Kelly Fiveash

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Kelly Fiveash is the Weekend Editor of The Register.

OH DEAR, WHSmith: Sensitive customer data spaffed to world+dog

Updated British newsagent WHSmith has a major privacy hole on its website, after its magazine subscription service began emailing everyone on the mailing list. The data protection howler has been flagged up on Twitter by plenty of angry customers who fear having their personal information plundered by wrongdoers. However, despite the …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Sep 2015
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Ad watchdog terminates Vodafone's cherry-picked 'unbeatable connecting calls' claims

Blighty's ad watchdog has given Vodafone a ticking off following a complaint from rival carrier Three, which successfully challenged the firm's "unbeatable at connecting calls" claims. A press and website advert were found to have cherry-picked locations across the UK to support Voda's assertion that it was "unbeatable" at …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Sep 2015
Bettlejuice

Ecuador and Sweden in 'constructive talks' – just don't mention Assange™ by name

How to solve a problem like Julian Assange™ was the veiled topic of debate on Monday when officials from Ecuador and Sweden met for the first time. According to AFP, it's hoped that a deal on judicial help in criminal cases can be struck between the two countries by the end of this year. Swedish justice ministry official …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Sep 2015
Working Girl film

Apple muscles in on biz world AGAIN – this time with Cisco pact

Apple has inked a deal with networking giant Cisco, as Cupertino beefs up its efforts to pull in more business customers. Financial details of the agreement were kept secret. But the motivation was clear: to make iOS devices work more smoothly on networks that use Cisco kit. Apple said it planned to integrate its iThings with …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Sep 2015

Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

Dropbox suffered a major outage across the globe today – the company blamed "routine internal maintenance" for the significant wobble, which appears to be ongoing. At time of publication, Dropbox was claiming on its official status page that services were running normally again. However, a quick scan of "Dropbox down" tweets …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2015
Elton John as Pinball Wizard in the 1975 movie Tommy

Don't go breaking my shrimp: Boffin names crustacean after Elton John's appendage

Elton John's appearance as the Pinball Wizard in the 1975 movie Tommy has inspired a scientist to name a newly-discovered crustacean after the British rock star. Leucothoe eltoni, new crustacean species. Pic credit: Dr James Thomas; CC-BY 4.0 Look at the appendage on that! Leucothoe eltoni, new crustacean species. Pic …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2015
Microsoft monopoly

US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Microsoft has swerved a potentially crushing blow to its vanishingly small mobile biz, after a US watchdog swiped away a request to block the import of its Lumia handsets into the country. InterDigital, which had been in a patent spat with Nokia many years before Redmond scooped up the mobile maker, said it was disappointed …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber pulls up to the bumper, plonks Jeep hackers into driving seat

Uber has hired two security researchers as it shifts gears on its biz strategy with plans to develop driver-free cars. The cab app outfit has poached Twitter's Charlie Miller and IOActive's Chris Valasek. Those names may sound familiar to readers. That's because they're the chaps who recently demonstrated just how easy it was …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
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C For Hell – Day Two: Outage misery continues for furious C4L customers

C4L has zero clue about when its network will return to normal service, nearly two days since the outage first struck the cloud provider. Customers have, in the meantime, continued to grouse about the severe disruption the Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident has caused to their businesses. Roughly …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Aug 2015

C For Hell: Data centre meltdown for irate customers as C4L GOES TITSUP

Updated C4L has been battling a major outage for the best part of a day and customers are becoming increasingly angry about the lengthy downtime. The Bournemouth-based colocation and cloud provider, which switched its network over to Juniper kit in October last year, said it was working with the vendor to resolve the outage. C4L said …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Aug 2015
EE Power Bar

Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right

Exclusive EE failed to label its "Power Bar" phone charging devices with the correct marking to show that the product complied with European safety directives, The Register has learned. The embarrassing cockup comes after we revealed that EE management had been warned about safety risks with its Power Bar, ahead of its launch in April …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2015
Assange

Assange™ to SQUAT in Ecuadorian broom closet for ANOTHER FIVE YEARS (maybe)

Julian Assange can set his alarm clock to wake him up in roughly five years' time, when he will be able to walk out of the Ecuadorian Embassy a free man – well, once he settles the matter of breaching his bail conditions with Scotland Yard, that is. The reason? As spotted by lawyer David Allen Green, Swedish law of limitation …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Aug 2015
Doctor Who: Empty Child

IWF shares 'hash list' with web giants to flush out child sex abuse images online

