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IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Sysadmin blog It's Windows 10 day. That means it's time for a completely biased and in-no-way-even-remotely-objective assessment of Windows 10. The internet is filled with people trying to act all objective about Microsoft and Windows 10, and explain what it all "means." I'm forgoing all of that this round. This review is not from the …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2015

Microsoft admits critical .NET Framework 4.6 bug, issues workaround

Microsoft has published a workaround for a critical bug in the .NET Framework 4.6 that can result in incorrect parameters being passed, with unpredictable results. Program manager Rich Lander has blogged about the problem. According to Lander, it can affect any .NET 4.x application, but once the .NET Framework 4.6 has been …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Windows 10 on Surface 3

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

An issue with the new Windows 10 Start menu means that those with more than 512 application shortcuts will have missing entries. In Windows 10, the Start menu includes an All Apps list, which you can search for quick access to installed applications. Start menu shortcuts are still shortcut files placed in the same special …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Windows 10 with its revived Start menu

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

Review Take a deep breath. This is it, the big one: Microsoft has released Windows 10, which will make everything good again after Windows 8. Windows 10 is distinctive for several reasons. First, it introduces the "Windows as a service" concept, in which most users will automatically receive incremental updates with both feature and …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Arrow screenshot

Microsoft's Arrow brings pane to Androids

For reasons El Reg doesn't quite understand, Microsoft has decided that the one thing missing from the Android user's life is the Windows phone app launcher experience. Seeking to save Android users from themselves, Redmond has accordingly posted this “garage” project (ie, after-hours coding or "get your staff to create test- …

Windows 10 in head-on crash with Nvidia drivers as world watches launch

Microsoft's automatic updates feature in Windows 10 has collided with Nvidia's driver system, sending the new operating system off the rails as it launches. Early adopters are experiencing glitches (particularly in multi-monitor setups), and in some cases crashes, all triggered when Windows 10 automatically updates its …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2015

Puppet draws back the curtain on devops magic with funky gfx and UI

“Less magic, more visibility” is what Puppet Labs reckons devops devotees need. Announcing the company's Puppet Enterprise 2015.2, the company's director of marketing communications Tim Zonca told The Register the rapid turnaround ideal of the devops world has a trust problem that the new code is trying to address. Someone …
Whack-a-mole

BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

Microsoft is still trying to crush the remaining bugs in its latest and supposedly greatest operating system. Build 10240, which was released to the Windows Insider program two weeks ago, is widely considered to be the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) build, even though Redmond itself says the RTM concept doesn't apply in its …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jul 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Software spec slip denies Westpac chance at a MILLION A DAY

Some of Australia's major banks' databases don't distinguish between loans to housing investors and owner-occupiers, meaning they're missing out on the chance to charge differential interest rates. Along the way, they're providing an object lesson to businesses that depend on IT: if you don't ask for a capability, you won't …
Fujitsu-Oracle Athena server logo

Debian Project holds Sparc port's hand, switches off life support

Following years of waning popularity, the Debian GNU/Linux Project has dropped support for the Sparc architecture, effective immediately. "As Sparc isn't exactly the most alive architecture anymore," Debian maintainer Joerg Jaspert wrote in a mailing list post last week, "not in [Debian 8.x] jessie and unlikely to be in [ …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jul 2015
Sad Android

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Android smartphones can be secretly infected by malware smuggled in via video text messages, allowing criminals to sneak inside as many as 950 million devices. You just need to know a victim's cellphone number to silently inject malicious software in their vulnerable gizmo. Once infected, your mobe's camera and mic can be used …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2015

Hold that upgrade: Critical bug in .NET 4.6 'breaks applications'

A critical bug in the optimizer in the just-released .NET 4.6 runtime could break and crash production applications, we're warned. "The methods you call can get different parameter values than you passed in," says Nick Craver – software developer and system administrator for Stack Exchange, home of the popular programming …
Tim Anderson, 27 Jul 2015
Suits you

Don't suit up: Microsoft drops dress code for Android visitors

Windows will run Android binaries "unchanged", according to a Microsoft job posting. "Project Astoria" is one of several ambitious ventures announced at Microsoft's annual developer conference Build 2015, intended to lure iOS, Android, and web developers to Windows 10. All were intended to make porting to Windows easy. New …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2015
Elephant

UK.gov: Are we talking about Big Data enough? Should we plug it more?

The UK government's Science and Technology Committee has today opened an inquiry tasked with "examining the opportunities and risks of big data." The inquiry will look at whether the government is doing enough to promote the tech to Blighty's entrepreneurs, as well as issues around data protection and privacy. Nicola …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2015

The Register presents its official Programming Competition

Calling all you programmers out there, we have a simple challenge and if you win you bag yourself a rather smart Smart TV. Read on to find out how you can get involved... Sign up for a trial account with IBM Bluemix. Actually do this now! Check out the competition questions here. Implement and publish your three solutions …
David Gordon, 27 Jul 2015

We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

With Windows 10 now just days away, we thought we'd put it on a small slablet of the sort you can pick up cheaply and see how it did - in this case a Linx 8. In short, it did not do well. These devices have a 1280 x 800 8" display and just 1GB of RAM. They also have 32GB of storage, of which 5GB is taken up by a recovery …
Tim Anderson, 27 Jul 2015
Steve Ballmer. Pic:  Aanjhan Ranganathan

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Analysis Less than two years into Satya Nadella's tenure as CEO of Microsoft, he's already had to report a lossmaking quarter. It's only the second time that's happened in the software giant's three decades as a public company, and the $8.44bn write-off Redmond posted earlier this week is the largest in its history. Don't blame Nadella …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jul 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google to block access to unofficial autocomplete API

Google has decided the autocomplete API it informally offers will no longer be available for “unauthorised” users as of August 10th. The company says its autocomplete API has found an audience among “a number of developers” who have used its ability to predict a query before a user finishes typing for uses other than Google's …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jul 2015
A Handful of Giant Weta by Mike Locke

Ubuntu defibrillates 14.10 for one LAST patch

Ubuntu has changed its mind on an end-of-life announcement, giving Version 14.10 one last kernel patch to cover off some big vulns. Usually, end-of-life means what it says: a version isn't going to get any more updates, and that was the status of Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” (guys, it's time to rethink your naming conventions …
Tengen's Gauntlet

Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

In 1985, Japanese giant Namco got out its wallet, and bought control of Atari Games – the coin-op arcade games maker that was doing rather well compared to its ailing home console cousin, Atari Corp. The deal was the first step toward a massive legal battle that changed the way console manufacturers produced, licensed, and …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2015
Cher pointing, Cher point, Sharepoint

Microsoft delivers Exchange 2016 Preview

Microsoft has revealed the first Preview of Exchange Server 2016. As is always the case these days, Microsoft says the new version of Exchange is a distillation of all the cooler stuff it does to make cloudy Exchange work at scale. There's a big architectural change in the form of the demise of Client Access servers (CAS). …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2015

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Exclusive Troubled HP has hit upon what it thinks is a terrific idea to revive its fortunes: tell techies to leave their T-shirts and shorts at home and obey the corporate "smart casual" dress code instead. Some R&D teams within HP Enterprise Services were sent a confidential memo this week reminding them to follow the IT giant's rules …
Chris Williams, 24 Jul 2015

BURN ALL BLOGS! WordPress has a critical cross-site scripting flaw

Wordpress has warned users of a “cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could allow users with the Contributor or Author role to compromise a site” and urged all users “to update your sites immediately.” Installations that auto-upgrade should already be patched. The patch comes in the form of WordPress 4.2.3, which fixes …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2015
Suit lifting weight, photo via Shutterstock

We need the power of corporates, says OpenStack exec

The OpenStack Foundation’s executive director has defended the community project’s growing corporatisation following criticism from a former colleague and lead pioneer. Jonathan Bryce told The Reg big companies are critical to the success of OpenStack as they bring vital resources lacking at startups and among individuals. …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jul 2015
Microsoft's new "Send" email client

Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

Microsoft has admitted that its Outlook email and calendar app is too weighty and slow, releasing a new version, essentially a lighter and faster email client for the times you want to send snappy messages. Dubbed “Send”, Microsoft suggests the new app is for use when “... you just need to send a quick, short note to your co- …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015

Security tool bod's hell: People think I wrote code for Hacking Team!

A respected security researcher has denied any involvement with Hacking Team after open-source code he wrote was found in smartphone spyware sold by the surveillance-ware maker. Collin Mulliner works in SecLab at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, US, and is a regular at hacking conferences. He told The Register he's …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2015

AI finally understands primitive sketches – aka marketing presentations

Artificial intelligence scientists have developed a neural-network that understands incomprehensible scrawled drawings of the sort created by children, marketing departments, architects, design creatives, and so on. The academic developers of the "Sketch-a-Net" software proudly boast that their brainchild is actually better at …
Lewis Page, 22 Jul 2015

Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

In Depth After five years, the radical design experiment of Windows Phone is to end; Windows on phones is being subsumed into Windows 10, and alas, this means Windows phones will not only be less distinctive and inherit many of the flaws, but they’ll acquires some flaws no mobile platform today suffers. That’s my conclusion after …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2015
france

