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The Register - Business

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Air traffic 'glitch' grounds Sydney flights

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 01:42:34 GMT

Power outage of software crash, depending on who you listen to

Sydney airport was in chaos on the first Monday of the Australian state of New South Wales' spring school holidays, after air traffic controllers had to revert to manual operations.…

Chairman Zuck ends would-be president Zuck's political career

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:58:09 GMT

Facebook gives up on share plan that would give Zuck control forever, even if he worked for government

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's personal challenge for 2017 was “to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year.” He'd already visited 20, so the effort to tick off the other 30 means he's travelled rather a lot in 2017. That Facebook also hired former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe meant that many have observed his travels look like just the sort of thing a political aspirant would do to lay the foundations for a tilt at elected office. The theory was helped by a 2016 proposal to let Zuckerberg retain control of Facebook even if he stepped away from running the company to work in government.…

Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 09:15:09 GMT

Heavy-handed tactics during lead up to independence referendum

The Spanish government has come under increasing criticism for raiding the offices of the .cat internet registry in the lead-up to a referendum on Catalan's independence.…

For Facebook, ignorance is the business model: Social net is shocked – SHOCKED – that people behave badly

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:37:51 GMT

See no evil, hear no evil, speak of no evil

Analysis No one at Facebook had any idea anyone might use its ad tools to target "Jew haters," said COO Sheryl Sandberg earlier this week.… lays down rules for cross-Whitehall data slurps

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:58:08 GMT

Consultation opens on codes of practice for Digital Economy Act

The UK government has offered more detail on how public authorities can pass around the data they hold on citizens – a mere five months after the Digital Economy Act passed into law.…

Microsoft reveals details of flagship London store within spitting distance from Apple's

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:48:07 GMT

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours

Microsoft has revealed the location of its flagship UK store – just up the road from Apple's flamboyant, tree-lined Regent Street shop.…

How Apple is taming the ad biz. Just don't expect Google or Zuck to follow

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:17:10 GMT

Inside ITP, Safari's third-party cookie zapper

Can the world's biggest tech company tame the Wild West of the digital ad industry as its data slurping becomes ever more intrusive? Since Facebook and Google are essentially colluding with behavioural data collection, and Microsoft has given up the fight for user privacy, few companies have Apple's means or incentive. But for Apple, privacy doesn't hit its bottom line, and might even increase it.…

Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:41:39 GMT

That could mean 40,000 drivers out of work

Uber's application for a new taxi licence in the UK capital has been rejected. In a shock move, Transport for London today said the app biz is not "fit and proper" to hold a licence.…

HPE sharpening the axe for 5,000 heads – report

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:14:12 GMT

All part of CEO Whitman's 'long-term ops and financial blueprint'

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is about to release the trap door again with 5,000 employees, or almost 10 per cent of its workforce, expected to fall through it.…

Database biz MongoDB files to go public, hopes to raise a cool $100m

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:32:12 GMT

Revenues are up, but NoSQL firm still burning through cash

Oracle-chaser MongoDB has filed to go public, with its accounts revealing it made a net loss of almost $90m in the year ended January 31, 2017.…

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:01:06 GMT

Sysadmin hated making it look so easy, but didn't mind being a hero for saving a payroll run

On-Call Can you feel it? The weekend's just over the horizon, so it's time for On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tales of literally incredible jobs that produced improbable feats of sysadminnery.…

First big Privacy Shield review has ended – and yep, it's great! Just don't ask about mass spying

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 06:03:07 GMT

Surprise – a thumbs up to private info flying over the Pond

The much-heralded first review of the EU‑US Privacy Shield Framework that governs the flow of personal information across the Atlantic has concluded – and would you believe it? Representatives of the EU and US think it's doing fine.…

Cloudflare coughs up a few grand for prior-art torpedoes to sink troll

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:14:18 GMT

DDoS blocker well on its way to nuking Blackbird Tech in patent showdown

Cloudflare says its efforts to wipe out a patent troll using prior art have already yielded more than a dozen examples.…

Facebook, Twitter sucked into US Senate's Russian meddling probe

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:44:13 GMT

Politicians want to know what happened with those fake accounts and advertising dollars

They may still view themselves as open purveyors of free speech, but increasingly social media giants are being pulled into the US Senate's investigation of Russian interference in the American presidential elections.…

Hi Facebook, Google, we think we might tax your ads instead – lots of love, Europe x

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:14:12 GMT

Or maybe hold money from online transactions. Either way, we're getting our damn cash

More details have emerged on the various plans being considered by European governments to force internet giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon to pay more in taxes, including a levy on internet ads and even withholding money for online transactions.…

Outgoing Cisco exec chair John Chambers joins Sprinklr board

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:59:12 GMT

There is life after the Borg... in social media management platforms apparently

Outgoing Cisco executive chairman John Chambers is to join the board of directors on social media management outfit Sprinklr, no doubt the first of many non-exec roles the former Switchzilla boss will hold.…

Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:53:09 GMT

You're an algorithms company, Larry!

Analysis Google is placing a "Big Bet" on consumer hardware, the company screams in a new blog post. Presumably this time it really means it.…

Something good about Brexit? Errr, more teeth for Ofcom! – report

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:14:12 GMT

But elsewhere fear and uncertainty reigns. Ahhh!

Brexit could hand UK watchdog Ofcom more powers to intervene in the retail telecoms markets while simultaneously creating uncertainty over mobile roaming charges, according to a wide-ranging discussion paper.…

How's that 'turnaround' year going, Capita? ...Sheesh, sorry I asked

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:03:06 GMT

Things still gloomy after profit warning and restructure

At the halfway point of a turnaround year for listing tech outsourcing ship Capita, the vital statistics are still moving in the wrong direction with top and bottom line slipping and major contract challenges noted.…

UK data watchdog swots automated marketing call pest with £260k fine

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:56:08 GMT

Easyleads applies to be struck off after investigation

Blighty's Information Commissioner's Office is claiming another big win after fining marketing firm Easyleads Ltd £260,000 for being a royal pain in the ass – or, more specifically, for making 16.7 million automated marketing calls.…

Google blows $1.1bn to hire HTC's Pixel people, forming one big happy handset team

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 02:52:54 GMT

HTC insists ad giant didn't scoop all its clever people and it can still make nice things

As rumoured since early September, Google has decided to splash out over a billion dollars and hire the HTC team that designs and builds its Pixel phones.…

UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:29:05 GMT

And you thought 24 hours would be tough…

The UK's Prime Minister has once again raised the tech stakes in the fight against online terror, with her latest, er, bright idea being for internet giants to stop extremist content before it's even online.…

EU watchdog: Govt bods are seeking 'legal knockouts' to dodge transparency

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:29:13 GMT

Increasingly 'legalistic' approach goes against intentions for openness, says ombudsman

Public bodies are taking an increasingly “legalistic” approach to disclosing information that doesn’t always support transparency, the European Union’s dodgy management watchdog has said.…

Toshiba said yes to the Bain-Capital-backed bunch – reports

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:27:07 GMT

The question is... will Western Dig give the OK?

Struggling Toshiba has picked a group led by the investment firm Bain Capital to buy its memory chip business, Reuters reports.…

Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:02:10 GMT

Spend £50k to get just £3k per year more than non-grads

University in the UK has never been more expensive. But at least doing a computer science degree guarantees a nice fat, well-paid job at the end, right? Wrong.…

UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:32:08 GMT

Vendors Brexploited GBP fall, but components dearth played part too

The average trade price of computers in Britain shot up by almost a third in the past year since the EU referendum, though a weakened pound might not tell the whole story.…

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.…