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South Park: Stick of Truth

Ugly Microsoft code NUKED Bing and Yahoo! – report

Microsoft and Yahoo!'s search engines may hold much smaller portions of the market, which is dominated by ad giant Google, but netizens still noticed when the services went dark for a short period on Friday. Reuters, citing a person briefed on the outages, reported today that the search engines went titsup after Redmond …
Team Register, 3 Jan 2015
Data breach image

Want to have your server pwned? Easy: Run PHP

More than 78 per cent of all PHP installations are running with at least one known security vulnerability, a researcher has found. Google developer advocate Anthony Ferrara reached this unpleasant conclusion by correlating statistics from web survey site W3Techs with lists of known vulnerabilities in various versions of PHP. …
Neil McAllister, 31 Dec 2014
Great Wall of China

Google's Gmail staggers to feet in China as access partially restored

Access to Gmail in China appears to have at least been partially restored, after Google's web addresses were blocked over the weekend. The People's Republic has consistently denied having deliberately blocked Google's services as part of its "Great Firewall" effort. According to the Google transparency report, which displays …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2014
Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530

Key to Windows mobe app sales? Er, LOW MEMORY, of course

Microsoft is imploring developers to keep an eye on memory budgets when coding for the Windows Phone. Downloads from the Windows and Windows Phone Store are dominated by version 8.1 (Windows), with 92 per cent of downloads using Metro the update of the new look operating system. Of the Windows phone downloads, 8.1 again …
Simon Rockman, 30 Dec 2014
Megaphone

Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Megaupload maestro Kim Dotcom says he will soon unveil an encrypted video calling and chat service that he claims will mark "the end of NSA mass surveillance." In a series of tweets, Dotcom said the service, to be called MegaChat, will also doom Skype, the current king of online calling, which is thought to have been cooperating …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2014
Web browsers

Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

Microsoft has been working on a new scheme to strip away some of the legacy bloat that has burdened its Internet Explorer web browser, sources claimed. According to the prolific Redmond rumormongers at Neowin, the software giant has forked the code for IE's Trident rendering engine into a new, leaner version that should consume …
Neil McAllister, 29 Dec 2014
Glorious future of China

Gmail falls over after hitting 'Great Firewall of China' – report

Large numbers of Google's Gmail web addresses were reportedly blocked in China over the weekend. The disruption occurred on Friday, according to GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech group. One Gmail user complained on Twitter yesterday that domestic suppliers could not send emails to Gmail accounts and described the …
Kat Hall, 29 Dec 2014

For the love of Bong! He's Chief Contract Killer Evangelist... for WHAT NOW?

Comment We're in one of those phases of the tech biz where imitation equals innovation, if you add excremental incremental changes and a personable plonker to spokesperson The Coming Revolution. Having lived through this once before, this scribe can't work up a good hype-cycle over boilerplate “innovation”. It's colour-by-numbers stuff …
Mobile obsessed cartoon by Tim Cordell

El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

Feature There's no need to be home alone this Christmas. In part one we looked at the male perspective and in this second and final part, Lucy Orr reveals all about the online dating game. I’m a serial monogamist and part time cougar but it wasn’t until a rather unhappy breakup in 2009 that I even had the slightest inkling that online …
Lucy Orr, 28 Dec 2014

When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

Facebook has apologised to a bloke who moaned about the free-content ad network's recent "Year in Review" feature, after the firm's clumsy algorithms tastelessly inserted painful, personal highlights from 2014. The latest creepy function offered by the Mark Zuckerberg-run company offered a cheap-looking clip art album for users …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Dec 2014

Open Source's 2014: MS 'cancer' embrace, NASDAQ listings and a quiet dog

Ho hum. Another year, another slew of open source announcements that prove the once-maligned development methodology is now so mainstream as to be tedious. Running most of the world’s most powerful supercomputers? Been there, done that. Giving retailers the ability to deliver highly customized paper coupons to consumers based on …
Matt Asay, 27 Dec 2014
Excel on Android

Microsoft promises open plan mobile Office. Who sits by the Windows?

Microsoft has revealed more information on its plans for Office on mobile devices: iOS, Android and Windows phones and tablets. Microsoft Office is going cross-platform “rather aggressively”, says Technical Product Manager Kaberi Chowdhury. Office for Android tablets is currently in preview and set to be released in early 2015 …
Tim Anderson, 24 Dec 2014
Nokia Black Lumia Windows Phone Update

Windows Phone bumping along the bottom

Microsoft has revealed a new batch of data about Windows Phone's fortunes, and it seems Redmond's mobile efforts are doing best at the low end of the market. The good news is that Windows Phone 8.1 is now accounting for 65 per cent of Windows Phone app downloads, with Windows Phone 7 at under five per cent. The most popular …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014
Devuan's new logo

