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Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

London language translation firm Today Translations has advertised for an TEXT “Emoji translator/specialist.” The firm says it currently employs over 3,000 people fluent in more than 200 languages and offers you the chance to put their talent to work translating the world's tongues. Now, the ad says, the firm needs someone …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2016
Still from HBO fantasy miniseries "Game of Thrones". Copyright HBO

Military reservist bemoans frost-bitten baby-maker on Antarctic trek

The nights are drawing in*, and there’s certainly a chill wind blowing across Blighty, but it's not so cold that it would freeze your knackers off. Not like poor old adventurer Alex Brazier, who is suffering from Polar Penis in his 1,100 mile journey across Antarctica. The son of Tory MP Julian Brazier is among a small group …
Paul Kunert, 12 Dec 2016
Titanic, image via shutterstock

China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

A proposed Chinese theme park has started to build a full-sized replica of the Titanic so tourists can experience over and over again the moment which led to the deaths of 1,500 people – a project endorsed by New Labour minister Peter Mandelson. Construction of the ship began on Wednesday with celebratory fireworks to mark the …

Burning desire helped us collar arson suspect, claim Danish cops

A Danish man being tried for arson offences might have not have been nabbed by cops if he hadn’t stopped for a five-knuckle shuffle in public, a police spokesman told a local TV crew. The unnamed 41-year-old suspect was arrested in February and charged with 14 counts of fire-starting in Odense, the third largest city in the …
Paul Kunert, 7 Dec 2016
Scrreshot of trailer for dave eggers the circle, movie starring emma watson.

Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

The Circle, Dave Eggers' novel about a society dominated by an omniscient, cult-like Silicon Valley internet company, has been given the big-screen treatment, with the trailer emerging this week. The movie's promo site has a witty parody of the "onboarding" process for a web platform – enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes …
HMS Illustrious. Crown copyright/MoD

HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Updated Venerable aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious leaves Britain today on her final journey to a Turkish scrapyard, despite efforts to preserve her for the nation as a museum ship. Affectionately known as "Lusty", the Invincible-class carrier – initially designated a "through-deck cruiser" when she was ordered, to get past …
Photo by Josh Thompson

Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC

With one eye on the governorship of California in 2018, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom backed down from a fight with billionaire VC Vinod Khosla on Tuesday over controversial access to a beach. At an extraordinary meeting of the normally staid State Lands Commission on Tuesday, a series of lawyers, local residents and …

England OUT (of Euro 2016, not the EU) tops Twitter year

Britain’s shock Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland was the UK’s most tweeted event of the year, according to Twitter. The humiliating event ran at 128,000 tweets per minute at 9.51pm on June 27, the social network said Tuesday, announcing its most popular tweets of the year. England’s loss scored nearly 20 per cent more than the …
Gavin Clarke, 6 Dec 2016
drone

New British flying robot killer death machines renamed 'Protector'

The UK Ministry of Defence has tried to rebrand its latest batch of airborne death machines as “Protector” drones rather than their actual trade name of Reaper. The so-called Protector drones are actually based on the latest model of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone – known in its latest variant as the Predator – which …
BAE Systems' Jetstream 31 testbed, G-BWWW. Pic: BAE Systems

BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

An autonomous aeroplane that uses onboard cameras to "see" events around it is being tested by BAE Systems. The modified Jetstream 31 aircraft operates from BAE's base at Warton and normally flies with two pilots aboard, who are in charge of takeoffs and landings. Building on previous research and development work which took …
Chris Morris in Brass Eye. Channel 4

Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

A TV newsreader in Newcastle, England, opened the station’s Friday night news bulletin by asking to start again before shouting “yes you f*cking do” at off-camera colleagues just 10 seconds after the watershed. The presenter was on Made in Tyne and Wear, a local news station operated by Made Television Limited. The company …

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

The media have spoken and they are unimpressed: the polls – this time the US presidential polls – got it woefully wrong, and therefore burn the witch! Or in the absence of witches, let's set fire to Nate Silver, who until around 2am (GMT) on November 9 was the doyen of US polling and go-to person for all US forecasts. At which …
Jane Fae , 5 Dec 2016

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Professor David Solomon, the inventor of the polymer banknote, has told vegetarians that they're being "stupid" over their opposition to its trace amounts of animal fat. The UK's new plastic notes were introduced earlier this year to replace the UK's battered and disintegrating stocks of paper** £5 notes. However, when the …
Sock with Eugene Kaspersky's face on it, given out by his company

Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

How secure are your feet? With these exclusive socks from, er, Kaspersky, your tootsies will never be subject to another bout of ransomware again. Sock with Eugene Kaspersky's face on it, given out by his company The stylish black footwear was being handed out, along with advent calendars, at Kaspersky's Christmas bash in …
Trump Pepper teaser, photo by Janet Ayers

