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Shaun Nichols

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Max Headroom

Amazon warming up 'cheapo web video' cannon to sink Netflix

Amazon is reportedly preparing an online video-streaming service that'll be full of ads – and undercut rivals Netflix and Hulu Plus. The New York Post cited unnamed sources in reporting that Jeff Bezos' behemoth is readying a cheap version of the web telly service you get with a $99-a-year Amazon Prime account. We're told the …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014
Money image

Google Contributor: Ad-block killer – or proof no one will pay for news?

Google has offered to charge people a small monthly subscription fee to read articles and gawp at photos online. Paying for published news and features has never been attempted before, which makes Google's Contributor system a milestone for civilization. People who subscribe to websites using Contributor will see "thank you" …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014

Where the HELL is that Comcast technician? Finally – an app for that

US cable giant Comcast is offering some subscribers an app that tracks the whereabouts of its technicians before they arrive for a service appointment. So if you're waiting around for ages wondering where he or she is, there'll be a light at the end of the tunnel. The ISP said its MyAccount app, available on iOS and Android …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop

People with Nexus 7 tablets say the latest major Android update – codenamed Lollipop – has slowed their slabs to a standstill. Google said today it is investigating the matter. The Android support forum is full of complaints that the latest firmware, version 5.0, renders the tabs unusable. And apps built with Adobe Air have been …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2014
Uber logo

Uber bends over for internal privacy probe amid stalking claims

US Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has written to Uber demanding answers to questions about the car-hire upstart's interpretation of the word privacy. It comes after an Uber exec told a dinner in New York that he'd like to sic private detectives on journalists critical of the startup, and it's claimed staff at the company used a "God …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Yet more NSA officials whisper of an internal revolt over US spying. And yet it still goes on

The NSA's snooping programs aren't just controversial to the public, it seems: we're reminded other staff at the US agency also objected to prying into Americans' phone records. A group of executives, led by a senior official, revolted over the surveillance of US citizens – but failed to change President Obama's policy on spying …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2014
Beats Music The Sentence

Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

Apple will attempt to install a Beats Music app in all recent iThings in early 2015, it's claimed. The music streaming service will be added via an over-the-air iOS update in early 2015, the Financial Times reports. With the software installed, fanbois can stream music over the internet on a monthly basis without having to grab …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014

Fake antivirus scams: It's a $120m business – and alleged ringleaders have just been frozen

Two groups of companies accused of raking in $120m from fake antivirus scams have been put on ice by a court. The Florida-based businesses distributed free software that scanned computers for malware or performance issues. That software would then make bogus or misleading claims that the machines were infected or broken, urging …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014
iPad Psycho image

HORROR! Imagine if anyone could find out EVERYTHING you EVER tweeted

Remember those dreadful, toe-curling, never-to-be-referred-to-again tweets you tweeted years back? The ones that, thank everything that's good and kind in the universe, eventually vanished from human knowledge? Twitter remembers. Now everyone else will too. The post-profit website, founded in 2006, has built an index of every …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014

Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

Microsoft has released a security patch to squash a bug in Windows that hackers are exploiting to compromise whole networks of computers. Redmond said today a vulnerability (MS14-068) in the Kerberos authentication system, used by default in the operating system, allows a normal user to ramp up their privileges and access rights …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014
Fight sticker

Uber exec wanted to sic private dicks on critics ... Hey, Emil Michael, COME AT US, bro

Car hire upstart Uber has apologized after a top exec suggested hiring investigators to expose the personal lives of its critics. Senior veep of business Emil Michael said at a private dinner in New York City that Uber could blow "a million dollars" assembling a crack team of gumshoes and journalists to find dirt on the startup' …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014
Apple iPhone 4S

Bug fixes! Get your APPLE BUG FIXES! iOS and OS X updates right here!

