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The Register

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Puppet plays puppet master, gobbles up automation firm Distelli

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:36:10 GMT

Twisting minds, smashing dreams

Puppet has rolled out the corporate playbook and turned puppet master for another automation company.…

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

The 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.…

You lost your ballpoint pen, Slack? Why's your Linux version unsigned?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:04:04 GMT

No digital signature on hipster collab app means it's easy to make dangerous fakes

Slack is distributing open Linux-based versions of its technology that are not digitally signed, contrary to industry best practice.…

Chief digital officer and sales director leave O2 amid ongoing shake-up

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:02:14 GMT

Roles yet to be filled

Two senior top brass at UK telecoms provider O2 have stepped down amid a period of major transition for the mobile operator.…

GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:27:14 GMT

Librem 5 will run only open-source code, PureOS and feature radio kill switch

The GNOME Foundation has backed efforts to create a "freedom-oriented" smartphone that protects users' privacy and runs only open-source software.…

From the Dept of the Bleedin' Obvious... yes, drones hurt when they hit you in the head

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:06:06 GMT

Research suggests maybe the heavy ones should spend less time over people

Being hit in the head by a drone won't necessarily end in decapitation. Thanks to aeronautical boffins, we know now that there is a range of possible outcomes.…

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:32:08 GMT

Parts-maker Delphi wants BlackBerry-mobiles on the road in 2019

As BlackBerry's handset business died an increasingly rapid death, execs told The Register that the company had a fabulous operating system and secure messaging to fall back on.…

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:02:05 GMT

Gives two-fingered salute to IBM designers for forcing us to use three-fingered salute

Bill Gates has said that if he had his time again, he would not have chosen CTRL-ALT-DEL as the keypress to interrupt a PC's operations.…

Toshiba sells memory biz for $18bn, becomes the Bain of Western Digital's existence

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:39:11 GMT

Japanese company sells memory biz to private equity and WD flings sueballs to stop it

Toshiba has picked a Japanese-American consortium assembled by Bain Capital Private Equity as the buyer of its memory business. Jilted suitor Western Digital has immediately tried to stop the transaction happening.…

Ducks ding dongs in face of stiff competition

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:04:06 GMT

Alternative title for this science paper: Seven-inch bullies humiliate unsuspecting birds

Waterfowl situation... Some alpha ducks bully smaller ducks so much when competing for mates that the beta birds' undercarriages barely take off, so to speak, a new study has found.…

CCleaner targeted top tech companies in attempt to lift IP

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:04:11 GMT

Infected Avast tool's payload went after the likes of Microsoft, Intel and Cisco, hit 20 targets

Cisco's security limb Talos has probed the malware-laden CCleaner utility that Avast so kindly gave to the world and has concluded its purpose was to create secondary attacks that attempted to penetrate top technology companies. Talos also thinks the malware may have succeeded in delivering a payload to some of those firms targeted.…

Google hires HTC's Pixel people to make 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 hire the HTC team that designs and builds its Pixel phones.…

Top video game dev nerve-center Unity can now be used to train AI

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:58:11 GMT

Hot graphics and complex worlds provide a good testbed for algorithms

Unity, the most popular cross-platform game engine favored by video game developers, on Tuesday opened up its platform for machine learning researchers to test their algorithms.…

GitLab freezes GraphQL project amid looming Facebook patent fears

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:30:52 GMT

Promising query language garbled by legal lingo

Using GraphQL, an increasingly popular query language for grabbing data, may someday infringe upon pending Facebook patents, making the technology inherently problematic for corporate usage.…

Orland-whoa! Chap cops to masterminding $100m Microsoft piracy racket

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:02:52 GMT

Chinese national pleads guilty to running a massive counterfeiting ring

A Chinese national has admitted he coordinated a massive piracy ring that shifted more than $100m in bootleg Microsoft gear.…

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:08:15 GMT

Our vulture gets his claws into new hardware

First fondle Nest unveiled a new outdoor camera, doorbell and security system this morning in San Francisco.…

Mobe reception grief turns LTE Apple Watch 3 into – er, a dull watch

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:23:56 GMT

Plus: You can't switch off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on iOS 11

The new LTE-enabled Apple Watch 3 appears to suffer from a bug that can keep the touch-screen wearable from connecting to cellular data networks.…

FedEx: TNT NotPetya infection blew a $300m hole in our numbers

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:25:53 GMT

File-scrambling malware put a bomb under shipping giant's sales growth

FedEx has estimated this year's NotPetya ransomware outbreak cost it $300m in lost business and cleanup costs.…

Say Hello to my little friend: Nest blasts IoT world with doorbell, home security gear

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:40:58 GMT

Hope it doesn't freeze out folks like its thermostat

Smart home poster child Nest on Wednesday launched two new products: a video doorbell and a security system.…

IT fraudster facing four years' bird time for $10k blackmail

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:47:42 GMT

Blackmailed former employer, redirected company website for porn portal

An IT contractor who sabotaged a client's website and demanded $10,000 to restore it was this week convicted of wire fraud and sentenced to four years behind bars.…

Amazon wants to be king of the nerd goggles

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:01:14 GMT

Glasshole Bezos sees no shame

Something to quicken the pulses of middle-aged men in the shower, whose surname rhymes with "Noble"*.…

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:29:07 GMT

It's a massive and ambitious upgrade for iPads, but older hardware can't cut it

Review After years of complacency – and falling sales – Apple has transformed the iPad into something it should have been from the start: a proper computer.…

Ethereum just checked that part of a Zcash transaction was legit

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:02:37 GMT

Someone sent somebody else some money – that's all we know, and that's a good thing

