet- …
server room

US SaaS firm bows to Snowden concerns with UK-based datacentre

Project management as a service vendor Clarizen will open a European datacentre this summer as it seeks to assure customers here that the US government will not rifle through their Gantt charts whenever they feel like it. The San Mateo-based firm will partner with Equinix to serve European customers from an Amsterdam-based …
Joe Fay, 25 Jun 2015
Cook, via Shutterstock

Dell cooks up cloud recipes with Microsoft, VMware and OpenStack

Dell is doubling down on its policy of selling infrastructure, after retreating from its public cloud service provider plan. The firm, which has carved out a big niche in web-scale server centres, will release plans in the next six months to guide others building their own clouds. Blueprints will be for Microsoft’s Cloud …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2015
james_rigby_md_sch

SCC: Look at our bulging figure(s). We're fatter than some MSPs

Classic product reselling at privately-owned Midland tech dynasty SCC’s UK biz has crashed by a fifth but the company execs are still smiling. Why? The shift to services is paying off. Revenues generated in Britain for fiscal ’15, ended 31 March, dropped 13.3 per cent on fiscal '14 to £662m – including a full-year’s contribution …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
management regulation2

As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

Heads are set to roll at the Office of Personnel Management as director Katherine Archuleta continues to receive a grilling from Senate committees, who are beginning to realise that the country's entire intelligence workforce has been utterly pwned, probably by a hostile nation. Archuleta, alongside OPM's Chief Information …

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Proof, were it needed, that El Reg is down wiv da lingo comes with the inclusion of "backronym" in the Oxford English Dictionary – one of 500 new words just added to the bulging lexicon. As regular readers know, we like a nice backronym, hence "Paper Aircraft Released Into Space" (PARIS), "Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator" ( …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2015
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

Microsoft canned support for Windows XP and Office and Exchange 2003 in April 2014 - unless you are the U.S. Navy, which is paying $9.1m a year until 2017 to obtain security patches for these obsoleted products. The Navy contract also includes support for Server 2003, which is unplugged from life support on July 2015. Our hats …
Drew Cullen, 25 Jun 2015
reda_video_your_daily_life_is_illegal_648

Pirate MEP pranks Telegraph with holiday snap scaremongering

Teenaged* German MEP Julia Reda, who believes that “your life is illegal” because of copyright laws, has successfully conned a gullible newspaper into reporting that sharing your own photos will soon be illegal too. The Telegraph’s skiing expert ran a story suggesting that British holidaymakers “may face legal action” for …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jun 2015

UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO

The global domain-name and patents agency WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation) is under investigation by the UN's corruption investigation unit – the Office of Internal Oversight – The Register can reveal. UN investigators based in Vienna have opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of DNA theft, …
John Oates, 25 Jun 2015
Red Hat Enterprise Linux

FeedHenry now Red Hat Mobile App Platform, gets OpenShift cloud integration

Red Hat Summit Red Hat has launched its Mobile Application Platform, at the company's Summit under way in Boston. The Mobile Application Platform consists of tools and templates for building mobile applications combined with back-end services to handle features including authentication, data, and integration with existing systems. It is based …
Tim Anderson, 25 Jun 2015
Stop Light by Horia Varlan, CC license from Flickr

Will a datacentre be driving your car in 12 years' time?

Driverless cars will be taking over our roads in around 12 years time, when comms technology has advanced to deliver the power of the datacentre direct to your preferred motor. Andreas Reich, head of electronic pre development at Audi, this week told a Huawei Innovation Conference in Munich that if the 1970s was the age of …
Joe Fay, 25 Jun 2015

Bank of England CIO: ‘Beware of the cloud, beware of vendors’

The Bank of England is loosening up on IT delivery and recruitment, but not its resistance to public cloud. John Finch, CIO of the UK's central bank since September 2013, Wednesday ruled out the use of any public cloud by the bank for the foreseeable future. Cloud has however crept into the Bank’s IT margins, where it’s been …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2015
head of 50s-style robot

In search of an easier life: Do IT converged systems fit the bill?

