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Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

Part Two In Part One we described how, after 10 years, Android was uncannily similar to Windows after 20 years. But similar is not the same. Android is like Windows in as much as it's dominant – and also anarchic, fragmented, insecure, with a user base that lags far behind the latest code. The platform owner is accused of all kinds of …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2017

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

Special report Two organizations founded to help and support developers of free and open-source software have locked horns in public, betraying a long-running quarrel rumbling mostly behind the scenes. On one side, the Software Freedom Law Center, which today seeks to resolve licensing disputes amicably. On the other, the Software Freedom …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017
Telstra from Shutterstock

If you're big enough, Cisco will cook you a private software SKU

Vulture South last week spotted an oddity in this Cisco end of sale announcement for “Cisco Select UCS Server Accessories”. Way down the page are a couple of products bearing the name “Telstra” - that's Telstra as in Australia's dominant telco. The two products are called “Telstra Custom - 10 x (MapR-Conf-Hadoop, DB-AddOn, …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2017
printer

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Updated Microsoft's latest batch of software updates for Windows has been blamed for a mysterious ailment befalling some poor old Epson dot-matrix printers. Reg readers let us know that, after installing this week's Patch Tuesday payload from Redmond, their Windows boxes no longer work with Epson's dot matrix printers (which are still …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2017
Teacher

Microsoft can't give away beta cert exams, so starts charging

Microsoft can't give away enough of its beta exams, so it will start charging for them. That odd state of affairs was revealed in a post from Microsoft Learning that brought us news that the “No show rate is at historic highs” for beta exams. That's a problem for Microsoft because the company uses beta exams to secure a pool …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017
Wordpress logo

WordPress 4.9: This one's for you, developers!

WordPress 4.9 has debuted, and this time the world's most popular content management system has given developers plenty to like. Some of the changes are arguably overdue: syntax highlighting and error checking for CSS editing and cutting custom HTML are neither scarce nor innovative. They'll be welcomed arrival will likely be …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017

Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

AEV Bill A new law won't force driverless cars' software developers to explicitly consider the infamous Trolley Problem – but the UK government may later decide to implement something similar. Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, put down what he later described as a "probing amendment" to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Cambridge bikes photo MK Jones via Shutterstock

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

AEV Bill A cyclists' association wants software developers for any "errors" in driverless car software to be "criminally prosecuted" in Blighty. Cycling UK's submission to the Parliamentary committee considering the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill (AEV Bill) also suggested that owners of driverless cars should be liable for …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

Slack apologises to Europe for TITSUP* services

Slackers of Europe, it might be a good time to enjoy a little me-time as techies at the messaging and collaboration app biz attempt to wake the supposed productivity improvement tool from its slumber. "Connectivity issues" have hit users on the continent and perhaps elsewhere, the company confirmed today. At 12:23 AM PST (08: …
Andrew Silver, 16 Nov 2017
code on-screen

Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

Microsoft and GitHub on Wednesday announced real-time collaboration in their respective code editors, almost as if they'd been collaborating. Microsoft offered a placeholder rather than a product. Said program tools director Amanda Silver: "We’re working on 'Visual Studio Live Share,' which enables developers using Visual …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017

Adobe dis-Connect: Corp collab service has been knackered for days

Customers of online web conference meeting service Adobe Connect have been unable or have struggled to access the collaboration tool for several days. A reader writes in to tell El Reg the Adobe Connect service has been out of commission for him since this weekend with a number of users unable to connect to the service. " …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2017
Lloyd's Horse logo on building

Black Horse Down, we repeat... yes, Lloyds Bank, again

Customers of Lloyds Banking Group banks and TSB have been shut out of their online banking this afternoon. This is the second time this month they've been kicked off. At the start of the year, the UK-based group fell victim to a DDoS that led to a two-day outage, and there have been several more glitches since then. Hundreds …
Andrew Silver, 15 Nov 2017

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Interview The Mozilla Foundation has officially launched a radical rewrite of its browser, a major cross-platform effort to regain relevance in a world that seems to have forgotten Firefox. The much-rewritten browser claims to be twice as fast and uses 30 per cent less memory than Chrome, although this comes at the cost of compatibility, …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Nov 2017
staff in business suits thrash each other with ring binders

Productivity through tech, UK firms. More cyber, more cloud, more ERP!

