Feeds
The Register Columnists

Joe Fay

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Joe Fay is group editor of The Register, and The Channel.
The Register breaking news

Schmidt: Android will bring DEMOCRACY to the WORLD

A combination of Moore's law and Android will bring down corrupt and authoritarian regimes over the coming years, Eric Schmidt declared at a Google conference on Privacy today. The former Google CEO turned exec chairman and company ambassador also appeared to maybe rule out the firm becoming involved in the creation of facial …
Joe Fay, 18 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Google will throw open lid on music locker service today

Google is expected to barge into the music industry this afternoon with the launch of its own music locker service, without prior approval from record labels. The search and ads giant is expected to open up on its locker service at its I/O developer conference, the Wall Street Journal said, citing those omniscient people …
Joe Fay, 10 May 2011
The Register breaking news

MobileMe drove Steve Jobs to foul-mouthed fury

Apple fanbois were shocked to the core today at the news that not only does Steve Jobs swear but that the sainted one actually declared that a Mac product was a pile of steaming crap. Jobs' alleged tendency to rant and rage at his cowering VPs was revealed in a piece by Fortune magazine. The piece itself is subscription only, …
Joe Fay, 09 May 2011
The Register breaking news

UK.gov would pay to have benefit claimants' tattoos erased

The government has confirmed that it is prepared to pay for plastic surgery for tattoo-emblazened benefit claimants – if the inked-up individuals get a job offer first. The unemployment eraser plan was confirmed in a Commons answer yesterday. David Ruffley MP had asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions "what …
Joe Fay, 06 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Surrey voted tops for tits in birdwatching poll

Surrey is the best place in England to spot tits in gardens, a survey has revealed. The British Trust for Ornithology's Garden Birdwatch showed that a greater percentage of leafy Surrey's gardens were visited by Blue Tits and Great Tits than any other country. Householders in the stockbroker belt taking a peek into their back …
Joe Fay, 05 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Vatican blogger meeting says no to copyright, yes to lifting content

Speakers at a bloggers conference at the Vatican this week gave themselves an indulgence, saying it is OK to lift content from "old media" and that copyright was old hat. The Vatican's Councils for Culture and Social Communications had invited 150 bloggers to a meeting in Rome yesterday. While many of the Catholic bloggers had …
Joe Fay, 03 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Golden Gate swallows up Lawson Software

Veteran ERP vendor Lawson software is being swallowed by acquisitive VC house Golden Gate Capital, the firms announced this morning. Lawson will be lined up with Golden Gate's GGC Software affiliate and Infor, another software firm in its portfolio. "Infor and Lawson will create a rich, integrated enterprise application suite …
Joe Fay, 26 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Computer glitch opens un-staffed supermarket to happy Kiwis

Canny Kiwis were given a Good Friday bonus when a computer system automatically opened a supermarket to all comers. The Mill St Pak 'n Save in Hamilton, New Zealand should have been shut for Good Friday, but the godless computer system overrode a manual command to shutter up, and flicked on the lights and threw open the …
Joe Fay, 26 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

ICO makes school stand in corner over data theft

The ICO has given an Oldham school a stern telling-off after an unencrypted laptop with pupils' details was stolen from a teachers' car. The laptop contained "personal information" relating to 90 pupils at Freehold Community School when it was half-inched from the boot of the corduroy's car, which was parked outside their home …
Joe Fay, 21 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

SF fire dept lost computer password during massive blaze

San Francisco authorities appear to be having network problems again, after the Fire Department lost the password for its backup network in the middle of a major shout. The revelation came into an inquest into a major blaze in the North Beach area of the city on New Year's Eve which left 48 people homeless, the San Francisco …
Joe Fay, 20 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Google gives Eric Schmidt 124,999,900% salary increase

Google has rewarded Eric Schmidt for shifting from the CEO's office to exec chairman by bumping up his salary from $1 to $1.25m. The company's latest filing at the SEC shows that Schmidt will also qualify for a bonus of 400 per cent of that salary. The filing also details the move of Alan Eustace from senior VP of engineering …
Joe Fay, 20 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Fast-fingered oldster relieves shop worker of iPhone cash

Surrey Police are hunting a slick-fingered 60-year-old who allegedly persuaded a shop worker to hand over £150 quid for a dummy iPhone. The Surrey Advertiser reports that the prestidigitateur bowled into a newsagents in Egham and asked if the staffer behind the till fancied paying £150 for a new iPhone. The assistant checked …
Joe Fay, 20 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple-branded unicorn spotted at 3

