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The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

The advent of Windows-as-a-service means that businesses adopting Windows 10 will need to ensure they can monitor their software portfolio for compatibility with Microsoft's latest updates. So says Annette Jump, a research director at Gartner who today addressed the firm's Infrastructure Operations & Data Centre Summit in …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2016
St Petersburg Russia

Work begins on Russian rival to Android

A Russian company called Open Mobile Platform (Открытая Мобильная Платформа) is developing its own mobile operating system to rival Android. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov tweeted a link to job ads seeking developers, infrastructure architects, testers and security types. Российский центр разработки новой мобильной …
Darren Pauli, 16 May 2016

ZFS comes to Debian, thanks to licensing workaround

The ZFS file system has come to popular Linux distribution Debian, but in a way the distro's backers think won't kick up another row over compatibility of open source licences. Ubuntu 16.04 added ZFS, despite pre-release grumblings from Richard Stallman to the effect that anything licensed under the GNU GPL v2 can only be …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 4.6

Linus Torvalds has loosed version 4.6 of the Linux kernel on the waiting world. “It's just as well I didn't cut the rc cycle short, since the last week ended up getting a few more fixes than expected,” wrote the Linux overlord. “Since rc7, there's been small noise all over, with driver fixes being the bulk of it, but there is …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016
The Ink Workspace in Windows 10 build 14328

Windows 10 build 14342: No more friendly Wi-Fi sharing

The latest Windows 10 preview has been released by Microsoft, with changes making it more Linux and web-friendly. Gone, however, is automatic Wi-Fi sharing with contacts, with Microsoft citing low uptake over cost of development. Extensions to Edge, Microsoft’s browser alternative to Internet Explorer, in Windows 10 build …
Gavin Clarke, 11 May 2016
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This is what a root debug backdoor in a Linux kernel looks like

A root backdoor for debugging ARM-powered Android gadgets managed to end up in shipped firmware – and we're surprised this sort of colossal blunder doesn't happen more often. The howler is the work of Chinese ARM SoC-maker Allwinner, which wrote its own kernel code underneath a custom Android build for its devices. Its Linux …
Android for cars

Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Mobile carriers and gadget makers will be investigated over how slow they push important software security patches to people. The probe will be carried out by US trade watchdog the FTC and America's internet mall cop the FCC. The two agencies will work together to scrutinize manufacturers of phones, tablets and other gear, …
Shaun Nichols, 9 May 2016
Toothpaste image via Shutterstock

Linux Mint to go DIY for multimedia

The Linux Mint project has decided version 18, scheduled for June 2016, will end out-of-the-box installation of multimedia codecs. The reasoning is straightforward: shipping with codecs involves a lot of work that other mainstream distributions don't bother with, instead leaving users to choose what they want post-install. As …
Asus Z97-A motherboard

Microsoft half-bricks Asus Windows 7 PCs with UEFI boot glitch

A recent Windows 7 update partially bricks computers that have an Asus motherboard fitted, it emerged this week. Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said. Though the KB3133977 patch …
Shaun Nichols, 6 May 2016

Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

Microsoft's "Get Windows 10" nagware will be killed off in July, the tech giant has told us. The software has been worming its way into Windows PCs via Windows Update since last year using aggressive malware-like techniques and frequent pop-up reminders. It quietly downloads and installs Windows 10 automatically for you, and …
Windows 10 Build 14328 has a revised Start menu and new pen features

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

Microsoft has announced that the free all-you-can-eat Windows 10 upgrade buffet will close forever on July 29, and that after that you'll have to pay for all the fun of its latest operating system. US$119 is the price Redmond has set for the Home version of the operating system. A sales person in a live chat session on the …

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

At the end of April, Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware interrupted a live TV weather broadcast to urge meteorologist Metinka Slater to upgrade her computer. A week later, while playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive to 130,000 spectators on Twitch.tv, Erik Flom was blasted out of his match by the Windows 10 installer. This was …
Windows Server 2012R2

Microsoft kicks out fix for buggy Win Server 2012 WSUS updates

Microsoft has a released a fix to address problems with its Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) tool. For those not in the know, WSUS is a component of Windows Server that lets IT administrators push particular updates to users' PCs. Redmond said installing KB3159706 on Windows Server 2012 will give WSUS the ability to …
Shaun Nichols, 6 May 2016

Microsoft: Why we tore handy Store block out of Windows 10 Pro PCs

Last month, while we were all distracted by iPhone hacking and Jay-Z's web fiasco, Microsoft silently bumped off the ability for IT administrators to easily take the Windows Store off Windows 10 Pro PCs. Removing the software store, along with other bundled apps, from work machines is normally a good idea to prevent users from …
Shaun Nichols, 5 May 2016