Low take-up of readily available tech is fuelling Blighty's "deep-seated productivity problems", the club for supposed captains of industry the CBI has said. The government needs to build an ecosystem that will encourage greater investment and for British businesses to act and make the most of these opportunities, according to …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 2017
Munich beer hall with pretzels

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Munich city council's administrative and personnel committee has decided to move any remaining Linux systems to Windows 10 in 2020. A coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives on the committee voted (PDF, auf Deutsch, natürlich) for the Windows migration on Wednesday, Social Democrat councillor Anne Hübner told The …
Andrew Silver, 13 Nov 2017
Bicep icon

ARM emulator in a VM? Yup, done. Ready to roll, no config required

Hacking low-level code on ARM processors just became a little easier after a researcher who operates under the name Azeria Labs put together virtual machines that emulate common hardware. Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu. There’s also a “basic cheat sheet” here, covering how …

Linux 4.14 arrives and Linus says it should have fewer 0-days

Linus Torvalds has given the world version 4.14 of the Linux Kernel. Torvalds announced the new release with his usual lack of fanfare, but with a couple of interesting nuggets of news. He opened by saying “it is probably worth pointing out how the 0day robot has been getting even better (it was very useful before, but …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2017

Word on the Rimini Street: Software support firm smiles through Oracle pain

Oracle and SAP support firm Rimini Street has reported an increase in revenues in its first quarterly results since being listed on the NASDAQ. The firm brought in $53.6m in the three months ending September 30, up 32 per cent on the same quarter in 2016. It also cut its net loss in two, dropping to $9m in Q3 2017, from $15. …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Nov 2017

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Open Source Insider Mozilla plans on November 14 to start rolling out Firefox 57, a massive update that just might send many of its users scurrying for the LTS release. First the good news. Firefox 57 is faster, quite noticeably so, thanks to improvements to what Mozilla calls Project Quantum. Quantum encompasses several smaller projects in order …
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Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

Part One It was an anniversary that prompted much reflection. The Platform had completely triumphed and was now ubiquitous, relied on by people all over the world. You could find the Platform in almost every conceivable kind of device, from cars to TVs. Although Apple had once been the pioneer, it now had to settle for life in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2017

MongoDB update plugs security hole and sets sights on the enterprise

Document database-flinger MongoDB has long positioned itself as the dev's best friend, but after ten years it is now fluffing itself up for the enterprise. The firm, which went public just last month and hopes to earn up to $220m, has now launched the latest version of its database, which aims to appeal to these bigger …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Nov 2017

Chrome update kills unwanted ad redir... WIN A FREE iPad!!

Chrome will begin blocking some redirect links in an effort to crack down on particularly annoying web ads. Google says that, starting with the Chrome 64 build, its browser will no longer automatically execute redirect links that are embedded in iframe code. This, the Chocolate Factory hopes, will help stop ads that redirect …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2017

IBM leads BigInsights for Hadoop out behind barn. Shots heard

IBM has announced the retirement of the basic plan for its data analytics software platform, BigInsights for Hadoop. The basic plan of the service will be retired in a month, on December 7 of this year. IBM said the enterprise plan would continue to be available. As of December 6, 2017, new BigInsights for Hadoop (basic plan …
Rebecca Hill, 08 Nov 2017

China-owned Opera touts big comeback

Opera released an overhaul of its browser today, and claims to have grown its market share substantially in the year since it was acquired by a Chinese private equity company a year ago. Monthly active users have increased 25 per cent in 2017, Opera says, with the UK 50 per cent up year-on-year. The browser received a makeover …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2017
Book bookmarked with paper clips

Firefox bookmark saving add-on gives users that sync-ing feeling

A freemium Firefox browser add-on that saves and syncs bookmarks has started "losing" bookmarks instead, according to its users. El Reg was contacted by an aggrieved reader who claimed the latest update to XMarks appears to wipe users' bookmarks from the machines and from the online storage. He personally found the update …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2017
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

