The Register Columnists

Thomas Claburn

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Espresso in martini glass

Just one Corretto, give it to me... AWS brews its own blend of Java with free long-term support

Amazon may be working to rid itself of Oracle database software, but the box-and-bit shifting biz can't get enough of Oracle's coffee-themed programming technology, Java. To be fair, Java belongs to everyone. Not the name. Oracle still owns the Java trademark. Use it at your peril. But the open source implementation of the …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Nov 2018
Thumbs up for Spectre-Meltdown protection

Another Meltdown, Spectre security scare: Data-leaking holes riddle Intel, AMD, Arm chips

Computer security researchers have uncovered yet another set of transient execution attacks on modern CPUs that allow a local attacker to gain access to privileged data, fulfilling predictions made when the Spectre and Meltdown flaws were reported at the beginning of the year. In short, these processor security flaws can be …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2018
Tesla bring driven hands free

Oi, Elon: You Musk sort out your Autopilot! Tesla loyalists tell of code crashes, near-misses

Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked the Tesla owners among his millions of Twitter followers last week what aspect of their electric cars they'd most like to see improved or fixed. Among the 24,000 or so replied, there's a fair amount of concern about Autopilot, the assistive driving software in Tesla Model S cars. The first reply came …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2018
Someone wearing a gas mask

Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

Analysis Scientists are calling for more research into the effect, negative or otherwise, of 3D printers on indoor air quality. A variety of semi-pro 3D printers – fused deposition modelling (FDM) aka fused filament fabrication (FFF) – create models by heating and depositing layer upon layers of plastic filament, gradually forming the …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Nov 2018
Chrome icon on sandy beach

Just a little heads up: Google is still trying to convince everyone that web apps don't suck

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, Google's Chrome team might be a candidate for involuntary commitment. The ad biz's browser boffins are presiding over yet another Chrome Dev Summit in the hope of putting web applications on equal footing with native applications. "We …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Nov 2018
Laptop screen with multiple video frames

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul

YouTube, a company "completely sustained by pirated content" according to Google executives prior to its 2006 acquisition, is warning that a proposed revision of Europe's copyright directive could spell the end of online video sharing as we know it. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in a blog post on Monday denounced changes being …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Nov 2018
Dynamite illustration labelled Bitcoin

Bloke jailed for trying to blow up UK crypto-cash biz after it failed to reset his account password

A 43-year-old fella has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for attempted murder – after sending a bomb to a British cryptocoin firm over its failure to reset his account password. According to London's Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, Jermu Michael Salonen, a resident of Gullspång, Sweden, sent a …
Man shooting himself in the foot overlaid with Windows Phone image

That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar

Microsoft has thrown gasoline on its quality-assurance dumpster fire by disabling the Mail and Calendar apps on some of its Lumia Windows 10 Phone devices. The app hobbling, an awkward second act to Thurday's unplanned downgrade of Windows 10 Pro, appears to be the consequence of what Microsoft charitably calls an update, …
Drone over a field

I've got the key, I've got the secret. I've got the key to another person's DJI drone account: Vids, info left open to theft

Chinese drone giant DJI has fixed a critical security hole that left its customer account data and quadcopter videos potentially up for grabs. From March through September this year, DJI's customer records, many of which include sensitive data from drone flights, video footage, and owners' personal details, could have been …
google walkout

Google vows to take claims of sexual assault, harassment seriously, just like privacy

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday announced internal policy changes in an attempt to address employee demands. This comes after thousands of Googlers walked out last week over executives' handling of sex pests and sexual assault within the ad giant. "We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past …
Elderly woman and man holding a cardboard container

Docker invites elderly Windows Server apps to spend remaining days in supervised care

Docker on Thursday plans to introduce a Windows Server Application Migration program with the release of Docker Enterprise 2.1. Some 70 per cent of Windows Server apps run on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, according to the company, citing Spiceworks stats. Microsoft ended extended support for the former in July 2015 and plans to …
#MeToo protest in San Francisco

Ex-Microsoft manager sues former coworkers and Windows giant over claims of sex assault, gender discrimination

Microsoft and two men have been sued by a woman who claims that, during her time at the company, she was sexually attacked, discriminated against, and unfairly fired. Sunday Tollefson worked at Microsoft from 2013 to 2015 in its marketing and operations organization as a business program manager, which she expected would be a …
Keys to a new home

Facebook's open-source license drama-zone GraphQL gets swanky digs in Linux mansion

