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China cracks down on instant messengers: Users must hand over REAL NAMES

China has tightened rules regulating the use of instant messengers, forcing users to reveal their real names when registering so their identities can be linked to their content. In much the same way as with social networks – although clearly for different reasons – the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) is requiring users …

Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Microsoft has confirmed that it's ending support for old versions of Internet Explorer, and it's giving you just shy of 18 months to get up to date. Roger Capriotti, director of the IE team, blogged on Thursday that beginning on January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of IE on any supported version of Windows will …
Photo of a US Passport

Flying United Airlines? If you could just scan your passport with your phone, that'd be great

United Airlines is testing a passport-scanning feature in its phone app that could speed up the check-in process for international flights. The biz's iOS and Android software will allow passengers to upload an image of their passports within 24 hours of their departure and access their boarding pass. United said the system is …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Aug 2014
padlock

HTTP-Yes! Google boosts SSL-encrypted sites in search results

Google plans to reward websites that always use secure, encrypted HTTPS connections to transmit pages and exchange data – with a boost to their search rankings. The change is designed to promote improved online security in particular by encouraging developers to implement SSL/TLS (Transport Layer Security) to encrypt website …
John Leyden, 7 Aug 2014
Good riddance to bad Java

Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Internet Explorer will soon join its rival browsers by automatically blocking old, insecure add-ons – and it's got its eye set squarely on Java. Microsoft said on Wednesday that starting on August 12, Internet Explorer will begin alerting users when web pages try to launch ActiveX controls that are considered out-of-date and …

Google's 'right to be forgotten': One rule for celebs, another for plebs

Celebrity names won't trigger a Google right to be forgotten disclaimer notice, but yours will. A Google of most of our names will throw up this disclaimer – which makes us appear rather shady – but Stephen Fry needn't worry Google is covering its back following the so-called right to be forgotten ruling in the European Court …

Oracle cold bath shrinks Larry Ellison's pay package

Oracle's Larry Ellison, one of the world’s richest men and best-paid CEOs in the US, is getting his pay cut by more than half. The database giant's chief executive has been awarded just 3 million stock options by its compensation committee in its annual review process. That’s down from 7 million the year before and every year …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Aug 2014

What the FLOCK? Addictive 'Flappy Bird' is back – and it's coming for your family

Pic Infuriating yet stupidly popular crapp Flappy Bird has officially returned, it appears – and it's now a multi-player game called Flappy Birds Family. It's available for free for Amazon's set-top box, the Android-based Fire TV. According to its app store listing, the software was built by Dotgears Studio, aka Flappy Bird creator …

Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

The forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update will include plenty of tweaks and fixes for Internet Explorer 11, and while many of them are designed to improve the browser's web standards compliance, Redmond says others are designed to do exactly the opposite. The problem, to hear Microsoft tell it, is that IE11 on Windows Phone is …
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

BlackBerry lands feature-light BBM on Windows Phone

The wait for BBM on Windows Phone is over. BlackBerry has brought its pioneering and much-imitated messaging app to Windows, following launches on Android and iOS last year, albeit with the "Beta" label. BBM for Windows looks a lot more like a native app than other BBM ports: it uses Windows Phone pivot views and includes …

Swell. Apple buys 'Pandora-for-talk-radio' app... for $30 meeellion

Can you hear that message crackling over the airwaves? No? Perhaps you need to stop using that rusty old radio and replace it with a gleaming iThing from Apple. That could be an option soon if rumours that Apple is preparing to buy "Pandora-for-talk-radio" service Swell are to be believed. The fruity firm is thought to have …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Jul 2014

Stop! Yammer time: Microsoft's social biz service becomes one with Office 365

David Sacks, cofounder and former CEO of Yammer, has left his position at Microsoft after having steered the enterprise social networking service for nearly six years. Sacks, a former PayPal exec who has been an angel investor in various startups and even once dabbled in producing and financing an independent feature film, …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jul 2014

Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs

Apple fanbois have erupted in rage after an update bricked their Macbook Airs. On the official Apple support forum, dozens of angry customers claimed that the latest software update for the 2011 Macbook Air had gone horribly wrong. Some posters said their Airs had been totally borked by the update, while others reported …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

Party like it's not 1999: Cry FREEDOM for a better web

Programming the Web, Pt. I If you travelled back to 1999 and told web developers that one day hundreds of them would pony up cold hard cash to get a feature in a web browser, none of them would have believed you. 1999 was the high water mark of the browser wars between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Communications' Navigator. Microsoft was …
Nosferatu

Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

If you've been wondering why the battery life on your Windows laptop or tablet seems so lousy, your Chrome web browser might be to blame – and it may have been sapping your system's juice for years. A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project seems to account for the mysterious power drain that some …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jul 2014

Kaboom: Delayed patent bomb hits SAP in the Q2 profit

Sales of new software for SAP saw a minor improvement this spring while cloud grew so fast the giant has upped its estimated figures for the year. But for all the positives, a patent bomb took a hefty chunk out of SAP’s profits in the second quarter. SAP reported a three per cent increase in total revenue for the period to 30 …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Jul 2014
Version 4.0 of Google's Play store

Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

A security firm has criticised Android's all-or-nothing permission approach, arguing it unnecessarily creates extra privacy risks for businesses and consumers. Users are obliged to accept an entire laundry list of requested permissions before they can download an Android app. Disagreement on any point means that the software …
John Leyden, 16 Jul 2014

Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises

IBM and Apple have forged a pact to sell software to enterprises: Apple will handle support and IBM will actually sell the iPads and iPhones, which will be loaded with Big Blue's ported apps. Oh yes. The "landmark partnership" was announced by the two companies on Tuesday, and will see each firm help the other make money from a …
Jack Clark, 15 Jul 2014

Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

What is being described as the "biggest round of job cuts" to hit Microsoft for five years is on its way, or so we've been told. The software mammoth “could” unveil staff cuts that were alluded to by chief executive Satya Nadella in his flabby PR-authored communication last week. The cuts are reported to be the biggest in five …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jul 2014

I've got 99 problems, but a Facebook boycott ain't one

A marketing campaign to convince Facebookers to quit the social network for 99 days has failed to thrill – even though many netizens expressed outrage at the website's recent, highly questionable emotion-furtling study. It turns out that Facebook is more addictive than an electronic crack pipe, if the response to a bunch of …
Team Register, 11 Jul 2014

Samsung rebrands store as Galaxy Apps, eyes up Google Play customers

Samsung has changed the name of its apps store from “Samsung Apps” to “Samsung Galaxy Apps”, which essentially competes against Google's Play. The term “Galaxy” – which was once solely the high end brand in the Samsung range – now embraces all of its Android phones, with the Ace and Grand Neo now becoming the Galaxy Ace and …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2014

Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Worstall on Wednesday There has been much consternation in Middle America over Facebook's decision to ban from its advertising network a picture taken by a doting mother of a little girl pulling the woman's daughter's swimming costume down. The image is an homage to one of the iconic advertising images in the US, that of the little girl in the …
Tim Worstall, 9 Jul 2014

Yelp files competition complaint against Google search biz in EU

Updated Local services review site Yelp has formally submitted a complaint against Google's search business to Brussels' competition officials. It comes as the European Commission's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia pushes to bring an end to a lengthy probe of the ad giant by sealing a proposed settlement deal with Google, even as …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Jul 2014
CA Technologies logo

Software giant CA Technologies dumps arcserve biz

CA Technologies has sold its arcserve data protection business to Marlin Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum. This is meant to enable CA to focus on its core technologies and get back to growth with software-as-a-service products. The arcserve product is possibly being discontinued because it will cost too much to develop, …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jul 2014

Start packing your bags for a Windows Server 2003 migration

Windows Server 2003 is due to reach the end of its life in July next year. Microsoft will no longer support the software, which means no further patches or security updates and a security risk and compliance headache for businesses. A surprising number of companies will be affected unless they get their act together and prepare …
Eira Hayward, 4 Jul 2014

iPhone user SHAMEGASM: 'I beg of you', delete sex app from my purchase list

The developer of a vibrator app has told guilty self-touching fanbois that it cannot wipe away their sinful past. Users flocked to Apple's App Store to write five-star reviews of a free app called iVibe Massager. Only it seems they were not basking in post-orgasmic bliss, but wallowing in shame. They tried to barter with the …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Jul 2014
Fraud image

Microsoft confirms Office 365 price rise

Life is about to get more expensive for some folk living in Microsoft's Office 365 world with a 15 per cent price hike in the offing from August. This is the first time Redmond has decided to ignore the unwritten laws of the cloudy industry by upping its price list for punters - those with an Enterprise Agreement that haven't …
Paul Kunert, 3 Jul 2014
Fight sticker

NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

Exclusive Microsoft is finding out that it doesn't always pay to play nasty with large government customers: NHS procurement bosses are telling authorities and bodies to hold firm against a wave of licensing compliance threats. As exclusively revealed by The Channel last week, Microsoft wrote to all 160 healthcare bodies across England in …
Paul Kunert, 3 Jul 2014

OMG, sorry about 'poor comms' on Facebook secret emoto-meddle tests. Laters!

