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Snake oil salesman

Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

Amazon has rejigged its product reviews systems for customers in the US, in an apparent move to mute fake ratings on the retail giant's service. The company said it was now using machine-learning tech that it had developed to try to flush out old and crappy reviews, according to Cnet. Amazon's Julie Law was quoted as saying: …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jun 2015
Windows 10 Mobile build 10136

Feature-rich work in progress: Windows Mobile 10 build 10136

First look Microsoft has released Build 10136 of Windows 10 Mobile, part of the “One Windows” wave set to be released later this year. Windows 10 for PCs is due on 29 July, but the phone version is likely to follow later. It's just as well, since this build still does not feel release-ready, though progress from the last build is dramatic …
Tim Anderson, 18 Jun 2015

JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla, has announced a new project that could not only speed up web applications but could eventually see the end of JavaScript as the lingua franca of web development. Dubbed WebAssembly, the new effort is a kind of successor to Asm.js, the stripped-down JavaScript dialect that backers describe …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2015
Containers

ClusterHQ picks EMC as friend with benefits for Flocker release

ClusterHQ has inked an agreement that will see its Flocker container management code integrate with EMC's flashy fare. Flocker is container data management tool that aims to orchestrate containers so that several can be assembled into something that looks, feels and behaves pretty much like an application. Flocker also allows …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2015
Lightning

Firefox preps processor revamp under Project Electrolysis

Mozilla looks ready to revamp its Firefox web browser so tabs and user interfaces can run in separate processes. The feature has appeared in a nightly testing version of the browser and has been in lengthy development under Project Electrolysis. Developer Dan Mircea says the feature is activated by default in nightly builds and …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jun 2015

DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

Privacy-first search aggregator DuckDuckDuckGo has grown a whopping 600 percent since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden began revealing the extent of the US spying apparatus. The search engine uses sites including Wikipedia, Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing and Yummly and offers users bare-bones search results without the personalisation …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jun 2015

git commit -m 'Add $200m to GitHub, tweak valuation to $2bn'

Code-sharing website GitHub is pursuing a new round of venture capital based on a US$2bn (£1.26bn) valuation. Bloomberg cited sources familiar with the matter in reporting that GitHub is in the middle of a series-b funding push to raise US$200m in capital. That dosh would give investors a 10 per cent stake in the company under …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2015

Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

The Debian Project thinks it's fixed an issue where Google's Chromium web browser snuck proprietary code into the fiercely Free Software oriented Debian Linux distro. That hasn't stopped Debian users from wondering how the issue got past project maintainers in the first place. Debian user Yoshihito Yoshino first raised the red …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2015
Linus and a hexacopter

If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

Just a few days after asking the Linux community to let him take a break, Linus Torvalds has said the project he kicked off 1991 can now get along without him. He was, characteristically, blunt in his recent interview with Bloomberg, saying Linux would survive his death. What he told the newswire's passenger-door-smeared Ashlee …

Bezos' bozos swing ban-hammer at media player

Efforts by the Kodi media player's maintainers to keep pirates from sullying its good name haven't been enough to satisfy the copyright cops at Amazon. The app formerly known as XBMC has been pulled from Amazon's app store, on the basis that it facilitates piracy. AFTVnews.com reports that Amazon flicked the kill-switch on the …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Australian biz will have MERE DAYS to patch for FY15/16 tax changes

It looks like the conveyor belt's broken at the Australian Taxation Office, because vendors of accounting and HR software are releasing their new financial year compliance patches rather late. Oracle's just released its FY 15/16 compliance patch, which will ensure Australian users of Oracle's Payroll wares are up to date with …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015
Facepalming statue

There's a new build of Windows 10 Mobile, but you can't upgrade to it

Microsoft is back with another build of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview, but only the most eager testers will be able to get their hands on it. For starters, Redmond is only making Build 10136 available to Windows Insiders who opt for the Fast release ring. As with Windows 10 for desktop PCs, Redmond is being conservative …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jun 2015
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Hating on 'Like Farms': boffins trawl for Facebook fakes

An analysis of 1,400 Facebook accounts, more than 143,000 posts Liked, and more than a million pages could go some way to unmasking the techniques of “Like Farms” used to manipulate reputations on the content-with-ads network. The boffins, from Australia's (doomed) NICTA, University College, London, and the University of Iowa, …
A lamb

Devs to pour Java into Amazon's cloud after AWS Lambda update

Amazon Web Services has expanded its AWS Lambda programming model to support functions written in Java, the cloud kingpin said on Monday. Lambda, which allows developers to run event-driven code directly on Amazon's cloud without managing any application infrastructure, launched in November 2014 and initially only supported code …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jun 2015
Node Knockout code

It's about forking time: Node.js, io.js to mend differences, remerge

The Node.js open source project and its fork, io.js, have decided to kiss and make up, with the aid and support of the Linux Foundation. Node.js is an open-source, OS-agnostic runtime environment that allows developers to write server-side web applications using JavaScript. Several prominent Node.js developers forked its code …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jun 2015

