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HMS Queen Elizabeth on her first sortie out of Rosyth, 26 June 2017. Crown copyright

HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

Updated The Royal Navy’s brand new £3.5bn aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently* running Windows XP in her flying control room, according to reports. Defence correspondents from The Times and The Guardian, when being given a tour of the carrier’s aft island – the rear of the two towers protruding above the ship’s main deck …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jun 2017
Neural network image via Shutterstock

Sony open-sources NNabla neural network learnings

Last night, Tokyo-based Sony open-sourced its deep learning framework, which it has dubbed NNabla – Neural Network Libraries. The libraries support static and dynamic computation graphs as well as functions, operators and optimizer modules for neural networks. On the backend, the code is written primarily in C++11. If you …
Andrew Silver, 27 Jun 2017

Software glitch led to London Ambulance Service outage – report

A software glitch in the London Ambulance Service’s 999 call handling system, which prevented the system’s recycle bin from being emptied, led to an outage at the New Year – according to an official report. Control room staff were forced to log all emergency calls by pen and paper and pass information to ambulance crews over …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017
Linus Torvalds flips the bird

Linus Torvalds slams 'pure garbage' from 'clowns' at grsecurity

Linux lord Linus Torvalds thinks he'll be able to give the world version 4.12 of the Linux kernel next week. In his post to mark the release of 4.12 release candidate seven, Torvalds wrote “It's fairly small, and there were no huge surprises, so if nothing untoward happens this upcoming week, this will be the final rc.” “But …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jun 2017
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Microsoft recommends you ignore Microsoft-recommended update

Earlier this month, Microsoft gave the world .NET Framework 4.7 and urged users to install it for the usual reasons: more fun bits to play with and a security improvements. But two days later the company urged Exchange users not to install it ASAP, because it hadn't validated it yet. Last Friday - 10 days after the launch of …

Tech giants flash Russia their code blueprints in exchange for access

Cisco, IBM, HP, McAfee and SAP are among plenty of western technology companies that have been showing their source code to Russian authorities in exchange for the right to sell their products in the country. Documents seen by Reuters state that in the past three years, the Russian FSB (what used to be called the KGB) and its …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2017

Red Hat dons hyperconverged headware

Red Hat's having a crack at a hyperconverged software stack. The company's play has seen it bundle its very own Linux, Red Hat Virtualization, the Gluster network filesystem and Ansible automation tool into a package capable of running on lots of servers, or one. Red Hat is hanging this product on two ideas. The first is its …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2017

Tesla's driverless car software chief steps down

Tesla's driverless car software chief, a former Apple engineer, has quit just six months after he joined Elon Musk's 'leccy car builders. Announcing his departure on Twitter, Chris Lattner, formerly Tesla's veep of autopilot software, posted: "Turns out that Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all. I'm interested to hear about …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Jun 2017

Challenging dodgy generalisations on IT spending

Reg Reader Research One of the silliest concepts peddled by large industry analyst firms is "The CIO agenda". Listen to some of them and you would get the impression that everyone running an IT department woke up one morning and decided the priority would now be Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, grid computing, SOA, cloud, analytics, mobile, IoT, software …
Dale Vile, 21 Jun 2017

Debian 9 feels like home with security upgrades and a flaming vulpine warming your toes

Review The Debian Project has released Debian 9 after two years and, as you might expect for a work that's taken so long, it's quite an overhaul. In addition to major updates and changes to nearly every bit of software, there have been some important policy changes too. This version – dedicated to Ian Murdock, Debian founder and the …
Chrome vs. Firefox

Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

Mozilla's announced that its “Firefox Focus” ad-busting browser has made it to Android. Focus has been available on iOS since late 2016. The browser's lead feature is hiding traces of web searches so that ads can't follow you around the web. Mozilla feels doing so enhances privacy and speeds up surfing as you won't be …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2017
Alarm clock photo via Shutterstock

MongoDB tries to entice time-poor devs with new Backend as a Service

MongoDB’s latest offering, Stitch, is aiming to appeal to developers that don’t have the time - or the inclination - to write boilerplate code. The NoSQL business - which started life as 10gen in 2007 - used its world conference in Chicago to emit a new Backend as a Service, which is being launched in beta today. The document …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

A private equity titan has just forked out £700m for IT training biz QA

IT training company QA has been bought out by Europe's largest private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. The deal is worth £700m, according to the Financial Times, although the partners declined to disclose the financial terms of the transaction. QA, which provides 1,500 training courses across 20 UK centres, was bought by …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2017

'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Open Source Insider I recently received an email from an old shared hosting provider. The host wanted to "upgrade" my account to a new server. I had long since stopped using the account for all but one client site that ran a legacy version of Django. I built it ages ago, but it was done. It worked fine and the client was still happy with it. No big …

Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman both have new Linux in mind

Linux lords Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman have clarified Linux's short term future. Torvalds took to the Kernel Mailing List to announced release candidate six of Linux 4.12, along with his fervent hope that “this would be a normal release cycle where rc7 is the last rc.” If so, that will mean Linux 4.12 will get its …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2017

WhatsApp app in flap over chap's snap of URL mishap

A developer has found a hole in secure messaging tool WhatsApp's handling of links that could expose some traffic to third parties. The condition, discovered by developer Adam Wolk, arises when a user types a link into a WhatsApp message. Wolk found that, as the URL is entered into the message, WhatsApp pings the host server, …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jun 2017
OpenBSD logo

That's random: OpenBSD adds more kernel security

OpenBSD has a new security feature designed to harden it against kernel-level buffer overruns, the "KARL" (kernel address randomised link). The changes are described in this note to an OpenBSD developer list penned by founder and lead developer Theo de Raadt. The idea is to randomise how the kernel loads, so that kernel …

Debian devs dedicate new version 9 to the late Ian Murdock

Debian 9, “Stretch”, has been released, and dedicated to the distribution's co-founder Ian Murdock. Murdock committed suicide in 2015 but as the Debian developers' dedication records, “It is difficult to exaggerate Ian's contribution to Free Software. He led the Debian Project from its inception in 1993 to 1996, wrote the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2017
Facebook emojis

Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

Facebook last year introduced a bug in its content moderation software that exposed the identities of workers who police content on the social network to those being policed, raising the possibility of retribution. "Last year, we learned that the names of certain people who work for Facebook to enforce our policies could have …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jun 2017
JavaScript/Node code for Google Assistant

Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Poll Weighing in on a longstanding religious war among software developers, community site Stack Overflow has found that developers who use spaces to indent their code earn more than those who use tabs. After crunching the data from its 2017 Developer Survey (released in March), Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson on …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jun 2017
Y2K embedded in code

Yeah, if you could just stop writing those Y2K compliance reports, that would be great

The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has announced rule changes that – among other things – will finally end the requirement that agency IT departments report their Y2K compliance, only almost two decades after the event. A memo [PDF] published by the White House lays out a set of rollbacks to the reporting …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jun 2017

Hortonworks feathers nest with IBM deal

IBM has slipped a ring on Hortonworks' finger – offering the Hadoop distributor access to a potentially lucrative market. The corporate love-in between the founders of the Open Data Platform Initiative will see Big Blue adopt HDP for its Hadoop distribution, with existing users of its data analytics software platform …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2017
Firefox logo

Firefox 54 delivers sandboxes Mozilla's wanted since 2009

Mozilla has released version 54 of its Firefox browser and in so doing delivered long-promised sandboxing technology. Firefox has been pondering multiple processes for different tabs since 2009 and named its effort Project Electrolysis in 2015 before introducing the technology to Firefox 48 in August 2016. The organisation has …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2017

Apple frees a few private APIs, makes them public

Apple, by necessity, fatigue, goodwill or accident, is becoming slightly more open in how it allows developers to interact with its software. In the wake of the company's Worldwide Developer Conference last week, software developers are reporting that some previously private APIs have been opened to the public. Private APIs …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jun 2017
Windows XP fail at Hong Kong airport

It's 2017 and Microsoft is still patching Windows XP+ – to plug holes exploited by trio of leaked NSA weapons

Microsoft today addressed 96 CVE-listed vulnerabilities in its products – plus issued more emergency patches for unsupported versions of Windows menaced by leaked NSA exploits. A special bulletin from Microsoft on Tuesday explained the emergency update includes fixes for legacy versions of Windows and Windows Server dating …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2017

Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

It's a recurring pain experienced by all iPhone owners: the huge and very slow software updates that require you to plug your phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes. Many have also wondered why the phone feels the need to shut down, start up again, shut down again and start up again before finally letting you get at it. …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017
The latest Windows 10 preview has an improved Edge browser

Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

Microsoft has released a new preview of Windows 10's Fall Creators Update, showing off elements of its new Fluent Design System and introducing a host of features. At the Build developer event last month, the company announced the Fluent Design System as a move away from the flat design language which characterised the "Metro …
Tim Anderson, 09 Jun 2017
Man on old phone, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

Microsoft has officially decommissioned the Skype-calling support service SkypeKit, leaving some old VOIP handset users on hold. "I have just been royally upset by them," writes Tim Moore, a RTX Skype phone owner in South Devon, in an email to The Register. According to Microsoft, SkypeKit gave internet-connected devices and …
Andrew Silver, 09 Jun 2017
NYSE photo via Shutterstock

