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Apple sprays down bug-ridden iOS 11 with more fixes

Apple has posted an update to address a host of bugs in its iOS mobile software. The iOS 11.2 update patches both security and stability bugs in the iPad/iPhone firmware. It will also improve the wireless charging for new iPhones and add a payments feature to Siri and Messages, Apple promises. The bugs addressed in iOS 11.2 …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Dec 2017

Nationwide UK web bank and app take unscheduled nap

Updated Nationwide UK’s online presence is anything but this morning, what with an unspecified tech infrastructure glitch that has prevented customers across Blighty from logging into their accounts or using ATMs. Sorry, Internet Banking & the Banking app are currently unavailable. We’re working to get them back up and running ASAP. …
Paul Kunert, 04 Dec 2017
box

US politicos wake up to danger of black-box algorithms shaping all corners of American life

In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, academics and policy wonks warned US Congressional representatives about the perils of inscrutable algorithms, a red flag entangled by tangential worries about privacy, data collection, and net neutrality. As framed in a letter submitted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, democracy …
Thomas Claburn, 02 Dec 2017

That 70s Show: Windows sprouts Sets and Timeline features

Microsoft isn't short of good ideas – but getting good ideas into Microsoft products, which then stay alive for a long time, is another thing. New builds of Windows 10 will feature a couple of these – and they're features that hark back to the utopian computer labs of the 1970s. One feature, Sets, yokes related documents …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Nov 2017

Ad-filtering fiend Eyeo: Morning has broken, like the first morning

Interview When I last interviewed Eyeo comms chief Ben Williams a year ago, the smell of gun smoke and scorched flesh hung in the air. Our piece was headlined: Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender. But things are much calmer now. Over the past year, the use of ad-blockers on the desktop has levelled off, …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Nov 2017

Night before Xmas and all through American Airlines, not a pilot was flying, thanks to this bug

Updated A bug in American Airlines' pilot scheduling software has left the US airline woefully understaffed for the coming month, particularly around Christmas week. Due to a gremlin in the code, all pilots who requested time off for the holidays were granted leave, whereas the system should have approved some and rejected others to …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Nov 2017
Android

The End of Abandondroid? Treble might rescue Google from OTA Hell

Google's attempt to cure the Android's ever-worsening fragmentation issue and slow updates might actually turn the tide. Updating existing handsets is one of the biggest challenges Google faces in the next decade. While Apple can update half of its user base to the newest code within two months, and almost all within a year, …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2017

Two years later, SAP's making ‘progress’ on clearing up S/4HANA ball of confusion

SAP is “getting there” with its efforts to address concerns around deployment of the latest version of its ERP business suite, according to S/4HANA COO Sal Laher. S/4HANA was plagued by confusion over pricing, licensing, migration and deployment when it was first launched in 2015, and this has had an impact on both awareness …
Rebecca Hill, 29 Nov 2017

What's that fresh, zesty fragrance? Oh, Linux Mint 18.3 has landed

Linux Mint 18.3 – aka "Sylvia" – is here to remind users that, hey, sometimes Linux can work a little bit more like Apple, Google and Microsoft software. (Just kidding, don't kill us.) In a blog post, the devs touted multiple interface improvements for usability, with an updated app store as "star of the show". Features …
Andrew Silver, 28 Nov 2017

Facebook, Google, IBM, Red Hat give GPL code scofflaws 60 days to behave – or else

Facebook, Google, IBM, and Red Hat on Monday will give free-software license violators two months to mend their ways before going nuclear. The tech giants, which release a fair amount of GNU-GPL-licensed source code, have committed to extend the GPLv3's 60-day "cure period" to license compliance errors under GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Nov 2017
Man closes his eyes and crosses fingers

SAP fondlers: IoT? Machine learning? Woah there, we still don't understand licensing

Brit SAP users have little interest in adopting the German enterprise resource planning giant's self-branded "digital innovation system", Leonardo, citing licensing concerns as a barrier, according to a survey. In a poll of almost 400 UK and Ireland-based organisations using SAP, some 58 per cent said they have concerns about …
Rebecca Hill, 27 Nov 2017
excel splash screenshot

