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EU agency warns of cyber risks from using big data tools

Businesses that use software and systems to collect, analyse and use data are increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks, according to a new report. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) urged companies to embrace "the security-by-default principle" to better safeguard data and systems against privacy and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 1 Feb 2016
Labelled_XPoint_Diagram

Micron's Xpoint excavations: More murmurings about PCM

Comment Once Intel Micron Flash Technologies (IM Flash) co-CEO Guy Blalock revealed that XPoint memory uses chalcogenide glass as its storage medium, people have been wondering if XPoint really is, contrary to Intel and Micron denials, phase-change memory (PCM). With PCM the state, or phase, of the chalcogenide material changes from …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2016

A RAT and a spammer both avoid the slammer

Two US hackers have escaped prison, receiving probation instead of time in federal coolers. Blackshades remote access trojan (RAT) co-creator Michael Hogue, 25, of Arizona, could have stared down five years prison for his role in developing the BlackShades remote access trojan but instead received the time on probation. His …
Darren Pauli, 1 Feb 2016
Microsoft's Project Natick underwater data centre

Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Microsoft has revealed that it's trialled an underwater data centre. Project Natick saw Redmond sink a capsule about a mile offshore from Seattle, an approach felt to have potential because about half of humanity lives on or near coastlines. Microsoft's thinking is that it's a good idea to put data centres near their users, …

Netflix picks up Molly at university, scores harsh character assessment

Video streamer Netflix has deployed a prototype University of California, Berkley, fault generating platform to find and fix five problems that otherwise could have affected users. The platform, dubbed MOLLY, is described in a 2015 Berkeley paper Lineage-driven Fault Injection [pdf] as a "novel approach for discovering bugs in …
Darren Pauli, 1 Feb 2016
Intel first-generation Centrino parts

Intel's SGX security extensions: Secure until you look at the detail

A pair of cryptography researchers have published a graduate thesis that accuses Intel of ruining its “Software Guard Extensions” (SGX) with bad implementation decisions. Victor Costan and Srinivas Devadas of MIT criticize [PDF] the way SGX obtains cryptographic keys over the internet. Launched in 2013, SGX added CPU features …

Slashdot, SourceForge slurped by travel publisher

Slashdot and SourceForge have been offloaded by owner DHI media, which has found them a new home at a company called BizX. The two sites were put on the chopping board in July 2015 when DHI, best known as operator of jobs board Dice, decided it stick to its knitting. Up then, went the sign: “For Sale, one Linux-centric news …

Is security outfit Norse Corp dead or just temporarily TITSUP?

Security startup Norse Corp has gone ominously dark. The outfit, famous for picking scabs from FreeBSD and mesmerising users with a “live DDoS map”, isn't contactable on the Web right now. Early in January, The Register reported layoffs in the business, amounting to as much as half its staff at the time. Now, Brian Krebs …
Toshiba Satellite P series laptop

Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio may be about to merge laptop ops

From Taiwan, an advance on a tantalising rumour: Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio look to be seriously considering a merger of their laptop-making operations. Vaio, the laptop spin-off from Sony, publicly floated the idea in late 2015. At that time it was thought that Toshiba would probably like the idea, as relieving itself of its …
Facepalming statue

App for homeless says walking on water is the way to reach services

An app for homeless people hailed by Australian prime minster Malcolm Turnbull as an example of technology done right asks users to walk across several hundred kilometres of water to find services. Turnbull launched the "AskIzzy" app last week and in his remarks at the event said it "... is doing exactly what successful …
Internet Meme: text says Integrate all the Things

'VxRail' looks like EMC's next-gen hyper-converged appliance

EMC and VMware are making more noise about a hyper-converged launch this month. The Register's virtualisation desk is willing to go out on a limb and say that among the announcements will be a hardware product called VxRail. Here's our logic. EMC used its annual results call to reveal it has new hyper-converged kit on the way …
Home Secretary Theresa May introduces draft Investigatory Powers Bill to MPs. Pic credit: Parliament TV

UK taxpayers should foot £2bn or more to adopt Snoopers' Charter, says Inquiry

IPB The first Parliamentary report into the UK's draft Investigatory Powers Bill, commonly referred to as the "Snoopers' Charter", says it has great potential to damage the nation's technology sector and the public should therefore pick up the tab for the £2bn (US$2.85bn) or so it will require to implement the data-harvesting …
Counterfeit FTDI USB-to-serial adapter chips

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Semiconductor company Future Technology Devices International (FTDI), which in 2014 was caught out bricking products built using knock-off chips, has again been accused of fooling around with device drivers. Back in October 2014, the company shipped a device driver that checked the authenticity of USB chips claiming to be FTDI …

