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Windows 10 market share fell in September

Microsoft may have used its Ignite conference to trumpet Windows 10 now running on 400 million devices, but the operating system's market share went backwards in September according to two of three traffic-watchers we track each month. StatCounter Global Stats has Windows 10 at 24.42 per cent desktop OS market share for …

Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

Comment For over a year, Apple's software has been the subject of more derision than might be expected for a company of its size. Developer Marco Arment took Apple to task early last year, arguing that OS X (recently rebranded macOS) is full of embarrassing bugs and that the company is trying to do too much on unrealistic deadlines. …

BlackBerry: You can't just roll up and make one

Interview BlackBerry says it won’t license its brand and security hardened Android “to any Tom Dick and Harry” as it tries to maintain the value of its brand. The BlackBerry senior VP for sales for its Mobility division Alex Thurber - stopping to talk to El Reg as he sailed through London on his honeymoon - also told us BlackBerry had …
GomX-X3

Catching Cubesat chatter? There's an app for that!

Radio ham with an interest in free software and satellite signals? Pop over to the GitHub repo run by Daniel Estévez, and take a look at his GNU radio decoders. Estévez's gr-satellites project provides a collection of applications to decode satellite telemetry. The focus here is on micro-satellites and cubesats. Currently, …
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Google melts 78 Android security holes, two of which were critical

Google has crushed 78 Android security flaws in its October bug blitzkrieg, repairing critical core Android services along the way. The patch parade sees the tech giant return to a high-double-digit patch run after issuing only 47 fixes last month and a whopping 103 in August. The updates are split into essential Android …
Darren Pauli, 5 Oct 2016

Linus Torvalds admits 'buggy crap' made it into Linux 4.8

Linus Torvalds gave the world Linux 4.8 earlier this week, but now appears to wish he didn't after spotting some code he says can “kill the kernel.” When Torvalds announced Linux 4.8 on Sunday he said the final version added “a few stragging fixes since rc8.” But by Tuesday he was back on the Linux Kernel Mailing list …
Andromeda: "Google Android" bot taking off with Chrome power backpack. Image mashup of two SHutterstock stock images.

‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

If you were to design a client operating system with the goal of being used by two billion people, what would it look like? We might soon find out what Alphabet’s looks like. Today’s announcement’s from Alphabet’s Google is expected to reveal "Andromeda", the merged Android/Chrome OS. Executives have been hyping today’s event …

Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones

Canalys Channels Forum 2016 Lenovo will not build smartmobes running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system because it doubts the software giant’s long term commitment to the market. This is the view from Lenovo’s chief operations officer Gianfranco Lanci, who told attendees at the Canalys Channel Forum 2016 that Windows 10 was generating interest in …
Paul Kunert, 4 Oct 2016

@WalmartLabs applies Electrode to get current with web dev

@WalmartLabs – which practices deviant punctuation and develops software for the retail giant that bears its name – on Monday released Electrode, an open-source platform for building universal React/Node.js applications. Walmart.com now runs on Electrode, at least in part. Since January, @WalmartLabs has been helping Walmart. …

Buggy code to the left of me, perfect source to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with EU

Midway through SUPERSEDE, the EU three-year project backed by €3.25m in funding to make software better, software still sucks. It's always been thus, but now that computer code has a say in the driving of Teslas, confronts everyone daily on smartphones, and has crept into appliances, medical devices, and infrastructure, it's a …
image by Alexander_P http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-493324p1.html

If someone can translate Salesforce's $700m cool Krux plan into English, we'd be really grateful

Salesforce is buying data aggregator and analytics outfit Krux for US$700m in cash and shares. Exactly what Krux, based in San Francisco, does is hidden in wonderfully esoteric babble speak. It allegedly "provides a holistic system for consumer engagement and data governance, helping marketers, media companies, and agencies …
macOS Sierra

Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

Apple is taking a page from Microsoft's Windows 10 playbook and will push out its latest macOS (ex-OS X) update as an automatic download. The Cupertino maker of the Performa 275 has confirmed to El Reg that later this week it will begin to push macOS Sierra to Mac owners who have the "automatic update" function enabled on …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Oct 2016

MariaDB: MaxScale 2.0 given the full SSL streaming Monty

MariaDB has this afternoon made version 2.0 of MaxScale, its database proxy, generally available. The new version of the database proxy arrives with additional features for streaming, security, scalability and availability, which it provides while sat between the application client and the database. Consisting of a generic …

Firefox to doctor Pepper so it can run Chrome's PDF, Flash plugins

Mozilla is investigating hooking up Google Chrome's builtin plugins to Firefox. The foundation's Project Mortar hopes to spare its developers from building and improving non-core components of Firefox by instead providing the same software interfaces that Chromium, the open-source engine of Chrome, provides. That will allow …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Oct 2016
WTF road sign

Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Pic Chinese internet giant Tencent is the newly minted holder of a US design patent on the concept of placing rectangles on a display screen. US Patent D767,583 describes a "design concept" that, in the words of the applicant, consists of "the ornamental design for a display screen portion with graphical user interface." What …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Sep 2016

No surprise: Microsoft seeks Windows Update boss with 'ability to reduce chaos, stress'

Microsoft wants to hire a particularly thick-skinned person to help run its Windows Updates team. The Windows Servicing and Delivery team Senior Program Manager will be tasked with overseeing the release of features, fixes and security patches Microsoft delivers for Windows. That means the person who fills this role will be …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Sep 2016
Binary data/big data conceptual illustration. Illustration via Shutterstock

Microsoft boasts its cloudy Hadoop big data mill's faster than yours

Microsoft has overhauled its cloud-hosted Azure HDInsight Hadoop big data mill with extra security in the shape of enhanced authentication and identity management features plus a claimed 25 times performance boost in crunching big data queries. Azure HDInsight is a service that lets users deploy and manage Apache Hadoop …
Dan Robinson, 30 Sep 2016

My moment face-to-face with Google's AI: It feels your pain, sometimes

Comment At Google's Horizon cloud event in San Francisco on Tuesday, the ad giant demonstrated its Cloud Vision API through what it called the GCP Emotobooth. Less of a booth than a corner of a room covered by a connected camera, the experience combined all the forced fun of making faces on demand with the dubious pleasure of having one …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Sep 2016
The word futile

Oracle loses (again) in battle to get Google Java case retried (again)

Oracle has been turned away in its latest effort to get a new trial for its Java API copyright claim against Google. San Francisco District Court Judge William Alsup denied [PDF] Oracle's latest motion to have the case reheard, this time on grounds of misconduct on the part of Google's lawyers. The legal war, which has been …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Sep 2016
Microsoft campus

Exchange down for Android and iOS users

Microsoft Exchange mobile users on Android and iOS users have been unable to access the service on their mobile devices due to a planned shift away from its Exchange Active Sync (EAS) protocol. The issue first appeared yesterday and is still affecting users. One customer got in touch to say: "Exchange Mobile device access …
Kat Hall, 29 Sep 2016

Realm – a database you may not have heard of but app devs have – touts cloudy platform

At last, you can stop thinking about networking. Mobile database maker Realm promises this bliss as a consequence of using its new Realm Mobile Platform – which weds the Realm Mobile Database with the Realm Object Server to support applications that exchange real-time data. Using the now open-source Realm Mobile Database, a …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Sep 2016

Sendspace shrugs at phishers exploiting free service

File delivery site Sendspace has said it isn't worried about a huge email spoofing issue with its free service – because legitimate businesses don't use it. Sendspace seems to be increasingly used in attempts to deliver dirty-looking files in phishing attacks, and the company has informed us that no plans are in place to …
Is it safe from_Maraton_Man

But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

“Yeah, but is open source a safe choice?” Surprisingly, I’ve been asked that frequently of late. Larger organisations in particular are giving me the old squinty eye. The folks in these conference rooms and tentacular email threads are often looking to replace decades old stacks of IT and get their “digital transformation” on, …
Michael Coté, 29 Sep 2016
chromium - raspbian Raspberry Pi browser. Screengrab courtesy RPi Foundation

Raspberry Pi adds PIXEL eye candy to desktop

Fruity low-cost computer the Raspberry Pi is constantly getting enhancements, and the latest is an update to its Raspbian Linux build, which has been given a makeover with a new desktop shell called PIXEL and a version of the Chromium browser. New Raspbian Raspberry Pi desktop. Screengrab courtesy RPi Foundation New PIXEL …
Dan Robinson, 28 Sep 2016
Bored cat on computer, photo via Shutterstock

The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

Open Source Insider In all the years I have been using FOSS software, the most common complaint I've seen about FOSS software is that the "design" is "terrible", "laughable" or some witticism about forks and eyes. What's interesting about this criticism isn't its longevity, that's to be expected since for most of the people registering this …

Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Ignite Microsoft this week promised to increase desktop users’ productivity by bringing resizeable overlapping windows to Windows™ – a feature notably missing today. A spokesman also expressed hope that Mr Gorbachev’s new policy of “perestroika” would continue, bringing real benefits to Soviet citizens. Wait, what? Actually, we made …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016
Argos Cannon Street Station, photo: Argos

Argos tech team updates iOS app with helpful info on 'eleventy-billion toilet seats'

Strange things are afoot among the developer team at Argos, it’s just not clear if an ill-judged lunchtime trip to the boozer, hijincks related to the recent £1.4bn takeover by Sainsbury’s or a rogue staffer are to blame. Argos screengrab from reader's phone.... Screengrab from the iPhone of a gentle Reg reader... The iOS …
Paul Kunert, 28 Sep 2016
Photo by Tinseltown / Shutterstock

