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Microsoft whips out tool so you can measure Windows 10's data-slurping creepiness

Microsoft is laying its cards out on the table. The software giant has produced a tool that's claimed to show users how much personal information Windows 10 collects and sends back to Redmond for diagnostics. The application is dubbed Diagnostic Data Viewer, and is free from the Windows Store. It reveals that stuff like the …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jan 2018
Confiant image of JavaScript fingerprinting code

Maverick internet cop Chrome 64 breaks rules to thwart malvert scum

The largest malvertising campaign in 2017 involved 28 fake ad agencies, which were used to generate about one billion ad views across 62 per cent of ad-supported websites, according to publishing security biz Confiant. By malvertising, we mean ads that try to trick people into installing fake Adobe Flash updates, bogus …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Jan 2018

Samba 4.8 to squish scaling bug that Tridge himself coded in 2009

File and print services project Samba will fix a slew of bugs that have made it hard for the project to scale in version 4.8, due in March. Samba developer Andrew Bartlett yesterday gave a speech at LinuxConfAU, titled Fixing tridge's mistakes: Taking Samba AD to scale, in which he admitted that in 2009 the project’s founding …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jan 2018
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec

Video effects designers who work with C++ code have a new unit of time to work with called a "flick." Short for "frame-tick" if you're willing to overlook the absence of the letter "l" from either word, a flick lasts 1/705,600,000 of a second. It's a bit longer than a nanosecond, which clocks in at one billionth (1/1,000,000, …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Jan 2018
LInux nutella

Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011

Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011. Torvalds flagged up the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2018

Linux's Grsecurity dev team takes blog 'libel' fight to higher court

Open Source Security, Inc., the maker of the Grsecurity Linux kernel patches, suffered a setback last month when San Francisco magistrate judge Laurel Beeler granted a motion by defendant Bruce Perens to dismiss the company's defamation claim, with the proviso that the tossed legal challenge could be amended. The code biz and …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jan 2018
Penguins photo via Shutterstock

NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

The small team behind an ambitious NHoS Linux project are calling it a day, citing receipt of a trademark infringement warning from the UK Department of Health's (DoH) "brand police" as the "final straw." The raison d’être of NHoS was to identify a way to roll out NHSbuntu, a remix of the open-source Linux distro Ubuntu …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jan 2018

Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter

Ethical hacking to find security flaws appears to pay better, albeit less regularly, than general software engineering. And while payment remains one of the top rationales for breaking code, hackers have begun citing more civic-minded reasons for their activities. A survey of 1,700 bug bounty hunters from more than 195 …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jan 2018

SAP boss promises to cull marketing dross on community network

CEO Bill McDermott has pledged to improve the SAP Community network previously slammed by members for offering a crap user experience and being another mechanism to push marketing messages. The SAP Community is supposed to be a forum for developers, mentors and tech users to discuss problems and share tips – but over the years …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Jan 2018

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

Now that the open source email client Thunderbird is sleeping in a separate bed from Mozilla, the project has called on outside help for a UI redesign. It's working with Polish designers Monterail to help with the redesign, partly because in 2016 that company created a popular custom UI theme for Thunderbird. Monterail's …

Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

Microsoft Equation Editor was sentenced to death on January 9, 2018 at the age of 17, when a software update from Redmond removed five files necessary for the application to function. Only a few months ago, the Windows giant thought its Equation Editor could be saved: its software engineers, lacking access to the ancient app's …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jan 2018
code on-screen

Causes of software development woes

Research "Agile development" can mean different things to different people. To some it's about easing up on traditional rigour, and even legitimising a quick-and-dirty approach to getting stuff out of the door. To others it's about implementing a different kind of rigour, in order to bust project backlogs in a more robust manner, and …
Dale Vile, 16 Jan 2018
ServiceNow visual task board

ServiceNow unleashes its 'Kingston' release

ServiceNow has slipped into 2018 by slipping out a new release of its platform. “Kingston” debuted late last week. Unlike other software-as-a-service players, ServiceNow offers dedicated instances and lets its customers choose when to start using an upgrade rather than suddenly springing new functionality on all its users. …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2018

Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

Facebook has settled a case with a 14-year-old girl after the social network hosted revealing pictures of her on a Facebook "shame" page. In perhaps the first case of its kind in the world, Facebook was taken to the High Court by lawyers for a Northern Irish girl, whose nude picture was repeatedly posted to the page between …
Firefox logo

Mozilla offers sysadmins a Policy Engine for roll-your-own Firefox installs

Mozilla’s announced it will add a “policy engine” to the next extended support (ESR) release of its Firefox browser. ESRs are supported for at least a year and give users the chance to settle on a browser for a while, rather than having to keep up with the faster release cadence offered to consumers. The next ESR release will …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2018
Spam

Wondering where your JavaScript libs went? Spam-detection snafu exiled npm packages

On the defensive after a malware kerfuffle last year, code registry npm shot first before asking questions over the weekend – and is now apologizing for the errant execution. The keeper of hundreds of thousands of Node.js packages and other JavaScript libraries wrongly removed the account "floatdrop" belonging to developer …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jan 2018

Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

It just works. For anyone. An Apple developer has uncovered another embarrassing vulnerability in macOS High Sierra, aka version 10.13, that lets someone bypass part of the operating system's password protections. This time, a vulnerable dialog box was found in the System Preferences panel for the App Store settings. The bug …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2018

SAP customers won't touch the fluffy stuff... so here's another on-prem HR data tool

SAP has revealed it is working on a new on-premises human capital management system, admitting that many of its customers are still not ready for the cloud. The German ERP giant had previously promised it would continue support for its existing on-premises solution, SAP ERP HCM, until 2025. But today SAP announced it was …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Jan 2018

Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

Updated The latest Stack Overflow developer survey has invoked ire from Oracle fans after failing to include Big Red in its list of database technologies. The survey, which last year attracted more than 64,000 responses, asks devs about the tools, databases, languages and platforms they use, loathe or want. Last year's results found …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Jan 2018
The Windows 10 timeline, coming in Spring 2018

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

Another year, another round of Windows 10 updates – most likely 1803 in March, and 1809 in September or thereabouts. The company calls this "Windows as a service", the idea being that users get a constant flow of improvements. The advantage for Microsoft is that it can begin to escape its legacy prison, where keeping …
Tim Anderson, 09 Jan 2018
Fast Cloud

Google kicks itself out of its own cache when serving AMP pages

Google’s come up with a way to kick itself out of URLs served to mobile devices from its cache, an effort that will mean pages from around the web no longer score an unwanted google.com address. URLs appear to come from Google thanks to the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project the company championed. Like so many Google …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jan 2018
Oracle logo on building in Amsterdam

US appeals court trims $50m off Oracle's take in Rimini Street law battle

A US appeals court has knocked $50m off Oracle's $124m winnings in its 2016 copyright case against Rimini Street. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld the enterprise software giant's claims that Rimini Street violated its copyright on software and support materials. But it tossed out the findings that …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jan 2018
Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne

Solaris 11.next becomes Solaris 11.4, but new features aren’t set

Much of the world tunes out between Christmas and New Year, and The Register shuts down. But Oracle decided that was the perfect time to reveal a little more about the future of its Solaris operating system. The guts of its twin holiday season posts on the OS were that it plans to give the world Solaris 11.4 some time in 2018 …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jan 2018
Profits down, image via Shutterstock

Micro Focus shares take bath after results report

Amid a boardroom rejig to pursue more M&A action, shares in London Stock Exchange-listed Micro Focus crashed today after financial results filed for the half-year ended October 31 fell short of analysts' expectations. The infrastructure software slinger reported revenue of $1.234bn, up 80.3 per cent year-on-year, flattered by …
Paul Kunert, 08 Jan 2018
Couple dressed as penguins celebrate in the snow

You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Open Source Insider The biggest open source story of 2017 was unquestionably Canonical's decision to stop developing its Unity desktop and move Ubuntu to the GNOME Shell desktop. What made the story that much more entertaining was how well Canonical pulled off the transition. Ubuntu 17.10 was quite simply one of the best releases of the year and …
Yahoo

Yahooooo! says! its! email! is! scrahoooo-ed!