Devuan rebels hope to deliver Debian fork in 2015

Devuan, the Debian spin-off that will not include systemd has posted its first progress report. The missive says things are going well, as the project now has a GitLab repository and has built the first devuan-baseconf package. The team behind Devuan has also started “following and supporting any cutting-edge research on …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014
Elite

Frustration with Elite:Dangerous boils over into 'Refund Quest'

Frustration with Frontier Developments' less-than-pleasing response to fans miffed that Elite:Dangerous doesn't feature a single-player mode has sparked a new game titled “Refund Quest”. The game's a choose-your-own-adventure affair that leads you into a dungeon of despair on “A journey to get a refund from a random developer …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2014

Microsoft patch mashes Office forms and macros

Microsoft's December patching palaver keeps getting worse, with news that one of this month's brood is breaking Excel macros. Redmond's already had to back-pedal on the December 2014 update for Windows Root Certificate Program in Windows and also this month pulled a faulty Exchange update. Now comes news that MS14-082, one of …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2014

Apple scuttles NTP flaw in OS X – with 'first ever' silent auto update

Apple has slipped out an update to address the Network Time Protocol (NTP) vulnerability in its OS X operating system. And it seems the patch will be applied automatically and silently to vulnerable machines. Apple said the fix will protect Macs from the recently publicized flaw in the handling of NTP connections. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Dec 2014

YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?

It's nearly impossible to sum up an entire year of developments in something as large and nebulous as the world of desktop Linux, especially in a year like this one which has seen some the best releases that projects like Mint, Fedora and openSUSE have put out to date. At the same time the distro that's closest to being a …
Cher pointing, Cher point, Sharepoint

Microsoft shutters Office 365's free web site service

Microsoft is terminating its SharePoint Online Public Website service, effective January 2015. SharePoint Online Public Website lets Office 365 users create a website and customise it with in-browser tools. In an advisory posted on Friday, Microsoft explains that “As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2014
Fraud image

Windows Server 2003 custom support could cost MILLIONS

Business leaders who dismissed calls from the IT department to migrate off Windows Server 2003 as nothing more than a maintenance exercise could be left rueing a potentially costly seven-figure financial howler. Extended support for the OS expires on 14 July, meaning no more security patches or updates from Microsoft after that …
Paul Kunert, 19 Dec 2014

Love the cloud? Be a ‘Cloud Hero’ with Microsoft

Promo Microsoft UK are offering you the chance to bank some ‘Cloud Hero’ kudos along with a raft of prizes in exchange for completing some tasks in Azure. This ‘Cloud Hero Challenge’ requires you to complete ONE of the following: Set up a virtual machine in less than 10 min How to create an online SQL database in less than 10 min …
David Gordon, 19 Dec 2014
School Dinner by Glasgow blogger Veg, credit Martha Payne, used with permission

VISC-y business: Can Soft Machines keep the free lunch counter open?

If the free lunch is over, then few have heeded the end-of-break bell. A decade ago next year, C++ expert Herb Sutter wrote that those building the world’s software would need to change they way they architect and construct. Multi-core and hyperthreading were incoming, meaning that apps could no longer be built using sequential …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Dec 2014
Github octodex

Git thee behind me, Git crit security bug!

GitHub has acknowledged there's a flaw in its client software and recommended that users upgrade as soon as possible. News of the flaw was announced at GMANE and GitHub has confirmed the existence of the flaw and issued a recommendation for “all users of GitHub and GitHub Enterprise to update their Git clients as soon as …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2014
Android for cars

Forget Google's robot cars, now it's on to ANDROID cars

Google is planning a big push into in-car infotainment systems with an upcoming version of Android, sources claim. "Android M" – the version to come after the current Android 5.0 "Lollipop" – will be available in a formulation designed specifically to run cars' built-in screens, Reuters reports, citing anonymous insiders with …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
Photo of boxes of Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft drops early Chrissie pressie on Mac Office fanbois

Microsoft's not been kind to Office for Mac over the years: since the last major update in 2010 fanbois haven't had much to get excited about. Redmond recently revealed revisions are on the way, with a late-2015 target delivery date. But the company's now snuck out a small set of enhancements to Outlook for Mac. The updates …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2014

Banish the fear of Big Brother when you bring in BYOD

As I have said before, bring your own device (BYOD) can be a difficult concept to sell. After all, you are basically saying to users: “We want you to supply your own IT equipment but we want to be able to control the corporate data and applications that go on it.” Yes, you can sweeten the pill by offering a financial incentive …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Dec 2014
management regulation1

Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge

A US District Court judge has cast doubt on an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google, describing the damages sought as "speculative." The class-action suit filed earlier this year alleges that Google engages in illegal anti-competitive behavior by requiring makers of Android smartphones to bundle its search app on their devices …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Fresh Windows PCs in Europe will no longer offer to install Google Chrome and other web browsers rivaling Internet Explorer. That change, quietly announced on a Microsoft support website, marks the end of a European Commission-mandated period during which users had to be offered a choice in web browser when they installed …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Dec 2014

