The Register Columnists

Tracey Cooper

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

Ofcom to clamp down on 'unfair' charges

Telecoms firms must stop lumping "unfair" charges onto consumers' bills, according to new proposals put forward by Ofcom. The UK regulator said penalties for paying by cash and cheque rather than direct debit, ending contracts early, or paying bills late should only reflect the charge to the operator rather than a way to get …
Tracey Cooper, 29 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

Oz watchdog accuses Google of misleading public

The Australian competition watchdog has accused Google of "misleading and deceptive conduct". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against Google Inc, Google Ireland Limited, and Google Australia Pty Ltd in the Federal Court, Sydney, saying Google has breached the Trade Practices Act by …
Tracey Cooper, 12 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

Orange doles out an IOU to Christian pareidolians

Letters Iran, the US of A, and WMDs. If there are any subjects guaranteed to garner a response from you lot, they'd be up there. This time, it was the flame of the week that got you fired up: I really shouldn't respond to a FoTW, but: "As I watch England turn into a quivering pile of dung, like their marines and sailors are supposed to …
Tracey Cooper, 01 May 2007
The Register breaking news

The Kremlin uses kryptonite to silence Sheryl Crow

Letters Wi-Fi is responsible for kids behaving badly, teachers complaining about their jobs, and probably global warming, if you believe the recent hype: What a load of old bollocks. There are any number of studies that disprove the 'magnetic fields/power lines give you x/y/z', and you'll note that the only teachers that have spoken …
Tracey Cooper, 24 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Blu-Ray disks hacked by sweet talking teenagers

Letters Fury swept the blogosphere today with accusations over how police and university authorities dealt with the shooting of 32 students at Virginia Tech University yesterday morning: Mis-directed anger and frustration... Gotta blame someone and the killer is dead, so blame the university and cops. Perhaps they could have responded …
Tracey Cooper, 17 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Scouts use lie detectors to undermine DRM

Letters Easter's been and gone, and to help you recover from the sickly sweetness of it all, we thought we'd jump straight in with something a bit sour - namely, the UK government's sinister plans to deploy lie detectors in the hope of catching benefit fraudsters: Umm, hasn't the UK, like just about everywhere but the USA, dissallow ' …
Tracey Cooper, 10 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Blunkett mobilises sheep army to fight global warming

Letters There's a virtual buffet of letters this fine Tuesday, so we've selected a few choice cuts to tickle your taste buds: For starters, broadband's not unlimited if there's a download limit you say, fairly, likening the sorry scenario to an eating establishment: OK, let's say I run a restaurant. Let's say I have in a group of lads …
Tracey Cooper, 27 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

GSK runs out of juice over Ribena claims

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of iconic English thirst-quencher Ribena, has been squeezed before an Auckland (NZ) court for misleading consumers about the levels of vitamin C in the local version of its blackcurrant drink. The company admitted to the Auckland District Court that it misled customers about the vitamin C …
Tracey Cooper, 27 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Elton John blags counterfeit Windows

Letters Computer games continued down the bad press highway this week with the news that car racing games tend to make men more dangerous drivers in the real world. Or they could. Or maybe not. Unfortunately the study of "Racing games increase real world crashes" is somewhat flawed by the testing being done by giving the participants …
Tracey Cooper, 20 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Demonic car takes out TelecityRedbus

Letters What? Keep the lights on? Forget global warming, it's all about budget allocation? Hello: That kind of reminds me of this one place I worked at where there were three guys working on a shift. One quit, leaving things seriously shorthanded. However, the administration refused to hire another person saying it "wasn't in the …
Tracey Cooper, 13 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Borat scares foreigners with text messages

Letters Before we kick off this week's musings, a couple more thoughts on the UK's plans to scrap the mooted ID card for youths. "It seems that the UK's IT folks doesn't have the MacGyver-like skills that it takes to survive a simple US helpdesk position, much less design and build systems on time and under budget. Tony" Easy there …
Tracey Cooper, 09 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Bruce Willis ousts Deep Purple for Eurovision title

Letters It's always good to know you take us seriously, and this reader's practical application of the recent ban on the word solution made all hacks at Vulture Central sit back and sigh with a collective 'Aw, bless'. I have followed your proposed banning of the word "solution" with some amusement recently... Although amusing, I hadn't …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

