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Articles about Radio 4

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Move over Raspberry Pi, give kids a Radio Ham Pi - minister

Schoolchildren should be given simple radio kits to build so they can learn basic electronics, communications minister Ed Vaizey said yesterday. "It would be great to get amateur radio kits in schools like we have with the Raspberry Pi," he added, referring to the cheap PC that's sneaking into classrooms to promote computer …
Anna Leach, 12 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Radio 4 bumped off Freeview by Gaelic TV

Radio 4 and Radio Scotland will get bumped off Freeview North of the border when BBC Alba arrives in digital later this year, though the BBC has found space for 1 Extra and 6 Music. It was feared that as many as 13 radio stations would have to be switched off in the afternoons to make space for BBC Alba, which broadcasts …
Bill Ray, 23 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Beeb's iPlayer dismisses radio show as 'b011ckxs'

Fans of comedy urls are invited to raise a pint this afternoon to the Beeb's iPlayer, which is currently providing added value to Episode 7 of the 74th series of Radio 4's The News Quiz: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011ckxs/The_News_Quiz_Series_74_Episode_7/ As our informant Tom Davie puts it: "What a great URL :)". …
Lester Haines, 03 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Are plasma TVs killing radio?

The Radio Society of Great Britain is asking anyone with a plasma TV to let it know if they‘ve had trouble getting Radio 4 lately. The Radio Society of Great Britain represents the radio ham community, though it sees itself as having a wider remit. When not organising competitions to see who has the biggest beard can transmit a …
Bill Ray, 12 Aug 2010
Pure Highway 300Di in-car digital radio adapter

Pure Highway 300Di in-car digital radio kit

CES 2012 Week Since 2008 Pure has offered its relatively cheap first-generation DIY upgrade kit to add DAB radio and more besides when motoring. Now comes the second generation Highway, with an improved aerial and two-part combo of a main ‘interface’ unit, which is fitted under the dashboard near the car’s existing radio, and …
Ian Calcutt, 11 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

BBC radio chief: You may experience a little pain (but not much)

Tim Davie, the BBC's director of audio and music, has spelled out the difficulty of the digital switchover in an intriguing interview. "People love radio. They are very happy with their FM radio. Why on earth would you change?" asked Davie. DAB simply doesn't offer a clear enough choice. The answer, he said, was unique content …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Nov 2010

Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

The definition of terrorism in current UK law is too broad and should be narrowed to avoid "catching" journalists, bloggers and hate criminals, a top lawyer said today. David Anderson QC, who is Britain's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, argued during an interview on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme this morning …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Ofcom enlists 4-year-olds to boost dodgy DAB stats

Ofcom has an interesting new definition of what constitutes a "radio listener". It now includes four-year-old children. And at a stroke, DAB radio's prospects suddenly look a lot healthier. Last month Ofcom released its "Digital Radio Report". One graph purports to demonstrate the reach of digital-only stations. Ofcom claims …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Aug 2010
Pure One Mi portable DAB radio

Pure One Mi portable DAB/FM radio

The traditional battery powered transistor FM radio still takes some beating when it comes to listening in places like the bathroom or garden shed, if that’s where you choose to spend any length of time. Indeed, Pure had a big success with its £45 palm-sized One Mini so it has sliced a few millimetres from that model, shrunk the …
Ian Calcutt, 11 Nov 2010
ipad_big_teaser

Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

A bereaved man has launched a legal bid to force Apple to unlock his late mother's two-year-old iPad. Josh Grant, a 26-year-old Londoner, told the Beeb he did not know his mum's Apple ID and password. The fruity firm then refused to open up the fondleslab (presumably locked to her Apple ID) even though he has sent them copies of …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Timing is everything, comics say. So it is in politics, too. With the UK flat broke after Labour's nine-year drunken spending splurge, the taxpayer is now being asked to pay for lots of new radio masts, and associated infrastructure. The anointed successor to analog radio doesn't have anything like the infrastructure required …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Apr 2011

A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Could the BBC be better off if it raised money through subscriptions? Last week Westminster heard that the BBC had modelled precisely this scenario and found that it would be richer than it is today. It just didn't want to tell you. And in a strange alignment of interests, the BBC's pay-for rivals don't want you to know either …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jan 2014

