Software > More stories

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Bombe machine

A Bombe Called Christopher, or A Very Poor Imitation

Stob Some weeks ago, on the back of superlative-laced recommendatory posts like this one, I took myself off to the Fosse des Puces high art cinema to see The Imitation Game, the new biopic about Alan "Weird Al" Turing starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, I am aware that it is not entirely unknown for Hollywood to apply the odd tweak …
Verity Stob, 26 Jan 2015
Gerard Butler in 300

Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

Two years after its last browser strategy policy change in Windows 8, Microsoft is shifting the pieces around the board again. Microsoft last week unveiled Spartan, project codename of the browser for use with anything and everything running Windows 10. Spartan is for any Windows 10 device, no matter if its input mechanism be …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jan 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

SURPRISE! Microsoft pops open Windows 10 Preview build early

Microsoft has released the next preview build of Windows 10 to members of its Windows Insider program, slightly ahead of schedule. At the big promo event in Redmond on Wednesday, Microsoft said the new build would be available "in the next two weeks," but it seems the software giant has decided its code is ready for prime time …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015

Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

Analysis Microsoft has given us a glimpse of Windows progress this week – and it was generally well received – particularly the one-year "grace period" allowing Windows 7 holdouts to climb on board for free. While price won't induce Enterprise customers to upgrade, lower retraining costs will –and the majority will wait to see what the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2015

Developers, developers, developers! But WILL they support Windows 10?

Analysis Microsoft has revealed more of its plans for Windows 10, with full release expected towards the end of 2015. The press event focused on eye-catching features like HoloLens, a virtual reality and augmented reality headset, but what really counts is this: will Windows 10 attract developers back to the Windows platform? Windows …
Tim Anderson, 23 Jan 2015
Downing Street road sign

Gov.UK inhaled G-Cloud, spat out framework – ex-lead claims

Whitehall is coming under fire for subsuming the G-Cloud into its coding house GDS (government digital service) at the expense of encouraging uptake of the framework. Mark Craddock, former G-cloud lead, said: "GDS is obsessed with what I call pub-prietary software – the public sector building everything in-house and putting …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2015

Symantec data centre security software has security holes

Security bod Stefan Viehböck has detailed holes in Symantec's data centre security platforms that the company plugged this week because they allowed hackers to gain privilege access to management servers. The patches fix holes in the management server for Symantec Critical System Protection (SCSP) 5.2.9 and its predecessor Data …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jan 2015
The Office

Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year

Microsoft let slip a few more details of its plans for the company's Office productivity suite on Thursday, including hints about when we can expect the next major version of its desktop suite to land. Most of the Office talk at Wednesday's Windows 10 preview event in Redmond focused on the touch-centric Office for Windows 10 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015
Kim Dotcom at the NZ parliamentary hearing

KimDotCom flails desperately, launches chat service

Kim Dotcom has set off on his new service to challenge Skype and other video platforms. The Megaupload boss has put forth the beta release of his MegaChat service: with a Tweet, dotcom announced the move: #MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today. Text chat & video conferencing will follow soon. — Kim …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?

With all the hoopla coming out of Microsoft's Windows 10 event in Redmond on Wednesday, there was surprisingly little talk of Windows RT, the feature-limited version of Windows 8.x for ARM-based tablets – and perhaps with good reason. In a Q&A with press following Wednesday's keynote, Redmond OS bosses Terry Myerson and Joe …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015
management regulation7

Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Analysis First the good news: Windows 10 will be free – for one year. Microsoft announced upgrades to its next-planned client operating system during an outpouring of PR love and vision on Wednesday. We won't claim the credit for Microsoft’s decision to give its next version of Windows as a free upgrade for 12 months to those on Windows …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jan 2015
Windows 10

FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

Analysis Microsoft offered a teaser of its work across its three main platforms yesterday, enough to give us an insight into how well Operation Relevance is going. It’s very much a work in progress. Here are the five key points on Windows 10 and the accompanying strategy. 1. 'Please come back to Windows 10 – for free' The challenge is …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jan 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

Open-source Java pals Groovy and Grails seek moneybags backer

Two major open source Java projects, Groovy and Grails, are looking for new sponsors. Pivotal, a company which supplies tools for big data analytics and cloud-oriented agile development, has announced the end of its funding for Groovy (a dynamic language that runs on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Grails (a web application …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jan 2015
The Valley - code

Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins

There's no such thing as an anonymous programmer: your coding style can unmask you, according to research led by Drexel University Comp. Sci. PhD student Aylin Caliskan-Islam. In work that has serious implications for anyone believing their open source project contributions are anonymous, the researchers find that as many as 95 …

