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Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

“A small portion” of Windows mobile users hoping the unexpected cool new update would start the month off the right way got burned yesterday. Microsoft “accidentally” released a development build of Windows 10 that can transform your phone into jelly if you try to install it. “We apologize for this inconvenience,” said …
Andrew Silver, 02 Jun 2017

Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

Publishers will get a six-month headsup before Google kills intrusive advertising on Chrome, sources close to the ad giant have reportedly said. Google will also hand online publishers a special tool to make sure that their ads are "compliant", the firm blogged yesterday. It will be called "Ad Experience Reports" – ostensibly …
Jude Karabus, 02 Jun 2017
Penguin in a car

Toyota's entertaining the idea of Linux in cars

The Linux Foundation's Automotive Grade Linux project is celebrating its first big-name user, after Toyota said it will employ the OS in the 2018 Camry model it will sell in the United States. Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is an effort to create a cut of Linux capable of being dropped into cars with minimal integration hassles …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2017
Apple Swift Playgrounds

Apple Swift Playgrounds admit robots

Taking another tentative step toward openness, Apple says it will tweak its Swift Playgrounds educational coding app to interface with programmable toys, drones, and musical instruments. The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update is scheduled to drop on Monday, June 5, in Apple's App Store. That happens to be the first day of the Apple …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Jun 2017

Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

The uptake for Microsoft's long-suffering search engine, Bing, continues to be so dismal that Redmond has resorted to paying people to use it. The "loyalty scheme" offers points that can be exchanged for charity donations or music, games, devices and other stuff on the Microsoft Store. Users are awarded three points per search …
Andrew Silver, 01 Jun 2017
HMS Vengeance returns to HMNB Clyde. Crown copyright

Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

A group of anti-nuclear campaigners have claimed Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines are vulnerable to hackers – and their report setting out the “evidence” quotes, in part, from Wikipedia. The British American Security Information Council (BASIC) reckoned that Blighty’s four Vanguard-class nuclear missile submarines could …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Jun 2017
Java microservice, photo via Shutterstock

Oracle asks for more time to finish Java 9

Oracle's asked for more time to sort out Java 9 in light of the community's rejection of the proposed Java Platform Module System. The chief architect of Big Red's Java Platform Group, Mark Reinhold, has hit the openjdk mailing list to address the vote against JPMS (JSR 376 , aka “Jigsaw”) due to land with JDK 9. In his post …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jun 2017

At the feet of the Great Monad, or, How the functional programming craze plays out

Stob "Today, object-oriented programming (OOP) rules the IT industry absolutely. It is impossible to dislodge. While functional programming (FP) has seen a resurgence of late, it is typically used as an adjunct to OOP." – Louis Cyphre, 'Why are functional programming languages used so rarely in practice?' The leader of the …
Verity Stob, 31 May 2017
Arcady http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-450076p1.html

WebAssembly fandom kills Google's Portable Native Client

Google says it will stop supporting Portable Native Client in the first quarter of 2018, with some exceptions, because WebAssembly has become more popular. Portable Native Client, which according to Google is abbreviated PNaCL and pronounced "pinnacle," was introduced in November, 2013. It was intended to be an improvement …
Thomas Claburn, 31 May 2017
Charlie Chaplin Modern Times

MySQL devs take cache behind shed, shot heard

The developers of MySQL Server have decided its Query Cache feature is a bottleneck and killed it off. Looking over the number of results (and the diversity of advice offered) if you search “tuning MySQL query cache”, it's not entirely surprising. The problem is scalability, as MySQL Server product manager Morgan Tocker …
Github photo via Shutterstock

GitHub CEO Wanstrath: 'Our goal is no outages'

GitHub has tried to reassure users that it is targeting zero downtime with the help of new data centres and infrastructure software – some being open-sourced. “The fundamentals of GitHub is it’s there when you need it. GitHub needs to be as reliable as a light switch or a dial tone,” chief executive Chris Wanstrath told The …
Gavin Clarke, 30 May 2017
Detail from 'Glade Swope's playthrough on YouTube

Seminal game 'Colossal Cave Adventure' released onto GitLab

The classics never die – or so we hope. One classic, Colossal Cave Adventure, is getting a new lease of life on GitLab. Regarded the first text adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure was first given life in the 1970s on a Digital PDP-10, by ARPANET pioneer William Crowther, and expanded on by Don Woods, then a Stanford …
Philip Colligan and Giustina Mizzoni

Raspberry Pi foundation merges with CoderDojo Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation and the CoderDojo Foundation have merged in order to combine forces and accelerate both organisation's mission to teach kids how to code. Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Philip Colligan wrote that the two organisations “see an opportunity to do even more by joining forces.” CoderDojo's executive …
Simon Sharwood, 29 May 2017
Devuan logo

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status

POLL The self-described “Veteran Unix Admin collective” that in 2014 promised to give the world a cut of Debian without systemd has delivered: Devuan 1.0.0 LTS hit the web today. The collective's objections to systemd were rooted in the belief that its inclusion in Debian created “a lock in systemd dependencies which is de-facto …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2017
Boy with binoculars photo via Shutterstock

Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

With the death of Unity, Canonical will focus more attention on Ubuntu servers, Ubuntu in the cloud and Ubuntu in the so-called Internet of Things. Even if you give Canonical the benefit of the doubt - that it will continue working on desktop Ubuntu - at the very least, desktop Ubuntu's future looks uncertain. Post Unity, how …
Istio with a Grafana dashboard

Google, Lyft, IBM mix microservices into management mesh

Microservices architecture, in which monolithic apps get broken down into a set of distinct services, goes well with containers and orchestration. Containers (eg, Docker) provide a way to manage and run microservices so that they're insulated from each other, and orchestration (eg, Kubernetes) provides a way to juggle all the …
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2017

Google starts enterprise support for Chrome, including top SaaS apps

Google is trying to give businesses a reason to ditch Internet Explorer by giving sysadmins a new set of tools for mass deployment of its own Chrome browser. The new “Chrome enterprise bundle” offers an MSI installer and ADMX templates that let sysadmins apply policies determined in Microsoft's Group Policy Object Editor. The …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Windows 10 China

Redmond puts wall around Windows 10 for Chinese government edition

While much attention has been focused on the new Surface Pro laptop Microsoft has launched in Shanghai on Tuesday, the company also announced a special build of its operating system for China. Dubbed the Windows 10 China Government Edition, the new OS is a product of over a year of collaboration with local trader China …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
A person hiding in a box

IBM's ShinyHappy™ SAP Ariba deal papers over SaaS fail

IBM and SAP Ariba last week shared a stage and delivered the ShinyHappy™ news that the two are throwing their respective Watson and Leonardo artificial intelligences at “cognitive procurement solutions that redefine the source-to-settle process.” But the announcement glossed over the fact that IBM already has a cloudy …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2017
Amazon Drive webpage

Amazon Drive bans rclone storage client

Last week, Amazon Web Services banned rclone, an open source cloud storage client application, from accessing Amazon Drive, inconveniencing hundreds or possibly thousands of people using the software. The reason turns out to be that the software fails to treat its secrets with suitable discretion. "Rclone has been banned for …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2017
a car being tested for emissions compliance

Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code

Researchers analyzing the emissions defeat devices found in automobiles made by the Volkswagen Group and Chrysler Fiat Automobiles have developed a way to test software for misbehavior, but they caution that lack of visibility into programming code could pose a challenge for regulators. In 2015, the US Environmental Protection …
Thomas Claburn, 22 May 2017
The Seventh Seal

The eternal battle for OpenStack's soul will conclude in three years. Again

Comment After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, …
Michael Cote, 22 May 2017

Hi! I’m Foxy! It looks like you want to run Flash. Do you need help?

Developers of the Mozilla's Firefox Web Browser have indicated that version 55, due in August 2017, will be openly hostile to Adobe's Flash plugin. “As part of the ongoing NPAPI plug-in deprecation in Firefox, Flash content is now defaulted to click-to-activate in Firefox Nightly,” the developers write, adding that . “The …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017

Dell kills botched BIOS update that murdered punters' PCs

Dell has finally 'fessed up about the BIOS update that borked some customers' PCs, and advised punters to do what many have tried so far without any success – contact its tech troubleshooters for resolution. Complaints about the release first emerged a week ago after Dell owners of the Inspiron 20 model 3052 and 20 3252 …
Paul Kunert, 19 May 2017
banksy_hmv_nipper_bazooka_648

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Something for the Weekend, Sir? When I was younger, I had a chronic problem with fluff gathering in awkward-to-reach places. What can I say? My personal grooves acquired dirt very easily. It was a teenage thing, I suppose. Neither sterile wipes nor the careful application of a vacuum cleaner seemed to help so I ended up seeking professional advice. A man-in …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 May 2017
Shooter, photo via Shutterstock

Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

Open source insider There's been a good deal of ongoing discussion about Google AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. Quite a few high-profile web developers have this year weighted in with criticism and some, following a Google conference dedicated to AMP, have cautioned users about diving in with both feet. These, in my view, don’t go far enough in …
Sleeping man on couch with a beer , popcorn and a food-stained vest. Photo by Shutterstock

Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

Recent versions of the Ubuntu Linux distro fail to limit system access for guest accounts. This according to developer Tyler Hicks, who reported a bug that allows guest users to roam free of the confines expected to be placed on system access for guests. Ideally, guest users should be restricted to a small temporary …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
Arca OS 5.0, aka Blue Lion

What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived

An outfit called Arca Noae has released a new version of IBM's venerable OS/2 operating system, named ArcaOS 5.0. The Register understands that Arca Noae has a licence from IBM to do a distribution of OS/2, the OS that Big Blue pitched against Windows 95 back in the day. OS/2's fourth release was widely regarded as technically …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Microsoft's Fluent Design System, announced at Build

