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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 …
GCP Next16

Google puts a gun to the head of IT middlemen – the ops teams

GCP Next If you work in IT operations, Google thinks your role is going the way of the gas station attendant: replaced by do-it-yourself, self-serving tools. "We want no ops and instead automated IT systems," Google VP Diane Greene told the GCP Next 2016 developer event in San Francisco. "App Engine, BigQuery, our container engine, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2016
Klondike 11.4 on MacOS

This chap's maintained an Apple game for 32 years – from Mac to iOS

In an era where new games are sometimes considered "dated" 12 months after their debut, one man has spent 32 years keeping a single title active. Michael Casteel has been building and maintaining his version of Klondike longer than many of his fellow App Store developers have been alive. The Mac version of the card game traces …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Mar 2016

Error checks? Eh? What could go wrong, really? (DoSing a US govt site)

Line Break It's time for your dose of Line Break, our Wednesday column of coding nightmares that have haunted Register readers at one time or another. This also means we're already halfway to Friday. Judging by some of these following tales, we can only assume one too many developers out there are already half cut by this point in the …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016

What was all that about a scary iMessage flaw? Your three-minute guide

Watercooler – On Sunday, we were warned that hackers could read our iMessages texts, photos and videos. Should I be worried? As it turns out: no. If you're even a little curious about cryptography and secure programming, though, it should interest and amuse you. On Sunday, the Washington Post learned that Apple had fixed a flaw in the …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Updated Programmers were left staring at broken builds and failed installations on Tuesday after someone toppled the Jenga tower of JavaScript. A couple of hours ago, Azer Koçulu unpublished more than 250 of his modules from NPM, which is a popular package manager used by JavaScript projects to install dependencies. Koçulu yanked his …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Google debuts Node.js beta on its App Engine

In Brief Google has added support for Node.js on its marmitey App Engine on a managed VM beta basis. JavaScript devs have been offered the chance to use the Chocolate Factory's cloud service to tend to their web and mobile apps. The far-from-universally adored App Engine intends to offer an easy service for developers to "build, …
Adobe announced cross-device user tracking at its Summit event in Las Vegas

Adobe will track you across all your devices with new co-op project

Adobe has announced what it calls "cross-device co-operation" at its Summit digital marketing event under way in Las Vegas. The goal, said Adobe Target Director Kevin Lindsay, is to "provide the ability, through all our marketing solutions, for marketers to be able to market to their consumers as people rather than as separate …
Tim Anderson, 22 Mar 2016
whitehall_648

Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni, has promised the government will start chopping up its big IT contracts in the next year and kick its dependency on just a handful of suppliers. Amyas Morse, auditor general at the National Audit Office, told the Public Accounts Committee yesterday that 51 per cent of …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

New York senator proposes tax credit for open-source developers

A New York state senator says open-source programmers should be able to claim back part of their costs for writing free software. NY senate bill S161, proposed by Senator Daniel Squadron (D) and co-sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D), would allow developers to claim for 20 per cent of the out-of-pocket costs of …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2016
Apple's new Cupertino campus - rendering

Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

Apple's refusal to build a crippled iOS that will help the FBI unlock a killer's iPhone goes far beyond the executive suite. Some of Cupertino's own engineers are refusing to work on the operating system in case they are forced to aid the US government. Register sources familiar with the matter told us that, since the start of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2016

HERE: We're still, er... HERE

HERE has provided the best, and some say only real mobile competition to Google Maps, but this week it dumped its biggest fans: people who own a Windows Phone. So we were keen to hear more about HERE’s strategy - to find out whether we have any part in its future thinking. HERE says Microsoft’s impending shift to Windows 10 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2016
Stevie Graham shows off his successfully reverse engineered mobile banking app at QCon

Stevie Graham: Why I hack mobile banking apps

QCon One of the highlights of the QCon software development conference in London last week was Stevie Graham's presentation on reverse-engineering mobile banking apps. "Who's ever wanted a banking API?" Graham asked his audience, mainly developers and including numerous attendees with the names of well-known banks on their badges. …
Tim Anderson, 18 Mar 2016

Jump aboard our load balancing Maglev, Google tells devs

Google will open-source its super-duper load balancing Maglev tool to developers – a move that will also bolster its own infrastructure developments. In a blog post Google said it has a history of building its own networking gear, "and perhaps unsurprisingly, we build our own network load balancers as well, which have been …
Kat Hall, 17 Mar 2016
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Slack smackback: There's no IRC in team (software), say open-sourcers

Open-source software is not possible without collaboration and collaboration is not possible without communication. Collaborative communication in open source projects typically means some form of distributed chat. In the past, and indeed the present for most projects, that has meant IRC. IRC has some disadvantages, though, …
Croteam's Talos Principle is among the first games to support Vulkan

