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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

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
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

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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
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 …
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

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

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
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
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
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
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
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
Bouncer the dog, from Neighbours

Stone the crows, Bouncer! BT defends TV recorder upgrade DELETION snafu

BT has dismissed gripes about a recent upgrade to its television recorder box, after the telco giant's update deleted programmes and came loaded with glitches. A reader told The Register that he only got a two-day warning that everything on his BT Vision kit would be wiped when the software was upgraded. Exactly that happened, …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 May 2014
Addonics NASU2 NAS adaptor

Do you use NAS drives? For work? One just LEAKED secret cash-machine blueprints

Some personal desktop storage devices are leaking top corporate secrets to the internet – in one case, the designs for a hole-in-the-wall cash machine. That's according to intelligence biz Digital Shadows, which tries to work out how proprietary and personal information accidentally escapes network boundaries. We're told one …
John Leyden, 13 May 2014
BBC logo 2012

ICO probes BBC after secret British army unit's info LEAKED

A BBC Panorama researcher who leaked confidential material from the programme's production company to the target of an investigation allegedly also leaked highly sensitive data about a secret British army unit. According to a report in the Independent, the UK's privacy regulator has been notified of what appears to be a serious …
Team Register, 03 Jul 2014
Lenovo ThinkPad 8

For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Lenovo has pulled some 8-inch Windows tablet models from the US market, citing lack of demand, but a Lenovo spokesman has told The Register that contrary to reports, the Chinese firm has no intention of giving up on smaller Windows fondleslabs in the US. ITworld was first to claim that the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 and the smaller model …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014

EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

EE customers are struggling to access the mobile network. A number of subscribers have reported seeing "PDP authentication failure" error messages on their smartphones, but EE has yet to put out an official announcement about the tech blunder. It told one user in a muted tweet that the company was "aware of the issue and are …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2014

BT and TalkTalk BOTH claim victory as Ofcom tackles fibre price row

TalkTalk claims it has won a crucial battle in its war on BT's alleged stranglehold of Blighty's fibre broadband market. Today, Ofcom proposed regulating the way BT sets its prices for superfast broadband – to ensure there's an ample margin between the amount it charges ordinary folks and the amount it charges rival ISPs to use …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2014
Gun and dollars

Samsung in Brazilian strip: Robbers snatch $6.3m in gear from plant

Armed robbers have snatched $6.3m in smartphones, tablets and computers from the Samsung Electronics factory in São Paulo, Brazil. The bandits got into the complex by carjacking a shuttle used by factory employees, and held workers hostage while clearing out truckloads of loot, Reuters reported a spokesman for the state’s public …

Cabinet Office admits it was forced to extend tech procurement rig

Cabinet Office was forced to paper over cracks in its procurement strategy by extending an infrastructure kit framework for two-thirds of a year as replacements remained way off completion, a spokesman admitted. The Commodity IT Hardware & Software (CITHS) agreement had been set to go cold at the start of March having run for …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2014

Serco welcomes former CSC boss to run gov unit

Gardening leave is almost over for former CSC UK bigwig Liz Benison, who is set to rock up at Serco to run its Brit and European local and regional government division from the start of next month. As revealed by The Channel back in April, Benison was replaced at the CSC helm by ex-Cognizant veep Dr Sanjiv Gossain, at the same …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2014
Poster for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Waterfront flats plan for IBM's UK HQ as housing market goes bananas

Office space leased by IBM at its UK headquarters could become waterfront apartments – if a planning application submitted to Portsmouth City Council is approved. The North Harbour Unit Trust, which filed the paperwork, wants a ”partial change of use to 108 residential units" at Big Blue's base in the Lakeside development on …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2014

German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

The German government has ordered the local station chief of the CIA to leave the country immediately – after a second German government official was arrested in an investigation into US surveillance on its erstwhile ally. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014

You can put away the microscope – you can see Acer's profit from HERE (for a change)

