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The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:47:13 GMT

Crunch hearing reveals wide gulf in views, evildoer is Backpage

The first Congressional hearing into a proposed law that would make American companies liable for online sex trafficking has lain bare the depths of the disagreement between lawmakers and tech giants.…

Uber Cali goes ballistic, calls online ads bogus: These million-dollar banners are something quite atrocious

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:25:40 GMT

Advertising firm sued by taxi app maker

Updated Uber has filed suit against one of its advertising partners, alleging it bilked the ride-sharing giant out of "tens of millions" of dollars.…

DXC squeezes suppliers for extra margin, issues ultimatum

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:26:13 GMT

That is IT, stationery, toilet rolls, etc 'give us discounts' says outsourcing biz

The procurement team at DXC Technologies might consider giving courses on how not to win friends or influence people after sending suppliers an ultimatum: cough better financial terms or else.…

Google parks old pay-to-play auction in front of European Commission – reports

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:09:12 GMT

You want a remedy? Here's our remedy

Google appears to have revived an "auction-based fix" to vertical search competition complaints, according to Reuters.…

Ethereum will have transaction chops of Visa in 'a couple of years', founder claims

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:31:10 GMT

Starcraft on the blockchain? What a time to be alive

Blockchains might be a bit slow today, but one of Ethereum's founders predicts that in "a couple of years" the popular network will have the same transaction capacity scale as Visa.…

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:54:12 GMT

Norgrove was right: post-Brexit gross £350m a week? Nope

As we all know, there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". No doubt that line will be pulled out again to bolster the case for British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson against Sir David Norgrove, head of the UK Statistics Authority, who has made it clear he's unimpressed with Boris's use of the stats.…

Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:02:13 GMT

Boffins find search quality unaffected

Data, it has been argued, is the new oil – the fuel for the information economy – but its importance to search engines may be overstated.…

Google India launches payment service that sends money as SOUND

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:44:39 GMT

'Tez' targets India, where cash is now a dirty word, will soon hit other emerging economies

Google's launched a payments service called “Tez” for India and plans to take it to other nations soon.…

Bloke fesses up: I forged judge's signature to strip stuff from Google search

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:53:27 GMT

Jewelry exec faces up to five years in the clink for SEO backfire

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time – treating a judge's takedown order as a Photoshop template that could be modified as needed to demand that Google remove any unwanted information.…

Grab your popcorn: The first annual Privacy Shield review is go

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:57:07 GMT

Trump administration’s views on privacy to come under scrutiny

Transatlantic data-transfer agreement Privacy Shield is facing its first major political hurdle as the inaugural joint review kicks off this week.…

Apocalypse now: Ad biz cries foul over Apple's great AI cookie purge

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:31:05 GMT

It'll break the internet, cries Madison Ave

Fear of the Adpocalypse has died down in recent months - but new platform Apple releases have revived it.…

Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:11:41 GMT

...We import two-thirds of our digital. That! is! a! disgrace!

In a desperate attempt to improve our international trade prospects, UK digital minister Matt Hancock has jetted off on a "cyber trade mission" to "tap huge markets in Singapore and promote UK fintech sector in Tokyo."…

New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:12:01 GMT

UK taxman's CDIO Jacky Wright currently on 'sabbatical'

Exclusive The UK's incoming Chief Digital Information Officer of HMRC is to recuse herself from making any decisions regarding Microsoft, as she is on sabbatical from the company under a two-year placement with the taxman.…

DXC Technologies mails another corp message (GULP)

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:03:11 GMT

No, not redundos or cost cutting... bonuses for the 'top performing' little people

Repeated redundancy programmes and the imposition of penny pinching measures can make a workforce glum, no matter how many fancy dress days a company offers: DXC Technologies might have realised this.…

Portland posts full report on Uber's dirty dealings with Greyball

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 23:36:55 GMT

No further penalties for ride-sharing giant, however

The city of Portland, Oregon has released its full report on illegal operations by ride-sharing company Uber in 2014.…

Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 23:00:36 GMT

Horse, meet stable door

Two US senators on Friday introduced legislation to set up the National Commission on the Cybersecurity of the United States Election Systems, to examine the possibility that people tried to hack the 2016 election.…

China orders immediate shuttering of Bitcoin exchanges

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:07:48 GMT

And *clunk* – cryptocurrency value drops 20 per cent

China has ordered all Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges to cease trading by the end of Friday, causing a massive drop in its value worldwide.…

EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:57:17 GMT

All options on the table, and Apple, Facebook, Google ain't gonna like any of 'em

A proposed plan to make sure that digital giants like Apple, Google and Facebook pay more in tax within Europe has moved forward with remarkable speed and a paper will be put to European governments at the end of the month.…

Just how are HMRC’s IT systems going to cope with Brexit?

