The Week in Summary

'Odour' from AnalTech ramming leads to hazmat team callout

An American company implausibly named AnalTech – no, really – has been slammed hard enough for a hazardous materials response team to be called out to deal with the smell.
Gareth Corfield, 24 May 2017
Fuel pump
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AI-powered dynamic pricing turns its gaze to the fuel pumps

Analysis "AI" could soon be making petrol more expensive at times of peak demand like the start of a bank holiday weekend or the school run.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 May 2017
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Speaking in Tech: Depressing WannaCrypt postmortem edition

Podcast Podcast This week Ed Saipetch, Melissa Gurney and Amy Lewis are joined again by special guest Chris Wysopal, security guru and co-founder and chief technology officer of Veracode.
Team Register, 24 May 2017
Jimmy Carr
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8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

If statistics were a human being, it would have been in deep therapy all of its 350-year life. The sessions might go like this:
Mark Whitehorn, 24 May 2017
Princess Leia hologram

PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Star Wars New Hope @ 40 When Lucasfilm recently unveiled its tribute reel to the late Carrie Fisher, one of the most memorable monologues in cinema sat right in its center.
Mark Pesce, 24 May 2017
Facebook device testing

Facebook shares own tools to trap bugs before they break code

Facebook on Wednesday plans to introduce a set of open source developer tools to streamline app development testing and bug hunting.
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2017
Man throws briefcase in the air happily on the beach. Photo by Shutterstock

Channel luvvie Martin Hellawell set to check out of Softcat. Sort of

Martin Hellawell, the McDonald's-card-toting CEO at mega reseller Softcat isn't quite sailing off into the sunset just yet, but he is preparing to handover the operation once a successor is found.
Paul Kunert, 24 May 2017
Hinkley C concrete pour, photo courtesy EDF Energy

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

For the first time ever in April, the UK's data centres and clouds ran on electricity generated without burning coal.
Marcus Gibson, 24 May 2017
threats image
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Network-sniffing, automation, machine learning: How to get better threat intel

IT teams can get away with poor service management, outdated software development methods and outdated apps running on legacy tin, but they might want to think twice before skimping on cybersecurity. If you don't stay on top of this stuff, while you might not be found out today or tomorrow, eventually, your customers’ personal details might just turn up on Pastebin.
Danny Bradbury, 24 May 2017
Matrix kung fu
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GPU-flingers' bash: Forget the Matrix, Neo needs his tensors

HPC blog Last week, Nvidia held its biggest ever GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The big walk-away is that GPUs are rapidly becoming an expected and standard component of computing, table stakes in many cases, across the computing platform. Big deal right there and hence the frothiness of much of the coverage.
Shahin Khan, 24 May 2017

EU ministers approve anti-hate speech video rules

European Union ministers have approved new rules for video that will oblige Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to remove hate speech and sexually explicit videos online or face stiff fines.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 May 2017

Google starts enterprise support for Chrome, including top SaaS apps

Google is trying to give businesses a reason to ditch Internet Explorer by giving sysadmins a new set of tools for mass deployment of its own Chrome browser.
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Open19 logo
1

LinkedIn finds friends to join its 'Open19' data centre standards effort

LinkedIn wants you to brick it in the data centre by following it and its friends with a new standard for data centre hardware that pushes its ambitions to the edge and into competition with the Facebook-derived Open Compute Project.
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
YouTube India logo - not official
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India makes biometrics mandatory for all e-gov projects

India's issued three “Guidance Notes” outlining its government's policies for procuring software and entering into alliances and running RFPs.
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Eye of Sauron with Mount Doom in the background. Still from the film version of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Copyright New Line Cinema

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Google wants stores to gather purchase data on its behalf, to bolster its case that advertising on the platform works.
a car being tested for emissions compliance

Dodge this: Fiat-Chrysler gets diesel-fuelled sueball from DoJ

Fiat-Chrysler, accused of the same kind of software defeat as landed Volkswagen in hot water, is now the subject of a Department of Justice lawsuit.

Bluemix gives users two months to adopt new rolling deployment tool

IBM's announced a swift retirement of its Active Deploy service, a facility offered to those who want frequent updates to cloudy applications.
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Toolkit from Shutterstock

What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

Google Project Zero's Windows bug-hunter and fuzz-boffin Tavis Ormandy has given the world an insight into how he works so fast: he works on Linux, and with the release of a personal project on GitHub, others can too.
Chaos Computer Club's iris-scan demo

How good are selfies these days? Good enough to fool Samsung Galaxy S8 biometrics

Chaos Computer Club's "Starbug" has taken a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8's iris-scanning authentication feature and found you can beat it with a photograph.
Amazon Web Services
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Java Daddy James Gosling goes to work for Amazon Web Services

