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Biting the hand that feeds IT — sci/tech news and views for the world

Capita flogs Asset Services division for £888m

'The reduction in leverage is significant' – Parker

Everyone’s favourite people pimp Capita has permanently outsourced its Asset Services businesses to Link Administration for £888m – a fleeting injection of cash in the bank that will be used to reduce debts.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:04 pm

Tech giants flash Russia their code blueprints in exchange for access

What could possibly go wrong?

Cisco, IBM, HP, McAfee and SAP are among plenty of western technology companies that have been showing their source code to Russian authorities in exchange for the right to sell their products in the country.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 12:57 pm

Anthem to shell out $115m in largest-ever data theft settlement

Good day to be an attorney, or a Maserati salesman

Health insurer Anthem has today agreed to pay $115m to settle a class-action suit brought on by its 2015 cyber-theft of 78.8 million records.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 12:09 pm

AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away

Van Eck phreaking getting surprisingly cheap

Side-channel attacks that monitor a computer's electromagnetic output to snaffle passwords are nothing new. They usually require direct access to the target system and a lot of expensive machinery – but no longer.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 10:58 am


OneWeb gets green light to pipe internet through 720 orbiting satellites

America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, has approved OneWeb's proposal to launch an ISP on the backs of 720 orbiting satellites.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 10:11 am

US Secretary of State: Я буду работать с Россией по вопросам кибербезопасности

Pish, hackers, smackers, says Rex Tillerson

Analysis  US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed a willingness to work directly with Russia on cybersecurity and other issues.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 9:08 am

Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

Unreleased 64-bit ARM versions, Server editions among dumped data

Exclusive  A massive trove of Microsoft's internal Windows operating system builds and chunks of its core source code have leaked online.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 8:09 am

Not Apr 1: Google stops scanning your Gmail to sling targeted ads at you

Given the amount of data it already has on you, why bother?

Google has said it will no longer scan the content of Gmail messages to sell targeted adverts to users of the free service.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:53 am

Florida Man to be fined $1.25 per robocall... all 96 million of them

Record $120m penalty will be doled out by FCC for bonkers binge of junk dialing

America's comms regulator, the FCC, will fine a Florida Man $120m for flooding the country with nearly 100 million robocalls in three months.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 6:25 am

Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

You're not using the password from the sticker, are you?

Virgin Media has urged 800,000 customers to change their passwords to guard against possible hacking attack.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 3:34 am

ZX Spectrum reboot firm gets £52k court costs order quashed

Up and down goes the Retro Computers Ltd litigation yoyo

The £52,000 costs order granted against troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has been set aside by the Senior Courts Costs Office, a branch of the High Court, as the wrangle between RCL and two former directors rumbles on.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 3:03 am

Google to remove private medical data from search results

As DeepMind slurps up more more patient data for Streams

Google has decided to wipe people’s medical records from its search results - just as its AI branch DeepMind extends its grips on UK patients’ medical records.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 2:22 am

ICO fines 'Wolf of Wall Street' electrical survey biz for nuisance calls

That's a £50k penalty and another shaming for Kent-based MyHome Installations

Electrical survey provider MyHome Installations Ltd, which entered the hall of shame on the Beeb's Rogue Traders for pressure selling to pensioners, is facing a £50,000 fine for nuisance calls.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 1:02 am

Russian hackers selling login credentials of UK politicians, diplomats – report

They're oldies but could still spill the goodies, say experts

Russians hackers are trading the email addresses and passwords of top UK politicians and diplomats.…

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 12:31 am

IoT coverage for 95% of UK by 2019? We can't even do 4G, Sigfox

French firm and new pals WND announce, err, ambitious plans

French Internet of Things connectivity firm Sigfox says it is partnering with a hitherto unheard-of firm, WND-UK, to cover "95 per cent" of Blighty by 2019.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:55 pm

Amazon squares up to Walmart over boycott calls: Talk sh!t, get hit

'Tactics like this are bad for business and customers'

The fight between Bezos' poster child and Walmart just got real – Amazon has officially called out the groceries juggernaut for petty schoolyard tactics.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:38 pm

Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

Paltrow, we have a problem

Current and former NASA scientists have called bullshit on claims seen on alternative "wellness" wallet-relieving blab-blog Goop, run by former famous actress and current linens-for-rich-ladies slinger Gwyneth Paltrow.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:20 pm

Hey blockheads, is an NVMe over fabrics array a SAN?