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:32:12 GMT

Answers on a postcard, please

"Unprecedented challenge" was the phrase which kept being repeated in a recent Treasury Select Committee hearing regarding Brexit, the customs union and HMRC.…

Dell EMC president David Goulden quits

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:59:12 GMT

Two months after the biz told El Reg, 'no, no, David Goulden is going nowhere'.

Dell EMC president and boss of the Infrastructure Solutions Group, David Goulden, is leaving the business at the end of the company’s fiscal year, The Register can reveal.…

DoJ: Look! Google is giving up overseas data for warrants outside Second Circuit

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:54:12 GMT

Go on, Supremes, have another look at that Microsoft ruling, wouldya?

Updated Google will not contest new warrants for overseas data - as long as they are made outside the Second Circuit, according to the US Department of Justice.…

ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 MEEELLION nuisance calls

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:26:14 GMT

Not that data watchdog expects to get that money paid

A Welsh firm responsible for 146 million nuisance PPI calls has been slapped with a £350,000 fine by the Information Commissioner’s Office - not that the data watchdog is confident that penalty will be paid.…

UK attorney general plans crackdown on 'trial by social media'

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:01:11 GMT

Oi: Less contempt of court on Facebook and Twitter, says gov law bloke

The UK's Attorney General is pondering whether to tighten up contempt of court laws and target Facebook and Twitter users who comment about live criminal trials.…

HPE slices and dices globo org chart

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:09:08 GMT

Waves off another exec in the name of progress

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is waving bye to another long standing exec as it puts more meat on the new structure that is part of a wider plan to make more money build a long term operational and financial blueprint.…

Tech biz must be more export-focused, says defence kit minister

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:00:07 GMT

We like your startups – now help post-Brexit UK and start selling abroad

DSEI 2017 Britain should ramp up exports of defence tech wares after Brexit - and this means more than the traditional guns ‘n’ spyware, according to defence procurement minister Harriett Baldwin MP.…

Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 07:22:47 GMT

You are our product, says The Social Network™, and we productised your racism

Facebook has blamed its users for the fact that advertisers on The Social Network™ could target their ads to “Jew-haters” and other anti-Semitic terms.…

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 07:03:07 GMT

Lock down your UIs, developers – customisation can confuse cretins

ON-CALL Welcome again to On-Call, the Friday feature in which we help Reg readers to recount times when they were asked to fix problems that should never have happened.…

Westpac brings authentication system in-house, binning IBM

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 01:52:41 GMT

Bank wants centrally-managed control over access control

Australian bank Westpac has decided the time is right to bring its Distributed System Access service in-house, rather than continue an arrangement that saw it tended by IBM.…

Google sued for paying women less than men

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:10:51 GMT

Women get the lowly frontend jobs, while the men bask in backend glory

Three former Google employees filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company on Thursday over charges of unfair pay and promotion.…

Oracle's Q1: Cloud, great. Hardware, meh. Mergers, unlikely

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 23:32:22 GMT

Larry previews 'self-driving' database plans

Oracle kicked off its 2018 fiscal year by reporting more than $9bn in total revenues.…

Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:29:37 GMT

Out of the way, I've got an IPO

Spotify is embroiled in new legal objections over how it pays songwriters royalties... or doesn’t, as the songwriters insist.…

Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:08:45 GMT

Routine maintenance was just routine, not connected says retailer

Argos shoppers who prefer to buy online rather than in-store via the laminated catalogue of dreams were out of luck this morning as the website crashed intermittently and pricing errors showed up.…

UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:50:12 GMT

So if re-identifying folk from anonymised data is to be a crime...

The UK’s Data Protection bill has landed with a hefty thud, offering up 200-plus pages of legislation for the geeks and wonks to sink their teeth into.…

MPs accuse Amazon and eBay of profiteering from VAT fraudsters

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:24:06 GMT

HMRC: About £1.5bn lost due to overseas sellers' tax swerve

MPs have accused Amazon and eBay of profiteering out of companies based overseas that are fraudulently using their platforms to dodge VAT - and supposedly putting Brit SMEs out of business while they're at it.…

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:37:08 GMT

Doctrine? More like advocacy

The Ministry of Defence has issued a new strategy document for its drones, stating humans will be kept in the decision-making loop – yet critics are unhappy with the questions the doc sidesteps.…

Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 09:08:04 GMT

Eight months sound like enough? No?

Welcome back from the summer. Feeling refreshed? Good, now let’s talk General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union, due to swing into effect on May 25, 2018. You now have eight months to get your data infrastructure, tech policies and related procedures ship-shape. Not feeing so refreshed now, are you?…

Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:39:13 GMT

Don't agree to new terms? No salary or bonuses for you

Frankenfirm DXC Technologies is proposing to kill off the final salary pension scheme for former EDS staff and will refuse to fund pay rises and bonuses to those affected who do not sign over to the new package.…

DARPA lays out cash-splash to defibrillate Moore's Law

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 06:02:08 GMT

Electronics resurgence program gets US$75 million more for 2018

The United States' Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to find the electronics industry's next iteration of Moore's Law and has loaded up a US$75 million defibrillator to jolt industry into making it happen.…

Trump blocks China-backed Lattice Semiconductor buyout

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 00:31:12 GMT


The Trump administration has blocked the purchase of a US semiconductor company by a Chinese investment firm, citing national security concerns.…

Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 00:16:43 GMT

Plan to dehumanize shopping taken as threat to beloved mom-and-pop stores

A startup called Bodega AI, facing an unanticipated Twitter tempest, has rushed to reassure people that it isn't out to kick mom-and-pop stores to the curb.…

Intelligence director pulls national security BS on spying question

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 23:28:53 GMT

Senator Wyden not happy with continued obfuscation

The director of national intelligence (DNI) has refused to say whether US spying agencies are using legislation specifically intended to cover only foreigners in order to spy on American citizens.…

Apple bumps up price on iPad Pro as flash costs climb

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:26:01 GMT

Cupertino Idiot Tax gets a $50 increase to cover chip charges

Apple has raised the price on much of its iPad Pro tablet line.…

Uber loses bid to avoid trial in Waymo case

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:04:01 GMT

Sorry bros, you'll have to tell it to the jury – and give us the Stroz Report too

Uber has lost a pair of appeals at the center of its ongoing trade secrets case with the Alphabet-owned Waymo Inc.…

US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:26:23 GMT

Searching your phone should require a warrant, says lawsuit

The US Department of Homeland Security is being sued by 11 travellers who had their smartphones and laptops seized and searched at the US border.…

Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:04:14 GMT

Lord Scriven says response 'not worth the paper it is printed on'

The use of 20 million facial images by the police "has said gone far beyond using them for custody purposes", according to the Biometric Commissioners’ annual report.…

UK's new Data Protection Bill will be 'liberal' not 'libertarian', says digi minister

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:22:25 GMT

Matt Hancock uses speech on the internet to pontificate about liberalism...

Digital minister Matt Hancock has confirmed that the Data Protection Bill will be published tomorrow, in a speech promising internet laws "based on liberal and not libertarian values" that "cherish freedom yet prevent harm to others".…

Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 09:16:07 GMT

Last major data deal between EU and third country took 4 years

The UK is risking a data economy worth £240bn if it doesn’t secure a “simple” transition deal that minimises disruption of data flows after Brexit, the Confederation of British Industry will warn today.…

ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:30:46 GMT

Cambridge-based biz facing £45k fine for 700,000 marketing mailers

The company behind a taxi comparison app that sent more than 700,000 spam texts in the space of 10 days is facing a £45,000 by the UK's data protection watchdog.…

David Potter rejoins 'New New Psion' as Hon.Chairman

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:10:59 GMT

Invests in reborn PDA under the Gemini project

Psion founder David Potter has joined the company behind the Gemini project to re-create the classic Psion PDA.…

Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 04:58:07 GMT

PETA and photog agree that 'Legal rights for nonhuman animals' remain unresolved

The curious case of the monkey that took a selfie and was denied copyright for its efforts has come to an end, with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and photographer David Slater agreeing on a future stream of royalty payments to simian charities.…