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

Microsoft sues coronavirus phishing spammers to seize their domains amid web app attacks against Office 354.5

A very busy six months for Redmond's Digital Crimes Unit

Microsoft has taken legal action to seize web domains being used to launch coronavirus-themed phishing attacks.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 10:07 pm

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost

If you have to play by Redmond's strict rules, people are likely to go elsewhere

Video  In an attempt to regain market share from Zoom in the pandemic-driven world of video conferencing, Microsoft today launched a “Together” mode for its Teams software.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 8:54 pm

Google forges Open Usage Commons to manage open-source project trademarks, lobs hot-potato Istio at it

Marks for Angular and Gerrit also handled by org designed to provide 'guidance' to industry

Google has set up an organisation, dubbed the Open Usage Commons, to manage three open-source projects' trademarks – and provide developers advice on handling and using brands.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 8:12 pm

Oracle tempts users to run its cloud in their own data centres – for a mere '$6 million' commitment

Not for your titchy workloads, Reg sources say

Oracle's new on-premises cloud product has prompted concern among commentators, who've said it requires a strong financial commitment and could shift customers to higher cost deals.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 7:00 pm

One surefire way to get the boss's attention on network security is to get hacked. But there must be a better way?

And there is – check out our latest survey findings

Reader survey  With anyone who can work from home actually doing so during the pandemic, networking – and therefore network security – has become more business-critical than it was before.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 6:00 pm

Criminals auction off stolen domain admin credentials for up to £95k. Your bank account details? Barely get £50

Dark web dwellers can pick and choose from billions - billions - of logins

Stolen domain admin login credentials can be resold by dark web criminals for up to £95,000 and a total of 15 billion purloined credentials are traded on illicit marketplaces.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 5:26 pm

No more Genius Bar bottlenecks for you, Mr Customer? Apple exports independent repair provider program to Europe and Canada

Right-to-repair movements blows in from US

Europeans and Canadians with busted iPhones will soon be able to swerve the Genius Bar and associated lengthy waiting lists, as Apple expands its Independent Repair Provider (IRP) program to third party technicians.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 4:15 pm

Go on, devs, have a Flutter on Linux desktop apps: Google and Canonical launch alpha SDK

App framework extends its reach to Canonical's Snap Store

Google has hauled in Canonical to help extend the search giant's Flutter development framework to support Linux desktop applications.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 3:35 pm

Don't make any sudden moves: Huawei urges UK government to wait before declaring it 'unreliable'

Claims 'restrictions by the US will take months to fully understand'

Embattled Chinese tech bogeyman Huawei has decried the UK government's mooted plan to ban it from domestic 5G networks over reliability concerns caused by the imposition of punishing US sanctions.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 2:30 pm

UK advertising watchdog raps ruler on O2's hand over misleading ads for iPad and Surface Pro deals

£9 a month mumble mumble, terms and conditions apply

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has put O2 on the naughty step after it deemed two of its print adverts for the iPad and Surface Pro tablets misled customers about the overall cost.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 1:54 pm

You know what would look great on our database? Your machine learning model: GPUs and unstructured data on the menu for Exasol as it tries to unify BI and ML

Keeping up in performance stakes vital as data science sector explodes, says analyst

Exasol, the company behind a distributed in-memory database namesake, has pushed out its latest upgrade, touting support for GPUs and semi-structured data.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 12:55 pm

Cereal Killer Cafe enters hipster heaven, heads online: Coronavirus blamed for shutters being pulled down

End of milk-based monstrosity... or overpriced harmless fun? You be the judge

The hipster entrepreneur in all of us died a little bit today with confirmation that Cereal Killer Cafe, the best place in London Town for overpriced bowls of breakfast foodstuffs and milk, is not going to re-open its doors.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 11:58 am

Citrix tells everyone not to worry too much over its latest security patches. NSA's former top hacker disagrees

Eleven flaws cleaned up including one that may be exploited to sling malware downloads

Citrix has issued patches for 11 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in its various networking products.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 10:55 am

GCHQ's cyber arm report on Huawei said to be burning hole through UK.gov desks

Ban, no ban, trade war, 'useful idiots'... it's a big pie and everyone's grabbing a slice

Britain is all a-tizzy about Huawei again as talk swirls over the imminent release of an unofficial report into the Chinese company’s influence over prominent Britons and a ban on its telco equipment.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 10:01 am

Boolean bafflement at British Airways' Executive Club: Sneaky little Avioses - Wicked, Tricksy, False!

