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Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

NOW! It's news to us at Vulture Central

Youtube Video The Reg serves up the highlights of this week with consummate avian avatar Regina Eggbert. This week, Regina fills us in on what's new with wearables, RBS's costly regulatory rap for 2012's massive IT meltdown and the crowdfunded British mission to the Moon. If you want more on this week's stories, click here, …
Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) in The Fifth Element

The Genome: Loose morals ... and even looser plotlines

The Genome is the latest novel from Sergei Lukyanenko, the sci-fi and fantasy author, and now modern Russian figurehead for the genre since his Night Watch novel was made into one of the few Russian movies to cross over to Western blockbuster status. Anton (Konstantin Khabenskiy) in Night Watch Anton (Konstantin Khabenskiy) in …
Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) in What We Do In The Shadows

What We Do In The Shadows? Laugh ourselves silly, mostly

It’s hard to believe that What We Do In The Shadows has been eight years in the making, given its spot-on, bang-up-to-date parody of both the vampire obsession and found footage/fake documentary style movies. The gang in What We Do In The Shadows (L-R)Vladislav, Viago, Petyr, Nick and Stu with Deacon above. Credit: What We Do …
Star Trek: Patterns of Force

'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT

This was the week when hacktivist collective Anonymous decided to take on the Ku Klux Klan after a local chapter of the white supremacist group threatened protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Say what you like about Nazis, they had lovely uniforms. And ears Anonymous took out websites and Twitter accounts for the group, as well …
CGI image of Lunar Mission One on the Moon

Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k

The UK-backed attempt to crowdfund a mission to the Moon has got off to a roaring start, raising over a third of its £600,000 goal in just three days. CGI image of Lunar Mission One on the Moon Lunar Mission One, which wants to get a new lander on the Moon in 2024 to give the space rock a deep drilling (and drop off some …
Maurice Moss, IT Crowd

Countdown contestant pays homage to IT Crowd's Moss

In one of the world’s greatest self-referential in-jokes, Countdown contestant Danny Davies has worn a T-shirt commemorating the appearance of Maurice Moss on Countdown in an episode of The IT Crowd. Youtube Video Davies appeared on the show wearing a T-shirt that said “Good morning, that’s a nice TNETENNBA” in homage to Moss, …

Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers

Ofcom is planning to nick some of the airwaves currently used by digital terrestrial telly and hand them over for the nation's mobile broadband use. The regulator said today that it would make the 700MHz spectrum available for mobile data to make services faster and cheaper, although the changes won’t come into effect until 2022 …
World's largest billboard on New York's Times Square

Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's

Google is the first customer to book advertising space on a gigantic new billboard on Times Square, which has a going rate of more than $2.5m for four weeks. World's largest billboard on New York's Times Square The newly unveiled megascreen is currently showing a digital art exhibition until 24 November, after which the …
CGI image of Lunar Mission One on the Moon

HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

A UK nonprofit, funded via Kickstarter – and endorsed by famous rockstar TV boffin Brian Cox – aims to land a robot probe (a probot, as some call them) on the Moon: one with an unusual purpose. And the team is sure that if the mission is a success, there will be human DNA at the site. CGI image of Lunar Mission One on the Moon …
Airware video

ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

A House of Lords committee has been told that while civilians are “undoubtedly” using drones to get up to no good, it was pretty difficult to do anything about it. Chief Inspector Nick Aldworth of the Metropolitan Police told the EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment sub-committee that drones, known as Remotely …
TechDemoSat-1 shot of planet Earth

MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

A Russian spacecraft – conceivably some kind of satellite-nobbling or -gobbling orbital weapons platform – is circling Earth, and Russia isn't saying anything about it. Nobody seems to know what it’s doing up there, nor what it's capable of doing. Kosmos 2499, Object 2014-28E or NORAD 39765, whatever you call it, this strange …

We come bearing internet: Google sends up Project Loon balloons in second test

Google is to run another test flight for its Project Loon internet-bringing balloons, this time sending up 20 new helium gas bags in Australia in partnership with Telstra. The Australian Associated Press reported that a second trial of the moonshot project will be taking place over western Queensland in December. Google had not …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

European Space Agency (ESA) boffins reckon they may have located the final touchdown site for their comet-intercepting Philae lander, after its bouncy landing caused them to lose track of it temporarily. Philae's bouncing touchdown seen in Rosetta NAVCAM pics Philae's touchdown site seen by Rosetta's navigation camera. The …
Amnesia cover

