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Iain Thomson

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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 Surface …
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

Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Microsoft has confirmed that, unlike your average Alice and Bob, enterprises won't get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new operating system is finally released. "Customers running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Pro, like small businesses, have an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free in the first year," said Jim …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2015
botnet

We take bots down, but they get up again – you're never going to keep them down

A combined attack on one of the world's biggest networks of infected PCs has been partially successful: analysis from Dell SecureWorks shows you can't keep a bad botnet down. In 2013 infosec bods and the feds together disrupted the ZeroAccess network, which used a remotely controlled collection of more than two million slaved …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jan 2015
Bart Simpson

Microsoft will give away Windows 10 FREE - for ONE year

Microsoft is planning a big push for Windows 10 and will be giving away the new operating system to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8 users in the first year of release. "With Windows 10, we think of the operating system as 'Windows as a service'," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's VP of operating systems. "In next few …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015
Bank vault

Ex-Apple, Google, Intel geeks in line for $415m over wage-fix pacts

As expected, a four-year-long wage-fixing case could be over – after Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe offered to pay out $415m to make the case go away. The foursome are trying to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by former employees over claims senior management quietly entered a pact to not poach each other's staff. This …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jan 2015

Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

The Irish government today supported Microsoft in its ongoing fight against US prosecutors – who appear to want access to server hard drives anywhere in the world. Microsoft has garnered serious backing from the technology industry in its case against American investigators. The Feds believe they have the right to access emails …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2014

Microsoft fires legal salvo at phone 'tech support' scammers

Microsoft has launched its first US lawsuit against companies offering phoney phone support for its products and says it plans further operations in the UK and India to stamp out the scammers. Fake tech support calls have been around for a few years now. A caller will claim to be calling from Microsoft technical support saying …
Iain Thomson, 19 Dec 2014

Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Microsoft has drummed up an impressive amount of support in its fight against the American government – which is demanding access to the US giant's servers in Ireland. Stateside prosecutors are trying to extract emails from systems on non-US soil using a search warrant obtained in a US court, and Microsoft is having none of it. …
Iain Thomson, 15 Dec 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft shareholders approve of CEO Satya Nadella's MASSIVE PACKAGE

A revolt by shareholders at Microsoft's annual general meeting over CEO Satya Nadella wages failed to materialize today – and his executive pay package was approved. Company advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services said it had significant concerns over the size of Nadella's package, which it estimated was worth over $90m …
Iain Thomson, 03 Dec 2014

Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

After Symantec published its report on the Regin super-spyware, there were many questions raised. Who coded it? What can it do? And – above all – why did it take so long for security vendors to notice it? Regin is a sophisticated piece of software. It can be customized for particular missions by inserting into its framework …
Iain Thomson, 26 Nov 2014
Malware image

Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about

A public autopsy of sophisticated intelligence-gathering spyware Regin is causing waves today in the computer security world. But here's a question no one's answering: given this super-malware first popped up in 2008, why has everyone in the antivirus industry kept quiet about it until now? Has it really taken them years to …
Iain Thomson, 24 Nov 2014
Nexus 6

LARGE, ROUND and FEELS SO GOOD in your hand: Yes! It's a Nexus 6

Review We've been running the new Google-mungous big Nexus 6 smartphone and Android 5.0 through our hands-on real-world testing – and here are the results. Nexus 6 The Nexus range is Google's attempt to show the world exactly what an Android phone should be. As we've seen with past models, that usually means a stripped-down handset …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014
Cloud security

Big Blue brandishes Big Brother bundle, bars big biz byte blab blunders

IBM has been buying up a load of computer security firms over the past three years to strengthen its chops in the area – and now it has decided to take that gobbled tech to the cloud, and dubbed it Dynamic Cloud Security (DCS). During the past year, more than 200 IBM engineers have been working on glueing together the bought-up …
Iain Thomson, 06 Nov 2014
Partnership

Microsoft, Dropbox execs go public with their Office hookup

Microsoft and Dropbox have inked a deal to integrate their cloud-hosted stuff: mobile users of Office 365 will be able to automatically save files to their Dropbox account from within Redmond's software. And Dropbox users will also be able to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files within the Dropbox and share them within the …
Iain Thomson, 04 Nov 2014

Lenovo completes Motorola purchase for $2.9bn – $10bn less than Google paid for it

Three years ago, Google splashed out $12.5bn for struggling mobe manufacturer Motorola, and on Thursday the Chocolate Factory completed its sale of Motorola's physical assets to Lenovo for just $2.91bn. Not all of the money will be going into Google's coffers right away, however. Lenovo is paying $660m in cash plus $750m in …
Iain Thomson, 30 Oct 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all

Windows doesn't have the best reputation for security, but Microsoft has been outlining a series of improvements in the new operating system that it believes will stymie hackers and leave corporate data more secure. "We're no longer facing an evolution in security threats but a revolution," Chris Hallum, senior product manager …
Iain Thomson, 22 Oct 2014
WAves

Benioff promises Wave of Lightning to mobilise Salesforce

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's keynote at the annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco is usually a theatrical affair, but his company may have outdone itself this time. The three-hour session featured sets by the ageing Beach Boys, a Hawaiian dance spectacular and blessing ceremony, and a drone delivery by Coca Cola. But …
Iain Thomson, 15 Oct 2014

NSA spying will shatter the internet, Silicon Valley bosses warn

Top Silicon Valley execs have warned that the NSA's continued surveillance of innocent people will rupture the internet – which is bad news for business. Oh, and bad news for hundreds of thousands of workers, and America's moral authority, too. The suits were speaking at a roundtable organized by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in …
Iain Thomson, 09 Oct 2014
Windows 10 Start Button

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Vid+Pics Microsoft has shown off Windows 10, and described it as a blend of Windows 7 and 8. Redmond thinks the new operating system is so revolutionary, it skipped over version 9 and went straight to double digits. "We will carry forward all that is good in Windows," Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the operating systems …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2014
Alain Crozier microsoft

Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

When Microsoft sent out invitations to a secret press event for September 30 in San Francisco, rumors spread that it would mark the next major release of Windows. Now the president of Microsoft France has blown apart Microsoft's attempt at Applesque PR – by letting slip that "Windows 9" is indeed coming. "Last year we had …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2014

Microsoft staff brace for next round of layoffs – expected Thursday

The coffee machines at Microsoft will be taking a hammering from nervous workers after a report that the company will lay off another tranche of staff on Thursday. Back in July Microsoft announced it will lay off 18,000 employees in a reorganization lasting six months; 12,500 have since been shown the door, with the vast …
Iain Thomson, 17 Sep 2014

US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

Yahoo! has tried to explain why it buckled under pressure from Uncle Sam to hand over its users' data to the US government - by promising to publish the court documents which ordered the snooping. Said filings will, we're told, show Uncle Sam threatened to make Yahoo! pay a $250,000 fine for every day it refused to hand over …
Iain Thomson, 12 Sep 2014

Salesforce: Oh no! Dyre RATs are thirsty for our customers' logins

Salesforce has warned that miscreants are trying to infect its customers with a remote access trojan (RAT) dubbed Dyre that siphons off Salesforce.com login data. "On September 3, 2014, one of our security partners identified that the Dyre malware (also known as Dyreza), which typically targets customers of large, well-known …
Iain Thomson, 08 Sep 2014
Steve Jobs, credit Apple site, screengrab

Silicon Valley tech titans beg for more mediation time in wage-fix lawsuit

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have filed a court motion asking for more time in mediation before going to court to fight former employees who claim they were put on secret no-hire blacklists by their bosses. The class action suit claims that from 2005 the bosses of Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, …
Iain Thomson, 04 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

'Enterprise' ends ten-year mission: Choc Factory's biz services now Google for Work

Google has celebrated ten years of selling services to businesses by dumping the name Google Enterprise in favor of the touchier, feelier Google for Work. "We never set out to create a traditional 'enterprise' business – we wanted to create a new way of doing work," said Google chairman Eric Schmidt in a blog post. "So the …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

Dropbox has become the latest company to slash its cloud storage costs as the price war in the sector heats up, leaving consumers to reap the cost benefits. "We don’t want you to worry about choosing the right plan or having enough space," the company wrote in a blog post. "So today, we’re simplifying Dropbox Pro to a single …
Iain Thomson, 27 Aug 2014
HP

Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu

HP's plan to defend its directors in the Autonomy scandal – and present a united front against the Brit business's former execs and their auditors – has been thrown into doubt by a US judge. Last month HP announced a settlement with lawyers representing its own shareholders, who had brought legal action against HP: the …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2014

Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced the USA FREEDOM Act to the US Senate and claims, that, if passed, the legislation will severely curtail the amount of mass surveillance that can be carried out by the NSA and others – provided you're a citizen of the land of the free. "This is a debate about Americans' fundamental …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2014

Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu

A study of the public-facing web servers run by some of the world's largest firms has suggested only three per cent of the machines have been fully protected against the OpenSSL vulnerability known as Heartbleed. The research, carried out by security specialists at Venafi Labs, examined 550,000 servers belonging to 1,639 …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2014
Apple signs for auction

18,000 Apple employees could get bite of profits with class-action lawsuit

A lawsuit against Apple by disgruntled employees has just been granted class-action status, potentially creating a payday for staff who say the firm held back their wages and stopped them from taking rest breaks. The lawsuit (PDF), originally filed in 2011 by former Apple retail and corporate staff, claims that managers …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2014

Call girl injected Google exec with heroin, drank wine, left him to die – cops claim

A woman described as a high-priced escort by cops has been charged with the manslaughter of a Google executive found dead in his yacht after a heroin overdose. Alix Catherine Tichelman Mug shot ... Alix Catherine Tichelman Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, was arrested in a sting operation on July 4 in connection with the death …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014

Windows users: You get a patch! And you get a patch! And you get a patch! Everybody gets...

Microsoft has issued its usual warning to admins ahead of this month's Patch Tuesday – and servers are getting some serious fixes. Redmond will be pinging out six parcels of patches; two critical batches, three important and one rated moderate – the latter covering the service bus for Windows Server. But Windows RT, Server 2008 …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Google I/O Google has kicked off its annual developer conference with a three-hour keynote in which the search kingpin explained where it's taking Android next: namely, your wrist, your car, your living room, and beyond. It was long enough to trouble your correspondent's laptop battery. Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android division, …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2014
Reg man wears Google Glass

Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Google is opening up the sale of its Glass head-mounted computers to customers outside the US for the first time, and the UK is the first country to get them. "Beginning today, we're extending our open beta Explorer program to the UK. The world sees the UK as a center (actually, a centre) of innovation," said the Chocolate …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2014

Tech companies are raising their game (and pants) post-Snowden

Snowden anniversary If there’s a positive to the disclosures by ex-National Security Contractor (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, it’s that it’s been a disaster for technology and internet firms. Yes, a positive. In the last year we’ve learned the NSA has backdoors placed in the hardware that makes networks, the existence of massive funnels placed …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jun 2014
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

John Chambers sold millions of shares on first day of Cisco Live!

Update Paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that as Cisco's CEO was wandering around the Moscone Center keynote room delivering his annual address to the Cisco Live! Conference, his brokers were selling shares in the company hand over fist. According to the latest SEC Form 4 filing, Chambers sold 2,050,000 …
Iain Thomson, 24 May 2014
Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

The touchscreen Surface Pro 3, unveiled on Tuesday, is Microsoft's latest attempt to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets. Panos Panay claims Surface Pro 3 is one device to rule them all Panos Panay claims Surface Pro 3 is one device to rule them all "It starts with dreaming the impossible," gushed Microsoft CEO Satya …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

$180,000 buys you lunch with Tim Cook as charity auction ending

The 8th annual charity auction to meet the executive of your dreams (or nightmares) is showing that lunch with Apple's big boss Tim Cook will set you back over $180,000 – other tech leaders, however, are proving less popular. The auction, run by Charitybuzz, raises money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2014

Symantec: Antivirus is 'DEAD' – no longer 'a moneymaker'

Symantec, a company that has made huge amounts of cash as the largest antivirus software vendor for the last quarter of a century, looks to be getting out of that business and into fixing hacking problems rather than stopping them. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way," Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice …
Iain Thomson, 06 May 2014

Opinion

Alexandre Mesguich

Change is order of day as tech giants shift strategy gears
Partnership

Frank Jennings

Confused? No problem, we have 5, no 6, no 7... lots of standards

Chris Mellor

VC sequence could end not with a bang, but a whimper
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Features

money trap conceptual illustration
Big boys snare the unwary with too-good-to-be-true deals
Angus Highland cow
Pet carriers not wanted for whitebox stampede
FBcoldstoragearray
Sorry OpenStack and Open Compute, we're not all Facebook
Gary Kovacs, CEO of AVG. Pic: World Economic Forum
Scammy download sites? Government snooping? Run of the mill for Gary Kovacs