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Copyright: Copyright 2016, Situation Publishing

Amazon: Students, we'll give you $2.5m for a chat-up, AI?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:12:12 GMT

Chatbot interaction needs to be 'natural', though

Amazon is offering teams of university students the chance to claim their share of a $2.5m prize for developing the best “socialbot” capable of holding a natural language conversation.…

Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:03:08 GMT

Ghosts in the Machine

Analysis Early next year you should able to buy Nokia phones and BlackBerry phones, two of the giant names of the Noughties. None of these phones will be made by Nokia or BlackBerry, and all of them will be Android phones. The famous brands will inhabit new bodies, with the licensees hoping to rekindle some nostalgia both giants once enjoyed.…

My moment face-to-face with Google's AI: It feels your pain, sometimes

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:38:06 GMT

Sentiment analysis might just be useful

Comment At Google's Horizon cloud event in San Francisco on Tuesday, the ad giant demonstrated its Cloud Vision API through what it called the GCP Emotobooth. Less of a booth than a corner of a room covered by a connected camera, the experience combined all the forced fun of making faces on demand with the dubious pleasure of having one's mind read by a machine.…

Big data and the cloud: It's not even that scary

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:19:06 GMT

Don't believe the marketeers

Sysadmin blog Once all the marketing is cleared away, just what is big data, and how does it help real businesses of all sizes? Marketing would have us believe that big data is new, huge, terrifying, complicated, impossible without their help and yet will deliver unmatched benefits. Like many things in tech, however, big data is really just an iterative evolution of things most businesses already do.…

Robo-boat biz ASV inks licence for auto-speedboat tech

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:08:08 GMT

That's the one a human drove during its public launch

The Ministry of Defence has licensed its Advanced Unmanned Surface Vehicle robot boat tech to roboat biz ASV Global.…

Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:39:12 GMT

Claims bendy battery won't burn, is ideal for credit-card-sized gadgets

Panasonic says it's built a bendy Lithium-Ion battery safe enough to be built into “Card devices, devices attached to the human body, smart clothing [and] wristband wearable devices.”…

Google finds its G Suite spot: Renames apps, talks up AI and BigQuery

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:19:11 GMT

'We really are serious about the enterprise,' insists enterprise head Greene

Analysis The invitation for Google's latest cloud sales pitch, dubbed "Horizon" because the company has already had its way with "Atmosphere", on Thursday directed attendees to The Mint.…

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:01:09 GMT

From the Giant Magellan 'scope to science and what the nightlife is like in Chile

Pics + vids Construction has now started on the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will be the world's largest optical viewing device mankind has ever built by using record-breaking mirrors and advanced electronics.…

Curiosity sniffs Mars' odd atmosphere wafting out of its soil

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:42:12 GMT

Nuclear-powered laser space tank loves the smell of exotic xenon isotopes in the morning

Mars' atmosphere is wafting up from its cold, dead soil, according to new findings from the Curiosity Rover.…

Security analyst says Yahoo!, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr all popped by same gang

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:17:47 GMT

Says five-strong 'Group E' may have lifted a billion Yahoo! records, sells to states

Five hackers are said to be behind breaches totalling up to a staggering three billion credentials from some of the world's biggest tech companies including the Yahoo! breach that led to the loss of 500 million credentials.…

Termination fees for terminated people now against the law

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:05:12 GMT

New rules in New York to stop American ISPs and power companies charging dead folks

The US state of New York has had to pass a law to stop telcos and utility companies from charging fees to the deceased.…

User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:30:07 GMT

Also misplaced cables … erm ... creatively

ON-Call Thank Cthulhu it's Friday, because that means the weekend is at hand and we can offer you another instalment of On-Call to show what happens when support calls ruin your personal time.…

Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:03:24 GMT

And asked on the day EC competition tsar gave speech on 'Big Data and Competition'

Salesforce has called on the European Commission to block Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn.…

Microsoft will let you pass and fail cert exams at the same time

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 03:28:57 GMT

Upgrade tests no longer require you to pass all components, for the sake of balance

Microsoft has made a change to the way it marks re-certification exams, removing the requirement to pass all components of a test. The new regime means you'll pass the exam even if you fail some components.…

Tokyo man arrested for selling jailbroken iPhones

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 02:28:27 GMT

Allegedly crocked iKit came preloaded with cracked cheater game app

A 24 year-old Tokyo man has been arrested on suspicion of trademark violation for allegedly selling five jailbroken iPhones, local media report.…

Want to make US$1.5m this weekend? Just jailbreak iOS

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 01:08:21 GMT

Zerodium triples iOS exploit bounty to $1.5M, doubles 'droid to $200k

Exploit broker Zerodium has tripled its bug bounty for a remote iOS 10 jailbreak vulnerability to US$1.5 million.…

Google announces eight new cloud regions, new support model

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:18:58 GMT

I'm too SaaSy for Mumbai, too SaaSy for Sydney, São Paulo and Finland (and more)

Google has announced a big expansion of its cloud, with new regions planned for Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt … and those are just the ones it plans to turn on during 2017. The company's also planning to announce more regions in the future.…

Oracle loses (again) in battle to get Google Java case retried (again)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 23:23:39 GMT

More imminent: Heat death of the universe – or Big Red giving up appeals?

