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Iain Thomson

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Cloudy server conceptual illustration. Photo by Shutterstock

Restaurant booked, flowers ordered ... Microsoft has a hot date for SQL Server 2016

Microsoft has announced that SQL Server 2016 for Windows will go into general availability on June 1 and is positioning it against Oracle on cost, security, and speed. The database management suite will come in three flavors – Enterprise, Standard, and Express – as well as a Developer SKU. Customers with a Microsoft Software …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2016
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon's AWS cash machine embiggens, breezes past $2bn-a-quarter mark

Amazon has reported bumper first quarter results, with profits of $513m and sales increasing 28 per cent. In its previous quarterly results Amazon's stock took a beating after the company reported a lower than expected sales. After Thursday's results, the company was back in favor and saw its stock price rise over 10 per cent …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2016
Carly Fiorina

Another failed merger, Carly? Ted Cruz to bring in ex-HP boss Fiorina as running mate

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will announce his running mate at a campaign event on Wednesday afternoon – and the pick to revitalize his flagging campaign is Carly Fiorina. Fiorina ended her own bid for the presidency in February after a lackluster performance in which she proved herself to be factually challenged …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2016
Strom Clouds

Stalled cloud growth, software flatlining, hated Lumias unsold... It's all fine, says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft is putting a brave face on disappointing third-quarter earnings that saw profits fall 25 per cent year-on-year and cloud revenues failing to rise fast enough to offset losses in other areas. Earnings per share were $0.62 non-GAAP, down 23 per cent from 2015, compared to analysts' estimates of $0.64. "We had a solid …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2016

Fake CEOs pilfer $2.3bn from US biz pockets in three years – Feds

Scammers have bilked American companies out of $2.3bn from 17,642 victims since 2013, the FBI has warned, and the problem is going to get worse before it gets better. Basically, the hustle works like this: miscreants pretending to be top bosses send emails to employees, particularly those handling sensitive financial …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2016
Wim Coekaerts

Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

Larry Ellison will be throwing his boats out of the bathtub on the news that Wim Coekaerts, possibly Oracle's top Linux guy, has jumped ship to Microsoft. "Wim Coekaerts has joined Microsoft as Corp VP of Open Source in our Enterprise Cloud Group," Mike Neil, VP for enterprise cloud at Microsoft, told El Reg. "As we continue …
Iain Thomson, 01 Apr 2016

Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

Analysis In the technology field, many people like to think that they are at the forefront of human development, but it is becoming clear that the industry is failing when it comes to dealing with sexism against women. In January, a survey from Stanford University of women who'd spent at least ten years in the tech industry found that …
Iain Thomson, 09 Mar 2016
phishing_648

Bungling Seagate staffer leaked coworkers' social security numbers, other info to email fraudsters

Storage drive biz Seagate is lousy at keeping its own data safe: it accidentally handed over the crown jewels of its employees' private information to persons unknown. A Seagate employee was fooled by an email that masqueraded as an internal memo from the CEO: the message requested people's W-2 forms, and the worker duly …
Iain Thomson, 08 Mar 2016
(c) Rama, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

Q&A: Bruce Schneier on joining IBM, IoT woes, and Apple v the FBI

RSA 2016 Security guru Bruce Schneier is a regular at shows like RSA and his talks are usually standing-room-only affairs. Schneier has written some of the definitive texts for modern cryptography teaching and his current book, Data and Goliath, examines the perils and solutions to government and corporate surveillance of internet …
Iain Thomson, 04 Mar 2016
Colossus computer from The Forbin Project

How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?

RSA 2016 Developing massively intelligent computer systems is going to happen, says Professor Nick Bostrom, and they could be the last invention humans ever make. Finding ways to control these super-brains is still on the todo list, though. Speaking at the RSA 2016 conference, Prof Bostrom, director of the University of Oxford's Future …
Iain Thomson, 04 Mar 2016

Microsoft gets into the advanced intrusion sniffer game – but only for Windows 10

RSA 2016 Microsoft will be rolling out a new form of security system for enterprises later this year aimed at stopping attacks as soon as they happen. Dubbed Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, the system will monitor a company's computer systems looking for signs that an attack is occurring. If someone starts trying to break …
Iain Thomson, 02 Mar 2016
Amit Yoran

Don't expect AI to save our security skins, warns RSA boss

RSA 2016 RSA president Amit Yoran used the opening keynote of his company's conference to warn about the dangers of trusting new technology – and to launch a stinging attack on government stupidity over encryption. Yoran acknowledged that deep learning and AI systems were going to be a theme of the conference this year – indeed RSA is …
Iain Thomson, 01 Mar 2016
recruitment_hired

Poor recruitment processes are causing the great security talent drought

RSA 2016 It's a refrain at this and past RSA conferences, that companies can't hire enough top-notch talent, but it's addressable if companies hire smartly and applicants learn how to play the game. "Far too many hackers have expectations that are unrealistic," said Tim O'Brien, director of threat research at Palerra – who has been on …
Iain Thomson, 29 Feb 2016
Bruce Schneier

Confirmed: IBM slurps up Bruce Schneier with Resilient purchase

RSA 2016 After nearly a week of rumors IBM has confirmed it has bought incident response firm Resilient Systems and so gained the services of its CTO security guru Bruce Schneier. "We are excited to be joining IBM Security, the industry's fastest-growing enterprise security company," said John Bruce, Resilient Systems' CEO. "By …
Iain Thomson, 29 Feb 2016
The Xamarin team at its Evolve conference in 2014

Microsoft finally ties the knot with Xamarin, snaps up mobile app biz

Microsoft has bought its long-time partner Xamarin for an undisclosed sum. "With today's acquisition announcement we will be taking this work much further to make our world-class developer tools and services even better with deeper integration and to enable seamless mobile app dev experiences," said Scott Guthrie, VP of …
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2016
Taylor Swift

IBM tailors Swift for cloud, gets into bed with VMware, Github

Big Blue has used its IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas to announce cooperative deals with Apple, VMware and GitHub, as the venerable commuting giant seeks to suck in more cloudy business. "Businesses are adopting cloud-based applications to accelerate innovation, but they are still struggling to combine those cloud …
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2016

Yahoo! is! up! for! sale! – so! how! much! will! you! bid!?

Yahoo! has officially called in the bankers to explore "strategic alternatives" for the company; in other words trying to find someone to buy up the non-Alibaba side of the business. "Separating our Alibaba stake from Yahoo's operating business is essential to maximizing value for our shareholders. In addition to the reverse …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2016
Teacher

Microsoft to axe Win 8 coder certificate exams

In six months Microsoft will cull some of its Windows app store developer qualifications. From September, Microsoft will no longer offer today's basic or advanced certification exams for developing Windows Store apps in C#, JavaScript, and HTML5. Out too are the recertification exams for Microsoft certified solutions …
Iain Thomson, 17 Feb 2016
Suitcase full of money

US software biz fined $28 million for bribing Chinese buyers with free vacations, gifts

Massachusetts-based software maker PTC and two of its Chinese subsidiaries have been fined $28m for bribing buyers in the Middle Kingdom. US regulator the SEC found that PTC, which builds design and process management software, broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) between 2006 and 2011. The American biz bunged …
Iain Thomson, 16 Feb 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

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

Opinion

Privacy image

Frank Jennings

Two working parties, ministers galore... but data transfer law remains in limbo
EMC_Unity_bezel

Chris Evans

It does simplify the hardware setup, whatever it is
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Chris Mellor

Do something and stop faffing about in the bush league

Kat Hall

International system in general needs greater transparency

Features

Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers