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Biting the hand that feeds IT — Enterprise Technology News and Analysis

You can listen right here to the whir of a robot helicopter flying on an alien world

NASA records, shares sound of Ingenuity drone on Mars, like we're in some kind of sci-fi flick

Video  One of the microphones on Perseverance, NASA’s latest and greatest Mars rover, has recorded the sounds of its autonomous helicopter Ingenuity flying on the Red Planet, providing scientists with the first ever audio samples of an aircraft operating on another planet.…

Posted on 8 May 2021 | 6:39 am

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

'Elon's tweet does not match engineering reality' states poorly redacted report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's public statements about the state of his automaker's Autopilot assistive driving technology overestimate the system's capabilities, according to documents released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 11:41 pm

Facebook: Nice iOS app of ours you have there, would be a shame if you had to pay for it

Antisocial giant insists 'Help keep FB free of charge' messaging is merely educational

The number of Facebook and Instagram users on iOS agreeing to be tracked by the social networking behemoth for targeted ads has fallen drastically in the week since Apple's iOS 14.5 debuted – and Zuck & Co have hit back.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 9:40 pm

Xpand your horizons: MariaDB launches distributed query engine into proprietary DBaaS

But beware lock-in-as-a-service, analyst warns

MariaDB has added proprietary bells and whistles, in the form of distributed SQL, for its DBaaS and supposedly developer-friendly front end.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 7:51 pm

Russian cyber-spies changed tactics after the UK and US outed their techniques – so here's a list of those changes

Plus: NCSC warns of how hostile powers may exploit smart city infrastructure

Russian spies from APT29 responded to Western agencies outing their tactics by adopting a red-teaming tool to blend into targets' networks as a legitimate pentesting exercise.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 6:49 pm

GitLab's 10-day certification freebie offer lasted only two because, surprise surprise, people really like freebies

Biz expected 4,000 signups, got 60,000, system couldn't cope

GitLab says a surge in demand and a technical shortcoming resulted in the DevOps outfit yanking a free certification offer barely two days after turning on the tap.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 6:06 pm

British bank TSB says it will fix days-long transaction troubles tonight

Totally Sucks, Buddy: Debit payments held up since April, online and app still wobbly, say readers

TSB admitted today it still hadn't fixed a transaction processing issue that has for days held up customers' payments, with users continuing to have issues at the time of publication.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 4:44 pm

Privacy activist Max Schrems on Microsoft's EU data move: It won't keep the NSA away

Software giant vows data processing of EU cloud services to stay in EU, which means that currently...

Microsoft has announced plans to ensure data processing of EU cloud services within the borders of the political bloc in a move that expert observers claim reveals problems with the firm's existing setup.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 3:20 pm

We were 'blindsided' by Epic's cheek, claims Apple exec on 4th day of antitrust wrangling

I thought we were friends

An Apple exec has spoken of his shock after Fortnite creator Epic Games installed a hotfix that allowed it to deploy its own payment methods, thus skirting the 30 per cent App Store tax.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 2:35 pm

'A massive middle finger': Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture

Move comes days after firm acquired by Muse Group

Open source audio software outfit Audacity, now under new management, is adding some "basic telemetry", much to the alarm of many of its community.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 1:49 pm

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

Just four years to go before planned switch-off

The tiny Suffolk town of Mildenhall is the second place where Openreach has stopped selling copper products as the company develops its strategy for withdrawing legacy telephone lines.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 1:04 pm

Stale and past its best. Are you talking about Windows or the pizza you're waiting for?

