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The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Canada says yes to net neutrality – and no to Trump advisor, eh?

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:48:23 GMT

Important legal ruling divides North America

Canada's comms watchdog has come out strongly in favor of net neutrality – despite efforts by one of the Trump Administration's key telecoms advisors to tip the scales in the other direction.…

Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:07:08 GMT

What data did marketing agency subcontractor have access to?

Following The Register's report on the Metropolitan Police breaching its own data protection statement by handing the addresses of tens of thousands of London firearms owners to a marketing agency, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has written to the force demanding the decision be investigated.…

US surveillance court declined less than 2 per cent of applications

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:33:10 GMT

2016 figures show only 35 of 1,752 applications were turned down in part or full

The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has published its annual report, revealing that less than 2 per cent of surveillance applications made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) were declined in 2016.…

A quiet market? Nah, Oracle's to pay $850m for ad-tracking Moat

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:00:09 GMT

Do you know where your advertisements are going? Big Red does

Oracle's acquisition of digital advertising tracking business Moat has been valued at over $850m, according to reports.…

WDC flirting with Japan funds to bolster bid for Toshiba's memory biz

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:00:12 GMT

Pursuing extra financial firepower to see off rivals

Western Digital Corporation (WDC) is aiming to bulk up its bid for Toshiba's memory biz with state-backed funding support.…

Ministry of Justice scraps 'conviction by computer' law

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:30:13 GMT

Election nixes online court plans – for now

The controversial "conviction by computer" Parliamentary Bill has been scrapped ahead of June's general election, according to reports.…

Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:32:09 GMT

Urine a wee spot of dribble, sysadmin says when offered stinking fused mess

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday re-telling of readers unforgettable on-the-job experiences.…

Web celeb product whores told to put on the red light – or else

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:29:12 GMT

And would you believe it? The Kardashians are front and center

America's trade watchdog has warned more than 90 celebrities that they need to disclose when they are paid to promote a product – or risk facing an investigation.…

Cuffing Assange a 'priority' for the USA says attorney-general

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:10:28 GMT

Charges against white-haired-one have reportedly been drafted

United States attorney-general Jeff Sessions says the Trump administration will make it “a priority” to arrest leakers, including Julian Assange.…

FYI – There's a legal storm brewing in Cali that threatens to destroy online free speech

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:37:25 GMT

Row over Yelp review menaces web immunity

Analysis Tech giants and rights groups have flooded the California Supreme Court with a dozen friend-of-the court briefs pleading for the reversal of a defamation ruling that threatens online speech protections.…

Google's 'adblocker' is all about taking back control

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:28:12 GMT

Watch out, whitelist mafia, you might be swimming with the fishes

The world's biggest digital advertising company Google is reportedly building an ad-blocker into Chrome – and it's already attracted the attention of Europe's most important competition regulator.…

EU plans for blockchain 'observatory' raise concerns, says expert

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:33:08 GMT

€500,000 to improve expertise and regulatory capacity

The European Commission plans to set up an observatory and forum on blockchain and distributer ledger technology (DLT) to help it understand what role public authorities should play in developing and helping uptake of the technologies.…

Trump's lips sealed on surveillance, complains EU privacy chief

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:04:06 GMT

Concern as to whether new administration will abide by Obama's promises

The US administration has been keeping schtum regarding President Trump's plans to adhere to promises made by Obama's government on how EU citizens' data would be protected from the NSA's mass-surveillance activities.…

Qualcomm takes $1bn BlackBerry bite like a champ, struts away

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:44:30 GMT

Patent royalty check dings profits but nothing Snapdragon biz can't handle

Qualcomm is blaming a $974m pile of cash it had to fork out to BlackBerry for huge drops in revenues in its second quarter.…

Court favours Nexsan over EMC in Unity trademark squabble

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:32:25 GMT

A beautiful David-Goliath tale

EMC will probably have to change the name of its Unity array, now that a court has found in favour of Nexsan's use of the trademark.…

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:35:07 GMT

'Perceptual ad blocker' cannot be defeated, researchers claim

Researchers from Princeton and Stanford University have developed an ad blocker that they claim could end the ad blocking "arms race" for good.…

