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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “You don’t know you’re born,” they would say to me during my first holiday job. “You don’t know you’re a sad, blubber-arsed freeloader coasting towards retirement,” I’d reply… in my head, of course. Out loud, I would complain that they were being unfair, and I would be slapped down with that most frustrating of clichés “Life’ …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Jun 2016

Opera cries foul over Microsoft Edge power-slurping claims

Microsoft's claim that its Edge browser is the thriftiest with power has drawn a sharp response from rival browser biz Opera, who called for open testing to work out which app provides better battery life. Earlier this week, Microsoft released research which, it claims, shows that the Edge browser that comes with Windows 10 …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2016

Grappling with the future? Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think

PROMO The future is complicated, with a myriad of platforms and solutions promising to help you deal with disruption in any industry you choose to name. Faced with that degree of complexity sometimes the best response is the simplest – sit still, listen, then think before acting. That’s why, to mark the launch of its Hyper Converged …
David Gordon, 23 Jun 2016
NHM First Life VR Experience (cropped)

Revive revived: Oculus DRM push shattered as DIY devs strike back

The Oculus DRM system has been shattered, opening the door to modders and pirates. The Revive library was developed to allow Oculus games to be played on other virtual reality units and as a side-effect opened the doors for users to play pirate games. Specifically, Revive functions as a "compatibility layer" between Oculus' …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jun 2016

What do Tor, Tails and Caddy have in common? Mozilla bucks

Mozilla has announced the latest round of awards under its Open Source Support (MOSS) program. The Firefox builder said that it will pay out a total of $385K to eight different projects covering areas including protecting privacy and anonymity and extending access for those with disabilities. The "Mission Partner" awards are …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016
android_toys_648

Huawei taps ex-Nokia devs for 'secret phone OS project'

Just when you thought the platform wars had settled down into a cosy duopoly, Huawei is reported to be working on “an alternative mobile operating system”, according to reports. “The team working on the project is based in Scandinavia and includes ex-Nokia employees,” The Information scooped. The secret project is said to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2016
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Datastax comes for Oracle's lunch with new graph database release

NoSQL startup DataStax has announced the release of the newest version of its enterprise edition database, DSE 5.0, which ships with a graph database for cloud applications. Santa Clara-based DataStax now claims it has more than 500 customers in over 50 countries, including Netflix and eBay. Its "does what it says on the tin" …
Diver, image via Shutterstock

Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in

Review Fedora 24 is here, packing not just the standard group of changes familiar to any distro update, but also changes to fundamental elements. The biggest news in the default desktop version that I looked at – called Fedora Workstation 24 – is GNOME 3.20 and the continuing improvements to support for Wayland, the graphic stack …
robot butler

Is it a car? Is it a rocket? No, it's Elon Musk's robot butler!

A scrappy bunch of Silicon valley A-listers have announced plans to build an artificial intelligence (AI) system that will clean your house, answer your questions, and beat you at Call of Duty. In a blog post OpenAI, a research company formed as a non-profit by Elon Musk, vengeful billionaire Peter Thiel, and the Y Combinator …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2016
Face Aware Liquify detects faces in images and lets you modify expressions

Not smiling for the camera? Adobe's Creative Cloud suite can fix that

Adobe is updating its Creative Cloud suite to version 2015.5 and including a new Photoshop feature which modifies facial expressions after the event. Called Face Aware Liquify, the feature extends the existing shape-bending Liquify filter with face recognition and tools to tweak eyes, nose, mouth (including smile control), …
Tim Anderson, 21 Jun 2016

Microsoft’s IFTTT-alike Flow seeps into the iPhone

Animating cats in Hypercard, creating batch files (or even baroque Lotus 1-2-3 macros) – writing your own scripts was once an integral part of personal computing. If an application didn’t have its own arcane scripting language, it didn’t really cut it. Recently Android automation tools such as Tasker, IFTTT and Workflow for …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jun 2016
Space debris field

DARPA demands brand-new command … IN SPAAACE!

DARPA wants to out-Star-Trek the Trekkies and create the kind of flight deck it reckons it'll need to cope with a future when hostilities could extend to space. The problem, the US military's blue-sky skunkworks says, is that there's already too much stuff in orbit (most of it junk). The high-tech-looking rooms full of screens …

Intel chips in with blockchain code for Hyperledger

The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project has another big name on board: Intel. The project was announced in December, but got its first serious impetus back in February when IBM slung its blockchain code into the effort. During this month, the project has coalesced further, and is on the prowl for more contributors. A …
Edge other browsers

Microsoft joins battery-saving browser bandwagon with Edge claims

Microsoft has published new research in which it claims that its Edge browser, bundled with Windows 10, can outperform the competition when it comes to battery life. The lab rats at Redmond set up four identical charged laptops, each using a different browser to stream an identical video. The Laptop running Google Chrome ran …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2016
iSea App

