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Paris Hilton in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

RIP MSN Messenger, kthxbai. Microsoft finally flicks on KILL SWITCH in China

Microsoft's users in China have been told that the firm's MSN Messenger product will be axed at the end of October - spelling the end of the road for the 15-year-old IM service. The software giant already confirmed it was retiring the product - latterly known as Windows Live Messenger - in other regions of the world back in late …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2014
Bonaparte Before The Sphinx

Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

Comment In a world of where every mobile device contains a personal assistant, who will need mobile apps? Do you suffer from app clutter? My smartphone has lots of apps on it too. Finding the right one can be a pain, even though I have stuck some in folders to make the presentation less crowded on the screen. Then it has got to be …
Chris Mellor, 29 Aug 2014
Taxi Driver

Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy

Analysis More allegations have emerged of dodgy tactics on the part of car ride app Uber and rival Lyft – this time relating to so-called "brand ambassadors". Glossy gadget blog The Verge obtained and published the handbook Uber contractors allegedly follow to woo Lyft drivers, under something called Operation SLOG. Whether this is legal …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Aug 2014
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ad format

Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

The Mozilla Foundation's controversial plan to bring ads into the Firefox browser has commenced, with new nightlies of the Firefox browser now including the Directory Tiles feature that users hated in its last implementation. Directory Tiles have now morphed into “Sponsored Tiles”, the distinction being that the former are …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Aug 2014

'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

+Comment A founder of the volunteer technology education group Code Club has resigned, claiming she was warned not to criticise the group’s sponsors – which include Google. User interface designer Linda Sandvik claims she was told to shut up or quit. “On Monday the 25th of August the Code Club board gave me an ultimatum: either I have …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Aug 2014

Rejoice, Windows fans: Stable 64-bit Chromium drops for Win 7 and 8

Smoother video is on the way for fans of Google's Chrome browser on Windows 7 and 8. The Chromium development team has claimed delivery of a stable release of 64-bit Chrome for Microsoft’s platform. The news, announced on the Chromium blog, marks the successful of testing started in the Chrome dev and canary channels in June …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Aug 2014

Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices. In a post titled How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store, Microsoft explains it has conducted a promised spring clean by changing the rules for admission to the store and will henceforth insist on the following …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Twitter gives ANALYTICS to the unwashed masses

Twitter has announced that it is making its full analytics platform available to everyone. The company had made the service available in July to advertisers and verified accounts in a limited rollout. Now everyone can check out their stats. The news was broken by Twitter engineer Ian Chan via, characteristically, a Tweet: …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2014
Windows XP BSOD

Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch

Microsoft has reissued a security patch for Windows that previously caused PCs to suffer blue screens of death. The new release comes 10 days after Redmond advised people to uninstall the dodgy update. "This month we had our first roll out with additional non-security updates. A small number of customers experienced problems …
Iain Thomson, 27 Aug 2014
Instagram logo

Not so Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unveiled

Filtered snap app Instagram has unleashed a new tool that will allow users to shoot and post "time lapse" style videos. The company said that its Hyperlapse application would allow mobile users to record extended movies which can then be sped up and shared as fast moving time lapse clips. The app, which operates as a stand- …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014

Google ghostly graphics haunt Image search

A slam dunking NBA star and a fatal car crash isn't normally what you'd expect to find when Googling for puppies, but it is exactly what users have received overnight due to some unknown perversion of Google Images. The bug affected a scattering of users from dozens of countries. Australia, the US, the UK and many others noticed …
Darren Pauli, 27 Aug 2014
Woodchipper scene from Fargo

VMware puts VDI in the woodchipper

VMWorld 2014 VMware has outlined a new way to do desktop virtualisation (VDI) that aims to greatly reduce the amount of storage required to deliver desktops from the data centre. Many current VDI arrangements require each virtual desktop to be stored as a discrete virtual disk. By the time organisations get to hundreds or thousands of such …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014

Google kicks PowerPoint in the fondleslab

Google has launched a new iOS app for Apple's iThings that takes aim at Microsoft's Office for the iPad and a swipe at Apple's productivity software. The Chocolate Factory has made the new mobile Slides app available via iTunes. The files are then synced across Android gadgets and Apple iPhones and iPads. You can also …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Aug 2014
iPhone 5

Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery

Apple has started a free battery replacement scheme for fanbois whose iPhone 5s were cursed with premature power drainage. All concerned customers need do is log onto this page, where they can enter the serial number of their mobe. Cupertino insisted that only a few unlucky folk were affected. "Apple has determined that a very …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Aug 2014

Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report

A home-grown "China operating system" (COS) to challenge rivals such as Microsoft, Google and Apple could be available as soon as October 2014, the country’s state-run Xinhua News Agency has said. According to Xinhua, Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Ni Guangnan told the People's Post and Telecommunications News (PPTN …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Aug 2014
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Linus Torvalds released issued Linux 3.17 rc-2 on Monday. Linux-loving readers will note that releasing on a Monday is not Torvalds' style. He usually releases on Sundays. The reason for the change is detailed on the Linux kernel mailing list as follows: “So I deviated from my normal Sunday schedule partly because there wasn' …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2014

GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

LinuxCon 2014 Matthew Miller is a little concerned. As the new project leader for the Fedora Linux distribution, he thinks Fedora 20 is great and Fedora 21, when it ships, will be the best release ever. But he worries that to everyone else, Fedora – and Linux distros in general – are getting a little, well … boring. He doesn't just mean the …
Neil McAllister, 25 Aug 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup

Doing my own 'ting I'm not a brilliant businessman nor a star academic nor a rocking developer, but I'm reasonable at a couple of those things and currently have a well-paid contract in the City (i.e. banking) where I have spent most of the last 20 years in a variety of BigCos. So why would I give it all up to save the planet and have fun, and …
Screenshot of the Word 2013 startup screen, which doesn't show the year

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

In August last year, one-time-sysadmin and now SciFi author Charles Stross declared Microsoft Word ”a tyrant of the imagination” and bemoaned its use in the publishing world. “Major publishers have been browbeaten into believing that Word is the sine qua non of document production systems,” he wrote. “And they expect me to …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2014
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft

The world's about to get a new operating system, if reports out of China are correct: the Middle Kingdom hopes to kick off its own operating system in October 2014. According to Xinhua, Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told local trade magazine People's Post and Telecommunications News the OS will first hit on …
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Cheapo Firefox OS mobes to debut in India – definitely not one for selfie-conscious users

The Mozilla Foundation's aim to create a Firefox OS for mobile devices was not to take a quixotic tilt at the top end of the smartphone market. Instead, it hoped to provide an alternative that would enable the delivery of low-cost, but still smart, devices to places where smartphones are still a significant purchase. That plan …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Aug 2014

Red Hat: ARM servers will come when people crank out chips like AMD's 64-bit Seattle

LinuxCon 2014 It's practically a given that the ARM processor architecture – so beloved by makers of small devices everywhere – will graduate to servers soon. But before ARM servers can ship in any significant volume, a standardized hardware platform that specifically targets the data center is a must. So sayeth Jon Masters, chief ARM …
Neil McAllister, 22 Aug 2014
Cloud security image

Microsoft parts Azure cloud, reveals NoSQL doc database

Microsoft has slipped out DocumentDB for Windows Azure, the company’s first-ever non-relational database – and its first new database product since SQL Server. DocumentDB is a complete departure from Microsoft’s relational roots, being a schema-free, NoSQL offering built entirely for consumption as a service on its cloud. …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Aug 2014
Nvidia

ARM64 gets better GPU support in CUDA release

NVIDIA has launched the next upgrade to its parallel computing and programming platform, with CUDA 6.5 going live as a production release. The free download here puts 64-bit ARM platforms on a par with x86, by letting them take advantage of GPU acceleration. As NVIDIA claims in this blog, the combination of low-power ARM64 …
Photo of the White House at dusk

Obama's healthcare.gov savior says: 'No suits please, we're techies'

The incoming head of the newly formed US Digital Service – a crack sysadmin force to fix government IT systems – has said his team are focused less on looking smart and more on serious coding. Youtube Video Mikey Dickerson was brought in by the White House to sort out the lamentable launch of the Affordable Care Act's …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2014
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

Microsoft is putting on its poker face amid growing rumors that it plans to unveil "Windows 9" at the end of next month. For weeks and weeks now, it's been speculated that Redmond's next major operating system release, known thus far by its code name "Threshold", will make a public debut in 2014: it's believed Microsoft will …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Aug 2014

Linux duo land $54m VC Xamarin cash bag

Two leading lights in open source and mobile have landed $54m in funding for their company. Xamarin, founded by Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza in 2011, announced today that it has been awarded the cash in its third funding tranche since July 2012. VCs have now poured a total of $82m into Xamarin, which lets devs build native …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Aug 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Microsoft, Google link arms on browser vid chat

A standard proposal to get voice/video chats into standard browsers has brought Microsoft and Google onto the same side of the table. The “Object RTC (ORTC) API for WebRTC” (here) provides a framework to embed Skype-like voice and video over IP directly into browsers (instead of having them rely on mutually-incompatible third- …

