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Preview: The Register - Business: IT Director

The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2018, Situation Publishing

The Great Bulgarian Streaming Scam may well have been scummy, but Spotify got paid

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:58:13 GMT

Bot farming today

An unknown Bulgarian has become the talk of the music industry after a sophisticated and apparently successful attempt to game Spotify.…

Perusing pr0nz at work? Here's a protip: Save it in a file marked 'private'

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:58:11 GMT

No, your snooping boss did not breach your human rights, Euro court tells sacked Frenchman

A Frenchman who was fired after his bosses discovered porn stored on his work computer has been told his human rights were not violated by his employers' snooping.…

A bit of intel on AMD's embedded Epyc and Ryzen processors

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:59:09 GMT

Dips Zen toes into embedded world with hot new SoCs

The "other" X86 mill-maker, AMD, has unveiled its efforts to position its Zen architecture kit as an embedded solution for networking, storage, edge and industrial devices: a brace of Epyc and Ryzen processors.…

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:01:12 GMT

Paying people better matters just as much. Maybe more so

Analysis Oh dear. If all this new technology is so amazing, why isn’t it translating into productivity gains?…

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:34:56 GMT

Rolling out (and scraping) the barrel of computing history

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Telephone operator, please put me through to… What's that? You want me to address you by your first name? Well, that's jolly friendly. I'm (thinks quickly, decides to use Starbucks name) "Alex". And how should I call you? Right.…

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 07:00:10 GMT

Flip phones - and their users - were both evolutionary dead ends (but the phones had awesome ads)

On-Call + video Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's support group for tech support pros, in which we share readers' tales of being asked to do unreasonable things for inexcusable people.…

Who wants to play monopoly with no get-out-of-jail-free card, Qualcomm asks its shareholders

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 01:35:07 GMT

Get ready for antitrust hell if Broadcom buys us, warns biz

Qualcomm is hoping to scare its shareholders away from considering Broadcom's takeover offer – by predicting regulatory doom and gloom for the combined company.…

Nobody expects the social media inquisition! OK, everybody did, UK politicos

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:19:07 GMT

MPs want to know what the kids are up to

The UK Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology has begun taking submissions for an inquiry into the "Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health".…

Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:23:07 GMT

Chinese phone giants grow, Apple and Samsung hit

The global smartphone market is shrinking for the first time as choosey buyers in emerging markets hang on to their mobiles for longer.…

Lloyds Banking Group to splash £3bn on tech

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 12:54:09 GMT

IT spend will 'reduce overheads'. You mean branch closures?

Lloyds Banking Group is to splash £3bn on IT investment, amid a major outsourcing and cost-cutting programme.…

Europe's Unified Patent Court fate in the balance amid German probing (yes, Brexit is in the mix)

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 07:08:07 GMT

Hör auf damit!

The German Constitutional Court has agreed to hear a case about the legitimacy of the European Unified Patent Court (UPC), raising doubts over the future of a single patent court for Europe.…

New Google bias lawsuit claims company fired chap who opposed discrimination

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:32:32 GMT

Ad giant says complainant's posts went beyond 'lively debate', on Damore and more

The lawsuit sparked by the sexist screed penned by former Google employee has a bitter sequel, after another former Google employee has sued on grounds his opposition to Damore's memo and other discriminatory acts at the company saw him dismissed.…

Qualcomm disappointed by Broadcom's 'inadequate' shrinking package

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:20:45 GMT

Snapdragon giant confirms: Size really does matter

Qualcomm has told Broadcom to – and this is a technical term, here – go screw itself after Broadcom cynically lowered its per-share buyout offer to the Snapdragon chipset designer.…

UK data controllers to pay ICO up to £2.4k more a year when GDPR kicks in

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:58:09 GMT

Gov’s bid to keep cash in data protection watchdog’s coffers

The UK government has revealed plans to increase the top tier of annual fees for data controllers from £500 to £2,900 in an attempt to ensure the Brit privacy watchdog has enough cash to function.…

Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:17:07 GMT

Cryptocurrency trend moves into publishing as Salon comes up with plan to make customers pay

US website has decided that if people want to block its ads, they should pay in another way - by allowing the biz to use their computing power to mine for cryptocurrency.…

London Mayor's chief digi officer: 'Have faith and give us a chance'

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:02:13 GMT

Theo Blackwell says data can help capital cope with 1m more bods

Cynics could be forgiven for seeing the Mayor of London’s newly created six-figure chief digital officer role as a policy wonk title. Speaking to The Register on a rainy morning at City Hall, Theo Blackwell describes it as "a digital leadership role."…

Australia joins the 'decrypt it or we'll legislate' club

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:58:11 GMT

At least it only wants to break crypto after getting a warrant

Australia's home affairs minister Peter Dutton has waded into the global crypto debate, uttering the familiar demand that the tech sector provide what the politicians want while adding that the government will protect Australians from cyber-threats.…

Microsoft Australia changes App Store T&Cs to pay GST

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 01:34:29 GMT

When Australians buy apps on the Store, punters' sales taxes will come on shore

Microsoft Australia's taken further steps to ensure that Australia's goods and services tax (GST) is collected on apps sold at the Microsoft Store.…

Qualcomm opens maw, prepares to swallow Dutch chipmaker NXP

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:59:10 GMT

Increased offer gives shareholders food for thought

While fending off unwanted advances from a determined suitor, chip-maker Qualcomm has had an increased bid for NXP Semiconductors accepted.…

