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One entire US spook base: Yours for $1m+

Those readers with a few bucks to spare and who fancy owning an entire US base with a decidedly spooky history should proceed directly here for the opportunity to bid on Sugar Grove Station in West Virginia. The facility once served nearby antennas forming part of ECHELON, and although the eavesdropping kit isn't included in …
Lester Haines, 9 Jun 2016
Bill gates by https://www.flickr.com/photos/oninnovation/ cc2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Bill Gates cooks up poultry recipe for Africans' paltry existence

Not satisfied with trying to stamp out malaria, recycling poo water into something people can drink and subjecting world + dog to software over the years, now Bill Gates wants to solve hunger in sub-Saharan Africa. “Help me give away 100,000 chickens,” Gates said on Twitter, “If I were living in extreme poverty, I’d want to …
Paul Kunert, 9 Jun 2016

If The Register made reality music TV, this is what it would look like

Competition Spotify is spending a lot of money on original music-related video content. Some of it is dull and worthy, but some of it has the surreal desperation of Alan Partridge attempting to revive his career. Inspired by this, we invited readers to come up with their own candidates for new music TV shows – and you didn't disappoint. …

Brit Olympian defies Zika with frozen man oysters

British long jumper Greg Rutherford and his other half Susie Verrill have responded to the possible threat posed by the Zika virus by having the athlete's sperm frozen before he jets off to the Rio Olympics in August. Verrill will remain at home with the couple's young son Milo, citing "the cost and logistics of travel" as two …
Lester Haines, 8 Jun 2016

Marauding monkey blacks out Kenya

Kenya yesterday suffered a four-hour nationwide blackout caused by a monkey tripping a transformer at a hydroelectric power plant. 'Leccy producer KenGen said: "At 1129 hours this morning, a monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer tripping it. This caused other machines at the power …
Lester Haines, 8 Jun 2016
flag.Scotland

Scots denied Saltire emoji

The Scottish former First Minister Alex Salmond has bemoaned the absence of a Saltire emoji from the forthcoming Unicode 9.0 release. Salmond told north of the border publication The Courier: "Last year, I wrote to both Apple and the Unicode Consortium, asking them to consider including the Saltire in their next update. …
Lester Haines, 7 Jun 2016

Q: Is it wrong to dress as a crusader for an England match?

The BBC has simultaneously proved Betteridge's law of headlines and got the Daily Mail into a right tizz with an interactive piece entitled "Is it wrong to dress as a crusader for an England match?" The question arises ahead of the forthcoming Euro 2016 tournament as the result of some England footie fans' penchant for donning …
Lester Haines, 7 Jun 2016

Rogue Somerset vulture lands at Royal Navy airbase

UPDATED The "massive great big" vulture which went AWOL in Somerset last week has indeed proved as "hard to miss" as his owners promised, after he was spotted at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton yesterday. According to Birds of Prey Displays, Arthur – a white-headed vulture – was carried away by strong winds during a performance at …
Lester Haines, 7 Jun 2016

Belgian brewery lays 3.2km beer pipeline

Bruges brewery De Halve Maan (The Half Moon) is about to open the valves on a €4m beer pipeline designed to carry vital supplies the 3.2km from its city centre production facility to its bottling plant. The subterranean ale conduit was the brainchild of De Halve Maan's head honcho Xavier Vanneste, who wanted a solution to the …
Lester Haines, 6 Jun 2016
Shouting match

Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

While nerds have the pronunciation of "gif" to argue over, the rest of the world continues to battle over whether the word "internet" should be capitalized or not. This week the Associated Press stepped into the breach and announced from here on in, it would use a lowercase "internet" and a lowercase "web." Starting today, AP …

Unicode serves up bacon emoji

On 21 June, the world will become a slightly more agreeable place with the release of Unicode 9.0 - not because the standard will offer "Arabic characters to support Bravanese and Warsh, which are used in North and West Africa, along with Pakistani Quranic marks" and "significant updates to segmentation algorithms", but rather …
Lester Haines, 3 Jun 2016

One espresso is not theft, Oz judge rules, it's part of civilization

Give us your desperate IT students, struggling to pay the rent on 20 hours a week as a cleaner, and Australia can at least give you the odd cup of coffee. In a case that shocked Vulture South to its very core, an international IT student was sacked in January for brushing up on one of the core skills of the industry: locating …

Winston Churchill glowers from Blighty's plastic fiver

The Bank of England today unveiled the UK's first plastic banknote - a polymer fiver featuring Winston Churchill. Speaking at a ceremony at Churchill's birthplace, Blenheim Palace, the bank's governor Mark Carney declared: "The New Fiver will commemorate the achievements of the only Prime Minister to win the Nobel Prize for …
Lester Haines, 2 Jun 2016
Samsung Chef Collection Oven

