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Gareth Corfield

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HMS Duncan, Type 45 destroyer. Crown copyright

Royal Navy destroyer leaves Middle East due to propeller problems

A Type 45 destroyer has been recalled to Britain with propeller problems, leaving the Royal Navy's traditional "east of Suez" deployment without proper warship cover. As revealed in The Times, HMS Diamond is on her way back to the UK after a propeller problem proved too much for the ship's crew to repair on their own. The …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Nov 2017
Static poor reception of TV transmission. Photo by shutterstock

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Britons simply don't understand that "public sector broadcasting" is a "good for all society", a Labour MP lamented during a Westminster Hall debate on TV licensing. In spite of the dozen or so MPs who spoke during the 2.5-hour session, the debate managed to almost completely bypass the question of repealing the Telly Tax, as …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Nov 2017
Computer mouse  connected to a rolled up newspaper with the headline Tech News

Apple quietly wheels out 'Voxelnet' driverless car tech paper

Apple researchers have released a paper about a "trainable deep architecture", setting out the fruity firm's plans to make autonomous vehicles better at detecting cyclists and pedestrians. The paper, jointly authored by Apple researchers Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel, details a system the pair call Voxelnet. A voxel is a point on a …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Nov 2017
The UK's sole F-35B in flight. Crown copyright

Possible cut to British F-35 order considered before Parliament

Rising costs might force the UK to reduce its order of F-35 fighter jets, the House of Commons has been told. Lieutenant General Mark Poffley, chief of British military capability, told the Commons Defence Committee that he was "sympathetic" to the idea of reducing Britain's planned order of 138 F-35B jets. The short takeoff …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Nov 2017

London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!

London mayor Sadiq Khan has come out against driverless electric cars, telling Parliament that adoption of the vehicles by Londoners could harm government tax revenues, reduce the number of cyclists – and leave questions over who would build the roads. “A move towards new technologies like electric vehicles is likely to reduce …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Nov 2017
The Driven consortium is testing driverless car tech on a Ford Mondeo

Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Over the weekend, chancellor Philip Hammond boasted that “fully driverless cars” would be on Britain’s roads in four years’ time. Some in the driverless car industry think this is a dangerous fantasy, while more high-profile driverless car software companies are all in favour of it. The chancellor’s announcement was made as …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Nov 2017
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

Comment Infamous online cesspit Twitter may have unintentionally made itself easier to sue for the things users write on its site, following recently announced changes to its "blue tick" verification system. Earlier this month Twitter staff used the service's Twitter Support account to declare that its controversial blue tick will now …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Nov 2017
A man flying a drone. Pic: Shutterstock

Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation

The Civil Aviation Authority is threatening already squeezed British commercial drone operators with another licence fee hike from April, piling another 40 per cent onto their costs. Drone fliers who make money by selling pictures and videos taken with their drones are furious over the CAA's proposal, which came to light in a …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Nov 2017
HMS Queen Elizabeth approaching Portsmouth for the first time. Crown copyright

New UK aircraft carrier to be commissioned on Pearl Harbor anniversary

Her Majesty the Queen will commission the new British aircraft carrier named after her into Royal Navy service in three weeks – on the anniversary of an infamous naval battle where numerous warships were sunk. On Thursday, December 7, the Queen will formally welcome the 75,000-tonne warship into her fleet. During the last few …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2017
Stanford's MARTY car

Connected and self-driving cars are being sent to Coventry

The UK Autodrive connected car consortium will start practical trials of its connected and autonomous cars on the streets of Coventry, it has declared. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), all of which are partners in the project, are trialling a number of connected car features in …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2017
Image by Maythee Voran https://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-3935591p1.html

Drone maker DJI left its private SSL, firmware keys open to world+dog on GitHub FOR YEARS

Chinese drone maker DJI left the private key for its dot-com's HTTPS certificate exposed on GitHub for up to four years, according to a researcher who gave up with the biz's bug bounty process. DJI also exposed customers' personal information – from flight logs to copies of government ID cards – to the internet from …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017

Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

AEV Bill A new law won't force driverless cars' software developers to explicitly consider the infamous Trolley Problem – but the UK government may later decide to implement something similar. Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, put down what he later described as a "probing amendment" to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017

DJI bug bounty NDA is 'not signable', say irate infosec researchers

Chinese drone maker DJI faces questions from infosec researchers about its bug bounty programme. Sources have told The Register that a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) they were invited to sign would result in the company "owning their actions". DJI's scheme to pay those that highlight security weaknesses, announced months ago …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Cambridge bikes photo MK Jones via Shutterstock

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

AEV Bill A cyclists' association wants software developers for any "errors" in driverless car software to be "criminally prosecuted" in Blighty. Cycling UK's submission to the Parliamentary committee considering the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill (AEV Bill) also suggested that owners of driverless cars should be liable for …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2017
Illustration of truck

Coming live to a warzone near you: Army Truck Driver for Xbox!

