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Wizard of Oz OFFICIALLY 'most significant movie' EVER, says PNAS

Researchers have used an interesting yardstick to determine that The Wizard of Oz is the most "significant" US movie ever, pipping Star Wars and Psycho into second and third spots in the significance league table. Forget the critics' opinion, audience figures or box office take: what really sets a film apart is the number of …
Lester Haines, 21 Jan 2015
The flying rooster seen in the stratosphere

SO. Which IS more important to humanity: Facebook, or Portugal?

Poll The Register, it would seem, has ruffled the feathers of some sensitive Portuguese folk by merely reporting the, er, facts as presented to us by consultancy outfit Deloitte, which – having been paid by Mark Zuckerberg's company – claimed that Facebook's global economic value was $227bn (stop sniggering at the back). Naturally, …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jan 2015
Cat on computer

Latest menace to internet economy: Gators EATING all the PUSSIES

Forget Norks, hacktivists and global cyber criminals, a far more clear and present danger is now threatening the future of the internet: a giant cat-eating alligator. As any student of the digital era will know, the sole reason that Tim Berners-Lee invented the web was in the first place was so people could eventually share …
Kat Hall, 20 Jan 2015
A hash

#CASHTAGS are a thing: you can now bank on Twitter

India's ICICI bank has launched a bank-by-Twitter service. The catchily-named “icicibankpay” service requires users to register a mobile phone number with the Bank and then follow the @ICICIBank Twitter account, in order to receive a one-time password as a direct message. Once the password's been confirmed, users can fire off …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2015

DVRs at the ready tonight: El Reg's motor Vulture is on the tellybox

Keen Reg readers will doubtless wish to line up one of their TV tuners* tonight to capture Inside Out at 19:30 on BBC1 (sadly only in London). The programme is to feature our own Simon Rockman, mobile and motoring correspondent, expounding on the experience of driving an electric car in the nation's capital. Here's a short clip …
Lewis Page, 19 Jan 2015

Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

Alabama sits proudly at the top of the US teacher-pupil sex league, with one school employee per 193,975 residents being "accused or convicted" of engaging in illicit relations with a student during 2014. That's according to a enlightening study by Terry Abbott - "a former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Education" - …
Lester Haines, 19 Jan 2015
BEAGLE 2 probe on Mars. Pic: University of Leicester

'Our AI systems must do what we want them to do'

QuoTW This week the remains of Blighty's missing Beagle 2 spacecraft, which has been out of sight for more than 11 years, was finally spotted on Mars. Despite the ex-probe having failed to deploy on the Red Planet as intended, Brit boffins hailed the mission a "great success." Being the first European space vehicle to perform a …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2015

Bacon-smoking locals provoke noxious Chinese smog

The city of Dazhou in China's southwestern Sichuan Province is taking a hard line on what it believes is a significant contributor to the metropolis's "lingering" smog – the traditional practice of smoking bacon. According to Xinhua, Dazhou has been suffering a nasty bout of persistent airborne PM2.5 particulates since the …
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2015
Teddy the Guardian

$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data

Babies can now enjoy the thrill of wearable health monitors, as well as giving away their personal data for free, thanks to the arrival of a $499 teddy bear called “Teddy The Guardian”. You read that right: the teddy's price is just one dollar shy of five hundred. You're paying the big bucks for the bear's “smart paw” that …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2015

Icelandic brewers knock up whale 'nad beer

Icelandic beer botherer Stedji has unsurprisingly rather annoyed conservationists with the imminent release of a winter brew flavoured with smoked whale testicles, Visir reports. The "Hvalur 2" brew comes on the heels of last winter's successful Hvalur ("Whale") concoction, which contained "among other things the viscera and …
Lester Haines, 13 Jan 2015

Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

New words get added to the English language all the time: we're bombarded, inundated, overwhelmed by press releases from dictionary publishers in which such excrescences as listicle, clickbait and neckbeard are added to the collective vocab. But who ever spares a thought for the various excellent old words being pushed onto the …
Lewis Page, 13 Jan 2015
One Direction. Pic: Eva Rinaldi

Boybanders ONE DIRECTION launch DoS attack on open-source bods

Harry Styles and his pals in One Direction have launched a denial of service attack on an open source coding conference in Cardiff, with the band maliciously pinging tens-of-thousands of its teenage fans at the city on the same day as DjangoCon 2015. Organisers had planned the first UK version of the convention for people who …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2015
CES 1978

5 Times An 'Unhappy Person' Dared To Use The Word 'Boring' At CES 2015

BUZZGASM! 1: This Year, 69 Per Cent Of CES Attendees Protested Against Dull Speakers With Their Actual Eyelids at #CES #CES2015 when a poor moderator & a guest speaker are boring & don't get what the audience wants2hear you get pic.twitter.com/JqZPLydUWd — Bat-Ami Gordin (@zongrik) January 7, 2015 Sleepy follow! 2: 34 Per Cent Of …
Elephant

This boat can move 234,989 cubic pink elephants! (honest)

CoTW A big boat came to Britain this week, and boy oh boy did the BBC spaff its pants with joy. Following up on Al-Beeb's breathless report of the CSCL Globe making a port call at Felixstowe, our own Lester Haines of the Special Projects Bureau commented on the state broadcaster's Olympic-sized field day. As for you lot, however, …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Jan 2015

World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

The BBC is having an Olympic swimming pool-sized field day at the news that the world's largest ship – the CSCL Globe - has docked at the Port of Felixstowe. According to Auntie, the China Shipping Container Lines-owned behemoth "is more than 400m (1,312ft) long, the equivalent of eight Olympic-size swimming pools", while its …
Lester Haines, 9 Jan 2015

Finally, some recognition: 'Selfi' snaps Spanish Word of the Year

The all-encompassing "selfie" has snapped the Fundéu BBVA's Spanish word of the year title for 2014, albeit in the leaner, meaner, and adapted form of selfi. The choice acknowledges the continuing influx of Anglicisms into Spanish, despite previous efforts to suggest that local constructs autofoto or autorretrato might serve to …
Lester Haines, 5 Jan 2015

Microsoft has made excellent software, you pack of fibbers

CoTW Happy New Year, one and all. This post-festive edition of Comment of the Week will gently drop you back into the simmering gloop of El Reg's commentardery, slicing and dicing the merely-bad along with the very worst of the below-the-line offerings. Cheers! Over the Christmas season our motoring correspondent Simon Rockman took a …

Bong Ventures will NEVER bow down to terrorism: Our Tough Stance in FULL

¡Bong! Ten days ago we disclosed to investors and partners that a huge cyber-attack on Bong Ventures LLC and its subsidiary companies had taken place. This resulted in a catastrophic loss of confidential information, correspondence, strategy documents, and animated movies catering to niche tastes which we only needed for research …
Steve Bong, 27 Dec 2014
Our artist's impression of how the bus-spotting terrorist bust may have looked

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

Comment A bus is a fantastically efficient way to move a large number of people. Buses however are not. They are a dreadful system for getting people to work. The difference is not as subtle as that sentence may make it seem. What lies behind it is that when you want to move a large number of people from one place to another all at once …
Simon Rockman, 27 Dec 2014
Hairy Dalek's Lego ZX81

2014: The condensed conference keynotes

Reg hacks travel the world and then ignore the local sights in order to attend giant, dark auditoria and listen to "industry champions" deliver "thought leadership". After a trans-continental telepathy session, here's our collective distillation of this year's C-level wisdom, as delivered from our industry's biggest stages. - Ed …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014

Australia's future tech news headlines ... for 2016!

Today's the last day The Reg's Australian crew will bother showing up for work until the new year, making it the ideal opportunity to offer some insights into the future of the nation's IT industries and policies. We did it last year and reckon the results weren't horrid, so let's have another go, shall we? Data retention …
Triumph's solar power brassiere

Solar-powered bra maker suffers 20,000 TITSUPs all at once

Solar-powered bra manufacturer Triumph International has been forced to recall 20,000 solar-powered brassieres. The Swiss-based lingerie maker is best known for its bra that allows the wearer to become her own source of renewable energy via a detachable solar panel - providing much-needed support while simultaneously supporting …
Kat Hall, 23 Dec 2014
Guru at work

Woz moves to Oz

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has become a permanent resident of Australia. “Woz” has lived in Australia on and off for a few years now and recently picked up a gig as an adjunct professor at Sydney's University of Technology. According to The Australian Financial Review he's now taken the plunge and moved down under to become …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2014
Boring Christmas

Scrooges rejoice! Beancounters find formula for perfect Xmas party

If you’re planning a Christmas party and you’re the sort of miserly Scrooge type that doesn’t want to waste any money on excess Christmas crackers, science has got you covered. A trio of those party-loving statisticians has worked out the formula for the optimum number of crackers for a party to ensure that everyone wins one …
Team Register, 18 Dec 2014
The msianthropes card game

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

Boggling bum babe Kim fails to 'break the internet' – Robin Williams instead tops Google charts

Legendary comedian Robin Williams has, we're told, topped 2014's chart of the most searched for thing or person on Google. Apparently, porn doesn't count because people are always searching for it, whereas Google is interested in stuff that "trends" – pops out of nowhere and soars in popularity before fading away, in other words …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2014

Penguin porn? NO! Linux folk in #LCA2015 standoff

Each January Linux luminaries from around the world descend on Australia and New Zealand to attend Linux.conf.au, an antipodean penguinista gathering of sufficient gravitas that Linus Torvalds himself often makes the trip. The event is referred to as “LCA”, and for the 2015 edition has used #LCA2015 as its hashtag. But …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2014

Swiss McDonalds serves up no-holes-barred cheesy action to punters

Customers at a McDonald’s got to see an entirely different type of muffin from the ones on the menu, after staff mistakenly broadcast a blue movie on LCD screens at a fast food outlet. The filth-flick flesh fest occurred on Saturday night in the sleepy town of Zuckwil, north Switzerland and was first spotted - unsurprisingly - …
Paul Kunert, 15 Dec 2014
pikatchu pokemon

