Pic Astronomers claim to have identified the largest and purest brown dwarf – measuring in at a record-breaking 90 times the mass of Jupiter – hovering around the edges of the Milky Way.
Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal
US embassies have been told to examine social media accounts of visa applicants who have ever set foot in Islamic-State-controlled areas.
In the wake of a terror attack in the heart of London this week that left five dead, the UK government has turned its ire onto online companies – including Google and Facebook – for not doing enough to remove extremist webpages and other content from their services.
Updated Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers.
Analysis Silicon Valley prides itself on disrupting industries – but it has bitten off more than it can chew by trying to take on an already highly competitive market suffering from major money woes.
Cybercrooks are using a bot to automate the process of breaking into and draining online gift card accounts.
Amazon's brand-new UK T2 micro instances reached saturation point on Friday, with users being told the AWS service had run out of local capacity.
Brit IT services giant Daisy Group has waved goodbye to former Alternative Networks CEO Mark Quartermaine – just months after it bought the comms and tech integrator, an internal document has confirmed.
Lloyds Banking Group is throwing more UK techies overboard ahead of the big outsourcing deal with a “single strategic partner” that El Reg previously revealed was IBM.
Australian web service firm Enetica has provoked consternation among customers frustrated about a prolonged outage now entering its second day.
Britain is not buying V-22 Osprey aircraft to fly from its new aircraft carriers, the government has confirmed.
Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones.
Twitter, the profitless microblogging website, has floated the idea of offering a paid-for version of its Tweetdeck product – and this is going down amongst the site’s users like a cup of lukewarm vomit.
Events There are just seven days left until we close the call for papers for M3, and we would really love to hear how you’re putting artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to work in business.
IBM UK appears to have fired the starting gun on a 2.0 redundancy programme for the Infrastructure Services Delivery division – before the first one has even concluded.
Ofcom has begun consulting on the UK government's desire to compensate consumers and SMEs when telco companies fail, as set out in the Digital Economy Bill, even though the Bill hasn't reached the Royal Assent stage yet.
The DDoS attack business has advanced to the point that running an attack can cost as little as $7 an hour, while the targeted company can end up losing thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Something for the Weekend, Sir? “For heaven’s sake, stop waggling it in my face! Kuh-rist, keep still! Right – you’ve asked for it!”
The UK government body created to save cash buying common goods and services centrally has so far provided "dismal" savings for the taxpayer, the Committee of Public Accounts said in a report today.
The government will need to splash £145m per year on 2,000 digital staff - or £244m using contractors - if it is to meet the serious shortfall in skills, according to the National Audit Office.
On-Call Ooh! Friday is here! Which means it's time for On-Call, in which Reg acknowledge that misery loves company by sharing stories of jobs gone awry.
Dance Dance Revolution – one of the few computer games that causes players to break into a sweat – is getting a boost from artificial intelligence.
Analysis The OpenSSL project, possibly the most widely used open-source cryptographic software, has a license to kill – specifically its own. But its effort to obtain permission to rewrite contributors' rights runs the risk of alienating the community that sustains it.
Comment Fresh from signing contracts to put artificial intelligence into its warships, the Royal Navy is now running an exercise to demonstrate robotic warfighting tech at work – Ex Information Warrior.
FedEx is offering customers US$5 to enable Adobe Flash in their browsers.
Video A biophysicist has found a way to save precious wine drops from leaking down the side of the bottle after it’s poured into a glass.
Updated Google's Chrome development team has posted a stinging criticism of Symantec's certificate-issuance practices, saying it has lost confidence in the company's practices and therefore in the safety of sessions hopefully-secured by Symantec-issued certificates.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has told a conference that the company is contemplating “what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has spotted nothing for the last two weeks, which is unusual.
Australia this week shelved planned safe harbour reforms to copyright and decided to proceed with laws that would make its attorney-general NetAdmin-in-chief.
Champagne corks will be popping in Seattle after US taxmen lost their case against American web giant Amazon over the non-payment of taxes on overseas earnings.
Pic A robot has been spotted on the landing pad of SpaceX's floating barge Of course I still love you, and the rocket biz is refusing to say what it is for.
Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them
Startling leaked documents show the CIA could purchase Apple Macs and iPhones, install spyware onto them, and give them to targets.
The number-one complaint to US comms watchdog the FCC right now is about robocalls – a remarkable 200,000 complaints from consumers last year alone.
Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications."
