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The Hollow Crown

How NoSQL graph databases still usurp relational dynasties

Analysis Despite being assaulted from all sides, the relational model for databases is still the king of the hill and it looks like it will not only survive, but thrive as well. NoSQL databases have become increasingly popular and have been offering a number of data and deployment modes that have overcome the limitations – real or …
Andrew Cobley, 29 Mar 2016
African ground squirrel, photo via Shutterstock

Go nuts, brother: Ubuntu 16.04 beta – no more auto data-spaffing

Review Ubuntu 16.04, named after a type of African ground squirrel, Xenial Xerus, is here – in beta. And with it come welcome upgrades, quite a few new applications and upgraded features to Ubuntu. Some other, noteworthy aspects, meanwhile, have gone missing. Xenial Xerus is the first significant update to the Ubuntu desktop in two …
Alexa on Raspberry Pi

Amazon ports Alexa voice assistant to Raspberry Pi

Amazon.com has released a Raspberry Pi version of its Alexa Voice Assistant, the company's voice-activated “companion” bot that resides in its Echo range of speakers and offers voice-driven home automation and shopping. Amazon's cylindrical Echo speakers make a virtue of simplicity: one just plugs them into power and Wi-Fi, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2016
Edge supports JavaScript extensions in the latest preview build

We wrap our claws around latest pre-Build Windows 10 preview

Microsoft is releasing preview versions of Windows 10 at a rapid rate, perhaps in preparation for its Build developer conference later this week in San Francisco. Build 14295, released late last week, followed just 8 days after Build 14291, which introduced Extensions for the Edge browser as well as an updated Maps app. There …
Tim Anderson, 29 Mar 2016
Hadoop

Hadoop rebels unleash spec to battle the Cloudera/MapR empire

ODPi, the group formerly known as the Open Data Platform initiative and set up last year as an attempt to standardise Hadoop applications, has published its first runtime specification. Backed by Hortonworks but kicked into the corner by heavyweights MapR and Cloudera, ODPi was set up last year to try and make sure …
Docker logo

Docker goes native with Windows, Mac beta

Docker has decided the time is right for native desktop versions of its eponymous wares. The idea is to simplify what Docker's developer relations director Mano Marks says (video below) is a “dependency hell” created by the multi-layer installation currently required – installing Docker Toolbox, then installing Docker Machine …
Sad iPhone

Is iOS 9.3 Apple's worst ever update? First it bricks iThings, now Safari is busted

Apple gave unlucky loyal fans more headaches this weekend when the latest version of iOS caused the Safari browser to crash. Lots of people say their iPhones are no longer able to open links in Safari or Mail without the browser freezing. "Never had any problems with my iPhone 6S. Just upgraded to iOS 9.3 without any issues …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016

Tired of Windows 10 phoning home? Maybe the special Chinese govt version is for you

Microsoft is now ready to roll with a version of Windows 10 designed specifically for the Chinese government, it has emerged. Back in December, Microsoft and China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETC) announced they were setting up a Beijing-based joint partnership called C&M Information Technologies. The new organization …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2016
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

The Oracle v. Google fight over Java took a couple of twists just before the Easter weekend. The database giant now reckons it is owed up to $9.3bn in copyright-infringement damages for Android's use of Java. Meanwhile, the judge in the trial wants to ban Oracle and Google lawyers from scouring jurors' social network profiles …
Chris Williams, 28 Mar 2016

Ever wondered what the worst TV show in the world would be? Apple just commissioned it

Remember when soccer's governing body FIFA spent $30m making a film about itself starring Tim Roth and Gérard Depardieu? Well, the tech world's most egomaniacal company is going to bring its version to the small screen. That's right, Apple has decided to join Netflix and Amazon and get in on the content commissioning game by …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2016
Julie Larson-Green Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Comment So, Windows 10 isn't the saviour of the PC industry after all – and is beginning to look more like a Windows Vista than a Windows XP. PC growth predictions have been revised down by IDC. A range of companies including HP Ink and Northamber blame Windows 10 for flagging sales. "We have not yet seen the anticipated Win10 …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Mar 2016
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

iPad bricked by iOS 9.3? Don't worry, we'll get through this together

Updated Earlier this week, word broke of a bug in Apple's iOS 9.3 update that was leaving some iPad 2 tablets unable to function. We asked Reg readers if they had experienced this problem, and the responses came pouring in, along with tips for workarounds that at least let you use your iPad until Apple can come up with a fix. So, we' …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2016
A preview of the new Skype UWP app

Microsoft introduces yet another Skype for Windows 10

Microsoft has announced a new Universal Windows Platform Skype app for Windows 10, alongside the three existing Skype apps – one for video, one for messaging and the long-standing desktop app. A preview of the new Skype UWP app A preview of the new Skype UWP app The Skype story on Microsoft's reinvented Windows platform is …
Tim Anderson, 24 Mar 2016
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...

