Software > More stories

Apple seeks patent for user-configurable progress bar

Apple looks to be trying to do something about the flaky nature of software progress bars by making them user-configurable so they report when a machine has missed its estimate of the time needed to complete a task. The fruity 'puter company has applied to patent a ”Smart Progress Indicator” that will improve on current efforts …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Nov 2014

NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online

The NSA has decided to let the public have a peek at what it's been up to, for a change, by promising to release some of its data analysis tools under an open-source license. On Tuesday, intelligence-gobbling agency said it hopes to make the code to NiFi – a project previously known internally as Niagarafiles – available as an …
Neil McAllister, 25 Nov 2014
Rickmote

Who's been writing in my apps? Googlilocks builds new apps-tracker

Google has bolstered the security of its Apps platform with new reports providing insight into the number of devices accessing the account over the past month. The Devices and Activity dashboard displayed all devices active on an account in the last 28 days and those still signed in. Google Apps security. Google Apps security …
Darren Pauli, 25 Nov 2014
The MSN Santa (unconfirmed)

Google's elves work on Santa to rein(deer) in grinchware

Google's elves have been busy working on a toy for all the girls and boys who run Mac OS and worry about getting a virus. “Santa” is billed as “a binary whitelisting/blacklisting system for Mac OS X”, can be found on GitHub and “keeps track of binaries that are naughty and nice.” Nice binaries get to run. Naughty binaries get a …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2014

How secure is Docker? If you're not running version 1.3.2, NOT VERY

A nasty vulnerability has been discovered in the Docker application containerization software for Linux that could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and execute code remotely on affected systems. The bug, which has been corrected in Docker 1.3.2, affects all previous versions of the software. "No remediation is …
Neil McAllister, 25 Nov 2014

Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September

Google is moving ahead with its plan to end support for Netscape plugins in its Chrome browser – and has set next September as the date for when they will stop working altogether. The Chocolate Factory announced its intention to drop the venerable Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) tech in September 2013. At the same time, it urged …
Neil McAllister, 24 Nov 2014

New Snapchat Snapcash service inspires amateur PORN STARS

The advent of Snapchat's new mobile micropayments system, Snapcash, has spawned a new business sector: users who are keen to get paid in cold hard cash for their amateur porn efforts. The Reg has found several wannabe blue movie stars who have offered to expose their most intimate parts in exchange for donations via Snapcash, …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Nov 2014

We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Review Linux Mint 17.1 is the first example of what the Mint project team can do when they're focused on their own system rather than on making the latest Ubuntu work with Mint. That’s because Mint 17.1 sticks with the Ubuntu released earlier this year – the first time this desktop Linux has not gone with the more recent Ubuntu. It’s …

Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

On Thursday this week, the European Parliament will vote on whether to break up ad and internet giants such as Google ... even though it has no real power to do so. The so-called Resolution on the Digital Single Market, proposed by German MEP Andreas Schwab and his Spanish colleague Ramon Tremosa, seeks to unbundle search …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Nov 2014

HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes

HTML5 has offered salvation from the tyranny of apps for years, yet most mobile developers resolutely refuse to embrace the web. Despite HTML’s familiarity and promise of cross-device compatibility, native’s superior tooling and performance have convinced a generation of developers to go all in on native. If only this were true …
Matt Asay, 24 Nov 2014

You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes

Security software outfit Avast are trying to figure out why the combination of recent Windows patches and updates to the latter company's software are breaking PCs. Hordes of users have found that their PCs, especially those running Windows 8 and 8.1, grind to a halt after they apply both Microsoft's recent KB3000850 update …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2014
Kernels

Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

Microsoft surprised us by upping its Windows product numbering from 8.1 straight to 10, and now it appears it's planning to make an even greater leap in the version numbering of the Windows kernel itself. While Windows releases use familiar marketing brands – such as XP, Vista, 7, 8 and now 10 – the underlying operating system …
Neil McAllister, 22 Nov 2014

First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you

Motorola has issued a recall for an early batch of its hotly anticipated new Nexus 6 smartphones that were sold through US mobile carrier AT&T, owing to a software glitch that can reportedly causes the devices to boot to a black screen. It seems customers who ordered a Nexus 6 before it hit the shelves received devices with the …
Neil McAllister, 21 Nov 2014
View of the LHC tunnel sector 3 to 4

Hunt for Higgs Boson and dark matter now starts ON YOUR SOFA

If you're not too busy this weekend, why not sit down on your sofa and try to find a Higgs Boson or dark matter? The idea's feasible because CERN yesterday released data generated by the the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). “one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors” at the Large Hadron Collider. CERN says the CMS …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2014
Android logo

