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Thanks, IoT vendors: your slack attitude will get regulators moving

Last Friday's Mirai botnet attack against Dyn must force everybody's hands – vendors, regulators, and Internet infrastructure operators. It's going to be a while before research gets as far as attribution to an attacker, but in the meantime, there's plenty of culpability to go around. Two things are clear, however: the …
Privacy image

Gartner's seers pass judgement on storage industry leaders

Gartner has published a distributed file systems and object storage magic quadrant with the top three suppliers being Dell EMC, followed by IBM and Scality. The research consultancy defines distributed file systems and object storage as "software and hardware solutions that offer object and/or scale-out file technology to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2016

You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Hacking is big news and we’re all susceptible. In the UK, hackers could face jail time under the Computer Misuse Act, but the question on many businesses’ minds will be where the liability lies if they are hacked. The list of successful mega breaches continues to grow; extra-marital affairs site Ashley Madison hit the …
Frank Jennings, 14 Oct 2016
Child in shock in front of computer. Photo by Shutterstock

Marmite's not the only national treasure hit by Brexit. Will someone think of the PCs?

Marmite-aggeddon? Blame Brexit. The implosion of the UK’s Labour Party? Blame Brexit (more so leader Jeremy Corbyn). Now it seems analysts want to put the sickly British PC market onto the list of things gone awry. The crystal ball-strokers at Gartner have forecast weak demand for traditional client devices for 2016 - …
Paul Kunert, 14 Oct 2016

The UK's 'Universal Credit mega cockup was the coalition's NPfIT' - Margaret Hodge

When Margaret Hodge was appointed chair of the UK Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in 2010, she was the first Labour leader since 1997 – as its head is always drawn from the main opposition party. In 2015 her colleague Meg Hillier became the new PAC chair, with all indications so far suggesting her successor will also be …
Kat Hall, 14 Oct 2016

Barracuda's satisfying cloud meal offsets appliances dip

Barracuda can smile as another solid quarter's work, the appliance of cloud science as we might say, brings in revenue growth and profits. Total revenue for the cloud-using, data protection and security business grew 12 per cent year-over-year to $87.9m, compared to the estimated $81m at the end of the last quarter. Revenues …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2016
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC

British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Comment “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means." So British Prime Minister Theresa May told her party’s conference last week. Home secretary Amber Rudd laid out plans at the conference to make it harder for British employers to hire …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Oct 2016
MP Margaret Hodge in the Commons

'Facebook and eBay need to be subject to greater scrutiny' - Margaret Hodge

Former chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge has renewed calls for greater transparency of global companies' tax affairs - following revelations of Facebook and eBay's recent tax affairs. Companies House filings revealed this week that Facebook's UK business generated an £11.3m tax credit last year while …
Kat Hall, 11 Oct 2016

Lenovo grabs spotlight, hunts for sales uplift after server build shift

Lenovo claimed it has yet to feel the commercial benefit of putting local server assembly into the hands of a contract manufacturer in Europe because the market has “tanked” - the cloud saw to that, an exec has said. The Chinese firm shifted rack and tower production to Flextronics in Hungary from May and will move over more …
Paul Kunert, 07 Oct 2016
Slippery slope sign

Fujitsu to staff: Toe the party line over this PC sale talks story

Fujitsu might well be talking to interested parties, including Lenovo, about offloading its withering PC business but has asked staff to maintain the party line on its “absolute commitment” to customers. The Japanese HQ’d organisation yesterday issued a statement following reports in the Nikkei Asian Review that it was locked …
Paul Kunert, 07 Oct 2016

Device-as-a-Service to make life simple? Nope

Canalys Channels Forum 2016 There isn’t much mystery in PCs these days - and not much margin either - but that could all be about to change if HP Inc’s prophecy on the bewildering range of payment options for device services proves right. The firm rolled out out a “from birth to burial” device-as-a-service package for customers in the summer and it is …
Paul Kunert, 07 Oct 2016

BlackBerry: You can't just roll up and make one

Interview BlackBerry says it won’t license its brand and security hardened Android “to any Tom Dick and Harry” as it tries to maintain the value of its brand. The BlackBerry senior VP for sales for its Mobility division Alex Thurber - stopping to talk to El Reg as he sailed through London on his honeymoon - also told us BlackBerry had …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Oct 2016
Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In the name of love, don't scalp your U2 aka Dreamfest tickets, warns Salesforce

For the second time in three weeks, delegates are flooding into San Francisco for a big conference – last month it was Oracle OpenWorld and now the Salesforce Dreamforce conference kicks off on Tuesday. Dreamforce sold out early this year, with the $1,799 tickets getting snapped up more quickly than expected. As with anything …
Iain Thomson, 03 Oct 2016
Binary data/big data conceptual illustration. Illustration via Shutterstock

Microsoft boasts its cloudy Hadoop big data mill's faster than yours

Microsoft has overhauled its cloud-hosted Azure HDInsight Hadoop big data mill with extra security in the shape of enhanced authentication and identity management features plus a claimed 25 times performance boost in crunching big data queries. Azure HDInsight is a service that lets users deploy and manage Apache Hadoop …
Dan Robinson, 30 Sep 2016
Pot calling the kettle black

Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Salesforce has called on the European Commission to block Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn. A widely circulated statement from Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton says “By gaining ownership of LinkedIn's unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Sep 2016
Locker room jocks photo via Shutterstock

Oracle's Coach Larry needs Microsoft plays to beat Amazon

Analysis SAP. Crack! IBM. Snap! Salesforce. Bang! Workday, I can see you - come over here... In the locker room that is Oracle’s quarterly conference calls with Wall Street, somebody’s ass is always on the receiving end of a sharp thwack from the towel of head coach Larry Ellison. Ellison has zinged his verbal towel off many a noble …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Sep 2016

HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

HP Inc is trying to spin its way out of the mess it created when it decided it would be a fantastic idea to brick unofficial and refilled printer cartridges. Jon Flaxman, COO of the printers'n'PCs chunk of the former Hewlett Packard, confirmed on Wednesday his company really did in fact issue a firmware update in March that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2016

Google, Dropbox the latest US tech giants to sign up to the Privacy Shield

Internet giant Google has signed up to the Privacy Shield, a framework designed to facilitate the transfer of personal data between the EU and US by businesses. Data storage and software provider Dropbox has also self-certified under the Privacy Shield. The companies are the latest major US technology businesses to sign up to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Sep 2016
HP 3D printer

HP Inc: No DRM in our 3D printers, we swear (unlike our 2D ones)

While HP Inc is getting a lot of flack over its DRM lockdown on 2D printing consumables, in the 3D world the company wants to address that it won't be setting the prices on consumables. Speaking at the 50th anniversary party for HP Labs, Tim Weber, global head of 3D materials for the firm, said that HP Inc would not be the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2016

EFF dinks HP Inc finks in rinky-dink ink stink

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has written to HP Inc demanding it reverse its attempt to prevent any third-party ink cartridges or refilled cartridges from working in its Officejet Pro printers. HP Inc, and many other printer makers, have traditionally sent users a Doomsday warning message when anything but their own …
John Oates, 27 Sep 2016

NetApp facelift: FAS hardware refresh and a little nip ONTAP

NetApp has comprehensively refreshed its all-flash FAS and hybrid FAS arrays, adding performance, capacity and scalability upgrades, and supporting 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 40GbitE connectivity. ONTAP also gets upgraded, with Azure support for ONTAP Cloud This follows on from the E-Series launch of the entry-level all-flash …
Chris Mellor, 26 Sep 2016

'Faceless' Liberty Global has 'sucked the very soul' out of Virgin Media

Exclusive Virgin Media staff have voiced widespread discontent over its gobble by Liberty Global, with one describing their new corporate daddy as "faceless change drivers with no concern for the Virgin values," according to a Q&A with senior management this week seen by The Register. The questions, which were part of the company's …
Kat Hall, 23 Sep 2016
Sheaf of £50 notes poised on the rim of a toilet bowl as toilet is flushed. Collage of two photos sourced from Shutterstock

Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Review It’s impossible to read former bollocker-in-chief Margaret Hodge’s account of being chair of the government's spending watchdog without repeatedly banging your head against the wall. Hodge presided over the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee between 2010-2015, during the coalition government’s austerity programme. …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016

HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

A Dutch ink seller is accusing HP Inc of deliberately programming its printers to reject refurbished cartridges with a covert firmware update. claims that the PC and printer half of the HP split-up planned months ago to have its printers spontaneously spit out third-party and refurbished cartridges from September 13 …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Sep 2016

Want a Dell printer? Unlucky – they've just stopped selling them

Ahead of the mega-merger with EMC, Dell has decided to quit selling printers as part of its hardware portfolio while its imaging business is being scaled back. Dell's decision to quit the printer business in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific Japan regions was first noted by Stuart Gilbertson over at Consider IT. Gilbertson wrote that …
Oracle's cloud plan

Spoiler alert: What Oracle is going to announce today

OpenWorld It's that time of the year again. Oracle's OpenWorld is in San Francisco. Supremo Larry Ellison has given his Sunday keynote. Here's a summary of what the database giant is going to reveal today in easily digestible chunks. And, yeah, warning: everything is now cloud. Anything you'd call an application or a software service is …
Chris Williams, 19 Sep 2016
EU flag photo via Shutterstock

Brexit will happen. The EU GDPR will happen. You can't avoid either

Article 50, the process for Britain’s formal withdrawal from the European Union, is looming. Upon the conclusion of Article 50, data centres resident in Britain will no longer be subject to EU data protection rules. Today, UK data centres are bound by the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/C), which was in turn based on the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 Sep 2016
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

Exploding public cloud just getting bigger, will be worth $200bn in 2016 – Gartner

The global public cloud services market is set to grow by more than 17 per cent in 2016. According to Gartner, cloud services were worth $178bn in 2015. This is set to increase to $208.6bn in 2016, higher than the nominal GDP of Portugal. This growth will be driven by cloud system infrastructure services, which are projected …

Seagate sued by its own staff for leaking personal info to identity thieves

Seagate is trying to fight off a lawsuit filed by employees whose personal information was lost when the storage giant was hit with a phishing attack. The company is in the midst of a hearing over whether the aggrieved workers have grounds to sue their employer for negligence after someone in human resources was duped into …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016

McAfee-the-man wants McAfee-the-brand, Chipzilla says no

John McAfee wants to put his name on a business again, and that's got Intel hot under the collar, so it's off to court they go. Documents filed (PDF) in the Manhattan federal court over the weekend tell us that in June, Intel wrote to McAfee-the-man's investmentvehicle, MGT Capital Investments, telling it not to try changing …

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

The Irish government formally decided to appeal the European Commission's $14.5 billion back-tax demand on Friday. "There are some very important principles at stake in this case," said the country's finance minister Michael Noonan. "A robust legal challenge before the courts is essential to defend Ireland's interests." "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Sep 2016

UK nuke warhead builders shift IT gear into public cloud

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) is moving some of its internal tech to the public cloud, in a move to "embrace the opportunities that modern IT can bring". The AWE has a £1bn-per-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence lasting 25 years covering the design, manufacture and support of warheads for Blighty's nuclear …
Kat Hall, 01 Sep 2016

VMware content to run a small and beautiful cloud, with friendly help

VMWORLD 2016 VMware's own cloud is now profitable and spinning out innovations the rest of VMware can use, according to Ajay Patel, Virtzilla's exec responsible for all product development and operations for vCloud Air. In the early 2010s VMware's cloud ambitions saw it pursue a strategy of a world-girdling bit barn build, albeit colocated …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft releases firmware fix for faulty Surface Pro 3 batteries

Frustrated Surface Pro 3 customers unable to properly charge their batteries have been offered a fix by Microsoft. Last month Microsoft 'fessed up to its battery woes, saying they were down to software problems rather than a hardware fault. Some Surface Pro 3 devices have been working as long as the power is plugged in, but …
Kat Hall, 30 Aug 2016

NHS injects tender for PC and peripherals kit with £500m

The UK's NHS has a £500m budget to burn on PCs, printers and monitors in the latest mega framework tender to be dangled in front of ravenous tech suppliers. A ten lot agreement including desktops, lappies, tabs, peripherals, and warranties has been issued by the NHS Shared Business Services - the joint venture between DfH and …
Paul Kunert, 25 Aug 2016

Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

Interview One month after Theresa May swept into government, former culture and digital minister Ed Vaizey is relatively sanguine about getting the sack. "The reason for me not being in my job is due to political reasons ... I didn't have perhaps enough credentials for her [sic] to stay in my post or even stay in government. Others did …
Kat Hall, 23 Aug 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Adobe stops software licence audits in Americas, Europe

Adobe has stopped doing software licence audits in most parts of the world, according to Gartner research director Stephen White. White recently blogged about Adobe's decision, writing that “These programs were closed in the North America, Japan and Latin America markets as of November 2015. Closure of the EMEA program is …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016

Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

Microsoft has updated its privacy policy and, for the first time, added a section devoted to “Enterprise Products.” The new section is the listed last in Microsoft's privacy policy and covers “those Microsoft products and related offerings that that are offered or designed primarily for use by organizations and developers.” …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016

HPE CEO Meg Whitman endorses Hillary Clinton, dumps on Trump

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman has endorsed Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States. Whitman penned a statement on Facebook in which she unloaded on Trump. “As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter,” she opens, before saying “To vote Republican out of …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2016
Boss leans back comfortably in desk. Pic via Shutterstock

HPE loses its cloud and storage heads: No Goel, Vrij packs up, Fink runs

What's going in HPE? It has lost a cloud boss, a storage boss and VP for Americas sales in one day, and set up a new cloud division in a focus-sharpening exercise. Manish Goel, SVP and GM for HPE's storage business has gone. Bill Hilf, SVP and GM of HPE Cloud has gone. Robert Vrij, sales managing director for the Americas has …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update, showing the new three-column Start menu

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

The Big Review One year after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, bringing new features as well as usability tweaks to the operating system. Windows 10 was always more than just another release. Notable innovations include the concept of Windows-as-a-service, with regular updates (free for consumer …
Tim Anderson, 02 Aug 2016

RM to resell Apple, Lenovo, HP, Dell to YOUR children

With revenues down and education spending stuck in the doldrums, supplier RM has hit upon a novel idea to expand - reselling low-margin kit from the vendors that helped sink its own hardware production line. The one-time system builder powered down its own manufacturing facility in Oxford in late 2013 after mounting losses, …
Paul Kunert, 01 Aug 2016

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Vid Microsoft is laying off a further 2,850 smartphone and sales staffers on top of the 1,850 workers it axed in May. The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its …
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

Europe gives Privacy Shield one year to work

Europe's data protection authorities will hold fire for one year on the new Privacy Shield agreement, withholding any potential legal challenges until mid-2017. In a statement [PDF] by the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), the influential body noted it was still unhappy with the final text of the agreement – which replaces the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2016
STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …
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


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
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


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe