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Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

Opinion The Mozilla Foundation has recently announced that it will refocus its development efforts on Firefox. Again. I know what you're thinking, what the heck else does Mozilla have to focus on? Well, you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence of it, but the company has been concentrating on building Firefox OS, which was supposed …

IBM and ServiceNow lock eyes, vow long commitment

IBM and ServiceNow have signed a “multi-year, strategic partnership” to blend their respective SaaS-y bits in the service of automated everything. ServiceNow's mission in life is automating the movement of information so that the right people (or things) get told what to do when it makes sense for them to get on and do it. IBM …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2017
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Amazon Chimes into video-conferencing: Look out, Skype, Google

Amazon has opened a new front in its battle for enterprise applications against Microsoft, Google and Cisco. The giant has unveiled Chime – a cloud-based unified voice, video and chat communications service targeting corporate IT as much as end users. Chime will, Amazon claims, eliminate common frustrations found in video-chat …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Feb 2017
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If you need an in-mem analytics cruncher – and, hey, who doesn't? – Microsoft Graph Engine is now open source

Microsoft Graph Engine, the in-memory-store-slash-computation engine, has been released under the open source MIT license. The GitHub repository contains the source code of Graph Engine and its graph query language, Language Integrated Query, which is already utilized by the Academic Graph Search API in Microsoft Cognitive …

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The German city of Munich, which pioneered the use of open source software at scale in government, looks set to replace Linux on the desktop with Windows. The city's government has posted proposal for a new IT policy (PDF in German) that Reg affiliate Heise reports calls for the development of a new Windows-based standard …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
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Chap scripts remote Linux takeover for sysadmins

Linux sysadmins with a sense of adventure: Tokyo-based developer Hector Martin has put together a set of scripts to replace an in-use Linux system over SSH. Over at GitHub, Martin's Takeover.sh is the kind of no-safety-net we imagine El Reg's readers will love. Takeover.sh is: “A script to completely take over a running Linux …
Penguins in Antarctica

Linus Torvalds decides world doesn't need a new Linux today

Those waiting for the milestone that would have been version 4.10 of the Linux kernel have another week to wait, after Linus Torvalds decided not to release the final version this week. “Hey, it's another week, and I could have released the final 4.10,” Torvalds posted to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, adding that “... I …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2017

Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

Oracle has brought its legal war with Google back to life, alleging Android's Java framework ripped off Big Red's copyright. According to a lengthy court document filed today by the database giant, and obtained by El Reg, Oracle will once again make its case that Google violated copyrights it holds on core Java libraries. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Feb 2017
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It's 2017 so SAP's added a Siri clone and machine learning to ERP

SAP has updated the cloud edition of its in-memory S/4HANA ERP suite and tacked the word “Cloud” onto the end of its name. The new S/4HANA CLOUD is a little mis-named as the previous version of S/4HANA could already run in the cloud (since 2015, thanks for asking) and SAP would happily sell you a subscription to the software, …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
France taxi

Zut alors! Uber wrecked my marriage, fumes French businessman

A French businessman is suing Uber for a ridiculous amount of money, with the claim that the dial-a-ride app cost him his marriage. The unnamed monsieur, from the Côte d'Azur in southern France, says he borrowed his wife's iPhone to order an Uber ride. Although he claims to have logged out of the app, his wife still got …
Iain Thomson, 9 Feb 2017
Windows 10 Mixed Reality, no longer just for HoloLens

Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

Microsoft briefed developers on the updates to the Windows 10 platform at an online Developer Day in preparation for the Creators Update, set for release later this year. The Windows 10 story is long and complex. In 2012 Microsoft released Windows 8, intended to bring the operating system into the mobile era, where apps are …
Tim Anderson, 9 Feb 2017
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SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

Once the second biggest enemy of Linux (SCO Group takes top honours), Microsoft is positively giddy about not just supporting Linux but actually building tools that run Linux in Windows and about putting previously Windows-only software on Linux. You can run Ubuntu inside Windows 10, install CoreOS and Docker containers inside …

ITU-T wants video sizes to halve again by 2020

The International Telecommunications Union wants researchers to get busy on new video compression codecs, setting an ambitious target to double their squeezing compression power by 2020. H.264 is probably today's most-used video codec, but the ITU-T's asking for experts to submit proposals to double-down on H.265 codec, also …

Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Some time late last year, without most of us really noticing, the Vivaldi browser became genuinely, startingly useful. I’d met the Opera Software founder Jon von Tetzchner two years ago when he unveiled Vivaldi's technical preview. Jon has always one of the more thoughtful and engaging founders you meet. But what was he doing …
Sad Android

