Articles about Context

Nimble_AF_Series_table_competition

Nimble gets, well, nimble about hyperconverged infrastructure

Interview After thinking that stand-alone external storage array vendors might need to get into the hyperconverged market, we received a tip that Nimble Storage was thinking that too. So we asked Nimble's CEO, Suresh Vasudevan, a few exploratory questions. Here's the result. El Reg: How does Nimble view the roles of shared external …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017
Dropbox's securitybot

Your future boss? An employee-interrogating bot – it's an open-source gift from Dropbox

Dropbox has released the code for the chatbot it uses to question employees about interactions with corporate systems, in the hope that it can help other organizations automate security processes and improve employee awareness of security concerns. "One of the hardest, most time-consuming parts of security monitoring is …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2017
Fencers photo via Shutterstock

Different judge, different verdict? Diageo's £54m SAP legal slap could have gone another way

If you use software licensed by SAP, you had better read your licence. If you have not yet acquired SAP software, you should make sure you use an experienced IT licensing lawyer before contracting. If you agree to SAP’s standard licence terms and use the software in a way not expressly permitted by the licence, it could cost …
Barry Sookman, 23 Feb 2017
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Hopping the flash stepping stones to DIMM future

Analysis Up until very recently the main thrust of data access and storage technology development was to make the media faster, hence the move from disk to flash, and flash technology developments to increase capacity. But the opportunity to make further advances is closing and attention is turning to removing the final obstacle to …
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017
Paul Berg, at the Open Source Leadership Summit

Meet the chap open-sourcing US govt code – Paul, an ex-Microsoft anti-piracy engineer

Interview In the months ahead, Idaho National Laboratory aims to open-source software for analyzing the quality of cow manure. "It runs a whole bunch of scenarios and numbers and determines what is the most profitable use of the manure that comes out of cows," explained Paul Berg, senior research and development software licensing …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Feb 2017
European flag with sad face

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings. Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017

Crypto-curious? Wickr's opened its kimono for code review

Ephemeral messaging application Wickr has opened up the core crypto software of its Wickr Professional app so others can review it. The repository is at GitHub. At this stage, the company is not offering the code for re-use. It's published under a purpose-written “review license” only, although the company says an open-source …
Confidential on white screen in boardroom. Photo by Shutterstock

Pwnd Android conference phone exposes risk of spies in the boardroom

Security researchers have uncovered a flaw in conference phone systems from Mitel that create a means for hackers to listen in on board meetings. Boffins at Context Information Security managed to gain root access and take full control of a Mitel MiVoice Conference and Video Phone, potentially enabling them to listen to …
John Leyden, 15 Feb 2017

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems. By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017

Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too

Analysis The viral spread of fake news and “alternative facts” has rocked Western politics. Oxford Dictionaries chose “post-truth” as its word of 2016, and when a society is scolded by a dictionary wielding a hyphenated word, you know you've collectively screwed up. “The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Feb 2017
ISIS fighters

ISIS videos, adtech, and the 'smartest guys in the room' (Google)

Special Report Google's ad blacklists, intended to stop big brand advertisements running over YouTube terror videos, aren’t working. In 2014, Newsnight reported that the taxpayer was paying for ads to run alongside beheadings. Three years on, The Times notes that after promising advertisers their ads wouldn't run against certain content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2017
Apple iPod touch

Explained: Apple iCloud kept 'deleted' browser histories for over a year

Apple appears to have fixed a flaw in iCloud that retained a copy of deleted Safari browsing history data synced from local devices for more than a year. On Thursday, Russian computer forensics software biz Elcomsoft said that its forensic software was able to recover Safari browser history records that had been stored in …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Feb 2017
Friends look shocked watching TV. photo by Shutterstock

Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

Welcome, Mr Dacre. Wikipedia editors have voted to put The Daily Mail in the sin bin – alongside The Register. After a small but decisive vote involving around 80 contributors, the Mail is now classified as a "potentially unreliable source" on its advice page. This doesn't mean its a "policy" or a "guideline", but editors are …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Feb 2017
tsa_gloves_648

