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

How US sanctions slugged Huawei and helped Apple top China's Q4 smartphone sales

Cupertino cut prices and cleaned up

Huawei's share of China's smartphone market fell by 68 per cent year over year, and Apple took advantage to become the Middle Kingdom's most ubiquitous smartphone vendor in 2021's final quarter.…

Posted on 27 January 2022 | 4:45 am

China orders web operators to spring clean its entire internet

Purveyors of rumours, flirty teens, dodgy infomercials, or bloody violence all told to get in the bin – yet again

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has shared its spring-cleaning plans with the world – and suggested it's time to make the Middle Kingdom's web sites sparkle with wholesome content.…

Posted on 27 January 2022 | 3:01 am

Indian government floats idea of home-grown challenger for Android and iOS

May not be the smartest move seeing as alternative OSes crater – and Google promised to spend billions in India

India's minister of state for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has revealed the nation's government intends to develop a policy that will encourage development of an "indigenous mobile operating system".…

Posted on 27 January 2022 | 1:19 am

In a first, FTC extracts millions of dollars from online store accused of blocking bad reviews on its website

Glad rags merchandiser denies wrongdoing, says it coughed up $4.2m to 'avoid distraction'

Internet garment slinger Fashion Nova will cough up $4.2m to shut down accusations that it censored negative reviews left by customers on its website.…

Posted on 27 January 2022 | 12:28 am

5nm? Pah. Texas Instruments focuses on 45nm+ analog, embedded electronics – and makes bank

Most electronics in the things you use are on old-school-gen process nodes, after all

Texas Instruments is focusing its fabrication efforts on analog chips and embedded processors – and seeing growing revenue from the components – amid an insatiable demand for the electronics by automakers, industrial system manufacturers, and others.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 11:32 pm

Alert: Let's Encrypt to revoke about 2 million HTTPS certificates in two days

Relatively small number of certs issued using a verification method that doesn't comply with policy

Let's Encrypt, a non-profit organization that helps people obtain free SSL/TLS certificates for websites, plans to revoke a non-trivial number of its certs on Friday because they were improperly issued.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 9:26 pm

Windows boss Panos Panay talks up 'new era of the PC' – translation: An era of new PCs

1.4 billion devices running Redmond's OS, Android apps coming, and more

In the wake of Microsoft's latest set of financial results, Windows boss Panos Panay today gave an update on what he's dubbed a "new era of the PC."…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 8:21 pm

Refresh? No, F5 says supply of networking chips is still awful, getting worse...

More than 400 orders for components cancelled by suppliers, says CEO

The artist formerly know as F5 Networks – it moved to plain old F5 in November – is clipping revenue forecasts for fiscal '22 by $30m to $90m because it can't source enough specialised chips to produce systems.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 6:45 pm

ESA's Solar Orbiter sneaks in bonus science by choking on the dust of a comet tail (again)

Plucky probe due to make closest pass to the Sun in March

The European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter followed up its whizz past Earth as 2021 drew to a close by passing through the tail of a comet. Again.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 5:59 pm

US President Joe Biden reminds the White House he is serious about repairability

Tech giants will voluntarily do the right thing because of course they always do

US President Joe Biden has weighed into the Right to Repair furore once more as sueballs fly over some alleged monopolistic practises by a well-known farming equipment manufacturer.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 5:04 pm

How to polish the bottom line? Microsoft makes it really hard to claim expenses, say staffers

If even Captain PowerShell can't automate this, what hope is there for the rest of us?

As Microsoft toasts another quarter of soaring profits, The Reg can't help but wonder if the bottom line is being ever so gently assisted by something that seems to be blighting its staff: difficulty claiming expenses.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 4:17 pm

Korea gives a $7.5bn nod to the metaverse and AI projects

Move over K-pop, the K-metaverse is coming

South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT (MIST) has earmarked ₩9 trillion ($7.5bn/ £5.55bn) for projects including AI and the development of a K-metaverse as part of its Digital New Deal programme.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 3:32 pm

SCC bags £91m deal after contract to support HMRC system initially set at £85m

Take a hike

SCC, a UK-based tech services and reselling dynasty, has won a five-year contract extension with UK tax collector HMRC worth £91m for IT software and services.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 2:45 pm

Mike Lynch loses US extradition delay bid: Flight across the Atlantic looks closer than ever

Autonomy founder set for criminal trial on multiple counts of fraud over sale of biz to HPE

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch has lost a bid to delay his extradition to the US after a High Court judge ruled there was no reason to impose a months-long delay on the case.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 2:21 pm

OpenShell has been working on a classic replacement for Windows 11's Start menu

It's still early days, though

There is a very preliminary FOSS Start menu replacement for Windows 11 – but it's not quite there yet.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 1:17 pm

It's more than 20 years since Steps topped the charts. It could be less than that for STEP's first fusion energy

Anyone fancy a spherical tokamak in their backyard?

Fancy a fusion power plant in your back yard? The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is looking for comments from five locations shortlisted as potential hosts for its Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) programme.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 12:33 pm

Infosec big dogs break out the bubbly over UK government's latest cyber strategy emission

See that? That's a promise of fat contracts, that is

Big industry players have praised the latest cybersecurity strategy emitted by the British government, rubbing their hands with glee at its promises of lucrative public contracts for the rest of the 2020s.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 11:55 am

Microsoft revenue up by a fifth as world shuffles through the pandemic into the metaverse

Cloud the top earner as usual but Redmond is doubling down on gaming

The blockbuster quarters just keep on rolling for Microsoft after its latest set of financials surpassed analysts' forecasts, thanks to a thriving cloud and PC market in the pandemic-driven new digital age.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 11:29 am

Head of Big Tech Expertise? Believe it or not, it's a UK.gov vacancy for a Whitehall job

What happened to loosening stranglehold of major tech firms on the public sector?

UK government is on the hunt for an expert to help shape relations with the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google, a role that includes a remit to "fulfil partnership opportunities" with the megacorps and "deliver against their needs and demands."…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 10:15 am

IR35 is the biggest threat to the contractor working model, survey finds

Brexit, COVID-19 and tax rises all eclipsed by the omnipresent rule change, study of contractors finds

The majority of contractors see the UK's IR35 changes to the way employment status is judged as the biggest threat to their business in 2022, according to recent research.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 9:30 am

Infosec chap: I found a way to hijack your web accounts, turn on your webcam from Safari – and Apple gave me $100k

Now you see a harmless PNG. Now it's a malicious payload. Look into my eyes

A security bod scored a $100,500 bug bounty from Apple after discovering a vulnerability in Safari on macOS that could have been exploited by a malicious website to potentially access victims' logged-in online accounts – and even their webcams.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 8:32 am

Google dumps interest-based ad system for another interest-based ad system

For FLoC's sake, people

Google has given up on Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a categorization system for serving interest-based ads, and replaced it with Topics, a categorization system for serving interest-based ads.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 7:34 am

Watchdog clears 90 per cent of US commercial aircraft to land in low visibility at nation's 5G C-band airports

Don't start celebrating just yet if you own a Boeing 747-8, 747-8F, 777

Nine out of ten of America's commercial aircraft can land in low visibility using radio altimeters at US airports that have nearby 5G C-band masts, the country's aviation watchdog said this week.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 3:34 am

Linux distros haunted by Polkit-geist for 12+ years: Bug grants root access to any user

What happens when argc is zero and a SUID program doesn't care? Let's find out!

Linux vendors on Tuesday issued patches for a memory corruption vulnerability in a component called polkit that allows an unprivileged logged-in user to gain full root access on a system in its default configuration.…

Posted on 26 January 2022 | 1:02 am

Now that's wafer thin: Some manufacturers had less than five days of chip supplies, says Uncle Sam

Components fabbed using 40nm-plus process nodes hit hard

Hardware manufacturers hit hardest by the global semiconductor shortage had less than five days of chips in their inventories last year – and should expect supply chain issues to continue throughout 2022 – the US Department of Commerce said this week.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 11:49 pm

Baidu's AI predictions for 2022: Autonomous driving! Quantum computing! Space! Human-machine symbiosis!

Did a computer program tell them to write this?

Baidu Research's AI-centric "Top 10 Tech Trends in 2022" report has outlined the Middle Kingdom megacorp's predictions for technology over the coming year.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 9:14 pm

Nvidia reportedly prepares for un-Arm'd combat with rivals: $40bn takeover may be abandoned

Softbank, meanwhile, remains 'hopeful' it can offload Brit chip designer

Nvidia is quietly preparing to give up on the purchase of Arm, according to Bloomberg, after repeatedly butting heads with competition regulators amid a wave of opposition from the tech industry.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 8:04 pm

Machine needs more Learning: Google Drive dings single-character files for copyright infringement

If you're unable to share documents, this may be why

Google last month announced plans to prevent customer files stored in Google Drive from being shared when the web giant's automated scanning system finds files that violate its abuse prevention rules.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 6:04 pm

22-year-old Brit avoids US extradition over SIM-swapping conspiracy after judge deems him to be high suicide risk

Accused said to have suffered mental health problems from childhood

A Brit accused of taking part in a $8.5m SIM-swapping conspiracy has escaped extradition to the US after a judge agreed he was at high risk of suicide.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 5:02 pm

Do you know what TikTok is? Then you might make a good magistrate, says Ministry of Justice

82% of volunteers in England and Wales are aged 50 and above

The Ministry of Justice in England and Wales has launched what it sees as the biggest recruitment drive in the magistrate system's 650-year history, to address the backlog in cases partly caused by the pandemic.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 4:16 pm

Sophos: Log4Shell would have been a catastrophe without the Y2K-esque mobilisation of engineers

Anti-malware biz weighs in on one of the worst security flaws of recent times

Anti-malware outfit Sophos has weighed in on Log4Shell, saying that the galvanization of the IT world to avert disaster would be familiar to those who lived through the Y2K era.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 3:32 pm

Shut off 3G by 2033? How about 2023, asks Vodafone UK

Says it'll be 'asking customers' to make sure own phones support 4G, and to check on friends, family

Vodafone is to begin retirement of its 3G network next year, saying this will free up frequencies to improve 4G and 5G services.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 2:46 pm

Parallels: Purveyors of decent virtualization software... and occasionally iffy checksums

La la la, we're not listening

For some, an MD5 checksum is the sequence of letters and numbers that shows up next to the file they want to download. For others, it's a handy pointer that the file you've downloaded is the one you were expecting.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 2:01 pm

Behold! The first line of defence for 25% of the US nuclear stockpile: Dolphins

Erm... should we be concerned?

