More stories

Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

F8 2017 Facebook all but admitted the failure of chatbots last month – with the announcement that developers building Messenger bot can hide text input boxes and offer menu-driven conversations instead. Chatbots were billed by some as the new user interface for apps: rather than tap on icons and swipe through screens, you tell the …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Apr 2017

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Scientists have spotted a planet slightly larger than Earth orbiting a distant star that looks to be the best contender yet for hosting life as we know it. In a paper in the journal Nature, published today, the team lead by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics described LHS 1140, a rocky exoplanet …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2017
Money cloud

Sending data to the cloud is our business and business is GOOD

Helping organisations send and access stored data in the public cloud is good business for gateway supplier Nasuni, which is expanding its corporate waistline. As are competitors Avere and Panzura. Having received additional funding late last year and record results in 2016, Nasuni has decided to go more strongly for growth. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2017

Microsoft touts SQL Server 2017 as 'first RDBMS with built-in AI'

Microsoft is due to announce what it's calling "the first RDBMS with built-in AI". In other words, a community technology preview of SQL Server 2017 with additional support for R and – for the first time – Python. Expected to be announced Wednesday during Microsoft Data Amp, the preview release will introduce in-database …
EMC_Unity_bezel

Court favours Nexsan over EMC in Unity trademark squabble

EMC will probably have to change the name of its Unity array, now that a court has found in favour of Nexsan's use of the trademark. Both companies market storage arrays branded Unity. Nexsan reckoned it filed its Unity trademark first and sued EMC for misusing it. EMC renamed its mid-range VNX/VNXe arrays Unity when it …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2017
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'

London gun owners are asking questions of the Metropolitan Police after the force seemingly handed the addresses of 30,000 firearm and shotgun owners to a direct mail marketing agency for a commercial firm's advertising campaign. The first any of the affected people knew about the blunder was when the leaflet (pictured below) …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Apr 2017
IBM CEO 'Ginni' Rometty

IBM storage revenues grew? Hahaha, good one. Oh, you're serious

Analysis Despite falling server sales, IBM has reversed 22 quarters of decline in storage hardware revenue, offset by a leap in flash storage array sales. It's also, we think, number 3 in overall storage sales. Let's drill down through the first quarter 2017 results numbers. According to IBM's quarterly earnings charts, the main …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2017
phishing

UK.gov survey shines light on cybersecurity threats to businesses

Phishing and ransomware remain the most pressing security threats for UK business, according to a government-backed survey out Wednesday. The survey, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, found that the most common types of breaches are related to staff receiving fraudulent emails (in 72 per cent of …
John Leyden, 19 Apr 2017
empty_pockets_648

Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

Suppliers of Retro Computers Ltd are calling for the company to pay the royalties they claim it owes for bundling their games with its ZX Spectrum Vega console. Half a dozen rights-holders, from individuals to companies, have told The Register that RCL has failed to come up with royalties due on their games it has used. RCL's …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Apr 2017
Burned out van photo via Shutterstock

Data trashed? When RPO 0 isn't enough

World Backup Day came and went – did you notice? It seems the only thing we've learned is that everyone wants Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) of 0. Unfortunately, aggressive RPO targets are hard. They affect the design of real world environments, and are sometimes not possible. And RPO of 0 means "no data loss". With RPO 0, …
Trevor Pott, 19 Apr 2017
Toshiba_8TB_N300_950

Toshiba spins out new NAS disk drive with its fastest transfer rate yet

Toshiba has a new 8TB NAS disk drive with its fastest data transfer rate. It announced its 8TB MN series NAS drives in February and the N300 is a retail version of these. The 4TB and 6TB versions were announced in Europe in January. Now they and the 8TB version are available in the USA. Like the MN series, the N300s come in …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2017

Speaking in Tech: Hacking Microsoft Windows? That's cute

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Ed, Melissa and Amy are joined by Chris Wysopal, noted hacker and CTO/co-founder of Veracode on this week's tech podcast. The crew talks about how hacking has evolved and the importance of secure software. The details... (0:00) Out and about (2:40) Over Slacking (4:30 …
Team Register, 19 Apr 2017
Football goes into the net/ photo by shutterstock

Ex-West Ham winger charged twice over cybershenanigans

Detectives from Operation Falcon, the Metropolitan Police's cybercrime unit, have charged a footballer with two fraud-related offences. 22-year-old Blair Turgott began his career as a youth player at West Ham, and most recently played for Leyton Orient where he was celebrated for scoring what fans believed was the team's best …
Soliders marching photo via Shutterstock

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Open Source Insider Write, as I have, about Firefox and you receive the usual slew of critics who demand to know why Firefox matters? Who cares if Firefox continues to exist? This is often accompanied by "Chrome is better! Chrome is all we need!" Clearly a lot of people do think Chrome is better. StatCounter, which offers reasonably reliable …
Nuclear War

