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Surprised by smartphone

Fancy talking to SAP about your indirect licensing concerns? Straw poll says no

SAP has been told that customers are too afraid to strike up a conversation about indirect access, as a survey indicated most users had concerns that opening up to the firm could backfire. SAP rules on indirect access mean customers can be hit with licensing fees to cover any and all software that connects – even indirectly – …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Aug 2017
Siri logo

Apple actually opens up about something – the R&D behind Siri's voices

At an academic speech tech conference today (Thursday), Apple researchers will present some of the classic building blocks behind the voice generation of the Siri assistant. "Apple has been publishing research more or less continuously over the years," Torbjørn Svendsen, an electrical engineer studying speech processing at …
Andrew Silver, 24 Aug 2017
fox, image via shutterstock

Mozilla ponders making telemetry opt-out, 'cos hardly anyone opted in

Mozilla may require users to opt-out of sending telemetry from its Firefox browser because so few have opted in that it's hard for developers to get a good sample of what causes problems. The idea of opt-out telemetry has sparked a pretty lively mailing-list debate (at the time of writing, 42 posts in just a couple of days, …

Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Windows 10 upgrades

Microsoft sparked fury when it aggressively pushed its Windows 10 operating system onto people's PCs – from unexpected downloads to surprise installations. Now a consumer rights group has forced Redmond to promise it will never do it again, in Germany at least. In 2015, Microsoft offered existing Windows 7 and 8 users a free …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2017
Office 365, photo by dennizn via Shutterstock

Microsoft spikes GigJam collaboration tool before it leaves Preview

Microsoft has spontaneously and ephemerally killed GigJam, a collaboration tool it billed as empowering “people with a co-working mindset” to “spontaneously and ephemerally involve others in your work.” Redmond only revealed the GigJam preview in June 2016, promising it would soon become a new member of the Office family and …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2017

DJI's Spark drones to be bricked by September 1 unless firmware updated

Hackers have boasted that DJI's latest Spark drone firmware update was bypassed in mere hours – including downtime to enjoy the recent solar eclipse. DJI has announced that its popular Spark consumer drones will be bricked by September 1 unless users download the latest firmware update. "If the firmware of either the aircraft …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Aug 2017
Android 8 Oreo emoji

Google's Android 8.0 Oreo has been served

Google on Monday released Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest update to the world's most widely used operating system, as measured by internet usage. First released as a developer preview in March, when the code was designated by the letter "O" instead of a trademarked confection, Google's mobile operating system hasn't piggybacked …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Aug 2017
Men in suits fighting

Facebook won't change React.js license despite Apache developer pain

Facebook's decided to stick with its preferred version of the BSD license despite the Apache Foundation sin-binning it for any future projects. The Foundation barred use of Facebook's BSD-plus-Patents license in July, placing it in the “Category X” it reserves for “disallowed licenses”. Facebook's BSD+Patents license earned …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2017
Cheers photo via Shutterstock

Oracle caves, promises to crack open Java EE as v8 crawls ever closer

Oracle has revealed plans to shift Java Enterprise Edition to an open-source foundation as it promises delivery of version 8 is "approaching". Java EE is already open source, with support led by Oracle, but in recent years there have been concerns that the firm was funnelling engineers onto other projects. Although Oracle …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Aug 2017
Fear photo via Shutterstock is hiring IT bods with skills in ... Windows Vista?!

Freelance IT type? Know about the gubbins of Windows XP, Vista and Server 2003? Don’t care about all that IR35 guff? We’ve got great news – wants to hire you. Strictly speaking the role is with an agency rather than the Almighty Government itself, but the Technical Architect vacancy specifies competency in “Windows 2003 …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Aug 2017

Virtual assistant backlash imminent so buy them anyway

Gartner has predicted a backlash against virtual assistants like Siri – but recommends that businesses deploy them anyway. This we learn from its "Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace 2017" report, which positions virtual assistants right at the top of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", and about to embark on a dizzying ride …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017

Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Norbert Blum, a computer science professor at the University of Bonn, has proposed a solution to an unsolved math problem that could win him $1m, not to mention professional accolades, if his approach withstands scrutiny. The problem is known as P ≠ NP. It's one of The Clay Mathematics Institute's seven Millennium Prize …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