Bong Ventures LLC: We've been cyberhacked

¡Bong! Recent press reports have appeared suggesting that Bong Ventures LLC suffered a serious sustained cyber-attack resulting in the release of petabytes of confidential data onto the internet. We can confirm reports are true. In order to maintain the confidence of investors and partners, BongVentures LLC has decided to disclose more …
Steve Bong, 12 Dec 2014

Parliament face-sit-in to spark mass debate on UK's stiff smut stance

The august members of Blighty's Parliament may have a rather unusual sight to see on Friday: glancing out of their office windows, they could cop an eyeful of pro-porn protesters staging a graphic demonstration of their ire. The rally, planned for 12pm GMT at the Old Palace Yard, concerns the Audiovisual Media Services …
Iain Thomson, 10 Dec 2014
Photo of Jonathan Ive

Apple knob refusenik Sir Jony Ive handed award - for talking BOLLOCKS

The delicate tech architect that is Apple’s Sir Jonathan of Ive is no stranger to accolades, and now he’s picked up another - for talking balls. The senior veep of design received a Kick in the Pants Award as part of the Plain English Campaign’s 35th annual embarrassment fest, for waxing lyrical about the Apple Watch. “The …
Paul Kunert, 4 Dec 2014

Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

Fancy paying someone to start up yet another pebbles-in-your-whisky firm? Well then step this way, because El Reg has discovered a new "disruptive" lifestyle brand which will charge you the earth to put a rock in your grog. A company called Boozestones' eponymous product aims to persuade drinkers to do away with frozen water for …
Jasper Hamill, 3 Dec 2014

Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Mathematicians have been computing the value of pi for years*, but cooks have struggled to be anywhere near as exact about a certain pastry-based homophone. Now the cream of the culinary world could face the cops unless they stick to new rules about what constitutes a proper pie. A man called Bill T Wulf has launched a petition …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Dec 2014

Holy sh*t! Amsterdam man in pop-up public toilet shock horror

RoTM A man in Amsterdam suffered minor injuries last night after a toilet emerging from the ground flipped a moped into the air, which then struck the victim. UriLift loos were installed in the wacky baccy Dutch city in an effort to stop blokes taking a slash in the streets. As this vid shows, the toilets appear to rise up from the …
Team Register, 29 Nov 2014

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

The Brit post-pub gourmets among you will doubtless have indulged in the national pastime of staggering from the boozer to the nearest curry house, so it's no surprise that reader Martin Gregorie got in touch last week to suggest we venture into the hot and spicy by cooking up something with a bit of a kick. A splendid idea, and …
Lester Haines, 29 Nov 2014
Golden Dropping of Excellence

VISUALISED: The Golden Vulture Dropping of Excellence

CoTW After a short break for fresh air and relief from the hilarity of El Reg's commentards, Comment of the Week returns! Opening this week's account of the hilarious and the fail-filled is aptly named commentard Phuq Witt, with this dreadfully dull and unfunny aside on our review of the Banana Pi: "I met a Minecraft user called …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2014

Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher

Naughty domain owners are still playing nasty tricks on the whois domain lookup service to tease the likes of Google and Microsoft. Microsoft's had trouble with this stuff for years, and a whois search on Microsoft.com still produces results like: MICROSOFT.COM.IS.NICE.WHEN.TOASTED.COMKAL.NET; MICROSOFT.COM.SHOULD.INSTALL- …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2014

Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

A terrifying new quiz has indicated that the state of knowledge among Americans regarding IT topics is abysmally low: but the questions are such as to indicate that even the drafters of the quiz didn't know much. The quiz in question is one from Pew Research, intended to find out "What Internet Users Know about Technology and …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2014
Uber - living the dream

Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM

¡Bong! Extra Why can’t Old Media just accept we have it beaten, lie down and die? It’s taking forever. Nothing saddened me more this week than reading that bold new data journalism initiatives from Uber were being shot down before they had even reached Seed stage. My bromate, the Uber VP Emil Michael, has sent dead tree media Offendotrons …
Steve Bong, 22 Nov 2014
Star Trek: Patterns of Force

'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT

QuoTW This was the week when hacktivist collective Anonymous decided to take on the Ku Klux Klan after a local chapter of the white supremacist group threatened protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Say what you like about Nazis, they had lovely uniforms. And ears Anonymous took out websites and Twitter accounts for the group, as well …
A 1963 replica batmobile

Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale

A heavily-customised Oldsmobile said to be the first officially-licenced Batmobile will go to auction later in December. Created in 1963, three years before the infamously camp Batman TV show hit the airwaves, DC Comics allowed a US chap named Forrest Robinson to build a Batmobile, according to Heritage Auctions. The hammer- …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2014
Circuit board underwear by emiko-o

'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?

CoTW In a simply shocking turn of events, two of the less popular comments on El Reg this week both came from Anonymous Cowards... The first of our be-masked brethren introduced some welcome levity into the net neutrality bunfight, commenting on someone who filed the entirety of a Lord of the Rings script as part of an FCC complaint …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Nov 2014