GraphQL, a query language for APIs that was on the verge of being shunned last year over software license concerns, has bounced back and landed in the arms of the Linux Foundation. On Tuesday, the non-profit – referred to by Bruce Perens as "loggers who speak for the trees" for shaping open-source practices to the needs of its …
Rohingya protesting

Facebook quietly admits role in Myanmar killing fields – but fret not, it will do better next time

Late Monday afternoon, about the same time the FBI warned about Russia and other countries using social media to influence the US midterm elections, Facebook quietly released a report showing the company's platform was used to foment violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar. The Rohingya, a minority mostly Muslim ethnic …
Illustration of foot kicking workers aside

Tata on trial: Outsourcer 'discriminated' against non-Asian workers, claim American staff

India-based IT outsourcing biz Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will finally face trial over claims that the company discriminated against workers at US facilities who were not from South Asia. The trial, being held this week in a California courtroom, follows from claims brought in 2015 by three IT workers – Steven Heldt, …
A chocolate factory

Google: All right, screw it, from this Christmas, Chrome will block ALL adverts on dodgy sites

After the failure of last year's abusive web ad clampdown, Google will next month cut off revenue for websites that flout its rules against malicious adverts. "Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences," said Chocolate Factory product manager Vivek …
A man placing unwelcome hands on a co-worker's shoulders

'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

Chip maker Intel has embraced guidelines to make its open-source software projects more open-minded and inviting. Citing the company's commitment to creating inclusive communities, Imad Sousou, corporate veep and general manager of the Intel Open Source Technology Center, on Thursday said the center is adopting the Contributor …
Cargo ship in port, burning

PortSmash attack blasts hole in Intel's Hyper-Threading CPUs, leaves with secret crypto keys

Brainiacs in Cuba and Finland have found a new side-channel vulnerability in Intel x64 processors that could allow an attacker to sniff out cryptographic keys and other privileged information. Following disclosure of the flaw to Intel at the beginning of October, boffins at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland and …
Modular bot

Transformers: Robots... at least it tries: Watch boffins' Optimus Dime rearrange on the fly

Mechanical engineering brainiacs at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania in the US have demonstrated how autonomous, modular robots can reconfigure themselves to accomplish specific tasks in an unknown place. In a paper published Wednesday in Science Robotics, Mark Campbell, Jonathan Daudelin, Gangyuan Jing, …
Monte Carlo

Carlo has a head for apps and a body (tag) for rendering: Google takes on Electron with JS desktop app toolset

Developers looking for a way to write JavaScript apps without the Electron framework or NW.js now have another option called Carlo. Released by Google Chrome Labs under an Apache License, Carlo is a framework for creating Node.js applications, packaged as desktop apps or launched from the command line, with the support of the …
A cry crying over her scraped knee

IT Wi-Fi kit bit by TI chip slip: Wireless gateways open to hijacking via BleedingBit chipset vuln

Updated On Thursday, network equipment makers Aruba, Cisco, and Cisco-owned Meraki plan to patch two flaws in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chips made by Texas Instruments (TI) that power their respective enterprise Wi-Fi access points. The coordinated disclosure, prompted by security biz Armis' discovery of two critical vulnerabilities …

Facebook sets Linux kernel tools free

After years of making the world more open and connected – to everyone's delight – Facebook recently moved on to bringing the world closer together. Amid its pursuit of global compression, the data harvesting biz nonetheless developed a handful of difficult-to-pronounce Linux kernel components to make the open source operating …
Shakespeare portrait

Tiny Twitter thumbnail tweaked to transport different file types

A picture turns out to be worth much more than a thousand words, at least on Twitter. For security researcher David Buchanan, it amounts at least 884,000, roughly the number words in the complete works of William Shakespeare. Buchanan found that Twitter image uploads can be polyglot files, meaning they can be valid …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Oct 2018
A bloodhound following a scent

50 ways to leave your lover, but four to sniff browser history

"History sniffing" promises a nose full of dust or, you're talking about web browsers, a whiff of the websites you've visited. And that may be enough to compromise your privacy and expose data that allows miscreants to target you more effectively with tailored attacks. For example, a phishing gambit that attempts to simulate …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Oct 2018
Scooters strewn about beach

Bird, Lime, and Xiaomi face scooter sueball

Scooter providers Bird and Lime, and scooter makers Segway and Xiaomi, face a lawsuit in Los Angeles, Calif., claiming that the two-wheeled tech toys are poorly manufactured and maintained. The complaint, which aspires to be certified as a class action, was filed earlier this month in a Los Angeles Superior Court by McGee, …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Oct 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018