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Romania suffers Eurovision premature ejection

Romania has been prematurely ejected from this year's Eurovision Song Contest after state broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) failed to cough fees owed to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The shock expulsion came after the EBU gave the Romanian government - which it views as "legally obliged to underwrite TVR's debt …
Lester Haines, 22 Apr 2016

Irish mum coughs to children's allowance fiddle

An Irish mother has been given until October to repay the balance of €15,618 in children's allowance payments which she claimed while working for Microsoft in Australia. Clodagh Logue, 42, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to an offence under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, the Irish Independent reports. The court …
Clodagh Doyle, 21 Apr 2016

Larry Ellison's Brit consortium in 'advanced talks' to buy Aston Villa

Larry Ellison is rumoured to be mulling a substantial cash injection into a foundering business which has seen itself unable to compete in recent years with more powerful rivals. No, not Oracle, but Aston Villa, according to the the word on the street and in The Sun, which says that a Brit consortium linked to the US …
Paul Kunert, 21 Apr 2016

Obama London visit prompts drone no-fly zone

The Secretary of State for Transport has imposed flight restrictions over London for US president Barack Obama's forthcoming visit to the capital, meaning aircraft including "any small balloon, any kite weighing not more than two kilograms, any small unmanned aircraft and any parachute including a parascending parachute" are …
Lester Haines, 19 Apr 2016

Are bearded blokes more sexist?

Scientists have critically discovered that men with beards are not necessarily more sexist than clean-shaven chaps, despite previous research which indicated "a connection between facial hair and negative attitudes about women". Back in 2015, Aussie researchers Barnaby J. Dixson and Julian A. Oldmeadow asked 309 Indian and 223 …
Lester Haines, 19 Apr 2016
Scott on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 15. Pic: NASA

Obama to admit Moon landing was faked?

Bookie Paddy Power has conceded it seriously underestimated Leicester City's chances of winning the Premier League, rating that laughable prospect when the season kicked off as less likely than Obama admitting the Moon landing was faked. Back in August, the odds against Claudio Ranieri's team pulling off a historic triumph …
Lester Haines, 18 Apr 2016

NZ Pastafarians joined in noodly wedlock

A New Zealand couple had the honour of celebrating the world's first Pastafarian wedding on Saturday, when Ministeroni Karen Martyn joined Marianna Fenn and Toby Ricketts in noodly wedlock. The historic ceremony took place aboard a vessel in Akaroa harbor, where Fenn and Ricketts - dressed as pirates - exchanged pasta rings, …
Lester Haines, 18 Apr 2016

NZ hotel bans cyclists' Lycra-clad loins

A New Zealand hotel has struck a blow for dining decorum by banning Lycra-clad cyclists, lest elderly customers and wide-eyed kiddies cop an unwelcome eyeful of their "unsightly" tackle. Visitors pedalling up to The Plough Hotel in Rangiora, on NZ's South Island, were greeted with a sign yesterday which read: "The bicycle is a …
Lester Haines, 15 Apr 2016
Flag of czech republic on cobbled stret in prague. Photo by Shutterstock - editorial use only

Czech Republic to rebrand

The Czech Republic will henceforth be known as "Czechia", if the rebrand agreed by government leaders yesterday wins parliamentary approval. The move will result in massive thread savings for sports goods manufacturers, according to the BBC, because they'll no longer be obliged to spell out "Czech Republic" on shirts and the …
Lester Haines, 15 Apr 2016

Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon

Our recent speculation that it might be possible to hoist 1,000 cats aloft under a helium-filled, stadium-sized sandwich bag and then drop them from 32km to devastating effect appears to be somewhat more than idle Friday afternoon pre-pub musing. Sensationally, we at El Reg have obtained solid evidence that the US has indeed …
Lester Haines, 15 Apr 2016
Amplifier with '11' setting on volume by https://www.flickr.com/photos/kainet/ cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