Curse us and crush us, my precious is lost

Bork!Bork!Bork!  Welcome to another in The Register's series of public whoopsies by customer-facing IT. Today it is the turn of perennial favourite, British Airways.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 9:13 am

Leaving Las Salesforce: Paul Smith fashions a new role at ServiceNow

No, not the Nottingham-born designer of natty suits, the former Proctor & Gamble chap who also spent time in the channel

Salesforce exec veep and UK GM Paul Smith has quit to join cloud platform rival ServiceNow in the same role but for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 8:30 am

Captain, the computer has identified 250 alien stars that infiltrated our galaxy – actual science, not science-fiction

Neural network trained to spot emigrated suns in our Milky Way uncovers mysterious Nyx collective

Deep-learning software has singled out a group of 250 stars in the Milky Way that appear to have been born outside our galaxy. That's according to a research paper published this week in Nature Astronomy.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 7:18 am

Achieve your financial services digital transformation with advice and insight brought to you by Workday

Watch live online this week – and turn that existential threat into a competitive advantage

Webcast  It’s been a challenging decade in the financial services sector to say the least. From the global financial crisis to environmental, social, and governance regulation, with digital transformation on top. Now the COVID-19 virus outbreak has provided the impetus to accelerate those digital transformation plans.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 6:00 am

High-flying Microsoft exec jumps to Magic Leap as CEO. No, we haven't got that the wrong way round

Peggy Johnson will take over after she approached ailing upstart

Augmented-reality flop Magic Leap has received an unexpected credibility boost: a top Microsoft exec has jumped ship, and will take over as CEO in August.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 5:02 am

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs

All eyes were instead on SpaceX and its newer programming techniques

At a press conference on Tuesday, NASA confirmed why Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spaceship failed to hook up with the International Space Station last year. The answer: as expected, buggy code.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 2:57 am

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world

The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain

Science and tech leaders, and immigration lawyers, have reacted with alarm to a Trump administration diktat that foreign university students in the US must return to their home countries if their college course is online-only mid-pandemic.…

Posted on 8 July 2020 | 12:29 am

Shopped recently in a small online store? Check this list to see if it was one of 570 websites infected with card-skimming Magecart

Jeepers, Keeper

The payment-card-skimming Magecart malware has turned up on yet more websites, this time 570 spanning 55 countries, it emerged this week.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 11:35 pm

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO

Exec admits launching racist tirade at family in restaurant

Updated  Another day and another racist rant in America has gone viral. This time the perpetrator appears to be a British founder of a cloud computing consulting company based in San Francisco.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 10:30 pm

Did you know Arm has an Internet-of-Things cloud? Yeah, not no more it ain't. Wants to offload it to Softbank

Microprocessor core designer says it just wants to focus on designing microprocessor cores

Arm today said it hopes to transfer its Internet-of-Things management cloud to its owner Softbank so that the chip designer can focus on its primarily function – designing chips.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 9:08 pm

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'

Enterprise edition ahoy as project tries to puzzle out its business model

Updated  The LibreOffice community has protested at the appearance of a "personal edition" label in the forthcoming version 7.0 of the hitherto free office suite, and the suggestion that paid-for enterprise editions are in the pipeline.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 6:19 pm

Fast as a motorbike, subtle as a brick: Motorola pushes out new Moto G 5G Plus mid-ranger