IBM. Sigh. Revenues. Sigh. Down. Sigh. For the 20th quarter in a row

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:13 GMT


IBM says it is right on track for the coming fiscal year: everything is going to plan and its sales are falling just as expected. Hurrah for Big Blue!…

Trump signs exec order signaling foreign H-1B visa techie crackdown

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:08:46 GMT

Buy American, hire American, unlike me, grins US president

Updated President Trump today signed an executive order that may lead to an overhaul of the H-1B visa system used by US technology giants to draft in cheap foreigner workers.…


Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:21:38 GMT

Brouhaha over shoddy website and payments sparks lawsuit

Yahoo! has been hit with a lawsuit alleging its web-hosting service has been shutting down customers' websites for months while still charging them.…

H-1B applications down after Trump's 'American techies first' rhetoric

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:09:08 GMT

Silicon Valley wants foreigners, POTUS preparing to say no

Applications for H-1B visas, the most common route for skilled technologists seeking lawful work in America, have decreased for the first time in years.…

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:22:58 GMT

Bid to nix post-Brexit 'uncertainty and instability'

Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election to be held on 8 June.…

Debian bins keys assigned to arrested Russian contributor

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:36:11 GMT

If Dmitry Bogatov's been compromised, Debian needs to protect itself

Debian has removed keys assigned to developer Dmitry Bogatov after he was arrested by Russian authorities for using the internet to organise protests. Or, as Russian outlet TASS puts it, “for terrorism and attempts to stage unrest in Moscow.”…

Naked Androids to rampage across Russia

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:28:10 GMT

Google settles antitrust case and pledges to open its OS to rival search engines and apps

Google has settled its Russian anti-trust case and will therefore open its Android OS to rivals in Vladimir Putin's demesne.…

Australia scraps temporary visas for skilled workers

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:01:49 GMT

Revise your plans for a long working holiday – the new visa will be tougher to score

Australia will scrap its visas for skilled temporary workers.…

eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:45:05 GMT

Plan to collect local sales tax from all sellers has tat bazaar, Amazon and others fuming

Tat bazaar eBay has threatened to stop Australian buyers doing business with offshore sellers if the nation goes ahead with a plan to charge local sales taxes on imported goods.…

We have good news and bad news about metadata retention

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:44:13 GMT

The bad: Australian readers are now being tracked. The good: Civil litigants won't be able to slurp your metadata... for now

On the same day that Australia's telecommunications metadata retention regime kicked off, the nation's attorney-general also tabled a report quashing the use of that metadata in civil litigation.…

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:00:13 GMT

A Minority Report future awaits

Opinion Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet. And just as these modes and mediums are considered vital to our economy and society, and are therefore regulated, we must ask whether it's time to also regulate algorithms.…

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 20:56:34 GMT

GEMSA, meet Streisand

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is countersuing a patent troll that wants its name removed from a "stupid patent of the month" blog post.…

Infosys says it'll hand shareholders $2bn

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 11:01:17 GMT

Its stock price then dipped

Infosys, Asia's second biggest software exporter, has promised shareholders it will increase its dividends and stock buybacks to $2bn this year.…

Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:00:13 GMT

Tackle the message, not the message-bearer

Comment The Times is campaigning to brand Facebook a "publisher" under British law. While an understandable reaction to the horrible content shared by users of the world's most popular social networking website, trying to make it subject to publishing laws would open a whole Pandora's box of trouble.…

US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:05:50 GMT

Trump praises largest US non-nuke explosion

Video For the first time, the US has used its largest non-nuclear explosive, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (also known as the Mother Of All Bombs) in Afghanistan.…

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:48:17 GMT

Did you know that downloaded files from the internet contain malware?

