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Copyright: Copyright 2018, Situation Publishing

Global security crackdown, a host of code nasties, Brit cops mocked, and more

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:52:10 GMT

It's the week in security

Roundup Here's a summary of this week's security news beyond what we've already reported.…

Reinforcement learning woes, robot doggos, Amazon's homegrown AI chips, and more

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:04:08 GMT

Why machines aren't really superhuman at all

Roundup Hello! Here's a brief roundup of some interesting news from the AI world from the past two weeks, beyond what we've already reported.…

James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:39:25 GMT

When the lawyer thinks you're cruel, that's Damore. When you're thrown on the street with a cloud at your feet...

Google was well within its rights when it dumped controversial bro-grammer James Damore in mid-2017.…

Hands up who HASN'T sued Intel over Spectre, Meltdown chip flaws

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:42:46 GMT

Chipzilla says class-action lawsuit tally stands at 32

Intel says it is facing 32 separate class-action lawsuits following the revelations it shipped millions of processors with security design flaws dubbed Meltdown and Spectre.…

Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancée's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:04:03 GMT

Intimate photos somehow ended up on some other guy's mobe, lawsuit claims

A bloke is suing Verizon Wireless in the US because, he claims, personal pictures from his Verizon phone, including intimate snaps of his fiancée, turned up on the phone of another subscriber – who happened to know her.…

Vermont becomes fifth US state to boot up its own net neutrality rules

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 23:04:37 GMT

Governor Phil Scott signs executive order as battle lines are drawn

Vermont has become the fifth US state to adopt net neutrality regulations, joining Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, and New York.…

Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:11:40 GMT

First Amendment bad, Second Amendment good?

The governor of the US state of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has blamed violent video games for the Florida high-school shooting that left 17 people dead this week.…

A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:58:35 GMT

Alarm raised over APFS sparse disk images tossing documents into the void

Apple's recently revised file system, APFS, may lose data under specific circumstances, a maker of macOS backup software is warning.…

Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:03:13 GMT

Ruskies stole citizen IDs to spread discord – indictment

Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating foreign agents tampering with the 2016 US presidential election, has criminally charged 13 Russian nationals with conspiring against the United States.…

Facebook told to stop stalking Belgians or face fines of €250k – a day

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:59:06 GMT

Second privacy ruling to go against Zuck and co in a week

Facebook has been told to stop tracking Belgian citizens' online habits, and to delete all the data it holds on them, or it could be fined up to €100m.…

Qualcomm rejects Valentine's Day takeover love-in with Broadcom

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:03:13 GMT

Cheapo merger terms wouldn't get past regulator, it says

Fresh from telling us all how its “highly qualified” board would see off a hostile takeover from Broadcom, chip biz Qualcomm is now getting around the table with its buyout-happy rival.…

PM urged to protect data flows post-Brexit ahead of Munich speech

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:05:06 GMT

Security services facing 'curtailed' EU info sharing if UK doesn't agree terms

Security experts have warned that Brexit could lead to data flows between the UK and European Union being "substantially curtailed".…

Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:39:20 GMT

Incident reported to local cops and Federal Aviation Authority

A helicopter has crashed after reportedly manoeuvring hard to avoid a "DJI Phantom quadcopter," in what could be the first confirmed aircraft accident involving a drone.…

Say goodbye to a chunk of that sweet Aruba payout, hedgies – judge

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:05:06 GMT

Complainants hoped to squeeze more from HP

Hedge funds wanting a court-ordered higher share price from HP when it acquired Aruba have been dealt a blow costing them $17.3m.… Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:39:07 GMT

And have some cyber goodness too – just don't mention the Belgacom hack

Great Britain, which is buying the US-made F-35 fighter jet, is urging European neighbour Belgium not to buy the US-made F-35 fighter jet.…

UK mobile customers face inflation-busting price hike

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:06:09 GMT

Look guys, everyone's doing it

Mobile customers face a mid-contract price rise, with all four operators confirming they will hike fees by 4 per cent, 1 per cent above inflation.…

Judges dismisses majority of Cisco's 'insane' IP defence against Arista

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:27:12 GMT

Switch antitrust case rumbles on

A US court has agreed to dismiss most of Cisco's IP defences in its long-running antitrust dispute with rival Arista Networks; the latter had previously described them as "breathtakingly broad, unprecedented and insane".…

Transport for London to toughen up on taxi firms in the Uber age

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:00:00 GMT

Sort out your safety policies... oh, and share all your travel info with us

Private-hire cab firms that want to operate in the UK capital will have to demonstrate how they protect riders' safety and data – and may still only get short-term licences, Transport for London has said.…

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:38:13 GMT

And publishers – have you thought of trying something new?

