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Gareth Corfield

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Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

Updated Transport for Greater Manchester, the northern UK city's transport authority, has refused to publish its ticket prices on the basis that telling the public how much they have to pay for riding the trams would "prejudice the Metrolink service". The transport regulator was responding to a Freedom of Information request for next …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2017

Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Tinkering with your future driverless car's software and failing to install safety-critical updates will invalidate your insurance, under a newly proposed British law. "The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill 2017 is intended to enable consumers in the United Kingdom to be amongst the first in the world to reap the rewards …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2017
RAF F-35B ZM137, visiting the UK in 2016. Crown copyright

Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Britain’s F-35B fighter jets currently cost around $123m each – and British officials are quite content that the only engine overhaul facility for the stealth aircraft’s engines is located in Turkey. The House of Commons’ Defence Committee questioned British ministers, civil servants and senior officers on the F-35 purchase …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2017

Please replace the sword, says owner of now-hollow stone

The legendary sword has been pulled from the stone – but the owner wants it back and a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to replace the blade. The iron sword in question was sunk into a rock beside Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, by local campsite owner Garnet Davies. "The whole purpose is for kids to have a …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Oct 2017

Look, look, we've done a driverless AI hype paper thingy, says Mobileye

Intel-owned Mobileye says it has cooked up a safety framework for fully autonomous, human-independent, driverless cars – and desperately wants people to notice this before the "inevitable fall" of public interest in driverless tech. In a formal paper written in August, Mobileye reckons its Responsibility Sensitive Safety model …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Oct 2017

Have you heard the one about IoT network tech that uses SIM cards?

Another Internet of Things upstart has nudged its way into the limelight – and Thingstream reckons its "MVNO for IoT" connectivity offering will compete against established players Sigfox and LoRaWAN. Thingstream's product is built on the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) messaging protocol. As Neil Hamilton, the …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Oct 2017
Airsoft rifle closeup with pellets

Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

A man was prosecuted for posting a picture of himself on Facebook posing with airsoft equipment. Christopher Turnbull, of Grangemouth, Scotland, was charged with a criminal offence for posting the picture, which was seen by a Stuart Brodie of Police Scotland. The 45-year-old was eventually cleared at Falkirk Sheriff Court ( …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Oct 2017
A Parrot Bebop 2 drone. File picture

Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

A drone photographer who took pictures of the Tornado steam engine has been given a community punishment by Essex Police in the UK – after Network Rail complained his craft was being flown too close to a railway line. The force said in a statement that the 28-year-old man from Kirby Cross, who it declined to name, "was dealt …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Oct 2017

Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

Richard Branson, the billionaire behind the Virgin brand, has reportedly invested an undisclosed sum in Elon Musk’s barmy Hyperloop supersonic tube train project, seemingly competing with the billionaire ideas man's own firm. Beardy gets to join the Hyperloop One board, according to the Beeb, and the firm will also add its …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Oct 2017
A DJI Phantom 4 with camera detail. Pic: Shutterstock

Whose drone is that? DJI unveils UAV traffic tracking system

DJI, the Chinese drone firm, is launching its own Wi-Fi based drone identification and tracking system, Aeroscope, aimed at placating regulators who want to put limits on small drone flights. The move is to pre-emptively appease regulators such as the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, the EU’s EASA and US’s FAA as they look at …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Oct 2017

Give us cash and think about the kids, UK tells Facebook and Twitter

The British government is now proposing a direct tax on social media companies while inviting everyone else to hush and think of the children. The Green Paper on Internet Safety, published today, specifically gives Apple and Google a free pass from the real targets of British governmental anger, Facebook and Twitter. It comes …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Oct 2017
image byemo

Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

A power consumption monitoring startup reckons its substation monitoring technology can be used to help the spread of electric car charging points. The OpenLV project aims to deploy a “low cost substation intelligence platform” that monitors local low voltage* substations and meshes them together to supply extra current as …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Oct 2017
A Land Rover Discovery. Pic: Shutterstock

Q: How do you test future driverless car tech? A: Slurp a ton of real-world driving data

A group of council delivery drivers in East London are riding new £28,000 Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicles. A bit extravagant? Yes, deliberately so: these cars are testbeds for the Move UK autonomous car tech data-gathering project. Central to the project is gathering data on how autonomous cars will operate in the future. …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Oct 2017
The Typhoon in Battle of Britain colours

