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Andrew Silver

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Mastercard blockchain: MEEELLIONS. Opening up the API: Priceless

Mastercard is opening up its blockchain API to select partner banks and merchants. For those approved for sign-up, Mastercard boasts that its tech will improve "cross-border, B2B payment flows". There are tons of blockchains out there, and Mastercard isn't the first enterprise actor to work on a B2B distributed payment system …
Andrew Silver, 20 Oct 2017

No more mister nice GUI: Visual tools stapled to Azure Data Factory

In a move that will delight factory workers developers everywhere, Microsoft has added more graphical user interface features to Azure Data Factory V2. Azure Data Factory is Redmond's data pipeline management and integration service, kind of like Google Cloud Dataflow or AWS Data Pipeline. The unrelenting factory service …
Andrew Silver, 20 Oct 2017
Dragonfly sits on a yellow flower

The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act

"Insects are at the bottom of the ecosystem," the lead author of a study into a massive decrease in collected insects told The Reg. Their loss, he added, is "likely to collapse the entire pyramid". Between 1989 and 2016, boffins used nets to fill about 1,500 one-litre bottles with flying insects from 63 conservation sites in …
Andrew Silver, 20 Oct 2017
Weapon of the information wars from Shutterstock

Dev writes Ethereum code for insecure SHA-1 crypto hash function

Using Ethereum's programming language Solidity, a dev has controversially written code for making data authentication signatures with the insecure SHA-1 cryptographic hash function. Nick Johnson, the London-based Ethereum developer who authored the code, told The Register: "SHA1 is still used by a lot of legacy systems, …
Andrew Silver, 20 Oct 2017
Losing money

Tezos crypto and $232m initial coin offering risks implosion – reports

If you threw money at the blockchain startup Tezos during its $232m initial coin offering fundraising round in July, here's something you can learn for future investments. ICOs are a popular fundraising method for cryptocurrency where you buy tokens to access new networks, and you can make bank* if their value skyrockets. But …
Andrew Silver, 19 Oct 2017

Mohawks fling patent infringement sueball at Microsoft and Amazon

A Native American tribe in New York is going after Microsoft and Amazon for infringing its patents. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe filed lawsuits against the tech firms Wednesday, a spokesperson for the tribe told The Register. The patents, which deal with data processing, actually come from a US tech firm called SRC Labs. But …
Andrew Silver, 19 Oct 2017

AWS to Windows devs: Come out of the dark, into the Lightsail

Amazon Web Services is trying to lure more Windows developers by rolling out Windows private servers via its Lightsail service. Introduced in 2016, Lightsail offers old-school virtual private servers (VPS) lathered with SSD storage, DNS management and a static IP address. It is supposed to pitch AWS against hosting providers …
Andrew Silver, 17 Oct 2017
Woman attempts to climb rope ladder in business suit

Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

“A lot of people are like, ‘Where’s the AV?’ And I’m like, it’s a treehouse,” Bret Boulter said of Microsoft's new tree-based meeting spaces. “We wanted people to intentionally unplug, because they are sitting in front of screens all day long.” Um. Tech company Microsoft's latest trick for keeping employees on site are …
Andrew Silver, 17 Oct 2017

Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a dispute over whether Microsoft should release personal emails stored in Ireland to America's federal government. In 2014, the US Department of Justice took Microsoft to court because the software giant refused to give up emails stored on its data centres in Ireland, which would …
Andrew Silver, 16 Oct 2017

Ethereum blockchain is sailing to Byzantium – hard fork up and running

The latest upgrade to the popular Ethereum blockchain protocol – Byzantium –went live today, adding additional privacy and performance features. Blockchains claim to offer users additional anonymity compared to standard systems because they're decentralised. Bitcoin is focused on cryptocurrencies, while the Ethereum network is …
Andrew Silver, 16 Oct 2017

SendGrid services are DOWN and OUT of action

Anyone wanting to log in or sign up to cloud-based email marketing service SendGrid is out of luck as an unspecificed glitch has taken its services offline. At 0051 PDT (0851 BST), the firm said in a status update, "We are currently investigating reports of intermittent availability of our login and sign up pages. We apologise …
Andrew Silver, 16 Oct 2017

Uber begins appeals process to claw back taxi licence in London

Londoners can keep on using the Uber ride-hailing app. For now. Transport for London decided not to renew Uber's private hire licence last month, claiming the firm was not "fit and proper" to operate in the city. The business this morning filed its intent to appeal the decision with Westminster Magistrates' Court, which will …
Andrew Silver, 13 Oct 2017

Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

Updated The Co-op Bank's online service appears to be experiencing wobbles as customers complain they can't get in. Over 100 folks in the UK have reported problems with the website and online banking since 10:10 UTC on downdetector.com. Although the website homepage and many other links appear accessible, attempts to sign into online …
Andrew Silver, 13 Oct 2017

