The Week in Summary

Uncle Sam needs you... to debug, improve Dept of Defense open-source software at code.mil

The US Department of Defense wants you to contribute unclassified code to software projects developed in support of national security.
Thomas Claburn, 25 Feb 2017

UK cops can keep millions of mugshots of innocent folks on file

After unlawfully hoarding millions of mugshots of one-time suspects, UK police chiefs were this week told to delete the snaps – but only if people in the photos complain. And even then, requests can be easily waved away.
Mike Rogers

NSA snoops told: Get your checkbooks and pens ready for a cyber-weapon shopping spree

NSA and US Cyber Command boss Mike Rogers has revealed the future direction of his two agencies – and for the private sector, this masterplan can be summarized in one word.
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2017
Digging

Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

The engineer who claims Uber is rife with sexism and lying executives has said someone is researching her background for a smear campaign.
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2017
Image by Maksim Kabakouhttp://www.shutterstock.com/pic-362745248/stock-photo-privacy-concept-broken-shield-on-wall-background.html

Don't worry about Privacy Shield, it's fine. Really. I promise, says US trade watchdog head

The acting head of the US Federal Trade Commission, Maureen Ohlhausen, has sought to assure people that the critical Privacy Shield data-sharing agreement will hold up despite President Trump's recent executive orders on immigration.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2017
Uber safety marketing

Toxic Uber sued after driver allegedly tried to rape passenger in car

Uber, facing scrutiny for its "toxic" culture of sexual harassment and for alleged trade secret theft from Alphabet's Waymo, has been hit with yet another lawsuit alleging that one of its drivers attempted to rape a passenger.
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2017

Pai, Pai, Mr American spy: FCC supremo rips up privacy protections for broadband punters

New rules due to take effect next week that would have required your ISP to obtain consent before selling your private details have been killed off by the new chair of the US Federal Communications Commission.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2017
A businessman in handcuffs
6

Surveillance software boss thrown in the clink for cooking the books

The head of a defunct surveillance and communications software company has been given the longest-ever prison sentence for back-dating stock options.
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2017

Finally proof that Apple copies Samsung: iPhone 7 Plus halts, catches fire like a Galaxy Note 7

Vid Demonstrating yet again that Apple trails Samsung in mobile phone trends, an iPhone 7 Plus owner has reported that her prized possession recently blew up on her.
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2017
Brocade_G620
1

Brocade SAN sales butchered by hyper-converged upstarts

It was a double whammy. Brocade saw hyper-converged infrastructure eat into its SAN networking sales as Broadcom acquisition-caused uncertainty drove IP Networking sales downwards too.
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2017
Gmail icon photo by I AM NIKOM via Shutterstock

Mysterious Gmail account lockouts prompt hack fears

Updated A substantial number of Gmail users have been affected by a potential but unconfirmed hack of unknown origin or purpose.
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2017
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock
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Artificial intelligence 'will save wearables'!

When a technology hype flops, do you think the industry can use it as a learning experience? A time of self-examination? An opportunity to pause and reflect on making the next consumer or business tech hype a bit less stupid?
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017
Girl drinking photo via Shutterstock
3

Microsoft offers Dynamics 365 data-sucking stoppage

A version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with cloud turned off is coming in the second quarter.
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2017

Symbolic IO reveals tech bound to give server old guard the willies

Analysis Symbolic IO has rewritten the server hardware and operating system rule book with its its computationally defined storage (CDS) and says apps like database queries run 60 times or more faster on its system. If these claims are real then server suppliers like Cisco, Dell, HPE and others are in for a mighty market shock as one IRIS server could replace five or more standard servers.
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2017

Alert! The dastardly Dutch are sailing a 90-ship fleet at Blighty

The Dutch are preparing to invade English seas with a fleet of 90 vessels after a previous expedition boarded the Royal Navy’s flagship and stole the Royal Coat of Arms from her.
Gareth Corfield, 24 Feb 2017

Oh, irony of ironies: Gov.UK's transparency report reveals... nothing

The British government has published a transparency report into the use of disruptive and investigatory powers by State actors, which ironically reveals absolutely nothing about the use of said powers.
Robot drives a car. Conceptual illustration from Shutterstock

New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Insurers would be primarily responsible for paying out damages stemming from accidents caused by "automated vehicles" under new UK legislation laid before the UK parliament.
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Feb 2017
Psion 5 photo by Georg Dembowski Schoschi

Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

The Psion Series 5 has stormed a Reg poll of technologies readers would most like revived.
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2017

Facebook scoffed at $500m damages. Now Oculus faces nerd goggles injunction

Sometimes it's wise not to boast that you're so rich, a $500m damages award against you is chump change.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock
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Visit banter.com. More like International BANTS Machines, amirite?

