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

Watch online today: Practical tips for Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration

Three secrets of success you need to know, according to Quadrotech

Webcast  You merged. You sold a company. You’re migrating to a sovereign data centre. Whatever the reason for your Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration, it can be one of the most important and stressful projects you will ever take on.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:00 am

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

Flying a 50-year-old rocket to mark the anniversary of Apollo 13? What could go wrong?

Exclusive  Faced with spiralling costs for its Space Launch System (SLS) and pressure to put American boots on the Moon by 2024, NASA is to return the Saturn V to flight.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:15 am

Hong Kong swells tech-buying subsidies for local businesses that buy from local businesses

$25k from you and $75k from the government buys improved productivity and economic diversity

The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong has increased the subsidies offered to local business’ technology investments by 50 percent.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:49 am

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Super-crypto actually normal TLS, lawsuit launched over Facebook API usage, privacy policy rewritten

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked security concerns on Tuesday when he shared a screenshot of “the first ever digital Cabinet” on his Twitter feed. It revealed the country’s most senior officials and ministers were using bog-standard Zoom to discuss critical issues facing Blighty.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:11 am

Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

Could be a wearable, could be wired. Backed by big fines and jail

The State of Western Australia has given itself the power to install surveillance devices in homes, or compel people to wear them, to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis don’t interact with the community.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 4:14 am

Singapore government scraps physical 2FA tokens for government services

There's an app for that. Or text, if you dare. Or even retail outlets

Singapore will bin the physical tokens used to provide two-factor authentication (2FA) for some digital government services.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 3:26 am

Lobsters given seats on coronavirus rescue flights... although they're probably not in a rush for a boiling bath

Australia starts crustacean migration

Australia will arrange rescue flights for lobsters, shellfish, and other seafood, to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. No, it's not that kind of rescue: they're going to be eaten, hopefully.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 2:25 am

Internet use up 40 per cent in San Francisco Bay Area – but you know what’s even higher? Yep, alcohol, weed use

Techies, non-techies respond to COVID-19 by self-medicating at home

With the San Francisco Bay Area, including Silicon Valley, on its third week of self-quarantine, and facing at least another month of being stuck in near-lockdown at home, habits have changed.…

Posted on 1 April 2020 | 1:44 am

You're not fooling anyone on that vid-conference call: Walmart says shirt sales soaring, pants not pulled up

Oh no, we've been rumbled

With workers opting to telecommute and dial into video conferencing amid the coronavirus lockdowns, where possible, sales of formalwear are up... partially.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:52 pm

Talk about ill-gotten gains: Coronavirus KOs Xerox's $30bn months-long hostile takeover bid of HP Inc

Turmoil in the financial markets fells ambitious acquisition plan

Xerox said on Tuesday that it is ending its hostile bid to acquire printer-and-PC maker HP due to financial complications arising from the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:19 pm

MariaDB cuddles Kubernetes, snuggles ServiceNow and readies analytics with latest update to cloudy SkySQL

K8s 'kind of a universal key' for going multi-cloud

MariaDB has updated its cloud-native SkySQL database, promising a slew of features addressing deployment, management and analytics.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:01 pm

Samsung calls it a day on liquid-crystal display, says quantum dot is really hot

Low demand, supply glut. Why bother?

Samsung Display will discontinue production of LCD panels by the end of the year due to falling demand for the increasingly marginalised tech and a supply glut in the market.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 10:20 pm

Didn't see that coming: DataStax emits open source Kubernetes operator for Cassandra

Although you need to hop in the Management API sidecar for the really good stuff

NoSQL slinger DataStax has released an open source Kubernetes operator for Apache Cassandra as it seeks to cosy back up to the community.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:30 pm

Xiaomi, phone home: Chinese everything shop currently making most sales on smartphones

For now. (Having mattresses and smartbogs to fall back on doesn't sound so nuts anymore)

Over half of Chinese electronics, scooters and underwear corp Xiaomi's revenue came from smartphone sales, according to audited figures published today [PDF].…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 8:27 pm

Microsoft expands AI features in Office, but are they any good? Mixed, according to our vulture

Plus note to admins: sending content to Microsoft is on by default and users cannot disable it

Hands On  Microsoft made a number of Office 365 Microsoft 365 announcements yesterday, including touting an expanded set of AI capabilities in its core applications.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:25 pm

Epic Games floats $1m bounty to ID source of 'commercial smear' claiming Houseparty chat app has been hacked

Lots of non-savvy users may be recycling previously hacked creds

Group video chat app Houseparty has offered a $1m bounty to identify what it claims is an organised campaign to falsely depict it as a hackers' backdoor.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:30 pm

Relax, breaking a website's fine-print doesn't make you a criminal hacker, says judge in US cyber-law legal row

If you ignore the T&Cs to probe a site's algorithms, don't expect the Feds to swoop in using the dreaded CFAA

Netizens probing websites' algorithms for bias and discrimination, against the sites' terms and conditions, can breathe a small sigh of relief. A US federal court has ruled it's not a criminal offense to flout a consumer-grade website's fine-print.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:42 pm