OPEN WIDE: Microsoft Live Writer authoring tool going open source

Microsoft will release its blog authoring tool, Live Writer, as open source, according to a tweet from developer evangelist Scott Hanselman. The goal of Live Writer was to make it easy to author blog posts while working offline in Windows. The editor is based on embedded Internet Explorer, and despite that handicap the tool was …
Tim Anderson, 15 Jun 2015
This way to linux by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfh/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Linus Torvalds asks kernel devs to take a break so he can too

In May, Linux overlord Linus Torvalds warned that his holiday might delay the release of Linux 4.1. That scenario's now come to pass, with the benevolent dictator of the penguin palace posting that he's off on his vacation. “So I'm on vacation, but time doesn't stop for that, and it's Sunday, so time for a hopefully final rc,” …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Chrome on Mac sucks (electrons), says Google, so we'll fix it

Mac users will soon be able to run Chrome without watching their battery status fall by the minute, with Google tweaking the code to cut down unnecessary system wake-ups. The Chocolate Factory's main aim is to stop Chrome being a “battery hog”, according to Peter Kasting. Kasting, a senior software engineer in the Chrome UI …

BlackBerry on Android? It makes perfect sense

Analysis Four months ago, BlackBerry announced it was porting key features of its BlackBerry OS software to Android and iOS – stuff like its onscreen keyboard, Universal Search, and the notification Hub. It was only a matter of time before word emerged of somebody actually grabbing this idea and running with it. The only surprise is that …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2015
Human cannonball

Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone

Microsoft has released Build 10130 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview to the Windows Insider program's Slow release ring, despite a few lingering issues – particularly with Redmond's latest hardware. The build was initially only released to the Fast release ring – the one that gets rapid updates of the pre-release OS, even when …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2015

Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

Microsoft looks to have decided that the “modern” apps it gave the world with Windows 8 were a confusing mess, at least in the case of Skype, and will replace it with normal, boring, desktop Skype. “With the upcoming release of Windows 10 for PCs, it makes sense to use the Skype application optimized for mouse and keyboards use …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2015
Panic button

Windows Server 2003 end of support's coming in just over a month

Live Regcast On July 14 2015, support ends on Windows Server 2003, but don’t panic – we have a live Regcast today at 11:00 BST, that will feature Freeform Dynamics and Trend Micro, telling you everything you need to know to handle WS2003 EoS securely, in three parts: First, Freeform's DarkLord Tony Lock shows you where your Windows Server …
David Gordon, 12 Jun 2015
BBC Micro coding session

Facebook: Your code sucks, and we don't even have to run it to tell

Facebook has released the source code to Infer, its static analysis tool, under the open source BSD license. Static analysis tools like Infer are used as a complement to traditional dynamic software testing by scanning the source code of software to spot trouble spots without actually executing the code. In a Thursday blog post …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2015
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift noggin-bucket ... heyyy, errr ... have we all got them on already?

Pics+Vid Oculus, on Thursday, showed off its Rift virtual reality digi-goggs that it will sell to world+dog in 2016. The upstart company also announced a new partnership with Microsoft: the Redmond software giant will bundle an Xbox wireless controller with every headset. "We're finally ready to deliver on the dream of VR," Brendan Iribe …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2015
Facebook Lite app

Facebook ditches HTML mobe future in favour of Zuck-style JavaScript

Facebook has ruled out a return to platform-neutral HTML5 for mobile, dedicating itself to a future of React Native – its own JavaScript framework. The social networking giant told journalists in London this week that it won’t be writing future mobile apps in HTML and vanilla JS. Asked about whether it might reexamine HTML5, …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Jun 2015
Bondage man image via Shutterstock

But... I... like... the... PAIN! Our secret addiction to 'free' APIs

Yahoo! is killing off several services to focus on "search, communications and digital content", it's said. Wait, Yahoo! has a search engine? Who knew? What Yahoo! won't have in the very near future is a developer favorite by the name of Yahoo! Pipes. Yahoo! Pipes has always been something of an odd duck, not just within the …
"Week 6 Sport" by Cameron Eye Photography, Creative Commons 2.0

Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

At a glittering reception overlooking Sydney’s Opera House, chatting with the local MD of one of the world’s biggest tech companies, the conversation turned to education. “At least we’re all talking about the importance of teaching coding,” this exec pronounced. “Better than a year ago.” Around the world, there’s a growing …
Mark Pesce, 11 Jun 2015
A400M Atlas - RIAT 2013 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/ cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim

A dodgy software installation that deleted vital files caused last month's Airbus 400M transport plane crash in which four people died, it is claimed. On May 9, a test flight of the A400M, intended to replace the aging Hercules as a mainstay of NATO's air mobility fleet, crashed in Spain, killing four of the six crew. According …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jun 2015
Apple Maps on iOS

