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Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

CopyOpen-source software advocate Eric S Raymond has penned an argument that the triumph of Linux on the desktop is imminent because Microsoft will soon tire of Windows.Raymond's argument, late last week, kicked off with some frank admiration for Windows Subsystem For Linux, the tech that lets Linux binaries run under Windows. He noted that Microsoft is making kernel contributions just to improve WSL.Raymond is also an admirer of software called "", an emulation layer that allows Windows games distributed by Steam to run under Linux.Raymond rated Proton as "not perfect yet, but it's getting...

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Simon Sharwood
2d ago
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Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

CopyA UK government system to avoid miles of road traffic congestion in the county of Kent as the Brexit transition period comes to an end will rely on software which is not yet in its beta version.Following the announcement this week that the government would introduce to ensure heavy goods vehicles travelling to the port of Dover and the Folkestone Eurotunnel crossing do not set off without the proper paperwork, the transport industry was quick to point out Whitehall had not begun testing the technology on which they would depend.The business-as-usual Brexit transition period is set to...

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Lindsay Clark
5d ago
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Microsoft sprinkles a little Skype Meet Now integration on Windows 10 for Insiders

Microsoft sprinkles a little Skype Meet Now integration on Windows 10 for Insiders

CopyMicrosoft has sneaked some extra Skype integration into Windows 10, coming hot on the heels of the inevitable fix for the final version of the October 2020 update.A lucky subset of Windows 10 Dev Channel Insiders last night got their hands on Microsoft's latest flailing swipe at Zoom with a Skype "Meet Now" icon in the taskbar notification area. The feature, added in , gives users the ability to kick off a video call without requiring a sign-up.Skype Meet Now turned up in web guise and it is with a grim inevitability that the feature has found its way into Windows 10. It is certain that...

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Richard Speed
5d ago
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NASA's hefty Martian rover will use an AI brain on a robot arm to map out signs of ancient life on Red Planet

NASA's hefty Martian rover will use an AI brain on a robot arm to map out signs of ancient life on Red Planet

Perseverance, NASA's latest Martian rover, will extend its two-metre robotic arm and use an AI-powered control system to carefully aim X-ray beams at ancient rock samples that might contain fossilised microbes. The instrument known as PIXL, which stands for Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry, shoots X-rays to analyse chemical compounds on the Red Planet. The spectrometer's beam has been designed to be narrow enough to detect features that are as small as a grain of salt, and it will map out detailed textures in soil and rocks. The heightened precision means that PIXL has to...

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Katyanna Quach
6d ago
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Microsoft leaks 6.5TB in Bing search data via unsecured Elastic server. *Insert 'Wow... that much?' joke here*

Microsoft leaks 6.5TB in Bing search data via unsecured Elastic server. *Insert 'Wow... that much?' joke here*

CopyMicrosoft exposed a 6.5TB Elastic server to the world, including search terms, location coordinates, device ID data, and a partial list of which URLs were visited, earlier this month.According from security site WizCase, the server was password-protected until around 10 September, when "the authentication was removed".WizCase code-prober Ata Hakcil discovered the leak on 12 September. The data appears to be generated by the Bing mobile app, which promises users "Getting rewarded is easy, just search with the Bing," and has been downloaded more than 10 million times from Google's Play...

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Tim Anderson
7d ago
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Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

CopyThe British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) has told American aviation regulators that the Boeing 737 Max needs better fixes for its infamous software, warning that a plane crash which killed could happen again.Airlines, in contrast, are broadly happy with proposed changes to the Boeing 737 Max, even as trade unions bellow at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that more needs to be done.In submitted to the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), BALPA warned that one of the proposed workarounds for a future MCAS failure could lead to a repeat of .MCAS – Manoeuvring...