Vid The inauguration of President Donald Trump in the US capital was marked by protests, with cops collaring more than 200 people on the day. Now court documents reveal the US government's efforts to crack the arrestees' locked phones and slurp their contents.
The US Senate has voted to kill privacy rules that would have prevented ISPs from selling your browser history, under the fantastic logic that mobile operators aren't under the same restriction.
CoreOS is extending Tectonic, its enterprise Kubernetes platform, beyond Amazon Web Services and bare metal environments to run on Microsoft Azure and OpenStack cloud infrastructure.
Add Android Forums to the growing list of web properties that have suffered a security breach.
Analysis Several US-based advertisers have now suspended their advertising with YouTube, following over 200 pull-outs in the UK and Europe. Google had run big brand advertising on hate videos including jihadist groups. Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, AT&T are the latest to hit pause, or withdraw ad budgets from YouTube altogether. AT&T is one of the top-five advertisers in the US, the New York Times notes. In 2015 it was the third biggest spender with $3.3bn across all media, according to AdAge.
Call centre staff at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are to be axed in the latest expenses purge, company insiders have told us.
Vodafone has admitted that the commercial launch of its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in Ireland and the Netherlands has been delayed by a whole season.
Three has renewed calls on Ofcom to intervene in the UK's mobile spectrum market, warning it could lawyer up unless the regulator curbs the proportion of airwaves owned by Vodafone and BT's EE in the forthcoming auction.
Brainbox greenhouse Cambridge has rolled out the latest stage of its smart city network, the Intelligent City Platform, which talks to the city’s existing LoRaWAN Internet of Things network.
Moderate drinking is good for you, a BMJ-published study has found, directly contradicting the advice of the UK government's "Chief Medical Officer", who advised last year there was "no safe level" of drinking. A daily pint reduces risk of a heart attack and angina by a third, a big data study of Brit adults has found, while total abstinence increases the risk by 24 per cent.
Comment "The iPad is done," writes Europe's shrewdest hardware scribe Volker Weber in the aftermath of Apple's annual revamp of its tablet line.
The principle of Defence in Depth (“DiD”), says OWASP, is that “layered security mechanisms increase security of the system as a whole”. That is, if one layer of protection is breached, there’s still the opportunity for the attack to be fended off by one or more of the other layers. If anyone’s ever drawn something that looks like an onion on the whiteboard – a load of concentric layers with your infrastructure in the middle – that’s the concept we’re looking at. It’s actually a military term that’s been adopted by security types in the IT industry who want to be tank commanders when they grow up.
Analysis Yahoo! last month married clustered compute to Google’s machine learning.
An MIT student has created a scheme to shadow packets as they pass through networks, to help take the risk out of experimenting with changes to network configurations.
Carnegie-Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute has followed-up its secure C programming rules from last year with a similar set of standards for C++.
Web tat bazaar eBay appears to be suggesting its readers adopt known-to-be-insecure practices when logging on to the service.
Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins at Microsoft, the Windows giant has been talking up how much it loves Linux – but it appears this hasn't trickled down to its OneDrive team.
LinkedIn has revealed a new version of its SaaSy Sales Navigator that pipes activities from the network into Salesforce.com.
NASA hopes to use lasers to shoot data to and from the International Space Station and Earth at gigabit-per-second rates by 2021.
Chinese phishing scum are deploying fake mobile base stations to spread malware in text messages that might otherwise get caught by carriers.
Huawei's tightened its relationship with SUSE for extremely high reliability computing, while also denting Microsoft's and Red Hat's prospects.
Boiled dry or extra-terrestrial snowballs, it turns out that the multi exoplanets orbiting the star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 are almost certainly inhospitable to life.
A simple library update turned into a white-knuckle ride for Ubuntu sysadmins, who have lit up Reddit and StackOverflow to complain that their 'net connections went TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance).
More than 17,000 workers for AT&T belonging to the Communications Workers of America downed tools and went on strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday after restructuring talks broke down.
Lawyers for US President Donald Trump have sent not one, but two cease-and-desist letters to a website featuring his face being pawed by kittens, it is claimed.
The World Wide Web Consortium has formally put forward highly controversial digital rights management as a new web standard.
The Russian programmer who built the bank-acount-raiding Citadel Trojan has admitted his crimes.
Facial recognition technology represents a valuable, and likely inevitable, method of identification for cops and Feds. Unfortunately, it's largely unregulated, error prone, and insecure.