Analysis The PyBay 2017 conference, held in San Francisco over the weekend, began with a keynote about concurrency. Though hardly a draw for a general interest audience, the topic – an examination of multithreaded and multiprocess programming techniques – turns out to be central to the future of Python. Since 2008, the Python …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017
Wire wastepaper bin filled with scrunched up paper. Photo by Shutterstock

Ubuntu sends trash to its desktop's desktop

Canonical is shifting around the trash can icon on the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 release, which might give some a sense of déjà vu. Apple kicked off the trash in the corner trend in 1983, with an easily accessible icon for storing junk on its Lisa computer. In 1995, Microsoft added a "recycle bin" to the DOS replacement, Windows …
Andrew Silver, 16 Aug 2017

Google paying Apple BEEELLIONS to stay search top dog on iDevices, say analysts

Google may well pay Apple $3bn in fiscal year 2017 to keep its search engine the default on iOS devices, analysis by Bernstein suggests. In 2016, while suing Google for copyright infringement, an Oracle lawyer let slip that Google paid Apple $1bn in 2014 to keep its search engine the default in Safari on iPhones. The new …
Andrew Silver, 15 Aug 2017

HP Inc vows: We're not walking away from Continuum

Analysis While Windows roadmaps purportedly leaked to a blog last week appear to have a big hole in them where mobile should be, HP Inc tells us it has been assured by Redmond there are no plans to drop Continuum. HP is the sole major mobile vendor committed to the Windows Mobile Edition of Windows 10 and bet big on Continuum, the …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Aug 2017
Snow White waves goodbye. Photo copyright Disney

Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

The end of legacy Firefox plugins is drawing closer, with Mozilla's Jorge Villalobos saying they'll be disabled in an upcoming nightly build of the browser's 57th edition. While he didn't specify just how soon the dread date will arrive, Villalobos writes: “There should be no expectation of legacy add-on support on this or …
Red teapot

Ancient IETF 'teapot' gag preserved for posterity as a standard

The august and serious folk at the IETF have always had a soft spot for their April Fool's jokes, and so do others – so much that a proposal to deprecate a joke has met with successful resistance. From what feels like the Internet Dark Ages of the 1990s, was the Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol, a joking anticipation of …

At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

The web browser for power users, Vivaldi, has gained a Reader mode and some accessibility features, but one new feature stands out. The reaction GIF may be one of the wonders of the 21st Century, but what if you don’t want your CPU cycles sucked dry by hilarious and ironic animated images? Turning off GIF animations can now be …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Aug 2017
Oracle balloons photo via Shutterstock

What's your point, caller? Oracle fiddles with major database release cycle numbers

Analysis Big Red has changed its database release cycle, scrapping names that see decimal points and numbers added on for an indeterminate amount of time, instead plumping for annual releases numbered by the year. So what would have been Oracle Database will now be Oracle Database 18; will come out a year later, and …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Aug 2017

Official: Windows for Workstations returns in Fall Creators Update

Microsoft is reviving Windows Workstations with a new cut of Windows titled “Windows 10 Pro for Workstations”. The last time your vultures heard "Windows for Workstations" was the 1990s when Redmond used that moniker to market flavors of 16-bit Windows 3 with networking stacks. Then along came the 32-bit NT Workstation …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2017
instart logic screenshot

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Analysis Netizens may choose to block unwanted content – such as intrusive and misbehaving ads – but some advertising companies do not to accept that choice. Instart Logic describes itself as a content delivery service and much of that content happens to be advertising. The California-based biz is determined to help its clients present …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Aug 2017

Favored Swift plans to settle down next year: ABI stability incoming

The Apple-supported open-source Swift programming language is set to stabilize in late 2018, with the release of version 5. The fifth iteration of Swift, outlined on Tuesday in a roadmap published by Ted Kremenek, senior manager of languages and runtimes at Apple, aims to deliver application binary interface (ABI) stability …
Thomas Claburn, 09 Aug 2017
Oracle balloons photo via Shutterstock

Major Oracle E-business suite upgrade coming in 2019. Or maybe 2020

Oracle is working on a big upgrade to its e-business suite in 2019. Or maybe 2020. That's what senior veep for application development Cliff Godwin told the Red Rock Oracle Leadership Forum* in Sydney, Australia, today. The suite is currently on version 12.2.6 and Godwin said Oracle plans just-about-annual double-point …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2017