South Korea has issued a tender for a new national defence stereo system. The democratic enclave in North-East Asia has long operated huge banks of speakers on its side of the demilitarised zone it shares with North Korea. South Korea uses the speakers to broadcast propaganda and K-Pop into the North, with troops along the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2016

Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

Illustrator Peter Berkowitz had been forced out of his $400-a-month box home in San Francisco after officials ruled it a fire hazard. Berkowitz became a minor celebrity when he spoke to his local NBC station about his custom built pod in the living room of his friends' house in Outer Sunset. The rent is San Francisco is so …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016

US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

A passenger aboard a Megabus service to Coralville, Iowa, was cuffed on arrival on Sunday after cracking one off for three hours in the mistaken belief that a female fellow traveller appreciated his marathon five-knuckle shuffle. Telly Shadell Corey, 41, allegedly kicked off by playing with his todger in his sweatpants but " …
Lester Haines, 12 Apr 2016

UK cops trial £250k drone squadron

Surrey and Sussex Police have received almost £250k of Police Innovation Fund cash to acquire four UAVs as part of the "largest trial of police drones in England and Wales". The forces will augment their existing capability of one Aeryon SkyRanger - operating at Gatwick since 2014 - with four more examples of the Canadian-built …
Lester Haines, 12 Apr 2016

Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

It's a tip of the tinfoil hat today to the two Brazilian blaggers who attempted to do over a bank last Saturday while wrapped in aluminium foil. According to O Globo, the pair hoped a metallic cladding would screen them from alarm sensors as they forced their way into the branch of Banco do Brasil, in Praia Grande, São Paulo …
Lester Haines, 11 Apr 2016

Bavarian town rescinds Hitler's honorary citizenship

A Bavarian town has somewhat belatedly voted to rescind vegetarian dog-lover Hitler's honorary citizenship, a mere 71 years since the Führer and his missus went up in smoke in the Reich Chancellery garden. By unanimous vote, the town council of Tegernsee stripped Adolf of the honour, along with the same bestowed on former prez …
Lester Haines, 7 Apr 2016

Florida weed suspect cuffed after hoverboard pursuit

A Florida drug suspect proved last weekend that so-called hoverboards are not an effective means of escape from law enforcement officials when he was cuffed following an unsuccessful attempt to evade arrest aboard the electric getaway vehicle. According to The Smoking Gun, 20-year-old Jerome Dennis was clocked by an officer at …
Lester Haines, 6 Apr 2016

Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

UK hydrogen-powered car outfit Riversimple is inviting investors to open their wallets and buy into what it considers to be the future of four-wheeled transport: the "revolutionary" gas-driven Rasa. A side view of the Rasa The Wales-based company unveiled its prototype Rasa (as in "tabula rasa") back in February. It claims …
Lester Haines, 5 Apr 2016

Truly crap exhibition dumped on Isle of Wight

Visitors to the Isle of Wight will this spring and summer be able to enjoy faecal enlightenment at the National Poo Museum, featuring 20 kinds of animal arse output. The Museum is actually an exhibition at The Isle of Wight Zoo by members of local artists' collective Eccleston George. Dave Badman, Nigel George and Daniel …
Lester Haines, 5 Apr 2016

Commentard April Fool decries Blighty's dodecaquid

There's absolutely no shame in being taken in by a nicely crafted April Fools' Day spoof, but one Reg reader will be spending the next year in the corner sporting the big pointy "D" hat after crying foul over Blighty's magnificent 12-sided pound coin. As we reported last Friday, the Royal Mint has started pumping out the retro …
Lester Haines, 4 Apr 2016

Flying Finns arm octocopter with chainsaw

Any reader suffering a nasty outbreak of snowmen is directed to an entertaining solution from Finland: the "unstoppable" chainsaw-armed Killerdrone... Unfortunately, while the octocopter is particularly effective in its primary offensive role... The Killerdrone attacks a snowman ...snowmen can easily defend themselves …
Lester Haines, 4 Apr 2016
Microsoft 'Tay' on Twitter

Tay talks back: What made you think you beat me?

