5th July 2013 Archive

The Register breaking news

French snooping as deep as PRISM: Le Monde

Edward Snowden's revelations about American communications snoopery have inspired newspapers around the world to investigate domestic spying, the latest of which is Le Monde in France.
The Register breaking news

FRBs and variable forces: a big week for astronomy

Astronomers trawling through the archives of the Parkes Radio Telescope have turned up a new and mystifying class of intergalactic radio transmissions: FRBs, or fast radio bursts.

ULTRASONIC BOLLOCK BLASTERS help Hawkmoth battle The Bat

In a development whose scientific importance would be difficult to exaggerate, it has been discovered that hawk moths emit powerful ultrasonic pulse beams from their genitals in order to intefere with the sonar senses of predatory bats hunting them.
Lewis Page, 05 Jul 2013
Sea King lifts horse from mud. Pic: RAF

Spending watchdog SAVAGES rural broadband push

The government's crashingly expensive rural broadband deployment project has failed to demonstrate that it represents value for money to Britain's taxpayers, the National Audit Office concluded today in a scathing report.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2013

Fedora back on track with Schrödinger's cat

Fedora 19, codenamed Schrödinger's Cat, follows the much-delayed Fedora 18 and the good news is things looks to be back on track. Not only is the release just a week away but it also sees Fedora returning to its core focus: building useful software for developers.

UK data cops to Google: You've got three months to sort out privacy

Google has been ordered by Britain's data watchdog to make changes to its privacy policy within the next three months, or else face a possible fine for failing to comply with the Data Protection Act.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

I'm 'pretty comfy' with PRISM + 'It's Google. What else do you expect'

QuotW This was the week when the Snowden saga took a few major plot twists, with one president's plane grounded while another president claimed the whole PRISM-snooping thing was for the best.
Team Register, 05 Jul 2013
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Every Friday is rat-out-your-boss-for-software-piracy Friday

For The Cure, Friday was a day of love, for most of us it is the gateway to the weekend - but for pirate-haters it is the best time to shop employers using unlicensed software at work.
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2013
Hanslope Park

Hanslope Park: Home of Britain’s ‘real-life Q division’

Geek's Guide to Britain Hanslope Park sits just outside the small, quiet North Buckinghamshire village of Hanslope. I grew up there, and the Park and its occupants would always be mentioned by conversing grown-ups in suddenly hushed tones. Who might be listening? Other villagers were quietly pointed out with the words: “You see him? He works at the Park, he does.”
Tony Smith, 05 Jul 2013
Alex Holland's boat-roofed shed

Upturned boat sails to Shed of the Year title

Take one upturned wooden boat, a few old old windows and doors, a wood burner and some 12V solar-powered lights and you've got the recipe for the 2013 Shed of the Year - a magnificent construction which saw off over 1,900 rivals to sail to the pinnacle of sheddie glory.
Lester Haines, 05 Jul 2013

UKFast hoovers up customer list of BurstNET

UKFast has made its first acquisition under a newly recruited M&A head after taking on the local customer base of US hosting biz BurstNET.
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2013
SOURCE: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/959469

Buy a flash kit maker now, Seagate... good ones will be gone soon

Blocks and Files With Western Digital buying sTec and SanDisk buying SMART Storage Systems, Seagate is looking like the last player standing in the game of flash musical chairs.
Chris Mellor, 05 Jul 2013

What 80/20 really means: One big failed customer will kill you

Comment Once again small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being held up as the saviour of the economy in general and the IT industry in particular. But once again, I expect our industry to ignore what's staring them in the face.
Eddie Pacey, 05 Jul 2013

Microsoft offloads heap of critical fixes in 'ugly' Patch Tuesday

Microsoft is planning a high-impact edition of Patch Tuesday with seven bulletins this month - six of which cover critical flaws.
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2013

Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

Proof of the pervasive nature of the English language comes with the news that "shitstorm" has been named Germany's "Anglicism of the Year".
Lester Haines, 05 Jul 2013

HP techies reject latest pay offer, closer to industrial action

Unionised engineers at HP Customer Delivery Services - which provides support for customers including Barclays, BT and Tesco - have moved a step closer to industrial action after rejecting its latest pay offer.
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2013
Messy mouse ball. Source: University of Washington

Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Give yourself a little blow job every morning and your working day will be a happier one!”
Alistair Dabbs, 05 Jul 2013
Broken record

Investors: Oh Samsung. You need to smash those records HARDER

Samsung's estimates for its second quarter earnings missed forecasts, worrying investors despite the fact that it will be another record-breaking quarter at the firm.
The NSA Unchained

Anti-PRISM Trojan explodes over Jay-Z fans

Fans of rapper Jay-Z who thought they'd grabbed hold of an app granting them access to an early release of his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail have found themselves on the receiving end of an anti-PRISM Android Trojan designed to slurp all their data, according to security researchers. It is not yet clear if the data-stealing functionality is being used by the malware-flingers, however.
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2013
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

Microsoft's cloud leaves manual transmission behind

When you write technology blogs for a living you end up sitting through a lot of WebExes, watching a lot of training videos and going to a lot of conferences.
Trevor Pott, 05 Jul 2013

US: We spied on you Europeans but we can still be chums. Right?

High-ranking Eurocrats are expected to begin crisis talks on digital surveillance with American officials on Monday.
Jasper Hamill, 05 Jul 2013
Blofeld's white cat

MoD and tech, arms giants start super-duper cyber fight club

The UK Ministry of Defence has enlisted the help of nine weapons firms, tech companies and telcos to beef up the country's cyber defences and fend off hacking and other attacks.
The Register breaking news

Credit card donations to WikiLeaks restored as Mastercard breaks ranks

Mastercard has broken ranks with other payment providers such as PayPal and Visa and begun allowing payments to WikiLeaks.
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Health minister asks elderly patients what they think of data-sharing

The NHS turned 65 today, which has led to some quarters drawing an unfavourable analogy between the health service and a patient who has just reached retirement age.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

EU crackdown will see tougher sentences for stupid cyber-badhats

The European Parliament has agreed to toughen criminal penalties across the EU for cyber attacks, especially any that threaten national infrastructure or are deemed to be aimed at stealing sensitive data.

Of mice, the NSA, GCHQ and data protection

Comment Suppose you see a mouse in your house: is it likely to be the only mouse in your house? The relevance of the question will come apparent when we dig deeper into those infamous “black boxes” allegedly used by the USA’s National Security Agency1, the latest GCHQ mass interception fandango, and the responsibilities of the UK Information Commissioner.

US workforce expands as more job seekers seek jobs

The US is still buzzed with its July 4th hangover, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is open for business, delivering some good news: over the past three months, despite government job cuts, private-sector employers added enough jobs to keep pace with population growth.
Iain Banks/Iain M Banks

Star bosses name asteroid to honor author Iain Banks

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially named an asteroid after the recently-deceased Scottish author Iain Banks, a 6.1 km (3.8 mile) "stony" rock in the main asteroid belt orbiting the Sun.
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2013

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

The BBC will suspend its 3D TV transmissions indefinitely, citing poor demand among viewers – its last hurrah will be a Dr. Who anniversary special in November.
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2013
The Avantek ARM server with its skins peeled off

Brit server maker Avantek puts its back into ARM servers

Tony Lees, managing director of Avantek Computer Limited, wants to sell you your first and then your next hundred ARM servers. "This is our current plan: to take over the world with ARM," Lees tells El Reg with a laugh.
Dell logo in crosshairs

Dell explores wearable computing as PC base crumbles

With PC sales falling and the battle over ownership of Dell still raging, the company is "exploring ideas" in the hot, hip, happening wearable computing field as a possible way forward.
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2013

Battery-boosting breakthrough grows on trees – literally

Battery technology has stubbornly resisted major breakthoughs, but a team of researchers at the University of Maryland has found help from a most unlikely source: pine trees.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Jul 2013

Godmother of Unix admins Evi Nemeth presumed lost at sea

Obit The New Zealand authorities have formally called off the search for the sailing cruiser Nina, and say its seven-person crew, which includes Evi Nemeth who for the last 30 years has written the system administration handbooks for Unix and Linux, is now presumed lost at sea.
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2013

Cosmic blast mystery solved in neutron star's intense death throes

A pair of European astrophysicists believe they've solved the mystery of exceedingly bright, never-repeated flashes of radio waves that come to us from the distant past.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Jul 2013