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FTC to Apple: Turn your head and cough while we feel for balls-up with HealthKit privacy

US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly scrutinizing Apple's health-monitoring software and hardware, dubbed HealthKit, for privacy problems. The regulator has asked the iThing giant to come in and explain just how it planned to handle fans' private information, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
E Fun Nextbook

Walmart's $99 crap-let will make people hate Windows 8.1 even more

Walmart, that well-known purveyor of the finest America has to offer, will flog a $99 Windows 8 tablet for this year's Black Friday. Youtube Video As you'd expect at that price, the E Fun Nextbook is an utter dog: it has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor with 1GB of RAM – the bare minimum for Windows 8.1 to function. The tablet …
Iain Thomson, 14 Nov 2014

Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead

Adobe, maker of such renowned proprietary products as Flash Player and Creative Suite, has hired a career open-sourcer to lead mobile marketing. Matt Asay has quietly been appointed Adobe’s vice president of mobile for the firm’s digital marketing business, The Reg has learned. He left his post as vice president of community at …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Nov 2014

No more tomorrows for TomorrowNow suit as Oracle and SAP settle

Oracle and SAP have settled their long-running dispute over third-party support outfit TomorrowNow. The case was fought over whether or not SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow was within its rights to download Oracle software to its own servers, by using Oracle customers' licence keys. TomorrowNow 'fessed up way back in 2008, when …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014
Windows 2.0

Stop coding and clean up your UI, devs, it's World Usability Day

November 13th is World Usability Day, the annual event that urges all and sundry “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.” The day's raison d'être is promoting good design, so that products and services are easy to use, rather than useless. Physical objects are the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google

Google is gradually handing out the fifth major iteration of its Android OS, codenamed Lollipop, to some fortunate devices – and has made the firmware available for folk to download and install. #AndroidLollipop rollout has started and will soon be available on most #Nexus devices. Dessert is served. pic.twitter.com/XVFX2tEbHv …
Iain Thomson, 13 Nov 2014
Samsung Simband

Samsung: Every breath you take, every step you make, we'll be watching

Developer conference Samsung really wants to be a key player in the much ballyhooed internet-of-things, but admits it can't do the job alone. It needs software developers to come up with ways to draw people into IoT – and has been showing off hardware it hopes someone will write some apps for. During the opening keynote of the Samsung Developers …
Iain Thomson, 13 Nov 2014
Aurora over Whitehorse, Yukon, on September 3, 2012

Amazon: DROP DATABASE Oracle; INSERT our new fast cheap MySQL clone

Amazon fired a volley at Oracle and other relational database vendors on Wednesday, with the launch of a new, cloud-hosted database service that it says can deliver better performance than on-premises installations at a fraction of the cost. Amazon Web Services senior VP Andy Jassy unveiled the new service, dubbed Amazon Aurora …
Neil McAllister, 12 Nov 2014
Miguel de Icaza

Microsoft .NET released from its Windows chains... but what ABOUT MONO?

Interview Today Microsoft announced that the .NET core framework, which powers web applications using the ASP.NET libraries, will be open source on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. But what are the implications for Mono, the existing open source project which already provides .NET support on Linux and the Mac? The Reg spoke to Miguel de …
Tim Anderson, 12 Nov 2014
Pair of pliers with other tools

Redmond aims to outshine Eclipse with FREE Visual Studio

Microsoft showered application developers with new tools on Wednesday, including a preview of the next release of Visual Studio and an all new version of the IDE that offers the full flexibility and extensibility of the flagship Visual Studio product, free of charge. The developer download bonanza was timed to coincide with …
Neil McAllister, 12 Nov 2014

Rackspace joins Microsoft's Windows Azure Pack partner army

Cloud-flinger Rackspace has joined Microsoft’s new army of cloud service providers. Rackspace is now running Microsoft’s Cloud Platform at all of its US data centres. That platform is a marketing wrapper that contains Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Server with the more recent Azure Pack to spin up and run VM-based clouds. …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Nov 2014

Microsoft: It's TIME at LAST. Yes - .NET is going OPEN and X-PLATFORM

Microsoft, aiming to broaden the appeal of its .Net software development platform, has aggressively committed to delivering a new version of the toolset that is not only language agnostic but also cross-platform and entirely open source. The software giant announced the move at its Connect(); virtual developer event, which is …
Neil McAllister, 12 Nov 2014

Google DoubleClick goes TITSUP. ENJOY your AD-FREE WORLD!

