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RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more

Video Freeman Dyson, the eminent British-American physicist and mathematician best known for his theoretical work in quantum electrodynamics, died today. He was 96. His death was announced by his daughter Mia Dyson via Maine public television and the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) – the top research hub in Princeton, New Jersey, once home to Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and other giants of science and…

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Time to svn commit like it’s the year 2000: Apache celebrates 20 years of Subversion

The Apache Software Foundation has decreed this week to be the 20th anniversary of the source code management system, Subversion. So, happy birthday SVN! The Subversion project was kicked off by software outfit CollabNet in 2000. The plan was to create an open source version-control system that worked a bit like the Concurrent Versions System (CVS) that was popular at the time, but with improved functionality. CollabNet contacted Karl…

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FCC sucks its teeth, clicks its tongue, says: Yeah, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon gleeful sold your location data. Guess we should fine them?

America’s communications watchdog on Friday suggested it may fine the nation’s four major wireless carriers for selling subscribers location data without adequate safeguards to prevent misuse. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, and Verizon now have the opportunity to respond to the FCC’s proposal, in case they have other ideas on the matter. The regulator’s commissioners will consider the carriers’ arguments and evidence before reaching a final determination on the findings…

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Take it Huawei, Pai: Senate passes bill to rip ‘dodgy’ kit from rural telcos

President Trump is expected to sign a bill that would allocate $1bn to US carriers to replace existing Huawei-built infrastructure after it was unanimously passed by the Senate yesterday. H.R. 4998, which revels in the snappy name “Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act of 2019”, was passed by the House of Representatives last December. It formally prohibits federal subsidies from being used to buy equipment from vendors deemed to…

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Vivo’s APEX 2020 concept smartphone grabs life by the gimbals to shoot stable snaps

Vivo has introduced the third generation of its APEX concept phones – the APEX 2020. This handset packs a bunch of new experimental features, largely centred around its display and camera technology, which might eventually make their way to production phones from Vivo and others. That’s the thing – Vivo’s APEX phones never actually see a release. They serve as demonstrators of the firm’s technology. In some ways, they…

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Former SAP CEO McDermott pockets a cool €15 million from final year at the helm of German ERP giant

He may have left SAP in November last year but former CEO Bill McDermott still managed to net €15,176,900 for his work with the firm in 2019, making the American Germany’s highest earner, according to some calculations. According to SAP’s annual report filed yesterday (PDF), Bill McD’s fixed compensation was a meagre €1.2m, but fringe benefits brought that to €2.3m. A one-year variable compensation, or bonus, paid out €2m….

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Ding dong Dell, servers in the well. Who pulled them out? Little PC stout

After all those costly company takeovers, Dell has reported that yet again good old-fashioned PCs came to its rescue to offset the continued slump in its server and storage business. The Texan tech outfit last night filed a 1 per cent year-on-year rise in Q4 revenue for the period ended 31 January to $24bn. Operating profit came in at $717m versus a loss of $191m, Dell’s first positive income…

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Raise your low-code game with OutSystems’ webcasts on chatbots, progressive web apps, and more

Promo Why code from scratch when you can assemble apps quickly and visually from a collection of parts? That’s perhaps an oversimplification of low-code, but building and deploying applications and services with this automated approach has a variety of benefits. How about increased agility, reduced costs, amped-up productivity, better risk management and governance due to baked-in security and scalability requirements for a start? Just as important today, where digital…

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Escape From Tarkov: Hardest of the hardcore looter-shooter is spellbinding despite the punishing learning curve

The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. For the first time we feature a multiplayer title, and not a particularly forgiving one at that. I don’t know why, I’m not even good at video games despite dedicating a chunk of my scant free time to playing them. Want to squad up? Someone send help, please, because I’m still trying to…

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Southern Water not such a phisherman’s phriend, hauls itself offline to tackle email lure

British utility biz Southern Water was the victim of a phishing attack on Wednesday, resulting in a hurried shutdown of some of the company’s systems. An industry insider told The Register that Southern Water’s networks, including the system responsible for Supervision, Control, and Data Acquisition (SCADA) were hit. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, added the cause was an employee inadvertently opening an attachment in an email purporting…

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