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Grubby, tortuous, full of malware and deceit: Just call it Lionel because the internet is MESSY

So what are we going to do about it? Anything?


Reg Lectures Trolls, fake news, Russian bots, radicals – there's plenty to put you off going online.

And there's many a politician ready to clamp down on and control the internet, in an attempt to conquer these dark forces bruising our society, systems and discourse.

But attempting to control the internet isn't just wrong – it's counterproductive, according to University of East Anglia Law School senior lecture Paul Bernal.

Paul, author of the newly published The Internet, Warts and All, will discuss this idea with Register readers at our September 27 lecture in central London.

Along the way Bernal will propose that we shouldn't just accept the evils of fake news and trolls but that – to conquer them – we must embrace them. You can purchase tickets via Eventbrite here.

The setting for our evening is The Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James Street, London, WC1N 3ES. Doors open at 6.30pm with the lecture starting at 7pm and running for 45 minutes. Audience Q&A with Paul will follow a 45-minute pit stop for refreshments. ®

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Time for a 'great experiment' says Cisco as it lets team leaders set place of work

Fewer than one-in-four staff want to be in the office for more than three days a week

Less than a quarter of Cisco's 77,000-strong workforce want to spend three days or more in their office when COVID-19 restrictions lift – and so Switchzilla is embarking on a "great hybrid work experiment."

“We know that the office has changed forever, and we won’t be returning to the office or using physical space in the same way as before,” wrote Francine Katsoudas, Cisco exec veep and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer.

“While about half of our employees were in the office four to five days a week pre-pandemic, less than a quarter want to be in an office three or more days a week when offices re-open.”

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Privacy proves elusive in Google's Privacy Sandbox

Like FLoC, FLEDGE isn't yet ready to fly for web-based ads, judging from this proof-of-concept exploit code

Google's effort to build a "Privacy Sandbox" – a set of technologies for delivering personalized ads online without the tracking problems presented by cookie-based advertising – continues to struggle with its promise of privacy.

The Privacy Sandbox consists of a set of web technology proposals with bird-themed names intended to aim interest-based ads at groups rather than individuals.

Much of this ad-related data processing is intended to occur within the browsers of internet users, to keep personal information from being spirited away to remote servers where it might be misused.

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Thanks for the memory: Add Samsung to the list of tech giants raking it in despite supply concerns

Turns out that Austin factory shutdown was nothing but a blip

Samsung Electronics is flying high on the back of a surge in memory prices and demand expected to remain strong for the rest of 2021.

The South Korean tech monster reported record-breaking group revenue of ₩63.67trn ($55.5bn) for Q2 2021, up by a fifth year-on-year, as most business units surpassed the best estimates of senior management.

The chaebol also recorded [PDF] a 54 per cent leap in operating profit of ₩12.57trn, with more than half of this attributed to its semiconductor business.

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Bill for HMS Vanity Gin Palace swells by £50m in two months

That's 0.25 DUPs!

The cost of the UK's new "national flagship" to replace the Royal Yacht Britannia has already ballooned by £50m in just two months, it was revealed yesterday.

At the end of May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined details for a new oceangoing gin palace to schmooze VIPs, negotiate trade deals, and fly the flag for UK Plc.

The price tag for this luxury yacht was set around £150m-£200m.

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Have you turned it off and on again? Russia's Nauka module just about makes it to the ISS

Elderly lab negotiates tricky docking

Russia's elderly Nauka module has made it to the International Space Station (ISS), some 25 years since construction of the research module began.

Despite a somewhat problematic start to life in space following its launch atop a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, engineers were able to fire the engines of the veteran module in a number of orbital correction manoeuvres to bring Nauka to the ISS.

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Spam is Chipotle's secret ingredient: Marketing email hijacked to dish up malware

More than 120 messages caught trying to filch credentials from customers of USAA Bank, Microsoft

Between July 13 and July 16, someone took over the Mailgun account owned by restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill and placed an order for login credentials using misappropriated marketing messages.

Phish-fighting firm INKY said on Thursday that it spotted 121 phishing emails during this period originating from Chipotle's Mailgun account.

The phishing messages included two fake voicemail notifications with attached malware, otherwise known as "vishing" among those who make such distinctions. They also included 14 emails designed to look like USAA Bank communiques and 105 messages dressed up as if they came from Microsoft. These faked missives pointed recipients to credential harvesting websites designed to mimic USAA Bank and Microsoft Sign-in pages respectively.

