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Kelly Fiveash

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Ski the Santa Clara police dog

Google will 'pre-select' an 'independent' competition inspector in EU search case

Competition chiefs in Brussels have begun sending out rejection letters to complainants in the long-running Google search antitrust case, revealing - among other things - that the ad giant will be picking candidates for the role of "monitoring trustee". The person or persons appointed to the role will be expected to …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jun 2014

NHS slammed for MAJOR data blunders as scale of patient info sell-off is revealed

The NHS struck four "data-sharing" deals with three re-insurance companies that allowed them access to patient information under agreements that don't expire until 2015 and 2016. That's among the shocking findings of a review of data released by the NHS Information Centre - the predecessor to the Health and Social Care …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014

Level 3 gobbles rival TW Telecom in $5.7bn deal (that's 5 Instagrams)

Internet backbone provider Level 3 has bought its competitor TW Telecom in a cash and stock mega-deal valued at $40.86 per share. The planned $5.7bn merger, if waved through by US regulators and shareholders, would further consolidate the telco market stateside. "We believe this is a financially compelling and very strategic …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014
Boris Johnson

'I'm for free speech!' brave Boris bellows, bewildered by 'right to be forgotten' bluster

Has Boris Johnson been paying too much attention to Jimmy Wales while the Wikipedia co-founder bangs on about Europe's so-called "right to be forgotten"? On Monday, the Mayor of London claimed the European Court of Justice's ruling that made Google subject to European privacy laws was suddenly bad news for freedom of expression …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014
Child swearing

Virgin Media boss AND ex-Murdoch man: BSkyB broadband is 'lousy'

Virgin Media boss Tom Mockridge has lashed out at BSkyB by claiming that its broadband service is "lousy". Such a jibe might appear - on the surface at least - as an obvious moan from a rival player, but his vehemence might surprise some considering that Mockridge was the deputy chairman of BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014

Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Facebook is pushing the idea that it is offering tighter ad controls to its users just as it prepares to start targeting the web and app browsing habits of netizens in the US. Judging by Facebook's campaign, its users are super-pumped about ads on the Mark Zuckerberg-run network, but would be even happier if all that …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jun 2014
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Sealed with an XSS: I gave TweetDeck a heart attack, says teen comp sci boff Firo

A teenager claims to have been the source of the embarrassing TweetDeck security gaffe that was exposed to millions of Twitter users on Wednesday. The 19-year-old "small, strange but cuddly" Austrian electronics and computer science student - whose handle on the micro-blogging site is Firo Xl - said that he spotted a very basic …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jun 2014
A fresh horse dump

TalkTalk whips BT with riding crop over sport fibs in telly ad

Budget telco TalkTalk - whose boss Dido Harding probably knows a thing or two about sportsmanship having once competed as a jockey - has successfully challenged a BT advert for misleading television viewers. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the company's complaint against an ad for BT Sport that featured presenter Jake …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2014

IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

The allocation of internet addresses using the IPv4 protocol in Latin America and the Caribbean has hit a critical stage, the region's registry (LACNIC) warned on Tuesday. It said that its IPv4 address pool had been "officially exhausted" and urged businesses and governments in the geographical area – which spreads from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2014

Facebook's new self-destructing pic app SELF-DESTRUCTS

Facebook mistakenly hit the button to unleash a new app called Slingshot that's similar to Snapchat – clumsily releasing it early on Apple's iTunes store yesterday. The Menlo Park biz has yanked the software, which allows you to send self-destructing sexts photos to tease friends. Gizmodo noted Slingshot requires a little more …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2014

EU ministers respond sleepily to Viv Reding's 'Snowden wake-up call' on data protection

The European Union's justice commissioner Viviane Reding is convinced that her proposed data protection package will be adopted next year, even though ministers continue to disagree on some of the more delicate points laid out in the planned rules. Brussels' vice president said ahead of a meeting with the justice and home …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jun 2014

Sprint eyes T-Mobile, grabs $32 BEELLION from wallet, prepares to SLURP

The question - not if - but when Sprint would snap up T-Mobile in the US moved one step closer to reality today, after the wireless carrier was reportedly valued at nearly $40 a share. T-Mobile, according to the Wall Street Journal, has been valued at around $32bn. A merger could be agreed within weeks, people familiar with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jun 2014

