Top Twenty Stories

Artist's concept of Kepler 22b

Kepler's STILL GOT IT! Space telescope spots SUPER-EARTH 180 light years away

The Kepler space telescope might be damaged goods, but the clever hacks created by NASA's boffins have kept it running and it has spotted a new – if distant – planet that could harbor water, just like Earth.
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2014
management regulation1

Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge

A US District Court judge has cast doubt on an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google, describing the damages sought as "speculative."
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014
ISIS leader Shakir Wahiyib with Facebook thumbs-up

New fear: ISIS killers use 'digital AK-47' malware to hunt victims

Malware has emerged from war-torn Syria targeting those protesting the rule of ISIS (ISIL, Islamic State, whatever the murderous humanity-hating fanatics are calling themselves these days.)
Iain Thomson, 18 Dec 2014

Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Infosec biz Check Point claims it has discovered a critical software vulnerability that allows hackers to hijack home and small business broadband routers across the web.
John Leyden, 18 Dec 2014
Google UK office logos

Google SUES Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

Google is taking legal action against the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, alleging he exceeded his authority in suing the search giant over piracy – and taking his cues from the Motion Picture Ass. of America.
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2014
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Reviewed: LittleBigPlanet 3, Lara Croft's latest raid and more

Game Theory Christmas is all about interacting with people whether you like it or not. If you can’t convince your family to succumb to the new board gaming fad, here are three multiplayer video gaming options you can play as a family or that are more suitable for a younger audience than the forthcoming PC release of GTA V.
Lucy Orr, 19 Dec 2014
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, Fire again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and according to some accounts it's even already at work on a second version.
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2014

Movie industry's evil plan to destroy the internet is going precisely nowhere

As well as finding out that Jennifer Lawrence earns less than her male counterparts, Hollywood studio execs are self-important a-holes and Sony Pictures has a password policy that a baby could break ... it turns out movie giants are also seeking to DESTROY THE INTERNET with a ten-page legal memo.
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2014
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Fresh Windows PCs in Europe will no longer offer to install Google Chrome and other web browsers rivaling Internet Explorer.
Shaun Nichols, 18 Dec 2014
Man in suit of Viking armour

Armouring up online: Duncan Campbell's chief techie talks crypto with El Reg

Crypto toolbox, Part I I think I was about 15 or 16 when PGP was making headlines for being classified as munitions by the US government and was (supposedly) banned from export. While I wasn’t a subversive type at the time, I got a very strong sense that any software that scared the mighty USA so badly was something I ought to play with and try to understand – even if I didn’t need it.
Matt Fowler, 19 Dec 2014

Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

IBM has had a win in its long court battle with SCO over just who owns Unix and, by extension, whether Linux is an unauthorised clone.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2014

Microsoft fires legal salvo at phone 'tech support' scammers

Microsoft has launched its first US lawsuit against companies offering phoney phone support for its products and says it plans further operations in the UK and India to stamp out the scammers.
Iain Thomson, 19 Dec 2014

Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

A council that ordered covert surveillance of a sick employee has been ordered to review its practices following an investigation by data privacy watchdogs.
John Leyden, 19 Dec 2014

Heads up! If Tor VANISHES over the weekend, this is why

The Tor Project is warning that its network – used by netizens to mask their identities on the internet – may be knocked offline in the coming days.
Shaun Nichols, 20 Dec 2014

Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

Apple has refuted claims made by the BBC’s Panorama programme that it is not working hard enough to protect the rights of workers.
Simon Rockman, 19 Dec 2014
Original "Airplane" image from Paramount Pictures

UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail

The chief executive of the National Air Traffic Services, Richard Deakin, has denied the body “skimped" on its IT investment after being hauled in front MPs this week to account for its major computer outage.
Kat Hall, 19 Dec 2014
Space Cowboys movie still

LEGS IN 2015: SpaceX Falcon's landing PUT ON HOLD

NASA and SpaceX have announced that the firm’s fifth ISS resupply mission - which was also the first test of its ground-breaking leggy landing on a floating platform - will be postponed until next year.

Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

A dispute has arisen about the seriousness of a vulnerability in Linux, dubbed "Grinch", that supposedly creates a privilege escalation risk.
John Leyden, 19 Dec 2014
Github octodex

Git thee behind me, Git crit security bug!

GitHub has acknowledged there's a flaw in its client software and recommended that users upgrade as soon as possible.
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2014

Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger has been characteristically clear as mud in explaining his plans for copyright reform.
Jennifer Baker, 19 Dec 2014