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Mozilla's new CEO Chris Beard

Firefox biz Mozilla makes Beard new interim chief executive

Mozilla has appointed ex-long-time employee Chris Beard to head the collective as interim CEO after the old boss Brendan Eich was forced out for donating to a group opposing gay marriage. Mozilla's new CEO Chris Beard Beard is likely to keep his views on gay marriage to himself "Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively," …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2014

Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace

Updated Web giant Google is buying Titan Aerospace, presumably to help it blanket the world in internet connectivity beamed from drones and balloons. The acquisition was reported by the WSJ on Monday, and will see the Titan Aerospace team work with Google's "Project Loon" group which makes high-altitude balloons for dispensing cheap …
Jack Clark, 14 Apr 2014

Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED

Apple again dominated all Silicon Valley competition in 2013, so much so that in the San Jose Mercury News' SV150 annual ranking, it raked in more revenue than numbers two and three combined, and more profits than the four below it, taken together. List of the top 15 companies in the San Jose Mercury News SV150 The top 15 …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Apr 2014
Picture of a Hong Kong scout

Be prepared... for your Scouts-loving sprog to become tiny spin doctor

Scout Leaders are forever telling their youthful charges to be prepared for anything. But judging by a list of the new badges designed to reflect the modern age, new-school scouts had better be prepared for days spent working as corporate spin doctors and nights focused on whittling down their carbon footprint. The Scouts have …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Apr 2014
A selection of High Fidelity Pure Audio discs on show at Metropolis

Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Pics Apparently, 60 per cent of the population has access to Blu-ray players. Who’d have thunk it? Really, if you include the Sony PlayStation consoles and now the Xbox One, it all adds up... possibly. The statistic came from Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business at Universal Music Group, during an event held at …
Bob Dormon, 14 Apr 2014
Growth of internet advertising revenue to 2013

US biz spaffed more dosh on internet ads than TV spots in 2013

Advertisers in the United States have splashed more of their ad budgets all over the web than on the telly for the first time ever, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported. Growth of internet advertising revenue to 2013 Read 'em and weep TELEVISION - growth of internet advertising revenue to 2013. Credit: IAB/PwC Online …
Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees

Nokia has decided to allow an unspecified number of employees at its massive Chennai plant take voluntary retirement (VRS), as it battles local tax authorities and an April 30 deadline for transferring the factory to Microsoft. The Finnish handset maker issued the following statement on Friday, seen by PTI: As a global company …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Apr 2014

Want a free Bosch steam iron? You'll have to TALK TO THE DEAD

Bosch have invited British punters to commune with the spirit world in order to claim a free steam iron. Anyone who buys a Bosch WAP28360GB or WAQ243D0GB washing machine at Currys is eligible to claim a free steamer, as long as they agree to hand over a small wodge of personal information. One of the questions asks customers …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Apr 2014

Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

The Gnome Foundation, overseer of the Gnome user interface, has run out of cash. The news isn't entirely bad: the Foundation says one of the programs it runs, the “Outreach Program for Women (OPW) … has proven to be extremely popular”. OPW engages interns who Gnome must pay on a regular schedule. But “incoming payments from …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2014

Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

File sharing service Dropbox has taken to the internet to defend its ill-timed appointment of Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors. The storage company wrote in a blog post that "there's nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure" on Friday after being subjected to a full-throated outcry over its …
Jack Clark, 11 Apr 2014

Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables

Three recent reports point to a glowing future for smartphones, tablets, and that nascent and still somewhat ill-defined category known as "wearables." There has been talk recently among some of the chattering classes that smartphone growth may be stalling, but the analysts at Strategy Analytics see things differently. "The …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2014

Apple has THREE TIMES as much cash as US govt, TWICE the UK

Apple has three times as much cash on hand as The US government, and over twice as much as the UK. These figures come to us from the Bank of America's wealth-management arm, US Trust, as reported by London's Telegraph. In its most recent quarterly SEC filing, Apple reported that it had $158.8bn (£94.9bn) in cash and cash …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2014

Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys

How would you celebrate the 40th anniversary of Playmobil? Make a block booking, obviously. Leaving aside the fact that joke probably refers more to their minifig mates, El Reg is delighted to see that the toy is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Our love of the tiny happy figurines is longstanding and cannot be rationally …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Apr 2014

Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

Obituary Sue Townsend, queen of adolescent nerds and confessional publishing, has died. She was 68. Townsend is best known for her creation Adrian Mole, protagonist of The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 in 1982 and Growing Pains of Adrian Mole in 1984. The works, which tapped into the greasy, moist seam of teenage boy angst, …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Apr 2014
Facebook WhatsApp

FTC: OK Facebook, swallow WhatsApp – but NO selling people's data without permission

