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Richard Priday

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Policeman number 10, photo by pcruciatti via Shutterstock

Cabinet reshuffle leaves UK digital policy and GDS rudderless. And now the news...

Responsibility for broadband delivery in the UK has been handed to Margot James following Matt Hancock's promotion to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in prime minister Theresa May's reshuffle of the top jobs this week. But amid the Cabinet shake-up, the matter of who controls digital policy remains …
Richard Priday, 10 Jan 2018

Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad

A pub in County Durham, England, has been rapped by the UK Advertising Standards Agency after three complaints about its "German Night" advert were upheld. According to the ASA ruling, the Buck Inn in Sadberge near Darlington made a Facebook post on September 8 last year, promoting its German Night special menu. It featured in …
Richard Priday, 10 Jan 2018

BlackBerry and Baidu buddy up on autonomous autos

Chinese web search emperor Baidu is to join forces with deposed king of phones BlackBerry, adding its embedded QNX operating system to the Chinese firm's open-source self-driving platform. BB's Unix-like OS will join the cloud services, open software stack, reference hardware and vehicle sets that make up Baidu's Apollo - the …

RIP John Young: NASA's longest-serving 'naut explores final frontier

Obit John Young, the first pilot of a space shuttle, and longest serving astronaut in NASA's history, has died at the age of 87 due to complications caused by pneumonia. Announcing his death on 6 January, NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said: "NASA and the world have lost a pioneer. Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned …
SpaceX

SpaceX delivers classified 'Zuma' payload into orbit

SpaceX's first mission of 2018, carrying the secret US government payload "Zuma", successfully launched and landed in the early hours of this morning. The Falcon 9 rocket slipped the surly bonds of Earth at 1am GMT, lifting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The reusable stage 1 of the rocket returned to the …

Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

The Houses of Parliament's network was used to access pornographic material 30,876 times from March to October, it was revealed today. That works out at approximately five attempts to access smut per hour, with Blighty's parliamentary filtering system blocking users from viewing the content. September was the month MPs were …
Yahoo

Yahooooo! says! its! email! is! scrahoooo-ed!

Yahoo! Mail – yes, amazingly it is still a thing – is today taking a break from business as usual norms with the service down for almost the past seven hours. Since circa 9am, the email service has received hundreds of complaints an hour on downdetector.co.uk, with users moaning about persistant "error 15" messages, and others …
David Caruso as famously sunglasses-lowering cheeseball crime scene investigator Horatio Crane in CSI: Miami. Photo copyright CBS

Wait! Before you fire up that HP lappy, check the battery

HP Inc has issued a "worldwide voluntary safety recall" of its laptop models due to potentially fiery batteries, with over 50,000 affected machines in the US and Canada alone. The announcement applies to batteries in 15 models of laptop sold globally between December 2015 and December 2017, as well as any replacements or …
Pretty pretty, all in a box

GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has announced the discovery of a new largest Mersenne prime number, 277,232,917 -1. The figure, viewable here (.zip file), was found by GIMPS' network of volunteer prime hunters, and is the 50th Mersenne prime discovered. It comprises 23,249,425 digits, and is 910,807 digits …

Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

A band of boffins from Illinois have published a paper detailing a new battery design for mobile devices and electric vehicles that could increase capacity up to eight times while reducing costs. One half of the team, based at Northwestern University, focused on making digital models, while their partners at Argonne National …
two people wearing voip headsets share a joke

VoIP VIPs Blueface and Star2Star pull off headsets, unify unified comms biz

VoIP companies Blueface and Star2Star have announced a $500m (£368.8m) merger today, which they claim will create one of the world's largest global unified communications providers. The combined entity will be known as "StarBlue", but the two existing businesses will continue trading with their original names in their …

EEk! Mobe network's customer services down for more than 24 hours

Mobile network EE has had a poor start to 2018 – their customer service data centre has been down since yesterday. According to the company, their engineers have identified and are working to solve the problem, but have yet to fix it by the time of writing. The server in question deals with the online "MyEE" webpages, customer …
Pointing finger, photo via Shutterstock

UK Foreign Sec Bojo to tell Kremlin: Stop your cyber shenanigans... or else!

