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The Register

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Team Trump goes in to bat for Google and Facebook

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:46:09 GMT

What swamp?

Donald Trump's former policy chief Steve Bannon wanted to limit the power of Silicon Valley's plutocrats, but US trade negotiations have just thrown a protective arm around them.…

Military test centre for frikkin' laser cannon opens in Hampshire

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:15:09 GMT

In other news, shares in mirror manufacturers have soared

British miltech boffinry outfit Qinetiq has opened a testing centre named the Dragonworks for the building and tweaking of giant laser cannon.…

UK spy court ruled immune from judicial review – for now

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:43:11 GMT

Judges reject Privacy International's case against Investigatory Powers Tribunal

The UK's Court of Appeal has ruled that the body that oversees the nation's intelligence agencies cannot be held subject to a judicial review under active laws.…

Plans to thwack Official Secrets Acts smacked: Journo-gagging reform postponed

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:14:16 GMT

Why do we mention thrashing in the 'best schools'? Read on

Proposals to reform and rewrite Britain's aged Official Secrets Acts have been postponed for at least a year, the government's Law Commission has confirmed to The Register.…

Activist investor rages at Mellanox for dismissing Marvell's advances

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:02:07 GMT

Why won't you let us create value for shareholders?

Analysis InfiniBand/Ethernet tech supplier Mellanox is being targeted by an activist investor pissy that it rejected overtures from Marvell.…

Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:32:07 GMT

New finch species developed in just two generations

New research has documented a species of finch evolving on the Galápagos island of Daphne Major, 1,000km off the west coast of Ecuador, in just two generations.…

156K spam text-sending firm to ICO: It wasn't us, Commissioner

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:02:15 GMT

Get fined £45,000 anyway

The Information Commissioner's Office has fined Hamilton Digital Solutions £45,000 for sending spam text messages, it announced today, despite its protestations that a third party had been responsible.…

Dark fibre arts: Ofcom is determined to open up BT's network

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:33:07 GMT

But will it make a difference?

Analysis BT has long been accused of jealously guarding its infrastructure. But forcing it to open up its network to competitors and break its market dominance has been an aim of Ofcom for some time.…

Business as usual, says Aruba veep after Meg exits daddy HPE

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:03:09 GMT

Networking subsidiary insists everything is Just Fine

"No change to Aruba" was veep Morten Illum's public verdict on the news that Meg Whitman was stepping down from the top spot at Aruba's parent company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.…

Seek 'passion' and tech skills will follow, say recruiting security chiefs

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:29:13 GMT

Infosec staffing needs a shot in the arm

Plugging the infosec skills gap with expensive consultants or by trying to hire already skilled people won't fix recruitment headaches, Thom Langford, CISO at Publicis Groupe, insisted at the #IRISSCERT conference in Dublin this week.…

Digital Entrepreneur Awards help UK tech cop an eyeful of... WTF?

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:06:06 GMT

The 1970s called, it wants its dancers back

When it comes to women in tech, it's fair to say the sector has a bit of an image problem.…

UK emergency crews get 4G smartmobes as monkeys attempt to emerge from Reg's butt

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:33:06 GMT

Samsung inks deal to give crews up to 250k handsets

The British emergency services are to be equipped with 4G phones thanks to a new handheld device contract with Samsung worth up to £210m.…

EU's data protection bods join the party to investigate Uber breach

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:03:04 GMT told to sever ties with 'grubby, unethical' company

The massive Uber data breach will be discussed by the European Union's data protection authorities next week.…

'Treat infosec fails like plane crashes' – but hopefully with less death and twisted metal

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:04:11 GMT

We never learn from incidents, says Europol security adviser

The world has never been so dependent on computers, networks and software so ensuring the security and availability of those systems is critical.…

Another toothless wonder? Why the's data ethics centre needs clout

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:25:06 GMT

Budget confirmed its creation, but where does it fit in?

Amid myriad bodies offering advice, opinions and rulings on the use of data springing up all over the shop, the government used the Budget to announce plans to create yet another.…

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:02:10 GMT

Launched a million business plans, sank Lotus...

