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Euro 2012: England is semi-final probability

Ahead of the first ball being kicked at the Euro 2012 tournament, England is the third-ranked team and has a 68 per cent chance of getting out of the group stage according to the UK's top academic soccer statistician. You read that right. With one of its best players unavailable for the first two matches, a manager who's had his …
Robert Blincoe, 08 Jun 2012
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Get out the bar, your plane's leaving

The selfish sods who hold planes up by lingering in the bar or duty free can now be pinpointed, within 4m, by cheap RFID tags on airline boarding passes. Samuel L Jackson locates late passengers with RFID Enough is enough! I'm gonna tag every motherfucking snake on this motherfucking plane! What the airline does with the …
Robert Blincoe, 22 Nov 2010

How much bandwidth will next gen airports need?

Our US readers contemplating flying cross country travel this week might be putting worries about the data and power impact of air travel to the back of their minds. But if they do opt for that enhanced pat-down they might comfort themselves with the knowledge they are helping offload some of the bandwidth and power a modern …
Robert Blincoe, 22 Nov 2010
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Robot wars break out on poker sites

The world's two largest poker sites, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, are battling to keep poker bots off their sites. In October, Full Tilt removed an unstated number of players, confiscated the funds in their accounts, and pledged to redistribute this money to players who'd lost to the bots. PokerStars took similar action with …
Robert Blincoe, 12 Nov 2010
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$8.9m poker prize up for grabs - humans only please

The biggest deal in the poker calendar kicks off tomorrow, but only humans will be allowed to sit in on the final table of the World Series of Poker's main event. This Las Vegas knock-out tournament whittled 7,319 entrants down to nine back in July, and after a four-month wait to build media interest in the mainly no-name …
Robert Blincoe, 05 Nov 2010
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World Cup Stats Prof: I was right all along

Spain's extra time goal against Holland in the World Cup final denied our resident stats expert victory in predicting the tournament winner. Or did it? Before a ball had been kicked Dr Ian McHale, senior lecturer in statistics at Salford University, had modelled the teams' performances in the run-up and had Holland as favourites …
Robert Blincoe, 13 Jul 2010
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Hup Holland, viva España

Holland are favourites to win the World Cup according to The Reg's resident football stats expert Dr Ian McHale. But the football fan in him says Spain. Dr McHale, senior lecturer in statistics at Salford University, had Holland as favourites and Spain a close second before the tournament started. After the group stage Dr …
Robert Blincoe, 09 Jul 2010
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Cumbria massacre top cop also patrols cyberspace

The UK's top e-copper has been put under the microscope over his force's heavily criticised response to Derrick Bird's fatal shooting spree. Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Stuart Hyde was the public face of the Cumbrian Constabulary in the days following Bird's murderous Lake District rampage. His boss, Chief Constable Craig …
Robert Blincoe, 30 Jun 2010
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Billionaire's betting exchange backs Android

Irish billionaire and betting man, Dermot Desmond, is looking to Google's Android to boost the fortunes of his core business, Betdaq, not least because it's impossible getting a gambling app in the iStore. Betdaq is expecting mobile betting to fuel its expansion and reckons that though the iPhone has been useful to mobile take- …
Robert Blincoe, 30 Jun 2010
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It's boffins versus bookies on the World Cup Rankings

After all the fun and upsets of the World Cup 2010 Group stage Holland are still favourites to win according to the Reg stats expert Dr Ian McHale of Salford University. But a surprise addition to the top 3 is Uruguay – ranked 7th by the bookies, and not even in Dr McHale's rankings at the start of the tournament. “I think they …
Robert Blincoe, 27 Jun 2010
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England beat Germany - what are the odds?

Sunday afternoon England and Germany resume a rivalry that has spanned generations as they meet for the sixth time in major finals since 1970. So what does Bettorlogic's look at England (Bettorlogic Rank 8) and Germany (ranked 5) tell us? Despite never having lost in 90 minutes to the Germans in these past five meetings – W1-D4 …
Robert Blincoe, 27 Jun 2010
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Renew your firearms licence via your iPhone

Sussex Police plan to allow gun owners to renew their firearms licences using an iPhone app. The app will be part of a suite allowing the public to access news, appeals and other services form their iPhone. The technology push is intended to save £3m, freeing up valuable cop time, but means firearms applicants won't have to see …
Robert Blincoe, 18 Jun 2010
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Speed cameras slide out of LibCon budget

