Articles about Beeb

Micro:Bit photo

BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

The long-awaited BBC micro:bit computer is now available for pre-order to retail and reseller customers, with single-unit orders starting at £12.50. Earlier this year, the beeb began shipping the little single-board computer to school-children. Farnell element14 is now taking pre-orders at resale scale, a minimum order …
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC

BBC post-Savile culture change means staff can 'speak truth to power'

In the post-Savile BBC era staff won't be punished for "speaking truth to power" – one of the main issues behind the canned £126m Digital Media Initiative, director general of the BBC Tony Hall told MPs. Appearing in front of a Parliamentary select committee on the BBC’s critical projects, Hall said: "One of the things that …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

Bearded Baron Shugs hired by Gov.uk to get down with the kids

PM David Cameron has hired reality TV celebrity Baron Shugs of the BBC* as enterprise tsar, the government confirmed today. The hairy walnut founded Viglen and Amstrad, but now seems to concentrate on bricks and mortar investments, that and telling deluded, wannabe entrepreneurs on Beeb show The Apprentice their ideas are …
Paul Kunert, 25 May 2016
Doctor Who – The Zygon Invasion. Pic credit: BBC

The BBC flashes £560m ICT deal at hungry tech suppliers

The BBC has once again opened its wallet and is enticing suppliers to bid for a £560m ICT and hosting contract – part of its plans to replace its mega £2bn Atos contract. Over the next eight years it expects to splash between £400m and £560m on the deal, via a "single contracting entity" for end user compute services, hosting …
Kat Hall, 05 Apr 2016
Micro:Bit photo

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

First look The BBC Micro:Bit will start rolling out to all year-seven pupils in the UK from this morning. What the kids will receive is a matchbox-sized single-board computer with 256KB of flash and 16KB of RAM, manufactured by element14. Yes, you read that right, the same amount of RAM as the Acorn-designed BBC Micro Model A of 35 …
Dominic Connor, 22 Mar 2016
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

NatWest tightens online banking security after hacks' 'hack' exposé

NatWest is tightening up its internet banking systems after security shortcomings were exposed by journalists. BBC hacks were able to hijack a colleague's NatWest online bank account and transfer money without knowing her password. The UK bank's parent, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group, is also shoring up its security. …
John Leyden, 08 Mar 2016
The Pasadena Rose Bowl

California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

We're delighted to report that Phys.org has adopted the "Rose Bowl" standard for quantifying improbably large amounts of gas. In this report on the Aliso Canyon gas well blow-out which spewed vast quantities of methane into the Californian atmosphere, before finally being capped on 11 February, the website explains that at the …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2016

Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

The BBC has made an audacious if flawed bid to establish the "coachload of terrorists" as a standard for quantifying arms caches. Back in 2014, Suffolk police found an impressive 177 rifles, 136 handguns, 88 shotguns and 38 machine guns, plus 200,000 rounds of ammunition at the home of James Arnold. So impressive was the …
Lester Haines, 19 Feb 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016

Human cost of California gas well leak revealed

The BBC has published an entertaining analysis of the emissions of a blown-out natural gas well near Los Angeles, which is releasing so much methane that LA county supervisor Mike Antonovich was moved over the weekend to describe the disaster as "a mini-Chernobyl". For those of us wondering just how much is "so much", Auntie …
Lester Haines, 12 Jan 2016

'Legacy' Wordpress blog site of The Independent serving malware

The Independent has become the latest big-name publisher to serve malware. Trend Micro is warning that the UK news site's Wordpress-based blog section has been compromised. The company says the attack seems to have begun on November 21, with a compromised page serving the Angler exploit kit, taking advantage of visitors with …

Roundworm infection increases female fertility

Scientists have – slightly improbably – discovered that infection by the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides increases fertility in women belonging to Bolivia's Tsimane ethnic group. In their abstract, published in Science, the researchers explain that they studied "nine years of longitudinal data from 986 Bolivian forager- …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2015
wales

BBC encourages rebellious Welsh town to move offshore

A bunch of small Welsh business folk are playing the likes of Amazon and Google at their own game, by proposing to move their tax domiciles offshore – with the connivance of the publicly funded Beeb. According to an upcoming BBC documentary – The Town That Went Offshore – five businesses based in Crickhowell, Powys have banded …
Joe Fay, 13 Nov 2015

In-a-spin Home Sec: 'We won't be rifling through people's web history'

IPB The Tory government's draft Investigatory Powers Bill is expected to land in Parliament with a thud on Wednesday. However, over the weekend, Home Secretary Theresa May once again rejected claims that the latest attempt to legislate to massively ramp up surveillance of Brits' online activity would lead to authorities being able …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Nov 2015
flames

Burned: British Gas customer info hits Pastebiin

British Gas has 'fessed up that customer data posted to Pastebin was genuine, but believes payment details were not exposed. The BBC says it's seen an e-mail sent to customers about the privacy breach, which the energy company says was not due to a breach of its own systems. “I can assure you there has been no breach of our …

Reg reader post-pub chef brews superscharf currywurst

It's agreeable to get a bit of feedback on our post-pub wobbly dining delights, and we're always keen to hear just how readers get on with our recipes. Last week, we presented for your eating pleasure the German classic currywurst, and quicker than we could say Currysoße, Sir Sham Cad reported back on his own hot pig-in-a-tube …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2015
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Sleeper

UK drivers left idling as Tesla rolls out Autopilot in US

Updated Tesla has offered to make its customers more confident drivers by allowing them to hand over control of their vehicles to software. The manufacturer started pushing its Autopilot technology to its Model S motors with its Tesla Version 7.0 software yesterday - in the US anyway. Autopilot will take advantage of tech built into …
Joe Fay, 15 Oct 2015
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

Twitter reduces BBC hacks to tears with redundancy notice

Radio 4 showed why it’s the guardian of all that is good, sensible and British this morning by collapsing into laughter while reviewing Jack Dorsey’s rambling farewell to 8 per cent of Twitter staff. Beeb biz hack Simon Jack rounded off a discussion about the Twitter reorg with tech reporter Dave Lee by noting “I’ve never …
Joe Fay, 14 Oct 2015
Old beardy man thinking. Pic: Henadz via Flickr

BBC bypasses Linux kernel to make streaming videos flow

Back in September, The Register's networking desk chatted to a company called Teclo about the limitations of TCP performance in the Linux stack. That work, described here, included moving TCP/IP processing off to user-space to avoid the complex processing that the kernel has accumulated over the years. It's no surprise, then …

BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

It may not be the definitive decision which propels humanity towards our inevitable end, but in a post on the Beeb's internet blog, James East, the Media Playout Product Manager, stated that his team is now confident they can "achieve the playback quality you'd expect from the BBC without using a third-party plugin." HTML5 has …
Diagram showing micro:bit spec

BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU

The BBC has admitted that the Micro:bit, the computer it plans to give to up to one million children, is not going to arrive on time due to quality problems. The Micro:bit was announced in March as a "get kids coding" initiative. Delivery was anticipated to occur in September, so that every 11 or 12 year-old in the UK could be …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2015
A person's chubby legs are seen above a scale. Photo via Shutterstock

The ONE WEIRD TRICK which could END OBESITY

Research by a crack team from the Department of the Bleedin' Obvious indicates that the UK's growing fat crisis could be tackled by people stuffing less grub into their faces. In fairness to the University of Cambridge nosh squad responsible for this shock conclusion, the actual finding is that "reducing the portion sizes …
Lester Haines, 16 Sep 2015
Terminator

Journos to be spared replacement by robots, BBC claims

It's sighs of relief all round here at Vulture Central today as a handy BBC guide as to whether or not you're scheduled to be replaced at work by a robot reveals that journalists are at a mere eight per cent likelihood of automation*. Screengrab showing the BBC's prognosis for journalists The chilling facts are these: …
Lester Haines, 15 Sep 2015
Netflix

French say 'non' to Netflix, reveals entertainment report

French consumers prefer to stick to good, old-fashioned live telly rather than those new-fangled digital services such as Netflix, a report has revealed. According to the reserch – carried out by Futuresource Consulting – 75 per cent of French respondents say live TV is still their primary viewing choice. The Beeb needs to be …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Aug 2015
MINOS Experiment image taken by Peter Ginter for Fermilab - The MINOS experiment sends a beam of neutrinos 450 miles straight through the earth from Fermilab to northern Minnesota - no tunnel necessary

Beaming boffins feel the rhythm as neutrinos oscillate over 500 miles

Scientists working on the NOvA experiment have spotted what they say is evidence of oscillating neutrinos for the first time in the lab's particle accelerator. Since February 2014, boffins have been stashing data and recording interaction of the abundant, yet elusive, subatomic particles as they interacted in the specially- …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Aug 2015
Emojis from Apple's beta of iOS 6

Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

The Russian government is reportedly looking to ban "gay" emoji symbols over fears the same-sex pictures could violate censorship laws. Russia's Izvestia newspaper reports that Russian senator Mikhail Marchenko has issued a complaint that a collection of new emojis depict same-sex couples. Marchenko argues the emojis are in …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Aug 2015
Doctor Who in Listen

Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Breaking Fad Do you like your free-to-air TV? It looks like a reasonable chunk of spectrum will be saved for terrestrial broadcasting at the WRC–15 meeting later this year, but the battle for Freeview is far from over. Doctor Who in Listen Listen up: it's time to have your say on the BBC A couple of months back, the BBC Trust gave the …
Nigel Whitfield, 31 Jul 2015
jeremy_clarkson_648

And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

Amazon Prime has signed up Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for a car show intended to rival Top Gear on its streaming service. The show will be produced by their long-time executive producer Andy Wilman, said the company in a gloating press release. The trio have committed to three seasons as part of the TV …
Kat Hall, 30 Jul 2015

Arctic ice EMBIGGENS, returns to 1980s levels of cap cover

The Arctic ice cap has not, contrary to the predictions of climate alarmists, completely disappeared: in fact it has been growing rapidly, increasing by an entire third just in 2013 and more since. "It would suggest that sea ice is more resilient perhaps. If you get one year of cooler temperatures, we've almost wound the clock …
Lewis Page, 21 Jul 2015
The northern giant mouse lemur and its improbably large testicles. Pic: Melanie Seiler

Biologists gasp at lemur's improbably colossal bollocks

Scientists are marvelling at a lemur with testicles so large that were a human chap to carry equivalent plums in his trouser department, they'd be the size of a couple of grapefruit. The average male northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza) tips the scales at just 280g, but has "an average testes volume of 15.48 cubic centimetres …
Team Register, 03 Jul 2015

Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

Shaken members of a Cambridgeshire sports club have recounted a terrifying ordeal at the jaws of a rampaging fox. According to an entertaining BBC report, the victims were confronted by the "vicious" creature as they attempted to leave Alconbury Sports and Social Club last Saturday night. In the ensuing panic, chairman Bruce …
Team Register, 03 Jul 2015
Grant Shapps, Conservative Party chairman. Pic: Sportsfile Web Summit

BBC (sort of) sorry for Grant Shapps Wikipedia smear reportage

The BBC has apologised to MP and former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps for the way it reported allegations regarding Shapps and Wikipedia, which were based on a single anonymous source. Shapps lost the position of party chairman and left the Cabinet, despite running a successful general election campaign. He is …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jun 2015
Public domain, right size for index

BBC veterans require skilled hands to massage their innards

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has made an appeal for volunteers who could help them keep their BBC Micro computers – which the museum uses to give visiting young'uns a taste of hacking history – in good health. TNMOC is looking for people familiar with the BBC Micro computer and its peripherals, as it is seemingly …
Close up of elephant's face. Photo by Shutterstock

We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

The BBC has decided that the EU's controversial “right to be forgotten” diktat won't succeed in making its news stories vanish from Google. To get around Google's Euro memory hole, which has resulted in the Chocolate Factory getting 270,000 requests to drop search search links, the UK national broadcaster has decided to list …
Artist Impression of Giant Magellan Telescope

Half a billion for BLOODY BIG telescope in Chile

The planned largest optical telescope in the world, the Giant Magellan Telescope looks to go ahead, with its consortium signing off on the US$500 million build cost. The telescope is ambitious engineering: seven mirrors spanning a total of 25 metres, which the project says will focus “six times” the amount of light collected by …
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

Grand Theft Auto maker lobs sueball at BBC over biopic

A spat between the creators of Grand Theft Auto and the BBC has spilled over into a legal feud. Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, has filed suit against the UK broadcasting company over allegations of trademark infringement for its decision to cast a biopic about the games developer's history. According to …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015
BBC Testcard

Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Analysis The appointment of backbench Tory heavyweight John Whittingdale MP to head the Ministry of Fun will throw the BBC’s senior management into a state of high anxiety, and have the Beeb's opponents grabbing their crotches in excitement. The minister is responsible for the government’s policy on the BBC. Many Tories view the …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 May 2015
A humpback whale shows its open mouth as it breaches the surface of the sea.