Facebook's multi-billion-dollar slurp of WhatsApp has been given the go-ahead by US regulators – with the caveat that the social network sticks to the messaging service's privacy policy. The Federal Trade Commission said in a letter to the two firms that WhatsApp would have to stick to the privacy promises it had already made to …

It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Websites and tools that have sprung up to check whether servers are vulnerable to OpenSSL's mega-vulnerability Heartbleed have thrown up anomalies in computer crime law on both sides of the Atlantic. Both the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and its UK equivalent the Computer Misuse Act make it an offence to test the security of …
John Leyden, 11 Apr 2014

Icahn, but Iwont: Carl the investor pest ends war with eBay

Carl Icahn has finally made peace with eBay after withdrawing his call for the auction site to divorce from its partner Paypal. The meddlesome investor has spent the last few months rudely demanding the spin off of eBay's payment service and asking for two of his aides to be put on the firm's board. After a barrage of open …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Apr 2014
Marvel Comics

Amazon buys Comixology for content crossover capers

Amazon.com has acquired Comixology, the planet's leading purveyor of digital comic books, and may just have set up a new battle between itself and Apple. Comixology's apps use a technology called “Guided View” that resizes each panel of a comic so it fills as much of a device's screen as possible and sensible. The experience …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014

Murdoch says Microsoft needs 'big clean out'

Rupert Murdoch has issued another in his occasional series of tweets about technology companies. This time the target is Microsoft. Here's the tweet: Microsoft moves and options for future fascinate. Need for big clean out of bureaucracy and focus on next big tech wave. Metadata? — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) April 10, …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2014
Un Frog

France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

A new agreement between employer organizations and labor unions in France has made it illegal for French managers to contact their employees about work-related matters outside of normal business hours. The agreement [PDF], which amends an existing pact signed in 1999, specifies that employees must have "the opportunity to …
Neil McAllister, 10 Apr 2014
Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos reveals Amazon's brutal scale in annual letter

Analysis Amazon's mercurial chief executive Jeff Bezos is equal parts John D Rockefeller and Henry Ford, judging by his annual letter to shareholders. In the letter, which was published on Thursday, Bezos took investors "on a tour that samples a small subset of [Amazon's] various initiatives". What this makes clear is that Amazon is …
Jack Clark, 10 Apr 2014

Scandal-hit Co-op Bank's CIO hits eject button after one year

The Co-op Bank has lost its chief information officer about a year after he took up the role. Pete Coleman will leave at the end of April, a bank spokesperson told The Reg. Coleman’s LinkedIn profile says that he’s already gone and looking for other CIO roles. The spokesperson did not explain why Coleman had ejected from the …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Apr 2014
Terminators

Who wants a ROBO-BUTLER? Google and pals do – and they've just put $2m towards it

RoTM Google has placed a bet on a robotics company that is working to create "services" robots for use in hospitals, care homes or hotels. Mountain View's investment arm, Google Ventures, handed over an undisclosed sum of money to startup Savioke, which is headed up by Steve Cousins, former CEO of PR2-maker and robotics pioneer …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Apr 2014
John Chen

BlackBerry not afraid to throw its mobe biz under a bus, says CEO Chen

Updated BlackBerry has said that it will finally consider selling off its smartphone-making business if it continues to be unprofitable. "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business," chief exec John Chen told Reuters in an interview*. The Canadian phone biz reported poor sales again in its fourth quarter …

Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

Howto Windows XP's date with destiny has passed. As of Tuesday, Microsoft will NOT be releasing any new security updates. With one in five PCs still running Windows XP, there's a chance you are among those whose computer is now running an unsupported operating system. What now? Doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 7 isn't a good …
Liam Proven, 10 Apr 2014
Grannote fujitsu laptop notebook elderly old users

Apple to flush '£37bn' down the bog if it doesn't flog cheapo slabtops

A senior JPMorgan analyst has urged Apple to seize a $63bn (£37bn) opportunity by flogging a hybrid laptop-tablet device running iOS. Equity research analyst Rod Hall said the fruity firm was missing out on a huge market by failing to produce a cheap-ish mongrel laptop priced between $500 and $1,000 (£300 and £600). The …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Apr 2014
Photo of Jonathan Ive

Greg Christie to leave Apple as Jonathan Ive seizes design reins

Apple design boss Jony Ive appears to be consolidating his power within the fruity firm, with longtime software UI chief Greg Christie reportedly leaving the company. Cupertino confirmed Christie's exit in a statement to the Financial Times, saying, "Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple …
Neil McAllister, 10 Apr 2014
HP

SEC slaps HP with $108 MEEELION fine over bribe scandal

HP has agreed to a $108m settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle charges that company representatives paid off government officials in order to obtain contract deals. The SEC said that the settlement would end a case it had filed with the company alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Apr 2014

