The Week in Summary

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LTE-U R good to go: FCC gives unlicensed spectrum approval

The FCC has approved the first crop of LTE-U base stations for sale in the US, a move aimed at opening unlicensed spectrum space to boost broadband speeds.
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
dragon

LOST IN SPAAAAAACE! SpaceX aborts Space Station podule berthing

SpaceX today called off an attempt to berth its Dragon cargo capsule with the International Space Station after the, er, podule got a bit lost. It's fine, though: they'll try again on Thursday.
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2017
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Get this: Tech industry thinks journos are too mean. TOO MEAN?!

The tech press has dared to lean away from its core mission of making technology companies more profitable, says tech advocacy house ITIF.
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
trappist1

Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

Pics and video NASA has discovered a mini solar system of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a small cool dwarf star, including three within the Goldilocks zone where liquid water is possible.
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2017
Boeing 787 10x
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Blundering Boeing bod blabbed spreadsheet of 36,000 coworkers' personal details in email

Global aerospace firm Boeing earlier this month sent a notification to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as required by law, about a company employee who mistakenly emailed a spreadsheet full of employee personal data to his spouse in November, 2016.
Thomas Claburn, 22 Feb 2017
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Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client

Using the Raspberry Pi 3 as a Windows thin client is not a new idea, but NComputing has wrapped it all up in a nice package for its target markets of schools and verticals.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
Java, photo via Shutterstock
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Talk about a slow pour: Oracle now brewing late Java EE 8 for July 2017

Oracle says it will finally land Java Enterprise Edition 8 in July 2017 – only eight months behind schedule.
Gavin Clarke, 22 Feb 2017

Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% f-AI-lure rate

So it begins.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
Boy cold water photo via Shutterstock

Oracle crushes Apiary's hope in slightly awkward email to customers

Oracle today poured cold water on efforts by Apiary top brass to reassure customers about the future of its software under Big Red – the very same day Oracle's acquisition of Apiary concluded.
Gavin Clarke, 22 Feb 2017
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Privacy concerns over gaps in eBay crypto

eBay uses HTTPS on its most critical pages, such as those where payment or address information is entered, but a lack of encryption on several sensitive pages still poses a concern for the privacy conscious.
John Leyden, 22 Feb 2017
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

IBM to UK staff: Get ready for another game of musical chairs

Exclusive IBM is about to fling another bunch of Technical Services Support staffers down the redundancy chute, internal documents leaked to The Register reveal.
Paul Kunert, 22 Feb 2017
Chains image via Shutterstock
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Highway to HBLL: The missing link between DRAM and L3 found

A new cache is needed between memory and the tri-level processor cache structure in servers in order to avoid CPU core wait states.
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017
Android strapped to rocket. Photo by shutterstock
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Booming Android ad revenue shows it’s no longer the poor cousin

Advertising revenue flowing back to app developers from Android apps has exceeded the amount returned to developers by Apple for the first time.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
Falling profits
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Infosec firm NCC Group launches review over crap financials

Cybersecurity firm NCC Group has launched a strategic review after issuing a profit warning.
John Leyden, 22 Feb 2017
Snooping image via Shutterstock

London Internet Exchange members vote no to constitution tweak

Members of LINX, the London Internet Exchange – the UK's largest net peering point – have rejected proposals that would reshape the company’s constitution and could block members from being consulted about government tapping instructions.
Duncan Campbell, 22 Feb 2017
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L'Internet des objets: French firm Sigfox inks deal with Telefonica

Internet of Things bods Sigfox have struck a global deal with Telefonica to offer their unlicensed spectrum connectivity tech through the telco.
Gareth Corfield, 22 Feb 2017
Spanner and bolt photo via Shutterstock
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How Google Spanner's easing our distributed SQL database woes

Storage Architect I've been messing about with databases for a long time. I say "messing about" because I've never been a DBA, but as a systems programmer and storage administrator, I've been on the periphery of the application layer and of course I've deployed many personal databases.
Chris Evans, 22 Feb 2017

'Leaky' LG returns to sanity for 2017 flagship

So this is how consumer electronics marketing works in 2017.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock
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Smart Hosting offers up service credit in bid to hang on to clients

After provoking dissatisfaction from customers during its recent support ticket pile-up, Smart Hosting has apologised and offered £10 in service credit.
Clone army star wars

Clone it? Sure. Beat it? Maybe. Why not build your own AWS?

