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

SpaceX blows away cobwebs at dormant California pad with satellite launch as a Falcon 9 makes touchdown number 7

Also: New Zealand owl watching with Rocket Lab and ExoMars 'chute test

In Brief  Elon Musk's SpaceX demonstrated that a long-dormant pad could be reactivated with seemingly little effort after it launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite from Space Launch Complex 4 at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 5:03 pm

Manchester United email servers remain offline amid what is being called a 'ransomware' attack

UK data watchdog has been told and 'forensic' probe is ongoing

Players' managers looking to lift salaries by a couple of million pounds or so better check their email read receipts: a full week after Manchester United was hit by hackers, many of its systems remain offline, with at least one report claiming the club is being shaken down for ransom.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 4:15 pm

It's been an Honor serving with you but you're our 'competitors' now, Huawei tells its sawn-off mobile limb

Budget sub-brand selloff will save jobs of workers, says founder, and avoid 'dragging innocent people' down

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has bid farewell to the company's budget sub-brand Honor, saying that selling the business will safeguard it from forces in America he believes are seeking to destroy Huawei.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 3:30 pm

Yes you’ve got lots of data…but have you got lots of information? And is anyone using it?

Here’s some information that will really help

Promo  You know you’ve got lots of data resting in your systems. But how much of it is usable information, that your colleagues can actually put to work?…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 2:45 pm

UK infoseccer launches petition asking government not to backdoor encryption

Sign up and make your voice heard

A UK infosec bod has launched a petition asking the government if it would please drop its plans to install backdoors in end-to-end encryption.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 2:01 pm

The price is right? Capita confirms Education Software back in talks with new bidder

Must have lowered the asking price to one that isn't higher than entire group's market cap

Capita has opened talks with a new suitor for its Education Software Solutions business, the one it tried to offload earlier in the year at a price reported to be higher than the entire group's market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 1:15 pm

Arriving in 2021, the UK's Digital Markets Unit 'could' start to do something about the power of online ad giants

But Parliament seems a bit busy at the moment to legislate

The UK government has announced plans to set up a Digital Markets Unit (DMU) to level the advertising playing field currently dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 12:34 pm

If I pedal faster and feed it spinach, my robot barman might pull more pints

When I dreamt of a sci-fi future, I'm pretty sure this wasn't it

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  Help me up, would you, luvvie?…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 11:56 am

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a monastery-burning romp that would be way better if it was not an Assassin's Creed game

Can we start a petition to abandon the whole 'lol jk ur in a simulation' arc too?

The RPG  Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. We've continued to put the Xbox Series S through its paces [read: played it a lot] with one of the titles available on the console from launch on 10 November, Assassin's Creed Valhalla.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 11:06 am

£1.3bn National Cyber Security Strategy? Meh – we're looking at 2021, Cabinet Office shrugs

'Progress' report shows nobody's really paying attention any more

How is Britain's £1.3bn National Cyber Security Strategy going? Nobody really cares any more – even the Cabinet Office, judging by its latest progress report.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 10:04 am

After demonstrating a facial recognition system that works on cows, moo-chine learning pioneer seeks growth funding

A grand uddertaking

Irish computer vision and AI agriculture specialist Cainthus hopes to raise $50m after launching a facial recognition tool for cows.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 9:08 am

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Another fine mess

On Call  Friday is upon us so take a moment from glumly hitting refresh on your government website of choice and join us for a story of abbreviations and adult filters in today's edition of On Call.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 8:02 am

AWS hires Rust compiler team co-lead Felix Klock

Cloud giant has a lust for Rust so needs top minds and wants them to advance the language

Amazon Web Services has quietly revealed that it has hired Rust compiler co-lead Felix Klock.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 6:01 am

European Space Agency will launch giant claw that drags space junk to its doom

No, really. It has signed a contract to make this happen in 2025

The European Space Agency has formalised its plan to dispose of space junk by using an orbiting claw to grab an old bit of rocket before dragging both the claw and the junk to a fiery doom.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 4:01 am

China's clouds boom but they're collectively earning less than Azure alone

Alibaba in front with Huawei and Tencent on a second tier

China's clouds grew by 65 per cent in 2020's third quarter, collectively hauling in $5bn of revenue in the period.…

Posted on 27 November 2020 | 1:58 am

TikTok given another week to sort out how to sell itself

New ways to evade sticking points apparently under discussion

TikTok has another week to sort out its sale to Oracle, Walmart, and their investor pals.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 11:58 pm

Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies

Hallucinate, Desegregate, Mediate, Try not to hate: INXS of 25 years on, PHP liberates the number eight

Version 8.0 of the PHP scripting language is scheduled for release on 26 November, which coincides with the US Thanksgiving holiday.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 5:00 pm

UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details

When we expect heavy traffic spikes we provision enough capacity to handle it... right?