Big software players talking common microservices definitions

Big software outfits are looking to define microservices, the concept of decomposed applications enabled by containerisation. Microservices advocates suggest that monolithic applications that run as a single process are on the way out. Instead, they imagine that different bits of an application will run as discrete processes, …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2015
The F-35B in the hover. Credit: Lockheed

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) remains the problem child of the US military, with some operational tests abandoned in 2014, and buggy software proving a headache. The US military's Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) has released its latest annual report, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter chapter …
Windows 10

Windows 10: The Microsoft rule-o-three holds, THIS time it's looking DECENT

Analysis The old adage that you never install a Microsoft product until version three appears to be holding true in operating systems with Windows 10. Windows 8 was a disaster, Windows 8.1 a waystation, but Windows 10 is looking like a very solid system. "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella at …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jan 2015

Turnbull says big telcos should subsidise bush comms

It looks like the federal government is getting its feet in a tangle, trying to reconcile the public good of the National Broadband Network with free-market doctrine. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has floated his ideas of how to create a transparent mechanism to subsidise rural telecommunications, and it seems to …
Bart Simpson

Microsoft will give away Windows 10 FREE - for ONE year

Microsoft is planning a big push for Windows 10 and will be giving away the new operating system to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 users in the first year of release. "With Windows 10, we think of the operating system as 'Windows as a service'," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's VP of operating systems. "In next few …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015
Evernote iPad app

Evernote says goodbye to Hello, shuts lid on Peek

Evernote, which makes a useful free form database with over 100 million users, has taken an axe to some little used services and platforms, while extending its new chat service to iDevices. The contact manager Evernote Hello is getting the chop – the company explains its functions, which include business-card scanning, have been …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Windows 10, day ZERO ... Will Nadella be the HERO?

Remember 21 January, 2015: it will go down in history either as the date that made Microsoft or the reason why victory in mobile was put on hold for another two years. Today, the world’s largest software firm will officially reveal what it is calling the “next chapter” in Windows: Windows 10. Microsoft is expected to release …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2015
Mars Attacks!

Facebook: Yo 'people'! Zap fake news on our giant ad farm, would'ja?

Facebook has asked its users (sorry, people) to flag up posts on the free-content ad network that they think are hoaxes masquerading as news items. However, the Mark Zuckerberg-run company claimed that links to satirical stories would not be culled from Facebook as a side-effect of the crackdown on fake stuff. But asking its …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2015
Genie

Will fondleslab's fickle finger of fate help Windows 10?

Just two and half years ago Microsoft dropped Windows 8 on the world, playing Redmond’s card in the touch-tablet game against Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android. Windows 8 was remarkable for three reasons: the touch-inspired Metro interface, the fact Microsoft built its own-branded tablet running Windows, and it put Windows on …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2015

GDS builds UNICORN HERDER, plays with Puppets

The United Kingdom's Government Digital Service (GDS) has built a Unicorn Herder, plays with puppets and is messing about with pretend (virtual) computers. The herder popped up on GitHub last week: it's a tool to manage daemonized unicorns. That's unicorns as in the HTTP server. GDS likes Unicorn and its related Gunicorn, but …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2015
Graphic depicting the Cluster satellite constellation in action. Credit: ESA

Tap sat app gap, yaps Inmarsat chap: Orbiting bird API opened to devs

Satellite communications oldie Inmarsat is to open up its systems to third-party developers – and wants them to create new ways to use its communications grid to link ships, aircraft, and machine-to-machine data traffic. "We have been providing global mobile connectivity for decades and want to leverage this position to …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015

Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

Getting Ubuntu onto everything from your home router to commercial drones is the next target of Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy’s firm is today expected to announce Ubuntu Core on smart devices, a version of its trimmed down Ubuntu Core that targets the Internet of Stuff. Ubuntu Core for smart devices …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jan 2015

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Each time there’s a new version of Windows, Microsoft bills it as “the best Windows yet," understandably enough. History teaches us that each time Microsoft tries to really stretch itself and push the development envelope on Windows, it backfires. Windows 8 was the most recent stumble in Microsoft’s journey, with Redmond …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jan 2015
Mozilla Firefox Fox sitting down

Firefox 35 stamps out critical bugs

Mozilla has crushed nine bugs, some rather dangerous, in the latest version of its flagship browser. The fixes include a patch for a critical sandbox escape (CVE-2014-8643) in the Gecko Media Plugin used for h.264 video playback affecting Windows machines (but not OS X or Linux). Another critical hole addressed a read-after- …
Darren Pauli, 19 Jan 2015
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has articulated views on security at Linux.conf.au, and seems to be closer to Google's way of thinking than Microsoft's. Torvalds, along with Debian luminary Bdale Garbee, Samba man Andrew Tridgell, and kernel coder Rusty Russell spent an hour answering conference attendees' questions last week. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2015
Netcraft web server survey January 2015

