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Screen capture of iTunes on Mac

$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

Apple has been ordered to pay nearly half a billion dollars to Texas-based patent licensing company Smartflash after a jury found that Cupertino's iTunes music service had violated three patents. Late on Tuesday, a jury at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas – when asked if Smartflash had proved "by clear …
Team Register, 25 Feb 2015

Elementary, my dear penguin: It's the second beta of Freya

Review Elementary Linux has released the second beta of the imminent Freya release of its OS. Elementary follows a somewhat unusual release schedule of major updates every 18 or so months, with two betas at the six- and 12-month marks. That's not the only way Elementary differs in relation to other distros. Almost everything on the …
International Space Station

Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024

Russia has decided that if Europe ends its involvement in the International Space Station (ISS), it will undock and keep its half alive. A meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council has recommended that the Russian space agency continue to support the ISS until 2024. After that, the Federal Space Agency statement …

Zeus scumbag infects itself, buddies, with rival Trojan

A Zeus hacker cabal has infected itself and its colleagues with a rival malware in an act of poetic justice noticed by RSA researcher Lior Ben-Porat. The blackhat developed a custom Zeus panel for the infamous trojan by the same name which was found compromised Ramnit worm. Ben-Porat says the malware muck up happened after the …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015

Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Gemalto, the world's biggest SIM card maker, has investigated the NSA's and GCHQ's infiltration of its computers – and says that while the agencies did get into its network, they didn't get in far enough to siphon off phone-call encryption keys. Files leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared to show the US …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Feb 2015

C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

As Lenovo struggles to extricate itself from the controversy surrounding pre-installed Superfish scumware on its machines, a blast of cruft from the past may give the PC slinger's critics extra ammo this week. A Reg reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, reminds us that Lenovo is still shipping laptops with a potentially …
John Leyden, 25 Feb 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

Worstall on Wednesday The idea that the tech giants are simply going to waste the pots of cash with which they have been entrusted is certainly counter-intuitive, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they did. For that's pretty much the fate of all investment: to be wasted. It's an odd claim, because there do appear to be successful examples of …
Tim Worstall, 25 Feb 2015

Juniper okays Elliott Management's board nominees

Juniper Networks and activist investor Elliott Management are fluttering the “peace in our time” paper, with the network ironmonger agreeing to appoint two new Elliot-approved directors to its board. The deal will hopefully give the company some respite from a year of corporate turbulence that saw the appointment and axing of a …

Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Google is vastly expanding its popular annual Pwnium hack fest, by allowing hackers to vie try for limitless amounts of cash every day of the year. The contest was previously held once a year at the CanSecWest conference in Canada, with millions in cash on offer to hackers who can take the shine off its Chromium project. The …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Who's un-dot-pressure? .com overlord Verisign sues .xyz kingpin

Dot-com registry operator Verisign is suing the largest new gTLD registry, dot-xyz, alleging false advertising. In its lawsuit filing [PDF], submitted to the eastern district court of Virginia, Verisign claims the biz behind .xyz has violated the Lanham Act, which outlaws trademark infringement and false advertising. Dot-xyz is …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Feb 2015
Tails logo

Snowden's favourite Linux - Tails - rushes sec-fix version to market

Tails, the secure live-boot Linux made famous by Edward Snowden, has had a major revision release to Version 1.3. The new version, released after testing since February 12, combines various security fixes with new apps and simplified install, the developers say. The developers want to kill off the previous version, Tails 1.2.3 …
Cloud Hype Hoodie

F5 and Citrix alumni build CAFE to relax cloudy apps

Airline-magazine-grade chatter about cloud suggests that running an app in Azure, AWS or Google requires not much more than a few clicks before vaporised magic takes over, infrastructure bills decrease and scalability becomes infinite. The reality is, of course, rather more complex: apps running in the cloud still need things …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Feb 2015
Clouds in blue sky

Cloud boffins build cheap content delivery network in the cloud

Take a bit of cloud, add a bit of money, and stir in a bit of boffinry, and you could build your very own content distribution network (CDN). That's the conclusion of a Canadian/Chinese/American research project, who've put together what they call a “generic framework” for crowd-sourced live-streaming using AWS and Microsoft …

Microsoft's patchy patchwork extends to Virtual Machine Manager

Redmond's patchwork mess has extended to Virtual Machine manager, after a recent patch spoiled when exposed to the sun. Update Rollup 5 for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager emerged in early February, promising security, reliability and networking improvements, plus support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Feb 2015

Avaya joins SDN club with ONA-nism

Avaya is the latest of the big names to drink the software-defined networks (SDN) Kool-Aid, launching its Open SDN Fx architecture on a waiting world. Along the way, the company is giving various open projects a kick along. Its SDN Fx Fabric Orchestrator Ethernet controller appliance offers northbound and southbound interfaces, …

