Bootnotes > More stories

77

Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

The engineer at the center of a massive self-driving car lawsuit – brought by Google-stablemate Waymo against Uber – neglects his kids, is wildly disorganized, and has a large selection of bondage gear, his former nanny has sensationally alleged. Anthony Levandowski may also be paying a Tesla techie for trade secrets, may have …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018
38

Private submarine builder charged with murder of journalist

Danish submariner Peter Madsen has today been charged with the murder of journalist Kim Wall. At a press conference Danish police announced that Madsen was also charged with dismembering Wall, and with "sexual assault without intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature", referencing multiple stab wounds found on the body. …
Richard Priday, 16 Jan 2018
46

Frenchman comes eye to eye with horror toilet python

A lucky Frenchman has narrowly avoided having his todger bitten by a python that crawled up his U-bend. The unnamed Grenoble resident, who lives in a second-floor flat in the centre of the southeastern French city, discovered the errant snake last Saturday night while preparing to unleash his own snake upon the innocent …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2018
KFC Canada's bitcoin bucket
81

Junk food meets junk money: KFC starts selling Bitcoin Bucket

KFC’s Canadian wing has started selling chicken for Bitcoin. The artery-clogging Bitcoin Bucket “Includes 10 Original Recipe Tenders, Waffle Fries, Med Side, Med Gravy and 2 Dips,” at a cost of however many Bitcoin equates to CA$20. KFC Canada’s page for the promotion helpfully includes live updates of that sum in Bitcoin. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2018
60

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds

Comment This week, the tech world has been consumed with intrigue over the details of alleged "sex parties" hosted by Silicon Valley's power brokers. But as more details have emerged, what we all knew to be true has been slowly reasserting itself: nerds don't do sex nor drugs nor rock and/or roll. The salacious claims have been the …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2018
black pudding coil...
94

Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

A butcher channelled the power of Ecky-Thump to escape being locked in his freezer when he saved his skin by using black pudding. Seventy-year-old Chris McCabe, of Totnes, Devon, England, found himself stuck when the wind blew the door of his outdoor freezer shut. He then discovered that the internal emergency release button …
Richard Priday, 11 Jan 2018
Osówka underground city. Pic by Richard Speed
68

Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Lurking just outside the Polish village of Sierpnica is a relic of World War II Nazi ambition. The Osówka complex is the largest and most accessible remnant of the huge Project Riese (translation: “Giant”), an effort to create an underground city capable of housing 20,000 or more Nazi troops and workers. The scope of Project …
Richard Speed, 11 Jan 2018
DSTL apprentice Verity Jackson with Jacob's little yellow submarine. Crown copyright/DSTL
56

UK.gov puts Suffolk 7-year-old's submarine design into production

The British government has put a seven-year-old boy's design for a submarine into production, saying the lad had "really thought about" his work. Apprentices from the Defence Science and Technology Lab (DSTL) took a submarine sketch sent to the government-owned lab by seven-year-old Jacob Bland, from Suffolk, which he said …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Jan 2018
Fidget Spinner
41

Fancy a fidget? Craze makes debut entry into PornHub's top searches

PornHub's annual deep dive into user stats and searches has revealed that, in 2017, people decided to take the fidget spinner trend to new levels. According to the mainstream porn site's year in review, visitors were interested in new ways of using the seemingly innocent, if highly annoying, kids' toy. (Top tip: El Reg did an …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018
131

Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad

A pub in County Durham, England, has been rapped by the UK Advertising Standards Agency after three complaints about its "German Night" advert were upheld. According to the ASA ruling, the Buck Inn in Sadberge near Darlington made a Facebook post on September 8 last year, promoting its German Night special menu. It featured in …
Richard Priday, 10 Jan 2018
109

Game of Thrones author's space horror Nightflyers hitting telly

HBO's epic Game of Thrones cycle may be coming to a close, but fans of the books the show is based on can take heart that author George R R Martin (GRRM) is sending another of his works to the tellybox. Variety reports that Nightflyers, GRRM's 1985 short story, has been picked up by the cable channel Syfy, which, in the UK at …
Richard Currie, 05 Jan 2018
71

Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

NATO, the military alliance originally formed to defend Europe against Soviet Russia, has formally adopted its own national anthem-style hymn. At this early stage in the article we find it necessary to assure readers that this is not a windup, nor is it April Fool’s Day. In a statement, NATO said that the NATO Hymn (catchy …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Jan 2018
Scots as Braveheart photo Cintia Erdens Paiva via Shutterstock
149