Java creator James Gosling has announced he now works for Amazon Web Services.
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
a HUSKY DOG DIGS A HOLE ON THE BEACH. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

Last week: 'OpenVPN client is secure!'
This week: 'Unpatched bug in OpenVPN server'

French security outfit Sysdream has gone public with a vulnerability in the admin interface for OpenVPN's server.
Neil Armstrong's lunar sample bag
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Armstrong's moon-purse set for $4m bid-off

The bag Neil Armstrong used to carry home lunar samples from the Apollo 11 mission could fetch up to $4m at auction next month.
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2017
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Target inks $18.5m deal with US states to settle 2013 data breach

Target, the shopping behemoth for people who are too classy to go to Walmart, has today reached a settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia over the 2013 hacking incident that saw 70 million customers lose their personal information.
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
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Particle boffins calculate new constraints for probability of finding dark matter

The hunt for axions – a potential dark matter candidate – at the CERN Axion Solar Telescope have been fruitless. But scientists refuse to give up as they set a new limit that calculates the probability of finding these elusive particles.
Katyanna Quach, 23 May 2017
LeEco car

Bloodbath at LeEco US as Chinese tech upstart implodes with layoffs

It has all gone pear-shaped for Chinese conglomerate LeEco after the firm told nearly 70 per cent of its US staff that their services will no longer be required.
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
An unhappy driver

Uber found to be doing something awful? Yep, it's Tuesday

Uber said today that it will hand drivers back pay that could add up to tens of millions of dollars.
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2017

Republicans' net neutrality attack written by… you guessed it, the cable lobby

A "toolkit" provided to House Republicans to defend US comms watchdog the FCC's recent decision to tear up net neutrality rules was written by the cable lobby.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017

NSA takes one-two punch to the face

The US National Security Agency has been hit by two legal losses that may put the last part of its controversial spying program on US citizens under threat.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017
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Comcast accused of siccing lawyers on net neutrality foe

An activist group says it was threatened by Comcast lawyers after it pointed out the cable giant's efforts to astroturf the FCC with fake comments on net neutrality.
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2017
Windows 10 China

Redmond puts wall around Windows 10 for Chinese government edition

While much attention has been focused on the new Surface Pro laptop Microsoft has launched in Shanghai on Tuesday, the company also announced a special build of its operating system for China.
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017

It's just 'Pro' now, guys: Microsoft gives Surface a subtle resurfacing

Microsoft has revamped its Surface tablet, which at last includes a SIM card slot.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2017
Man vs paperwork. Paper-pusher loses control. Photo by Shutterstock

IoT standards? We've got 'em. And if you don't like those, we got more

Cities are tired of being the "guinea pigs" caught in the middle of the Internet of Things' ongoing standards bunfight, London's LPWA conference was told this morning.
Gareth Corfield, 23 May 2017
Outsourcing

Capita and Birmingham City Council 'dissolve' joint venture

The long-running and highly criticised joint venture between Capita and Birmingham, England, City Council is being rubbed out, reportedly saving taxpayers around £44m.
Paul Kunert, 23 May 2017

Media players wide open to malware fired from booby-trapped subtitles

Hackers have gone back to the future by attempting to infect targets with booby-trapped subtitle files.
John Leyden, 23 May 2017
Man throws briefcase in the air happily on the beach. Photo by Shutterstock
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Travel IT giant Amadeus making eyes at Micron's SolidScale architecture

Analysis Amadeus, the global travel booking business, is testing Micron's SolidScale NVMe flash arrays, thinking they can provide vastly better realtime access to the terabytes of flight information it holds on behalf of airlines and travel operators.
Chris Mellor, 23 May 2017
empty_pockets_648
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Widow appeals to Avaya to protect death benefits after bankruptcy filing

The widow of an Avaya employee has said the troubled UK telco should not terminate her death benefits following its bankruptcy filing in January.
Kat Hall, 23 May 2017
data centre racks
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Health data 'vault' app floats into UK.gov's G-Cloud. *cough* GDPR *cough*

National Health Service trusts can consolidate their data in readiness for GDPR by buying an Analytics Private Health Data Vault service, based on Commvault's Clinical Archive product, says its maker.
Chris Mellor, 23 May 2017
DJI Phantom 2 Drone

DJI: Register your drones or no more cool flying vids for you

Chinese drone maker DJI is forcing all new users of its drones to register their devices through its app - and is throttling flight performance if they don't comply.
Gareth Corfield, 23 May 2017
businessman shrugging - illustration via shutterstock

Three-quarters of IoT projects are failing, says Cisco

As many as three-quarters of IoT projects are a flop, according to Cisco. But rather than having fewer crappy connected devices, Switchzilla reckons what's needed is a better IoT architecture. If only someone could help...
Kat Hall, 23 May 2017
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.Science and .study: Domains of the bookish? More like domains of the JERKS!