Super-snoop bid: UK government hits panic button on EU data retention ruling

Home Secretary Theresa May has claimed "there is no surveillance state" in Britain today as she once again called for a change in law to prevent the internet becoming "an ungoverned, ungovernable space". The Snoopers' Charter champion, speaking to dignitaries at Mansion House in London last night, did not once mention the …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2014

UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

Emergency law is expected within days to be pushed through Parliament that will force ISPs to retain customer data to allow spooks to continue to spy on Brits' internet and telephone activity, after existing powers were recently ruled invalid by the European Union's highest court. The planned legislation crucially has cross- …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jul 2014

Ill communication delays NHS England's GP data grab for six months

Despite little political appetite to attack the government's plans to share GP medical records - and with data already held by NHS England - the scheme has been delayed, after doctors expressed concerns about a lack of public awareness. Tim Kelsey, NHS England's national director for patients and information, insisted this …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Feb 2014
Hips X-ray

'Maybe we haven't been clear enough about med records opt-out', admits NHS data boss

NHS data chief Tim Kelsey admitted today that the health service had failed to adequately inform patients about how they can opt out of having their GP medical records shared throughout England. A leaflet carelessly posted out in among junk mail to 26.5 million households across the country was not "clear enough on the website …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Feb 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

Google repeatedly batted away questions about whether it favours its search result services over those of its rivals in Europe, during a frustrating exchange on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning. The ad giant's public policy veep, Rachel Whetstone, who is the wife of Steve Hilton - the brains behind Prime Minister David …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

BBC's Digital Moneypit Initiative known to be 'pile of dung' for years

BBC executives ignored warnings that the corporation's £100m+ digital media extravaganza project DMI was on the rocks - and now it's being reported that the National Audit Office had been misled about the state of the project. The extravagant scheme was cancelled by new Director General Tony Hall last month, with almost £100m …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2013

Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Google and Microsoft have bent to political pressure in the UK – by agreeing to tweak their search engines to not only make it a little harder for sickos to find child abuse images online, but to also prevent regulatory intervention. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that "significant progress" had been made since the summer …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 2013

Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

The internet is full of daft things. Animated cat GIFs, stupid headlines, NSA spies, etc. But the online world isn't just fields of mindless dreck. For instance, you could always take a crack at the web's toughest crypto-puzzle: the ever-baffling Cicada 3301. Appearing each year since 2012, these strange series of challenges …
Chris Williams, 11 Jan 2014

Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

Protests from groups such as Fathers4Justice were more of a worry to London 2012 Olympic Games organisers than computer hackers, according to the former chairman of London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe. He said procedures put in place before the Games to guard its IT systems – including Wi-Fi networks in stadiums as well as the main …
John Leyden, 04 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills

High-street socks'n'frocks chain Marks and Spencer is accused of quietly taking money from shoppers' contactless bank cards at the tills. The accusations come from Radio 4's Money Box listeners, who called in to report that M&S had billed cards in purses and handbags over the air, unbeknownst to customers who had intended to pay …
Bill Ray, 20 May 2013
The Register breaking news

BBC in Radio 4 messageboard punch-up

There's a bit of a punch-up going on down at a BBC Radio 4 Today messageboard, after the corporation announced some "important changes" to the same: There are some important changes taking place to the Today messageboard from November 16 2006. We want to make the message boards more relevant to the Today audience. We want to …
Lester Haines, 10 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

SPRAY-ON antennas waved about at Google's techfest

Presenting at the new Google-backed talk fest "Solve for X", ChamTech Operations showed its nano tech-based antenna in a spray can, turning trees into antennas and connecting submarines by radio. The technology is easy to explain, but rather harder to realise. It comes in a aerosol with which one sprays nano-capacitors – onto a …
Bill Ray, 14 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Lord to sue Twitter users who falsely accused him of abuse

A former Tory Party treasurer has indicated that his solicitors will pursue anyone on Twitter who wrongly linked his name to false allegations of child abuse. Lord McAlpine, speaking emotionally on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, said he was utterly devastated by inaccurate claims that were reported on BBC2's …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Osborne stumps up £20m of your cash for wiggly wonder stuff graphene

