Kelly Fiveash

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Kelly Fiveash is the Weekend Editor of The Register.
Zuck balloons

Facebook, French sat operator in SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA

Facebook has inked a deal with Eutelsat Communications to beam internet access to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Financial terms of the agreement were kept secret. Eutelsat said this morning that the companies had signed a "multi-year" pact with Spacecom to "utilise the entire broadband payload on the future AMOS-6 satellite", …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Oct 2015
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Virgin Media's SPAM-AGEDDON 'fix' silences mailboxes

Virgin Media customers who are account holders have been struggling – one way or another – to access their emails for days now. Subscribers affected by the ISP's migration from Google's Gmail service were first forced to wade through hundreds of SPAM messages to get to their emails, only to later find that over- …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Oct 2015

Sensitive Virgin Media web pages still stuck on weak crypto software

More than six months since The Register reported that Virgin Media had failed to move away from weak encryption software used on sensitive areas of its website – the ISP is yet to hit the upgrade button. In March, we flagged up security concerns to the Liberty Global-owned firm by pointing out that the RC4 stream cipher used …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Oct 2015
Doctor Who – Under the Lake. Image credit: BBC

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Gavin says: I know there's something wrong with Doctor Who – Under the Lake, but it hits me only at the end. It isn’t the standard sci-fi set up of humans stranded in isolated and hostile setting – scientific/industrial/military facility/hotel/ …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Oct 2015
The Chocolate Festival, London

Google spews out Alphabet. Alphabet gobbles Google

Google morphed into its new holding company, Alphabet, after close of business on Friday. The Chocolate Factory announced a huge rejig of its biz in August, when Sundar Pichai was crowned chief exec of Google. The ad giant's co-founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin now head up Alphabet as CEO and president. Google, meanwhile, …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Oct 2015

Three mobile data network GOES TITSUP across Blighty

Three UK is battling what appears to be a major outage affecting its mobile network. The company has been quietly fielding hundreds of messages via micro-blurt website Twitter, which seems to suggest that the disruption is widespread. @ThreeUK what's going on with the mobile data? Down yet again 😬 — james edwards (@ …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Oct 2015
Man and Superman

Zuck, Gates and Bono in ludicrous internet access for world+dog by 2020 bid

Two of the world's richest men and Bono* have pledged to help bring internet access to everyone across the planet by 2020. It comes just days after a UN report warned that broadband growth had sharply slumped, noting that hitting a target of four billion internet users five years from now was "unlikely" to be achieved. …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2015
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

Volkswagen was reportedly warned about rigging emissions tests on its vehicles years ago, not only by one of its suppliers but also the German car giant's own engineers. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, VW's technicians flagged up concerns about the engine management software the company was …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2015
Artist's image of asteroids and Mars

NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS

Perhaps to give the President time to act in advance, NASA says it will unveil a "major" discovery it has made on our planetary neighbour Mars later today. Nobody knows what the discovery could be, but there has to be at least some chance that at last, alien life has been discovered on another planet than our own. The US …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Sep 2015
Zuck balloons

Facebook to users (sorry, PEOPLE): Party like it's 2005 and blog your little hearts out

Facebook has rejigged its Notes feature by turning it into a blog-like function, while skirting any mention of the B-word – perhaps to avoid making the free content ad network appear too retro. Retro as in, say, 2005. The overhaul probably won't appeal to the younger segment of the market, many of whom are fixated with …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Sep 2015
VW Scirocco logo

NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword

Volkswagen's boss Martin Winterkorn has quit his job as the diesel emissions cheat scandal continues to engulf the German car maker. Winterkorn – who characterised the saga as a "grave crisis" for VW – resigned on Wednesday saying that he was "shocked by the events of the past few days". Late last week, it was revealed that …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Sep 2015

EE is UK's biggest loser on customer broadband gripes – AGAIN

EE's dreadful record drags on, with the mobile carrier once again bagging the top spot for the most broadband customer complaints in the UK. Subscribers moaned about a range of problems with the provider's service, including faults, billing, pricing and charges, according to Ofcom's latest quarterly report. The regulator said …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Sep 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband

BT chief Gavin Patterson has promised to back the government's desire to gift Blighty with universal minimum broadband speeds of 5 to 10Mbps, with the caveat that the company needs support from Ofcom. The one-time state monopoly laid out its plans for the next five years on Tuesday morning, by claiming that BT's pledges could …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Sep 2015


Mark Zuckerberg has finally ticked off a mammoth item on his bucket list: Facebook usage – his company reckons – has eclipsed internet growth, and the UN Broadband Commission parroted those claims on Monday. The free content ad network, along with mobile broadband access, apparently outstripped global internet usage in what …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Sep 2015

CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

Volkswagen's CEO has admitted that the German car manufacturer used software to cheat emissions testing for certain air pollutants on nearly half a million of its cars. Martin Winterkorn's confession led to the company suffering a bloody trading day – with shares nosediving more than 21 per cent to €128.15 this morning. "I …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Sep 2015

AMD chief architect Jim Keller quits chipmaker – again

AMD's top microprocessor architect Jim Keller has walked from the chip vendor, just months after the company unveiled a shift in strategy to reinvest in high-end FX CPUs. Keller quit on Friday, having returned to AMD in 2012 after most recently working at Apple. It's unclear why the industry veteran has walked away from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2015
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

