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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
Sir Terry Pratchett

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of more than 70 books including the hugely popular Discworld series, has died at his home in the company of his family and cat. He was 66. Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night. — Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) March 12, 2015 …
Iain Thomson, 12 Mar 2015
Hello Barbie

Mattel urged to scrap Wi-Fi mic Barbie after Register investigation

Privacy activists are urging Mattel to axe its Hello Barbie doll, which sends recordings of children's voices across the internet for voice-recognition analysis. The improbably proportioned doll is fitted with a small embedded computer, a microphone, a speaker and a Wi-Fi interface. When the toy's belt buckle is pressed, Barbie …
Iain Thomson, 12 Mar 2015

'Roly poly' soft, wobbly robot BANGS EXPLOSIVELY, leaps 0.5m in air

Boffins at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering at Zurich have developed an “untethered, jumping, roly-poly” soft robot powered by explosive gases. Soft Robotics is a field of bio-inspired robotics which derives its inspiration from animals such as starfish, worms, squid and octopuses. Avoiding the use of hard …

'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

Apparently, the growing hobby of tagging along with “Microsoft tech support” scam calls to waste their time is starting to bug the scammers, with a Canadian man reportedly threatened by a caller from India. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) says Jakob Dulisse of Nelson in British Columbia played along with the caller …

Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

The inventor of the increasingly popular – and apparently environmentally unfriendly – coffee pod feels guilty about his invention. John Sylvan came up with the idea of the Keurig coffee machines back in the 1990s, complete with its little self-contained coffee pods, K-Cups, that you stick in the machine to brew a mug. He sold …

£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

Backers of a Kickstarter campaign which raised a whopping £290k for the development of the Triggertrap Ada modular camera trigger have been left furious and seriously out of pocket after the company behind the product announced it couldn't deliver and would refund just 20 per cent of punters' cash. The Triggertrap Ada …
Lester Haines, 4 Mar 2015

Reg exec in deluxe roo-skin pen case beernami trauma

We're shaken to report that El Reg big cheese Linus "Fish Fingers"* Birtles yesterday suffered a traumatic beernami which left the contents of his executive leather case "totally f@@k€d". Linus's leather bag after the beernami Speaking to our Bootnotes department while recuperating with a very large brandy at the bar of a …
Lester Haines, 4 Mar 2015

Atomic keyring's eerie blue glow lights SPB lab

The news last week that El Reg merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion had sourced new tritium-powered glowrings prompted some atomic-powered nostalgia from those readers who'd bought the original Traser. Way back in 2002, we laid our hands on a big batch of these novelty keyrings, and promptly shifted thousands of them. No …
Lester Haines, 3 Mar 2015

Tulsa woman bludgeons man mercilessly with laptop

This is not a good way to come out of deep sleep. A US man was awoken from his drunken stupor by the pain of his girlfriend sinking her fangs into his gentleman’s sausage and bludgeoning him with her laptop. The incident took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 19 February, following a boozy session and subsequent argument between Amber …
Paul Kunert, 2 Mar 2015

Google pulls out of gaping Blogger smut black hole

Google has backed down on its frigid threat to tug filthy porno pics and raunchy grumble vids off Blogger. The ad giant on Thursday said it will continue to allow randy netizens to post amateur smut, reversing an earlier decision forbidding X-rated blog posts unless they were deemed arty and acceptable to Mountain View's censors …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2015
Leonard Nemoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Obit Leonard Nimoy, the actor who became the most recognized face of the Star Trek franchise, has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 83. A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP — Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015 Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015

Must-have sports tech: No, not an Apple Watch, a TOMATO GOB-STUFF BOT

Vid Many inspirations and desires cross a runner's mind while pounding the pavement, but few could honestly say a robot sat on their shoulders force-feeding them tomatoes has ever been one. Thankfully Japanese tomato condiment company Kagome has identified a need consumers never realised they had. Kagome unveiled its 18lb …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2015

Chinese food safety officials drank so much during working lunch that one of them DIED

A bunch of Chinese government officials in charge of food safety drank so much at a working lunch that one of them died. In an extreme example of when booze-ups go bad, seven bods working for the food and drug administration in central China’s Hubei province have been penalised after a colleague they accompanied on a hardcore …
Team Register, 17 Feb 2015
Thermal imaging in a microwave

Ex-NASA boffin dreams of PREDATOR-ish tech in humble microwaves

A former engineer on the Curiosity Mars rover team has come up with a bright idea to improve the aging microwave cooker: thermal imaging, inspired by the Predator franchise, to check when food is done. Youtube Video “The microwave has pretty much remained unchanged since it’s inception in 1967,” said Mark Rober in a vid …
Iain Thomson, 13 Feb 2015
Warwick Hospital accident and emergency

KUSHINIKIZA! Google Translate SAVES BABY in Irish roadside birth

Quick-thinking Irish paramedics turned to Google Translate to communicate with a pregnant woman who spoke Swahili, allowing her to safely give birth. The Cork ambulance drivers were transporting a pregnant Congolese woman to a maternity hospital last week when she went into labour. Gerry McCann and Shane Mulcahy were forced to …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2015

UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Sensitive international negotiations on arms control taking place in Geneva could be menaced by mobs of screaming, topless women throwing mayonnaise, according to one of the delegates. Mr Ivan Grinevich, representing the nation of Belarus, made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting of the United Nations Conference on …
Lewis Page, 13 Feb 2015
Google Stink-o-tron

STINKY nerds: Sick of horrifying chums with your terrible BO? Nosey Google wants to help

