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

First-known interstellar Solar System visitor 'Oumuamua 'comet' in disguise: Research

Strange appearance and behavior perplexed astronomers, led some folks to believe it was alien spaceship

The cigar-shaped 'Oumuamua, the first interstellar object in recorded human history to whizz through the Solar System, is a comet after all, a pair of astronomers declared in research published in Nature on Wednesday.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 11:02 am

Croquet for Unity: Live, network-transparent 3D gaming... but it's so much more

This is that rare announcement that's far more significant than it sounds

Which of these appeals more: a new, free, Javascript framework for writing network-enabled 3D games, complete with integrated physics modelling and spatial audio… or, a complete, mature, dynamic programming platform that can implement the metaverse?…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 10:02 am

Attackers hit Bitcoin ATMs to steal $1.5 million in crypto cash

Terminal maker General Bytes shutters its cloud business after second breach in seven months

Unidentified miscreants have siphoned cryptocurrency valued at more than $1.5 million from Bitcoin ATMs by exploiting an unknown flaw in digicash delivery systems.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 9:02 am

Bogus ChatGPT extension steals Facebook cookies

All aboard the chatbot hype train! Next stop: Fraud

Google has removed a ChatGPT extension from the Chrome store that steals Facebook session cookies – but not before more than 9,000 users installed the account-compromising bot.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 7:29 am

B-List celebs including Lindsay Lohan fined after crypto shill probe

Didn't disclose payments as mastermind pumped up value of tokens with fake trades

Eight very B-list celebrities have agreed to cough up fines after being accused of shilling a cryptocurrency without disclosing they were paid to do so, while the chap who apparently paid them has been charged with fraud.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 6:30 am

Japanese outfit's private Moon mission enters Lunar orbit

Now all it has to do is land

The possibility of the world's first successful privately funded and operated Moon landing is looking a little more likely after Japanese aerospace outfit ispace announced its Hakuto-R lander successfully completed a lunar orbit insertion maneuver on Tuesday.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 5:31 am

India gives itself a mission to lead the 'Global South' into 6G era

Builds its own seat at the standards development table

India's government has presented the nation with a challenge: to lead development and deployment of 6G, both within its borders and elsewhere.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 3:59 am

South Korea fines McDonald's for data leak from raw SMB share

British American Tobacco, Samsung, also burgered up their infosec

South Korea's Personal Information Protection Commission has fined McDonald's, British American Tobacco, and Samsung for privacy breaches.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 2:29 am

We've got plenty of AI now but who asked for it? El Reg's vultures chime in

We each grab a mic and take apart the Bard stewards responsible for this hype

Register Kettle  AI-powered chatbots are 2023's hot tech topic, although users report the results they produce are mixed. At best.…

Posted on 23 March 2023 | 12:56 am

Amazon to shutter Digital Photography Review

Respected hands-on outlet tossed under the layoff bus

Photography community website DPReview will shut down on April 10, 2023, in conjunction with layoffs announced by parent company in January.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 11:44 pm

Cisco kindly reveals proof of concept attacks for flaws in rival Netgear's kit

Maybe this is deserved given the problem's in a hidden telnet service

Public proof-of-concept exploits have landed for bugs in Netgear Orbi routers – including one critical command execution vulnerability. …

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 10:57 pm

Journalist hurt by exploding USB bomb drive

Now that's a flash bang

Police in Ecuador are investigating attacks on media organizations across the country after a journalist was injured by an exploding USB flash drive.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 10:09 pm

Microsoft freaks out users with Windows 11 warning: 'LSA protection is off'

Alerts telling folks their 'device may be vulnerable' triggered by KB5007651

A recent security update to Windows 11 has put the scare on some users by warning that Microsoft's Local Security Authority (LSA) feature is turned off and their system is vulnerable to attack.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 8:28 pm

If scammers use your AI code to rip off victims, the FTC may want a word

A good watchdog does blame the tools, or something like that

America's Federal Trade Commission has warned it may crack down on companies that not only use generative AI tools to scam folks, but also those making the software in the first place, even if those applications were not created with that fraud in mind. …

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 8:27 pm

Aerospike targets Java Spring devs with support for the popular framework

Database shortcuts built in popular environment in hopes of scoring devs who want an easy life

Distributed NoSQL database Aerospike has boosted functionality and engineering support for its real-time database within the popular Java development environment Spring Framework.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 7:16 pm

Space dust that regularly hits Earth could contain proof of alien life

JWST? Whatever, I found ET in my dustpan

If we want to find evidence for alien life we don't need to keep looking for chemicals in exoplanet atmospheres or distant radio signals, says a Japanese astronomer. Instead, we should be studying the thousands of micrometer-sized bits of interstellar dust that hit Earth every year.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 6:30 pm

Europe's right-to-repair law asks hardware makers for fixes for up to 10 years

Smartphones and tablets would also be added to the EU's list of devices that must be repairable under new rule

The European Commission has adopted a new set of right to repair rules that, among other things, will add electronic devices like smartphones and tablets to a list of goods that must be built with repairability in mind.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 5:36 pm

Watchdog: Broadcom buy of VMware may be bad for competition

Server price hikes, rival hardware makers locked out ... haven't we been warning that for a while?