Gnome shrinks the upgrade footprint with version 3.20 release

Gnome has emitted its first major upgrade in six months with the release of Gnome 3.20. The biggest change, the group reckons, is in software upgrade handling: for the first time, Gnome users can run major operating system upgrades from the GUI, without having to drop down to the command line. While that's the sort of thing …
F-35

Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

The F-35 multirole fighter won't be close to ready before 2019, the US House Armed Services Committee was told on Wednesday. The aircraft, which is supposed to reinvigorate the American military's air power, is suffering numerous problems, largely down to flaws in the F-35's operating system. These include straightforward code …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2016

Now you can tailor Swift – on Ubuntu

The latest iteration of Apple's open-source programming language Swift has taken its first major step towards Linux support. The release of Swift 2.2 landed on March 21, and includes its first Linux port in the form of binaries for Ubuntu 14.04 and 15.10. As Neowin notes, now that there's a Linux build, "it won't be long …

Don't – don't – install iOS 9.3 on your iPad 2: Upgrade bricks slabs

Updated Apple's latest iOS update, version 9.3, is bricking iPad 2 devices. Reg readers, along with those on Apple's support and discussion boards, say their iPad 2s are unable to fully update to iOS 9.3 due to error messages that, for the time being at least, render the device unusable. The hardware is left in a mid-install limbo, it …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Mar 2016
GCP Next16

Google puts a gun to the head of IT middlemen – the ops teams

GCP Next If you work in IT operations, Google thinks your role is going the way of the gas station attendant: replaced by do-it-yourself, self-serving tools. "We want no ops and instead automated IT systems," Google VP Diane Greene told the GCP Next 2016 developer event in San Francisco. "App Engine, BigQuery, our container engine, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2016
Klondike 11.4 on MacOS

This chap's maintained an Apple game for 32 years – from Mac to iOS

In an era where new games are sometimes considered "dated" 12 months after their debut, one man has spent 32 years keeping a single title active. Michael Casteel has been building and maintaining his version of Klondike longer than many of his fellow App Store developers have been alive. The Mac version of the card game traces …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Mar 2016

Error checks? Eh? What could go wrong, really? (DoSing a US govt site)

Line Break It's time for your dose of Line Break, our Wednesday column of coding nightmares that have haunted Register readers at one time or another. This also means we're already halfway to Friday. Judging by some of these following tales, we can only assume one too many developers out there are already half cut by this point in the …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016

What was all that about a scary iMessage flaw? Your three-minute guide

Watercooler – On Sunday, we were warned that hackers could read our iMessages texts, photos and videos. Should I be worried? As it turns out: no. If you're even a little curious about cryptography and secure programming, though, it should interest and amuse you. On Sunday, the Washington Post learned that Apple had fixed a flaw in the …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Updated Programmers were left staring at broken builds and failed installations on Tuesday after someone toppled the Jenga tower of JavaScript. A couple of hours ago, Azer Koçulu unpublished more than 250 of his modules from NPM, which is a popular package manager used by JavaScript projects to install dependencies. Koçulu yanked his …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016
Keep out sign with deleted expletive

Tor Project works on anti-FBI defenses amid iOS row with Apple

In a blog post timed for the start of Apple's now-delayed FBI showdown, Mike Perry, lead developer of Tor Browser, said the project is stepping up efforts to keep its anonymizing network free of government interference. The Feds' attempt to compel Apple to build a deliberately weakened version of iOS with its security …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2016
Badlock logo

Clear April 12: Windows, Samba to splat curious 'crucial' Badlock bug

April 12 – save the date if you're a Windows or Samba file server administrator. Stefan Metzmacher, a Samba core developer, has discovered what sounds like a pretty bad security bug, and he says it will be patched on that day next month. The vulnerability already has everything it needs to make a big splash: a name, Badlock; …
Chris Williams, 22 Mar 2016
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Google debuts Node.js beta on its App Engine

In Brief Google has added support for Node.js on its marmitey App Engine on a managed VM beta basis. JavaScript devs have been offered the chance to use the Chocolate Factory's cloud service to tend to their web and mobile apps. The far-from-universally adored App Engine intends to offer an easy service for developers to "build, …
Adobe announced cross-device user tracking at its Summit event in Las Vegas

Adobe will track you across all your devices with new co-op project

Adobe has announced what it calls "cross-device co-operation" at its Summit digital marketing event under way in Las Vegas. The goal, said Adobe Target Director Kevin Lindsay, is to "provide the ability, through all our marketing solutions, for marketers to be able to market to their consumers as people rather than as separate …
Tim Anderson, 22 Mar 2016
whitehall_648

Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni, has promised the government will start chopping up its big IT contracts in the next year and kick its dependency on just a handful of suppliers. Amyas Morse, auditor general at the National Audit Office, told the Public Accounts Committee yesterday that 51 per cent of …
Kat Hall, 22 Mar 2016
Star Wars rebel pilot