70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

Microsoft claims seven out of ten Windows 10 users are happy with Redmond gulping loads of telemetry from their computers – which isn't that astounding when you realize it's a default option. In other words, 30 per cent of people have found the switch to turn it off, and the rest haven't, don't realize it's there, or are …
Iain Thomson, 09 Aug 2017
Windows and Linux logos

Windows Subsystem for Linux is coming to Windows Server

Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is coming to Windows Server. Microsoft's adding it to Windows Server for the same reasons it added it to Windows: it wants developers to have whatever tools they prefer at their disposal. Sysadmins are also on Redmond's mind, it says. “If you’re a server engineer …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2017

Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

Mozilla has released version 55 of Firefox for Windows, making it the first desktop browser to officially support the WebVR standard. WebVR is an open virtual reality spec designed for using VR headsets with web browsers. The API is built on Javascript. Versions of Chrome for Android greater than 56 and the Samsung Internet …
Andrew Silver, 08 Aug 2017

Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering

Australia's Commonwealth Bank has blamed a software update for a money laundering scam that saw criminals send over AU$70m (US$55m, £42.5m) offshore after depositing cash into automatic teller machines. News of the Bank's involvement in the laundering scam broke last week, when Australia's financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2017

Apple signals it's willing to let next-gen web apps compete with iOS apps

Analysis About a week after Philadelphia-based web developer Greg Blass pilloried Apple in a widely discussed online post for hindering web development by refusing to embrace Service Workers, the WebKit team, stewards of the open-source layout engine powering Apple's Safari browser, began doing just that. Service Workers, an API for …
Thomas Claburn, 04 Aug 2017
Poker all in

Google drops poker face, allows gambling apps on Play Store

Google has agreed to let Play Store customers court cruel mistress Lady Luck. A spokesperson confirmed to The Register that, as of August 2, the store formally allows gambling apps. Folk in the UK, Ireland and France are part of this experiment. According to Apple's Developer guidelines, the Apple App Store allows gambling …
Andrew Silver, 04 Aug 2017
Command line icon

CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Microsoft's making over the Windows Console, the tool that throws up a command line interface and which has hung around in Windows long after DOS was sent to the attic and told not to show itself in polite company. The company's revealed that in Windows 10 build 16257 the Console will get new … colours. Yup, that's all. …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2017
Linux penguin canape... snacks. Photo by SHutterstock

Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

Updated In late June, noted open-source programmer Bruce Perens warned that using Grsecurity's Linux kernel security could invite legal trouble. "As a customer, it's my opinion that you would be subject to both contributory infringement and breach of contract by employing this product in conjunction with the Linux kernel under the no- …
Thomas Claburn, 03 Aug 2017

Programmer's < fumble jeopardizes thousands of medical reports

A bug in code that generates medical reports could force patients in Ireland to repeat their hospital and clinic scans. The Emerald Isle's healthcare bosses have admitted a flaw in the PACS software used to store documents in its National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) causes some records to not display a single, …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2017

Did eye just do that? Microsoft brings gaze tracking to Windows 10

Goodbye, keyboard. Goodbye, mouse. To use Windows, soon all you'll need is your vision. In addition to native eye-tracking support, Windows 10 will eventually offer users the option to control the mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech with only their eyes and a camera, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced last week at Redmond's …
Andrew Silver, 02 Aug 2017
Email. Pic: Shutterstock

If you love your email standards, SMTP your feet: 35 years later

This month marks the 35th anniversary of the sign-off of RFC 821, the first definition of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, that everyday staple of email comms. Although the original spec has long been superseded, with the latest version of SMTP being contained in RFC 5321, RFC 821 laid the foundations for the billions of …
Gareth Corfield, 02 Aug 2017

Browser trust test: Would you let Chrome block ads? Or Firefox share and encrypt files?

Google and Mozilla have each revealed significant new features in their respective browsers. Chrome has gained its long-foreshadowed ad-blocker that Google swears on a stack of bibles will only excise ads that get in your face in unpleasant ways. Reputable publishers, including El Reg, go to considerable length to ensure that …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2017

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