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Angry old man

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

The nationality tax levied on Brits by our American cousins that design and sell technology has been laid bare once again in a mini study, and it makes for a molar-grinding read … for people living on this side of the pond anyway. A range of hardware devices were compared but the biggest differential in UK and US consumer …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014
Lock security

Hacker claims breach of Wall Street Journal and Vice websites, punts 'user data' for sale

A hacker known for attacking news websites has claimed successful hacks against both the Wall Street Journal and Vice. An individual going under the handle "w0rm" posted screenshots in a bid to substantiate his claims of hacks against the WSJ (here) and Vice (here) before offering to sell stolen databases from both publications …
John Leyden, 22 Jul 2014

Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Consumer takeup of network-level filters offered by the UK's biggest ISPs remains sluggish, with customers largely declining to censor internet content on their home connections even when prompted, an Ofcom report revealed today. The regulator found (PDF) that very few subscribers opt to turn on so-called parental controls. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014
Electronic waste dump in China

Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

The Home Office frittered away hundreds of millions of taxpayer pounds on a botched tech project designed to manage immigration and asylum applications, a National Audit Office report has revealed. The "flagship" IT programme, the Immigration Case Work computer system, was launched in 2010 to replace fragmented systems and pull …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014
ARA_LIbertad

EMC boss Tucci’s last battle: Stopping a forced VMware selloff

Analysis With Joe Tucci, EMC head honcho, set to retire on February next year, the very last thing he wanted was an attack by one of the biggest, baddest activist investors of all: Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. Elliott has communicated to EMC that it has a $1bn investment in its shares and would like VMware spun off so that EMC …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014

Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

A panicked motorway driver abandoned his car after the word “Fire” scrolled across his dashboard – but it wasn't a warning system kicking in: it was the name of the Adele song he was listening to. Stopping on the hard shoulder of British motorways is illegal unless it’s an emergency but folk still do it for all kinds of bizarre …

ARM: We've signed 41 new deals and we are IN to the Internet Of Stuff

ARM Holdings has dodged the impact of slowing device sales with 41 customers signing new deals to license its chip technology. The company Tuesday announced a nine-per-cent jump in second-quarter profit to £68m on revenue that climbed seventeen per cent to £187.1m. Earnings per share increased 11 per cent to £3.91. But …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jul 2014

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

Seagate and LSI are off the hook for infringing Taiwanese firm Realtek’s semiconductor patents after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Realtek can't enforce its rights without a local presence. Realtek had accused Avago-owned LSI and Seagate back in 2012 of violating its patent on a way of making an …

Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Apple has told its suppliers to build a mighty mountain of 70 to 80 million new iPhone 6s. The new Jesus handset is expected to come in two sizes and arrive this year. This means that the number of brand-new iPhones could match the population of Germany, which is inhabited by slightly more than 80 million souls, and totally …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Jul 2014

Experts gathered round corpse of PC market: It's ALIVE! Alive, we tell you

The XP replacement bonanza reviving the PC market isn't yet over, with estimates suggesting that one in five biz machines out in the wilds is still running the thirteen year-old OS, an HP exec has told The Channel. After eight consecutive quarters of declining sales, the commercial PC market returned to life in the first quarter …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014

Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

The definition of terrorism in current UK law is too broad and should be narrowed to avoid "catching" journalists, bloggers and hate criminals, a top lawyer said today. David Anderson QC, who is Britain's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, argued during an interview on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme this morning …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014
WD_Red_6TB_label

THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

In a move that will get well-heeled Drobo owners salivating WD has announced a 6TB Red drive costing just $299, setting the industry a new high water mark in the areal density stakes. This is a 5-platter drive, with 1.2TB/platter areal density, intended for NAS use, and coming in both 5TB and 6TB versions. It spins, we …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
SAP Match Insights

SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

When England played in Ecuador and Honduras for “warm weather training” in June ahead of the World Cup, they’d already lost the tournament – they just didn’t know it. SAP Match Insights Do the bendy data, SAP Wayne Rooney and Co took to the field in Florida to adjust to the hot and humid climate they’d face in Brazil and to …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jul 2014

Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Brit adventurer Nick Hancock left the North Atlantic islet of Rockall on Saturday, following a marathon 43 days atop the granite outcrop which saw him claim both the solo and group occupation records. A dramatic photo tweeted by Atlantic Marine Services shows the seaborne recovery operation in progress. Atlantic Marine …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2014
The guts of a Unitrends hardware appliance

Dell and Unitrends both bulk up their backup

There’s feverish development in the SME backup market as Dell and Unitrends follow NAKIVO in fortifying their product offerings. Dell has added stuff to its SME AppAssure backup products with a new SW version and a new appliance, the DL1000. It’s also added the DR2000v to its deduplicating backup appliance range. The latest …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014

Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!