US trawls Second Life funny money

Letters Now and again, we at Vulture Towers feel it is our honour bound duty to purge the English language of offending little dittys that get up your noses. And so you have spoken. That nasty little scrubber "solution" has been duly banished to the place where bad words go. Reg archives are being cleansed as we speak. Why? Read on …
Tracey Cooper, 23 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

NHS barcodes cause daylight saving havoc

Letters Who would have thought that time would tick you off so much? Daylight saving - do we like it? No we don't! Bryan, you wrote: "It wouldn't be the first time that servers have got their clocks out of step, either. After all, the US and Europe only managed to synchronise their shift to DST a few years ago, after decades of being a …
Tracey Cooper, 20 Feb 2007
chart

Turkish hacker strikes Down Under

Legendary Turkish hacker iskorpitx has turned his attention Down Under with an attack that grounded the websites of nearly 600 Kiwi businesses and about 300 international sites hosted by the same US-based web server. As stuff.co.nz reports, "in each case the content of a site's homepage was replaced with an animated medieval …
Tracey Cooper, 15 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

Road pricing petition saved by Super SIM

Letters Surprisingly, not much has been troubling you this week, but the trawl of the mailbag did uncover one topic that's driven you right round the bend - Tony Blair's latest online petitions website, which this week chalked up more than one million signatories protesting against the mooted introduction of road pricing. Pull over, …
Tracey Cooper, 14 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

PlusNet forums blown wide open by a letter bomb

Letters It's a full to bursting letters bag this week, set to explode like a letter bomb. And boy, oh boy, the UK government was certainly top of the hit-list - whether ID cards, IT systems, or fingerprinting kids, you had a LOT to say about our incumbents. Take cover. Low flying missiles to follow: First up, the news that managing …
Tracey Cooper, 09 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

Giant babies kill the floppy disk

Letters Sad news this week as California coastguards were forced to call off the search for Microsoft researcher Jim Gray who has been missing since setting out in his yacht last Sunday. A respected IT personality and database developer, Google chipped in with an offer to use its high resolution satellite imagery to aid the search: …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Feb 2007
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vista sends PC prices sky high

Vista only hit the shelves yesterday, but Microsoft's new operating system has already sent shockwaves through the PC retail industry. Want to get your hands on an Acer desktop bundled with a copy of "Genuine MS Windows Vista Premium"? Get prepared to fork out a wallet-thrashing £9,999 for the pleasure, if prices down at PC …
Tracey Cooper, 31 Jan 2007
The Register breaking news

China net purification efforts shot down by Silent Guardian

Letters We all love to complain about the state of the railways, so when last week's weather chaos brought services to a standstill, we all had a bit of a moan. Things got even worse in the aftermath when one rail bigwig came out and said packed commuter trains are safer. Cue outrage. You lot were very vocal on this issue (see here), …
Tracey Cooper, 26 Jan 2007
The Register breaking news

Packed trains crash through the Beeb's download plans

Letters After last week's storms crashed not only train networks, but rail websites as well, you'd think the sympathetic bosses of the UK's national rail network would be keen to keep out of the news. Not so. Today, they came out with the astounding suggestion that packed trains are "safer" for commuters. This certainly derailed many …
Tracey Cooper, 23 Jan 2007
The Register breaking news

Flatulence forces US plane out of the sky

A woman's attempt to cover up the nasty smell of her own flatulence caused an aircraft en route between Washington DC and Dallas to make an emergency landing, the BBC reports. Passengers kicked up a stink when they caught a whiff of sulphur from burning matches and alerted cabin crew. The American Airlines plane was forced to …
Tracey Cooper, 07 Dec 2006
The Register breaking news

AWOL satnav system leads to ambulance joyride

Two ambulance drivers' unswerving obedience to their satnav system ended up turning a 30 minute hospital transfer into an eight hour, 430 mile wild goose chase. The crew were supposed to be moving a male mental patient from King George hospital in Ilford to Mascalls Park hospital near Brentwood, a 12 mile journey, but a faulty …
Tracey Cooper, 05 Dec 2006
The Register breaking news

Surveillance society turns citizens into iso-dopes

Letters If there's one subject that's bound to divide opinion, it's the surveillance society, and Clive Longbottom's analysis of the database state certainly did just that: Can we have one of these next Monday called 'Quocirca "Analysis": Is wasting two pages' worth of your readers' time a good idea?' Seriously, I'm not sure what I'm …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Dec 2006
channel

Vista - hot or not?