Amazon tries to patent 3D printers on trucks

Amazon has filed for a patent on a service that would see the company offer 3D-printed stuff on demand. The US Patent Filing [PDF] describes a service where customers can order items to be remotely fabricated and shipped by Amazon – or, in some cases, 3D printed by a mobile unit that delivers the items directly to them. The …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2015
Malware image

Lenovo CTO: Hey, look around – we're not the only ones with a crapware infection

On Friday Lenovo is going to tell the world about how it plans to regain the trust of its users in the wake of the Superfish clusterfuck – and may even launch an independent security audit of its products. "Our goal, in the end, is to make this right," Lenovo's CTO Peter Hortensius told The Register on Tuesday. "It's going to …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015

Red or alive, you're coming with me: Feds offer $3m reward for 'CryptoLocker baron'

The US State Department and the FBI, have stumped up $3m in reward money for the arrest of Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, the 30-year-old Russian man accused of stealing over $100m with his malware. Russian wanted by FBI Have you seen this man? Bogachev, who operated under the aliases "lucky12345," "Slavik," and "Pollingsoon …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015
Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA

Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

NSA director Admiral Mike Rogers has said it is vital Uncle Sam's crimefighters snoop on people – and that this should be possible even if citizens use strong encryption. The spymaster reckons Americans should secure their communications against all eavesdroppers – except, of course, those working for the police, FBI and the NSA …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015
sea_hp_sink

Sales of HP notebooks and servers are UP! And that's all the good news

HP kicked off its fiscal 2015 with a disappointing first quarter, reporting revenue and earnings both down for the three months ending on January 31, as compared to the year-ago period. Total revenues for the quarter were $26.84bn, a 4.7 per cent year-on-year decline that underperformed analysts' estimates. The firm's net …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
A US Army M1A1 Abrams tank heads out on a mission from Forward Operating Base MacKenzie in Iraq on October 27, 2004

$1.6bn VMware defence deal challenged by AWS, Citrix and Nutanix

Amazon Web Services, Citrix and Nutanix have protested a US government plan to sign a US$1.6bn software and support contract with VMware. Virtzilla's wares are widely used in the US military, which appears pleased with the company's products but unhappy with procurement arrangements. A Justification For Other Than Full And Equal …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2015

Live a day in the life of Jennifer Lawrence: Tell Reddit to delete your stolen nude selfies

Reddit says it will crack down on the unauthorized posting of people's private nude photos. The 4chan-with-down-votes website tucked the revelation into a larger blog post about administrative changes. Under the new policy, Reddit will scrub itself clean of a racy and compromising sexy pic if someone in the snap complains the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2015
Disney's Beagle Boys

Glad you're not on the Anthem hacker hit list? Not so fast – millions more affected

US health insurer Anthem now says that the recent security breach that exposed the personal data of tens of millions of its customers also affected people who never did business with the firm. That's because Anthem's database included data not just for customers of Anthem-run Blue Cross Blue Shield healthcare plans, but also for …
Neil McAllister, 24 Feb 2015
Pebble Time

STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

Pics Pebble today put its first color-screen smartwatch on sale on Kickstarter – and raised $5.4m from 26,000 backers in just a few hours. The startup's Pebble Time quickly blew through its rather modest fundraising goal of $500,000. The biz sold out of $159-priced watches, although you can still order one for $179, two for $338, …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2015

Wanna free web domain for a year? Hey, it's not rocket .science

This morning has seen the launch of the dot-science top-level domain – and one registrar at least is offering them for free. That's right, AlpNames is offering one year's registration for zero dollars. The typical price for a dot-science domain will be $40 per year, but in order to give the launch a boost the registry owners, …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015
Google Wallet 'vision' illustration

Google's Softcard hookup: Never mind Apple Pay ... it's about beating the networks

Comment So Google Wallet will come installed on Android handsets in the US. It is an assault on Apple Pay, but it's also end of a dream which saw operators as custodians of the electronic wallet. That dream started in 2007, when SIM manufacturers hit on the idea of embedding a secure transaction element into the SIM, connected to the …
Bill Ray, 24 Feb 2015
Pawlowski_FlashRay_video

FlashRay bang, wallop: NetApp bigwigs play musical chairs

El Reg has learned that NetApp's leadership of its all-flash array project FlashRay is changing: the original engineering head is no longer involved, and the veep for flash storage is absent. NetApp engineering veteran and SVP Brian 'Beepy' Pawlowski founded the FlashRay and Mars OS effort as an internal startup inside NetApp. …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2015
Handshake

Apache finally signs off Hadoop database... after 7 years of development

A completed first version of what’s been called the Hadoop Database has been released, seven years after work started. HBase 1.0 was signed off on Tuesday by the Apache Software Foundation. The system has been built to work with different implementations of Hadoop. Michael Stack, vice president of ASF HBase, welcomed the news, …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2015
Columns of coins in the cloud