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson will warn Russia that the UK will retaliate against cyber attacks in a rare visit to Moscow today. Johnson will tell his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that "the UK will continue to defend its interests where they, and those of its allies, are threatened amid concerns that hostilities between …
Richard Priday, 22 Dec 2017

Online GP surgery biz Babylon gives up fight against Brit health watchdog, owes £11k

Digital health outfit Babylon has withdrawn a legal challenge against the UK's Care Quality Commission (CQC) concerning a report into its practice's operations. The biz, which lets people video chat with and text doctors rather than seeing them in person, will have to cough up £11,000 in costs. Yesterday Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, …
Richard Priday, 21 Dec 2017
Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures

Meet R2-DILDO: 'Star Wars' sex toys? This is where the fun begins

Purveyor of, er, marital aids Geeky Sex Toys this month released a "Star Toys" range, a series of intimate tools for him and her brought lovingly to life in the shape of characters from the Star Wars franchise. The battery operated devices hit online shelves to coincide with the release of The Last Jedi, the latest instalment …
Richard Priday, 21 Dec 2017
handcuffs

Euro ransomware probe: Five Romanians cuffed

Five people suspected of infecting Windows PCs with ransomware – and extorting money from more than 170 victims in Europe and the US – have been arrested. In the past week, an international crimefighting task force led by Europol collared the quintet in Romania – and searched six homes, seizing a load of computer parts and …
Richard Priday, 21 Dec 2017
smokestack

Danger! High voltage: Kraut customs bods burn half-tonne of weed in power station

A power station in Olching, Bavaria, blazed like it was 4/20 yesterday after German authorities used it to burn around 550kg of marijuana. The weed, Südeutsche Zeitung reported, could have provided close to 3.8 million joints. It was discovered by the Munich Customs Department in a Serbian truck south of Nuremberg in December …
Richard Priday, 20 Dec 2017
DDOS

UK teen dodges jail time for role in DDoSes on Natwest, Amazon and more

Brit teen Jack Chappell has avoided being sent to prison after pleading guilty to helping launch DDoS attacks against NatWest, Amazon and Netflix, among others. Chappell, 19, from Heaton Moor, Stockport, launched 2,000 DDoS attacks and aided several others as part of the vDos "booter" service. The site posed as a server stress …
Richard Priday, 20 Dec 2017

TalkTalk banbans TeamTeamviewerviewer againagain

TalkTalk customers who need to use a remote desktop tool are on the warpath after the UK ISP blocked TeamViewer for the second time this year, ostensibly in an attempt to protect users from potential scammers. A screenshot seen by The Register showed that teamviewer.com had been blocked as part of TalkTalk's Scam Protect …
Richard Priday, 19 Dec 2017

Virgin Hyperloop pulls up the biggest chair for Branson, bags $50m, new speed record

Virgin founder Richard "Beardy" Branson has been named non-executive chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, with the superfast tube train company having also won another $50m (£37.39m) in funding. This comes after Branson joined the project in October, investing an unknown amount of money that was apparently enough to get the …
Richard Priday, 19 Dec 2017
A person crying over a breakup

Dump ur mobile provider via txt by 2019: LMFAO cu l8r

Mobile users will be able to divorce their providers by text within a single working day, thanks to new Ofcom rules announced today. In its announcement, the regulator said: "Consumers need to be able to switch providers easily to exercise choice and take advantage of competition in the communications sector." However, it …
Richard Priday, 19 Dec 2017
Amazon france website

French gov files €10m complaint: Claims Amazon abused dominance

The French government is seeking to fine Amazon €10m (£8.8m) for using its market dominance to unfairly treat vendors. A complaint was filed today with the Paris Commerce Court, the French paper Le Parisien has reported. It quoted an unnamed official who said that filing the complaint was a "strong and unprecedented action". …
Richard Priday, 18 Dec 2017

Gemalto friendzones Atos: We're with Thales now, get the hint

After turning down a €4.3bn (£3.8bn) buyout offer from Atos last week, Dutch security and chip biz Gemalto announced today that it has accepted a €4.8bn (£4.2bn) deal from French defence group Thales. Thales, recently seen on The Reg as builders of some crash-happy drones, made a joint statement with its new beau, in which CEO …
Richard Priday, 18 Dec 2017
TURKEY LEG COVERED IN SPICES

Kent woman to season festive dinner with her mother's ashes

A woman from Kent, England, intends to redefine the meaning of a cremated Christmas dinner this year as she plans to serve her mother's ashes with her festive meal. Debra Parsons, from Folkestone, will set a place for her mother at the table to ensure she is properly remembered as her guests eat their specially seasoned fare, …
Richard Priday, 18 Dec 2017

Italy leans on Amazon to retrieve €100m in unpaid tax

Amazon and the Italian government have agreed that the online shopping colossus will pay €100m (£88.3m) in back tax for 2011 to 2015, after a year of arguing. In a statement to Il Messaggero (in Italian), the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) said that its relationship with Amazon was back on track, and that it …
Richard Priday, 18 Dec 2017

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