The Chancellor will allocate up to £21.5m for research into the wonder material graphene, he confirmed today. The cash will be distributed to Cambridge scientists investigating wearable computers, and Imperial College researchers hoping to incorporate the super-strong, super-conductive, super-light material into aeroplanes. …
Anna Leach, 27 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Eric Schmidt defends Google's teeny UK tax payouts - again

Eric Schmidt has once again said that it was totally fine for Google to pay just £6m in UK corporation tax - even though it's a multi-billion dollar company. Google was one of several big multinationals, including Starbucks and Amazon, that were singled out for criticism over how little tax they pay in Blighty. With regular …
The Register breaking news

McKinnon extradition drama turned into radio play

The plight of accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon has become the subject of a radio play due to air on the UK's Radio 4 on Wednesday afternoon.The play, due to air at 2.15pm will tell the story of McKinnon's fight against extradition to the US. McKinnon is fighting against extradition to the US on hacking offences after losing …
John Leyden, 12 Dec 2007

While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

The BBC has gone Twitter-crazy this week, with every pre-IPO twitch reported in the top-of-the-hour bulletins. But when you peek beneath the hype, it's not the wonder-fest you might think. Twitter "changed the world, hashtag-by-hashtag" gushes the website. "Could we hatch a British Twitter?" asks Rory Cellan-Jones. Short of Lord …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2013
NPL Large Pressure Tank, photo: Gavin Clarke

Measure for measure: We visit the most applied-physicist-rich building in the UK

Shielded by lime trees in a quiet corner of south-west London, a low, modern building constructed of green glass sits on rolling lawns behind a high metal fence. It’s a discreet facility save for a huge white sign facing the road with an blue official crest and three large letters that spell out NPL – the National Physical …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jun 2014

Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

BBC's Newsnight decided to get a reality check on Britain's economic miracle of East London's "Tech City Cluster" on Friday, and asked me if I'd like to contribute. With a hangover and not much sleep the night before? Of course I would. Radio 4's Today and BBC2's Newsnight are invitations you don't turn down if you think you've …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Netflix tempts binge viewers with House of Cards pilot freebie

Netflix is making the pilot episode of its made-for-IPTV series House of Cards free to anyone to watch, whether they’re one of the streaming service’s 33 million subscribers or not. The entire 13-part series went live en masse on Netflix late last week. Rather than run the series episode by episode, week by week, Netflix reckons …
Tony Smith, 04 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

The UK is sitting on a cheap energy economic revolution comparable to the heyday of North Sea Oil, the British Geological Survey suggests. The Survey’s estimate of the potential gas reserves of the Bowland–Hodder shale formation - finally published today – indicate that using today’s technology, the rocks should yield 1,329 TCF …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

BBC places news chief and her deputy beyond use in Savile row

The BBC's director of news Helen Boaden and her deputy Steve Mitchell have "stepped aside" as the corporation investigates Newsnight's handling of a report on child sex abuse by BBC presenter Jimmy Savile. Boaden was paid £354,000 last year, and a fortnight ago took time out to fend off a freedom-of-information request at a …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

MPs get secret squirrel dossier of 'lawyers, megabiz hiring hackers'

Blue-chip firms who allegedly hired private investigators to unlawfully hack systems for personal and sensitive information have been named in a secret list submitted to Parliament. That's the same sort of alleged skullduggery that ended up bringing down Rupert Murdoch’s best-selling Sunday tabloid News of the World. Law firms …
John Leyden, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

BBC Radio 4 goes bonkers, runs last year's MS news

Zzzzz.... It is 6am, and The Register having fallen asleep with the radio on again, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme is dragging us fuzzily into the land of the living; up in the hourly headlines is the big Microsoft news. The truly wondrous Licensing 6-related results story? Er, no - Microsoft has apparently agreed to open its …
John Lettice, 18 Oct 2002
The Register breaking news

NSA PRISM-gate: Relax, GCHQ spooks 'keep us safe', says Cameron

British intelligence agencies have broken no laws and are subject to "proper" parliamentary scrutiny, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted today as the NSA PRISM scandal reached Blighty. He was forced to defend Brit spooks following allegations that UK eavesdropping nerve-centre GCHQ had access to the Americans' controversial …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

The Brazilian partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald – Edward Snowden's go-to reporter for the dissemination of sensitive papers about the NSA's dragnet surveillance programmes – has been released from custody. The 28-year-old was held for almost nine hours for questioning by Metropolitan Police officers when he passed …
John Leyden, 19 Aug 2013

