Articles about Desktop

Yee-haw! It's the Friday storage round-up

Not every story is NetApp making a hyperconverged product, or Oracle possibly canning tape products. Here's a roundup of several pieces of news that are nevertheless significant. We wrote about data management startup Komprise some time ago. It tells us it released its product last year, has partnerships with NetApp, EMC, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Strip it off!” commands a disembodied voice. “We want to see what you’ve got!” Strangers are watching me all across the Internet, waiting for the big reveal. At least, they would be if they could see anything. I have joined a Skype conference that is to be live-streamed to the general public and, subsequently, edited into a …
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Feb 2017
John_Gower_world_Vox_Clamantis

NetApp confirms: SolidFire hyperconverged appliance is coming

+Comment NetApp met its revenue predictions for its third fiscal 2017 quarter and talked openly about a coming SolidFire-based hyperconverged product suited for scalable hybrid cloud and mixed workload enterprise deployments. NetApp's revenues were $1.4bn, an increase of 5 per cent sequentially and 1 per cent year-over-year, pretty …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Verizon! surprisingly! OK! with! Yahoo! despite! mega-hack!

Verizon will savagely slash its acquisition offer for hacker-ransacked Yahoo! by, wait a minute, just 5.2 per cent, it is claimed. We're hearing that the telecom giant has decided to lower its $4.8bn offer for what remains of the Purple Palace by roughly $250m. According to Bloomberg, the discount will be $250m, while The Wall …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Feb 2017

Kremlin-linked hackers believed to be behind Mac spyware Xagent

Kremlin-linked spies have been blamed for cooking up malware called Xagent, which targets victims running macOS to steal passwords, grab screenshots and exfiltrate iPhone backups stored on the Mac. Preliminary analysis by security software firm Bitdefender has uncovered links to the APT28 cyber-espionage group, elsewhere …
John Leyden, 15 Feb 2017

Finally, a use for your mobile phone: Snapping ALIEN signal blurts

Friends, take out your mobiles in the name of science! Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are trying to look for fast radio bursts in the Milky Way galaxy with “low-cost radio receivers.” And by that, they mean, your smartphones. Galactic fast radio bursts (FRBs) have left astronomers scratching …
Katyanna Quach, 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
Alarm clock photo via Shutterstock

Amazon Chimes into video-conferencing: Watch out Skype and Google

Amazon has opened a new front in its battle for enterprise applications against Microsoft, Google and Cisco. The giant has unveiled Chime – a cloud-based unified voice, video and chat communications service targeting corporate IT as much as end users. Chime will, Amazon claims, eliminate common frustrations found in video- …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Feb 2017

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The German city of Munich, which pioneered the use of open source software at scale in government, looks set to replace Linux on the desktop with Windows. The city's government has posted proposal for a new IT policy (PDF in German) that Reg affiliate Heise reports calls for the development of a new Windows-based standard …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
Surface Book

That guy using a Surface you keep seeing around town could be a spy

Microsoft's pointed out that the United States' National Security Agency has added some Surface devices to the nation's okay-for-accessing-secure-information list. That list's proper name is the Commercial Solutions for Classified Program and was created because the US government used to spend years building a secure suite of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
virus_1_648

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly therapy session for readers who need to share terrible memories of jobs gone horribly, horribly, wrong. This week, meet “Dirk” who we imagine is carrying quite an emotional load because he's witnessed some horrors created by truly dull-witted users. Take, for example, the crew his IT team …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
malware_security_648

Life after antivirus: Reinventing endpoint security

Promo Security professionals still talk about “antivirus defences,” but in the space of a handful of years what is meant by this term has undergone a dramatic shift. On the surface, things look much as they have always done. Businesses still run what used to be called “AV protection,” reinvented some time ago as the all-purpose “ …
John E Dunn, 09 Feb 2017
Windows 10 Mixed Reality, no longer just for HoloLens

Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

Microsoft briefed developers on the updates to the Windows 10 platform at an online Developer Day in preparation for the Creators Update, set for release later this year. The Windows 10 story is long and complex. In 2012 Microsoft released Windows 8, intended to bring the operating system into the mobile era, where apps are …
Tim Anderson, 09 Feb 2017

