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Rebecca Hill

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Business meeting argument

Ding ding! Round Two: Second annual review for transatlantic data flow deal Privacy Shield

The deal governing transatlantic data flows – branded not fit for purpose by privacy watchdogs – enters its second annual review today. The Privacy Shield agreement was rushed through in the summer of 2016 after its predecessor Safe Harbor was scrapped following a legal challenge by activist and then-PhD student Max Schrems. …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Oct 2018
xxx to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)

The UK government is bracing itself to face legal challenges when it implements controversial smut age check rules, and has said it could cost up to £10m in the first year alone. The plans to require online porn providers to check users are over 18 before granting them access to the site have been in the offing since 2017, …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Oct 2018
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Find these, er, appealing? takes red pen to spy court rules, asks for Parliament's OK

The British government has finally offered up its proposed changes to the way the UK's spy court operates – including the right to appeal its decisions – for approval by the country's Parliament. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, established in 2000, is the only judicial body that can hear complaints against the intelligence …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Oct 2018
Alphabet pasta

Alphabet in the soup for keeping quiet about Google+ data leak bug

Google's parent has been hit with a lawsuit for failing to disclose to investors a bug – secretly fixed in March – that could have exposed half a million users' data. Last week Google admitted that it had discovered and patched a bug in one of its Google+ People APIs that meant third-party apps could access profile fields …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Oct 2018
An ambulance

Emergency Services Network delays to cost public purse £1.1bn, Home Office reveals

The Home Office has admitted a three-year delay to the rollout of the UK’s new 4G Emergency Services Network will cost £1.1bn – but insisted it will still demonstrate value for money. Police and the fire brigade attend an emergency in waterloo on 2014 Britain mulls 'complete shutdown' of 4G net for emergency services READ …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Oct 2018

Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?

Who, Me? Just like clockwork, another weekend is over and Monday is here again. To lighten the load, El Reg is offering you the latest instalment of Who, Me?, our weekly sysadmin confessional column. This time we meet "Romeo", who was working at a large music company in London at the time in question. It was his first job for a big …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Oct 2018
A man holds in his poo while looking at the toilet

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

On Call It’s Friday at long last and that means it’s time for On Call, our regular trip down readers’ memory lanes. But for a bit of a change, this week we’ve got two tales of tech support head-scratchers, where the problem involved thinking outside the box. First we have Patrick, who told us about an incident that happened during …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Oct 2018
Cheesy pic of man holding face in shame as accusatory finger emerges from display. Photo via Shutterstock

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

Who, Me? After a hopefully relaxing weekend, we at El Reg want to kick off your week the right way – with a full-scale facepalm. And so we bring you this week's instalment of Who, Me?, where readers share their cock-ups, large and small. This week, meet "Wallace", who wrote in to tell us about a time he forgot himself – almost …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Oct 2018
sands of time

HMRC rapped as Brexit looms and customs IT release slips again

British MPs have chastised HMRC over further slippage in the tax collector's efforts to replace the UK's customs IT systems ahead of Brexit, and its lethargic attitude to preparing traders for a no-deal scenario. They are also less than impressed that the department had not better prepared for the government's "foreseeable" …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Oct 2018
Button image via Shutterstock

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, your weekly dose of tech support head-scratchers sent in by Reg readers. In this story, we meet “Marvin”, who tells us that, some years ago, the US brokerage firm he was working for decided to spruce up one of its rooms. The room in question was the classroom, used for all-hands daily briefings …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Oct 2018

Databricks pushes machine learning on easy mode: Rock star data scientist, meet sweaty engineer

Interview Ninety-nine per cent of companies are struggling to make a success of machine learning, according to execs at analytics biz Databricks. Firms have spent years amassing data in the hopes of doing something useful with it eventually. Meanwhile, the meteoric rise of Facebook and Google has helped make data analytics sexy, …
Rebecca Hill, 4 Oct 2018
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock asks biz for ideas on how to 'overcome' data privacy concerns in NHS

UK firms are being asked to pitch digital solutions to "overcome privacy challenges" related to the increasing use of data in the health sector as part of a £9m competition to boost the NHS's use of technology. The cash is for firms that want to do collaborative or early stage development work on digital tools or solutions …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Oct 2018
London, UK - March, 2018. Police officers patrolling Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus in central London.  Pic Paolo Paradiso /