Sea of outrage after 'migrant-spotting app' turned out to be bogus

Update The developers behind a much-hyped, headline-grabbing humanitarian smartphone app are in damage control mode after their software was found to be junk. The iSea app for iOS was billed as a way for users to help rescue refugees adrift at sea by combing over satellite imagery of oceans on their smartphones and flagging any shots …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016

Docker taps unikernel brains to emit OS X, Windows public betas

DockerCon Docker will kick off its DockerCon 2016 conference in Seattle this morning with a bunch of announcements: its OS X and Windows Docker clients will be made publicly available as beta software for anyone to try out; out-of-the-box orchestration is coming to Docker 1.12; and integration with Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure is in …
Chris Williams, 20 Jun 2016
Terminator head

Baidu tech chief: AI smart enough to take our jobs, not our lives. Yet

ISC (RotM) Artificial intelligence is about to transform society in the same way electricity did 100 years ago, but researchers are nowhere near producing the sort of self-aware sociopathic systems beloved of sci-fi writers. At least that’s what Andrew Ng, Silicon Valley-based chief scientist at Chinese Web giant Baidu, when he kicked …
Joe Fay, 20 Jun 2016
Raining money

Dell close to selling software division for $2bn – reports

Dell is close to agreeing the sale of its software division for more than $2bn as it digs behind the settee cushions to fund its mega-acquisition of EMC. A consortium including Francisco Partners and Elliot Management are “in advanced talks” to acquire the division, Reuters reported today, citing “three people familiar with …
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Filet-O-Phish: Insecure NFC tag relics hidden under Maccas tables

McDonald's New Zealand and Australia restaurants reportedly have unused and insecure NFC tags glued under tables. Near Field Communications tags allow devices to read instructions with a tap. Phones must be very close in order to read the tags and the instructions it contains. The McDonald's tags seem to have been installed …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jun 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Tor torpedoed! Tesco Bank app won't run with privacy tool installed

UK supermarket giant Tesco's mobile banking app refuses to run on handsets where the Tor app is also installed, it emerged this weekend. Mainframe database admin Marcus Davage revealed the Tesco banking app tells users they must remove the Tor Project's anonymizing Android software to access the supermarket's money services. …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2016
Facepalm by https://www.flickr.com/photos/the-magic-tuba-pixie/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Should we teach our kids how to program humanity out of existence?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "Kids tend to spend far too much of their childhood in an unproductive way," it says here. I quite agree. It was the same when I was a child. All that counting numbers and spelling words they made me do over the years was a massive drain on my television-watching time. "Research shows that children have an increasing problem …
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Jun 2016
Election form

London Mayor election day bug forced staff to query vote DB by hand

The confirmation of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London last month was delayed for several hours by a database application bug. The announcement of the election's winner was pushed back from May 6 to May 7 as a result of the programming cockup, which was buried in the IntElect systems used to scan and tabulate citizens' votes. …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Web browsers 2015

Edgier Edge pledge: TLS fledge no speed wedge, Redmond man said

Microsoft will speed up HTTPS encryption in its Edge browser with support for TLS 1.3 and performance extensions. Edge engineer Christian Huitema says the changes which also include support for TCP FastOpen will be introduced into the Preview edition of Edge. It means Redmond's new flagship browser will have the latest TLS …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jun 2016
Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness

Kill Flash now. Or patch these 36 vulnerabilities. Your choice

Adobe has released an update for Flash that addresses three dozen CVE-listed vulnerabilities. The update includes a fix for the CVE-2016-4171 remote code execution vulnerability that is right now being exploited in the wild to install malware on victims' computers. Adobe is recommending that users running Flash for Windows, …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jun 2016

Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Google has announced a dedicated machine-learning research group in Europe, based in its Zurich office. Dubbed Google Research, Europe, the office in Switzerland will give its engineers and researchers "the opportunity to develop products and conduct research right here in Europe, as part of the wider efforts at Google." In a …
Pancakes and sandwiches

UberEats into food delivery with new app launch in London

Not content with disrupting classical transportation services, Uber is now disrupting the disruptors in launching its own food delivery app, UberEats, in London today. The on-demand meal delivery service will be available from 11am to 11pm, seven days a week, and on launch will only cover London's Zone 1 boroughs, though the …
Punnets, photo by Graze

When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

“Graze is doing the reverse of most companies,” co-founder and chief technology officer Edd Read tells me. “We started online and we are going offline. We started with bespoke home-made technology and we are beginning to adopt the opposite.” Started in 2008, Graze has done everything considered “normal” in today’s startup …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jun 2016

Microsoft planning blockchain-as-a-service for Azure apps

Microsoft might not be keen on Bitcoin, but it's cock-a-hoop about the backend blockchain the currency uses and has given the first details of Project Bletchley, a plan to add the tech into Azure services via some new middleware. "Project Bletchley is a vision for Microsoft to deliver Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) that is …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016

