Software > More stories

Microsoft on Android

Microsoft's in-store Android looks desperate but can Google stop it?

Analysis To survive in an increasingly mobile-first world, Microsoft needs the kind of regulatory intervention it fought so hard to avoid in the 1990s and 2000s. Only this time, imposed on the dominant mobile OS, Google's Android. Microsoft imposed an iron look and feel on Windows, preventing PC builders from customising and branding …
shutterstock_cat_lion

Ubuntu 17.04 beta FACT: It's what's on the inside that matters, not looks

Download Ubuntu 17.04 beta preview, recently released, and visually speaking you might be a little disappointed. Unity is almost entirely the same with some minor updates for a few core apps. Most of what's new comes from the move to GNOME 3.24 for a few apps and core components. Looks it’s said are not as important as what’s …
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Cambridge Analytica arrives in Australia to STEAL our democracy!

The company has repeatedly claimed it helped Donald Trump win the US presidency and got the Brexiters' "Leave" cause over the line has arrived in Australia. According to Reuters, Cambridge Analytica has registered an office in Maroubra, Sydney, and Liberal Party director Tony Nutt says the party plans to meet company …
grave

Microsoft taking CodePlex behind the shed and shooting it by Christmas

Redmond's open source code repository CodePlex is to close on December 15, 2017 and Microsoft is advising users to move their stuff over to GitHub. The writing has been on the wall for CodePlex since early 2015, when Microsoft started its own projects on rival GitHub's servers. Since then, Redmond reports that interest in its …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2017
Man sloppily eats a hamburger... chips and pickle fall out. Photo by Shutterstock

Is your iOS app piling on weight? Blame Xcode 8.3: We shed light on Apple's bloat riddle

Apple's iOS 10.3 this week brought with it minor storage space gains, thanks to the debut of the iGiant's revised storage scheme, the Apple File System. But among app developers, such efficiency gains, a gigabyte or two of extra capacity, were undone by binary bloat brought on by Apple's development suite Xcode, specifically …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Mar 2017
gss_grid_examples

Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

With the release of Safari 10.1 this week, four major browsers in the space of a month have implemented support for CSS Grid, an emerging standard for two-dimensional grid layouts in web applications. For front-end web designers, this is a big deal. In a tweet, Eric Meyer, web development author and co-founder of A List Apart …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Mar 2017
Boxer suit flowers photo via Shutterstock

Time to make up: Realtime collaboration comes to Excel

Microsoft has announced a "significant" step in Excel for Office 365 users on PCs. Users of the giant's trademark Excel spreadsheet package can now work on a document at the same time as colleagues. It means you can jointly edit Excel documents stored on SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business rather than fields …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Mar 2017
Windows 10 Creators Update with Paint 3D and upgraded Edge browser

Creators Update gives Windows 10 a bit of an Edge, but some old annoyances remain

Hands-on Windows 10 was launched on July 29, 2015, just over 18 months ago, consigning the Windows 8 experiment to history and introducing the idea of "Windows as a service" – or in other words an operating system that (with a few exceptions) updates itself whether you like it or not. Now here comes the Creators Update, or version 1703 …
Tim Anderson, 30 Mar 2017
Bring out yer dead!

Samizdat no more: Old Unix source code opened for study

After years of lobbying by computer science luminaries, Bell Labs and Alcatel-Lucent (both owned by Nokia) have relented and will allow non-commercial study of the source code for Unix Research Editions 8, 9, and 10. It might sound like merely a historical artifact, but it's more than that. Unix source is an important computer …
Road Closed sign

Web-app devs note: Google wants to banish JavaScript dialogues

Annoying sites that open hard-to-eradicate “Do you want to leave this site? Are you sure?” dialogues are in Chrome's cross-hairs: the Chrome team has decided JavaScript dialogues offer too much scope for abuse, and is laying out a roadmap to get rid of them. The JavaScript dialogue is also a favourite of “Your Computer May Be …
Cows walk on green field in front of silos

Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Microsoft's big Windows 10 Creators Update platform release is now available if you want it, but the long-promised UX makeover and People Experience feature will wait for a future update to Windows. Probably this year, but possibly not. The release schedule is complicated. The Creators Update build becomes the default Windows …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Mar 2017
Exhausted looking business man on phone in from of laptop. Photo by Shutterstock

Microsoft beefs up Skype for Business as Amazon Chimes in

Microsoft is rounding out its Skype for Business Cloud PBX. The software giant is adding a feature called Auto Attendant for automated answering and call routing, and Call Queues to route calls to the next available attendant. Also announced was Skype for Business Call Analytics, a dashboard designed to let those running the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Mar 2017
Fox cub photo via Shutterstock

Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Open source insider Mozilla has been rolling out a major change to Firefox during the last year, the results of what the company calls its Electrolysis project. Electrolysis gives Firefox something Chrome has had for years now – multiple processes (in the best case scenario that's per tab). The change is a boon for speed – somewhere Firefox has …
Microsoft's Service Fabric is an application platform for microservices

Redmond takes a small step towards opening Service Fabric

Last year, Microsoft offered up its first public beta of Azure Service Fabric for Linux. This month, it quietly took another step with the fabric by partly open-sourcing it. As we reported last November, Azure Service Fabric is a platform for cloud-hosted microservices. Created to handle Microsoft projects like Azure SQL, …
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

Green software blacked out Australian State

Something good is going to come out of last year's “Black System” in the Australian State of South Australia: the global wind power industry has learned how to do better modelling for systems under attack from repeated failures. South Australia last year experienced a vicious storm that uprooted high-voltage power and blew …

Angular framework's grand ambition: Not breaking anything

Angular, the popular web application framework, reached version 4.0.0 last week, having skipped version 3 entirely. Known for its role in the MEAN stack – MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js – Angular lost the "JS" suffix and some of its momentum when version 2 appeared last year, largely because it was incompatible …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Mar 2017
Charlie Chaplin Modern Times

Ubuntu 17.04 inches closer to production

Ubuntu's final beta for version 17.04 has landed. Zesty Zapus covers Ubuntu desktop, server and cloud editions, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, MATE, Studio and Xubuntu flavours. It's not a huge feature boost, but the release is using the Linux 4.10 kernel, useful if your iron runs Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen silicon. If …

'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Updated Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers. The complaint [PDF], filed in Chicago's US District Court on Thursday, charges that Microsoft Windows 10 is a defective product and that its maker failed to provide adequate …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Mar 2017

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

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!” Alerted by the commotion, colleagues struggle to hold me back as I try to give my computer the damn good kicking it deserves. That’s unfair: the computer itself didn’t deserve such rough treatment. More importantly, it is not …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Mar 2017
FedEx's No Flash offer

FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash

FedEx is offering customers US$5 to enable Adobe Flash in their browsers. The offer's being made to users of FedEx Office Print, the custom printing tentacle of the transport company. FedEx Office Print lets customers design posters, signs, manuals, banners and even promotional magnets. But the web-based config-o-tronic …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017

Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications." In fact, VSC turns out to be rather inefficient when it comes to CPU resources. Developer Jo Liss has found that the software, when in focus and idle, uses 13 per cent of CPU capacity …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Mar 2017
Robots in love image via Shutterstock

Yahoo!'s big, fat clustered Google Machine Learning wedding

Analysis Yahoo! last month married clustered compute to Google’s machine learning. The firm’s engineers released TensorFlowOnSpark (TFoS), getting the Google Brain Team’s machine-learning framework up and running on Spark and Hadoop clusters. Spark is the open-source cluster framework overseen by Apache and employed by Yahoo!, Netflix …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Mar 2017

LinkedIn starts piping sales data to Salesforce and Dynamics

LinkedIn has revealed a new version of its SaaSy Sales Navigator that pipes activities from the network into Salesforce.com. Sales Navigator has been around for years and offers subscribers the chance to pursue their prey within the walled garden of the social network for suits. But as the company explains, that activity took …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2017
Woman says oops after data breach... or spome other mistake, possibly. Illustration by Shutterstock/sergey sobin

Ubuntu splats TITSUP bug spread in update

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). The guilty code is an upgrade to libc6 which broke the getaddrinfo() function in Ubuntu's DNS resolver code …
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10

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. "We have already developed the first version of the Windows 10 government secure system. It has been tested by three large enterprise customers," Alain …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Mar 2017

FYI anyone who codes outside work: GitHub has a contract to stop bosses snatching it all

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). Technology companies often require that employees, as a condition of their employment, sign away the intellectual property rights …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Mar 2017
Fox in snow photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft IE11 update foxes Telerik dialogue boxes

Microsoft’s March Windows 10 Update has claimed a new victim: Windows dialogue boxes built using Telerik objects. Telerik has received “numerous reports” of Microsoft’s IE update breaking RadWindow and RadListBox, according to an email to users seen by The Reg. This followed the release by Microsoft of its March update last …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Mar 2017
Adobe and Microsoft have announced new joint projects

Adobe buddies up with Microsoft for new ways to mine your data

Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms. Microsoft has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) offering, Dynamics 365, but is weak in marketing automation, while Adobe lacks a CRM product …
Tim Anderson, 21 Mar 2017
Charlie Chaplin Modern Times

Google Spanner in the NewSQL works?