The gov.uk postcode-searching tool for Britons to find out what level of coronavirus lockdown they'll be in until Christmas has crashed on launch and been withdrawn.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 3:58 pm

Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

And on the B-side: Linux?

Looking for something to do in quarantine? How about booting DOS from a 10-inch vinyl record?…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 2:59 pm

Netflix chooses its own judgment in 'Bandersnatch' case: Settle and make the nasty lawsuit go away

Maybe next time Brooker can choose to write a proper Black Mirror episode

Streaming giant Netflix has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the trademark rights to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 2:10 pm

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

'These actions will help us to optimize the business by reducing the number of unprofitable customers'

HP might have dropped the Ink Inc from its corporate banner but CEO Enrique Lores is still mining for the black gold: with the firm clawing back cash by slapping away the grubby hands of its pesky "unprofitable customers" from its printing rig.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 1:34 pm

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe

UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee report slams manufacturers as Euro Parliament votes to back tinkerers

A new report from the UK's House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) argues the country should enshrine the "right to repair" in law and reduce VAT on tech repair services, while Europe's Parliamentarians also voted to further the cause.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 1:04 pm

Physicists wrap neutrino detector in cosy blanket to shed light on the Sun's secondary fusion cycle

Direct observation published for first time

As we near the northern winter solstice, the Sun continues to produce a steady power output of 384.6 yottawatts resulting from the fusion of hydrogen into helium in two distinct nuclear reactions. Direct observation of the secondary cycle was published in the journal Nature for the first time yesterday.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 12:34 pm

Spending Review: We spy a stray £60m – is that all you can spare to help 5G market recover from UK kicking out Huawei?

Plus: Broadband ambitions meet cold water

Among the economic doom and gloom of the UK's Autumn Spending Review, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak inadvertently revealed the sop UK.gov plans to throw to telcos after sacking Huawei from the UK's 5G rollout at the behest of an orange one-term president of the US.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 11:21 am

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft's creepy Productivity Score

Watching, always watching

Microsoft's Productivity Score has put in a public appearance in Microsoft 365 and attracted the ire of privacy campaigners and activists.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 10:53 am

Xiaomi revenues up by a third due to strong phone sales and triple-digit European growth

Cheap and cheerful clearly appealed during pandemic

It has been a difficult year for the mobile industry as economic uncertainty and widespread national lockdowns further depressed the public's appetite for handset upgrades. Some vendors are faring better than others, however, with Xiaomi proving especially resilient.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 9:03 am

Last call: Share your DevOps experiences at Continuous Lifecycle Online 2021

Containers, serverless, CI/CD, tooling – we’d love to hear all about it

Event  If there’s anything that hasn’t come to a halt this year, it surely is software development and service infrastructure work. We know you’ve all been busy so here’s another chance to get in your presentation proposal for our Continuous Lifecycle Online 2021 conference.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 7:00 am

How the US attacked Huawei: Former CEO of DocuSign and Ariba turned diplomat Keith Krach tells his tale

53 nations and 180 telcos have adopted Clean Network plan – and Huawei fell for it

The United States' Clean Network plan has won support from 53 nations and 180 telcos, and Huawei has unwittingly legitimised it.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 4:58 am

Salesforce reportedly poised to scoop Slack for billions

Which rather kicks a hole in the planned debut of Slack-like Salesforce Anywhere

Salesforce is reportedly deep in talks to buy Slack, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says a deal could happen "in days".…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 1:59 am

China 'firmly opposes' India's new round of app bans, says it has violated trade laws

Left last couple of bans alone but now says national security argument is bogus and calls for mutual co-operation

China has responded to India's new round of bans on mobile apps by attacking the reasons for the banishments.…

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 12:12 am

Boeing 737 Max will return to flight after software updates, says EU's aviation regulator

It flew OK without MCAS – but not well enough to be certified as safe

The Boeing 737 Max was safe enough to fly without the controversial MCAS system but would not have met safety certification rules, the EU Aviation Safety Agency has said after confirming the airliner will return to European skies in January 2021.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 8:27 pm

Sopra Steria: Adding up outages and ransomware cleanup, Ryuk attack will cost us up to €50m

French IT outsourcer says its overall losses will deepen as direct result

Sopra Steria has said a previously announced Ryuk ransomware infection will not only cost it "between €40m and €50m" but will also deepen expected financial losses by several percentage points.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 7:30 pm

AWS admits to 'severely impaired' services in US-EAST-1, can't even post updates to Service Health Dashboard

Multiple services sickly after Kinesis catches a cold: CloudWatch, DynamoDB, Lambda, Managed Blockchain

AWS has delivered the one message that will strike fear into the hearts of techies working out their day before Thanksgiving Holidays: US-EAST-1 region is suffering a "severely impaired" service.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 6:32 pm

Revenues are up, the boss is about to give his keynote, and results are due. Time to sell shares, says Salesforce CFO