Red ink was again conspicuously absent from Taiwanese device slinger Acer’s second quarter numbers, despite continued sale slippage. The biz turned in a net profit of NT$486m (£9.6m, $16.1m) for the calendar quarter versus a net loss of NT$343m (£6.77m, $11.3m) a year ago when it had stumped up for rising DRAM prices and …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2014
Facebook

What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve antitrust …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Virgin Media customers were kicked offline last night, after a DNS blunder from the cable company disrupted its network on Tuesday. It comes after rival BT suffered a similar, widespread technical cockup over the weekend. Virgin Media, which is owned by US telecoms giant Liberty Global, coughed to a "nationwide DNS outage" on …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Jul 2014
Facebook

Facebook app now reads your smartphone's text messages? THE TRUTH

Facebook's updated Android app can read text messages on the user's smartphone. The tweaked software now demands access to SMS and MMS messages, and the change was spotted yesterday by blogger Tony Calileo. "This is just one of a bunch of new permissions the app is requesting for this update, but it's probably the most alarming …
John Leyden, 29 Jan 2014

Chicago cabs embroiled in debit-card breach claim mystery as bank tells folks: Pay by cash

Illinois' First American Bank is advising folks in Chicago to pay their taxi fares in cash rather than by card – amid allegations of a computer security breach in the payment processing chain used by cabbies. It is not clear exactly where or how debit or credit card details are allegedly being copied and siphoned off to crooks. …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Mar 2014
Parliament in the clouds

Cabinet Office: Hey, forget those multi-BILLION pound deals...

The Cabinet Office has insisted the multi-billion pound software and hardware framework that is about to surface will complement and not overshadow its cloud-first policy. At the end of October, some £63.4m had been transacted on CloudStore since its launch in March 2012. The web catalogue lists accredited public sector …
Paul Kunert, 26 Nov 2013

MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

A huge, enigmatic crater which has suddenly appeared in a remote region of Siberia was definitely not caused by an unidentified object falling from space, the Russian authorities insist. The mysterious crater seen from a passing helicopter. Credit: Konstantin Nikolaev "We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No …
Lewis Page, 18 Jul 2014
TrackingPoint ShotView on Glass

Gunmaker finds KILLER APP for Google Glass

A US firearms manufacturer is touting a system that would allow a shooter to aim and fire a device via a wearable headset such as Google Glass. TrackingPoint said that its ShotView software could be used with wearable headsets, mobile phones, or tablets to provide a direct feed with video and data from its Precision Guided …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2014
flag.Wales

BT scoops up Wales PSN contracts, elbows out Logicalis

BT has pipped Logicalis to be the preferred supplier to provide the Welsh public sector with broadband and other IP services in a contract valued at up to £420m over its lifetime. This is a blow for the Welsh Slough-based Logicalis, which from 2007 built a public sector network (PSN) for Wales - the first in Europe - to provide …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2014

No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

BT's new network-level nudie no-no filter system will block access to sites promoting proxies and anonymisers, The Register has learned. However, the one-time national telco has insisted that it won't choke VPN connections over its network now that its Parental Controls service, using DNS lookup technology, is in place. On …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Dec 2013

Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage

Online marketplace eBay went titsup for an unknown number of customers in the UK this morning, but the company has been very slow to respond to complaints. When quizzed about the outage by The Register, eBay 'fessed up to yet more wobbles with its tat bazaar. “We are investigating reports that certain eBay features are …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Aug 2014

'Inaccurate' media misleads public on European Court's Google ruling

“Inaccurate reporting” of Google’s fight against privacy rights in Europe last month risks misleading the public, says the Information Commissioner's Office – which safeguards those rights in the UK. When a Spanish citizen demanded the removal of links in search results to news articles mentioning an old debt, Google claimed it …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Jun 2014
Kindle Big Brother

UK.gov wants public sector to rip up data protection law

The British government is in the preliminary stages of designing a controversial system which will share citizens' sensitive personal information across government departments without their consent. Leaked documents show civil servants are planning to mimic the data-sharing systems used by firms like Amazon or Tesco. This could …
Team Register, 04 Aug 2014