Thirty is a ripe old age, maybe older than a good chunk of Register readers. Even for those of you for whom Excel is a spring chicken, how many applications or even operating systems are you still using of a similar age outside the Office suite?…

10 years of the Kindle and the curious incident of a dog in the day-time

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:35:29 GMT

Feel the full weight of Jerusalem, base cur!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? A little worse for wear after the first Christmas party of the season, I stagger up the driveway to be met at my own front door by... a Kindle.…

Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:04:10 GMT

Open source dream officially dies in Bavarian city

The city of Munich will spend €49.3m (£43.9m/ $58.4m) going all-in on Windows after local politicos agreed to call time on the failing 15-year open source project.…

Linus Torvalds on security: 'Do no harm, don't break users'

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:02:17 GMT

Fixing for the sake of security alone means 'all your work was just masturbation'

Linus Torvalds has offered a lengthy explanation of his thoughts on security, in which he explained a calmer and more detailed version of his expletive-laden thoughts on the topic earlier this week.…

Fujitsu imagines adjusting your rear view mirror for better hearing

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:02:12 GMT

Yes, hearing: vibrating glass turns mirror into 'superdirective speaker'

Fujitsu Ten, the Japanese giant's automotive outfit, has developed technology that turns sheets of glass into speakers and thinks it could be used to help drivers talk on the phone without disturbing passengers.…

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:01:05 GMT

It was more of a RAM-page, actually, and it crashed a mainframe

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales.…

SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:02:08 GMT

Microsoft's power pack can't deliver the juice fast enough to keep up

Microsoft's acknowledged an embarrassing issue with its SurfaceBook 2 laptop – its battery can drain even while plugged into its power pack.…

Firefox to warn users who visit p0wned sites

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:55:40 GMT

Do you really want to go there? And does Mozilla, which hasn't figured out how to do this and preserve security, privacy

Mozilla developer Nihanth Subramanya has revealed the organisation's Firefox browser will soon warn users if they visit sites that have experienced data breaches that led to user credential leaks.…

VMware refuses to support its wares running in Azure

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:35:14 GMT

Who is Microsoft's mystery partner? We think it's a hyperconverged player

VMware has responded to Microsoft's plan to run its stack in Azure, by saying customers who choose that option will have to forego support.…

Summit for the readers who are hot for petaFLOPs: Server nodes flashed at SC17

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:09:05 GMT

Oak Ridge Top 500-leading system's innards

Analysis IBM offered HPC fans at SC17 a gawk at the server tray for the upcoming Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee.…

Clone poster girl Dolly the sheep's arthritis was 'normal for her age'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:57:09 GMT

Boffins say health issues were not related to genetic wizardry

New research suggests the arthritis plaguing Dolly the sheep – the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell – was normal for her age.…

Royal Navy destroyer leaves Middle East due to propeller problems

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:22:10 GMT

For once it's not an engine breakdown

A Type 45 destroyer has been recalled to Britain with propeller problems, leaving the Royal Navy's traditional "east of Suez" deployment without proper warship cover.…

'Data is the new oil': F-Secure man on cartels, disinformation and IoT

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 15:53:08 GMT

An unlikely trio? Not according to Mikko Hypponen

Questions about cyber influence continue to cloud last year's US presidential elections and recently similar allegations have been levelled against the Brexit vote.…

Sci-Hub domains inactive following court order

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:59:10 GMT

'Free science'/pirate site operator 'working on solving DNS issue'

Several domains of the controversial academic paper filesharing site Sci-Hub have been made inactive following a court order earlier this month.…

Someone told Google to nuke links to mean reviews of disgraced telco True Telecom

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:32:09 GMT

And Mountain View obliged

Links to pages slating a telco slapped with multiple fines from UK regulators have been wiped from Google's search results after a claimant asked the search giant to chuck them down a sinkhole.…

This is peak AI: Bot to guest edit Radio 4's Today programme

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:04:08 GMT

How will you tell the difference?

#F_AI_L The BBC has confirmed that Radio 4's Today programme will conduct an interview with a politician via an AI bot "modelled on Mishal Husain".…

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:43:08 GMT

125,000 people tried – and failed

Britons simply don't understand that "public sector broadcasting" is a "good for all society", a Labour MP lamented during a Westminster Hall debate on TV licensing.…

Ed Vaizey is right, Matt Hancock hasn't improved broadband

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:15:06 GMT

'Hancock pinched all my ideas' jokes former digi minister

Comment For all digital minister Matt Hancock's rhetoric about 'full-fibre' investment, Blighty's digital infrastructure still remains unchanged.…

Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:31:10 GMT

Midget gem

Apple hasn't forgotten its miraculous budget iPhone, the iPhone SE, after all. The ornate miniature looks set for an update next year, according to reports.…

Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:56:06 GMT

Excel Exumai!