Malware posing as legitimate software for Siemens control gear has apparently infected industrial equipment worldwide over the past four years.
Microsoft UK price rises that kicked in at the start of this year weren't bad news for everyone in the country – IT reseller Softcat saw software sales swell as customers purchased licences early to avoid the hefty hike.
Analysis In 2015 we compared, after many years' experience, Microsoft strategy to "a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head". But relatively speaking, there's one product category where its hard work is beginning to appear coherent – at least compared to the competition.
Evaldas Rimasauskas, a 48-year-old Lithuanian man, has been charged with defrauding two major US-based internet companies for more than $100m through whaling attacks.
npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.
Updated Hackers who claim to have gained access to over 300 million iCloud and Apple email accounts are threatening to wipe user data unless Apple pays a ransom.
If you've wondered how AI and robotics are going to interact with and affect human sexuality – indeed humans full stop – you should really join us on 19 April for our next Register Lecture.
Word reaches us of Project Baccarat*, IBM’s latest redundancy programme for staffers in the Infrastructure Services Delivery division.
Rapid7 has upgraded its popular Metasploit pen-testing tool to help IT security teams and consultants probe for IoT-related weaknesses in corporate environments.
Pics The Ministry of Defence sent an expedition to Rockall in 1971 to blast the top off the Atlantic islet, a newly released report has revealed.
Coppers in England and Wales are "persistently" committing data breaches, according to the Police Federation's head of misconduct.
Gemalto warned on Wednesday that its first-quarter revenues will be between 7 to 9 per cent lower compared to the same period of 2016.
Operations people are often quite fond of Splunk, because it gives them bucketloads of useful data about the performance of the kit they tend. Developers are often quite fond of New Relic, because it gives them bucketloads of useful data about the performance of the code they tend, and its impact on the user experience.
Three UK's mobile users are ripping through well over 6GB of data a month, prompting questions on whether the increase is sustainable.
Podcast Podcast This week Ed, Melissa and Peter chew on the week's tech news from Apple, Uber, Nimble and Reduxio before diving in on the implications from Brexit.
Broadband provider Plusnet has been slapped with a £880,000 fine from UK comms watchdog Ofcom for continuing to bill former customers.
London councils with Capita contracts have sought assurances from the outsourcing business that they will not be affected by its plans to offshore jobs to India.
A security researcher has welcomed the UK's launch of a vulnerability co-ordination pilot while cautioning that a strategy for handling Freedom of Information requests needs to be developed.
Hybrid IT infrastructures are rapidly becoming the norm. Even if there isn’t a conscious decision to adopt a hybrid of on-premises/cloud networks and servers (for instance, on-premises servers replicating near-real-time to failover partners in the cloud), the adoption of cloud apps is making many setups hybrid by default, even if not by design.
Microsoft's supremo for China has told state-owned China Daily that Redmond's ready roll out version of Windows 10 with extra security features demanded by China's government.
Pics Very few people have seen the 10th floor of the European Patent Office's ISAR building in Munich since it's been renovated – and for good reason.
Throughout its recent sexism and scofflaw scandals, Uber hasn't denied that its culture has some invidious aspects.
Aficionados of salacious smut sites in the UK and Canada are picking up some nasty software that infects systems by using corrupted pop-under adverts.
In January 2016, Juniper Networks swallowed BTI Systems with the aim of bringing software defined network approaches to the optical sphere. One of the fruits of that acquisition has now landed, with the company announcing its Open Cloud Interconnect.
Pics Scientists have seen a landslide on a comet for the first time ever, it was announced on Tuesday.
Nokia has lit up a trans-Atlantic fibre for Facebook, in a field trial that showed off 200 Gbps and 250 Gbps wavelengths on a 5,500 km link.
Apple's best products succeed because they solve non-obvious problems.
A developer is warning Adium users to pick a different messaging app because of an exploitable vulnerability in its underlying libpurple version.
If your Linux-using mates suddenly disappear for a day or two, we can explain why: Netflix has just revealed it's fully and formally available on the OS.
IBM's decided to play the “our cloud storage is even cheaper than your cloud storage” game, but by a different set of rules.
Updated “Don't create undocumented features” should be tattooed in the corner of every developer's eye: there's one in the Microsoft Application Verifier Provider that provides attack vectors on everything Windows since XP.
Google on Tuesday published a developer-oriented preview of Android O, which turns out to be a software sequel rather than softcore erotica.