Screw the badgers! Irish High Court dismisses Apple bit barn appeals

Ireland's High Court has dismissed planning appeals preventing the construction of Apple's County Galway data centre, Reuters reports. Cupertino had announced the €850m bit barn in February 2015, alongside plans for one in Denmark. But while the Danish facility is set to open next year, the 500-acre site at Derrydonnell, about …
Andrew Silver, 12 Oct 2017

Alibaba's Jack Ma says: Relax, we're too wise for robots to take our jobs

Everybody chill. Alibaba founder Jack Ma says we don't need to worry about robots taking our jobs. Phewee. A paper published in March by US non-profit the National Bureau of Economic Research found that employment and wages in industries using robots fell between 1990 and 2007. Some thinkfluencers *cough* Elon Musk *cough* go …
Andrew Silver, 12 Oct 2017
Bear

To Russia, with love: Greek court now says Bitcoin fraud suspect could be tried at home

A judicial appeals court in Thessaloniki, Greece, has backed Moscow's extradition request for Russian citizen and suspected Bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik, The Greek Observer reports. Last week a Thessaloniki court ruled he should be extradited to the US, a decision he is challenging at Greece's supreme court. Vinnik was …
Andrew Silver, 11 Oct 2017

They've only gone and made a chemical-threat-detecting ring

Smartwatches and Fitbits might be the cool wearables du jour, but they're hardly able to tell you if you're standing in a cloud of noxious chemicals. However, a team of boffins hopes to some day fill this, er, gap in the market with their hip prototype, the broad goal of which is to help keep you alive. Juliane Sempionatto, …
Andrew Silver, 11 Oct 2017

Visual Studio Team Services having some 'performance issues'

Microsoft has said it suspects a code change has caused "performance issues" for its cloud-based code repository and dev collaboration platform, Visual Studio Team Services. At 7:21 UTC this morning, Redmond's team members noted on the status page that "a potentially customer impacting alert" was "being investigated" for the …
Andrew Silver, 10 Oct 2017
Bitcoin, photo via Shutterstock

Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

Updated Russia has announced a ban on the websites of cryptocurrency exchanges. Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said today that the country would block access to websites offering "dubious" crypto-coinage, Reuters reports. China banned initial coin offering cryptocurrency fundraising schemes last month. …
Andrew Silver, 10 Oct 2017
Still from Star Wars: The last Jedi

Star Wars: Big Euro cinema group can't handle demand for tickets to new flick

Europe's second largest cinema, Cineworld, is struggling to meet demand for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans have taken to Twitter to complain of difficulties booking their tickets for its December 14 release. You website is down? Seriously how can you not have the servers ready for a massive movie like this and a surge of …
Andrew Silver, 10 Oct 2017

Three words: Synthetic gene circuit. Self-assembling bacteria build pressure sensor

Beware, 3D printers. Self-assembling bacteria are coming for your jobs. Specially designed bacteria can organise themselves to make a three-dimensional pressure sensor, new research shows. Scientists are engineering these critters in order to some day help more cheaply and efficiently manufacture materials that can perform …
Andrew Silver, 10 Oct 2017
Man closes his eyes and crosses fingers

Frustrated Britons struggle to locate their packages: Royal Mail tracker smacked

Updated Certain Royal Mail customers have not been able to pin down the location of their packages today. Since around 800 UTC, about a hundred people have taken to downdetector to report issues with the missive-sniffing checker on its website. For certain reference numbers, the tracking system currently says: "There has been an …
Andrew Silver, 9 Oct 2017
Bitcoin

Russia, America dig into tug-of-war over Bitcoin laundering suspect

Russia doesn't want America taking one of its nationals accused of running a $4bn Bitcoin laundering ring – Moscow wants him more. The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday that a Greek court's decision to extradite Alexander Vinnik to the US is "unjust and a violation of international law". The 38-year-old …
Andrew Silver, 6 Oct 2017
Magic cloud castle

Amazon beams: We're best cloud buds with General Electric

Amazon boasts that it is the "preferred" cloud provider for General Electric, but it's a multi-cloud world after all. GE began moving its applications to the cloud in 2014, with AWS taking the bulk of the dollars. The company has migrated "more than 2,000 applications", we're told. The thing Amazon won't have mentioned in its …
Andrew Silver, 6 Oct 2017
rage

Royal Bank of Scotland customers say digital services gone TITSUP

Updated Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been reporting an inability to log into digital banking services this morning. Down Detector shows that more than 100 users have complained of issues logging into their accounts through mobile devices and web browsers. Some have also contacted the bank on Twitter. @RBS_Help RBS digital …
Andrew Silver, 6 Oct 2017

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