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Bart Simpson

Microsoft will give away Windows 10 FREE - for ONE year

Microsoft is planning a big push for Windows 10 and will be giving away the new operating system to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 users in the first year of release. "With Windows 10, we think of the operating system as 'Windows as a service'," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's VP of operating systems. "In next few …
Iain Thomson, 21 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
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Windows 10, day ZERO ... Will Nadella be the HERO?

Remember 21 January, 2015: it will go down in history either as the date that made Microsoft or the reason why victory in mobile was put on hold for another two years. Today, the world’s largest software firm will officially reveal what it is calling the “next chapter” in Windows: Windows 10. Microsoft is expected to release …
Gavin Clarke, 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
Genie

Will fondleslab's fickle finger of fate help Windows 10?

Just two and half years ago Microsoft dropped Windows 8 on the world, playing Redmond’s card in the touch-tablet game against Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android. Windows 8 was remarkable for three reasons: the touch-inspired Metro interface, the fact Microsoft built its own-branded tablet running Windows, and it put Windows on …
Gavin Clarke, 21 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

Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

Getting Ubuntu onto everything from your home router to commercial drones is the next target of Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy’s firm is today expected to announce Ubuntu Core on smart devices, a version of its trimmed down Ubuntu Core that targets the Internet of Stuff. Ubuntu Core for smart devices …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jan 2015

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Each time there’s a new version of Windows, Microsoft bills it as “the best Windows yet," understandably enough. History teaches us that each time Microsoft tries to really stretch itself and push the development envelope on Windows, it backfires. Windows 8 was the most recent stumble in Microsoft’s journey, with Redmond …
Gavin Clarke, 20 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
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has articulated views on security at Linux.conf.au, and seems to be closer to Google's way of thinking than Microsoft's. Torvalds, along with Debian luminary Bdale Garbee, Samba man Andrew Tridgell, and kernel coder Rusty Russell spent an hour answering conference attendees' questions last week. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2015
Netcraft web server survey January 2015

Apache retains perch atop global web server market

Microsoft Internet Information Server's (IIS') tilt for the title of the planet's most-prevalent web server has ended, with Apache well and truly back of top of Netcraft's survey. IIS took the web server crown last year, when measrued by active hostnames, largely thanks to Chinese linkfarms running up oodles of servers as part …
Simon Sharwood, 19 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
Hand screwed to a cross

Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

New wording in Microsoft’s enterprise licensing agreements could see customers forced to pay more to Redmond while simultaneously jumping through new licensing hoops. Microsoft has re-worked the fine print of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) in a way that confers greater power on its licensing agents to interpret the rules. It has …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jan 2015

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

After such a banner year of Linux releases it might seem overly pessimistic to pause and ask this question: is there a future beyond this? The answer is, of course, "yes" – or rather it's yes, but... The qualifying "but" can take many forms, depending on who you talk to and what their stake is in the game. Even if you take the …
Zombie rising from the grave

PROOF the undead STALK Verizon users: Admen caught using 'perma-cookie'

Researchers have spotted an advertising agency using Verizon’s indestructible cookies to silently track people across the internet. Back in 2012, Verizon started injecting a "unique identifier token header" (UIDH) into each HTTP request sent through its mobile data network; these identifiers are unique to each subscriber and …
Iain Thomson, 15 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
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
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
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
Chrome remote desktop running on an iPad

Adults-only Chrome add-on grabs you by the Googlies

Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app does what it says on the can: install it in Google's browser and it becomes possible to drive the host Mac, PC or Chromebook from another similarly-equipped machine. As of today it's also possible to drive a machine from iOS, as Google has been kind enough to release an app for the iPhone or …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2015

Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

Today, 13 January, is the day on which Microsoft's Windows 7 passes from mainstream support into extended support. The milestone is the first on the road to Microsoft pulling the plug on January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is a widely-admired version of Windows, as it is more stable than its predecessor Windows Vista and did not try …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2015

This $10 phone charger will wirelessly keylog your boss

MySpace mischief-maker Samy Kamkar has released schematics for a dirt-cheap wireless sniffer capable of plundering keystrokes from office cubicles. The "Keysweeper" looks and functions like a generic USB phone charger, but conceals Arduino-powered sniffing gear within. The device targets Microsoft wireless keyboards and …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jan 2015
Visual Studio

Microsoft thinks of the children with VS2013 Git release

Microsoft has clambered aboard GitHub's educational effort, tossing Visual Studio Community 2013 and a few other goodies into the mix. The Github Student Development Pack was launched last year, targeting aspiring devs aged 13 and over. Visual Studio Community 2013 (launched in 2014, natch) is already free, so the aim is …
Apple Watch

