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Jamie Bartlett delivering Register Summer Lecture

Reg Winter Lecture: Former Iraq hostage talks survival and tech

Reg Events If you’re dreading the pressure cooker of a family Christmas, we challenge you to change your perspective by coming to our 1 December lecture with SQL specialist and former Iraq hostage, Peter Moore. Long-time Reg reader Peter Moore will be telling us how he went to the office one day in 2007 to work on a finance system for …
Joe Fay, 5 Nov 2015
British Transport Police cop. Pic: Gordon Joly

Cops' IT too complex for quick and dirty revamp – Police ICT boss

Coppers' IT is so complex and varied across the 43 different forces, a complete "big bang" overhaul of systems to force consolidation is not practical - the head of the Police ICT company Martin Wyke has said. Speaking to The Register, Wyke said that due to the varying IT arrangements and outsourcing contracts across the …
Kat Hall, 5 Nov 2015
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

Major Salesforce discounts. If you renew early ... and big

Salesforce is offering substantial discounts to customers who sign up early and commit to its full business suite plus services. The cloud provider is understood to be going 25 per cent over its standard volume discount in cases where customers qualified for a maximum 50 per cent off. The catch is that customers must sign up …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Nov 2015
Windows Store For Business

Signups start at 'Windows Store for Business'

Microsoft's wanted an enterprise app store for ages, but hasn't been able to get one going because one the many messes in Windows 8.x was “side-loading”, a strange Microsoft's method for allowing businesses to install Windows apps en masse to their PC fleets. Now it looks like Redmond's revving a replacement, as a new Windows …
Richard Stallman

Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off

Long-time contributor to Emacs and author of Emacs Muse John Wiegley has assumed the role of maintainer of the project. Promising an official announcement "soon", Wiegley said he'd accepted the role after a meeting with Richard Stallman: "Richard and I met at MIT yesterday, where I officially accepted the role as maintainer …

DDoS, botnet, and fiber cut fail to stop Twitchers crowd-installing Linux

The Twitch in the Shell project has successfully installed Arch Linux using hundreds of people simultaneously hammering keys in a terminal. One of the organizers has explained to The Reg how it was done. The project, broadcast by video-streaming site Twitch, managed the feat in around five hours. And this despite the best …
Iain Thomson, 5 Nov 2015

iPhone, Windows 10, lonely nights – sound like you? Dump Siri and have a date with Cortana

Microsoft is preparing for the rollout of its Siri alternative, Cortana, on Apple devices. In a post on its Answers website, the Windows giant has asked for beta testers for the service on iOS devices. But you have to apply and be accepted, and the company appears to be looking for people in the unusual subset of iPhone users …
Red Hat Linux on Azure

Red Hat Enterprise Linux lands on Microsoft Azure cloud – no, we're not pulling your leg

Microsoft has announced a partnership with Red Hat to support Red Hat Linux in the Azure cloud. "While today’s news does not mark our first collaboration with Microsoft, it is by far our deepest," says Red Hat's Paul Cormier, Products and Technologies president. There are four parts to the partnership. First, Microsoft Azure …
Tim Anderson, 4 Nov 2015

Firefox 42 ... answer to the ultimate question of life, security bugs and fully private browsing?

Mozilla has released Firefox 42 and Firefox ESR 38 38.4, which include fixes for worrying security vulnerabilities in the web browser. The November 3 update squashes at least three bugs that can be potentially exploited to achieve remote code execution. Two Mozilla engineers, Tyson Smith and David Keeler, uncovered two flaws …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Nov 2015

Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

A US software company has signed on with IBM to release a new native build of Big Blue's OS/2. Arca Noae said its "Blue Lion" build of OS/2 will run on the bare metal of PCs without the need for an emulator or hypervisor. Those still using the 28-year-old operating system and its applications typically run the stack in a …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Nov 2015

Opera Jon's sparkling Vivaldi proves the browser isn't dead

The new browser by Opera founder and ex-CEO Jon von Tetzchner is available as a beta today, after ten months in preview. You can grab it for Windows, Mac and Linux – and he’s promised that a mobile version will follow. The pioneering Norwegian company he founded laid off hundreds of browser developers, as it began to focus on …
Pumpkin, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year

Microsoft will stop all sales of Windows 7 Pro to PC makers on Halloween 2016. Satya Nadella’s firm has quietly let slip that October 31, 2016, will be the final day for PC makers to buy copies of the operating system for pre-install. Microsoft updated its product support lifecycle page, here, in October with the change …
Gavin Clarke, 3 Nov 2015
Windows 7 start screen

Food, water, batteries, medical supplies, ammo … and Windows 7 PCs

Microsoft has named the day on which it will force PC-makers to stop shipping PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed. The Windows Lifecycle fact sheet has been updated to record the fact that as of October 31, 2016 no more PCs will be sold with Windows 7 Professional burned onto the boot disk. Retail sales of Windows 7, all …
Windows 10 floppy disk

