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Iain Thomson

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empty pockets

Dell 'struggling to raise funds for EMC gobble'

Dell's US$67bn mega-merger with EMC could be in trouble, with bankers reportedly having trouble raising the funds to foot the acquisition. The takeover, which was announced in October, looked like plain sailing, but the falling stock market, and in particular the crash in tech stock prices, appears to have had a knock-on …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2016
Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina makes like HP and splits – ex-CEO quits White House race

After her campaign garnered just four per cent of the vote in the New Hampshire primaries, Carly Fiorina has announced that she has suspended her run to be US commander in chief, but will carry on campaigning. "I've said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I'm not going to start now," she said in a …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2016
decline

Symantec's definition of transformation: Take the profit made a year ago and burn a quarter of it

Symantec has announced its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2016 and they aren't looking pretty. Revenues are down 6 per cent and profits plummeted by 23 per cent. In a conference call following the earnings announcement, CEO Michael Brown said the Silicon Valley firm was well on its way with a three-year restructuring …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2016
Sparta

Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

European and US legislators have hammered out a last-minute deal to allow data flows across the Atlantic to continue without breaking the law. "For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016

Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Microsoft said it would push Windows 10 upgrades onto people's PCs much harder this year – and Redmond has been true to its word. From Monday, Windows Update will start making the upgrade to version 10 of the operating system a recommended update, rather than an optional one, a spokesperson for the software giant confirmed. …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016

Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

Alphabet, Google's new parent-holding-company-thing, has reported stellar end-of-year results: revenues in the final quarter of 2015 hit $21.3bn, and profit reached $4.9bn. The figures pushed Alphabet's stock price up eight per cent in after-hours trading, making it, for the moment, the most valuable company on the planet by …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2016
Satya Nadella

Microsoft on Cloud 9 after online biz boosts profits to $6.3bn in second quarter

It has proven a happy New Year for Microsoft, with profits of $6.3bn (up 8 per cent on the year) in its second financial quarter – driven largely by increasing revenues from its cloud business. "Businesses everywhere are using the Microsoft Cloud as their digital platform to drive their ambitious transformation agendas," said …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jan 2016

Microsoft unbuttons shirt, teases glimpse of Azure-in-a-box Stack

It's a bit late, but Microsoft will be releasing the first technical preview of Azure Stack – its cloud-in-a-box for those who prefer their data on-premises. Azure Stack was announced at the Ignite conference in May. Now, Mike Neil, Microsoft's veep of enterprise cloud, has promised the first preview will be available for …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jan 2016

Fortinet tries to explain weird SSH 'backdoor' discovered in firewalls

Enterprise security vendor Fortinet has attempted to explain why its FortiOS firewalls were shipped with hardcoded SSH logins. It appears Fortinet's engineers implemented their own method of authentication for logging-into FortiOS-powered devices, and the mechanism ultimately uses a secret passphrase. This code was reverse- …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2016
Chad Sakac

EMC's VCE welcomes new president amid '250-plus layoffs at all levels'

It's all change at the top of VCE, the converged data center infrastructure subsidiary of EMC, with Chad Sakac taking the president's job. Sakac has spent the last 11 years with EMC, ending up as the president of global systems engineering, a role he'll continue to fill in addition to heading VCE. He'll effectively replace the …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jan 2016

Microsoft's 200 million 'Windows 10' 'devices' include Lumias, Xboxes

Microsoft has kicked off the New Year – and the run-up to the annual CES hypemare in Las Vegas – with the latest figures on Windows 10 adoption, claiming that over 200 million devices now run the operating system. "As of today, there are more than 200 million monthly active devices around the world running Windows 10," …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jan 2016

Kaspersky, McAfee, and AVG all vulnerable to major flaw

Some of the biggest names in the security software business have been compromised by a serious flaw that could allow a hacker to use the commercial security code to infiltrate computers. In March, researchers at security firm enSilo found a serious flaw in popular free antivirus engine AVG Internet Security 2015. They found …
Iain Thomson, 10 Dec 2015

IBM hands QRadar APIs for developers and resellers to set up shop

As part of an ongoing shift to more-open security systems, IBM will be making the APIs for its QRadar security platform available in a bid to out-innovate the online criminals. "We're up against more and more organized threats," Kevin Skapinetz, director of IBM Security, told The Register. "The industry has a massive talent …
Iain Thomson, 08 Dec 2015

