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Kelly Fiveash

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Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

European justice commissioner Viviane Reding resigned from her Brussels' post today, after taking up her recently won seat in the European Parliament. The Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party politico said in a short Facebook post that her MEP mandate had begun on the same day as the "drastic reduction of tariffs of ' …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014
Dunce

GCSE Computing teachers cry victory as board decides NOT to bin tech teens' work

Frustrated GCSE Computing teachers who battled against OCR's shambolic handling of cheating claims say they are relieved to see the awarding body has finally reached a "common sense" decision on the matter. The exam board, which is part of Cambridge Assessment, had backtracked on an earlier notice that had said that it had …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014

Twitter swallows BEHAVIOURAL AD firm TapCommerce

Twitter plans to buy mobile behavioural ad outfit TapCommerce for an undisclosed sum. It's the micro-blogging site's latest strategy to attempt to turn around a profit at the company, which floated on to Wall Street late last year. Twitter said in a blog post that TapCommerce was "a leader in mobile retargeting and re- …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014
Homer Simpson reading on PC

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

Budding tech teens - who have taken close to 40 hours of Computing GCSE controlled assessments - face the agony of seeing some of their work scrapped by a leading Brit exam board, after it said it was withdrawing tasks for key units amid cheating claims. Awarding body the OCR, which is part of Cambridge Assessment, had posted an …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014

Google kills its successful social network. Yes, we mean Orkut

Google is killing off Orkut, the web giant's original and arguably most successful social network, which remains popular in Brazil and India but never really gained traction in the West. Worse still, the Mountain View company announced the move during the World Cup football tournament – taking place in Brazil. In a carefully …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

Facebook has hit back at its critics after the social network instructed researchers to meddle with its users' "news feeds" in order to manipulate their emotions. The free-content ad network sparked anger when it emerged its data scientist Adam Kramer gave a green light to trick-cyclists to filter out positive and negative posts …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014

BT at last coughs to 'major outage' after broadband went titsup across UK on Sat

BT was hit by a huge DNS outage on Saturday morning but the telecoms giant was very slow to respond to customer complaints, it has been claimed. A DNS flaw downed BT's network across Blighty, according to anecdotal reports on Twitter. But the one-time state monopoly was very sluggish to respond to gripes from subscribers who …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014

Google: Glass goggles are a 'fairly lousy surveillance device'

Google's creepy Glass wearable could breach Britain's Data Protection law, the Information Commissioner's office has warned. The ad giant began flogging the device in Blighty this week for £1,000 a pop. That move prompted the country's data watchdog to outline the "privacy implications of wearable technology" in a blog post …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Jun 2014

UK.gov: Forget Google and those other chaps... Use THIS open Internet of Stuff specification

The Internet of Things is all a question of semantics, according to a government-backed consortium that includes mega tech players like BT, IBM and ARM. IBM's master inventor (yes, that's a real job) Andy Stanford-Clark demonstrates IoT streetlight illumination IoT is a "hype term" that within 10 years will simply be referred …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014
Google walks

Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

Google has begun notifying European Union-based netizens that its search results have to respect the 28-member-state bloc's 19-year-old data protection law. The ad giant has plastered the warning on its search engine across the EU from today. But, anyone living in those countries who navigate to Google.com will find that the " …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014
BT Openreach van

Ofcom to BT Openreach: From now on, you'd better kill 70% of gremlins within 2 days

BT faces strict new measures to speed up Openreach repairs on its aged copper infrastructure from the start of next month, the UK's communications watchdog said today. Ofcom warned BT that it will be expected to fix around 70 per cent of phone and broadband faults within two working days over the course of a year. That …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014

Super-snoop bid: UK government hits panic button on EU data retention ruling

Home Secretary Theresa May has claimed "there is no surveillance state" in Britain today as she once again called for a change in law to prevent the internet becoming "an ungoverned, ungovernable space". The Snoopers' Charter champion, speaking to dignitaries at Mansion House in London last night, did not once mention the …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2014

Snowden defends mega spy blab: 'Public affairs have to be known by the public'

Master spy blabbermouth Edward Snowden defended his NSA whistleblowing actions to the Council of Europe today. He told the human rights' parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, via video link from Moscow, that he had a "personal duty to country, government and family" to reveal details about snooping methods employed by the US and …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2014

Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

The Labour Party has promised to put the brakes on the deeply troubled Universal Credit system for three months if it gets into government next year. During that time, shadow work and pensions minister Rachel Reeves said that Labour would urge the National Audit Office to conduct a review of the lumpen welfare reform programme. …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2014

France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Wine vendors are fighting against ICANN's plans to introduce .wine and .vin top level domain names. During a packed government advisory meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in London on Monday morning, France's minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire told delegates that her country was opposed …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jun 2014
South Park Ginger Cow episode

Broadband bumpkin BONANZA: 8 altnets shortlisted for £10m UK.gov subsidy

The government has earmarked a £10m wad of broadband cash for eight outfits whose bids were shortlisted for what the Ministry of Fun described as the "feasibility stage" to bring faster internet connections to hard-to-reach parts of Blighty. It said the Tory-led Coalition was "focusing on exploring ways to reach those premises …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2014

BT and TalkTalk BOTH claim victory as Ofcom tackles fibre price row

TalkTalk claims it has won a crucial battle in its war on BT's alleged stranglehold of Blighty's fibre broadband market. Today, Ofcom proposed regulating the way BT sets its prices for superfast broadband – to ensure there's an ample margin between the amount it charges ordinary folks and the amount it charges rival ISPs to use …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2014

Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

Julian Assange™ is attempting to break out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been encamped for two years. His lawyers plan to file a request with the Stockholm District Court in Sweden, where Assange is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual coercion, sexual molestation and rape. The WikiLeaker-in- …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jun 2014
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