Woman rescues red pepper Donald Trump from vegetarian chilli

Pic It was just an ordinary evening for Janet Ayers in Portsmouth, preparing a vegetarian chilli for dinner. Ingredients included a trio of peppers – red, green and yellow – from Waitrose. So imagine Janet’s horror on slicing the red Capsicum to find the twisted and toothy mug of US president elect Donald Trump screaming at her. …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Dec 2016

Inventor of McDonald's iconic Big Mac dies

Michael 'Jim' Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac, has died aged 98. Just how he made it that far, given his fondness for the lard-laden double-decker, is anyone's guess. Delligatti cooked up the Big Mac in 1965 when, as one of McDonalds' early franchisees, he felt the menu needed a rival for local burger bars' two-storey …

Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Comment A few years ago, I interviewed Dr Craig Venter, the man who decoded the human genome, about his plan to save the planet. Venter’s goal was to create a drop-in substitute for hydrocarbon fuels, using genetically modified algae. His algae facilities would be located beside high CO2 sources, and churn out synthetic oil. This …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Nov 2016
Nuclear War

Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

The world's largest moving structure has been moved to cover up the melted-down reactor which caused the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union. In April 1986, Reactor Number Four at the Chernobyl nuclear power station went into meltdown as a result of a botched systems test which the plant's night-shift …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Nov 2016
Chad Kroeger of rock band Nickelback

Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Police in Canada says it will be punishing drunk drivers by not only arresting them, but forcing them to listen to corporate boy band Nickelback on the way to the cop shop. A Facebook post from the Kensington Police Department of Prince Edward Island warns would-be partiers in the Great White North to avoid getting behind the …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship. Image: BAE Systems

Give BAE a kicking and flog off new UK warships, says review

A government-commissioned review into naval shipbuilding has torn into BAE Systems – while hinting that the number of British fighting warships should be increased, albeit with a sting in the tail. Sir John Parker’s review into Royal Naval shipbuilding was predictably critical of BAE, whose Naval Ships division has built …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2016

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Slacktivist vegetarians and vegans have been writing strongly worded tweets after the Bank of England confirmed that there are animal fats in the new polymer £5 notes. The plastic fivers were introduced earlier this year to replace the UK’s battered and disintegrating stocks of paper £5 notes. While at the time the bank was …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2016
Well-dressed man drinks whisky in expensive flat. Photo by Shutterstock

Confirmation of who constitutes average whisky consumer helps resolve dispute

The average consumer of Scotch whisky is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect member of the general public who has an average level of attention, the EU's General Court has confirmed in ruling over a trade mark dispute. The determination by the Court helped whisky manufacturer William Grant & Sons …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Nov 2016

Canadian cops cuff 11-year-old lad after Grand Theft Auto gets real

Police in Ontario, Canada, got a shock on Saturday night when they pulled over a speeding driver and found an 11-year-old child hopped up on video games behind the wheel. Officers were called when motorists reported a car driving erratically north of Toronto on Highway 400 at around 11pm. The vehicle was spotted driving north …
Iain Thomson, 28 Nov 2016
Airbus A350-1000

Airbus flies new plane for the first time

Airbus has successfully flown a new commercial jet model, with the first A350-1000 taking to the skies over Toulouse on Thursday. The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 program, Airbus' attempt to offer a long-haul twin-engine jet a little larger and rather more modern than its A330 range, and also cheaper to operate than …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016

Make Christmas Great Again: $149 24-karat gold* Trump tree ornament

President-elect Donald Trump's online shop has released a tremendous ornament, the best ornament, for Christmas trees. Costing "just" $149, the bauble is officially described as a Red Cap Collectible Ornament, and it is very collectable. People are telling us how collectible it is. Potential purchasers are encouraged to "get …
Zumwalt

USS Zumwalt gets Panama tug job after yet another breakdown

The US Navy's most advanced ship yet, the $4.4bn stealth destroyer USS Zumwalt, has had to be ignominiously towed through the Panama Canal after its engines failed yet again. While cruising down the intercontinental waterway, the crew spotted water leaking from two of the four bearings that link the destroyer's advanced …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2016
Reg correspondent snaps pic of lavatory in Japan. Photo by Gareth Corfield

Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

RotM Dear reader, I am in a state of shock and horror. That’s right - I have attempted to use a Japanese electric toilet in the manner for which it was designed. I fear my rear may never recover. Your correspondent is currently in Tokyo for Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum 2016 and is staying in an excellent, if, for the purposes of …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Nov 2016

Twitter bans own CEO Jack Dorsey from Twitter

Twitter today briefly suspended the Twitter account of Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey. For a moment, we all thought the big boss had been unceremoniously booted out of the troubled biz or had fallen foul of his own anti-abuse complaints system. But it was probably a bug or something mundane like that. Twits surfing over …
Chris Williams, 23 Nov 2016
black helicopter