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. Spanner represents the pinnacle of the so-called NewSQL movement, which is a rejection of NoSQL values and a return to the old values of SQL, …
Andrew Cobley, 21 Mar 2017
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

Like a BaaS: IBM offers Blockchain as a Service

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. IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service for the building of "tailor-made blockchain solutions" on the IBM Cloud. According to Big Blue, customers could even trade paper using its …
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

BlackBerry has finally acknowledged problems with the much-delayed 10.3.3 update to BlackBerry 10 that users began to receive late last year. In September 2015, as it announced the company’s first Android device, BlackBerry CEO John Chen promised that its home grown BB10 platform wasn’t dead. It had last received an update …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2017
Chap in suit in slingshot

Big-in-Russia's Yandex launches itself at a Google world

First Look The Google-Facebook duopoly has created a Silicon Valley empire that stretches from sea to shining sea. With two exceptions: Russia and China. While we think of Russian and Chinese internet companies as exclusively focused on their home territories, this isn’t totally the case. NASDAQ-listed Yandex operates mainly in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2017
Steve Martin dentist Little Shop of Horrors

Open wide, Node.js! NodeSource will certify you now

NodeSource has offered to clean up Node.JS with a program certifying modules as “safe.” The three-year-old company Thursday announced the release of NodeSource Certified Modules, which it promised would deliver “rigorous analysis” of 400,000 modules using a certification algorithm from proprietary code. Certified Modules will …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Mar 2017
spy_eye_648

Be our Guetzli, says Google, to make beastly JPEGs beautifully small

Google's revealed details of a new JPEG encoder it calls “Guetzli” and which it says can shrink images by between 29 and 45 per cent without making them appreciably less pretty. Google bothers with this stuff because it wants web pages to load faster, so that people use the web more and see more of its ads. To that end, the …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2017
murder

Microsoft kills Windows Vista on April 11: No security patches, no hot fixes, no support, nada

One of Microsoft's most hated operating systems (Windows ME is difficult to beat on that front) is destined to die in less than a month. Windows Vista, launched to a less-than-stellar reception on January 30, 2007, saw most of its support stopped back in 2012. On April 11 this year the hammer finally falls. Microsoft warned …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2017
Enlighten Subway demo

Microsoft really wants those MongoDB devs to move to DocumentDB

Microsoft reeeaally wants MongoDB developers to get onto Azure, and as such has announced support for Mongo's wire protocol for those who've declined offers to migrate to DocumentDB. Adding support for MongoDB's wire protocol – the protocol by which the open-source software gets data from point to point – will now allow …
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Alexa: How do I get free AWS? Simples: Build more of ME!

Amazon is throwing free cloud credits at developers building apps for Alexa hosted on AWS. The cloud giant will give aspiring AI devs $200 worth of credit in an apparent response to the fact devs were hitting its existing free service too hard. The AWS Free Tier had dished out one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Mar 2017
shutterstock_215940778

This week's top token gesture: Google Chrome chokes energy-hungry background tabs

With the recent arrival of a new version of its Chrome browser, Google is celebrating its software's energy saving potential, even as it overlooks its electricity addiction. "Starting in version 57, Chrome will throttle individual background tabs by limiting the timer fire rate for background tabs using excessive power," said …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Mar 2017
The new $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W

NetBSD adds RPi Zero support with 7.1 release

Raspberry Pi Zero users have another operating system to choose from, with the release of NetBSD 7.1. The Pi Zero isn't the only development board added in the release: the ARM-based ODROID-C1 quad-core single board computer also gets its moment in the spotlight. Also in this release, the wm driver for Intel i8254x gigabit …
Penguins photo via Shutterstock

Canonical preps security lifeboat, yells: Ubuntu 12.04 hold-outs, get in

Canonical is extending the deadline for security updates for paying users of its five-year-old Ubuntu 12.04 LTS – a first. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will become the first Long Term Support release of Canonical’s Linux to get Extended Security Maintenance (ESM). There are six LTS editions. All others have been end-of-lifed – and given …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Mar 2017

Microsoft's Slack-slapping 'Teams' slips into Office 365

Microsoft's formally launched Teams, its messaging-centric collaboration tool for Office 365. Redmond revealed Teams last November and at the time we remarked upon its uncanny resemblance to Unicorn-grade collaborationware Slack. Our very own Adam Fowler later opined that Slack and Teams “will likely entice two different …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2017
Image by Maksim Kabakouhttp://www.shutterstock.com/pic-362745248/stock-photo-privacy-concept-broken-shield-on-wall-background.html

SAP pushes 25 patches and two patch patches

Once you stop reeling from Microsoft's monster two-month patch dump, VMware's new patches and news that Dungeons & Dragons is going digital, brace yourself again because SAP has popped out has 25 patches and two patches for patches for you to consider. The most severe, which SAP customers* can read about at Security Note …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017