The .science domain has become a “hotspots” of malicious or abusive activity on the internet, according to a new study out Tuesday.
John Leyden, 23 May 2017
Handshake

Nokia, Apple lawyers make peace over nasty IP wrangle

Nokia and Apple have made peace after a brief but vituperative legal stand-off. The two settled all their outstanding issues over intellectual property rights, with an unspecified lump sum heading from California to Finland, as well as royalties.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2017

IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music

Self-serving research published with the sole aim of flogging wares is a fairly standard PR tactic. But every now and then something so artfully shameless pops up it transcends the genre. Step forward, PHMG.
Kat Hall, 23 May 2017
Smartphone showing Chinese flag

China's phone quartet is shouldering its way into Western markets

Huawei is breathing over Apple's shoulder as Chinese brands make inroads into Western smartphone markets.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2017
Shouting match

'The internet is slow'... How to keep users happy, get more work done

IT services are rubbish. It’s a fact of life – or at least it is in the eyes of the average user. Of course the nature of IT is that you get far more negative feedback than you do positive: you seldom get people calling the IT service desk to say: “Hey, my webmail is superb today”. But people wouldn’t be phoning if everything was working as the users want it to.
Dave Cartwright, 23 May 2017
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Euro Patent Office staff warns board of internal rule changes

The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization's board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017
A person hiding in a box

IBM's ShinyHappy™ SAP Ariba deal papers over SaaS fail

IBM and SAP Ariba last week shared a stage and delivered the ShinyHappy™ news that the two are throwing their respective Watson and Leonardo artificial intelligences at “cognitive procurement solutions that redefine the source-to-settle process.”
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2017

Mouse sperm kept frozen in SPAAAAACE yields healthy pups

Japanese scientists say reproducing in space could be possible one day, after preserved mouse spermatozoa kept on the International Space Station resulted in healthy offspring.
Katyanna Quach, 23 May 2017

Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

OPINION Fidget spinners may be the biggest thing since the yo-yo, but they can’t hold a candle to the latest fad to sweep the business world: hackathons.
Mark Pesce, 23 May 2017
Elastic Storage
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AppDynamics pondering 'business-aware infrastructure'

AppDynamics is considering the wonderful world of policy-driven infrastructure automation, so that your data centre can respond when your applications deliver a less-than-stellar customer experience.
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2017
European flag with sad face

EU security think tank ENISA looks for IoT security, can't find any

European network and infosec agency ENISA has taken a look at Internet of Things security, and doesn't much like what it sees.

Russian raids sweep up 20 malware scum

The Russian Interior Ministry has announced the arrest of 20 people following raids related to a malware campaign dubbed “Cron” which had been emptying victims' bank accounts.
Kepler

'Tabby's Star' intrigues astro-boffins with brief 'dimming event'

Astronomers worldwide are scrambling a worldwide effort to capture as many images of the famous “Tabby's Star” (also known as Boyajian's Star), which has abruptly entered a dimming phase.
PayPal and Pandora logos

PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

LOGOWATCH LEGAL PayPal has filed a lawsuit against streaming music service Pandora, alleging that the latter's stylised single “P” logo is so similar to the payment company's “PP” logo that it's designed to get punters confusing the two.
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2017
Amazon Drive webpage
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Amazon Drive bans rclone storage client

Last week, Amazon Web Services banned rclone, an open source cloud storage client application, from accessing Amazon Drive, inconveniencing hundreds or possibly thousands of people using the software.
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2017
drone

Chinese e-tailer beats Amazon to the skies with one-ton delivery drones

JD.com, China's largest online retailer, has announced it is beginning trials of a new delivery drone capable of carrying a ton of cargo to rural Chinese customers.
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017

Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

The estate of bankrupt US trade school ITT Technical Institutes is today asking a court to stop Microsoft from erasing its cloud data.
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
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House GOP takes crack at ISP privacy bill

The US Representatives who just weeks ago repealed privacy rules for ISPs now want to enact a new set of restrictions.
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
a car being tested for emissions compliance

Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code

Researchers analyzing the emissions defeat devices found in automobiles made by the Volkswagen Group and Chrysler Fiat Automobiles have developed a way to test software for misbehavior, but they caution that lack of visibility into programming code could pose a challenge for regulators.
Thomas Claburn, 22 May 2017

Google leak-hunting team put under unwelcome spotlight

"If you're considering sharing confidential information to a reporter – or to anyone externally – for the love of all that's Googley, please reconsider! Not only could it cost you your job, but it also betrays the values that makes us a community."
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017

Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

A team of physicists has proposed a new idea about gravitational waves that will allow other researchers to find more exotic objects in space.
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2017
lock

New York Attorney General settles with Bluetooth lock maker over insecurity claims