You're right to fear a second dot-com crash, says Intel VC boss

ICGS Fears of another technology startup bubble bursting are "legitimate," says the outgoing head of Intel's venture capital arm. As a result, the chip biz is playing it safe in "overheated sectors" of the market, and looking overseas for the next big thing. It's not widely known but Intel Capital is one of the largest venture …
Iain Thomson, 04 Nov 2015
Intel's Kirk Skaugen at IDF 2014

PC sales will rise again, predicts Intel, but tablets are toast

ICGS The last few years haven't been good for the PC market as the old upgrade cycle died and buyers piled into tablets and smartphones. But Intel is convinced the PC will rise again, thanks to new hardware and form factors. "I honestly feel this is a once in a decade moment," enthused Kirk Skaugen, GM of Intel's client computing …
Iain Thomson, 03 Nov 2015

What upgrade cycle? Tablet sales crater for fourth straight quarter

Global shipments of tablets have fallen for the fourth successive quarter, according to data from analyst house IDC. In the third quarter of 2015, manufacturers shipped 48.7 million fondleslabs worldwide, down 12.6 per cent year on year. IDC estimates that there are 581.9 million tablets in the world, but that sales growth is …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2015

On Planet Oracle, Big Red wasn't a decade late to cloud ... Amazon was just years too early

OpenWorld Earlier this month, Amazon tweaked Oracle's nose at its re:Invent conference. On Tuesday this week, Oracle fired back with a raft of cloud announcements. During the morning's keynote presentation, Thomas Kurian, Oracle's president of product, outlined the new offerings in cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, including an Elastic …
Iain Thomson, 27 Oct 2015
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle's Hurd mentality: We (and one other) will own all of cloud by 2025

Two companies will own 80 per cent of the software-as-a-service market by 2025 and one of them will be Oracle, the firm's co-CEO Mark Hurd has predicted. Speaking at his keynote on the second day of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, Hurd said that Oracle has spent the last five years rewriting its code base with the cloud in …
Iain Thomson, 26 Oct 2015

Intel and Oracle push into big data, label IBM and SAP cloud clowns

Larry Ellison has dismissed his two historic competitors, IBM and SAP as "nowhere in the cloud," and used Sunday night's OpenWorld keynote to show off products and services designed to bury Big Blue and the HANA heroes. "We compete with Amazon in cloud infrastructure and never, ever see IBM - this is how much our world has …
Iain Thomson, 26 Oct 2015
Satya Nadella

Sales down, profit up, 1,000 bods chopped: Your one-minute guide to Planet Microsoft

Microsoft has published its figures for the first quarter of the 2016 financial year (its accounting department shuns calendars) and reports that profits are up, even though revenues fell. "We are making strong progress across each of our three ambitions by delivering innovation people love," said CEO Satya Nadella in a canned …
Iain Thomson, 23 Oct 2015
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, speaking at Build 2015

Windows 10 out, users happy, PCs upgraded, my work here is done – says Microsoft OS chief

Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's head of operating systems, is going to take a year-long leave of absence from the biz once Windows 10 has rolled out. By November, Microsoft should have finished emitting Windows 10 to smartphones, completing the play Redmond is making for a single operating system to cover all possible computers and …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2015
Boats storm girl photo via Nikolina Mrakovic Shutterstock.com

Microsoft's top lawyer: I have a cunning plan ... to rescue sunk safe harbor agreement

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith has presented a new safe harbor pact to replace the agreement struck down earlier this month by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ ruled that transferring Europeans' private information in and out of America is no longer allowed because America's privacy laws …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2015

You know when you spill your drink but keep on dancing anyway? That's totally Intel right now

Intel's latest financial report shows profits hit by the downturn in the personal computer market, but Chipzilla's growing presence in the cloud is helping make up some of the shortfall. In the third quarter of 2015, the computer processor giant generated revenues of US$14.5bn and a net income of US$3.1bn – six per cent less …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2015
Lumia 950 XL

Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

Windows Phone has had a very rocky history, but Microsoft thinks it may have found a winning strategy to get its handsets into the business market – let them be PCs. Youtube Video At a press conference in New York, Microsoft unveiled the Lumia 950 (5.2-inch screen) and 950XL (5.7-inch screen). The phones are designed to work …
Iain Thomson, 06 Oct 2015
Surface Book

Surface Book: Microsoft to turn unsuccessful tab into unsuccessful laptop

As expected, Microsoft has updated its Surface Pro fondleslab with a new model powered by Intel's latest silicon. But unexpectedly, it has also produced a laptop version of the platform that is going to make Apple sick. The Surface family had a rocky start, some might even say unsuccessful, with small marketshare gains – but …
Iain Thomson, 06 Oct 2015
question_marks_648

Microsoft's big Tuesday reveal: New mobiles and slabs? Win 10 shock?