MIT boffins hope to speed up analytics with GitHub-style platform

Boffins at MIT have proposed a GitHub-style collaborative platform to speed up one of the first, most challenging stages of data analysis. When faced with a large dataset, scientists need to first identify the features – individual measurable characteristics – of the variables. It's crucial the chosen features are good …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Nov 2017
Lloyd's Horse logo on building

Black Horse Down: Lloyds Banking Group goes TITSUP*

Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland’s online and mobile banking services have all gone down this morning, leaving a trail of angry customers in their wake. According to DownDetector, the major problems started as early as 9.40am on Thursday morning, with more than 2,000 reports coming in across all three banks. Hundreds …
Rebecca Hill, 02 Nov 2017
Mickey Mouse

Disney-branded internet filter had Mickey Mouse security

A Disney-branded home internet filtering device might keep bad content out, but it was an open door to bad actors until earlier this month. That's what Cisco Talos's William Largent found when he took a look at "Circle with Disney", a Circle Media parental control device on which the entertainment giant slapped its brand. …

Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

AEV Bill Red Dwarf's Kryten has told Parliament that electric cars of the future could be charged from LED lampposts – while insurers have flinched at the idea that they might have to pay speeding fines on behalf of naughty self-driving vehicles. British insurance companies don't mind paying out for driverless car traffic accidents, as …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Oct 2017
Location pin with warning

Google lets Android devs see nanosecond-level GNSS data

Geonerds, how would you like to work with raw GNSS data at nanosecond accuracy? That's what Google's Android folk are promising with the release of a set of Linux/Windows/MacOS desktop tools that accesses the raw GNSS outputs from Android phones' GNSS receivers. Created for phone designers, The Chocolate Factory has decided …
Screenshot of Q4OS

Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Review The Linux distribution Q4OS sounds like textspeak from a teenager from 1997, but it has potential, and it's not a bad option for Linux newbies. Click to enlarge The Linux OS is flexible. If one Linux distro is an unfriendly fit, you can replace it with another one that has a more appealing options list on the desktop …
Jack M. Germain, 30 Oct 2017

Licensing rejig and standard price rises set for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft stands accused of forcing customers to migrate to cloud services by introducing new licensing terms and raising prices for hosted Windows Server 2016, which could see monthly costs more than doubling. When Microsoft launched WS16 last autumn, it shifted from licensing per CPU to licensing per core for the Standard …
Paul Kunert, 30 Oct 2017

IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies

IBM has struck a “strategic partnership” with HCL Technologies that will see the latter firm take over development of its Notes, Domino, Sametime and Verse collaboration tools. IBM and India's HCL have done this before: Big Blue sent Rational and Tivoli products to HCL in 2016, along with some IBM staff. The Register …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2017
Penguin road sign

Don't be a turkey: Help Linus Torvalds finish Linux 4.14 before it ruins Thanksgiving

Linux kernel overlord Linus Torvalds wants to avoid an eighth release candidate for the new version of Linux, to avoid delays to the next version. The kernel community is currently hard at work on version 4.14, which got its seventh release candidate on Sunday. That release was only around for six days, after Torvalds …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2017
App design, scroll list

Scroll, scroll, scroll your note gently down the screen. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, FB's code's a dream

Android developers looking for a way to write more maintainable apps with highly optimized scrolling lists may want to take a look at Sections, a Java-based data structuring API from Facebook. The social network happens to worry quite a bit about scrollable lists, because making them perform well, without janky movement, can …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Oct 2017
Illustration: Man tries to catch winged bundles of money with a net as tehy fly away.

SAP to ban commission on public sector deals in countries at risk of corruption

SAP has claimed that "significant changes" have been made to global sales processes, after reports of corruption rocked its South Africa biz. The German ERP giant has also launched disciplinary procedures against three employees after accusations that the SA subsidiary was using a shell company to buy help winning government …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Oct 2017

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