Kat Hall

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'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

Intel's fix for Spectre variant 2 – the branch target injection design flaw affecting most of its processor chips – is not to fix it. Rather than preventing abuse of processor branch prediction by disabling the capability and incurring a performance hit, Chipzilla's future chips – at least for a few years until …

Blockchain rebrand sends Stapleton Capital's shares soaring

Another company has discovered the secret of how to send shares soaring overnight: simply add "Blockchain" to your name. Telecoms investor Stapleton Capital changed its name to Blockchain Worldwide, more than doubling the value of its shares since yesterday by 130 per cent. Did someone say bubble? The Brit biz will now switch …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2018
Met police coppers in high vis yellow vests in front of a police box

The Reg visits London Met Police's digital and electronics forensics labs

More than 90 per cent of crime has "a digital element," we were told as The Reg was welcomed into London Metropolitan Police's Central Communications Command Centre, near Lambeth Bridge on the Thames. Not only does that mean an exponential increase in the amount of data stored, with the increasing seizure of phones, it also …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2018
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates

Plans by BT to cut its huge pension deficit have been thrown out by the High Court in England. The UK's incumbent telco had wanted to shift the rate used to calculate final salary pension payments. In December 2017, the telco sought a decision from the High Court to change the index used to calculate pension increases paid in …
Kat Hall, 19 Jan 2018

Digital mortgage service sounds handy, right? Oh, it's through UK.gov's Verify

The UK government is cracking on with plans for a digital mortgage service to be launched this year, which will allow borrowers to sign mortgage deeds online via the Government Digital Service's deeply flawed Verify identity programme. Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: "[The …
Kat Hall, 19 Jan 2018
Hipster dad explains facts of life to teen son. Photo by shutterstock

Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property? Anyway, indeed, why would you want to? No matter, the UK's Intellectual Property Office has launched a cartoon answering the question no one has ever asked. By relaunching the cartoon Nancy and the Meerkats, the story of would-be pop star Nancy, a French …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2018

France to lend Brexit Britain sore souvenir of Norman yoke – the Bayeux Tapestry

The French government will agree to lend the UK its most famous memento of the Norman conquest of England after Blighty leaves the EU. President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry during his visit to the UK on Thursday, which would not be transferred before 2020. According to The Times, …
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018

Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

UK comms regulator Ofcom is cracking ahead with plans for the forthcoming spectrum auction – despite further delays posed by Three's Court of Appeal challenge. The regulator had planned to hold the auction for the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands in autumn 2017, but it has been delayed by litigation brought by Three UK and BT/EE – the …
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018
Outsourcing

'No evidence' UK.gov has done much to break up IT outsourcing

The scandal around Carillion has put the UK government's addiction to outsourcing in the spotlight. Yet it is a practice that has been going on for many decades - not least in public sector IT. For some years now the government has made noises about breaking away from the "IT oligopoly" – a phrase coined by former Cabinet …
Kat Hall, 17 Jan 2018
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

Hey Europe, your apathetic IT spending is ruining it for everyone

Listless IT spend in Europe is dragging down the pace of global recovery, according to the latest prediction from entrail-prodders Gartner. During 2018, IT expenditure on the continent is expected to increase 1.5 per cent to €667bn (£593bn). Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7tn (£2.7tn) in 2018, an increase of 4. …
Kat Hall, 16 Jan 2018

220 heads to roll as Steria hacks away at UK.gov back-office IT biz

French outsourcer Sopra Steria plans to make 220 folk redundant from its UK government business as part of a major upheaval of its public sector operation. The Register has seen evidence that the firm plans to put 400 people at risk of redundancy and expects 220 roles to go. The redundancies are part of a shake-up of its UK …
Kat Hall, 15 Jan 2018
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

UK taxman told to go easy on transformation with Brexit in headlights

The UK government's spending watchdog has warned HMRC is biting off more than it can chew by undergoing major transformational projects while simultaneously coping with the fallout of Brexit. HMRC's transformation programme is not as "deliverable" as planned due to unrealistic assumptions and increased pressure from the …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2018
Still from UK political comedy Yes Minister

Shared services plan: UK.gov hitches wagon to cloudy Oracle offering

Another year, another government shared services strategy. This time Whitehall wants to roll out Oracle Cloud across departments - a move it says will require "substantive negotiations" with the Sopra Steria-run joint venture. No estimated cost savings or timelines were included in the strategy (PDF), naturally. The Cabinet …
Kat Hall, 11 Jan 2018
Boss leans back comfortably in desk. Pic via Shutterstock

