Feeds

Software > More stories

Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "Fans, players and parents unite against England's 'rip-off' £90 World Cup kit" screamed the Mirror this week. "They think it’s all over... priced." Even after several thousand years of civilisation and organised commerce, it seems humans still don’t understand basic economics. Demand, not cost of manufacture, determines the …
Windows XP BSOD

Final Windows XP Patch Tuesday will plug Word RTF vuln

The final Patch Tuesday for Windows XP will bring four bulletins, including a critical fix for a zero-day Word vulnerability uncovered last week. The critical 0-day vulnerability - already the object of targeted attacks - opens the door to remote code execution nasties if a user opens a RTF file in Word 2010 or in Outlook while …
John Leyden, 4 Apr 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Right, Turkey – elections are over. You can use Twitter again

The Turkish government has finally lifted its ban on Twitter after a largely unsuccessful attempt at state-sponsored censorship in the run-up to key local elections held last Sunday. Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s administration blocked the popular microblogging platform a fortnight ago after complaining of a smear campaign …

'We’re not SNEAKY, we're DADS from the MIDWEST'

Quotw This was the week when the backlash over Mozilla's appointment of Prop 8-supporting Brendan Eich to the chief's chair continued, with OkCupid asking users to boycott the firm's popular Firefox browser. Eich's new job has provoked controversy because he donated $1,000 to a campaign supporting Proposition 8, a 2008 California …
The Four Horsemen Apocalypse ride up the grassy mound that adorns the WinXP desktop

Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Windows XP usage on the web is decreasing as the venerable operating system edges ever closer towards its "end of life" from Microsoft support next week. Data from cloud security firm's Qualys QualysGuard shows that the percentage of XP on machines decreased from 35 per cent as of January 2013 to 14 per cent in February 2014. …
John Leyden, 4 Apr 2014
india

Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

The Indian State of Tamil Nadu will solve its Windows XP problem by adopting Linux. Tamil Nadu is home to over 70 million people and its capital city is Chennai, a hub for India's business process outsourcing industry second only to Bangalore. The decision to move to Linux is outlined in this letter (PDF) from the State's …
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Microsoft: Hey, small biz devs – Windows Store apps are for you, too

Build 2014 We reckon there haven't been many line-of-business apps built for Windows 8's Modern UI so far, but Microsoft has now made it easier for companies that want to do so. Most Windows 8 Apps are downloaded and installed from the Windows Store – which is why Microsoft has taken to calling them "Windows Store Apps" following the …
Microsoft campus

Microsoft in OPEN-SOURCE .Net love-in with new foundation

Build 2014 Microsoft has opened its .Net programming framework to the developer community by releasing the code for a broad range of .Net-related software as open-source projects under the stewardship of a new, dedicated foundation. The surprise announcement came during the Thursday keynote at Redmond's annual Build developer conference, …

Microsoft vows to save devs from unspeakable cloud screw-ups

Build 2014 Microsoft has added a rollback feature to its cloud-based SQL Database to protect developers from themselves. The feature was announced on Thursday at the corporation's Build 2014 conference in San Francisco. This technology gives developers a "self-service restore" option for SQL databases hosted within the Azure cloud, …
Jack Clark, 3 Apr 2014
Azure icon

What Microsoft means by mobile first, cloud first: Build Android, iOS apps with Azure cloud

Build 2014 Microsoft has blurred the division between the desktop systems programmers use to develop software and remotely provisioned compute and storage gear so much that you have to squint to detect a difference. In a wide-ranging presentation at its Build 2014 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, multiple executives showed tools …
Jack Clark, 3 Apr 2014

I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Updated Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Firefox-maker Mozilla Corporation – after it emerged he controversially backed a ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California. In a blog post on Thursday, Mozilla cofounder and executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote that Eich's decision was voluntary and that he made it …
Photo of Stephen Elop at Build 2014

In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Analysis In a three-hour session at Build 2014, Microsoft pulled itself further clear of the wreckage created by the company's ex-Windows 8 chief Steve Sinofsky. Most keynotes ramble at least a little bit, but the sheer deluge of updates at Microsoft's annual developer conference yesterday seemed to leave the audience battered and …

Wanna attend Apple's June developers' shindig? Ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'

Updated Apple has announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held from June 2 through 6 this year in San Francisco – but if you want to attend, you'll need, as Alfred P. Doolittle sang in My Fair Lady, "a little bit of bloomin' luck." Apple's announcement for its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference 'For …
Rik Myslewski, 3 Apr 2014

Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

Whitehall and Microsoft have struck a deal providing emergency cover to tens of thousands of government PCs still running Windows XP after next week’s support cutoff for the ageing OS. A one-year deal, revealed first by The Register, will see Microsoft release security patches to Windows XP users in the public sector until April …
Gavin Clarke, 3 Apr 2014
Photo of a future Windows 8.x desktop

Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

Build 2014 Microsoft seems willing to try almost anything to increase the use of Windows 8 these days – including rolling back some of the software's least-loved features, and even giving it away for free in some cases. The latest batch of tweaks to Redmond's latest OS comes in the form of the Windows 8.1 Update, which shipped to MSDN …

Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana

Build 2014 Windows Phone took center stage at the opening keynote of Microsoft's Build developer conference on Wednesday, with the main spotlight falling on Cortana – a new personal digital assistant designed to compete head-to-head with Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now. Redmond has been promising a major revision to its smartphone …

'Dads from the Midwest' pull down their email-spaffing LinkedIn plugin

A controversial browser plug-in that offered to reveal LinkedIn users’ private email addresses has been withdrawn by its developers, at least for now. Sell Hack added a “Hack In” button to LinkedIn profiles, which sometimes (but not always) displayed email addresses that supposedly allowed users to contact LinkedIn users …
John Leyden, 2 Apr 2014
Video

Twitter scoops up Brit telly analytics outfit SecondSync

Twitter has bought British company SecondSync as it continues to ramp up its efforts to elbow its way into the lucrative television market by keeping conversations about the box buzzing on the micro-blogging site. The three-year-old firm specialises in social analytics products. Terms of the acquisition were kept secret. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Apr 2014

Don't look at Maria's SQL, look at MY SQL, pleads Oracle

Oracle says it has doubled the performance of its open source MySQL database when running over large datasets across more than 40 cores, as it strives to preserve its lead in a market thronging with credible contenders. Oracle gave details of a "Development Milestone" release of version 5.7 of its MySQL database on Monday, …
Jack Clark, 2 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Sysadmin blog What if Microsoft announced it's not ending support for Windows XP next Tuesday after all, and instead will offer perpetual updates (for a small fee, of course). Something inside me, somewhere between my sense of humor and soul-crushing cynicism, drove me to turn that dream into an April Fool for this year. But all cruel joking …
Trevor Pott, 2 Apr 2014

Psst, you want NoSQL? We got NoSQL, says MariaDB: v10 now out

MySQL fork MariaDB has, with version 10 out today, shown it has woken up to the importance of giving its users access to non-relational databases. New in v10 is the CONNECT engine, which can hook the MariaDB database system to outside sources of data, and Cassandra-compatibility features. CONNECT can access information managed …
Jack Clark, 1 Apr 2014
gavel_judgment_channel

Hotmail-gate: Windows 8 code leaker pleads guilty to theft of trade secrets

A former Microsoft employee accused of leaking prerelease Windows 8 software has pleaded guilty to stealing the company's trade secrets. Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national who spent seven years as a Microsoft employee in Russia and Lebanon, was arrested in Seattle, US, in March on charges that he shared proprietary Microsoft code …

Oracle shoves IBM out of world's No 2 software seller spot – Gartner

Oracle sold more software than IBM last year for the first time ever, making Larry Ellison’s database giant second only to Microsoft, at least according to analyst Gartner. Oracle made $29.6bn during 2013, growing 3.4 per cent over the previous year and elevating it from world’s third largest to second-largest software vendor. …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Apr 2014

Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

Video Google's Maps team has made an early entry into this year's April Fools' crop of pranks with the introduction of Pokemon to the mobile application. The company said in a video that it would be adding the Pokemon-tracking functionality as part of a campaign to hire a new "Pokemon Master" position within the company. Those who can …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Apr 2014

That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

Gmail shook up the world of free web email in the mid-2000s, but 10 years after going public in 2004, Google’s service offers much more than simply firing emails around the world. When Google unveiled Gmail on 1 April, 2004, the company’s co-founders reckoned the service was just its way of making email better. Gmail was, we …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Apr 2014

Chinese patent app tries to own Wine on ARM

A group of coders from China is trying to patent the ability to operate the popular Wine environment on ARM processors. The patent application by Insigma Technology was turned up by Phoronix, http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTY0ODI here. In the patent application, the inventors claim the following steps to …
Hadoop Elephant

Don't touch my trunk! Intel is $740m lighter after Cloudera cash shot

Intel has shoveled $740m into Hadoop company Cloudera, giving the chipmaker an 18 per cent stake in the data analysis firm. The mammoth funding was announced on Monday following the news last week of a major strategic partnership between the x86 goliath and the software upstart, which itself followed a separate funding round of …
Jack Clark, 31 Mar 2014

Mozilla DENIES reported claims of board rift over new chief Eich

Updated The Mozilla Foundation has denied that the departure of three members of its board is a vote of protest regarding the controversial appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that folks familiar with the matter say three directors - John Lilly, Ellen Siminoff and Gary Kovacs - bailed …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2014
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Amazon is decompiling our apps in security gaffe hunt, says dev