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Upcoming Android privacy changes include ability to blank advertising ID, and 'safety section' in Play store

New policies give users more control, but ad tracking still on by default

Google has shared details of upcoming changes to Android including the ability to blank a device's advertising ID, and a new safety section for apps in the Play store.

The advertising ID is an identifier unique to an Android device which is supplied by Google Play Services. Since every app on that device can retrieve the same ID, it can be used for profiling the user of the device. Users can set an option to "Limit ad tracking", and the API that supplies the advertising ID also indicates whether the user has opted out, but respecting this option is on a trust basis.

Privacy advocate Max Schrems filed a legal complaint against Google last year, arguing that the advertising ID is personal data and that the option to reset it, which automatically creates a replacement ID, was "like cancelling a contract only under the condition that you sign a new one."

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NoSQL Couchbase launches schema-like features to take on the transactional databases of the relational world

Doing both in one system might be 'somewhat elegant' but user experience remains to be seen, analyst says

Couchbase, the NoSQL database beloved of modern applications developers, is trying to build a bridge to the old world with its 7.0 release.

The latest iteration of the open-source documents store database offers multi-statement SQL transactions and an approach to building schema-like structures into the database, allowing it to support multiple applications from the same data.

One database industry expert said Couchbase 7.0 would be welcomed by developers wanting to do more with their data in a single system, but whether it could withstand enterprise workloads from multiple applications is not clear.

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BT says it's trading in line with expectations as revenue slides and pre-tax profit shrinks

Former state monopoly talks up FTTP build out, as does Virgin Media

BT's revenues slipped during the three months to the end of June – when French-owned Altice took a 12.1 per cent stake in the business and the telco went some way to resolving an industrial dispute.

Overall – across its consumer, enterprise, global, and infrastructure businesses – the former state-run monopoly reported revenues of £5.071bn, down 3 per cent year-on-year and trading as expected, BT said.

Consumer was one of the divisions to grow, up 1 per cent to £2.382bn. BT said this was primarily due to BT Sport subscriptions and higher direct handset sales. "Year-on-year fixed and mobile are down due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, lower out-of-contract prices, copper price reductions to address back book pricing, and the continued decline of our voice-only customer base and call volume," it said.

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Red Hat buddies up with Nutanix to provide an escape route from VMware

'We have customers saying, help us out of this pickle here, can you possibly just support RHEL running on top of AHV?'

Red Hat is collaborating with Nutanix to make OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux a fully supported solution on the Nutanix native virtualization platform, AHV.

The new agreement provides for Red Hat OpenShift, its Kubernetes distribution, to be the Nutanix "preferred choice" for Kubernetes on Nutanix, and for Nutanix HCI to be fully supported by Red Hat for deploying Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and OpenShift. The Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) will now be certified by Red Hat for RHEL and OpenShift.

"Nutanix supports several different hypervisors," Red Hat's Ronald Pacheco, director of product management, told us, "They support AHV, VMware ESXi, Hyper-V and they also support Citrix XenServer. We're aware of customers who have been using Nutanix, mostly using ESXi... because Red Hat customers tend to be conservative and they want to make sure they're using a supported hypervisor, but at the same time saying, I'm paying a lot extra... so we have customers saying, help us out of this pickle here, can you possibly just support RHEL running on top of AHV?"

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NFT or not to NFT: Steve Jobs' first job application auction shows physically unique beats cryptographically unique

Great, maybe the trend can FOAD now

A dual-format auction of a physical and digital non-fungible token (NFT) version of a job application penned by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has come to a close – and the physical side has emerged victorious, by an order of magnitude.

Set up by former ad exec Olly Joshi and launched last week, the auction took a physical piece of history – the 1973 handwritten job application, which Joshi purchased at auction earlier this year with money raised by a collective of 36 of his friends and family – ran it through a scanner and created a cryptographically verified NFT version on the Ethereum blockchain before listing the two side-by-side.

The idea was to pit NFTs, digital goods whose uniqueness comes from cryptographic signatures placed on a cryptocurrency blockchain but which are otherwise infinitely duplicable, against physical and genuinely unique goods – and to make a little money along the way.

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