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Sheriff Woody

NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

The US National Sheriffs' Association wants Google to block its crowd-sourced traffic app Waze from being able to report the position of police officers, saying the information is putting officer's lives at risk. "The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jan 2015
The Office

Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year

Microsoft let slip a few more details of its plans for the company's Office productivity suite on Thursday, including hints about when we can expect the next major version of its desktop suite to land. Most of the Office talk at Wednesday's Windows 10 preview event in Redmond focused on the touch-centric Office for Windows 10 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015
management regulation7

Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Analysis First the good news: Windows 10 will be free – for one year. Microsoft announced upgrades to its next-planned client operating system during an outpouring of PR love and vision on Wednesday. We won't claim the credit for Microsoft’s decision to give its next version of Windows as a free upgrade for 12 months to those on Windows …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jan 2015
Windows 10

FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

Analysis Microsoft offered a teaser of its work across its three main platforms yesterday, enough to give us an insight into how well Operation Relevance is going. It’s very much a work in progress. Here are the five key points on Windows 10 and the accompanying strategy. 1. 'Please come back to Windows 10 – for free' The challenge is …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jan 2015
Evernote iPad app

Evernote says goodbye to Hello, shuts lid on Peek

Evernote, which makes a useful free form database with over 100 million users, has taken an axe to some little used services and platforms, while extending its new chat service to iDevices. The contact manager Evernote Hello is getting the chop – the company explains its functions, which include business-card scanning, have been …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Mars Attacks!

Facebook: Yo 'people'! Zap fake news on our giant ad farm, would'ja?

Facebook has asked its users (sorry, people) to flag up posts on the free-content ad network that they think are hoaxes masquerading as news items. However, the Mark Zuckerberg-run company claimed that links to satirical stories would not be culled from Facebook as a side-effect of the crackdown on fake stuff. But asking its …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2015
Mozilla Firefox Fox sitting down

Firefox 35 stamps out critical bugs

Mozilla has crushed nine bugs, some rather dangerous, in the latest version of its flagship browser. The fixes include a patch for a critical sandbox escape (CVE-2014-8643) in the Gecko Media Plugin used for h.264 video playback affecting Windows machines (but not OS X or Linux). Another critical hole addressed a read-after- …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jan 2015
Don Draper is sad

Spammers set their sights on WhatsApp – that's that ruined then

Mobile spam is spreading from SMS channels towards mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, according to mobile security provider and specialist AdaptiveMobile. The company believes spammers have switched tactics over recent months in order to bypass existing mobile spam filters. App spam is particularly prevalent in mature …
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2015
Babel Fish

'F*** you', exclaims Google Translate app, politely

It’s a small, yellow, earwig-like creature* that feeds on … no, wait, it’s Google’s new real-time language translation app. Although sadly not an actual Babel fish, the Chocolate Factory’s latest upgrade to its Google Translate app does mean you can “instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language”. From …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Jan 2015
The new Facebook AMBER Alert

AMBER alerts of snatched kids to appear on Facebook (and Bing)

Video Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing have worked together with the US Department of Justice to add AMBER alerts for missing children to their websites. Youtube Video These warnings are put out whenever a child is reported to have vanished, and urge people to keep an eye out for the youngster: when the program started, alerts were …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2015
Don't Panic towel

No, the Linux leap second bug WON'T crash the web

There’s a reason space missions don’t launch on the day a leap second is added to international clocks. Scientists don’t want to run the risk that the computer systems running things might hiccup on the new time and then malfunction, sending their multi-million dollar lifetime’s investment into a fatal nose dive. The rest of us …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Jan 2015

Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

Microsoft is facing fierce criticism over its decision to make pre-notification of upcoming patches available only to paid subscribers. The Advance Notification Service (ANS) formerly made information on upcoming software patches available to the public but from now on the information will be restricted to “premier” customers …
John Leyden, 9 Jan 2015
Azure management portal preview

Microsoft tests waters for cloudy System Center heir

Microsoft has floated the idea of a cloud-based control freak as an heir to or adjunct for System Center. Redmond regularly pops out polls on Technet readers and yesterday promoted this one as offering the chance to articulate “... the challenges you face with your Management tools and where you would like to see us invest going …
Great Wall of China

Google's Gmail staggers to feet in China as access partially restored

Access to Gmail in China appears to have at least been partially restored, after Google's web addresses were blocked over the weekend. The People's Republic has consistently denied having deliberately blocked Google's services as part of its "Great Firewall" effort. According to the Google transparency report, which displays …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2014
Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530

Key to Windows mobe app sales? Er, LOW MEMORY, of course

Microsoft is imploring developers to keep an eye on memory budgets when coding for the Windows Phone. Downloads from the Windows and Windows Phone Store are dominated by version 8.1 (Windows), with 92 per cent of downloads using Metro the update of the new look operating system. Of the Windows phone downloads, 8.1 again …
Simon Rockman, 30 Dec 2014
Megaphone

Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Megaupload maestro Kim Dotcom says he will soon unveil an encrypted video calling and chat service that he claims will mark "the end of NSA mass surveillance." In a series of tweets, Dotcom said the service, to be called MegaChat, will also doom Skype, the current king of online calling, which is thought to have been cooperating …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2014
Web browsers

Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

Microsoft has been working on a new scheme to strip away some of the legacy bloat that has burdened its Internet Explorer web browser, sources claimed. According to the prolific Redmond rumormongers at Neowin, the software giant has forked the code for IE's Trident rendering engine into a new, leaner version that should consume …
Neil McAllister, 29 Dec 2014
Glorious future of China

Gmail falls over after hitting 'Great Firewall of China' – report

Large numbers of Google's Gmail web addresses were reportedly blocked in China over the weekend. The disruption occurred on Friday, according to GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech group. One Gmail user complained on Twitter yesterday that domestic suppliers could not send emails to Gmail accounts and described the …
Kat Hall, 29 Dec 2014
Mobile obsessed cartoon by Tim Cordell

El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

Feature There's no need to be home alone this Christmas. In part one we looked at the male perspective and in this second and final part, Lucy Orr reveals all about the online dating game. I’m a serial monogamist and part time cougar but it wasn’t until a rather unhappy breakup in 2009 that I even had the slightest inkling that online …
Lucy Orr, 28 Dec 2014
Excel on Android

Microsoft promises open plan mobile Office. Who sits by the Windows?

Microsoft has revealed more information on its plans for Office on mobile devices: iOS, Android and Windows phones and tablets. Microsoft Office is going cross-platform “rather aggressively”, says Technical Product Manager Kaberi Chowdhury. Office for Android tablets is currently in preview and set to be released in early 2015 …
Tim Anderson, 24 Dec 2014
Babel Fish

Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

Microsoft has rolled out a public preview of Skype Translator, its long-ballyhooed service that provides Star Trek–style real-time translation for voice calls and online chats. "We've invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they're emerging as …
Neil McAllister, 15 Dec 2014
Web browsers

Yahoo! Says! Chrome, IE Users! Should! 'Upgrade'! To! FIREFOX!

Yahoo! has started urging visitors to its homepage to "upgrade to the new Firefox" – even when they aren't using the Mozilla browser in the first place. The message, along with a Firefox logo, has begun appearing for some users in the purple band along the top of Yahoo!'s portal pages. It's displayed when the visitor is using …
Neil McAllister, 12 Dec 2014
windows 10 microsoft one windows

No more free Windows... and now it’s all about the services

Microsoft won’t give Windows 10 away for free, and plans to charge for new services instead. That’s according to salesman-in-chief Kevin Turner, who promised new services would roll out in early 2015. Microsoft's chief operating officer was grilled by one investor at a recent Wall Street conference who wondered whether the …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Dec 2014

Oh SNAP, Microsoft! Asigra steals a march with Office 365 cloudy backup

Enterprise backup firm Asigra has added Office 365 support to its Cloud Backup product. This is a cloud-to-cloud service sending backup data to authorised cloud service providers or to the customer's private cloud. IT admins choose the frequency and granularity of the backups and recovery is said to be both fast and simple, …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014
App Magnets

Remember that Big Blue Apple? Biz apps for iPads are here

The fruits of Apple and IBM’s enterprise software alliance were today plucked and displayed for the world to see: a bunch of apps ported to iOS that target corporate buyers of iPad and iPhones in specific vertical industries. In the first tranche of Big Blue developed MobileFirst “made for business” apps and “supporting” cloudy …
Paul Kunert, 10 Dec 2014
Microsoft campus

Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Microsoft has posted details of what is coming in the next version of Visual Basic (VB). In the '90s, VB was pretty much Microsoft’s only alternative to C/C++ for Windows development, attracting a large user base from hobbyists to professional developers. VB lost ground following the appearance of the .NET Framework in 2002. …
Tim Anderson, 10 Dec 2014

Facebook injects CREEPY search engine into mobile app

Facebook has finally deployed its creepy search engine on the US version of its app for iOS users. One of the free content ad network's product managers announced that Facebook's so-called Graph Search tech would be slowly rolled out to Stateside fanbois over the next few weeks. This comes nearly two years after Facebook boss …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Dec 2014

400,000 Windows Server 2003 boxes face SUPPORT DOOM

Businesses of Britain are still running Windows Server 2003 on hundreds of thousands of physical boxes ahead of a certain important deadline on 14 July next year. According to HP, there are 900,000 instances of the eleven year-old software out in the wilds and 400,000 physical boxes, with 218 days to go before Microsoft pulls …
Paul Kunert, 8 Dec 2014

Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

Review Firefox 34, just released, adds support for Mozilla’s web-based Skype-competitor, Firefox Hello. Firefox 34 also drops Google as the default search engine for US users, gives Mac fans the ability to play native H.264 video and eliminates a major security vulnerability. Phew! But is it any good? This is the first version of …
Pair of pliers with other tools