'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Apple has been accused of hobbling an up-and-coming British firm by booting it off the iAd advertising platform. Bloom FM, a Spotify-style music streaming service, claimed Apple issued the iAd ban because it now regards the London-based company as a rival. The Register understands that Apple wrote to Bloom today and claimed it …
Jasper Hamill, 9 Apr 2014

Insight CEO: Everything that's cloudy is GOLD

Exclusive A "sickness" at the core of the IT channel - an over reliance on back-end-loaded vendor rebates - threatens to render many tech suppliers irrelevant. But there is a cure, it is fluffy, white and called the cloud. Or so says Wolfgang Ebermann, the EMEA president at Insight, who after 23 years at Microsoft in various senior roles …
Paul Kunert, 9 Apr 2014
Stock ticker board

No, we're not in an IT 'stockapoclyse' – boom (and bust) is exactly what tech world needs

Is this the stockapoclyse, as tech shares crater into the ground and no more money gets invested into the sector? Or is that 20 per cent fall in the largest internet-based companies – Netflix, Flicker and Twitter – that $275bn drop in collective value over the last month, just an overdue correction to recent price run ups? Well …
Tim Worstall, 9 Apr 2014

Napster cofounder's Jerk.com accused of acting like ... err ... jerks

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on a site they say lifted user information to create smear profiles on a for-profit reputation site. The FTC said that the operators of Jerk.com (which appears to have since been taken down) harvested data from millions of Facebook users to create profiles without permission …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Apr 2014

British Gas applies to wind up UK colo outfit Alphadex

British Gas has filed a petition to wind up UK colocation outfit Alphadex. It's the second time Alphadex has found itself in trouble in recent weeks. In early March it experienced significant outages, drawing understandable ire from its users. The company has since explained the incident as having been caused by “unsecured …

Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

Microsoft has been hush-hush about specifics of the patent licensing deals it has been signing with Android device makers, but a new blog post suggests Redmond might be wielding a larger intellectual-property club against the open source smartphone OS than had previously been thought. Buried in Tuesday's announcement that China' …

Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott

Dating website OkCupid says it's "satisfied" that Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, but not everyone agrees, and Eich's decision hasn't spared the Firefox maker from calls for a boycott. Last week, OkCupid posted a message to its homepage urging Firefox users to switch to a different browser in …

Twitter rejigs layout, opens wide to swallow SLURRY OF ADS

It's been five months since the Twitter blabbergasm rolled into town. And, now that it's a grown up company trading on Wall Street, the micro-blogging site needs to crawl its way into the black. To do that, Twitter has suddenly gone a sombre grey with a layout tweak that surely signals to tweeting fans that the site is about to …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Apr 2014
Star Wars

Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Whispers surrounding the mysterious newest instalment of the Star Wars franchise have hinted that actor Peter Mayhew may be onboard to reprise his role as Chewbacca. Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the world's favourite Wookiee will be back for the new movie, the plot and characters of which have remained fairly …
LG Ultra HD curved OLED TV

Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Feature For a while it looked like the future of television was fairly clear-cut. Full HD would beget 4K Ultra HD and at some point in the future, presumably when we all owned flying cars and had relatives commuting to Mars, that would evolve into 8K Super Hi-Vision. Apart from trifling things like resolution, colour gamut and frame …
Steve May, 8 Apr 2014
Maurice Moss, IT Crowd

The IT Crowd tops BAFTA nominations with four nods

The final episode of Reg-favourite TV show The IT Crowd is leading this year's BAFTA nominations with four nods. The IT Crowd with highlighted Reg sticker Look up there in the right-hand corner: It's a Reg vulture! The episode itself is up for a gong along with stars Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson for …

Symantec scratches head over balance sheet, calls in JPMorgan

Reports say Symantec, struggling to reverse a revenue slowdown, has called in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to look at its options and help fend off activist shareholders. Symantec is a $6.7bn/year revenue company that is struggling to lift its earnings. The last quarterly report made that abundantly clear. It fired its CEO Steve …
Chris Mellor, 7 Apr 2014
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

IBM's System 360 mainframe, celebrating its 50th anniversary on Monday, was more than a just another computer. The S/360 changed IBM just as it changed computing and the technology industry. The digital computers that were to become known as mainframes were already being sold by companies during the 1950s and 1960s - so the S/ …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Apr 2014
Amazon Fresh's Dash ordering wand

Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

Amazon is testing a handheld barcode reader that'll scan stuff in your house so that you can create a shopping list of things you're running out of – that list being sent to Amazon's Fresh grocery delivery service, natch. The company said that its Dash tool, being put through its paces in an invitation-only trial program, will …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Apr 2014