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Angry Scots are protesting against plans to slash the sugar content of their beloved national soft drink Irn-Bru and folk have begun stockpiling the beverage said to be a hangover cure. As of this month, Irn-Bru will be made with 50 per cent less sugar. Currently a can of has just under 140 calories, which will reduced to 65 …
Kat Hall, 04 Jan 2018
Confused lost-looking driver with map. Photo by SHutterstock
97

Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

A man from Bristol, England, lied to a government agency to get his hands on a private number plate reading "W1 DOW", a court has heard. In a hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, Miles Savory – director of Accident Claims Handlers – yesterday pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the personal information of the plate's owner …
Rebecca Hill, 04 Jan 2018
40

Weed wish you a merry Christmas: Pot-toting OAPs tell cops 30kg stash is for pressies

The friends and family of an elderly couple from Nebraska may have lost out on their share of almost 30kg of pot this festive season after cops spotted their stash. Police in the US state reportedly sniffed out the loot when they pulled over the pair's pickup truck for driving over the centre line and failing to indicate. …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Dec 2017
Merry Christmas Australia
15

Australia's future technology headlines … for 2019!

The technology industry loves to claim that the leaders of its Australian outposts are sages worthy of delivering prognostications from on high, rather than glorified territory managers with a continent to cover. So at this time of year they send El Reg predictions for what will happen on the local tech scene during the next …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2017
Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures
71

Meet R2-DILDO: 'Star Wars' sex toys? This is where the fun begins

Purveyor of, er, marital aids Geeky Sex Toys this month released a "Star Toys" range, a series of intimate tools for him and her brought lovingly to life in the shape of characters from the Star Wars franchise. The battery operated devices hit online shelves to coincide with the release of The Last Jedi, the latest instalment …
Richard Priday, 21 Dec 2017
smokestack
71

Danger! High voltage: German customs bods burn half-tonne of weed in power station

A power station in Olching, Bavaria, blazed like it was 4/20 yesterday after German authorities used it to burn around 550kg of marijuana. The weed, Südeutsche Zeitung reported, could have provided close to 3.8 million joints. It was discovered by the Munich Customs Department in a Serbian truck south of Nuremberg in December …
Richard Priday, 20 Dec 2017
graveyard_648
26

How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you

Comment When Knowledge Graph – Google's apparently authoritative box to the side of the search results – sneezes, the world catches a factoid flu. This was vividly dramatised with a recent NYT article where writer Rachel Abrams found she had "died" four years ago – according to the Infobox. She then tried to convince Google she was …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Dec 2017
Rochdale Town Hall, in Greater Manchester
41

Ey-up, mardy Rochdale council has dropped plans for ban on swearing. Thank f$ck!

The northern council of Rochdale has scrapped its plan to fine people £100 for swearing in the town. Despite being the home of Co-operation, Gracie Fields and Lisa Stansfield, business in Rochdale's town centre has gone downhill in more recent years, and the council said it proposed the blue-word ban as part of efforts to …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Dec 2017
TURKEY LEG COVERED IN SPICES
39

Kent woman to season festive dinner with her mother's ashes

A woman from Kent, England, intends to redefine the meaning of a cremated Christmas dinner this year as she plans to serve her mother's ashes with her festive meal. Debra Parsons, from Folkestone, will set a place for her mother at the table to ensure she is properly remembered as her guests eat their specially seasoned fare, …
Richard Priday, 18 Dec 2017
Professor Heinz Wolff. Pic: Brunel University
59

Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died

Obit Professor Heinz Wolff, the bonkers-haired boffin who brought delight and joy to millions of BBC viewers in the 1970s and 1980s, has died aged 89. The German-born professor, who arrived in the UK aged 11 along with his Jewish family on the day that the Second World War broke out, was best known for his BBC 2 series The Great …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Dec 2017
pope_francis_648
104

Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

Christmas is typically a busy time of year for the Holy Father, but thankfully Pope Francis has found time to decree that made-up stories are a "serious sin". In fact, @Pontifex plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to this pressing world problem of "fake news", according to Associated Press. He told …
Kat Hall, 18 Dec 2017
Christmas turkey wrapped in bacon with Brussels sprouts on the side
212

At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Boozing in the morning, blazing family rows in the afternoon, and passing out in front of the telly – trousers unbuttoned – by 5pm. All of these are annual traditions of Christmas but when it comes to dinner, what makes the perfect festive nosh? Everyone has their own take on Yuletide overindulgence, and inevitably something …
Kat Hall, 13 Dec 2017
56

Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?