Microsoft forks .NET and WHOMP! Here comes .NET Core app dev stack

Microsoft has revealed more details about .NET Core, "the foundation for all future .NET platforms". In a detailed post, Microsoft’s program manager Immo Landwerth explains why the company is forking .NET in order to make sense of shipping .NET for multiple platforms, including Windows desktop, Windows Store (or “Metro”), …
Tim Anderson, 5 Dec 2014

Developers offering Mozilla-like experience will work on Firefox-like experience for iThings

A software house offering a Mozilla-like experience has confirmed it will end its years-long standoff with Apple – and bring a Firefox-like browser to iPhones and iPads. "At Mozilla, we put our users first and want to provide an independent choice for them on any platform. We are in the early stages of experimenting with …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Dec 2014
Azure icon

Concerning Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Microsoft's Azure has moved forward in recent months with a clutch of upgrades and new feature releases. Microsoft is also expanding Azure's worldwide presence, and with the Australian Azure data centre launched in October most continents have a local presence now. This is great for IT staff who are either already on Azure or …
Adam Fowler, 3 Dec 2014

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Product round-up Much to the dismay of many a sysadmin, Linux is no longer purely the domain of Captain Command-Line and his trusty side-kick Admiral APT. For those looking to make the most of their new-fangled graphics-capable hardware, here’s a selection of freeware to start with, in our case as installed on Ubuntu 14.04: BleachBit RH Numbers …
Shaun Dormon, 3 Dec 2014
Clip Art cartoon of smiling sun

RIP Microsoft Clip Art – now you can fill your slides with web cat pics

Anyone who has sat through as many biz presentations as the average Reg hack will have come to loathe clip art – as so many PHBs think adding a few duff images to a boring PowerPoint shows how hip they are with technology. Now Microsoft has announced it's binning the clip art collection at the heart of this mediocrity. And the …
Iain Thomson, 1 Dec 2014

Fait Acompli: Microsoft gobbles Android email upstart for $200m

Microsoft has stumped up a reported $200m for San Francisco-based email app-maker Acompli. That Microsoft wanted to gobble Acompli was the worst-kept secret in the industry: a crazy fingered insider had penned a short-lived blog post that had a URL suggesting Microsoft was acquiring the firm, and hit publish before they were …
Paul Kunert, 1 Dec 2014
Hidden Bing developer ad

Yahoo, Bing beg 'right to be forgotten' wipers: Don't FORGET about US

Amid the growing number of demands by netizens for Google to remove their out-of-date information under the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling, it seems other search engines are keen to remind us not to forget them, too. Earlier this year the EU's Court of Justice ruled that individuals have a "right to be forgotten" …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2014
Docker Logo

Docker, Part 2: Whoa! Spontaneous industry standard! How did they do THAT?

Sysadmin Blog Docker is slowly taking over the world. From its humble origins, which we explored on Friday, as an internal project at dotCloud, through to Microsoft's recent announcement that it will support Docker natively in Windows, Docker looks set to become a major component of modern IT infrastructure. Today, Docker is powered by …
Trevor Pott, 1 Dec 2014
The Trax app gives you an 'augumented reality' view to help find the kids

Be your own Big Brother: With the help of Apple, Facebook ... oh, HANG ON

So far in this series, we've looked at ways of monitoring specific things, but this time round, people are the topic. There are, the media would have you believe, dreadful things out there – predators lurking behind every corner, dreadful accidents waiting to befall the unwary. The Trax app gives you an 'augumented reality' …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 Nov 2014
Google Chrome

Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

Google's Chrome browser promises "speed, simplicity and security", but for a significant number of Windows users you can strike "speed" from that list. A thread on Google’s Chrome forum titled: “Chrome has become completely unusable, in almost every imaginable way” has attracted over 375 posts since the problem was raised in …
Tim Anderson, 28 Nov 2014
Azure Index

Azure has put new life into Active Directory

Active Directory is dead: long live Active Directory. While Microsoft's Windows Server Active Directory (WSAD) is unable to meet the needs of today, its younger sibling Azure Active Directory (AAD) looks set to take the world by storm. I have given it the once over and am impressed with the technology – but also ambivalent about …
Trevor Pott, 28 Nov 2014
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

A WHOPPING 8 million Windows Server 2003 systems still out there

Windows Server 2003 refresh activity has yet to show up in a major way across the UK tech channel amid estimates that eight million physical systems are still out there in the wild - not all of which will be replaced like-for-like. Security updates and fixes for the 11-year-old operating system will no longer be made available …
Paul Kunert, 27 Nov 2014
An obese belly, dangling freely. Pic: Tony Alter

Software firms are over-valued, says Huawei

Inflated valuations for software companies are discouraging possible acquirers, says Chinese giant Huawei. The Chinese giant’s global IT chief Yelai Zheng told us the high prices software companies asked made them less attractive to Huawei. “Communications companies are not expensive but IT and software companies are,” said …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2014