Amazon's crackdown on mishandling AWS credentials has astonished one software developer, who says the cloud giant is reverse-engineering Android apps for inspection. In this blog post, Raj Bala admitted his app included his private "AWS credentials as simple strings within the app itself”, and as a result, he's received a notice …
Jeff Hawkins

Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

Special report Jeff Hawkins has bet his reputation, fortune, and entire intellectual life on one idea: that he understands the brain well enough to create machines with an intelligence we recognize as our own. If his bet is correct, the Palm Pilot inventor will father a new technology, one that becomes the crucible in which a general …
Jack Clark, 29 Mar 2014

Watch your brain LIVE in 3D, then train your mind from inside it

GTC As we age, our brains' cognitive abilities decrease. No surprise there. But one team of researches has experimental proof of a therapeutic technique that can reverse that decline: video games. What's more, they've devised a way to directly stimulate your brain to improve its cognitive abilities, and created a 3D digital model, …
Rik Myslewski, 29 Mar 2014

FTC: Do SSL properly or we'll shove a microscope up you for decades

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has forged settlement deals with a pair of companies accused of botching their SSL encryption and leaving people vulnerable to identity thieves. According to the watchdog, Fandango and Credit Karma failed to implement basic safeguards when sending highly sensitive personal information over …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2014
French fries

Amazon Workspaces: A dish best served later

Review Amazon Workspaces, the etailer-cloud-service-provider's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure service based on a “Windows 7 desktop experience”, has been uncorked. Actually, it's Windows Server 2008 R2 with the desktop experience enabled – possibly for licensing as much as for technical reasons. Microsoft is awkward about licensing …
Tim Anderson, 28 Mar 2014
Ubuntu 14.04 menus in window

Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Review The final beta release of Ubuntu 14.04, due in April, is here. Code-named Trusty Tahr, 14.04 will be a Long Term Support release, meaning Canonical will support what you get in April for five years. The idea is it's a solid foundation for long-term development and planning by Canonical and users, particularly partners and …

ICO plugs XSS vuln in its website. Only took watchdog FIVE YEARS

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has finally fixed a security bug on its website - five years after it was first notified to the data privacy watchdog. IT consultant Paul Moore first warned the ICO about a cross site scripting (XSS) problem on its website in 2009. The flaw meant it was possible to introduce arbitrary …
John Leyden, 28 Mar 2014
Oculus Rift VR system prototype

'I will not work with Facebook... they seem creepy to me'

Quotw This was the week when Facebook continued to splash the cash, spanking $2bn on Oculus VR just a short while after splaffing $19bn on messaging app WhatsApp. To justify his latest billion-dollar purchase, chief Mark Zuckerberg gushed: Oculus' mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the …
Microsoft Excel for iPad

Microsoft's ALREADY telling of bugs in Fondle-Office for iPad

Microsoft has pointed out that the newly released Office for iPad won't immediately work for users of its SharePoint 2010 collaboration suite. As explained in two blog posts, one covering Excel documents and the other addressing PowerPoint files, the problem is that SharePoint 2010 “requires a plugin or active X to launch client …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Mar 2014
Nadella

FINALLY Microsoft releases Office for iPad – but wait there's a CATCH

Microsoft has, after years of speculation, released some of its Office applications for Apple iPad owners – but you'll need an Office 365 subscription to use them in anything other than a lobotomized form. Nadella Nadella holds his first press conference since taking former CEO Steve Ballmer's crown The Apple App Store now …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2014
webscalesql1

Forkin' 'L! Facebook, Google and friends create WebScaleSQL from MySQL 5.6

Four internet giants have teamed up to create a branch of the MySQL database that's designed to handle massive web applications. The open-source WebScaleSQL branch of MySQL 5.6 was announced by Facebook on Thursday, and uses version 2 of the GNU General Public License. Engineers from Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have …
Jack Clark, 27 Mar 2014
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

Review When the GNOME 3.x desktop arrived it was, frankly, unusable. It wasn't so much the radical departure from past desktop environments, as the fact that essential things did not work properly or, more frustratingly, had been deemed unnecessary. Fast-forward three years and while GNOME 3.12 – released Wednesday – still isn't the …
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Rule of law: Turkish court nixes government Twitter ban ... for now

A court in Turkey's capital has ordered the lifting of the government ban on Twitter in the restless nation. The administrative court in Ankara overturned the week-long ban on Wednesday in response to complaints by journalists’ unions and the country's Bar Association, representing its lawyers, that blocking Twitter contravened …
John Leyden, 27 Mar 2014

Life support turned off: NHS Direct dies silent, undignified death

NHS Direct is dead and England's health service was hoping few people would notice that it had moved the kill date forward five days for its "financially unsustainable" advice website. The 15-year-old service was supposed to limp on until the end of this month, but the NHS pulled the plug early. As of Wednesday morning, anyone …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Mar 2014