The testnet for Ethereum's next big update has successfully verified an important part of a transaction with the virtual cryptocurrency Zcash, bringing the dream of making the blockchain network more privacy-focused just a tiny bit closer to reality.…

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.…

More are paying to stream music, but YouTube still holds the value gap

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:23:04 GMT

Demand's there; compensating artists is another issue

With Google's user-generated content loophole firmly in lawmaker's sights, global music trade body IFPI has published new research looking at demand for music streaming.…

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.…

Manchester plod still running 1,500 Windows XP machines

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:48:53 GMT

Issue 'endemic' across public sector, shriek experts

Cops in Manchester, England, have 1,518 PCs running on Microsoft's dusty operating system Windows XP, according to a Freedom of Information response.…

Lloyds Bank payments glitch frustrates merchants

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:48:15 GMT

C'mon, you POS... >:(

Lloyds Bank has admitted that unspecified technical problems affected the operation of its Cardnet payment system on Tuesday. The UK bank denied suggestions that it had suffered a cyber attack.…

Google Cloud's API knows the sort of thing you like to look at

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:50:12 GMT

And now has creepy 'entity' sentiment analysis too

Google Cloud's Natural Language API has become a bit more, er, insightful: it can now sort content into 700 different categories, such as Health, Hobbies & Leisure and Law & Government.…

More data lost or stolen in first half of 2017 than the whole of last year

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:58:07 GMT

That's 1.9 BEEELLION records – and just you wait till GDPR

More data records were leaked or stolen by miscreants during the first half of 2017 (1.9 billion) than all of 2016 (1.37 billion).…

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.…

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:03:08 GMT

Those are just the ones known to have downloaded outdated versions

Thousands of companies may be susceptible to the same type of hack that recently struck Equifax.…

Dell EMC refreshes its entry-level arrays

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 07:27:13 GMT

Behold the new SCv3000 arrays, with auto-tiering, all-flash, twin controllers, 1PB raw capacity all in 3U for <$10k

Dell EMC has refreshed its cheapest storage appliance by giving us the SCv3000, a successor to the SCv2000.…

AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 07:02:14 GMT

Get creative – bringbackfirefly! will no longer cut it, nerds

Eggheads have produced a machine-learning system that has studied millions of passwords used by folks online to work out other passphases people are likely to use.…

Hitachi Data Systems is no more! Arise the new 'Hitachi Vantara'

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 06:31:05 GMT

HDS, Pentaho and Hitachi Insight Group join forces, promise data-driven IoT fun

Hitachi Data Systems is no more: the venerable storage vendor has been subsumed into a new outfit called “Hitachi Vantara” that says it “helps data-driven leaders find and use the value in their data to innovate intelligently and reach outcomes that matter for business and society.”…

Behold, says robo-mall-cop maker: Our crime-busting dune buggy packed with spy gear

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 06:04:13 GMT

Surveillance bots are just 'a very weird data center'

Pics In a modest industrial building in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday, security startup Knightscope unveiled the latest additions to its line of "crime-fighting robots" – the K1, a stationary weapon detector, and the K7, a sensor-laden dune buggy for challenging terrain.…

Chap tames Slack by piping it into Emacs

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:44:26 GMT

And then filtering out all the stuff he doesn't need to read

Emacs enthusiast Artur Malabarba has put the text editor to work taming Slack.…

Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system – and it's supermassive

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:02:09 GMT

Sitting less than one light year apart in spiral galaxy NGC 7674

Scientists have discovered the closest-ever supermassive black hole binary system. It's in the spiral galaxy NGC 7674, and the pair of voids are separated by a distance of less than one light year.…

Oracle promises SLAs that halve Amazon's cloud costs

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:37:26 GMT

Larry Ellison also pledges 'Autonomous Database' to cut the cost of – gulp – the people who run databases

Oracle chair and chief technology officer has pledged to undercut Amazon Web Services pricing by 50 per cent for infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service, in part by increasing use of automation.…

macOS High Sierra more like 'Cry Sierra' for Mac-wielding beta testers

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:03:16 GMT

Early issues arise with new version of OS X 10.13

Apple's next version of the macOS, High Sierra, aka 10.13, is due for general release next week, and users running the beta have already noticed a pair of issues that could cloud the rollout.…

Inept bloke who tried to sell military sat secrets to Russia gets 5 years

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:12:07 GMT

Bumbling fool not so much Jason Bourne as Johnny English

A contractor who tried to sell trade secrets on military communication satellites to the Russians has been sent down for five years. Incredibly, it could have been longer after prosecutors alleged that he was also planning to kill his wife.…

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.…

Viacom exposes crown jewels to world+dog in AWS S3 bucket blunder

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:59:39 GMT

Passwords, server schematics and encryption keys up for grabs in open file store

Updated Media monster Viacom has been caught with its security trousers down. Researchers found a wide-open, public-facing misconfigured AWS S3 bucket containing pretty much everything a hacker would need to take down the company's IT systems.…

Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:25:03 GMT

Apps are gonna break. Plus of course, Apple always screws up the first iteration

Apple's latest iOS version is out today – iOS 11 – but before you rush into updating, you'll want to check that it doesn't destroy any of your favorite apps.…

Sprint, T-Mobile US reignite mega-merger talks (again)

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:44:41 GMT

You want more competition, America? Here's another all-powerful telco monolith

Sprint and T‑Mobile US are in talks to create a third major US wireless carrier.…

Ofcom to crack down on telcos' handling of nuisance callers

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:54:09 GMT

Also wants to extend consumer protection to cover more broadband services

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is to introduce a series of measures to clamp down on providers' handling of nuisance calls, billing accuracy, general complaints handling and support for vulnerable customers.…

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.…