Microsoft sets Feb 2017 date to kill last SHA-1 zombies

Microsoft has posted the next step in its deprecation of SHA-1 certificates, but they'll survive for nearly another year. Back in November, Redmond was mulling joining Firefox in a death-to-SHA-1 party during 2016, but its latest missive sets a February 2017 sunset. At that date, Microsoft's Edge Team writes, both Edge and …
Apple iPhone 6s

Web site admins: Brace for weekend traffic surges from iOS devices

If you run online services, concentrate your efforts on making sure they can handle iOS devices on weekends. The Register makes that recommendation after a wade through the United States government's data on which operating systems hit its empire of websites. The US makes that data available at analytics.usa.gov, where …
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3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system. A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher. These critical bugs can be potentially exploited by …
Iain Thomson, 2 May 2016

US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

Windows 10's business push may be slowing, at least according to data gathered from visits to United States government web sites. Each month, The Register checks out StatCounter, Netmarketshare and the US government's analytics service to see how desktop operating systems are faring in the market. All count web traffic, the …
Windows 95 on Apple Watch

Chap runs Windows 95 on Apple Watch

A chap named Nick Lee has managed to run Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. We say “run”, and not installed, because he's had to emulate it. As Lee explains the Apple Watch packs a 520Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage, specs that put many a PC to shame when Windows 95 launched back in 1995. Of course Windows 95 just …
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Linux greybeards release beta of systemd-free Debian fork

The effort to create a systemd-free Debian fork has borne fruit, with a beta of “Devuan Jessie” appearing in the wild. Devuan came into being after a rebellion by a self-described “Veteran Unix Admin collective” argued that Debian had betrayed its roots and was becoming too desktop-oriented. The item to which they objected …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016

Unisys releases its ClearPath MCP OS for VMs or x86

Unisys has announced that its ClearPath MCP “operating environment” can now be run without having to also buy Unisys hardware. The company also plans to do the same for its OS 2200 product. ClearPath MCP is the heir to the mainframe hardware and operating systems Unisys inherited from Burroughs. The OS had run on x86 for years …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
Windows Server

'Feature-complete' Windows Server 2016 preview 5 lands

Microsoft has delivered another preview of Windows Server 2016 and says this effort is “feature-complete”, meaning this is still not final code but there won't be any new surprises the final version of the software. Technical Preview 5, available here, adds the option to install in Nano mode. That's Microsoft's slimmed down, …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016

Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

Microsoft's relentless Windows 10 nagware has interrupted a live TV weather forecast, urging meteorologist Metinka Slater to upgrade. The operating system suddenly popped up a box on screen insisting the station's computer be upgraded to the latest version – while Slater was on air describing thunderstorms rolling through Iowa …
Chris Williams, 28 Apr 2016

Boffins believe buggy Binder embiggens Android attack surface

Bugs in Android's Binder inter-process communication (IPC) mechanism open up a mass of security bugs, according to University of Michigan boffins Huan Feng and Kang Shin. In a paper posted to Arxiv, the duo say developers aren't doing enough sanity checking between Binder server and clients. Specifically, they often forget to …
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry wakes up, dunks Priv in Marshmallow

BlackBerry has released the Android Marshmallow 6.0 platform update for its Priv flagship, alongside big improvements to the Hub, the phone’s hallmark message aggregator. The enterprise-focused Priv was launched last year with Lollipop 5.1.1 inside. It was BlackBerry’s first Android and it showed: despite the device’s ample …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2016
Penguin wedding cake, image via Shutterstock

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.04, it's worth pausing to reflect on what's missing: Scopes online search, now off by default. That means no more potentially socially awkward search results when all you really wanted was to open Brasero (speaking of which, Brasero is gone too). Scopes, introduced four years ago, …
Google's car puts it in the pink

If Android’s wings are clipped, other Google platforms may gain

If Google's Android wings are clipped in the mobile market by European Union judgments, other elements of its portfolio may gain heavier strategic weight as it pushes to create a dominant platform that looks well beyond PCs and mobile devices, and into every object which will have a web connection in future. Like Facebook, the …
Wireless Watch, 25 Apr 2016

Bypass the Windows AppLocker bouncer with a tweet-size command

Video If you're relying on Microsoft's AppLocker to lock down your office or school Windows PCs, then you should check this out. A security researcher says he's found a way to potentially bypass the operating system's software whitelist and launch arbitrary scripts. AppLocker lets IT admins managing large networks of machines define …
Chris Williams, 22 Apr 2016
ubuntu 16.04 beta GNOME software

