Software > More stories

What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

Comment What’s the point of being a developer ? My experience of being one taught me that it isn’t primarily the coding – it’s actually much more important than that. Last week at Parliament, discussion touched on the role The Register plays in the media landscape. The chairman of the House of Lords’ enquiry on Artificial Intelligence …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2017
aardvark

Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

For the first time in recent memory, there are some very big changes in the latest release of Ubuntu: 17.10. And it's not all to do with going, er, GNOME. The new GNOME-based Ubuntu desktop (click to enlarge) This release is the first since Canonical announced it would cease development of its Unity desktop and its long- …
Speed

Facebook tackles race hate problem head on with programming tool

In Facebook's advertising business, a race condition might be construed as an ethnic descriptor used to prevent purchased ads from being displayed to a particular racial group. Among its software engineers, it's a programming problem that arises when multiple operations run concurrently but are executed in an unexpected order …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Oct 2017

Let's dig into how open source could KO the Silicon Valley chat silos

Interview There's never been a better opportunity for the world to start untangling itself from the giant Silicon Valley data harvesters than now. Last week, we revealed a plan to embed open-source chat into three quarters of the world's IMAP servers. And this may be an important development. Maybe. Google, Yahoo!, Apple and Microsoft …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Oct 2017
Linux on multiple devices

Samsung to let proper Linux distros run on Galaxy smartmobes

Samsung has announced it will soon become possible to run actual proper Linux on its Note8, Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones – and even Linux desktops. Yeah, yeah, we know Android is built on Linux, but you know what we mean. Samsung said it's working on an app called “Linux on Galaxy” that will let users “run their preferred …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2017

Microsoft concedes to Mozilla: Redmond will point web API docs at Moz Dev Network

A few years ago, programmer and writer Bernard Meisler argued that coders write bad software because they're bad writers. "Most engineers can't write a single coherent sentence, never mind string together a paragraph," he wrote. So when software engineers write documentation, he reasoned, their incoherent API descriptions …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Oct 2017
Mixed Reality - a headline feature in Fall Creators Update, but fluff for many users

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

Hands On Just over two years after the introduction of both Windows 10 and the "Windows as a service" concept, Microsoft has released the Fall Creators Update aka version 1709, build 16299. We took it for a spin. Microsoft’s efforts in making in-place upgrade smooth have paid off. There will always be cases where things go wrong, but …
Tim Anderson, 18 Oct 2017
pixelbook

So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

The year of Linux on the desktop was a running joke. The concept of Linux being ready for the mainstream with users confidently running it on their desktops, sadly, never happened. Some bravely pushed the idea: the latest being Canonical with a more macOS-like desktop, easier to configure and use than the standard Linux distro …
Michael Allison, 18 Oct 2017
code on-screen

Programming bootcamp compiles $375,000 check after triggering New York AG's error handlers

Analysis New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last week agreed to settle charges that New York City-based code bootcamp Flatiron School operated without a license and failed to adequately disclose information about the employment outcomes of graduates. Flatiron School has agreed to pay $375,000 in restitution to eligible …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Oct 2017
holland

Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

Yet another European nation is turning up the heat on Microsoft for extracting heaps and heaps of telemetry and other intelligence from Windows 10 PCs. This time, it's privacy authorities in the Netherlands who are calling out Redmond for its hog-wild harvesting of data from machines that run Windows 10 Home and Pro. The Dutch …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Oct 2017
A beaver chewing down a tree

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Would you mind leveraging a time unit while I ideate my ecosystem? Sorry, I meant to say “Give me a minute while I sort my things out” but I’ve been writing a lot about disruptive technology this week. I must have zoned while dogfooding my hume-code for bugs… er, I mean “got carried away while proofreading my articles for …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Oct 2017

Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

Exclusive The company that writes the open-source software for three-quarters of the world's Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) email servers has a plan that could kill off proprietary chat services like Facebook's WhatsApp. And that means you, too, Slack. German open-source software-as-a-service operation Open-Xchange acquired the …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Oct 2017

Fear the SAP-slap? Users can anonymously submit questions about licensing naughtiness

SAP is to offer feedback on anonymised indirect licensing as concern and confusion about the rules grows among customers. The German firm's rules on indirect access mean customers can be hit with licensing fees to cover any and all software that connects – even indirectly – to data stored on SAP systems. Following a high- …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Oct 2017
Snow White waves goodbye. Photo copyright Disney

