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Iain Thomson

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Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

Whenever mega-hacks like the Yahoo! fiasco hit the news, inevitably the question gets asked as to why the IT security systems weren't good enough. The answer could be that it's not in a company's financial interest to be secure. A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of Cybersecurity, looked at the frequency …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016
Larry Ellison photo by drserg via Shutterstock

Oracle's cloud strategy is simple – woo and win the latecomers

OpenWorld Throughout this year's Oracle OpenWorld conference, the company's message has been fairly simple – the database firm is moving to cloud but can offer buyers either on-prem kit, full public cloud, or anything in-between. It's a tempting pitch for those who are somewhat nervous about diving into the cloud with their systems, and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2016
Ellison

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

OpenWorld Oracle’s founder and CTO Larry Ellison took to the stage for his second OpenWorld keynote today, and spent the bulk of his presentation pointing out flaws in his chief cloud rival Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has three database products running on its cloud (Redshift, Aurora and DynamoDB), and in terms of features they …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016
Mark Hurd OpenWorld

Lack of Hurd mentality at Oracle OpenWorld: Co-CEO's cloud claims fall flat live on stage

OpenWorld Once again, Oracle's co-CEO Mark Hurd was in a prognosticative mood during his OpenWorld keynote, but the crowd of attendees wasn't buying it. As he did last year, Hurd made some predictions as to where the industry was going on cloud computing by the year 2025, including that two companies would control 80 per cent of the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Sep 2016
Handshake

McAfee's back! Intel flogs security software biz, pockets $3.1bn

Intel is selling off a majority stake in its security software arm – formerly known as McAfee – to private equity firm TPG, which will rename itself to, er, McAfee. Chipzilla absorbed McAfee Inc in 2010 for $7.68bn, and in 2014 it phased out the McAfee brand name. According to Intel, that software division is today valued at …
Iain Thomson, 07 Sep 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

What's Dell brewing the day before its EMC mega-slurp? A latte money? Oh, a flat white

Dell has reported near-flat revenues for its second quarter of the year, up just 1 per cent from its position 12 months ago. The company pulled in revenues of $13.1bn in the three months to July 29, compared to just under $13bn this time last year. This generated an operating income of $63m, up from a loss of $103m 12 months …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
SGI in Jurassic Park

OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has bought venerable computing firm SGI – formerly Silicon Graphics – for $275m. Over the past few years, SGI has concentrated on the big-iron end of the server market and high-performance computing. It's this technology that HPE wants to bolster its hardware lineup. "At HPE, we are focused on …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2016
Tarah Wheeler

Symantec appoints first cybersecurity czar to woo hacking talent

DEF CON Hardcore hackers and the corporate security industry have never really got on that well. Symantec is looking to change that after hiring Tarah Wheeler to act as its website cybersecurity czar. Wheeler has a long career in the IT industry, including stints at Microsoft and Blackphone-maker Silent Circle. Both of her parents …
Iain Thomson, 06 Aug 2016
Kaspersky image

Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Kaspersky has apologized for displaying a sexist pop-up advert in its security software. It's not sorry about showing adverts on people's PCs, however. The Russian giant's desktop software suite flings adverts, er, news items about Kaspersky products at users who have already paid for its applications. On Friday, one of these …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Alphabet, the holding company for Google and the Chocolate Factory's other concerns, has reported strong growth in the second quarter ending June 30, with revenues up 21 per cent from this time last year. Google made up the vast majority of this revenue, accounting for $21.3bn for the quarter, with the other parts of Alphabet …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Microsoft has admitted that the battery problems hitting some Surface Pro 3 owners aren't down to hardware failure, but rather a software issue. Redmond's support forums have been inundated with complaints about the high-end fondleslab's battery life. The problem only appears to affect hardware that uses batteries from third- …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
results

What's big, blue and red all over? IBM. Profit, z Systems down, cloud up

IBM today reported its second quarter financial results and the figures don't look good, with profits falling nearly 30 per cent. The venerable computing giant did perform slightly better than analysts expected, however GAAP revenues and profits are both down year-on-year. It's the 17th straight quarter of revenue declines for …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
danger

Attention, small biz using Symantec AV: Smash up your PCs, it's the safest thing to do

If you're using Symantec's Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE) then you can forget about security for a week or so, as the company won't be patching the "as bad as it gets" security holes in its software for a while. A Register reader who wishes to remain anonymous received an email from Symantec confirming …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
sale

Confirmed: Dell software sell-off

Dell has confirmed rumors that it is selling off its software division to private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management. "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management's deep passion for technology and proven track records in nurturing and building software businesses will enable Dell Software's loyal base of …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2016

Official: Microsoft goes to pot, gives weed growers fix they need

Put this in your pipe and smoke it: Microsoft is offering pot growers software tools to help them stay on the right side of America's relaxed laws. Marijuana is legal in Microsoft's home state of Washington, as well as in Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, and is prescribed medicinally (with varying degrees of laxity) in California …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jun 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

Ex-SAP exec and pals accused of $500,000 insider trading scam

A former SAP executive and his associates allegedly ran an insider trading ring to net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chris Salis was, until recently, global vice president and general manager for procurement at SAP. US financial watchdog the SEC claims he used his inside knowledge of SAP's takeover of Business Objects in …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016
A partially-eaten langos

Cisco is to spend $10m on infosec scholarships to 'widen talent pool'

Cisco is setting up a $10m scholarship fund to train the next generation of IT security staff. The Global Cybersecurity Scholarship Program will run for two years and will pay for 10,000 applicants to be trained in the art of cyber security. It includes a mentoring program to provide specialist knowledge. The basic coursework …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2016
Lawyer up

Oracle to sue cloud sales 'whistleblower' for 'malicious prosecution'

Oracle isn't known as a shrinking violet when it comes to legal battles, and it's coming out swinging over allegations that it was playing fast and loose with its cloud revenue reporting. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco claiming that she was fired from the company …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016

Oracle pulled made-up cloud figures out of its SaaS – whistleblower

An ex-Oracle staffer claims she was fired for refusing to keep quiet about the database giant's exaggerated cloud sales. On Wednesday, Svetlana Blackburn filed a whistleblower lawsuit with the US district court in San Francisco, alleging that she was dismissed on October 15 last year – two months after being given a positive …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2016

IBM warns of 'bug poachers' who exploit holes, steal info, demand big bucks

At least 30 companies have been hit in the past year by so-called "bug poaching," where hackers break into corporate servers, steal data, and then demand a fee for showing how it was done. The technique, spotted by IBM's Managed Security Services researchers, involves miscreants breaking into a corp's servers, typically using …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jun 2016

Opinion

Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Features

STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Plan b, image via Shutterstock
EU workers, new markets: post-Brexit pressure on May & Co
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock
Honest mistake with your licensing? Audit police look at it on a 'case by case basis'