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Office 365 gives Aston Martin a smoother ride

Aston Martin, James Bond's favourite sports car maker, celebrates its centenary this year. The company recently shifted its disparate office IT onto Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. Designing, building and selling high-performance cars requires reliable systems that can deal with data-dense diagrams and images. Aston …
John Oates, 04 Jun 2013

Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

What car should James Bond really drive? It's a hotly disputed question. Our man on film is closely associated with the Aston Martin, the DB5 initially and DBS V12 of late. Clearly the producers of recent Bond outings hope to identify their character with the spirit of an earlier time regarded as iconic and special. And they …
John Oates, 19 Oct 2012
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A Farewell to Oates: Adios, El Reg

A quick note to say goodbye. Today is my last day at the Reg having written almost 5,000 stories, and edited thousands more. I started in 2004 as one of three reporters in a small, grubby office in Brixton, south London. I leave a multi-tentacled organ with offices on Leicester Square, in San Francisco, New York and Sydney - and …
John Oates, 26 Aug 2011
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Cyber cops arrest man, 61, for menacing chick-lit MP

The Metropolitan Police have arrested a man suspected of sending threatening emails and Twitter messages to Tory MP and Murdoch-botherer Louise Mensch. The Met said: Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) working with officers from the Palace of Westminster have today, Thursday …
John Oates, 26 Aug 2011
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HP's UK PC boss: We're going nowhere

HP's UK Personal Systems Group head Paul Hunter has sent round an open letter urging calm on recent news that the ink giant is rethinking its PC strategy. This was widely reported as "HP gets out of PCs" – not hugely surprising given IBM's similar strategy. But Hunter said: "Let me be absolutely clear in saying that at no stage …
John Oates, 26 Aug 2011
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Post-Jobs run on overpriced Apple shares fails to occur

The departure of Steve Jobs as boss of Apple was expected to result in a mass sell-off of the overpriced vendor's shares this morning, but the news has been overshadowed by larger events. Pre-market trading saw Apple shares pushed down more than 5 per cent. But early trading on Nasdaq saw the shares fall just less than 2 per …
John Oates, 25 Aug 2011
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Home Office faces £500m demand in e-Borders sacking

Raytheon and the Home Office are in talks as the department tries to stop the company suing for unfair breach of contract over its sacking from the e-borders programme last year. At the time, the e-borders agency said it had no confidence in the company. Immigration minister Damian Green said: "The government is determined to …
John Oates, 25 Aug 2011
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Server sales still growing strong

Server sales in the second quarter of 2011 grew 17.9 per cent in revenue terms to $13.2bn, reckons IDC. This is the sixth quarter of growth and unit sales also grew 8.5 per cent to 2.1 million boxes. The IDC abacus-botherers classify servers as either volume, midrange enterprise or high-end enterprise. Volume and midrange grew …
John Oates, 25 Aug 2011
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Agency sends contractors' day rates to 800 RBS staff

Recruitment agency Hays has committed a massive blunder at the Royal Bank of Scotland. An email reminding managers to update timesheets in time for the bank holiday included an attachment with the day rates of 3,000 contractors. It was sent to 800 people at the bank. The row will likely deepen divisions between temporary and …
John Oates, 24 Aug 2011
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Four months' porridge for 20-minute Facebook riot page

A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to four months in jail for a brief riot-supporting post on Facebook. David Glyn Jones, Bangor, posted "Let's start Bangor riots", then removed it 20 minutes later. But the post was seen by a woman who used to work with Jones and she reported it to the police, the Beeb reports. His solicitor …
John Oates, 23 Aug 2011
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Second e-petition hits 100K: Calls for Hillsborough docs

A second e-petition has crossed the 100,000 votes barrier, which means it will be discussed by a Commons business committee and could get debated in Parliament. The site, which struggled to stay online for the first few days, has proved more popular than expected – predictions were that no petition would hit 100,000 before …
John Oates, 23 Aug 2011
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WikiLeaks admits insider deleted loads of its data

WikiLeaks has explained the non-appearance of Bank of America data it frequently promised to publish: a defector took the only copies with him when he left the organisation and has now deleted the files. Daniel Domscheit-Berg left WikiLeaks last summer and took the documents with him following a dispute with Julian Assange. This …
John Oates, 22 Aug 2011
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Sage stuffed in Mind Your Own Business bid

