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EU infosec agency unveils 5G vendor security licensing scheme despite years of Huawei ambiguity

EU infosec agency ENISA has announced that it will begin licensing 5G network equipment providers as Britain’s Parliament issued a report criticising the way Huawei was kicked out of the UK’s 5G networks. ENISA’s so-called “candidate cybersecurity scheme” will operate in practice as a means of licensing 5G vendors to operate inside the political bloc. ENISA exec director Juhan Lepassaar said in a statement today: “The certification of 5G…

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Apple offends devs by asking for Developer Transition Kits back early, then offering them a measly $200 off an M1 Mac

Apple has provoked the ire of its Mac developer community by asking for the early return of its ARM-powered Developer Transition Kit loaner computers. Introduced last June, the DTK is a small-factor computer based on the same A12Z chip used in last year’s iPad Pro. Unlike the M1 Mac Mini, this wasn’t a commercial product. Offered exclusively to qualifying developers, the DTK is intended to help smooth the shift…

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$13m funding for Scratchpad – a data input startup whose sole strength is pointing out Salesforce’s weaknesses

Scratchpad, a startup based around easing Salesforce data input, has snared $13m in new funding, apparently without even really wanting to. In a blog, the business equivalent to the suckerfish announced new funding led by David Sacks at Craft Ventures, with Accel continuing to participate after leading its seed round last year. “While the new capital itself is important for our ability to invest in product development to make…

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Smells like Teams spirit: New platform Viva builds in all the tools Microsoft thinks staff need to succeed

Microsoft’s latest take on employment engagement, Viva, is aimed at cheering those working remotely with only Office and Teams for company. The company has a chequered history when it comes to employee relations. While it may speak of a desire to “help employees grow and learn,” misfires such as the vaguely creepy Productivity Score have left observers pondering the motives of those using the company’s tooling. Enter Microsoft Viva….

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Nearly 70 years after America made einsteinium in its first full-scale thermo-nuke experiment, mystery element yields secrets of its chemistry

Chemists have measured a fundamental chemical property of einsteinium, a mysterious and radioactive element that was discovered in the debris of America’s first full-scale thermonuclear device test – the Ivy Mike shot in 1952. Einsteinium (Es) has an atomic number of 99 and is buried at the bottom of the periodic table, where it joins its fellow actinides. Scientists haven’t paid much attention to the element – named after…

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Microsoft’s Azure Quantum hits preview: Not so much quantum computing as it is quantum-inspired computing

The hype-o-meter has gone up a notch with the arrival of Azure Quantum in Public Preview. Microsoft has bet big on the forever-coming-next-year technology, quantum computing. It unveiled a new language, Q#, back in 2017 and its Quantum Development Kit (QDK) emerged the same year. The QDK was ported to Linux and macOS in 2018, and by 2019 had been open-sourced. However, actual hardware on which to run the…

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In Rust we trust: Shoring up Apache, ISRG ditches C, turns to wunderkind lang for new TLS crypto module

At almost 26 years old, the Apache HTTP Server, known as httpd, has a memory problem: it is written in C, a language known among other things for its lack of memory safety. C requires programmers to pretty much manage computer memory themselves, which they don’t always do very well. And poor memory management can lead to memory errors like buffer overflows, null pointer dereferencing, and use-after-free() issues. The…

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Funding frenzy from AWS, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce pumps ex-Hadoop wrangler Databricks’ value to $28bn

Databricks, the company behind open-source big data tool Apache Spark, has sucked up a $1bn investment round courtesy of AWS, Microsoft, Google, and more. The Series G funding, led by newcomer Franklin Templeton Investments, puts the 2013-founded company at a $28bn valuation, more than four times its previous $6.2bn valuation. Other investors include AWS, CapitalG (Google owner Alphabet’s funding outfit), Salesforce Ventures, Microsoft, Andreessen Horowitz (Netscape founder Marc Andreessen’s…

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There’s no ‘I’ in Teams so Microsoft issues 6-month warning for laggards still on Skype for Business Online

The sound of a blade being sharpened in Redmond could be heard this week as Microsoft issued a six-month warning for Skype for Business Online. The clock began ticking in 2019, when Microsoft insisted that the then new kid on the block, Teams, was more than ready for prime time. Teams has certainly received more than its fair share of attention in the months since, getting toys such as…

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Atos shares rebound briefly as biz decides acquiring DXC is probably not worth the bother

Atos shares spiked this morning after it confirmed that negotiations to purchase DXC Technology are dead in the water. An audacious bid, reported to be in the region of $10bn, was made by the French integrator-cum-outsourcer in the first week of January, representing a move away from the typical bolt-on deals Atos funds. But it wasn’t to be, Atos confirmed to the Paris stock market this morning. “The Board…

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