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Microsoft, Oracle sued: Tech duo accused of trampling DB patents

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and Saint Matthew Research (SMR) on Tuesday filed lawsuits against Microsoft and Oracle alleging the infringement of database patents. The UTRF exists to commercialize intellectual property arising from research at the University of Tennessee; SMR is a California-based …
Thomas Claburn, 03 May 2017
MS event

Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Liveblog It's a warm day in New York City and Microsoft is holding a large press event that is expected to be the debut for its plans to take over some of Chromebooks' market share. The Redmond event is focused on education, an area where Google has been eating Microsoft for breakfast, particularly with ChromeOS-powered computers. Over …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2017
Back to the future

Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

If the recent news that Canonical is killing its Unity 8 desktop/phone interface and Mir display server caught you off guard, it’s only because you haven't been paying attention to the ups and down of the Linux world. Unity 8 and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth's vision of convergence did not find a market in time for it …
LInux nutella

Rejoice, for Linux 4.11 has been delivered!

Linus Torvalds has given the world version 4.11 of the Linux kernel. “So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm,” Torvalds posted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, adding “I'm much happier releasing a final 4.11 now. So what do we get this time around? Among other things, Linux is now better at hot- …
Simon Sharwood, 01 May 2017

Secure Boot booted from Debian 9 'Stretch'

Debian's release team has decided to postpone its implementation of Secure Boot. In a release update from last week, release team member Jonathan Wiltshire wrote that “At a recent team meeting, we decided that support for Secure Boot in the forthcoming Debian 9 'stretch" would no longer be a blocker to release. The likely, …
Simon Sharwood, 01 May 2017

Apache OpenOffice: Not dead yet, you'll just have to wait until mid-May for mystery security fixes

Apache OpenOffice, sized for euthanasia by one of its own last year, still lives and should see an update before the end of May, allegedly. The open-source productivity suite has been referred to as "a shambling corpse" by those appalled at its languid update schedule and those skeptical that its skeleton crew of volunteers …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Apr 2017

O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

Canadians have had a mildly frustrating week as a pair of IT problems derailed broadband connections, blacked out TVs, cut off phone lines, and halted buses in America's hat. Nationwide telco provider Shaw said a botched software update was behind an outage that left thousands of customers across the country without home …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2017
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Flatpak and Snaps aren't destined for graveyard of failed Linux tech yet

The world of Linux has long been divided into tribes, or distros as we called them. But what actually makes a distro? The packages it uses? The people who put those packages together? The philosophy behind the choices the people who put the packages together make? The question of what makes a distro is actually very difficult on …

Phew! Chrome to warn when you watch insecure smut

Google's efforts to make unsecured HTTP connections untenable will step up in October, when its Chrome browser starts to warn users that more web sites are insecure. October will see the advent of Chrome version 62, an update that will see the browser warn users that HTTP-only pages are insecure if they ask for any data entry …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2017
Gentoo penguins photo via Shutterstock

SourceForge: Let's hold hands in a post-CodePlex world

SourceForge wants tighter ties with other code repositories following Microsoft’s decision to shutter CodePlex. President Logan Abbott has said he’ll seek tighter integration between SourceForge’s tools and those of others – including giant rival GitHub. Abbot was speaking after Microsoft announced the closure of its open- …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Apr 2017
broken window

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2017
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Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't

May's nearly here, and you know what that means. Yet another round of monthly browser stats articles. If past trends are an indication of future development, we'll see the continued loss of market share by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and the rise and rise of Google’s Chrome. I’m old enough to remember the browser wars of the …
Dave Cartwright, 26 Apr 2017

Amazon: 'Alexa, how do you fix shoddy APIs that keep breaking apps? Asking, er, for a friend'

Updated Developers trying to integrate their applications with the Amazon Echo have suffered headache after headache for the past week, thanks to mystery problems with Alexa APIs. For several days now, third-party apps have been unable to use Amazon's Skills Kit as expected, and thus are unable to receive voice commands via Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2017
Kit Kat bar

Microsoft cracks open patch mega-bundles for biz admins, will separate security, stability fixes

Microsoft has added yet another option to its monthly patch jumble for IT departments. The software goliath said that beginning with the Windows 10 Creators Update (aka Version 1703), which is now rolling out, admins have the option to install performance and stability patches separate from security fixes. The new bundles …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Apr 2017
Land Rover BAR's America's Cup boat for 2017

The brave British boat men hoping to poke Larry Ellison's lads in the eye

We got a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Land Rover BAR sailing team hoping to leave Oracle’s Larry Ellison with a red face in this year’s America’s Cup. Using some rather nifty custom-built mobile app tech, running on off-the-shelf Android hardware, the team hopes to win the America’s Cup for Great Britain for the first …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Apr 2017
Weapon of the information wars from Shutterstock

Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

Microsoft will this summer start mining LinkedIn as a CRM database using Dynamics 365 in a bid to challenge Salesforce. Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution will be available from 1 July and combine Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn's Sales Navigator Team Edition. Prices start at a $135 per month, although if you purchase …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2017
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Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

Development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source variant of Solaris – is being killed after five years of work. Active development of OmniOS by OmniTI is being suspended, we're told, with its current beta being the final release. OmniOS is a distribution of Illumos, which is derived from OpenSolaris, Sun's open-source flavor …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2017
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Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management

Office 365 administrators have a reason to be happy: Microsoft has finally joined the party on group-based Office 365 licence management, saving time from manual maintenance, or the reliance on scripts and third-party systems. The 'before' time Until earlier this year, administrators of Office 365 had no pure native way to …
Adam Fowler, 24 Apr 2017

Uber cloaked its spying and all it got from Apple was a slap on the wrist

Uber hid its fingerprinting of iPhone users from Apple – techniques that would have had any other app thrown out of Apple's store. Uber retained the information even after the Uber app had been deleted and the phone had been wiped. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick got a personal reprimand from Apple CEO Tim Cook, but the app stayed put …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Apr 2017

Apache Foundation hails Metron as new top level project for cybersecurity

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced Metron, a cybersecurity applications framework for centralised monitoring and analysis of network traffic, as its newest top-level project. Metron was born out of Cisco's OpenSoc project in 2014. OpenSoc aimed to provide a scalable security analytics tool based on the Hadoop …
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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

In early April, Stanford University began piloting a new version of its introductory computer science course, CS 106A. The variant, CS 106J, is taught in JavaScript rather than Java. "[CS 106J] covers the same material as CS 106A but does so using JavaScript, the most common language for implementing interactive web pages, …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Apr 2017
Penguin road sign

Linux 4.11 delayed for a week by NVMe glitches and 'oops fixes'

The Register hasn't needed to spend much time covering Linux 4.11 because hiccups haven't happened and Linux daddy Linus Torvalds' comments have been sparse and measured, other than a slightly terse lesson on how to Pull properly. But today he's posted that this version of Linux has hit a speed bump in the form of “NVMe power …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017
Devuan logo

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Devuan, the effort to build a systemd-free version of Debian, has released Devuan Jessie 1.0.0, a release candidate felt to be just about the finished article. In a mail sent to the project's followers the self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” behind Devuan say “This Devuan Jessie release candidate is as close as we can get to …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Apr 2017
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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Review The arrival of Ubuntu 17.04 this month was completely overshadowed by Mark Shuttleworth's decision to abandon the Unity desktop for a stock GNOME Shell interface. Before you panic, Unity 7 will continue to be available via the Ubuntu universe repos. From the chatter on forums and blogs around the Ubuntu ecosystem it sounds …
Windows 10 logo

Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

Updated Microsoft's explained how often it intends to offer “feature updates” to Windows 10: twice a year in March and September. That schedule will bring Windows 10 into line with the update schedule already used by Office 365 ProPlus. Knowing when updates will land is useful. But Microsoft's announcement says “Each Windows 10 …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017

What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist

If a week is a long time in politics, it must be an eternity at Redmond, where the strategy team is seemingly obliged to create a new one every few minutes. Here's another for you. On Wednesday Microsoft launched a new To-Do app, called er, "To-Do". If that sounds a curious move, it's because it is. Very. Microsoft also said …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2017

Microsoft touts SQL Server 2017 as 'first RDBMS with built-in AI'

Microsoft is due to announce what it's calling "the first RDBMS with built-in AI". In other words, a community technology preview of SQL Server 2017 with additional support for R and – for the first time – Python. Expected to be announced Wednesday during Microsoft Data Amp, the preview release will introduce in-database …
Soliders marching photo via Shutterstock

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Open Source Insider Write, as I have, about Firefox and you receive the usual slew of critics who demand to know why Firefox matters? Who cares if Firefox continues to exist? This is often accompanied by "Chrome is better! Chrome is all we need!" Clearly a lot of people do think Chrome is better. StatCounter, which offers reasonably reliable …
Raised middle finger

Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

A developer using the handle “Zeffy” claims to have found a way around Microsoft's ban on updates for old versions of Windows on shiny new CPUs. Microsoft flagged its new policy early last year, telling world+dog that Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017