Tata for now: Marks & Spencer transfers 250 tech jobs to outsourcer

Middle-class nirvana Marks & Spencer – the British purveyor of classy date-night grub and frumpy clothes – is slashing its tech supplier base and sending 250 staff to Tata Consultancy Services under an IT outsourcing accord. The High Street giant will pay a one-time "implementation cost" of £25m to offload delivery and …
Kat Hall, 10 Jan 2018
Trying to catch money in a net

Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

Apple has agreed to cough up £136m in back taxes to HMRC following an "extensive audit" by the tax man. In its Company's House filing for the year ended April 2017, Apple Europe said: "Following an extensive audit by HMRC the company has agreed to pay the adjustment covering prior years up to September 26 2015. This payment of …
Kat Hall, 10 Jan 2018

MPs sceptical of plan for IT to save the day after UK quits customs union

MPs have slammed government's approach of touting tech "as its magic solution to customs post Brexit" in a Parliamentary debate. Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, was discussing the Cross Border Trade Bill, which will lay the groundwork for Blighty exiting the EU customs union. He said the government has …
Kat Hall, 9 Jan 2018
Shark surfaces above water with prey in his teeth, Photo by Shutterstock

Japanese giant NEC gobbles Brit IT firm Northgate for £475m

Japanese multinational NEC has splashed £475m on UK-based IT provider Northgate Public Services. NEC bought the company from private equity biz Cinven and the acquisition is due to close this month. Takashi Niino, NEC chief exec, said the business hopes to build on Northgate's technologies for police operations, "establish …
Kat Hall, 9 Jan 2018
classroom_shutterstock_648

UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat

GCSE computer science coursework will no longer count toward the final grade after answers to set tasks were leaked online last year. Exam regulator Ofqual announced that non-exam assessment will not count to the final mark in GCSE computer science in 2018 or 2019. Previously the 20-hour assessment had accounted for 20 per …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2018
smug windsailing man on turquoise ocean makes surfer sign at gopro camera

GoPro exits drone market and slashes jobs amid sales warning

Action camera maker GoPro is exiting the consumer drone market and slashing 254 roles after issuing a sales warning. GoPro issued a sales warning for its fourth quarter results of $340m (£250m) for the three months to end of December - down 37 per cent on what it previously turned over for the same period last year. It has not …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2018
Conservative Party Facebook

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

Another day, another embarrassing gaffe for the Tories. This time it seems someone forgot to renew the UK Conservative Party's website's security certificate. "Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.conservatives.com (for example, passwords, messages or credit cards)," web …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2018

Cisco to release patches for Meltdown, Spectre CPU vulns, just in case

Cisco is the latest company to prepare patches to tackle the serious security vulnerabilities affecting the majority of CPUs, Meltdown and Spectre. Cybersecurity group CERT has warned companies that the only way to protect themselves from the flaw was to rip out and replace their processors. It has since backtracked on that …
Kat Hall, 5 Jan 2018
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Azure VMs borked following Meltdown patch, er, meltdown

Microsoft Azure customers are reporting problems with their virtual machines, which are struggling to come back online after being updated with the Meltdown processor patch. The firm told one customer in a direct message on Twitter: "We are currently investigating alerts affecting Virtual Machines in West Europe. You should be …
Kat Hall, 4 Jan 2018
Scots as Braveheart photo Cintia Erdens Paiva via Shutterstock

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Angry Scots are protesting against plans to slash the sugar content of their beloved national soft drink Irn-Bru and folk have begun stockpiling the beverage said to be a hangover cure. As of this month, Irn-Bru will be made with 50 per cent less sugar. Currently a can of has just under 140 calories, which will reduced to 65 …
Kat Hall, 4 Jan 2018
Gavel

Citrix hurls patent suit at network tiddler Avi, claims rival smeared NetScaler

Citrix has launched a patent suit against rival Avi Networks accusing it of patent infringement and of spreading "false claims" about Citrix's NetScaler networking products. The patent dispute centres around Avi's Vantage Platform, a software-defined application service. "Avi Networks is using Citrix's patented technology …
Kat Hall, 4 Jan 2018

Proposed Brit law to ban b**tards brandishing bots to bulk-buy tickets

The British government is to ban ticket touts from using automated software to snap up more tickets than allowed by event organisers. The new criminal offence will be brought forward under a provision in the Digital Economy Act. Those who break the law will face an unlimited fine. The plans are part of draft legislation and …
Kat Hall, 3 Jan 2018

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