Windows 10 is an antique (and you might be too) says Google man

Google's design guru Matias Duarte has taken to Twitter to damn Windows 10 – and you – with faint praise. Duarte is Google's veep for material design and led user experience chores on Android from version 3.0, did likewise for PalmOS and the Danger Hiptop. In other words, here's a chap who's had a lot to do with the user …

WoW! Want to beat Microsoft's Windows security defenses? Poke some 32-bit software

Two chaps claim to have discovered how to trivially circumvent Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) using Redmond's own compatibility tools. A report [PDF] by the duo at Duo Security describes how the Windows on Windows (WoW64) environment can be abused to bypass builtin security tools. WoW64 allows 32- …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Nov 2015
Left 4 Dead 2 on Linux

World's most frustrating televised Linux install just got more frustrating

Vid Hundreds of people are trying to install Arch Linux on a machine at the same time in the same terminal, using a voting system to decide the next keypress. It's horrifically frustrating watching an attempt to run makefs hijacked with a slowly typed rm -rf / command; the filesystem-wiping order thwarted at the last moment by …
Iain Thomson, 2 Nov 2015
android logo

We're not killing Chrome OS ... not until 2020, anyway – says Google

Google hopes to ease fears that its Chrome OS is not long for this world. The Mountain View ad giant said on Monday that it has no immediate plans to kill off Chrome OS nor the army of lightweight Chromebook PCs it has spawned: the web goliath has promised a "regular six-week software cycle and guaranteed auto-updates for five …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Nov 2015

Windows 10 growth stalls during October

If it's the first Monday of the month, then it's time for our monthly look at desktop operating system market share data from StatCounter and Netmarketshare. This month the news is mixed for the main player, Microsoft, because while Windows 10's market share is growing its rate of growth is slowing. StatCounter has Redmond's …

Linus looses Linux 4.3 on a waiting world

With fewer ugly incidents than might have been expected, and after an expletive-laden rant directed not at a coder but at code, Linux Torvalds has announced that Linux 4.3 has gone general availability. His note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List note that most of the changes from release candidate 7 were dominated by changes to …
Broken CD with wrench

E-mail crypto is as usable as it ever was, say boffins

The main reason the world is able to read and enjoy the contents of Hillary Clinton's emails is that crypto tools aren't any better than back when Phil Zimmerman created PGP, the crypto system even he can't use. That's the conclusion of this study into e-mail crypto usability, a follow-up to a study which reached the same …
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has unloaded as only he can in a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. At issue is some new networking code that popped up in what was hoped to be the final version of Linux 4.3. Torvalds' first words on the code were: Christ people. This is just sh*t. Torvalds is grumpy because some new code has …
Voyager mission logo

Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Updated If you thought Fortran and Cold War-era assembly language programming is pointless and purely for old-timers, guess again. NASA has found an engineer comfortable with the software to keep its old space-race-age systems ticking over. In an interview with Popular Mechanics this month, the manager of NASA's Voyager program …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Oct 2015
Windows 10 nag screen

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Comment Microsoft's decision to push out Windows 10 upgrades as automatic Windows Update downloads is one of those ideas that sounded great in a Redmond meeting room, but will cause more problems than it solves. Right from the get-go Microsoft has made it clear that it is looking for a very fast rollout of Windows 10. The new …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2015
Office Online for Chrome

Insert headline here for Microsoft Office tweaks

Just in time for a weekend that can't come soon enough, Microsoft has rolled out a handful of features for Office on Windows and OS X. The update includes browser plug-ins and increased support for Microsoft's Skype and Visual Basic, as well as a lower storage requirement for Office on Android. Here are some of the new …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2015
The Bundestag in Berlin. Pic: Hernán Piñera

Google, SAP continue love-in with a patent-share agreement

Global ad-flinger Google and German ERP behemoth SAP have hopped in bed together to form a "long-term patent cross licensing agreement". The agreement apparently covers a "broad range" of products and technologies – but the companies have declined to say what that will involve exactly. The deal will cover the companies' …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2015
Sad Android

Chrome OS is not dead, insists Google veep in charge of Chrome OS

The Google exec running both Android and Chrome has tried to pour cold water on the story that Mountain View is merging its mobile platforms. Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, has tweeted: There’s a ton of momentum for Chromebooks and we are very committed to Chrome OS. I just …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2015
Skip full of rubbish outside an office building. Photo via SHUTTERSTOCK

Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

Deutsche Bank is re-engineering its "excessively complex" IT – including slashing the number of its operating systems from 45 down to four – as part of a sweeping strategic overhaul. Under its major rationalisation plans the bank will also pull out of 10 countries and cut 9,000 jobs globally. Part of that will also include …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2015

Tor Messenger beta debuts, promises unlogged Jabber for all

The Tor Project has launched what some say is the easiest-to-use encrypted chat tool for the truely paranoid. The beta version of Tor Messenger, which routes conversations through the global Tor network, is the culmination of about two years work and follows the launch of an Alpha version last February. Tor Messenger is …
Darren Pauli, 30 Oct 2015

