Articles about Christmas

My hole is a private thing – see for yourself

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My neighbours are staring at my hole and shaking their heads disapprovingly. They were a little surprised to receive my invitation to view my orifice, and it may not be as big as theirs, but I needed their advice on how to fill it. The problem with this particular pothole is that it’s directly at the end of my drive at the …
Alistair Dabbs, 20 Jan 2017

McDonald's forget hash, browns off security experts

Dutch software engineer Tijme Gommers has revealed a still-active reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability and borked password controls in McDonald's main website that could be fodder for phishing attacks. The attack, reported on Gommers' blog, is possible thanks to an Angular expression injection vuln present in mcdonalds …
Darren Pauli, 16 Jan 2017
Portal for the Apple II

Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II

Videos What do you get when you cross a 10-year-old game with a 40-year-old computer? The weekend at El Reg. Vince Weaver, an assistant professor of computer engineering at the University of Maine, used his winter holiday to write a port of the beloved puzzle-driven snarkfest Portal for the Apple II. "My wife got me the original …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2017
Runner photo via Shutterstock

Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

The Linux Mint project dropped a last-minute gift during the Christmas period – Mint 18.1. Mint 18.1 builds on the same Ubuntu LTS release base as Mint 18.0, the result being a smooth upgrade path for 18.0 users and the relative stability of Ubuntu's latest LTS effort, 16.04. In keeping with Ubuntu's LTS releases, Mint isn't …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jan 2017
Woman uses headphones with her iPhone. Photo by Shutterstock

Fake History Alert: Sorry BBC, but Apple really did invent the iPhone

iPhone at 10 You've heard of "Fake News" – but how does Fake History gradually supersede the reality-based version? It's through repetition, and Christmas found the BBC busy doing some scrubbing. The proposition it set about is simple: Apple didn't really invent the iPhone. From Oxford, inventor and engineer Andrew Fentem writes to take …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jan 2017
Runner photo, via Shutterstock

Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Welcome back. Did you manage to take some time off over the Christmas holiday or were you (figuratively) chained to a (virtual) roomful of (literally) overheating blades? Either way, count yourself lucky simply for making it through to 2017 with your heart still beating. You are among the only humans left alive, after all, and …
Alistair Dabbs, 06 Jan 2017
Reader provided snap - lost drone. Photo by Brian Gannon

Hapless scouser scours streets for lost Crimble drone

Pic If your heart sinks every time you see a badly photocopied picture of a missing cat, we’ve got some good news. They’re about to be replaced by far better quality pics of missing drones. Reader provided snap - lost drone. Photo by Brian Gannon Photo by Brian Gannon Reg reader Brian Gannon spotted this (rather well produced …
Clodagh Doyle, 05 Jan 2017
Faraday Future

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

CES 2017 While the crowds at CES in Las Vegas are all agog at the Faraday Future FF91 supercar, you can stop saving your pennies. Half Life 3 will be released before these allegedly self-driving vehicles roll out in volume. Faraday Future, based in Gardena, California, claims the FF91 is the fastest accelerating car in the world, with …
Iain Thomson, 04 Jan 2017
Exhausted looking business man on phone in from of laptop. Photo by Shutterstock

DomainMonster email service restored at last after Yuletide borkage

Updated DomainMonster finally resolved problems with its hosted email service on Tuesday, more than two weeks after they first began on 21 December. Reg readers affected by the problem were eventually told that a data centre networking issue was to blame for the extended outage. This remains unconfirmed since neither DomainMonster, a …
John Leyden, 04 Jan 2017
Mark zuckerberg in a buena vista style flat cap. Photo: shutterstock mashup

The Zucker Mister Social Club: Facebook's daddy wants to be your friend, for realsies

There is only one appropriate response to obnoxious self-improvement posts on Facebook: instant de-friend. But unfortunately Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution is to make more pals in person. The billionaire nerd wrote on Facebook: "Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work …
Kat Hall, 04 Jan 2017
smartphone driver

Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'

A family is suing Apple after their five-year-old daughter was killed by a driver allegedly distracted at the wheel with a FaceTime call on his iPhone. On Christmas Eve, 2014, the Modisette family was driving down Interstate 35W in Texas when a car accident up ahead brought traffic to a standstill. They stopped, but behind …
Iain Thomson, 04 Jan 2017

Busted Oracle finance cloud leaves Rutgers Uni unable to foot bills

Rutgers University is struggling to pay its bills on time amid a prolonged outage of its Oracle-powered management systems. It is claimed this IT failure led to power outages within its campus after supplies were cut off due to non-payment. The hedgerow-league college, in New Jersey, US, has publicly admitted its Cornerstone …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jan 2017
passport

Xmas software update knackered US Customs computer systems

If you were trying to enter the US on Monday, queues were much longer than usual. That's because a Christmas software update borked the main computer systems used by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). On Monday, the main passenger checking system used by CBP to check for undesirables trying to get into the Land of the …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jan 2017
Robot eye opens. Image via Shutterstock

Igneous ARM CPUs: What if they tossed the blindfold?