Amnesia: A mad Aussie dash through history, hacking and the CIA

Never has the long shadow of America across the world been so ominous and so ephemeral as it is in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations and Wikileaks. Data surveillance and the huge US presence in the tech and internet worlds have contributed to a sense of America as the omnipresent, unseen superpower in a way that no …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums

Youtube Video This week, Regina talks about Facebook's new (non-unfriend) News Feed feature and its seemingly underused Messenger app, the surprisingly creepy Amazon Echo, and the Microsoft Lumia that is not (repeat not) a Nokia. Didn't get enough info from the talking egg? Click here, here, here or here for more. ® Regina …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

COMET lander DRILL CLIFFHANGER as last dregs of power used

The Philae team has opted to use what could be the last of the comet-catching lander’s power to deploy its drill, in the hopes of collecting the chemical analysis that could answer fundamental questions about life on Earth. Artist In a nail-biting cliffhanger end to the lander's story, the plucky probot’s protuberance had …

Nokia: Buh-bye LUMIA and cash-sucking handset pals... LET'S MAKE SOME MONEY!

Nokia has raised its long-term profitability target and expects its new business of concentrating strictly on the telecoms equipment game to grow next year. The Finnish firm, which has focused on making telco gear and its intellectual property portfolio since ditching its handset unit earlier this year, said that strong demand …
Philae ROLIS view of the comet landing site from 40m

Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'

Tough choices lie ahead for Rosetta's Philae scientists after they discovered that the lander’s bouncing touchdown has pushed it into the shadow of a cliff, making it unlikely that its batteries can recharge. Rosetta's OSIRIS snaps Philae as a dot on its way to Comet 67P Philae on its way to Comet 67P. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS …
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

The ESA’s historic comet-landing probot Philae has re-established contact with mission control and is currently stable on the surface. El Reg's space vulture Brid-Aine Parnell reports from mission command at the ESA ops complex at Darmstadt, Germany. Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P BEHOLD! The first …
Philae ROLIS view of the comet landing site from 3km

BOUNCY BOUNCY: Comet probot Philae landed TWICE

ESA scientists are still a bit baffled about just how they managed to land their Philae probe on the surface of Comet 67P after the craft's harpoons failed to fire into the rock. And they think it’s possible Philae landed not once, but twice. It's the first time ever humanity has set down on a comet – and this one's 500 million …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

SUPER-JAMMY Philae comet probe got down WITHOUT harpoons

ESA head of mission operations Paolo Ferri has said that the harpoons meant to anchor the Philae lander to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko did not actually fire as they'd thought earlier. Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P But regardless, the craft is reporting that it’s stable on the space-rock, so the …
Agilkia landing site on November 6

'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P

The ESA has succeeded in humanity’s first ever attempt to land a man-made probe on a comet after Philae touched down on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. “Yes, yes, YES!” said Andrea Accamazzo, Rosetta flight director. “We see the lander sitting on the ground!” After a tense build-up, the European Space Agency’s …
How Philae lands on the comet

Philae heads for comet, reports back to mothercraft Rosetta

The Philae lander’s science centre has had its first data update from the spacecraft, which has sent the first of many images, along with data, from its scientific instruments. El Reg's space vulture Brid-Aine Parnell reports from mission command at the ESA ops complex at Darmstadt, Germany. Philae snaps Rosetta spacecraft …
Rosetta

DODGY THRUSTER won't stop PHILAE hurtling toward COMET SHOWDOWN

The fridge-sized science 'bot the European Space Agency hopes will land on a comet hurtling through space today has successfully separated from its comet-chasing parent craft, Rosetta. Scientists at ESA Mission Control look on nervously as Philae approaches the comet. Pic: ESA/J. Mai Scientists at ESA Mission Control look on …
Philae

DRAMA in SPACE: But Philae KEEPS TRYING to HARPOON COMET

The ESA's comet-chaser spacecraft Rosetta will send its lander Philae towards Comet 67P on Wednesday – after some scrambling by boffins here in Germany over the past few hours to get the probe ready for its historic landing attempt. The comet is hurtling through space at 135,000km per hour towards the Sun, and the ESA hopes …
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

