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Microsoft stops to smell the roses, creates the Shazam of flowers

Botanists will be positively blooming thanks to Microsoft, which has worked with a team of scientists to create a system to help flower-fanciers identify species in a snap. The Smart Flower Recognition System will help botanists stalk flowers across the world using Microsoft's blossoming library of some 2.6 million floral …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
Handshake

Microsoft dangles code candy in front of iOS devs

Microsoft is pressing ahead with its desire to sweep iOS devs into its embrace, this time offering them a code-testing tool to help them use its Windows Bridge for iOS. The bridge first landed as a preview in August 2015, and got a leg-up from Intel in April with a slab of Chipzilla-contributed code. Microsoft had hoped for …

Microsoft offers admins free Win 10 upgrade lube

Microsoft has offered free lubricant to ease the insertion of Windows 10 across PC fleets. Redmond's preferred wheel-greaser is called the Upgrade Analytics tool will help admins evaluate system readiness for Windows 10 in a bid to ease driver drama and kernel panics. The ointment provides admins with a panel showing the …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
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Oops: Bounty-hunter found Vine's source code in plain sight

A bounty-hunter has gone public with a complete howler made by Vine, the six-second-video-loop app Twitter acquired in 2012. According to this post by @avicoder (Vjex at GitHub), Vine's source code was for a while available on what was supposed to be a private Docker registry. While docker.vineapp.com, hosted at Amazon, wasn' …
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Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

The Apache HTTP server and KeePass password manager are to get a free code audit, courtesy of a pilot European Commission project. The EC-FOSSA (free and open source software auditing project) pilot was conceived by the European parliament in 2014, and given €1 million to work with. As well as code audits, it's got the …
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jul 2016
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UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

Computer science graduates continue to top the UK's higher education unemployment rankings, according to the latest figures compiled by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Ten per cent of computer science graduates failed to find a job six months after graduation in the academic year 2014/2015 - a figure higher than …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Elon Musk has revealed a letter from a Tesla driver offering an account of the Model S braking in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Musk Tweeted the letter, complete with claim that the incident is confirmed by analysis of the car's logs. Musk has recently attempted to verify accounts of a fatality which is alleged to have …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

Stack Overflow, a popular site for developer and IT admin problem solving, is taking on technical documentation, with support from companies including Microsoft, Paypal, Twilio and Dropbox. The Stack Overflow site was created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, and originally focused only on developer questions. It was …
Tim Anderson, 21 Jul 2016

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

In the same month Microsoft announced its alpha WebRTC-based Skype for Linux client, Redmond has put that native app and the native OS X Skype client on an end-of-life list. This is because Skype is being rebuilt to replace its peer-to-peer architecture with cloud-centric code that supports Windows, iOS, Android and web …
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Wavering about Apple's latest security fix? Don't, says Talos

Here's another reason to press “install” on Apple's latest OS X and iOS security patches: a slew of image-handling vulnerabilities. Now that Apple's released the patched versions, Cisco's Talos researchers have gone public with the details of their contribution to the fixes. The most serious of the bugs is in TIFF image …

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Firefox will next month automatically block invisible Flash content that users cannot see when loading a page, says Mozilla as it continues its campaign against Adobe's plugin. This should protect netizens from dodgy webpages that load hidden malicious Flash files that attempt to infect their computers with malware or perform …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
Transport Control Protocol

Microsoft tweaks TCP stack in Windows Server and Windows 10

Microsoft has announced it will add five new features – some experimental - to the TCP stack it will ship in Windows Server 2016 and the Anniversary Update to Windows 10. Redmond says the following five features will make it into its new TCP stack: TCP Fast Open (TFO) for zero RTT TCP connection setup. IETF RFC 7413 Initial …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

A German software developer has accused the United States Navy of illegally copying $596m worth of its product. Bitmanagement Software GmbH claims that the Navy has copied "hundreds of thousands" of copies of its 3D modeling and tracking software BS Contact Geo without paying. They have filed suit [PDF] in the US Court of …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company has an internal project to bring Android security up to the level of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which should bear fruit after the release of Android N. He also hinted at a future based around brand and technology licensing. "We have a tremendous amount of technology. We can stay in …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016
China will see you on the dark side of the moon

Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

A web browser developed by Chinese company Maxthon has allegedly been collecting telemetry about its users. Polish security consultancy Exatel warns [PDF] that Maxthon is phoning home information such as the computer's operating system and version number, the screen resolution, the CPU type and speed, the amount of memory …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2016

Guilt by ASN: Compiler's bad memory bug could sting mobes, cell towers

A vulnerability in a widely used ASN.1 compiler isn't a good thing: it means a bunch of downstream systems – potentially mobile phones and cell towers – will inherit the bug. And an ASN.1 bug is what the Sadosky Foundation in Argentina has turned up, in Objective Systems' software. The research group's Lucas Molas says …
Opera singers

Opera sells open-source Chromium browser for $600m to Chinese bods

Opera will sell its web browser technology to Chinese investors for $600m after a larger sale worth $1.2bn fell apart. The Norwegian company said in a filing to the Oslo Børs stock exchange that it had agreed to an arrangement that will see the Chinese-backed Golden Brick Capital Management private equity fund take control of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2016

15-year-old security hole HTTPoxy returns to menace websites – it has a name, logo too

A dangerous easy-to-exploit vulnerability discovered 15 years ago has reared its head again, leaving server-side website software potentially open to hijackers. The Apache Software Foundation, Red Hat, Ngnix and others have rushed to warn programmers of the so-called httpoxy flaw, specifically: CVE-2016-5385 in PHP; CVE-2016- …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2016
Ruby slippers from wizard of Oz

We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

Microsoft has had a database since 1989, initially working with Ashton-Tate and Sybase to create a variant of Sybase SQL Server for IBM’s OS/2. But it wasn’t until 1995 that Microsoft really got serious with SQL Server 6 for Microsoft’s rock-solid server operating system Windows NT. Back then, however, engines like SQL Server …
Mark Whitehorn, 18 Jul 2016
mistake

Samsung spills beans on mystery username, password emails to devs

Weird emails from Samsung to third-party developers containing usernames and passwords had some worried that the chaebol had been hacked. But the electronics giant says it's nothing to worry about. Earlier in the week, several Reg readers got in touch after they each received an email from Sammy titled "Your Login Information …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

Adobe says a buggy installer is the reason some people have two different versions of Flash Player on their Windows PCs. The software house told The Register it had to create an additional build of the browser plugin specifically for Microsoft's Internet Explorer after the version made for other browsers – such as Mozilla's …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
Upset man in suit and drinking liquor. Photo by Shutterstock

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed. According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2016
Autopilot

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Tesla is misleading drivers about the efficacy of its Autopilot feature and is putting lives at risk, according to Consumer Reports. The automaker's autopilot system, when engaged, is supposed to control the speed of the vehicle and its distance from other rides and objects – but it's more of a super-cruise-control than a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

Microsoft silently kills dev backdoor that boots Linux on locked-down Windows RT slabs

Microsoft has quietly killed a vulnerability that can be exploited to unlock ARM-powered Windows RT tablets and boot non-Redmond-approved operating systems. The Register has learned that one of the security holes addressed this week in the July edition of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday closes a backdoor left in Windows RT by its …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

It's not our fault we don't hire black people, says Facebook

Facebook has explained away another year of dreadful diversity figures by claiming that there simply aren't enough minorities available for it to hire. Despite having been at the receiving end of years of criticism for its overwhelmingly white male workforce, the social media giant's latest figures show that only 4 per cent of …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016
A Go Board

Reg readers cluster in pub to ponder artificial intelligence

Reg Events If you’re worried about scientists developing a computer as smart as you are, relax. It’s likely but not certain that “human level” AI could be reached by the end of this century, Professor Murray Shanahan told an audience of eager Register readers at our second Summer lecture recently. However, once that milestone is reached …
Joe Fay, 14 Jul 2016
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Cryptocat dev reckons WhatsApp is blocking calls to Saudi numbers