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:53:07 GMT

Pre-pack administration looms if retailer can't find a new parent

Ailing gadget souk Maplin is locked in eleventh-hour talks with a potential buyer of the chain but the company may be placed into the hands of an administrator if an agreement cannot be reached.…

HP starts slinging Apple hardware, tech support vending machines

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:02:12 GMT

Add Macs, iPads and iPhones to Devices-as-a-service offering

HP Ink is probably the world's top PC-maker measured by devices shipped, but has nonetheless started to offer and support Apple devices for its customers.…

Iiyama reanimates LCD cartel lawsuit corpse, swings it at Samsung

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:05:05 GMT

Court of Appeal: Can't kick this out, let's have a trial

LG and Samsung may be getting hot under the collar after an English court agreed that the long-running liquid crystal display (LCD) price-fixing cartel case can be reopened.…

Facebook's big solution to combating election ad fraud: Snail mail

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:58:13 GMT

Lo-tech brainwave 'won't solve everything', says biz

In the face of increasing public pressure to address election fraud, Facebook has come up with a novel way to check who's buying advertising on its site – snail mail.…

*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:59:05 GMT

Web still looking pretty toxic

You read it here first: the much-feared Chrome adblockalypse is likely be a soaking wet squib – with many kinds of digital irritant permitted.…'s Brexiteers warned not to push for divergence on data protection laws

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:22:10 GMT

As PM lacks specifics on UK’s desired ‘adequacy-plus’ deal

British government ministers have been told not to peddle the idea that trade agreements are incompatible with continued compliance with European data protection laws.…

US docs show Daimler may have done a Dieselgate – German press claims

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:40:06 GMT

Cars detect when it is on a test routine – reports

American investigators are looking into Mercedes maker Daimler's use of engine management software that is alleged to help its vehicles pass emissions tests, according to reports.…

Developer recovered deleted data with his face – his Poker face

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:02:08 GMT

Salesperson-suddenly-turned-coder learned social skills can be more important than technical skills

Who, Me? Welcome to the fifth edition of Who, Me? It's a new Register weekly column in which readers confess to times their skills fell just a little – or a lot – short of what was required to stop things going pear-shaped.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

Stephen Elop and the fall of Nokia revisited

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:29:13 GMT

English translation of probe into Finnish phone giant's twilight makes for interesting reading

The first English translation of Operation Elop, an examination by Finnish journalists into the final years of Nokia phones, has reignited debate about the fate of what was Europe's largest and most admired technology company.…

NetApp’s third quarter revenues charge forward

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 04:04:11 GMT

Tax charge kills GAAP net income but underlying numbers are strongly positive

George Kurian’s NetApp reported strong third quarter numbers all-flash arrays leading the way to set NetApp up for its first full year annual growth since 2015.…

Telstra: Don't expect HFC NBN sales to resume before July

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:49:30 GMT

Incumbent rolling in slightly fewer billions this half year

Telstra has no inside information on when nbn™ will end its moratorium on new HFC conections.…

Violets are violet, roses are... rosy, Dell just got $145.8m for selling Mozy

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:33:14 GMT

Online backup biz slurped by Carbonite

Dell Technologies has agreed to offload cloud backup subsidiary Mozy to web-based storage outfit Carbonite for $145.8m.…

Stop calling, stop calling... ICO goes gaga after home improvement biz ignores warnings

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:02:11 GMT

Swansea firm carries on direct marketing, lands extra fine

A Welsh home improvement firm has been fined after ignoring a warning to stop contacting people who had opted out of marketing calls.…

HTC phone supremo leaves months after Google guts firm for best and brightest

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:32:08 GMT

Handset division headless

Chialin Chang, president of smartphones at HTC, has resigned. No successor has been announced.…

Roses are red, Facebook is blue. Think private means private? More fool you

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:04:22 GMT

NY court rules pics can be accessed if relevant to litigation

Privacy settings on Facebook do not protect users from handing over photos, posts or metadata that is relevant to a court case, a New York judge has ruled.…

You won't believe this: Nokia soars back into phone-flinger top 3

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:33:04 GMT

Brand recognition and stock Android. Is the gamble paying off?

HMD's Nokia-branded Androids haven't exactly got reviewers raving – but they are shifting in decent numbers. Counterpoint reckons HMD sold 4.4 million Nokias in the final three months of 2017, with total sales to date topping around 10 million. That's enough to put it in the UK Top 3 again, analyst Neil Shah reckons.…

Arsenal are red, pundits have 'insights', BT and Sky splurge £4.5bn on footie rights

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:01:10 GMT

It's all about the content, guys

BT and Sky have splurged £4.464bn to show 160 Premier League games a season from 2019/20 until 2021/22.…

Despite the headlines, Rudd's online terror takedown tool is only part of the solution

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 10:32:23 GMT schtum on false positives, appeals process and long-term impact

Analysis The UK government launched its swish new tool to fight online extremist content to much fanfare this week – leading news bulletins and generating reams of coverage. But it also faced a whole host of criticism and concern.…

IBM declares it's the 'backbone of the world's economy'

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:32:04 GMT

It's slipped a disk, though, because services supremo admits new services plan is very much a work in progress

IBM believes it is "the backbone of the world's economy" and has told its services staff to hold their heads high and behave accordingly as the company rolls out new services offerings it hopes will let it dodge the implosion of outsourcing.…