Yahoo! Japan has launched a service called “Endings” designed to help you after you die. Endings is intended to let the dying set their affairs in order before they shuffle off this mortal coil. The service allows one to set up an automated message to email to up to 200 loved ones after you're gone. The email is triggered by a …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
Canvas fingerprinting

NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

A new, persistent web-tracking technology developed has been used to track web users across many of the world's most popular websites, including those of the White House and even wholesale smut platform YouPorn. The canvas fingerprinting technique was described in 2012 by University of California researchers (PDF) as a means to …
Darren Pauli, 22 Jul 2014
Flying pig

Cisco relaunches Developer Network

Cisco has picked up a lipstick-gloss in one hand and a pig in the other, by re-launching its developer program to have another shot at attracting third party coders to its platforms. For not the first time, The Borg has hit upon the idea that getting others writing functions and applications for it is a big chunk of its future. …
Today's bloated CPE

WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

As software-defined networking takes off, it's become the basis of a parallel development: network function virtualisation. NFV is a boon to the data centre. For decades now, giants and minnows of the networking industry alike – Cisco and all of its competitors, along with anybody offering firewalls, WAN optimisation devices and …
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Microsoft has decided it won't replace the Masters-level certifications it once described as the "pinnacle" of a Redmond-centric IT pro's education. Redmond ”retired” the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications last year. At the time …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
Blackmail image

Cyber scum pump ransomware at victims from spambot-stuffed websites

Miscreants have brewed up a strain of ransomware which functions like the recently dead CryptoLocker - and this one communicates using the Tor browsing anonymization network. Critroni appears geared towards exploiting a gap in the market created by a takedown operation against the CryptoLocker and Gameover ZeuS botnets back in …
John Leyden, 22 Jul 2014
Twitter for Mac New

Twitter hints at messaging moves

Twitter has issued a couple of big, meaty, hints that it wants in on instant messaging. The avian network already has a messaging service, in the form of “direct messages” that are sent between two parties but don't ever appear in public. Such messages, known as DMs among the Twitterati, aren't very widely used because most apps …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
Cat yawning

Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil

The world's second-richest man, Carlos Slim, has called for a radical overhaul of the world's working arrangements, suggesting a combination of three-day weeks, longer hours, and later retirement. The Paraguay.com news agency reports Slim's comments, which were made to a business conference in Paraguay called “Growing Together …
A bat swing captured by MAP

Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

Video Move over Gollum: Carnegie-Mellon boffins are working on 3D motion capture that works without tracking sensors, and can pull together images from hundreds of sensors. Their work, documented in full here, goes way beyond the motion capture tricks that let Peter Jackson give Gollum and King Kong to the world: they put their …
Facebook Save

NO TIME to read Facebook? Delegate the task to your FUTURE SELF

Apparently some Facebook users complain that there's never enough time to see all the stuff that gets stuck up on the site. Now Facebook has announced the cure for all that. Facebook Save Because life isn't complicated enough "Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2014
Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung looks to up Tizen market share ... by upgrading Galaxy Gear

Owners of the original, Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in the US will soon have the option to switch their devices to the Tizen operating system, a change which might, counterintuitively perhaps, actually be a good idea. Samsung shipped its first smartwatch model running a stripped-down version of Android – …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Tor

Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball

Boring Carnegie-Mellon University lawyers have scuppered one of the most hotly anticipated talks at the Black Hat conference – which would have explained how $3,000 of kit could unmask Tor hidden services and user IP addresses. The university did not say why it torpedoed the accepted talk, triggering speculation that it feared …
Darren Pauli, 22 Jul 2014
OS X Yosemite

Apple said to be prepping public beta for OS X Yosemite

Apple could soon release its OS X Yosemite platform to the general public as an open beta. A report from 9to5Mac cites sources briefed on the matter in reporting that the Mac maker will be putting the new version of OS X out as a rare public beta later this month. Apple unveiled the OS X Yosemite update in early June at its …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2014
SK Telecom / Ericsson Elastic Cell

SK Telecom, Ericsson trial 'elastic cell'