Outlook, Office 2007 slowly taken behind the shed, shots heard

A decade after their release, Microsoft Office 2007 and Outlook 2007 today fell out of extended support. Gaze teary-eyed at your installation discs. The software has entered the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. The cutoff has been coming for some time, of course, but if you're of a nostalgic bent, the Outlook 2007 epitaph is …

Visual Studio Team Services having some 'performance issues'

Microsoft has said it suspects a code change has caused "performance issues" for its cloud-based code repository and dev collaboration platform, Visual Studio Team Services. At 7:21 UTC this morning, Redmond's team members noted on the status page that "a potentially customer impacting alert" was "being investigated" for the …
Andrew Silver, 10 Oct 2017
Kotlin screenshot

Kotlin's killin' Java among Android devs

Java on Android is dying, and before long will be dominated by Kotlin, or so says a selective slice of developer data. Realm, which offers a real-time database popular among mobile application makers, has crunched the numbers from its pool or 100,000 or so active developers. The company on Tuesday published its findings, a …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Oct 2017

Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

If you're really, really awkward in Skype text conversations, or you just want someone to think you're paying attention without all that pesky human interaction, you can now get help from Cortana. All you need do is add Cortana as a Skype contact – currently, only if you're in the USA, running Skype on Android and iOS – and …
Man closes his eyes and crosses fingers

Frustrated Britons struggle to locate their packages: Royal Mail tracker smacked

Updated Certain Royal Mail customers have not been able to pin down the location of their packages today. Since around 800 UTC, about a hundred people have taken to downdetector to report issues with the missive-sniffing checker on its website. For certain reference numbers, the tracking system currently says: "There has been an …
Andrew Silver, 09 Oct 2017
Cliqz recommendations

German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'

POLL Mozilla has decided to experiment on its German users by opting-in around one per cent of them to a search recommendations service that slurps their browsing histories. The recommendations will come from Cliqz GmbH, an outfit in which Mozilla has made a “strategic investment”. Cliqz says its browser offers optimal privacy but …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Oct 2017
Hammer, spanner and screw

PostgreSQL says SCRAM to MD5 authentication

With the release of PostgreSQL 10, the open source database's developers are farewelling the deprecated MD5 in their authentication mechanism. Released late last week, PostgreSQL 10 instead uses an SHA-256 implementation of the Salted Challenge-Response Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM-SHA-256, described in RFC7677). The …
Bondage man image via Shutterstock

New coding language Fetlang's syntax designed to read like 'poorly written erotica'

Developers: bored with bracketing? Got a dose of “escaping ennui”? Why not write bad erotica instead? That's the brilliant/sick objective of a project called "Fetlang" that recently emerged on GitHub thanks to a chap called Dagan, aka “Property404”. As the repo's readme explains: “Fetlang is a statically typed, procedural, …
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle’s automated database is a minimum viable release - analyst

OPENWORLD WRAP Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference is over. The streets of San Francisco are free of the hordes of execs, devs and analysts, and everyone has gone home to mull over what they've learned. The order of the day was - quelle surprise - cloud, plus a good measure of machine learning, blockchain and chatbots thrown in on the side …
Rebecca Hill, 08 Oct 2017

Onwards to Valhalla: Java ain't dead yet and it's only getting bigger

Scale was big at the JavaOne conference this week. Spotify lauded its success scaling with Java, and Oracle execs practically squealed as they reeled off adoption statistics. Big Red believes the next ten years belong to Java. "We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always," vice president Mark Cavage said on stage. …
Danny Bradbury, 05 Oct 2017
Windows XP Professional. Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corporation

Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

Mozilla has announced it will end support for its Firefox browser on Windows XP and Windows Vista. The organisation offers Firefox Extended Support Releases (ESRs) that keep getting bug fixes for 54 weeks, even though nine new versions of Firefox should come along during that time. Mozilla offers ESR releases so that …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Oct 2017
School Computer Lab from Shutterstock

Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Special report An online college focused on the tech industry is promising to find you a job in six months or it will refund your course fees in full. OpenClassrooms has also marked its launch in the United States today by offering to supply its basic courses for free to anyone caught up in the decision by the Trump administration to shut …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Oct 2017