Could converged systems change the way that IT admins spend their time? Figures suggest that mundane tasks such as backups and restores and system patches take between two and ten hours a week for around a third of those responsible for administering systems. Even more time is spent monitoring systems to ensure that they’re …
Robin Birtstone, 25 Jun 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

GoFundMe shows users how it's done, cashes in with $600m valuation

Online hat-passer GoFundMe has sold off a controlling stake of its business to investors who value it at roughly $600m. The Wall Street Journal cited sources familiar with the matter in reporting the donations broker had completed a round of venture capital funding that culminated with investors taking over the majority control …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google meets more EU apparatchiks than anyone else in Brussels

Google tops the list of companies lobbying in Brussels, according to a report published on Wednesday by Transparency International (TI). TI analysed the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 and found the Chocolate Factory came out on top for individual …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Shadow of the Beast

Shadow of the Beast: Amiga classic returns from the darkness

Antique Code Show Let’s state one fact clearly from the start: for all its virtues, Shadow of the Beast did not play especially well. Its often half-baked platform action appeared promising at first, but was let down ultimately by having no game-save positions, a frustratingly high difficulty level and a general lack of fair and progressive …
Giles Hill, 25 Jun 2015
graveyard_648

Pure's mass disk drive killer lays out plans for flash hegemony

Comment Fresh from a big product and business model launch, Pure Storage was undestandably reticent about future technologies at a briefing in Mountain View. However, interesting tidbits did drop from speakers' lips. Co-founder John "Coz" Colgrove said: "Our goal is to make all disk storage extinct." Dressed in his signature long t- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jun 2015
Mars

Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

Just 500,000 years ago water was sloshing all over Mars, despite the planet having lost its atmosphere four billion years ago, astroboffins have discovered. In a paper titled "Earth-like aqueous debris-flow activity on Mars at high orbital obliquity in the last million years", and published today in Nature Communications, …

Dyre banking VXers LOVE Mondays, Symantec says

Nobody can accuse trojan coders of being lazy; the masterminds behind the Dyre banking malware are putting in full five-day working weeks to maintain some 285 command and control servers handling stolen banking credentials. The malware is one of the worst in circulation using its fleet of command and control servers to handle …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jun 2015

BlackShades privacy raiding web rat gets five years in US cooler

Swedish BlackShades co-creator Alex Yucel has been sentenced to nearly five years in a US cooler for selling and distributing the remote access trojan (RAT). Yucel, 25, pled guilty February in a New York court to slinging the perverted mutation of a legitimate system administration tool and was forced to forfeit $US200,000 in …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jun 2015
Freescale Internet of Things overview

We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

As US lawmakers call on the Government Accountability Office to assess the world of the Internet of Things, Eugene Kaspersky has unloaded on the thingification of home appliances. A bipartisan group of US Senators (Brian Schatz and Cory Booker for the Democrats, Deb Fischer and Kelly Ayotte for the Republicans) released the …

Flushed with success: No bog standard Canadian goldfish these

Goldfish popped doon Canadian toilets have been found to be not only surviving, but positively thriving in their new underworld, so much so that Alberta's government has launched a campaign to prevent people flushing away their aquarium-dwellers. Some of the blinged up critters have grown to the size of dinner plates, and are …
Artist's impression of GJ 436b

OOH, it's so HOT in here! All my ATMOSPHERE is coming off

Thirty-three light years away from us – quite close by astronomical standards – Hubble has found a surprisingly large gas cloud near an exoplanet. What's got the Hubble Space Telescope crowd excited is that the gas cloud is huge – around 50 times the size of the parent star – and seems to be atmosphere evaporating away from the …
Spaghetti with tomato sauce

How to turn application spaghetti into tasty IT services

The promise of IT service management is to deliver services that make sense to their business users. To do that, though, IT departments must be able to untangle their own internal resources. IT services must be accessible in one place so that users can find them easily and administrators can manage them. And the back-end …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Jun 2015