Yahoo! Mail – yes, amazingly it is still a thing – is today taking a break from business as usual norms with the service down for almost the past seven hours. Since circa 9am, the email service has received hundreds of complaints an hour on downdetector.co.uk, with users moaning about persistant "error 15" messages, and others …
Richard Priday, 05 Jan 2018

And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows - it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

Munich City officials could waste €100m reversing a 15-year process that replaced proprietary software with open source following an official vote last year. Munich officials in 2003 voted to migrate to an in-house custom version of Ubuntu Linux called LiMux and tailor digital docs to be compatible with LibreOffice. Now the …
Jack M. Germain, 04 Jan 2018
Toothpaste image via Shutterstock

Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

The Linux Mint project turned out to be an early Christmas present, as it usually does, but this release is perhaps more important than usual given that Mint is much more alone in the Linux distro world than it was just one year ago. 2017 saw Ubuntu abandon the Unity desktop and come back to the GNOME fold, which means that …
Hippie peace, image via Shutterstock

Open-source civil war: Olive branch offered in trademark spat... with live grenade attached

A few days before the Christmas holiday, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) made a peace offering of sorts in an ostensible effort to resolve its trademark dispute with the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). In September last year, SFLC sued the SFC claiming that the SFC trademark "Software Freedom Conservancy" is …
Thomas Claburn, 02 Jan 2018
Penguin on Galapagos... chain in the foreground

Hyperledger 3 years later: That's the sound of the devs... working on the chain ga-a-ang

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project was announced in December 2015. When Apache Web server daddy Brian Behlendorf took the helm five months later, the Foundation’s blockchain baby was still embryonic. He called it “day zero.” Driving Hyperledger was the notion of a blockchain, a distributed ledger whose roots are in …
Danny Bradbury, 02 Jan 2018

Judge rm -rf Grsecurity's defamation sue-ball against Bruce Perens

Linux kernel security biz Grsecurity's defamation lawsuit against open-source stalwart Bruce Perens has been dismissed, although the door remains open for a revised claim. In June, Perens opined in a blog post that advised companies to avoid Grsecurity's Linux kernel security patches because it might expose them to claims of …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Dec 2017

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Updated Canonical has halted downloads of Ubuntu Linux 17.10, aka Artful Aardvark, from its website after punters complained installing the open-source OS on laptops knackered the machines. Specifically, the desktop flavor of Artful Aardvark, released in October, has been temporarily pulled – the server builds and other editions …

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

When Mozilla lobbed Firefox 57 over the fence last month, it introduced an anti-tracking feature without saying anything much about it. The changes are in the browser's “network requests scheduler”, and developer Honza Bambas explained the change in detail here. Bambas wrote that during page load, the scheduler uses the …

CSS and Javascript on GOV.UK page take early Christmas holiday

Updated A government legal aid eligibility checker has been without Javascript and CSS for a fortnight, sources told The Register – causing a visible dip in the number of people using the service. Shortly after El Reg asked the Ministry of Justice about the flaw with the site in question, the JS and CSS magically reappeared. A man …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Dec 2017
Email rejected

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live

Microsoft has bounced a Google Chrome Installer out of its Windows Store, just hours after making it available for download. Google's "Chrome" app was a minimalist offering – merely sending the user to the official Chrome download app. In a statement to the press, Microsoft said it had removed the Chrome Installer because it …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2017

Liberating SSH from Logjam leftovers

A recent Request for Comment at the Internet Engineering Task Force calls for SSH developers to deprecate 1,024-bit moduli. RFC 8270 was authored by Mark Baushke (at Juniper Networks but working as an individual*) and Loganaden Velvindron (of Mauritian group Hackers.mu) in response to demand for a response to the 2015 Logjam …

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