Apple is swatting at bugs with updates to its OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 platforms. The company said that the Yosemite v10.10.1 update would address a widely-reported WI-Fi connection error, while users running older iOS devices would find their systems running faster and more reliably after installing iOS 8.1.1. For OS X, the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014
New York's proposed wi-fi station

You know those WEIRD glass sheds in New York? They'll be replaced with Gbps WiFi

New York City could replace its payphones in five boroughs with Wi-Fi hubs, to build a superfast city-wide wireless internet network. If approved by city officials and built, it would be the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, we're told. The plan was drawn up by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and a consortium called LinkNYC …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014
Gun and dollars

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to spend $1.5bn on hooking up high-speed broadband to more American schools and libraries. The money will come from you, dear US readers: the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line to foot the damage, it's understood. Specifically, the monthly E-Rate charge …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014

Google Glass: Even the people who stand to MAKE MONEY from it hate the techno-specs

Google Glass has lost more than a bit of its momentum since the project was unveiled in 2012 – on Friday it was claimed that even developers building apps for the techno-goggles are giving up. Reuters reported that it spoke with 16 developers and found that more than half had abandoned their plans to write software for the …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014

FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

The US Federal Communications Commission is calling out AT&T for throwing a hissy-fit over net neutrality and halting its gigabit-a-second fiber rollout. The watchdog said in a letter to AT&T execs that it wants the telco giant to explain why it thinks it will lose money if it expands its fiber broadband network. AT&T said …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014

FTC to Apple: Turn your head and cough while we feel for balls-up with HealthKit privacy

US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly scrutinizing Apple's health-monitoring software and hardware, dubbed HealthKit, for privacy problems. The regulator has asked the iThing giant to come in and explain just how it planned to handle fans' private information, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
Cloud & Heat

Cold? Cuddle these HOT GERMAN RACKS, yours for only 12,000 euro – we swear there's an IT angle

A startup in Germany reckons it's found a, how can we put this, courageous way to merge cloud computing with staying warm at home this winter. Rather than throw another log on the fire, you can install one of its toasty server cabinets in your basement. Assuming you have a spare ten grand and a 50Mbps pipe to the internet. …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
Amazon Kindle Touch Wi-Fi eBook reader

Amazon buries the hatchet, not Hachette, in ebook price brouhaha

Amazon has made peace with French publishing house Hachette, finally bringing an end to the months-long battle over ebook pricing and publisher royalty payouts. The two companies did not disclose terms of the deal but did acknowledge in a joint statement that Hachette would get the rights to set prices for its books with what …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
Apple Watch

Apple gearing up for Watch BONANZA

Apple is setting up for a massive rollout of its new Watch device, if rumors are to be believed. A report from Taipei's DigiTimes cites industry sources as the source in a report suggesting Apple has ordered enough chips to power between 40 and 50 million wrist jobs. If correct the report indicates that Apple has high hopes for …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
iPad Photos app

Hey, Apple! We can land a probe on a comet, but we can't have a 12.9in iPad 'until mid-2015'?

Apple has delayed plans to tout a fabled 12.9-inch iPad, if you are inclined to believe the latest round of speculation. Analyst house KGI Research (via AppleInsider) said the MaxiPad will be pushed back from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2015. It's claimed Apple's assembly lines and component suppliers have been …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Nov 2014

Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

A law bill that would have allowed US states to collect sales tax from stuff sold online is all but dead. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has blocked a vote on the measure in the upcoming session of Congress. The move means the plan to tax internet sales will not be able to pass this session and thus would have to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2014

SCREW YOU, net neutrality hippies – AT&T halts gigabit fiber

AT&T has frozen its plans to build a gigabit broadband network in the US – at least until the FCC scraps, er, straightens out net neutrality. The telco's CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson said his company will hold off installing super-high-speed internet connections to homes until the US watchdog decides how it's going to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

SO LONELY: Woman DARED to get rid of her iPHONE - Apple DUMPED all her TXTS

Apple now faces a lawsuit after burying text messages sent to people who had the audacity to swap their iPhones for handsets from other makers than the fruity firm. The problem - now fixed - related to the company's iMessage app. US district judge Lucy Koh has ruled that the Cupertino giant will face charges of unfair …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2014
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

Groupon flees from army of angry GNOMES: Trademark bid for 'Gnome' tab scrapped

Groupon has given up its pursuit of the trademark "Gnome", intended for its sales register tablet, after being chased off by the open-source GNOME project. The upstart voucher flinger told The Register that it was no longer looking to trademark "Gnome" in the wake of outrage from folks at the Linux desktop software foundation of …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014

Patch Windows boxes NOW – unless you want to be owned by a web page or network packet

"Remote code execution if an attacker sends specially crafted packets" is not what many of you want to hear today – nor "remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer" – but it's Patch Tuesday, so what do you expect? Microsoft has issued a batch of security fixes for Internet Explorer …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014
Battletoads

