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Shall we Drupal 8? Hint: it's not a verb, but the 8th version of Drupal

The 8th version of open source content management system (CMS) Drupal is upon us. This time around, Drupal folk are talking up tooling for “the post-browser era”, which apparently means lots of people now read stuff on devices Dries Buytaert, creator and project lead of Drupal and also CTO at Drupal-wrangling firm Acquia …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2015
Lego, photo via Shutterstock

It's come to this for IBM: Watson is now a gimmick app on the iPhone

Remember when IBM's Watson was touted as a revolutionary machine learning platform that would help revolutionize the medical, science and business intelligence fields? Big Blue's expensive pet project has been showcased as a solution for everything from biomedical research to solving poverty to killing the spreadsheet. Now, …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2015

Google extends search tendrils to cover data in apps

Google has expanded its search feelers into content stored inside apps. Previously, the search engine giant only indexed content that matched content on the broader internet, but increasingly information is contained only within apps themselves, meaning that it is not broadly accessible. The company has been experimenting …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2015

Mozilla releases iOS app version of Firefox browser for world+dog

Mozilla has unwrapped an iOS app version of its Firefox browser for Apple users across the globe. It taken just two months to get a full airing, after the surfing app was released only to New Zealanders in September this year. Mozilla had held back from popping the lid on such an app, however. The outfit's erstwhile boss …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2015
Bring out yer dead!

Google takes old Chrome versions on that long drive in the country

Google has given Windows XP and old versions of Apple OS X their marching orders. Support for the ancient (in the case of XP) / no-longer-supported (OS X Mountain Lion and older) operating systems will end in April 2016. The Chocolate Factory announced the decision here. Google's original EOL date for XP was to be April 2015 …
Gerard Depardieu. Pic by Thore Siebrands, licensed under CC 3.0

Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I have paid to watch a fat French man’s thrusting buttocks on TV. But something has gone wrong. Despite my attempts to display gallic grinding on the living room screen, my TV is – quite literally – not playing ball. It’s not what you think. Actually, on reflection, yes it probably is. I had better explain. This week I …

Apple's iBackDoor: Dodgy ad network code menaces iOS apps

Security researchers have discovered “backdoored” versions of an ad library embedded in thousands of iOS apps originally published in the Apple App Store. The affected versions of this library embedded backdoors in iOS apps that used the library to display ads, opening the door for hackers to access sensitive user data and …
John Leyden, 6 Nov 2015
British Transport Police cop. Pic: Gordon Joly

Cops' IT too complex for quick and dirty revamp – Police ICT boss

Coppers' IT is so complex and varied across the 43 different forces, a complete "big bang" overhaul of systems to force consolidation is not practical - the head of the Police ICT company Martin Wyke has said. Speaking to The Register, Wyke said that due to the varying IT arrangements and outsourcing contracts across the …
Kat Hall, 5 Nov 2015
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

Major Salesforce discounts. If you renew early ... and big

Salesforce is offering substantial discounts to customers who sign up early and commit to its full business suite plus services. The cloud provider is understood to be going 25 per cent over its standard volume discount in cases where customers qualified for a maximum 50 per cent off. The catch is that customers must sign up …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Nov 2015

iPhone, Windows 10, lonely nights – sound like you? Dump Siri and have a date with Cortana

Microsoft is preparing for the rollout of its Siri alternative, Cortana, on Apple devices. In a post on its Answers website, the Windows giant has asked for beta testers for the service on iOS devices. But you have to apply and be accepted, and the company appears to be looking for people in the unusual subset of iPhone users …

Opera Jon's sparkling Vivaldi proves the browser isn't dead

The new browser by Opera founder and ex-CEO Jon von Tetzchner is available as a beta today, after ten months in preview. You can grab it for Windows, Mac and Linux – and he’s promised that a mobile version will follow. The pioneering Norwegian company he founded laid off hundreds of browser developers, as it began to focus on …
Office Online for Chrome

