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I'm the wire starter: ARM, IBM tout plug 'n' play Internet of Stuff kit

Pics ARM and IBM today hope to lure a few more engineers, tinkerers and the like into their Internet of Things (IoT) world with a cloud-connected development kit bundle. The new Ethernet IoT Starter Kit combines the gizmo-laden mbed Application Shield with a Cortex-M4-powered board from Freescale. You plug the two together, hook the …
Chris Williams, 24 Feb 2015
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world. Corbet raised the issue at his annual "Kernel Report" talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in …
Neil McAllister, 20 Feb 2015
Close-up of the flu virus (artist's impression) - Shutterstock

Google unleashes tame botnet to hunt XSS in cloudy code

Google has unleashed its own application security scanner, potentially rescuing admins from 'fiddly' existing offerings. The scanner will check code running in App Engine for cross-site scripting (XSS) and mixed content vulnerabilities. Choc Factory engineering head Rob Mann says its scanner uses its Compute Engine to forge a …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2015

Ads! People! love! ads! in! their! apps! Please! use! ours! cries! Yahoo!

Yahoo! has released a set of tools allowing smartphone apps to use the web giant's Bing-powered search engine and serve up ads. The Purple Palace said its Mobile Developer Suite can be used to display Yahoo!'s Gemini marketplace and BrightRoll video ads (no, me neither). The suite bundles the Yahoo! App Publishing and App …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2015

What does America need right now? Data science! (says, er, the first Chief Data Scientist)

The White House has created the post of Chief Data Scientist and hired the guy who coined the term as its first incumbent, DJ Patil. Patil lives in California and has worked for a number of Silicon Valley giants, including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal and Skype. Now he's moving to Washington DC for the role and report to Chief …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
Stella Artois: Queens Tennis Championship. Artwork by stevecaplin.com for The Guardian

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Feature Nothing proves the popularity of a star product more than its name being used as a verb. Rival companies hate it, but carpets get Hoovered, wrapping paper gets Sellotaped. And what do you do to a photo? A poorly Photoshopped picture can arouse horror or derision, while a half-decent one can become an internet phenomenon. Think …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Feb 2015

Wanna cheerlead open internet standards, help out the peeps at IETF? Enter the ISoc Maze

The political arm of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Society, has posted its approved slate of candidates for two board positions – and invited everyone else in the world to parachute into the process. The IETF will be best known among Reg readers as the volunteer developers and maintainers of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
Jim Zemlin, speaking at Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2015

Critical 0-days in open source? The problem isn't code, it's CASH

Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin thinks the information security world needs fewer surgeons and more personal trainers, and he's putting his organization's money where his mouth is. Speaking at this year's Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, an invite-only event taking place this week in Santa Rosa, California, …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
HTTP/2 flow diagram

HTTP/2 spec gets green light: Faster web or needless complexity?

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has approved the specifications for HTTP/2 and HPACK (a compression format for HTTP/2 header fields), says working group chair Mark Nottingham. HTTP/2 is based on SPDY, a Google-developed protocol designed to speed up web page loading by compressing the content and reducing the …
Tim Anderson, 18 Feb 2015
Linux kernel development

Linux kernel dev has gone well and truly corporate – report

The Linux kernel is growing and changing faster than ever, but its development is increasingly being supported by a select group of companies, rather than by volunteer developers. That's according to the latest survey of Linux kernel of development by the Linux Foundation, which it published to coincide with the kickoff of this …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
Brent Spiner signed photo saying 'Big Data'

Inspired by Linux, Pivotal to open-source bulk of big data suite

Pivotal will make the majority of its big data suite open source, drawing inspiration from the Linux concept. The decision will see “core” code for HAWQ, Greenplum Database and Pivotal GemFire released to anyone who cares to footle with it, but plenty of the footling looks like it will be done by a new group calling itself the …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2015
Interstellar movie black hole special effects

Interstellar sci-fi WORMS its way into spinning black hole science FACT

Vid Boffins who worked alongside Hollywood film-makers on the Oscar-nominated sci-fi flick Interstellar reckon they've come up with new discoveries that reveal the "powerful effects" of black holes – all thanks to the computer code that was used for the movie. As The Register reported back in October, theoretical physicist Kip …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2015
X-ray image showing vibrator in passenger's luggage

W3C turns BROWSERS into VIBRATORS

Web wonks at the W3C have issued a new Recommendation that gives browsers control of vibrators. Recommendations are the W3C's polite way of defining standards, so this week's notification that the Vibration API has attained this status means the world now has a standard way to make devices throb, buzz, jitter, oscillate or …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2015
Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner in "Fall Out"