Jeremy Clarkson can start pressing his itchy accelerator pedal back to the metal - the new LibCon Government isn't going to fund more speed cameras. It's acknowledging the suspicion that the devices are being used as revenue generators, and is encouraging local councils to “use other methods and effective safety measures” to …
Robert Blincoe, 18 Jun 2010
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Watch bandit IDed by own mobe snap

A hi-res mobile phone image of a man handling stolen watches gave forensic coppers the evidence needed to get the villain sent down yesterday. The quality of the image on Stephen Taylor's Sony Ericsson W995 was sufficient for a forensic image specialist to get an enhanced picture of Taylor's palm print. The match was enough to …
Robert Blincoe, 18 Jun 2010
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Laser-toting robots take over UK hospital

A Scottish hospital will become the first in the UK to use robots to clean, deliver food and dispense drugs. The Forth Valley Royal Hospital's fleet of bots will also be carrying clinical waste and cleaning operating theatres when the new £300m Stirlingshire hospital opens in August. The robot squad will move around via their …
Robert Blincoe, 18 Jun 2010
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High-living hacker swaps Porsche for porridge

A 21-year-old hacker was banged up yesterday for frauds netting him a Porsche, £40,000 in cash and £30,000 in gold bullion. Alistair Peckover is serving 20 months after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud, and admitting 50 other offences which were taken into consideration. Peckover targeted online betting sites, and also …
Robert Blincoe, 18 Jun 2010
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Indonesia flips over internet rock star smut clips

An online celebrity sex video is giving Indonesia's authorities an opportunity to try and restrict internet use. Two explicit web clips showing Jakarta rock star Ariel in action with two models/television presenters has upset yet proved strangely enticing to the population, which is mainly Muslim. Several schools have been …
Robert Blincoe, 17 Jun 2010
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LibCons bin £2bn of late Labour projects

The coalition government has scrapped 12 projects worth £2bn pounds that were agreed during the final months of Labour's rule. Twelve further projects, worth £8.5bn, have been suspended. Stonehenge Visitor Centre got the axe, as did a number of projects with a likely IT component including Sheffield steelmaker Forgemasters (an …
Robert Blincoe, 17 Jun 2010
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Software freetards demand axing of ACTA

Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation are calling for the rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) unless key changes to “protect the public's freedom” are made. The self-described software freedom activist and FSF president has made a lengthy posting on the FSF site alongside a petition for those …
Robert Blincoe, 17 Jun 2010
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World Cup: Holland to win, Spain to slump

Spain is chewing on the chorizo of defeat thanks to Switzerland's 1-0 victory yesterday, and history shows this result is a major setback. In the last 40 years only one top 10 team has won a World Cup group after an opening game defeat. Only four have finished in the top two. The tournament favourites Spain now face a serious …
Robert Blincoe, 17 Jun 2010
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DHS slams US gov network security

The US government is bad at protecting its networks and has neither the authority or manpower to respond to threats in real time. The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is responsible for securing the government's systems, got a roasting yesterday in a report (pdf) published by the Department of Homeland Security's …
Robert Blincoe, 17 Jun 2010
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Alleged Biden threat spoofer drops plea deal

The tech-savvy man accused of emailing threats to US Vice President Joe Biden, spoofed from his neighbour's account, has upped the stakes of the legal ordeal he faces. Alleged Minneapolis nuisance neighbour Barry Ardolf has ditched his deal to plead guilty and wants to go to trial. This will mean he's likely to face charges of …
Robert Blincoe, 16 Jun 2010
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Easy-peasy science GCSEs binned

Science GCSEs set to replace the pack of dumbed down current exams have been rejected for being too easy. Exam regulator Ofqual has said the proposed GCSEs don't go far enough to addressing the “serious concerns” it has for science assessment. It says they are not demanding enough, especially for the brightest students. The 36 …
Robert Blincoe, 16 Jun 2010
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AT&T iPad 'hacker' arrested for 'drugs possession'

One of the hackers behind the AT&T iPad security breach has been arrested after police allegedly discovered cocaine, ecstasy and LSD during a search of his home. Andrew Auernheimer, 24, who goes under the hacker handle “Weev”, was seized on Tuesday by Arkansas County Sheriffs following the execution of an FBI search warrant. …
Robert Blincoe, 16 Jun 2010
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Cops collar 178 over £17m credit card crimes

Cops across Europe, the US and Australia have collared 178 people in an operation to smash an international fake credit card production network turning over more than £17m. The investigation was centred in Spain where police discovered 120,000 stolen credit card numbers and 5,000 cloned cards, arrested 76 people and dismantled …
Robert Blincoe, 16 Jun 2010
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UK.gov outlines £95m IT savings plan