Trial date set for Brit police 'copter coppers over spying-on-doggers claims

The five officers from South Yorkshire Police accused of using a copper 'copter to record people who were naked or having sex will contest the allegations at their trial next year. The men all deny guilt. The serving and retired coppers were arrested as part of an internal investigation following reports that the force's …
An upset woman with an empty wallet

Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I would like it to be known that mine is bigger than yours. And yours is bigger than everyone else's. Only losers waste their time with small. We do big. The IT industry is notably keen on letting us know that everything they do is big, especially when it comes to data security breaches. Cyber-attacks on individuals are never …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Nov 2016
Fairey Swordfish Mk.2 LS326 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Crown copyright

Here's how the missile-free Royal Navy can sink enemy ships after 2018

The solution to the Royal Navy’s post-2018 problem of having no anti-ship weapons is already in service and can even equip the UK’s new aircraft carriers. The Fairey Swordfish (pictured above) is a versatile, rugged torpedo bomber first introduced into service in the 1930s. Having outlived everything introduced to replace it …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2016

Searching for 'Fatty Kim the Third' banned on Chinese social media

If you're in China today and feel like doing something futile, try searching for “Fatty Kim the Third” or the Chinese equivalent "Jin San Pang" - Google translate says that's "金圣庞" - on social media. The delightful epithet is a colloquial term for the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
 Donald Trump . Editorial use only. Editorial Credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com

'Post-truth' beats 'chatbot' to Word of the Year Crown

Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” is the Word of the Year for 2016. The word wizards say the adjective can be defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. “Post-truth” scored the prize because …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016
HMS Duncan, Type 45 destroyer. Crown copyright

UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

Royal Navy warships will be less capable of fighting enemy vessels than they were in the 19th century as Britain’s Harpoon anti-ship missile will be withdrawn in two years – with no replacement in sight. The news that the elderly Harpoon Block 1C system will be withdrawn by 2018 was broken by military analyst publication IHS …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2016

Bong: Let me talk to Trump

¡Bong! The Mar-a-Lago Club is like the 1960s. If you can remember it, you weren't there. Let me be clear: I have no memory at all of any long, debauched evenings at the luxurious Miami mansion belonging to Donald J Trump. Not one. So that's cast-iron proof, if any is needed, of my uniquely close personal relations with America's new …
Steve Bong, 15 Nov 2016
Marching, image via Shutterstock

'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die

We've said it before, but because “walk on this pavement for renewable energy” remains a recurrent news story, it's worth saying again. You can't get a useful amount of energy that way: it's a gimmick. The latest iteration comes from Las Vegas, which according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal is installing street lights from …
Wedding ring

Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger

A South African was forced to undergo rare penile strangulation surgery after slotting a wedding ring over his tackle that he was unable to pull off, according to a medical journal. The 28-year-old unnamed man decided the more traditional form of auto erotic asphyxiation just wasn’t for him and so decided to choke another part …
Paul Kunert, 14 Nov 2016
Monty Python foot UHDTV

Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

VIDEO Monty Python members Eric Idle and John Cleese have penned a tune titled “Fuck selfies”. As you might conclude from the title, the song is not entirely complimentary to selfies and labels those who take them with celebrities as “gits”, “lunatics” and “pricks”. There's even an exhortation for those who wield selfie sticks to …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016

Spain's Prime Minister wants to ban internet memes. No, really

Pics Spain's ruling Popular Party has proposed banning internet memes. No word of a lie. Right-wing Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has put forward legislation that would make it a crime to "spread images that infringe the honor of a person", noting that a similar law from the 1980s is out of date because it doesn't account for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Nov 2016
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Something for the Weekend, Sir? This week, I have been worried about getting it to stand up. The more I worry, the greater the difficulty in ensuring a sturdy erection that doesn’t immediately flop over. I hope you understand that this has never happened to me before. Perhaps I could try again in a few minutes? Ah, there we are. Nice and stiff and thick …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Nov 2016

Kotkin: Why Trump won

Interview Why did Donald Trump win? He filled a vacuum that was vacated by both Democratic and Republican parties, says Joel Kotkin. Kotkin is one of a small handful of writers who highlighted the role of Silicon Valley's oligarchs in American society. No fan of The Donald ("a horror" is how he described him back in June when we talked …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2016

Japanese cops arrest serial 'foot licker'

A man from Kyoto in Japan has been arrested for nibbling a young woman's foot. Since 2012, Kyoto has been plagued by the perpetrator of a series of criminal acts of podophilia whom cops had dubbed "the foot licker". Back in July, Akira Nishiyama, 56, allegedly lured a woman in her twenties into the driver's seat of his car to …
Clodagh Doyle, 9 Nov 2016