Computer-controlled locks are some of the more popular Internet of Things devices making it into the home, and in the first settlement of its kind, the New York Attorney General has reached an agreement with a manufacturer to make them more secure against hackers.
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2017
US Supreme Court

Supreme Court closes court-shopping loophole for patent trolls

The US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could block patent-holding firms from seeking out friendly courts to hear their infringement claims.
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Notorious copyright troll and scammer John Steele of Prenda Law has been disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2017
channel

SSD price premium over disk faaaalling

The general solid state drive price premium over disk should decline from 6.6x now to 2.2x in 2021, according to new IDC numbers.
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2017
Qantas Boeing 737-838, VH-VZR

Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

Vegemite is trying to hijack Australian airline Qantas's public competition to name its new airliners.
Gareth Corfield, 22 May 2017
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IBM man goes deep on why they're all shiny OpenCAPI people

HPC Blog IBM gave the audience a deeper dive into the OpenCAPI initiative and hardware at the recently concluded HPC Advisory Council annual meeting in Lugano, Switzerland.
Dolphins swimming

7 NSA hack tool wielding follow-up worm oozes onto scene: Hello, no need for any phish!

Miscreants have created a strain of malware that targets the same vulnerability as the infamous WannaCrypt worm.
John Leyden, 22 May 2017
shutterstock_popcorn_cat

Pioneer Kodi plug-in unplugs

Developers of the popular Kodi plug-in Navi-X have pulled the plug on further development, citing the "current legal climate" around its work.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2017
Wages

Quick, better lock down that CISO role. Salaries have apparently hit €1m

Salaries for chief information security officers (CISOs) at leading European firms have hit €1m (£850,000) as the threat of data breaches grows, City AM reports.
John Leyden, 22 May 2017
Ford Focus steering wheel. Pic: Simon Rockman

Ford to replace CEO with connected car division boss – reports

Ford has reportedly invited its CEO to leave following a slump in share prices which some media reports pin on the US auto maker’s shift from focusing on cars to tech.
Gareth Corfield, 22 May 2017
Example of tidy cabling
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Uncle Sam drags feet on govt data center cull

US government agencies are falling behind on their plans to consolidate data center facilities to cut IT costs.
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
Terminator head

SoftBank-Saudi fund raises world's biggest tech pot at $93bn

The world's biggest tech fund backed by Japan's SoftBank Group has raised $93bn (£71bn) which it intends to plough into AI and robotics.
Kat Hall, 22 May 2017

O2 will be carrying out UK IoT connectivity trials later this year

Exclusive British telco O2 is the first to publicly confirm that it will be trialling 3GPP-compliant Internet of Things connectivity tech in the UK later this year.
Gareth Corfield, 22 May 2017

Ding-ding-ding. Round 2 of Toshiba Memory biz bid fight. Where the heck is WDC?

+Comment There are four bidders for Toshiba’s Memory Business and WDC isn’t one of them.
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2017

No nudity please, we're killing ourselves: Advice to Facebook mods leaks

A large quantity of Facebook's advice for its English-language content moderators* has been obtained and published by The Guardian newspaper, giving insight into how it handles material on the site.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2017

Project Gollum: Because NHS Caring means NHS Sharing

¡Bong! Even over Skype, the weeping of the National Health Service's Chief Transformation Officer could be heard even over the sound of the breaking waves here on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.
Steve Bong, 22 May 2017
Bipul_Sinha

Rubrik CEO: It's a passion project, not a hobby and not a 'job'

Profile How did Bipul Sinha, a man with neither entrepreneurial nor operation executive-level tech business experience, become the CEO of a startup?
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2017
GitHub Marketplace

GitHub throws open doors on 'app' souk

Social code repository GitHub is making it easier for developers to fetch data and spend money.
Thomas Claburn, 22 May 2017

Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap

Review Towards the end of his long career as an expert summariser on Test Match Special, Fred Trueman would declare: "I just don't know what's going on out there," and light his pipe.
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2017
networking plugs
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Parallel programming masterclass with compsci maven online

HPC Blog Dr DK Panda is a world-recognised expert on parallel programming and networking. He's a Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University and his research group has developed the MVAPICH2 (high performance MPI and MIP+PGAS) libraries for InfiniBand, iWARP, and RoCE with support for GPUs, Xeon Phi, and virtualization.
The Seventh Seal
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The eternal battle for OpenStack's soul will conclude in three years. Again

Comment After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, containers, cough, orchestration – as much as needed.
Michael Coté, 22 May 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock
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Constellations and MIMO to take fibre to a future beyond the terabit

Interview A technology that first hit the mass market in 1990s-era modems running over voice networks will soon be boosting submarine fibre speeds around the world.