Analysis Google's own ad-blocking initiative was introduced yesterday via its Chrome browser.…

HomePod, you say? Sex sex sex, that's all you think about

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:05:08 GMT

Apple suggests wiping your ROD and oiling your ring

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My wife has a hairy tongue.…

Should AI get to choose a topping in a two pizza team?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:32:08 GMT

How DevOps could be about to collide with machine learning

DevOps is finally getting somewhere. This year the term is ten years old and like most ten-year olds, DevOps is starting to show signs of puberty and cognitive maturity. According to analyst Forrester, this is being reflected in industry. In 2017, a Forrester survey found that over 50 per cent of organisations were to implement DevOps in some form or another, enough for the analyst to claim that 2018 is going to be the year of enterprise DevOps.…

Say HCI is an enhanced server. If you don't already sell 'em, it could be game over, man

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:04:14 GMT

Where enterprise servers go, hyperconverged systems follow

Analysis If hyperconverged systems are basically enhanced servers then HCI vendors with no server hardware or channel partnerships for their software are doomed.…

Microsoft's System Center successor edges closer to Hawaii 1-0

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:27:11 GMT

Project Honolulu gets a second Tech Preview

Microsoft has offered Windows admins a second look at Project Honolulu, its web-based System Center successor.…

Apple to devs: Code for the iPhone X or nothing from April onwards

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:01:05 GMT

It's therefore safe to assume the notch is not going away any time soon

The Apple rumour mill has buzzed with speculation that less-than-completely-astounding sales of Cupertino's latest iPhone, the X, mean it might not be long for this world.…

If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:04:12 GMT

Un-hinged user needed some basic education

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register tries to liven up Fridays with reader-contributed stories of tech support traumas.…

Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 06:11:11 GMT

Everything we knew was a lie

The Andromeda galaxy is actually roughly the same size as the Milky Way, and may not engulf our galaxy when it is expected to collide in about four billion years time, according to new research.…

If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:02:05 GMT

'Cognitive solutioning' kicks in when you ask Big Blue to solve tricky problems

Exclusive IBM is not just telling the world it needs "cognitive" computing: the company has bet the future of its own services business on Watson-branded services.…

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 04:02:05 GMT

Data harvest notice will be checked by default

Poll Desktop computers powered by future versions of Ubuntu GNU/Linux may collect information on the PCs – unless users opt out.…

Russians behind bars in US after nicking $300m+ in credit-card hacks

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:54:12 GMT

Pair partly responsible for largest bank-card theft ring in American history

Two Russian criminals have been sent down in America after pleading guilty to helping run the largest credit-card hacking scam in US history.…

Techno-senator tells Tinder to hook up its app with better security

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:03:04 GMT

Swipe-a-shag tool gets the dreaded sternly-worded-letter treatment from Wyden

Cyber-senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is asking execs from the parent company of Tinder to please use protection when spreading the love around.…

Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:55:13 GMT

Says sorry for 'poor experience', vows to pay back missing cash

Digital currency exchange Coinbase said it inadvertently charged punters for transactions they never made, effectively draining money from their bank accounts. It has promised to refund the money taken.…

FCC inspector general sticks corruption probe into chairman Ajit Pai amid $4bn media merger

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:59:05 GMT

Fine line between free market and favors for pals

Analysis The chairman of America's broadband watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – is under investigation by the regulator's inspector general following a series of decisions that appear to favor one of the country's largest media owners.…

Former ICE top lawyer raided US govt database to steal aliens' identities

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:19:28 GMT

While kicking folks out of 'Murica, Raphael A. Sanchez committed fraud in their names

Yet again an insider has been caught misusing a workplace computer system to conduct identity theft and fraud.…

Top tip: Don't bother with Facebook's two-factor SMS auth – unless you love phone spam

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:40:54 GMT

Pick another 2FA method: Social network is having a What The Zuck moment

Forget fake news, Russian trolls and the gradual cruel destruction of journalism – now Facebook is taking heat for spamming a netizen's phone with text messages after he signed up for SMS-based two-factor authentication.…

When it absolutely, positively needs to be leaked overnight: 120k FedEx customer files spill from AWS S3 silo

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:29:10 GMT

Passport scans, drivers licenses, etc, exposed online

Another day, another unsecured Amazon Web Services S3 storage bucket spilling secrets onto the public internet.…

Apple Macs, iThings, smart watches choke on tiny Indian delicacy

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:43:21 GMT

Watch out for text bomb that crashes apps and devices over and over and...

Apple last month fixed a flaw in macOS and iOS that allowed a text message to crash its chat software (CVE-2018-4100) – and now it has the opportunity to do so again.…

That terrifying 'unfixable' Microsoft Skype security flaw: THE TRUTH

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:58:45 GMT

Oh yeah, we patched that in October, Windows giant yawns

Microsoft has poured a bucket of cold water on people freaking out over a supposedly unfixable security flaw in Skype.…

Oracle slurps bot-wrangling security minnow Zenedge

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:18:36 GMT

Buy price not revealed

Oracle is to gobble security outfit Zenedge for likely less than CTO Larry Ellison spends on tanning lotion each year an unspecified sum.…

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:29:05 GMT

Now can you remove it from every Start Menu?

Readers with good memories may recall that when Windows NT was launched, it came in Workstation and Advanced Server editions, with the former fulfilling most duties of a server. There were no limits on TCP/IP connections, for example. Just as its developer Dave Cutler intended.…

Dell EMC squashes pair of VMAX virtual appliance bugs

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:58:05 GMT

vApp Manager contained undocumented default account

Dell EMC has patched two serious flaws in the management interface for its VMAX enterprise storage systems, one of which could potentially allow a remote attacker to gain unauthorised access to systems.…

Charity accused of leaving sensitive notes behind after office move

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:34:09 GMT

Yep, it's another case of the unchecked filing cabinet

Updated A counselling charity has been accused of breaching Blighty's data protection law after confidential files were discovered in an old office building.…

Essex black hat behind Cryptex and reFUD gets two years behind bars

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:03:11 GMT

Goncalo Esteves sobbed as he was sentenced

A 24-year-old Essex man behind the antivirus evasion site, who made an estimated half a million pounds from Bitcoin, has been jailed for two years.…

Arrrgh! Put down the crisps! 'Ultra-processed' foods linked to cancer!

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:26:08 GMT

Just kidding – vague definitions, confounding factors mean you probably shouldn't panic... yet

A study has suggested a link between diets high in ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of cancer – but academics have warned against over-interpreting the results.…

BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:55:13 GMT

IT contractors warned to get house in order

A BBC presenter must pay £419,151 in taxes after a UK tax tribunal ruled her contract should have been subject to IR35 legislation – a judgment that has been described as a wake-up call for IT freelancers.…

Robot cars will kill London jobs – but only from 2030, say politicans

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:34:11 GMT

London Assembly report shines light on's auto auto plans

The London Assembly has lashed out at driverless cars, declaring that autonomous vehicles could cause "significant job losses" – while figures from the UK's driverless car industry told it that they don't expect Level 4 or 5 (fully autonomous) tech to hit the streets for another decade or more.…

So... Nokia's taking a long, hard look at its health unit

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:09:08 GMT

Not so strategic now

Nokia appears to be revising its ambition to be the data kingpin of the digital health industry. The Finnish telecomms giant has put its Digital Health business up for “strategic review”.…

Mobile phone dealer boss faces 12 years in director limbo

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:36:09 GMT

Did somebody say VAT fraud? Yes, the Insolvency Service did

The boss of an Oxford-based mobile phone dealer who used a carousel scam to defraud the British tax collector from hundreds of thousands of pounds was today banned from holding directorships for 12 years.…

Iran: We have defeated evil nuclear-sensing Western lizards!

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:55:10 GMT

It's not David Icke, it's Ayatollah Khamenei's former top general

Iran has gone full David Icke and accused lizards that "attract atomic waves" of spying for the West.…

Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:26:09 GMT

Want high speeds? Go to Latvia

The UK is performing so poorly in fibre internet penetration that it isn't even included in a European study.…

DevOps, Containers and CD: What happens when theory is put to the test?

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:58:14 GMT

CLL18 delivers reports from the front line

Talk about DevOps, Containers or Agile all you want, but sometimes you’ve just got to zip up your hoodie and do it.…