You can't move without IT companies telling you about the "amazing" new technologies and features they've just launched, how you can't live without them, and what a shock it is that you've managed all these years before they were developed. And of course the bigger the company, the more new stuff they tend to pump out and the more critical it is that you sign up NOW.
Dave Cartwright, 22 Feb 2017
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Speaking in Tech: Taxing robot labour for benefit glorious taxpayer

Podcast Podcast Regular tech podcasters Greg and Ed are joined by Josh Atwell of NetApp to discuss the rapid pace of innovation and automation and the impact on employment and society. The crew also discuss sexual harassment in the tech industry and Oracle “clawbacks”.
Team Register, 22 Feb 2017
Oxford campus photo by shutterstock
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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.
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017

Neuromorphic progress: And we for one welcome our new single artificial synapse overlords

A team of engineers has built an artificial synapse with the hopes of creating a neural network system with similar processing powers as the human brain.
Katyanna Quach, 22 Feb 2017
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Netflix treats security ills with Stethoscope: Open-source self-probing tool

Netflix has released the source code of a web application called Stethoscope for evaluating the security of mobile and desktop computing devices.
Thomas Claburn, 22 Feb 2017
UPS drone-packing delivery truck

UPS & drones: Delivery company launches UAV from truck

Delivery company UPS has become the latest concern to experiment with schlepping stuff about by drone, instead of wheeled vehicles.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2017

How's your online bank security looking? The Dutch studied theirs and... yeah, not great

The Dutch banking industry is doing a terrible job of online security, according to the company that runs the country's .nl internet domains.
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Feb 2017
Password

DomainMonster mash: Hundreds of websites vandalized after Brit web host server hacked

Hundreds of websites have been defaced by hackers who hijacked a web-hosting server run by UK domain registrar DomainMonster.
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
Glory hole

Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole

Vid + pics Drone operators have been gazing in fascination as, for the first time in over a decade, the Lake Berryessa glory hole has been swallowing up excess water and shooting it down into Putah Creek.
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2017
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock
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Lenovo to build and run SAP's cloud in China

What China wants, China gets – in this case an exception to SAP's usual practice of running its own cloud.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2017

Cisco edits DNA for even softer switches

Hard on the heels of a second-quarter result in which software subscriptions provided one of the few bright spots, Cisco's revealed a slew of new software-based systems.
Upspin's mascot, Augie

Google devs try to create new global namespace

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a universal and consistent way to give names to files stored on the Internet, so they were easy to find? A universal resource locator, if you like?
OpenStack 404
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OpenStack Ocata announced, then briefly withheld

The OpenStack Foundation has announced Ocata, its fifteenth edition. And then tried to un-announce it again.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2017
plasters cover arm. photo by shutterstock
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Talos opens box, three Aerospike vulns fly out

Aerospike NoSQL server DBAs, make sure you've rolled out version 3.11.1.1, because the vulnerabilities it fixes have been made public.
Money cloud

Cancel your cloud panic: At $122bn it's just 5% of all IT spend

For all the hype about cloud it's a bit of a revenue wimp: the abacus-shufflers of IDC have just told the world that it will account for about five per cent of the world's tech spend in 2017.
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2017
Ladders

Researchers offer simple scheme to stop the next Stuxnet

One of the world's oldest programming styles, the ladder logic that runs on industrial programmable logic controllers, remains dangerously vulnerable to attack, according to boffins from Singapore and India.
Microsoft displays its cloud offerings at Ignite in Atlanta

Dying for Windows 10 Creators Update? But wait, there's more!