True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

Another shot has been fired in the war between *nix true believers and systemd advocates, with a group of diehards welding the Ubuntu body onto the FreeBSD chassis. Their beta, ubuntuBSD, has taken its first breaths at Sourceforge, and the counter tells us more than 2,800 daredevils have already hit the download button. It …

FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

The FBI has come to a sudden and surprising all-stop in its legal war with Apple. Rather than compel the Cupertino giant to help it unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, the Feds say they may be able to break into the handset without the company's assistance after all. In a filing [PDF] submitted …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2016

Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

It may be true that Apple has moved from a genuinely innovative company to one that iterates its bestsellers, but one of those updates will leave many people happy. Speaking at the iPhone SE launch on Monday, two Apple executives outlined two different ways that the company has started to consider light in its products. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Mar 2016
Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina Display

Apple Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watches, TVs can be hijacked by evil Wi-Fi, PDFs – update now

Updated Apple has today emitted security updates for pretty much everything it makes, and you should install them as soon as you can because it's all bad news. iPhones, iPads and iPods should grab iOS 9.3, Macs should fetch OS X 10.11.4 or Security Update 2016-002 for non-El Capitan Macs, Apple Watches should get watchOS 2.2, and …
Chris Williams, 21 Mar 2016
Rock climbing, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Microsoft is developing tools for its Edge browser to import extensions from Chrome. Microsoft Edge engineer Jacob Rossi tweeted... Lots of questions on this: yes we're working on a porting tool to run Chrome extensions in Edge. Not yet finished and not all APIs supported — Jacob Rossi (@jacobrossi) 18 March 2016 …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Mar 2016

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Readers will be unable to download their purchased books or buy new ones without a computer handy if they fail to update their Amazon Kindles by Wednesday. Users of Kindle models older than 2013 will need to apply an update over their device's wireless connection to install a critical fix. Those who do not will be kicked from …
Darren Pauli, 21 Mar 2016
Hammer, spanner and screw

Microsoft sets date for SQL Server on Linux

The slow reveal that is Microsoft's SQL-Server-on-Linux strategy has taken a small step forward, with Redmond pressing “publish” on a blog post discussing SQL strategy. Microsoft has also promised to ship SQL Server 2016 during this calendar year, having recently and quietly popped out the first release candidate (in which “ …
Bear

Oracle fights Russian software policy with Postgres smear

Oracle's Russian paw has found a way to fight the nation's regulations about software purchasing for government agencies, by sending local customers a letter containing stern criticisms of PostgreSQL. As of January 1st 2016, Russia's government agencies are required to use locally-produced software whenever it is functionally …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2016
Face2Face from Stanford U

Boffins find a way to put your facial expression on Donald Trump's mug

Video Boffins are racing towards the goal of being able to make anybody seem to say anything in video, and nobody will be able to tell whether it's real. Researchers from Stanford, the Max Planck institute and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg are showing off software that can project the movements on a face onto someone else, in …
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Facebook, WhatsApp farewell BlackBerry

The writing probably appeared on the wall when WhatsApp announced its disinterest in BlackBerry APIs: Facebook has followed the lead of its subsidiary, and dumped native support for the ailing smartphone-maker. WhatsApp led the way earlier this month, putting the BlackBerry platforms in the same bucket as Nokia's S40 and …

Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

Stand well back: Microsoft has had a bright idea. Rather than royally screwing over people running Windows 7 and 8.1 on new Intel hardware, it's just going to give them a rough ride instead. In January, Microsoft said it would only offer software updates for "security, reliability, and compatibility" fixes for Windows 7 and 8. …
Chris Williams, 19 Mar 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

New York senator proposes tax credit for open-source developers

A New York state senator says open-source programmers should be able to claim back part of their costs for writing free software. NY senate bill S161, proposed by Senator Daniel Squadron (D) and co-sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D), would allow developers to claim for 20 per cent of the out-of-pocket costs of …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2016
Apple's new Cupertino campus - rendering

Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

Apple's refusal to build a crippled iOS that will help the FBI unlock a killer's iPhone goes far beyond the executive suite. Some of Cupertino's own engineers are refusing to work on the operating system in case they are forced to aid the US government. Register sources familiar with the matter told us that, since the start of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2016
Satya Nadella

Stop! Before you accept that Windows 10 Mobile upgrade, read this

Windows 10 updates have begun rolling out to eligible Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Microsoft has promised not to be as aggressive as it has been with pushing Windows 10 onto desktops – a promise that’s surely not hard to keep. It’s made good progress fixing the bugs, cranking up the performance, and making the UX transition …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2016

HERE: We're still, er... HERE

HERE has provided the best, and some say only real mobile competition to Google Maps, but this week it dumped its biggest fans: people who own a Windows Phone. So we were keen to hear more about HERE’s strategy - to find out whether we have any part in its future thinking. HERE says Microsoft’s impending shift to Windows 10 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2016