The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

Microsoft could get the boot from the French government if a new recommendation from an official advisor is adopted. DISIC (Direction interministérielle des systèmes d'information et de communication de l'État) has recommended that French authorities ditch Microsoft Office tools in favour of the Open Document Format (ODF). …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Jul 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Microsoft open-sources Sora software-defined radio

Microsoft has decided to open-source its six-year-old Sora software radio project. As Redmond's Jane Ma explained at Technet, Sora has been designed to replicate the behaviour of specialised ASICs on a PC. Its focus is on the PHY and MAC layers. ASIC design is expensive and inflexible, so software platforms are attractive to …
Containers

Kubernetes claque bursts into SPONTANEOUS APPLAUSE for v1.0

There's tumultous applause for the Kubernetes open-sauce app container system today - though it should be borne in mind that much of this is from those who've put substantial investments in time and/or money towards developing it. Version 1.0 of Kubernetes will be formally unveiled at OSCON in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, and …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2015
Conrad Schnitzler

El Reg hosts the IBM Bluemix Programming Competition 2015

Competition So, what do I have to do? We'll go into more detail, but the basics are: Sign up for a trial account with IBM Bluemix, actually do this now and have a go, so you're ready when the questions are published. Enter our competition and learn about the Ts & Cs here. Implement your three solutions using the Bluemix environment ( …
Dave Cartwright, 21 Jul 2015

Dumb MongoDB admins spew 600 TERABYTES of unauthenticated data

Shodan hacker John Matherly says system administrators have exposed some 595.2 terabytes of data by using poorly-configured or un-patched versions of the popular MongoDB database. eBay, Foursquare, and The New York Times are some of the prominent users of the open source MongoDB which is the most popular NoSQL database. …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2015

Snowden to the IETF: Please make an internet for users, not the spies

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged the world's leading group of internet engineers to design a future 'net that puts the user in the center, and so protects people's privacy. Speaking via webcast to a meeting in Prague of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the former spy talked about a range of possible …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jul 2015

Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Microsoft is urging everyone to install an emergency security update for all supported versions of Windows to fix a remote-code execution vulnerability. Details of the vulnerability were found and reported to Microsoft by security researchers poring over internal memos leaked online from spyware-maker Hacking Team. This …
Chris Williams, 20 Jul 2015

Microsoft hurls out Visual Studio 2015, .Net 4.6 ahead of Windows 10

Microsoft has pushed Visual Studio 2015 and .Net 4.6 out of the door ahead of the imminent launch of Windows 10. The giant of Redmond will be hoping that developers of the next few years spend an awful lot of time in the environment it has just thrown open. The new tools shouldn't surprise anyone, as Microsoft has been testing …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jul 2015
Banksy_death

Microsoft sets end date on Windows 10 support. Hey, wait, WHAT?

Windows 10 isn't even out yet but already its creator Microsoft has foretold its death. Support for Redmond's Omega operating system will cease finally on October 14, 2025. That’s the date when fixes and patches in all their forms for the as-yet unreleased client operating system will finally be turned off by Microsoft. …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jul 2015
Web browsers 2015

Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

Weary old web warhorse Internet Explorer (known to thousands of Reg readers' spouses and parents up and down the land simply as "the internet") is destined soon for the dustbin of tech history. After decades of dominance through proprietary lock-in and anti-trust-busted software bundling, the monster lurking in web developer …
Office 365 as seen in the Edge browser

Fancy signing into Windows 10 with Office 365? WHOA there, my friend

Hands On Depending on your circumstances you may well have been looking forward to the day of signing in to Windows 10 using nothing more than an Office 365 login, via Azure Active Directory. But that day may not be upon us quite yet. There are two aspects to Azure AD sign-in with Windows 10. One is for administrators, who get the …
Tim Anderson, 20 Jul 2015

North Korea's Red Star Linux inserts sneaky serial content tracker

ERNW security analyst Florian Grunow says North Korea's Red Star Linux operating system is tracking users by tagging content with unique hidden tags. The operating system, developed from 2002 as a replacement for Windows XP, was relaunched with a Mac-like interface in 2013's version three. The newest version emerged in January …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2015

Bump and grind is Mozilla's plan for future Firefox OS releases

The Mozilla Foundation has formalised Firefox OS development, pledging that henceforth new versions will emerge every six months. “To deliver upon this vision we are immediately moving to a development model where we will drive a single open source core of Firefox OS, with major releases every six months, based upon weekly …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Truly these are magical days: Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 will indeed be sold on USB thumb drives rather than just on optical discs, confirming internet mumblings that have been current for some time. Over on Amazon.com, pre-order pages show that the operating system will be available on media other than DVDs. A …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015