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Extreme photo-bombing: Bad ImageMagick bug puts countless websites at risk of hijacking

A wildly popular software tool used by websites to process people's photos can be exploited to execute malicious code on servers and leak server-side files. Security bugs in the software are apparently being exploited in the wild right now to compromise at-risk systems. Patches to address the vulnerabilities are available in …
microsoft_clippy_648

Microsoft wants devs to take notes on their families

Microsoft has GitHubbed a framework that could finally make an Internet-connected refrigerator useful: an application for family members to leave notes for each other. Well, actually FamilyNotes is a developer demonstrator with two aims: to give developers more examples of putting code together in the Universal Windows …
Hitomi

Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has declared the ASTRO-H space telescope, renamed Hitomi after its launch, has been lost in space after a series of errors. JAXA lost contact with the $286m x-ray 'scope last month. On Thursday the agency admitted the instrument is dead, saying that it appears the solar panels had …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2016
Miguel de Icaza on stage with Steve Wozniak at the Evolve 2016 conference

Miguel de Icaza on his journey from open source to Microsoft: 'It's a different company'

Interview At Xamarin's Evolve conference in Orlando, I sat down with Miguel de Icaza, the initiator of both the GNOME desktop for Linux and the Mono open source version of Microsoft's .NET Framework. Miguel de Icaza co-founded Xamarin with Nat Friedman, who became CEO. Xamarin, which provides tools for developing mobile applications for …
Tim Anderson, 29 Apr 2016
DETAIL ON ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP APP - SUPPLIED BY ORDNANCE SURVEY

At last: Ordnance Survey's map wizardry goes live

After a long beta programme, the Ordnance Survey has officially launched its “slippy”-style smartphone app and website - just in time for shivering in a parka on a Bank Holiday Monday, as you wonder who nicked your bike. It marries the Ordnance Survey’s traditional map into a modern, scrollable UI, and was built from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016

Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Samsung is developing a small black box device that will plug into your car under the dashboard and instantly turn it into a smart, connected car. Speaking at its annual Developer Conference in San Francisco, the director of the company's Connected Car program, Val Zinchenko, showcased a rectangular black box roughly three …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2016
Xamarin's Test Cloud lets developers test applications on cloud-hosted devices

Newest Microsoftie Xamarin releases cross-platform mobile SDK as open source

EVOLVE 2016 Xamarin's Evolve conference is under way in Orlando, Florida, where around 1,600 attendees are coming to terms with Microsoft's acquisition of the company, completed less than one month ago. Xamarin's main product is a set of tools and compilers that enable cross-platform mobile development using Microsoft's C# language. It's …
Tim Anderson, 27 Apr 2016

Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

Container software biz Docker hired private investigators to track down trolls after one of its popular engineers was harassed and bullied for being a woman. Jessie Frazelle, who was sent death and rape threats, last month quit the San Francisco-based upstart to work at Mesosphere. As word of her departure spread, Docker …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2016
Higher Education and Further Education

US tech CEOs demand Congress programs US kids to be tech workers

A who's-who list of tech industry executives has urged US Congress to pump computer science training into the brains of American kids. The open letter, signed by more than 40 CEOs, board chairs, and company founders, asks all members of the Senate and the House to direct funding and support for programs that would create …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2016

Neo4j bolts on binary protocol to up its graph database game

Neo Technology has released Neo4j 3.0, which it declared comes with a "completely redesigned architecture." 3.0 comes with a new binary protocol dubbed Bolt, intended for speedier graph access, though the architectural redesign is centred on a new data store, where dynamic pointer compression is intended to expand Neo4j’s …

Intel helps Redmond ingest Objective-C code

Intel has dropped a slab of code into Microsoft's Windows Bridge for iOS project, starting with APIs for vector maths, matrix maths, digital signal processing (DSP) and image processing. According to an announcement posted at Microsoft, Intel wants to make sure that developers working in Objective-C can run their code on Intel …

Windows 10 Anniversary Update draws nearer with Inky preview

Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 14328 to "Windows Insider" previewers. The build is available for both PC and mobile, and is described by VP Gabe Aul as a "MAJOR build, packed with lots of new features and improvements". The new features will be part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which is set for release in …
Tim Anderson, 25 Apr 2016
Doom

The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

The average web page is now roughly the same size as the full install image for the classic DOS game Doom, apparently. This is according to Ronan Cremin, a lead engineer with Afilias Technologies and dotMobi's representative for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Cremin points to data from the HTTP Archive showing that, at …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2016
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

A bug bounty hunter compromises a Facebook staff server through a sloppy file-sharing webapp – and finds someone's already beaten him to it by backdooring the machine. The pseudo-anonymous penetration tester Orange Tsai, who works for Taiwan-based outfit Devcore, banked $10,000 from Facebook in February for successfully …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016
Penguin, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft headhunters seek Linux folk for secret open source unit

