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Screenshot - Confide app

Undeterred by Snapchat's snafus, upstart Confide punts self-destruct selfies

While the world wonders whether Snapchat is a three-billion-dollar disaster because of its recent hack, an AOL alumnus has launched a disappearing message app designed for corporate audiences. Confide, which hit the app store on January 8 US time, pitches itself as an app that “lets you say what you want … messages disappear …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

Vodafone is to launch mobile-money-for-the-masses service M-Pesa in Romania, which introduces and interesting challenge for the European telcos and banks who have spent a decade wrangling over mobile money and got nowhere. M-Pesa was launched in Kenya under the stewardship of Nick Hughes of Vodafone, initially as a corporate …
Simon Rockman, 01 Apr 2014
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman

Yahoo! starts $1.99 'watch list' to recycle old usernames

Yahoo! has begun to recycle old usernames from inactive accounts and is starting a three-year paid service so that users can put dibs on the ones that they want. In July, Yahoo! said it planned to allow people to change their usernames for something a little more personal and asked for volunteers to sign up for the program. It …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2013
Square reader on an iPod Touch

Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

Not content with revolutionising shopping as we know it, uber-cool money-transfer outfit Square has launched a peer-to-peer payment system – secured only by an SMTP password. Square – the payment firm developed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey – has debuted a new service, Square Cash, which authorises transactions with an email. …
Bill Ray, 17 Oct 2013
Stuart Parkin of IBM

Brit IBM prof gets life-changing 'Tech Nobel' for work in spintronics

A Brit boffin at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre has won a Finnish prize for spintronics research which led to a thousandfold increase in disk capacity. The €1m (£824,400) Millennium Technology prize has been awarded by the Technology Academy of Finland to Stuart Parkin, an IBM Fellow at Almaden where he manages the …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2014

Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

Google faces a torrid court battle in the US after a judge ruled that a class action lawsuit brought against the company that challenges its practice of scanning emails for ad-targeting can proceed. Mountain View had protested against plaintiffs in the case, who claimed that Google had breached several stateside laws including …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2013
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV

Self-destructing selfies? Not so fast! Snapchat now offers one-time Replay

Stealthy selfie service Snapchat has added a new feature to its mobile apps that makes it possible for users to hang onto messages for longer than the senders may have intended. Dubbed "Replay," the feature added to Snapchat 6.1.0 for Android and iOS allows users to view a Snapchat message, image, or video a second time before …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2013
Nvidia Tegra K1 die

Nvidia slips love letter to open source driver devs

Nvidia is cozying up just a little with the open source community, with it emerging in late January that it's kicked some driver code into the Nouveau open source graphics driver project. The company has previously been the recipient of hate mail from the open source community as being difficult to work with. However, with a new …
SKA antennas close-up - artist's impression

Square-kilometre radio telescope wins millions in UK funding

UK science minister David Willetts has announced £11m of funding to help the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) process the expected deluge of data it will produce. Handling the expected 915-petabyte daily data firehose from the entire SKA radio telescope will require advances in practically every computing discipline: the data will …

Telstra Borgs O2 networks for hit of services oxygen

Melbourne-based O2 Networks is the lucky recipient of a bag of cash from Telstra, which has paid $AU60 million for the business. O2 company has 370 customers and 100 staff, and according to Telstra “has designed, implemented and managed networks for clients including some of Australia’s largest financial institutions and …

Microsoft saddles up for a ride on Sky Giraffe

Microsoft Ventures, Redmond's entry to the wonderful world of high-risk technology investing, has written its first cheque. The recipient of Redmond's largesse is Israeli outfit Sky Giraffe, which says it provides “a platform to securely extend on-premise enterprise systems directly to mobile devices.” Microsoft’s description …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2013
Small image of ArduSat

Chaps propose free global WiFi delivered FROM SPAAAACE

Free WiFi is an idea that just won't go away, with a new proposal calling for it to be made available to everyone in the world via. satellite. This arrangement is dubbed an “Outernet” by a band of chaps who have floated an idea of how to build one, namely by sending aloft a swarm of tiny satellites that would beam down a subset …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014