Civil rights group Liberty walks out on British cops' database consultation

The UK Home Office's alleged indifference towards civil rights groups' concerns over the creation of a mammoth policing database has caused Liberty to ditch the government-run consultation group on the project. The Home Office is planning to replace the creaky Police National Computer (PNC) and Police National Database (PND) …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Oct 2018
Philip Hammond photo by Inna Sokolovska via Shutterstock

UK should set its own tax on tech giants if international deal isn't reached – Chancellor

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has blamed US tax reforms for slow progress towards an international levy on tech giants' revenues, and warned that the UK is considering going it alone. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is working on a global agreement that would ensure that …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Oct 2018
Guy answers two phones

Manchester nuisance-call biz fined £150k after ignoring opt-out list

A sweary Mancunian biz has been fined £150,000 for making almost 64,000 nuisance calls to people who had opted out of automated marketing. Some 59 complaints were made about Oaklands Assist UK, which made the calls over a two-month period in May to July last year. The UK's data protection watchdog said the firm was one of the …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Oct 2018

Groupon to pay IBM $57m after getting money off e-commerce patent settlement

Groupon has managed to secure a money-off deal in its court battle with IBM over e-commerce patents. The pair have agreed to settle the dispute, with the e-voucher biz set to pay $57m to IBM, knocking almost a third off the price tag granted by a court this summer. In July, a jury ruled that Groupon had wilfully infringed …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Oct 2018
Tim Berners-Lee

A web where the user has complete control of their data? Sounds Solid, Tim Berners-Lee

WWW creator Tim Berners-Lee has taken aim at the internet giants with his new decentralised web project Solid, which pushes for individuals, not firms, to control their data. The inventor is no stranger to public proclamations about the future of his creation, which he has long fought to keep open to all. But in recent months …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Oct 2018
Conservative Party Facebook

UK ruling party's conference app editable by world+dog, blabs members' digits

The UK's Conservative Party has kicked off its annual conference by exposing its MPs' phone numbers to anyone able to guess their email addresses. Party chairman Brandon Lewis was planning to sell the "interactive" app – which will allow attendees to give feedback on speeches as they happen – as evidence that the ruling party …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Oct 2018
Man has panic attack in front of computer

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Who, Me? Welcome once again to El Reg’s weekly instalment of Who, Me?, where readers get monumental cock-ups and heart-stopping near-misses off their chests. This week, Reginald tells us a personal horror story from the ‘80s, when he worked for what was then a top five minicomputer biz. At the time, he was on site at a customer – a …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Oct 2018
Man with guilty grin carefully closes laptop

Health insurer Bupa fined £175k after staffer tried to sell customer data on dark web souk

International health insurance business Bupa has been fined £175,000 after a staffer tried to sell more than half a million customers' personal information on the dark web. The miscreant was able to access Bupa's CRM system SWAN, which holds records on 1.5 million people, generate and send bulk data reports on 547,000 Bupa …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Sep 2018
angry man looks to data to free people from contract lock-in doom

The UK government is pushing telcos, banks and energy firms to improve data portability in a bid to tackle the scourge of consumers everywhere – confusing, complicated and hard-to-escape contracts. The government has historically had a tough time effecting change, even though the markets are regulated. Ofcom this summer …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Sep 2018

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

Updated It's Friday, it's payday, and UK online banking has once again come under fire, though if you're with TSB or HSBC you'll already know this. Reports of yet another British banking meltdown have been rolling in this morning. Of course the TSB app isn’t working on PAYDAY of all days fkn hell just let me see how much money I can …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Sep 2018
Electric spark jump between silver wire isolated

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

On Call Hello, Friday, El Reg’s old friend. We’ve come to talk with you again… because the vision that has softly crept in must be the latest instalment of On-Call. This week, our reader’s tale of tech support conundrums solved is a real shocker – so without further ado, let's meet “Gerald”. He takes us back a couple of decades to …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Sep 2018
US Supreme Court

Supremes agree to hear Rimini Street's bid to claw back costs in Oracle copyright battle

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear third-party support outfit Rimini Street's appeal against Oracle in the long-running battle over copyright violations. The court today granted the case, which should resolve a split between five circuit courts of appeal over how costs should be awarded in copyright cases. The original …
Rebecca Hill, 27 Sep 2018
Larry Ellison photo by drserg via Shutterstock

Oracle: Go on, sign off on our exec pay packets. We've changed!

Oracle is hoping stockholders will finally approve its executive pay plan – having failed to get the thumbs-up for six years running – at its annual meeting in November. The database giant would also like shareholders to vote down proposals that would require it to publish reports on its gender pay gap and political and …
Rebecca Hill, 27 Sep 2018

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