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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 …
clawfoot_bath_cropped

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

National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

The UK's National Grid has planted the first of its new "T-pylons" — an elegant alternative to the traditional steel lattice monsters currently straddling Blighty's green and pleasant land. The T-pylon was born from a 2011 competition won by Danish architects Bystrup, who came up with a 35 meter-high monopole base design, …

Google wants Marvin the Paranoid Android's personality in the cloud

Someone at the Chocolate Factory doesn't realise that Douglas Adams wrote satire, and has patented replaceable robot personalities. In US Patent 8,996,429, filed in 2012 and published on March 31, Google's Anthony Francis and Thor Lewis propose a robot that “may be configured to tailor a personality for interaction with the user …
Disney's Beagle Boys

Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

Vid A pair of thieving dolts – caught after selfies taken on a stolen iPad were automatically uploaded to the owner's iCloud account – have been spared jail after pleading guilty to felony charges of theft. Dorian Walker-Gaines, 20, and Dillian Thompson, 22, each pleaded guilty to stealing cash and consumer electronics from the …

Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Updated Radio astronomers have moved to block the roll-out of an army of robotic lawnmowers in a submission to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The boffins claim that iRobot's deployment of the machines will interfere with their federally-funded radio astronomy. iRobot, well known for the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner but …

US law enforcement rushes to assist bumbling Canuck pirates

Crewmates of a replica Canadian pirate ship were rescued last week by US coast guards after the vessel’s engine shut off. Coast guards rescued nine pirates from the Canadian tall ship Liana's Ransom after receiving notification that the vessel's engines were disabled and its sails were wrapped around the mast. As the weather …
Kat Hall, 7 Apr 2015

V&A Museum shows Guardian's destroyed MacBook as ART

The remains of computer hardware which had contained the Guardian's London trove of Snowden documents – and which was destroyed on the rather spiteful demands of GCHQ personnel – have gone on display at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum. While the frankly unremarkable remnants of a MacBook Air are uninteresting in and of …
Booth babe banhammer

Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

The organizers of this year's RSA security conference have made at least one thing clear to exhibitors: no booth babes. The industry shindig has sent out a new dress code banning scantily clad models, regardless of gender, from wandering the show floor. The rules dictate that exhibitors cannot wear shorts, tank tops and halter …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2015

Blockhead fugitive Snapchats himself into police custody

The Somerset County Sheriff's Office in Maine cuffed burglary suspect Christopher Wallace this Sunday, following an extraordinary burst of Snapchat buffoonery from the 24-year-old. Several weeks ago the police department made it known that they were seeking Wallace in connection with a burglary. They had been unable to locate …
DJI Phantom 2 Drone

Drug drone not high enough: Brit lags' copter snared on prison wire

The first recorded attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison using a drone has ended in failure – after the gear-bearing gizmo got tangled in razor wire. "We were called to reports that a small drone had been discovered alongside a package in netting above a perimeter wall at HMP Bedford at 11.30pm on March 6," a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2015

Layla enjoys a Sanskrit makeover: Clapton set to become one of several Gods

Indian musician Krish Ashok is pleasing ears worldwide with a Sanskrit version of Eric Clapton's classic Layla, dubbed लीला, or "Leela". However, while the track is an agreeable homage to the original, its linguistic reach is limited. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, while Sanskrit is a recognised language in India, …
Lester Haines, 23 Mar 2015

Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

Ofcom has rejected a claim that Channel 4 infringed the privacy of a pregnant Southampton woman by broadcasting CCTV footage of her administering drunken oral pleasure to a chap in a tower block lift. "Ms K" lodged a complaint of "unwarranted infringement of privacy" to the TV watchdog regarding the 9 June 2014 episode of CCTV: …
Lester Haines, 20 Mar 2015
Sir Paul McCartney. Pic: kubacheck, Flickr

You – yes, YOU – can now 3D print your very own Paul McCartney

3D model of Sir Paul McCartney 3D model ... Sir Macca Sir Paul McCartney has made himself available to download and print as a 3D figure. You read that correctly. The Beatles legend was given a body scan as part of the Hope For The Future single he released last year. The video and song, created for the game Destiny, could …

Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered US clothing outfit American Apparel to pull a snap from its website which featured a prominent pair of youthful buttocks promoting the "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit". A cropped version of the offending image The watchdog received a single complaint …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2015
The reverse cowgirl

Watching porn makes men BETTER in bed, say trick-cyclists

It's widely believed that watching more porn tends to be a bad thing for a man's performance in real-world boudoir athletics: but a new study by trick-cyclists in Montreal suggests that in fact the reverse may be true. The study involved 280 Montreal men, who were asked how much porn they viewed in a week (with some apparently …
Lewis Page, 18 Mar 2015

Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

An Indian bride left her wedding ceremony after her gormless fiance failed to answer a simple maths question, it's being reported. Local police were called in to mediate the returning of gifts, including jewellery, which had been exchanged dowry-fashion between the families before the wedding. During the ceremony in Rasulabad, …
Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Obit Sir Terry Pratchett has left us at the age of 66, but he has gifted the next generation a massive archive of fiction and non-fiction that will delight, amuse and inform readers for years to come. It's a sad day at the El Reg offices, many of us were devoted fans. He was born on April 28, 1948, and wrote fiction as a teen. At 17 …
Iain Thomson, 12 Mar 2015