The Register Columnists

Gareth Corfield

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
The first RAF F-35B Lightning II to land in the UK. Crown copyright

Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

The first of the Royal Air Force's new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets landed on British soil last night, heralding a new era for the Royal Air Force. The supersonic Lightning II, as it will be known in RAF service, was flown across the Atlantic by RAF Squadron Leader Hugh Nicols, in the company of two US Marine Corps F-35Bs …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jun 2016
The Palace of Westminster. Pic: Misko, Flickr

Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it

The UK Parliament is hiring a load of web developers, analysts and UX folk as it prepares to revamp its website – and it's keeping the whole project well away from the Government Digital Service, The Register has learned. Parliament's website, while functional and reasonably clear, is a bit long in the tooth – and its …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jun 2016
empty_pockets_648

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn

Microsoft is to buy online CV endorsement factory LinkedIn for $26.2bn, it has just announced. The acquisition was announced by Microsoft on their website. The all-cash transaction values LinkedIn at $26.2bn, inclusive of LinkedIn's net cash. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of it and report to Microsoft CEO Satya …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jun 2016

Software snafu let EU citizens get referendum vote, says Electoral Commission

A software snag was behind a number of EU citizens in Britain being sent polling cards for the EU referendum later this month – even though they aren't eligible to vote in it. Political blog Guido Fawkes reported yesterday that EU citizens had wrongly been sent polling cards. The Electoral Commission blamed “an issue with …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Jun 2016
Policeman claps in London street

Arrests for 'offensive' Twitter and Facebook messages up by a third

Two-and-a-half thousand Londoners have been arrested over the past five years for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media, statistics have revealed. The full number of arrests made by the Metropolitan Police for alleged breaches of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 increased by 37 per cent over the …
Gareth Corfield, 02 Jun 2016

It should be a crime to install spyware on phones, thunders Plaid Cymru MP

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has tabled a series of amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill which, among other things, could make it illegal to install spyware on someone's phone. Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd* in Wales, is concerned about how new tech and platforms can be misused. Speaking to The Register, she …
Gareth Corfield, 10 May 2016
HMS Vengeance returns to HMNB Clyde. Crown copyright

Blighty's nuclear deterrent will get a software upgrade amid cyber-war fears

Software powering Britain's nuclear-tipped Trident II missiles is to be updated following fears of a cyber-attack, according to reports. The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain's Trident missiles, currently carried by the Royal Navy's Vanguard-class submarines, are to receive software updates to help guard against cyber- …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Mar 2016

Swede builds steam-powered Raspberry Pi. Nowhere to plug in micro-USB, then?

Video A Swedish schoolboy has built a miniature steam engine to power his Raspberry Pi. It is a piece of absolute engineering beauty. Forum user “Alexzpro”, posting in Swedish on the Svenska Elektronikforumet, put up a video he had made of the power plant for his Raspberry Pi. Alexzpro's generator is a small compound steam engine …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Mar 2016
Port of Tyne sign. Google Maps

Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Video A photographer in a public place was called a “lunatic”, "detained" by private security guards and had the police called on him after he videoed a wall outside the Port of Tyne. Footage posted to YouTube by 24-year-old media production graduate Alan Noble shows two security guards employed by the Port of Tyne remonstrating …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Mar 2016
Lancaster B.I PA474. Credit: John5199, Flickr

Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

This week marked the 97th birthday of one of the world's greatest ever airmen, Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown RN, who flew nearly 500 different types of aircraft. Here's a quick look at some notable daredevils from World War Two. Eric “Winkle” Brown Captain Brown began his aviation career after being taken for a flight in a …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jan 2016
EE Power Bar

EE Power Bar recall: Telco will waive £5 fee for laggards

EE has confirmed it will not apply extra charges to customers who don't return their Power Bars, despite the mass recall announced this morning. Half a million of the devices have already been recalled by EE, following an exclusive story by The Register revealing that managers had been warned the bar was not safe to use. The …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Dec 2015

Telecity London data centre outage borks VoIP, websites, AWS...

Update 2 Telecity has suffered a major outage at one of its London data centres this afternoon, which knocked out a whole host of VoIP firms' services, made Amazon wobble and borked its Direct Connect service. A source told The Register that the outage, which happened at around 2pm, knocked out four floors at Telecity's Sovereign House …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2015
BT Openreach van

Yesterday: Openreach boss quits. Today: BT network goes TITSUP

Updated Less than 24 hours after BT Openreach chief Joe Garner quit the telco's troubled infrastructure division, BT customers all over the UK are saying they can't get online – with the apparent network outage possibly taking up to three days to fix. The outage manifested as a packet routing problem, with some unfortunate souls …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2015
Old man reading The Sun. Pic: Daniel Novta

Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

Rupert Murdoch's flagship British tabloid, The Sun, is to abandon its paywall in search of greater web traffic as it seeks to compete with big online news hitters such as the Daily Mail. According to the Guardian, the move was set to be officially announced on Friday and implemented by the end of November. Back in July 2013, …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Oct 2015
BT Openreach van

More UK broadband for bumpkins, but have-nots still ain’t happy

Small enterprises have warned that delays in BT's rollout of rural broadband could push them out of business as the government announced that three million rural properties now have super-fast net access. Dr Adam Marshall, policy director at the British Chambers of Commerce, told the Daily Mail: "No one should be patting …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Aug 2015
White noise

Cloudflare hiccup nudges Stack Overflow and others offline

Large chunks of the intertubes, including popular programmers' hangout Stack Overflow, were blanked from view earlier this afternoon after a hiccup at cloud hosting and DDoS mitigation outfit Cloudflare. The outage, which lasted for about quarter of an hour, sent surfers' browsers fruitlessly spinning into the abyss following …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Aug 2015
Royal coat of arms on a court building. Pic: Elliott Brown

Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

British government snoops claimed it was too much hassle for them to use intercepted communications data in court proceedings because the accused could use the info to prove their innocence, it has emerged. Police officers, spies and local council bin inspectors were all asked for their views of Blighty's surveillance laws as …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jun 2015

Look out, Dixon! That there is a dangerously INTELLECTUAL cow

CoTW What's that lumbering over the horizon, groaning theatrically? Yes, it's the late, unlamented corpse of Comment of the Week, reanimated for your reading pleasure, dear commentards! What glorious nuggets have you lot deposited below the line this week, then? We open the batting order with the obvious pop at Linux from a …
Gareth Corfield, 24 May 2015

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

The UK's National Grid has planted the first of its new "T-pylons" — an elegant alternative to the traditional steel lattice monsters currently straddling Blighty's green and pleasant land. The T-pylon was born from a 2011 competition won by Danish architects Bystrup, who came up with a 35 meter-high monopole base design, …
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

UK Supreme Court waves through indiscriminate police surveillance

Comment A Supreme Court decision handed down on Wednesday has given carte blanche to police forces to retain personal data they have collected for virtually any purpose and hold it as long as they like – even when the people targeted are not violent and have committed no crime. The case, R (on the application of Catt) (AP) (Respondent) …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Mar 2015
HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

HP's great – I prefer it on bacon rather than my printer, though

CoTW What do you do when you find out someone's been shipping PCs with a series of critical flaws baked into the software on them? You blame Microsoft, of course, even though they were completely unrelated to anything that happened. Bronze-badged 'tard Buzzword did just this after reading about Lenovo's Superfish scumware, which came …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Feb 2015
internet explorer 8

Norton Internet Security antivirus update 'borked Internet Explorer'

Users of the world's second best* browser were forced to use alternatives after an overnight update to Norton AntiVirus prevented Internet Explorer from working at all. Aggrieved users who'd thought far enough ahead to install Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or any of the other alternatives took to Norton's official forum to vent …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015

Seven months of Basil Brush on YouTube: Er, boom boom?

Legendary stuffed TY character Basil Brush will now be available on YouTube, after TV bosses reportedly refused to give him fresh airtime. According to the Daily Mirror, Brush will be releasing a new sketch every Monday for the next 32 weeks. Brush, who, we are told, is currently on a nationwide tour, said: “I was on the Beeb …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015
Exploding Kitten Goal Cartoon

Kickstarter folk pay $8 MEELLION for joys of EXPLODING KITTENS

Cat-loving Kickstarter users have coughed up more than $8m for the pleasure of Exploding Kittens, dethroning hackable games console Ouya as the crowdfunding website's most highly funded game of all time. Exploding Kittens is a comedy card game cooked up by XBox chaps Elan Lee and Shane Small, along with Matthew Inman, the brains …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015

Oi, Kanye. BEYONCE deserves that gTLD more than you do

CoTW Bronze-badged commentard thomas k. opened this week's batting with a right corker about Kanye West and Beyonce. On the news that Kanye West is launching a new website on a new global top level domain, he said: I think ... Beyonce deserves that gTLD more than he does. The Great Tardmangling Machine isn't quite sure what this is …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Feb 2015