Ahead of next week's emergency Budget, Francis Maude, head honcho of the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), has outlined plans to renegotiate government IT contracts to net £95m in planned savings. Targets by project have not been set, but Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Maude said: “Each project will need …
Robert Blincoe, 15 Jun 2010
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How to follow the World Cup from your desk

The world and its dog are beaming World Cup insight and inanities into the web sphere. Here are our picks for insight. For fixtures, results, interviews, player information, statistics, ticketing info, venue info and more you'd be a fool not to go straight for Fifa's site and its Twitter feed. It's also got a decent amount of …
Robert Blincoe, 15 Jun 2010
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Deutsche Telekom duo not facing nosey charges

The former chief exec and chairman of Deutsche Telekom will not face charges, after an investigation into spying on board members and journalists failed to find sufficient evidence against them. The spying took place between 2005 and 2006, and in 2008 the German telco admitted phone records were monitored. But Klaus Zumwinkel, …
Robert Blincoe, 15 Jun 2010
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Hacker charged with threatening US VP using neighbour's PC

A hacker tried to frame his neighbour by tapping into his Wi-Fi and sending threatening emails to US vice president Joe Biden, according to search warrant affidavits unsealed last week. Computer expert Barry Ardolf, 45, is charged with using someone else's computer to send a threatening email to Biden. However, the affidavits …
Robert Blincoe, 14 Jun 2010
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Home Office passport fraud sweep flops

The Home Office security upgrade scheme to catch passport fraudsters through face-to-face interviews has bagged just eight potential 'Jackals'. The project, requiring first-time passport applicants to attend interviews with officials from the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), launched in 2007 and has resulted in no …
Robert Blincoe, 14 Jun 2010
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Queen gives IP boss a bath in Honours List

Science and technology got a respectable shout out in the Queens Birthday Honours List, amid the usual celebs, civil servants and lollipop ladies. Top of the heap, for their contribution to the cultural fabric of Britain, are the MBEs for Dr Frank Duckworth and Dr Tony Lewis - the statisticians who invented the Duckworth-Lewis …
Robert Blincoe, 14 Jun 2010
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World Cup stats fever - have you got the balls to win?

No host nation has ever lost the opening game of the World Cup. Now combine that nugget with knowing that South Africa is the lowest-ranked football team, by some distance, to have ever hosted the competition – the squad is 83rd in FIFA's rankings. What do you think is going to happen when they face up to Mexico (ranked 17th) …
Robert Blincoe, 11 Jun 2010
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World Cup stars by the numbers

Do you think it's obvious which payers and teams will have an impact in the World Cup kicking off today? Perception can really cloud the truth about a situation, particularly in sport. Two seasons ago Chelsea fans would have said French international Florent Malouda got off to a slow start at the club, that he was a weak link …
Robert Blincoe, 11 Jun 2010
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Spooks scour gambling sites in terror finance probe

The security services are running 23 ongoing investigations into the exploitation of gambling websites to finance terrorism. The revelation shows the online gaming industry is still vulnerable, and a prime target for criminals and terrorists, even after being at the centre of the conviction of the man described as the "godfather …
Robert Blincoe, 05 Feb 2010
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Betting sites balance fraudster nab and customer loss

Online gambling sites are fighting ever-sharper fraudsters, forcing them to balance stricter anti-cheat measures against the risk of alienating some of their best customers. Last week's Betting and Gaming 2010 Conference ran just days after it was revealed bookmakers Ladbrokes was investigating the loss of thousands of customer …
Robert Blincoe, 05 Feb 2010
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Police sitting on forensic backlog risk, says top e-cop

The UK's top e-cop believes the forensic backlog in seized IT kit poses a serious risk to ongoing criminal investigations. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams, the national lead on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), also sees the situation as unfair to those having to wait ages to get their …
Robert Blincoe, 13 Nov 2009
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Olympic ticket scams already starting, says top e-cop

Organised criminal gangs are snapping up domain names, ready to launch rip-off ticket sites for the 2012 Olympic Games. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Janet Williams, the national lead on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said specialist officers are seeing precursor activity they believe is from …
Robert Blincoe, 02 Nov 2009

Early tech goes under hammer in London

The going rate for bits of hardware and paperwork from the first commercially sold computer has been set at £8,400. This is what LEO II/3, the 1958 Lyons Electronic Office electronic programmable storage computer sold for at auction in London yesterday. For comparison, a job lot of an Osborne 'suitcase' computer and a Commodore …
Robert Blincoe, 01 Oct 2009
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eMachines wins Dixons PC deal