Cloud giants 'ran out' of fast GPUs for AI boffins

Top cloud providers struggled to provide enough GPUs on-demand last week, AI experts complained to The Register.
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2017
Qantas Boeing 737-838, VH-VZR

Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

Updated International airline passengers in Australia, New Zealand and other nations have been told that problems processing passports at airports today were caused by a telecoms failure in the United Kingdom.
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017
Guilty

Code-thief pleads guilty to pinching file system to sell to China

A Chinese national accused of stealing source code to a clustered file system and other intellectual property from an officially-unnamed American company has entered a guilty plea.
NASA's Peggy Whitson on a previous spacewalk

NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

An external comms box on the International Space Station has failed, leading NASA to schedule its first unscheduled spacewalk since 2015.
Africa light bulb
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Public Cloud makes it to Africa for the first time

Microsoft has announced that it will offer Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from data centres in the South African cities Cape Town and Johannesburg next year.
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017
Young robot studying photo via Shutterstock

Has AI gone too far? DeepTingle turns El Reg news into terrible erotica

NSFW Forget about intelligent machines solving grand problems in healthcare and science – here’s an AI that can write awful gay porn.
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2017

Hi! I’m Foxy! It looks like you want to run Flash. Do you need help?

Developers of the Mozilla's Firefox Web Browser have indicated that version 55, due in August 2017, will be openly hostile to Adobe's Flash plugin.
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017

Japan (lightly) regulates high-frequency algorithmic trading

Japan has decided it's high time it got a grip on just who is conducting high-frequency algorithmic trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017

Google cloud glitch hits at Beer O'Clock Friday, fix coming Monday

POLL Google's got a problem with its Cloud SQL service – about seven per cent of instances using the service's first-generation code aren't backing up properly.
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017
The Shining - blood cascade

Yahoo! retires! bleeding! ImageMagick! to! kill! 0-day! vulnerability!

How would you like US$778 per byte for your exploit?
Shocked couple scream and clutch their hair

Netgear 'fixes' router by adding phone-home features that record your IP and MAC address

Netgear NightHawk R7000 users who ran last week's firmware upgrade need to check their settings, because the company added a remote data collection feature to the units.

Horse named 'Cloud Computing' finds burst of speed to beat 'Classic Empire' in actual race

A horse called 'Cloud Computing' has just beaten rival 'Classic Empire' to the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the three races comprising the "Triple Crown"
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2017
wannacry

Wannacry: Everything you still need to know because there were so many unanswered Qs

Vid It has been a week since the Wannacry ransomware burst onto the world's computers – and security researchers think they have figured out how it all started.
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2017

LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Password manager LastPass has added a new feature to its software: the ability to store two-factor authentication codes. This is great news. For hackers.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Cook fights for life after Google summit blaze

Google I/O A kitchen worker remains in critical condition after suffering life-threatening injuries from a blaze at the annual Google I/O developer conference on Thursday.
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2017
fraud

Wow, someone managed to make money on Fitbit stock – oh, 'fraudulently'

While Fitbit investors may be weeping over the wearable upstart's slumped share price, at least one person made out like a bandit on the stock, allegedly.
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2017

Why Uber threw top engineer Levandowski under self-driving bus

Analysis The lead Uber engineer at the heart of self-driving tech theft accusations made by Waymo against Uber has been told by his bosses to start talking or pick up his pink slips.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

A US federal appeals court has struck down rules requiring recreational drones and other model aircraft to be registered with America's aviation watchdog, the FAA – but left in place airspace restrictions affecting drones in the Washington, DC area.
Thomas Claburn, 19 May 2017
Twitter flock
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Wondering why the office is so productive? Yep, Twitter's knackered

Twitter has spent much of the day tackling gremlins in its systems that have left loads of users unable to access parts of the jibber-jabber service.
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017

After stiffing us with Trump, Weiner 'fesses to underage cock shot rot

Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner has finally realized what the rest of the world has known for some time.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2017
4

Formation Data Systems? More like formatted data systems: Upstart shuts down

Startup Formation Data Systems has shuttered its operations, we're told. Sources familiar with the matter said it closed down on May 16.
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2017
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Comodo database glitch causes billing problems

Updated While the rest of the world had its eyes firmly on the WannaCrypt outbreak, digital certificate firm Comodo suffered an unrelated but protracted database problem that affected its billing systems.
John Leyden, 19 May 2017
Businessman makes A-OK sign. Photo by Shutterstock

They grow up so fast! Veeam Availability Suite reaches the tenth grade

Veeam has issued the tenth version of its Availability Suite backup and restore product, saying it offers a wider-ranging data protection environment than ever before.
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2017

Biz overlords need to give a stuff about what they're told by IT crowd

Companies that suffer a data breach can expect to see their share price fall by five per cent and watch two to three per cent of customers take their business elsewhere.
John Oates, 19 May 2017
1

Who loves tapas? Of course you do. What about storage tapas?