Virgin Media spanked by ad watchdog over 'in your neighbourhood' fibs

Virgin Media is on the naughty step with the UK's advertising watchdog, after wrongly claiming in two separate circulars that its broadband service was available in areas where the ad was posted through people's letterboxes. Two complainants successfully refuted the telco's fibs, after taking their gripes to the Advertising …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014

Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Boffins from America and the UK are claiming success in the decades-long hunt to create new hair follicles: they've successfully grown follicles in the lab, on circumcised foreskins. The Columbia University / Durham University group of biologists, geneticists and dermatologists took cells from newborns' foreskins, and grew them …

Brilliant Brit bloke builds breakfast-belching BACON DRONE

In what is described as "a breakthrough moment for humanity", a British bloke has constructed a tricopter designed to remotely deliver a full English breakfast of bacon, egg, sausage, mushroom and tomato ketchup. Joel Veitch's Bacon Drone Joel Veitch's cutting-edge design of "sticks and tape and coat hangars" is controlled by …
Lester Haines, 16 Dec 2013

Network Solutions apologises for 'You just paid us $1850' email

Domain Name registrar Network Solutions has blamed a backlash over extra fees for secured domains on a “badly worded e-mail”. Customers of Network Solutions recently received an e-mail saying that to combat domain hijacks, “Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014, all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program”. This …
An Amazon Coin

Amazon patents caches for physical goods

Amazon.com has been granted a patent for “a method and system for anticipatory package shipping”. The patent's concept is simple: Amazon wants to pack up single items and ship them closer to customers, even before they order the item. These “speculatively shipped packages” will be distributed to a “hub” in locations Amazon …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2014
Snapchat logo

Slurped self-destruct selfie slinger Snapchat so sore, suddenly says sorry

The brains behind self-destructing selfies app Snapchat have apologized, and claimed to have now tackled security vulnerabilities that exposed millions of people's phone numbers. The startup has released an update for its iOS and Android applications that allows users to opt out of appearing in the find-a-friend search feature, …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2014

Zaphod Beeblebrox style third arm cyborg prosthesis unveiled

Yet another development ripped from the pages of that great work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has moved a large step closer to reality this week as a professor in the US reveals a special prosthetic arm which - rather than being intended solely to replace missing limbs - could be used instead to create "a three-armed …
Lewis Page, 07 Mar 2014

Tor users locked out of Facebook after wave of dodgy traffic

Users of the Tor traffic anonymizing service are currently locked out of Facebook after a flood of dodgy traffic triggered an automatic lockdown by the social network's security systems. Given the paranoid post-PRISM times we live, in the outage on Tuesday caused a certain amount of online panic. A report highlighting the issue …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2013
management regulation7

Nooo, ANYTHING but BT! Cisco gives 'stay of execution' to Phoenix IT

Cisco has prolonged Phoenix IT Group's termination notice period following what sources describe as a backlash from some customers over the planned novation of certain contracts to BT. The networking goliath gave Phoenix marching orders at the end of last month, with sources alleging it was caught selling grey market kit and had …
Paul Kunert, 20 Nov 2013

Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

A motion to dismiss filed by Google in a court case last month has offered some juicy quotes about the company's privacy policy, but legally it looks like the Chocolate Factory is in the clear. "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2013
eyeofSauron

BitTorrent trialling P2P secure messaging

BitTorrent wants to (a) take another step towards either respectability, or (b) take itself further outside the mainstream by defying Uncle Sam (take your pick), announcing that it's trialling a secure, serverless messaging application. The P2P messaging system is taking alpha sign-ons now, here. The idea is that if messages …

Quadrillion-dollar finance house spams Reg reader with bankers' private data

IT staff at the world's largest securities transaction clearing house are facing a rough few days after a Reg reader was inadvertently deluged with emails leaking session IDs, transfers, and account details for executives at big-name customers. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) handles the vast bulk of stock and …
Iain Thomson, 11 Dec 2013
photo by phylevn/ licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Crack our 'military-grade' email encryption and we'll give you 5% of our firm

Vulnerability testing is commonplace these days, and a lucrative business for some, but a Hungarian biz is offering an unusual prize for anyone who manages to crack its email encryption system – a five per cent stake in the company. The upstart, MySecureZone, has spent the last 22 months potting together a browser-based …
Iain Thomson, 05 Nov 2013