Tosh's new workhorse drive: Not too desktop, not too enterprise

Toshiba has a new desktop and low-end NAS disk drive, the MN series. It comes in a 3.5-inch enclosure, with 4, 6 and 8TB capacities, is air-filled, spins at 7,200rpm, has a 6Gbps SATA interface, and a 1 million-hour mean time before failure rating. We can view it as an update on the MC04, MD04 and MG04 series drives. The MN …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2017
Mark Shuttleworth photo by Canonical

Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

New year, new Linux – or, in the case of Ubuntu, two. As in years past, Canonical's distro gets two updates in 2017 – the spring and autumn releases numbered and named respectively 17.04, Zesty Zapus, and 17.10 – name TBD, actually. As ever there will be UI and experience fiddling – Zesty Zapus sees changes in windows …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Feb 2017

Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

Microsoft's hurrying desktop Skype users to new client software. As revealed in a post late last week, Redmond's new plan will mean that come March 1st, users of “Skype for Windows desktop (7.16 and below) or Skype for Mac (7.0 to 7.18) will no longer be able to sign in.” To avoid that conversational crimp, you need merely …
Team Register, 06 Feb 2017
Earthworm

Slammer worm slithers back online to attack ancient SQL servers

One of the world's most famous net menaces, SQL Slammer, has resumed attacking servers some 13 years after it set records by infecting 75,000 servers in 10 minutes, researchers say. The in-memory worm exploits an ancient flaw in Microsoft SQL server and Desktop Engine triggering denial of service, and at the time of its …
Darren Pauli, 05 Feb 2017

Mozilla axes IoT project, cuts staff, backs off from commercial stuff

Mozilla is ending its Connected Devices initiative, the flailing software maker's effort to influence the design and development of networkable things. "IoT is clearly an emerging technology space, but it's still early," a company spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement. "We have shifted our internal approach to …
Thomas Claburn, 02 Feb 2017
Visual Basic 6.0, the last version before .NET

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Microsoft program manager Mads Torgersen has posted about the company's programming language strategy, stating that the plan for Visual Basic has shifted from co-evolution with C# to a focus on "core scenarios". Torgersen outlines the strategy for the three pure .NET languages, C#, VB, and F#. C#, says Torgersen, is used by …
Tim Anderson, 02 Feb 2017
Feet on hot beach sand

Amazon's cloudy desktops now tiptoe across hot sand

Amazon Web Services has found another way to make its “Workspaces” desktop-as-a-service offering more attractive: as of today the cloudy Windows instances run on solid state disks instead of ye olde spinning rust hard disks. The change doesn't change AWS' price for the service. The new disks are AWS' general purpose SSDs, so …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Feb 2017
Chris Morris in Brass Eye. Channel 4

AMD's had a horrible 2016: Never mind, it lost slightly less than half a billion this time

Industry execs are paid to put on a brave face when outlining company financials, and AMD’s CEO Lisa Su kept up her end of the bargain last night when the broken business reported a net loss of $497m for 2016. This was progress of sorts: in the prior year ailing AMD filed losses of $660m. Despite the latest numbers, the stock …
Paul Kunert, 01 Feb 2017
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock

Google mistakes the entire NHS for massive cyber-attacking botnet

Exclusive Google is blocking access to the entire NHS network, mistaking the amount of traffic it is currently receiving as a cyber attack. An email from an NHS trust's IT department seen by The Register confirmed that the US search giant has mistaken the current traffic levels for a botnet. The email headed "Google Access" stated: " …
Kat Hall, 01 Feb 2017

Citrix looks like it has escaped 'not dead yet' status

In 2015 Citrix was in trouble: the company fired 900 employees and warned it would miss guidance on earnings, endured a profit slump and cleaned out its C-suite. While the company could still point to annual revenue grazing towards US$3bn, software companies don't often improve their health after bad years. With VMware …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Feb 2017

Microsoft's Cloud UI brings Windows full circle

Microsoft is said to be developing a cross-platform shell to bring the desktop Windows antiques to non-PC devices of different shapes and sizes. According to rumours whispered into the ear of Windows Central, the project is called the "Composable Shell", or CSHELL. Or if this is a mishearing – quite plausible – a Compostable …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jan 2017
Facepalm2, photo via Shutterstock

Intel's Q4 was 'terrific' and 'record setting' says CEO as profits dip

Intel's profits dipped slightly in the last quarter of 2016, with income for the entire year down by 9 per cent. Following the 5 per cent hit its share price took when the quarter's forward guidance was published in October last year, Intel hasn't failed to disappoint investors. Although revenues were up year-on-year, from $ …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jan 2017

