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The Register breaking news

Shatner faces final frontier as Priceline.com spokesman

Priceline.com has decided to milk the last dregs from an increasingly portly franchise by roasting spokesman William Shatner in a fiery death. Shatner has milked many iconic roles, not least Captain James Tiberius Kirk, singer, sanitized Twitter soap star, and the best-forgotten TJ Hooker, but his regular appearances as …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2012
Urinating deer

Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors

A wildlife animal park in Switzerland has hit upon a novel idea to ensure its restaurants don’t run out of food, by serving up meat from some of the exhibits. The Langenberg, nestled to the west of Lake Zurich, houses brown bears, wolves, elk, wild boar and other beasties, but as well as gawping at their majesty, visitors can …
Paul Kunert, 12 Oct 2014

Plane grounded so cops can cuff semi-legless passenger

A Thomson flight from Tunisia to Edinburgh was diverted to Gatwick airport on Wednesday night after a female passenger allegedly threatened cabin crew with a false leg. As cops escorted her from the aircraft, other passengers bade her farewell with a rendition of The Hokey Cokey, STV reports. A Sussex Police spokesman confirmed …
Lester Haines, 01 Aug 2014
Samsungs_Mitchinson

Huawei's top UK mobile man walks out in shock resignation

Mark Mitchinson, executive veep of Huawei's UK and Ireland consumer devices division, will leave the Chinese firm at the end of the month. Mitchison headed the consumer devices division for three years, but trade magazine Mobile reports that he is to leave on 30 September. Mobile speculates that he will be returning to his alma …
Simon Rockman, 22 Sep 2014
Aerial still of the Dallas Cowboys stadium

Dallas Cowboys to return 'dumbass' Texan's chopper

The Dallas Cowboys have located the quadcopter which a self-confessed "dumbass" pilot planted on the roof of the team's AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the local Star-Telegram reports. The unnamed operator's DJI Phantom Vision went into "return to home" mode when he "let the building get between me and the transmitter", as he …
Lester Haines, 11 Jun 2014

CCL Computers probing source of fake virus-riddled dispatch mail

Bradford-based reseller CCL Computers is investigating the origins of a fake dispatch email containing a virus that was today sent by a third party to at least a thousand of the firm's customers. The tracking details on the standard template were legitimate, say sources who received the mail, as they pointed to a genuine …
Paul Kunert, 31 Mar 2014

Want a customer's call records Mr Plod? No probs

Three of the UK’s four largest mobe networks run automated systems that make customers’ call records readily available to the cops without the need for any human intervention. EE, Vodafone and Three pass on customer data ‘like a cash machine”, an employee at one phone company told The Guardian. All operators must store …
Paul Kunert, 12 Oct 2014

Super Cali optimistic cloud is now a focus – even though the sound of it is something quite

California has become the first state in the US to shift a massive chunk of its government computing system to the cloud – and dubbed it CalCloud. "CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California," said Marybel …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2014
Grumpy cat

Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

Virgin Media has declined to comment on yet another DNS outage that hit some of its subscribers on Monday night. The telco, when quizzed by The Register, admitted that it had suffered yet more downtime woe but refused to explain what was behind the company's recent network wobbles. A spokesman at the Liberty Global-owned cable …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jul 2014
Parrot Ar.Drone

Fire fighters call for no-drone zone around bushfires

Australia faces another serious bush fire season and authorities have warned that fire-fighting helicopters may have to be grounded if drone-owners can't resist the temptation to fly over fire-grounds. ABC News is reporting that the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has asked amateur drone operators to stay away from fires. Last …

Online tat bazaar eBay collapses in UK

Online tat bazaar eBay has collapsed in the UK, with intermittent outages affecting people around the country. Users told The Reg that the community forums, messaging facility and the "My eBay page" were crippled. According to Down Detector, the problems started at about 9am this morning. An eBay spokesman told us: "Some users …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Nov 2014
Zuckerberg new news feed

SHOW ME the MONEY: Payment code spied in Facebook Messenger

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments code has been spotted in Facebook's Messenger app by Andrew Aude, a Stanford student: but the massive advertising company has refused to confirm it's working on payments technology. "We don’t comment on rumour or speculation," a spokesman at the free content ad network told The Register when quizzed …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Oct 2014
Smug ginger tom

EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

EE has dismissed claims that its social media staff are attempting to hush fair criticism levelled at the mobile operator on sites such as Facebook. A company spokesman told The Register that it was wrong for subscribers to claim that they were being silenced by EE just for posting complaints about the network online. EE has …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2014

Cyber-hoodlum tripped, fell, landed in Obama's Healthcare.gov server

Officials at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have today confirmed that one of the Healthcare.gov servers was hacked. The system was compromised in July, when an as-yet unidentified miscreant managed to worm his or her way in and install malware. The security breach was spotted and the machine – which was …
Iain Thomson, 05 Sep 2014
management social5

Fujitsu on hunt for UK directors after re-jig

Fujitsu is in headhunting mode to fill some senior positions in the UK following a revamp of the company structure, El Chan can reveal. The local big boss Duncan Tate is moving to head up the EMEA and India regions but will continue to look after Blighty until a successor is found, the company confirmed. "We still have the UK …
Paul Kunert, 03 Apr 2014
Homer Simpson reading on PC

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

Budding tech teens - who have taken close to 40 hours of Computing GCSE controlled assessments - face the agony of seeing some of their work scrapped by a leading Brit exam board, after it said it was withdrawing tasks for key units amid cheating claims. Awarding body the OCR, which is part of Cambridge Assessment, had posted an …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

Facebook has hit back at its critics after the social network instructed researchers to meddle with its users' "news feeds" in order to manipulate their emotions. The free-content ad network sparked anger when it emerged its data scientist Adam Kramer gave a green light to trick-cyclists to filter out positive and negative posts …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014
Grumpy cat

EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

Many T-Mobile customers in the UK were without access to the EE-owned network on Friday, after the service went titsup due to a "broken fibre cable". EE said this morning that its engineers had worked overnight to get the network back up and running, but it surprisingly didn't apologise for the major disruption to its service in …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

PM promises change as police interview ex-spokesman

Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World and Prime Minister's former official spokesman, is being interviewed by the Metropolitan Police about allegations that – despite his earlier denial – he knew about phone-hacking at the paper during his tenure. Another as-yet-unnamed senior journalist at the paper also …
John Leyden, 08 Jul 2011

'Chinese hackers' pop US weather bureau, flatten forecast feeds

Chinese hackers have breached the USA's weather forecasting systems, disrupting emergency and disaster planning in a hack one US congressman described as a cover-up, the Washington Post reports. The September hack was not discussed internally by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until 20 October and even …
Darren Pauli, 13 Nov 2014
Peter Capaldi as Dr Who. Credit: BBC

Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Ofcom has declined to probe the BBC after it received complaints about the screening of a kiss between a lizard-like character and her human wife during an episode of Doctor Who. The watchdog received half a dozen complaints after the characters, played by Neve McIntosh and Catrin Stewart, shared a crafty live-saving snog* as …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Aug 2014
Houses of Parliament at night-time

Data protection laws come to the rescue of poor, underpaid UK MPs

UK lawmakers may escape further expense abuse investigations after paperwork related to pre-2010 claims was shredded by parliamentary authorities in accordance with data protection regulations, sparking accusations of a fresh cover-up of MPs’ expenses. Houses of Parliament at night-time Under the House of Commons' "Authorised …
John Leyden, 03 Nov 2014
Old Bailey Lady Justice

More Home Office and MoJ jobs could move abroad, union warns

Jobs at the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office could be next in line to be offshored to India, the PCS union has warned, with both departments joining a £1bn shared services venture with outsourcing giant Steria. The Shared Services Connected (SSCL) joint venture, in which Steria owns a 75 per cent stake and the Cabinet …
Kat Hall, 31 Oct 2014

Former Tech Data UK beancounters may face rubber-glove treatment

The Financial Reporting Council will probe the processes used by staff linked to Tech Data UK's monumental three-year financial blunder. Blighty's largest technology distributor, previously known as Computer 2000, unearthed accountancy errors for fiscal 2011, 2012 and 2013 last spring. A subsequent internal investigation forced …
Paul Kunert, 12 May 2014
Stock ticker board

Acer coughs to insider trading probe on 2 staffers

Senior execs implementing a turnaround strategy at sickly PC maker Acer have another plate to spin after prosecutors stormed the firm's HQ in Taiwan over an insider trading probe. Ten peeps, some of whom are still employed by the firm, were held and quizzed about the alleged offence, according to the New Taipei District …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2014
Fraud image