Microsoft to bring back beloved 1990s super-hit BATTLETOADS!?*

Microsoft has made a move that could signal the return of the beloved 1990s console classic Battletoads. The Xbox giant last week filed for a trademark on the name of the side-scrolling platform beat-em-up as a game software title. Microsoft has filed for the trademark with an intent to use, stating "the applicant has a bona …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014
Facebook Like Stamp

Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

Facebook says approximately 500 million people use the huge free-content advertising platform's Messenger phone app, which is more than somewhat short of the 1,120 million people who visit the social network each month from their mobiles. Meanwhile, rival WhatsApp is said to have more than 600 million regular users. "This is an …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

A new scholarly paper has raised suspicions in boffinry circles as to whether last year's breakthrough discovery by CERN was indeed the fabled, applecart-busting Higgs boson. The report from the University of Southern Denmark suggests that while physicists working with data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) did discover a new …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Nov 2014

Aereo-no! Streaming telly biz axes staff, shuts down operations

Embattled video streaming firm Aereo has been forced to lay off most of its staff as the company continues to face a US ban. Local news reports from Boston broke word that the company has shut down its operations in the city and closed its offices, laying off local all employees in the process. According to an employee letter …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2014
Troll in cross hairs

FTC tells 'scan to email' patent troll: Every breath you take, every lie you make, I'll be fining you

The FTC has forced notorious patent troll MPHJ to pay $16,000 for every misleading shakedown letter it sends in future. Texas-based MPHJ, which owns a handful of patents, has been demanding money from 16,000 small businesses since 2012: it demands royalties of $1,000 per employee from companies that use networked scanners with a …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2014
Google logo

Mystery Google barges TORPEDOED by US govt: Showrooms declared death traps

Google's ambitious plan to build floating showrooms out of giant barges was killed over fears the boats were death traps. Documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveal the advertising giant ran afoul of US Coast Guard safety inspectors, who believed the barges posed a serious fire hazard to those on board. In particular …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

An ex-NSA lawyer believes BlackBerry's ongoing downfall stems from the company's use of strong encryption – and Apple and Google are next to wither on the vine. Nope, it makes no sense to us, either. Speaking at the Dublin Web Summit this week, Stewart Baker, a former NSA lawyer and assistant secretary for the Department of …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2014
apple mac malware vxer

Apple blats WireLurker OS X, iOS malware – but fanbois aren't safe yet

It appears the WireLurker malware threatening Macs, iPads and iPhones has, for now, been partially neutralized. Apple told The Reg it has revoked a previously legit cryptographic certificate the malware was using to sign itself: this certificate tricked iOS devices into trusting and installing WireLurker's malicious apps. Now …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2014

Bloke, 26, accused of running drug souk Silk Road 2.0 cuffed by Feds

A California man accused of running Silk Road 2.0 – a copycat drugs market hidden within the Tor network – has been arrested by the FBI. The website has since been torn down by Uncle Sam's agents. The Feds and the US Department of Justice claim 26-year-old Blake Benthall of San Francisco used the alias "Defcon" when operating …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Nov 2014
Roughly 150kg of gold

Apple strap-on wristjob: You WON'T be able to spend more than $5,000!

When Apple unveiled its vaporware wrist-tablet Watch, fanbois braced themselves for a bit of sticker shock. The starting price for the smartwatch will be $350, which will get you a "sport" model with a rubber strap and an aluminum case. But Apple CEO Tim Cook promised his faithful that more reassuringly expensive models will …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Nov 2014
Homer Simpson driving

Poll: Yes, yes, texting while driving is bad but *ping* OH! Hey, GRAB THE WHEEL, will ya?