Comment The co-founder of the website that has propagated some of the internet's most enduring falsehoods on an industrial scale will address a Westminster conference about "fake news". Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia will keynote a Westminster Media Forum entitled "Next steps for tackling fake news". Among the topics is "collaboration, …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Dec 2017
61

Coventry: Once a 'Ghost Town', soon to be UK City of Culture

Coventry – the city that was flattened by the Luftwaffe and later inspired The Specials' urban decay anthem "Ghost Town" – has been named the UK City of Culture 2021. The West Midlands metropolis beat Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea and Sunderland to gain the four-year title, currently held by Hull and before that by …
Kat Hall, 11 Dec 2017
Don't be an idiot
201

YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

A YouTube stunt imbecile was rescued by firefighters yesterday after cementing his head inside a microwave. The video of the incident, titled I cemented my head in a microwave and emergency services came.. (nearly died), can be found on the TGFbro channel, as part of an "Extreme Christmas Calendar" series. It has gained more …
Richard Priday, 08 Dec 2017
happy smiley ghost character
78

Meet the woman with a supernatural affinity for stiff lovers

It takes all sorts to make a world and some on the fringes of life often turn up on daytime TV. And so El Reg was fascinated by the story of Amethyst Realm, who dumped a human in the, er, physical realm to become a ghostbuster banger. Realm, a 27-year-old spiritual guidance consultant, told her tale of the lucky stiffs to …
Paul Kunert, 07 Dec 2017
Cannabis leaves
57

O Christmas wreath, O Christmas wreath, thy potent skunk's in bunches

Nothing says Christmas like a wreath. Except of course a reefer wreath. But why stop at Jesus and Mary, when you can add a full ounce of Mary Jane, dressed with eucalyptus, wheat and rosemary that stoners can use to decorate their knockers this festivus. The seasonal arrangement, only on sale in Los Angeles, is the result of a …
Paul Kunert, 06 Dec 2017
Man sleeping at desk
38

Viagra's Irish plant STILL giving local men and dogs stiffies (not really)

The near two decade-old story that refuses to lie down aroused interest again at the weekend: folk from Ringaskiddy in rural Ireland complained once more that a nearby Viagra plant was still giving local men and, um, dogs a chubby. The village first popped up in 1998 when reports surfaced that the smell of chemicals used by …
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2017
Spock
116

Quentin Tarantino in talks to make Star Trek movie

Entertainment publication Deadline Hollywood has reported that cinematic enfant terrible Quentin Tarantino has pitched an idea for a new Star Trek film. Deadline's quoted sources who said Tarantino “has come up with a great idea” for a new instalment set in the re-booted Trek universe. JJ Abrams, who launched the re-boot, may …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2017
82

WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli

A World War II German Enigma machine will be among the valuables a US court plans to seize from convicted felon and shamed former pharmaceuticals exec Martin Shkreli. The Enigma box is listed among the valuable assets American prosecutors plan to take to help cover the $7.4m in forfeiture the New York Eastern District ordered …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2017
Location pin with warning
71

Foil snack food bags make a decent Faraday cage, judge finds

An Australian electrician has failed in an effort to regain his job after a judge ruled he hid a work-issued GPS-equipped PDA in a foil snack food bag to avoid being tracked. Mr Tom Colella claimed he was unfairly dismissed from his job as an electrician, after someone ratted him out to the boss for playing golf during working …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Dec 2017
A donkey
30

Lock them up and throw away the (don)key

Eight donkeys were released from an Indian jail yesterday after the law proved itself to be, well, an ass, and imprisoned them for eating the prison officers' plants. The jail in Urai, Uttar Pradesh, freed the beasts of burden after four days due to an unnamed local politician paying their bail on the owner's behalf. The …
Richard Priday, 28 Nov 2017
verity stob portrait
22

2001: A Stob Odyssey

Stob has obtained access to the unpublished journals of a young British programmer who found herself assigned to the elite team that built the HAL 9000 computer during the 1990s. **Undated, circa 1992.** It's so confusing here in Urbana, Illinois, especially after Croydon. For one thing they say 'Hey!' when they just mean 'Hi …
Verity Stob, 28 Nov 2017
Tom Baker Doctor Who
69

Tom Baker returns to finish shelved Doctor Who episodes penned by Douglas Adams

The fourth and finest Doctor, Tom Baker, has reprised the role to finish a Who serial scuppered in 1979 by strike action at the BBC. Shada, penned by Hitchhiker's Guide author Douglas Adams, was supposed to close Doctor Who's 17th season. Location filming in Cambridge and a studio session were completed but the strike nixed …
Richard Currie, 27 Nov 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018