Android's February fix-fest flings 58 patches

Android's revealed 58 patches, but good luck getting your paws on them: as ever, owners of Nexus devices may already have the February update but OEM customers have to wait. The 58 patches in android's February 6 Android Security Bulletin includes more mopping up of the Stagefright vulnerability that first reared its head in …

Web-standards-allergic Apple unveils WebGPU, a web graphics standard

Apple, which once dismissed cross-platform development for forcing developers to use lowest-common-denominator technology, has proposed a cross-platform JavaScript API for 3D graphics rendered in browsers called WebGPU. The company's WebKit team, which steers the open source browser layout engine that Apple requires in iOS- …

Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

Streetmap has lost its application to appeal against last year’s High Court judgement that Google did nothing wrong by promoting its own Maps product above Streetmap’s. “The bully boys won the day,” said Streetmap, immediately after the judgement was delivered. “This is a sad day for the internet.” Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, …
Hazelnuts

It's a Flink-off: Hazelcast launches own big data munching distributed processing engine

In-memory computing hopeful Hazelcast is launching Hazelcast Jet, a distributed processing engine for the streams of big data which the business expects will be pouring into enterprises soon. Hazelcast's eponymous in-memory data grid is based on commodity hardware rather than expensive proprietary Oracle Exadata boxes, and …
Mark Shuttleworth photo by Canonical

Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

New year, new Linux – or, in the case of Ubuntu, two. As in years past, Canonical's distro gets two updates in 2017 – the spring and autumn releases numbered and named respectively 17.04, Zesty Zapus, and 17.10 – name TBD, actually. As ever there will be UI and experience fiddling – Zesty Zapus sees changes in windows …
Gavin Clarke, 6 Feb 2017
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Why don't you all just f-f-f-fade away, Kaspersky asks generation SocMed

If things look awful c-c-cold on social networks and you no longer dig what we all say online, Kaspersky Labs have cooked up a novel software-as-a-service product that will let back up your accounts before you decide to you f-f-f-fade away. Dubbed “FFForget” and promised to launch as a “closed beta in early 2017”, the free …

Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

Microsoft's hurrying desktop Skype users to new client software. As revealed in a post late last week, Redmond's new plan will mean that come March 1st, users of “Skype for Windows desktop (7.16 and below) or Skype for Mac (7.0 to 7.18) will no longer be able to sign in.” To avoid that conversational crimp, you need merely …
Team Register, 6 Feb 2017
32-bit 64-bit street sign

Tails Linux farewells 32-bit processors with imminent version 3.0

The privacy-paranoid Linux distribution Tails has decided it's time to send 32-bit distributions the way of the 8086, from the planned June release of version 3.0. Tails' developers offer two reasons in their announcement: make the distro safer and save precious developer resources. The group explains that at the start of …
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Javapocalypse soon! Oracle warns devs to bin plugins, fast

Oracle's warned developers who still expect browsers to run code developed for Java plugins to get busy finding an alternative. The developers behind all major browsers have decided the NPAPI framework invented last millennium by Netscape has had its day, because there are now better ways to do multimedia and other fun stuff …
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If Linus Torvalds works well in airports, Linux 4.10 will land next week

Last week Linus Torvalds suggested Linux kernel developers should hurry up and calm things down, because he worried that version 4.10 might take longer than he wanted to complete. And this week he's all-but recanted that request, because he thinks he may not have time to finish the job. “Hey, look at that,” Torvalds wrote on …

Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

+Comment When Google popped out Chrome 56 at the end of January it was keen to remind us it's making the web safer by flagging non-HTTPS sites. But Google made little effort to publicise another feature that's decidedly less friendly to privacy, because it lets websites connect to Bluetooth devices and harvest information from them …

Fears Windows code-signing changes will screw up QA process

Changes introduced this week that mean code-signing certificates for Windows can only be sold in hardware form or run through a cloud-based "service" are continuing to be a concern for some developers. Industry trade body the Certificate Authority Security Council (CASC) decided in December that "best practice" for code- …
John Leyden, 3 Feb 2017

ServiceNow pals up with Palo Alto and ties up with Tanium

ServiceNow has made some new friends in the information security industry and will use them to tell you how fast to panic about intrusions. The SaaSy trouble ticket tsar has offered a security operations product for just under a year. The idea, as with all of ServiceNow's offerings, is to put proper processes around common IT …
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Webinars are not just about products but ways to make your customers happy

Promo Webinars are seen as the top-performing lead generator, and the growing business use of mobile devices is extending their reach ever further. Whatever the platform, webinars need to focus not just on the value of products but on ways of creating happy, loyal customers. Here are just a few pitfalls to avoid and words of advice …
Nicole Segre, 2 Feb 2017
Visual Basic 6.0, the last version before .NET