Random ideas sought to improve cryptography

America's National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) is looking for public input into its long-running project to improve cryptography. The recommendation NIST's put up for discussion covers the design principles and requirements for random bit generators, and tests to validate entropy sources. It's the entropy …
cabin detaching from airplane

Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Falling out of the sky may well be most passengers' worst fear when they board a plane. With this mind, a Ukrainian inventor has proposed building airliners with detachable passenger cabins that could separate from the rest of the plane and parachute safely to the ground in the event of an emergency. This may sound like a …
Herve Morvan, 30 Jan 2016

Most of the world still dependent on cash

Most people in the world are still dependent on using cash for making basic payments, meaning that benefits such as reduced costs and greater speed of transactions are being missed out on, according to new research. The reliance on paper money is also a barrier to "boosting financial inclusion among the world’s two billion …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2016

Seagate’s triple whammy: Disk numbers, costs, and flash

Peak disk has passed and Seagate has a triple problem set: disk build numbers; costs and pricing; and what to do about flash. Revenues for Seagate’s second fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 1, were $2.98bn, down 19.4 per cent on $3.7bn a year ago. Net income was $165m, representing an 82.3 per cent fall on Q215's $933m. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2016
Hilary Clinton by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

State Department finds 22 classified emails in Hillary’s server, denies wrongdoing

The US State Department is to release another 1,000 emails from the 55,000 found on Hillary Clinton’s private (and insecure) email server, saying that 22 contain material that is classified, but wasn’t at the time the messages were sent. "The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jan 2016
Kids car snow, image via Shutterstock

Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Microsoft’s second fiscal quarter showed a company at a dangerous stage in its transition. It also revealed a firm that is unable to rely on the certainties of old. Not so long ago, Microsoft could call on three engines of growth to drive its business – Office/personal productivity, server and tools, and Windows client …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jan 2016
IBM CEO 'Ginni' Rometty

Ginni Rometty to pocket $4.5m bonus for IBM leadership

What do you get if you preside over 15 straight quarters of shrinking sales, evaporating profit and a sliding share price? A seven figure bonus if you are Ginni Rometty, the chief exec at IBM. Her base salary for 2015 remained unchanged at $1.6m, but the bonus swelled by $1m to $4.6m. Oh, and the long term incentives package ( …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Loons in balloons: Google asks FCC to approve Net plan

Large balloons firing data are nothing to worry about, Google has told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest license application. The people behind Project Loon, Google’s floating internet platform announced in June 2013, have successfully tested the system across the world and now want the silver machines …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2016
Cookie Monster

Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

As legal arguments go, this may not be the strongest. Facebook has told the Belgian government that it cannot proceed with its privacy case against the social media giant because of its use of English terms like "cookie", "browser" and "server". The company was told back in November to stop tracking people without Facebook …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jan 2016
troll

Patent Troll Unit set up by Virginia government to slay lawsuits

Suing a company for patent infringement just got a lot tougher in the state of Virginia. The state (technically a commonwealth) has created a new legal office focused entirely on patent litigation. Specifically, the state's Patent Troll Unit will look to extract penalties and legal fees from companies who make unjust patent …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2016
Cable confusion, image via Shutterstock

Give me POWER! Under resourced, overloaded - a moving story

This Damn War I was the senior systems administrator (in fact I was the only IT person, but not the IT "manager" as that would entail a whole new level of paperwork for the client) and had been tasked with moving our central office to an office one kilometre away. As a joint venture, we were moving into the majority owner's existing office …
OnG IT guy, 29 Jan 2016
Israeli Heron drone

Israeli drones and jet signals slurped by UK and US SIGINT teams

The NSA and Britain’s GCHQ have access to the video feeds of Israel’s fleet of drones and aircraft, according to new documents. The spy agencies have intercepted data streams containing videos, pictures and GPS data from Israeli jets and drones since at least 2008, according to Snowden-supplied documents seen by The Intercept …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2016

US police contracts and private forum posts dumped online

A data dump covering hundreds of police contracts and thousands of private forum posts by US law enforcement officers has been posted online. The 273MB zip file contains a large number of Word documents and two database backups of the forum and main website of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), American's largest police …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jan 2016
Github octodex

GitHub: We're sorry (again) about (another) outage

GitHub has issued a mea culpa for the latest outage that left users unable to access the code-sharing site. The company said that a power outage was to blame for Thursday's downtime. The issue did not go unnoticed. Yikes. GitHub is down. Since my boss doesn't understand git, this is a clear opportunity to play Xbox. I mean, " …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2016
Cheshire Cat