Letters The people have spoken. Vista seems to be a success, of sorts. While some of you are experiencing teething problems, the majority agree it is very pretty. Which is nice. This reader was particularly flattering… I read one of your articles "Vista creeps over the Horizon" where you asked for emails from people who have …
Tracey Cooper, 30 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

Jilted marquee company's revenge turns sour

A Kiwi marquee company has apologised to a bride-to-be and her fiance after the company office manager emailed the couple saying their wedding plans were "cheap, nasty and tacky". Aucklander Steve Hausman emailed Great Marquee Company saying he and fiancee Paula Brosnahan would not require the company's services for their …
Tracey Cooper, 22 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

Jedis use taser guns to shoot down the Queen's speech

Letters Let's start the letters bag with something that got you really hot under the collar - the spoof Microsoft Firefox site. My, oh my, what a bunch of unhappy readers you were. Some of you even thought we thought it was real (how little credit you give us)... As there's just too much abuse to post, we thought we'd give you the one …
Tracey Cooper, 17 Nov 2006
channel

Outlook takes 136 years to sync email

Microsoft has again found itself at the heart of a time-related SNAFU. The software behemoth has previously tried to assume control of the fourth dimension by turning the clocks back a week early, and turning the clocks forward a few thousand years to release its new operating system Windows Vista. This time around its Outlook …
Tracey Cooper, 10 Nov 2006
chart

Vista delayed by 18,000 years

Microsoft's mythical operating system looks set to remain a thing of legend. The oft-delayed Windows Vista is facing an epic setback, having been pushed back 18,000 years. According to Manchester-based IT supplier Aria.co.uk, don't expect to run Redmond's new beast on your PC until 30 January, 20007. The site says: Don't hold …
Tracey Cooper, 01 Nov 2006
For Sale sign detail

SMB budgets fall short of storage growth

Brief Demand for storage capacity is continuing to rise, but SMB (small to medium sized business) budgets are failing to keep up, according to a Gartner survey. Though 55 per cent of the 1,100 IT managers surveyed rated keeping up with demand as their biggest storage challenge, estimating their capacity needs would increase by an …
Tracey Cooper, 23 Oct 2006

Google's Orkut accused of 'spreading hatred' about India

Orkut, the Google-owned social networking site, has come under fire for hosting a community called "We hate India", which includes anti-India messages and a picture of the nation's flag being burned. According to the Times of India, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court told the Maharashtra government to issue a notice …
Tracey Cooper, 12 Oct 2006
The Register breaking news

Tomkitten's first poop immortalised

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (aka TomKat) have kept 19-week-old daughter Suri well out of the public eye, but the world was given an unusual preview of the much-speculated over sprog with a bronze cast commemorating her first poop popping up on eBay. Suri Cruise poop The life-size replica poop, a work of Daniel Edwards, the …
Tracey Cooper, 01 Sep 2006
The Register breaking news

Europe temps cause icy chaos in the US

The Butterfly Effect theory has it that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world could cause a hurricane on the other side of the globe. Now, we're not suggesting the reported 1777°C high in London a couple of weeks ago was a matter in any way belittled by comparison to a butterfly, but energy has to come from …
Tracey Cooper, 29 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Wanted: Master of the Belgian language

Those sales reps that were excitedly reading down Google's job advertisement for a possie at its Dublin headquarters thinking "oooh yes, I can do that", "mmmm, standing on my head", would have sighed in disgust at the last line of the job description - the successful candidate should be able to "speak and write Belgian and …
Tracey Cooper, 21 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Twister unearths archaeologists

Five archaeologists were ripped from terra firma by a freak tornado that whipped its way through Lincolnshire yesterday. The archaeologists and archaeology students, working at a sand and gravel pit at Baston, were sheltering from the thunderstorm in a temporary canteen when the building was picked up and tossed 70 feet by the …
Tracey Cooper, 18 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Aliens choose Firefox

A crop circle in the shape of the Firefox logo has appeared in a wheat field near Amity, Oregon. The 220 foot phenomenon, discovered on August 12, is clearly a representation of the open source browser. Firefox crop circle Scientific explanations for the shamelessly promotional piece of cerealogy have been dismissed in …
Tracey Cooper, 17 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Reg saves doctored war pics for posterity

On news that Reuters has pulled all 920 of Lebanese freelancer Adnan Hajj's photos after two were found to have been doctored in Photoshop (see New Zealand Herald story), we received this email from scam-busting reader Mark: These images have come into my possession from a "reputable news source". My crack team of uber-geeks …
Tracey Cooper, 08 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Temps to take a plunge in Leeds tomorrow

