Videos

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20 years on: The satirist's satirist Peter Cook remembered

Feature It is 20 years since his death – and 50 years since his first comeback – but the reputation of the UK’s most influential comic and satirist, Peter Cook, is beginning to fade. Phil Strongman attempts to put the record straight ... Last year saw John Cleese receive the accolade of being voted the greatest British comedian of all …
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Thunderstrike shocks OS X with firmware bootkit

Reverse engineer Trammell Hudson has created an attack dubbed Thunderstrike which can quietly, persistently and virally compromise Apple Macs from boot. The Thunderstruck attack uses 35 year-old legacy option ROMs to replace the RSA keys in a Mac's extensible firmware interface (EFI) to allow malicious firmware to be installed …
Darren Pauli, 8 Jan 2015
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CES: WELCOME YOUR ROBOT OVERLORDS... and, er, co-workers

CES 2015 Las Vegas. The strip. A blight on the American desert until you've sunk a few margaritas, ideally by 11am, when suddenly you'll find it all makes sense. Or so your humble hack has heard. If you've ever been to Sin City, especially during a mega-convention like CES 2015, you can perhaps forgive one tech biz for preferring to send …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jan 2015
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Antarctic boffins hope stratospheric gravity wave hunter returns to Earth

Boffins in Antarctica are nervously watching the skies for the planned descent of an instrument package hoisted into the stratosphere on January 1 with the aim of seeking out gravity waves. The experiment, called SPIDER, combines a polarimeter designed to look for signals that would either validate or exclude “GUT-scale” (grand …
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ISS Robonaut gets LEGLESS ... in spaaaace

There's nothing to spoil an unboxing like a product that doesn't work. That's the unfortunate fate of NASA's beloved Robonaut 2 project: during December, International Space Station (ISS) astronauts tried adding legs to the machine, but they didn't work. Robonaut has been helping with ISS chores for some time. Last year, …
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Mock choc shock: 3D candy printer is good news for sweet-toothed swingbellies

CES 2015 Behold the latest marvel of wonder technology: the CocoJet, a 3D printer that can create intricate chocolate structures that will then be crushed in eager mouths. Youtube Video The machine, built by 3D Systems, uses nozzles to pump down dark, milk, and white chocolate onto software-specified designs. The brown stuff comes from …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jan 2015
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NASA to launch microwave SPACE LASSO to probe Earth's wet spots

Video At the end of the month, NASA will launch one of its most unusual satellites yet: a radar hurling a 19-foot-long (6-metre) mesh antenna around its head every four seconds. "We call it the spinning lasso," said Wendy Edelstein, instrument manager for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) sensor built by NASA's Jet Propulsion …
Iain Thomson, 5 Jan 2015
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Enemy – Eerie double trouble from indie doppelganger chiller

Film review Although Enemy, the small indie take on Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double, was made in 2013, it’s only just getting a limited UK release now. Which is a shame, as Jake Gyllenhaal plays both downtrodden everyman and charming lecher with understated grace in this psychologically thrilling tale of a man who …
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Want to shoot FIREBALLS from your wrists, SPIDER-MAN style?

The Pyro Fireshooter lets you fulfil your Dragon Ball fantasies where you play manga hero Goku and shoot fireballs from your open palm. For those comic book fans among you, it's basically as if Spider-Man shot fire from his wrists instead of webbing. Youtube Video Aimed at professional magicians, it’s a device which straps to …
Simon Rockman, 3 Jan 2015
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I'm sooooo green: The Beginner's Guide to Krautrock

Feature At this time of year, most of us will have heard more than a few bars of Stille Nacht (aka Silent Night), perhaps sipped some glühwein (mulled wine) and chomped on some stollen. So how about a Teutonic taster of a different sort to last the whole year round? Focusing on the the pioneering electronic musicians of the late 20th …
Mark Diston, 3 Jan 2015
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In the Year of Our Bong, 2015

¡Bong! "Why isn't there an Uber for Christmas?", I mused last week, as my assistant มาลัย (which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai) basted the traditional festive roast of Royal Swan. "Christmas itself is a celebration of one of the greatest of all disruptors," I reminded her. "He championed the sharing economy. He was pursued by the …
Steve Bong, 3 Jan 2015
Artist's impression of the Bloodhound SSC thundering along. Pic: Bloodhound SSC video img

1,000mph ROCKET CAR project dogged by beancounters

The hand-to-mouth existence of the incredible Bloodhound Supersonic car has been revealed in a blog post by project director Richard Noble. Noble slams the UK as a nation of bean counters for the difficulty he’s having in raising finance, stating that we have six times as many accountants as doctors and more than the rest of the …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jan 2015
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30 years ago today, the first commercial UK 'mobile' phone call was made

The first mobile phone calls were made on Cellnet and Vodafone 30 years ago today. The companies we know as Vodafone and O2 today were Racal-Vodafone and Securicor-Cellnet back then, phones were the size of a small suitcase and only did voice. They didn’t even let you assign names to the numbers in the phonebook. The two …
Simon Rockman, 1 Jan 2015
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Apple in 2007: Who wants a stylus? Apple in 2010: We want a stylus!

Apple is breaking with the beliefs of founder Steve Jobs when it comes to the stylus, if a recently-granted patent is any indication. The company on Tuesday was revealed to have been granted a patent for a stylus-like pen device that could be used with a mobile device or desktop PC. According to the US Patent and Trademark …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Dec 2014
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Euro SPACEMAN snaps incredible images of our Blue Planet

Vid ESA 'naut Alexander Gerst captured some breathtaking images of Earth during his six-month stint on the International Space Station. This timelapse video brings together 12,500 photos snapped by Gerst while he was part of the Blue Dot mission from May to November this year. Youtube Video Highlights include stunning auroras, …
Team Register, 28 Dec 2014
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The Theory of Everything: Stephen Hawking biopic is immensely moving

Film review “I think I just used science to trick you into watching a movie about feelings!” I apologised to my fellow science-loving film-goer after leaving The Theory of Everything. Although, to be fair, the posters make it clear that this is not the big screen depiction of Stephen Hawking writing A Brief History of Time, this is the true …
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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Product Roundup It's fairly well accepted that events and things from our past help to make us the twisted, misanthropic people we are today. Or perhaps that's just Team Register. It being the season of festive excess, we wondered if there were perhaps some geeky gifts that, as a kid, helped you explore science, tech, and similar areas, and …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Dec 2014
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Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

Antique Code Show Given the choice, which 80s videogame star would you choose to have a friendly seasonal pint and chin-wag with? Pacman’s obviously got a personality defect, Mario’s breath probably stinks, and that bloke from Jet Set Willy is no doubt a pervert. But Q*bert? Well he’s one interesting individual – full of mumbled swear-word …
Giles Hill, 24 Dec 2014
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Vid: Reg lecture launches readers from Clerkenwell to outer space

Register Events If you’re at all concerned that the UK is falling behind in the race to space, Dr Geraint Jones’ Reg Christmas Lecture should put your mind at ease. A couple of dozen Reg readers bravely ascended the stairs to the upstairs room at the Craft Beer Company in Clerkenwell on December 9. Once there, a team of highly trained Reg …
Joe Fay, 24 Dec 2014
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Cambridge boffins and Boeing fly first hybrid airplane over British skies

Video The first hydrocarbon/electric aircraft has taken to the skies over Southern England as part of trials to find out if such combo systems have a place in aviation's future. Youtube Video The aircraft, a heavily modified microlight, uses a conventional four-stroke petrol engine as its main power source and an electric motor …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2014
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Privacy-loving BOXING KANGAROO BIFFS DRONE out of the sky

Footage has emerged of a kangaroo boxing a drone out of the sky. Newzulu posted the footage below, in which said marsupial takes a shot at a camera-bearing autonomous craft. To Vulture South's trained eye*, this looks like an Eastern Grey, a mid-sized 'roo that's not noted for being particularly aggressive. Indeed, Kangaroos …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014
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Uber apologises for Sydney siege surge pricing SNAFU

Uber has apologised to Sydneysiders for maintaining surge pricing during the siege of a cafe in the city's central business district last week. In an email sent to your correspondent*, and presumably to all Uber members in Sydney, the controversial firm says The email opens with “The events of last week in Sydney were upsetting …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2014
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Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Volvos will soon be capable of squawking their presence to cyclists wearing a helmet from cycling brand POC, letting the Lycra louts get out of the way of the four-wheeled Scandinavian middle lane hoggers. The idea behind the new technology from Ericsson is that both the car and the bicycle can determine when their proximity and …
Simon Rockman, 22 Dec 2014
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The electronics island where COPS shoot ARMY and workers are rioting

Where your kit gets made On November 20th, I visited the Indonesian island of Batam. And about an hour after I left, a protest by local workers over the minimum wage just about turned into a riot. The day before, I've since learned, local Police and Army units fought each other in a six-hour battle sparked by allegations Army members freelanced as fuel …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2014
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Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

Vid NASA has released video images of its Orion spaceship as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere earlier this month. It shows the view that astronauts might eventually see if the US space agency's mission to send human beings to Mars in 2021 proves successful. On 5 December, Orion flew unmanned this time. In order to gather as much …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Dec 2014
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Car hacker secrets revealed: Clutching up a tank engine in a classic motor

+Diagrams Several people were kind enough to comment favourably on this article and asked for more information, pictures and video. We are delighted to oblige. Technically no one asked for poorly drawn diagrams, but I’ve included some of these as well. First, the video. Mark and chum turn over the Rolls Royce Meteor engine. The sound is …
Mark Whitehorn, 21 Dec 2014
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Norks: FBI's Sony Pictures' hacking allegations are 'groundless slander'

"Grave consequences" have been threatened by North Korea, after the FBI alleged on Friday that Norks were behind the savage hack of struggling film studio Sony Pictures. The Kim Jong Un-led country demanded a joint investigation with the US to further probe the incident. North Korea has denied responsibility for the massive …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2014
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TRAGEDY STRIKES Vulture News Central but details remain scrambled

A sad day as Vulture News Central loses its lead anchor, Regina Eggbert, in a horrific misunderstanding ... no, I can't go on. I simply can't describe it. You'll have to see for yourself! ® Youtube Video Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
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Big Eyes falls short on the big question of popular art

Film review The ingredients are all there for an Oscar-winning film in Big Eyes. Multiple Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and one-time winner Christoph Waltz play Walter and Margaret Keane in a flick based on a true story about pop culture and high art in the 1960s. Margaret ships up in San Francisco in the late 1950s, a single mother and …
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Nunslinger, Yosemite For Dummies and Life Inside The Fall

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Andrew Orlowski to review the pick of publishing this week. A compilation of works from mysterious Stark Houghton tells tall tales of the wild west. Mac users can brush up their skills or get a break from hapless relatives with the latest from Bob LeVitus. And music lovers get a down to …
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You have a 'SIMPLE QUESTION'? Well, the answer is NO

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Old Man by Neil Young I am accosted in a shop by an aged gentleman with a posh accent, impeccable manners and a dripping nose. “Excuse me, I have a simple question.” Confession: I am in a suburban Apple Store so you may be inclined to think I deserve whatever I get simply for being there. In my defence, let me assure you I had …
Alistair Dabbs, 20 Dec 2014
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Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

Pics and video The US Navy has shown off the first images of its latest aqua-drone: a five-foot-long robot shark that's been swimming off the shores of Virginia. The Navy's robot shark at rest GhostSwimmer at rest Dubbed GhostSwimmer, the 100lb machine (in Navy-speak, an AUV or autonomous underwater vehicle) is capable of swimming in water …
Iain Thomson, 18 Dec 2014
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Friday: SpaceX will attempt to land rocket on floating, robotic 'spaceport drone ship'

Upstart start-up rocketry firm SpaceX is planning to try out its new upgraded rocket landing legs on its next trip to the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow. Youtube Video The private space firm has been trying to make the game-changing dream of a precise soft-landing, reusable rocket come true with its Falcon 9 booster …
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30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Would you pay $6 for a box of shit? Fans of the "party game for horrible people", Cards Against Humanity did. On Black Monday, the company offered a special, one-day-only offer of a box which said “bullshit” on it. Nothing more, just Cards Against Humanity Bullshit. Customers ordered them in droves and internet rumours of a …
Simon Rockman, 17 Dec 2014
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It's whiff, Jim, but not as we know it: Curiosity sniffs ORGANICS on Mars

Two new papers on the latest data from the compact chemistry laboratory aboard nuclear-tank Curiosity show organic compounds in Mars' atmosphere and rocks – and therefore offer tantalizing clues to the Red Planet's watery past. Youtube Video In the past 20 months Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory has sniffed …
Iain Thomson, 17 Dec 2014
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Unlock your mobe by STROKING it with your PEARL

Jewellery firm Galatea has released an app which plays audio when one of the company's pearls is touched to the back of a phone. That's not a euphemism. It is usually believed that pearls are formed when a bit of grit gets into an oyster. This is, however, not the case. Oysters are filter feeders and quite adept at dealing with …
Simon Rockman, 16 Dec 2014
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Branson sinks sub dream: Plan to explore Earth's bottom scrapped

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has halted plans to build submarines for deep-sea tourism. The Telegraph confirmed what Branson himself hinted at months ago: that the beardy Brit billionaire will has put on hold the Virgin Oceanic project. Branson had planned to construct a craft that would undertake a series of five dives to …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2014
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Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

Microsoft has rolled out a public preview of Skype Translator, its long-ballyhooed service that provides Star Trek–style real-time translation for voice calls and online chats. "We've invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they're emerging as …
Neil McAllister, 15 Dec 2014
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Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Microsoft has drummed up an impressive amount of support in its fight against the American government – which is demanding access to the US giant's servers in Ireland. Stateside prosecutors are trying to extract emails from systems on non-US soil using a search warrant obtained in a US court, and Microsoft is having none of it. …
Iain Thomson, 15 Dec 2014
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LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Our plucky Playmonaut sensationally landed at Spaceport America in New Mexico last Thursday, although sadly not this time at the controls of the Register's soaraway Vulture 2 rocket ship. The diminutive Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) pilot walked the tarmac of the fabled gateway to the heavens as myself and David …
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Dark matter-hunting boffins spot EXCITING signal in X-ray spectrum

Vid Boffins believe they may finally have detected the first sign of dark matter, after picking up an unusual photon emission signal in X-rays coming from space. Scientists from the EPFL lab of particle physics and cosmology (LPPC) and Leiden University are expected to publish their findings next week in Physical Review Letters. In …
Team Register, 13 Dec 2014
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Get the EGGSPERT ANGLE on the news with ovoid anchorbeing Regina

Youtube Video This week on Reg Vulture news, Facebook's creepy graph search is coming to mobile iOS, the Pirate Bay is briefly sunk, and Bernie Madoff's IT guys go down for their part in his huge Ponzi scam. Didn't hear enough from Regina? Check out the full stories here, here and here. ® Graph search