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Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 Jul 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

EMC: Sales flat but wallets fat. Ready to vote on the merger?

EMC-Dell deal EMC saw totally flat revenues in its second quarter but profits rose 19 per cent. It could have been better as late orders couldn't be fulfilled. Revenues were a straight $6bn, unchanged from a year ago but up 9.6 per cent sequentially. They were $5.9bn two years ago so EMC is arguably standing still revenue-wise. Net income …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jul 2016

Software can be considered 'goods' for purpose of commercial agent rules – High Court

Software suppliers can be forced to pay damages to self-employed intermediaries they contract with to promote their products under UK commercial agents regulations, according to a recent High Court ruling. The High Court ordered Computer Associates UK Ltd (CA) to pay The Software Incubator (TSI) £475,000 in compensation under …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2016

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …
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NetApp CEO Kurian: Buying SolidFire was a long-term strategic bet

Interview Chief executives of multi-billion dollar corporations have to have several characteristics, including steel, the ability to see things as they are, and possession of a personal value system that meshes with their corporation’s culture. Some CEOs, when promoted to the top chair after long employment in a corporation, sometimes …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
Image composite Alex Yeung, NesaCera, NesaCera Shutterstock

White hat banned for revealing vulns in news sites used by London councillors

Security consultant Andrew Tierney has claimed that web platform NeighbourNET contains nasty vulnerabilities that could compromise users. The company's sites are used for local news services, often by councils and councillors to communicate with residents. London districts favoured with sites powered by the service include …
Darren Pauli, 11 Jul 2016
Barracuda_cloud_sea

Barracuda picks teeth after chowing down on cloud market

Revenues grew 11 per cent year-over-year to $86.7m in Barracuda’s first fiscal 2017 quarter, confirming its return to growth. Net income was $2.8m. Recurring subscription revenue grew to $65.3m, up 20 per cent from $54.3m in the year-ago quarter and 75 per cent of total revenue. Appliance revenue though, was down, at $21.3m, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2016
Statler and Waldorf - copyright - The Walt Disney company - the muppets studio

Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

This week, Microsoft tried to connect with college-age kids, and it did not go over particularly well. An after-party invite sent out to interns in San Francisco tried its best to be cool, like fresh straight from the fridge daddy-o cool. The end result was predictable. My roommate received this email from a Microsoft …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jul 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

RM: School spending on tech is soft, soggy and downright subdued

School spending on tech remains “subdued”, according to specialist education supplier RM at the half-way stage of its fiscal year 2016, ended 31 May. Revenue slid 3.8 per cent year-on-year to £76.8m, but excluding the disposal of SpaceKraft, which made sensory learning devices for children with special needs, sales fell 1.4 …
Paul Kunert, 04 Jul 2016
Lawyer up

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc. Solicitors and barristers from Mishcon de Reya are working with Blackstone, Matrix and Monckton Chambers to argue Article 50 of the European Union – the …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jul 2016
Brexit financial crash

Post Brexit tech spending to rise like a lead balloon

Yet another analyst has delivering a damning forecast for tech spending following last week’s UK referendum decision to leave the European Union as major suppliers prepare staff for what could months of slowing sales. Channel-watcher Canalys projected local sales spending of $90bn to $100bn for the year before Brits voted to …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jun 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CTO, CCO to call it a day

Martin Fink, the chief techie straddling Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s global Labs is quitting just as the prototype of his most ambitions project to date, The Machine, edges closer. In a blog note today, CEO Meg Whitman confirmed the CTO will be “retiring” at the end of the year after more than three decades at the company. “ …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jun 2016
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Dev boss: What will Microsoft do with Windows 10 Mobile? Surprise – it's for work!