Got the CLOUD FEAR? Connected Data has a black 'n' blue cone to sell you

Connected Data has introduced the second version of its private cloud storage device, Transporter 2, and is hoping to cash in on those users who have been put off by public cloud outages. This is a file sync 'n' share product with a difference; instead of files being copied from your computer to a public cloud service (Box, …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2013

Eggheads turn Motorola feature phone into CITYWIDE GSM jammer

Berlin boffins have spotted a procedural flaw in the long-lived GSM protocol and created an exploit around it which can knock out a mobile network or even target an individual subscriber in the same city. The exploit, presented at the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium last week, takes advantage of the fact that GSM lets phones …
Bill Ray, 28 Aug 2013

FaceTime now on patent troll list

A Texas-based company, Intercarrier Communications, is lining up its lawyers against a small throng of companies over a messaging patent. Apple is on the list, with FaceTime and Apple Messages accused of infringing its patent, but the company has been far busier than that. Similar suits have been filed against Iris Wireless, Kik …
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Thought mobe banking apps were safe from nasties? THINK AGAIN

Fake SSL certificates in the wild for Facebook, Google and Apple's iTunes store create a grave risk of fraud for people who bank online using their smartphones. Analysis outfit Netcraft said it has found "dozens” of fake SSL certificates impersonating banks, ecommerce sites, ISPs and social networks. The counterfeit credentials …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2014
Intel Edison

Intel Labs 'geeks' flash Edison kit to El Reg: We do it for the BIRDS

Intel’s recent Edison launch was much more than a tilt at the burgeoning wearables space – Chipzilla has been working on designs for everything from a smart birdfeeder to a paper notebook on which the user can compose emails, according to a chief boffin. Dr Randolph Wang is chief scientist at Intel Labs China, where he had up to …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Feb 2014

Vodafone, Moneygram hook up to create mobe money MONSTER

A deal struck between Vodafone and Moneygram has added 334,000 international agents from whom you can send money to Vodafone's M-Pesa. This will allow migrant workers in around 200 countries to send funds home to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania. There …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2014

Gift-giving gotchas: How to avoid Xmas morning EMBARRASSMENT

You might think, what with gift buying out of the way, the hard work of the holiday season is largely done. Not so. Before you reach for the wrapping paper and sticky tape, there’s a fair bit more you can do to ensure a trouble- and tantrum-free Christmas Day. Batteries not included If you’ve been buying gadgets, don’t forget …
Nigel Whitfield, 23 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Did a bunch of bankers fax a stranger's sensitive privates to YOU?

The Bank of Scotland has been hit by a £75,000 fine over a snafu that led to it repeatedly faxing customers’ account details to the wrong people. Sensitive information included payslips, bank statements, account details and mortgage applications, along with customers’ names, addresses and contact details. The information was …
John Leyden, 06 Aug 2013
Photo by Thore Siebrands Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Why is the UK taxpayer funding a millionaire supermodel and actress to build a website that replicates the "Help Needed" pages of Craigslist and Freecycle? Using information gleaned from Freedom of Information requests, we’ve attempted to find out. The model and actress Lily Luahana Cole, a Cambridge University art history …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Mar 2014

US, UK watchdogs file legal moves to curb government surveillance

Two privacy watchdogs, one in the US and one in the UK, have filed legal actions against their respective governments, petitioning them to curtail - or at minimum uncover - their domestic surveillance operations. In the US, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a petition (PDF) with the US Supreme Court, …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Jul 2013

Tech giants KNEW about PRISM, web snooping, claims top NSA lawyer

The NSA's general counsel Rajesh De says technology firms were fully aware of both America's web surveillance program PRISM and the mass monitoring of upstream internet traffic. On Wednesday, De told a meeting in Washington, organized by the US government's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), that data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2014
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV

'A measly 3 Instagrams? NO!' Sexy selfie Snapchat spurns Facebook's $3bn

The CEO of sexting-friendly messaging service Snapchat has reportedly turned down buyout offers worth at least $3bn because he expects his company will soon be worth much more. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, 23-year old Snapchat cofounder and chief exec Evan Spiegel barely considered a recent $3bn offer from …
Neil McAllister, 13 Nov 2013