A startup is offering workers a hefty sign-on bonus – if they move out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
In contrast to the restrictions many companies place on their workers, GitHub believes it can loosen the reins through the release of its Balanced Employee Intellectual Property Agreement (BEIPA).
Updated Password vault LastPass is scrambling to patch critical security flaws that malicious websites can exploit to steal millions of victims' passphrases.
Updated Microsoft cloud services have dived offline, taking down Outlook, Hotmail, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live.
The UK has banned airline passengers on direct inbound flights from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa from taking a range of electronic devices into the cabin due to fears of a terrorist attack.
Cybercriminals behind the Necurs botnet have reactivated the zombie network and returned to their original business of using compromised machines as conduits for spam distribution.
The wonderfully named Marco Grieco Wang-Andresen, number two EMEA exec at Acer, is floating across to run rival PC maker Lenovo's ops in the same territory, El Reg can confirm.
British software giant Sage has lost a “trail-blazing” executive brought in to help oversee the transition to cloud from on-prem after less than six months.
The UK Information Commissioner has cleared the Information Commissioner of an alleged failure to apply Freedom of Information laws correctly, following an investigation into itself.
Microsoft’s March Windows 10 Update has claimed a new victim: Windows dialogue boxes built using Telerik objects.
A popular Indiegogo venture to build a secondary e-ink display for the iPhone has shut down after raising over $1m – and donors will not get their money back.
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, has weighed in on Internet of Things security, warning that a Mirai botnet-style incident could happen again unless vendors start taking responsibility for their goods.
Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms.
Google has responded to a contagious YouTube advertising boycott which yesterday prompted a downgrade on Wall Street.
Mobile operator Three has admitted that some customers were able to view the mobile account details of other Three users via their accounts yesterday.
Councils in the UK have work to do ahead of the EU's General Data Protection Regulations, according to the Information Commissioner's Office's department for good practice.
UK government proposals to force internet service providers into blocking content inappropriate for children with filters have been branded "disproportionate" by the industry's representative group.
There are just 10 days left until we close the call for papers for M3, so if you want to tell the world how you’re putting artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to work in business, we really want to hear from you.
The commercial release by Google of its Spanner database as a public beta last month came as both a pleasant surprise and a wake-up call: perhaps the end of NoSQL databases is in sight.
Review Huawei began to make significant inroads into the premium phone business in the West last year with its heavily promoted P9 models, and the Chinese giant has got this year’s shot at the market in early: ahead of Samsung and HTC.
The UK Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.
HPE is ensuring that no unpleasant memories linger for Enterprise Services staff being booted to DXC Technology by informing them they are no longer entitled to membership to the employee discount scheme.
Updated Fears of terrorists smuggling bombs disguised as laptops onto airplanes has triggered a fresh crackdown on carry-on luggage.
From voice translation to self-driving automobile, AI's impact in everyday life will become more and more apparent this year. The AI and deep learning market will experience even more rapid technological advancement, very rapid growth and adoption, and increasing competition for both hardware and software platforms. While AI fears will remain, the public will become more cognisant and comfortable with social media AI applications.
Sysadmin Blog The machines are taking over. At the forefront of this change is the US Air Force, which now has more jobs for drone pilots than any other type. This is not likely to be an isolated event.
Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...
Samsung has shed more light on its virtual personal assistant Bixby ahead of the March 29 launch of its flagship – and hopefully non-detonating – Galaxy S8 smartphone. The S8 will be a big user of Bixby.
Artificial intelligence agents can invent their own language and talk among themselves to work out the best way to get a job done, a study has shown.
VMware says it's been asked to consider how nuclear submarines might use its virtual SAN.
Boffins poring over data from the Large Hadron Collider's “Beauty” experiment are blinking in surprise, having turned up five new particles in one hit.
Citrix has revealed a little more about XenApp Essentials, its replacement for the Azure Remoteapp application publishing service that Microsoft killed off last year.
ARM is today touting a new way of organizing processor chips – one that will squeeze accelerators designed for AI and such tasks into phones, PCs, cars, and so on.
Delivery is the weakest link in the “dark web” drug trade: the postal habits of a large-scale trader have led to his undoing.
Domain-name lookups only reveal websites visited, not individual pages viewed, right? Wrong: the interaction between a user and the DNS is more revealing than previously believed, according to a paper from German postdoc researcher Dominik Herrmann.
