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Candy Crush Saga

Hooker beating: What if you read the Bible AND play GTA5?

QuoTW Angry Aussie gamers were up in arms this week after Target and Kmart pulled Grand Theft Auto V from sale in the country. The shops dumped the game after a petition on Change.org claimed that GTA5 “encourages players to murder women for entertainment”: The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill …
Google UK office logos

EU Google-bashing is making us look really bad, say Google bashers

It appears that Google's rivals, who have complained about the ad giant's European dominance, are worried that bashing the goliath can go too far. “It is irresponsible to try and make the Google case seem wider than it actually is,” said Microsoft-backed ICOMP, an organisation representing big businesses that have moaned to the …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Dec 2014
Water World at Universal Studios Los Angeles Credit: Universal Studios

Tides of Maritinia: The spy who jumped into a sci-fi water world

Page File When Tides of Maritinia first kicks off, it’s a bumbling-Brit-abroad, Evelyn Waugh-style tale of a stuffed-shirt bureaucrat literally moulded into a secret agent, but it evolves into quite a tragic story of the misdeeds of war and one man’s struggle to find his moral compass. Jakob Bryce is the lead for Warren Hammond’s first …
Hobbit

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Film review Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth to eke out the last of his money-making franchise over the space of 144 minutes. Sadly, it's a shameless cash-in. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Lord of the Rings films, but the decision to extend The Hobbit out over three instalments always smacked of profiteering. Sadly this last film …
Kat Hall, 13 Dec 2014
Picard Facepalm

Sony Pictures email hack: The bitter 'piracy war' between Google and Hollywood laid bare

Emails obtained after the Sony Pictures hacking attack have revealed just how badly the Motion Picture Ass. of America has been cocking up its fight against piracy. One set of leaked conversations, spotted by TorrentFreak, occurred between Sony studio executives talking about the problem of Google searches showing links to …
Iain Thomson, 13 Dec 2014
Jersey cow

FCC says taxpayer-bankrolled bumpkin broadband must be at least 10Mbps

Good news, hayseeds: the FCC has ruled that rural broadband should be held to the same standard as that of connections in built-up cities and towns. The stateside regulator has issued a new order, which states that in the US countryside, providers must maintain at least a 10Mbit/s downlink speed for subscribers if they want to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2014
Uber - living the dream

How was your week? Was it as bad as Uber's? Here's what happened

You ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to go right? Maybe the train runs late in the rain. Or the lace on your boot breaks as you're walking out the door. Or maybe four major cities across the planet line up to sue you. Yeah, Uber just had a week like that – just days after it was injected with $1.2bn of funding, …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2014
President Putin on horseback

Google says NYET! to Putin, pulls techies out of Russia – report

Google has refused to deny that it's pulling its engineering team out of Russia, leaving only sales and marketing people behind. The reported shuttering of Google's engineering office comes after restrictive laws were passed by the Russian parliament that will force the web giant, and others like it, to keep all data on Russians …
Iain Thomson, 12 Dec 2014

Want disruption? We got disruption: Race protest halts VC Thiel's Q&A

Pics Billionaire VC Peter Thiel loves disruption: bankrolling startups that shake up markets is what he does. But on Thursday night, he got a little more disruption that he bargained for – when protesters rushed the stage and ended his Q&A session with students. The PayPal founder and early Facebook investor was ironically about to …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Dec 2014

What future is there for UK's Care.data info sharing scheme?

The future of the controversial Care.data scheme will be dependent on the outcome of a much-scaled back pilot programme which started this autumn, meaning that at best it will arrive one year late, a report revealed Friday. Care.data is a mega IT programme intended to connect information on GP records with the Health and Social …
Kat Hall, 12 Dec 2014

UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

All London airspace was closed to incoming and departing traffic for just under an hour on Friday afternoon due to a computer outage at the National Air Traffic Services – Blighty's air traffic control authority. According to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, a machine failure resulted in all airspace …
Kat Hall, 12 Dec 2014

BLAM! Max Sound flings vid codec sueball Number FOUR at Google

Tech firm Max Sound has filed a new lawsuit against Google and YouTube over a video-streaming patent used in new Nexus devices. The firm has added a suit in Mannheim in Germany to two other patent suits filed earlier this year in Delaware and California and a fourth suit filed in Berlin’s district court. Max Sound claims that …

Cisco: Think we're a lawsuit-hurling villain? 'Complete garbage'

Anyone that paints Cisco as a sueball-slinging bully boy that flexes its legal eagles to stem rivals' innovation is talking “complete garbage”, or so says its president of development and sales. The denial comes after Cisco last week filed several lawsuits in the US to "stop" Arista's "repeated and pervasive copying of key …
Paul Kunert, 12 Dec 2014