Revealed: 'Suicide bomber Barbie' and other TSA quack science that cost $1.5 billion

From 2007 through 2015, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spent $1.5 billion trying to identify potentially dangerous travelers by observing their behavior through an ongoing program called SPOT. SPOT stands for "screening of passengers by observation techniques." And according to the TSA's own documents, …
Thomas Claburn, 08 Feb 2017

Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

When Snap filed documents last week for its IPO filing, among the interesting snippets that emerged was the cost of security for its CEO Evan Spiegel: a somewhat extraordinary $890,000. What does $890,000 buy you in terms of security and why it is necessary for the CEO of Snapchat to have that degree of protection? And how …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Feb 2017

FireEye execs exit, following hundreds of staff restructured into redundancy

FireEye has bid farewell to two of its top executives, who are departing on the heels of the hundreds of staff who left following CEO Kevin Mandia's restructure of the business last year. The enterprise cybersecurity outfit is still “on the path to profitability” according to Mandia, who announced the departures of his …

Don't let cloud slurp all your data. Chew it on the edge, says HPE

Public cloud will become unaffordable for players who reckon the best thing to do with industrial data is shovel it en masse into the white 'n' fluffy stuff, reckons HPE. Colin I'Anson, HPE's IoT evangelist, spoke to The Register at length earlier this week, mainly to extol the virtues of the firm's edge computing offering, …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Feb 2017

UK.gov slammed by Parliamentary types for 'dysfunctional' infosec

A scathing parliamentary report into UK.gov’s infosec practices has called for the government to step up its efforts to protect Britain from cyber attacks in the face of today’s “chaotic” practices. The criticism is published today in the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Protecting Information Across Government, which …

For $deity's sake, smile! It's Friday! Sad coders write bad code – official

Miserable software developers produce miserable software, to the further detriment of organizational productivity and personal health. Researchers from the University of Stuttgart, University of Helsinki, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have completed a study [PDF] of …
Thomas Claburn, 03 Feb 2017
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle to driver developers: 'Come play with our interface'

Oracle has taken DPI, the data access layer in its node-oracledb driver, refactored it, and used it to give C/C++ developers an API to its Oracle Call Interface. Called ODPI-C, the library, on GitHub, is designed to let those developers write for the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) in the languages with whichi they are most …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

See you around, Larry: AWS is our new Oracle, says Microsoft's Nadella

Analysis Amazon's cloud service AWS has replaced Oracle and VMware as Microsoft's chief rivals, the Windows giant's CEO Satya Nadella has said. In a conference call with analysts to discuss its Q2 2017 financials, Microsoft executives said their margins were fat enough to fend off AWS and other cloud competitors. Nadella said: "Even …
Optane

Flashy Intel sees the XPoint of solid state

Intel made $816m from flash memory products in the final 2016 quarter and sees XPoint contributing 10 per cent of revenues in 2018. This is minuscule compared to the Intel’s $16.4bn revenues for the quarter but a sizeable chunk of change in the flash business. Its Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group saw revenues up 25 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2017
troll

Did you know? The FBI investigated Gamergate. Now you can read the agents' thrilling dossier

The FBI has released documents detailing its inconclusive investigation into threats made by online gamers against several women that started in 2014, particularly media critic Anita Sarkeesian and game developer Brianna Wu. The incident, known as Gamergate – a reference to the Twitter hashtag used by some of the women's …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Jan 2017
robot smart home assistant illustration

Huawei could rescue Amazon's Alexa from the smart home

Analysis Huawei’s upcoming launch of a smartphone incorporating Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will mark a new phase in one of the most important battles for the modern internet experience. Voice-activated assistants - which use powerful AI engines to deliver detailed, context-aware and personalized answers to users’ questions – are …
Wireless Watch, 26 Jan 2017