For this round-up of storage news we start with Data Gravity and Veeam, move on to a McLaren super car crash, and pass through company news, some customer wins, news snippets and on to people moves.
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2017

Dell kills botched BIOS update that murdered punters' PCs

Dell has finally 'fessed up about the BIOS update that borked some customers' PCs, and advised punters to do what many have tried so far without any success – contact its tech troubleshooters for resolution.
Paul Kunert, 19 May 2017
phishing

Crooks use WannaCrypt hysteria as hook for BT-branded phishing emails

Scoundrels have latched on to the WannaCrypt outbreak as a theme for scam emails. Coincidentally some consumers are receiving seemingly genuine warnings from their ISPs related to suspected infection during last week's worldwide ransomware outbreak.
John Leyden, 19 May 2017
RAF F-35B ZM137, visiting the UK in 2016. Crown copyright

Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

The UK will buy a grand total of 17 F-35B fighter jets between 2020 and 2022 – and acquiring the A model of the supersonic stealth fighter hasn’t been ruled out.
Gareth Corfield, 19 May 2017

Ur dumped lol: Folk may be able to leave mobile contracts via text

It's considered a cold way to end most relationships, but customers may soon be able to consciously uncouple from their mobile providers by simply sending a text.
Kat Hall, 19 May 2017
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Huawei spied, US federal jury finds

A jury has agreed that Huawei committed industrial espionage in United States, ordering the Chinese giant to pay $4.8m in damages.
Andrew Orlowski, 19 May 2017
After Burner 2 Arcade edition

London City airport swaps control tower for digital cameras

London’s City airport is replacing its air traffic control tower with zoomable cameras worked from a base in Hampshire, according to reports.
Gareth Corfield, 19 May 2017
Under a blanket photo via Shutterstock

WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

I became a Solaris system administrator in the 1990s: first proper job out of university. I read a lot about the Morris Worm – believed to be the first of its type, and of interest to me because the Sun-3 kit I looked after was vulnerable.
Dave Cartwright, 19 May 2017
cloud
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What's 'amazing', cloudy and splattered in red ink? It's quarterly Salesforce results time

Just when you’d thought Salesforce had quit its habit of posting quarterly losses, the biz swung back into the red during its first quarter of 2017/18 - on the back of bumper growth.
Kat Hall, 19 May 2017

Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

A Texan is suing his date for the cost of a cinema ticket after she upset him by sending a bunch of texts to a pal while watching Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
Paul Kunert, 19 May 2017
A handful of euro 1 cent coins
1

Broadcom bid for Toshiba Memory Business – report

Broadcom is gearing up to deliver a $20bn (2.2 trillion yen) bid for Toshiba’s Memory Business, reports Bloomberg.
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2017

‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

Windows XP PCs infected by WannaCrypt can be decrypted without paying ransom by using a new utility dubbed Wannakey.
John Leyden, 19 May 2017
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

DXC Technology looks to lighten the payroll six weeks after launch

It was only a matter of time before DXC Technology – the corporate pile-up between CSC and HPE’s former Enterprise Services division – began using staff cuts to lighten the overheads. And so it begins.
Paul Kunert, 19 May 2017

Dell EMC man: Hyperconverged is love, hyperconverged is life, but won't kill SAN yet

Analysis Hyperconverged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs) are ready to take on the bulk of data centre x86 workloads but won't necessarily kill off the SAN.
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2017
Assange

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Updated Sweden's director of public prosecutions has today suspended an investigation into Julian Assange regarding rape allegations.
Kat Hall, 19 May 2017
banksy_hmv_nipper_bazooka_648

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Something for the Weekend, Sir? When I was younger, I had a chronic problem with fluff gathering in awkward-to-reach places.
Alistair Dabbs, 19 May 2017
G-CFOJ Eurocopter EC155 Helicopter Starspeed Ltd. Pic CC SA 2.0 by James (https://www.flickr.com/photos/95512093@N05/)

IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

IBM’s glorious leader Ginni Rometty – also known in some corners as the axe woman – this week cocked a snook to the corporate directive on travel restrictions by flying into the Hursley-based R&D centre in a Big Blue chopper.
Paul Kunert, 19 May 2017
Shooter, photo via Shutterstock

Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

Open source insider There's been a good deal of ongoing discussion about Google AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages.
scam

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

ON-CALL If it's Friday, it must be time for On-Call, our weekly column that recounts readers experiences of being asked to dodgy jobs at dodgy times for dodgy reasons.
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Australian money at a crime scene

Plutus Payroll clients and staff fell for plausible business model fairy tales

Fallen Australian payroll-services-for-contractors company Plutus Payroll convinced clients and staff that it had hit upon a business model let it fund free payroll services with clever money market plays, commission deals with financial services companies and by selling workers' details to marketers.
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017

And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin hologram ... Sir, it is only wafer thin

