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Silicon Valley season closer: Would you like fried servers with that?

Recap The final episode of season two of Silicon Valley was a blast: almost literally. The HBO show has already been picked up for a third season, but right up to the last second, this fun and fast-paced episode had you wondering whether the whole thing was going down to melt down into nothing but hot metal and charred Ethernet cables …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2015
Christopher Lee as Dracula

In memoriam: Christopher Lee, Hammer's Count Dracula

Obit Christopher Lee, the iconic British actor best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in a series of films from Hammer Studios and for roles in the recent Lord of the Rings and Star Wars film trilogies, has died at age 93. The deep-voiced Lee made his film debut in Corridor of Mirrors in 1948 for future James Bond director …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2015
Battle_of_Waterloo_William_Sadler_II

Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Belgium has taken international trolling to the next level by minting a €2.50 coin to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo. France had objected to the plan to mint a €2 coin to mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's defeat and Belgium duly scrapped 180,000 coins. France said the battle “has a particular resonance in the collective …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley, episode 9: Too sexy for this headline, too sexy...

Recap "I haven't had a girlfriend in, like, three years." "Boyfriend?" "No, I'm not gay. Just… busy." This week's episode of Silicon Valley – the penultimate one of season two – decided the lackluster sex lives of coders was the perfect foil with which to repeatedly stab the floundering Pied Piper as it tries to recovers from yet …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2015

'Stolen' art found on nearby shelf. Police keep looking anyway

Artworks which went missing from the Boston Public Library, leading to FBI involvement and the resignation of the library's president, have been found on a shelf in the library. The Boston Globe reported that the pair of rare prints were found a day after president Amy Ryan announced her resignation. The prints – an Albrecht …

Did you almost prang a 737 jet with a drone over Dallas? The FAA would like a word

A small drone caused quite a stir at an airport in Texas when it crossed paths with a passenger jet. A landing Boeing 737 on its one mile approach to the Dallas Love Field airport came within a few hundred feet of the small quad-copter, we're told. The plane did not hit the drone, and was able to safely land without needing to …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2015

Chips can kill: Official

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has grimly concluded that those tucking into fried potato products run an increased risk of damaged DNA and developing cancer. The culprit is the chemical acrylamide (AA), which "naturally forms in starchy food products during every-day high-temperature cooking (frying, baking, roasting …
Lester Haines, 8 Jun 2015

Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

Drink drivers jumping behind the wheel of a car after a boozy session at the pub might just find they are going nowhere fast, if alcohol sensor technology finally comes into play. Which it might at some point. Breath and touch-based sensors, to be used in cars to detect the amount of alcohol in the blood, are currently being …
Paul Kunert, 7 Jun 2015
NuStar's view of the Sun

Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

A Spanish woman has filed a lawsuit against eBay for the right to sell the Sun, El Mundo reports. Galician star-vendor Ángeles Durán is claiming €10,000 from the world's favourite tat bazaar after it blocked her attempts to offload bits of our solar system's nuclear furnace on eBay's Spanish and Italian tentacles. According to …
Lester Haines, 5 Jun 2015
Un Frog

Sacré bleu! Parking machine labels French mayor ‘thieving bastard'

Police are investigating complaints from a Gallic politician after he was branded a “thieving bastard” on hundreds of parking tickets emanating from a machine in the town where he's mayor. Jean-François Copé, a former bigwig of the French (conservative) opposition party Les Republicans, stood down last summer following a funding …

Spaniards get that cinking feeling

They may not be able to pronounce WhatsApp for love nor money, but the Spaniards have no trouble whatsoever getting their tongues around the English -ing suffix, as evidenced by a recent agreeable/alarming (according to your opinion on foreignisms) rise in xxxings here in Spain. It all started innocently enough. Students of the …
Lester Haines, 4 Jun 2015

Chinese bloke escapes execution for Forbidden City nude photo shoot

NSFW A Chinese artist will likely not be strapped to a gurney and injected with a lethal cocktail of chemicals, despite the best efforts of Western news outlets and the local Twat-O-Tron to suggest a nude photo shoot at Beijing's Forbidden City might represent a surefire shortcut to the execution chamber. According to The Mirror, …
Lester Haines, 3 Jun 2015

Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

A US couple who bought a house in Maryland last December are suing their estate agent and the agent's mother for $2m, claiming she didn't tell them about their new home's terrible snake infestation. The Baltimore Sun reported that the smallest snakes found in Jeff and Jody Brooks' new Annapolis house were mere hatchlings, only …

Sorry we called you a fatty, say Kiwi spies to Kim 'Slim Jim' Dotcom

New Zealand's spy-boss has said sorry after her intelligence agents branded MegaUpload's svelte supremo Kim Dotcom a "fatty." The groveling apology came from Security Intelligence Service chief Rebecca Kitteridge after the New Zealand Herald obtained and published correspondence between g-men poking fun at spindly Dotcom. " …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jun 2015

KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has filed lawsuit in a Shanghai court claiming that three Chinese companies used social media to spread rumours it had produced a six-winged, eight-legged chicken. Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company, Taiyuan Zero Point Technology, and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication stand accused of …
Lester Haines, 2 Jun 2015

What a Zuckin' drag! 'Frisco queens protest outside Facebook HQ over 'real names' policy

Facebook is once again facing protests for its controversial "real names only" rule. A group of picketers, including a prominent San Francisco drag queen group, turned up outside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters today, complaining that the Facebook policies leave them open to discrimination. Native Americans and domestic- …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley, episode 8: Larping, mogging and losing its way

Recap The first season of HBO's sharp, satirical Silicon Valley had just eight episodes. By the measure of last night's show, they should have stuck to that for season two rather than try to punch in an extra two episodes. White Hat/Black Hat felt like the episode pulled together from rejected ideas. And there weren't that many, so we …
One of the newly-uncovered photos of Albert Einstein's brain

BRAIN STORM: Nine mislaid cerebra found near railway line in New York

Cops were called in to solve the mystery of nine abandoned BRAINS found near a railway line in New York last week. Clover Forsythe, resident, posted a picture on Facebook. He wrote: "And what are these you might ask? They appear to be brains. Small, the size of an apple. Laying on the side of the road by Beckwith St in …
Kat Hall, 29 May 2015

Google patents DEVIL TOY which will BRAINWASH KIDS

A Google patent uncovered by tech law firm SmartUp seems to describe a toy that will look at and talk to your kids, then update a remote media device, depending upon the child's feedback. The inventor of the evil robot is named as Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose job title is "director of rapid evaluation and mad science" at Google X …

Is your career lacking growth? Become a porn inspector! Hint: It sucks

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about pornography: "I know it when I see it." What he may not have envisioned was that 50 years later, people would make a living from doing just that. China maintains a pretty stiff censorship regime through its Great Wall of China. But far from using just algorithms to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2015
Alix Tichelman has plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges

Call girl gets six years for Googler's drug death

A former call girl has plead guilty to felony charges in the death of a senior Google executive from a heroin overdose. Alix Tichelman received a six year sentence for charges of involuntary manslaughter and drugs possession. She is expected to serve around three years behind bars, given her time served in jail already. "Alix …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015

Candlelit vigil planned to honour executed Newcastle cow Bessie

Tearful locals have convened a candlelit vigil to mourn the passing of Bessie the cow, gunned down on Sunday night by Northumbria Police marksmen after hoofing it from the Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside. The animal was taken out by firearms operatives "in the interests of public safety", following a chase involving " …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2015

Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

The Vulcan To The Sky Trust has announced "with considerable sadness" that this summer will be the public's last chance to catch Avro Vulcan XH558 thundering through British skies, as the legendary V-bomber will be permanently grounded at the end of this flying season. The trust explains that the axe will fall because "three …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2015

Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

Firearms officers from Northumbria Police have shot dead a fugitive cow following an escape attempt by some cattle. Reports came in to the seemingly excessively-equipped police force on Sunday afternoon that three cows – which witnesses thought had escaped from a nearby farm – were moving towards the A1058 Coast Road, a busy …
Houses of Parliament in night-time

Election? Pah. Here's the REAL question: Who’s the SEXIEST MP?

Forget the tribal allegiances of politics, the truth is the UK's Members of Parliament can't stop checking each other out, with Sexymp.co.uk being one of the most popular sites accessed on the Parliamentary Network. For those unfamiliar with it, the site presents two photos and asks the user "Which MP would you rather have sex …
Kat Hall, 14 May 2015

Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

A hefty police robot described by its human colleagues as "heavy equipment" charged into a besieged house through a barrage of stun grenades and choking riot gas at the weekend, before finding and forcefully apprehending a wanted man who had somehow managed to conceal himself inside a television. The robot belonged to the …
Lewis Page, 12 May 2015
Tiny ginger kitten puts its paws up in the manner of a person being arrested.

Extreme community policing: West Virginia crook pepper-sprays HIMSELF mid-robbery

A man from West Virginia has been jailed after he allegedly foiled his own robbery attempt by pepper-spraying himself. Last week, Kevin Meadows, clad in camouflage gear, a "boonie hat", and a paintball mask, attempted to take down pharmacy staff with repeated blasts of pepper spray. However, he accidentally walked into one of …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2015

Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

A hacker who had spent weeks pwning fellow Guild Wars 2 players got some stylised justice when the game creators made a spectacle of his banning and character destruction. The hacker had become legend among the the MMO's userbase. Rumours of his appearances propagated like a virus. Kotaku reports that he single-handedly …
Houses of Parliament in night-time

