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California

Super Cali goes ballistic, small-cell law is bogus. School IT outsourcing is also... quite atrocious

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a state bill that would have allowed telcos to put up loads of small-cell antennas, and thus boost phone coverage, against city officials' wishes. Brown said that the proposed law, which was written by State Senator Ben Hueso (D) and backed by the wireless industry cheerleaders at the …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Oct 2017
Pennywise the clown

Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

The imminent release of a new film adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel It has caused upset in the world of professional clowning. The clowns' concerns – doubtless accompanied by mimed theatrical sobbing, oversized hankies and streams of water from fake flowers – have been publicised by their professional body, the World …
Matt Dupuy, 31 Aug 2017
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Exclusive Defra – the UK government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs – is hiring 1,400 "business policy" folk so it can untangle itself from Europe after Brexit, according to multiple insiders. Of those, 300 will be looking at the tech/policy side of things, including decoupling systems from decades of European …
Kat Hall, 17 Aug 2017

Real talk: Machine learning is not there yet. Some assembly required

Despite the vendor-driven hype, machine learning is not a miracle cure for businesses. In fact, it's something of a problem child, one that requires quite a bit of handholding and coddling. In a paper published this week, Ilias Flaounas, senior data scientist at developer tools biz Atlassian, argues that companies should be …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Aug 2017

One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

Nearly 40 per cent of IT projects in the UK are on course to fail, according to a survey of 182 project managers. That is according to the research commissioned by Axelos, the joint venture set up in 2014 by the government and Capita, to develop, manage and operate qualifications in the project management methodology PRINCE2 …
Kat Hall, 3 Jul 2017

Scottish govt mulled scrapping £178m car-crash IT system

The Scottish government has considered scrapping its disastrous £178m rural payments IT system, according to an internal report. Last week, Audit Scotland said the government could face fines of up to £60 million. "To date, the programme has not delivered value for money," it said. The Scottish government's Common …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2017
The Pentagon Building outside Washington, DC

Uncle Sam █████████ cloud so much, AWS █████████ it another kinda-secret data center

Amazon Web Services says it will launch a second dedicated cloud compute facility for the US government early next year. The more profitable part of Amazon's empire said the facility will serve government agencies and the contractors who work with them as a US East regional instance. It will go live in 2018 and, like its …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2017
ianatlas_robot_648

Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

The Pew Research Center's latest report, The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training, warns that machines are eating our brains. "Brains" here refers to the contents of our brains, our skills, rather than actual gray matter. "Machines are eating humans' jobs talents," the report declares as a prelude to its exploration of the …

O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

Canadians have had a mildly frustrating week as a pair of IT problems derailed broadband connections, blacked out TVs, cut off phone lines, and halted buses in America's hat. Nationwide telco provider Shaw said a botched software update was behind an outage that left thousands of customers across the country without home …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2017
sir_humphrey_screengrab_648

Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

The departure of UK Home Office chief information officer Sarah Wilkinson after two years at the helm comes at an interesting – and crucial – time for the department. Unlike many other Whitehall bodies, the Home Office is responsible for a number of mission- and life-critical programmes, a number of which are in the process of …
Kat Hall, 28 Apr 2017
a hostile drone

How to leak data from an air-gapped PC – using, er, a humble scanner

Cybercriminals managed to infect a PC in the design department of Contoso Ltd through a cleverly crafted spear-phishing campaign. Now they need a way to communicate with the compromised machine in secret. Unfortunately, they know Contoso's impenetrable network defenses will detect commands sent to their malware. To avoid …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Mar 2017
Soaring costs in San Fran. from www.shutterstock.com

San Francisco uni IT bods to protest Tuesday over cuts, outsourcing

Dozens of IT workers slated to be laid off from their jobs at the University of California, San Francisco are planning a protest this week. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) labor union says that it will be helping some of the 78 laid-off techies take part in a protest Tuesday outside the research university's …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Feb 2017

Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system

Brexit could further exacerbate the woeful IT track record of farmers receiving rural payments from the UK government, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides direct financial support to farmers primarily through the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which accounts for around 80 …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017

New York to draft in 250 IT contractors because state staff 'lack talent'

New York state officials say they are having to hire outside consultants to work on their systems because the state's own IT personnel lack the skills to manage newer technology. This according to testimony from the state's head of civil service, Lola Brabham, who told a state budget committee that the state's in-house IT …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2017
Gmail icon photo by I AM NIKOM via Shutterstock

College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000

Shortly after the American College of Education (ACE) in Indiana fired IT administrator Triano Williams in April, 2016, it found that it no longer had any employees with admin access to the Google email service used by the school. In a lawsuit [PDF] filed against Williams in July, 2016, the school alleges that it asked …
Thomas Claburn, 18 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
Uber Movement screen interface

Uber's Movement dumps data on city planners

Uber, which has been fighting to withhold ride destination data from New York City, on Sunday threw municipal governments a bone with a service called Movement. Movement aims to provide driving data to urban planners so local transportation systems can be optimized to operate more efficiently, a challenge that increases as …
Wallisellen, Switzerland - 30 January, 2016: sign on the wall of the Cisco Systems GmbH office.  <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1322746p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Denis Linine</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

Cisco: Revenues are flat, profits are down, and we're not changing our plan

Cisco says it will continue its push into the services space as its revenues were once again down slightly. Switchzilla told investors on Wednesday that even in a "challenging business environment" globally, it was not going to change its plans to focus on automation, security and analytics as it moves away from its …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2016

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