Remember how in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 you could produce anti-ship dolphin units with some sort of sonic cannon strapped to their backs? How we laughed.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 1:16 pm

Former Oracle execs warn that Big Red's auditing process is also a 'sales enablement tool'

'Most of it – if not all of it – really amounts to fear, uncertainty and doubt'

A group of former Oracle executives with roles across its software compliance teams have described the close links between Big Red's auditing process and its drive to increase revenue.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 12:32 pm

Employers in denial over success of digital skills training, say exasperated staffers

Large disparities in views from bosses vs workers on 'talent transformation initiatives,' says survey

Digital transformation projects are being held back by a lack of skills, according to a new survey, which finds that while many employers believe they are doing well at training up existing staff to meet the requirements, their employees beg to differ.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 11:47 am

Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?

Now this looks like a job for me, 'cos we need a little, controversy... 'Cos it feels so NT, without me

Former Microsoft veep Brad Silverberg has paid tribute to Bill Gates for saving Windows 95.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 11:01 am

UK government opens consultation on medic-style register for Brit infosec pros

Are you competent? Ethical? Welcome to UKCSC's new list

Frustrated at lack of activity from the "standard setting" UK Cyber Security Council, the government wants to pass new laws making it into the statutory regulator of the UK infosec trade.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 10:14 am

Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?

Top request from devs? A Linux version

Review  Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 9:25 am

James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

Funnily enough, that's where we want to be right now, too

The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 8:35 am

LG promises to make home appliance software upgradeable to take on new tasks

Kids: empty the dishwasher! We can’t, Dad, it’s updating its OS to handle baked on grime from winter curries

As the right to repair movement gathers pace, Korea’s LG has decided to make sure that its whitegoods can be upgraded.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 6:58 am

IBM confirms new mainframe to arrive 'late in first half of 2022'

Hybrid cloud is Big Blue's big bet, but big iron is predicted to bring a welcome revenue boost

IBM has confirmed that a new model of its Z Series mainframes will arrive “late in the first half” of 2022 and emphasised the equipment's debut as a source of improved revenue for the company’s infrastructure business.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 6:01 am

Earthquake halts operations at two of Toshiba's chip factories

6.6-rated rumble joins fire, snow, plague, and trade war as source of recent semiconductor supply chain SNAFUs

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Japan around 1:00 AM last Saturday has led to the closing of Toshiba’s Oita semiconductor plant.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 4:30 am

Pakistan considers ten-year tax holiday for freelance techies

Could clean up dispute over who collects tax and when, but unlikely to worry outsourcing rivals

Pakistan’s minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque, has floated the idea of a ten-year tax holiday for freelancers, suggesting the move could improve the nation’s services exports.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 3:01 am

Meta says it's building world's largest AI supercomputer out of Nvidia, AMD chips

Facebook owner needs 16,000 GPUs, 4,000 Epyc processors – good luck, everyone else

Facebook owner Meta is building the world's largest AI supercomputer to power machine-learning research that will bring the metaverse to life in the future, it claimed on Monday.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 1:53 am

Farm machinery giant John Deere plows into two right-to-repair lawsuits

It's Deere hunting season in Illinois and Alabama

Two lawsuits have been filed in the past two weeks against farm equipment maker Deere & Company for allegedly violating antitrust laws by unlawfully monopolizing the tractor repair market.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 12:18 am

Twitter's top security staff out after incoming CEO shakes things up

Plus: Nigerian BEC gang bust, NSO woes, and more

In brief  Twitter's head of security and CISO both ejected from the social media biz this month.…

Posted on 25 January 2022 | 12:05 am

Three US states plus Washington DC sue Google for using UI design 'dark patterns' to harvest your location

Position of data permission controls designed to deceive, trio of lawsuits claim

The Attorneys General of Indiana, Texas, Washington state, and Washington DC on Monday each filed lawsuits against Google alleging that the search giant uses deceptive user interface designs known as "dark patterns" to obtain customer location data without adequate consent.…

Posted on 24 January 2022 | 10:12 pm

Assange can go to UK Supreme Court (again) to fend off US extradition bid

Top Brit judges may consider whether an American prison is just too much

Julian Assange has won a technical victory in his ongoing battle against extradition from the UK to the United States, buying him a few more months in the relative safety of Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh.…

Posted on 24 January 2022 | 9:08 pm

They see us Cinnamon Rolling, they're rating: GeckoLinux incorporates kernel 5.16 with familiar installation experience

A nice, clean community distro that works well

Most distros haven't got to 5.15 yet, but openSUSE's downstream project GeckoLinux boasts 5.16 of the Linux kernel and the latest Cinnamon desktop environment.…

Posted on 24 January 2022 | 6:32 pm