Despite widespread efforts to stop drivers texting while on the road, most people continue with the dangerous practice, according to new research. AT&T and the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction polled 1,004 Americans, and found that while nearly all the respondents were aware of the danger, most still sent and read …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Nov 2014
Screenshot of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600

It's the WORST game ever, just pulled from a desert DUMP ... now ET can be yours for $500

In a world ... when video games were invading every home ... a legendary American company set out to create ... the most lucrative console game of all time ... It failed ... horribly ... and set the gaming industry on a path ... of annihilation. Atari Inc's 1982 game E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for its 2600 console bombed so bad …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Nov 2014
homeless man with sign

Rich techbro CEOs told to SLEEP ROUGH before slamming the poor

The US congresswoman who represents some of the wealthiest areas of Silicon Valley has challenged technology moneybags to get some perspective on life – by sleeping rough or living off state handouts. House Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) said tech executives in the Bay Area should try living as the poor do to better …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2014
Steve Ballmer's signature on a Trevecca Nazarene University student's MacBook

Apple patents AUTOGRAPHS. Checkmate, eBay

Apple, for some reason, has decided it wants to make the process of getting a book autographed even more sterile and impersonal than before. The Cupertino giant was granted a patent on Tuesday covering a method by which an author can digitally sign his or her autograph onto readers' copies of e-books. Yes, it seems that the old …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2014

Oculus Rift tech-specs 'MANY MONTHS away' from hitting the shelves

The CEO of Oculus reckons his virtual reality upstart is sorta getting close to flogging a Rift headset that's ready for normal people to use. Speaking at a web tech conference in Ireland on Tuesday, Brendan Iribe said the techno-specs will be on general sale within months rather than years. A Rift headset for software …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Nov 2014
Corporate art of an armed Warrior-Alpha

Intel: A tiny video drone? Disguised as a BRACELET? Great! Take half a million dollars!

Do you like drones? Do you like fashion? Do you want a drone that doubles as a fashion accessory? No? Well, too bad, because Intel has decided that the time is right for a quadcopter drone you bend and snap into an armband. The chip-baking goliath said it was awarding the $500,000 grand prize for its "Make it Wearable" contest …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Nov 2014
Telephone

Verizon and AT&T sitting in a tree, V-o-L-T-E: Duo vow to hookup by 2015

Verizon and AT&T are lashing together their voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) networks in the US – so people on Verizon can make high-quality calls and video chats to those on AT&T, and vice versa. The telco pair – America's largest US mobile carriers – confirmed in a joint statement on Monday that they're hoping to complete the hookup …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Nov 2014
Apple iPad Air 2

Seriously, for real this time, the 12in MaxiPad is TOTALLY on the way ...

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Apple is developing a 12.2-inch iPad that will go on sale within a year. This time, the rumor is spreading from Japanese Apple blog Macotakara, which cites "reliable sources." It's claimed Cook and Co are in the final stages of designing a massive fondleslab to compete with the likes of …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Nov 2014
Musk Deer -from WCS

Oh, dear! Scientists uncover Afghan VAMPIRE DEER

Just as the kids in the US are taking to the streets for spooky fun and sugar overloads on Halloween, scientists have rediscovered a long-forgotten species of deer that might just freak you out. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said its researchers had documented a species of musk deer continues to live in remote parts of …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Nov 2014
Photo of boxes of Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Microsoft has finally put a date on what will be its first new version of Office for OS X since 2010. The software giant said that the second half of 2015 will bring the release of the first new version of Office for Mac in more than four years. That edition will bless Mac users with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Nov 2014

Facebook lifts Tor ban, touts encrypted onion access point

Facebook has changed its stance on Tor traffic and will now provide users with a way to connect to its free content ad network using the anonymizing service. The company said that it will now offer a special URL – https://facebookcorewwwi.onion – that will allow users running Tor-enabled browsers to access the service. Facebook …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Oct 2014

Google's Mr Roboto Andy Rubin bids sayonara to Chocolate Factory

Longtime Google exec and former Android boss Andy Rubin, who lately led the Chocolate Factory's robotics efforts, has resigned. The online giant confirmed the move to El Reg via email on Thursday. "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next," Google CEO Larry Page said in the emailed statement. "With Android he created …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Oct 2014
Sony PS4

Sony borks fanboi funboxes with dodgy PS4 update

Support staff for Sony's PlayStation 4 have been sent scrambling after users reported issues with the console's latest firmware update. The PS4 2.00 update had promised a handful of new features for Sony's latest console, including the ability to upload YouTube videos of gameplay, share games with friends, and decorate the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Oct 2014

Verizon set to pay $64 MEEELLION for overbilling customers

Verizon has agreed to pay $64m to settle claims that the mobile carrier overcharged some customers on their bills. According to copies of the settlement posted online, Verizon will issue both cash payments for customers and credits for free calls. The settlement would put aside claims that the company overcharged some of its US …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2014