Articles about Scotland

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: UK.gov 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
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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, …
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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
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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
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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
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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

UK.gov 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
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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 – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

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 …
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FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

FTDI's CEO Fred Dart has given a rare interview to explain that the company's sometimes-unpopular anti-counterfeiting practices are part of a fightback against a professional Chinese knock-off operation. Adafruit scored the chat, which is published here. Scotland-based FTDI ran into users' ire last year when people found its …
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Drone-busting eagles to darken Blighty's skies?

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they're looking into deploying drone-busting eagles, a few days after a Scottish MP called for cops north of the border to investigate the possibility of using feathered interceptors to deal with growing flocks of wild UAVs. According to the Times, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe …
Lester Haines, 08 Feb 2016

Ducks, Lord of the Rings, movies and maths: The GCHQ Xmas puzzle solutions revealed

GCHQ has posted the answers to its Xmas puzzle, a five-part crypto extravaganza that saw 600,000 people start but just three win – and even they didn't get it all right. The lucky winners, one from Scotland, one from Belgium and another unnamed, will be given a GCHQ paperweight (presumably with a bug implanted), a biography of …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Feb 2016
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Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

A Scottish MP has suggested cops north of the border might consider the idea of drone-busting eagles, following recent Dutch trials of a winged anti-UAV operative. Dunfermline and West MP Douglas Chapman, who sits on the Commons Defence Select Committee, described the rising numbers of drones as "a real risk to people", "a …
Lester Haines, 04 Feb 2016

For sale: One 236-bed nuclear bunker

Readers looking for a spacious pad with plenty of accommodation, plus "male and female WCs, commercial kitchen facilities, BBC audio visual broadcasting facility, conference facilities, air filtration systems, conference rooms, decontamination chambers, plant rooms and oil storage", are directed to the sale of a former nuclear …
Lester Haines, 02 Feb 2016
Scottish police car on patrol. Photo by Shutterstock - for editorial use only!!!!

There's no guidance for Scottish police use of UK facial recog database

An audit into Police Scotland has raised the alarm over the country's lack of independent oversight on police access to the facial recognition capabilities of the UK Police National Database. The 51-page audit (PDF), which was published yesterday, also noted that although the existing statutory guidance on the facial images …
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400 jobs to go as Texas Instruments calls time on chip fab in Scotland

Texas Instruments is to shutter its semiconductor plant in Scotland with the ultimate loss of 400 jobs, the company has confirmed. Staff were this afternoon informed by the chip maker about the plans to “phase out our manufacturing facility in Greenock” that are set to happen “over the next three years”. TI issued a statement …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
Inside the reactor copyright, Dounreay Site Restoration LTD and Nuclear Decommission Authority

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Geek's Guide to Britain On the northern tip of Scotland stands Dounreay – 74 hectares of nuclear site encompassing the world's first fast breeder reactor, and one of the first nukes to be wired into a national grid. Built in an age of optimism – an era that wanted to turn the destructive power of The Bomb into energy that was too cheap to meter – …
Bill Ray, 26 Jan 2016
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

Police Scotland has been given direct access to Scottish councils' databases of disabled parking badge holders in order to crack down on fraudsters misusing them. An agreement was reached between the single Scottish police force, Police Scotland, and the country's 32 local authorities to allow the police direct access to the …
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Onyx to erect 'for sale' sign outside corp HQ, say sources

Data centre and hosting slinger Onyx will erect a "for sale" sign outside its Stockton-on-Tees HQ in 2016, and the expectation from multiple sources is this will happen sooner rather than later. The private equity-backed business is working with adviser Deloitte to run the sale but as yet no Information Memorandum has been …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
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Database rights are no 'impediment' to Europe's data-driven economy

Opinion The existence of database rights does not hold back EU businesses from developing innovative new uses for data, despite what a recent report backed by two European Parliament committees says. Examples from the sporting world show that database rights can in fact support innovation in uses of data and, in contrast, highlight …
Gundam robot replica on May 11, 2012 in Tokyo. The sculpture is 18m tall and is the tallest replica of famous anime franchise robot, Gundam. Image via Shutterstock, editorial use only

BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

BBC 2 has shrugged off the rising android-rights movement to reboot Robot Wars, the mechano pugilistic punch-fest which enlivened many hungover Sundays* in the late '90s. The broadcaster has commissioned six one hour episodes of the new series from Mentorn Scotland, which it reckons will exploit “a raft of technological …
Joe Fay, 13 Jan 2016
Disgusted man holds his hand up to obscure his view. Pic via Shutterstock

The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh

On-Call Welcome to 2015's final edition of On-Call, our regular feature in which readers share tales of technological tedium, tantrums and terror, often in weird places at unsociable times. To wrap up the year we're going to rifle through the On-Call inbox to share stories that weren't quite long enough for their own story, but should …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2015

3 continents, 8 countries and one cyber attack on a fake petrol company

Organisers are praising the success of a multi-nation exercise – hosted by the UK – that aimed to test response to serious cyber crime. Exercise Silver Shadow, which was run by the National Crime Agency (NCA)’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and supported by the Home Office, saw …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2015

Telecoms provider Oricom working with NHS fraud officers in ongoing probe

Scottish telecoms provider Oricom has said it is working with NHS fraud officers in an ongoing investigation into its NHS contracts in Scotland. The statement follows reports in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record that its offices had been raided in relation to phone maintenance deals between Oricom and communications chiefs at …
Kat Hall, 08 Dec 2015
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Mobile bank upstart Tandem scores regulatory thumbs-up

Banking startup Tandem has been cleared to offer digital financial services in the UK. Tandem’s founders are pitching their bank as something that’s digital and mobile, and will challenge the high-street banking status quo. It joins a growing list of startups with a small number of staff and who are promising traditional bank …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Dec 2015
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Snooping Scottish plod to be taken to tribunal by spied-on detective

A former detective for Police Scotland who raised concerns regarding a bungled murder inquiry, and was subsequently targeted by anti-terrorism powers, has stated he will follow his complaint through to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. According to the Scottish Sunday Mail, which had pursued the initial story, Gerry Gallacher …
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IOCCO: Police 'reckless' for using terrorism powers on journo sources

An inspection by the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) into the targeting by Police Scotland of journalists' sources under anti-terrorism powers without a warrant has concluded the actions were committed with a disregard for human rights regulations, and were "reckless". The new commissioner, Sir …

Brit cops accused of abusing anti-terror laws to hunt colleague

Cleveland Police in the north east of England allegedly used counter-terrorism powers to hunt down a whistleblower within its ranks. That's according to a complaint filed to the UK's cop watchdog, the IPCC. Worryingly, the Cleveland force used the anti-terror powers to access the phone records of three journalists. The …
man and scottish flag photo via Shutterstock

Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth

As debate kicks off at Westminster over the surveillance powers of spies and the police, the 55 Scottish National Party lawmakers look likely to be a restraining influence. The party’s general election manifesto pledged to oppose the Snooper’s Charter. A decade ago, SNP MPs were among the first to oppose New Labour’s identity …
SA Mathieson, 12 Nov 2015

Akamai buys out Scottish web security firm Bloxx

Scottish websec firm Bloxx has been acquired by American giants Akamai in a cash deal, for an undisclosed amount, to shore up its cloud security services. Bloxx, established in 1999, had 55 employees spread between its facilities in West Lothian and Massachusetts. There has been no comment regarding restructuring at the …
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Cyber cop: Snoopers' Charter tag is offensive. Maybe we need a 'yes to snooping' tickbox?

Parliament & Internet Conf '15 A Scotland Yard cyber cop argued today that adding a tick box to online services could help the police respond faster to online crime and deal with the challenge of end-to-end encryption. DCI Andrew Gould, deputy head of the Met's cyber crime and fraud team (FALCON), reiterated the well-worn line about a loss of capabilities …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2015
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Capita given early Order of the Boot from £500m Post Office deal

Capita has been booted off a £500m deal with Fujitsu to supply a broadband network to the Post Office, following reports of underperformance by the outsourcer. In 2012 the Post Office signed up Fujitsu for the five year deal to provide its "next-generation network (NGN) broadband experience combined with enhanced customer care …
Kat Hall, 26 Oct 2015