IBM hopes its tailored Swift will lure you onto BlueMix cloud

Swift, the second-most-loved programming language by Stack Overflow's estimation, has showed up on IBM's BlueMix cloud platform, dressed for general availability. She began performing as a runtime on BlueMix in February, when IBM provided a way to load a Swift binary into Linux containers, to build it as an application, and to …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Sep 2016

'Geek gene' denied: If you find computer science hard, it's your fault (or your teacher's)

Assume for the sake of argument that computer science grades are bimodal: there's a distinct group of students who excel at the subject, and then there's everyone else in another group. Computer science researchers at the University of Toronto – namely, Elizabeth Patitsas, Jesse Berlin, Michelle Craig, and Steve Easterbrook – …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Sep 2016

Eric Raymond revisits his biggest mistake, updates 'Pilot' language after 20 years

Software luminary Eric Raymond has written an update to his Pilot computer aided instruction language … 20 years since he last bothered looking at it. What was Pilot? According to Wikipedia, it was a precursor to LOGO: a computer-aided instruction program (its full name was Programmed Instruction, Learning, or Teaching). Even …
YouTube India logo - not official

Google launches peer-to-peer YouTube vid sharing, only in India

Google's decided that India needs its very own YouTube, so has cooked up something called “YouTube Go” that permits peer-to-peer video sharing. Details of the new app are sketchy, but the bits aimed at India are the ability to preview videos before downloading them and advance warning of file sizes. Vids can be saved to a …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Sep 2016

City of Moscow to ditch 600k Exchange and Outlook licences

The city of Moscow has announced it's going to start ditching Microsoft, following a call by president Vladimir Putin for Russia to be more self-reliant, and is starting with an untried-at-scale e-mail system. The phase-out will start by replacing Microsoft Exchange servers and Outlook clients, on 6,000 of the city's computers …
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Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision

The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox development team has decided enough is enough and will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista in March 2017 and also bin Firefox OS. The OS first. In this post Mozillans Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant, respectively the head of connected devices and veep for platform engineering, write that “By the …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Sep 2016
Cat and mouse

Oh, ALL RIGHT, says Facebook, we'll let Windows admins run osquery

Two years after it first arrives for Linux and OS X, Facebook's "osquery" developer kit is now available for Windows. Osquery is designed to let sysadmins check out system and process information by issuing SQL queries, rather than (for example) having to watch syslogs. An example (drawn from the GitHub repo) is the kind of …
Road Closed sign

Enterprise Yammer goes on end-of-life list for January 2017

Microsoft's rationalisation of enterprise messaging continues, with Redmond putting its Yammer Enterprise offering on the end-of-life list. The announcement is made in this blog post: “With Office 365 applications such as SharePoint and OneNote becoming an integral part of the Yammer experience, users will need an Office 365 …
robot butler

Baidu Research grills AI models on deep learning

Baidu Research has launched DeepBench, a new tool for AI researchers interested in assessing deep learning operations across hardware platforms. The announcement was made at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence conference by Greg Diamos and Sharan Narang, researchers working at Baidu’s AI lab in Silicon Valley. Deep learning …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Sep 2016
Windows 10 by Anton Watman, image via Shutterstock

Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Microsoft’s self-installing Windows 10 operating system has reached the 400 million mark, the firm announced at its Ignite conference in Atlanta this week, up from the previous high of 350 million in August. This adoption rate means the firm’s self-imposed target of a billion devices by mid-2018 looks increasingly unlikely, …
Dan Robinson, 27 Sep 2016
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

A Lexus fitted with Google's self-driving car tech was hit by a non-autonomous van that is said to have run a red light at a junction, according to local reports. The accident happened at 1.30pm on Saturday at the junction of El Camino Real and Calderon Avenue in Mountain View, just round the corner from Google's HQ. A Google …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Sep 2016
yak. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let's just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server. I believe that's the seventh time I've written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10. Maybe that's why …
Manchester BSOD

Heathrow airport and stock exchange throw mystery BSODs

BSOD WATCH It's no surprise that public transport delivers up a huge number of BSODs, since transport needs to disseminate lots of information. So let's open this week's BSOD Watch with not one, but three BSODs readers spotted at London's aviation paradise, Heathrow Airport. Paul sent us a pair from 2012. Nice composition in the first, …
Toilet with smiling loo paper

Yahoo! joins! Adobe! Flash! flush! mob!

Yahoo! has joined the flood of companies flushing Adobe's Flash. Amit Jain, a senior developer at the p0wned purple portal, has penned a piece for Streaming Media in which he explains Yahoo!'s transition to HTML 5. Jain explains that Yahoo! sniffed the wind before streaming an American Football match in late 2015. The company …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016

Big Software is the next, er, big thing

You’ve heard of hyperscale, but now “Big Software” is the new big thing over at Canonical, and the open source outfit is keen to promote anything that fits with its vision of how massive, hyperscale infrastructure is going to be built and managed in future. Big Software is what the open source outfit sees as its mission to …
Dan Robinson, 25 Sep 2016