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The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Google lies about click-fraud refunds and tried to destroy us – ad biz

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:43:29 GMT

Web giant accused in court of withholding money

AdTrader, an online ad agency, has accused Google of reneging on promised ad payments, stealing clients, and fraud.…

Critical US mass spying program scrutiny lost amid partisan nonsense

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:47:20 GMT

Buh buh buh buh buh buh buh but her emails! And those texts!

Analysis In two weeks, a US law authorizing one of Uncle Sam's crucial mass snooping programs will expire.…

Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:04:12 GMT

Retro Computers Ltd director hits back: So? We binned him

Ailing ZX Spectrum Vega firm Retro Computers Ltd appears to have lost one of its key people, amid a battle of words between the MD and a former contractor.…

Brit banks told to publish details of major incidents that stop punters' payments

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:56:09 GMT

Bad news for regular TITSUP* offenders, good news for consumer choice

Banks will have to publish details of incidents that stop people using their payment services under new rules proposed by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.…

The North remembers: York scraps Uber's licence over data breach

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:55:11 GMT

But taxi biz can restart work in Sheffield

The northern city of York has voted against renewing Uber's licence as the backlash against the ride-hailing firm's business practices continues.…

Sweet Liberty: Cable & Wireless CEO John Reid steps down

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:11:07 GMT

No replacement named for bossman who oversaw £3.5bn takeover by US giant

Head honcho at comms biz Cable & Wireless John Reid is to step down in early 2018.… told: Your frantic farming of pupils' data is getting a little creepy

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:40:51 GMT

Plans to extend slurping to why kids quit mainstream education

Plans to expand the vast National Pupil Database to include information on why kids leave mainstream education have been slammed by privacy campaigners.…

Hello, Dixons Carphone? Yep, we're ringing from a 2015 handset. Profits down 60%, eh?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:08:09 GMT

Store closures on the way? Did someone mention Brexit?

Dixons Carphone execs handed out their numbers to world+dog today, showing profits plummeting by more than half in the firm’s half-year results. The plunge was chalked up to UK customers skipping mobile upgrades - a move that could signal further closures across its stores.…

Facebook announces ad revenue reroute: When Irish eyes are crying

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:32:10 GMT

Major tax overhaul to appease govs and regulators

Facebook has said it will no longer send advertising revenue through Ireland, and instead pay taxes in the countries where profits are earned.…

Big biz: Algorithms are too complicated, but also too easy to game, to open the black box

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:42:13 GMT

What you really want is translucency

Large tech company reps quizzed over their use of algorithms have said they'd like to be transparent with users... just not too transparent.…

Gemalto: Cheers for that 'unsolicited' €4.3bn bid, Atos. We'll think about it

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:09:10 GMT

We've long admired you from afar, croons French outsourcer

Tech consultant (and UK public sector buddy) Atos has offered to buy mobile chip-smith Gemalto for €4.3bn (£3.79bn) in a deal announced yesterday.…

Seagate: Happy Xmas, staff – thanks for everyth... um, you 500. Can we have a word?

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:32:12 GMT

'Tis the season of glad tidings, goodwill – and job cuts

Seagate has said it will reduce its global headcount by 500 staffers, not long after its CEO praised all of its employees for continually going "above and beyond".…

Big tech wants the ICO on EU data protection board in Brexit fallout

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:03:07 GMT

Watchdog keeping voting rights 'huge gain' for marketing sector, say Facebook, Google et al

The advertising lobby and tech megacorps including Facebook and Twitter are pushing for the UK's data protection watchdog to have full voting rights on a new, powerful European board after Brexit.…

Signing up for the RAF? Don't bother – you've been Capita'd

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:04:05 GMT

Nearly all Air Force recruiting grounded, online system blamed

Capita’s disastrous Recruiting Partnership Project with the UK Ministry of Defence is so bug ridden that the Royal Air Force stopped taking on new recruits except for those in “priority roles”.…

Canuck privacy commissioner to dig into Uber data breach

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:55:44 GMT

Formal investigation launched. Not the first, won't be the last

Canada's privacy commissioner has launched a formal investigation into the massive data breach concealed by the ride-hailing app company Uber.…

UK lacks engineering and tech skillz to make government's industrial strategy work – report

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:58:06 GMT

Your lip service is all very well, but where are the people?