On Storage Igneous's Ethernet-accessed, ARM-driven disk drives provide a seriously large amount of collective CPU chops to its dataBox/dataRouter array but the poor little suckers work blindfolded. Why would I say that? Think about it like this: a data object, say a photo image, comes into the array to be stored and is split into 20 data …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2017
A_KUDR http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1864778p1.html

Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

Television production factory LG has saved Darren Cauthon's new year by providing hidden reset instructions to liberate his Google TV from ransomware. The company initially demanded more money than the idiot box was worth to repair the TV and relented offering instructions for resetting the telly after Cauthon took to Twitter …
Team Register, 03 Jan 2017
Robot AI Woman

‘Artificial Intelligence’ was 2016's fake news

“Fake news” vexed the media classes greatly in 2016, but the tech world perfected the art long ago. With “the internet” no longer a credible vehicle for Silicon Valley’s wild fantasies and intellectual bullying of other industries – the internet clearly isn’t working for people – “AI” has taken its place. Almost everything you …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jan 2017

Yorkshire council hit with prolonged web outage

A Yorkshire council's website has been out of action since Boxing Day, causing a headache for residents mostly seeking info on bin collections. Kirklees Council's phone lines and website went down last week reportedly due to a power surge. Since then the council has been unable to provide much of a digital service to its …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2016

El Reg just saved your Wikipedia Xmas

If you’ve noticed that Wikipedia has been much less annoying this Christmas – you can thank El Reg. Jimmy Wales had promised that the alarmist banner ads that adorned each page during the Wikimedia Foundation’s ‘December Sprint’ fundraiser would no longer be needed once the target of $25m had been met. The Sprint achieved that …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Dec 2016
NYC

Trio charged with $4m insider trading by hacking merger lawyers

US prosecutors have charged three Chinese men with making more than $4m (£3.2m) by allegedly trading on information obtained from hacking top merger and acquisition law firms. The defendants are charged with targeting at least seven top international law firms with offices in New York, which advised companies on corporate …
Kat Hall, 28 Dec 2016
Apology

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Microsoft's marketing boss Chris Capossela has confessed the infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up that tricked so many people into installing the thing was a step "too far." Speaking on this week's Windows Weekly podcast on Twit.tv, Capossela was asked to list his low points of the year for Redmond (it's 17 minutes …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2016

How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

Special Report The dictionary defines charity as unselfish acts that benefit other people. Google boasts that it does a great deal for charity. So how come the biggest beneficiary of Google’s charity seems to be Google itself? Google.org is the charitable arm of the giant multinational, founded 11 years ago. It dispenses $100m in the form of …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Dec 2016

Tesla set to up prices by 5% in new year because of 'currency fluctuations'

Tesla Motors is bumping up its vehicles' prices in the UK by five per cent, purportedly because of currency effects post-Brexit. According to the business, that change will arrive as soon as 2017 does, because of "currency fluctuations". These fluctuations have seen the sterling drop in value against the dollar. Today, £1 is …
Merry Christmas Australia

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, the column on which we conduct a Friday forage through the inbox full of readers' stories of jobs gone wrong. Today, we wrap our special week of Festive On-Call and so our topic is ... drumroll please ... Christmas. Let's start with “Mike” who told us that “Back in the Christmas of 1995 I was working …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
router

Peace comes to troubled embedded-Linux-for-routers community

In May 2016, disgruntled developers of the embedded-Linux-for-routers distribution OpenWRT forked the project and headed off to do their own thing. The Linux Embedded Development Environment – LEDE – project felt that OpenWRT was heading in the wrong direction and lacked engagement with the wider developer community. Now, in …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
Merry Christmas Australia

Australia's future technology headlines … for 2018!