Google releases 'Divide' to conquer mobile devices, messaging

Google has quietly released something called “Divide”, the fruits of an acquisition it made back in May. Divide offered a mobile device management platform and tools to synch Exchange and Notes content to Android devices. The latter features have re-emerged in a new Android app Google says is a “gateway to your existing …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Roll up, roll up, Microsoft's rolled up dozens of OS fixes

Microsoft's just released its November rollup of product fixes to address issues that go back to April 2014. The new dump includes patches galore for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2. The latter gets some handy fixes, such as one that includes “performance and reliability improvements in the cluster, file …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2014
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop

People with Nexus 7 tablets say the latest major Android update – codenamed Lollipop – has slowed their slabs to a standstill. Google said today it is investigating the matter. The Android support forum is full of complaints that the latest firmware, version 5.0, renders the tabs unusable. And apps built with Adobe Air have been …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2014

Google, Rockstar to bury zombie Nortel patent lawsuit

Google has reportedly laid to rest its long-running squabble with zombie patent supertroll Rockstar, although terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Rockstar is the puerile moniker given to the consortium formed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, which pooled their resources in 2011 to buy the patent …
Neil McAllister, 20 Nov 2014

Euro digi chief 'H-dot' #twitterfail: 'My favourite app is the weather app'

It took Gunther H-dot Oettinger more than a month to follow his boss Andrus Ansip’s lead and take part in a live Twitter chat, so you might think he would prepare well and walk it. Well, you'd be wrong. He showed up late, left early and said nothing we hadn’t heard before, provoking the ire of the Twitterati. Twitter user Hans …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Nov 2014

Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU

Apple’s "free" apps are "free" no more, thanks to the EU. Instead of clicking a button labelled with the word, fanbois must now select a button marked “get”. The move appears to be in response to warnings from the European Commission that the “free” label is misleading when games contain in-app purchases and could lead to legal …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Nov 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked

Downloading mobile apps from non-official sources has become a lot more dangerous over the last year, with apps now needing more built-in protection, according to a new report. The number of Top 100 iOS apps that have been hacked1 over the past year increased from 56 per cent in 2013 to 87 per cent in 2014. The majority (97 per …
John Leyden, 20 Nov 2014
axe_channel_teaser

Oracle to axe over 450 jobs in Euro support centres – sources

Exclusive Oracle is rumoured to be closing all its European support centres with less than 100 staff - a move that could affect hundreds of employees. The plans would effectively mean all software support centres outside the UK, Romania and the Netherlands will be affected, sources have told El Reg. The firm has up to 40 support centres …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2014
Jennifer Pahlka

What should America turn to for web advice? That's right: GOV.UK – says ex-Obama IT guru

Analysis It's not the most obvious place you would expect a Silicon Valley-ite to point to as the future of the America, but Jennifer Pahlka is a big fan of the UK government's website. Pahlka heads up Code For America, an organization helping the public sector make better use of IT. She's just finished a stint in Washington DC as deputy …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Nov 2014
Bittorrent Sync 2.0 screenshot

Bittorrent wants to sink Dropbox with Sync 2.0

Bittorrent is taking Sync out of beta with an alpha version of Sync 2.0. (Look, it's not Vulture South's fault. That's what the outfit says, right here.) The premium version it's announced – US$39.99 a year – claims unlimited-size file storage, and is pitching the strong crypto and distributed storage as offering better …
Mozilla Firefox

Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Mozilla will make Yahoo! the default search engine for Firefox in the US, ending its decade-long pact with Google. The new deal affects the open-source browser on the desktop and on mobile devices. Lest we forget, Yahoo! Search is powered by ... Microsoft Bing. Terms of the new search deal were not disclosed, but the …
Neil McAllister, 20 Nov 2014
Office 365 video portal

Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash

Microsoft has added a video portal to Office 365, enabling users to upload and share videos. The service will be in preview soon, and available to all customers with the right kind of subscription in early 2015. So what is the point, when YouTube does this so well? The idea is to manage internal videos with permissions based on …
Tim Anderson, 19 Nov 2014
Chameleon

Ceph-starter Suse to enter software-defined storage market

Linux vendor Suse has kicked off this year's SuseCon in Orlando, Florida by announcing that it's getting into the software-defined storage business, starting early next year. The company made a new offering, known simply as Suse Storage, available in private beta beginning on Tuesday, with general availability expected for the …
Neil McAllister, 19 Nov 2014
iPad Psycho image

HORROR! Imagine if anyone could find out EVERYTHING you EVER tweeted

Remember those dreadful, toe-curling, never-to-be-referred-to-again tweets you tweeted years back? The ones that, thank everything that's good and kind in the universe, eventually vanished from human knowledge? Twitter remembers. Now everyone else will too. The post-profit website, founded in 2006, has built an index of every …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014
Apple Watch

