Articles about Scotland

Sonar scan of German submarine UB-85 wreck

Soz, folklore fans! Negligence, not Nessie, sank WWI German sub

A sunken German submarine from World War One has been found at the bottom of the Irish Sea – and excitable folk are claiming the Loch Ness Monster sank it. The official story of UB-85's sinking, as logged by the crew of Royal Navy sloop HMS Coreopsis and reproduced on authoritative U-boat history website, is that she …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2016
HMS Forth on her remote control trolley. Pic: BAE Systems

Puny human sailors still needed... until drone machine learning tech catches up

Drones won’t replace proper sailors anytime soon because, believe it or not, they need more manpower to operate, a Royal Navy admiral has insisted. Naval drones are “not about reducing the requirement for people”, Rear Admiral Paul Bennett told a press briefing attended by El Reg on Friday. Instead, they are for putting people …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Oct 2016

Drone exercise will transform future naval warfare, says Navy

The Royal Navy’s ongoing drone exercise Unmanned Warrior has been a “transformational opportunity”, Rear Admiral Paul Bennett said this morning. Admiral Bennett, assistant chief of the naval staff for capability, speaking via video link from Scotland, told a press briefing at the Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems at …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Oct 2016
Woman uses card reader at coffeee shop. Photo by Shutterstock

RBS debit card payments have gone utterly TITSUP

The Royal Bank of Scotland's debit card system has suffered a TITSUP, that is, total inability to support usual payments. NatWest has acknowledged the issue, telling complainants: "We're aware of some issues with Debit Card Payments, and are working hard to fix them. Sorry and thanks for your patience." We're aware of some …
Johnnycab with Arnie. Screen shot from Total Recall

Without new anti-robot laws, humanity is doomed, MPs told

RotM Robots will destroy humanity unless we write new laws to control them, a UK Parliamentary committee has been told. “The key question is: if something goes wrong, who is responsible?” pondered the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology, in a report released today. Microsoft's Dave Coplin, the firm's “chief …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Oct 2016
Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans in The Navy Lark

Roboats hunt 'mines' and 'submarines' on Ex Unmanned Warrior

RotM The Royal Navy's Unmanned Warrior roboat exercise is currently taking place off the coast of Scotland. Featuring about 40 autonomous systems – mostly seaborne, though including a handful of aerial vehicles as well – the exercise is partially running alongside the main Joint Warrior tri-Service exercise. The Unmanned Warrior …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Oct 2016
woman in beret representing France waves goodbye, perhaps to Brexiting British? photo by shutterstock

Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

The UK will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, triggering the formal two-year Brexit negotiation process, by the end of March 2017, the prime minister has announced. The government also intends to publish a 'Great Repeal Bill' which, once given effect, will remove the 1972 European Communities Act from the UK statute …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Oct 2016
Motorola Moto G 4G

London best for 4G - who'd have thunk?

Data from Which? today reveals that London has the best 4G connectivity in Britain - but some of the worst average download speeds in Blighty. Folk in the capital are likely to get onto a network 70 per cent of the time, compared with 35 per for those in Wales, according to research in conjunction with Opensignal, which …
Kat Hall, 05 Oct 2016

British trio win Nobel prize for physics

A trio of British scientists working in US universities have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. The prize will be shared by David Thouless (82), Duncan Haldane (65) and Michael Kosterlitz (76) for their work on exotic states of matter. The men will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (£720,000) prize. Thouless …
Kat Hall, 04 Oct 2016
L-R: HMS Archer, A, HMS Belfast, Bladerunner (bottom)

Robo-boat biz ASV inks licence for auto-speedboat tech

The Ministry of Defence has licensed its Advanced Unmanned Surface Vehicle robot boat tech to roboat biz ASV Global. Although the MoD's brainbox division, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), retains ownership of the intellectual property within the roboat software, ASV is now allowed to use it to develop …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Sep 2016
Woman on phone waits for signal against countryside backdrop. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom punts network-sniffing Android app

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has written a network tracking Android app so the great British public can help it sniff out not-spots. The app runs in the background gathering anonymous data on network performance, voice call success, mobile data performance and app usage. It downloads a small amount of data every 15 minutes, less …
John Oates, 28 Sep 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by

UK oversight body tipped to examine phone snooping tech in prisons

The secretive use of IMSI grabbers in the UK is set to receive oversight from the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO). IOCCO is awaiting a formal request from the Prime Minister to provide oversight of the use of mobile phone eavesdropping devices in prisons, its head has confirmed to The Register. …
Bare knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