Britain’s competition watchdog fears Broadcom’s proposed $61 billion purchase of VMware may lead to higher prices for servers and damage potential innovation.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 4:27 pm

IT depts struggle with skills shortages despite Big Tech layoffs

You'd think there'd be more techies on the market, but many cuts were in business areas

While the tech sector job losses ticker has clocked up a global body count of 150,000 so far for 2023, those looking to hire IT staff are not out of the woods yet, according to Gartner.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 3:30 pm

GitHub Copilot learns new tricks, adopts this year's model

Armed with GPT-4, Microsoft's AI 'pair programmer' can tag pull requests, parrot documentation, talk about code

Microsoft GitHub has trained its Copilot programming model to perform new tasks, making the already widely adopted AI assistant all the more unavoidable for developers.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 2:00 pm

Boffins develop AI model for designing proteins to make synthetic blood plasma

And it's not the only hybrid synthetic biomaterial scientists are targeting

Scientists are using AI algorithms to design new materials, including synthetic proteins to make fake blood plasma and biological liquids found inside of cells.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 1:27 pm

German political parties accused of microtargeting voters on Facebook

Country's super strong data rights under magnifying glass after half a dozen complaints filed

Remember the Who Targets Me browser extension from privacy activists at Noyb? The group yesterday filed explosive complaints based on log records from the extension that claim six of Germany's political parties broke European data law when they targeted voters on Facebook's adtech platform.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 12:31 pm

Marvell Technology to open redundancy chute in face of industry slowdown

Releasing 4% of workforce

Marvell Technology is the latest chipmaker to open a redundancy process, blaming a slowdown across much of industry for the decision to erase some four percent of its workforce.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 11:43 am

SpaceX tries to de-orbit Amazon's request for a satellite broadband shortcut

Stop the presses: Billionaires think sharing is a great idea, until a rival billionaire wants to share

SpaceX has tried to shoot down Amazon's attempt to speed up approval of its rival satellite broadband constellation.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 10:45 am

Are you ready to go all-in, head-first, on a laptop? ASUS's Zenbook Pro 16X asks for that commitment

'Creator' machine is lovely, but seems unsuited to life on the periphery

Desktop Tourism  ASUS's Zenbook Pro 16X OLED (UX7602) is a sleek beast of a laptop that invites you to take it head-on and go all-in – an offer that should give you pause before accepting.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 9:30 am

Indian state turns off internet for 27 million, for four days, to stymie one man

Digital rights org criticizes use of fill-in-the-blank template used to quell separatist protests

Police in the Indian state of Punjab hunting the leader of a Sikh separatist group have imposed a state-wide shut down of mobile internet and SMS services since Saturday, in order to pursue a single man.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 8:27 am

Unknown actors deploy malware to steal data in occupied regions of Ukraine

If this is Kyiv's work, Russia can Crimea river

A cyber espionage campaign targeting organizations in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine is using novel malware to steal data, according to Russia-based infosec software vendor Kaspersky.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 7:32 am

US details CHIPS Act rules that give China and South Korea some comfort

Allows a little expansion of output from existing Middle Kingdom facilities

The US Commerce Department proposed rules on Tuesday that would limit the amount of CHIPS Act recipients can invest to expand semiconductor manufacturing in countries the US considers “adversarial.”…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 6:32 am

Winnie the Pooh slasher flick mysteriously cancelled in Hong Kong

Do you Xi what I Xi?

A slasher flick featuring Winnie the Pooh and other characters from A.A. Milne's beloved stories has mysteriously had its Hong Kong debut cancelled. Probably forever.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 5:29 am

India's absurd infosec reporting rules get just 15 followers

CERT-In was told its six-hour notification requirement was a bad idea – now it knows just how bad

India's rules requiring local organizations to report infosec incidents within six hours of detection have been observed by a mere 15 entities/…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 3:30 am

Xi, Putin declare intent to rule the world of AI, infosec

'Technological sovereignty is the key to sustainability' states Russian despot

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have set themselves the goal of dominating the world of information technology.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 1:58 am

BreachForums shuts down ... but the RaidForums cybercrime universe will likely spawn a trilogy

Admins decide reviving crime-mart is dangerous, hint at new chapter

BreachForums has reportedly shut down for good, just days after US authorities arrested the online criminal marketplace's alleged chief administrator.…

Posted on 22 March 2023 | 12:45 am

Nvidia CEO promises sustainability salvation in the cult of accelerated computing

Not quite as dramatic as AMD's Lisa Su and her visions of nuclear-powered supercomputers

GTC  On the surface, Nvidia's spring GPU Technology Conference was once again opened with a keynote dominated by generative AI technologies.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 11:30 pm

Google reminds everyone it too can launch a ChatGPT-like chatbot … waiting list

Meanwhile, Bing can now output images, Adobe touts shiny art platform Firefly

Google is offering Bard – its chat-driven rival to ChatGPT – to netizens in the US and UK who ask nicely.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 10:32 pm

No reliable way to detect AI-generated text, boffins sigh

This article was not written by a computer, not that you could tell for sure either way

The popularity of word salad prepared by large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google's Bard, and Meta's LLaMa has prompted academics to look for ways to detect machine-generated text.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 9:46 pm

You just gonna take that AWS? Let Microsoft school your users on cloud security?