A top Facebook chief has admitted the firm did a poor job of informing its users about a controversial 2012 experiment that manipulated the emotions of nearly 700,000 people on the free content ad network. COO Sheryl Sandberg told reporters during a meeting in India on Wednesday that Facebook had made a hash of the secret test …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Jul 2014

Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

Amazon has said it won't acquiesce to the Federal Trade Commission's plans to punish it for not preventing kids from running up in-app purchases on mummy and daddy's credit card. The FTC is seeking a punitive fine from Amazon, similar to the one levied on Apple. The agency says Amazon wasn't quick enough to crack down on …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

Google repeatedly batted away questions about whether it favours its search result services over those of its rivals in Europe, during a frustrating exchange on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning. The ad giant's public policy veep, Rachel Whetstone, who is the wife of Steve Hilton - the brains behind Prime Minister David …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Jul 2014
Firing squad

Google's Quickoffice taken behind shed ... 'Oh, what's the gun for?'

Quickoffice, Google's Microsoft Office–compatible productivity app for Android and iOS, is no more – sort of. In a brief note published to the Google Apps blog last week, the company said it soon plans to "unpublish" Quickoffice from Google Play and the iTunes App Store. "Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2014
Apple's Aperture

Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Apple is reportedly ending development of its Aperture photo-tweaking software. The iThing maker said on Friday, via The Loop, that it will be ending development of Aperture and, starting next year, migrating users to its Photos application. Designed as a pro counterpart for iPhoto, Aperture was introduced in 2005. The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

Spanish is an accommodating lingo, as the recent influx of tech and net-related Anglicisms attests, but these foreign invaders often prove challenging for Castillian orthography. The general line of attack is to adapt spelling in accordance with local custom where necessary, so while "chat", as in chatear (to chat), requires no …
Lester Haines, 27 Jun 2014
FAIL

'Our entire corporation cannot send or receive emails from Outlook'

QuoTW This was the week when Microsoft’s top legal eagle said the fallout from the NSA snooping scandal was only getting worse for US tech companies. In a speech at the GigaOm Structure conference, Redmond’s general counsel Brad Smith said that unless the US government started taking control of its spy agencies, the country’s tech …
The line for the Apple iPhone - not the cable car.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

The head of embattled app-maker MonkeyParking says the city of San Francisco is violating the US Constitution by ordering the company to shut down its parking application. Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO and cofounder of the company, said that the cease and desist order delivered by City Attorney Dennis Herrera misunderstands how the App …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014
Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell

Speaking in Tech: Nutanix OEM deal may be Dell's first step towards a BUYOUT

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's time for Speaking in Tech again, folks! This week the team chew the fat over Dell's OEM deal with Nutanix, Google and Nest's alarming hookup, and the painful process of explaining the cloud to real humans. This week regular SiT host Sarah Vela is off but Eddie Saipetch …
Team Register, 25 Jun 2014

'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

A suspect is languishing in jail after allegedly breaking into a house, logging into Facebook on his victim's PC, and then reportedly obligingly leaving his social network profile up and open for the returning homeowner. Police mugshot of Nicholas Wig Wig's profile pic from his police department presence Arresting officers …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2014

Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Microsoft has fixed a nine-hour outage in its online Exchange service that crippled North American customers’ Office 365 and hosted Outlook accounts. The outage struck companies in US, Canada and Mexico, leaving entire organisations unable to read, write or retrieve emails or seeing their email slow down to a snail's pace. …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2014

Oracle's IP lawsuit foe: We'll fight SAP tooth and nail in Europe

Rimini Street, the fast-growing business software support specialist currently fighting Larry Ellison’s database giant in US courts, appears to have SAP in its sights in Europe. “Look out SAP,” Rimini Street chief executive Seth Ravin warned the giant in a recent interview with The Reg. “We are going to fight them tooth and …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2014

ARRRRR. Half world's techies are software PIRATES – survey

Almost half of the world's enterprise IT managers openly admit to using pirated software at work – at least a survey from a software industry association says so. A report (PDF) from The Software Alliance claims that during 2013, 43 per cent of all software in the world was installed without a licence, up from 42 per cent in the …
Jasper Hamill, 25 Jun 2014
Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft gets the hang of funky devices: Xbox magic for enterprise

How did that happen? Microsoft has become a hardware company. There is now a range of devices, from phones to phablets to tablets and tablets that verge on laptops, being made by Microsoft. In truth Microsoft is a long-established hardware company but mice and keyboards don’t capture the imagination like devices that run …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jun 2014