A reminder of golden Start Menu days

Bork!Bork!Bork!  There are certain things that do not belong in pizza. One is pineapple. Another is the Windows Start Menu.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 12:14 pm

How Berkshire Hathaway broke Nasdaq's 32-bit code with its monster share price

Now that's a Buffett overflow error

Bug of the week  Here's a programming gremlin that caught our eye this week: a share price exceeded the 32-bit unsigned integer limit of a stock exchange's code.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 11:24 am

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all: El Reg takes Twitter's anti-mean algorithm for a spin

We're nicer in person, we swear

In an attempt to make Twitter feel less like a small-town Wetherspoons at closing time, the company will start asking users to reconsider sending tweets its algorithms perceive to be mean.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 10:26 am

Gone in 60 electrons: Digital art swaggers down the cul-de-sac of obsolescence

No lessons learned from (literally) decades of media format wars

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  Argh, where did I put that old comic? Someone told me it's a collector's item! It has value!…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 9:28 am

Perl changes dev's permaban for 'unacceptable' behaviour to a year-long lockout after community response

'Discriminatory or harassing conduct will not be tolerated'

A permaban from Perl events over "unacceptable" behaviour has been reduced to a year for the developer concerned, named by several separate Perl sources as Matt Trout.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 8:30 am

Researchers say objects can hide from computer vision by seeking out unusual company that trips correlation bias

Algos guiding self-driving cars don’t expect to see a STOP sign next to food. So if someone put a pic showing apples at a busy intersection ...

Black Hat Asia  Computer vision systems display “correlation bias” that makes it possible to create adversarial images, that could have real-world consequences such as messing with self-driving cars’ ability to accurately interpret road signs.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 8:01 am

The swift in-person response is part of the service (and nothing to do with the thing I broke while trying to help you)

I'll talk you through the steps... oh sh-

On Call  Corporal Cockup meets Major Outage in this week's episode of On Call as a reader's helpful walkthrough takes down the telephony server.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 7:30 am

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing

Satellite shootdown test still causing operational and diplomatic hassles after 14 years

Tired of space junk and weapons, US military commanders presented to Congress on Wednesday an argument to create a framework for rules-based order in space.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 7:01 am

Cisco HyperFlex web interface has critical flaw that lets attackers get root and execute arbitrary commands

You know the drill: shake your head in disbelief, then figure out if patching will wipe out a weekend or be merely inconvenient

Cisco has revealed a pair of critical bugs in its HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure product.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 5:52 am

Kids in Hong Kong and other highly surveilled states worry infosec careers are just asking for trouble

Asia is already short millions of trainees; expert warns talent pipeline will dry up in response to government snooping

Black Hat Asia  Asian nations in which governments are keen on citizen surveillance struggle to develop ethical hackers, as prospective workers fear their activities may be misunderstood, according to security specialist Mika Devonshire.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 5:11 am

China is upset India excluded Chinese equipment from 5G network trials

Why are you giving yourself a kick in the innovation economy?

China has protested India’s decision to prevent local carriers using made-in-China 5G kit in network trials.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 4:03 am

Google Play to require privacy labels on apps in 2022, almost two years after Apple

Developers want to do this, says Google. Ummm ... guys, you do remember the thousands of malware nightmares you’ve hosted and sold?

Google has decided the time has come to require app developers to disclose the data their wares collect, and their security practices, in their Play Store listings.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 2:57 am

Big right-to-repair win: FTC blasts tech giants for making it so difficult to mend devices

'There is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for restrictions'

America's consumer watchdog, the FTC, today scolded technology makers for their anti-repair practices, and signaled it will support new legislation that ensures people can mend their own stuff without penalty.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 1:49 am

Google will make you use two-step verification to login

World Password Day returns to remind us how much passwords suck

Google has marked World Password Day by declaring "passwords are the single biggest threat to your online security," and announcing plans to automatically add multi-step authentication to its users' accounts.…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 12:52 am

IBM says it's built the world's first 2nm semiconductor chips

Coming to a computer near you ... this decade ... maybe

IBM Research says it's made the world’s first 2nm process node chips, squeezing 50 billion transistors onto each of the fingernail-sized dies.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 11:04 pm