Sony Pictures hit by 'fightback on filesharers' DDoS claims – report

Sony Pictures is alleged to have conducted a retaliatory DDoS attack against websites currently holding its leaked information for public download, according to a media report. The unconfirmed strike-back follows the two weeks of relentless attacks on Sony networks, punctuated by extortion demands, as well as the theft and …
John Leyden, 12 Dec 2014
denmark

Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Save the Egg! A court in Denmark has ordered a British furniture company to block users with Danish IP addresses from visiting its website. In most of Europe, including Denmark, furniture designs are protected by copyright for 70 years from the death of the designer. However, in the UK, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
Rebuilt Bombe Bletchley Park, photo copyrighted mubsta.com

GCHQ releases teen-friendly code-busting app

British surveillance agency GCHQ has launched its first app today in the hopes of encouraging 14- to 16-year-olds to get interested in cryptography. "Cryptoy" was developed by STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) students on an industrial year placement at GCHQ and was a hit at the Cheltenham Science Festival. GCHQ …
Lindsay Dodgson, 12 Dec 2014

Finland ditches copyright levy on digital kit, pays artists directly

Finland has decided to ditch copyright levies on digital devices... and let the taxpayer foot the bill. Instead a special government fund will be set up to compensate artists for private copying of music and movies. Following the national Parliament vote, Finnish MEP Henna Virkkunen said the new system would be “fairer to …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
Money image

NASA's British cloudy collab provider scores $51m from VCs

Cloudy storage and collaboration service provider Huddle has trousered millions more cash from vulture venture capitalists to spend on biz development on both sides of the Atlantic. The UK-based outfit, started by CEO Alastair Mitchell in 2007, last night took home a $51m Series D round of funding, valuing the business at …
Paul Kunert, 12 Dec 2014
Philips HTL5140

Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Product round-up As much as we love our flatscreens, there’s no getting away from the fact that 99 per cent of them sound atrocious. The good news is there are plenty of ways to liven up living room TV audio, from soundbars with wireless subwoofers to pedestal-style soundbases. We've had a good look and listen to what's out there and the prices …
Steve May, 12 Dec 2014
storm

This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

Opinion It's amazing what 12 hours of something can do. For Silicon Valley, and particularly San Francisco, half a day of heavyish rain that would be described "April, maybe early May," by many Scots Highlanders, has caused massive problems and highlighted again why the area is losing its edge. At about 0730 PT on Thursday, a blown …
Iain Thomson, 12 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Canadian watchdog goes to court to probe Apple's iPhone deals with mobe networks

Watchdogs in Canada are investigating Apple over concerns the iPhone giant violated antitrust laws in its dealings with Canadian telcos. A spokesperson for Canada's Competition Bureau confirmed the Cupertino goliath is the subject of a probe into possible violations of the nation's Competition Act. "I can confirm that the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
Laser weapon aboard USS Ponce

US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Pic and video After years of promises the US Navy has deployed its first operational laser cannon, which has been built into the USS Ponce and sent into a combat zone. The 30-kilowatt laser weapon system (LaWS) has been mounted high up on Ponce's superstructure, and a flashy video released by the Navy shows it blowing up parts of boats and a …
Iain Thomson, 11 Dec 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

HE'S DONE IT! Malcolm Turnbull unites left and right with piracy policy

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull was found, in November, to be Australia's preferred Prime Minister in a Fairfax/IPSOS poll. The erudite and intelligent Turnbull polls well because appeals to moderate voters in his own Liberal Party and the opposition Labour Party. Turnbull's now again demonstrated his …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Dec 2014

Europe's top court mulls vandal's right to privacy after bloke catches thug on home CCTV

Europe’s top court ruled Thursday that data protection rules apply to private surveillance cameras if they record people on the public footpath. The regulations in question – the Data Protection Directive – insists personal information can't be held for longer than necessary, and that consent must be given, and so on, although …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Dec 2014

Hinge: An app that scours Facebook friends for dates banks $12m

A dating app that uses your Facebook friends to make recommendations has scored $12m in series-A funding, bringing its total funding to $20.5m. Hinge hopes to compete with market leader Tinder by offering a better dating experience. Its unique selling point is that recommendations are friends-of-friends - the idea being that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, photo by Paul Clarke

Web daddy Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Back off Putin, I'm no CIA stooge

The internet is a basic human right – and most certainly not the work of CIA agents – says the man who brought about the World Wide Web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called out Russian President Vladimir Putin over his claims the internet is run by the CIA as a US intelligence operation. "It was the academic community who wired up …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
eyeofSauron

Lawmakers should grab red pen and let it RIPA on snoops law – experts

Legal experts have called for a full legislative review of the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) that goes "far beyond" updates to the codes of practice governing its use. This week the Home Office published a code of practice for the use of covert surveillance under RIPA, and on Tuesday it also …
Kat Hall, 11 Dec 2014