Intel and Micron's XPoint: Is it PCM? We think it is

Does 3D XPoint memory use phase change memory (PCM) technology or not? After IMTF co-chair Guy Blalock said XPoint uses a chalcogenide material, like Phase-Change Memory (PCM), your storage correspondent sent a mail to Intel and Micron saying: “According to my understanding phase-change memory is a non-volatile, chalcogenide …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016

T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

Analysis T-Mobile USA's BingeOn gamble of removing video consumption from its subscribers' data bundles appears to be defying its critics, with large increases in mobile video viewing. The mobile network, a minnow in the US market that sees itself as the challenger brand, claims some users have doubled their usage, while one partner …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
Bank vault

HSBC online banking outage: Moneymen are 'still under attack'

HSBC has admitted it still facing a sustained denial of service attack, after the incident which began this morning left customers unable to use their online banking services. John Hackett, the bank's UK chief operating officer, said: “HSBC’s internet and mobile services have partially recovered, and we continue to work to …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016

UK Home Sec's defence of bulk spying: We 'found' a paedo (we already knew about)

IPB The Home Secretary has given a written statement to a Parliamentary committee explaining why she believes GCHQ's bulk surveillance activities are needed. Earlier this month Theresa May stumbled when asked to deliver an "operational case" for bulk interception by the joint committee providing pre-legislative scrutiny of the …

Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has demanded action to control the use of drones following "a spate of serious near misses" over UK airports. The latest UK Airprox Board report (PDF) describes seven incidents involving drones, of which four fell into the most serious category A, "where a serious risk of …
Lester Haines, 29 Jan 2016
2001: A Space Odyssey

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Stephen Hawking is scared. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking has said. With the creeping integration of soft AI into our lives in the form of Siri and personalized ads on social media, these computational mini-minds serve as a constant reminder that the evolution …
Lucy Orr, 29 Jan 2016
Iguazu_falls

The Quantum of solace: Well, at least the scale-out storage revenues were up

Quantum unsurprisingly saw declining revenues in its third quarter, hit by general storage market weakness and tape pricing falls which offset scale-out storage revenue increases. Revenues shrank 10 per cent annually to $128m in its fiscal 2016 third quarter ended Dec 31, 2015. They rose 9.4 per cent on the sequential compare …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016
Coconut face by https://www.flickr.com/photos/22327649@N03/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What’s new in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016?

Microsoft is busy reshaping Windows server for the cloud era, and the Hyper-V hypervisor is changing accordingly. The first release of Hyper-V was with Windows Server 2008. It was a solid and reliable product from the beginning, but with limited features compared to its competition, especially VMware. The technology is …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jan 2016
Old Sun computers in the PSA

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

When Simon Sharwood revealed that an Aussie operator has just retired a server that been running flawlesssly since 1997, we figured it would prompt a slew of one-upmanship comments, and we were right. What we weren’t quite prepared for were the diversions that one aging server prompted into the nature of time, space travel, …
Joe Fay, 29 Jan 2016
Chef logo

Chef plugs Ruby vulns with Server release

Chef pushed version 12.4.0 of its Server out the door this week, and plugged a number of security vulns in the process. The Mary Berry of config management software vendors said it had updated the version of Ruby on Rails in its oc-id authentication to fix a range of CVEs. The same update apples to its Management Console, …
Joe Fay, 29 Jan 2016

SpaceX breaks capsule 'chute world record

A couple of days ago, SpaceX successfully tested its Crew Dragon capsule parachute system, as it advances towards manned vehicle certification as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The Crew Dragon 'chute drop over Arizona was a quiet affair compared to the recent test of the next-generation fire-breathing Dragon 2, …
Lester Haines, 29 Jan 2016
Plate spinning routine by Henrik Bothe

Cloudbees banks on Jenkins 2.0 to help double revs this year

Cloudbees is looking to build out its services partner lineup as it banks on further growth in the enterprise space this year, when the Jenkins platform it bases its business on finally hits version 2.0. The continuous delivery specialist delivered an update yesterday in which it hailed the signing of 13 new partners in the …
Joe Fay, 29 Jan 2016
Blackmail

Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

Miscreants have put together an especially pernicious strain of Android ransomware that threatens to bare your browsing history. The so-called Lockdroid ransomware brandishes overlaid popups in order to trick marks into allowing the malicious code to gain admin privileges on targeted devices. The clickjacking ruse works on …
John Leyden, 29 Jan 2016
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Years ago, we were told that mass democratic participation was was going to be revolutionised by the web. One click was all it would take to effect change - if only enough people clicked. We would tweet truth to power. Instead of arranging to see an elected representative, we could fill in a handy web form. The future belonged …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
Tilted Land Rover photo Mark Whitehorn Paul Hazell

Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

The iconic Land Rover Defender is to cease production today after 33 years in continuous production. Built by Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull factory, the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Land Rover was conceived by …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Jan 2016