Get your CLOCK out, you coders: Apple emits Watch dev kit

Apple hasn't yet even set a date for the sale of its smart watch: but it's keen to have a full suite of apps ready at the launch – and it would like it if other people developed these at their own expense. hence it has put out an SDK. The SDK, dubbed WatchKit, is available now, and it includes a Watch emulator to run software on …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2014
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command

Microsoft has taken its first baby steps toward integrating Windows with the Docker application containerization tech that's caught fire in the Linux world, with the release of Docker client software that runs on Windows desktops. The client doesn't let you run Windows applications in containers. Microsoft is still working with …
Neil McAllister, 18 Nov 2014

Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority

A new certificate authority – backed by big names on the internet including Mozilla, Cisco and Akamai – plans to offer SSL certs at no charge starting next year. The move will make it even more easier for people to run encrypted, secure HTTPS websites. Let’s Encrypt aims to provide an easier way to obtain and use a digital …
John Leyden, 18 Nov 2014
Microsoft OneDrive

That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?

Microsoft and synchronisation go back a long way. Remember Briefcase, a feature of Windows 95 and later, which syncs files between two folders, one of which can be on a removable drive or on the network? Briefcase was mostly replaced by offline network shares that synchronise local and server copies, a feature which remains in …
Tim Anderson, 18 Nov 2014
Apple iPhone 4S

Bug fixes! Get your APPLE BUG FIXES! iOS and OS X updates right here!

Apple is swatting at bugs with updates to its OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 platforms. The company said that the Yosemite v10.10.1 update would address a widely-reported WI-Fi connection error, while users running older iOS devices would find their systems running faster and more reliably after installing iOS 8.1.1. For OS X, the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014
Google Wallet 'vision' illustration

Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table

If you sell digital goods on a website using Google Wallet to take payment, you have a little over three months to find an alternative. The service is being “retired” on 2 March 2015 and will not be replaced. Google argues that there are enough alternative solutions, which might translate to mean “no one was using it”. The …
Simon Rockman, 17 Nov 2014

Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work

Facebook's decision to hire engineers in London is apparently related to plans to build a biz-friendly platform that will compete with such products as LinkedIn, Microsoft Office and Google's Drive. But, until "Facebook At Work" is ready, Facebookers will still be using ordinary Facebook at work. According to an FT scoop, …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014

Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Wannabe techies take note: A five-year-old kid from Coventry has passed Microsoft's Certified Professional exam. According to the BBC, Ayan Qureshi – under the guidance of his dad, Asim – first showed an interest in computing at the age of three. When the young lad arrived at the exam centre to sit the test, invigilators …
Team Register, 15 Nov 2014

Google Glass: Even the people who stand to MAKE MONEY from it hate the techno-specs

Google Glass has lost more than a bit of its momentum since the project was unveiled in 2012 – on Friday it was claimed that even developers building apps for the techno-goggles are giving up. Reuters reported that it spoke with 16 developers and found that more than half had abandoned their plans to write software for the …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014
Screenshot of Windows 10 Preview's OneDrive UI

Meet Windows 10's new UI for OneDrive – also known as File Explorer

Some members of Microsoft's Windows Insider program received yet another build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview this week, one that foreshadows more changes to the OS that should come as welcome news to those who cheered the return of the Start Menu. The release, marked as Build 9879, is only available to those who have …
Neil McAllister, 15 Nov 2014

FTC to Apple: Turn your head and cough while we feel for balls-up with HealthKit privacy

US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly scrutinizing Apple's health-monitoring software and hardware, dubbed HealthKit, for privacy problems. The regulator has asked the iThing giant to come in and explain just how it planned to handle fans' private information, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
E Fun Nextbook

Walmart's $99 crap-let will make people hate Windows 8.1 even more

Walmart, that well-known purveyor of the finest America has to offer, will flog a $99 Windows 8 tablet for this year's Black Friday. Youtube Video As you'd expect at that price, the E Fun Nextbook is an utter dog: it has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor with 1GB of RAM – the bare minimum for Windows 8.1 to function. The tablet …
Iain Thomson, 14 Nov 2014

Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead

Adobe, maker of such renowned proprietary products as Flash Player and Creative Suite, has hired a career open-sourcer to lead mobile marketing. Matt Asay has quietly been appointed Adobe’s vice president of mobile for the firm’s digital marketing business, The Reg has learned. He left his post as vice president of community at …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Nov 2014

No more tomorrows for TomorrowNow suit as Oracle and SAP settle

Oracle and SAP have settled their long-running dispute over third-party support outfit TomorrowNow. The case was fought over whether or not SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow was within its rights to download Oracle software to its own servers, by using Oracle customers' licence keys. TomorrowNow 'fessed up way back in 2008, when …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014