SK Telecom and Ericsson have demonstrated a technique they call “elastic cells”, which the two say should improve mobile connectivity in difficult environments. Ever since the earliest days of mobile phones, phones have logged into the base station that presents them with the “best” signal. Each handset is dedicated to the cell …

Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert

Vulnerability analysis outfit Exodus Intelligence has warned that the Tails operating system has a number of critical vulnerabilities that can expose the identity of its users if properly finessed by an attacker. Tails, which received a recommendation from fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, is a Debian Linux–based OS …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2014

Autonomy's ex-chief beancounter tries to kill HP investor settlement

Autonomy's former chief financial officer has sought to block HP from settling three shareholder lawsuits over its botched acquisition of the British software company. The former exec claims HP will use the settlements to "forever bury" its supposed culpability in the calamitous buy. Sushovan Hussain, who served as Autonomy's …
Jack Clark, 21 Jul 2014
Sorry we're closed

Samsung supplier halts assembly line amid child-labor probe

Debt collectors are literally circling the factory of a Chinese supplier to Samsung, where the assembly line remains halted following allegations that it hired underage workers. Samsung, which claims to have a "zero tolerance policy on child labor," said in a statement last week that it had temporarily suspended its relationship …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
Microsoft campus

Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!

Microsoft is kicking off a corporate overhaul with the introduction of new policies shrinking the number of corporate conventions and contracted workers. The company said in an email to partner firms that it would place an 18-month limit on the tenure of all contracted employees. Those who hit the limit will be asked to take six …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab

The US government is taking artificial intelligence research seriously again, and so are some companies that will surprise you. IARPA – an agency whose job is to develop and furnish the US spy community with advanced technology – has gathered companies and academics to discuss modern machine intelligence at a one-day conference …
Jack Clark, 21 Jul 2014
IBM Watson QA super avatar

IBM hails open POWER8 servers

Promo In this webcast; Doug Balog, General Manager IBM Power Systems, heralds the first generation of Power servers built on an open server platform and designed to optimise clients Big Data and Analytics workloads. Learn how IBM is challenging Intel in the server market with their new POWER8-based systems. In this webcast you will …
David Gordon, 21 Jul 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook, 2012

HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

Updated An analysis of Apple's iOS operating system by a security expert has revealed various tools in the software that could be used for surveillance if one were so inclined. Jonathan Zdziarski concluded that the vast majority of iThing owners are unaware of lax mechanisms protecting their data. Data forensics expert and author …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a revamped Windows 8.x Start Menu

August Patch Tuesday to bring Windows bug fixes AND FEATURES – report

Microsoft's next major update roll-out for Windows 8.1 may be less than a month away, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but just what will be so "major" about it is still anybody's guess. Over the last few months, we've heard plenty of talk about a follow-up to April's Windows 8.1 Update – itself a release so significant …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion

As Apple reveals a new iPhone around about this time of the year, speculation on a refreshed smartphone is rife. Today, the rumor mill hit a new low – or high depending on your level of fandom. A set of "leaked" "images" suggests the next iPhone will sport a translucent Apple logo on the back of its case, which will light up …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2014
Microsoft Nokia logo

Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

Analysis When Microsoft swallowed half of Europe's biggest tech company, it was only a matter of time before it spat something out. And so it has, ending Nokia's thirty-year roller-coaster ride. However, the decision will make tens of million of its customers take a look at Android – surely the last thing Microsoft wanted to happen. …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jul 2014
Our happy travellers surrounded by armed police at LAX

New BOMB detect-o-tech 'could give sniffer dogs competition': TRUE

Researchers working on a new type of bomb detector technology have made the rather underwhelming boast that their kit "could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition". “Bomb-sniffing dogs are expensive to train, and they can become tired,” said study co-lead author Ren-Min Ma, one of the boffins who came up with the …
Lewis Page, 21 Jul 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

It's FONDLEMANIA: Mobile devices outstrip PCs on China's internet

Mobile devices have edged out PCs when it comes to Chinese online browsing, an official government agency in the People's Republic said on Monday. For the first time more Chinese folk are plugging into the internet using phones or tablets, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said (PDF in Chinese), according to …
Team Register, 21 Jul 2014
Artist’s impression of deep blue planet HD 189733b

MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

Everyone knows that exoplanets need to be in the sweet Goldilocks spot (“not too hot, not too cold, just right”) next to their sun to support alien life: but now British boffins have said they reckon oceans might be necessary too. Artist’s impression of deep blue planet HD 189733b Researchers at the University of East Anglia …