Microsoft has scheduled one of its biggest press conferences of the year on Tuesday in New York, and The Register will be there for the show. But leaks ahead of time suggest we'll be seeing a lot of new hardware and possibly a few software tricks as well. Firstly, it's almost certain that Redmond will be unveiling at least two …
Iain Thomson, 05 Oct 2015

SaaS biz 'made up 99% of sales and defrauded investors of millions'

If you bought internet services from Illinois-based ContinuityX Services, the US Securities and Exchange Commission would like a word, since you may be part of a very, very small group – far smaller than the company itself represented. "We allege that Godwin and Roth cheated investors out of millions of dollars, depicting …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2015
Colossus computer from The Forbin Project

Michigan sues HP after 'botched' $49m upgrade leaves US state in 1960s mainframe hell

Michigan is suing HP after the state government grew tired of waiting for the tech biz to fulfill an IT contract signed a decade ago. Hewlett Packard had agreed to replace the US state's aging computer systems that power so much of the local government. The tech firm signed a $49m contract back in 2005 to replace Michigan's …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2015

Now Ashley Madison hackers reveal 'CEO's emails and source code'

Updated Another load of internal files swiped by hackers from Ashley Madison have been leaked online – and they apparently feature the CEO's emails and the website's source code. The 18.5GB leak includes, it is claimed, archives of internal company emails, including one folder labeled Noel Biderman – the chief exec of Avid Life Media …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2015
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

I've seen Kaspersky slap his staff with a walrus penis – and even I doubt the false-positive claims

Comment Eugene Kaspersky is a complex character and capable of many things, but Friday's allegations that he ordered staff to deliberately sabotage rival antivirus packages smells fishy. On the one hand, the problem of AV products flagging up false positives is well known. Signature-file detection of software nasties is dated, and of …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2015

Ex-SAP director: I bribed govt officials to seal the deals on software

A former regional director of German enterprise software outfit SAP has pleaded guilty to bribing officials in the Panamanian government to secure a contract for one of the company's resellers. Vicente Eduardo Garcia, 65, of Miami, Florida, admitted giving $145,000 in bribes to one government official and promising bribes to …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2015
White Hat for Hackers by Zeevveez, Flickr under CC2.0

Ten years after the sellout, Black Hat is solidly corporate and that’s fine

Analysis When Jeff Moss sold the Black Hat security conference to CMP a decade ago for around $13m (£8.3m), he faced a barrage of abuse from some members of the hacker community as a sellout. They were a little bit right, and a lot wrong, as this year's cons have shown. Black Hat was always supposed to be a little bit corporate anyway …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2015

Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Black Hat In-Depth A design flaw in Intel's processors can be exploited to install malware beneath operating systems and antivirus – making it tough to detect and remove. "It's a forgotten patch to a forgotten problem, but opens up an incredible vulnerability," said Christopher Domas, a security researcher with the Battelle Memorial Institute, …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2015
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

+Comment Google CEO Larry Page has quit day-to-day management of the web giant, and made Sundar Pichai chief exec. Page and fellow Google cofounder Sergey Brin, both multibillionaires, will head up a new company called Alphabet, which will wholly own Google. "Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2015

UK NHS IT supplier CSC coughs up $190m fine, three execs in the dock

Computer Science Corporation has paid its $190m (£122m) fine, levied by US watchdog the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges the Virginia-headquartered biz fudged its financial reports. And now some senior executives have agreed to hand back millions of dollars in pay and bonuses as a result of the SEC's probings. …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jun 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

World of the strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10

When Windows 10 ships this summer, buyers will have a host of different versions of the operating system – actually as many as nine, when you take everything into account. The basic consumer version is Windows 10 Home. For that you get the OS with support for Windows Universal apps, the Edge browser (and Internet Explorer), and …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2015
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out Skype for Business – the service formerly known as Microsoft Lync – across its subscription-based Office 365 cloud this month. "Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May," said the Skype team …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015

Using Office 365 at work? It's dangerous to go alone! Take this...