Insert headline here for Microsoft Office tweaks

Just in time for a weekend that can't come soon enough, Microsoft has rolled out a handful of features for Office on Windows and OS X. The update includes browser plug-ins and increased support for Microsoft's Skype and Visual Basic, as well as a lower storage requirement for Office on Android. Here are some of the new …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2015
The Bundestag in Berlin. Pic: Hernán Piñera

Google, SAP continue love-in with a patent-share agreement

Global ad-flinger Google and German ERP behemoth SAP have hopped in bed together to form a "long-term patent cross licensing agreement". The agreement apparently covers a "broad range" of products and technologies – but the companies have declined to say what that will involve exactly. The deal will cover the companies' …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2015
Prison

Is Alphabet-Google 'too big to jail'? The Lords find out

Europe's examination of Big Tech's dominant platforms – like Alphabet-Google and Amazon – is only just beginning, but Parliament got a teaser of the battles ahead this week, as two antitrust professors sharply disagreed on the merits of the enquiry. Professors David Evans, of UCL, and Ariel Ezrachi, of Oxford University, at …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015
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Make room, Cisco's punters flocking to ACI ... yep, all 150 of them

Canalys Channels Forum One hundred and fifty customers across the globe have taken a seat on Cisco's Application-Centric Infrastructure bandwagon that started rolling 15 months ago, we can reveal. ACI – Cisco's answer to software-defined networking – is a programmable Ethernet Fabric that couples software and hardware. The product was initially …
Paul Kunert, 28 Oct 2015
Google's gRPC lets you make remote calls as if they were local

Another go at remote objects: Google gRPC hits beta

Google's gRPC project has reached beta status, according to a post by product manager Mugur Marculescu, who adds that it "opens the door for gRPC use in production environments". The open source project aims to simplify distributed application development, where clients call services running on one or more remote servers. Here …
Tim Anderson, 27 Oct 2015
Santa Claus on his laptop

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hands out shares to remaining staffers

Having recently put down his axe after hacking away 336 staff earlier this month, chief executive Jack Dorsey has now donned his Santa suit to hand out $200m (£130m) worth of stock to remaining employees. Dorsey said he was giving away about 1 per cent of the company to the company’s 3,700 employees, in Twitter's Teatime town …
Kat Hall, 23 Oct 2015
Empty phone battery

BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code

If you've gone down the bring your own device (BYOD) route and your users are always complaining about battery life, Facebook has just explained why: its iOS app sucks … ridiculous amounts of power. The Social Network™'s engineering manager Ari Grant took to his own platform to note “reports of some people experiencing battery …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2015
Two upended shopping trolleys in an alleyway. Photo by Cyron, licensecd under CC 2.0

Joomla patches critical core shop-pwning flaw

Popular content management system (CMS) Joomla has pushed three patches, including a critical fix for SQL injection vulnerabilities that allow attackers to become admins on most customer websites. The team issued fix 3.4.5 addressing the SQLi vulnerabilities (CVE-2015-7297, CVE-2015-7857, CVE-2015-7858) which exist in version …
Darren Pauli, 23 Oct 2015
Zhenyuanlong suni fossil

Microsoft enterprise licensing partners heading for extinction

Microsoft is planning to shutter the classic enterprise licensing channel over the next three to four years, as indicated by the swingeing cuts to fees in recent times. This is according to Rune Syversen, CEO at Crayon Group, one of Microsoft’s top-ten biggest selling Licensing Solutions Partners (LSPs) worldwide, who is …
Paul Kunert, 21 Oct 2015
Terminator

Speaking in Tech: Stephen Hawking, you’re wrong. Tech IS good (generally)

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week, tech podcast host Greg Knieriemen is flying across the globe and Ed Saipetch is absent so Sarah Vela is joined by special guest co-hosts Julia Weatherby and Amy Lewis with our special guest from Down Under, Justin Warren of PivotNine, to discuss IBM, nerd fights, …
Team Register, 21 Oct 2015
Suit lifting weight, photo via Shutterstock

Oh dear, Microsoft: UK.gov signs deal with LibreOffice

The government has signed a deal for open source Libre Office to be made available across the public sector, in what looks like an attempt to "nudge" mandarins off Microsoft Office. The open source software deal, which is being provided by one of the open sourcer's partners, Collabora GovOffice, is apparently intended to " …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2015
The Go language Gopher mascot

Microsoft Azure now goes with Google's Go

Microsoft has added “experimental support” for the open-source Go programming language, developed by Google, on the Azure App Service, part of its cloud platform. Go, announced in 2009 and released in 2012, was designed for programming large software systems. In common with languages such as Java and C#, it was born out of the …
Tim Anderson, 20 Oct 2015

UK biz email slinger Mimecast files for $100m IPO in US

Mimecast filed for an initial public offering on Wall Street on Friday and said it hoped to raise up to $100m (£64m). The London-based email security vendor, which has 14,500 biz customers on its books, said that it planned to list under the symbol "MIME" on the Nasdaq exchange. For its most recent quarter, Mimecast – which …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2015
Boxers image via Shutterstock

Down and out? Rimini's Oracle slap spells trouble – for Oracle

Comment The odds of paying Oracle top dollar to keep updating your database or business software shortened this week, despite Oracle’s victory over Rimini Street. Larry Ellison’s giant secured $50m in damages from Rimini in a case that has rattled on for five years. $14m of that will be paid by Rimini’s charismatic chief executive, …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Oct 2015
Azure logo

Microsoft previews cloudy Active Directory Domain Services

Microsoft has announced a public preview of full Active Directory Domain Services running as a service in its Azure cloud. Casual observers may be confused. Has not Microsoft offered Azure Active Directory (AD) forever, and used it for identity management in Office 365? This is true, but until now Azure AD has not offered the …
Tim Anderson, 15 Oct 2015
Microsoft's Universal apps are Windows 10 only

Devs ask Microsoft for real .NET universal apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Microsoft introduced the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) this year: applications that run across many device types, provided that they all run Windows 10. Unfortunately, that proviso means that the UWP is far from universal, targeting only a small minority of Windows PCs out there, and leaving other operating systems …
Tim Anderson, 14 Oct 2015
Google UK's Lego Android

How far will Microsoft go with Android?

There is only one destination for companies that fail with their own mobile operating system, and it's called Android. Last month, BlackBerry acknowledged defeat by announcing PRIV, an Android device with a focus on security. What then is Microsoft’s Plan B when it comes to mobile? In the Nadella era we have already seen the …
Tim Anderson, 14 Oct 2015
Moments of perspiration

Southwest Airlines: 450+ flights delayed as check-ins go TITSUP

Hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights were delayed on Sunday due a technological glitch. Airports from Los Angeles to Washington took on the look of refugee centres as passengers flying with Southwest Airlines were stranded by a "glitch" affecting check-ins. The issue, which was described as "systemwide" in a tweet to one …

Apple news-churn app mysteriously stops churning news in China

Apple's URL-redirect news app has stopped working behind the Great Firewall of China, it has emerged. Even articles saved by those who are too fearful of the world to venture outside the walled garden for their news have been blocked. The New York Times noted that Apple News users in China needed to convince Cupertino that …

Hortonworks dismisses reports of Hadoop droop

Hadoop-pusher Hortonworks has dismissed reports by analyst house Gartner that the big data market is "yet to take off". Earlier this year Gartner reported that the market will remain sluggish for the next few years, with fewer businesses planning to begin Hadoop deployments in the next two years than the entire number of those …
Kat Hall, 9 Oct 2015
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Oracle, SAP, IBM: They're rubbish and charge you billions for Excel, says man