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Microsoft program manager Mads Torgersen has posted about the company's programming language strategy, stating that the plan for Visual Basic has shifted from co-evolution with C# to a focus on "core scenarios". Torgersen outlines the strategy for the three pure .NET languages, C#, VB, and F#. C#, says Torgersen, is used by …
Tim Anderson, 2 Feb 2017
Slack

Slack flaunts enterprise handcuffs

Slack, the four-year-old team chat service that owes its popularity to email's shortcomings and some smart design decisions, has rolled out a version of the service for large organizations. Slack Enterprise Grid offers the familiar team-focused chat features but with centralized controls and the ability to integrate with many …
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

Sysadmin Blog I yell at Microsoft a lot. It's cathartic. Microsoft make several decent pieces of software and quite a few great cloud services, but for every awesome thing they create it seems they ruin something else. Over the past year I've developed a wishlist of changes. Dear Microsoft... Azure Stack I like Azure Stack. A lot. What I …
Trevor Pott, 1 Feb 2017
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle to driver developers: 'Come play with our interface'

Oracle has taken DPI, the data access layer in its node-oracledb driver, refactored it, and used it to give C/C++ developers an API to its Oracle Call Interface. Called ODPI-C, the library, on GitHub, is designed to let those developers write for the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) in the languages with whichi they are most …
Hammer, spanner and screw

The nuts and bolts of high-impact webinars

Promo Marketers rely on webinars as one of the most important elements in helping savvy technology decision-makers to evaluate their next purchase. High-quality webinar content can go a long way to sealing your next deal, but there is more than content to consider. For instance: When is a webinar likely to be most useful? Which …
Nicole Segre, 31 Jan 2017

Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Microsoft's latest Windows Insider build, released on Friday for participants in the software preview program, contains a reference to a new Windows SKU called Cloud. Microsoft declined to comment on what Windows Cloud might be, but after the name was spotted and revealed on Twitter, veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Jan 2017
ARPANet 1977

PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system

Among the more interesting denizens of GitHub are the many projects devoted to rediscovering and preserving the history of computing – such as a system called the Incompatible Timesharing System for the legendary Digital PDP-10. If Wikipedia is correct, ITS (its name a play on an earlier MIT project, the Compatible Time …
Penguin road sign

Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.10 just 'blew up' as rc6 bloats

Progress on Linux 4.10 has to date been steady. So steady, in fact, that it's not been worth reporting. But that changed on Sunday when Linus Torvalds declared that release candidate six, a previously “small and calm release candidate somehow blew up to not be all that small after all.” Torvalds isn't panicking because he's …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jan 2017
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Flexible working is good for you: Follow the leaders and banish the worries

Promo Although flexible working offers significant cost benefits for companies and enhances satisfaction for those employees who are allowed to work at the place and time of their choosing, a recent survey of 1,024 office workers across Australia found that despite the demand, flexible working is being held back by a culture of “ …
Nicole Segre, 29 Jan 2017
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Solaris continuous upgrades have already begun, says Oracle

Oracle has dribbled out a little more information about the future of Solaris, after last week quietly revealing a roadmap that replaced a planned version 12 with version “11.next” and then offering more detail about a planned move to adopt continuous delivery of OS updates. But Big Red didn't say when continuous delivery …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jan 2017
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Windows code-signing tweaks sure to irritate software developers

Updated Changes that mean signing certificates for Windows can only be sold in hardware form – or from an as-yet undefined cloud-based "service” – from the start of February are likely to have a big effect on software development. US trade body the Certificate Authority Security Council decided in December that "best practice" for …
John Leyden, 26 Jan 2017
Wileyfox Swift Android Smartphone

Google tests Android Instant Apps streamed on-demand to mobes

Google has begun testing Android Instant Apps, a mobile application format delivered by streaming rather than as a downloaded file. "Today, a few of these Instant Apps will be available to Android users for the first time in a limited test, including apps from BuzzFeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki," said Google software engineer …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Jan 2017
Signpost saying Happy Sad

VMware user group fight leaves community diminished

Ongoing tension between Nutanix and VMware has spilled over into Virtzilla's user groups, which have decided to exclude volunteers who work for rivals. That decision has left both vendors somewhat diminished and the user groups' governing body facing possible rebellion by individual user groups. This story starts in the last …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jan 2017

Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Wine, the open source tool that translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls, and therefore lets Windows apps run on Linux, Mac OS and BSD, has reached version 2.0. The tool's developers rate the ability to run Microsoft Office 2013 and 64-bit support on Mac OS as the most significant of the 6,000-plus changes. Support for …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jan 2017

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