How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

Microsoft will automatically download Windows 10 to millions more PCs in a "recommended" Windows update early next year. The tech giant shows no signs of slowing the rollout of its new operating system, utterly undeterred by the growing public outcry at its pushy attitude. Windows 10 already appears as a free "optional" …
Chris Williams, 30 Oct 2015

Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

Google is apparently going to "fold" Chrome OS into Android, potentially killing the development of a secure, lightweight desktop OS in the process. The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, claims engineers at the Mountain View giant have spent the past two years merging Chrome OS into Android. The end result will …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2015
The RoboVM Ahead-of-Time Compiler

RoboVM: Open source? Sorry, it's not working for us

The team behind RoboVM, an iOS compiler of tools for mobile Java applications, says that making its core product open source has not worked and that current and future versions will be proprietary. The company, which was recently acquired by Xamarin, used to publish its core compiler under the GPL licence. However, users …
Tim Anderson, 29 Oct 2015
VMware nutella

VMware vs German kernel dev: Filings flung in Linux-lifting lawsuit

Software Freedom Conservancy has spat out a “high level” update on the GPL enforcement case it is backing against VMware, ahead of an expected first hearing next year. SFC said that VMware had filed its defence against the suit brought by German kernel developer Christoph Hellwig back in March, which alleges VMware's …
Joe Fay, 29 Oct 2015
Arrow screenshot

Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store

Microsoft has decided to press ahead with its Garage spare-time-dev-sandpit project, Arrow. First announced as a beta in July, Arrow is intended to showcase Redmond's newly-found love of other people's platforms (and, perchance, a desire to get its name in front of a wider world than Windows Phone). Arrow's now ditched the " …
John Fowler

Oracle hardwires encryption and SQL hastening algorithms into Sparc M7 silicon

OpenWorld Oracle execs used the final keynote of this week's OpenWorld to praise their Sparc M7 processor's ability to accelerate encryption and some SQL queries in hardware. On Wednesday, John Fowler, veep of systems at Oracle, said the M7 microprocessor and its builtin coprocessors that speed up crypto algorithms and database requests …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2015
CSIRO's Cinder crystallography app

CSIRO's 'swipe right' strategy to get big data on crystals

Australia's cash-strapped peak research body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is recruiting the help of the crowd to improve its X-Ray crystallography capabilities. Cinder – yes, that's “Tinder for crystallography” – does the crowd thing, by getting users to “swipe right” when they see …
SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services, now in responsive HTML 5

SQL Server 2016, now with vitamin R: Microsoft emits new preview

Microsoft is releasing a new preview of SQL Server 2016, including integration with the R language for statistical analysis. In April 2015, Microsoft completed the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, a commercial provider of software and services for the open source R language. The new Community Tech Preview of SQL Server …
Tim Anderson, 28 Oct 2015

Is Alphabet-Google 'too big to jail'? The Lords find out

Europe's examination of Big Tech's dominant platforms – like Alphabet-Google and Amazon – is only just beginning, but Parliament got a teaser of the battles ahead this week, as two antitrust professors sharply disagreed on the merits of the enquiry. Professors David Evans, of UCL, and Ariel Ezrachi, of Oxford University, at …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015

Make room, Cisco's punters flocking to ACI ... yep, all 150 of them

Canalys Channels Forum One hundred and fifty customers across the globe have taken a seat on Cisco's Application-Centric Infrastructure bandwagon that started rolling 15 months ago, we can reveal. ACI – Cisco's answer to software-defined networking – is a programmable Ethernet Fabric that couples software and hardware. The product was initially …
Paul Kunert, 28 Oct 2015
Google nutella

Google lifts app price ceiling to US$400

Google has lifted the maximum price developers can charge for their wares on its Play store. As the wonders of The Wayback Machine demonstrate, on September 24th, 2015 prices for apps or in-app purchases topped out at US$200, £150 and €199. As of today, those price ceilings are US$400, £300 and €350, as recorded here. Why has …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2015
Imagination's Ci40

Imagination cuddles Brillo, Debian and OpenWrt for thing-devs

MIPS specialist Imagination has thrown its lot in with Google's Brillo Internet of Things (IoT) operating system, with the company prepping a development kit for the stripped-down Android derivative. The alignment with the Chocolate Factory plants another flag in the IoT market, without Imagination having to cozy up to …

Oracle Java 'no longer the greatest risk' to US Windows PC users

Apple's Windows apps have leapfrogged Oracle Java as the biggest security risk to PCs in the US, according to a study by vulnerability management outfit Secunia (now a Flexera Software company). (This shift is mainly down to the forced retirement of aging Java 7 rather than any improvement by Oracle.) Secunia's latest …
John Leyden, 27 Oct 2015
Google's gRPC lets you make remote calls as if they were local

Another go at remote objects: Google gRPC hits beta

Google's gRPC project has reached beta status, according to a post by product manager Mugur Marculescu, who adds that it "opens the door for gRPC use in production environments". The open source project aims to simplify distributed application development, where clients call services running on one or more remote servers. Here …
Tim Anderson, 27 Oct 2015