As recently retired senior officers told UK Parliament that the armed forces are at risk of "institutional failure", the Ministry of Defence told the world's press that soldiers are playing with Xbox controllers. General Sir Richard Barrons, Admiral Sir George Zambellas and Air Marshal Sir Barry North all gave evidence to the …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Nov 2017

What is DJI Terra? Mystery builds over Chinese biz's trademark

Chinese drone firm DJI has trademarked the term "DJI Terra", spurring speculation that the unmanned aerial vehicle firm might be expanding into land-based products. The trademark application came to light as a post on a private Facebook group, seen by The Register, referred to a prototype being in existence last year and being …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Nov 2017
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Softbank gets Uber A-OK for $9 BEEELLION investment cash splurge

Cash-flinging Japanese tech firm Softbank will sink up to ten billion dollars into Uber, following a vote of approval by the taxi app's board. In addition to the direct purchase of $1bn Uber shares, Softbank also wants to buy out other investors' shares up to a total of $9bn, according to financial newswire Bloomberg. …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Nov 2017
Spoon feeding

Qualcomm tells Broadcom: Pfffft! $103bn? You insult the very core of our cores

Qualcomm's board has unanimously rejected Broadcom's $103bn buyout proposal, slamming its rival's bid as having "dramatically undervalued" the multi-billion-dollar chipmaker. "It is the Board's unanimous belief that Broadcom’s proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the Company's leadership position in mobile …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Nov 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Audio spy Alexa now has a little pal called Dox

Updated Amazon's audio surveillance personal assistant device, Alexa, has acquired an external battery pack called Dox. The appropriately named portable energy store, made by lifestyle gadgetry firm Ninety7, does not (thankfully) do what its name says. Instead, says its maker, it offers "up to 10 hours" of extra life for Alexa. The …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Nov 2017

ZX Spectrum Vega firm's lawyers targeted by empty-handed backers

Disgruntled customers of ZX Spectrum Vega+ firm Retro Computers Ltd have complained to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA), alleging ringfenced company funds are being diverted into its legal battles. The gist of the grievances is an allegation that some of the £513,000 given to RCL by 5,000 members of the public to put …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Nov 2017

Inmarsat aircraft Wi-Fi lift off set to fill coffers

Brit satellite biz Inmarsat has doubled its statutory profits and grown its revenues, thanks mainly to its in-flight Wi-Fi offerings. A 50 per cent jump in its aviation business unit sales, from $35.9m to $53.9m, spurred Inmarsat’s group revenues to $358.3m – an increase of five per cent from Q3 2016’s $341.9m, it announced on …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Nov 2017
Bus jump from 'Speed'

Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

A self-driving bus has been involved in a collision, barely two hours after being introduced into public service for the first time. The vehicle was reportedly hit by a human-driven lorry, according to the BBC, which adds that the lorry driver was given a ticket by police. Describing the accident with the bus as a “fender …

American upstart seeks hotshot guinea pig for Concorde-a-like airliner

An American startup claiming to be building a modern-day Concorde is hiring a test pilot. Boom Supersonic, which, among other things, enjoys support from (who else?) Richard Branson, tech incubator Y Combinator, and a slack handful of venture capitalists, is recruiting a chief test pilot who will put its 1,451mph aircraft …
Knightscope K7

Would insurance firms pay out if your driverless car got hacked?

AEV Bill "Pointy-headed technocrats" behind autonomous vehicles tech are worried that a proposed new law won't protect the public from huge financial claims if a mass hack of a driverless car fleet occurs. Expert submissions to the committee of MPs considering the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill are full of concerns on a range of …
Shopping cart photo, via Shutterstock

Broadcom confirms $103 BEEELLION slurp offer for rival Qualcomm

Broadcom has confirmed its multibillion-dollar bid for Qualcomm, revealing more details of the $103bn all-cash-and-shares offer to buy out its rival chipmaker. As reported on El Reg last week, Broadcom's offer comprises $70 per share, which we now know is a fact, and made up of $60 in cash and $10 in stocks. "Given the …

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