Microsoft confirms Office 365 price rise

Life is about to get more expensive for some folk living in Microsoft's Office 365 world with a 15 per cent price hike in the offing from August. This is the first time Redmond has decided to ignore the unwritten laws of the cloudy industry by upping its price list for punters - those with an Enterprise Agreement that haven't …
Paul Kunert, 03 Jul 2014
This chicken is under attack [Click to enlarge]

Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

After several millennia of global dominance, the human species is still uncertain about the motivations of those chickens that choose to cross the road. But last Monday, officers from the Portland Police Department got the opportunity to tackle this most insoluble of philosophical problems after a plucky clucker ventured into …
Jasper Hamill, 19 Aug 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Misery for Virgin Media mobe customers over mysterious 'EE data centre gaffe'

An unknown number of Virgin Media customers, who have been complaining about a shocking mobile service for at least the past fortnight, are being asked to wait for EE to resolve a technical blunder at its data centre. Gripes about new SIM cards that were recently issued by Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media have spiked in recent …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014

UK cops: Give us ONE journo's phone records. Vodafone: Take the WHOLE damn database!

Blundering Vodafone leaked the phone records of 1,760 Brit journalists and their colleagues to London's Met Police, a UK watchdog confirmed on Tuesday. The cops had used surveillance laws to demand information on one particular journo's calls. But after realizing Vodafone had handed over records on hundreds of journalists, the …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Nov 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

A Register reporter has been let away with a slap on the wrist after confessing to what the cops claim is an act of terrorism. According to the Metropolitan Police, anyone caught watching a sickening beheading video will be treated like a terrorist. Lawyer and legal commentator David Allen Green challenged that claim – and we …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Aug 2014

Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

Nearly half of the unionised techies at the UK's Ministry of Justice have voted to strike over proposals that could shift IT service work into the private sector. At the heart of the matter is the Cabinet Office's excitingly titled Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, which was published in March 2013: the strategy's …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2014
Planet Labs' Doves in their coop

Look out, world! Space Station satellite cannon has A MIND OF ITS OWN

A satellite launcher deployed on the International Space Station has surprised astronauts by firing off its payload without human intervention. The CubeSat Deployer, manufactured by Texas firm NanoRacks, is designed to emit its miniature satellites on a strict schedule – but the spacemen noticed that the cannon appeared to be …
Iain Thomson, 05 Sep 2014
The zone where Australian planes are searching for MH370 debris

MH370 'pings' dismissed as false positives

A US Navy official has gone on the record as saying that the “pings” first thought to have come from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 probably weren't from the aircraft's black box – and has almost immediately been spurned by his bosses. Back in April, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott held a press conference in which …

Bullish Vodafone barges back into UK consumer broadband market

Vodafone is plotting to re-enter the UK's competitive broadband market in 2015 – with a little help from arch enemy BT. The mobile operator said this morning that it would use the Cable & Wireless Worldwide network it bought in 2012 to tout its rival service at Brits. That acquisition gifted Voda with access to nearly 13,000 …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2014

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Imperial traditionalists have expressed dismay that allotments will henceforth be measured in metres, thereby ending a 600-year-old system of staking out municipal veg patches in poles. According to the Daily Mail, shocked gardeners have received rent renewal notices from their town halls reclassifying the standard "10 pole" …
Lester Haines, 24 Mar 2014
A boat full of Fail

Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline

Time Warner Cable is staggering back to its feet after wrestling with a major network outage that hit a number of big cities in the US on both the East and West Coast of the country this morning. A spike in users being kicked offline was reported by Down Detector around six hours ago. Most Americans who are Time Warner Cable …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2014

Google rivals GAGGED from exposing ad giant's EU search peace offering

How exactly Google will overhaul its web-search engine in Europe is unlikely to be aired in public: the European Commission's competition officials have sent out copies of the advertising giant's package of concessions to its rivals for comment – along with a requirement for them to agree to confidentiality clauses. Despite …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2013
Spam image

Ten years on, TEN PER CENT of retailers aren't obeying CAN-SPAM

One in 10 of the world’s largest online retailers are sill violating the CAN-SPAM Act, a full 10 years after the US anti-spam legislation went into effect. The finding comes from an audit by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust. They also found that 70 per cent of 200 online …
John Leyden, 18 Sep 2014