All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

Apple has revealed that its weird camera-mounted vans, seen roaming the California, are being used to gather images for a street mapping app. The Cupertino giant wrote on its website that it will be taking vehicles mounted with cameras around Europe and the US to gather street-level snaps for Apple Maps for iOS and OS X – pretty …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015
Weather vane image via Shutterstock

A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

Successful BBQ at the weekend, or did a cloudburst stop play, leaving your fridge groaning beneath a mountain of uncooked ribs and sausages? If only the weather forecast had been more reliable. By 2017 that might be possible, as the Met Office – responsible for generating more than 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings each …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

VMware unleashes Linux on the (virtual) desktop

VMware's released Horizon 6 for Linux, thereby making it possible to deliver virtual Linux desktops. And there the story ends because, as we all know, there's so much Linux on the desktop that it occasionally manages to get a whole 1.91 per cent of the market and desktop virtualisation is generally figured to be about five to …
Data center

Mesosphere's 'data center OS' now free for world+dog (almost)

VC-backed Mesosphere says its Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) is now generally available in a free Community Edition. Mesosphere DCOS is a platform for running and managing clustered data center workloads that combines Apache Mesos with a mix of open source and proprietary components. Essentially, it's cloud infrastructure …

It's 2015 and hackers can hijack your Windows PC if you watch a web video

Microsoft has released the June edition of its Update (neé Patch) Tuesday security update dump. This month's bundle includes eight security bulletins, two rated "critical" and six rated "important." Users and administrators are advised to test (if necessary) and install the updates as soon as possible to prevent attacks. MS15- …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jun 2015
Web browsers 2015

Microsoft: FINE, we'll help your web sessions be secure, SHEESH

Microsoft has updated both Internet Explorer and its new Edge web browser to make it easier for sites to encourage visitors to use secure HTTPS encryption. As part of this month's Patch Tuesday batch of security updates, the software giant has added support for HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to its browsers. Sites can use …
Stack_road_interchange_in_Phoeniz_AZ

Solidfire joins the rush to Cisco-flavoured Open Stackery

Solidfire has joined the million other suppliers partnering with Cisco and its UCS servers with a converged OpenStack system reference architecture. Its AI for OpenStack – with AI standing for Agile Infrastructure and not Artificial Intelligence – joins another AI for OpenStack using Dell servers and networking and an AI …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jun 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber app expands in France despite govt opposition ... and laws

Taxi drivers in Nantes, Strasbourg and Marseille have been protesting after Uber announced on Monday that it would expand its Uberpop service to those cities. Alexandre Molla, Uber France’s director of expansion, told Le Monde that this was just the beginning and that “a VTC offer (voitures de transport avec chauffeur) would …
Acropolis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/adeelanwer/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Nutanix did build 'Acropolis' hypervisor, wants you to bury it

As predicted by The Register, Nutanix has built a hypervisor called Acropolis, but is using it for more than scale-out compute and an assault on VMware. Instead, the company wants to abstract all the stuff that makes up modern applications and make managing infrastructure idiot-proof. We'll explain that in a moment. The …
facebook_shock_648

Facebook Disconnect: MS apps thrown under a bus in Graph update

Facebook Connect – a feature which Microsoft used to integrate Facebook data with Outlook and Windows phone 7 and 8 calendar and contacts – is no longer available. According to a recently posted support note: Facebook has made an update to its Graph API that will impact Microsoft apps and services. Facebook’s Graph API is the …
Tim Anderson, 9 Jun 2015

Apple's HomeKit: So, you know, it exists and all that. Oookay ...

WWDC 2015 Apple didn't so much launch as absent-mindedly punt its HomeKit smart home tech this week at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). In a near two-hour keynote presentation, the Internet of Things hub that Apple hopes will put it in the forefront of the smart house got less than 30 seconds – and a pretty uninteresting …
apple music

The thing about Apple's 'one MORE thing'? It's a streaming music thing

WWDC 2015 Apple CEO Tim Cook closed out the WWDC keynote today with a typical "one more thing" non-surprise: a Spotify clone that just about everyone in the entire world knew was coming. Dubbed Apple Music, the service will combine music-streamed-over-the-internet with a round-the-clock live radio station and media-sharing service for …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2015
WWDC demo of El Capitan

Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

WWDC 2015 Apple kicked off the 2015 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday by revealing three new OS releases due out by the end of 2015. Here are some of the key points from the introductions of OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 and WatchOS 2 – without all the usual dreadful hype that surrounds these sorts of PR events. …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2015

Apple brews new News news to peruse - screws news dudes

WWDC 2015 Apple has burned its Newsstand app to the ground, and tried again with a new News application – one that tries to work with all publishers rather than a chosen few. Speaking today at the iOS giant's annual developers conference in San Francisco, Susan Prescott, app product development veep, said News will be added to people's …