Hadoop-flinger MapR: Yes to IPO, profits 'soon after'

MapR Technologies, a data management platform headquartered in San Jose, California, is going for IPO – but not yet, the company’s chief executive Matt Mills said today. Speaking to The Register in London, Mills said flotation is on the cards but declined to name a date. He joined MapR as president and chief operating office …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jun 2017
Apple iOS 11

Apple appears to relax ban on apps fetching, running extra code – remains aloof as always

Analysis In conjunction with the commencement of its Worldwide Developer Conference and the release of developer builds of planned operating system updates, Apple has revised its Developer Program license agreement, for better or worse. It could be either, given that Apple itself decides when its rules get applied and how they get …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Jun 2017

Microsoft SCOM crashed some web apps, but the fix didn't fix it

Back in March Microsoft warned that “The [Application Performance Monitoring] APM feature in SCOM 2016 Agent may cause a crash for the IIS Application Pool running under .NET 2.0 runtime.” IIS Application Pools improve the reliability of web applications. “Several callbacks within APM code of SCOM 2016 Agent utilize memory …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2017

Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

Updated An eBay staffer says her bank account was wiped out and her rent check bounced – after the New York hotel she stayed in started charging other guests' reservations to her card. Laura Jane Watkins tweeted about a strange conversation she had with 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday night. "Hello Mrs Watkins," she recalled the …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jun 2017

Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

It looks like the 1990s are back in fashion: Microsoft is, it seems, preparing another flavor of Windows 10 – the tentatively named Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. We can't help but be reminded of the Windows NT Workstation era in the early 1990s – the branding Microsoft used to distance Windows for beefy work PCs from …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017
Linus Torvalds flips the bird

The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

The open source community is nasty in many ways, according to a survey of over 6,000 contributors to open source projects. The 2017 Open Source Survey was hosted on GitHub, which “collected responses from 5,500 randomly sampled respondents sourced from over 3,800 open source repositories” and then added “over 500 responses …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2017
Maxx Desktop SGI Indigo Magic Desktop clone for Linux

Silicon Graphics' IRIX and Magic Desktop return as Linux desktop

Those of you yearning for the experience of running a 1990s-vintage graphics workstation are about to have a good day: a developer named Eric Masson has resurrected the IRIX Interactive Desktop that shipped on Silicon Graphics Workstations and now offers it as a Linux desktop alternative. Silicon Graphics (SGI) had a crack at …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2017

Sage flogs North American Payments biz for $260m

Sage, pusher of the thrilling product that is accountancy software, has flogged its North American Payments business to private equity outfit GTCR for $260m (£202m). Back in December, the UK firm said it was evaluating “potential strategic options for the North American payments business", including a sale. The division, …
Kat Hall, 02 Jun 2017

Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

“A small portion” of Windows mobile users hoping the unexpected cool new update would start the month off the right way got burned yesterday. Microsoft “accidentally” released a development build of Windows 10 that can transform your phone into jelly if you try to install it. “We apologize for this inconvenience,” said …
Andrew Silver, 02 Jun 2017

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

Publishers will get a six-month headsup before Google kills intrusive advertising on Chrome, sources close to the ad giant have reportedly said. Google will also hand online publishers a special tool to make sure that their ads are "compliant", the firm blogged yesterday. It will be called "Ad Experience Reports" – ostensibly …
Jude Karabus, 02 Jun 2017
Penguin in a car

Toyota's entertaining the idea of Linux in cars

The Linux Foundation's Automotive Grade Linux project is celebrating its first big-name user, after Toyota said it will employ the OS in the 2018 Camry model it will sell in the United States. Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is an effort to create a cut of Linux capable of being dropped into cars with minimal integration hassles …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2017
Apple Swift Playgrounds

Apple Swift Playgrounds admit robots

Taking another tentative step toward openness, Apple says it will tweak its Swift Playgrounds educational coding app to interface with programmable toys, drones, and musical instruments. The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update is scheduled to drop on Monday, June 5, in Apple's App Store. That happens to be the first day of the Apple …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Jun 2017

Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

The uptake for Microsoft's long-suffering search engine, Bing, continues to be so dismal that Redmond has resorted to paying people to use it. The "loyalty scheme" offers points that can be exchanged for charity donations or music, games, devices and other stuff on the Microsoft Store. Users are awarded three points per search …
Andrew Silver, 01 Jun 2017
HMS Vengeance returns to HMNB Clyde. Crown copyright

Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

A group of anti-nuclear campaigners have claimed Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines are vulnerable to hackers – and their report setting out the “evidence” quotes, in part, from Wikipedia. The British American Security Information Council (BASIC) reckoned that Blighty’s four Vanguard-class nuclear missile submarines could …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Jun 2017

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