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US Homeland Security installs AI cameras at the White House, Google tries to make translation less sexist -

Plus: European AI researchers to create a new lab

Roundup Hello, welcome to this week's AI roundup.…

(Sat, 08 Dec 2018 14:01:06 GMT)

Bethesda blunders, IRS sounds the alarm, China ransomware, and more -

Plus, US Congress wants more cybersec training, better breach laws

Roundup This week, we saw Linux get pwned, a teen hacker go down, and Julian Assange vowing to stay right where he is.…

(Sat, 08 Dec 2018 09:04:07 GMT)

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire -

'Sun in a box' system promises power storage from molten silicon

Energy boffins have proposed an alternative to lithium-ion batteries: Instead of costly electrochemical cells, which have been known to burst into flames, they have devised a "sun in a box" to store energy for power utilities.…

(Sat, 08 Dec 2018 06:40:49 GMT)

In case you're not already sick of Spectre... Boffins demo Speculator tool for sniffing out data-leaking CPU holes -

First proof-of-concept, SplitSpectre, requires fewer instructions in victim

Analysis You've patched your Intel, AMD, Power, and Arm gear to crush those pesky data-leaking speculative execution processor bugs, right? Good, because IBM eggheads in Switzerland have teamed up with Northeastern University boffins in the US to cook up Spectre exploit code they've dubbed SplitSpectre.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 23:59:13 GMT)

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport -

It's the least they could do. Really. The bare minimum

Hotel-chain turned data faucet Marriott says it will help some customers cover the cost of replacing stolen documents.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 23:35:19 GMT)

The curious tale of ICANN, Verisign, claims of subterfuge, and the $135m .Web dot-word -

DNS overseer faces probe over decision to award TLD to dot-com giant

Analysis An ugly struggle over the .Web top-level domain may soon spill into public view again, after one of the companies vying for control of the dot-word demanded an independent review of DNS overlord ICANN's handling of the saga.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 22:46:16 GMT)

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit -

DEA gets down and dirty with new surveillance kit

Next time you're closing a big drug deal you may want to watch the cleaner. Or more specifically their vacuum cleaner.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 22:29:12 GMT)

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet' -

Can't really blame him for turning down the 'probably won't be executed' pact

Wikileaks alumnus Julian Assange has apparently turned down a proposed deal that would have seen him leave the Ecuadorian embassy he has been camped out in for over six years.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 21:55:57 GMT)

Linux.org domain hacked, plastered with trolling, filth and anti-transgender vandalism -

Web admin blames public Whois and lack of 2FA

The Linux.org domain was hijacked on Friday morning, with the hacker plastering the message "G3T 0WNED L1NUX N3RDZ" complete with expletives and a very NSFW image (a hairy asshole).…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 21:12:31 GMT)

It's a, it's a, it's a SYN flood: Quick, ditch that packet -

Networking nuggets from the week that was

Networks roundup What if all you had to do to block SYN-based denial-of-service attacks was drop the first incoming SYN packet?…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 18:30:05 GMT)

Bloodhound SSC reaches the end of the road for want of £25m -

1,000mph dreams dashed as administrators throw in the towel

Bloodhound, a British project to strap a rocket to a car and fling it at the horizon, is officially dead, as administrators finally pulled the plug on the venture.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:30:13 GMT)

Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail -

So much for the Apophis Squad's Twitter boasts

A teenage bomb hoaxer from Watford who taunted the UK's National Crime Agency on Twitter while pretending to be a hacker crew called Apophis Squad has been jailed for three years.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:30:12 GMT)

MAMR Mia – it's not just WD: Toshiba's popped to the microwave too -

Oscillating microwaves reduce coercivity, permit small area bit writing

Toshiba, like Western Digital, is going to use Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) to escape the inability of current PMR tech to go beyond 15-16TB disk drive capacity.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:57:13 GMT)

Cambridge Analytica's administrators misled judge, High Court told -

Eyebrow-raising claim will be heard in full early next year

Lawyers for a man who sued the Cambridge Analytica group for £20,000 claiming misuse of his personal data have suggested the controversial data-mining biz misled a High Court judge when the companies were put into administration.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:41:10 GMT)

Red Hat fiddles with OpenShift Dedicated and lures customers with price cuts -

Bring your own AWS. Or let us take care of everything. For a fee

The team at Red Hat has continued its toiling in the Big Blue shadow of IBM, and has churned out some tweaks to its OpenShift Dedicated platform and also sliced a few prices for the Kubernetes service.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:07:12 GMT)

Google: I don't know why you say Allo, I say goodbye -

Sidelined messaging app given end-of-life date of March 2019

It's decluttering time at Google again, and the Chocolate Factory has decided to chuck its Allo messaging client into the skip.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:55:12 GMT)

UK Supreme Court considers whether spy court should be immune to legal probes -

Privacy International lays out its case to El Reg

The UK's highest court has this week heard arguments in Privacy International's long-running attempt to challenge decisions made by Britain's shadowy spying oversight court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT).…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:25:04 GMT)

HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale -

Don't worry, Red Hat. We're sure Big Blue will love you more than it did Lotus

Indian software outfit HCL Technologies is snapping up $1.8bn worth of IBM's software in a deal expected to close by the middle of 2019.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:37:57 GMT)

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated -

A second put aside for Doresa and Milena

Clocks on a pair of Galileo satellites have given physicists the first refinement of gravitational redshift since 1976.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 10:52:06 GMT)

You've patched your cloud software, and feeling smug when... bang! A legacy edge device bricks itself -

Don't want to be an enterprise id-IoT? Time to look at process

Backgrounder Sitting on many enterprise networks is a constellation of equipment. A lot will be legacy network-connected industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gear, together with some relatively new IIoT gear installed within the last few years as a move to what has been sweepingly called the "digitalisation" of business.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 10:10:07 GMT)

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers -

Incompetence is a kind of malware

Comment It's a bit of a cliche that "everything's connected", but O2's stunning outage yesterday – chalked up by Swedish kitmaker Ericsson to an expired software certificate – is a reminder of how true that is.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 09:42:10 GMT)

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics -

What's the control panel? Okay. And what's the start menu? Right. And what's this big button here?

On Call To no one’s surprise, Friday has arrived again, and brings with it On Call, El Reg’s weekly foray into the best (and the worst) technical problems our readers have helped solve over the years.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 08:02:12 GMT)

You're legit and you know you are... Thanks to chanting racist footie fans, linking to dodgy stuff isn't necessarily illegal (well, in Europe) -

Court of Human Rights weighs in on libel hyperlink brouhaha

The complex legal headache of linking to controversial material on the internet has been given additional, but qualified, protections by the European Court of Human Rights.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 07:16:08 GMT)

Forget ripping off brains for AI. Butterflies and worms could lead us to self-repairing intelligent robots, says prof -

'It’s clear that intelligent behavior doesn’t always require a brain'

The inner designs of today's artificial intelligence are often inspired by the human brain, yet there other biological structures perhaps better suited to crafting next-gen machine-learning software and hardware.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:29:12 GMT)

Microsoft says it's time to get serious about facial recognition rules: 'Laws and regulations are indispensable' -

Really, you all, stop it! Hey, Amazon, what's going on back there? Enough! Cut that out!

Microsoft's president has issued a clarion call for more government regulation in response to the rapid evolution of facial recognition technology.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 05:26:12 GMT)

Kubernetes, welcome to the coin mines. Crooks dig into open containers to craft crypto-cash -

Lock down your installations and APIs, or prepare to be hijacked for funbux and giggles

Swiping CPU cycles from Kubernetes container clusters to mine crypto-coins is the latest rage among cybercrooks.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 01:22:00 GMT)

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time -

Ring in the new year with some of those backdoors, developers

Congratulations, Australia: somehow after chaotic scenes in parliament, the government last night managed to secure after-the-bell passage of its encryption-busting eavesdropping legislation.…

(Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:30:37 GMT)

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine -

Cutting Edge technology, literally

Microsoft on Thursday said it intends to use the open-source Chromium browser engine in the desktop version of its Edge browser, promising the two per cent of global internet users who favor Edge an improved web experience.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:03:49 GMT)

Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request -

Beijing demands US 'correct' Meng detainment pronto

The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou earlier this week is sending shockwaves through both the US and China.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:33:55 GMT)

And the next 7nm laptop processor will be designed by In, er, AM, um, Qualcomm: The 64-bit Arm Snapdragon 8CX -

The X is for extreme. Dude?

Updated The mobile world is fast on the heels of the laptop world. Qualcomm, the designer of Snapdragon processors primarily for smartphones and tablets, today teased the 8CX: a fanless 64-bit Arm-compatible 7nm system-on-chip for notebooks.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:00:12 GMT)

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention -

For one week only, Ohio students can sate crackling craving for a mere $1

Lovers of pork products rejoice! There is now a vending machine from which you can indulge in porcine pleasure until the, er, pigs come home. The bad news? This is only happening in the US... for now.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:30:12 GMT)

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate -

Swede Jesus!

Ericsson says an expired software certificate caused the outage that left tens of millions in the UK unable to call or text from their mobile phones, nor use 4G connections, on Thursday.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:20:37 GMT)

Cloudera boss claims Hortonworks wedding planning is ahead of schedule -

Says no one has bad word to say about tie-in with former Hadoop rival

Plans for the merger between former Hadoop-flingers Cloudera and Hortonworks are ahead of schedule, Cloudera boss Tom Reilly has said.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:30:14 GMT)

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers -

Jeff Bezos' brown box empire slammed for failing to protect employees

Amazon has once again been slammed for conditions workers face in its warehouses after a robot in a US site popped a can of bear repellant, hospitalising 24 staff.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 18:30:11 GMT)

Get real! Microsoft CTO of AI quits Redmond for real estate biz -

Joseph Sirosh has left the building

The office of CTO for AI at Microsoft now has a stonking great “vacant” sign plastered on it, as previous incumbent Joseph Sirosh this week trotted off to become CTO of Compass, a New York-based real-estate outfit.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:30:12 GMT)

Capita: We are seeking staff to join our board. Just two please -

Imagine the kind of luxury custard creams you'd get at that meeting, right proles?