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Researchers from Princeton and Stanford University have developed an ad blocker that they claim could end the ad blocking "arms race" for good. You can put the claim to the test yourself quite easily – proof-of-concept prototype code can be downloaded in the form of a Chrome browser plugin. The researchers claim to have …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Apr 2017
Skip full of rubbish outside an office building. Photo via SHUTTERSTOCK

How to breathe new life into your legacy kit now you've gone hybrid

Several things change when you decide to move from an in-house technology setup to a hybrid infrastructure. And if part of the move involves relocating services and applications from the on-premises installation into the cloud, one of those changes is that some equipment suddenly becomes underemployed. If you decided to make …
Dave Cartwright, 19 Apr 2017
Raised middle finger

Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

A developer using the handle “Zeffy” claims to have found a way around Microsoft's ban on updates for old versions of Windows on shiny new CPUs. Microsoft flagged its new policy early last year, telling world+dog that Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017

Silicon Valley tech CEO admits beating software engineer wife, offered just 13 days in the clink

The CEO of a Silicon Valley startup captured on video beating his wife and threatening to kill her is, due to an offered plea deal, likely to spend less than 30 days behind bars to avoid being deported. His wife is furious about the arrangement, claiming that she had been cheated by the system and the charge of "offensive …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2017
Smart oven

Fixing your oven can cook your computer

Updated If your Hotpoint cooker or washer's on the blink, don't arrange a repair by visiting the manufacturer's website: the appliance vendor has been inadvertently foisting nastyware onto visitors. As spotted by Netcraft, fake Java update dialogs started appearing on Hotpoint's UK and Republic of Ireland sites this week. If you click …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017

Revealed: Scammers plaster Google Maps with pins to lure punters from honest traders

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and Google, are clamping down on fake businesses trying to scam victims through Google Maps. Most Google search results are influenced by your physical whereabouts. Googling restaurants, movie theaters, or hairdressers runs up a list of businesses Google Maps …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Apr 2017
Google cloud vision API errors once noise is added

Google's cloudy image recognition is easily blinded, say boffins

Google's Cloud Vision API is easily blinded by the addition of a little noise to the images it analyses, say a trio of researchers from the Network Security Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. Authors Hossein Hosseini, Baicen Xiao and Radha Poovendran have hit arXiv with a pre-press paper titled Google’s Cloud Vision …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Users with laptop, mobile, tablet have tea in a coffee house. Pic via shutterstock

Facebook brews Caffe2 AI toolkit so apps can give SnapChat a slap

F8 2017 Facebook has open sourced Caffe2, the toolbox of deep-learning software its own developers use to train AI models and build apps. Caffe2 appears to be product driven, and is geared towards deploying machine-learning systems into smartphone applications and onto large-scale clusters. It differs from PyTorch, another software …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Apr 2017
Xen project logo

Release the hounds! Xen 4.9's first RC is out and wants testing

The Xen Project's wheeled out the first release candidate of Xen 4.9 and reckons it will be ready to launch in the first week of June 2017. Release candidate 1 of the new version emerged last Thursday and the release schedule calls for successors to follow on April 21st, April 28th, May 5th and May 12th. Test days for each …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock

Can nothing stop the Veeam tank? We hate to save you a click but: No

Has Veeam's record-breaking growth halted? Er, in a word, no. In its first 2017 quarter, the enterprise backup biz claims it added close to 12,000 total paid customers, taking the total to 242,000, in line with its historical average new-customer acquisition rate of approximately 4,000 per month. It reported, it says, another …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2017
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle patches Solaris 10 hole exploited by NSA spyware tool – and 298 other security bugs

Oracle today emitted a huge batch of 299 security fixes for its software – including a patch for a vulnerability exploited by a leaked NSA tool that can hijack Solaris systems. Details of the massive April dump can be found here: Oracle describes the updates as "critical," and urges admins to install them "without delay." …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2017
results

IBM. Sigh. Revenues. Sigh. Down. Sigh. For the 20th quarter in a row

IBM says it is right on track for the coming fiscal year: everything is going to plan and its sales are falling just as expected. Hurrah for Big Blue! For its first quarter of 2017, which ended on March 31, Indian Business Machines' "strategic imperatives" core of divisions were up 12 per cent, even as other areas of the …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Apr 2017
Intel's email announcing the death of its lustre distro

Intel loses its Lustre – Chipzilla bins own-brand HPC file system

Intel's decided to stop offering its own version of the Lustre file system – the code beloved of high-performance computing types because it's handy for managing exabyte-scale storage spanning colossal Linux clusters. Trish Damkroger, an Intel veep and general manager for technical computing initiatives – that's HPC in Intel- …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2017

Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Civil and digital rights groups are leading a campaign to stop the US Department of Homeland Security's demanding access to foreigners' social media accounts when entering America. In an open letter to DHS secretary John Kelly, the group argues that by forcing travelers from some countries to give border patrol agents free …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2017
trump