Londoners urged to cut landlines and take up wireless broadband

A wireless broadband provider is punting a landline-free package to Londoners living in the heart of the city. UK Broadband, which is owned by Hong Kong's telco PCCW Group, has grown a new tentacle in Blighty's capital to offer what it described as "fibre-fast speeds without any hassle". The new company, Relish, is able to …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jun 2014

Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

The final session of Parliament before next year's General Election was opened by the Queen today, who told MPs and peers that the Tory-led coalition government had 15 bills tabled. There was little of note on the tech front, with two exceptions – both detailed within the Serious Crime Bill. The first is that plans are afoot to …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2014

EU's year-long, muddled search for a privacy head rumbles on

The European Union is yet to find a replacement for its current data protection boss Peter Hustinx, who was supposed to vacate the post in January but stayed on after it became clear that none of the candidates were suitable successors. Late last month, Brussels officials finally re-advertised jobs for the European Data …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2014
Peril Sensitive Sunglasses - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

We all know that the, er, "bad guys are Vogons". Douglas Adams explained as much in his cracking 1979 sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But what if there are new baddies to be unearthed and nerdish gags to marvel at – well, nerdishly – from the words of the great man himself? Wait no longer: a new biography – …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 May 2014
Paris Hilton in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Google: Grab our TOOL if you want your search query quashed

Google is now offering European Union netizens a hastily thrown together online form they can fill in to submit requests for certain types of links to be removed from the ad giant's search index. It comes after the EU's highest court ruled earlier this month that Google can be held responsible for the type of personal data that …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 May 2014
No sign

How to strip pesky copyright watermarks from photos ... says a FACEBOOK photo bod

A Facebook software engineer who published a detailed guide to stealing photographs online – by explaining how to remove watermarks and ignore any copyright restrictions – has been shamed into removing the blog post. It's unclear if Jesse Chen still has a future at Facebook. The company, when quizzed by The Register, declined to …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 May 2014
Near-death...or the London Underground - is it one in the same..?

Sacre BLEURGH: Google thinks London's Victoria station is on the PARIS Metro

Google Maps is sloppily displaying the French Metro symbol for some route options on the subway London Underground. The UK capital's iconic Tube brand has been replaced with the letter "M" in some instances on the ad giant's mapping app, which is a symbol used by the subterranean transport network in Paris, France. Reg reader …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 May 2014
Facebook

What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve antitrust …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Google is building a driverless car that comes sans steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal, because - it claims - the vehicles don't need those controls. Mountain View said it is currently creating prototypes that will work "safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention". It is so confident about the …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

Need reminding how troubled Universal Credit is? MPA puts it in special 'reset' category

Iain Duncan Smith's massively troubled Universal Credit system is so deep in the toilet - according to the government's Major Projects Authority - that it's not even worthy of being flagged with a "red" warning anymore. The Department for Work and Pensions has made such a hash of the huge benefits' reform scheme – which has been …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 May 2014

BT and Neul ink gov-funded deal: Milton Keynes to be test bed for Internet of Stuff

A taxpayer-subsidised project to run a test network for Machine-to-Machine communications – aka the Internet of Things – is getting underway in Milton Keynes, with kit being supplied by Brit telco BT and wireless bods at Neul. The main purpose behind the scheme is for Whitehall to get the one-time state monopoly and the …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 May 2014

Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Facebook is rolling out a creepy new feature that will - with a user's permission - tap into the mic on their mobile device and listen into music and television playing in the background. It will then post a status on that person's Facebook page, flagging up a song, say, and providing a 30-second preview of it to friends of that …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 May 2014

Don't snap SELFIES at the polls – it may screw up voting, says official

The selfie craze that continues to sweep the country could land some Brits in trouble if they unwittingly let slip how someone else votes in tomorrow's local and European elections. The Electoral Commission has advised staff at polling stations to discourage such activity, the BBC reports. "We have told staff that if they see …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2014

Rival BT sics ad watchdog on EE: ASA growls at 'most reliable broadband' claim

BT has successfully shot down EE's claim in a direct mail ad that it offered "Britain's most reliable broadband for staying connected". The telecoms giant convinced Blighty's advertising watchdog that EE had misled customers in three different ways. BT argued to the Advertising Standards Authority that EE had failed to …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2014

