Articles about Radio 4

Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

Poll Radio 4 has dipped a toe into Lake Geek with a five part series looking at computer languages. Or more accurately the history and reputation of four computer languages: Fortran, Cobol, Basic and Java. Presented by soi-disant girl geek* Aleks Krotoski Aleks Krotoski, the series ("Codes that Changed the World") emphasises the …
Simon Rockman, 14 Apr 2015
broken_car_window_648

Now car hackers can bust in through your motor's DAB RADIO

Car brakes and other critical systems can be hacked via car infotainment systems, security researchers at NCC Group have revealed. The ingenious hack, demonstrated in an off-road environment, works by sending attack data via digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radio signals. This is similar to a hack that allowed security …
John Leyden, 24 Jul 2015
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

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

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
Out Run arcade game cabinet

Snoopers' Charter queen Theresa May returns to Home Office brief

Theresa May has – despite her failure to ram through the Snoopers' Charter under the previous Tory-led Coalition government – once again, been handed the troublesome Home Office brief. Prime Minister David Cameron, whose Conservative Party secured a slim majority in the House of Commons on Friday, has been lightly reshuffling …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 May 2015
A still from Eppendorf's epMotion video

Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

A Nobel prize-winning scientist has apologised after he told sexist anecdotes at a conference for top women boffins in South Korea. Sir Tim Hunt, who has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1991, utterly misjudged his audience with these ridiculous comments: Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2015
Man writing a letter

Post Office denies IT blunders led to criminal charges against posties

The Post Office has refuted a report which concluded that its Horizon IT system was responsible for accounting cockups that led to sub-postmasters being prosecuted for stealing from their tills. Forensic accountancy group Second Sight was appointed in 2012 by the Post Office — at the request of MPs — to conduct an independent …

UK.gov set to burn half a BEELLLION POUNDS on one-dole-to-rule-em-all IT, claims PAC chair

The UK government's deeply troubled Universal Credit omni-dole project is expected to lead to IT write-offs of more than £500m, according to Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge. In an interview for a special BBC Radio 4 programme on welfare reform, the Labour MP said that she believed money blown on the taxpayer- …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2014

GCHQ's cyberspooks had Nudge Unit envy – leak

As 10 Downing Street was establishing a Behavioural Insights Team, or "Nudge" unit, based on pop psychology, so too were the spooks at GCHQ. Clearly not wishing to be left out of the behavioural craze sweeping the chattering classes and the thinkfluencers in the ad world, spooks thought they should be brought up to speed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jun 2015
Pure Highway 300Di in-car digital radio adapter

Pure Highway 300Di in-car digital radio kit

Review 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
Ford Focus 1.5 Zetec. Pic: Simon Rockman

Filthy – but sadly frothy – five door fun: Ford Focus 1.5 Zetec

Vulture at the Wheel The original Ford Focus was an incredible car. The latest generation has a lot to live up to. The man behind the Focus was Richard Parry-Jones, who, with incredible attention to detail, produced a reasonably priced car that handled well. He also got the designers, who were bright young things, to wear ageing suits, gloves and …
Simon Rockman, 08 Mar 2015
Peril Sensitive Sunglasses - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Life, the interview and everything: A chat with Douglas Adams

Interview Today – March 11th – would have been Douglas Adams' 63rd birthday. To mark this occasion, we are reprinting a lost interview with Douglas Adams. It was focused not on Hitchhiker's, but on Starship Titanic, a text adventure and book. The game had just been released to manufacture and Adams had pulled an all-nighter to get it out …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015
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
Wolfenstein 3D

Let’s PULL Augmented Reality and CLIMAX with JISM

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Augmented Reality is a terrible expression,” says the AR demonstrator. “It’s a pity it doesn’t have a better name. So we call it XXooming. With two Xs.” Oh dear, I can tell this is about to be a presentation involving a string of brand-new made-up terms designed to mask the abject failure of the technology in question to have …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Apr 2015
404bhp of refined fun

Maserati Ghibli S: Who cares what Joe Walsh thinks?

Vulture at the wheel When Joe Walsh sang “My Maserati does 185, I lost my licence so now I don’t drive”, he was lying. In 1978 no Maserati could do that speed. He could have had been talking km/h, in which case it might have been an earlier-generation Ghibli: that did 155mph, or 174mph if he had the Ghibli SS. The Ghibli S reviewed here won’t do 185 …
Simon Rockman, 24 May 2015
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

'Tech giants who encrypt comms are unwittingly aiding terrorists', claims ex-Home Sec Blunkett

Former, draconian Home Secretary David Blunkett – who held the post at the time of the 9/11 attacks in the US – has claimed that technology companies that encrypt communications on their networks are helping terrorists to spread fear. The Labour MP, writing in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, lambasted Martha Lane-Fox for telling the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Nov 2014
Pure One Mi portable DAB radio

Pure One Mi portable DAB/FM radio

Review 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
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
Sportsman with moderated rifle in snow. Pic: Juha Perovuo

Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Analysis The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register. The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security. …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2014

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
Grundig Fernseh-Stereo-Konzertschrank Zauberspiegel 61 M 1 from 1959

Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Parliament's Culture Committee has revived the idea of "conditional access" for BBC TV services – which means that if you don't pay, you won't receive the full package. MPs argue that with UK Magistrates Courts rammed with thousands of non-payers a year, conditional access would be cheaper and fairer than the current system, …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Feb 2015
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
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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

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

Analysis 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
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

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 Survive …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Feb 2015
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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

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
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
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
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech

Sir Iain Lobban's final speech as GCHQ director omitted any mention of that man Edward Snowden, and unlike recent speeches by FBI and law enforcement officials on both side of the Atlantic, the spy boss had no critical words for Apple and Google's plans to roll out improved encryption on smartphones and computers. Instead, an …
John Leyden, 21 Oct 2014

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
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

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

Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills

Analysis 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

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

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

RSA Europe 2013 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

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

Poll 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
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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

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

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

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
Jaguar Sportsbrake

Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars

Vulture at the Wheel I had a rationale behind reviewing the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. Imagine you are an IT consultant. Now imagine you’ve done pretty well for yourself. Still with me? Good. Narrow that down to being the type of consultant who still does real things with hardware. Not just org charts, “strategy” and managing resources. Jaguar …
Simon Rockman, 11 Oct 2014
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

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

Comment 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