Exclusive Microsoft is recruiting from open-sourcers to build a unit apparently selling open-source wares on its Azure cloud. Recruiters working on behalf of Microsoft have been contacting employees of Linux firms, interviewing them for what’s being called an open source practice. Microsoft is specifically looking for those with …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Apr 2016

Microsoft completes its Skype bot invasion with Web, OS X versions

Mac users have been wrapped up in the warm embrace of Microsoft's Skype Bot strategy. The Skype bots first hit at the Build conference at the end of March, with Redmond pitching them as bringing “expertise, products, services and entertainment” to Skype (really, truly nothing like Tay, okay?). It's part of Satya Nadella's " …
ruby slippers

Flaw-finding Ruby on Rails bot steams past humans

Boffins at MIT have designed a Ruby on Rails interpreter that can find code flaws much faster than fleshy programmers. Dubbed Space, the software has been tested against 50 popular web applications written in Rails, and found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws. None of the programs required more than 64 seconds for a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2016
RoboVM is to be discontinued

Embrace, extend – and kill. Microsoft discontinues RoboVM

Microsoft is discontinuing RoboVM, the Java-to-Mobile compiler technology which it acquired with Xamarin a couple of months ago. Just six months ago, RoboVM was a small but growing business catering to developers wishing to use their Java skills – or port existing Java applications – to iOS and Android. Using an AOT (ahead of …
Tim Anderson, 15 Apr 2016
Daniel Craig and Dabbsy

I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I like to pick roses on a summer’s day and meeting friends. I dearly wish for world peace. I hope to work with children, just as soon as I have completed my doctorate in astrophysics. Not really, but I am in training. I am about to enter a beauty contest. At the risk of slipping back into my default double-entendre mode, it’s …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Apr 2016
Zuckerberg

Zuck: You're still using non-Facebook websites ... I'll put an end to that

At the opening keynote of the Facebook F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his company's plan to get everyone online and hooked on Facebook within the next decade. "Instead of building walls we can help people build bridges, instead of dividing people we can bring people together – one connection at a time, …
Iain Thomson, 12 Apr 2016
Microsoft's HoloLens Augmented Reality headset

Former Microsoft HoloLens man: It's NOT about gaming

BUILD 2016 Microsoft showed off its HoloLens augmented reality headsets at its Build event last week, offering hands-on demonstrations and announcing the first shipments of the semi-public, $3,000 Developer Edition. Press were given two hands-on opportunities. The first was a developer workshop showing a little of the coding experience, …
Tim Anderson, 11 Apr 2016

Vivaldi Jon: Mobile – yes. Feeds and an ad blocker… probably not

Interview Hats off to any woman or man who is fighting the dumbing down of software. Twenty years ago our pocket computers were as sophisticated as any desktop, only more reliable. Now they’re vastly more powerful, always connected, but the apps are sub-Fisher Price. No, scrub that: today’s apps would insult a toddler. Opera founder …
Android devices in Google's Cloud Test Lab

Google adds Cloud Test Lab integration to new Android Studio 2.0

VIDEO Google has updated its key Android development tool, Android Studio, to version 2.0 and added cloud test integration, a GPU debugger, and faster emulation and resource allocation. Mountain view touts the instant run feature as just about the most important new feature in the upgrade, as it analyses Android app code as it runs …
Team Register, 8 Apr 2016

This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Analysis The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that all of this year's 65,000 H-1B visa applications have now been applied for, as well as 20,000 extra applications for skilled workers – less than a week into the process. "USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select …
Iain Thomson, 8 Apr 2016
Amazon under a cloud

Devs, skill up and help teach Alexa new tricks

Amazon wants more developers to make it impossible to control their devices without an Internet connection, and has added extra APIs for third parties to use. The Alexa Skills Kit, which first landed last year, gives third parties “a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples” to add capabilities to …

Kik opens bot shop, promises world+dog access to teen market

Kik, the company behind the eponymous teen messaging platform, has kicked open its doors for bot developers. The Canadian company has launched its bot shop, which has three categories – entertainment, lifestyle, and games – and 16 bots currently available. Developers are encouraged to submit more bots for the messenger app, …
Fawlty Towers

Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain

App developers in the UK banking sector are lagging behind their European and US counterparts in tools and methodologies, according to a new study based on code reviews. According to the survey, most British banking apps are developed using three old-school technology stacks including COBOL and Oracle Server. European apps, by …
John Leyden, 4 Apr 2016
Microsoft's Scott Guthrie announces new Azure features at Build 2016

Microsoft announces Azure Functions, encrypted cloud storage

BUILD 2016 Day two of Microsoft's Build conference was focused on Azure, the company's cloud platform, with new features announced and preview features moving to general availability. Top of the list is Azure Functions, a new service which lets you write code that runs in response to various triggers, such as an HTTP request, a file …
Tim Anderson, 1 Apr 2016
An angry mob