Storage, chip slingers pledge allegiance to Linux, open source

LinuxCon 2014 As LinuxCon 2014 kicks off this week in Chicago, the Linux Foundation has announced that it has won new support from across the technology industry, including several hardware companies. The nonprofit organization said on Wednesday that SanDisk, Seagate, and Western Digital have become Linux Foundation members, all three of …
Neil McAllister, 21 Aug 2014
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable

LinuxCon 2014 The Linux Foundation on Wednesday introduced two new certification programs aimed at connecting employers with qualified Linux administrators and engineers. "The supply of labor has been far outpaced by the demand for Linux," said Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, addressing the audience at the annual LinuxCon …
Neil McAllister, 20 Aug 2014

Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

Programming the Web, Pt. III The most revolutionary aspect of all the changes that have taken place in web development over the last two decades has been in the web browser. Typically we think of web browsers as driving innovation on the web by providing new features. Indeed this is the major source of new features on the web. For example, Microsoft …
Galileo, engraving by Samuel Sartain

Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Windows fans can run their OS of choice on Intel’s counter to Raspberry Pi, courtesy of an Intel firmware update. Chipzilla has delivered firmware version 1.0.2 for the Galileo Gen 1, which means Windows can now run on the developer board. Microsoft fans had had to make do with a preview image until now. Getting the update is …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Aug 2014
OneNote for Android

Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android

Microsoft has announced improvements to the mobile versions of its OneNote note-taking software, aimed particularly at those who prefer to do their jotting with a pen, rather than a keyboard. Most significant among the updates, the company has released a new version of OneNote for Android tablets that supports handwriting input …
Neil McAllister, 19 Aug 2014
Tools

EnterpriseDB chucks devs free tools to craft NoSQL web apps with PostgreSQL

Enterprise-class PostgreSQL database vendor EnterpriseDB has launched a free turnkey development environment designed to make it easier for coders to build web applications using PostgreSQL's new NoSQL capabilities. The open source PostgreSQL project has been adding NoSQL-like features for the past couple of versions, most …
Neil McAllister, 19 Aug 2014

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

The German city of Munich, which famously adopted Linux and open source across its operations, may be about to reverse that decision. German newspaper Süddeutsche reports deputy mayor Josef Schmid as saying the city is considering the move because users often complain about the functionality available in open-source applications …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Lock security

Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code

Beginning on Monday, the security of the Linux kernel source code has become a little bit tighter with the addition of two-factor authentication for the kernel's Git code repositories. Contributing code changes to the Linux kernel sources at Kernel.org already required more than just a password, even before the change. …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
Angry woman on mobile

MongoDB tosses support lifeline to open source downloaders

Open source NoSQL database vendor MongoDB has added a new support option for customers who want to run the Community Edition of its software in production environments. "Our Production Support offering is now available as a standalone service – separate from our MongoDB Enterprise software," MongoDB marketing director Meghan …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
bsodforwrap

The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Patch early and patch often is the advice of security professionals when it comes to software updates. After all, who needs to be left wide open to hackers and malware writers when the solution is delivered by the software's maker? Yet sysadmins will be increasingly leery of applying such an approach to Windows systems …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Aug 2014

Google straps on Jetpac: An app to find hipsters, women in foreign cities

Google has bought Jetpac, an image-recognition app that uses Instagram photos to help travelers find what they’re looking for in cities – women or hipster moustaches, for example. The software's website declared that it was joining the internet behemoth and would be taking its apps off the App Store and ending support for them …

Twitter displays our 'Favorites'. That is, like, PRIVATE, huff naive users

Twitter has begun messing with its design by showing "Favorited" tweets in its timeline, much to the annoyance of some of the micro-blogging site's users. It's already the case that naive types who think that they are secretly liking a tweet by avoiding the re-tweet option and instead selecting the "Favorite" button are mistaken …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Aug 2014
Every time you use Internet Explorer, god kills a kitten

Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Internet Explorer could be getting a new name as Microsoft tries to escape the browser’s troubled past. One of Redmond’s IE engineers copped to the news during an AMA on Reddit late last week. Asked whether Microsoft had ever considered rebranding IE, browser engineer Jonathan Sampson 'fessed up that, after nearly 20 years, …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Aug 2014
HP CEO Meg Whitman

Reg man grills HP Software big cheese

Traditionally HP Software was seen by many of its business partners on the hardware side of the house – and by default some of their customers – as a fragmented portfolio of specialist applications amassed via acquisition. Evidence of this was on display at Global Partner knees-ups in recent years when the auditorium filled up …
Paul Kunert, 18 Aug 2014