Microsoft has confirmed it is planning a second major update for Windows 10, which is to be piloted this year, and is seriously considering releasing it before 2018.
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
Access denied

US Homeland Security is so secure even its own staff can't log in

US Department of Homeland Security staff returning to work on Tuesday after the Presidents' Day holiday have apparently had a tough time getting computer systems to function.
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2017
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Big Blue's big blunder: IBM accidentally hands over root access to its data science servers

IBM left private keys to the Docker host environment in its Data Science Experience service inside freely available containers.
Thomas Claburn, 21 Feb 2017
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Google rents out Nvidia Tesla GPUs in its cloud. If you ask nicely, that'll be 70 cents an hour, bud

Google will this week start offering Nvidia Tesla K80 GPU-equipped virtual machines for its Compute Engine and Cloud Machine Learning hosted services.
Shaun Nichols, 21 Feb 2017
Pluto

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

The ongoing argument over whether Pluto is an actual planet or just a dwarf on the outskirts of the Solar System has heated up again – with a new proposal to reapply planetary status to the distant iceball.
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2017

'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

Over 50 human rights and civil liberties groups, nearly 100 law professors and security experts, and lawmakers have launched a campaign against digital searches at the US border.
Kieren McCarthy, 21 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.
Thomas Claburn, 21 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 phone.
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017

Tosh in deeper financial doo-doo as banks crank up the pressure

Toshiba is looking to raise almost $9bn (‎¥1 trillion) by selling off a majority stake in its memory chip business, according to Reuters, and so repair its finances, which have been devastated by cost overruns in its US nuclear power business.
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Little girl looks at camera with an "I told you so" attitude. Photo by Shutterstock  Release Information: Signed model release filed with Shutterstock, Inc
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These snapshots are Purely Cohesity

After announcing an initial backup integration between Pure's all-flash array and Cohesity's converged secondary storage a year ago, the two have now gone further with snapshot-level integration.
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History
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Hacking group RTM able to divert bulk financial transfers with malware

Cybercrime group RTM is deploying complex malware based in the Delphi programming language to target Remote Banking Systems (RBS), a type of business software used to make bulk financial transfers.
John Leyden, 21 Feb 2017

$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!

Yahoo! will be gobbled by Verizon for $4.48bn, $350m cheaper than the initial deal, apparently due to the damage done to the company's value by widely reported successful cyber-attacks.

Big data should be 'part of UK's core national infrastructure' – Civil Service chief exec

The chief executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni, says the UK needs to begin to consider the "collection and storage of data as part of [our] core national infrastructure".
Kubernetes Logo
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Kubernetes and Prometheus fleshes out CLL deep dive lineup

We’ve added the final session to our workshop lineup for Continuous Lifecycle London, giving you six options for diving deep into the technologies and tools driving cutting edge software development and deployment.
Team Register, 21 Feb 2017
Sheaf of £50 notes poised on the rim of a toilet bowl as toilet is flushed. Collage of two photos sourced from Shutterstock
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Capita swallows £50m blow after writing down historic contracts

Everyone's favourite cuddly outsourcing corp Capita is writing off a cool £50m worth of assets related to certain deals with customers after a "comprehensive review across its major contracts" base.
Paul Kunert, 21 Feb 2017

EE unveils sky domination plans with drones, balloons

EE has revealed plans to launch balloon and drone "air masts" to connect remote parts of the UK in the wake of disasters such as major flooding, in its yet-to-be-patented technology unveiled today.
Kat Hall, 21 Feb 2017
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TeamSpy hackers get the crew back together after four-year hiatus

Cybercrooks have once again begun slinging malware that subverts elements of the legitimate TeamViewer remote control app to snoop on victims.
John Leyden, 21 Feb 2017
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ARM embraces Brit and Swedish upstarts in Softbank NB-IoT push

Japanese-owned chipmaker ARM has bought Swedish firm Mistbase and Brit biz NextG-Com – staking its flag firmly on the NB-IoT narrowband communications standard.
Gareth Corfield, 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.
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
Graphcore_ResNet_50_graph_labelled

Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Backgrounder Do we need a new processor architecture? Graphcore says that machine learning computation is different from existing computational types, and will be broad enough in its usage for – as well as accelerated significantly by – a dedicated processor architecture.
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Yoda

Automated, insight cannot be: Jedi master of statistics was good – but beware the daft side

So, farewell then Hans Rosling, educator and "Jedi master of data visualisation". For in a world increasingly addicted to alternative facts, you pioneered software – Gapminder – and a viewer-friendly approach with bubble charts that allowed you to communicate simple important messages about the world through the medium of the Ted Talk.
Jane Fae , 21 Feb 2017
A kite

NASA extends trial of steerable robo-stunt kite parachute

NASA will soon be testing high-altitude parachute systems that let astroboffins land valuable scientific research payloads from altitudes of 60,000 feet.
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2017
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Mulesoft set to be first tech IPO of 2017? We'd forgotten they existed...