We're not quitting the UK: Microsoft quashes Brexit fake news

Microsoft has committed itself to the UK after comments by a manager were ripped out of context. In a Channel 9 webinar last week explaining Brexit to Microsoft customers not familiar with the details, Owen Larter, government affairs manager at Microsoft UK, expressed optimism for post-Brexit UK's digital economy. Asked …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jan 2017

HummingBad malware returns in new, more annoying variant

The HummingBad malware first discovered in February 2016 is making a return visit to the charts. The original was cleaned up, but not before the malware's authors Yingmob racked up around US$300,000 per month at its peak. Check Point Software Technologies says it's spotted the return version, which it's dubbed HummingWhale, …
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Bane of Silicon Valley patents sets its sights on Rackspace and NetApp

Cloud host Rackspace and storage vendor NetApp are fighting a patent holder who's targeted some of tech's biggest names in the notorious Eastern District of Texas. The duo are standing up to Realtime Data over the firm's claim they violated seven patents it owns, spanning compression and deduplication. Realtime has filed six …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jan 2017
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Balancing miners borks blockchains, say boffins

The financial sector's enthusiasm for blockchain technology might be misplaced, according to a pair of Australian distributed computing experts. The problem: if everyone in a consortium trusts each other, they don't need blockchains to protect themselves; if they don't, current blockchain protocols have a flaw that allows a …
AI

Sysadmin chatbots: We have the technology

Storage Blockhead Chatbots are flashing up in our future view as something that could improve an admin's lot. Instead of using a GUI with nested and drill-down screen forms to do their job, they'll have a new form of Command Line Interface, only this will be a Chat Line Interface to a chatbot. Array vendor Tintri is showing how this could be …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017

Shadow Brokers spew Windows hack tools after exploit auction flop

Security exploit peddlers Shadow Brokers announced their retirement on Thursday – and released 58 tools for hacking Windows PCs for free by way of a parting gift. The shady group is essentially giving up, and shoving malicious code – most of which is detected by Kaspersky and a few other antivirus makers – into the hands of as …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Seagate laying off 2,217 employees

Reuters reports Seagate is closing its Suzhou disk drive manufacturing plant in China, shedding a whopping 2,217 jobs. The 1.1 million ft2 plant was formerly owned by Maxtor; Seagate having bought Maxtor for $1.9bn in May, 2006. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers puts the closure in the context of Seagate wanting to lower its quarterly …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017
Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 1 – The Magician's Apprentice. Pic credit: BBC

Snapchat chooses London for international headquarters

The company behind teen sexting phenomenon Snapchat has chosen London for its international HQ. The Snap Group already has 75 staff here. The company cited proximity to the UK’s world-class creative sector, which in this context means digital adland. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat, which deletes photos after a short time …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

Analysis Prosecutors are turning to fraud charges in cases against people supplying set top boxes that can be used to access copyrighted material without paying for it because it makes cases easier for juries to understand. But a barrister who acted in one recent such case has told Out-Law.com that those conspiracy to defraud charges …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jan 2017
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Researchers work to save trusted computing apps from keyloggers

Intel's Software Guard Extensions started rolling in Skylake processors in October 2015, but it's got an Achilles heel: insecure I/O like keyboards or USB provide a vector by which sensitive user data could be compromised. A couple of boffins from Austria's Graz University of Technology reckon they've cracked that problem, …
Lester poses with the Vulture 2

The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Obit "So what are going to say about him now that he’s gone? Are you going to say he was a good man? Will you be saying he was a happy man?...  Fuck no." Legendary Vulture Lester Haines Lester Haines: 1960-2016 Lester Haines was born in London in September 1960, and was the eldest of five: he had three brothers and a sister. …
John Oates, 27 Dec 2016

White House report cautiously optimistic about job-killing AI

In a followup to its smash hit, Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, the White House on Tuesday released Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, a report that attempts to outline the economic consequences of expected advances in automation and machine learning without actually risking a prediction …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Dec 2016