Telcos crammed 8.5m fake comments against net neutrality into FCC's inbox

While some teen generated 7.7m bogus pro-NN notes to US broadband regulator

Broadband companies in 2017 launched an $8.2m campaign to repeal America's net neutrality rules that spent $4.2m to sway policymakers with millions of fake comments. But only their hired guns are being held accountable.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 9:06 pm

NHS Digital booking website had unexpected side effect: It leaked people's jab status

Wanna find out if your employee has had a shot? Just lob her postcode and DoB into this website

An NHS Digital-run vaccine-booking website exposed just how many vaccines individual people had received – and did so with no authentication, according to the Guardian.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 6:37 pm

The quest for faster Python: Pyston returns to open source, Facebook releases Cinder, or should devs just use PyPy?

Official CPython is slow, but there are many ways to get better performance

Facebook has released Cinder, used internally in Instagram to improve Python performance, while another faster Python, called Pyston, has released version 2.2 and made the project open source (again).…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 5:36 pm

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 modem code flaw exposed Android smartphones to possible snooping

Good thing researchers spotted it, no evidence of exploit in the wild

A heap overflow vulnerability in Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip modem firmware, used in Android devices, could be exploited by baddies to run arbitrary code on unsuspecting users' devices, according to Check Point.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 4:11 pm

Just one in 5 Googlers plan to swerve the office permanently after COVID-19

Free breakfast, lunch and dinner? Listening to Ryan Reynolds talk shit? Massages for gratis? Why the hell wouldn't they return

One in five Googlers will be permanently working from home once the pandemic abates but for the majority it seems free meals in staff canteens, guest celebrity speaker appearances, resident gyms and massage therapy are irresistible lures.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 3:15 pm

Day 3 of the Apple vs Epic trial: What actually is an iPhone anyway?

Microsoft Xbox exec called up to explain differences with gaming console

The legal spat between Epic Games and Apple entered somewhat philosophical territory on Wednesday as the battling sides debated over whether the iPhone legitimately constitutes a general-purpose computing device, or is merely a locked-down platform with a specific purpose, such as a games console.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 2:30 pm

There may have been problems with the JEDI deal but you still wouldn't have won, Oracle told by US govt

They were not the cloud we were looking for, says DoD in brief to Supreme Court

In another chapter to a saga that refuses to die, the US government has recommended [PDF] that the Supreme Court rejects Oracle’s efforts to overturn a Department of Defense decision to award the $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 1:31 pm

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to push its tech, but survey suggests many devs slipped through the .NET

Among the findings, WPF remains most-used desktop framework despite years of promotion for UWP

The Microsoft-sponsored .NET Foundation has released a survey-based "State of .NET" report showing that efforts to broaden the appeal of the technology beyond its own platform have had limited success so far.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 12:45 pm

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward

(Almost) Why? Kickstarter and nostalgia of those who have forgotten the pain

The beast is back... almost. A "100 per cent compatible Visual Basic 6 solution" has been promised to the backers of a Kickstarter. There is, however, no word on how much it would cost to ensure it stayed dead.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 12:15 pm

Which? warns that more than 2 million Brits are on old and insecure routers – wagging a finger at Huawei-made kit

Default passwords, no updates, and your data's flowing through these

Consumer org Which? reckons more than two million Britons are connected to the internet through routers that were last updated in 2016.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 11:30 am

OVH outlines three-point 'hyper resilience' plan after Strasbourg fire

Please insert tape number 363 of 4087*

French cloud provider OVH has outlined a three-point plan designed to avoid a repeat of the loss of data and services resulting from the fire which engulfed its Strasbourg operations on 10 March.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 10:45 am

A web-era pandemic. Loving K8s without ruining Earth. Chaos engineering – and more at Continuous Lifecycle Online

There are so many reasons to join us next week at our tip-top DevOps conference, get your ticket now

Event  We’re checking the lighting, tapping the mikes, and ironing out the gremlins before kicking off Continuous Lifecycle Online on Monday, May 10 from 0900 BST – and we’d really like to see you there.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 10:01 am

Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

On the other hand he was fine

Graphic images  Everyone knows the trope. The baddies smash their way in and gun down the guard standing in front of the vault. "Dammit," says the lead bad guy, "it's a biometric scanner, we'll never get in!" His most grizzled henchman turns round, holding up the dead guard's lifeless arm. "Oh yes we will…"…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 9:15 am

Highways England seeks vendor to replace Windows 2003-based pavement management systems

Whoever came up with the SWEEP acronym can have a job at El Reg

Updated  Highways England, the authority responsible for the nation's roads and related infrastructure, is asking tech vendors to bid for a project worth up to £15m to replace its ageing pavement information management systems.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 8:30 am

Big dogs get new ride-share service from Singaporean giant Grab

What a time to be alive

Singapore’s dominant ride-sharing app Grab has added a service for large dogs, or humans who own large numbers of dogs.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 7:55 am

Chrome on Windows turns on Intel, AMD chip-level defenses against malicious websites

Terms and conditions apply

Version 90 of Google's Chrome browser includes a bit of extra security for users of recent versions of Windows and the latest x86 processors, in the form of hardware-enforced stack protection.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 7:23 am

The Starship has landed. Latest SpaceX test comes back to Earth without igniting fireballs

There was just a little fire. But not enough to worry anybody

Video  SpaceX’s latest test of its Starship vehicle has stuck its landing for the first time.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 6:15 am

JET engine flaws can crash Microsoft's IIS, SQL Server, say Palo Alto researchers

Trio claim database queries can lead to remote code execution

Black Hat Asia  A trio of researchers at Palo Alto Networks has detailed vulnerabilities in the JET database engine, and demonstrated how those flaws can be exploited to ultimately execute malicious code on systems running Microsoft’s SQL Server and Internet Information Services web server.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 4:59 am

If you're the 1% and have 10 mins to spare this July, bid for a place on first Blue Origin space tourism launch

For everyone else, get back to work and ordering those Amazon Prime deals

Blue Origin is planning to launch its first crew into space on July 20 – and a seat on this inaugural spaceflight is up for auction.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 3:48 am

VMware amends bug report claiming ‘Unauthorized API’ behind critical flaw - now says it's an 'unauthorised end point'

Whatever the source, remote code execution possible on vRealize Business for Cloud – which knows a lot about your private and public platforms

UPDATE  VMware has admitted its vRealize Business for Cloud product includes an “unauthorised VAMI API” that can be exploited to achieve remote code execution on the virtual appliance. The security flaw is rated critical, scoring 9.8 on the ten-point Common Vulnerability Scoring System.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 2:52 am

Robo-taxis hit the streets of Beijing – albeit a small fleet in a geo-fenced suburb

Code for the Baidu Apollo brains of the service is yours for the taking on GitHub, too

Chinese web giant Baidu has commenced operations of actual autonomous taxis on the streets of Beijing.…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 12:50 am

Can your AI code be fooled by vandalized images or clever wording? Microsoft open sources a tool to test for that

Counterfit automatically creates adversarial inputs to find weaknesses

Microsoft this week released a Python tool that probes AI models to see if they can be hoodwinked by malicious input data.…

Posted on 5 May 2021 | 11:27 pm

Signal banned for booking obviously targeted ads? That story's too good to be true, Facebook claims

Antisocial giant dismisses chat app rival's 'stunt' in escalating war of words

Encrypted messaging service Signal on Tuesday made a show of trolling Instagram and its parent company Facebook by creating ads that incorporated audience targeting categories into its ad copy.…

Posted on 5 May 2021 | 8:54 pm

Basecamp CEO issues apology after 'no political discussions at work' edict blows up in his face

30% of employees reportedly walked out following sudden rule change

Jason Fried, CEO of project management tool Basecamp, has issued a public apology following a major bust-up over new policies that discouraged employees from discussing "societal politics" at work.…

Posted on 5 May 2021 | 8:00 pm