Sunday: Australia is shocked UK would consider tracking mobile data to beat pandemic. Monday: Australia to deploy drone intimidation squads

Bloody poms are full of great ideas

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison may have to eat his words on how to limit the spread of coronavirus after the country's westernmost state announced "extreme and draconian" measures all of its own.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 4:56 pm

Marriott Hotels hacked AGAIN: Two compromised employee logins abused to siphon off guests' personal info

How many customers' deets? It's not saying just yet

Marriott Hotels has suffered its second data spillage in as many years after an "unexpected amount" of guests' data was accessed through two compromised employee logins, the under-fire chain has confirmed.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 4:01 pm

Huawei rotating CEO: Chinese government will not 'just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered'

Gotta find Huawei to handle 2020: Despite rosy 2019 figures, Chinese comms giant sees trouble ahead

Huawei's rotating CEO reckons the Chinese government will retaliate against the US tech industry rather than allow the giant of the Middle Kingdom to be "slaughtered on the chopping board"* of US sanctions.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:03 pm

If you've ever wished Visual Studio Code could be more open source, the Eclipse Foundation would like a word

DIY IDE Theia hits 1.0, and it's still compatible with all those extensions

The Eclipse Foundation has pulled back the curtains on version 1.0 of Theia, an alternative to Microsoft's developer darling of the hour, Visual Studio Code.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:00 pm

Cloudflare is over the moon because its pro-privacy 1.1.1.1 DNS service got a clean bill of health from everyone's favorite auditor – KPMG

Proved for all sites, proved for all sites, there is nothing else we can do

Two years ago, network infrastructure biz Cloudflare launched the 1.1.1.1 Public DNS Resolver, with the promise that internet users could use the service to surf the internet without being tracked - by Cloudflare at least.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 1:00 pm

Watch your MANRS: Akamai, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Google, and pals join internet routing security effort

Filtering, anti-spoofing, coordination, validation to prevent crooks, spies hijacking victims' connections

A community effort to improve the internet's routing security has won the backing of some of the web's biggest names.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 12:00 pm

Pandemic impact: Two-thirds of polled Reg readers say it's business as usual in the IT dept, one in ten panicking

And few worried about security – are they right?

Two-thirds of polled Register readers, on average worldwide, said it was business as usual in their IT departments amid the ongoing global coronavirus crisis. And fewer than one in ten said they were paralyzed by the pandemic.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:00 am

Hunting for IT staff? Lost your job during the pandemic? Sysadmin vacancies – and a free job ads offer – inside

Employers, would-be employees, we're here to help during these trying times

Job alert  We've received a couple of solid responses to our offer last week, in which we invited organizations seeking tech staff to tackle the coronovirus pandemic to send in their recruitment ads and we would run them for free online. No catch, no snark, nor strings attached.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:56 am

16 years and counting: How ESA squeezed oodles of bonus science out of plucky Mars Express probe

MEX I can: A tale of ingenuity and innovation

Space extenders  As the European Space Agency flicked the standby switch on some of its long-lived spacecraft in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Register figured it was time for a look at how the agency has kept its fleet flying far beyond expectations. Today, the veteran Mars Express orbiter.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:00 am

What's the difference between Windows 7 and a bin lorry? One is full of garbage, and the other… oh dear

Forget the Lambeth Walk, instead enjoy the Camden Bork

Bork!Bork!Bork!  Welcome to another in our uplifting series of incidents where someone else's IT misdemeanours are flashed at an unsuspecting world. Behold the bork.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 8:15 am

SAP's locked-down offshore project managers develop remote work plans for clients

We've asked top tech companies if India's lockdown changes the service you receive. Most say no

India is the dominant source of offshored IT workers, and home to big facilities for plenty of global IT companies. India is also in lockdown and workers there cannot leave their homes except under limited cirumstances.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:35 am

Sucks to be you, ICANN. We can go our own way: Opera to support sites using renegade top-level domain .crypto

Is this the end of the DNS? No, but it is curious to see where this is going

Opera has updated its lightweight browser for Android so that it can access unofficial .crypto domains, primarily to exchange cryptocurrency.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:04 am

Oracle makes some certifications and cloudy content free, in case you have time on your hands

Mum? Dad? What was lockdown like? It went by in a flash, junior, because we studied for a database certification

Oracle will offer free training and learning material during the coronavirus lockdown.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:35 am

Watch Equinix’s webinar to find out how to manage risk in the open banking shift

New digital payment standards are changing the rules – don’t be caught out

Promo  You’ll probably be more than familiar with open banking standards by now. Launched in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority in January 2018 and increasingly adopted in the wider world, 202 (and counting) regulated providers are now on board.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:00 am

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly

Just use a wee bit of your imagination

Future astronauts will need to be prepared to shed blood, sweat, tears, and, erm, possibly urine, too, if they want to build a home base on the Moon.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:03 am

Outage hits some Google Cloud services, error rate curve flattens and they're coming back

Good luck if you're a user of Cloud SQL, Cloud Data Fusion, or Cloud Composer

Google’s cloud is experiencing trouble.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:46 am