Today's the last day anyone from Vulture South will show up for work until January 3rd. So while we're at the beach, cricket and bottom of a beer glass, we leave you with our almost-traditional prediction for technology news in the year after next Without any further ado, let's get into it. Google dodges Google Tax Australia …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016

Bad news: Exim hole was going to be patched on Xmas Day. Good news: Keyword 'was'

Updated An information-leaking security hole in widely used email agent Exim – scheduled for repair on Christmas Day – may now be publicly patched earlier, possibly as soon as Friday. System administrators were stunned by the suggestion that a patch for the vulnerability would be released on December 25 when pretty much everyone …
John Leyden, 22 Dec 2016
Theresa May photo by Frederic Legrand COMEO via Shutterstock

What gifts did ol' kitten heels May get this year?

Working out what to get anyone for Christmas is tricky, so you can be forgiven for falling back on broad stereotypes. A drill for dad. Perfume for the girlfriend. Wirecutters for BOFH. Spare a thought then for the ministerial gifts given to Prime Minister Theresa May, in the quarterly returns published this week. What do you …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2016
Rebel helmet Rogue One Russian poster

How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

It’s on: the fight over Rogue One or Force Awakens. Which was better? Which has the best bad character - is it calculating Commander Orson Krennic or bratty Kylo Ren? The better Death Star? Best action sequences? Droids? Haul up a chair, grab a drumstick: heads down for the sci-fi nerd Christmas lunch showdown. Sure, blast …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Dec 2016

Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief

On-call Welcome to another festive edition of On-Call, the column in which we recycle readers' horror stories. Today, as we seek something, anything, to write in the pre-Christmas news drought, we bring you a trio of tales from the bulging On-Call inbox. Which we must say is swelling this week: it looks like some of you might not be …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016

NIST requests ideas for crypto that can survive quantum computers

The United States' National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a “Notice and request for nominations for candidate post-quantum algorithms.” The Institute (NIST) has cottoned on to the fact that “If large-scale quantum computers are ever built, they will be able to break many of the public-key cryptosystems …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australian Internet policy remains years behind reality

That Australian policy-makers cannot muster a coherent and consistent approach to the changes wrought by the internet has again been made apparent in recent weeks, by a number of events. The national response to the internet remains, most often, to attempt to control it long after accepted practice makes the attempt to do so …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 1 – The Magician's Apprentice. Pic credit: BBC

Snapchat coding error nearly destroys all of time for the internet

The current release of the Snapchat app on iOS contains a coding error which is flooding the internet's Network Time Protocol (NTP) pool. NTP is one of the oldest internet protocols, and has for decades been used to synchronise computers to within milliseconds. The NTP pool is a network of volunteers' servers which …
softcat's christmas card - with comedy NSFW sash added by El Reg.

Softcat centrefolds wrap up for charity

Under the weight of customer demand - we presume - the powers that be at London-listed reseller Softcat this year agreed to not appear naked in the Christmas digital greetings card. softcat A year ago, CEO Martin Hellawell and MD Colin Brown, along with six other directors, bared all to raise thousands of pounds for the …
Paul Kunert, 21 Dec 2016
High voltage power grid, in the sunset. Photo by SHutterstock

Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage

A cyber attack is suspected in connection with an outage of the Ukrainian power grid that affected homes around Kiev last weekend. A substation in Pivnichna was cut off from the main power grid for about 75 minutes late on Saturday 17 December, lasting into the early hours of Sunday. As a result, houses and flats of the right …
John Leyden, 21 Dec 2016
Man flexing for webcam

Did webcam 'performer' offer support chap payment in kind?

On-call Welcome again to a festive edition of On-Call, the column in which readers send stories of jobs gone bad and we sanitise them for general consumption. We usually appear on Fridays, but the On-Call inbox is bulging, there's sod-all news to write this week and so we're doing it daily this week to spread some Christmas cheer. …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2016
Vmware cloud logo

Seriously, VMware? Two bugs in the week before Christmas?

Bah humbug! VMware's just revealed two nasty bugs that it recommends you fix at your earliest convenience. VMSA-2016-0024 is rated critical because vSphere Data Protection (VDP) turns out to contain “a private SSH key with a known password that is configured to allow key-based authentication.” And what can an attacker do with …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2016

Zuckerberg turns his home into Creepy Robot Buddy

Guess what task the goal-driven nerd billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s fifth richest man, set himself this year. Solving the Kashmir crisis? Eradicating polio? Choosing and solving one of the problems in the Millennium Prize? Don’t be daft. He’s turned his house into a robot buddy. “My personal challenge for 2016 was …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2016

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

On-call Welcome again to a special festive On-Call, in which we dredge worthy tales from the On-Call inbox and give them a spin to compensate for the lack of pre-Christmas news. And also because lots of people write in and we should give lots of you a go. Today: stupid, stupid people with stupid explanations for simple things. Let's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016