IBM staffers might not feel there's much to laugh about at the moment, with more swathes of redundancies on the way or the directive to kill off home working, but at least there's still plenty of banter to be had at the firm.
Kat Hall, 24 Feb 2017
Man with clipboard, hardhat and concerned expression next to a pressure gauge in an industrial setting. Pic by Shutterstock

BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

Episode 2 There's a small-scale war going on between me, the PFY and the folk in Health and Safety.
Simon Travaglia, 24 Feb 2017
shutterstock_236128771
3

BT, Ericsson square up to Arqiva, Samsung over 5G arms race

Hot on the heels of Arqiva revealing plans for a 5G trial with Samsung this morning, Ericsson and BT have also announced a partnership to develop 5G projects.
Kat Hall, 24 Feb 2017
Continuous Lifecycle London 2016 logo

Red Hat’s Jen Krieger joins Continuous Lifecycle lineup as keynoter

Events We’re very happy to reveal that Red Hat’s Jen Krieger will be delivering a keynote at Continuous Lifecycle London, our three-day DevOps, Agile, CD and Containers conference this May.
Team Register, 24 Feb 2017
Shaun of the Dead

I want it hot and wet – preferably with Wi-Fi

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I came too soon. Normally this is not a problem. Coming early allows me to regather my strength so that I can then go at it, full-on, for the next eight hours.
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Feb 2017

Can you fly with the Vultures? The Reg news desk is hiring

The Register is looking for an experienced reporter to join its lively London news desk.
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2017

Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

Analysis Hold the front page! Nokia's launching a bunch of new phones this weekend, and everyone is very excited.
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2017
Arm wrestling photo via Shutterstock

Is your AI being handed to you by Google? Try Apache open source – Amazon's AWS did

Open Source Insider Surprisingly, the MXNet Machine Learning project was this month accepted by the Apache Software Foundation as an open-source project.
Dropbox's securitybot

Your future boss? An employee-interrogating bot – it's an open-source gift from Dropbox

Dropbox has released the code for the chatbot it uses to question employees about interactions with corporate systems, in the hope that it can help other organizations automate security processes and improve employee awareness of security concerns.
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2017
Man and woman arguing

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly look at readers' memories of hibs gone bad.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017

Google to annihilate online trolling with ... tra-la-la! Machine! Learning!

Google and Jigsaw, an Alphabet incubator, hope to tackle online trolling with the launch of Perspective: a new piece of software that uses machine learning to highlight “toxic comments.”
Katyanna Quach, 24 Feb 2017
shutterstock_236128771
5

The final 5G technical performance specs have been set

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has published a draft of what it expected to become the final 5G specification.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017
Barcelona

For telcos and enterprise vendors, MWC 2017 will be an Edge/Fog/SDN/NFV-fest

Mobile World Congress kicks off next week in Barcelona and, as ever, is two shows in one. Gadget-lovers get to go “squee!” about new handsets and the fun they'll have with them. And in the fun and important part of the conference, telco wonks discuss the plumbing that makes the “squee!” possible.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017
Football goes into the net/ photo by shutterstock

Swedish politician wants weekly hour of paid sex. For exercise

A Swedish municipality may allow its workers to get on the job while on the clock, for an hour each week.
Team Register, 24 Feb 2017
Motorola Moto Z with Hasselblad Camera Mod

Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away

Hands-on Motorola's modular Android, the Moto Z, offers something genuinely new in the increasingly dull world of smartphones.
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017
4

South Korea targeted by cyberspies (again). Kim, got something to say?

The South Korean public sector is once again in the firing line of a sophisticated – and likely government-backed – cyberattack.
John Leyden, 24 Feb 2017
Trimming hedges

FCC lops off red tape around small US ISPs, y'know, things like having to own up about connection speeds

The FCC has granted pricing and speed reporting exemptions long sought by small US broadband providers.
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2017

Cloudbleed: Big web brands leaked crypto keys, personal secrets thanks to Cloudflare bug

Big-name websites leaked people's private session tokens and personal information into strangers' browsers, due to a Cloudflare bug uncovered by Google researchers.
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2017
budweiser truck

We want Waymo money from you! Uber sued for 'stealing self-driving car' blueprints from Alphabet

Alphabet's self-driving car outfit and Google stablemate Waymo is suing Uber, alleging theft of trade secrets and patent infringement.
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2017
Meg Whitman

HPE CEO Whitman says everything's 'on the right track' as sales are literally decimated