No, says Datrium, 'cos you can't share data. E8 sort of agrees

Analysis  What is a SAN and is an NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeF) array a SAN or not? Datrium says not. E8 says... maybe.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 10:26 pm

Tory-commissioned call centres 'might have bent data protection laws'

Party can expect a call from the Information Commissioner

The UK Conservative Party has been accused of pushing its message on potential voters in a way that may have breached data protection laws.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 10:02 pm

Doormat junk: Takeaway menus, Farmfoods flyer, NHS data-sharing letter... wait, what?

Effort to notify patients falls flat – under pizza pamphlet

A Midlands NHS group has committed face-palm after face-palm in its efforts to inform residents about its patient data-sharing plans.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 9:35 pm

Smart burglars will ride the surf of inter-connected hackability

Let’s invent a dustbin that throws itself away

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  What the world needs now is an intelligent dustbin. It would be the pinnacle of achievement for the Internet of Things sector.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 9:02 pm

Algorithmic pricing raises concerns for EU competition law enforcement

Illegal offline? It's illegal online

Analysis  Algorithms used to track or adapt prices online raise competition concerns, according to a recent submission to the OECD by the European Union.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 8:22 pm

Fasthosts' week to forget: 4-day virtual server summer bummer

VPS blinkenlights dim for some of the customers

Fasthosts hasn’t exactly draped itself in glory during this week of the summer solstice, what with the four day blackout of its virtual private server service and a partial eclipse of webmail.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 8:13 pm

PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Wiping out the problem needed a brush and a pump, but didn't make a stink

On-Call  Welcome yet again to On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we take readers' tales of odd jobs in odd places, tart them up and present them to you as a bit of light relief on a Friday.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 7:32 pm

Red Hat dons hyperconverged headware

When is a server a hyper-server? When it bundles V12N, RHEL, Gluster and Ansible

Red Hat's having a crack at a hyperconverged software stack.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 6:58 pm

Facebook gives itself mission to 'bring the world closer' by getting people off Facebook

Zuckerberg preaches connectivity gospel, sends faithful to do good works

Analysis  Mark Zuckerberg's given Facebook a new mission statement: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together", in the process rediscovering The Social Network™'s original purpose and exposing web utopianism as hopelessly optimistic.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 5:58 pm

NASA? More like NASAI: Brainy robots 'crucial' to space exploration

Danger, Will Robinson!

Autonomous space robots are going to be key to making new discoveries and exploring the furthest reaches of our Solar System and beyond, according to NASA scientists.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 5:01 pm

UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

There's an opening and good will to use it, says Ecuadorian foreign minister

Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa says the country is working with the UK to find a way for Julian Assange to leave its embassy.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:58 pm

Amazon adds Hyper-V file support to its storage gateway

As Azure Stack's launch approaches, AWS bolsters its hybrid storage story

Amazon Web Services dominates the public cloud, but its hybrid cloud story is currently weak.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 2:58 pm

Qualcomm's server silicon has a cloud customer: Packet

Rival ARM-wrestling cloud Scaleway has added 64-core Caviums

Qualcomm looks to have a customer for the Centriq 2400 , the 48-core CPU it's aiming at the server market: the minor cloud player Packet has signed up “to introduce” the architecture to its customers.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 1:58 pm

Vblock tags in Vxblock: Move is a 'simplification' for punters

We drill into Cisco-Dell-EMC mini-shakeup

Dell EMC's converged infrastructure portfolio is changing. The Vblock – with its Cisco Nexus 1000v switch – is going away, while VxBlocks – with software-defined networking – are taking over.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 12:59 pm

Apple, LG, Huawei, ZTE, HTC accused of pilfering 'find my phone' tech

Military comms developer says Android and iOS are trampling its patents

A software company that makes tracking tools for military and 911 crews says some of the biggest mobile phone makers on the planet are stealing its technology for their own security tools.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 12:15 pm

Latest Windows 10 Insider build pulls the trigger on crappy SMB1

Redmond adds UI tweaks, more emojis and Edge enticements

Microsoft has released the newest build of Windows 10 Insider, version 16226, to developers on its fast-track release list.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:21 am