A group of scientists has developed the “world’s thinnest hologram” – a thousand times thinner than a human hair, they claim.
Katyanna Quach, 19 May 2017
Clog dancers. image via shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-138156878/

You'll get a kick out of this: Qualcomm patents the 'Internet of Shoes'

Chip-and-lawsuit designer Qualcomm has drawn up a patent on blueprints for an internet-connected shoe.
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
Piranha fish pattern illustration

Phishing scum going legit to beat browser warnings

Browser-makers' decision to put big red warning lights in the faces of users when they hit sites too slack to use HTTPS is backfiring a little, as crooks are accelerating their use of encryption.
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Sleeping man on couch with a beer , popcorn and a food-stained vest. Photo by Shutterstock

Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

Recent versions of the Ubuntu Linux distro fail to limit system access for guest accounts.
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
Shrinking data icon

Windows Server's footprint shrunk to reduce Azure bills

Microsoft's quietly revealed that it's shrunk Windows Server's footprint, at least when you run it in Azure.
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Arca OS 5.0, aka Blue Lion

What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived

An outfit called Arca Noae has released a new version of IBM's venerable OS/2 operating system, named ArcaOS 5.0.
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
White House

White House sicko sent down for 20 years after sexting underage girls

A US Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the White House has started a 20-year stretch for sending explicit snaps to underage girls – sometimes while on duty.
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2017
JavaScript/Node code for Google Assistant
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Google offers devs fat bribes, hopes to lure them to its Home

Google I/O Eager to catch up to Amazon and its Echo interactive speaker, Google at its annual developer conference on Wednesday offered everyone in attendance free Google Home hardware and $700 in Cloud Platform service credit to create apps that converse with the Google Assistant inhabiting its device.
Thomas Claburn, 18 May 2017
Geek Squad

Don't gripe if you hand your PC to Geek Squad and they rat you out to the Feds – judge

A judge has ruled that people who give their knackered computers to Best Buy's Geek Squad for repairs have no comeback if technicians find and report any illegal material to the Feds.
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2017
Google Cast for Daydream VR

Let's sum up Google's VR strategy so far: Making life less crap for a lonely 20-something

Google I/O Google wants more for its Daydream virtual reality platform than phone displays framed in cheap cardboard.
Thomas Claburn, 18 May 2017
9

Wonky whitelist update blamed for AT&T's nationwide 911 blackout

A wrongly updated whitelist was behind the five-hour nationwide outage of AT&T's emergency 911 service in March, a report by America's phone regulator, the FCC, has revealed.
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2017
vulnerability

Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

Two US senators have proposed a law limiting American intelligence agencies' secret stockpiles of vulnerabilities found in products.
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2017
AT&T store

40,000-plus AT&T staff threaten to strike Friday

A union representing 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers is threatening a nationwide strike this weekend after negotiations with the telco stalled.
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2017
9

We're heading back… to the future! Net neutrality rules on chopping block

As expected, on Thursday America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, voted 2-1 to start the process to gut net neutrality rules.
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2017
Microsoft's Fluent Design System, announced at Build

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Microsoft presented its latest Windows 10 strategy to developers at its Build event in Seattle last week.
Tim Anderson, 18 May 2017

Three home security systems found to be vulnerable – if hackers were hiding in bushes

Three home security systems were riddled with bugs, according to new research made public this week.
John Leyden, 18 May 2017
watching smut on a smartphone. Pic by shutterstock
9

AI smut-finder is now an Android app

The developers of Miles Deep, the porn AI editor we wrote about last year have made an app called MelonDream.
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2017
Image by Mark Bennetts http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2389319p1.html

ZX Spectrum reboot firm slapped with £52k court costs repayment order

Troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has been ordered to repay two of its shareholders’ £52,000 legal fees by the end of this month.
Gareth Corfield, 18 May 2017

UK Tory party pledges 'digital' charter, wants Verify to back online gov

The Conservatives have pledged to introduce a digital charter in the party's manifesto today, which also rehashes a number of familiar-sounding ideas about “digital by default” government and backs the failing identity authentication platform Verify.
John Oates, 18 May 2017
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock
8

Guess who's getting fat off DRAM shortages? Yep, the DRAM makers

Global DRAM shortages might have proved a pain in the butt for buyers of PCs, smartphones and servers, but – unsurprisingly – they were a boon for the memory manufacturers.
Chris Mellor, 18 May 2017

Banking association calls for end of 'screen-scraping'

The European Banking Federation (EBF) has asked the EU Commission to support a ban on "screen scraping".
John Leyden, 18 May 2017
Android Nougat

The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

Analysis Nothing in the new version of Android O, revealed for the first time at Google's annual developer conference yesterday, is as significant as the changes to the way Google releases code to phone makers.
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2017
Hand pulls on a latex rubber glove (disposable). Photo by shutterstock
3