Pic Google has been granted a patent on a device to detect when a person stinks – to help them evade others to avoid embarrassment. We would like to say that this is a loose interpretation of a more complicated patent, but that really is all there is to it: the web ad giant wants to tell when you flat out reek and how you can dodge …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Feb 2015

Reg hacks (and rest of 'Frisco) in LinkedIn measles contagion scare

LinkedIn has been linked to a measles scare in the San Francisco Bay Area. An employee of the network-for-suits has come down with the (preventable) disease, and could have exposed thousands riding on the city's subway system. Officials at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service have confirmed that a passenger riding the …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Feb 2015

Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

Video Creating patriotic songs is an age-old solution to difficult problems, albeit one that is out of fashion in the Western world. Not so in China, which has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

Lashed Saudi blogger Raif: Prince Charles has word with new king

The UK's Prince Charles has raised the issue of the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with Saudi Arabia's newly appointed King Salman during a six-day state visit to the region. Badawi was found guilty in 2013 of insulting Islam in Facebook posts and of running an online activist message board called Liberal Saudi Network that …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2015
Taylor Swift

You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

In one of the most unlikely but intriguing domain registrations in recent years, pop star Taylor Swift has, it appears, registered ITaughtTaylorSwiftHowToGiveHead.com. No, really. The registration was sparked by Swift's lawyers threatening the owner of ITaughtTaylorSwift.com, run by, um, the man who taught Taylor Swift how to …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

Swedish National Font marches to the sound of whalesong

LogoWatch A Strategy Boutique tasked by the Swedish government to come up with a new brand identity for the land of Abba and surströmming has spunked God alone knows how much wonga to create a "global brand identity" comprising the country's flag and the word "Sverige". The new Swedish brand frontage - with flag and shiny new font Key …
Lester Haines, 10 Feb 2015
Kicking Boston Dynamics' Spot

NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack

Video K9 never had to put up with this type of thing: yowls of not-so-serious outrage have greeted the latest vid from bot-tastic US defence contractor Boston Dynamics. What the famous robotics outfit wants to demonstrate is that its latest product, Spot, has great stability and does a decent job of recovering from a momentary lack of …
Woman being eaten  by vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuum cleaner EATS WOMAN

Korean outlet The Kyunghyang Shinmum reports a robot vacuum cleaner has attempted to eat a local woman, starting with her hair. The woman appears to have been lying down on the floor of her home, having forgotten that her robot vacuum cleaner was set to patrol the area. Once the vacuum woke up, it sucked 5cm of her head hair …
Sopwith Pup RC Plane trench level view

Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

The USA's National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB's) investigation into a 2014 light plane crash has come to the conclusion that the pilot may well have been distracted by selfie-taking passengers. The crash killed two people last May when a Cessna 150 came to grief in Colorado after “... the pilot experienced spatial …

Twin Adam Sandlers shake El Reg's movie unwatchablathon team

We recently and somewhat recklessly announced that we'd be eyeballing Gigli, Pearl Harbor and Battlefield Earth back-to-back, in an epic "unwatchablathon" designed to determine just how much cinematic drivel the human mind can handle in one sitting. Our beloved readers are to blame for prompting this audacious experiment, having …
Lester Haines, 4 Feb 2015
Mouse man

DARPA: We KNOW WHO YOU ARE... by the WAY you MOVE your MOUSE

The US's mad-tech military boffin unit is developing a form of biometric measurement based on how user handles a mouse. Behaviour-based biometrics, for example how a computer user handles their mouse or crafts an email, would add to the existing repertoire of authentication techniques. Existing authentication techniques include …
John Leyden, 3 Feb 2015
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

You thought it was harmless, didn't you? Settling down on the sofa, firing up your trusty smart TV, stream-o-dongle or similar - or for the retro types, unwrapping your new boxset of DVDs - and getting ready to burn up a day or two watching an entire telly series end to end. Well brace up, my sessile friend, because there's news …
Lewis Page, 2 Feb 2015
Japanese phone pants

#VultureTRENDING: YESS! It's Pantsr, the Sharing Economy super app that delivers on the BOTTOM line

Get ready for the latest sharing-economy sensation! We here at #VultureTRENDING have exclusive details of the newest business firestorm set to hit the headlines - and the BOTTOM lines! Yes - it's Pantsr! In the same way that Uber has helped people to monetise their otherwise unused vehicles, Ploppr has helped them monetise their …
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

CoTW Pirates on copyright, state surveillance and Linux – another joyous week of your comments below the line. Yup, it's Comment of the Week time. An Anonymous Coward decided to have a go at the Linux in-crowd this week, hurling a hefty brick at Linus Torvalds after the Linux daddy said "I'm not a nice person and I don't care about …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Jan 2015

Nope. That's not our FAKE BOMB say Oz spooks and cops

For at least the third time in as many years, someone carrying real or fake explosives in a security training exercise has lost track of their cargo. Yesterday, that resulted in a full-scale security lockdown at Sydney's Circular Quay, the city's ground zero for tourism thanks to views of the city's iconic Harbour Bridge and …
Chicken Jalfrezi and rice with a beer. Pic by Shutterstock

Drinking to forget? OK. But first, eat a curry... QUICK!

If you've had the kind of Patch Tuesday that ends in a mass attack of BSODs, new vulns in Java and someone advertising your routes as traversing Norfolk Island, you're quite likely to head for the pub and thence to a curry. According to research published in Neuropsychopharmacology, is that one of curry's important active …

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 …
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