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Biting the hand that feeds IT — sci/tech news and views for the world
Updated: 44 min 14 sec ago

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

1 hour 35 min ago
Thinking in binary, dreaming in hexadecimal, and this is what they'll remember you for

On Call  It is Friday so may we suggest taking a moment out of your preparations for a weekend charge to the pub to enjoy another tale from those tasked with helping the confused in today's On Call.…

Don't beat yourself up for overeating in lockdown. This black hole scoffs equivalent of our Sun every day

3 hours 48 min ago
No wonder J2157 clocks in at 34 billion solar masses

The greediest supermassive black hole spotted by us Earthlings is an eye-popping 34 billion times more massive than our Sun, and gobbles nearly a solar mass of nearby gas and dust every day.…

Languishing lodash library loophole finally fitted for a fix: It's only taken since October to address security bug

7 hours 12 min ago
The arrival of an npm security advisory prompts developer action after outcry

A lingering vulnerability in lodash, a popular JavaScript helper library distributed through package manager npm, has prompted developers to kvetch about the fragile state of security.…

F5 emits fixes for critical flaws in BIG-IP gear: Hopefully yours aren't internet-facing while you ready a patch

8 hours 14 min ago
Not to worry, there are only *searches* several thousand devices apparently exposed online

Network administrators are urged to patch their F5 BIG-IP application delivery controllers following the disclosure of a pair of critical remote takeover bugs.…

'Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it...' Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam

9 hours 25 min ago
Is that listed phone number going direct to a professional or a call center?

Special report  Addicts seeking substance abuse treatment are being deceived by phony medical clinics advertising on Google's business directory system – and the web giant seems unwilling or unable to fix the issue.…

Holy Guacamole! Researchers find Apache remote desktop software was silently pwnable for snooping on sessions

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 23:05
Best get updating pronto, folks

The Apache Project's popular Guacamole open-source remote desktop software contained vulns allowing remote attackers to steal login creds and hijack targeted machines, researchers have said.…

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 21:56
Continental capers lead to 750 UK arrests

French and Dutch police have boasted of infiltrating and killing off encrypted chat service EncroChat, alleging it was used by organised crime gangs to plot murders, sell drugs, launder criminal profits and more.…

Hold off that rush into the July 4 weekend – you may need this: Microsoft patches pwn-by-picture pitfalls in Win 10

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 20:59
Redmond also praised for blocking malware control systems on its clouds

Microsoft has emitted a pair of security patches to address flaws in Windows 10 that can be potentially exploited by miscreants to hijack PCs. A victim simply needs to be tricked into opening a file containing a specially crafted image on a vulnerable system.…

Microsoft sees the world has moved on, cranks OneDrive file size upload limit from 15GB to more useful 100GB

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 18:01
Hunting for the right file is the 'bane to anyone's productivity' allegedly

Microsoft is rolling out a swathe of updates to OneDrive, increasing the upload file limit for the cloudy bit barn from 15GB to 100GB.…

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 17:00
Surprise! The UK has been shut out of an EU-led project

From the department of "chickens coming home to roost" is news that the European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded prime contracts for the next six Copernicus missions, and the UK has missed out.…

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 16:15
Privacy-focused Librem 14 laptop available for pre-order

Purism, a San Francisco social purpose company that emphasises privacy and free software, today flung out its latest notebook: the Librem 14.…

Last chance to grab a Pixel 3A off Google's UK store with 4A successor around the corner

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 15:31
Plus: Apple declares first-gen Retina MacBook Pro 'obsolete'

Google has discontinued its hugely popular Pixel 3A and 3A XL mid-range smartphones. While the device will continue to receive updates for the foreseeable, the Chocolate Factory has no plans to produce more units.…

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 15:01
Record 53.6 million tonnes produced last year - that's 7.3kg per person on the planet

The United Nations is sounding the alarm on increasing levels of e-waste, with 2019 producing a record 53.6 million tonnes of the stuff: an increase of 21 per cent in just the past five years.…

Not such a DRaaS-tic action, buying into cloud-based disaster recovery in times like these: VMware to swallow Datrium

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 14:30
Undisclosed amount of money to change hands

VMware is buying Datrium, a business that started out in the cut-throat world of HCI and then switched to disaster recovery in the cloud.…

Cisco SMB kit harbors cross-site scripting bug: One wrong link click... and that's your router pwned remotely

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 14:00
VPN gear vulnerable to remote hijackings

Cisco has patched a cross-site scripting vulnerability in two VPN routers it sells to small businesses and branch offices.…

Consumer orgs ask world's competition watchdogs: Are you really going to let Google walk off with all Fitbit's data?

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 13:15
It's like the Chocolate Factory isn't dominant enough already

Twenty consumer and citizen rights groups have published an open letter [PDF] urging regulators to pay closer attention to Google parent Alphabet's planned acquisition of Fitbit.…

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 12:30
Icon backgrounds banished, but some Insiders may have to wait for new toys

Microsoft has unveiled a long-teased update to the Windows 10 Start Menu for its loyal fans... or at least some of them.…

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 11:45
Amendment aimed to push back introduction to 2023/24, but it'll go ahead as planned next year

MPs have voted against an amendment to the Finance Bill which set out to delay changes to IR35 legislation for off-payroll working, a subject close to the heart of many IT contractors.…

No one can compete with Google... unless it opens its click-and-query data to rivals, says UK markets watchdog

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 11:00
Sharing's caring

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has proposed that Google should open its click-and-query data up to rival search engines to help them improve search algorithms and properly compete with the web giant.…

Open source and diversity key to tackling the developer skills shortage, says Scala contributor

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 10:15
'If diversity is not important to you, then at least you might care about the bottom line'

Open Source Summit  Diversity and open source can help fix the software developer skills gap, argued Scala contributor and Carnegie Mellon Assistant Professor Heather Miller in a keynote talk at the virtual Open Source Summit North America.…