EXTREME FEEDING: BLUE whales' gluttonous gobbling of fishy fluids

Marine mammal boffins are less baffled by blue whales, having discovered that stretchy nerves allow the beasts to gobble the gallons upon gallons of water and food they are famous for guzzling. In a paper with the pleasantly explicit title "Stretchy nerves are an essential component of the extreme feeding mechanism of rorqual …
Image of HAL eye from 2001 movie with Chrome logo in eye

A MILLION Chrome users' data was sent to ONE dodgy IP address

A team of security researchers have found malware in a popular Chrome extension which may have sent the browsing data of over 1.2m users to a single IP address. ScrapeSentry credits its researchers with uncovering "a sinister side-effect to a free app [...] which potentially leaks [users'] personal information back to a single …
BBC Testcard

BBC waves £230m of feepayers' dosh at tech backbone deal

The Beeb is dangling hundreds of millions of license fee payers’ pounds in front of network sellers for upgrading its plumbing and serving up connectivity services for years to come. The contract notice, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, reveals Auntie is seeking to appoint a “single supplier” for the next …
Paul Kunert, 07 Apr 2015

Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

Europe’s top cop has taken to the BBC to once again slam encryption as the biggest threat to counter-terrorism and law enforcement. Europol Director Rob Wainright said encrypted communications gave plods across the continent the biggest headaches, and his main gripe was with the IT companies that provide them. “We are …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Mar 2015

700,000 beautiful women do the bidding of one Twitter-scamming man

Satnam Narang of Symantec says one scammer was so taken with Twitter he established 750,000 accounts. The senior security response manager found the one man spam plague set up the mind boggling number of Twitter accounts he calls 'mockingbirds' to flog Green Coffee Bean Extract earning cash for visitors referrals. Narang said …
Darren Pauli, 27 Mar 2015

BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

Comment The Beeb is trying to recapture the past glories of the BBC Micro with the “Micro Bit”, a single board computer it’s giving to every single 12-year-old in the UK, with the hope of inspiring them to learn programming or (perhaps more politically correct) coding. This still-in-development device, part of the wider Make it Digital …
Dominic Connor, 16 Mar 2015
Jamie Oliver

'There is NO SUCH THING as a safe site anymore' – security bod

QuoTW This week we broke our PCs, debated the merits of a $17,000 watch, and scored a free logic board from the Beeb. Here are the best quotes we picked up along the way … AVG CEO Gary Kovacs had some good advice for vendors on simplifying their privacy guidelines to keep users better informed on consent: Get your privacy policy …
Team Register, 15 Mar 2015

BBC websites GO TITSUP – Auntie blames 'internal system failure'

Updated The BBC is suffering a major outage, after its websites – including News and the public service broadcaster's iPlayer system – buckled in the past hour. It's unclear, at time of publication, what was behind the Beeb's technical woes. An unknown number of people attempting to visit various online BBC services were greeted with …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2015

Attack of the Digital People: The BBC goes fully Bong

Comment Imagine this. At vast expense, the BBC launches a chain of launderettes - digital launderettes, that we shall call "BeebWash". Each BeebWash "space" (they love the word "space") would show BBC programmes and no doubt, "facilitate community engagement". So expansive and vague is the BBC's current Royal Charter, that BeebWash …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2015

BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

The BBC is to dish out tiny primitive computers to all 11-year-olds in the UK this autumn. Under its "Make it Digital" campaign, designed to get kids into writing software and getting hands on with electronics, the broadcaster will hand out one million of the "Micro Bit" gadgets. The name is a homage to the BBC Micro computer …
Kat Hall, 12 Mar 2015

Seven months of Basil Brush on YouTube: Er, boom boom?

Legendary stuffed TY character Basil Brush will now be available on YouTube, after TV bosses reportedly refused to give him fresh airtime. According to the Daily Mirror, Brush will be releasing a new sketch every Monday for the next 32 weeks. Brush, who, we are told, is currently on a nationwide tour, said: “I was on the Beeb …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015

BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

Special Report The BBC Trust has supported its programme makers in their use of old and debunked scientific conjectures to produce a "Hollywood style" environmental disaster film. In a formal decision, the operationally independent governing body of the broadcaster rejected a complaint made about the BBC Two TV "documentary", Could We …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Feb 2015
BBC Audio Factory logo

BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

The BBC's Audio Factory goes live today, bringing with it the end of streaming audio over Windows Media. The broadcaster flagged the demise of Windows Media last year, when it also announced Audio Factory, a streaming tool delivering audio in the AAC codec over http. Audio Factory aims to standardise Auntie's audio delivery …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2015