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Canonical will today (April 21st) launch version 16.04 of its Ubuntu Linux distribution, Xenial Xerus, the new long-term-support version of the project. As the name suggests, long-term support versions of Ubuntu get, er, long-term support, a guaranteed five years from today to be precise. The Xenial Xerus will therefore be …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
android_money_648

Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is calling on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to follow the European Union's lead and bring antitrust charges against Google Android. The group said that following the European Commission's statement of objections this week against the Chocolate Factory, it would like to see the FTC put …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016
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Red Hat bets on RHEL to sell its OpenStack elastic enterprise

Cloud killing on-premises kit for enterprise IT providers? Yes if you’re IBM, no if your name’s Red Hat. At least, according to Red Hat. Wall Street’s money men are shocked – shocked, I tell you – to discover Amazon with AWS is now number two on a list of enterprises’ mega-critical IT suppliers. IBM? Not so much. A firm with …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Apr 2016
vestager_648

Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

The EU's competition authority thinks it has a smoking gun against Google. Consumers suffered because Google’s contracts with phone OEMs prevented the market from creating a better Android, the EU Commission alleged today. It has sent a formal Statement of Objections to Google that forces Google to come up with remedies or …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
android_toys_648

Four hundred MILLION vulnerable Androids are out there

There's still too many unpatched Android devices, Google reckons: to wit, 29 per cent of mobes and tablets running The Chocolate Factory's operating system are running out-of-date code. In among the self-congratulation in Google's second Android Security Annual Report, we find that only 71 per cent of devices are running …
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Windows 10 Mobile races to summer with useful facelift

Say what you like about Microsoft, but it has created a really worthy successor to the Japanese game show Endurance. Microsoft’s perpetual beta test programme “Windows Insider” overnight delivered new code with which to torture the most hardy contestants. The Windows 10 code branch – codenamed Redstone, but formally called “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2016

Linux-fight! Dev's plan to bundle kernel patches sparks debate

Linux developer Sasha Levin has kicked off a project in which he proposes gathering up kernel security fixes under a single tree. The rationale behind the “Linux-stable security tree project”, he explains, is that sysadmins in large, complex deployments find following kernel upgrades is daunting. “Quite a few users of the …

Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it

Microsoft has added a QR code to its infamous Blue Screen of Death in Windows 10. As of Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14316, when the operating system falls over, you get not only the sad ASCII smiley but also a QR square that contains an encoded URL that leads you to a webpage about your problem. Scan it with a smartphone …
Chris Williams, 12 Apr 2016
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

BlackBerry's CEO has used an interview with United Arab Emirates outlet The National to announce plans to move the troubled mobe-maker's Android efforts downscale. Last year, the company launched into the Android market with the high-end Priv, which garnered good reviews. Sales, however, were another matter, and the Priv only …

How Remix's Android will eat the world

Interview Which platform will the next billion people on the internet use? Is it more likely to be Microsoft’s Windows squeezed onto low-cost mobile hardware, or a mobile OS given some steroids? Three former Google executives are betting it's the latter. And based on Jide’s early showing, a revved-up Android called Remix OS is a serious …
OpenStack

OpenStack 'Mitaka' materialises

The next version of OpenStack, Mitaka, has materialised. The OpenStack-Announce list went into overdrive on Thursday to deliver news of .0 versions of projects galore. This time around the OpenStack's made ease of use and scalability its watchwords. As ever, it's a sprawling effort: the release notes for Nova 13.0 admit that …
Ubuntu on Windows, complete with Vi editor

Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Microsoft's latest "Insider" Windows 10 preview Build 14316, includes the Windows Subsystem for Linux along with a flurry of other new features. The addition of a Linux command-line to Windows was announced at Microsoft's Build conference last week. The feature is aimed at developers, allowing them to use Linux utilities …
Tim Anderson, 7 Apr 2016
 French bulldog puppy wears plastic devil horns and cute expression. Photo by Shutterstock

FreeBSD 10.3 lands

FreeBSD fans: version 10.3, which first hit beta in February, has gone to stable release. The Linux-watchers at Phoronix highlight improvements to its Linux binary compatibility layer, which will be welcome news to developers working on both platforms. According to the release notes, the improvements mean the compatibility …
Fail0verflow's opinion of PS4 design

Full Linux-on-PS4 hits Github

Ever since fail0verflow first told Chaos Computer Club Sony PS4 machines could be persuaded to run Linux, a fair amount of work has gone into replicating his demonstration. The problem for other PS4 hackers: to avoid take-downs and other sueballs from Sony, fail0verflow published only a Linux-to-PS4 port, leaving the rest of …