Finance watchdog: Big fingers + tiny mobe screen + banking = doesn't end well

Companies providing mobile banking services must consider how to overcome limitations in mobile device screen sizes in order to help consumers avoid making erroneous payments, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said. In an interim report (12-page/724KB PDF) it published as part of its ongoing review into mobile banking, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Aug 2013

Australian Federal Police admit to slurping politicians' metadata

It seems that merely being a recipient of a leak is sufficient, in Australia, for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to search members of parliaments' phone records. The admission that the AFP had accessed “non-content data” of MPs came as independent Senator Nick Xenophon grilled the AFP over the issue. In a Senate Estimates …
Speed gun cop

Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data

British cops are abusing the right to snoop on communications data by holding information on innocent people for far too long, a report from the Commissioner for Interception has found. Sir Anthony May, the commissioner, wanted to counteract the "general relatively uninformed fear" that shadowy government agencies were snooping …
Jasper Hamill, 09 Apr 2014
management regulation2

EU agrees to make documents available to support anti-cartel suits

Companies and individuals affected by cartel activity in Europe will gain access to vital documents to help sue for damages under new proposals which the European Commission says will ensure they "can obtain the evidence necessary to prove their claims". MEPs and European Council representatives agreed the terms on the proposed …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Mar 2014

Beat this, cloud giants! Musk rocket flings 1TB hard drive into SPAAACE

A Canadian company has strapped a terabyte-storage box to a satellite to prove it can shift large amounts of information around the world in less than an hour. The store-and-forward gadget is attached to Canada's CASSIOPE weather-watching bird, which was launched into space by one of Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets over the …
Bill Ray, 02 Oct 2013
padlock

WhisperSystems creates 'suicide pill' for phones

The developers who jumped in early in the “Arab Spring” to create an encrypted communications app for Android have now gone a step further, crafting a geofenced self-destruct that can wipe a phone based on location. WhisperSystems.org's Zones app, which isn't yet ready for prime time but should be released to Google Play soon, …
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

The word "cabinet" can mean a piece of furniture in which you store something and the digital version of this is a disk drive or flash drive. Having said that, the idea that by destroying the drive you destroy the data is so far from reality in today's data centres that anyone professing it is profoundly idiotic. Which brings us …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2013

India's eager IT grads fall for fake interview scams

Technology companies in India are warning prospective employees of a fresh round of scam mail designed to trick job-seekers into paying a security deposit in return for an interview. The fraudulent letters and emails usually hit a peak between June and August as this is the beginning of the academic year in India and the time …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Jun 2013

'World's worst director' plans Snowden-inspired movie comedy

Uwe Boll, the recipient of a lifetime Razzie award who has been called “the world's worst director” has taken to Kickstarter to fund a political comedy movie inspired by Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. The German director, most famous for making terrible films out of video games like BloodRayne and Far Cry, wants to use the …

Chinese hackers launch PRISM scare campaign

The Chinese group behind the recently discovered NetTraveler attacks is now using widespread interest in the infamous National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM surveillance program to encourage users to open malicious email attachments, it has emerged. Brandon Dixon of the 9bplus blog said he came across an email uploaded to …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Jun 2013

Australian unis to test quantum-comms-over-fibre

The University of New South Wales, one of the world's leaders in quantum computing research, will get the chance to put its work to the test in Australia's capital city, Canberra. Within a few months, two nodes on Canberra's ICON network – one at the Australian National University, the other at the Australian Defence Force …

20 injured at LG phone giveaway as PR stunt turns into freetard riot

LG has cancelled a series of publicity stunts promoting its new G2 smartphone after 20 Korean consumers were hurt as they attempted to get a free handset. The PR boffins at LG decided it would be a good idea to release 100 helium-filled balloons, each carrying a voucher entitling the recipient to claim their 950,000 won ($852.54 …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2013
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Putting a man on the Moon cost less than what Facebook paid for WhatsApp, a generic chat app. So why is Facebook paying $45 per user to gain functionality it already has? The silly numbers look even sillier when you consider Facebook's own Messenger only lags narrowly behind WhatsApp in terms of usage. Facebook Messenger …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2014