HPE's financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal 2017 are in, and they don't look good. Profits are flat and the servers, storage and networking divisions have shown double-digit declines in revenue.
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2017
A man buried in paperwork

How to nuke websites you don't like: Slam Google with millions of bogus DMCA takedowns

Analysis Big corporations are abusing the system for taking down files and links to copyright-infringing content by sending millions of fake links, according to Google.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2017
Echo

Amazon goes to court to stop US murder cops turning Echoes into Big Brother house spies

Police in the US believe an Amazon Echo overheard the murder of a bloke found dead floating in a hot tub. All the cops want is a copy of any audio recorded by the personal assistant, conveniently stored in Amazon's cloud.
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2017
Graduate student Seongjun Park holds an example of a new flexible fiber
7

MIT goes down to the wire: Brain cable pipes electricity, chemicals, light straight into minds

MIT brain boffins have developed a tiny fiber that can carry chemical, electrical, and optical signals back and forth between the brain and an external device, offering an improved path for testing brain functions and interactions.
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2017

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Back in December 2011, Michael Thomas did what many sysadmins secretly dream of doing: he trashed his employer's network and left a note saying he quit.
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2017
1

US 'security' biz trio Sentinel Labs, Vir2us, SpyChatter accused of lying about certification

Three US companies have settled with the FTC after they were accused of lying about the security safeguards on their customer information.
Shaun Nichols, 23 Feb 2017
Small robots photo via Shutterstock

People built AI bots to improve Wikipedia. Then they started squabbling in petty edit wars, sigh

Analysis An investigation into Wikipedia bots has confirmed the automated editing software can be just as pedantic and petty as humans are – often engaging in online spats that can continue for years.
Katyanna Quach, 23 Feb 2017

'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time

Google researchers and academics have today demonstrated it is possible – following years of number crunching – to produce two different documents that have the same SHA-1 hash signature.
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Brit lords slip 30Mbps Universal Service Obligation into UK Digital Economy Bill

An eleventh-hour amendment has been added to the UK government's Digital Economy Bill, proposing an increase of the Universal Service Obligation from 10Mbps to 30Mbps.
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

The adoption of prophylactics to protect users against advertising failed to rise in 2016, according to pollsters YouGov.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2017
The Royal Courts of Justice in London

Ex-employees sued for £15m over data slurpage ordered to pay up just £2

The High Court in London, UK, has agreed that a company's former employees who took thousands of confidential files away on USB sticks when they quit the firm were indeed naughty – and ordered them to pay damages of just £1 each.
Gareth Corfield, 23 Feb 2017

KCL external review blames whole IT team for mega-outage, leaves managers unshamed

Exclusive An external review into last October's catastrophic data loss at King's College London has placed the blame squarely at the feet of the IT technical team, which it found neither understood nor followed the university's system for backing up data.
handshake_648

Managed file transfer peeps Axway gobble sharetakers Syncplicity

French managed file transfer (MFT) company Axway has bought file sync and share supplier Syncplicity.
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Elon Musk

Elon Musk promises Tesla investors Trump won't send him to Mars

Amid larger than expected losses at Tesla, founder Elon Musk promised he would not be diverted by a mission to Mars and intended to stay at the company "forever".
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Become a blockchain-secured space farmer with your hard drive

Startup Storj (pronounced storage oddly enough) has an open source, distributed cloud object storage platform using blockchain technology and end-to-end cryptography across a peer-to-peer network to secure files.
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
An angry woman looking at her phone

O2 daddy Telefónica reports 12.5% drop in UK sales

Sales at Telefónica UK, which owns O2, plunged 12.5 per cent to €6.8bn (£5.7bn) for the firm's full year, mainly due to currency changes.
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017

IBM: Voluntary redundo offer? Ticked. Min stat terms? Ticked

Exclusive IBM is hoping to lighten monthly payroll costs by, er, dangling minimum statutory redundancy terms in front of UK staff who volunteer to cut short their career at the creaking tech titan.
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2017
Image by IfH http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1288723p1.html
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Deutsche Telekom hack suspect arrested at London airport

UK police have arrested a suspect in connection with an attack that infected nearly 1 million Deutsche Telekom routers last November.
John Leyden, 23 Feb 2017
Cat and mouse

More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Pest control firm Rentokil has developed an Internet of Things mousetrap that gasses rodents and automatically calls out a disposal bod – and it can be yours for a cool £1,300.
Gareth Corfield, 23 Feb 2017
Peter Sage, principal of Space Energy, giving a talk in 2012. He is currently imprisoned for contempt of court

Alleged $17.5m fraudster accused of duping HPE out of 42,000 servers

Peter Sage, the imprisoned "serial entrepreneur" and one-time principal of the company Space Energy, is said to have defrauded Hewlett Packard Enterprise out of tens of thousands of servers in a scam that unfolded over three years.
Gareth Corfield, 23 Feb 2017
Trophy. Image via Shutterstock
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OK, hyperconverged is the new black. But who's winning at it?