Oracle has been turned away in its latest effort to get a new trial for its Java API copyright claim against Google.…

Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:08:26 GMT

Old rich white man comes up with perfect solution to tech sexism

Stop press It's one of the most pervasive problems in tech: ingrained sexism that sees women looked over for promotion or often not given a job in the first place.…

'Syrian Electronic Army' goon extradited from Germany now coughs to hacking, extortion

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:59:00 GMT

His crime boss The Shadow remains at large

An associate of the self-styled Syrian Electronic Army has been sentenced to five years in an American prison for his part in running a cyber extortion scheme against businesses around the world.…

Four US states demand restraining order to stop internet power handover to ICANN

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:04:43 GMT

Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada sue Uncle Sam

Four states' attorneys general have filed suit to prevent the transition of critical internet functions from the US government to non-profit ICANN this Friday.…

Verizon techie sold people's call logs at $75 a head to private dick

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:00:47 GMT

Prison looms for telco insider who flogged subscriber records to dodgy investigator

A former Verizon Wireless employee is facing time behind bars after he pled guilty to selling customer records.…

Badda-Bing, badda-doom: Microsoft search guru heads up giant's new AI boffinry unit

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:31:47 GMT

Deep Thought? I don't think you're going to like this answer

With all the hype buzz surrounding artificial intelligence right now, Microsoft has decided to repurpose its long-established Microsoft Research division into a new group focused chiefly on AI development.…

Why XPoint SSDs won't meet original speed claims: A guide

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:03:06 GMT

It's not just the media, stupid

Comment Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy has come up with a theory which he claims explains why Intel and Micron’s 3d XPoint memory will not meet its original performance claims.…

Microsoft widens Edge browser bug hunt for bounty hunters

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:41:06 GMT

Keeping you in hoodies

Microsoft has expanded its programme for rewarding those who find and report bugs in its Edge browser, enabling bounty hunters to claim their prize for a broader range of vulnerabilities.…

Human rights orgs take Five Eyes nations to court

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:22:35 GMT

UK/USA to sit in dock at ECHR over backbone collection mischief

Human rights organisations have today made the most direct legal challenge against the UK and USA's surveillance activities since they were first revealed in 2013.…

VESK coughs up £18k in ransomware attack

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:02:06 GMT

Biz took the precaution to pay up as a belt and braces approach

Exclusive Hosted desktop and cloud provider VESK is staggering back to its feet after paying 29 Bitcoins (£18,600) in a ransomware attack earlier this week.…

Microsoft's chums Dell, HPE and Lenovo give Azure Stack a shout-out

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:26:05 GMT

Mover over, devs, and bring me a chequebook

Cloud isn’t what it used to be. Amazon’s AWS began life like open source, with the same net result: a developer secret that became an infrastructure fact.…

Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:02:06 GMT

‘Someone tried to greet me’ splutters tearful Reg production chief

London’s commuters were plunged into terror this week as a shadowy organisation attempted to turn decades of convention on its head by encouraging people to talk to one another.…

Apple puts on its grey suit: Firm, 40, keen to meet corporate types

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:38:11 GMT

Could use all the dev time it hasn't been using on iPhones, amirite?

Apple and consulting firm Deloitte are teaming up to help organisations with their business transformation efforts through the use of Apple devices.…

Dell-EMC's dual server supply problem... is not a problem, it reckons

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:25:40 GMT

Converged server suppliers? Crack on, says senior soul Sakac

+Comment You might have thought it did not compute, Dell having its own in-house server operation for its acquired EMC kit to use while EMC’s VCE operation uses Cisco server-powered Vblocks in its converged systems. But no, having a dual server supply is fine.…

Russian hackers target MH17 journalists for embarrassing Putin

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:07:16 GMT

State threat actors are a reality for today's scribes

Journalists investigating the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014 have been hacked by Russia, according to security intelligence outfit ThreatConnect.…

Pisspoor IoT security means it'd be really easy to bump off pensioners

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:45:25 GMT

Oi, digi-utopians. Start putting your house in order, says CW event speaker

Two things are fixed on everyone's minds when it comes to the Internet of Things: security and law. How does industry overcome the threats posed by these two hurdles?…

Fingerprint tech makes ATMs super secure, say banks. Crims: Bring it on, suckers

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:29:08 GMT

All those unchangeable PINs, up for easy swiping

Cybercriminals are hawking their claimed ability to exploit newly introduced biometric-based ATM authentication technologies.…

Microsoft chatbots: Sweet XiaoIce vs foul-mouthed Tay

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:13:13 GMT

Cultural differences, eh?