And Google Cloud is next

Microsoft has torn the wraps off its multi-cloud security benchmark (MCSB), which replaces the four-year-old Azure Security Benchmark. Crucially, as the name suggests, it now has usage and configuration guidance that reaches into rival environments.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 8:43 pm

Software-controlled food tech: 3D printed pipe-dream, or fatal stack instability?

My goodness that's moist

Peanut butter, Nutella, and strawberry jam represent squirtable media in a demonstration of 3D printing digital cooking, which has led to the odd dubious result.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 7:56 pm

NASA's space nuclear power program is a hot mess

13 years of research at $40m/year only produced 2 cancelled projects, says oversight arm

If you've ever wondered why NASA's recent space missions haven't made more aggressive use of nuclear power, the Space Administration's Office of the Inspector General issued a report this week that may have your answer. The decade-long project to develop better nuclear space systems is, to put it lightly, a bit of a mess.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 5:45 pm

Nvidia's generative AI inferencing card is just two H100s glued together

Don’t need a 700W fire-breathing GPU? It also launched an itty-bitty AI chip too

GTC  Nvidia's strategy for capitalizing on generative AI hype: glue two H100 PCIe cards together, of course.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 4:15 pm

Nvidia hooks TSMC, ASML, Synopsys on GPU accelerated lithography

What's next – AI designing AI chips? Oh wait... that's exactly what's next

GTC  Nvidia's latest gambit? Entrenching itself as a key part of the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 3:45 pm

Acer pedals into e-cycle market with AI and big data in its basket

Still tumbleweed for PC industry right now, but maybe folks will buy computers-on-bikes?

Acer is racing into virgin territory and – everybody look out – it's coming armed with AI: the Taiwanese PC maker is launching an E-bike that is apparently designed for urban commuting.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 3:28 pm

Russian developers blocked from contributing to FOSS tools

The war in Ukraine is bad and wrong… but does blocking these contributions help Ukraine?

Opinion  Code is being refused if it comes from developers in sanctioned Russian companies… but it's not clear if this is an effective move. Cui bono?

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 2:33 pm

Student satellite demonstrates drag sail to de-orbit old hardware

65 AA batteries and $10 Arduino processor power space debris solution

A tiny satellite with a drag chute built by a team of students has been held up as one small possible solution to the thorny issue of space junk caused by defunct hardware cluttering up Earth’s orbit.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 1:31 pm

Hospital to test AI 'copilot' for doctors that jots notes on patient care

The hope? Reducing piles of admin for clinicians freeing them up for medical work

The University of Kansas Health System is set to trial software designed to help doctors automatically generate notes from conversations with patients, a move billed as "the most significant rollout to date of generative AI in healthcare" yet.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 12:38 pm

Ex-BigQuery exec and Motherduck CEO: For some users, the answer is to think small

Former Google veteran talks to El Reg about trends in big data of the past decade

Interview  Jordan Tigani made his name as an engineer leading the team behind BigQuery, Google’s data warehouse, which was among a group of systems to transform the market by separating storage and compute. Despite helping win global customers including Vodafone, and taking on big-name rivals Snowflake, Azure Synapse and AWS Redshift, he’s begun to think the approach has run out of “magic beans” for some users.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 11:30 am

Edinburgh Uni finds extra £8M for vendors after troubled ERP go-live

Staff and suppliers paid late last year, new requirements lead to contract price hike

Vendors working on an Edinburgh University ERP project have been awarded around £8 million ($9.81 million) in additional fees following a troubled implementation which led to delays in paying staff and suppliers.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 10:32 am

Lenovo Thinkpad X13s: The stealth Arm-powered laptop

A modern RISC computer trying desperately to pretend it's just another PC

Lenovo's Thinkpad X13s is a lovely, if odd, little laptop. It's a modern Arm machine that is trying as hard as it can to resemble a vanilla x86 laptop… and it carries it off.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 9:30 am

Ex-Meta security staffer accuses Greece of spying on her phone

Beware of Greeks bearing GIFs

Meta's former security policy manager, who split her time between the US and Greece, is reportedly suing the Hellenic national intelligence service for hacking her phone.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 8:31 am

Curl, the URL fetcher that can, marks 25 years of transfers

Utility began as a personal project, found its way into billions of devices

Daniel Stenberg has observed the 25th anniversary of the curl open source project with the publication of curl 8.0.0, the 215th release of the command line tool, and a modest tele-celebration.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 7:28 am

Baidu's ERNIE chatbot has nothing to say about Xi Jinping

Bot also botches some requests, but is about to be baked into cloud services anyway

Fresh from the launch of its large language model-based chatbot, ERNIE, Chinese web giant Baidu is rolling out of a cloud service integrated with the AI tool.…

Posted on 21 March 2023 | 6:58 am