Euro space boffins ready, mere HOURS from flinging Rosetta lander at Comet 67P

The ESA's comet probe Philae has been given the first official nod in its historic attempt to land on Comet 67P: boffins at the European Space Agency say the lander's Rosetta mothercraft is on the right path towards the soaring cosmic rock. The agency's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) Flight Dynamics staff had to confirm …
Agilkia landing site on November 6

FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

The European Space Agency is at the eve of one of its most ambitious projects: the passive landing of a small scientific craft on the surface of a comet that’s hurtling through space at over 60,000kmph. Your El Reg correspondent will be reporting from the ESA control centre at Darmstadt, Germany, bringing you the story as it …
Pile of mobiles

Samsung, Vietnam in talks over another BEEELLION-DOLLAR mobe factory

Samsung Electronics has applied for a licence to open a new $3bn smartphone factory in northern Vietnam, near an existing facility. Sammy is planning to build the plant in Thai Nguyen province, where it already has a $2bn phone factory that it opened in March, Dau Tu newspaper originally reported. In an emailed statement, the …
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry chief vows: We'll focus on 'core devices' and on, er, NOT LOSING MONEY

BlackBerry chief John Chen has said that the Canadian firm won’t be trying to launch too many new devices as it struggles to claw its way back to profitability. Chen told Reuters that the firm was focused on profits, so it wouldn’t be pushing for heaps of new smartphones. "Once we turn this company to profitability again, I …
Cameron Diaz

CAMERON DIAZ covers top BOFFINS in GOLD at Breakthrough Prizes

Cameron Diaz, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Zuckerberg were among the assembled luminaries at NASA's Ames campus in Silicon Valley over the weekend – where techbiz titans and people paid to pretend to be boffins in the movies distributed $36m at the Breakthrough Prize ceremony. The money was awarded by tech luminaries on the …
Horizon by Keith Stevenson

Horizon finds new potential in the sci-fi staple deepsleep tale

The most likely way for humans to first travel beyond the Solar System is through some form of hibernation, most often referred to in sci-fi as deepsleep. The prospect is rife with dramatic potential for a good book – what would it be like to be the same age and yet years older than friends and family, or to never see them, or …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

Who rules the ‘net, when will we see Oculus Rift and should tech tycoons REALLY be homeless?

Youtube Video This week's top tales include the UN defeated in its attempt to rule the 'net, Brendan Iribe's tantalising clues on when Facebook's Oculus Rift techno-specs can be expected to hit the shelves and a US politician telling tech tycoons they should sleep on the streets. Want to know more? Click here, here and here …
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy)

Interstellar: An awesome sci-fi spectacle – just cut the hamminess, please

The weight of expectation is a heavy burden and thanks to a clever information-withholding marketing campaign, the formidable Batman trilogy and the eye-opening Inception, Christopher Nolan’s space epic Interstellar has more than its fair share. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that it buckles somewhat under the pressure. Alien …
Protect Your Bubble

TECH BUBBLE? No, no way, nope, says Silicon Valley investor

Top tech investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has said there’s no bubble in tech, despite the billion-dollar valuations floating around for firms that haven’t seen a penny in profits. “I don’t really think that there’s a bubble ... Bubbles only happen when the public is involved, they’re a psychosocial event,” Thiel told the …

Bitcoin is GREAT and SAFE, says, er, the Bitcoin Foundation

Bitcoin will have its biggest impact in unstable regimes and foreign currency transfers, according to the Bitcoin Foundation's chief scientist Gavin Andresen. Speaking at Web Summit 2014, the head boffin said the online virtual current offered a great way to sidestep unstable government-issued currencies when they were suffering …
Nest founder Tony Fadell at Web Summit

Google's Nest partners up with utility company – on smart thermostats

Google’s internet-of-the-home subsidiary Nest has announced a partnership with a utility firm, offering its thermostats for free to customers of Electric Ireland. Announcing the deal at Web Summit in Dublin, Tony Faddell said that the partnership was the kind of thing he’d dreamed about when he started the company four years ago …
John Sculley at Web Summit 2014

Former Apple chief John Sculley says Steve Jobs 'never forgave him'

John Sculley, former Apple chief and forever famous for pushing Steve Jobs out of the company in the '80s, has said that the pair of tech entrepreneurs never patched things up between them. “We never really talked… Steve Jobs never forgave me – Apple was his baby,” Sculley admitted at the Web Summit in Dublin. He said that the …
Stefan Weitz, director of search at Microsoft

Microsoft's Bing hopes to bag market share with ... search apps

Microsoft’s director of search Stefan Weitz has admitted that Bing.com probably can’t compete with Google’s search engine in a head-to-head race, but reckons Redmond's a contender in search applications. Stefan Weitz, director of search at Microsoft “The question is, where is search really going?” he said at the Web Summit …
Paddy Cosgrave at Web Summit

Having a Web Summit? Get some decent Wi-Fi!