Deutsche Bank pens cloudy infrastructure deal with HP

Fat outsourcing contracts are relatively few and far between these days, so HP’s 10-year, multi-billion dollar global win with Deutsche Bank is a welcome shot in the arm for its declining Enterprise Services division. The deal was signed before Chrimbo – we asked HP for comment at the time but it refused to talk – but it went …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
Apple iPod Camel Breathless album

iHump? Apple buys Camel Audio – report

Apple appears to have scooped up British music software specialist Camel Audio Ltd. As spotted by MacRumors, the outfit's UK address recently changed to 100 New Bridge Street, London, which just so happens to be Apple's registered office in Blighty. A filing (PDF) with Companies' House confirmed the new home of Camel Audio. …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2015
Night scene of bank station in central london

Finally, a decent use for big data: Weeding out crooked City traders

Financial institutions in London could use "big data" technology to pinpoint malpractice by City traders in future, a panel advising the Bank of England has said. The Market Practitioner Panel (MPP) said existing methods of monitoring for illegal trading practices, such as "key word surveillance", were flawed and that deploying …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Feb 2015
B2 stealth bomber

Springpath springs out of stealth with HALO-based platform

Springpath has emerged from stealth with a silo-melding storage data platform, offering a remedy which includes an annual subscription pricing scheme. Is it perhaps seemingly hoping to move in on a market that has too many (and too costly) separate storage silos? Following a $34m funding round, Springpath was founded in May 2012 …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2015

Now with Grunt and Gulp: Cross-platform ASP.NET in new Visual Studio 2015 preview

Microsoft has released a new preview of Visual Studio 2015, which is shaping up to be a major release. Community Tech Preview 6 includes cross-platform tools for its ASP.NET web application framework. On the Windows side, this is the tool which supports Microsoft’s “universal app” strategy, allowing developers to build a single …
Tim Anderson, 24 Feb 2015
storm

Fears mount over future of hardware distributor Gamma Global

Concerns are mounting over the future of Gamma Global amid claims that top brass are reviewing strategic options after hitting a financial bump. Multiple sources told us suppliers are fearful of not getting paid should the worst case scenario materialise for the Manchester-based broker of HP, APC and Cisco kit. “They owe a lot …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015

Don't be fooled! He's not from the IT crowd... he's a CYBERSPY – FireEye

Impersonating IT departments in spear-phishing attacks is becoming an increasingly popular tactic among hackers, particularly in cyber-espionage attacks. IT staff themed phishing emails comprised 78 per cent of observed phishing schemes picked up by FireEye in 2014, compared to just 44 per cent in 2013. The sixth annual FireEye …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
Gun and dollars

Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay

Government departments will pay up to 47 per cent more for the pleasure of using Microsoft desktop software under a volume licensing programme that is months away from launch. The latest Public Sector Agreement (PSA ’12) between Microsoft and Crown Commercial Services is set to expire on 30 April, and will not be replaced with a …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2015
Houses of Parliament in night-time

MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind is stepping down as chair of the UK Parliament’s influential security committee in the wake of "cash for access" allegations. In a statement, Rifkind said he intends to remain a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee but will step down as chairman. The ISC, which overseas …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

BT fixes home hub drop-out glitch ONE YEAR after denying flaw existed

BT has finally fixed a snag in its Home Hub 5 more than 12 months since customers began complaining about mystery disconnections that were hampering the wireless router. When The Register reported on the technical cockup in February 2014, BT was quick to dismiss the gripes by telling us it was "not aware of any issues" with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2015

SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Updated The US Department of Homeland Security's cyber-cops have slapped down PrivDog, an SSL tampering tool backed by, er, SSL certificate flogger Comodo. Comodo, a global SSL authority, boasts a third of the HTTPS cert market, and is already in hot water for shipping PrivDog. What is PrivDog? Let's allow the US Computer Emergency …
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2015
Yahoo Lockport Data Center Servers

Give in to data centre automation and change your life

As an IT professional, unless you’ve been living under a rock you are probably familiar with automation, even if only in passing. Automation process has been in use in the business world for many years, but somewhat paradoxically IT is usually the least automated department in any organisation. Whole data centre automation and …
Aaron Milne, 24 Feb 2015
GrovePi+ Starter Kit

Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit

Review When it comes to hacking hardware, there’s an easy way and there‘s a hard way. The hard way involves connecting peripherals direct to one of the standard buses supported by your Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone or whatever. Buses like I²C, SPI, UART and 1-Wire. You’ll need to take care with your wiring: have you got the right …
Tony Smith, 24 Feb 2015

UK.gov shuns IT support tower model. Now what the hell do we do?

Escaping the clutches of the big evil system integrators has long been part of the government's IT rhetoric. Yet confusion reigns as to what the strategy actually is now that previous "disaggregation" plans have been torn up – and those contracts are about to expire. Outsourcing overall might be on the rise across the public …
Kat Hall, 24 Feb 2015