ICO probes use of data analytics by politicos following Brexit vote

The UK's Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has opened a formal investigation into the use of big data analysis during the Brexit referendum.
John Oates, 18 May 2017

Cisco's servers are stuck in limbo, look likely to stay there

Comment Cisco has missed out on a blade to rack server shift, sales growth has turned negative, it doesn't sell to cloud providers and it has a small market share. Should it invest to grow or get out of servers altogether?
Chris Mellor, 18 May 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

UK.gov plans to overhaul £6bn in big IT deals 'watered down'

The British government's plans to overhaul £6bn in large IT contracts expiring within the next three years have fallen by the wayside, according to sources.
Kat Hall, 18 May 2017

No laptop ban on Euro flights to US... yet

The European Commission (EC) and the US have pushed back against moves for a wider ban on laptops on aircraft but talks on the subject will continue in Washington next week.
John Oates, 18 May 2017
An upset woman with an empty wallet

EC fines Facebook €110m for 'misleading' data on WhatsApp deal

The European Commission has fined Facebook €110m (£94.4m) for giving misleading or incorrect information about its takeover of messaging giant WhatsApp.
John Oates, 18 May 2017
Sad robot photo via Shutterstock

Sorry Google, it's boring old workloads that are pumping up AWS and Azure, not sexy AI

Comment Google Cloud Platforms's chief thinks the service will surpass AWS by 2022. Speaking at Forbes CIO Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, last month, Diane Greene claimed Google has "a huge advantage in our data centers, in our infrastructure, availability, security and how we automate things. We just haven't packaged it up perfectly yet."
Matt Asay, 18 May 2017

Great Ormond Street children's hospital still offline after WannaCrypt omnishambles

Updated The internationally famous Great Ormond Street Hospital has been taken offline as a safety measure following last week's catastrophic WannaCrypt outbreak.
John Leyden, 18 May 2017

Dell BIOS update borks PCs

Dell's latest BIOS update is bricking some machines – apart from a power light, they refuse to boot up at all, say users.
John Oates, 18 May 2017
Green data centre

Hyperscale data centres win between their ears, not on the racks

Organisations that hope to improve their own data centre operations by adopting the techniques used by hyperscale operators like Google or Facebook need to consider the stuff between their ears, not just the stuff on their racks, because changing data centre culture is more powerful than changing equipment.
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2017

Self-driving car devs face 6-month backlog on vital $85,000 LIDAR kit

Analysis A closer look at LIDAR sensors – a key component in autonomous vehicles – reveals the lucrative and competitive nature of the self-driving car industry.
Katyanna Quach, 18 May 2017
Dr Strangelove bomb

Nukes tests caused space weather, say NASA boffins

Space weather is usually driven by the Sun – but a bunch of data about Cold War nuclear tests has given NASA boffins the chance to measure whether humans can affect what goes on in Earth's neighbourhood.
Rabbani

Bloke charged under UK terror law for refusing to cough up passwords

British police have charged a man under antiterror laws after he refused to hand over his phone and laptop passwords.
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2017
padlock
8

Azure users told they're not WannaCrypt-proof

Microsoft Windows users already know what to do to defeat WannaCrypt (unless they've been asleep for a week). Now the company's published its advice for its Azure customers.
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

As expected, leaker extraordinaire Chelsea Manning has left the United States Army's Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after her sentence was commuted in the last days of Barack Obama's presidency.
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2017
Mickey Mouse

HP Inc wireless mouse can be spoofed

If you're using an HP Inc wireless keyboard/mouse combo and the cursor starts behaving badly, someone might be pranking you.
A skull atop money
6

Cisco to fire another 1,100 after sixth straight revenue fall

Administrative chaos in America has put a dent in Cisco's financials, and the company has announced its intention to cut another 1,100 jobs.
1

Australian privacy commissioner flags new data mining rules for government agencies

Australia's Department of Human Services (DHS) might have given itself a clean bill of health over its notorious “Robodebt” data-matching program, but Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim wants to check it out for himself.
Copper wire

nbn™ needs copper to build FTTN: another 15,000 km of it

Remediating and backfilling copper networks for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) was always going to need new copper, and now Australians know how much: 15,000 kilometres.
A plane seized in raids on the alleged owners of Plutus Payroll

Payroll-for-contractors company named at centre of AU$165m tax scam scheme

When Australian payroll-for-contractors outfit Plutus Payroll stopped paying its customers, several pointed out that the company looked too good to be true – because it did not charge for its services. And now we know why: the biz has been named at the centre of an AU$165 million (US$122.5m, £94.5m) fraud against the Commonwealth of Australia.
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2017
panic

You think your day was bad? OS X malware hackers just swiped a Mac dev's app source

The head of a Mac-centric software studio is coming clean today after a malware infection on his OS X machine last week resulted in the loss of source code for several products.
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2017

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