1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

BAE Systems, maker of military machinery, is to slash more than 1,000 jobs, according to reports, with most roles affected at its Warton plant in Lancashire, England – the main factory that builds the Eurofighter Typhoon. While nominally a multinational aircraft, the Typhoon is effectively a BAE design from top to bottom and …
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

BT fined £25,000 over second unsafe London roadworks this year

BT has been fined £25,000 after being found guilty of carrying out unsafe roadworks in the UK capital, following a prosecution by Transport for London. The offence was committed on March 1 at roadworks being carried out by BT on London's Streatham Hill, at the junction of Leigham Court Road. "BT failed to properly sign and …
elon musk

What does Elon Musk really need? A personal theme tune, of course!

Weezer's former bassist has written a "theme tune" for Elon Musk. Why? He was feeling miserable, apparently. Matt Sharp, erstwhile plucker of fat strings for the pop-punk pack, penned the "mournful ode" to the Tesla gros fromage but then said it was "not a tribute to Musk", according to glossy Wired. "I was trying to get off …

Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Blighty's defence boffins are now spending £10m per year on space research, including a satellite mission set for blast-off in 2019. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is spending a total of £50m over the next five years on space "innovation", in particular for two space-related projects. One of these is the …
Harrods. Pic: Shutterstock

Ex-Harrods IT man cleared of stealing company issued laptop

The former Harrods IT worker accused of stealing a laptop from the luxury department store in the UK capital has been cleared of theft – but was fined for trying to remove it from the department store's domain. Pardeep Parmar, of Grove Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, previously pleaded guilty to causing a computer to perform a …
Tony Sale, one of the founders of the National Museum of Computing. Pic: TNMOC

World's first dedicated computer centre declared 'irreplaceable' by Historic England

Block H has been declared one of England's "irreplaceable places", the National Museum of Computing has joyously announced. For those wondering why on earth TNMOC is preserving the women's prison block from the 1990s Aussie telly series Prisoner: Cell Block H, it actually refers to one of the most historic buildings on the …

ISIS and Jack Daniel's: One of these things is not like the other

A man was reportedly asked if he was an Islamic State sympathiser after his neighbours mistook a Jack Daniel's flag for the black-and-white terrorist insignia. The unnamed Italian hung the whiskey distillery flag outside his home in Regensdorf, Zürich, only to receive an anonymous letter from "concerned neighbours". "Should …
Boeing 777--2H6/ER 9M-MRI, an aircraft very similar to the one that operated Flight MH370. Pic: Ryan Fletcher/Shutterstock

MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

Australian air authorities have published their final report into the MH370 mystery, concluding that they’re no wiser about what happened or why than when the Malaysian Airlines flight vanished three years ago. Australia’s Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) took a leading role in the investigation at the invitation of …
Tony Hall, BBC Director General. Pic: BBC

BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Parliament has rescheduled its debate on the BBC TV Tax, after it was quietly canned thanks to the UK's snap general election earlier this year. A public petition against the BBC TV Licence fee was launched after The Register revealed that notorious outsourcing firm Capita, whose door-to-door salesmen collect the tax, took 71 …

Six weeks later, drone biz DJI deploys control app 'flight mode'

Chinese drone-maker DJI has re-announced its "local data mode" for phone-home UAVs, around six weeks after first promising to introduce it following the US Army banning use of its products. Back in August the US Army imposed a blanket ban on the use of all DJI products across the entire service, following unspecified “cyber …

Man with 74 convictions refused permission to fling sueball at Google

A sex offender with 74 convictions who changed his name to escape his past has been refused permission to sue Google by a judge in Northern Ireland. Callum Townsend, 25, who was previously called Stuart Townsend, had his effort to prohibit Google from publishing search results about him squashed by Lord Justice Stephens, …

Brit prosecutors fling almost a million quid at anti-drone'n'phone ideas

The UK's Ministry of Justice is offering up to £50,000 for bright ideas to stop drones and mobile phones from getting into prisons. "The aim of this competition is to develop novel detection techniques to identify these and other contraband items," according to the funding notice. Top priority for the MoJ is detecting and …

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