Updated Publishers across the web are seeing a huge surge in site load speeds, after Google's DoubleClick ad tech collapsed within the past hour. At time of writing, Google was yet to respond to The Register's request for comment. But its servers have clearly suffered a major meltdown. Readers who don't use ad-blockers because they …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014
Broadcom's WICED Sense IoT dev kit

Broadcom wraps new partners into warm IoT embrace

Broadcom has spread its arms around a bunch more Internet of Things partners, to expand the reach of platforms like WICED Smart, WICED Wi-Fi, RoboSwitch, StrataConnect and NetXtreme Ethernet. The company says its aim is to make it easier and cheaper for developers, particularly in start-up land, to get its hands on Broadcom …
Skype iPad

Microsoft's Lync becomes 'Skype for Business'

Microsoft Lync is dead, replaced by Skype for Business. Lync is/was Microsoft's unified communications product and offers voice, video, instant messaging and videoconferences, all delivered from a single client. Integration with Microsoft Office means lots of click-to-talk-or-chat action. As of next year, however, Lync will …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

Groupon flees from army of angry GNOMES: Trademark bid for 'Gnome' tab scrapped

Groupon has given up its pursuit of the trademark "Gnome", intended for its sales register tablet, after being chased off by the open-source GNOME project. The upstart voucher flinger told The Register that it was no longer looking to trademark "Gnome" in the wake of outrage from folks at the Linux desktop software foundation of …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014

Microsoft snorefest: For crying out loud, Nadella – just channel Ballmer!

Future Decoded Once upon a time, around every November, Steve Ballmer visited the UK on an official, annual state visit. Microsoft parked a giant metaphor DeLorean at the entrance to its Future Decoded conference in London Microsoft’s ex-CEO took time out from meeting customers to meet selected national press or trades to whom he’d say …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Nov 2014
New infantry kit modelled by British troops. Credit: MoD

MoD releases code to GitHub: Our Ideaworks... sort of

The Ministry of Defence is to consider making some of its more "sophisticated" software available online, having for the first time publicly released code onto open-source site Github.com. The web application "Ideaworks" was developed by the MoD'S Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) for work collaboration. A …
Kat Hall, 10 Nov 2014

BrowserStack HACK ATTACK: Service still suspended after rogue email

Browser testing service BrowserStack has temporarily suspended its services while it recovers from a "hack attack" by someone apparently bent on discrediting the security of the widely used tool. "We did get hacked. Currently sanitising entire BrowserStack, so service will be down for a while. We're on top of it and will keep …
John Leyden, 10 Nov 2014
Oracle Wellness tool

Oracle gives HR tool to track your fitness

Oracle has announced a new tool for HR departments called “Employee Wellness” and seems to be suggesting that you might be willing to let your boss track how much you exercise. The tool's a new module for the company's “Human Capital Management” software and promises the chance to let you track your physical activity, set goals …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox decade: Microsoft's IE humbled by a dogged upstart. Native next?

Analysis It seems hard to believe but 10 years ago the PC was the only computing interface for billions of consumers and businesses and Microsoft owned them all. A desktop or laptop running MS Windows loaded with Office for creating documents and spreadsheets and Internet Explorer to view web pages. Nearly 100 per cent market share is …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Nov 2014
Alf Garnett and Else BBC sitcom - Till Death Us Do Part

Samaritans yanks creepy Twitter-spying Radar app amid privacy fears

A creepy, do-gooder app created by the Samaritans has been moth-balled by the charity, following a deluge of privacy concerns about the stalking tool. In a post on its website late on Friday, the UK organisation – which serves as an anonymous, safe service for crisis-hit Brits who seek advice and support – admitted it had …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Nov 2014

#VultureTRENDING: It's Pimpr, the latest sharing economy super app

The sharing economy is one of the most stunning and liberating things the world has ever known. Airbnb has let people monetise their unused rooms; Uber has let them monetise their unused cars; Ploppr has enabled people to strike a blow for organic farming by monetising their otherwise unused excrement. Now there's Pimpr, which …

Crooks are using proxy servers to build more convincing phishing sites – new claim

Crooks using phishing pages to grab victims' passwords have apparently upped their game – by using proxy servers rather than static pages to craft legit-looking websites. Normally, thieves recreate a web page – such as a login page for an online shop or webmail – and stick it on a compromised server, then direct marks towards …
John Leyden, 7 Nov 2014

Microsoft's 'loss leader' Office 365 pricing strategy? NO THANKS

Microsoft’s advice to its channel partners to sell Office 365 as a loss leader to lure in small and medium sized customers is not something that sits well with suppliers, at least not in Blighty. Thomas Hansen, worldwide veep for Microsoft's Small and Medium Business organisation told attendees at the Asian Canalys Channels …
Paul Kunert, 7 Nov 2014
management regulation7

ONE FIFTH of Win Server 2003 users to miss support cutoff date

A fifth of those running Windows Server 2003 are currently expected to miss Microsoft’s deadline to move before it terminates support next year. That number will likely increase as Windows Server 2003 migration projects that are underway hit snags and delays. That’s according to Avanade, which reckons there's a hard core of …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Nov 2014
Windows 7

Microsoft warns of super-sized Patch Tuesday next week

It's getting close to security update time in Redmond yet again, and Microsoft has given notice that Windows and Office users can expect another nice, big pile of fixes on November's Patch Tuesday. The software giant gave advance notice of no less than 16 security bulletins to be addressed on November 11, five of which have been …
apple mac malware vxer

Apple blats WireLurker OS X, iOS malware – but fanbois aren't safe yet

It appears the WireLurker malware threatening Macs, iPads and iPhones has, for now, been partially neutralized. Apple told The Reg it has revoked a previously legit cryptographic certificate the malware was using to sign itself: this certificate tricked iOS devices into trusting and installing WireLurker's malicious apps. Now …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Nov 2014
Word on the iPad