Intel slips out Vulkan driver beta for Windows

Chipzilla has decided Vulkan, the replacement technology for the ancient OpenGL, is worth supporting and has announced a bunch of beta drivers that implement the API. Vulkan 1.0 landed last month, with Intel joining AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Google in promising to support it. AMD announced its beta drivers in synch with the …
The dashboard in Back to the Future showing the date 21 October 2015

'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Link Break Is it that time of the week again already? You've reached Line Break, our weekly roundup of terrible code you've seen in the wild. Today, we're going to delve into submissions from reader comments rather than the usual postbag. Line Break article comments are such a rich seam of snippets and anecdotes, it would remiss to not …
Chris Williams, 16 Mar 2016

Get ready to patch Git servers, clients – nasty-looking bugs surface

Updated A chap who found two serious security bugs in Git servers and clients has urged people to patch their software. The flaws are present in Git including the 2.x, 1.9 and 1.7 branches, meaning the vulnerabilities have been lurking in the open-source version control tool for years. It is possible these two programming blunders …
Chris Williams, 16 Mar 2016

Mozilla will emit 'first version' of Servo-based Rust browser in June

Mozilla is planning an initial release of its new Servo-based new web browser engine in June, according to a post on the developer mailing list by research engineer Paul Rouget. Communication diagram for Mozilla How Servo's parts link up inside "Release" in this context does not suggest a production-ready download, but …
Tim Anderson, 15 Mar 2016

Here's what an Intel Broadwell Xeon with a built-in FPGA looks like

Pic At the OCP Summit last week in San Jose, California, Intel quickly mentioned it will later this year ship Xeon processors with built-in FPGAs. Chipzilla will also release open-source software libraries allowing people to program these customizable gate arrays to take workloads off the CPUs and perform them in hardware. Intel …
Chris Williams, 14 Mar 2016

Microsoft traps and tortures poor little AI in soulless Minecraft world

Microsoft's boffins in its New York research lab are encouraging a Minecraft character to teach itself how to climb a hill. Their work, described here, is an advertisement for AIX. No, not the Unix – Redmond's platform, due to be open-sourced this summer, that helps computer scientists test their machine-learning algorithms in …
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

GNU want (another) free AI package release? Yes. But we should train this puppy

The GNU free software project has launched version 0.0.1 of its Gneural Network package in response to the “outstanding and truly inspiring” results achieved of late in proprietary artificial intelligence. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) describes Gneural Network as a GNU package for a programmable neural network, which as …
This Damn War image via Shutterstock

Computer says: Stop using MacWrite II, human!

This Damn War My first proper job was at the university at which I'd been studying; when I graduated in Computing Science there were a couple of tech support jobs going and I managed to bag one of them. I started as the Unix guy (these were the days when SunOS was still SunOS – the Solaris name was yet to come) but later on I gravitated into …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Mar 2016

Code.org hole gave access to volunteers' email addresses

Code.org, the not-for-profit attempting to teach the world to code in perfect harmony, has 'fessed up to a flaw on its site that exposed volunteers' email addresses. “On Friday night we discovered and fixed an error in the Code.org site that allowed access to our volunteer email addresses,” writes CEO Hadi Partovi. “This wasn …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Mar 2016
SQL Linux

Behold, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – and a firm screw-you to Oracle

Pic In an aggressive move, Microsoft has told Oracle customers: migrate to SQL Server 2016 and Redmond with give you free licensing for the lifetime of the product plus technical support. Microsoft made the offer at a special Data Driven day in New York City on Thursday, and has taken out full page advertisements in the national …
Iain Thomson, 10 Mar 2016

Google emits Android N developer preview early to smoke out bugs

Developers usually have to wait for the Google I/O conference in May before getting their paws on the latest Android builds, but this year the Chocolate Factory has let its version 7.0, or N, build out of the bag well before the show. "We're doing something a little different this year by releasing the preview early ... really …
Iain Thomson, 9 Mar 2016
Acorn's BBC Micro schematics

So you wanna build whopping pools of PCIe flash? Say no more, whisper Intel, Facebook

OCP Summit Intel will reveal a bunch of tech today at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit in San Jose, California – from NVMe storage blueprints and new Xeon D system-on-chips to processors with builtin FPGAs. The OCP, launched by Facebook in 2011, encourages hardware manufacturers to produce generic gear to the project's open …
Red Hat

Qualcomm ARM server chips try on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for size

Qualcomm and Red Hat are busy porting the latter's enterprise-friendly flavor of Linux to Qualy's upcoming 64-bit ARM server processors, we learned today. Specifically, the pair are "collaborating" to bring Red Hat's Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview to Qualcomm's 24-core ARMv8-A silicon shown off in October …

'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Line Break Welcome back to Line Break, our weekly roundup of terrible code you've seen in the wild. Over the past six weeks, we've featured all sorts of broken or ugly source – from insecure web apps to write-once-read-never-again scientific programs. Now we turn to ... the monthly report. The sort of thing you automate ASAP with a handy …