Geordie small biz provider Sage has been beaten in the battle over Australian accounts provider MYOB even though it was offering more for the firm. Sage was offering A$1.3bn and was supposedly the preferred bidder. But fears over its not being able to gain shareholder approval tipped the balance to favour Bain Capital. The buy …
John Oates, 22 Aug 2011
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Slow broadband blackspots mostly in south, not north

Online tests from uswitch.com have found more "internet blackspots" in the south of England than in the north and found the quickest internet access in the UK is in Leamington Spa with download speeds of 18.665Mb/s. The numbers come from people conducting their own tests via the comparison site's online tests and should be …
John Oates, 22 Aug 2011
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Hundreds of Brit pubs to offer free WiFi

BT Openzone and Heineken are teaming up to offer drinkers in 100 UK pubs Wi-Fi access. The partnership will then be extended to include another 200 bars and pubs by the end of 2012. The two have also done a deal with mini-Independent newspaper i to put its content online as part of the "Heineken hub". The Wi-Fi pub is of …
John Oates, 19 Aug 2011
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Hits keep on coming: HP buys Autonomy for $11bn cash

HP has confirmed it is buying Cambridge-based enterprise software company Autonomy for $10.24bn (£6.2bn). The acquisition was half-confirmed during last night's conference call, when the ink giant said the two companies were "in talks". But a statement from Autonomy this morning said the two company boards had agreed a cash …
John Oates, 19 Aug 2011
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Oxford adds woot! to dictionary

Today marks the launch of the centenary edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, first compiled by the Fowler brothers in 1911: an event traditionally marked by a press release including words added for the first time. This year's new entries include: woot, retweet, cyberbullying, denialist, gastric band and the surely …
John Oates, 18 Aug 2011
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Outsourcer says rivals faked stolen database offer

eBay-style outsourcing site PeoplePerHour says a rival firm faked emails which claimed to be offering the company's customer database for sale. The company initially feared that a disgruntled ex-contractor had swiped customer records and was offering them for sale to rival companies. The rivals declined the offer and tipped off …
John Oates, 18 Aug 2011
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Sage leads bidding for Mind Your Own Business

Sage has been declared preferred bidder for Aussie small biz and accounts firm MYOB. The Geordie firm is bidding A$1.3bn (£823m), which tops offers from Bain Capital and Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts and Co. The two private equity/asset stripper firms were stymied by the downturn in debt markets in recent weeks. The offer is a …
John Oates, 18 Aug 2011
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UCAS website collapses - on results day

'A' level students looking to find a university place through the UCAS website had better get on the phone instead - the organisation has shut down its own website. Despite widespread predictions that this year would be a particularly busy clearing process, UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions Service) has been caught on the …
John Oates, 18 Aug 2011

Angry S Koreans mass-sue Apple over iPhone tracking

Apple is facing legal action from thousands of iPhone users for tracking their movements via their phones' location – and it has already been forced to make one payment on the same issue. Lawyer Kim Hyung-suk won one million South Korean won – or a disappointing £568.38 – from Apple last month. Or to be precise, Korean …
John Oates, 17 Aug 2011
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Sage looking to mind Mind Your Own Business' business

Geordie accountancy specialist Sage is in the race to buy Australian firm MYOB (from Mind Your Own Business) which offers similar services down under. The deal could close for as much as A$1bn (£637m) according to sources quoted by Reuters. MYOB has been in business for over 20 years and claims a million Aussie and Kiwi …
John Oates, 16 Aug 2011
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Just 0.2% of Facebook flogged for $133m

Ad firm Interpublic has sold half its stake in Facebook for $133m. The firm's stake was 0.4 per cent, so the sale gives an apparent value for the whole social network of $66.5bn. The deal was done back in 2006, when Facebook needed revenue and respect. Interpublic agreed to spend $10m of its clients' money on advertising on the …
John Oates, 16 Aug 2011
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Adobe automates website design for arty Luddites

Adobe is looking for beta testers for its web design software, which it claims removes the need for coding. Aimed at graphic designers with limited technical skills, Muse claims to make it possible to design complex websites using point-and-click and drag-and-drop rather than hand coding. Adobe is aiming for a full release of …
John Oates, 15 Aug 2011
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A-level results accidentally put on interwebs a week early

Edexcel was testing its online 'A' level results service over the weekend when it left a web server live and accidentally released grades a week early. The cock-up happened on Saturday morning and was fixed by early afternoon, by which time several dozen students had seen their results and texted grades to friends too. A …
John Oates, 15 Aug 2011
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Traumatic scenes for car geeks as forum falls over

There were fears of further outbreaks of violence on the streets yesterday when the UK's busiest motoring forum site, PistonHeads.com, disappeared offline. Desperate car geeks were forced to work, make a Victoria sponge and even talk to the wives, or so they claimed once the forum was back up and running. The Reg was contacted …
John Oates, 12 Aug 2011
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Will the looters 'loose' their benefits?

The coalition government's e-petitions website is having a bit of a fail again today. Presumably everyone is trying to sign up to the petition calling for all convicted rioters to "loose all benefits", including use of spell-check we assume. We did manage to sneak in earlier and the vote stood at just short of 95,000. Should …
John Oates, 11 Aug 2011
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Watchdog washes hands of Lush hack

The Information Commissioner's Office is facing criticism today for its failure to punish online retailer Lush for losing 5,000 customer debit and credit card details Lush, home to fruit-based soaps, shampoos and bath bombs, was forced to temporarily shut its website after losing the details late last year. It advised punters …
John Oates, 10 Aug 2011
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Glaswegian arrested for pro-riot Facebook posts

A Scottish teenager has been arrested for alleged incitement after posting pro-disorder statements on Facebook. Glasgow has been mostly untouched by the disturbances despite the dangerous incitement of 16-year-old Alexander McQuarrie from Cessnock. Strathclyde Police said the arrest sent a strong message "to anyone who is …
John Oates, 10 Aug 2011
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Use found for Twitter and Liz Jones

Hats off to "DMReporter" who created a spoof Twitter feed for Liz Jones's trip to Somalia to cover the famine. For those not conversant with Jones' unique brand of self-obsessed, humanity-hating columns suffice to say that even Daily Mail readers occasionally feel the columnist needs medical help. Her recent work detailing her …
John Oates, 08 Aug 2011
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School caned for losing 20K details

A Hampshire school has been criticised for losing nearly 20,000 people's personal details. Back in March, Bay House School lost personal details, names, addresses, photographs and some medical information on 7,600 pupils along with details of teachers and parents. In total just under 20,000 people were hit. An administrator …
John Oates, 08 Aug 2011
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E-petitions site: Death wish FAIL

The Coalition government's E-petitions website remains open for business today but has been flooded with wishy-washy anti-hanging advocates. Yesterday's launch was marred by downtime and a flurry of pro-death sentence petitions following a campaign by Guido Fawkes and the Daily Mail. But the antis are getting organised and " …
John Oates, 05 Aug 2011
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Death haunts government petitions site

The Coalition government's epetitions site has limped online this lunchtime but is struggling to stay up. The site was down this morning, despite a message promising its imminent availability. A spinner at Ten Downing Street promised to get back to us. In the mean time, a bit of repeated clicking reveals over 40 petitions in …
John Oates, 04 Aug 2011
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Two solicitors fined and suspended for file-sharer letters

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has suspended two lawyers and fined them £20,000 each for sending out thousands of letters accusing people of illegally sharing files. Davenport Lyons partner David Gore and Brian Miller, a former partner at the firm, faced six allegations of breaching the Solicitors' Code of Conduct and were …
John Oates, 03 Aug 2011
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'Topiary' suspect bailed

The Scottish teenager accused of involvement in LulzSec and Anonymous attacks has been freed on bail. Eighteen-year-old Jake Davis appeared at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court today. He will have to wear an electronic tag to enforce a nighttime curfew and stay at his mother's house in central England, AP reports. He may not …
John Oates, 01 Aug 2011
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Yahoo! ends! row! with! Alibaba! for! $6bn!

Yahoo!, Alibaba and Softbank have signed a framework agreement to settle their long-running row over payment service Alipay. Yahoo!, which owns a stake in Alibaba, had complained it was not consulted over the sale of the payment service. It complained the decision was taken without the knowledge or approval of the board. The …
John Oates, 29 Jul 2011
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Shetland 'Topiary' suspect extended in custody for 3 days

The Metropolitan Police has been granted another three days to question the suspected hacker arrested on the Shetland Islands yesterday. A spokeswoman for the Met said: "We've successfully applied to Horseferry Road Magistrates Court for a warrant to keep him for another three days. He is British and we are not looking for …
John Oates, 29 Jul 2011
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Chinese giant Alibaba offers 'Cloudphone'

Chinese internet behemoth Alibaba is getting into software with the launch of a mobile operating system and handset. The company said the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700 would be the first of a family of devices including tablet computers and large screen phones. The phone is designed to run cloud services including email, web …
John Oates, 29 Jul 2011
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Scottish TV news pumps goatse link

Viewers of Scottish TV news were treated to a close-up of a link to internet super-meme goatse in yesterday's lunchtime bulletin. An eagle-eyed Reg reader spotted the gaffe and alerted Vulture Towers. Telly reporters routinely struggle for images to witter over while covering tech stories: a situation made worse when covering …
John Oates, 29 Jul 2011
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ICO won't investigate Tory minister

Tory justice minister Jonathan Djanogly will not be investigated for setting a team of private investigators on his own constituency staff. Djanogly spent £5,000 getting private detectives to pretend to be journalists in order to find out what local party officials thought of him. His staff criticised him as a poor politician …
John Oates, 28 Jul 2011
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ICO probes Tory minister PI blagging allegations

The ICO is making enquiries into Tory justice minister Jonathan Djanogly's hiring a firm of private detectives to blag information from his own constituents. Djanogly was exposed by the Telegraph last year for hiring the firm of private dicks. In a reversal of usual blagging exercises, they were instructed to pretend to be …
John Oates, 28 Jul 2011
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Post Office banking collapses in computer fail

Anyone hoping to access their Post Office bank accounts today is out of luck – a computer failure has blocked access at all 11,820 branches. Pin devices on counters are out of action, along with any other transactions using card accounts. A spokesman for the Post Office said: The Post Office today apologised to its customers …
John Oates, 27 Jul 2011
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Developer fury as Google makes Android apps vanish

Android developers are furious about Google's changes to the way search works in the Android application marketplace. The changes were put into place on 1 July, and since then, a lot of previously very popular applications have now effectively disappeared. The anger on the Android forums is partly financial – one developer said …
John Oates, 27 Jul 2011
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George Lucas defeated by Stormtrooper helmet man

Andrew Ainsworth, the man who designed the Imperial Stormtrooper uniforms, has won the right to sell replicas. George Lucas has been suing Ainsworth since at least 2008 and the case finally ended up in London's Supreme Court. Ainsworth made the original helmets in 1977 – the legal action treated the helmets as the paradigm for …
John Oates, 27 Jul 2011
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Power out again at Telecity

Telecity's Docklands hosting and back-up centre, Meridian Gate, is suffering a power outage. We've had emails from several customers currently twiddling their thumbs waiting for services to be restored. No official word from the company yet, but we'll update this story should they return our phone calls. Reg readers told us the …
John Oates, 27 Jul 2011
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Amazon recruiting for Indian conquest campaign

Amazon is gearing up to launch an Indian version of its site. The bookseller and cloud provider is already recruiting and is aiming for a team of 200 people. The company is talking to Flipkart.com, LetsBuy.com and Exclusively.in, according to The Times of India. The paper saw the first clue in the hiring of Madhu M, a senior …
John Oates, 26 Jul 2011
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Hacking scandal starts to spread beyond News Corp

Trinity Mirror Group Plc – owner of the Daily Mirror, Daily Record and The People, is opening an internal investigation into ethics and editorial procedures. The company, which also owns 160 regional papers, has struggled to move its papers online and has watched its share price drop from 571 pence in 2007 to 43 pence today. A …
John Oates, 26 Jul 2011
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IT boss jailed for plundering Scottish library

The technology boss of the National Library of Scotland has been jailed for two years for embezzling money. David Dinham, a 33-year-old Australian, was chief information officer for the library and in charge of a £1.8m budget to digitise the collection. After making a small purchase on his company credit card, Dinham realised …
John Oates, 26 Jul 2011
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Hague promises Foreign Office cyber confab in London

Foreign Secretary Wee Willie Hague is hosting a cybersecurity conference later this year. The two-day event will be held on 1 and 2 November and more than 80 organisations have been invited to attend. Hague said international cooperation was vital to ensure that cyberspace "remains a safe and trusted environment in which to …
John Oates, 26 Jul 2011
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Google grabs facial-recognition 'ware firm

Google has bought a facial recognition company called pittpatt. pittpatt Pittpatt was spun off from the University of Carnegie Mellon in 2004 following 10 years of research by Dr Henry Schneiderman, now the company's president and CEO. The company specialises in "reliable facial recognition software for images and video". …
John Oates, 25 Jul 2011