AWS outage knocks Amazon, Netflix, Tinder and IMDb in MEGA data collapse

Amazon's Web Services (AWS) have suffered a monster outage affecting the company's cloudy systems, bringing some sites down with it in the process. The service disruption hit AWS customers including Netflix, Tinder and IMDb, as well as Amazon's Instant Video and Books websites. The outage may also explain Airbnb's current …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2015
Airbnb outage

Airbnb goes titsup – travellers and hosts flip out over lengthy downtime

Lodge-listing website Airbnb suffered what appeared to be a fairly widespread outage in the early hours of Sunday morning. At time of publication, reports of downtime woes continued to trickle in. One Reg reader told us that Airbnb's servers had been down for hours. The company, which claims to have 1.5 million listings …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2015
Jim Carey weeing scene in Me, Myself & Irene

Huh? Cat-wees-like-a-racehorse study pees on fellow physicists to take Ig Nobel prize

Boffins, who – thanks to their bladder-poking research – busted the myth that racehorses urinate longer than other animals, have been awarded the physics Ig Nobel prize. Mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology David Hu explained that he had been inspired to conduct the experiments after changing a baby's …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Sep 2015
VW Scirocco logo

Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

The US government has accused Volkswagen of using software to duck emissions testing for certain air pollutants on nearly half a million of its cars. The German manufacturer was slapped with a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act from the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday and ordered to fix its emissions …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Sep 2015
Two mobiles man

EE: Yes, our broadband service is a total clusterf**k – but we promise to improve

EE has promised to get its act together after admitting what many of its customers knew already – its broadband service simply isn't good enough. Reg readers may recall that Blighty's communications watchdog has repeatedly roasted the telco for being the most moaned-about ISP in the UK. In July, Ofcom whacked EE with a £1m …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Sep 2015
Google car

Krafcik takes wheel at Google driverless car project, so to speak

Gigantic automated advertising firm Google has hired the former CEO of Hyundai to head up its famous driverless car outfit. John Krafcik confirmed that he would run the (road)show from late September. "This is a great opportunity to help Google develop the enormous potential of self-driving cars. I can’t wait to get started," …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2015

Vodafone 'fesses up to hack of journalist's phone, denies 'improper behaviour'

The Australian division of mobile giant Vodafone has admitted that one of its employees illegally accessed the phone records of a journalist to try to uncover her sources, following publication of a negative story. However, Vodafone – which first investigated allegations of a privacy breach four years ago – has strongly denied …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2015
ISIS fighters

How did jihadists hack into top UK ministerial emails if no security breach took place?

GCHQ has declined to comment on a report in the Daily Telegraph this weekend, which claimed that UK cabinet ministers' emails had been hacked, but that – bafflingly – no breach had occurred. Which is a bit like saying "nothing happened, but we're going to write a story anyway." Spokesbeings at Britain's eavesdropping nerve …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2015

Apple fanbois cry (bless) as site motionless during iPhone 6S pre-order wrest

Apple suffered website woes overnight – just as its iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus were meant to be available for fanbois to pre-order online. The multinational's site was spewing out unfriendly error messages, instead of the sunny, life-affirming sort of stuff that we've all come to love from Cupertino chief Tim Cook. Friday …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Sep 2015

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party, following a three-month-long contest. The left-winger won 59.5 per cent of the votes to secure the leadership. Outspoken backbencher Tom Watson was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on Saturday morning. Watson, speaking ahead of Corbyn's storming …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Sep 2015
Bond tries to decipher is tailor finally unveils new parly spook-watching panel

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the long-awaited new line up of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has been appointed to the spook-eyeballing panel. Other senior Tories include Sir Alan Duncan, who has described himself as a "respected voice on the Middle East within the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Sep 2015

Fiat Chrysler recalls THOUSANDS more cars to swerve hack-my-brakes roadkill

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nearly 8,000 SUVs, with the hope of halting hackers from mounting remote attacks on the vehicles. The manufacturer said it needed to apply software updates to 7,810 Jeep Renegades that were sold in the US market. It added that 2015 models of the SUV, which comes loaded with certain …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Sep 2015
Zuck balloons

OFFICIAL: Zuck's BIG in-your-face Facebook Messenger SHOVE finally pays off

Facebook's Messenger – which readers may recall was ingloriously shoved down the throats of the free content ad network's users – has been crowned the second most popular app, slinking past Google's YouTube. That's according to the latest comScore numbers, which ranked the top 15 smartphone apps based on Stateside market share …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Sep 2015
head of 50s-style robot

Toyota chucks 50 MEELLION BUCKS at AI car tech

Car manufacturer Toyota has begun working with researchers at Stanford and MIT in the US, having agreed to pony up $50m over the next five years to invest in robotics tech. That cash will be used to build joint research centres at the universities, the company said in a statement on Friday. Toyota has also roped in US Defense …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Sep 2015
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google to China: Please Play with us, we promise to respect your strict censorship diet – report

Google has reportedly been working hard to reboot its business in China, after the ad giant walked away from the country following a censorship spat with Beijing in 2010. The Sundar Pichai-run company apparently hopes to return to the People's Republic armed with mobile services that suit the censorship sensibility of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Sep 2015

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

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

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 CC2.0 sharelalike attribution

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

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™ 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