Creepy Facebook urges users to pester friends about their SEX LIVES

Facebook users are now encouraged to ask fellow Facebookers to reveal details about their relationships if they haven't already dished the dirt on their love lives. In other words, by clearing the way for stalker types to ask acquaintances creepy questions, Facebook's data mining just got lazier. Yes, please do ask me about my …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2014

Gee thanks, Ofcom! BT 'pleased' to hang onto pricing 'freedom' for Openreach fibre product

BT claimed this morning to be chuffed with a series of regulatory proposals from Blighty's communications watchdog. They include a push for faster repair times from its Openreach arm and a decision not to impose price restrictions on the telecoms giant's fibre products. Ofcom also confirmed today that it planned to cut wholesale …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2014

FCC mulls two-speed internet, axing net neutrality ... unless you convince it otherwise

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set the ball rolling on new rules that could allow companies to pay for prioritised internet traffic. Tom Wheeler, the watchdog's chairman, put forward a proposal [PDF, details] "seeking public comment on how best to protect and promote an open internet". Two of his fellow …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014

Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

Google's chairman Eric Schmidt has attacked judges in the European Union's top court, who ruled earlier this week that the ad giant can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on its results pages. The multinational was shocked by the decision, which - in effect - ordered Google to respect existing privacy …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014
Max Headroom

TalkTalk broadband growth WANES as it reports surge in pay-TV customers

TalkTalk watched its broadband growth slip in the budget telco's final quarter, with 136,000 Brits signing up to the service compared with 193,000 new customers in the same three-month period in 2013. The company said in its Q4 results, ended 31 March, that its total broadband base now stood just shy of 4.2 million punters. …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014

WANTED: New head of crashingly expensive, error-prone and frankly cursed one-dole-to-rule-them-all system

Whitehall mandarins are deeply touchy about what historians may eventually consider to be one of the Tory-led coalition government's biggest domestic failures – the widely slammed Universal Credit benefits' system. In fact, that sensitivity around Universal Credit (UC) has led to the Department for Work and Pensions scurrying to …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014
Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) scanner in action

Hunt's paperless future: NHS watches £60m vanish down plughole

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's grand scheme to make NHS England paperless by 2018 has suffered a significant spending blow after a £60m slice of a tech fund allocated for the system appeared to disappear. Details about the cash shortfall, first spotted by the Health Service Journal (subscription needed), were buried in an NHS …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 May 2014
Become invisible offer on Ebay

Google ECJ case: No commish, it means we don't need right-to-be-forgotten rewrite

Brussels' Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding claimed that today's EU Court of Justice's landmark search engine case, which stunned Google, served as a "strong tailwind" for her draft rewrite of the 28-member state bloc's 19-year-old data protection rules. But is she being a little optimistic? As I noted earlier today, the …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 May 2014

Google CAN be told to delete sensitive data from its search results, rules top EU court

Google and other search engines can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on results pages it serves up, the European Union's Court of Justice ruled in a landmark case this morning. Its decision (PDF) is a rare example of the CoJ disagreeing with an earlier advocate general opinion from June last year, …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 May 2014
Rupert and James Murdoch

BSkyB eyes up Uncle Rupert's telly channels in Germany and Italy

Rupert Murdoch is locked in talks with BSkyB to discuss the British pay-TV firm's "potential acquisition" of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia – both assets of his broadcasting empire, 21st Century Fox. The media baron's Fox, which also owns 39 per cent of BSkyB, confirmed this morning that it's discussing the future of its …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 May 2014

Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

Netflix is hoping to retain its UK subscriber base by fixing its price tag for existing customers for two years, in a move designed to stop them abandoning the video-streaming service and its relatively small catalogue of films and TV shows. Meanwhile, the company has jacked up its prices to £6.99 for newcomers in Blighty. …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2014
don't click

NHS patient data storm: Govt lords SLAP DOWN privacy protections

Vital safeguards for protecting patients' privacy when NHS England records are shared with companies were scrapped by peers on Wednesday night. A proposed tweak to the Care Bill, tabled by Lord Owen, would have brought in independent statutory oversight to better protect the handling of patient information across the health …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 May 2014
Decaying red telephone boxes