WikiLeaks doc dump reveals CIA tools for infecting air-gapped PCs

Brutal Kangaroo jumps network breaks, according to leaked classified info

WikiLeaks has published online more top-secret documents it has obtained from the CIA describing the agency's hacking tools. This time the dossier details software codenamed Brutal Kangaroo that agents can use to infect targets' air-gapped computers with malware.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 9:12 am

Let's go live to the 3rd circle of Hell – and see what Comcast and Charter are screwing up

Allegations of digging up rivals' cables, breaking promises

A Texas telco says Comcast sabotaged its cable network after it refused a buyout offer.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 8:52 am

Breaking news, literally: Newspaper's quakebot rumbled for fake story

Software glitch led to algorithm emitting 90-year-old info

A Los Angeles Times article-writing bot sent shockwaves through the internet Wednesday – by falsely reporting a hefty 6.8M earthquake had hit Santa Barbara county, California.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 8:16 am

Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

As taxi app maker staff demand T-Bone Kalanick is restored to the throne

Waymo has proof Uber execs knew their star engineer Anthony Levandowski was in possession of designs stolen from Waymo well before Uber acquired Levandowski's self-driving vehicle startup.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 8:01 am

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

Strangely lucid and lawyerly statement from Tweeter-in-Chief

President Trump has, in a tweet-burst today, backtracked on his earlier menacing claim that he may have secretly recorded his meetings with then-FBI boss James Comey.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 6:38 am

Genoans flout terror ban with bumper basil hand baggage policy

Sauce on a plane

Heightened security at airports clearly doesn't apply to all liquids, at least not in Italy. An airport in Genoa is now allowing flyers to travel with jars of the local speciality sauce – pesto.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 4:32 am

Microsoft PatchGuard flaw could let hackers plant rootkits on x64 Windows 10 boxen

Redmond shrugs, says PC would already need to be thoroughly pwned

Flaws in Microsoft PatchGuard create a means for hackers to plant rootkits on Windows 10, 64-bit OS devices.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 4:02 am

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

He'd have been aiming higher than the top of London's Shard to hit his mark

A Canadian sniper has reportedly shot dead an Islamic State terrorist from the astonishing distance of 3,450 metres – more than two miles away.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:28 am

Two Brits nabbed in connection with global plot to hack Microsoft network

Organised crime coppers cuff young men

Detectives have arrested two men in the UK this morning in connection with an international "conspiracy" to break into the Microsoft network.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:19 am

Hybrid storage newbie: It's storage Jim, but not as you know it

Data on flash or disk? Er, it's complicated, says Reduxio

Reduxio, the startup that stories data in unique indexed, tagged and timestamped chunks, has introduced v3.0 software with unified primary and secondary storage.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 2:44 am

Gov.UK pops open tin of AI and robotics research cash

Government opens Industrial Strategy linked funding call

The UK government's long-promised Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is open for business.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 2:22 am

Flash-based and Dell-free: NetApp trots out SolidFire FlexPod

Flash? It's all flash, mate

NetApp has introduced an all-flash SolidFire-based FlexPod.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 12:57 am

UCL ransomware attack traced to malvertising campaign

Researchers finger trojan-slinging AdGholas group

Security researchers have suggested that the ransomware attack on University College London last week was spread through a "malvertising" campaign.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 12:27 am

Putting AI to work in finance? Think algorithms, ethics first

More speakers join MCubed Lineup

Events  Ethics, algorithms and finance are all key areas for machine learning and AI, which is why we’re chuffed to announce three more excellent speakers who will be joining us at MCubed London in October.…

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 12:14 am

Research suggests UK consumers find 'fibre' advertising misleading

Alt-net providers call for ads to be reviewed

Adverts using the word "fibre" to describe services deployed over copper lines are leaving UK consumers baffled, according to research commissioned by alternative network providers.…

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 11:54 pm

Fujitsu loses Dimes amid plans to save dollars

UK and Ireland boss nowhere to be seen

UK and Ireland boss of Fujitsu, Lucy Dimes, has gone on gardening leave just one year into the job, according to multiple well-placed sources.…

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 11:17 pm

'No decision' on Raytheon GPS landing system aboard Brit aircraft carriers

We've already got one tried and tested system, huffs MoD

The Ministry of Defence has insisted it has made “no decision” to install the US Navy’s JPALS aircraft carrier landing system aboard HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Royal Navy’s two new 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers.…

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 11:04 pm