A consultancy reports that Nutanix, Simplivity and VMware lead the SDS/HCI market, while Microsoft, Cisco and HPE lag behind.
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Optimus prime photo via Shutterstock

Your IDE won't change, but YOU will: HELLO! Machine learning

Machine learning has become a buzzword. A branch of Artificial Intelligence, it adds marketing sparkle to everything from intrusion detection tools to business analytics. What is it, exactly, and how can you code it?
Danny Bradbury, 23 Feb 2017
Fencers photo via Shutterstock

Different judge, different verdict? Diageo's £54m SAP legal slap could have gone another way

If you use software licensed by SAP, you had better read your licence. If you have not yet acquired SAP software, you should make sure you use an experienced IT licensing lawyer before contracting.
Barry Sookman, 23 Feb 2017
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Updated The BBC has acknowledged that problems with the latest iPlayer software for PCs and Macs have left users unable to download shows to watch offline.
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2017
Tosh_Q300s

Tosh doubles 64-layer 3D flash chip capacity with a bit of TLC

Toshiba has introduced its first 64-layer 3D NAND device that doubles the capacity of its 256Gb product to 512Gb using a TLC (3bits/cell) design.
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017

Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

Customers are losing £5.8bn per year by sticking with the same mobile supplier, according to research from comparison site uSwitch.
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017
7

From drugs to galaxy hunting, AI is elbowing its way into boffins' labs

Feature Powerful artificially intelligent algorithms and models are all the rage. They're knocking it out of the park in language translation and image recognition, but autonomous cars and chatbots? Not so much.
Katyanna Quach, 23 Feb 2017
A wafer full of Intel's C3000 Atoms

Intel scales Atom to 16 cores, updates Xeon SoCs

Intel's tossed out a batch of new products ahead of Mobile World Congress, all of them handy for internet of things applications operating on very fast wireless networks.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017
8

Microsoft catches up to Valentine's Day Flash flaw massacre

Microsoft's popped out a Security Update for Adobe Flash.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017
Pebble Time

Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!

Fitbit has confirmed the long-held belief that it scooped up rival wearables maker Pebble for a bargain basement price before murdering the watchmaker.
Shaun Nichols, 23 Feb 2017
Semaphore hello

Boffins exfiltrate data by blinking hard drives' LEDs

That roll of tape you use to cover the Webcam? Better use some of it on your hard-drive LED, because it can be a data exfiltration vector.
printer

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

HP Inc has reported its first quarter results with a highlight being increased sales and revenue for PCs, but a dip for printer-related activities.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017
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Arris slaps down US$800m to buy Brocade's wireless bits

Arris Technologies will buy Ruckus Wireless from Broadcom, for US$800m.

The last time El Reg covered IBM Domino we used a chisel

The last time The Register covered IBM Domino, we rode to work on a brontosaurus and wrote the story with a a chisel.
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017
Stegosaurus
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Linux kernel gets patch for 11-year-old local-root-hole security bug

Eleven years ago or thereabouts, the Linux kernel got support for the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol – and also got a privilege escalation bug that has just been fixed.
People whispering
5

Firefox certificate cache leaks user information

Firefox's intermediate certificate cache can be tricked into leaking to a deliberately mis-configured server, creating yet-another chance to fingerprint users (including those who think they're protected by Private Browsing).

Radioactive leak riddle: Now Team America sniffs Europe's skies for iodine isotope source

The US military has sent one of its atmosphere-analyzing aircraft to Europe to hunt the source of a radioactive leak on the continent.
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2017
warrant

US judge halts mass fingerprint harvesting by cops to unlock iPhones

Analysis An Illinois judge has rejected a warrant sought by the US government to force everyone in a given location to apply his or her fingerprints to any Apple electronic device investigators happen to find there, a ruling contrary to a similar warrant request granted last year by a judge in California.
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2017
Image from Shutterstock 161369036
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LTE-U R gd 2 go: FCC gives unlicensed spectrum its coat, pushes it out the door

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

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

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

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

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

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
2

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

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
4

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

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
shutterstock_197375177-doctor
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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
2

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
2

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
2

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".
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Kubernetes and Prometheus flesh 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
5

TeamSpy hackers get the crew back together after four-year hiatus

Updated 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
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1

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