One of the puzzles about Microsoft’s platform in 2016 is Windows 10 Mobile. In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, the plan seemed to be that a unified operating system across PC and mobile, combined with applications developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), would boost Windows Phone and create a …
Tim Anderson, 24 Jun 2016
Business people move through revolving door. Photo via Shutterstock

Count 'em and weep: Intrinsic looking for fifth CEO in five years

The high office revolving doors at Intrinsic Technology are clearly still swinging - the company is on the hunt for its fifth CEO in five years after attempts to find a buyer ended unsuccessfully. Top dog Mark Bates has left the organisation after two years in charge and been replaced on an acting basis by non-exec chairman …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jun 2016
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

You spend months or years building up a client list for your employer. You nurture the relationship and build up personal ties with the client. When you leave the employer, naturally the client goes with you. And so does the client list, via a USB stick or Dropbox or your webmail account. If you don’t get all the details before …
Frank Jennings, 20 Jun 2016
Violin_Tailpiece_and_bridge

Violin Memory CTO and co-founder walks, starts up own outfit

Jon Bennett, co-founder and CTO of Violin Memory, has left Violin and set up DBM Cloud Systems, where he is CTO. Violin chief marketing officer Amy Love said: “He has moved on after more than 10 years with Violin Memory. He has joined Dixon Doll’s early stage company as CTO. We hosted an employee party for him at the end of …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jun 2016
No. 10, image via Shutterstock

No 10's online EU vote signup crash 'inevitable' – GDS overseer

MPs have taken the Government’s digital masters to task for their inability to handle online voter registration for this month’s European Union referendum. Members grilled Cabinet Office minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin after the Government Digital Service’s EU voter registration site crashed under "unexpected" …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

Updated Registration to vote in the UK's EU referendum has been extended until midnight June 9 after No. 10's voter registration web site crashed. Legislation is being introduced to the House of Commons to extend the deadline for those wishing to register to vote in this month's referendum, minister for the Cabinet Office and …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jun 2016
Virgin Media Tivo

Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Tivo's new owner Rovi has hinted that it might get out of box retailing and focus on software and services. The source of the news is an SEC filing that records a presentation Rovi made to analyst firm Cowen and Company's Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. The document details Rovi chief financial officer Peter Halt's …

Are EU having a laugh? Europe passes hopeless cyber-commerce rules

Analysis The European Commission (EC) has approved a series of ecommerce rules designed to make Europe more competitive online. In true European fashion however, the proposals contain a lengthy series of inconsistent compromises and avoid altogether the most complex policy issues, making them largely worthless. Vice-President for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016
Frustrated accountant puts head in hands. Photo by Shutterstock

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

The head of a UK industry insurance organisation has called for the government to create a database where companies would be obliged to “record details of cyber attacks”. Insurers are struggling to assess premiums for newly introduced cyber insurance policies in the absence of background info, according to the head of the …
John Leyden, 24 May 2016
Man ties laces on running shoe pre-jog. Photo by Shutterstock

Nutanix slims down code, chases after small business

Nutanix is having a crack at the medium-sized business market with a product called Xpress. The new product is a hyperconverged hardware and software bundle that Nutanix says starts at US$25,000 for an entry-level three-node cluster capable of running from 10 to 400 or 500 virtual machines. Nutanix says the secret sauce is …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016
Privacy image

Committees: Wait! Don't strap on the Privacy Shield yet

The revelations by rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden in 2013 caused indignant EU politicians to open a dialogue with the US government to update the data transfer regime to safeguard personal data. The Privacy Shield is the culmination of those discussions. The US's hands-off approach has always differed from the EU's …
Frank Jennings, 24 May 2016
broken hard drive

Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

Microsoft has laid out new rules for its Bing search engine designed to crack down on tech support scams. Redmond said that it will no longer allow advertisers to pitch their third-party support and repair products as "official" or branded tech support. Under the new rules, Bing search ads will have to present themselves …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2016
Man with head in the cloud

VMware hikes NSX price, adds cheaper versions

VMware has taken the scissors to its NSX product's feature list to offer versions that won't set back customers quite as much as the full product, at the same time hiking the price of the top version of the product. Pitched at companies that want to create software defined data centres, NSX slips networking and security into …
US Dollars by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Uncle Lenovo turns up to the startup party with a $500m punch bowl

IT old-timer Lenovo Group will inject half a billion dollars into the tech startup scene, it claimed today. The Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG) unveiled in Beijing will plough cash into fledgling companies developing cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics. The PC maker’s venture cap division …
Katyanna Quach, 04 May 2016
Photo by MICHAEL VADON

Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Carly Fiorina's astonishing career trajectory into oblivion remains on target tonight after her bid to be US Vice President was cut mercifully short. Just seven days ago, the ex-HP boss was chosen to be the running mate of Texan senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. On Tuesday evening, crushed into a sad paste …
Chris Williams, 04 May 2016

EMC makes a LEAP forward with Virtustream and more

EMC World The first day of EMC World in Las Vegas caused announcement overload, with the Unity array top of the list, closely followed by a Virtustream storage cloud and more. The Virtustream Storage Cloud (VSC) is for enterprises and service providers to store data in the cloud, mission-critical data, says EMC. The data can come from …
Chris Mellor, 03 May 2016
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You're only young but you're going to die: Farewell, all-flash startups

Comment Following news of its restructuring there will inevitably be layoffs at X-IO’s Colorado Springs facility. We hear that the company is working to get staff employment with other companies. The situation is fast-developing and X-IO’s concern is its employees and not the media, so we'll hear more later. Our interest here is not …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016

Tweak Privacy Shield rules to make people happy? Nah – US govt

The US government has poured cold water on the idea of making changes to the new Privacy Shield agreement that will cover transfers of people's private data between the US and Europe, potentially putting the entire agreement at risk. Under secretary of commerce for international trade, Stefan Selig, told Reuters that the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2016

HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Review It’s only two years since HTC was the darling of the fanDroids. Distinctive, thoughtfully made and a cut above the rest in style, the HTC One M8 gathered the kind of plaudits an obscure band gets. A few things have changed since then – and I don’t realise how much until I opened the box. Erstwhile market leader Samsung, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
Angry man yelling on phone while reading vintage printer paper report. Photo by SHutterstock

LiveDrive drive by: Backup biz's price hikes will kill us, say resellers

Resellers and customers of web backup biz LiveDrive are digesting its recent sweeping price changes with varying degrees of frustration. Some say they’ll quit the service and others are seeking legal advice. As revealed last week, UK-based LiveDrive reseller Monster Cloud, which itself wholesales the online storage services to …
Paul Kunert, 20 Apr 2016

Gartner's broken out its crystal ball again. Huawei's object storage bods won't be happy

Comment Gartner's gurus have ranked the top twelve object storage suppliers in a Critical Capabilities report, with Cleversafe at the top and Huawei last. The report states: "Object storage is pervasive as the underlying platform for cloud applications that we consume in our personal lives, such as content streaming, photo sharing and …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2016

Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Interview In the UK, IT Godzilla Fujitsu is perhaps best known for its unwieldy public sector contracts, being responsible for running a sizeable chunk of the government's legacy technology. Indeed most of its UK and Ireland revenue has historically come from the public sector, some 70 per cent at the beginning of the last Parliament in …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2016
FAIL scrabble by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffdjevdet/ CC 2.0 attribution generic

Euro watchdogs give America's data-sharing Privacy Shield an 'F'

Europe's data protection authorities have graded the new Privacy Shield agreement that covers data sharing between the US and Europe a fail. In a formal response [PDF] published Wednesday by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, the influential group outlined a number of serious concerns about the agreement, including …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Fujitsu Tech Products overhauls direct sales team's pay

Fujitsu’s Technology Products Group (FTPG) says it is going to pay its end user sales team the same amount regardless of whether they transact business via resellers or cut out the middlemen. This is one of the levers the new look team team over at FTPG is pulling to grow business while containing costs, and breaking down the …
Paul Kunert, 13 Apr 2016

Cutting edge security: Expensive kit won't save you

We all want to protect our customer and employee data, but as the threat landscape changes and the publicly disclosed data breaches get increasingly larger, our approach may need to change. What constitutes "state of the art" information security in 2016? It’s tempting to create a listicle of 10 shiny new security tools that …
Danny Bradbury, 13 Apr 2016
rage meme

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

Sysadmin Blog Dear readers, I apologize in advance for the cursing, horrible metaphors, similes and so forth that will populate this blog. I am writing this after a day of dealing with a network cryptolocker outbreak and finally hitting that wall where I no longer care about anything except venting unto the world that silent rage that has …
Trevor Pott, 12 Apr 2016

Rackspace invites itself into your data centre

Rackspace will bring its cloud to you: the company has revealed a new offering whereby it will pour OpenStack into a box and run it from its own data centres, a third party's bit barn or your own premises. On-premises clouds are all the rage at present: Microsoft's AzureStack is in preview and is winning support from the likes …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2016
Terry Jones and John Cleese perform the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch

SimpliVity slips Hyper-V into its hyper-converged party

The “V” in SimpliVity now stands for Hyper-V as well as virtualisation, with the startup adding Microsoft hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and KVM use. Its OmniStack is a hyper-converged product, combining and integrating compute, network and storage with ASIC-accelerated X86 server base hardware, and, up to now, the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Apr 2016
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson

Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Apple at 40 Today marks the 40th anniversary of Apple's official establishment. Since 1976, the House that Steves Built has pushed out some of the most beloved personal electronics products in the world. There will no doubt be plenty of articles waxing poetic on the many successes that have dotted the last four decades for the Cupertino …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer

BUILD2016 Microsoft has announced an "anniversary update" to Windows 10, set for release this summer. The first release appeared in July 2015. Windows boss Terry Myerson, presenting the update at Microsoft's Build event in San Francisco, said that it is not only for PCs and tablets, but also for phones, Xbox, HoloLens (for which …
Tim Anderson, 30 Mar 2016
single pain of glass

One pane of glass to rule them all? Vanity – thy name is cloud management

Is it possible to achieve a single view of the cloud? The more cloud services that a company uses, the more complex it would seem to get. Maybe you use a bit of AWS here, some Azure there, and some Rackspace somewhere else. That might be complex enough, but add in your own on-premise cloud solutions and it gets even muddier. …
Danny Bradbury, 28 Mar 2016

HPE, Microsoft throw readies at fat $73.5m Mesosphere funding round

In Brief The snuggles between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Microsoft continue; this time with the companies getting in on the Series C funding round of cluster management startup Mesosphere. Mesosphere has managed to raise $73.5m in its Series C funding round, it announced today, bringing its total funding to just under $126m …
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Microsoft throws $$$$s at resellers who snare shiny new cloudy punters

Microsoft is again chucking wads of cash at channel types that convince entirely new customers - those not familiar with outages - to sign up to SKUs of Office 365 and CRM Online Pro. Money talks - financial encouragement is a proven method to shape the behaviour of third party sellers - and under the Sprint to the Finish …
Paul Kunert, 16 Mar 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Private Dell mostly makes PCs – and its sales of those are down

Dell isn’t exactly in rude financial health as it marches ever closer to the $60bn+ acquisition of EMC – at least, judging by P&L accounts the privately-held Texan tech firm filed with the US SEC. The mammoth Form s-4 is supposed to paint a painfully honest picture of the businesses current position and the potential risks of …
Paul Kunert, 15 Mar 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
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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
Stop Light by Horia Varlan, CC license from Flickr

Broker DP Data Systems calls time on selling grey imports

Manchester-based broker DP Data Systems will no longer trade in “grey” market tech, according to its boss. Of course, this will only be the case once a new home is found for existing inventory already in the warehouse. The company told us it has just “ceased” buying grey market kit, which IT vendors term as any product …
Paul Kunert, 07 Mar 2016

Opinion

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Chris Mellor

BTIG analysts ponder Pure's position and fall in (qualified) love

Features

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'
Kevin Turner
Last of Steve Ballmer's old guard heads for the exit