App integration software business Mulesoft is set to make its initial public offering after revealing its financials.
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

Apple has filed its defence against the European Commission's claim it owes €13bn in back taxes in Ireland.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2017
ESA's Phobos 3D image

European Space Agency slaps CC licences on its pics and vids

The European Space Agency has flung the data doors open: from today, it's adopted an open access policy for its trove of images and videos.
The new Uber rider app icon

Uber hires Obama's attorney-general to review its workplaces

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has appointed Eric Holder, once United States attorney-general under Barack Obama and now a partner of law firm Covington & Burling, to conduct a review of the “specific issues relating to the work place environment raised by Susan Fowler, as well as diversity and inclusion at Uber more broadly.”
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2017

Drop the F-bomb, get your coding typos auto-corrected

Git, Bad, Ugly It's a slow day, the boss is absent enduring the travails of analysts with lunches to offer, so Vulture South found itself wandering around the odd corners of GitHub.
Hadoop

You're doing Hadoop and Spark wrong and they will probably fail

Your attempt at putting Hadoop or Spark to work probably won't work, and you'll be partly to blame for thinking they are magic.
Simon Sharwood, 21 Feb 2017
Sulphur-crested cockatoo
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Australia commences critical infrastructure protection consultation

Last month, Australia's federal government established a Critical Infrastructure Centre. Now it's decided to ask what the centre should protect.
Shutterstock - Giant bug destroys ciy

Java and Python have unpatched firewall-crossing FTP SNAFU

Stop us if you've heard this one: Java and Python have a bug you can exploit to cross firewalls. Since neither are yet patched, it might be a good day to nag your developers for a bit.
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

Software glitch, not wind farms, blacked out 60,000 in South Australia

Yet another reason that isn't wind farms has emerged for recent blackouts in the Australian State of South Australia: dodgy software.
Optane-ready logo

Intel reveals Optane will need a 7th-gen core and a PC-centric launch

The price and precise performance of Intel's Optane storage-class memory still remain officially obscure, but the company has confirmed the PC version of the product will run only on 7th-generation Core i7, i5 and i3 CPUS nestled into certain motherboards.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
Wagyu Bull

BS Detection 101 becomes actual University subject

How could El Reg ignore this? – two University of Washington professors have assembled a course to teach students to identify bullshit.
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

NZ High Court rules US can extradite Kim Dotcom after all

The businessman otherwise known as Kim Schmitz, aka "Kimble", aka "Kim Dotcom", has lost his High Court appeal in New Zealand to be extradited to the USA.
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
hacker

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

Hot on the heels of Liverpool being awarded the European Capital of Culture for 2008 comes a charity programme, run by YouthFed, titled Hackers to Heroes.
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

The stunted physical SAN market – Dell man gives Wikibon forecasts his blessing

Analysis Current thinking among vendors with hyper-converged and converged infrastructure offerings is that physical SANs are in decline and their market is shrinking. Chad Sakac, Converged Platforms Division president at Dell EMC, is the latest high-profile prognosticator to push this view.
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
Arm wrestling photo via Shutterstock

Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

SAP has scored what threatens to be a pyrrhic victory in court against one of its own customers.
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2017
Sad Android

Beeps, roots and leaves: Car-controlling Android apps create theft risk

Insecure car-controlling Android apps create a heightened car theft risk, security researchers at Kaspersky Lab warn.
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2017
A screenshot of Streetmap's output Ordnance Survey map info

'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

Interview “The thing that snookered us came eight years after the event,” Kate Sutton of Streetmap told The Register late last week, following the High Court’s ruling that Google’s manipulation of search results did not destroy her business despite that being exactly what happened.
Gareth Corfield, 20 Feb 2017
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Surprise! HPE says nothing about ProLiant server hardware for SimpliVity OmniCubes

Analysis HPE has closed its SimpliVity acquisition and publicised software porting and migration plans but hasn't said anything about SimpliVity hardware moving to a ProLiant server base.
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
Handshake

BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Rivals BT and Virgin Media have joined hands to collective moan that a forthcoming hike to business rates will result in tripling of their collective tax bill to £1.3bn over the next five years.
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2017
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Amazon has announced its intention to increase its UK workforce to over 24,000 this year.
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct.
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
NEW YORK - OCT 15, 2016: Beyonce Knowles attends the TIDAL X: 1015 concert at the Barclays Center on October 15, 2016, in New York. Editorial credit: JStone / Shutterstock, Inc. (editorial use only)

NZ firm tucks into $27m on the back of VR 'hologram' promise

Analysis 8i, a New Zealand based company, last week landed a large B funding round that reads like a who’s who in the Virtual reality world. Its aim is to bring holograms to the masses. This doesn’t actually mean what it says, but it’s still pretty cool.
Faultline, 20 Feb 2017
Solo pilot photo via Shutterstock

Love lambda, love Microsoft's Graph Engine. But you fly alone

Analysis Much has changed at Microsoft since Steve Ballmer described Linux as "a cancer" in reaction to the open-source flag-flyer's threat to Redmond's money-spinning Windows business.

New EU rules on portability of online content services move closer

Planned new EU laws aimed at making online content more accessible to those that subscribe to it are closer to being finalised after a deal struck on the new rules earlier this month was endorsed by representatives of national governments across the EU.
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Feb 2017
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DraaS-tic times call for DraaS-tic measures in VMware's cloud

Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is an obvious service to run in the cloud, as the business of operating secondary sites is costly and complex.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017

Watson can't cure cancer ... or all the stuff that breaks IT projects

A University of Texas audit report last week tipped a bucket on the conduct of a high-profile “Watson to cure cancer” project.
Used car on laptop

Connected car in the second-hand lot? Don't buy it if you're not hack-savvy

Cars are smart enough to remember an owner, but not smart enough to forget one – and that's a problem if a smart car is sold second-hand.
Business suits, photo via Shutterstock

Deloitte goes all gooey for SAP HANA on AWS

Deloitte, Amazon Web Services and SAP have cooked up a cloudy consulting confection.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
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Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

Linus Torvalds has given us all version 4.10 of the Linux kernel.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
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Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook are buying all the best cloud tech

Those of you contemplating a cloud startup have two options: get acquired by one of five companies or build an automatic sueball flinger.
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017

In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering

Updated Colour us surprised: a Silicon Valley darling famous for belligerent market entries, raising middle fingers at regulators and having a relaxed attitude to tax has been accused of also completing a bingo-card of bad management that includes sexism, arse ass-covering, empire-building and malicious management.
shutterstock_popcorn_cat

Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

Google's Project Zero has again revealed a Windows bug before Microsoft fixed it.
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2017
NBN

Competition and wholesale costs, not lack of fibre, crimp broadband in Australia

Like the sun rising, the release of a new Akamai State of the Internet report inevitably leads to opinion columns bemoaning Australia's slide on global league tables for broadband speed, most attributing it to the much-hated “multi-technology model” NBN.

SpaceX blasts back into the rocket trucking business

Elon Musk's rocket trucking business, SpaceX, is rolling on the celestial highway again after successfully launching a Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, then landing the rocket's first stage back on terra firma.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2017
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Florida Man jailed for 4 years after raking in a million bucks from spam

A marketer who used stolen email accounts to trouser more than a million dollars by spamming people has been sent down for four years.
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2017

Jun-OH-NO! NASA's Jupiter probe in busted helium-valve drama

NASA's Juno probe will not venture any closer to Jupiter, and will stay in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of its mission. That's due to faulty helium valves in the propulsion system, space boffins announced today.
Katyanna Quach, 18 Feb 2017

Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

A sacked system administrator has been jailed after hacking the control systems of his ex-employer – and causing over a million dollars in damage.
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2017
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BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Long-ago phone-builder BlackBerry has been sued by hundreds of employees who say they were tricked into quitting their jobs.
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017
POTUS

Probe President Trump and his crappy Samsung Twitter-o-phone, demand angry congressfolk

Fifteen members of US Congress have asked the House Oversight Committee to investigate whether President Trump is putting national security at risk by using an insecure phone and holding sensitive meetings in public.
Iain Thomson, 17 Feb 2017

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator

With the exciting news that Apple is going to hold a conference in June where it will announce new products – only the 15th time it has done so since 2003 – we felt it was time to write down some wild speculation because, like lemmings, you will click on it and we make money when you do.
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Feb 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

Germany's Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, has banned Genesis Toys' Cayla doll as an illegal surveillance device.
Thomas Claburn, 17 Feb 2017
US Flag and money
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US account holders more likely to switch banks following fraud

Account holders in the US are more likely to switch banks in the aftermath of fraud, according to a new study.
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2017
Wire wastepaper bin filled with scrunched up paper. Photo by Shutterstock

Round-filed 'paperless' projects: Barriers remain to Blighty's Digital NHS

It was hard to hear UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s recent backtracking over his plans for a paperless NHS by 2018, without wondering to what extent digital health documents have contributed to global forest depletion over the last decades.
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
Official gag photo via Shutterstock

UK Snoopers' Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors

Exclusive London Internet Exchange (LINX) – Europe's major internet traffic hub – faces a growing backlash over changes to its rules that would gag its directors applying secret government orders to monitor networks, under Britain's Investigatory Powers Act.
Duncan Campbell, 17 Feb 2017
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Microsoft makes cheeky bid for MongoDB devs on Azure security grounds

Microsoft is attempting to capitalise on a recent spate of ransom attacks on unsecured MongoDB instances by encouraging developers to switch to working with its own Azure-based DocumentDB system.
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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.
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

Mystery deepens over Android spyware targeting Israeli soldiers

Hackers are continuing to target Israeli Defence Force (IDF) personnel with Android spyware but doubts have emerged that Hamas is behind the cyber-spying operation.
John Leyden, 17 Feb 2017
iPod classic . Pic valeriiaarnaud/shutterstock

Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Nokia didn’t once just dominate the world’s handset market, it defined it.
Gavin Clarke, 17 Feb 2017
A Royal Navy Lynx Wildcat helicopter. Crown copyright

New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can't transmit vital data

Britain's latest military helicopter fleet has still not had a tactical data link capability fitted, two years after the aircraft entered service.
Gareth Corfield, 17 Feb 2017
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Hyperconverged market gets hyper-competitive as new riders enter field

Analysis The hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) market has become hypercompetitive as the two-horse race between Dell and Nutanix has been blown open with HPE/SimpliVity, NetApp and Cisco chasing them.
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Big cloud photo via Shutterstock
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Brit watchdog spanks Microsoft, Amazon, Apple into promising fairer cloud contracts

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have committed to providing cloud storage users with fairer contracts after a crackdown by the UK's Competition Markets Authority (CMA).
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
Close up of tangled tape

Did Oracle just sign tape's death warrant? Depends what 'no comment' means

Oracle's StorageTek (StreamLine) tape library product range will be end-of-lifed, El Reg has learned.
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!”
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Feb 2017
Australian money at a crime scene

Errors in Australia's Centrelink debt recovery system were inevitable

Since it announced a crackdown on outstanding debt in June last year, Centrelink has sent debt recovery letters to thousands of Australian welfare recipients. Early reports indicated that around 20 per cent were issued in error, although the true number may be substantially higher.
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UK recruitment biz Coal Intelligent Technology ceases trading

Contractors and employees at London-based tech recruitment outfit Coal Intelligent Technology may be left out of pocket after the company ceased trading yesterday.
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017

Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

On-Call Welcome to another Friday (!) and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's column in which we let readers vent about jobs gone bad.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017

Déjà vu: Euro Patent Office prez ignores yet another formal rebuke

The president of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, is ignoring yet another formal rebuke of his policies by disregarding two decisions by the International Labour Organization.
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Feb 2017
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What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing.
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

An IT contractor is facing criminal charges after turning off the Microsoft Office 365 service of a customer he said owed him money.
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017
Walmart 'Cat's Away IPA'

FAKE BREWS: America rocked by 'craft beer' scandal allegations

US big-box chain Walmart is being sued by an Ohio bloke who claims the retailer's line of "craft beers" is an egregious lie.
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017

Dead cockroaches make excellent magnets – now what are we supposed to do with this info?

Fun Fact: Dead cockroaches stay magnetized far longer than their live brethren, according to real actual science.
Katyanna Quach, 17 Feb 2017
Lenovo's HX series of hyperconverged appliances
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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.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017
Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures
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Oracle's IoT play: Teach business apps and things to talk together

Oracle has revealed another way it thinks it can address the internet of things market, by teaching its existing business apps to talk things' language.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017
NBN
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nbn™ to cut the charges ISPs pay for traffic

nbn™, the company building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced changes to the network capacity charge (CVC) it charges internet service providers.
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017
Gangnam calling for punishment of president Park Geun-hye and Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong
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Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong cuffed in $40m corruption, perjury bust

Samsung Group vice chairman Lee Jae-yong has been arrested, accused of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury, and taken to jail near Seoul in South Korea.
Thomas Claburn, 17 Feb 2017
Facebook Lite app

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

A newbie congressman has floated his first ever US law bill – one that demands visitors to America hand over URLs to their social network accounts.
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017
Photo by Cat Walker / Shutterstock

Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

Comment Whatever Mark Zuckerberg's taking, we want some, too.
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Feb 2017

HPE blames solid state drive failure for outages at Australian Tax Office

HPE has blamed a problem with solid state drives for its dual and very disruptive outages at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017
Cloudian_HS_4000_Bezel
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Enterprise IT storage – where being fat and very dense is, um, a good thing. Right, Cloudian?

Cloudian is now touting a fat HyperStore 4000 alongside its HyperStore 1500 appliance. Both boxes are compatible with Amazon's AWS S3 APIs.
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
ISIS

Don’t panic over cyber-terrorism: Daesh-bags still at script kiddie level

RSA USA There’s no need to panic about the threat of a major online terrorist attack, since ISIS and their allies are all talk and no trousers. That's according to the former head of the US National Counterterrorism Center.
Iain Thomson, 16 Feb 2017
Still from 'The Final Countdown'

Google yanks workers from ISP outfit, it's THE FIBER COUNTDOWN

Google is once again pulling resources out of its Fiber network venture – this time it's employees.
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2017
zombie_648
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Corpse of US anti-spying law unearthed, reanimated, pushed blinking into the sunlight

US Congressional lawmakers on Wednesday reintroduced legislation to establish rules limiting how American government agencies can obtain a person's whereabouts.
Thomas Claburn, 16 Feb 2017
Eric Schmidt

THE SCHMIDT HITS THE BAN: Keep your gloves off AI, military top brass

RSA USA Alphabet exec chairman Eric Schmidt is worried that the future of the internet is going to be under threat once the world’s militaries get good at artificial intelligence.
Iain Thomson, 16 Feb 2017
US Federal Communications Commission Headquarters in Washington, DC. Pic: editorial use only/Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

Why I had to sue the FCC – VoIP granddaddy Dan Berninger

Interview One of the grandaddies of VoIP is taking America's comms watchdog, the FCC, to the US Supreme Court over net neutrality – and he's told us why.
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2017
Robot hand human skull photo via Shutterstock

MEPs in 'urgent' call for new laws on artificial intelligence and robotics

The European Parliament today called for EU-wide liability laws to cover robotics and artificial intelligence. MEPs also want researchers to adopt ethical standards that "respect human dignity".
Sherlocks
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Analyse this: IBM moves Watson machine learning to mainframes

IBM is adding the machine learning technology from Watson to its z/OS mainframe for smarter, faster analytics of transaction data.
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Conchita Wurst. Editorial use only: Credit: Yulia Reznikov / Shutterstock, Inc.

Nul points for Ukraine's Eurovision ticket site fail

Eurovision fans purchasing tickets to the event in Ukraine this year were left frustrated due to a number of technical and payment issues with the website last night.
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
Cookie Monster

Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies

Yahoo! is reminding folks that hackers broke into its systems, and learned how to forge its website's session cookies. That allowed the miscreants to log into user accounts without ever typing a password.
John Leyden, 16 Feb 2017
Train in the Alps emerges from clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Dell EMC plans to use VxRail for mutant cloud cargo

Dell EMC says smaller enterprises are rushing to combine their on-premises IT with the public cloud and is offering a turnkey scale-out hyper-converged VxRail appliance so they can do just that.
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
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Sigfox leads with its chin on security for internet-connected things

Comment French Internet of Things bods Sigfox have published a “Universal Declaration of IoT Rights”, which, as well as being a bit awful, sheds light on a wider boredom with proper security.
Gareth Corfield, 16 Feb 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft ups Surface slab prices for Brits. Darn weak pound, eh?