Joyent: Never mind those other forkers, Node.js has a foundation now, too

The popular, open source Node.js JavaScript runtime engine is getting a new foundation to manage its development, in a move that could help mend the recent schism in the project's community. To date, Node.js has been sponsored and overseen by Joyent, the infrastructure-as-a-service company where Ryan Dahl, the software's creator …
Neil McAllister, 10 Feb 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

MongoDB's feline brains trust sink their claws into NoSQL

By any measure, BerkeleyDB was a hit. It became the world’s most widely deployed embedded and open-source database, meaning that the company which did the most work to maintain it, Sleepycat, got swallowed by Larry Ellison’s database giant Oracle in 2006. Mike Olson was Sleepycat’s business chief. He’s now CEO of Hadoop venture …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Feb 2015
Web browsers

RIP SPDY, we hardly knew ye: Google to retire next-gen web protocol

Google has decided to mothball its home-grown SPDY internet application-layer protocol in future versions of its Chrome browser, in favor of the Internet Engineering Taskforce's HTTP/2 spec. "Chrome has supported SPDY since Chrome 6, but since most of the benefits are present in HTTP/2, it's time to say goodbye," Google engineer …

Apple preps to DUMP crappy, sluggish iPhoto FOR GOOD

Apple has pushed out a pre-release version of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 to developers, ahead of Cupertino's planned Spring arrival of its iPhoto killer – Photos. Coders can now play around with a beta of the Photos app, after Apple confirmed in June 2014 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference that it was abandoning its …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Feb 2015

WHERE'S WALLY? He's in this algorithm, says developer

The location of stripe-shirt-wearing picture book character Wally has been nailed down by cold hard algorithms. Where's Wally (or Where's Waldo in the US and Canada) books have inflicted eye-strain and brought tears and screams to kiddies since their 1987 debut, when the series first asked readers to spot the titular character …
Darren Pauli, 6 Feb 2015

Internet lobs $$$s at dev of crucial GPG tool after he runs short of cash

Werner Koch is looking at a big payday after pulling in over $150,000 to fund the continuing development of his crucial open-source GNU Privacy Guard encryption tools. Koch, 53, is a leading light in the free software movement: in 1999, he released GPG, which uses the OpenPGP standard to safeguard the communications of millions …
Iain Thomson, 5 Feb 2015
3D graphics

Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Games giant Valve says it will release details about a promised successor to the OpenGL graphics API at a conference in San Francisco next month. The company has scheduled a session for March 5 at the Games Developer Conference where it will talk about the new release of the graphics API in a presentation called glNext: The …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Feb 2015
Microsoft campus

Microsoft takes lid off .Net Common Language Runtime sauce

In keeping with its plan to release all of its .Net Core development platform as open-source software, Microsoft on Tuesday published the code to CoreCLR, the .Net Core code execution runtime. "CoreCLR is the .Net execution engine in .Net Core, performing functions such as garbage collection and compilation to machine code," …

DataStax slurps graph database biz Titan's brains

NoSQL database-start up DataStax is today expected to announce its plans to start developing and selling a graph database for enterprises. DataStax will announce it has bought Aurelius, whose team is behind the Apache-licensed Titan distributed graph database for Cassandra. Financial terms were not revealed. DataStax said the …
Gavin Clarke, 3 Feb 2015
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have reportedly paid AdBlock Plus to allow their ads to pass through its filter software. The confidential deals were confirmed by the Financial Times, the paper reported today. Eyeo GmbH, the German startup behind Adblock Plus, said it did not wish to comment. So far more …
Kat Hall, 2 Feb 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

How Pivotal cracked the one-billion-dollar code

Analysis For well over a decade companies have been trying to trade in open-source popularity for mountains of cash, and for well over a decade the vast majority of them have failed. Downloads, it would appear, aren’t readily convertible into dollars. This has left Red Hat the only billion-dollar open source vendor, a distinction no one …
Matt Asay, 2 Feb 2015

AWS Go-ing Google's way

The Go language, familiar to those working in the wonderful world of Docker, is inching its way into the Amazon Web Services environment. In what'll be seen as a big win for the language, AWS is working on adding Go to its existing suite of SDKs – Java, C#, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, PHP and Objective C. Created by Google …
Boot Chess screen shot

ZX81 BEATEN at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown

Developer Olivier Poudade claims he's beaten a 33 year-old record for the smallest working Chess program. The previous record-holder, 1K ZX Chess, ran on the seminal Sinclair ZX81 which shipped with just 1K of RAM. 1K ZX Chess was lousy at the game, but its mere existence bestowed a little gravitas on the easy-to-ridicule ZX81 …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jan 2015
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

Speaking in Tech: FREE Win 10 upgrade 'NOT really a big deal'

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's El Reg's best and only tech podacast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week the crew tackles Big Blue, "free" Windows from Microsoft and police chasing Waze. Special guest Scott Hanson from Cisco is in teh hotseat. This week we discuss... 1: …
Team Register, 28 Jan 2015

Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser

The man behind the Opera browser has created a new one, he says, because power users are poorly served. The new Vivaldi browser launched today in a "Technical Preview" form, with customisation and speed taking it in a different direction to the mainstream, where minimalism rules the day. "We're creating a browser for geeks and …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jan 2015
Gerard Butler in 300

Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Two years after its last browser strategy policy change in Windows 8, Microsoft is shifting the pieces around the board again. Microsoft last week unveiled Spartan, project codename of the browser for use with anything and everything running Windows 10. Spartan is for any Windows 10 device, no matter if its input mechanism be …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jan 2015

Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

Analysis Microsoft has given us a glimpse of Windows progress this week – and it was generally well received – particularly the one-year "grace period" allowing Windows 7 holdouts to climb on board for free. While price won't induce Enterprise customers to upgrade, lower retraining costs will –and the majority will wait to see what the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2015
Downing Street road sign

Gov.UK inhaled G-Cloud, spat out framework – ex-lead claims

Whitehall is coming under fire for subsuming the G-Cloud into its coding house GDS (government digital service) at the expense of encouraging uptake of the framework. Mark Craddock, former G-cloud lead, said: "GDS is obsessed with what I call pub-prietary software – the public sector building everything in-house and putting …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

Open-source Java pals Groovy and Grails seek moneybags backer

Two major open source Java projects, Groovy and Grails, are looking for new sponsors. Pivotal, a company which supplies tools for big data analytics and cloud-oriented agile development, has announced the end of its funding for Groovy (a dynamic language that runs on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Grails (a web application …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jan 2015
The Valley - code

Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins

There's no such thing as an anonymous programmer: your coding style can unmask you, according to research led by Drexel University Comp. Sci. PhD student Aylin Caliskan-Islam. In work that has serious implications for anyone believing their open source project contributions are anonymous, the researchers find that as many as 95 …

Big software players talking common microservices definitions

Big software outfits are looking to define microservices, the concept of decomposed applications enabled by containerisation. Microservices advocates suggest that monolithic applications that run as a single process are on the way out. Instead, they imagine that different bits of an application will run as discrete processes, …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2015

GDS builds UNICORN HERDER, plays with Puppets

The United Kingdom's Government Digital Service (GDS) has built a Unicorn Herder, plays with puppets and is messing about with pretend (virtual) computers. The herder popped up on GitHub last week: it's a tool to manage daemonized unicorns. That's unicorns as in the HTTP server. GDS likes Unicorn and its related Gunicorn, but …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2015
Graphic depicting the Cluster satellite constellation in action. Credit: ESA

Tap sat app gap, yaps Inmarsat chap: Orbiting bird API opened to devs

Satellite communications oldie Inmarsat is to open up its systems to third-party developers – and wants them to create new ways to use its communications grid to link ships, aircraft, and machine-to-machine data traffic. "We have been providing global mobile connectivity for decades and want to leverage this position to …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015

Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

Linux desktop gamers should know of a bug in Valve's Steam client that will, if you're not careful, delete all files on your PC belonging to your regular user account. According to a bug report filed on GitHub, moving Steam's per-user folder to another location in the filesystem, and then attempting to launch the client may …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jan 2015
Microsoft moving to GitHub

Microsoft snubs Codeplex, moves big projects to GitHub

Microsoft has completed the move of Roslyn, the next-generation open source compiler for C# and Visual Basic, from CodePlex to GitHub. Program Manager Kasey Uhlenhuth explains that the Roslyn team is not only moving the repository, but also switching to git internally. “We are moving our code to GitHub as well as switching to …
Tim Anderson, 15 Jan 2015
Azure Index

Hands on: Implementing Azure Active Directory

Promo The Register’s Tim Phillips was joined by Paul Gregory, from QA, to deliver a live hands-on session on Azure Active Directory, which you can watch at your leisure from the comfort of your desk. It’s a 60-minute session delivered through a series of deep dive technical training demonstrations, discusses and shows how Azure Active …
David Gordon, 15 Jan 2015

Get coding or you'll bounce email from new dot-thing domains

Sysadmins needs to update their code for handling email addresses to meet changes to the global DNS, or they risk losing customers and reputation. That's according to a number of domain experts meeting at the NamesCon conference in Las Vegas this week. Representatives from Google, ICANN, DotAsia and the Domain Name Association …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2015
Node.js 'hello world' webserver

Node.js fork io.js hits version 1.0 – but don't call it production-ready

The io.js JavaScript software development runtime, a fork of Node.js, has reached version 1.0, lapping the version numbering of the original project on which it was based. Prominent Node.js developer Feodr Indutny created io.js in December 2014 after clashing with Joyent, the company that maintains Node.js, over the project's …
Neil McAllister, 14 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