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Swiss iOS clock

OK, maths wonks: PRIME TIME has arrived

Every Reg reader knows that a prime number is divisible only by one and itself. But did you also know that today is a big day for prime numbers? When the clock ticks over to 2:03:05 on November the 7th, 2013, the universe will experience an unusual alignment of prime numbers as the time becomes 02:03:05:07:11:13. Before you …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2013

Word wonks insist GIFs are really JIFs

Not content with somehow managing to proclaim ‘GIF’ the USA’s word of the year for 2012, the lexicographers at Oxford Dictionaries now insist that the correct pronunciation of the word does not use a hard g, as in golf. The dictionary chose GIF as its word of the year because the USA has gone GIF-crazy. Making satirical GIFs of …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2012

G-Cloud boss begs UK.gov wonks: 'Speak out against s**t IT'

The UK government's technology shopping catalogue G-Cloud is creeping through the corridors of power - but a wave of outsourcing decisions has sapped Whitehall’s ability to set the nation's tech strategy, and the entrenched interests of incumbent IT suppliers stand in its way. That’s the takeaway from outgoing G-Cloud director …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Yahoo! wonks! brace! for! lay-offs!

Job cuts at Yahoo! are reportedly coming before the year is out, with about 650 lay-offs at the Carol Bartz-run firm expected to kick off on 13 December. Blake Irving. Who me? It's mostly Blake Irving's staff facing the chop, say sources All Things Digital, which cited sources familiar with the situation, said Yahoo! is to …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2010
Mildura is still marked in the wrong place on Apple's iOS6 maps

Turnbull takes control of spatial data policy

Australia's Office of Spatial Policy (OSP) has announced it is about to be moved to the Department of Communications, a machinery of government change that will see it depart its current home in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. “The Office of what?” we hear you ask. Why's this in The Reg? The OSP is Australia's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2013
channel

Aussie gov web wonks declare clouds have grey areas

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), has raised legal and contractual issues as key concerns in government adoption of cloud computing. The office has released a consultation draft, "Cloud Computing Strategic Direction Paper, Opportunities and applicability for use by Australian Government", and has …

Mathematicians spark debate with 13 GB proof for Erdős problem

When Pierre de Fermat famously complained that he didn't have space to write the proof of his famous “Fermat's Last Theorem”, he only ran out of space of the margin of a book. Now, a pair of mathematicians at the University of Liverpool in the UK have produced a 13GB proof that's sparked a debate about how to test it. The …
European Union Flag

Euro wonks lay SMACKDOWN on draft data protection rules

DAPIX is the Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection, where delegations of civil servants from the European Union's member states discuss the Commission’s Data Protection Regulation. But the minutes of the meeting held on 23 and 24 February reveal that there are deep divisions as to the content of the …

Lenovo hires ex-CIA bod to push through Moto deal

Lenovo has hired former CIA and Homeland Security legal wonks to help push through its deals to buy Motorola Mobility and IBM’s x86 server business with US regulators, according to Bloomberg. The Chinese outfit is spending $US5 billion on the two big name acquisitions to become a top three player in both markets. People …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Feb 2014

Nudge Unit flies into Nesta's arms: Is the hype justified?

No 10's controversial "nudge unit" has been spun out into a company - but it hasn't fallen far from the nest. The 16-strong Behavioural Insights Team (as it's known) will become a private entity and will be able to tap into cash originally set aside for fledgling inventors. It will then sell its services back to the government …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Feb 2014
Asus' old Eee girl

Can't wait for 4G? Take heart, 5G is on the way

Mobile data volumes have increased 50 per cent in the year to June, having doubled over the year before that - so the crunch will always be with us. 5G just one of many data applications for spectrum that Ofcom wants you to think about. The regulator today published a spectrum consultation focusing on mobile data. Ofcom thinks …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2013
silent circle

Silent Circle shutters email service

Silent Circle, the company founded by former PGP wonks and Navy Seals and which offers very, very, secure communications, has decided to shutter its Silent Mail email service. The decision, announced in a blog post, comes on the same day that Lavabit, another secure email service, decided to close because it cannot guarantee …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2013
Oracle Termites

Oracle automates master data management workflow

Oracle has released a new product aimed at automating some master data management (MDM) chores. MDM is often spoken of when software companies discuss “a single version of the truth”, shorthand term for the tricky problem that arises when a company deals with related-but-differentiated entities. A single version of the truth is …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2013

Branson, Berners-Lee, Google, £2m: LET'S SAVE THE WORLD

Google is waving £2m in front of charities, promising to donate dollops of the dosh if the orgs develop tech that improves people's lives. The not-for-profit bodies are invited to apply and compete for the cash; four "data-driven" projects that successfully prove their worth will each get a £500,000 cheque from the advertising …
Team Register, 25 Mar 2013

Google pools cloud storage

Google has changed its approach to cloud storage, with individuals and business users of its apps now offered a pool of storage rather than silos dedicated to different services. Announced in an inevitable pair of blog posts, the Chocolate Factory is calling the new arrangement “unified storage”. Storage wonks wondering why …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2013
mio_spirit_TV_satnav_SM

Safety wonks condemn digital TV satnav

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has hit out at Mio’s latest satnavs, which allow drivers to catch some TV while driving. mio_spirit_TV_satnav Mio's TV satnav: RoSPA not pleased Mio’s 4.7in and 7in Spirit satnavs can pick up DVB-T signals, but only display a warning when TV mode is enabled, not while …
James Sherwood, 24 Jun 2009
The Register breaking news

Amazon goes legit with cloud certification plan

Watch out Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Dell, and HP. There's a new reassuringly dull certificate in town, and it's coming for your devs. Amazon Web Services has launched a global certfication program so that technologists can get something to stick on their CV and use as a lever to extract more cash from current and future employers …
Jack Clark, 30 Apr 2013

ThousandEyes interrogates apps as they flow through clouds

ThousandEyes has uncloaked, promising that its technology will give data center admins a better way to track performance and diagnose problems across varied IT infrastructures. The company launched on Wednesday at GigaOm Structure in San Francisco with $5.5m in funding from Sequoia Capital, and announced its own brand of app …
Jack Clark, 20 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Report: Microsoft tried and FAILED to offload Bing on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly declined to take Microsoft's Bing off the software vendor's hands last year. According to a New York Times report about Facebook and Microsoft's recent patent deal that once again underlined the strategic partnership between the two outfits, some Redmond execs were super-keen to offload its search …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Apr 2012

Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

BBC's Newsnight decided to get a reality check on Britain's economic miracle of East London's "Tech City Cluster" on Friday, and asked me if I'd like to contribute. With a hangover and not much sleep the night before? Of course I would. Radio 4's Today and BBC2's Newsnight are invitations you don't turn down if you think you've …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

FTC chief fends off critics over THAT Google decision

The propriety of the US Federal Trade Commission's decision not to take action against Google over allegations of search bias has repeatedly been questioned, after FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz recently confirmed that the multi-billion dollar corporation would not face anti-trust charges. He has now defended that finding by …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Tory think tank: Hey, civil servants! Work with startups to save £70bn

Articulated-truck-loads of paperwork awaiting the ministrations of a rubber stamp- or pen-wielding civil servant should soon be a thing of the past, according to Tory think tank Policy Exchange. It wants to see bureaucrats mashing up APIs with Silicon Roundabout startups instead and leaders "driv[ing] digital into the DNA of …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Sacrebleu! Googleplex insists Bush is still le président américain

Google wonks beavering away at translating snippets of French into the English language might wish to take note of the following fact - their system thinks "le président américain" is "Bush". That's George W Bush, we suppose. Reg reader Robert spotted the amusing cockup when he tried to translate an article from daily French …
Team Register, 20 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Sleepy North Yorkshire village is first to get gov-subsidised BT fibre

After a long delay, the Ministry of Fun has finally signed off the first BT broadband cabinet - supported by BDUK funds - to deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbit/s to residents in a North Yorkshire village. Broadband minister Ed Vaizey paid a visit to Ainderby Steeple today to show off the first such cabinet that some have …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

