Articles about Radio 4

Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

Feature Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love's mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery. In his dressing gown and pyjamas …

Global 'terror database' World-Check leaked

The "terrorist database" World-Check used by global banks and intelligence agencies has, we're told, leaked online. The mid-2014 version of the database contains some 2.2 million records and is used by 49 of the world's 50 largest banks, along with 300 government and intelligence agencies. Access to its contents is granted via …
Darren Pauli, 29 Jun 2016
Collection of antique keys

Bletchley finds Hitler plain text war machine on Ebay, buys for £10

A World War II teleprinter Hitler used in strategic communications with generals has been bought on eBay for £9.50. The teleprinter more was noticed and snapped up by keen eyes at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The precious machine was languishing in a Southend, Essex shed covered in rubbish. The plain- …
Darren Pauli, 31 May 2016

The Sons of Kahn and the Witch of Wookey

Stob Editor's Note: Verity Stob's Chronicles of Delphi [King James ed.] began in 1996. The most recent translations can be found here: The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet, here: The Sons of Kahn and the Pascal spring and here: Sons of Kahn: The Apocrypha. Now it came to pass the Sons of Kahn, who did dwell …
Verity Stob, 20 May 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

TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

A number of TalkTalk customers have had their maintenance visits data breached by fraudsters in an attempt to gain remote access of their computers, it has emerged. One customer, Chris, told The Register that a week after the cyber attack was reported he experienced some issues with his broadband, so TalkTalk sent an engineer …
Kat Hall, 08 Feb 2016
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

Et voilà: Violated Versailles vagina might stay violated

Artist Anish Kapoor has suggested the anti-Semitic graffiti daubed on his sculpture "Dirty Corner" may become part of the artwork. The controversial construction was attacked on Sunday in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, and now features slogans including "The second RAPE of the nation by DEVIANT JEWISH activism". L' …
Lester Haines, 08 Sep 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

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 …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jun 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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 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 …
Simon Rockman, 24 May 2015
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
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 …
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

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
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
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
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

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
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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Nov 2014

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 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
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
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

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

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
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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Jul 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
NPL Large Pressure Tank, photo: Gavin Clarke

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

Geek's Guide to Britain 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

+Sketch 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' …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2014
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

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

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

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
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

Doctor Who @ 50 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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 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 …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2013

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
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
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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Aug 2013
Hanslope Park

Hanslope Park: Home of Britain’s ‘real-life Q division’

Geek's Guide to Britain Hanslope Park sits just outside the small, quiet North Buckinghamshire village of Hanslope. I grew up there, and the Park and its occupants would always be mentioned by conversing grown-ups in suddenly hushed tones. Who might be listening? Other villagers were quietly pointed out with the words: “You see him? He works at the …
Tony Smith, 05 Jul 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 …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2013
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

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
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 …
Bill Ray, 20 May 2013
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

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 …