All but full-fat MS Office to be had on iPads, Droidenslabben for NOWT

Microsoft Office's iPad apps have been well received since their first release in March this year – other than the annoyance of needing a suitable Office 365 subscription to use the apps for more than just viewing documents. Now that bugbear has been banished: the updated versions require only a Microsoft account to enable users …
Tim Anderson, 6 Nov 2014

Microsoft improves Azure SQL Server cloud service, simultaneously makes it worse

Microsoft has announced improvements to its Azure SQL Database service, which offers a managed SQL Server database with patching and operating system maintenance handled automatically by the cloud service. At the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) summit currently under way in Seattle, Microsoft Data Platform VP T.K …
Tim Anderson, 6 Nov 2014
By Frank Wouters, licensed under CC 2.0

OpenSUSE 13.2: Have your gecko and eat your rolling distro too

Review The great green gecko-wielding distro has undergone a major update with its latest release, openSUSE 13.2. This edition comes on the heels of some major changes for how openSUSE releases are structured. While the main release, like this week's 13.2, remains unchanged, the openSUSE project has merged its two unstable, semi- …

Old hat: Fedora 21 beta late than never... and could be best ever

Review As has become regrettably typical for the Fedora project, the first Fedora 21 beta is well behind schedule. According to the current schedule on the Fedora wiki, the final version will arrive about a month late, on 9 December. That is if nothing goes wrong during the beta testing phase that's just started. A month might not …
Gavin Clarke, 6 Nov 2014

Canonical pushes LXD, its new mysterious drug for Linux containers

Analysis Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, says it's working on a new "virtualization experience" based on container technologies – but just how it will operate remains something of a mystery. Canonical founder and erstwhile space tourist Mark Shuttleworth announced the new effort, dubbed LXD and …
Roughly 150kg of gold

Apple strap-on wristjob: You WON'T be able to spend more than $5,000!

When Apple unveiled its vaporware wrist-tablet Watch, fanbois braced themselves for a bit of sticker shock. The starting price for the smartwatch will be $350, which will get you a "sport" model with a rubber strap and an aluminum case. But Apple CEO Tim Cook promised his faithful that more reassuringly expensive models will …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Nov 2014

Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

If you want to spark a religious war, express an unshakeable preference for a programming language, and by preference, make your favourite something relatively obscure, like Erlang. It turns out, according to a study by a bunch of UC Davis boffins, the differences in code quality between languages are pretty small. To be …
Screenshot of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600

It's the WORST game ever, just pulled from a desert DUMP ... now ET can be yours for $500

In a world ... when video games were invading every home ... a legendary American company set out to create ... the most lucrative console game of all time ... It failed ... horribly ... and set the gaming industry on a path ... of annihilation. Atari Inc's 1982 game E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for its 2600 console bombed so bad …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Nov 2014

Tinder swipes left on CEO Sean Rad, journalists swipe right

Comment Tinder CEO Sean Rad has been dumped by the dating app maker he helped found, although he'll keep his 10 per cent stake. Unusually, the details of the firing were revealed by the 28-year-old himself in a lengthy piece of blowjob journalism by Forbes, titled "The Crazy Saga of the World's Hottest App". In between learning about …
Google Docs

Google gives Microsoft office an awkward hug with new plugin

Google's given Microsoft Office an awkward hug by refreshing Drive so it plays nice with desktop applications. Drive is Google's share 'n' sync offering and integrates tightly with its apps: drop a document into Drive and you can read or edit it in the Docs in-browser word processor. That tool's not to everyone's tastes and …

Wanna be Facebook? It just open-sourced some of its web server code. Now to find 1bn users...

Facebook has rolled out another chunk of open-source code, this time a C++ HTTP stack called Proxygen, which includes a web server. Techies at the social network hope other developers will use the BSD-licensed software as the basis of their own web apps, and have included a bunch of “sensible defaults” to get people on their way …
OpenStack's "Dope 'N Stack" campaign

Speaking in Tech: Biz bods chat LIVE from OpenStack Summit

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of Speaking In Tech, all ready to download to your phone or tablet to make your commute home that much more informative and funny. Join your host, Greg Knieriemen, as he hosts an all-star panel at the OpenStack Summit in Paris to debate the pros and cons …
Team Register, 5 Nov 2014
Total Recall outside on Mars scene

Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

+Comment Imagine fighting a big UK company for years for the simple right to campaign fairly online against an under-regulated industry. You go on to win a dispute resolution case probed by Nominet to keep your perfectly legitimate gripe website alive. You also successfully defend yourself against the firm's strong-armed appeals. Then …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Nov 2014
President Putin doing judo

Russia to ban iCloud.. to PROTECT iPhone fiddlers' pics 'n' sh*t

The Kremlin is set to ban Apple's iCloud as part of plans to throw up a new iron curtain around Russia's digital communications. Anti-data-offshoring laws will come into force on New Year's Day 2015 that require all data generated within Russia to be stored within its borders. Apple's iCloud service has been in the news …
Jasper Hamill, 5 Nov 2014