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Microsoft presented its latest Windows 10 strategy to developers at its Build event in Seattle last week. Microsoft states that Windows 10 is now installed on more than 500 million devices, halfway towards the goal of 1 billion by 2018 that it set itself at Build 2015. In July 2016 the company acknowledged that its target was …
Tim Anderson, 18 May 2017
Android Nougat

The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

Analysis Nothing in the new version of Android O, revealed for the first time at Google's annual developer conference yesterday, is as significant as the changes to the way Google releases code to phone makers. Put simply, Google has a problem. Seven months after the first Nougat phone shipped in volume, 92.8 per cent of the installed …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2017
Sad robot photo via Shutterstock

Sorry Google, it's boring old workloads that are pumping up AWS and Azure, not sexy AI

Comment Google Cloud Platforms's chief thinks the service will surpass AWS by 2022. Speaking at Forbes CIO Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, last month, Diane Greene claimed Google has "a huge advantage in our data centers, in our infrastructure, availability, security and how we automate things. We just haven't packaged it up …
Matt Asay, 18 May 2017
panic

You think your day was bad? OS X malware hackers just swiped a Mac dev's app source

The head of a Mac-centric software studio is coming clean today after a malware infection on his OS X machine last week resulted in the loss of source code for several products. Steven Frank, founder of Portland, Oregon-based Panic Inc, said he fell victim to a poisoned download of the Handbrake video transcoder that resulted …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2017
Kotlin screenshot

Sick of Java and C++? Google pours a cup o' Kotlin for Android devs

Google on Wednesday said it has made Kotlin a first-class language for Android development, alongside Java and C++. "We did it because Kotlin is a beautiful programing language," said Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, director of product management for Android, during the developer keynote at Google I/O 2017. "...With Kotlin, there' …
Thomas Claburn, 17 May 2017
SAP logo

SAP puts its heads in multiple clouds

SAP's decided the time is right for its cloud to play nicely with other clouds. The Earl of ERP has previously signalled that its platform-as-a-service will soon soon be available in clouds other than its own and at its Sapphire Now conference it has delivered. The SAP Cloud Platform can now run across three different clouds …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2017
chart of Fusion debugging tool

Behold, auto-completing Android bug reports – because you're not very thorough

Auto-completion systems that attempt to finish your sentences when typing text messages or search queries can be a mixed blessing. Often, they save time. But they can also get in the way when they make incorrect guesses about intended input. In the context of software bug reporting, however, auto-completion – adding additional …
Thomas Claburn, 15 May 2017
Linus Torvalds with toy penguins

Linus Torvalds stops personally signing Linux kernel RC tarballs

Linus Torvalds might just be a big softie after all. The Linux Lord, infamous for his occasional foul-mouthed criticism of those who don't meet his standards, has just popped out release candidate one for Linux 4.12 a day early so he could give his undivided attention to Mother's Day. “So I'm doing this one day early, because …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2017
Hippie peace, image via Shutterstock

For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

A question mark over whether the GNU GPL – the widely used free-software license – is enforceable as a contract may have been resolved by a US federal judge. In a California district court, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley refused [PDF] to accept what has been an uncomfortable legal precedent for the past decade. She ruled that …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2017
Man holds banana like a gun. Photo by Shutterstock

'Judge Java' to sueball-slinging smut studio: Test your pirate-hunting tools or walk the plank

A grumble-flick studio will be blocked from lobbing copyright infringement claims at pirates until it proves its tools for identifying illegal downloaders work. Judge William Alsup – of Google v Oracle fame – ordered this week that Malibu Media must show the court that its software can accurately finger users who have …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
Java, photo via Shutterstock

Oracle crushed in defeat as Java world votes 'No' to modular overhaul

Oracle has suffered an embarrassing setback in its plans for a modular architecture in Java 9. The database goliath has lost a Java Community public-review ballot by 13 to 10 that was to have approved its Java Platform Module System (JPMS) specification as a final draft. Executive Committee members ignored dire warnings from …
Gavin Clarke, 12 May 2017
Bike crash photo via Shutterstock

TensorFlow: I want to like you, but you're tricksy

Hands-on Occasionally a technology comes along that changes the way that people work. Docker has had a profound effect on how applications are deployed in the cloud, Hadoop changed how analysis of big data was done and the R language has disrupted the statistics market. And so to TensorFlow, which emerged from the Machine Learning team …
Andrew Cobley, 12 May 2017
Windows Story Remix

A bleary-eyed Microsoft wakes up after its cloud, IoT party, clears throat: 'Oh yeah, so Windows...'

Build At its Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle, US, on Wednesday, Microsoft turned its attention to Windows and cozied up to competitors. The day before, CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft now sees its business in the context of edge devices and cloud services, informed by artificial intelligence algorithms. Terry Myerson, …
Thomas Claburn, 11 May 2017
A Mixed Reality development kit for Windows 10

Microsoft touts next Windows 10 Creators Update: It's set for a Fall

Build Microsoft has announced the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, a second wave of updates to its "Windows as a service" operating system. The first Creators Update was released in April 2017. Why is this new release also called “Creators Update”? The reason, Microsoft told the press, is that this release is a continuation of the …
Tim Anderson, 11 May 2017

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