It’s never a good thing for conference organisers when their Wi-Fi goes down – but it’s even worse when you’re positioning yourself as the première European tech conference of the year, Web Summit. Attendees were pretty miffed as Dublin’s massive 22,000-strong event kicked off today and the Wi-Fi at the RDS venue promptly …
Slurp

Samsung gobbles Proximal Data for server-side SSD

Samsung has announced that it has slurped caching company Proximal Data, as first reported by The Reg, to try to enhance its SSD-based software for server systems. The company specialises in server-side caching software with I/O intelligence that work within virtualised systems like ESXi hypervisor and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. “ …
SpaceShipTwo crash

Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

The Virgin Galactic "spaceship" rocketplane which broke up in mid-air during a flight test on Friday deployed its unique "feather" atmospheric re-entry system far earlier than planned, according to federal investigators. VSS Enterprise in feathered descent testing. Credit: Clay Observatory/Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise in …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

Smartphones, iTunes and the White House on Vulture News

Youtube Video Get this week's top stories delivered Reg-style by Vulture News anchor Regina Eggbert. Want to know more? Click here, here, here and here for the full stories. ® Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
Steve Ballmer

'I get it if you don't make money for 2 or 3 years, but Amazon's 21'

The EU's digital office has warned this week that Hungary's proposed tax on ISPs can't become a precedent in Europe. Ryan Heath, spokesperson for digital czar Steelie Neelie Kroes, told El Reg: This must be seen in a wider context as part of a pattern to limit media and internet freedom. That is why it is so important to tackle …
The Doctor and Missy in Dark Water

Clara goes to the dark side, with dark secrets revealed in Dark Water

Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: So that was honestly unexpected. Danny Pink dies. And as Clara says, not in a spectacular fashion, not in a Doctor Who way, just in a regular old death kind of a way. Reminiscent of that deeply moving, almost soundless episode of Buffy …
Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game: Bringing Alan Turing's classified life to light

For director Morten Tyldum and writer Graham Moore, the life of Alan Turing is about more than the fact that he was gay, or that he was a genius or that he was one of the keepers of arguably the biggest secret of World War II. Both film-makers agree that Turing’s story is about outsiders and how being an outsider can be exactly …
Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Bombe machine

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game: Glimpses of Turing's life, but that's all ...

It’s never easy to portray the life of a genius on film. Although their achievements and abilities might fascinate us, there’s not a lot of visual appeal in watching someone being good at maths, or painting really well or endlessly practising music. To make a good biopic of genius, it helps if your subject also led an eventful …
Seth Rogen and Steve Wozniak

Seth Rogen bags Woz role in Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic

It looks like beardy funnyman Seth Rogen will take on the role of Steve Wozniak in the second biopic of Apple guru Steve Jobs, which has Batman actor Christian Bale slated to take the lead role. Seth Rogen and Steve Wozniak That's Rogen on the left and Woz on the right Bearded Rogen will play the bearded Woz, sources have …
Instagram logo

Facebook sticks vid ads on faux retro photo app biz Instagram

Photo filter and poster biz Instagram has started serving up those pic and video ads it has been promising for a while now, with marketing from folks like Disney and the CW starting today. Youtube Video The Facebook subsidiary said last year that it had “big ideas for the future” and they involved making money out of its user …
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now

Chinese Android mobile firm and fierce Apple rival Xiaomi has nabbed the third place finish in the world’s largest smartphone vendors just three years after first setting up shop. Beancounters at Strategy Analytics said that the Chinese firm accounted for six per cent of the 320 million smartphones shipped in the quarter from …
Antares rocket fails

Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Speculation is rife that the Antares rocket accident at Wallops on Tuesday evening was caused by the 1960s-era Russian engines powering the craft, though the official investigations have only just begun. Aerial view of Wallops after Antares catastrophic launch failure Private space firm Orbital Sciences has already faced …