AI chatbots can act like social experiments, offering a glimpse into human culture – for the good or the bad.…

FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:00:29 GMT

The inside story of Google's plan to pwn the TV biz

Special report We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”, and the United States makes the most envied popular TV drama in the world. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Wire raised the bar for everyone in TV drama.…

Complaints against cops down 93% thanks to bodycams – study

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:27:06 GMT

Quite likely keeping both the cops and public in check

The introduction of body-worn cameras (BWCs) has lead to a 93 per cent drop in complaints made against the police, according to new research.…

Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society... Doesn't sound sinister at all

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:14:07 GMT

Google 'n' pals hope to herald machine-human 'golden age'

RotM Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have joined forces to create an AI partnership intended to pacify public fears about the human-replacing technology.…

Market pulls chain on Crapita share price after first ever profit warning

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:58:07 GMT

Reselling slumps, TfL contract woes and possible Co-op 'litigation' looms

Capita’s share price went into freefall this morning after its first ever profit warning, with troubles at the tech reselling and recruitment services units blamed, as well as costly delays to its Transport for London contract.…

Microsoft warns Windows security fix may break network shares

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:38:07 GMT

We're making your NAS secure by hiding it from you

Microsoft has overnight pushed out the latest of its ongoing preview builds for Windows 10, with this one carrying a warning that it could break your network file share connections.…

Exchange down for Android and iOS users

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:17:10 GMT

Mobile access receives the Office 364.5 treatment

Microsoft Exchange mobile users on Android and iOS users have been unable to access the service on their mobile devices due to a planned shift away from its Exchange Active Sync (EAS) protocol.…

Oracle's Coach Larry needs Microsoft plays to beat Amazon

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:54:31 GMT

Best locker-room strategy: Avoid emulating AWS directly

Analysis SAP. Crack! IBM. Snap! Salesforce. Bang! Workday, I can see you - come over here...…

Realm – a database you may not have heard of but app devs have – touts cloudy platform

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:25:16 GMT

Tool tries to simplify shifting data to and from mobes

At last, you can stop thinking about networking.…

Ever seen a storage startup and thought: 'Pshaw. I could do that?'

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:02:13 GMT

Funding, contacts, brainboxes... a step-by-step guide

Part One You read The Register about people getting ahead with the most ridiculous startup ideas and ask: "Why that can't be you?" How is the game played? Well, let's design a storage startup from scratch and find out.…

Sendspace shrugs at phishers exploiting free service

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:37:04 GMT

To: Whomever, From: Whomever, Attached: Whatever

File delivery site Sendspace has said it isn't worried about a huge email spoofing issue with its free service – because legitimate businesses don't use it.…

M.2 SSD drive format is under-rated. So why no enterprise arrays?

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:19:09 GMT

Tiny physical size SSDs being hugged by hyper-scalers

Blog So the latest Samsung M.2 format drives have now hit the market. In something similar to a DIMM format, you get up to 2TB of capacity and read/write speeds of 3.5Gbit/s and 2.1Gbit/s respectively. I’ve mentioned these devices in a few recent presentations as I think the potential for such small devices could be enormous. But why have we seen no enterprise storage arrays based on M.2?…

But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:07:04 GMT

FOSS's hidden marathon to big-ticket respectability

“Yeah, but is open source a safe choice?” Surprisingly, I’ve been asked that frequently of late. Larger organisations in particular are giving me the old squinty eye. The folks in these conference rooms and tentacular email threads are often looking to replace decades old stacks of IT and get their “digital transformation” on, so perhaps they can be forgiven asking such a dated question.…

When two tribes go to war: Docker Swarm on the left, easier-to-install Kubernetes on the right

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:41:10 GMT

The K8 1.4 release feels your pain

Analysis Container orchestration software Kubernetes reached version 1.4 this week, an act of "user empathy" as described by Google developer advocate Kelsey Hightower, because ease of use has been something of an afterthought.…

Sad reality: Look, no one's going to patch their insecure IoT gear

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:19:11 GMT

'Consumers are ready to roll the dice with their privacy every time they buy a gadget'

If you think ordinary people are going to look out for and apply firmware fixes to patch vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things, you're crazy.…

ZX Spectrum Vega+ will ship on time, developer claims amid doubts

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:02:04 GMT

Oi, where's my retro games console?

Retro Computers, the biz behind the Sinclair-compatible ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld console, is rebutting claims by critics that the gizmo will not be ready in time for its target launch date.…