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Thirty is a ripe old age, maybe older than a good chunk of Register readers. Even for those of you for whom Excel is a spring chicken, how many applications or even operating systems are you still using of a similar age outside the Office suite? Is Windows 10 the same OS as Windows 2.0? Is that still your grandfather's axe, …
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

The city of Munich will spend €49.3m (£43.9m/ $58.4m) going all-in on Windows after local politicos agreed to call time on the failing 15-year open source project. The city council voted 50 to 25 to migrate all of its remaining Linux computer systems to Windows 10 in 2020 as part of a €89m IT overhaul, Social Democrat …
Andrew Silver, 24 Nov 2017
Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Hey kids, fancy an all-inclusive break to the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida? Well, you're in luck. All students between the age of 13-22 are eligible for the once-in-a-lifetime trip. There is, however, just one catch. In order to get their hands on the top prize, they must first complete a series of soul- …
Kat Hall, 23 Nov 2017

Microsoft scoops Search UI out from the gaping black maw of Cortana

Microsoft is experimenting with taking Search out of Cortana and making it more Mac-like in the newest Windows 10 build. Searching currently is funnelled through the Cortana UI, whose emblem, appropriately enough, is a black hole. Cortana bungs together many things besides search – tasks and notes and even bots. Cortana is …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2017
man hatches out of easter egg

'Gimme Gimme Gimme' Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

The maintainer of the Linux manual program man has scrapped an "Easter egg" after it broke a user's automatic code tests. On Tuesday, Unix systems administrator Jeff Schaller wrote in a Stack Exchange post: "We've noticed that some of our automatic tests fail when they run at 00:30 but work fine the rest of the day. They fail …
Andrew Silver, 22 Nov 2017
Sorry emoji

Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has apologised – a bit – for calling some security-centric kernel contributors “f*cking morons”. Torvalds unleashed a profanity-laden rant at Google developer Kees Cook, over the latter's proposal to harden the kernel. Another Google security chap, Matthew Garret, asked Torvalds “ Can you clarify …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2017

As Google clamps down, 'Droid developer warns 'breaking day' is coming

Mobile app developers are being forced to rewrite their code as Google attempts to tame Android's Wild West. The developer of the power management app Greenify has been given 30 days to alter its code by the gatekeepers at Google's Play Store, and stop using Google's accessibility framework. The framework is used by …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2017

SagePay's monster wobble... On the third day of sale week, UK retailers start to weep

What started as a Saturday afternoon nap for SagePay turned into a three-day snooze fest, angering retailers that were as of last night still struggling to process sales in a peak shopping week. The online payment service, which boasts about letting retailers get on with the business of retailing while it manages multi-channel …
Paul Kunert, 21 Nov 2017

Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

Linux distro Debian is under fire for distributing a software package containing an "ASCII representation of zoophilia." Specifically, a sheep shagging a cow. According to a bug report filed this month, Debian user Felicia Hummel installed a package called "cowsay", which renders text in speech or thought balloons with ASCII …
Andrew Silver, 21 Nov 2017
android_money_648

Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

Part Two In Part One we described how, after 10 years, Android was uncannily similar to Windows after 20 years. But similar is not the same. Android is like Windows in as much as it's dominant – and also anarchic, fragmented, insecure, with a user base that lags far behind the latest code. The platform owner is accused of all kinds of …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2017

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

Special report Two organizations founded to help and support developers of free and open-source software have locked horns in public, betraying a long-running quarrel rumbling mostly behind the scenes. On one side, the Software Freedom Law Center, which today seeks to resolve licensing disputes amicably. On the other, the Software Freedom …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017
Telstra from Shutterstock

If you're big enough, Cisco will cook you a private software SKU

Vulture South last week spotted an oddity in this Cisco end of sale announcement for “Cisco Select UCS Server Accessories”. Way down the page are a couple of products bearing the name “Telstra” - that's Telstra as in Australia's dominant telco. The two products are called “Telstra Custom - 10 x (MapR-Conf-Hadoop, DB-AddOn, …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2017
printer