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

A new survey by PwC shows that British homeowners are more concerned with practical applications and financial advantages rather than the need to be “tech-tastic” when it comes to smart technology at home. The majority of participants (72 per cent) were uninterested in making their homes smarter, and were not looking to buy …
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Water divining project abandoned after blowing AU$60k

Two Australian councils are out-of-pocket after funding an attempt to use water divining to help top up Lake Albert near the southern NSW town of Wagga Wagga. Lake Albert is a popular watersports location in the Riverina, but it suffers heavy evaporation losses and in summer, it can lose 25 per cent of its water. That led the …
Still from Music video by The Beastie Boys performing (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party). (C) 1986 The Island Def Jam Music Group

You've gotta fight... for your right... to IT

Sysadmin Blog Perhaps the greatest lie ever told is that the many are powerless against the few. This is rarely, if ever, true, yet is something that we are told every day of our lives until we believe it. This is especially the case when it comes to IT. If the many are powerless against the few, then surely the individual has no chance to …
Trevor Pott, 31 May 2016

Swedish old timer pulls airsoft gun on broadband salesman

A feisty Swedish sexagenarian earned herself an appearance before the beak for clearly demonstrating that she wasn't interested in fast fibre or pay TV by allegedly pulling what looked like a pistol on a hapless salesman. She has been arrested and charged with assault. According to the indictment, she admits to pointing an …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2016

UK eyes frikkin' Laser Directed Energy Weapon

The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is considering several contenders to supply a Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) for evaluation as part of a programme which could "ultimately could see the MOD fund a full-up programme to buy defensive laser weapon system". According to this report, companies …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2016
Venomous snake

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

A Thai chap's "morning routine of a shower and protracted bowel movement" was rudely interrupted earlier this week when a 4-metre python clamped its laughing gear round his todger as he squatted over the throne. According to an eye-watering report by Khaosod English - (some pics quite possibly NSFW) - Atthaporn Boonmakchuay of …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016

Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?

Gillian Anderson has got a her fans all a-tizz down at Twitter with a hint that she might be prepared to fill Daniel Craig's shoes as 007. Gillian Anderson's Jane Bond tweet To secure the role, Anderson will have to beat off stiff competition from Idris Elba, Damian Lewis and Tom Hiddleston - all of whom are in the frame for …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2016

Blighty's Virgin Queen threatened with foreign abduction

Royal Museums Greenwich has launched an appeal to save for the nation a fine reminder of when England's dealings with Europe involved not referendums but hostile navies at the receiving end of righteous storm and cannon fire. The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I. Pic: Royal Museums Greenwich A reminder of the good old days ( …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2016

Wayne Rooney razzles in X-Men: Apocalypse plug

It's Friday, and if you need a solid excuse to run screaming from your PC in search of a pint, look no further than this direful Manchester United plug for X-Men: Apocalypse: Anything for the team you say, @WayneRooney? Good luck! #XMenApocalypse https://t.co/ym1XtMansq — Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 20, 2016 Reaction …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016

Hack probing poodle sacrifice cuffed for public crap

An Arizona TV journalist on assignment covering the alleged sacrifice and smoking of a family poodle was arrested earlier this week for allegedly dropping his pants and dumping a load in public. According to the Phoenix New Times, CBS 5's Jonathan Lowe is alleged to have been caught short in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016

India roasts as mercury hits 51°C

Those readers with a tendency to wilt with rising temperatures are advised to steer clear of the Indian state of Rajasthan, where the mercury yesterday hit a blistering 51°C. The city of Phalodi broke India's previous record of 50.6°C, registered in 1956, during a heatwave which has seen the country's north and west suffer …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016
Airbus rendering of the new Beluga XL jetliner

Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

The A380 may be able to haul hundreds of people across oceans and continents in considerable comfort, but aerosexuals* find it hard to love on aesthetic grounds. And now Airbus has signalled it intends to make even uglier planes next year. You'll need to be a very dedicated aviation enthusiast to see the new ugly birds, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 May 2016
Google car

Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

Google has been granted a patent on a system that would adhere victims of car strikes to the vehicle for their own safety. US Patent 9,340,178 describes a substance that would be hidden under a protective layer, only to be exposed on impact to adhere pedestrians or crash victims to the car rather than tumbling to the pavement …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2016
Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. Pic: Jennifer Jane Mills

5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

Five per cent of Britons would choose the voice of Nigel Farage as their in-car virtual assistant. And 3 per cent want to be advised of traffic jams ahead by the Chuckle Brothers. The poll of over 2,000 Britons for voice company Nuance suggests a wide range of celebrity choices, although perhaps thankfully, more would choose a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2016

Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

Brit band Radiohead have got the good burghers of Middle England choking on their breakfast cereal with the video for single Burn the Witch, which reinvents an idyllic English village as a dark rural enclave of "paganism and sacrificial murder". A still from Burn The Witch, showing a pagan ritual Burn The Witch: Paganism and …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2016

'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

A Kansas high school graduation ceremony ended prematurely for two attendees yesterday when one shot himself in the foot with a concealed handgun, in the process seriously wounding another. According to local news outlet KWCH, the incident occurred just before 2pm yesterday at Augusta High School's outdoor stadium, when a man …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2016

Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

An Australian man whose penis somehow became lodged in a ring spanner earlier this week was freed in the traditional manner - by a fire crew bearing an angle grinder. According to this local report, "firies" were called to a hospital in the New South Wales city of Tweed Heads on Monday to perform what for them is apparently …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2016

Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

In what promises to be an entertaining night, politically at least, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia will face off in Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest final in Stockholm. Yesterday's second semifinal saw Ukraine's Jamala's cheerful ditty 1944 safely through to challenge Russkie crooner Sergey Lazarev and You Are The Only One for …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2016
School Computer Lab from Shutterstock

Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Students who have access to computer devices in the classroom do significantly worse than colleagues without them, a study has found. In a study by MIT's School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative, titled The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military …

French duck-crushing device sells for €40k

A duck-crushing device pertaining to posh Paris eatery Tour d'Argent has sold at auction for a wallet-draining €40,000. The silver-plated duck press was specifically created for the preparation of the restaurant's signature canard à la presse, and had been expected to attract around €4,000-€6,000 when it went under the hammer …
Lester Haines, 10 May 2016

Japanese artist fined for virtual vagina files

Artist Megumi Igarashi - aka "Rokudenashi-ko" - has been fined ¥400,000 (roughly £2,560) for distributing 3D printable files of her genitalia - an offence under Japan's obscenity laws which prohibit the depiction of reproductive parts. Igarashi was cuffed back in July 2014 for supplying virtual ladyparts via email to a "30- …
Lester Haines, 9 May 2016
A wasp, from Shutterstock

Wasps force two passenger jets into emergency landings

More proof that everything in Australia is trying to kill you: the nation's Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has published details of how wasps have caused two passenger jets to make emergency landings. The good news: the wasps in question are not some kind of giant mutants that can bat a plane from the sky and sting it on the …

'Bitcoin creator' Craig Yeah Wright in meltdown

The creator of Craig Wright, Craig Wright, has managed to stay in the news for a fourth day: this time for having a depressingly inevitable meltdown following his failure, yet again, to prove he is the inventor of digi-currency bitcoin. Earlier this week, the Australian went direct to three UK media outlets -– the BBC, …

Woman charged with blowing AU$4.6m overdraft on 'a lot of handbags'

A 21-year-old woman has appeared in court in Sydney accused of taking advantage of a Westpac Bank glitch which saw her accidentally granted an unlimited overdraft against which she allegedly withdrew AU$4.6m, "part of which she spent on luxury handbags", as news.com.au puts it. Chemical engineering student Christine Jiaxin Lee …
Lester Haines, 5 May 2016

Siemens Healthcare struck by rebranding madness

Logowatch Those of delicate linguistic sensibilities are advised to look away as we report today that the Siemens tentacle previous known as Siemens Healthcare has gone under the surgeon's rebranding knife and emerged as the quite remarkable Siemens Healthineers. The Siemens Healthineers logo According to head honcho healthineer …
Lester Haines, 5 May 2016

EU set to bin €500 note

The European Central Bank (ECB) will likely agree today to stop production of the meaty €500 note, which has long been considered a handy tool for criminals wishing to do illicit transactions with cash wedges of manageable dimensions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ECB's Governing Council will decide not to produce …
Lester Haines, 4 May 2016

Venezuela tops world lightning conductor league

Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo has wrested the world's "maximum lightning activity" crown from Africa's Congo Basin, according to electrifying data from the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Using 16 years of detection data from the now-deceased TRMM satellite's …
Lester Haines, 3 May 2016
Messerschmitt micro-car

Auto erotic: Self-driving cars will let occupants bonk on the go

A Canadian car safety expert has introduced the world to a surprising moral panic, warning that if people no longer have to drive their cars, they'll have sex in them instead. The idea that an autonomous vehicle might become a “shaggin' wagon”* comes from Barrie Kirk, Executive Director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles …

Your mother has a smooth forehead, Klingon language lovers roar at Paramount

The Language Creation Society is very unhappy about an effort by movie studio Paramount to copyright the language of bumpy-headed Star Trek aliens, the Klingons. In an amicus curiae brief filed with an LA court, the society claims that Klingon is a "living language" and cannot be owned. "The greater whole is a living …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2016