Articles about Pcs

Semaphore hello

Boffins exfiltrate data by blinking hard drives' LEDs

That roll of tape you use to cover the Webcam? Better use some of it on your hard-drive LED, because it can be a data exfiltration vector. Exfiltration experts from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Cyber Security Research Center have added to previous techniques like fan modulation, GSM transmissions, or listening to the …
printer

HP Ink says ink sales are down but PC sales are up, up, up!

HP Inc has reported its first quarter results with a highlight being increased sales and revenue for PCs, but a dip for printer-related activities. The company offered the following graphical depiction of its quarter in its earnings presentation, and it explains the state of affairs better than we could do with prose. HP Inc …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017

Your next PC is… your 'Droid? Remix unveils Continuum-killer

Jide, the company founded by three ex-Googlers, has shown how a phone can act as a Continuum-style hub. When plugged into an external monitor, the Android device – with the new and as-yet unreleased cut of Jide's Remix OS – allows the user to work with "desktop-friendly" versions of the apps that are already installed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
Lenovo's HX series of hyperconverged appliances

Knock knock. Who's there? A Lenovo server salesperson, because revenue dip's no joke

Expect Lenovo server and storage sales people to knock on your door, soon and often, because the company's identified the lack of its own direct sales force as the reason for poor performance in its Data Center Group for the third quarter of its 2016/17 financial year. The company has plenty of pleasing numbers to report, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 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

Lovely. Now someone's ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

The Mirai malware that hijacked hundreds of thousands of IoT gadgets, routers and other devices is now capable of infecting Windows systems. The software nasty, discovered in August 2016, broke into heaps of insecure Linux-powered gizmos worldwide before running distributed denial of service attacks, most notably against DNS …
John Leyden, 10 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

Good guy Logic Supply resolves breach in days, unlike some companies

US-based industrial computer supplier Logic Supply has reset user passwords following a suspected security breach. Unauthorised access through the firm's website on 6 February may have exposed customer/company names, usernames and passwords, and order information. Payment card details were not exposed, Logic Supply reassured …
John Leyden, 08 Feb 2017

Revealed: Malware that skulks in memory, invisibly collecting sysadmins' passwords

Cybercriminals have hit scores of enterprises in 40 countries using hidden malware. Banks, telecommunication companies and government organisations in the US, South America, Europe and Africa have already been hit by the ongoing (and stealthy) attacks. Kaspersky Lab experts report that the attacks harness widely available …
John Leyden, 08 Feb 2017

Hobbled by partners Dell and NetApp, where does Cisco go from here?

Analysis While HPE and Dell are concentrating on being better on-premises data centre suppliers in a hybrid cloud world, IBM on becoming a cognitive computing software supplier, and both Oracle and Microsoft on a move towards cloud, what is Cisco’s gameplan? Can the networking tiger from Tasman Drive evade evolutionary pressures …
Chris Mellor, 06 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
Cool dude with big hair and thumbs up like Arthur Fonzarelli

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

ON-CALL Welcome to another Friday and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's regular recycling of readers' recollections! This week, meet “Donald” [Why did that pseudonym come to mind? - Ed] who shared a tale that riffs on last week's dark, magical On-Call. Donald's tale starts with a late eighties gig “doing tech …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2017

Careless Licking gets a nasty infection: County stiffed by ransomware

A county in Ohio, US, has had to shut down its entire IT infrastructure due to a ransomware outbreak. Licking county has turned off all phones and computers on its government network in order to stop the spread of malware that had been locking down infected PCs and demanding payments. According to local news station WBNS, the …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Feb 2017
Engineer aboard Das Boot U-96 responds to telegraphs

'Webroot made my PCs s*** the bed' – AV update borks biz machines hard

Updated Anti-malware firm Webroot has apologized after an update pushed out this week borked computers at unlucky companies, leaving the PCs unbootable. El Reg learned of the issue through reader Andrew, who reported that the Webroot 9.0.15.43 update for enterprises has "shit the bed," creating all sorts of problems on corporate …
John Leyden, 02 Feb 2017

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

In its advice to the manufacturing community, Microsoft has said it wants PC builders to focus on quality and features that differentiate PCs from Macs. It's also seeking to migrate high-end features, and AR, into cheaper kit. Redmond's Channel 9 blog recently posted the WinHEC presentation made in Shenzhen to dozens of local …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Feb 2017