Technology as a catalyst for cultural change

IT departments can do a lot to improve performance by optimising the infrastructure and the way they work internally, but the level of success ultimately depends on the prevailing business culture. Recognising this is important to achieving the best results. It is also key to understanding how the smart and creative use of …
Dale Vile, 20 Dec 2016
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

IBM staff petition for right not to work on Trump's pet projects

IBM staff have petitioned the company to – among other things – express concern that “IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers' core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.” The petition's authors respect Rometty's “willingness to engage in …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
Uber self-driving car

Uber to Cali DMV: Back off, pal, our 'self-driving cars' aren't self driving

Shrugging off a demand from California's Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a permit to operate its self-driving cars on state roads, Uber contends it doesn't need a permit because the DMV's rules do not apply. Following Uber's announcement on Wednesday that its self-driving cars are available as a pilot test for customers …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Dec 2016

Arista takes a round off Cisco in long-running legal battle

Arista's taken a round from Cisco, as the two companies continue their long-running legal wrestle. This time the jurisdiction was the Northern District of California and the matter under consideration was Arista's command line interface and whether it breached a Cisco patent, or Switchzilla's copyrights on syntax or a user …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016
A man with his hands chained up

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

A provision in Samsung's 2014 patent-sharing settlement with Google could hurt the South Korean electronics giant's efforts to rebound from the Note 7 recall. Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor says that efforts by Samsung to recover from the disastrous phablet release and subsequent removal from the market …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016
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Brit telco EE's ads banned for 'misleading' 4G speed claims

Brit mobile provider EE has had to remove a number of TV, homepage and press ads for advertising "misleading" 4G speeds. Rival Three and two members of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that a number of speeds claims made were misleading and questioned whether they could be substantiated. On its …
Kat Hall, 07 Dec 2016

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

The media have spoken and they are unimpressed: the polls – this time the US presidential polls – got it woefully wrong, and therefore burn the witch! Or in the absence of witches, let's set fire to Nate Silver, who until around 2am (GMT) on November 9 was the doyen of US polling and go-to person for all US forecasts. At which …
Jane Fae , 05 Dec 2016
Passenger in back of cab using smartphone app/cab app. Photo by Shutterstock

EU court to determine how Uber's business should be defined

The EU's highest court has begun hearing arguments on how Uber's business should be legally defined in a case that could have widespread implications for other businesses, an expert has said. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has been asked to rule on whether Uber is a transport service provider, information society …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2016
StorSimple 7010 appliance

Microsoft to lift and shift StorSimple data into Azure blobs

Microsoft's ambition to paint the enterprise azure is accelerating, with the news that Redmond's StorSimple arrays will be able to convert the data they store into Azure Blobs. StorSimple started life as a vanilla iSCSI unified storage array that, at the time of its launch, could store VMs, databases or files but also offered …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Dec 2016

What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

AWS re:Invent At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services tipped its hand to reveal its battle plan for invading new markets. The Jeff Bezos cash machine has kicked out a laundry list of new services and virtual machine instances for AI applications, databases, and software that requires specialized hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
Space_Shuttle_launch

Nutanix makes thundering great loss, stock market hardly blinks

A thundering great loss: that’s the first thing to notice about Nutanix’s latest quarterly results. It’s more than three times worse than the loss of the previous quarter: $162.2m vs $49.9m and the year-ago quarter’s $38.5m loss; sales grew only 19 per cent sequentially so the rate of loss-making would seem to have accelerated …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2016

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors. As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Turnbull's hand-picked disruptor disrupts disruption by departing

Paul Shetler, the head of Australia's Digital Transformation Office/Agency has resigned. A brief canned statement from the Agency offers no information on the reasons for his departure. Beyond a promise to appoint a replacement “in the new year” and a few boilerplate words expressing thanks for his contribution, there's no …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Review Does anyone buy phones purely on specs? If so, this one might interest you. If software updates, support, and overall fit and finish can be ignored, then perhaps Blu, a Miami-based phone brand might make you pay attention. That’s because Blu enters the UK market with a £229 5.5-inch model, which on the surface looks an …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2016