Chucking cash at sport and broadband starts to pay off for BT

BT shares climbed three per cent this morning off the back of decent end-of-year results from the one-time national telco, which saw its sales growth outshine market predictions. But, despite being buoyed by its unexpected achievement of flat revenues of £18.3bn as well as a six per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.8bn …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 May 2014
Playground spring horse

Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

Virgin Media has been part of Cable Cowboy John Malone's Liberty Global family for almost a year now. Yet the takeover hasn't boosted the UK telco's flat first quarter sales, which the City was told about this morning. Although growth in consumer and mobile revenue had rose, overall sales climbed a slender one per cent, to £1. …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 May 2014
Speaking Clock

BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

One-time national telco BT misled customers with unsubstantiated claims regarding its broadband download speeds, the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled today. The company slipped up, the Advertising Standards Authority said, by misleading potential subscribers who used its BT.com website to look up whether its fibre optic …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 May 2014

Nominet boss quits after rough patch at helm of dot-UK registry

The boss of troubled dot-UK registry Nominet has quit her job. Lesley Cowley has resigned from the company after 15 years of service. She said that it was "now the right time to move on". Her decision to walk away from the not-for-profit outfit comes after a difficult period for Nominet. In the past year, it has battled with …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 May 2014
Sky 3D football

BSkyB broadband growth chopped in HALF

BSkyB saw its broadband customer growth halved in the company's third quarter, for which it partly blamed its takeover of O2's home broadband network where as many as 30,000 subscribers quit the service. The pay-TV giant said that operating profit tumbled 8.5 per cent to £910m for the nine months ended 31 March, after the …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 May 2014
Bouncer the dog, from Neighbours

Stone the crows, Bouncer! BT defends TV recorder upgrade DELETION snafu

BT has dismissed gripes about a recent upgrade to its television recorder box, after the telco giant's update deleted programmes and came loaded with glitches. A reader told The Register that he only got a two-day warning that everything on his BT Vision kit would be wiped when the software was upgraded. Exactly that happened, …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 May 2014
Google Toilet Paper

Did Google order staff to 'steal' web ad cash from publishers? THE TRUTH

Google has denied allegations made by a self-styled “former Google employee” – who claimed he was ordered to take part in “theft of money” from “thousands upon thousands” of publishers using Google AdSense. According to a missive posted anonymously onto Pastebin on Tuesday, the web king told its staff in 2009 that it would begin …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Apr 2014
New homepage of Gov.uk, credit screengrab gov.uk

GOV.UK push in action: Er, FEWER Brits filling out govt forms online

While some Brits appear keener than ever to access services via the internet, the proportion of people who completed government processes online at least once every three months dropped five percentage points in 2013 compared with a year earlier. This is according to a new report released by communications watchdog Ofcom, whose …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Apr 2014

Ads bandog berates Virgin Media in BSkyB broadband bumf bust-up

Virgin Media was successfully muzzled by rival BSkyB today – for failing to adequately explain the basis of a savings claim it made in a direct mail, and for omitting material that showed the differences between competing services. The UK's ad watchdog upheld two of three complaints submitted by BSkyB in which it moaned about a …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Apr 2014

UK.gov data sell-off row: HMRC denies claims it'll flog YOUR private info

"There is no question of HMRC selling data." That's the promise from Whitehall, which is floating the idea of "sharing" sensitive taxpayer information with private businesses. It's the latest in a series of attempts from the Tory-led coalition to turn public and not-so-public data into a moneyspinner for UK PLC. A period of …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Apr 2014

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

Google has updated the software in its self-driving cars after spending the past year running prototypes around its hometown of Mountain View, California, to test the vehicles' performance on hectic city streets. The advertising giant said its code had spotted hundreds of distinct objects, having logged thousands of miles of …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Apr 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google+ maker Vic Gundotra: My work on this 'NETWORK THINGY' is DONE

Now that Google's "network thingy" is melded into the web giant's product line-up, the man behind Google+ Vic Gundotra has quit Mountain View to pursue a yet-to-be-revealed new venture. Arguably, his work is largely done at Google, a company that has routinely shied away from describing Google+ as a social network. In 2012, …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2014