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Gareth Corfield
7d ago
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Tesla to build cars made of batteries and hit $25k price tag about three years down the road

Tesla to build cars made of batteries and hit $25k price tag about three years down the road

CopyTesla will make cars out of batteries and says doing so is the way to cut electric car costs to $25,000.The company on Tuesday staged its annual general meeting and followed it with a “battery day”. The event was a peculiar spectacle as it took place in a parking lot and social distancing requirements meant that attendees drove to the event and then sat in their cars during presentations. Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and other execs presented from a stage backed by a colossal screen. Attendees sounded their horns in lieu of applause or when asked by Musk if he was audible.The event was...

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Simon Sharwood
7d ago
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.uk registry operator Nominet responds to renewed criticism – by silencing its critics

.uk registry operator Nominet responds to renewed criticism – by silencing its critics

CopyIn an extraordinary display of raw political power, the organisation in charge of the .uk internet registry has responded to growing criticism of its actions by silencing critics.Speaking at Nominet’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday morning, the organisation’s CEO Russell Haworth by announcing he was shutting down its internal web forum – the only means of independent communication between members – effective immediately.The meeting was held virtually, and members were communicating with one another on the forum at the time, including putting together a list of questions to ask...

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Kieren McCarthy
7d ago
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Financial Reporting Council slaps Autonomy auditor Deloitte with £15m fine over audit 'misconduct'

Financial Reporting Council slaps Autonomy auditor Deloitte with £15m fine over audit 'misconduct'

CopyDeloitte has been fined £15m by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for “serious and serial failures” in its auditing of British software company Autonomy prior to the latter’s acquisition by HP for $11bn.The FRC not only fined the audit company £15m but also penalised senior audit partner Richard Knights half a million pounds, suspending him from membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales for five years. He had worked on Autonomy’s accounts between 2005 and 2010.Knights’ fellow auditor, Nigel Mercer, who took over from Knights in 2010 as “audit...

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Gareth Corfield
Sep 17
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Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

CopyA US academic has revealed the existence of 2.4-million-person database he says was compiled by a Chinese company known to supply intelligence, military, and security agencies. The researcher alleges the purpose of the database is enabling influence operations to be conducted against prominent and influential people outside China.The academic is , an associate professor at the Fulbright University Vietnam.And he says the company is company is named "Shenzhen Zhenhua".Security researcher Robert Potter and Balding co-authored a [PDF] claiming the trove is known as the “Overseas Key...

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Simon Sharwood
Sep 15
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Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a 'complete virtualization stack' with Linux and Hyper-V

Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a 'complete virtualization stack' with Linux and Hyper-V

CopyMicrosoft has submitted a series of patches to the Linux kernel with its aim being "to create a complete virtualization stack with Linux and Microsoft Hypervisor."The are designated "RFC" (Request for comments) and are a minimal implementation presented for discussion.The key change is that with the patched kernel, Linux will run as the Hyper-V root partition. In the , the root partition has direct access to hardware and creates child partitions for the VMs it hosts. "Just think of it like Xen's ," said Microsoft principal software engineer Wei Liu.Hyper-V's architecture is more similar...

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Tim Anderson
Sep 15
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Surprise! Voting app maker roasted by computer boffins for poor security now begs US courts to limit flaw finding

Surprise! Voting app maker roasted by computer boffins for poor security now begs US courts to limit flaw finding

CopyVoatz, the maker of a blockchain-based mobile election voting app for poor security earlier this year, has urged the US Supreme Court not to change the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a law that critics say inhibits security research because it's overly broad.The app maker filed an amicus brief [] on Thursday in Van Buren v. United States in support of the US government, which seeks to uphold the 2017 conviction of former Georgia police officer Nathan Van Buren under the CFAA.Van Buren was convicted of violating the CFAA for conducting a computer search for a license plate...

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Thomas Claburn
Sep 4
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There's a battery-free Game Boy that runs solely on the power of sunlight and the speed of your button-mashing

There's a battery-free Game Boy that runs solely on the power of sunlight and the speed of your button-mashing

CopyVideo Engineers have overhauled the classic handheld 8-bit Game Boy to include solar panels on the front and an internal electromagnetic coil to generate electrical energy from button presses. Not so much batteries not included as batteries not needed.Unfortunately, the console is not for sale and it’s not officially affiliated with Nintendo. Instead, it’s a research project that seems to be intended as some sort of a metaphorical middle finger to modern IoT gizmos.“Our work is the antithesis of the Internet of Things, which has many devices with batteries in them,” Josiah Hester, an...