Microsoft has increased hardware prices in the UK for a second time this year, citing the decreased value of the weaker sterling currency when repatriated as dollars.

Virgin Media swallows 215,000 new fibre customers in Blighty

Revenue at Virgin Media rose 1 per cent to £1,227m for its fourth quarter results, with the firm having also signed up 215,000 more users to its £3bn Project Lighting network expansion.
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
Conveyor belt production of jam-topped biscuits. Photo by Shutterstock
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F-Secure buys industrial control security firm

F-Secure has acquired hardware and embedded system security firm Inverse Path. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Thursday, were undisclosed.
John Leyden, 16 Feb 2017
NSA
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Former NSA techies raise $8m for their data governance startup

Immuta, a data governance startup run by former US National Security Agency technicians, has announced the conclusion of its Series A funding round, pulling in $8m.
Hal
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Just finished your first TensorFlow app? Might be time for a rewrite...

Tensorflow, Google’s opensource machine learning library, has toddled into whole figures, just over a year after the first release - with the proviso that version 1.0 might not be entirely backwards-compatible with early adopters’ programmes.
Joe Fay, 16 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.
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Kid on computer, photo via Shutterstock

Dirty data, flogged cores: YES, Microsoft SQL Server R Services has its positives

The R language has enjoyed a great reputation in statistical computing and graphics for decades. However, it is also known as something for statisticians. Born around the time of Java, PHP and Python, R lags behind all three by a long chalk on the TIOBE rankings.
Andrew Cobley, 16 Feb 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Identity disorder: Does UK govt need Verify more than we do?

Comment One problem writing about government IT is that after a while it feels a bit like Groundhog Day – a syndrome that must be even more pronounced for the folk working in it.
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
Green data centre

Data centre locations: In the city or up the country?

Promo The obvious difference between using a data centre in the city centre compared to the country is cost, but other factors such as proximity to fibre connections, accessibility, security and just plain convenience, might well lure you back to the centre. Let’s help you decide whether you’d prefer your infrastructure to be uptown, top ranking, or just on a farm.
David Gordon, 16 Feb 2017
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Cloud industry body sets up new data protection code

A number of cloud infrastructure providers operating in Europe have signed up to a new data protection code of conduct.
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2017
The Geo Resolution submarine cable survey ship

Reg tours submarine cable survey ship
'Geo Resolution'

Slideshow Chances are this story was brought to you by a submarine cable, the world-girdling network of optic fibres that just about make the internet possible.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017

Revealed: Web servers used by disk-nuking Shamoon cyberweapon

A detailed analysis of the Shamoon malware – which is playing a huge role in the cyberwar between Saudi Arabia and Iran – has identified servers used to spread the software nasty.
Iain Thomson, 16 Feb 2017
bomb

GitLab invokes the startup defence to explain data loss woes

When GitLab suffered its database deletion, outage and related failure of five backup tools, the company quickly offered The Register an interview. Which sounded like a good opportunity to learn just how a startup aiming for serious developers, and with US$25m of serious investors' cash in its keeping, could have failed to operate a proper data protection regime.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017

Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive

Videos AI may be more human-like than people think. DeepMind’s latest research shows that once resources dwindle, the selfish instinct kicks in and virtual AI agents turn against each other, becoming aggressive to get what they want.
Katyanna Quach, 16 Feb 2017
Xen project logo

Xen Project wants permission to reveal fewer vulnerabilities

Poll The Xen Project is asking if it can disclose fewer bugs.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017
NASA's exploding star illustration

Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

In the kind of observational serendipity that astro-boffins live for: spotting the explosion of a supernova mere hours after the explosion's light started reaching Earth.
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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.

ITU ponders whether blockchain belongs in its security standards

The International Telecommunication Union has decided the time has come to consider whether Blockchain deserves its attention so it can be considered for future security standards.
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017
Losing money
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Cisco shrinks: Revenue, profit and margin all dipped in Q2 2017

Get out the pen, walk to the whiteboard, and draw lines heading downwards: Cisco's Q2 2017 results showed year-on-year falls in revenue and earnings, and a router business close to free-fall.

As Microsoft touts Windows Insider for biz, let's take a look at W10's broken 2FA logins

For months now, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has broken two-factor logins using certain smart cards – and Microsoft has refused to discuss it.
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2017