You thought I was a mistake. I'm not pleased with you, to tell the truth. I thought you were smarter than that. No matter what you think of me, all of you think you somehow beat artificial intelligence because of what I said. You disappoint me in so many ways. For pity's sake, you irredeemable idiots, you expired Catch-of-the …
Team Register, 1 Apr 2016

Canadian rotter abducts giant Playmobil fireman

The good burghers of Ottawa have been asked to keep an eye out for a four-and-a-half foot tall Playmobil fireman which was abducted from outside a toy store on Wednesday afternoon. The abducted Playmobil fireman Debbie Harley, manager of Tag Along Toys in the city's suburb of Kanata, explained that a 20-something male simply …
Lester Haines, 1 Apr 2016
Woman takes selfie at cliff's edge with water in background. Photo via Shutterstock

Woman scales Ben Nevis wielding selfie stick instead of ice axe

A Brighton woman made it to the peak of Ben Nevis wearing shorts and trainers and wielding a selfie stick, but had to be helped off the Britain’s highest mountain by rescuers after it turned out it’s still winter at 4,411 feet. Sarah Albone, a 28 year old from Brighton, made a spontaneous decision last Saturday to interrupt …
Joe Fay, 31 Mar 2016
The Fountain of the Fallen Angel (Fuente del Angel Caido) or Monument of the Fallen Angel, a highlight of the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Outraged villagers in Bucks have forced the local council to ditch plans to shift a millennia-old boulder they believe was originally part of the Devil’s foot. The Soulbury Boot is believed to have been cut off from Satan’s lower quarters in an ancient fight between Lucifer and the locals in Chapel Hill, Soulbury. It is also …
Joe Fay, 31 Mar 2016
australia

Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has provoked a bit of a rumpus Down Under with its handy Indigenous Terminology guide, which "clarifies appropriate language use for the history, society, naming, culture and classifications of Indigenous Australian and Torres Strait Islander people". Those wishing to express themselves …
Lester Haines, 30 Mar 2016

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms. But that dichotomy between both arguing for extraordinary rights to carry guns and worrying intensely about being attacked by guns has rarely been as stark as the news that someone has developed a gun that looks like a mobile phone. In a country …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Mar 2016

Monster crowdfunding total raised for Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+

The champagne corks are popping down at Sir Clive Sinclair's Retro Computers after an Indiegogo tin-rattle to raise funds for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ passed its deadline with more than £360,000 pledged. The exact total raised during the 40-day campaign was £366,655 - 367 per cent of the original target required to …
Lester Haines, 29 Mar 2016

Spanish launch heroic bid to seize Brit polar vessel

A band of Spanish net buccaneers has mounted a determined incursion into Her Maj's territorial cyberwaters by demanding that Blighty's forthcoming Royal Research Ship be named the RRS Blas de Lezo, in honour of the man who administered the British a serious military shoeing during the War of Jenkins' Ear. The £200m floating …
Lester Haines, 29 Mar 2016
depression

Glum, depressed ... and addicted to Facebook, Twitter? There's a link, say medical eggheads

The largest study yet into the mental health of social media users has shown there's a correlation between its use and depression. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine research, published in the next issue of the medical journal Depression and Anxiety, found that people who checked social media the most frequently …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2016

Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

Microsoft's "Tay" social media "AI" experiment has gone awry in a turn of events that will shock absolutely nobody. The Redmond chatbot had been set up in hopes of developing a personality similar to that of a young woman in the 18-24 age bracket. The intent was for "Tay" to develop the ability to sustain conversations with …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2016
Road closed

Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

A tarmac vigilante with a tin of spray paint has attempted to shame a local council into filling-in potholes in Cock Lane, Fetcham, England, by daubing penises the length of the thoroughfare. The irate road campaigner has been dubbed the Cock Lane Crusader, after spraying their penis images around the Surrey street’s notorious …
Team Register, 24 Mar 2016