Jimbo Welshes on pledge to stop fundraising

The Wikimedia Foundation won’t honour a promise made by Jimmy Wales to halt its aggressive fundraising drive, even though it reached its fundraising target last week. The ‘December Sprint’ is the WMF’s big annual fundraiser, and this year the foundation set a target of $25m. (The site costs $2m to run). On December 2nd, Wales …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Dec 2016

Christmas cheer for KCL staffers with gift of extra holiday after IT disaster

Exclusive 'Tis the season to be jolly at King's College London, where staff have been offered extra holiday in recognition of their response to the university's IT disaster. Not too jolly, of course. It won't be possible to take pay in lieu of the extra two days, although staff aren't sniffing at the offer. An email sent from KCL's …
5.25 in floppy disk

It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

On-call Welcome to festive On-Call, in which we take our regular Friday tales of jobs gone wrong and run lots more of them because there's sod-all news to write in the week before Christmas. And also because we have lots of lovely submissions that deserve a run. Today: tales of floppy disks. Let's start with “Steve”, who once took a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016

Santa's sleigh gets 21st century makeover

NSF Kids Santa is going to get* a turbo charged helper this Xmas in the form a of the GS-900 gadget sleigh. For a cool £199,995 excluding VAT, Santa’s new metal bastard could be assembled to include GPS, a convertible roof, hybrid powered rocket boosters, heated seats, parking sensors and a chimney cam. If there’s enough interest in …
Paul Kunert, 16 Dec 2016

London's Winter Wonderland URGENTLY seeks Windows 10 desk support

The annual Christmas kitsch fest that is Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland in London is desperately seeking two desktop bods to provide IT support for Windows 10. The job ad, which was posted today, reads: "We are URGENTLY seeking candidates for 2 X Desktop Support Engineers for a short term contract opportunity based at Hyde Park …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2016

Kids, look at the Deep Learnings! (We’re just going to slurp your data)

Comment Just weeks after Evernote announced that it is migrating users’ data from its own servers to Google’s servers, the company has now casually dropped a privacy bombshell. In order for some (unspecified) occult AI magic to work in the future, your data will be merged with other data. Oh. And Evernote staff can read all your notes …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Dec 2016
Monopoly photo via Shutterstock

WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

With Christmas Day within sight, it’s time to dust off your Monopoly set and concentrate on your Settler’s strategy. Or, maybe, consider some new board-game purchases. It’s not just me caught up in this wave of nostalgia – venerated institution the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting a major board game retrospective. Of late, …
Lucy Orr, 15 Dec 2016

Men! If you want to win at board games this Christmas, turn off the rock music – scientists

Chaps, listen. Are you sick of losing at Monopoly every Christmas? Do you dread the sight of backgammon or the sound of rattling Scrabble tiles? The trick to winning board games could be to avoid listening to rock music, apparently. Scientists at Imperial College London have teamed up with musicians from the Royal College of …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Dec 2016
Eagle's head

Pluck-over-success underdog hires Olympic ski jumper as Xmas bash speaker

Christmas is a time to remember those less fortunate, and classic British underdog Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards may have had this in mind when he was guest speaker at IBM’s festive knees-up for tech resellers last week. The famous loser, which hasn't grown sales for almost four years, invited Edwards to regale the channel folk at …
Paul Kunert, 12 Dec 2016

Linus Torvalds releases 'biggest ever' Linux 4.9, then saves Christmas

Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.9. “I'm pretty sure this is the biggest release we've ever had, at least in number of commits,” Torvalds writes on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. “If you look at the number of lines changed, we've had bigger releases in the past, but they have tended to be due to specific …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Dec 2016
Image: Seinfield. Credit: NBC.

Speaking in Tech: Did an open source guru just ask us to join Amazon?

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week our intrepid tech podcasters – Ed, Greg and Melissa – ham it up with Tyler Britten of the office of the CTO at IBM Cloud Platform to discuss containers, open source, AWS, Snapchat, Samsung's Note 7 and periodic corporate reorgs. Don’t sweat the tech, everything is …
Team Register, 07 Dec 2016
Apple Watch wireless charging

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

Apple typically leaves the phone ringing when reporters call, so an instant rebuttal from the CEO is almost newsworthy in itself. Yesterday Tim Cook broke his monastic silence to respond to a report that Apple Watch sales were in a funk. Nonsense, said Cook, who emailed the Reuters news agency to tell it that the Apple Watch's …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Dec 2016