Trump signs exec order signaling foreign H-1B visa techie crackdown

Updated President Trump today signed an executive order that may lead to an overhaul of the H-1B visa system used by US technology giants to draft in cheap foreigner workers. The exact text of the order has yet to be published on the White House website. So far, all we have are comments from administration officials and the commander …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2017
Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2017

Zuckerberg: Escape from the real world into my goofy make-believe science-fiction fantasy

F8 2017 Amid the fallout over the killing of an elderly man broadcast via Facebook on Sunday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared, "Our next focus is building community." Facebook's approach to this civic construction project involves superimposing graphic effects on real-world images through augmented reality (AR) tools. Speaking at the F8 …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Apr 2017
Toshiba

Foxconn, Apple, big biz circle Toshiba's memory biz cash cow – rumors

Three new characters are starring in Toshiba's saga to sell off its memory business: they are Foxconn, Apple, and a fund backed by Japan's government. Japanese giant Toshiba is trying to flog its NAND-chips-to-SSDs memory biz in whole or in part because it's making galactic-scale losses on its Chapter 11-filed US nuclear power …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2017

Samsung's Shixby: Reviewers unimpressed with S8 digital assistant

It's not entirely clear why Samsung hyped up its new digital assistant earlier this year. Its answer to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Google's, um, Google Assistant was to be called Bixby. And it would, according to Samsung Mobile CTO and Bixby architect Injong Rhee, be an "interface revolution." Well …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2017

Guess who's back at Microsoft? Excel, Word creator Charles Simonyi

Microsoft has acquired Intentional Software on undisclosed terms. You may or may not have heard of Intentional Software: it develops a platform for team productivity apps. More importantly, by gobbling up this biz, Microsoft has recaptured Charles Simonyi – the man who spearheaded the building of Redmond's flagship …

MEYER! SUES! YAHOO!

Yahoo! has been hit with a lawsuit alleging its web-hosting service has been shutting down customers' websites for months while still charging them. The class-action complaint [PDF] was filed on Friday in the Northern California US District Court by a bloke called Ronald Meyer. He accused the Purple Palace's Small Business …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2017

Microsoft and Rambus will get schwifty in quantum-cum-cryogenic computation collab

Microsoft and Rambus have announced "an expanded collaboration" to develop prototype systems that can optimise memory performance at cryogenic temperatures. The pair first joined forces back in 2015 to investigate new computer architectures in anticipation of the Moore's Law apocalypse. The concern is that demand for realtime …
HK4_sideways

Dell servers set to get a flash boost from Toshiba

Demonstrating the strength of Toshiba's NAND chips and SSD business, Dell's PowerEdge 13G servers will use Toshiba HK4 SSDs to make them faster and add encryption options. The HK4 is a 2.5-inch, 6 Gbps SATA SSD announced just over a year ago. It uses 15nm NAND lithography with an MLC (2 bits/cell) layout and is delivered in …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2017

Docker emits LinuxKit: You can probably guess what it does

Docker will today release LinuxKit, an open-source toolbox for building fine-tuned Linux-based operating systems that run in containers. No, it's not replacing Alpine. Docker uses the minimalist Alpine Linux distribution as the foundation of its official container images, and will continue to do so in future, we're told. …
Chris Williams, 18 Apr 2017

Profit with just one infection! Crook sells ransomware for $175

Cybercrooks have begun retailing a new easy-to-use ransomware strain that promises profit with only one successful infection. Karmen is being sold on Dark Web forums from Russian-speaking cyber-criminal DevBitox for $175. The new ransomware-as-a-service variant offers a graphical dashboard, allowing purchasers to keep a …
John Leyden, 18 Apr 2017

H-1B applications down after Trump's 'American techies first' rhetoric

Applications for H-1B visas, the most common route for skilled technologists seeking lawful work in America, have decreased for the first time in years. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is responsible for allocating the visas, announced yesterday that it only received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the …
Firefox developer edition

Mozilla abandons experimental Aurora Firefox channel

Mozilla is killing the channel it introduced for developers to test experimental new features in Firefox and keep pace with Chrome. The Aurora channel will stop receiving new code releases from 18 April, Mozilla has said. New code will revert to the established Firefox Nightly builds from where it will land in beta builds of …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Apr 2017
Boeing's concept illustration of a Deep Space Transport at Mars

New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

Broadband satellites could lead to an explosion in the volume of space junk, a British scientist has said. Dr Hugh Lewis, a senior lecturer in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, said that the rise in orbital traffic could create a 50 per cent increase in the number of collisions between satellites. Such …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Apr 2017
Data breach

Large UK businesses are getting pwned way more than smaller ones

Larger businesses in the UK are far more likely to be victims of attacks than smaller ones, according to a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce. Nearly half (42 per cent) of companies with more than 100 staff have been hit by information spillages, hackers or malware attacks. This figure compares to 18 per cent of …
Team Register, 18 Apr 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017