$2.5m worth – 1,000 pairs of Nike Air Mag sneakers or a second-hand Pagani? Decisions, decisions

Is it a vote of confidence when the CFO sells $2.5m in shares as the CEO is about to make his big pitch of the year and the quarterly results are due?…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 4:30 pm

Dell reports green shoots in enterprise infrastructure biz after seven consecutive quarters of shrinkage

SMEs are spending again, claims tech giant

It is now seven straight quarters since Dell's infrastructure unit last grew but COO Jeff Clarke reckons he's spotted some green shoots of recovery that might bode well for server and storage spending next year.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 3:55 pm

Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

Take the M3 exit to offline mail and calendar shenanigans

It's been a while coming, but browser maker Vivaldi has finally released a public preview of its long awaited email client.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 3:00 pm

That other controversial Chinese telco: The FCC rejects ZTE's petition against its 'national security threat' designation

Local US carriers to remain unable to buy its kit with federal funding

The US Federal Communications Commission has rejected a petition [PDF] from controversial Chinese teleco kit maker ZTE asking the agency to reconsider whether it should be deemed a national security threat.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 2:15 pm

Ad banned for suggesting London black cabs have properties that prevent the spread of coronavirus

'It's like being in my own bubble back here'

Though taxis can do a lot of things, like getting one from A to B, emptying out bank accounts, and even transporting BSODs, we suspect that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is not one of them.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 1:30 pm

Retired engineer confesses to role in sliding Microsoft Bob onto millions of XP install CDs

'While Bob never got to play on the big stage, he always followed the band around and got to ride on the bus'

One anniversary unlikely to be marked within the bowels of Redmond is that of Microsoft Bob. However, a retired engineer has taken to YouTube to confirm that the unloved interface did indeed enjoy a second life as digital ballast for Windows XP.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 12:46 pm

Ticketmaster: We're not liable for credit card badness because the hack straddled GDPR day

Lawyers for fined firm make eyebrow-raising claim to irate ex-customer

Ticketmaster is claiming that the ICO's £1.25m data breach fine clears it of any responsibility for its network being infected by card-skimming malware, according to correspondence seen by The Register.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 11:59 am

Mall of duty: Black Ops. No, you're not a customer, you're just an ad audience metric

Quis custodiet ipsos bork-es?

Bork!Bork!Bork!  Join us on a jaunt to an Australian shopping centre, where Windows 7 rules the roost and the digital signage, it seems, might be watching your every move.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 11:05 am

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word

Famed director dispenses a reality check for wannabe Martians

Film-maker Werner Herzog has upended the scorn bucket over billionaire electric car and space firm mogul Elon Musk's plans to create a city on Mars.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 10:02 am

MongoDB loses its mind with marketing budget movie mania: Yep, it's choose-your-own-adventure Hackers with drop-down menus

This must have cost a packet...

MongoDB has just found out what it can spend the marketing budget on, if not the usual fodder of canapés and international flights.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 9:03 am

NASA building network cables that can survive supersonic flight - could this finally deliver unbreakable RJ45 latching tabs?

Needed for probe testing how X-59 can break sound barrier without breaking eardrums

NASA has revealed it’s building network cables capable of surviving supersonic flight.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 6:57 am

VMware says faster growth will come once customers get back inside data centres

SaaS revenue tops licences for the first time in solid Q3

VMware has reported Q3 growth that beat guidance offered earlier in its financial year but said results would have been better but for a slowdown in “transformational projects”.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 5:58 am

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah

Authorities warn aliens to get a permit before they do this sort of thing

Poll  The Utah Department of Public Safety has found a mysterious metal monolith in a remote corner of the state.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 4:02 am

Google binned two apps by China’s Baidu, which says researchers got it wrong by linking it to personal info leaks

Palo Alto Networks spotted subscriber IDs and MAC addresses on the move

UPDATED  Infosec researchers at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 threat intelligence unit spotted a pair of prominent Chinese apps leaking personal data, and after it informed Google the ad giant dumped the apps from its Play store.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 1:58 am

India takes aim at Alibaba with new round of Chinese app bans

43 apps axed, including those helping buyers and sellers of digital tat bazaar

India has banned another 43 apps from operating in its territory.…

Posted on 25 November 2020 | 12:01 am

Comcast to impose 1.2TB-a-month broadband download limits across more of America from next year

Plus or minus some caveats

Comcast has vowed to enforce its 1.2TB-a-month download limit in more US states, expanding the policy to cover the nation's northeast and mid-Atlantic corners.…

Posted on 24 November 2020 | 10:51 pm

Amazon's ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors' Wi-Fi if needed – and it's opt-out

Ring, Echo owners get emails explaining how to switch off incoming functionality

Amazon is close to launching Sidewalk – its ad-hoc wireless network for smart-home devices that taps into people's Wi-Fi – and it is pretty much an opt-out affair.…

Posted on 24 November 2020 | 8:46 pm