Jenkins 'fesses up after inadvertently slurping users' usage stats

The Jenkins project has issued an advisory to users that a couple of recent versions had been sending usage stats to the mothership, whether admins had hit the opt-out button for the continuous delivery platform or not. The advisory said: “A bug was introduced in Jenkins versions 1.645 and 1.642.2 which caused Jenkins to send …
Joe Fay, 1 Apr 2016
Pilot, image via Shutterstock

Save it, devs. Red Hat doesn't want your $99 for RHEL

Red Hat has cut the $99 price of its Linux developer subscription to zero, for penguins building cloud microservices using containers. The company today is expected to start giving away its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription for free as part of the existing Red Hat Developer Program. The free license runs in tandem …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Mar 2016
Xamarin will now be free for Visual Studio users

Microsoft to make Xamarin tools and code free and open source

BUILD2016 Microsoft will make Xamarin tools and code, which enable compilation of Mac, Android and iOS applications using C#, free and open source, said corporate VP Scott Guthrie at the company's Build conference under way in San Francisco. Xamarin's origins are with Mono, a project created by Miguel de Icaza as an open source and …
Tim Anderson, 31 Mar 2016

Intel's Broadwell Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips: So what's in it for you, smartie-pants coders

Intel today officially pulls the wraps off its mildly delayed Xeon E5 v4 server processors. These chips follow up 2014’s Xeon E5 v3 parts, which used a 22nm process size and the Haswell micro-architecture. Intel shrunk Haswell to 14nm, and after some tinkering, codenamed the resulting design Broadwell. Server and workstation …
Chris Williams, 31 Mar 2016
surprised nerd, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

BUILD2016 Microsoft’s love of Linux is extending to its flagship Visual Studio suite. Redmond has released for download an extension it has developed that lets you roll C++ code for Linux servers, desktops and devices. Visual Studio will copy and remote build source and launch the application with a debugger. There’s added support in …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Mar 2016
Microsoft 'Tay' on Twitter

Microsoft GitHubs BotBuilder framework behind Tay chatbot

So this is what @TayAndYou was supposed to be about: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has used his keynote at the Build conference to launch an open source chatbot framework. Instead of setting the buzz before the big reveal, Microsoft's shot at a public Twitter-bot was derailed when 4chan users worked out how to game “Tay”, …
Road closed

Love our open API? Talk to our lawyers, says If This Then That

Updated Bookmarking site Pinboard has discovered one of the downsides of the so-called “API economy”: that moment when lawyers get in the way of a service. In this blog post, founder Maciej Ceglowski claims that If This Then That – which, according to him, is a kind of “plumbing-as-a-service” glue-code site – has fired up new …
A black hole

NASA discovers black hole here on Earth – in its software budget

While NASA can do some amazing things in space, back on the planet's surface its coders are less than stellar. The US agency has spent four years developing code that will run its future Spaceport Command and Control System (SCCS) software. But an audit by its Office of Inspector General has found that the project's costs are …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2016

'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

Analysis The programmer who sparked a brief meltdown in the JavaScript world last week says he has no regrets – and that it should be a learning experience for the community. Indeed it has been: NPM, the popular package manager at the heart of last Tuesday's kerfuffle, has changed its systems to prevent another collapse of JavaScript's …
Chris Williams, 29 Mar 2016
The Hollow Crown

How NoSQL graph databases still usurp relational dynasties

Analysis Despite being assaulted from all sides, the relational model for databases is still the king of the hill and it looks like it will not only survive, but thrive as well. NoSQL databases have become increasingly popular and have been offering a number of data and deployment modes that have overcome the limitations – real or …
Andrew Cobley, 29 Mar 2016
Docker logo

Docker goes native with Windows, Mac beta

Docker has decided the time is right for native desktop versions of its eponymous wares. The idea is to simplify what Docker's developer relations director Mano Marks says (video below) is a “dependency hell” created by the multi-layer installation currently required – installing Docker Toolbox, then installing Docker Machine …
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

The Oracle v. Google fight over Java took a couple of twists just before the Easter weekend. The database giant now reckons it is owed up to $9.3bn in copyright-infringement damages for Android's use of Java. Meanwhile, the judge in the trial wants to ban Oracle and Google lawyers from scouring jurors' social network profiles …
Chris Williams, 28 Mar 2016

Ever wondered what the worst TV show in the world would be? Apple just commissioned it

Remember when soccer's governing body FIFA spent $30m making a film about itself starring Tim Roth and Gérard Depardieu? Well, the tech world's most egomaniacal company is going to bring its version to the small screen. That's right, Apple has decided to join Netflix and Amazon and get in on the content commissioning game by …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2016

Now you can tailor Swift – on Ubuntu

The latest iteration of Apple's open-source programming language Swift has taken its first major step towards Linux support. The release of Swift 2.2 landed on March 21, and includes its first Linux port in the form of binaries for Ubuntu 14.04 and 15.10. As Neowin notes, now that there's a Linux build, "it won't be long …