Hitsniffer customers hit by outage over former colleagues' ownership spat

Customers of analytics business Hitsniffer have been left in the lurch following its collapse after arguments over ownership of the service. Peter Laird, who runs the financial side of Hitsniffer, and Armin Nikdel Kourkah, its programmer, are engaged in a dispute over Hitsniffer's holding rights, leaving customers without any …

A nice long pub crawl is good for your health, if you stay on your feet

It's probably just as well as the walk to the fifth pub takes a lot longer than the first four, because according to a four-country collaboration of sports boffins, exercise helps offset ethanol. Succinctly: it seems 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, say on a Friday night when you're hunting down the post-pub nosh, …

UK will be 'cut off' from 'full intelligence picture' after Brexit – Europol strategy man

The UK will “certainly be cut off from the full intelligence picture” after Brexit, Europol's acting head of strategy for cybercrime warned The Register. This comes after UK law enforcement agencies from the National Crime Agency to Police Scotland have been meeting with Europol in an attempt to mitigate this. Phillipp Amann, …
HMS Forth being lowered into the Clyde. Pic: BAE Systems

Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

The Royal Navy's newest offshore patrol vessel, HMS Forth, is now fitting out in Glasgow – and we're told she weighs as much as 120 London buses. Forth, the first of the RN's Batch 2 River-class patrol ships, was launched in mid-August after being loaded onto a 160-wheel remote control trolley. She was then driven at a …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Aug 2016

London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

+ Comment The Metropolitan Police is to spend £2.1m of public money funding a unit that will actively investigate “offensive” comments on Twitter and Facebook, according to reports. Backed by a team of “volunteers”, the Met's new unit will actively seek out anything “deemed inappropriate” on social media services, according to the …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Aug 2016
Trump poster, image via Shutterstock

Trump golf privacy probe

A golf resort owned by US presidential candidate Donald Trump failed to register with the UK Information Commissioner's Office, the nation's privacy watchdog. The Grauniad reports that The Trump International Golf Club Scotland should have registered with the Office as it stores records on visitors and members and operates …
Team Register, 12 Aug 2016
HP sauce, photo by chrisdorney via Shutterstock

Brexit Britain: HP Sauce vs – choices that defined voters

Forget Scotland and London vs. England and Wales, never mind old against young, get over city versus rural rust belt. It was internet and condiments that really defined those who voted in the June 23 referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Brexiters’ favorite brand was HP Sauce while was tops with Remainers, …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Aug 2016
Police Scotland employees stand outside the Scottish Parliament. Pic: Shutterstock

Police Scotland to cough 0.001% of annual income for unlawful RIPA spying

Police Scotland has been ordered to pay a Scottish policeman-turned-novelist £10,000 in damages after being found guilty of abusing surveillance powers to hunt down sources who blew the whistle on a bungled murder enquiry. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal published its judgment yesterday. Although five people filed claims …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Aug 2016
Suited operative about to open a barrel of pigeons

West country cops ponder appearance of 40 dead pigeons on A35

Devon and Cornwall police are investigating the mysterious placement of 40 dead pigeons at regular intervals along the the middle of the A35 near Honiton. As well as the police, the RSPB has been called into investigate the overnight appearance of the deceased, no-more, bereft-of-life ex-pigeons, which is just the latest Avian …
Joe Fay, 04 Aug 2016

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

US restrictions on the F-35 fighter jet's targeting system will make it “almost impossible” for training to be carried out in the UK, the Ministry of Defence fears – but its press office insists the constraints are normal. The F-35's electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) includes a target designator laser and a laser …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Aug 2016
Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

Capita was always going to axe staff under Project Vincent – sources

Capita was always going to axe staff working in the outsourced O2 call centre under an initiative code-named Project Vincent once the two-year TUPE agreement period was over. Or so claimed employees that headed into Capita’s office in Glasgow, Scotland, today knowing it will be their last – still at least they won’t have to …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016

Lowland Scots plunged into panic by marauding ostrich family

Residents of Ayrshire are living in fear of a marauding family of ostriches that have mysteriously appeared in the usually quiet Scots region. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued an alarming bulletin today, warning residents of the home county of both Biffy Clyro and Nicola Sturgeon that at …
Joe Fay, 27 Jul 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Three pence in a pound awaits Steljes' trade creditors