Dixons has switched its main supplier of own-brand Advent PCs from Centerprise to eMachines because of the latter's record on quality. Dixons' PC World chain has relaunched its Advent PCs this month with a new design and chassis. The range is aimed at confident second time buyers who are comfortable upgrading their machines and …
Robert Blincoe, 22 Mar 2002
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Dixons sues Time over ComputerWorld name

The Dixons Stores Group has fired off solicitor's letters to the Time Group telling it not to rebrand its shops as the The ComputerWorld. This name is too close to that of Dixon's PC World chain and could cause confusion, DSG claims. Time has already renamed its Burnley branch The ComputerWorld and intends to have 150 stores …
Robert Blincoe, 22 Mar 2002
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1m anti-piracy hi-fi nuking CDs hit Europe

New Scientist later retracted its report "that an anti-piracy technology, called Cactus, from Midbar Tech of Tel Aviv, could damage hi-fis and loudspeakers (New Scientist, 4 August 2001, p19). This is incorrect". You can read the correction in full here. One million CDs have been released in Europe which are protected by the …
Robert Blincoe, 03 Mar 2002
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MemoWatch HP begs staff to PR Compaq deal

Hewlett Packard is rounding up loyal staff to sing the company song and say the proposed merger with Compaq is a very good idea. The middleware part of the business is really doing its bit. An email on behalf of Bob Bickel, general manager of HP Middleware, is doing the rounds soliciting positive testimony form long serving HP …
Robert Blincoe, 14 Dec 2001
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Gateway ships 25 millionth PC

Gateway is shipping its 25 millionth PC today, 16 years after the company started. As is the way of such things, Gateway has selected a worthy customer to be the focus of the celebration for reaching this sales milestone. In this case its Quentin and Theresa Vasconcellos of Glendale, Arizona, who ordered the Gateway 500X PC …
Robert Blincoe, 13 Dec 2001
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Fujitsu takes 10 mins to process PC orders

Fujitsu has slashed its PC order processing time from two and a half days to ten minutes by using an e-commerce ordering system. Taking longer than two days to process an order doesn't sound that speedy, but ten minutes sounds pretty swift. Dell says it processes orders the same day they are placed, then builds them within five …
Robert Blincoe, 13 Dec 2001
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Psion mulls Teklogix writedown

Psion is reviewing the value of its Teklogix business following a tough year for the division in the North American market. In a trading statement today Psion said its results for 2001 could include a write down on the value of the Canadian maker of software and wireless-comms kit, bought last year for $360 million. Psion …
Robert Blincoe, 13 Dec 2001
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Death of an expert IT witness

The Home Secretary's plans to recruit top-flight computer forensic experts to work on complex cases as part of reforms of the police service may suffer a hitch. An acrimonious dispute has erupted between the UK's leading computer crime experts. On his web site, Jim Bates, MD of Computer Forensics and a long-time police expert, …
Robert Blincoe, 11 Dec 2001
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AOL pumps $200m into Gateway

Gateway is getting a $200 million investment from AOL. The deal, an update on a two year-old marketing and investment agreement, see Gateway get the final $200 million of $400 million AOL planned to invest in the business. It should go through later this month. The ISP is buying $200 million of Gateway Series A convertible …
Robert Blincoe, 10 Dec 2001
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Online bank fraudsters jailed for eight years

A five-strong Net fraud gang has been sentenced to a total of just under eight and half years for a conspiring to defraud online banks. The four men and one woman made bogus multiple credit card applications with Egg, Cahoot, Smile, Marbles, MBNA, and SonyCard. The gang, hailing from Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, were …
Robert Blincoe, 07 Dec 2001
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Alba's Net TV dog dies expensive death

Alba's draining foray into Internet television cost it £17.9 million in charges to close the venture. The company's Bush Internet portal was folded last week into ITV Digital and Alba has ended production of all Net TVs and set-top boxes. The charge meant Alba reported losses of £12.3 million for the six months to 30 September …
Robert Blincoe, 07 Dec 2001
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ATI rubs hands over GameCube royalties

ATI Technologies has issued guidance for Q1 ended 30 November, and points to increased revenue over the previous quarter and improved profitability. ATI president Dave Orton said he was pleased with the company's core graphics and video business, as well as the "earnings contribution that has resulted from the very successful …
Robert Blincoe, 07 Dec 2001