A lack of skills in the engineering and technical workforce could hold up the government's industrial strategy, according to a report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.…

European Parliament's ePrivacy rep bemoans members' slow progress

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:28:13 GMT

Birgit Sippel says 'Brexit ate my homework' isn't an excuse for delays

Interview European Union nations are holding up discussions on the hotly debated new ePrivacy law, risking unnecessary regulatory confusion, the MEP leading the wrangling through the European Parliament has said.…

IBM to expunge over 500 people in latest redundo round

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:35:13 GMT

Almost 1,900 jobs 'at risk' in the UK

Updated Almost 1,900 front line services personnel at IBM UK are at risk of redundancy and more than 500 of those will leave the company as part of the latest cost purge, multiple insiders have told The Register.…

Shady US sigint base upgrade marred by stolen photograph

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:48:09 GMT

Northants comms station architects nicked pic from site that uncovers secrets. Fail!

An upgrade to a major US signals intelligence centre in Northamptonshire, UK, has been struck by controversy – after architects acting on behalf of the US Air Force and Blighty's Ministry of Defence nicked a photo of it from a website devoted to uncovering secret military bases in Britain.…

Optus to refund NBN customers for slow connections

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:05:08 GMT

'Technical limitations' hobbled copper-based services

Optus has become the second Australian carrier to announce refunds for customers unable to get decent National Broadband Network connections.…

Brandis' infrastructure security bill off to committee

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:56:07 GMT

Report fast-tracked to Q1 2018

Australia's attorney-general George Brandis won't get his critical infrastructure register kicked off this year: the legislation was introduced late last week, but immediately sent off to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.…

Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 23:49:02 GMT

They earned how much?! For doing what?!

It's a reality of life that some people have a lot of money and some very little.…

FCC backtracks on helping with neutrality fraud investigation

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 23:46:40 GMT

Eager to cut ISP regulation, the agency shows concern for privacy of comment forgers

After supposedly reversing course to assist New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's investigation into fake comments submitted during the net neutrality comment process, the Federal Communications Commission has doubled back on itself.…

SpaceX to try reusing both rocket and spacecraft for historic ISS mission

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 23:02:32 GMT

Launch delayed until Tuesday

In a first for the company, SpaceX is planning to launch a supply mission to the International Space Station using both a pre-flown first stage rocket and a Dragon capsule that has already been in orbit.…

Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:37:03 GMT

But it's not yet ready to rethink its professional licensing rules

Mats Järlström, a Swedish electronics engineer living in Oregon, who was fined last year for referring to himself as an engineer and doing math without a license has tentatively won the right to use the term in communications with the state.…

US Section 702 spying rules get deadline extension until April

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:25:51 GMT

And yet again black has become white, and left, right

Proving that nothing is what it seems when it comes to mass surveillance, the hard deadline of December 31 for the controversial section 702 spying program has been moved overnight to April 26.…

Lenovo in expansive mood on ThinkPad’s 25th birthday

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:50:07 GMT

Winning bids mean prizes

Promo Commercial IT vendor Lenovo is celebrating the 25th birthday of its ThinkPad brand with some alluring offers for IT resellers.…

Oracle's Safra Catz joins Mickey Mouse board

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:59:10 GMT

It's a small world after all

Animation goliath Disney has added Oracle's co-CEO Safra Catz to its growing list of senior tech exec board members.…'s plans for data processing framework create new risks, says watchdog

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:29:11 GMT

Peers table amendment to switch responsibility for drafting guidance from state to ICO

A set of clauses the government slipped into the Data Protection Bill "go beyond" their stated ambition and "create different risks", the information commissioner has said.…

If you're bored of the WDC-Toshiba flash fab saga, reports suggest it may be over soon

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:58:11 GMT

Tight lips at both firms but whispers suggest a brewing bromance

+Comment Suppressed hints and whispers suggest that Toshiba and WDC are finally about to agree a deal ending their dispute over Toshiba's right to sell its flash fab joint-venture stake and the way it's being done.…

EU toys with Pandora's Box if it reopens e-commerce directive

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:25:10 GMT

Mother of all bunfights beckons

Exclusive European policy makers are considering the unthinkable and reopening the EU's e-commerce directive, according to multiple sources. UK industries have been invited to contribute their thoughts, on the basis that the directive will be amended in the lifetime of this Parliament.…

New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:58:11 GMT

Sandhurst personnel short of vital info on officer trainees who start in January

Updated Capita's infamous Recruitment Partnership Project (RPP) for the Ministry of Defence has finally gone live, five years after the first deal was signed – and, surprise, surprise, it is riddled with bugs and missing critical functionality.…

Cost-hurling IBM seeks more volunteers for employment bonfire

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:42:13 GMT

IS Delivery gets the memo now too, 1,000+ heads at risk – sources

It wasn't only staff in IBM's Technical Services Support (TSS) unit that this week received the memo urging volunteers to come forward to toss themselves on the redundancy heap, folk in IS Delivery (ISD) got it too.…

Rogue PIs found guilty of illegally snagging personal financial info

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:38:09 GMT

Passed data to loss adjusters, who shared it with insurer client

Staff at a firm of loss adjusters and two rogue private investigators the biz hired have been found guilty of data protection offences.…

UK border at risk of exposure post Brexit, warn MPs

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:03:13 GMT

Whitehall's head stuck in sand about upgrading crap IT

The UK border could be left exposed after Brexit as departments have failed to plan for new IT systems, according to a damning report by MPs released today.…

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:03:04 GMT

And this was after he avoided losing some fingers

On-Call The working week's winding down once again and that means it's time for another edition of On-Call, The Register's Friday tech support tale recounted by readers.…

Would-be startup crew charged with stealing employer's tech

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:13:09 GMT

Applied Materials quartet accused of trying to pull a Fairchild

Four former Applied Materials employees have been charged with stealing the company's chipmaking technology to use as the basis for their own startup.…

Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:16:22 GMT

President punts issue to Administrative Council

Despite having conclusively won two tribunals and been publicly supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) demanding his immediate reinstatement, on Thursday patent judge Patrick Corcoran was refused entry to the European Patent Office's (EPO) headquarters.…

Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 20:09:51 GMT

Outages throw a wrench into profit taking

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) continued to soar on Thursday, creating chaos among those trying to buy and sell the cryptocurrency currency due to service trouble at several exchanges.…

Florida Man… pockets Uber cash to keep quiet about data breach

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:31:58 GMT

That's not how bug bounties work, Travis

A 20-year-old Florida man who lives with his mom was the "security researcher" that Uber paid off last year not to reveal a massive hack of its systems.…

IT buyer? Had enough of pesky resellers cold calling? You aren't alone

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:36:05 GMT

Up to 40 calls a day, three hours wasted

IT buyers are pestered by between nine and 40 unsolicited sales calls from resellers each and every day, collectively wasting hours of their life that they’ll never get back.…

Europe Commission thunders: Tech firms must do more to remove extremist content

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:27:13 GMT

Mulls further regulation next year

The European Commission has urged the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to remove extremist content - or face further regulation.…

Hortonworks takes ex-sales manager to court over non-compete allegations

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:17:15 GMT

Ben Rudall challenged over move to Snowflake

Hadoop-slinger Hortonworks has sought a court order against former enterprise sales manager Ben Rudall that would permit it take forensic images of his personal phone and his cloud storage account.…

IBM opens emergency escape hatch to TSS volunteers

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:37:16 GMT

Free at last, free at last, thank Ginny Rommety...

IBM is seeking volunteers in Technology Support Services (TSS) to throw themselves down the redundancy chute by the end of the year.…

DXC Technologies UK boss QUITS

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:39:04 GMT

Nick Wilson working six month notice

Just months after Nick Wilson landed in the UK hot seat at Frankenfirm DXC Technologies - the merger between CSC and HPE’s outsourcing division - he has quit, multiple sources have told The Reg.…

Muzzle our public watchdog much? Data Protection Bill adds affect the ICO

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:05:04 GMT

ICO in discussions with govt, has set out its concerns

The UK’s data protection watchdog has raised concerns with the government over new clauses slipped into the Data Protection Bill at the last minute, which critics say could undermine the law.…

VW's US environment boss gets seven years for Dieselgate scam

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 03:58:04 GMT

Oliver Schmidt lied his way up the greasy pole, Judge rules

Former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to 84 months in a United States federal prison for his role in the “dieselgate” software scandal that saw vehicles deliver test results that indicated their emissions met US standards when in fact they were smoke-belching jalopies.…

Euro Patent Office commanded to reinstate 'Nazi judge' it attacked

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:57:39 GMT

President Benoit Battistelli dealt brutal blow by International Labor Organization

The European Patent Office (EPO) has been commanded to immediately reinstate a judge it suspended two years ago and pay him tens of thousands of euros in compensation and damages.…

New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 21:26:15 GMT

If you're not fit to drive, you're not fit to fly in the Garden State

The State of New Jersey is considering a law to criminalize flying drones while drunk or stoned.…

Merger-hungry AT&T sued for price gouging by Texas ISP

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:45:08 GMT

Awkward timing considering its Time-Warner marriage request

AT&T has been hit with a particularly badly-timed antitrust lawsuit accusing it of price gouging.…