Apple Watch support spotted hiding out in iOS 8.2 beta

The latest iOS 8.2 beta build includes support for the Apple Watch, we're told, signaling the expensive wristputer is looming. The smartwatch requires an iPhone nearby to work, hence the need for the handset's OS to support the gadget. In late December, Register sources close to Apple said the Cupertino giant's engineers were …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2015
A Simple XMLFilter class

Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

The US Supreme Court hasn't decided whether it will hear arguments in the long-running dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights, and it has asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it makes up its mind. On Monday, the Supremes posted a memo inviting US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr to "express the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

I don't think you're ready for this Jelly: Google pulls support for Android WebView

Google has decided to end support for older versions of Android WebView, the default web browser on 'droid devices. This will apply to users running 4.3 or earlier versions of its Android smartphone OS. It has decided instead to invite securobods to fix the problem, saying it "welcome(d) patches with the report for …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2015
One Direction. Pic: Eva Rinaldi

Boybanders ONE DIRECTION launch DoS attack on open-source bods

Harry Styles and his pals in One Direction have launched a denial of service attack on an open source coding conference in Cardiff, with the band maliciously pinging tens-of-thousands of its teenage fans at the city on the same day as DjangoCon 2015. Organisers had planned the first UK version of the convention for people who …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2015
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

SURPRISE: Norks' Linux distro has security vulns

Well, that didn't take long: mere days after North Korea's Red Star OS leaked to the west in the form of an ISO, security researchers have started exposing its vulnerabilities. According to this post at Seclists, the udev rules in version 3.0 of the US and the rc.sysint script in version 2.0 are both world-writable. Both of …
Apple unveils OS X Yosemite

OS X search tool Spotlight runs roughshod over Mail privacy settings

Spotlight, the desktop search engine for OS X computers, will ignore privacy settings in Apple's Mail client when showing messages in its search results. The programming booboo means pictures and possibly other files linked to in HTML emails will automatically show up even if you've told Apple's supplied client to not load …
Shaun Nichols, 10 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
Microsoft OneDrive

One Sync to rule them all: How Microsoft plans to fix OneDrive

Microsoft has revealed details of how it plans to fix the problematic file synchronisation between PCs and its online storage services. Windows Client VP Chris Jones notes that Windows currently has three sync engines and two online services – OneDrive consumer and OneDrive for Business – each based on different technology. The …
Tim Anderson, 9 Jan 2015

What an ACE-HOLE! This super-software will whip you at poker, hands down

Researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, think they've made the perfect poker-playing program – and are inviting people to try their hand against it. The software, dubbed Cepheus, is a machine-learning system that has been taught to play a variant of Texas Hold 'em called heads-up limit, where players can only bet fixed …
Iain Thomson, 9 Jan 2015

Latest NORKS Linux and Android distros leak

The latest copy of North Korea's in-house Red Star Linux has leaked to the internet and it looks a lot like OS X, computer science graduate Will Scott says. An unnamed source contacted Scott ahead of his talk on Red Star and North Korea computing at the Chaos Communications Congress last month and shortly after published the …
Darren Pauli, 9 Jan 2015

Not app-y with VAT: Apple bumps up prices in Blighty, Europe, Canada

Updated Apple is enjoying a super-soaraway January: its App Store has cleared nearly half a billion dollars in sales in just the first seven days of the month, we are told. New Year’s Day set the record for the largest number of App Store sales in a 24-hour period, and Apple reports sales in 2014 were up 50 per cent on the previous year …
Iain Thomson, 8 Jan 2015
Frodo and the Ring

Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Comment A couple of months back, Dutch computer scientist Erik Meijer gave an outspoken and distinctly anti-Agile talk at the Reaktor Dev Day in Finland. “Agile is a cancer that we have to eliminate from the industry," said Meijer; harsh words for a methodology that started in the nineties as a lightweight alternative to bureaucratic …
Tim Anderson, 8 Jan 2015

Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

Windows 7 remains the planet's dominant desktop operating system, but Windows XP again claimed second place during December 2014 according to data from Statcounter.com and Netmarketshare. We've tracked the two firms' data for a year now and both have produced some odd dips and surges, reflecting their imperfect methods of …
Doomsday clock

Hang on a second – Time Lords have added one to 2015

Time Lords at the Earth Orientation Center of the International Earth Rotation Service have decided we need an extra second in 2015, thanks to slowing in the Earth's rotation. Notice of the extra second says it will be slotted in on June 30th, when the clock will tick over from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before ticking over again to …