Unsecured creditors of audio visual distributor Steljes that are owed £6.72m by the fallen specialist will likely receive just three pence in the pound, according to the company’s administrator. Steljes collapsed in late May after cash flow dried up and directors were forced to call on AlixPartners, which decided the only …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jul 2016
F-35Bs fly past HMS Queen Elizabeth at Rosyth dockyard, Scotland. Crown copyright

Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

The UK is “on target” for its new F-35B fighters to reach initial operating capability by 2018 – and will own a whopping 24 of the state-of-the-art jets by the year 2023, junior defence minister Philip Dunne told a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) this morning. Dunne was speaking to a morning briefing at …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Jul 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Mind the GaaP: needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016

UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources

BREXIT The UK government's long-awaited digital strategy has been put on ice following the landmark EU referendum decision last week, The Register has learnt. The strategy was intended to be a mixed bag of policy from the department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Cabinet Office's …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2016
London, United Kingdom - June 23, 2016: British Referendum. A voting station in inner London is the grand entrance to St Matthew's Church. UK is voting to stay or leave the EU. pHOTO Ms Jane Campbell/SHUTTERSTOCK - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

BREXIT The UK has voted to leave the European Union, confounding the polls, the "experts" and the British establishment in the biggest turnout for a vote here in 24 years. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation at 8:30am this morning. The count stands at 51.9 per cent Leave, and 48.1 per cent remain – and more than a …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2016
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

NHS e-prescription service goes TITSUP: Problems since Monday

The NHS electronic prescription service (EPS) has barely been working since Monday, and is still suffering a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance in many parts of England, thanks to problems with system supplier Cegedim. The EPS allows General Practitioners to send patients' prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy, …

Scots denied Saltire emoji

The Scottish former First Minister Alex Salmond has bemoaned the absence of a Saltire emoji from the forthcoming Unicode 9.0 release. Salmond told north of the border publication The Courier: "Last year, I wrote to both Apple and the Unicode Consortium, asking them to consider including the Saltire in their next update. …
Lester Haines, 07 Jun 2016
Geeks Guide, BT Tower, photo The Register

Geek's Guide to Britain – now a book. Permission to geek out granted

In 2013, The Register began its travel series Geek's Guide to Britain. Today, that series is available as a book. The inspiration for our series were the scientists, engineers and inventors born or working in Great Britain who made their mark on the world. Jet engines, the internet, medicine, electricity, mass communications …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jun 2016

Hungry UK services slinger swallows hosting biz for £65m – sources

UK managed services slinger Pulsant has agreed to fork out £65m for data centre and hosting biz Onyx, multiple sources close to the situation have claimed. A "for sale" sign was erected outside Onyx’s Stockton-on-Tees HQ in January and the process was managed by Deloitte, as we exclusively revealed. “The deal is done,” said …
Paul Kunert, 26 May 2016
Type arms of an old typewriter

Virgin has FTT for farmers' P

Virgin Media has named 10 communities to receive its ultrafast broadband service of 300 Mbps, part of its £3bn fibre-to-the-premises investment. Sadly for city folk, those areas remain fairly backwater, with four of the communities to receive FTTP located in rural Scotland. ® Type arms of an old typewriter
Kat Hall, 23 May 2016
Prince philip Thames barrier old control room photo Environment Agency

Landmark computer hacking archive deposited at TNMOC

An archive that tells the story of how the 1980s hack of Prince Philip’s mailbox led to UK anti-hacking legislation has been deposited at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC). Robert Schifreen, the "white hat" at the centre of the 1980s controversy, compiled the archive, which details Schifreen’s two-year-long legal …
John Leyden, 18 May 2016

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Updated A Scottish council has published a new policy paper which justifies its "investigating officers" creating fake accounts for snooping purposes on social media, though it denies ever having conducted such covert surveillance. Bordering the city of Edinburgh, East Lothian Council has published a nine-page Surveillance through …
Bloke in leather chair, photo via Shutterstock pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our usually-on-Friday romp through interesting things readers have been asked to do at work. Last week's tale of a chap who spent a week in Hong Kong doing nothing produced a bulging mailbag, including one story from reader “Adam” who swears blind he and three others were paid £35,000 apiece to do …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2016
Business types walk around in a city centre square. Photo by Shutterstock

Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

The British public remains "clueless or indifferent" to smart cities, according to a report released by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This is despite a government drive to champion smart cities and invest £50m in smart city technology to make urban areas more efficient and sustainable. In 2013, Glasgow …
Katyanna Quach, 05 May 2016
Illustration of a man with a beard reading a tablet

ICO scolds Scots council

West Dunbartonshire Council has been issued with an ICO enforcement notice. It was told to implement training and guidance or face court action following a data breach that led to a child's medical reports being stolen. The council just west of Glasgow has been audited twice in 2013 and advised to improve its data-handling. …

Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Wanna walk the plank voluntarily? You got it

Exclusive Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to initiate a voluntary redundancy (VR) option nearly two months after putting 1,092 UK staff in Enterprise Services (ES) on the chopping block. Techies at HPE were told they were in scope for compulsory job cuts in March including 780 in IT Outsourcing and 173 from the Application Business …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016

Magnitude malvertisers spew 400 attacks from abused Scot ad firm

Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura says more than 400 malicious advertisements have been shipped through ad network AdsTerra in two weeks. The advertisements are slinging the hugely successful Magnitude exploit kit which has been the most impactful and prolific of exploit kits used in recent malvertising campaigns. Emails …
Darren Pauli, 21 Apr 2016

Troubled Azzurri Comms offloaded to AIM-listed Maintel

AIM-listed comms and networking integrator Maintel has conditionally agreed to slurp struggling rival Azzurri Comms for £48.5m - a company that is twice its size. At the same time, the London-based Maintel confirmed it is also to place Ordinary Shares on the market at 700 pence each with the aim of generating roughly £24m to …
Paul Kunert, 08 Apr 2016
Dounreay aerial copyrigh Dounrea Site Restoration Ltd and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

A very unusual exchange is about to take place over the Atlantic. The UK is sending some 700kg of highly enriched uranium to be disposed of in the US, the largest amount that has ever been moved out of the country. In return, the US is sending other kinds of enriched uranium to Europe to help diagnose people with cancer. The …
HMS Vengeance returns to HMNB Clyde. Crown copyright

Blighty's nuclear deterrent will get a software upgrade amid cyber-war fears

Software powering Britain's nuclear-tipped Trident II missiles is to be updated following fears of a cyber-attack, according to reports. The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain's Trident missiles, currently carried by the Royal Navy's Vanguard-class submarines, are to receive software updates to help guard against cyber- …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Mar 2016
Woman angrily hangs up phone. Photo via Shutterstock

Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

A Glasgow-based boiler replacement firm has been fined £180,000 for its prolific and obnoxious nuisance call campaign. FEP Heatcare made 2.6 million unwanted calls, which played a recorded message promoting the company’s products and services. Its activities made it one of Britain’s most complained about nuisance callers. …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2016
Coffee cups image via Shutterstock

Brits shun nightclubs and CD-ROMs for lemons, coffee and woman’s leggings

Modern Britons would rather sit at home in a pair of lady’s leggings quaffing Baileys, downloading computer games and sucking lemons than grab a ham roll down the pub before going to a nightclub. At least that’s the image suggested by the latest rejig of the shopping basket of goods and services that the Office for National …
Joe Fay, 15 Mar 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
Life of Brian

British Airways, IT staff job cuts, an outsourcing biz ... you get the point

Techies working at British Airways are staging a protest at the airline's corporate HQ over plans to outsource and offshore work to Tata Consultancy Services. According to the GMB trade union, which is organising a 15-minute walk from the corporation’s head office in West London to a local hotel on 29 February, all 900 of BA’s …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2016
Pie chart inventor and scoundrel William Playfair could easily take his place at a cereal bar in Shoreditch

Meet the original Big Data, TED Talk, Thought Shower Futurist

Andrew at Large At the Battle of Ideas Festival at the Barbican last year, Claire Fox chaired a panel titled: “Is Technology Limiting Our Humanity?”, and invited me to take part. Panelists could give a seven-minute introduction. It’s now online as a video and podcast. Two avenues looked promising, and today I will give you an excerpt from …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2016
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC –

Data wranglers Trifacta wangle themselves $35m in VC cash

In Brief Self-service-as-a-service start-up Trifacta has proudly announced that it has raised $35m in VC cash for "growth financing". Trifacta aims to help non-technical folk get a hold of their data, and managed to capture some of the least technical customers out there, with PepsiCo and the Royal Bank of Scotland joining in. The …