VOTERS! This Election: Vote #Smart, Vote #Digital

¡Bong! Millions of Britons will go to the polls tomorrow for (we hope) the last ever analogue General Election. Several million more, many of whom share the same names and live at a surprisingly small number of addresses in inner-city constituencies, have already voted. I hope you will choose wisely tomorrow. As a successful venture …
Steve Bong, 6 May 2015
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II

Boffins' ball barrage bombardment biffs bumbling bimble biped-bot

Morning Vid For your amusement this morning we have this video of a walker robot being attacked by a gang of boffins in a park: The machine was built at Oregon State University, is known as the ATRIAS and - you guessed it - is funded by Pentagon warboffin bureau DARPA. It's to be a contender at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in California …
Lewis Page, 5 May 2015
Fiorina

HP wag has last laugh at US prez wannabe with carlyfiorina.org snatch

Carly Fiorina, once the boss of HP and today a US Presidential candidate, just learned the hard way that you can never be too thorough when it comes to hoarding domains, particularly when you're planning to run for public office. An unknown wag was able to snap up the carlyfiorina.org domain and use it to host a rather …
Shaun Nichols, 5 May 2015

OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Emoji are killing off traditional internet slang, according to a probe by Instagram's engineering team. Instagram's just made it possible to use Emoji in hashtags, a feature we're sure you were all positively clamouring for, and did so in response to its users' increasing interest in the cute little characters that add colour …
U2 on your iStuffs

Not pro-Bono: Russian MP wants Apple to face stiff action for cramming 'gay' U2 into iCrevices

Russian prosecutors have been asked to probe Apple to see if the American giant broke Russia's "gay propaganda" laws by forcibly thrusting ludicrous boy band U2's album Songs of Innocence into iThings. Alexander Starovoytov, a member of the Russian parliament, was quoted this week in broadsheet Izvestia demanding an …
Shaun Nichols, 1 May 2015

Age guessing with Microsoft is FUN! Now give us your metadata

Microsoft has unwrapped a metadata-slurping website powered by user-uploaded pictures which pretends to be a fun age-guessing game. While the page's inability to accurately guess users' ages might seem an amusing cock-up on Redmond's part, the machine learning boffins who set up the page are content to slurp up the JavaScript …
Care Package NSFW by https://www.flickr.com/photos/theredproject/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Facebook serves up shaved, pierced, tattooed 'butterfly' as CAPTCHA

VERY NSFW Reg reader Mike W has sent us something rather interesting from Facebook, which asked him to prove he's human with the test below that asked him to pick out pictures of butterflies. We'll explain the white space at grid position A2 after the image. Facebook Butterfly Captcha Back to that white space, which we excised because …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2015

UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

We're obliged to reader Simon Moore for flagging up a heavyweight improbable measurement unit, deployed by the National Physical Laboratory in an attempt to quantify the amount of printed circuit board waste dumped into UK landfills every year in terms of Royal Navy light cruisers. According to this enlightening report into the …
Team Register, 29 Apr 2015
One Direction's Salt Lake City / West Valley concert in 2013. Image credit: TheMikeRob.Tumblr.com/PicktureThat.com

Hawking hologram comforts One Direction fans with Zayny parallel universe claim

It turns out there's more than one direction One Direction could be heading in, after megaboffin Stephen Hawking comforted fans with the claim that Zayn Malik may still be in the band in a parallel universe. The theoretical physics professor was beamed via hologram from Cambridge, England to the Sydney Opera House in Oz to …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Apr 2015

China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

The Chinese Ministry of Culture has announced that the government will begin working with the police to clamp down on families hiring strippers for funerals in order to increase in size (dare we say 'arouse') mourner attendance figures. In a statement on Thursday, the ministry stiffs said they would be paying close attention to …
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Love-rat fanboi left bobbing for Apples in tiny Japanese bath

A Japanese love-rat's misdeeds have left him, and his iGizmos, in hot water. His scorned lover seems to have taken issue with his flirting with another woman and suffered a bit of a kernel panic, attacking her fanboi where it would hurt most – his beloved collection of overpriced blahware – before compounding his humiliation by …

Stateside security screeners sacked for squeezing 'sexy' sacks

Two security strokers screeners at Denver airport got the boot after investigators were tipped off about gratuitous groin groping of certain male travellers, a police report reveals. The Office of Inspection of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were informed of the pair’s pervy prowess and did a little probing of …
Paul Kunert, 16 Apr 2015

Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

A Georgia man who took a 9mm pistol to an armadillo also managed to pop a cap in his wife's mum after the round ricocheted off the animal, "hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law's mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in, and into her back". According to cops, 54-year-old Larry McElroy pulled off …
Lester Haines, 14 Apr 2015
Brando wooden cross Flash drive

Aussie priest BLESSES an APP – and the sacred iPad it runs on

The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has claimed a world first by blessing an app and the iPad it runs on. The app is no mere piece of code, but instead serves as a heavenly guide to the life of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first saint. The app guides users along a righteous path through Adelaide, retracing the …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2015