Microsoft releases open source bug-bomb in the rambling house of C

The zombie bugs in programs and libraries at the heart of the Internet's infrastructure often have the C programming language in common. Microsoft Research now wants to add the kind of bounds-checking seen in C# to C, to help splat bugs like “buffer overruns, out-of-bounds memory accesses, and incorrect type casts,” in an add- …

Safari 10 dumps Flash, Java, Silverlight, QuickTime in the trash

Apple has taken its turn at the hammer, and added its own i-Nail to the coffin of Flash. Over at the Webkit blog, Ricky Mondello of the Safari team writes that Safari 10, due in the northern fall, will “behave as though common legacy plug-ins on users’ Macs are not installed”. Instead, it will try to default to HTML5 for …

Apple starts clock on HTTPS app rule

Apple says that iOS app developers will need to adopt HTTPS security before the year is out. Speaking in a session (iOS or Safari required) at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, head of security engineering and architecture Ivan Krstić announced that effective at the end of this calendar year, Apple will mandate the use …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2016
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

Microsoft's most recent security update is causing problems with Windows Group Policy settings. Users on Reddit and Microsoft support forums are reporting that after the MS16-072 update was installed, changes were made in Group Policy object (GPO) settings that left previously hidden drives and devices accessible. "I …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2016
"Mad hatter" cosplay dude has a cup of tea. Photo by Shutterstock

Speaking in Tech: 'Radical dev-focused' work from Apple...

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's El Reg's weekly tech-cast, hosted by Ed Saipetch and Ben Kepes. This week the dynamic duo discuss MPLS, open software, AWS and Bill Gates. Their special guest this week is Stephen Foskett, Organizer in Chief at Tech Field Day. The details… (1:00) HPE’s Vegas …
Team Register, 15 Jun 2016
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Workers rejoice! Marx’s vision will become reality, argues SAP veep

Marx’s vision of the lumpen proleteriat casting off their alienating shackles to become masters of their own destiny could be about to become a reality – just as soon as they sign up as Uber and Airbnb vendors. That was the argument put forward by SAP's Eric Verniaut, senior vice president for industries EMEA, at Huawei’s …
Joe Fay, 15 Jun 2016
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

Apple struggles with the idea of intelligent life outside Cupertino

In the age-old tech struggle between open and controlled systems, Apple has realized that when it comes to artificial intelligence, it needs to edge toward open. The computer giant has announced it will be opening up its digital assistant Siri to third-party apps and at the same time has put out an API to its artificial …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016
Oprah

Linux devs open up universal Ubuntu Snap packages to other distros

Analysis The Snap application container system released in April with Ubuntu 16.04 is now going to be opened up to many other Linux distros after a surprise discovery by developers. In a press call to journalists, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth (accompanied at times by a rather excitable Labrador) explained that shortly after the …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2016

How does the FutureStack up for you?

Promo New Relic’s FutureStack 16 Tour: London conference is taking place in London on 5th July and is your chance to hear how leading brands are monitoring their app performance to deliver a better customer experience. Whether you’re in DevOps, engineering, ecommerce, digital or application support, the event is designed to help you …
David Gordon, 14 Jun 2016

Apple launches HomeKit app – but where are the products?

Apple has finally launched its internet-of-things (IoT) smart-home service with a new mobile app called "Home." The only problem? A distinct lack of products to work with. Speaking on stage at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier today, senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi outlined a …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016
Apple Watch running MacOS 7.5.5

Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Apple WWDC Apple has rolled out its plans for updating all four of its major operating systems. The 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco saw Apple showcase updates for iOS, OS X (now macOS), watchOS and tvOS. All four of the updates are being made available to developers today, with general release builds due to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2016

Java API judge tells Oracle to suck it up, quit whining about the jury

An early attempt by Oracle to reverse Google's victory in the Java API copyright saga has been shot down. This week, Judge William Alsup promptly snubbed [PDF] Big Red's plea to dismiss Google's fair use defense in the long-running court battle. Google was found to have infringed Oracle's copyright by using 37 Oracle-owned …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

Looking for a data driven dev platform? This could be for you

Promo A coding competition is coming soon, brought to you by The Register in partnership with IBM - where you have the chance of winning some serious Alienware and Oculus gear. We will reveal more soon but in the meantime let’s get the party started with this call to developers, data science professionals and IT analytic architects …
David Gordon, 10 Jun 2016

RIP ROP: Intel's cunning plot to kill stack-hopping exploits at CPU level

Intel is pushing a neat technique that could block malware infections on computers at the processor level. That's the 40,000ft view of the new safety mechanism, the details of which were published on Thursday. What's really going on is this: Intel's so-called Control-flow Enforcement Technology (CET) [PDF] attempts to thwart …
Chris Williams, 10 Jun 2016