Microsoft is adding some security tools, dubbed Advanced Threat Protection, to Office 365 for its business and government subscribers. The utilities will try to curb malware writers and phishers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities via emailed attachments and links. "As hackers around the globe launch increasingly sophisticated …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2015
Surface 3 in red

Microsoft dumps ARM for Atom with cut-price Surface 3 fondleslab

Pic + vid Microsoft's brief flirtation with ARM-powered Windows RT tablets looks to be over: the Redmond giant has unveiled its latest fondleslab, the Surface 3, which is a dinky Atom-powered slate running a full version of Windows on Intel hardware. Up until this latest tablet, Surfaces have sported ARM-compatible processors, and …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2015

Silicon Valley powers: Let mass spying die in May 2015 – it's bad for privacy (and business)

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo! – and many, many others – have appealed to American politicians and g-men to rein in mass digital surveillance this May, and bring the intelligence community under some kind of effective oversight. "It has been nearly two years since the first news stories revealed the scope of the …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2015

Amazon cloud threatens to SMASH the fundamental laws of PHYSICS

Amazon hopes to knacker its competitors in the cloud world by offering endless online storage space for a flat yearly fee. For $12 a year netizens can store an "infinite" number of photos on Amazon's servers under the new Unlimited Photos Plan, along with 5GB of storage for other types of files. The $60 per annum Unlimited …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2015
Red Hat

Wall Street tips fedora to Red Hat: Sales up, profit flat, everybody dance

Red Hat's shares are on the up after the Linux distro maker beat Wall Street's expectations in its fourth financial quarter, ended February 28. The North Carolina biz reported revenues up 16 per cent during the three-month period, compared to the same period the year before, and up 17 per cent for the whole year, even accounting …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2015
NSA parody T-shirt

PATRIOT Act axed, NSA spying halted ... wake up, Neo, it's just a dream in the US House of Reps

A law bill introduced in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday seeks to abolish the Patriot Act, ban Uncle Sam from forcing backdoors into technology, and safeguard whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. Ever since Snowden leaked top-secret files detailing the NSA and GCHQ's global surveillance of innocent people, there have …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
Azure App Service

Microsoft's three-way only goes one way: Backends merge into Azure App Service

Microsoft is merging its Azure Websites, Mobile Services, and BizTalk Services into a single service: Azure App Service. The Windows giant hopes the embiggened beast will woo developers to craft applications for all manner of things from smartphones and fondleslabs to desktop web browsers, all deployed from Redmond's cloud. " …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2015
Larry Ellison

Oracle in dollar bother – but Larry's in a fighting mood over cloudy future

Larry Ellison appears unbothered by Oracle's third-quarter revenues remaining flat at US$9.3bn, despite that sum disappointing financial analysts. Big Red revealed its recent results today, and GAAP net income for the three-month period ended February 28 was $2.5bn, down three per cent year on year, or 56 cents per share. …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2015
Infosec

Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Barely a week after the breaking of the Superfish scandal, Lenovo has done a complete reverse ferret on bloatware - promising that by the time Windows 10 comes out its systems will be as pure as they can be. “The events of last week reinforce the principle that customer experience, security and privacy must be our top priorities …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015
Panic button

SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not

Six days ago Gemalto, the world's largest SIM card manufacturer, was told that back in 2010 it had been ransacked by NSA and GCHQ hackers. Today the company gave itself the all-clear: no encryption keys, used to secure phone calls from eavesdroppers, were stolen, it claims. Yet the IT security industry is not so sure. Documents …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015
Malware image

Lenovo CTO: Hey, look around – we're not the only ones with a crapware infection

On Friday Lenovo is going to tell the world about how it plans to regain the trust of its users in the wake of the Superfish clusterfuck – and may even launch an independent security audit of its products. "Our goal, in the end, is to make this right," Lenovo's CTO Peter Hortensius told The Register on Tuesday. "It's going to …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015
Smilin' Marv

Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs

Another month, another Patch Tuesday, but this release has a special sting in the tail: a flaw in the fundamental design of Windows that's taken a year to correct, and is unfixable on Server 2003. The critical blunder allows miscreants to completely take over a domain-configured Windows system if it is connected to a malicious …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2015
Executioner

Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

+Comment If you patched Adobe's screen door of the internet – its Flash plugin – last week, and thought you were safe, even for a few weeks, you were sadly mistaken. The Photoshop goliath is warning that yet another programming blunder in its code is being exploited in the wild, and says it won't have a patch ready to deploy until later …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2015

Opinion

Merlin Data Center Interior

Trevor Pott

Enterprises want them, but they're still a pain in the ASCII
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock
Vinod_Khosla

Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
ZenPad_RealRacing

Features

Eclipse image via Shutterstock
The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
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Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire