Feeds
The Register Columnists

Shaun Nichols

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Google UK office logos

Google's 'Captain Moonshot': I will BOMB you with DELIVERIES

Google has unveiled a new programme to build autonomous delivery drones that are capable of carrying items into remote areas. Project Wing Google's Project Wing The company said that its Project Wing craft will provide unmanned craft which could bring light deliveries to people in areas where automobile or large-scale …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Aug 2014
management regulation1

TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit

Google will pocket a tidy $1.3m in fees after prevailing in a case against a patent holding firm that turned on its customers. A US District Court has ruled that Beneficial Innovations will have to cover the Chocolate Factory's legal costs after the company lost a jury case earlier this year. Google successfully argued that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2014
Apple panel patent

End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls

Apple has filed for a patent on technology to put small displays in the sidewalls of a smartphone. The documents submitted by the company to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) describe a device which uses a flexible screen capable of being bent around the corners of the casing. The bent screen, according to Apple, could …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Twitter gives ANALYTICS to the unwashed masses

Twitter has announced that it is making its full analytics platform available to everyone. The company had made the service available in July to advertisers and verified accounts in a limited rollout. Now everyone can check out their stats. The news was broken by Twitter engineer Ian Chan via, characteristically, a Tweet: …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2014
New York City's Manhattan skyline

New York looks to PROBE TWC over US outage

The Governor of New York is planning to investigate a massive outage which left Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers around the US without service for hours. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state would be looking into the outage on the grounds that a disruption in internet service also brings a halt to many personal and …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014

NYC, LA mayors hammer Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

The mayors of the two largest cities in America have sent letters to US watchdog the FCC expressing their concerns over the proposed merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC). The missives outline the issues both cities have with the cable giants and the problems they hope the FCC will work to remedy should …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014
Instagram logo

(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed

Filtered snap app Instagram has unveiled a new tool that will allow users to shoot and post "time lapse" style videos. The company said that its Hyperlapse application would allow mobile users to record extended movies which can then be sped up and shared as fast moving time lapse clips. The App, which operates as a stand-alone …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014
Netflix

Hey FCC, Comcast-TWC merger is bad news for Netflix, says Netflix

Netflix has formally petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block the proposed $42.5bn tie-up between US cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC). The web vid upstart provided the FCC with a 256-page petition [PDF] outlining its feelings on the matter and making the case for the watchdog to shoot …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014
Money image

Comcast-Time Warner merger: CloudFlare's fare flare fair warning

Distributed web host CloudFlare says its costs rise dramatically in places where telcos have little to no competition. The company, which is hired by website owners to rapidly sling pages and other stuff at visitors, today published a report detailing its peering operations – and the deals it signs with internet connection …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2014
Amosu gold iPhone

iPhone owners EARN MORE THAN YOU, says mobile report

The average iPhone app fanboi makes nearly double the mean US annual salary. So says research firm comScore, which claimed in its most recent mobile app report that owners of the gilded fruitphone pull 40 per cent more money on average than their Android-owning counterparts. According to the company, iPhone users haul and …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Aug 2014
FCC logo

FCC not quite sold on Comcast TWC gobble

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requesting more information from cable giant Comcast on its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). The Commission sent a letter (PDF) to Comcast's regulatory and legislative office asking the company to provide details on just how its subscriber networks align with those …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
Monkey Selfie

US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

The US Copyright Office has refused to register the copyright of the infamous selfie taken by a monkey. The Office said in its latest copyright law compendium (PDF) that images taken by animals, including the 2011 primate self-shot, could not be registered for copyright by a human. Monkey Selfie "The Office will not register …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
John Legere

Cult of T-Mob US wants you to INDOCTRINATE your friends and family

T-Mobile US has promised a year's free mobile data for subscribers who convince friends and family to join its network. The biz said that from 29 August it will reward customers who refer peeps from other carriers with one year of free LTE data for both the customer and the referred party. Those with unlimited data plans will …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

Microsoft is putting on its poker face amid growing rumors that it plans to unveil "Windows 9" at the end of next month. For weeks and weeks now, it's been speculated that Redmond's next major operating system release, known thus far by its code name "Threshold", will make a public debut in 2014: it's believed Microsoft will …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Aug 2014
HP

Pull up! Pull up! Pull up! Ding ... HP ends eleven-quarter sales nosedive

Think of HP, and what comes to mind? Business critical systems? Printers? Software? Lord no – it's laptops and bog-standard servers ruling the company's roost right now. The tech titan reported on Wednesday [PDF] that in the three months to July 31, it booked $27.6bn in net revenue, an increase of one per cent, year on year. Net …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Aug 2014
Netflix streaming service screenshot on Samsung

Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC

Netflix has inked yet another peering deal with a major US telco, this time signing an interconnect agreement with Time Warner Cable. The streaming video giant confirmed that it had put in place faster direct connections between its own network and those of the US cable provider. Netflix issued a brief statement on the matter, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Aug 2014
Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please

The lovechild of bookseller Barnes & Noble and electronics giant Samsung – the new Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablet – is now on sale. The, surprise, surprise, Android-powered novelslab is a standard-issue 7in Galaxy Tab 4, running Barnes & Noble's e-reader software. The unit will be Wi-Fi only. The Sammy Nook, unveiled in June, is …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Aug 2014
Stock ticker board

Power of iPhone 6 hype-gasm: Apple a sniff away from record stock high

Apple's stock today inched toward the company's record high as investors eager for new products pushed shares over $100 apiece. It's the first time Apple stock price has hit triple figures since the company undertook an ambitious 7:1 stock split in June this year. Apple used the split to put more shares on the market and, in …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Aug 2014

Uh, Obama? Did you miss a zero or two off Samsung's Chinese supplier 'fib' settlement?

Samsung Electronics America has agreed to settle with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over claims the company lied about where its products were made. The DoJ accused Sammy of violating the Trade Agreements Act, which requires gear purchased by the government be sourced either directly from US manufacturers or countries with …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Aug 2014
Video

US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale

US television broadcasters are suing the FCC over the regulator's planned auction of TV spectrum space to mobile phone networks. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said it has objections to the framework the watchdog has laid out for an auction in which broadcasters sell off their spectrum space to carriers who will …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2014
Google Self Driving Car

This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives

The US government wants to save lives on the road by demanding a safety-focused wireless communication standard for moving vehicles. Uncle Sam's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes to create a standardized vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system in which cars and small trucks can automatically share data about …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2014
Oculus Rift VR system prototype

Oculus sucked by Zuck? 'I'm over it' – Minecraft supremo Notch

The man behind Minecraft says he is warming to the virtual-reality headsets made by Facebook-owned Oculus – and backing off a threat to never port his world-building game to the Rift hardware. Markus "Notch" Persson tweeted that he was "over" the devouring of Oculus by Mark Zuckerberg's web advertising giant. And about now I'm …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks

Apple is working on a new reversible USB plug for its next iPhone's charger cable, it's rumored. Australian blogger and iLeak specialist Sonny Dickson has published a photo of what he says will be the charging cable for Apple's forthcoming flagship smartphone, the iPhone 6. The snap shows what appears to be a standard USB plug …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2014

Merger-hungry Comcast and Time Warner withdraw from FCC commissioner's dinner event

Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable are stepping back from plans to fund a gala dinner for Mignon Clyburn, a member of the US Federal Communications Commission(FCC). The two firms had been among the companies set to sponsor a Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner event honoring commsissioner Clyburn. The foundation, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2014
The Windows 7 Desktop

Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

Companies should start planning now to phase out their Windows 7 installations, according to research firm Gartner. The analyst house said that even though Microsoft has plans to support the OS until 2020, firms should begin drawing up the process of phasing the software out in order to smooth the transition. Stephen Kleynhans …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2014

Orwell chap snaps in Amazon paperback claptrap yap rap

Amazon is under fire from George Orwell's estate for referencing the Nineteen Eighty-Four author in its legal battle with publishers. The web bazaar, while mired in a war of words with Hachette over book prices, invoked Orwell's name and cited comments made by the author at the dawn of paperback books. According to Amazon, …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2014

FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Alpha on Wednesday – and it's an Android smartphone that comes encased in a thin all-metal coating. Apple iPhone 5 The South Korean giant said the 4.7-inch Alpha will hit the shelves in early September. Samsung did not name any carrier partners, though EE has said that it will tout the handset …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2014

Dead Steve Jobs sued by own shareholders in no-poach pact brouhaha

Apple is once again facing a lawsuit, this time from its own shareholders over its no-poaching-of-staff pacts with rivals. A lawsuit [PDF] filed in California's San Jose District Court earlier this week claims the Cupertino giant misled investors and damaged the value of the company by striking a fishy hiring agreement with …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014

ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US

One of the most powerful men in the US Senate has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to tour all of the United States of America to hear citizens' views, face to face, on net neutrality. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said in a letter to chairman Tom Wheeler that the FCC's decision to hold public debates on its …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014

Sir, sir, my cloud ate my homework: Google touts grading tool to teachers

Just in time for the back-to-school season, Google has made a schoolwork grading tool for teachers. The ad giant said it will move its Classroom tool from a closed trial into an open app available as part of the Google Apps for Education platform. The app will be made available in 42 different languages worldwide. First posted …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014
Apple Contact Hero shot

Tim Cook on pale, male Apple: 'As CEO, I'm NOT satisfied'

Apple has published its own employee diversity report – and the numbers aren't particularly different from those of other big tech firms. Apple's US employee race statistics The House That Jobs Built said it had some work to do in terms of diversifying a workforce that is largely white and male – particularly in its tech and …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2014
IE8 patch

Looking forward to the end of Tuesday? You've patched this month's 37 Microsoft bugs, right?

True to its word, Microsoft released nine security patches this month, two of which are rated as critical. The company said that the August edition of Patch Tuesday addresses a total of 37 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities. Most of the flaws will be addressed by the cumulative Internet Explorer security update. The browser …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2014
Apple iPad Air

Apple's new iPad WON'T be late: Tablets kicked to suppliers' factories

Apple has reportedly sent the designs for two new iPad models to its manufacturing partners to begin production on the "one large, one small" pair. A report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, says that Apple has kicked off manufacturing operations. According to Bloomberg, the factories will be building both a 7.9-inch and …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2014

Secretive Apple's super-secret university is full of BULL chic – leakers

Loose-lipped peeps have provided a rare glimpse into Apple's internal training college. A trio of employees, none of whom were willing to go on the record with a name or position, described the top-secret university Apple uses to indoctrinate new hires. According to their whispers to the New York Times, Apple maintains its …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2014

IBM takes a shine to Lighthouse, gobbles bouncer-in-the-cloud biz

IBM has acquired upstart Lighthouse Security Group, which lets sysadmins manage user accounts and identities in an off-premises cloud. Big Blue said the privately held Rhode Island firm will, fittingly, join the IT giant's Security Identity and Access Management group. Lighthouse already bases its Gateway service on IBM's Tivoli …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2014
US Broadband Map

America's hot and cold spots for broadband revealed in new map

A new map of broadband speeds shows which Americans enjoy the fastest and slowest internet connections. The map, assembled by IT service firm OfficeSuite from data in Akamai's State of the Internet report, shows the top speeds are in Virginia, though New England and the Pacific Northwest also enjoy strong service. That Virginia …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Apple, Intel, Google told to stop being tightwads and pay out MORE in wage-fix settlement

A US Judge has smited an attempt by Apple, Intel, Adobe and Google to settle their wage-fixing case with former employees. Judge Lucy Koh ruled Friday that the $324.5m settlement deal the firms had negotiated with the plaintiffs' attorneys does not adequately compensate their ex-workers. The former employees claimed that the …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2014
China's white iPhone

New twist in China Apple hardware ban riddle: THE TRUTH at last?

Chinese officials are denying reports that the state has banned the purchase of Apple hardware for government IT projects. The Middle Kingdom's bureaucrats told Reuters that Apple computers and gadgets are not on its list of approved products – but not because the Communist nation blacklisted Cupertino over security concerns. …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2014
Flag of Israel; credit James Emery

Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

A mischief-making political activist kicked up a stir Thursday with a phony press release claiming Intel was halting operations in Israel – over the bloody war between the nation and the Gaza Palestinian region. The site, constructed to look like Intel's official newsroom page, claims the chip giant was suspending funding of its …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2014

Awooga: August Patch Tuesday incoming – with two remote-code exec bugs in IE, Windows

Microsoft has published advance notification for what it says will be a total of nine security update bulletins for its products – two of which are rated critical. The company said that the latest patch batch, set to arrive on August 12, will bundle critical Internet Explorer and Windows fixes with seven other tweaks for issues …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2014
Photo of a US Passport

Flying United Airlines? If you could just scan your passport with your phone, that'd be great

United Airlines is testing a passport-scanning feature in its phone app that could speed up the check-in process for international flights. The biz's iOS and Android software will allow passengers to upload an image of their passports within 24 hours of their departure and access their boarding pass. United said the system is …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2014
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

True fact: Hubble telescope spots ZOMBIES in SPACE

Researchers operating the Hubble telescope have observed an unusual supernova explosion that leaves behind what scientists call a "zombie star". NASA said a team of astronomers had used the giant orbital telescope to capture images of a star system that, despite going supernova, produces surviving dwarf stars rather than …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2014

OK Google: Gobble chat app Emu. OK Google, now shut down Emu

Google has confirmed that it has opened up its wallet to acquire the development team behind the mobile chat app Emu. The web giant has not said what Emu's developers will work on at the Chocolate Factory, but we do know that the new jobs will not include maintaining any of the startup's products. Members of the Emu team posted …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2014
T-Mobile Sprint

POW! Sprint kills T-Mobile US bid ... BAM! CEO Hesse is out

Sprint has confirmed industry rumors by announcing the departure of its CEO, and has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US. The telco said Wednesday morning that big cheese Dan Hesse will leave the biz and hand the reins to Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure. Hesse will leave the position effective Monday, August 11. Claure cofounded …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2014
T-Mobile Sprint

Sprint spits out T-Mobile US gobble bid, says goodbye to CEO – claim

Sprint is set to give up its attempt to acquire T-Mobile US and plans to replace its own CEO, or so it is claimed. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in reporting that fears monopoly watchdogs would nix the merger led US carrier Sprint to abandon its pursuit of T-Mob US. The deal was rumored to be worth as much as US$ …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2014

Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

A patent newly granted to Apple points to a future in which Cupertinian kit will charge over the air, without the need for cables. The company's US Patent 8,796,885 describes a near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) system that would be able to wirelessly charge multiple nearby devices from a single base station (such as a desktop …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2014

Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

Verizon is hitting back at the FCC's criticism over plans to throttle bandwidth hogs' download speeds. The US telco said in a letter [PDF], obtained by The Register, to the American watchdog's commissioner Tom Wheeler that its plan to limit data speeds at times of heavy use was not only legal – but a commonly used tactic for …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2014

Thin naked model slips out of Apple's secretive lab ... it's an 'iPad Air 2'

A fresh set of pictures from China show what could be the outer casing for the next iPad, possibly a thinner iPad Air 2. A user on social network Weibo posted a trio of images with the claim that the pictures depict Cupertino's new fondleslab. The report does not provide any technical details on the hardware. Screen-grab of the …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2014

BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Thailand's censorious military junta has banned Tropico 5, a game in which players assume the role of a censorious dictatorial ruler. That's according to a report by the Associated Press: the game's Thai distributor told the news wire that the nation's Culture Ministry blocked the city-building title from sale on Monday. …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2014
Orange Credit Card

If you ate at one of these PF Chang's restaurants, your bank card is at risk

US eatery chain P.F. Chang's has named 33 of its restaurants that were compromised by bank card fraudsters this year. The company said payment systems at its Chinese bistros in states from California to Florida were infiltrated, allowing crooks to siphon off victims' credit and debit card details. According to the restaurant …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2014