Microsoft corrects '775 per cent cloud usage surge' claim: Big number only applied to Teams and only in Italy

Now that's a caveat

Microsoft has corrected its own claim that it had "seen a 775 per cent increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders".…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:02 am

India suggests cloud storage to slow the spread of coronavirus

Citizens advised to put away their papers and use the national data locker instead

India is advising its citizens that cloud storage can help to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 1:59 am

Uncle Sam turns the screws on VoIP providers allegedly used by coronavirus, tax, bogus tech support scammers

This being America, they weren't too hard on most of them

The US government is cracking down on Voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers accused of giving safe harbor to robocall spammers.…

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 12:17 am

Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions

Plus: Edge sharpened, Teams upgrades promised

Microsoft on Monday teased a few future features of its Edge web browser and Teams slack-killer. It also announced the rebranding of its cloud productivity suite Office 365 as Microsoft 365 – a subscription offering that already included Office 365, alongside Windows 10 Enterprise services and security features.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 9:32 pm

Dot-com price rises on their way over the next four years: ICANN approves Verisign contract, walks off with $20m

You thought thousands of complaints would make a difference?

Analysis  The price of dot-coms will steadily increase over the next four years following DNS overseer ICANN's controversial renewal of Verisign's contract to run the top-level domain.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 8:59 pm

Cloud'n'server hosting giant OVH more like OMG: Data center hardware failure knocks out services in France

Bad case of the Mondays

European cloud giant OVH is suffering a substantial outage today: if there's a website you can't reach right now, it's perhaps hosted by OVH..…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 6:53 pm

Microsoft qualifications will pad the CV for another year, Teams for ventilator boffins, and Windows 10 threatened with very retro news app

1903 still rules roost, Azure Fabric 6.5 support extended, and more

Roundup  Cross out the expiry date on your rapidly ageing role-based certification - you've got an extra six months. But that wasn't the only thing to break from Redmond in the past week, here are the best bits.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 4:50 pm

UK civil service has a new boss: Alex Chisholm dubbed permanent secretary for the Cabinet Office

Set to replace John Manzoni on 14 April, but no word on the new chief digi officer

John Manzoni – permanent secretary for the Cabinet Office and CEO of the UK civil service who had an agenda to introduce more digital services – has been replaced with Alex Chisholm.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 3:52 pm

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

We need to get people's nans on WhatsApp

BT has begun asking contact centre employees to return to work as it grapples with an increasing number of customer calls resulting from the UK-wide lockdown.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 3:30 pm

Adobe PhoneGap falls between the cracks thanks to new Apple requirements, developers fume

Still using PhoneGap? Don't

Developers using Adobe's PhoneGap framework for building mobile apps for iOS and Android may soon be unable to submit to Apple's App Store, thanks to Adobe's use of an old iOS SDK.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 2:45 pm

BT reopens £90m UK High Court case over 1970s VAT 'overpayments'

Couldn't have come at a better time with COVID-19 economic shutdown

BT has won a legal application to restart a decade-old court case in the hope of clawing back more than £90m in VAT the telco claims it overpaid to HMRC from 1978 onwards.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 2:10 pm

Poured your info out on a call to 118 118 Money? Bad luck. Credit provider 'fesses up that hacker nabbed customer service phone recordings

Don't worry, though. Any 'systematic' data extraction would be 'time-consuming'

The digital burglary at 118 118 Money exposed recordings of customer service calls that included a raft of personal information although thankfully not payment data.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 1:14 pm

Astroboffin gets magnets stuck up his schnozz trying and failing to invent anti-face-touching coronavirus gizmo

Encounters the ridge phenomenon: As in, there is one 'at the bottom of my nose you can't get past'

We're all told from a tender age not to shove things up our noses – Lego, chickpeas, pencils, fingers – but it seems even grown-up astrophysicists can have difficulty grasping these most basic recommendations when it's in the name of science.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 12:29 pm

Official tailored Swift for Windows support promised in 5.3

Swift on more platforms – provided you do not need a GUI

The team working on the Swift programming language has said its goals for the upcoming version 5.3 will include "adding support for Windows and additional Linux distributions".…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 11:29 am

You know all those stories of leaky cloud buckets taken offline? Well, some may still be there, just badly hidden

Plus, Google warns of fake journo phishing attacks

Roundup  It's once again time for the El Reg security roundup.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 11:06 am

Call for netizens to demand scraped pics from Clearview, ML weather forecasts, and Star Trek goes high def with AI

Your quick summary of neural network news

Roundup  Hello Reg readers. Here's a quick roundup of bits and pieces from the worlds of machine learning and AI.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 10:09 am

Leaving Las Vegas... for good? IT industry conference circuit won't look the same on other side of COVID-19 pandemic

O'Reilly has quit the events game, and it might not be the only one

Comment  You've been there, done that and you quite literally have the T-shirt. Love them or loathe them, IT conferences are a feature of industry life. My first was CA World in New Orleans in 1998. In front of an audience of thousands, then Computer Associates CEO Charles Wang wandered across the stage pontificating as a chorus of children danced about him (no, really) and I knew I had indeed entered a whole new world of weird.…

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 9:15 am