It's breeding season for white iPhone 4s, with the fabled unicorn of the smartphone world suddenly proliferating across UK providers. The latest spotting of the mythical phone by Slashgear.com came at Three UK's site. The operator is offering both 16GB and 32GB versions across its plans. The phone itself starts at a lightly …
Joe Fay, 19 Apr 2011
channel

Seagate sucks up Samsung storage biz

Seagate is taking over Samsung's hard disk operation, in a deal that will give the Korean giant almost 10 per cent of the erstwhile storage market leader. The deal had been expected, with Seagate CEO Stepehn Luczo having already cleared his calendar for a mysterious three-month sojourn in the Far East. The combined business …
Joe Fay, 19 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

UK net banking website falls flat on its bank

Nationwide Building Society's online presence has been floored for the second time in two months. The main site is unavailable, and while customers can access online banking by going direct to the logon page, they're unlikely to see details of their accounts once they've logged in. A spokesman for Nationwide confirmed that the …
Joe Fay, 18 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Officials scoop up bacteria bubbling away in Playboy hot tub

An investigation into an outbreak of respiratory illness amongst techies who'd attended Domainfest has found legionella bacteria bubbling away in a hot tub at the Playboy mansion. LA health officials investigated after at least 100 attendees at Domainfest became horribly ill. Fingers were pointed at both the conference venue, …
Joe Fay, 18 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Pope says gravity proves technology can't supplant God

The Pope has warned the faithful of the folly of thinking that technology could replace the almighty. Pope Benedict, speaking at a Palm Sunday Mass to kick off Holy Week, noted that mankind had always sought to become "like God". But, Reuters reports, Pope Benedict said: "Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can …
Joe Fay, 18 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft opens Office 365 beta floodgates to the world

Microsoft Office 365 hit public beta yesterday as Redmond uncorked a marketplace to support the long-gestating cloud-based Office suite. The public beta pushes the suite out to 38 markets, in 17 languages. It comes in two flavours: small business on a month-to-month deal with "community support", or enterprise with 24x7 admin …
Joe Fay, 18 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple cloud strategy changes with the weather

Apple is looking to build up its cloud computing engineering team. Or maybe not. A discreet ad looking for a cloud engineer was spotted yesterday by Apple Insider. The ad, as reproduced by Apple Insider, calls for a "cloud systems software engineer" for a "full time" position in which the successful candidate(s) will get to " …
Joe Fay, 14 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Level 3 pays $3bn for Global Crossing

Level 3 is acquiring fellow tier 1 network provider Global Crossing, bringing together two of the most notorious fibre-networking firms from the heyday of the dotcom boom. Level 3 will take over Global Crossing in an all-share deal, handing over 16 of its shares for every one of Global Crossing's. Working from Level 3's stock …
Joe Fay, 11 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

A fifth of Europeans can't work out how much a TV costs

A full 20 per cent of European consumers are too befuddled to work out which is the cheaper flat screen TV when given a choice of two*, European Commission research has found. The figures, released today, show that fewer than two-thirds of consumers could read an ingredients label, while 18 per cent of shoppers are flummoxed …
Joe Fay, 11 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

IBM paints the cloud-scape blue

IBM has backed the creation of a standards body that comprises 40 "leading cloud organisations" but none of its main rivals in the battle to dominate the next big thing in computing. The Cloud Standards Council was wafted into public view as Big Blue unveiled a slew of cloud products and services and reset its stall to grab [big …
Joe Fay, 07 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

BBC IT project to save £17.9m cost it £38.2m net

MPs have given the BBC a kicking over its Digital Media Initiative, a technology development programme that was meant to deliver a "benefit" of £17.9m but ended up costing it a net £38.2m. The Public Accounts Committee hauled the Beeb over the coals, questioning why the project was handed to Siemens in 2008 without tendering, …
Joe Fay, 07 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Civil servants just can't keep a grip on their BlackBerrys

BlackBerrys have become the most lost or stolen item at the Department of Transport, a minister revealed yesterday, although thieves also seem to have a taste for heating fuel too. Under-Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker produced a shopping list of items "recorded as lost by or stolen from DFT staff, from either on …
Joe Fay, 06 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss

The man in charge of the government's IT efficiency drive has told MPs that Whitehall should use more Apple Macs while castigating the previous government for trying to sex-up IT projects. Ian Watmore, COO of the Efficiency and Reform Group, told the public administration committee that Labour had poured cash into computer …
Joe Fay, 30 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Judge hands BlueBeat.com $1m bill for Beatles downloads

A California website that claimed its "psycho-acoustic simulation" technology meant it could sell Beatles downloads has been ordered to cough up $950,000 to EMI. Bluebeat.com started offering the downloads in 2009 at 25 cents a pop. The too good to be true deal came well ahead of Apple's own tie-up with the fab four and, more …
Joe Fay, 29 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Woman fingers ex in 15-foot strip pole theft mystery

A Florida woman has turned on her ex-boyfriend after the sudden disappearance of her 15-foot "expert dancing pole" following the couple's breakup. NBC Miami reports that the 19-year-old woman discovered the $400 pole had vanished into thin air when she returned to her ex-boyfriend's apartment to retrieve her stuff in the wake of …
Joe Fay, 18 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Man jailed after cops uncover 'crack in bum'

A sharp-eyed Reg reader has alerted us to the hardline policing approach taken by coppers investigating drugs crime in North London, as exposed by the Islington Gazette. Islington Gazette arrest The individual in question was jailed for two years for possession with intent to supply both smack and crack, the paper reports, …
Joe Fay, 09 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Crime UK site gets 400m hits, drives down property values

The UK's crime map has received over 400 million hits as worried citizens desperately try to get a grip on the level of hoax calls. Tory MP Richard Graham fired a pile of questions at the Home Office last week, asking among other things whether hoax calls were recorded as antisocial behaviour. Other questions included what …
Joe Fay, 07 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Parliament's expenses body spent £2.2m on IT

The newly minted Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has spent £2.2m on IT to get itself up and running, a commons answer revealed yesterday. Bob Russell MP asked what services Calyx UK provided to the authority and whether it had considered other suppliers. Charles Walker, representing the Speaker's Committee for the …
Joe Fay, 04 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Kentucky man denies drunk driving, blames blow job

A Kentucky man who was arrested for DUI has said his erratic driving was less to do with alcohol and more to do with the oral sex he was receiving from his passenger at the time. Jason Kircher was pulled over by cops after being clocked at 66mph in a 55 mph zone on Interstate 64, the Courier Journal reports. An officer spotted …
Joe Fay, 04 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

UK.gov closes door against foreign boners

The UK government has declared the country has quite enough boners, and has pulled up the drawbridge against any foreign boners wishing to immigrate. The Home Office announced today that following a Migration Advisory Council's recommendation, it had removed eight job titles from the "shortage occupation list". This is part of …
Joe Fay, 03 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Border Agency raids private college in Gateshead

The UK border agency has raided a college in Gateshead that it suspects is being used for immigration crime. Five people were arrested yesterday in a series of raids targeting Castle College, Gateshead, the UK Border Agency said. The college, which offers language, business and computing courses, also had its licence to enroll …
Joe Fay, 02 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Eurocrats work horizontally to make every European digital

EU commissioner Neelie Kroes told Cebit yesterday Europe's vast bureaucracy was well on the way to fulfilling the digital agenda it set itself nine months ago. In fact, Brussels was "working horizontally" to push the agenda, with Eurocrats getting horizontal with government bodies, innovators and anyone else that can help build …
Joe Fay, 02 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

TalkTalk silenced over anti-BT comparison

BT has scored a minor victory over TalkTalk, after it had a trio of complaints about the latter's advertising upheld. BT had objected to an ad punting a TalkTalk phone and broadband package, which claimed users could save £154 over 18 months compared to BT. TalkTalk was not comparing like with like, complained BT. It claimed …
Joe Fay, 02 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Surrey nudists tossed out into the cold after lease expires

A group of Surrey naturists is looking for an accommodating farmer, after their landlord refused to renew the lease on their old site. The Surrey Downs Sun Club leased their site from a holiday and residential company, which has decided to expand its own facilities at the Farley Green site, the Surrey Advertiser reports. The 70 …
Joe Fay, 01 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Euro court slaps down insurers over gender risks

The European Court of Justice has ruled that insurers should not treat gender as a risk factor when assessing premiums, clearing the way for higher costs for women. And probably men. A Belgian consumer organisation had brought the case, which centred on exemptions from the EU's anti-discrimination directive that allowed …
Joe Fay, 01 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Lloyds, First Direct websites hit by payday outages

Customers of two of the UK's biggest banks were locked out of their online accounts this morning, as payday collided with an outbreak of server sleeping sickness. The problems came on the last Friday of the month, when many of the nation's workers pile online to check their salaries have hit their bank accounts and start paying …
Joe Fay, 25 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Customs officers get X-ray machines for down under searches

Aussie customs officers are to get right under the skin of visitors to the Lucky Country with body scanners that will allow them to peruse suspected smugglers' internals without the need for a doctor's expertise. Ingesting drug-filled condoms and the like has become a favourite quick and dirty method for smugglers to evade …
Joe Fay, 25 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Jacqui Smith 'shocked' to discover we're drowning in sea of porn

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has professed herself "shocked" at the availability of porn on the internet after investigating the issue for a radio documentary. Which raises the question of what exactly she thought she was cracking down on during her time in charge of law and order. Smith famously left her job as Gordon …
Joe Fay, 22 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Who needs 600 friends when you're a bride of Christ?

A Spanish nun has been kicked out of her closed religious order after clocking up 600 friends on Facebook. After 35 years closeted at the 700-year-old Santa Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, Maria Jesus Galan is back living with her mum, and has declared she rather fancies visiting New York and London. The convent reportedly …
Joe Fay, 21 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

EU bottoms up committee slates body scanners

An obscure EU Committee has slammed the introduction of body scanners, raising concerns over the health and human rights risks of the technology. The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on scanner technology, which sets out concerns over the scanners' ability to improve security "which, coupled with …
Joe Fay, 17 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Sarkozy: Microsoft represents all that is great about France

French president Nicholas Sarkozy delivered a profound judgement on Microsoft yesterday, declaring that the company personifies the values of France and Europe. While such a declaration would quicken the heart of US artists and filmmakers, it might not be the sort of endorsement that a nakedly capitalist, (sometimes) bleeding …
Joe Fay, 17 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Knife-waving knob nabs fat stack of jazz mags

A small hamlet in Surrey has been left reeling after a knife-wielding thief stole a whole top shelf's load of adult magazines. The masked raider struck the shop cum post office in Gomshall on Tuesday afternoon, the Surrey Advertiser reports. He first demanded money from the shop keeper, who resisted until he was pushed with a …
Joe Fay, 16 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Gov will pay £2.25m compo to ID card suppliers

The cost of compensating suppliers after the scrapping of the ID card scheme is likely to hit £2.25m, Home Office Damian Green has confirmed. Green disclosed the figure in a letter to former Labour Home Secretary and erstwhile ID card enthusiast David Blunkett, the Daily Telegraph reports. On top of the payments of £2.25m to …
Joe Fay, 16 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Clinton demands net freedom for all... 'cept Wikileaks

Hillary Clinton will bang the drum for internet access as a human right today when she outlines the US vision for the net in the wake of recent political turmoil in the middle east, and its own savaging in the wake of the Wikileaks disclosures. The US Secretary of State will claim that the debate about whether the internet lends …
Joe Fay, 15 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Techies floored by 'virus' after Playboy mansion party

LA Public Health Officials are investigating The Playboy Mansion after 100 techies became horribly ill in the wake of a party there. According to local reports, Hef's mansion was the venue for a fundraiser and end-of-show party for the DomainFest conference earlier this month. The show itself was at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in …
Joe Fay, 14 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

MPs' IT support costs £1.122m

If you've ever wondering how much it costs to show MPs and their staff how to use their computers, the answer is in - £1.22m. The figure came in a Commons answer yesterday. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown had asked what the cost of IT support for members was. John Thurso, speaking for the House of Commons Commission, replied that the …
Joe Fay, 10 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Facebook's position on real names not negotiable for dissidents

Facebook's real-name-only approach is non-negotiable – despite claims that it puts political activists at risk, one of its senior policy execs said this morning. Simon Axten, of Facebook's public policy team, said today that the "real name culture" was an essential element of the social networking platform. However, the policy …
Joe Fay, 08 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Nationwide customers find online front door shut

Nationwide Building Society customers looking to check their accounts or peruse mortgage rates via its online front door were left frustrated today as its website's front page told them it was, er, too busy. Customers typing in nationwide.co.uk today were greeted with the following: Server is too busy The front page seems to …
Joe Fay, 07 Feb 2011