NHS quango fatcats spend £2m tax dosh on iPads and iPhones

Government health chiefs have admitted to spending millions of pounds furnishing bureaucrats with Apple iPhones and fondleslabs. Taxpayers forked out more than £2m to buy iThings for the staff of NHS non-departmental public bodies, which are arms-length government organisations more commonly known as quangos. Dr Daniel Poulter …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Oct 2014
chain_relationship_channel

Distie titan TD Azlan to cut ties with Huawei

TD Azlan is quietly and gradually cutting ties with Huawei Enterprise, according to multiple sources close to the matter. The pair previously came within touching distance of signing a European partnership in 2011, but at the eleventh hour pressure from Cisco — one of Huawei's main rivals — saw US management at parent Tech Data …
Paul Kunert, 30 Oct 2014
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

US taxmen won't say WHY they're probing Microsoft. So Redmond is suing the IRS

The US Internal Revenue Service has been digging into Microsoft's tax records from 2004 through 2009, and Redmond has filed a lawsuit against the government to find out why. In documents [PDF] filed with the US District Court of the District of Columbia on Monday, Microsoft alleges that the IRS has failed to respond to a Freedom …
Neil McAllister, 24 Nov 2014
management consumerisation

Fujitsu Services ordered to reveal size of pay scale for ALL TECHIES

An arbitration court has sided with the Unite union and ordered Fujitsu Services to go open kimono about employee's pay structure, in a bid to aid collective bargaining during the annual pay review. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) — an independent dispute resolution body with statuary powers — received a complaint from …
Paul Kunert, 31 Oct 2014
Back of iPhone 5

Trundle, trundle, FLEEEP: iPhone 6 production grinds to halt

The production of Apple's iPhone 6 has reportedly hit a major snag after the redesign of a screen component caused a supply shortage. Pegatron, which builds iStuff for Apple, 'fessed up to the problem and admitted a key component was in short supply. "Currently, there's a small shortage in supply of a specialised component for …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Aug 2014
DNS? It's a real bind

DNS cockup locks Virgin Media customers out of ntlworld.com email

Virgin Media customers who retained their old @ntlworld.com email addresses are currently blocked from accessing their accounts after the cable company appeared to have made an embarrassing DNS blunder. Legacy NTL account names have apparently been spitting out DNS errors when messages were sent to those email addresses since …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Aug 2014
The Pirate Bay logo

Plusnet is working on a network-level filter to block pirate sites

Plusnet is developing its own network-level filter to allow subscribers to censor content on its broadband service as well as help the telco suffocate access to websites linking to pirated material, The Register has learned. The Sheffield-based ISP, which is owned by telecoms giant BT, confirmed to us that its censorship tool …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014

'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

As opposition to the Association of Chief Police Officers' campaign to impose random spot checks on lawful gun owners' security arrangements grows, El Reg managed to get some responses out of the police chiefs' trade union. “We have not encouraged forces to use any powers of entry at all, however should the need arise depending …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Oct 2014
By michandryan  http://www.flickr.com/photos/49291777@N05/  licensed under creative commons attribution

Dell disputes 15k layoff figure: Only a few staffers accepted 'voluntary separations'

Dell has denied it is laying off north of 15,000 people, and told The Register today that our sources' numbers are "inaccurate". Here is Dell Round Rock spokesman David Frink’s email to us in full: Your story this morning reporting that Dell is laying off 15,000 employees this week/imminently is wildly inaccurate. I can confirm …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2014

Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report

A worker at a US government contractor is suspected of being the second leaker who turned over sensitive documents on the US government's terrorist watch list to journalist Glenn Greenwald, according to recent reports. The FBI reportedly searched the suspect's home and opened a criminal case, according to unnamed law enforcement …
John Leyden, 28 Oct 2014
Sarcasm detector Simpsons

Oh, wow. US Secret Service wants a Twitter sarcasm-spotter

The US Secret Service wants to identify sarcastic tweeters from the serious in a bid that will surely cause its software to sink and buckle. A tender issued by the security agency sought a way to determine sentiment, identify influencers and section off those exercising the lowest form of wit across the twitter sphere. In what …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jun 2014
That 419 shirt artwork in full

Bank IT bod accused of stealing $40 MEEELLION from employer

If you get an email from a hapless Nigerian prince who needs a hand shifting a few million dollars, the message will no doubt wing its way into your spam folder. But should you get a plea for help from a Nigerian sysadmin, you may want to take a second look: the Nigerian government's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( …
Iain Thomson, 16 Sep 2014