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Katyanna Quach
Sep 4
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Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

CopyThe UK has slipped down the global broadband speed rankings and now sits at 47th place, according to from Cable.co.uk.Blighty's broadband speeds measured 37.82Mbps on average, far below the majority of its Western European neighbours.Topping the table was the tiny principality of Liechtenstein, which boasted average speeds of 229.98Mbps. Also performing strongly were the crown territories of Jersey and Gibraltar, which ranked second and fourth respectively.Funnily enough, there's a weird trend for nations popular with non-doms to have nippy internet. Who took third place? You guessed...

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Matthew Hughes
Sep 3
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As Amazon pulls union-buster job ads, workers describe a 'Mad Max' atmosphere – unsafe, bullying, abusive

As Amazon pulls union-buster job ads, workers describe a 'Mad Max' atmosphere – unsafe, bullying, abusive

CopySpecial report Palettes stacked 10 high when the old rules said a maximum of five; policies to thwart the spread of the COVID-19 virus not followed and co-workers only informed about positive tests a month later; punishing work rates that are constantly changed and used as a weapon; write-ups as retaliation for complaining about racist behavior; and serious injuries dismissed with a Tylenol and an ice-pack.This is the reality of life inside an Amazon warehouse, according to workers The Register spoke to this week.The same day we published a story on a report by the Open Markets...

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Kieren McCarthy
Sep 2
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IT blunder permanently erases 145,000 users' personal chats in KPMG's Microsoft Teams deployment – memo

IT blunder permanently erases 145,000 users' personal chats in KPMG's Microsoft Teams deployment – memo

CopyExclusive The personal chat histories of 145,000 Microsoft Teams users at KPMG were inadvertently and permanently deleted this month, thanks to an IT blunder.That's according to an internal email by Global CIO John Applegate, seen by The Register today, to other IT leaders within the organization on Friday.Evidently, the accountancy giant's Global Technology & Knowledge (GT&K) group attempted to remove a single user's account from an active retention policy on Saturday, August 15. But the operation didn't go as planned.This error resulted in the deletion of chat history from end users...

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Thomas Claburn
Aug 24
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Brave takes brave stand against Google's plan to turn websites into ad-blocker-thwarting Web Bundles

Brave takes brave stand against Google's plan to turn websites into ad-blocker-thwarting Web Bundles

CopyA proposed Google web specification threatens to turn websites into inscrutable digital blobs that resist content blocking and code scrutiny, according to Peter Snyder, senior privacy researcher at Brave Software.On Tuesday, Snyder published a warning that Web Bundles threaten user agency and web code observability. He raised this issue , noting that Web Bundles would prevent ad blockers from blocking unwanted subresources. He said at the time he was to address concerns but evidently not much progress has been made.His company makes the Brave web browser, which is based on Google's...

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Thomas Claburn
Aug 27
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Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy

Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy

CopyFacebook has apologized to its users and advertisers for being forced to respect people’s privacy in an upcoming update to Apple’s mobile operating system – and promised it will do its best to invade their privacy on other platforms.The antisocial network that makes almost all of its revenue from building a vast, constantly updated database of netizens that it then sells access to, is upset that iOS 14, due out next month, will require apps to ask users for permission before Facebook grabs data from their phones.“This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to...

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Kieren McCarthy
Aug 27
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Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles

Um, almost the entire Scots Wikipedia was written by someone with no idea of the language – 10,000s of articles

CopyIn an extraordinary and somewhat devastating discovery, it turns out virtually the entire Scots version of Wikipedia, comprising more than 57,000 articles, was written, edited or overseen by a netizen who clearly had nae the slightest idea about the language.The user is not only a prolific contributor, they are an administrator of , having created, modified or guided the vast majority of its pages in more than 200,000 edits. The result is tens of thousands of articles in English with occasional, and often ridiculous, letter changes – such as replacing a “y” with “ee.”That’s right,...

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Kieren McCarthy
Aug 26
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If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

An update to the Android flavor of Firefox left fuming punters thinking a bad experimental build had been pushed to their smartphones. In fact, this was a deliberate software release. A Reg reader yesterday alerted us to an August 20 version bump that was causing so many problems, our tipster thought it was a beta that had gone seriously awry. "To sum it up, on 20th of August, Firefox 79 was unexpectedly forced on a large batch of Firefox 68 Android users without any warning, way to opt out or roll back," our reader reported. "A lot got broken in the process: the user interface, tabs,...

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Shaun Nichols
Aug 25
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Start Me Up: 25 years ago this week, Windows 95 launched and, for a brief moment, Microsoft was almost cool

Start Me Up: 25 years ago this week, Windows 95 launched and, for a brief moment, Microsoft was almost cool

CopyComment Twenty-five years ago on Monday arguably the most consequential event in modern computing history happened: the release of Windows 95. Let’s take a quick trip back in time.Bill Clinton was US president and the World-Wide-Web-era of the internet was in its infancy; there was war in Bosnia; Oasis and Blur were locked in a fierce battle of the bands in the UK; TV comedy Seinfeld was unstoppable; and newcomer Friends had just finished its somewhat disappointing first season.Computers were very much with us, though less than a quarter of households in America, for one, had a PC....

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Kieren McCarthy
Aug 25
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Whoops, our bad, we may have 'accidentally' let Google Home devices record your every word, sound – oops

Whoops, our bad, we may have 'accidentally' let Google Home devices record your every word, sound – oops

CopyIn brief Your Google Home speaker may have been quietly recording sounds around your house without your permission or authorization, it was revealed this week.The Chocolate Factory admitted it had accidentally turned on a feature that allowed its voice-controlled AI-based assistant to activate by itself and record its surroundings. Normally, the device only starts actively listening in and making a note of what it hears after it has heard wake words, such as “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google,” for privacy reasons. Prior to waking, it's constantly listening out for those words, but is not...

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Aug 8
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Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s receive critical software updates over 3.5" floppy disks

Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s receive critical software updates over 3.5" floppy disks

CopyDEF CON Boeing 747-400s still use floppy disks for loading critical navigation databases, Pen Test Partners has revealed to the infosec community after poking about one of the recently abandoned aircraft.The eye-catching factoid emerged during a DEF CON video interview of PTP's Alex Lomas, where the man himself gave a walkthrough of a 747-400, its avionics bay and the flight deck.Although airliners are not normally available to curious infosec researchers, a certain UK-based Big Airline's gave Pen Test Partners a unique opportunity to get aboard one and have a poke about before the...

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Aug 10
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Intel NDA blueprints – 20GB of source code, schematics, specs, docs – spill onto web from partners-only vault

Intel NDA blueprints – 20GB of source code, schematics, specs, docs – spill onto web from partners-only vault

CopyUpdated Switzerland-based IT consultant Tillie Kottmann on Thursday published a trove of confidential Intel technical material, code, and documents related to various processors and chipsets."They were given to me by an anonymous source who breached them earlier this year, more details about this will be published soon," Kottmann on Twitter, suggesting someone had broken into Intel's systems and siphoned off the material. More leaks of secret Intel documents are promised.A spokesperson for Intel told us the information was likely taken from its Resource and Design Center, which is a...

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Aug 6
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Network sniffers find COVID-19 did not break the internet – though it was behind a massive jump in outages

Network sniffers find COVID-19 did not break the internet – though it was behind a massive jump in outages

CopyGlobal internet disruptions went up 63 per cent after February and remained elevated throughout the first half of 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to net and cloud researcher ThousandEyes.In March, as much of the world entered pandemic-related lockdowns, the number of outages across ISPs, cloud providers, content delivery networks, and domain name systems hit around 1,200 globally, said.Under normal conditions, the number of outages ranges from 700 to 800 per month. By June, they had fallen back but not to pre-pandemic levels: there were still 44 per cent more than in...

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Aug 5
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