You've worked at Capita for at least two years, have seen your fair share of colleagues sent down the redundancy chute in that time, been forced to clip travel costs and biz expenses to do your bit toward profitability.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:20:12 GMT)

He, He, more gassy whoppers: Toshiba spreads 12TB, 14TB drives across gaming and NAS disks -

Extremely, er, unspecified helium-filled gaming disk performance

Toshiba has taken its 12 and 14TB MG07 disk drive techn and produced PC gaming and prosumer/SMB NAS drive products, updating its N300 NAS and X300 gaming product lines.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:51:03 GMT)

Incoming! Microsoft unleashes more fixes for Windows 10 October 2018 Update -

Got a Surface Book 2 on 1803? You should probably uninstall last week's update

Users of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, rejoice! Microsoft has slung out a hefty patch to, er, fix a whole bunch of stuff that was broken in the Update of the Damned.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:19:06 GMT)

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'... -

Admit they are upping their use of mass snooping

UK spies are planning to increase their use of bulk equipment interference, as the range of encrypted hardware and software applications they can't tap into increases.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:49:08 GMT)

Hi, Optane fuel: Liqid’s roll-your-own-server crew adds Chipzilla SSDs to the mix -

Tweaking the disaggregated server recipe

Composable systems supplier Liqid has added Optane SSDs to its cocktail of dynamic, roll-your-own server systems – the first amongst a crowd of composable vendors that are sure to follow suit.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:20:07 GMT)

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes -

Also, Musk's giant mitt misses again but don't worry. Those salt stains will buff out ok

SpaceX demonstrated that it can indeed walk on water last night, but only briefly, in this week’s space round-up.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:50:13 GMT)

Windows 10 security question: How do miscreants use these for post-hack persistence? -

Infosec duo worked out how to remotely set their own answers

Black Hat Crafty infosec researchers have figured out how to remotely set answers to Windows 10’s password reset questions “without even executing code on the targeted machine”.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:20:12 GMT)

Virtual Nodes and Cluster Autoscaling arrive at Microsoft's Azure Kubernetes Party -

Python slithers out of Azure Functions shadows but ACS is for chop

Microsoft Connect(); Azure Containers and Serverless processes were given some attention at this week’s Microsoft Connect(); 2018 event, with the Kubernetes Service and Azure Functions being given feature bumps.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:48:55 GMT)

MCubed '19: Call for papers is open now -

Don’t want to speak at our Reg event? Grab a blind bird ticket

Events The call for papers for MCubed 2019 is open, so if you're using machine learning or AI in real life we'd love to hear from you.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:13:09 GMT)

More data joy: Email scammers are buying marks' info from legit biz intelligence firms -

London Blue gang probably has your firm's org chart

Black Hat A Nigerian email scammer gang has evolved to the point where it has corporate-style specialist departments and uses commercial business intelligence data brokers to help plan its attacks.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:41:35 GMT)

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits -

'Global' network issue pinned on supplier – Ericsson 'working' on solution

Customers of O2, GiffGaff and virtual operators who use Telefonica's network in the UK have been hit by a spectacular outage across the country. Transport information services have also been affected.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:06:12 GMT)

Ooo shiny! First Visual Studio 2019 sneak peek here in time for Chrimbo -

Faster Android builds, more space, but don't expect to find a Windows Phone emulator

The first public preview of Visual Studio 2019 was tossed to developers on Tuesday at Microsoft's Connect(); 2018 event. The Register took it for a spin to see what was up.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:51:12 GMT)

Wintel dust up: Intel supply woes vs Win10 demand -

Sorry suits, PC sales set to slide this year despite OS excuse to refresh computer tin

The PC industry is trapped in a battle between the immovable objects that are Intel shortages and crap consumer demand, versus the unstoppable force of enterprises upgrading to Windows 10.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:17:10 GMT)

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical -

Hey, you forgot to build in some obsolescence

Comment In the late '90s, Eric Schmidt was an accessible tech CEO with a problem. Novell's product was so good and so reliable nobody needed to upgrade it. If one day people decided to stop using their current version, they wouldn't switch to another version of Novell, the one that Eric was trying to sell, but something else entirely. I thought this was the worst job in the world and Eric probably did too, washing up as the adult supervision at Google in 2001.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 09:46:06 GMT)

Brits' DNA data sent to military base after 'foreign' hack attacks – report -

100,000 Genomes Project is secure, insists chair

An ambitious project to map the DNA of a million Brits has experienced such sustained hack attacks that officials have had to shift the data to a Ministry of Defence (MoD) facility in Wiltshire.…

(Thu, 06 Dec 2018 09:07:13 GMT)