You may want to sit down for this. Did you know that movie files downloaded for free from the internet may contain malware?…

NoSQL slinger Basho looks like it's suffering from a case of NoBIZ

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 14:00:08 GMT

Source says they're working on a sale process

NoSQL database supplier Basho is looking for a sale.…

Three indicted over sex trafficking operation run on

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:02:26 GMT

Scandal returns to the site's adult classifieds section

Three people have been indicted for operating a sex trafficking ring through the scandalous classifieds website's adult section.…

Financially outgunned in Tosh memory biz sale, WD wheels out contract law artillery

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 09:00:06 GMT

Attempts to block takeovers by companies it doesn't like

+Comment Broadcom may be better placed financially to bid for Toshiba's memory business because Western Digital is burdened with debt from its $16bn SanDisk acquisition. Knowing this, WD is setting up a contract law barrage.…

Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:01:07 GMT

So a developer de-bugged his personality with a long-range hack

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Reg’s usually-on-Friday column in which readers share tales of being asked to do nasty jobs at nasty times, often for nasty people.…

Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:31:12 GMT

King Battistelli's crusade starts charging down the wrong hill

Analysis When he's not ignoring national laws and threatening employees, the president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, is on a crusade to make things work faster.…

Tor loses a node in Russia after activist's arrest in Moscow

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 04:05:12 GMT

Developer and self-described 'anarchist' gets lessons in opsec

Russia is shy a Tor exit node, after a university maths teacher was arrested for his involvement in protests in that country.…

Cyberattacks wipe more than $50bn off big biz value, say beancounters

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:11:51 GMT

Wak€ up and patch your sy£tems, already

Severe cyber-break-ins permanently stripped 1.8 per cent off companies' stock prices, on average, according to a new study out today.…

In case you had forgotten, broadband body warns of risks Brexit poses to sector

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 16:30:12 GMT

Advisory group wants Blighty's policy to align with Europe's

An industry group for the broadband sector has listed the risks facing the telecommunications sector following Brexit, including the impact on roaming charges, free movement of labour and European investment, in a report published today [PDF].…

HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:11:13 GMT

Shiny new web form can't cope with Budget month

The UK's taxmen have scuppered several piss-ups after brewers discovered the Government Gateway's online duty calculator can't calculate the latest beer tax hikes.…

BlackBerry wins $814m Qualcomm patent-cap arbitration

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:34:18 GMT

Besties still

BlackBerry has been awarded $814m in a patent arbitration action against Qualcomm.…

It gets worse – now WD says Toshiba memory business sale breaches joint venture terms

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:11:14 GMT

This is exactly the opposite of non-volatility

Just when you think it can't get any worse... it does. Western Digital has warned Toshiba that the proposed sale of its memory business contravenes the terms of their flash foundry joint venture.…

Consumers go off PCs as global shipments continue their decline

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 11:05:12 GMT

'Modest' growth in business segment suggests way ahead

Global shipments of PCs continue to slow as consumer demand declines, according to preliminary analysis by Gartner, with only "modest" growth visible in the business segment.…

Brexit factor lacking in Industrial Strategy, say MPs

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:01:09 GMT

Pumping £2bn into R&D starting point: Science and Tech Committee

The government has failed to account for the Brexit factor in its long awaited Industrial Strategy, according to a report by MPs today.…

Trump's govt hiring freeze means there's no US Privacy Shield chief: We tracked down the woman filling in for now

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 06:02:11 GMT

Meet Judy Garber

Shortly after ascending to office, President Donald Trump triggered a hiring freeze across most branches of the US government. The resulting understaffing has been a bit of a pain for Americans – but may be a boon for Europe.…

TPG to create Australia-wide mobile network

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:52:20 GMT

Pays AU$1.26bn for right to push waves into atmosphere for 12 years

Australian junior telco TPG has announced it will create Australia's fourth mobile network.…

Yahoo! human! rights! fund! called! a! sham!! $13m! of! $17m! wasted!

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:14:10 GMT

Lawsuit says Purple Palace's China fund was just 'window dressing'

The shriveled husk of Yahoo! has once again been dragged into court, this time over allegations the company mishandled millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian aid.…

China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 21:28:13 GMT

Well, sort of

China plans to impose the world's strictest digital privacy rights rules against large corporations like Facebook and Google by requiring them to obtain users' permission before sending any data on them outside the country.…

As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:55:01 GMT

Advance check-in is down too. If only there was a team that could fix it...

Updated The and websites and online check-in system for British Airways have been down for the past seven hours or so.…