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Updated Microsoft's latest batch of software updates for Windows has been blamed for a mysterious ailment befalling some poor old Epson dot-matrix printers. Reg readers let us know that, after installing this week's Patch Tuesday payload from Redmond, their Windows boxes no longer work with Epson's dot matrix printers (which are still …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2017
Teacher

Microsoft can't give away beta cert exams, so starts charging

Microsoft can't give away enough of its beta exams, so it will start charging for them. That odd state of affairs was revealed in a post from Microsoft Learning that brought us news that the “No show rate is at historic highs” for beta exams. That's a problem for Microsoft because the company uses beta exams to secure a pool …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017
Wordpress logo

WordPress 4.9: This one's for you, developers!

WordPress 4.9 has debuted, and this time the world's most popular content management system has given developers plenty to like. Some of the changes are arguably overdue: syntax highlighting and error checking for CSS editing and cutting custom HTML are neither scarce nor innovative. They'll be welcomed arrival will likely be …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017

Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

AEV Bill A new law won't force driverless cars' software developers to explicitly consider the infamous Trolley Problem – but the UK government may later decide to implement something similar. Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, put down what he later described as a "probing amendment" to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Cambridge bikes photo MK Jones via Shutterstock

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

AEV Bill A cyclists' association wants software developers for any "errors" in driverless car software to be "criminally prosecuted" in Blighty. Cycling UK's submission to the Parliamentary committee considering the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill (AEV Bill) also suggested that owners of driverless cars should be liable for …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

Slack apologises to Europe for TITSUP* services

Slackers of Europe, it might be a good time to enjoy a little me-time as techies at the messaging and collaboration app biz attempt to wake the supposed productivity improvement tool from its slumber. "Connectivity issues" have hit users on the continent and perhaps elsewhere, the company confirmed today. At 12:23 AM PST (08: …
Andrew Silver, 16 Nov 2017
code on-screen

Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

Microsoft and GitHub on Wednesday announced real-time collaboration in their respective code editors, almost as if they'd been collaborating. Microsoft offered a placeholder rather than a product. Said program tools director Amanda Silver: "We’re working on 'Visual Studio Live Share,' which enables developers using Visual …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017

Adobe dis-Connect: Corp collab service has been knackered for days

Customers of online web conference meeting service Adobe Connect have been unable or have struggled to access the collaboration tool for several days. A reader writes in to tell El Reg the Adobe Connect service has been out of commission for him since this weekend with a number of users unable to connect to the service. " …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2017
Lloyd's Horse logo on building

Black Horse Down, we repeat... yes, Lloyds Bank, again

Customers of Lloyds Banking Group banks and TSB have been shut out of their online banking this afternoon. This is the second time this month they've been kicked off. At the start of the year, the UK-based group fell victim to a DDoS that led to a two-day outage, and there have been several more glitches since then. Hundreds …
Andrew Silver, 15 Nov 2017

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Interview The Mozilla Foundation has officially launched a radical rewrite of its browser, a major cross-platform effort to regain relevance in a world that seems to have forgotten Firefox. The much-rewritten browser claims to be twice as fast and uses 30 per cent less memory than Chrome, although this comes at the cost of compatibility, …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Nov 2017
staff in business suits thrash each other with ring binders

Productivity through tech, UK firms. More cyber, more cloud, more ERP!

Low take-up of readily available tech is fuelling Blighty's "deep-seated productivity problems", the club for supposed captains of industry the CBI has said. The government needs to build an ecosystem that will encourage greater investment and for British businesses to act and make the most of these opportunities, according to …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 2017
Munich beer hall with pretzels

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Munich city council's administrative and personnel committee has decided to move any remaining Linux systems to Windows 10 in 2020. A coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives on the committee voted (PDF, auf Deutsch, natürlich) for the Windows migration on Wednesday, Social Democrat councillor Anne Hübner told The …
Andrew Silver, 13 Nov 2017
Bicep icon

ARM emulator in a VM? Yup, done. Ready to roll, no config required

Hacking low-level code on ARM processors just became a little easier after a researcher who operates under the name Azeria Labs put together virtual machines that emulate common hardware. Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu. There’s also a “basic cheat sheet” here, covering how …

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