Samsung is on fire, overtakes Apple as world's #1 chip-shifter

Samsung overtook Apple in Gartner's "total addressable semiconductor" market. The list largely reflects smartphone vendors, with strong growth for Huawei and BKK, although Dell retains a presence. Apple's share of the global chip business fell for the first time since 2008, according to one measure. Gartner's tally includes …
Team Register, 01 Feb 2017
granny

We need to talk about Granny: She's way more likely to fall for phishing

Usenix Enigma 2017 Research has shown that older people – particularly older women – are more susceptible to phishing scams. You may think our oldies are more suspicious of strangers, but that's sadly not the case. The study was presented at the Enigma 2017 conference by Daniela Oliveira, a professor in the department of computer engineering at …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2017

Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Microsoft's latest Windows Insider build, released on Friday for participants in the software preview program, contains a reference to a new Windows SKU called Cloud. Microsoft declined to comment on what Windows Cloud might be, but after the name was spotted and revealed on Twitter, veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Jan 2017

Suffered a breach? Expect to lose cash, opportunities, and customers – report

More than a third of organisations that experienced a breach last year reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss. The finding is one of the key takeaways from the latest edition of Cisco's annual cybersecurity report, which also suggests that defenders are struggling to improve defences against a growing …
John Leyden, 31 Jan 2017
A Ransom Note

We see you, ransomware flingers, testing out your baddest stuff on... Germany?

A security firm has floated the theory that malware authors are using German firms as a testing ground for their wares prior to wider distribution. Four in five (81 per cent) of ransomware detected in corporate environments occurred in North America. Germany is the second-most impacted country by ransomware, leading …
John Leyden, 31 Jan 2017
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 …
Magic act, image via Shutterstock

Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, the Friday slot we dedicate to readers' tales of odd jobs at odd times. This week: two readers spin webs of illusion to convince users their troubles had disappeared as if by magic. Let's start with “Levi”, who told us of his time “in the third tier role of a customer support department.” One fine …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jan 2017
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Cutting Hewlett-Packard Labs down to size

Comment When Martin Fink resigned from his positions at HPE in August 2016, the announcement said: "Martin Fink, our chief technology officer and head of Hewlett-Packard Labs, will be retiring from HPE at the end of the year, after more than 30 years with the company." He was retiring, we were told, but he was just 51. In Fink's time …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2017
The Cisco Spark board

Cisco: We know what you all want – a $10,000 70in whiteboard with a $190/mo cloud sub

Cisco is kicking out a new set of screens and conferencing software aimed at overhauling its video conferencing and collaboration lines. Switchzilla says its Spark Board screens will lower the financial and technical requirements for companies that want to conduct meetings with remote workers and make it easier for people in …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jan 2017
Burned chips. pic by shutterstock

We burned chips in 2016... but then semiconductor sales got healthy again. Whew

Global semiconductor revenue is set to rise 7.2 per cent over 2016 because of ramping demand for DRAM and app-specific standard products for the IoT and allied markets, according to Gartner's digital witch-doctors. ASSPs (app-specific standard products) are like ASICs but for general customers, not individual ones. "After a …
Chris Mellor, 23 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
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

UK's largest hospital trust battles Friday 13th malware outbreak

Malware has infected hospital computers at the UK’s biggest NHS trust. Barts Health, which runs six London hospitals, shut down parts of its network on Friday to prevent the spread of the as-yet-unidentified software nasty. The organization oversees Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017
Nintendo Switch

Nintendo pulls the Switch, fires Joy-con at Microsoft and Sony

Just over a decade after it challenged home gaming with the Wii, Nintendo has aimed a new weapon at Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Nintendo Switch Nintendo’s platform-challenging Switch, unveiled in October, will go on sale on March 3, priced at $299.99, £279.99 and ¥29,980, the firm said on Thursday. The Switch …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jan 2017
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

IT spending to soar a whopping 2.7 per cent, says ball-rubber Gartner

Clairvoyant Gartner has once again dusted off the crystal ball in its quarterly global IT spend divination ritual to predict a 2.7 per cent year-on-year increase in 2017. Companies are due to splash $3.5tr (£2.87tr) on IT this year, globally, although that is down from its previous projection of three per cent. Worldwide …
Kat Hall, 12 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

Two tickets to the ARM show: HPE buffs up the StoreVirtual line

HPE has given its SV3200 software a workout to strengthen its muscles with a raft of enhancements, but draws the line at using ARM for file access. The company introduced a low-cost, entry-level, block-access array with its StoreVirtual 3200 in August last year. It comes with a pair of active-active 64-bit ARM controllers, not …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2017

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Recent Mirai-style attacks against home broadband routers have had some effect but the majority of users have failed to act. A survey of 2,000 broadband users found the majority (53 per cent) have not changed the Wi-Fi password and other default settings, potentially opening themselves up to attack. The poll by ISP comparison …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017
Privacy

New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Microsoft has built an online dashboard of privacy controls in an attempt to soothe lingering anger over Windows 10 and its ability to phone home people's private information. The new web portal lists some of the personal data that is collected from PCs and devices and sent back to Redmond, and allows people to somewhat limit …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2017

Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

Over to North Dakota, US, now and a new front in the war against cyber-smut has opened up. A proposed law will force porno-blocking filters onto computers and smartphones sold in the conservative state – with a charge to remove the censorship. Bill 1185 [PDF] will require laptops, cellphones and other internet-capable devices …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jan 2017
android logo

Google caps punch-yourself-in-the-face malicious charger hack

Google has capped a dangerous but somewhat obscure boot mode vulnerability that allowed infected PCs and chargers to put top end Nexus phones into denial of service states. IBM reported the flaw (CVE-2016-8467) which allows infected computers and malicious power chargers to compromise Nexus 6 and 6p phones. Google badged the …
Darren Pauli, 09 Jan 2017
LEGO BOOST robot photo LEGO

BOOST! LEGO's computing future and its ground-breaking past

CES 2017 Smart Wi-Fi-enabled hairbrush? Virtual reality shoes? Some visions of the future at this week's CES trade show simply won’t materialise. But what about building a 'bot made of LEGO? Toymaker LEGO unveiled its Boost line this week at CES – a set of 840 programmable bricks for your kids to control self-made robots with. Boost …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Jan 2017
Surprise VR googles photo via Shutterstock

Lenovo shows off 'Microsoft-friendly' VR cosplay at CES

CES 2017 The PC market may be flaccid but Lenovo is taking a punt on virtual reality headsets with Microsoft. Lenovo used CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, to show off prototype headgear that'll supposedly work with Microsoft's Holographic platform. We say "supposedly" – gadget-press reports say Lenovo's device isn't actually working yet. …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Jan 2017

The Register's Top 20 Most-Commented Stories in 2016

Brexit and Windows 10 stories dominated reader discussions in 2016. It’s no surprise that the departure from the European Union of its second biggest economy should be a major talking point. It was the biggest political shock in the UK since 1945, few UK readers are unaffected, and it most likely terminates a political project …
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
Merry Christmas Australia

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, the column on which we conduct a Friday forage through the inbox full of readers' stories of jobs gone wrong. Today, we wrap our special week of Festive On-Call and so our topic is ... drumroll please ... Christmas. Let's start with “Mike” who told us that “Back in the Christmas of 1995 I was working …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
Surpised man mobile phone photo by Shutterstock

Windows 10 nags, Dirty Cow, Microsoft's Linux man love: The Reg's big ones for 2016

Systems got bigger and more removed from ordinary mortals during 2016 as West Coast tech firms centralised more and more computing on server farms. Google, Facebook and Microsoft wanted us to slap on virtual reality goggles and ask artificial intelligences to serve our voice-activated commands. Cars, lorries and taxis minus …
Gavin Clarke, 22 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

Evolved DNSChanger malware slings evil ads at PCs, hijacks routers

Malware that spreads via evil web ads and menaces broadband routers has been discovered – and it's going to be particularly horrible for small business and home internet users, which it targets. This latest variant of the years-old DNSChanger nasty, just spotted by Californian infosec biz Proofpoint, works like this: some …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2016

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

On-call Welcome again to a special festive On-Call, in which we dredge worthy tales from the On-Call inbox and give them a spin to compensate for the lack of pre-Christmas news. And also because lots of people write in and we should give lots of you a go. Today: stupid, stupid people with stupid explanations for simple things. Let's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Lawmakers in South Carolina are mulling over banning the sale of computers, tablets and phones unless they have a device that automatically blocks pornography from popping up on-screen. The Human Trafficking Prevention Act amendment, introduced by State Representative Bill Chumley (R‑Spartanburg), calls for manufacturers and …
Iain Thomson, 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
Hunter photo via Shutterstock

Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems. A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java. Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Dec 2016

BlackEnergy power plant hackers target Ukrainian banks

The same hackers who turned out the lights at Ukrainian utilities last December have been running attacks against the same country’s banks over recent months. Security firm ESET reports that the gang slinging the TeleBots malware against Ukrainian banks shares a number of similarities with the BlackEnergy group, which …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2016