Rivals feel power of EMC's storage software bite

IDC's latest storage software (SW) tracker numbers show top dog EMC is continuing to rule the kennels, with a chunkier market share than both its nearest rivals combined. The Worldwide Storage Software View says total sector revenues bounced 6.1 per cent on the same period last year to nearly $3.8bn. EMC had 27.2 per cent of …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014
Network cabling FULL

Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux

Exclusive Interview It is all change in the Microsoft .NET World, as the company takes the technology open source and cross-platform. But how will old and new fit together? El Reg speaks to Director of Program Management Jay Schmelzer. In early December Microsoft’s Immo Landwerth wrote a lengthy post explaining that Microsoft’s core development …
Tim Anderson, 18 Dec 2014

Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

Review As has become par for the course with Fedora, the latest – Fedora 21 – has arrived months behind schedule. To its credit, it's well worth the wait. This release marks the start of the Fedora.next project. The big change is that Fedora 21 is available in three flavours: cloud, server, and workstation. All three build on the same …
George Bush in Game of Thrones

V. R. R. Stob's magnificent saga A Game Of Dog-and-Bones

Stob Laud Satya Nadella stood at the leaded casement of his garret, contemplating the ominous, brooding sky to the south. The flag over the Maeiouster's Hub Complex barely stirred in the still air, so that he could not only see the sigil of his once-proud house - gules and vert oblongs accroupis sur a respectant brace, azure dexter …
Verity Stob, 18 Dec 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Microsoft says Windows Insider program members shouldn't be upset that no more Windows 10 Preview builds are coming this year, because the build that's expected to arrive in late January will be awesome – literally. According to a blog post by Microsoft engineering manager Gabe Aul, Redmond devs are so excited about that …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2014
Dr. Dobb's Journal

Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

Programming journal and website Dr. Dobb's is ceasing publication of new content at the end of 2014. Editor Andrew Binstock explains the decision by owners United Business Media to "sunset" the site, though all existing content will remain available. Dr. Dobb’s Journal began as a newsletter published by Bob Albrecht and Dennis …
Tim Anderson, 17 Dec 2014
Microsoft Sway

Microsoft opens smiley-kids jangly guitar doc-maker to all

Microsoft has opened its new Office app, Sway, to all comers. As we reported last October, Sway is a document creation and content aggregation tool. Microsoft's laying on the inspirational stuff pretty thick: it says the tool will let you “reimagine how your ideas come to life” and “create a beautiful, interactive, web-based …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2014

Chrome devs hatch plan to mark all HTTP traffic insecure

The Chromium Project's security team has kicked off a debate on whether browser will mark all HTTP pages as insecure. “We … propose that user agents (UAs) gradually change their UX to display non-secure origins as affirmatively non-secure,” the team writes in this post. The post says the team's goal “... is to more clearly …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2014
Babel Fish

Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

Microsoft has rolled out a public preview of Skype Translator, its long-ballyhooed service that provides Star Trek–style real-time translation for voice calls and online chats. "We've invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they're emerging as …
Neil McAllister, 15 Dec 2014

Win Server 2003 custom support: That's NOT going to be fun

Microsoft could make a mint from charging businesses for custom support once Windows Server 2003 goes end of life next summer - but it may not make financial sense or be that easy to do so. There are millions of servers globally still running the 13 year-old OS with one in five customers forecast to miss the 14 July deadline …
Paul Kunert, 15 Dec 2014
Earth

Google vows: Earth will VANISH in 2015

Developers who have built web apps that take advantage of the Google Earth geospatial imaging service have just 12 more months to make the most of them, because the online ad-slinger plans to shut down the Google Earth API next year. According to a Friday blog post, Google will continue to fully support the Google Earth API …
Neil McAllister, 13 Dec 2014
Web browsers

Yahoo! Says! Chrome, IE Users! Should! 'Upgrade'! To! FIREFOX!

Yahoo! has started urging visitors to its homepage to "upgrade to the new Firefox" – even when they aren't using the Mozilla browser in the first place. The message, along with a Firefox logo, has begun appearing for some users in the purple band along the top of Yahoo!'s portal pages. It's displayed when the visitor is using …
Neil McAllister, 12 Dec 2014
BPG compression demo

QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

Noted software wizard Fabrice Bellard has devised a new raster image format that he says offers superior quality to JPEG at similar file sizes. Bellard – who is known for creating the QEMU virtualization hypervisor and the FFMPEG multimedia libraries, among other achievements – says the new format, called Better Portable …
Neil McAllister, 12 Dec 2014

Microsoft TechDays Online 2015: 3 to 5 February, 2015

Promo Microsoft is back with its 4th annual, online TechDays event. This three-day conference is geared towards IT pros and developers who want to get the scoop on Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first products and platforms. It kicks off on 3 February, so be sure to add it to your calendar. Here’s a top-level view on the agenda for …
David Gordon, 12 Dec 2014