Hey kids, fancy an all-inclusive break to the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida? Well, you're in luck.…

Continuous Lifecycle: Blind-bird tickets set to fly off for good

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:28:09 GMT

Just one week left to save £££

Events You've got just one week left to snap up tickets for our two-day conference at Continuous Lifecycle London for just £500 plus VAT.…

Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:02:11 GMT

If I hear 'up to' one more time...

Broadband providers will only be able to advertise "average" download speeds if at least 50 per cent of customers are able to receive them at peak times, under new rules announced today by the advertising regulator.…

StorONE 're-invents' storage stack to set hardware free

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:34:22 GMT

After 6 years of work, 35 people in StorOne say storage industry's wrong

Analysis Israeli storage startup StorONE says it has re-invented the storage stack to set hardware free.…

Stick to the script, kiddies: Some dos and don'ts for the workplace

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:05:13 GMT

Get your filthy, fallible hands out of filthy, fallible Github

Scripting is now the first choice for clued-up administrators who want to get things done quickly and in an automated fashion. However, scripting does bring its own set of issues.…

'Water on Mars' re-classified as just 'sand on Mars'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:03:11 GMT

Maybe very slightly damp sand, but new look at Martian gullies finds they look like dunes

Scientists have revisited a 2015 sighting of water on the surface of Mars and revised the theory to suggest what we saw was sand, and probably not even damp sand at that.…

Sorry 'strange physics' fans, IceCube finds the Standard Model stands

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:04:29 GMT

Boffins finds neutrinos sometimes collide with Earth instead of passing through

Video Thanks to work at the IceCube instrument in Antarctica, we have learned that Earth has an appetite for high-energy neutrinos: they're more likely to be “swallowed” by the planet in collisions with matter than those at lower energies.…

To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:02:15 GMT

And cross your fingers: 'TBD' is the scheduled date for hundreds of PC fixes

The world's top PC-makers have started to ship fixes for the multiple flaws in Intel's CPUs, but plenty won't land until 2018.…

Samba needs two patches, unless you're happy for SMB servers to dance for evildoers

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:01:10 GMT

Big Linux distros have pushed their fixes, but let's not assume everything auto-patches, OK?

It’s time to patch Samba again - or turn off SAMBA 1, which is never as easy as it sounds.…

Devs working to stop Go math error bugging crypto software

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:42:21 GMT

Programming language makes some fuzzy big numbers

Consider this an item for the watch-list, rather than a reason to hit the panic button: a math error in the Go language could potentially affect cryptographic libraries.…

Facebook notifications to reveal who saw dodgy Russian election ads

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:16:09 GMT

This may explain why you've craved Vlad Putin's borscht recipe since mid-2016

Facebook has revealed it's started work on a tool that will let its members learn if they saw ads published by the “Internet Research Agency”, the outfit thought to have been behind mass buys of pro-Kremlin propaganda ads during the 2016 US presidential election.…

Xen Project's plan after AWS goes KVM: Talk up embedded future

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:58:42 GMT

AWS changes its tune, multi-hypervisor plan is its future

UPDATE Fresh from the news that Amazon Web Services intends to replace its hypervisor, the Xen Project will tell the world it has a fine future in embedded applications.…

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:46:30 GMT

Just in time for Thanksgiving when no one will notice

Ajit Pai, head of America's communications watchdog the FCC, has unveiled his "plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet," referred to by critics as an anti-consumer giveaway to large communications companies.…

Aussie Catholic School forced into hasty cover-up over suggestive Saint

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:35:13 GMT

Off-shored statue offered a curious roll

A Catholic School in Australia has been left red-faced after a newly commissioned statue of a revered saint appeared to be offering to share more than a few loaves and fishes with the little children.…

Microsoft scoops Search UI out from the gaping black maw of Cortana

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:59:06 GMT

Hmmm. Looks familiar…

Microsoft is experimenting with taking Search out of Cortana and making it more Mac-like in the newest Windows 10 build.…

Apple quietly wheels out 'Voxelnet' driverless car tech paper

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:58:04 GMT

We'd ask them what it means, but, uh...

Apple researchers have released a paper about a "trainable deep architecture", setting out the fruity firm's plans to make autonomous vehicles better at detecting cyclists and pedestrians.…