The UK's telco-backed Internet Watch Foundation has distributed a hash list of child abuse images to the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter – in an attempt to hasten the removal of such content across the globe. Microsoft's PhotoDNA was one of the technologies used by the IWF to create the hashes, which serve as digital …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Aug 2015
Still from the movie Zoolander: Derek and a fellow model try to get the 'files' out of the Mac by smashing it to pieces. copyright Paramount Pictures

GDS denim brigade flees GOV.UK after Web2.0rhea MESSIAH Bracken departs

A number of key Government Digital Service management bods resigned from their posts today, a little over a week since boss Mike Bracken confirmed his surprise departure. It has been speculated that the bloated headcount of nearly 700 full-time employees and contractors will be slimmed down in the autumn, when GDS could face a …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Aug 2015
MINOS Experiment image taken by Peter Ginter for Fermilab - The MINOS experiment sends a beam of neutrinos 450 miles straight through the earth from Fermilab to northern Minnesota - no tunnel necessary

Beaming boffins feel the rhythm as neutrinos oscillate over 500 miles

Scientists working on the NOvA experiment have spotted what they say is evidence of oscillating neutrinos for the first time in the lab's particle accelerator. Since February 2014, boffins have been stashing data and recording interaction of the abundant, yet elusive, subatomic particles as they interacted in the specially- …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Aug 2015

Huge hack attack: UK data cops to probe Carphone Warehouse breach

Britain's data watchdog plans to investigate a massive hack attack on Carphone Warehouse's systems, which has put 2.4 million customers at risk of having their personal info ransacked by wrongdoers. On Saturday afternoon, the company coughed to the mega data breach and added that up to 90,000 subscribers may have had their …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Aug 2015
Angry-looking cat. Pic by  Guyon Morée from Beverwijk, Netherlands. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Surprise! Evil-eyed cats MORE LIKELY to be SNEAKY PREDATORS – boffins

Vid Vision boffins have seen the light – they believe that the shape of pupils in animal eyes can often reveal whether the beast is a hunter or the hunter's prey. Researchers at UC Berkeley eyeballed 214 species of land creatures during the study. They found that animals with pupils shaped in vertical slits were far more likely to …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Aug 2015

Carphone Warehouse coughs to MONSTER data breach – 2.4 MEELLION Brits at risk

Carphone Warehouse has taken three days to go public about a serious data breach affecting nearly 2.5 million customers – with the confession that up to 90,000 subscribers may have had their credit card info ransacked. The company said on Saturday afternoon that it had first discovered its systems had been violated by a " …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Aug 2015
EE Power Bar

Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Exclusive EE management was warned that its popular "Power Bar" phone charging devices had serious safety risks before they were given to customers, the Register has learned. A Power Bar subsequently exploded, injuring a young woman badly enough that she required hospital treatment, and some Power Bars have since been recalled. Last …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Aug 2015

EE recalls Power Bar phone chargers after explosion burns woman

EE has recalled thousands of Power Bar phone chargers just days after a woman ended up in hospital when one of the devices exploded, causing injury to her hands and damage to the victim's property. The UK's biggest mobile operator said it was aware of a small number of incidents where the power pack had overheated, posing a …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Aug 2015

BT Sport website AND app go TITSUP – footie fans weep

Enraged BT Sport subscribers have moaned about severe online disruptions to the service – but the company was yet to explain what had caused the Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident. An unknown number of football fans appeared to have seen their Sunday afternoon ruined after they were unable to view …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Aug 2015
Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 obtained on 25 July 2015. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

Boffins: Spooky, spinning SPACE PEANUT butters up Earth with close flyby

Vid NASA scientists have captured grainy radar pics of a peculiar-shaped, dark asteroid, dubbed "Space Peanut", which buzzed past Earth last weekend. Youtube Video 1999 JD6 – the boffinry name for the asteroid – made its closest approach to our world late Pacific Daylight Time on 24 July, the US space agency said. It flew past …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Aug 2015
shutterstock_101821642

Apple chief Cook cooks up rumours after BMW car talks, factory tour

Apple has reportedly been having secret confabs with car maker BMW – with scuttlebutt suggesting the companies flirted with the idea of a possible hook up. According to Reuters, Cupertino boss Tim Cook visited BMW's headquarters in 2014 and higher-ups at Apple were apparently taken on a tour of the facilities at the car …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Aug 2015
Robots emulate natural locomotion of water strider insects. Pic credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Watch leggy ROBOT INSECT WALK on WATER before JUMPING OFF

Vid Scientists have created a leggy microrobot that mimics the actions of a water strider. They wanted to replicate the movement of the semi-aquatic insects to try to have a better understanding of how they are able to jump from watery surfaces with the same amount of force and height as a leap from rigid ground. Boffins from …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Aug 2015
Neil Armstrong's Lunar suit