First 'affordable' 5G phone for the budget blower brand

Motorola today whipped the sheets off its first mid-tier 5G blower: the Moto G 5G Plus.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 5:26 pm

Fret not, Linux fans, Microsoft's Project Freta is here to peer deep into your memory... to spot malware

Shining a Rust-based forensic light into the darker corners of images

Boffins in Microsoft Research has pulled the covers off Project Freta, a free service aimed at spotting memory malfeasance.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 4:32 pm

Micro Focus COVID-19 costs: Carry the one, decimal 9 places to the right... hmm. Holy cow, it's a $1bn+ loss

Customers' decision to hit pause on spending compounds HP Software indigestion woes

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Micro Focus: its shares took a bath this morning on the back of a $1bn plus loss, largely due to a whopping goodwill impairment charge made to account for uncertainty caused by COVID-19.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 3:45 pm

Microsoft integrates Azure Functions with Dapr – for when you run Azure Functions outside Azure. Confused yet?

It's all about Kubernetes, Program Manager Jeff Hollan tells The Reg

Microsoft has provided an Azure Functions extension for Dapr - Distributed Application Runtime - but currently it cannot be used with the hosted Azure Functions cloud service.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 3:01 pm

We'll pay £400k for a depth charge-proof robot submarine, says UK's Ministry of Defence

British military continues push for new autonomous tech

Britain's Ministry of Defence is offering a £400,000 pot of cash to anyone who can develop an autonomous submarine capable of withstanding naval depth charges.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 2:15 pm

Grappling with mixed infra, container security, service meshes? Our DevOps conf has practical help for you

Grab your virtual tickets now for Continuous Lifecycle Online

Event  Depending on where you are, life is slowly returning to normal-ish. Yet it's going to be a while before bringing people physically together again is a good idea.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 2:00 pm

That's infotainment, that's infotainment: Android Automotive OS goes virtual with new reference platform

The screech of brakes and lamplights blinking... Google and pals tackle heterogeneous hardware subsystems

Google, chipmaker Qualcomm and transportation tech firm OpenSynergy have teamed up to create a reference platform for virtualising Android Auto, Google's OS for vehicles.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 1:30 pm

Manchester, UK seeks IT-slinger: £235m for number-plate-and-fines system to clean up vehicle emissions

Contract could be repurposed kit and services to support 'other uses' besides clean air...

The transport authority for Greater Manchester in northwest England is seeking an IT systems maker to help build a clean air zone scheme and fine drivers of prohibited vehicles in a deal which could be worth up to £235m.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 12:45 pm

Microsoft? AWS? Nein und nein. Deutsche Bank signs up with Google Cloud for its latest crack at digital transformation

5 months after request for proposal, Satya and Jeff left to languish on sidelines

Deutsche Bank has snubbed the world's two biggest purveyors of clouds to name Google Cloud in a deal that the German giant said "is as much a revenue story as it is about costs".…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

Psst: Want to know who else has their snout in the Copernicus trough? (spoiler: it's not the UK)

Plus: SpaceX launches another GPS satellite, the next Mission Extension Vehicle arrives in French Guiana and.... come ON, Tim!

In Brief  Rubbing salt into wounded British pride over a lack of prime contracts, Thales Alenia Space trumpeted its ESA awards last week.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 11:20 am

Social media giants move to defy Hong Kong's new national security law

Plus: US govt says it's 'looking at' banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok

Social media businesses are making moves to block Hong Kong authorities from accessing their user data, days after Beijing imposed a new national security law on the territory.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 10:45 am

Microsoft to take a break from Edge releases: Hits pause button to align with Chromium

Plus: A release candidate for Azure DevOps, Pylance gallops into VS Code and hairdressing in Teams

In Brief  Microsoft's browser gang at Edge has said it will take a breather in order to "stay aligned with Chromium Project's release schedule."…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 10:00 am

Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

Seems to be great for productivity

Review  Nokia has traditionally been typified by utilitarian phones* that get the job done — from the legendary Communicator series to the indestructible 3310.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 9:15 am