After recently recovering from last month's sweltering 188 degree heatwave, the unfortunate residents of Leeds are about to experience a dramatic about-turn in weather fortunes. In an unseasonally chilly twist, the mercury is forecast to hit its peak at a nippy 3°C tomorrow, according to the Beeb. Leeds weather forecast …
Tracey Cooper, 07 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Reg plan to take over Ireland thwarted

And we thought we'd got away with it. You Reg readers don't often miss a trick, and the hawk-eye observance skills of reader Simon are responsible for the abrupt uncovering of our latest attempt at world domination. So, we thought we'd fess up to our blatant attempt to drum up Irish readership numbers by subliminally …
Tracey Cooper, 04 Aug 2006
The Register breaking news

Auctioneer uses rear flasher to flog old bike

We all know that sex sells, and the second-hand bike trade has obviously become so competitive that sellers will go to any lengths to expose their wares. The following auction is obviously a crack by some cheeky youth at capitalising on the latest trend: On closer inspection: MOUNTAIN BIKE NEEDS TO GO SOME ATTENTION …
Tracey Cooper, 29 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

London borough develops own microclimate

Those Islington residents that were sitting on their balconies enjoying the 27 degree sunshine while having a quiet post-work pint yesterday afternoon, would have been bamboozled to hear colleagues today speaking of taking shelter to escape the terrible rain and hail. So we at Vulture Central went to the fount of all weather …
Tracey Cooper, 28 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

Itsy witsy teeny weeny beeping UV-proof bikini

Concern about rising skin cancer rates has prompted Canadian swimwear company Solestrom to design a bikini with an in-built UV meter. Every year around 8,000 cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed in the UK, causing almost 1,800 deaths each year, according to Cancer Research UK. "There's so much concern about sun exposure …
Tracey Cooper, 26 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

Sun didn't rise in Bristol today: official

Bristol citizens who have been complaining about the sweltering temperatures of the last few weeks have been given some respite from the scorching rays from above. But rather than a few clouds to lessen the exposure, or a nice breeze to take the edge off the intensity, the sun simply didn't rise at all - at least according to …
Tracey Cooper, 26 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

easyGroup wins easy.com appeal

The London High Court has upheld a previous ruling that gave multi-national conglomerate easyGroup intellectual property rights to the easy.com trade mark. In March, easyGroup, parent of easyJet, easyMobile, easyCruise and many other "easy" brands, won a trademark for easy.com. But ISP Easynet, the internet service provider …
Tracey Cooper, 19 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

Kinderstart stopped in its tracks

A US judge has sent Kinderstart back to the drawing board, after dismissing the education website's anti-trust lawsuit against Google. Judge Jeremy Fogel of the Northern District of California in San Jose dismissed all nine counts of Kinderstart's complaint, all centred on claims of monopolistic practices by the search giant, …
Tracey Cooper, 14 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

New businesses spawned from handbag hype

Handbag fever has hit bizarre new heights in New Zealand with a raft of boutique industries springing up to cash in on the hype. Following on the success of the NZ$22,000 (£7,800) sale of the fashion weapon used by rugby legend Tana Umaga to wallop some sense into Hurricanes team-mate Chris Masoe, auction site TradeMe has been …
Tracey Cooper, 06 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

NZ brawl handbag commands tear-jerking price

Bidding has spiralled out of control on New Zealand auction website Trademe.co.nz as punters scramble for the now famous handbag used by ex-All Black captain Tana Umaga to reprimand Chris Masoe in a Christchurch bar in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The auction, posted last Friday by the entrepreneurial owner of the fashion …
Tracey Cooper, 02 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

NZ 'definitely not for sale'

An Australian man, obviously a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, tried to flog off Aotearoa* on online auction site eBay. Bidding started at just one cent, and 6,000 hits and 22 bids later, only AUS$3,000 was offered for the "half gallon, quarter acre, pavlova paradise" before eBay pulled the auction. "Clearly, New …
Tracey Cooper, 12 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Rochdale outsources IT in £200m deal

Rochdale Council has confirmed that two private sector partners are to take on the management of its services in a deal worth £200m. In collaboration with support services group Mouchel Parkman and technology firm Agilysis, the authority has established a new company, the Impact Partnership, to take on the running of some of …
Tracey Cooper, 14 Mar 2006