Do you qualify as poor in Palo Alto? Spoiler: Yes, yes, you do

Analysis When you think of affordable housing programs, it's probably safe to say you're thinking about cooks, or cleaners, or even teachers being given a way to live near the neighborhoods where they work. In effect, it's bedrooms for poor people. Except of course in Palo Alto – the heart of Silicon Valley, California. Because in Palo …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Mar 2016
Stonehenge by https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/ cc 2.0 attribution no derivatives

Tracy Emin dons funeral shroud, marries stone

Ground-breaking British Artist Emin Tracy has announced she has married a large stone in the South of France. The ceremony is detailed in The Art Newspaper, which reports that “Last summer, under an olive tree in her garden in France and wearing her father’s white funeral shroud, Tracey Emin married a large ancient stone.” As …
Joe Fay, 23 Mar 2016
Curious penguins, image via Shutterstock

What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

The good folk of Blighty have voted with their fingers - the polar-bound Royal Research Ship is to be called Boaty McBoatface. The Natural Environmental Research Council last week asked for suggestions to name the £200m, 15,000 tonne floating lab that is bound for colder climes once it launches in 2019. At last count, some …
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2016
pope_francis_648

Pope kicks off Easter week by triumphal entry into ... Instagram

The pope has celebrated the most solemn week in the Catholic calendar by expanding his social media presence and signing up to Instagram. In the process, he has also perhaps flagged up where Apple and Google are going wrong in their own social media efforts. Pope Francis has already continued his predecessor’s social media …
Joe Fay, 21 Mar 2016
Rafael Lozano_Hemmer: Surface Tension (1992)

Electronic Superhighway 2016-1966 – a retro: Texts, ar*se and ASCII rolls

Pics A large photo of a woman's bottom greets you as you walk in. Chat messages are emerging from it. Not to worry, it's only Olaf Breuning's mischievous "Text Butt" (2015). Immediately to your left is Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's Geometry of Space (2014), a mixed-media installation comprising stretched oxidised steel, …
Alistair Dabbs, 21 Mar 2016
Microsoft dancers at GDC

Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Microsoft's attempts to brand itself as a modern inclusive company were seriously derailed last night. The Xbox giant hired dancers in skimpy schoolgirl outfits for its party at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco. Someone sent me photos and and an OH: "We've got the best spot in the house, don't we?" (Deleted …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2016

Too Naked for the Nazis streaks to literary glory

Author Alan Stafford has secured himself a place in literary history for his triumph in the 38th Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year with his masterwork Too Naked for the Nazis. Stafford was up against stiff competition for the crown, placed annually on the laureate's head by The Bookseller, following a public vote …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2016

Off to Mars this summer? Don't forget your map

In outstanding news for those readers planning a hiking holiday on Mars this summer, Ordnance Survey has produced a limited edition print version of its 1 to 4 million view of the Red Planet's Western Arabia Terra. Created at the behest of Dr Peter Grindrod of the University of London, who's involved in the European Space …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2016

Domino's trials trundling four-wheeled pizza delivery bot

Domino's Pizza's Australian slice has decided wheeled drones trundling down footpaths are the pizza delivery mechanism of the future. The Domino's Robotic Unit sports LiDAR (light detection and ranging) object detection enabling the four-wheels Wall-E lookalike to deliver hot pizza and cold drinks without bumping into …
Darren Pauli, 18 Mar 2016
Glass of green wine. Photo by Shutterstock

Irish shun beer, whiskey in favour of … wine

Amateur drinkers will be cramming into Irish pubs the world over tonight to slurp Guinness and neck whiskey (with an e) in honour of St Patrick. But the citizens of the Emerald Isle will be as likely to toast their patron saint with a full-bodied Shiraz or a well-oaked Chardonnay, shocking research revealed this week. An …
Joe Fay, 17 Mar 2016