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

Slower than an iPhone, faster than a 2019 MacBook Air: It's an iBook that's over a decade old

Column  The modern always-on workplace isn't designed for everyone. And that's why a search for a coping strategy for dyspraxia* took me to eBay, where I bought an archaic Apple iBook for the princely sum of £40 (excluding shipping).…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 8:30 am

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

Experiment to diversify academic workforce falls foul of human-rights watchdog

Eindhoven University of Technology has been told to stop posting women-only job ads as part of a push to diversify its academic workforce.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 7:14 am

Hundreds of forgotten corners of mega-corp websites fall into the hands of spammers and malware slingers

DNS entries left pointing to Azure-hosted server names snatched by miscreants for mischief

Exclusive  More than 240 website subdomains belonging to organizations large and small, including household names, were hijacked to redirect netizens to malware, X-rated material, online gambling, and other unexpected content.…

Posted on 7 July 2020 | 6:35 am

When Facebook says you're not a good 'culture fit', it means you're not White or Asian enough – complaint

Antisocial network accused of unfairly snubbing Black people when it comes to jobs, promotions

Facebook has been formally accused of racial discrimination in a complaint from three Black plaintiffs, one a manager at the social network and two applicants who have repeatedly been rejected by the web giant.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 11:58 pm

Your 2.3m Instagram fans won't stop the FBI... Web star accused of plotting to launder millions from cyber-crime

Bloke calling himself Hushpuppi extradited, allegedly conspired to steal $100m from English Premier League soccer club among others

An Instagram super-star with 2.3 million followers has been extradited to America accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars obtained via cyber-crime. He faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 10:35 pm

You may be distracted by the pandemic but FYI: US Senate panel OK's backdoors-by-the-backdoor EARN IT Act

Proposed Section 230 shake-up passes committee stage with amendments

An amended version of America's controversial proposed EARN IT Act has been unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee – a key step in its journey to becoming law. This follows a series of changes and compromises that appear to address critics’ greatest concerns while introducing fresh problems.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 8:42 pm

Baroness Dido Harding lifts the lid on the NHS's manual contact tracing performance: 'We contact them up to 10 times over a 36-hour period'

Some of them will be feeling very ill and won’t pick up the phone and return the call. Ahem...

Baroness Dido Harding of Winscombe, who is currently leading the UK’s coronavirus track-and-trace efforts, has shed light on the nation's human-driven contact-tracing efforts in a meeting of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 5:15 pm

Oracle sued by a shareholder who alleges its lack of progress in diversity amounts to 'dishonesty'

Asks that at least three Board members give up their seats for diverse replacements

Oracle is being sued by a shareholder who alleges the IT titan has not been truthful and honest in its efforts to create greater racial diversity within its workforce.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 4:30 pm

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Fujitsu tells 80,000 of its Japan employees: From now on, you work remotely

Announces plans to close 50% of its Japanese office space by close of 2022

Fujitsu is to permanently shutter one half of its office real estate in Japan and will ask 80,000 locals to work from home permanently as it redefines work culture internally in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 3:55 pm

Think of a number: A tale of iffy discount codes, supermarket loyalty cards and Hotels.com

Points-powered getaways could cost booking site dear

Miscreants have been nabbing British supermarket chain Tesco Clubcard discount codes to snap up Hotels.com rewards meant for holders of the retailer's loyalty cards.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 3:15 pm

A bad day in New Zealand: Rocket Lab's 13th mission ends in failure

'Pics or It Didn't Happen' won't be sending back any pics any time soon

Upstart rocketeers at Rocket Lab had a bad weekend as the thirteenth launch of its Electron rocket ended in failure.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 2:22 pm

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

Move won't fix 'brutal system of human misery' but aims to encourage participation

In the light of the 2020 "global reckoning on race relations" the Linux kernel developers have stepped up with proposed new inclusive terminology guidelines for their coding community.…

Posted on 6 July 2020 | 1:30 pm