WD Corp picks teeth after SanDisk dinner, seems pleased with fuller figure

+Comment Western Digital Corp, still digesting SanDisk, is selling more disk drives than arch-rival Seagate and appears to be doing a booming flash business as well, for now. Second quarter revenues totalled $4.9bn, 48 per cent up on a year ago - but then WDC did buy SanDisk and its flash business in between, and 4 per cent up …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017

'Celebgate' nudes thief gets just nine months of porridge

An American bloke has been jailed for breaking into the online accounts of 30 or so celebrities (and 270 other people) and swiping their most intimate snaps and secrets. Edward Majerczyk, 29, of Orland Park, Illinois will spend nine months in federal prison. Majerczyk had sent out hundreds of messages masquerading as legit …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jan 2017

Revenue is vanity and profit is sanity. Right, Seagate?

In its second fiscal 2017 quarter, Seagate's profits rose even as it shipped fewer disk drives, through manufacturing cost reductions and increased component counts in high-capacity drives. Second quarter revenues were $2.9bn, 2.9 per cent lower than the $2.98bn reported a year ago, and 3.5 per cent more than the prior quarter …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2017
Software patch

Microsoft fixes remote desktop app Mac hole

Microsoft has patched a code execution hole in its Mac remote desktop client that grants read and write to home directories if users do no more than click a link, says Italian security researcher Filippo Cavallarin. The hole was patched 17 January. Cavallarin says the flaw allowed remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jan 2017
Sunset

Solaris 11.next plan brings continuous delivery of OS upgrades

Oracle has released a little more detail about the future of its Solaris operating system, after last week suddenly revealing a planned version 12 would be canned. In a new post, the company says “Oracle Solaris is moving to a continuous delivery model using more frequent updates to deliver the latest features faster, while …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jan 2017
surprised nerd, image via Shutterstock

The rise, fall, and rise (again) of Microsoft's killer People feature

Microsoft has removed the much-anticipated "People Experience" from current beta builds of Windows 10, and will release it later this year instead of this spring. News of the postponement accompanied the latest bleeding edge code drop, build 15014, which appeared yesterday. Released into the "Fast Ring" of the Windows Insider …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2017
Penguins pool photo via Shutterstock

Wintel part deux? Microsoft Azure first for Intel Clear Linux

An alliance that dominated the PC industry is entering the world of fluffy white stuff and open source: Microsoft Azure is the first public cloud to include an Intel initiated and container-oriented Clear Linux OS. The Wintel union loosened with the rise of Linux - runing on x86 - and the fall of the PC as peoples' primary …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jan 2017

Microsoft posts death notices for Windows 7 sysadmin certifications

In the same week that Microsoft's German tentacle declared Windows 7 a security horror that no business in its right mind would continue to use, the company's also announced it will axe some certification exams for the operating system. Microsoft's educators have announced that certs for Windows 7 configuration, plus the the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2017

El Reg drills into chatbot hype: The AIs that want to be your web butlers

Analysis “Alexa, are you the best chatbot in town?” “Sorry, I don’t I understand the question I heard,” she replies. Alexa doesn’t know. Nobody does. For a while, Apple had the lead with Siri: the virtual assistant first appeared in October 2011 on the iPhone 4S. Fast-forward five and a bit years and now every major tech player has one …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jan 2017
Still from Back to the Future II. Pic: Universal

Seagate hauls out fat form factor throwback hard drive

It's back to the future for the latest Seagate large form factor disk with a low capacity. The company has introduced a 3.5-inch 1TB and 2TB disk drive spinning at 7,200rpm with a slow 6Gbps SATA interface, and called it an Enterprise Capacity drive. Remarkably, other 3.5-inch Enterprise Capacity drives of Seagate's go up to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

Microsoft Germany has argued that Windows 7 is no longer "fit" to be used in business. A post we've shoved through two online translate-o-tronic services states that Windows 7 “can no longer keep up with the increased security requirements” of the mid-2010s. Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Deutschland, is quoted …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017
Cloud desktop

Cloud hardware spend hits US$8.4bn/quarter, as traditional kit sinks

Abacus-shuffling outfit IDC has updated its Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker with sales data for Q3 2016 and predictions for spend in 2017. In 2016's third quarter the firm says “vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
The new quick VM create tool in Windows 10