Lebanese-Canadian developer Nadim Kobeissi has taken aim at WhatsApp, accusing it of fudging about why calls to Saudi numbers don't work. In a long post at GitHub Gist, Kobeissi (best known for his work on secure chat app Cryptocat) says the blocks seem to be in WhatsApp, even though the company claims Saudi networks are …
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Salesforce bins all Android phones bar Nexii and Galaxies

Cloud darling Salesforce is upsetting end users by giving its Salesforce1 supported devices list a number-one haircut. While it doesn't bite until 2017, the end-of-life list hacks out all Android devices except a handful of Samsung and Nexus machines. Salesforces' announcement says: “Salesforce will no longer provide …
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

A programming blunder in its reporting software has led to Citigroup being fined $7m (£5m). According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that error [PDF] resulted in the financial regulator being sent incomplete "blue sheet" information for a remarkable 15 years – from May 1999 to April 2014. The mistake was …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jul 2016

Congrats, Linux users – you're finally officially alpha males... on Skype

Microsoft-owned Skype today released a new Linux client that hopes to address some of the complaints users have had with the chat app for months. The VoIP giant says the new alpha build of the Skype-for-Linux software can make and receive Skype calls from people running the latest OS X and Windows Skype clients and the alpha …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
London Undeground, photo by PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek via Shutterstock

London's contactless ticket payment system for sale in £15m deal

A contactless payment system built for London’s massive public transport network is to be made available commercially under a £15m deal. Transport for London has agreed that its two-year-old contactless payment system can be modified and sold to other cities by Cubic Transportation System. The £15m deal grants CTS access to …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jul 2016
Giant Pikachu Pokemon balloon flown at the 89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Columbus Circle. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Photo credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com

Speaking in Tech: Pokemon – the internet spills over into real life

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week in El Reg's weekly techcast roundup, Sarah and Eddie chase down Pokémon, Ashley Madison, Privacy Shield and Theranos. Their special guest this week is Michael Coté, Director of Technical Marketing at Pivotal to jump into the future of Platform as a Service (PaaS …
Team Register, 13 Jul 2016
Mark Holt Trainline

Trainline.com dumps Oracle and Microsoft, gulps AWS Kool-Aid

Interview Mark Holt, CTO at TheTrainline.com, is an unashamed AWS believer. He is dumping all of its legacy tech in a complete migration to the cloud, with the US cloud firm now being its sole supplier. "Now we have an Oracle Exadata Database Machine that we are about to throw in the river,” he says. That move has had tangible results …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2016

The Reg Coding competition – 10 times as hard as the last one!

Compo If you'd like the chance to bag yourself some top class gaming kit, and have coding skills in your armoury, we've got a competition you might like. We’ve partnered up with IBM to set a coding challenge and the winner can bag an Alienware gaming system and a set of Oculus Rift goggles. We’re not just giving this stuff away of …
David Gordon, 13 Jul 2016
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Meet Riffle, the next-gen anonymity network that hopes to trounce Tor

Next week, top eggheads will unveil a new anonymizing internet tool that they claim is snoop-proof and faster and more reliable against attack than Tor. Dubbed Riffle, the system was developed by MIT and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. It uses the same onion-encryption system as Tor, which wraps …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016

Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) project is about to unleash the second version of its unified code base - snappily called UCB 2.0 - with expanded hardware support. For the participating car-makers and hardware vendors it's a big deal. Features landing in the latest distribution include support for a rear seat display with …
Rusted car

Next month's Firefox 48 is looking Rusty – and that's a very good thing

Mozilla says it will next month ship the first official Firefox build that sports code written in its more-secure-than-C Rust programming language. The Firefox 48 build – due out August 2 – will include components developed using Rust, Moz's C/C++-like systems language that focuses on safety, speed and concurrency. It's hoped …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016
Microsoft Windows Server 2016: launch and pricing details have been announced

Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft lays out Server 2016's future

Microsoft has released details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, and as with Windows 10 it includes a "Windows as a service" model of frequent operating system updates. Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the company's Ignite conference, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. As …
Tim Anderson, 12 Jul 2016