New Zealand has joined the international criticism of Apple's tax arrangements, with NZ$4.2 billion worth of sales over ten years yielding zero tax in the country.
Updated Nest's Dropcam and Dropcam Pro security cameras can be wirelessly attacked via Bluetooth to crash and stop recording footage. This is perfect for burglars and other crooks who want to knock out the cams moments before robbing a joint.
After almost a month spent attached to the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has successfully returned to Earth. The podule, laden with science experiments including the bodies of 40 mice, is now on its way to NASA via ship.
People traveling by air to America from an undisclosed list of countries will no longer be allowed to carry devices larger than a mobile phone in carry-on baggage.
Google has asked its search quality raters not to assume that users looking up Holocaust denials, or whether women or Islam or black people are evil, are "racist or bad people."
Analysis Looking back, it should have been obvious: when Google announced in 2011 that it would roll out its own super-fast internet service for just $70 a month, offering 1Gbps over its own fiber, it started out in Kansas.
Vid Monday mornings are never pleasant, are they? Take FBI director James Comey and head of the NSA Admiral Mike Rogers, for example, who kicked off their week by being grilled by the US House Select Intelligence Committee.
The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court ruling of contempt against an ex-cop who claimed he couldn't remember the password to decrypt his computer's hard drives.
Scammers are exploiting a new batch of leaked celebrity nudes, using the stolen selfies to lure in gawpers and make a fast buck.
Staff at Safe Computing - Britain’s nearest equivalent to Workday - are feeling anything but secure about their livelihoods after reading a proposal by their new owner to axe some jobs.
IBM's fortunes are set to change, we're sure of it. After 20 straight quarters of sales decline, the business has launched Blockchain-as-a-Service.
Interview Sure, algorithms are insanely useful, but we need to watch we don't become complacent and unable to question them, University College London's Dr Hannah Fry warned in an interview with The Register.
BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year.
A Kent man has been on bail for seven years over allegations he operated a GSM gateway which allowed consumers to get cheaper calls abroad.
The Financial Conduct Authority is to probe the accounting screw-up at Redcentric that was made public last autumn when the firm admitted to overstating assets and understating net debts by millions of pounds.
Beijing authorities are forcing desperate defecators to submit to a facial scan before receiving an allotment of toilet paper, sparking a debate over privacy, crowd control and the toxic qualities of Chinese loo roll.
Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material.
Updated Norfolk County Council left files containing sensitive information about children in a cabinet that was dispatched to a second-hand shop.
Jeremy Fleming, the deputy director-general of MI5, is to helm GCHQ following the surprise resignation of Robert Hannigan this January.
Interview You know, we know, everyone knows… the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May of next year for every member of the European Union, and that will include the United Kingdom.
Sysadmin blog Microsoft now runs a bunch of Windows servers on ARM processors. Apparently, these ARM chips are quite good at their jobs and Microsoft might try converting entire categories of workloads over. All around the world the tech press has speculated on whether or not Windows on ARM will be showing up in on-premises datacenters. In doing so, they've completely missed the point.
Uber's president Jeff Jones has joined the #deleteuber movement because he's come to realise the company's values aren't compatible with his own.
A determined effort to take action against the president of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, has faltered again thanks to some strategic maneuvering by his defenders.
IBM”s found a new way to get its cloud into China – a new deal with the Wanda Internet Technology Group.
Atlassian has joined the growing list of vendors to patch its products against the Apache Struts 2 vulnerability.
Citrix has taken the wraps off the “XenDesktop Essentials Service for Microsoft Azure”, a product that lets you run virtual Windows 10 desktops from Microsoft's cloud. But the XenApp Express product it and Microsoft said would replace Azure remoteapp remains hidden from view.
Following the February controversy over whether or not Google's SHA-1 collision broke Git, its community has taken the first small steps towards replacing the ancient hash function.
Cisco's let users of its ASR 920 Series Aggregation Services Routers know they've got a fear of heights.
It looks like Cisco won't be chasing up a partnership with WikiLeaks: it's combing the "Vault7" documents itself, and has turned up an IOS / IOS XE bug in more than 300 of its switch models.
McDonald's India has 'fessed up that its app spaffed personal data to all and sundry and has urged users to install an update.
Australia's federal government is sticking with its plans for a federated identity service, but disruption minister Angus Taylor has moved to quell fears of a revived “Australia Card”*.
Intel has finally revealed an Optane product and told us how fast it will go.