Apache retains perch atop global web server market

Microsoft Internet Information Server's (IIS') tilt for the title of the planet's most-prevalent web server has ended, with Apache well and truly back of top of Netcraft's survey. IIS took the web server crown last year, when measrued by active hostnames, largely thanks to Chinese linkfarms running up oodles of servers as part …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2015

Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

Linux desktop gamers should know of a bug in Valve's Steam client that will, if you're not careful, delete all files on your PC belonging to your regular user account. According to a bug report filed on GitHub, moving Steam's per-user folder to another location in the filesystem, and then attempting to launch the client may …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jan 2015
Hand screwed to a cross

Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

New wording in Microsoft’s enterprise licensing agreements could see customers forced to pay more to Redmond while simultaneously jumping through new licensing hoops. Microsoft has re-worked the fine print of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) in a way that confers greater power on its licensing agents to interpret the rules. It has …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jan 2015

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

After such a banner year of Linux releases it might seem overly pessimistic to pause and ask this question: is there a future beyond this? The answer is, of course, "yes" – or rather it's yes, but... The qualifying "but" can take many forms, depending on who you talk to and what their stake is in the game. Even if you take the …
Zombie rising from the grave

PROOF the undead STALK Verizon users: Admen caught using 'perma-cookie'

Researchers have spotted an advertising agency using Verizon’s indestructible cookies to silently track people across the internet. Back in 2012, Verizon started injecting a "unique identifier token header" (UIDH) into each HTTP request sent through its mobile data network; these identifiers are unique to each subscriber and …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jan 2015
Microsoft moving to GitHub

Microsoft snubs Codeplex, moves big projects to GitHub

Microsoft has completed the move of Roslyn, the next-generation open source compiler for C# and Visual Basic, from CodePlex to GitHub. Program Manager Kasey Uhlenhuth explains that the Roslyn team is not only moving the repository, but also switching to git internally. “We are moving our code to GitHub as well as switching to …
Tim Anderson, 15 Jan 2015
Don Draper is sad

Spammers set their sights on WhatsApp – that's that ruined then

Mobile spam is spreading from SMS channels towards mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, according to mobile security provider and specialist AdaptiveMobile. The company believes spammers have switched tactics over recent months in order to bypass existing mobile spam filters. App spam is particularly prevalent in mature …
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2015
Azure Index

Hands on: Implementing Azure Active Directory

Promo The Register’s Tim Phillips was joined by Paul Gregory, from QA, to deliver a live hands-on session on Azure Active Directory, which you can watch at your leisure from the comfort of your desk. It’s a 60-minute session delivered through a series of deep dive technical training demonstrations, discusses and shows how Azure Active …
David Gordon, 15 Jan 2015

Get coding or you'll bounce email from new dot-thing domains

Sysadmins needs to update their code for handling email addresses to meet changes to the global DNS, or they risk losing customers and reputation. That's according to a number of domain experts meeting at the NamesCon conference in Las Vegas this week. Representatives from Google, ICANN, DotAsia and the Domain Name Association …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2015
Node.js 'hello world' webserver

Node.js fork io.js hits version 1.0 – but don't call it production-ready

The io.js JavaScript software development runtime, a fork of Node.js, has reached version 1.0, lapping the version numbering of the original project on which it was based. Prominent Node.js developer Feodr Indutny created io.js in December 2014 after clashing with Joyent, the company that maintains Node.js, over the project's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015
Babel Fish

'F*** you', exclaims Google Translate app, politely

It’s a small, yellow, earwig-like creature* that feeds on … no, wait, it’s Google’s new real-time language translation app. Although sadly not an actual Babel fish, the Chocolate Factory’s latest upgrade to its Google Translate app does mean you can “instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language”. From …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Jan 2015
The new Facebook AMBER Alert

AMBER alerts of snatched kids to appear on Facebook (and Bing)

Video Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing have worked together with the US Department of Justice to add AMBER alerts for missing children to their websites. Youtube Video These warnings are put out whenever a child is reported to have vanished, and urge people to keep an eye out for the youngster: when the program started, alerts were …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2015
Chrome remote desktop running on an iPad

Adults-only Chrome add-on grabs you by the Googlies

Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app does what it says on the can: install it in Google's browser and it becomes possible to drive the host Mac, PC or Chromebook from another similarly-equipped machine. As of today it's also possible to drive a machine from iOS, as Google has been kind enough to release an app for the iPhone or …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2015