Police probe IDIOTIC Twitter bomb threats slung at journalists

Twitter's trolling heatwave intensified on Wednesday night when a number of journalists were targeted with terrifying bomb threats. Reprobates used anonymous Twitter handles - whose accounts now appear to have been suspended - to send messages to Guardian features writer Hadley Freeman, Independent columnist Grace Dent and Time …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

BBC One and bureaucracy spared in Auntie cuts

The BBC has safeguarded Radio 4 and BBC One from moves to slash £700m from its £5bn annual budget, but it will axe a further 2,000 jobs. Director General Mark Thompson made good on his pledge not to ditch any specific services – but BBC supporters and critics alike will be disappointed that the top-heavy bureaucracy isn’t being …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Oct 2011
galaxy_channel_pic

Vendors couldn't push a piano downhill without a 'sales Babel fish'

In 1978, when BBC Radio 4 first broadcast Douglas Adams' sci-fi comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – many a teenager “got bitten by the tech bug” and went on to forge a great career in an industry that became known as “IT”. In the radio series, which later spawned the famous series of novels, Adams conceived of …
Delia Derbyshire edits on a Philips EL3503 while Desmond Briscoe checks the script

Delia and the Doctor: How to cook up a tune for a Time Lord

As a theme tune, Ron Grainer’s music for Doctor Who needs no introduction. But to describe this unique piece of electronic music as solely Ron Grainer’s composition would be a disservice to the considerable musical contribution made by Delia Derbyshire, who in 1963 set about realising the original score at the BBC’s Radiophonic …
Bob Dormon, 19 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

DAB traffic info axed

The DAB-only Traffic Radio service is to be shut down, leaving literally dozens of drivers stranded. The Highways Agency quango said the UK government will no longer fund the service once the contract expires in August 2011, RadioToday reports. The service is broadcast over 30 multiplexes, and costs the taxpayer £1m to broadcast …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

BBC TV boss George Entwistle nabs director general post

George Entwistle, a BBC insider since 1989, was today appointed the corporation's new director general and will replace Mark Thompson. Entwistle has the strongest programme-making background of the shortlisted hopefuls for the top job. He is currently in charge of TV - or "director of vision" as the BBC calls the post. That …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Fraudster gets ten years after selling fake 'ionic charge' bomb detectors

A British businessman who netted an estimated £60m selling cheap US novelty dowsing rods as sophisticated bomb and drug sniffing devices for up to $30,000 apiece has been jailed for 10 years. Crown prosecutors claim James McCormick, 57, used a combination of salesmanship and bribery to sell a range of Advanced Detection …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Waterstones stores surrender to Amazonian invaders

UK bookshop chain Waterstones will start stocking Amazon's Kindle ereaders in an attempt to revamp its stores for the digital age. There were rumours last year that Waterstones might release its own ereader, which sprang from managing director James Daunt's discussion of digital libraries last year as a guest on BBC Radio 4's …
The Register breaking news

SECRET 28 'scientific experts' who Greened the BBC - Revealed!

A list of attendees at a climate-change seminar the BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds trying to keep secret has been unearthed on an internet archive. The listed names emerged after the publicly-funded broadcaster fought off requests for the list under freedom of information (FOI) laws. This surreal story is only …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Arctic ICE PANIC sparked by half-baked sat data

Listeners to Radio 4's Today programme - and this includes much of the political elite - will have been alarmed to be told that "the Arctic could be ice-free on a summer’s day by the end of the decade". Yet the evidence for this "trend" turns out to be drawn from less than two years worth of data. Dr Seymour Laxon of University …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

Our suggestion earlier this week that El Reg's Special Projects Bureau get with the program(me) and convert entirely to SI Units prompted the traditional lively debate among our beloved commentards. The consensus seems to be we should indeed kick imperial into touch, with a couple of exceptions, which we'll come to later. First …
Lester Haines, 12 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Big Media drags 142,000 through UK's courts IN A YEAR

Not one Hollywood studio or record label company has ever incarcerated anyone merely for not paying for media consumption. A few years ago the entertainment industry filed civil suits against individuals, but received so much criticism it stopped. Now they target industrial-scale pirates, or push for milder sanctions such as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2012