The URL of sandwich: Microsoft Office blogs redirect snafu foils users

Microsoft's general one-stop URL for Office news and updates, blogs.office.com, is dead for some IP addresses in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to Microsoft told The Register he accesses blog posts via subscriptions through Yammer and the broken link issue is definitely " …
Andrew Silver, 04 Oct 2017
FreeBSD logo

FreeBSD gains eMMC support so … errr … watch out, Android

Version 10.4 of FreeBSD has landed, with the headline feature being support for eMMC. For those of you still short of your best after nocturnal chemical exertions, eMMC – aka Embedded Multimedia Card – packs some flash memory and a controller into a single package. That arrangement is handy for manufacturers of personal …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Oct 2017
Satya Nadella's three bets: AI, Mixed Reality, and Quantum Computing

Ignite: Microsoft drops veil on Honolulu, releases SQL Server on Linux into the wild

Tens of thousands of tourists flocked to Florida's theme park town of Orlando last week, but they weren't there to see Mickey; they were there to imbibe the new wares at Microsoft's Ignite, which focuses on cloud computing and IT administration. Ignite is now Microsoft’s core conference, since cloud and server, rather than …
Tim Anderson, 03 Oct 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

Comment Ever since Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft in 2014, his PR people have been grooming him to be an Inspiration Thought Leader, preaching Transformation to the TED Talk classes. This took another step with the global launch of his book Hit Refresh, a "masterpiece" of how to scale up the "growth mindset”. [must-read] …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Oct 2017

Introducing EE4J – Java EE's fling with the Eclipse Foundation

It's been a few weeks since it was announced that Oracle would move Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation and we're already starting to see indications of how it's shaping up. It was clear that something had to happen. Oracle was struggling to make the best of Java EE, which was reflected in the usage stats. The technology wasn't …
Maxwell Cooter, 03 Oct 2017
Oracle

Blockchain, AI, chatbots, cloud … Oracle bingo!

OpenWorld 2017 Oracle has launched an enterprise-grade blockchain cloud service, as part of a flurry of announcements at its annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Amit Zavery, senior veep for Oracle Cloud Platform, said that the service would “accelerate innovation for on-premises ERP and cloud-based SaaS and PaaS customers”. The …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Oct 2017
Linux long term support roadmap

Linux kernel long term support extended from two to six years

Long-term-support (LTS) editions of the Linux Kernel will henceforth be supported for six years, up from the current two. News of the extension emerged at the “Linaro Connect” conference at which Googler Ilyan Malchev announced it, saying he had Linux royalty Greg Kroah-Hartman's permission to break the news. Malchev works on …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Oct 2017
Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne

Java EE 8 takes final bow under Oracle's wing: Here's what's new

OpenWorld Java EE 8 arrived last month rather later than expected – but it landed in time for Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne, which are taking place this week in San Francisco, California. Enterprise-flavored Java hasn't seen an update since June 2013. Linda DeMichiel, Java EE 8 specification lead at Oracle, recounted the long road to …
Thomas Claburn, 02 Oct 2017
Larry Ellison on stage at Oracle's cloud pricing announcement

Oracle promises ‘highly automated’ security in self-driving database

OpenWorld 2017 Oracle has kicked off its annual OpenWorld conference with a pledge to automate in the company's “autonomous” database, plus plenty of snark directed at Amazon Web Services. Jeans-toting CTO Larry Ellison kicked off Big Red’s four-day San Franciscan extravaganza with a not-so-slick presentation that had no real big surprises …
Rebecca Hill, 02 Oct 2017
3D selfies

3D selfies? What could possibly go wrong?

With the Internet already groaning under the weight of d!ck pics and facial scanning increasingly used instead of passwords, do we really want AI to turn flat images into accurate 3D renderings of their content? A group of boffins from the University of Nottingham and Kingston University think so, and alarmingly so do 400,000 …
Surgery

MapR to do real-time analytics on your operational data

StrataConf Hadoop-flinger MapR has added a host of new capabilities to its database in a bid to offer developers more powerful real-time analytics. The overhaul, announced at the Strata Data Conference in New York City, brings together operational, analytical and real-time applications. The latest version of MapR-DB – which is built …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Sep 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017