Windows 10 memory management changes to give Hyper-V more headroom

The Register's virtualization desk is back from holidays, just in time to report changes to desktop Hyper-V before they go completely stale. Desktop Hyper-V is a Windows 10 feature that offers users the chance to create and run virtual machines on the Windows desktop, a task for which plenty instead turn to Oracle's free …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
Opera Neon

Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Opera, the Norwegian browser maker acquired last year by a Chinese investment consortium, on Thursday introduced the browser equivalent of a concept car. Opera Neon, available for macOS and Windows, is intended as an exploration of browser design alternatives. It isn't a replacement for the current desktop version of Opera and …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jan 2017
Smart phone crowd photo via Shutterstock

Citrix buys Unidesk for massive Microsoft Windows rollouts

Citrix is updating its decades-old relationship with Microsoft, targeting Windows 10 and the cloud. The company has announced its acquisition of Unidesk – founded in 2007 and inventor of what it calls layering - to streamline corporate rollouts of virtual Windows applications at scale. Layering is a container that wraps up …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jan 2017
Mad Saudi

Because I'm bad, I'm bad, Shamoon: PC wiper tried to shut down Saudi snapshot defences

Security researchers have identified a second wave of Shamoon 2 PC-wiping attacks against a further target in Saudi Arabia last November. The new research shows hackers upping the ante and developing more sophisticated, multi-stage attacks. The original Shamoon attack hobbled the network of Saudi Aramco in 2012. Similar …
John Leyden, 10 Jan 2017

Fedora 25: You've got that Wayland feelin', oh, that Wayland feelin'

Fedora 25 is the first of the major Linux distros to employ the Wayland graphics stack by default. Wayland is one of the biggest low-level changes to hit Linux distros in recent memory and what's most remarkable at least when it comes to Fedora 25 is the move is almost totally transparent. Provided your graphics card is …
DJI_Ispire_2_drone

Drones will be able to carry 120GB footage of you in the shower if Seagate has its way

Seagate is partnering with drone maker DJI to develop onboard storage for its unmanned aerial vehicles. They say drone cameras are gaining resolution and flight times are getting longer, both of which mean more data needs to be stored in flight. DJI's Inspire 2 drone can record 5.5K video for example, and a 25-minute flight …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
Oil refinery - engineer checks fuel mix. Photo by Shutterstock

Regular or premium? Intel pumps out Optane memory at CES

CES 2017 Intel has announced Optane memory products in M.2. format to ship in the second 2017 quarter. Optane is Intel’s brand for its 3D Xpoint memory, jointly developed with Micron, and a non-volatile memory that is faster than NAND but slower than DRAM. Intel says (PDF) “a hard disk drive coupled with Intel Optane memory affordably …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017
LaCie_d2_and_Rugged_2017

Seagate performs upgrade transplant surgery on LaCie external drives

CES 2017 With two Seagate LaCie drive revisions, we see the storage industry doing what it does best at a device level; capacity and connectivity upgrades so as to store more data and get at it faster. The LaCie d2 and Rugged products are nattily designed by Neil Poulton and are external drives for creative video, image and music …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2017

Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

Because it’s not complicated enough already, Windows 10’s Start menu will support folders in a forthcoming release. The Windows 10 Redstone 2 release, also dubbed the “Creators Update”, will allow apps to be nested, much as with Windows Phone 8, and the mobile edition of Windows 10. The update is expected around April, and …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Dec 2016
Apology

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Microsoft's marketing boss Chris Capossela has confessed the infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up that tricked so many people into installing the thing was a step "too far." Speaking on this week's Windows Weekly podcast on Twit.tv, Capossela was asked to list his low points of the year for Redmond (it's 17 minutes …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2016
Raspberry Pi Foundation's PIXEL OS on a PC

Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

The Raspberry Pi foundation has ported the PIXEL OS it released in September to the PC and Mac. PIXEL stands for “Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight” and is, says Pi founder Eben Upton, “our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
cloud

IT ops doesn't matter. Really?

Listen to some DevOps evangelists talk, and you would get the impression that IT operations teams exist only to serve the needs of developers. Don't get me wrong, software development is a good competence to have in-house if your organisation depends on custom applications and services to differentiate its business. As an ex- …
Dale Vile, 19 Dec 2016
5.25 in floppy disk

It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

On-call Welcome to festive On-Call, in which we take our regular Friday tales of jobs gone wrong and run lots more of them because there's sod-all news to write in the week before Christmas. And also because we have lots of lovely submissions that deserve a run. Today: tales of floppy disks. Let's start with “Steve”, who once took a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016