UK telecoms provider O2 has refused to deny that it is planning to offload its fixed line home broadband product later this year. According to a source close to the situation, O2 - which is currently undergoing an upgrade of its broadband service over to a single core network - is mulling over a sale of its local-loop unbundling …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jan 2013
Matijevic Hill, current location of the Opportunity Rover

Opportunity celebrates nine years on Mars

Mean time between failure wonks take note: The Opportunity rover launched in 2003 and expected to survive 90 days on Mars today racks up nine years of continuous operations on the red planet. That's 3195 days longer than first planned. Opportunity was hauled into orbit by a Delta II rocket on July 7th, 2003. A little over six …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Mysterious Facebook product plumps up shares on Wall Street

Facebook's stock went north on Wall Street - reaching $32 a share yesterday for the first time since July 2011 - basking in the glow of the free content ad network's imminent product announcement. The company sent out invites to the press last week to "come and see what we're building". Surprisingly, the details of what will be …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jan 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
Facebook v Myspace, source:comScore

Myspace mutates Windows 8 with new look

Myspace* has released a video that shows off a new look that, at first glance, owes a fair bit to the design thinking behind Windows 8, with a dash of Pinterest thrown in for good measure. The once-dominant social network, infamously acquired by Rupert Murdoch for US$580m in 2005 and then offloaded Specific Media for a paltry US …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Sep 2012

Report: Cloud could slash biz software energy use by 87%

If every US company would shift its core business-software applications from in-house equipment to the cloud, the amount of energy used by that software could be reduced by as much as 87 per cent, a new study claims. The study, which was published on Tuesday, was conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – a government …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2013

VCE zaps vBlocks with shrink ray

VCE, the stack-in-a-box vendor jointly owned by EMC, Intel, VMware and Cisco, is working on smaller versions of its vBlocks and also plans to build versions of its products optimised to run certain applications. VCE Chief Technology Officer Trey Layton said the company is already working on an eensy-weensy vBlock for …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Broadband minister admits rural rollout by 2015 is 'challenging target'

Broadband minister Ed Vaizey has confessed that the government's £530m pledge to deploy a faster fibre network to rural areas by 2015 is "a challenging target". Speaking with MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Vaizey said that his department was "running as fast as we can" to deliver on time. …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Oh, those crazy Frenchies: Facebook faces family photo tax in France

Facebook should pay the French government for hosting the holiday photos and status updates of the French people, a new report commissioned by the French government has suggested. The new 200-page report* on taxing the digital economy - commissioned by four French Cabinet Ministers - proposes that France should tax data …
Anna Leach, 24 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

O2 3G stops giving punters' mobile numbers to websites

After a flurry of complaints, O2 engineers appear to have shut off the proxy server quirk that leaked to websites the phone numbers of punters browsing the net on 3G connections. The disclosure that affected all users of O2's 3G network on iPhone and Android in the UK was highlighted earlier today. O2 has yet to issue an …
Anna Leach, 25 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Most brain science papers are neurotrash: Official

A group of academics from Oxford, Stanford, Virginia and Bristol universities have looked at a range of subfields of neuroscience and concluded that most of the results are statistically worthless. The researchers found that most structural and volumetric MRI studies are very small and have minimal power to detect differences …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Wireless wonks face shrinking economy, vanishing porn

We're into the third day of Mobile World Congress, the annual shindig of the mobile industry, and now that the urgent meetings are over and the big news has been released, talk turns to the state of the industry - and the state of the congress itself. Attendance is down around 25 per cent, which is being heralded as a good thing …
Bill Ray, 18 Feb 2009
The Register breaking news

Congratulations, freetards: You are THE FIVE PER CENT

Meet the most pampered group in the UK. Bankers? Farmers? Wind-farm operators? The depressed river mussel? Actually, none of the above. It's copyright infringers. New research from UK communications regulator Ofcom shows that filling your boots with pirate downloads remains risk free and a money saver, particularly if you like …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Google AND Yahoo! hijacked in Ireland after domain namespace grab

Google and Yahoo!'s Irish domains were briefly hijacked on Tuesday afternoon, the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) has confirmed. Fraud officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation are said to be investigating how malefactors were able to take the websites offline for several hours after mischievously changing both Yahoo.ie …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Revealed! Prime Minister's iPad 'dashboard' for controlling Britain

Undoubtedly the biggest IT story of the day - if not the year - is the news that David Cameron's custom "iPad app" is now in testing. All credit to the BBC for breaking this sensational development. Furious exchanges took place on Twitter this morning as both the Beeb and the Daily Telegraph claimed credit for the scoop. Fair …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Facebook wunderkind admits share price Zuck-up on stage

In his first big interview since taking Facebook onto Wall Street with all the savoir-faire of a tramp in a dirty Santa outfit, internet billionaire Mark Zuckerberg has confessed that his company must do better. He added that performance of the free-content ad firm's stock "has obviously been disappointing". The 28-year-old exec …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Sep 2012

Wireless wonks celebrate 35th anniversary of first cell call

April 3 marks the 35th anniversary of the world’s first cellular phone call, and to celebrate, former NFL hero Steve Largent has presented a priapic monolith to the man who made that call back in the spring of 1973. Largent is now the president and CEO of the CTIA wireless association, and this morning, at the association's …
Cade Metz, 02 Apr 2008
VMware logo

VMware offers cloud construction mind meld as a service

Everything you and the world's greatest process wonks know about building and operating data centres is wrong if you're assembling a private cloud, says VMware, and only its new Cloud Ops offering - billed as a "New Operating Model for the Cloud Era" - can help you do it right. That's the message from VMworld 2012 in San …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2012

Facebook shoves biz pal Microsoft aside, unzips new Graph Search

Facebook took a major step away from Microsoft on Tuesday by confirming it had built a search product for its network without any involvement from its Redmondian biz partner, which has a $240m stake in Mark Zuckerberg's ad empire. While it remains the case that Microsoft's Bing continues to power web search on Facebook, the …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Europe must shift R&D from car gizmos to infrastructure, honks wonk

Europe needs to focus on infrastructure and intelligent transport systems, one of the EU's top transport policy wonks said today, introducing the 13th EU Hitachi Science & Technology Forum in London. According to Marcel Rommerts from the EU's Directorate General of Mobility and Transport, the bulk of transport research money in …
Anna Leach, 11 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Hello? You'll never guess where I am ... I'm under a ferry

Channel Tunnel passengers will be able to continue chatting unabated while being whisked along 45 metres below the seabed, just in time for the 2012 Olympics. That’s according to The Telegraph. Eurotunnel wonks aren't confirming anything until the official announcement which, we understand, will come tomorrow from the French …
Bill Ray, 05 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Google rejigs search bar (again)

Google is scrapping its short-lived black search navigation bar in favour of a new design that falls into line with the company's increasingly uniformed social network platform brand. It's no longer satisfactory enough for Google to let visitors to its search engine simply pull up results based on queries those individuals type …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Feds slurp WikiLeaker's email with secret court order

Information about WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum’s emails could already be in the hands of the US government after wonks obtained secret court orders against Google and Sonic.net. The Wall Street Journal says it has seen documents showing that the two companies failed in their opposition to the court orders. However, the …
The Register breaking news

EC: Apple claimed Motorola demanded ALL ITS PATENTS

Motorola Mobility said it would only hand over licences for its standards-essential patents to Apple if the fruity firm licensed all of its patent portfolio in return, Apple apparently revealed to the European Commission. Eagle-eyed Reg readers pointed out that in the European Commission's report [PDF, relevant information is on …
The Register breaking news

Beijing to get free Wi-Fi with obvious strings attached

Over the next five years Beijing will get 480,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots, but using them will require a mobile number and an agreement to have your activities tracked and monitored. The network is being put together by China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, and will be free to use for least the next three years. However, …
Bill Ray, 03 Nov 2011
Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) scanner in action

Neurotrash creativity 'expert' created Dylan quotes from thin air

A self-appointed expert who used brain scans to "demystify" human creativity has admitted he was overly creative in his "journalism". Jonah Lehrer confessed that he made-up quotes he had attributed to Bob Dylan, and has quit his job at the New Yorker magazine. Journalist and author Lehrer is a kind of cut-price Malcolm Gladwell …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2012