SPACESUIT, once FOUND ON MOON: Crowd action saves it for the public

The very suit in which pioneering 'naut Neil Armstrong made his historic moonwalks is to go on show to the public – thanks in large part to a successful crowdfunding appeal for half a million bucks that will bankroll the exhibition. The Smithsonian Institution said earlier this month that it hoped to raise the cash to fund the …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jul 2015

Boffins' audacious plan to blow up aircraft foiled by bomb-proof bag

Forsaken planes have been used in a series of boffinry experiments this week to test whether a bag lined with bomb-proof material could withstand an explosive blast. A group of international scientists and academics from the University of Sheffield – backed by the European Commission and run by a consortium of businesses and …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jul 2015

Fiat Chrysler recall BLUNDERING could lump carmaker with $105m fine – report

Fiat Chrysler may cop a record-breaking fine from US authorities following a series of bungles. Earlier this week, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was forced to recall 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles, following revelations that the computer systems built into the cars could be exploited by an attacker …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jul 2015
Double Dragon

Game over for epic 15-year-long console ban, China says

Videogame giants will soon be able to make and sell consoles in China, after Beijing confirmed plans to lift a ban first instituted in 2000. Rules were relaxed in the country in 2014 to allow for the production and sale of "gaming entertainment" in the newly created Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Now, according to the Wall Street …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jul 2015
Hair ice in a forest near Moosseedorf, Switzerland (Credit: Christian Mätzler)

Boffins go to FUNGI town: Riddle of 100-year-old HAIRY, ICY dead wood finally cracked

Strange "hair ice" found sprouting on old wood has finally been explained by scientists: it's caused by fungi. For nearly a century, boffins have been baffled by the odd hairy phenomenon. It grows on dead wood during humid winter nights when air temperatures fall a little below zero degrees centigrade. A crack team of …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jul 2015
Boy slapping another boy on the head

Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

Virgin Media plans to shunt its email users over to an in-house system after Google told the cable company that it was ditching Gmail support for ISPs. The Register heard from a number of readers who have been told in recent days about the upcoming changes to the mail service. Virgin Media switched over to Gmail in 2009 and …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jul 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Truly these are magical days: Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 will indeed be sold on USB thumb drives rather than just on optical discs, confirming internet mumblings that have been current for some time. Over on Amazon.com, pre-order pages show that the operating system will be available on media other than DVDs. A …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015

Microsoft to spoofed Skype users: Change your account passwords NOW

An unknown number of frustrated Skype customers have been pestered by spoof messages on the Microsoft service for weeks, but the company is yet to close what appears to be a gaping hole in its software. Instead, Redmond has advised Skype users to change their account passwords. But complaints are building up about the lack of …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015
Shaun of the Dead

SourceForge staggers to feet after lengthy STORAGE FAIL outage

Popular open source code-hosting repository SoureForge has been battling a significant outage for days and is slugglishly recovering from a lengthy Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) drama. On Thursday, the site slipped into "disaster recovery mode" and since then it has been a torrid time for sysadmins …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015
Goonies film still: truffle shuffle

Science sub spots lost Revolutionary-era SHIPWRECK

A submersible carrying out scientific research on the deep ocean bed off the Carolina coast has happened across an unexpected bonus: a Revolutionary-era shipwreck that nobody had known lay in the area. The wreck was sighted a week ago when researchers from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jul 2015

Hacking Team: We're the good guys, but SO misunderstood. Like Batman

The boss of Italian spy firm Hacking Team has spoken out for the first time about the recent massive hack of the company databases. This has exposed severe software security holes and gifted terrorists with zero-day exploits, among other things. David Vincenzetti, in an interview with La Stampa newspaper, claimed his firm …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jul 2015
Pluto dark spots. Image credit: NASA

WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Astroboffins remain baffled by four mysterious dark spots captured in images buzzed back to Earth from NASA's New Horizons probe as it dashes towards its fateful rendezvous with dwarf planet Pluto. In particular, scientists have been fascinated with the size and spacing of the spots, which face Pluto's largest moon, Charon, …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jul 2015
Axe, image via Shutterstock

Drop-stitch: Microsoft's 3D Photosynth app sinks into oblivion

Seeing as Microsoft's axe has been sharpened in recent days, the company has now decided to swing it at some unpopular apps including its cloudy, pic-stitching Photosynth product. Redmond couldn't quite bring itself to admit it had fallen out of love with Photosynth by posting this statement on Friday: Today we are …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015
An annotated version indicates features described in the text, and includes a reference globe showing Pluto’s orientation in the image, with the equator and central meridian in bold. Pic credit: NASA

PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

Excited NASA boffins have published yet more imagery of remote dwarf ice-planet Pluto – this time, however, with a bit more geology thrown in. The US space agency's New Horizons probe is now just three days away from its closest flyby of Pluto, having been on its deep space mission for nine and a half years. In the meantime, …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015
This is graphene-based film on an electronic component with high heat intensity. Pic credit: Johan Liu / Chamers University of Technology

Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down

A graphene-based film could help to cool down overheating microelectronic devices, scientists have claimed in a new study. Researchers at Chalmers University, led by professor Johan Liu, have developed the 20 micrometre-thick film, which apparently has a thermal conductivity capacity of 1,600 W/mK – four times that of copper …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015
First Tory-only budget in 19 years. Pic credit: Parliament TV screengrab

Osbo PRINTS first Tory budget in 19 years with his BARE HANDS

Summer Budget 2015 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the first full fat Tory budget statement in 19 years today by shedding billions of pounds from Blighty's welfare system. During his statement to the House of Commons, Osbo praised Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith's "herculean efforts" with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jul 2015
7/7 London bombings headlines. Pic credit: Elly Waterman under cc 3.0

7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

Ten years ago today I was sitting at my IT support desk at an ad agency in central London – covering the early shift and waiting for the first calls of the morning to come in from tired, agitated users. But on that day, the phones remained eerily silent and as the minutes ticked by none of my fellow techies had yet turned up …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Jul 2015
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

Yank my blockchain: Bitcoin upgrade SNAFU borks hungry miners' currency

Bitcoin users have been urged to switch to pool mines that fully validate data blocks, after the virtual currency system hit a major snag during a planned upgrade. The open source P2P community warned on Saturday that "many wallets" were "currently vulnerable to double-spending of confirmed transactions." Anyone who received …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2015
jaws

Samsung, Oppo collared in smartphone bloatware probe

Smartphone makers Samsung and Oppo face legal action in China over handsets apparently stuffed with bloatware. Plenty of folk in the People's Republic have moaned to regulators about pre-installed software on their phones, prompting Shanghai's Consumer Council to act. The country's Consumers' Association said in a statement …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2015
Homer Simpson wearing a Glass headset to bed

Giddy Google Glass gazers, beware! FCC filing obscures view on new gadget

Google has been quietly beavering away at a new Bluetooth-enabled product with the not-exactly discreet ID tag of A4R-GG1. The "GG" in that name could point to a reworked version of Google Glass, as first noted by the Droid Life blog. Details of the mysterious device were revealed in FCC filings that were published on 1 July …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jul 2015

Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

Google's new Photos software automatically labelled images of black people as "gorillas". The ad giant has since apologised. Mountain View's hugely embarrassing blunder comes just one month after it launched its cloud-hosted photo storage service, and made a big deal out of its machine-learning features. Google also warned that …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2015
BT Openreach at work

Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe

Blighty's communications watchdog declined this morning to comment on Sky's demands for an in-depth competition probe of BT's broadband biz. Sky has argued in its submission (PDF) to Ofcom today that the regulator should ask the Competition and Markets Authority to intervene with a full inquiry into BT's strong grip on the UK's …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jun 2015
Falcon 9 just before it explodes. Pic credit: NASA

KRAKKOOM! SpaceX Falcon supply mission to ISS EXPLODES minutes after launch

Updated Elon Musk's Falcon 9 rocket exploded after liftoff today over the blue skies of Cape Canaveral, Florida – the catastrophic failure happened within minutes of the launch. The unmanned SpaceX rocket was carrying the Dragon capsule on its seventh planned mission to the International Space Station. The pod had been loaded with …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Jun 2015
Google car

Robo-car wars: Delphi's near crash, prang, wallop with Google DENIED!

Delphi Automotive has contradicted a senior exec at the company by denying that one of its robo-cars had come close to being pranged by a Google self-driving vehicle. The firm told Reuters on Friday that the news wire's earlier report – which earlier this week had quoted John Absmeier, Delphi's Silicon Valley lab director, …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Jun 2015
Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook profile pic with rainbow filter

So much for rainbows, Zuck: Facebook staff still overwhelmingly male and white

Facebook may be celebrating gay rights around the world today by encouraging its users to paint their profile photos with a rainbow-themed filter, but the firm will be less proud about its latest diversity report. That's because the company's workforce remains overwhelmingly white and male. Facebook's latest "diversity report" …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Jun 2015
sheep_herwick_648

Facebook dunks Instagram in new search filter sheep dip

Facebook has beefed up Instagram's search functions to pull the photo-sharing service into line with the rest of Mark Zuckerberg's siloed empire. It's hardly a surprising move, given that the announcement comes just weeks after Facebook confirmed plans to blast the photo filter app with ads. Instagram's revamped search feature …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2015