Oracle and SAP have badly let down customers by charging them through the nose, while leaving them with nothing more than Excel spreadsheets to plan budgets, claims Frederic Layulaux, the chief executive of software-as-a-service outfit Anaplan. "Despite the billions companies have invested in ERP – when it comes to …
Kat Hall, 9 Oct 2015
Road block

AD-NNIHILATION: Apple-approved iOS tool blocks ALL ads in apps, Safari, Apple News

A new tool approved by Apple and added to the iOS App Store blocks ads in Safari – and, if you trust the tool's makers, even in-app ads and banners in Apple's own software. Dubbed Been, the software relies on the content-blocking features of iOS 9 to kill off adverts and trackers in Safari – the web browser on iPhones, iPads …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Oct 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Email keyword sniffing? We'd NEVER do that!

In an interview which covered the company's data protection practices, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company believes "from a values point of view, not from a commercial interest point of view," that privacy is a fundamental human right. Cook was being interviewed on National Public Radio's (NPR) All Tech Considered …

Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

It was oh so predictable. The founder of new slander-app Peeple has been surprised to discover people slandering her online. Julia Cordray, of Calgary, Canada, landed herself and her company a ton of publicity this week, appearing everywhere from the Washington Post to ABC News, talking about how the app – due to be launched …
The refreshed OneDrive for Business browser view

Microsoft previews less buggy OneDrive for Business client

Microsoft is previewing a new client for OneDrive for Business cloud storage, following many complaints about sync reliability in the existing client, which was based on Office Groove. OneDrive for Business is part of Office 365, where it is also known as SharePoint online. It uses different technology than the consumer …
Tim Anderson, 1 Oct 2015

Microsoft sabotages own Lumia smartmobe flagship launch

Microsoft has ensured that its unwanted Lumia phone division won’t upstage its Surface team next week, by posting details of the phones to its own UK Store website. It’s the latest in a series of “accidental” leaks, meaning the new Lumia flagship will be rather familiar by the time it is officially unveiled in New York at the …
A new-style Office Add-in, written in JavaScript

You lucky devs: It's Microsoft Office 2016 ... and VBA lives on

Microsoft is rolling out a consistent JavaScript API across the Windows, Mac and mobile version of Office. Exploring Office development is like looking at a cross-section of an old tree; you'll find different layers from different eras, each carefully preserved for compatibility. Run the just-released Word 2016, enable the …
Tim Anderson, 1 Oct 2015
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Microsoft slaps 13 per cent increase on mobile enterprise levy

Microsoft has bumped up the levy it charges mobile users to connect to Windows servers. The price of Microsoft’s user client access license (CALs) needed for its enterprise suite has gone up by 13 per cent. The new price for the Enterprise CAL suite is $135 per on Software Assurance for a year for those qualifying for …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Oct 2015
Apple TV teardown

Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

DIY repair biz iFixit says it can no longer offer its iOS mobile app, thanks to a ban from Apple. iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens wrote in a blog post that Apple had pulled his company's developer account due to a terms and conditions violation and, as a result, the iFixit iOS app had also been taken down from the App Store. According …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Oct 2015

Mobile first? Microsoft decides to kneecap its Android users instead

Comment Microsoft can often resemble a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head. But even after 25 years of watching Redmond's finest, it still has the capacity to astonish us with the imaginative ways it can screw things up. It gave us another example last week. Mobile platforms are vital to Microsoft, but it doesn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Sep 2015
Monster virtual machine

VMware SMASH! Bad ESXi 6.0 bork-bug getting 'aggressive' fix

VMware has found, and is trying hard to fix, a nasty bug in ESXi 6.0. Issue 2124669, causes “ESXi 6.0 host network connectivity' to be “lost randomly.” Once the connectivity is lost, “ESXi enters into a non-responding state and becomes unmanageable until reboot.” Forget about re-connecting to networks until you reboot, but …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2015