Guess who's back at Microsoft? Excel, Word creator Charles Simonyi

Microsoft has acquired Intentional Software on undisclosed terms. You may or may not have heard of Intentional Software: it develops a platform for team productivity apps. More importantly, by gobbling up this biz, Microsoft has recaptured Charles Simonyi – the man who spearheaded the building of Redmond's flagship …
Firefox developer edition

Mozilla abandons experimental Aurora Firefox channel

Mozilla is killing the channel it introduced for developers to test experimental new features in Firefox and keep pace with Chrome. The Aurora channel will stop receiving new code releases from 18 April, Mozilla has said. New code will revert to the established Firefox Nightly builds from where it will land in beta builds of …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Apr 2017
Heartbeat graph

Graphite core? There are other ways to monitor your operation's heart

The BBC and NHS epitomise enterprise: the BBC has 23,000 staff while the NHS is one of the world's largest employers, with 1.4 million. Their IT estate is vast and central to the delivery of their services. The BBC's iPlayer is on the front line in a world of on-demand TV defined by Netflix, and among its layered infrastructure …
Dave Cartwright, 13 Apr 2017

Canonical sharpens post-Unity axe for 80-plus Ubuntu spinners

Exclusive More than 80 workers at Ubuntu-maker Canonical are facing the chop as founder Mark Shuttleworth takes back the role of chief executive officer. The number, revealed today by The Reg, comes as Shuttleworth takes the top role from CEO-of-eight-years Jane Silber, who was previously chief operating officer. Silber, now no longer …

Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance

Farewell, Windows Vista, we hardly knew ye. But as of now* you're out of support and even-more-unloved than was previously the case. Vista appeared in January 2007 and quickly irked users with a feature called “User Account Control” that produced constant queries about whether they wanted to do something. Microsoft added that …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Apr 2017
Windows 10 Creators Update with Paint 3D and upgraded Edge browser

Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue

Microsoft's rollout of Windows 10 Creators Update has begun, complete with a privacy dialogue box shown by default to all users. When will you get the update? Microsoft says “the first phase will target newer devices … we will then expand the Creators Update release to additional devices based on the feedback.” The process …
Tim Anderson, 11 Apr 2017
red fox. pic by Shutterstock

WileyFox disentangles itself from Cyanogen

WileyFox is rowing its users away from the wreckage of the Cyanogen disaster, with some help from Ricardo Cerqueira, Cyanogen Inc’s former director of engineering. Britain’s only mass market phone maker is engaged in a mortal battle with HMD’s Nokia brand at the low end of the market. Today, the former released an update to …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Apr 2017
Mark Shuttleworth photo by Canonical

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has labelled some members of the free software community habitual, hateful and reflexive contrarians. Shuttleworth added a comment to his own Google+ post thanking those who worked on Ubuntu's recently-abandoned Unity Project. But as he read the comments on that post, his mood changed and he …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2017
People fight in cartoon cloud. photo by Shutterstock

Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes

Open source luminary Eric S. Raymond has given the world eight “Hacker Archetypes” that he thinks offer useful ways to categorise your colleagues and by doing so help them to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Raymond says he thinks that's a worthwhile exercise because a friend of his says categorising people helps her …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2017
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Hortonworks CTO's ACID Merge: The impossible dream, realised

Interview Hortonworks believes it's solved duplication issues in its Hadoop spin that menaced users when incrementally merging data. And CTO Scott Gnau reckoned customers are heaving sighs of relief after Hortonworks has realised what must have seemed impossible. Gnau was speaking to The Register at the DataWorks Summit in Munich this …
Geoscape layers

Wisdom of crowds plus a splash of AI give Australia new national analytical map data

Australia's Public Sector Mapping Agency (PSMA) and US satellite constellation operator DigitalGlobe have joined together to come up with a whole-of-continent, high-resolution analytical data set. Perhaps in need of a high-value product after its G-NAF (Geococded National Address File) was published for free a Data.gov.au, the …
A guinea pig

Roll up, sysadmins, now you can join Windows Insider for businesses

Microsoft is opening up a new Windows Insider program for IT departments looking to test out new features in advance. The Redmond software builder says the Windows Insider Program for Business will allow corporate techies to try upcoming versions of the OS in workplace-like test environments before they are pushed out to end …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Apr 2017
Twitter flock

Twitter's motto: If at first you screwed developers over, try, try again, eh?

After taking developers for a ride and then repeatedly driving into a ditch, Twitter has a new destination in mind and has produced a roadmap to reassure those who haven't already leapt out the door. The turmoil-prone, cash-burning, executive-churning social media biz on Thursday said it will unify its API platform, combining …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Apr 2017

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