Storage firm Box: We're BIG enough... to FLOAT

Market concerns over the delayed public offering of personal cloud content manager Box could be easing, after it filed updated IPO documents showing reduced losses during a nine-month period in its fiscal 2015 year. The offering, with the S1 document filed in March, was delayed initially as players saw the growing losses as …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014
HockeyApp + Microsoft logos

Microsoft shells out the pucks for analytics firm HockeyApp

Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service for testing and analysing apps in development for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Mac OS, for an undisclosed amount. The Stuttgart-based team launched HockeyApp in 2011. Using the service, developers can deploy preview apps to testers, get feedback, analyse crash reports, and view …
Tim Anderson, 11 Dec 2014

Microsoft BEATS Apple, Google ... to accepting limited Bitcoin payments

Microsoft has quietly added Bitcoin as a payment method for digital content - games and music - thanks to a deal with Bitpay that allows customers to use the cryptocurrency to add money to their MS account. Trouble is, the synthetic dosh still can't be used to pay for physical goods directly, and initially at least, it's Bitcoin …
Lindsay Dodgson, 11 Dec 2014
Google_skull

Spanish scraper scrapped: Google axes Google News

+Comment Google will close its Google News service in Spain next week, rather than pay newspapers for news excerpts. Spain recently revamped its copyright law and the changes take effect (PDF, Spanish) on 1 January. Law-makers threw newspapers a bone: the right to be remunerated by news aggregators. According to academic Eleonora Rosati …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Dec 2014
New infantry kit modelled by British troops. Credit: MoD

So, does anyone in UK.gov actually know what G-Cloud is for? Apparently not

Updated Data centre supplier Ark has backtracked over the length of a G-Cloud deal with the Ministry of Defence - insisting the contract is actually for two years not ten, as it had originally indicated. Ark initially told us the deal is a "major consolidation and centralisation project" which will "generate significant savings to the …
Kat Hall, 11 Dec 2014
How the bronze statue of Assange, Snowden and Manning would look

Assange's WikiLeaks: Give generously this Xmas – for STATUE of our DEAR LEADER

Julian Assange has alerted Wikileakers to an important Kickstarter campaign that aims to create a bronze statue of the snowy-haired founder, billed as a “monument to courage”. How the bronze statue of Assange, Snowden and Manning would look How the statue will look if they can get another £80,000 The proposed artwork, which …

Daisy Group asks exec newbie to deliver managed services glory

Beefing up the tech supply and ICT managed services side of the house will be the major tasks handed to Daisy Group’s incoming CEO Neil Muller. As exclusively revealed by The Channel, Muller is set to take the reins of mid-market telco-come-IT-supplier Daisy from next year when the business is taken private again, and once he …
Paul Kunert, 11 Dec 2014
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ, police to team up to hunt down child abuse on the darknet

GCHQ is to team up with the UK's National Crime Agency to target paedophiles sharing child abuse images on the "dark net". The as-yet-unnamed unit will focus on developing technology capable of scouring the underbelly of the internet for child abuse-related chat and image exchanges. It will also focus on the most prolific …
John Leyden, 11 Dec 2014

Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

Just £34m of IT investment will be re-usable from more than £600m spent on the Universal Credit car-crash IT programme "if" a digital version of the system ever arrives, a Public Accounts Committee hearing has indicated. "The truth is of what we've invested in live, only £34m will go over to digital," said PAC chair Margaret …
Kat Hall, 11 Dec 2014
eBay

eBay planning massive job cuts following PayPal split – report

Holiday good cheer may be short-lived for eBay employees this year, many of whom could reportedly lose their jobs not long after the Christmas shopping season. According to The Wall Street Journal, the online tat bazaar is considering cutting as much as 10 per cent of its workforce in the New Year, with most of the 3,000 layoffs …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2014
Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff's coders jailed for role in $65bn ponzi scheme fiasco

Two software developers who helped notorious crook Bernie Madoff pull off an $18bn fraud will each spend up to the next two and a half years behind bars. At a hearing in New York on Wednesday, US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain sentenced George Perez, 48, for his role in Madoff's infamous ponzi scheme – arguably the largest …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
management regulation1

China's smartmobe darling Xiaomi locked out of India

Simmering tensions over smartphone patents in India are heating up, with a court smacking down Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson. The Delhi High Court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese vendor, according to intellectual property blog Spicy IP, because Xiaomi had …

Merry Xmas, Neohapsis, here's your Cisco-dollars

Cisco is beefing up its security intelligence-gathering, snapping up privately-held advisory Neohapsis for an undisclosed sum. Neohapsis is a Chicago-based security advisory and bug archivist outfit, and will boost Cisco's risk management, compliance, cloud, application, mobile and infrastructure security offerings, according to …
An abandoned Telstra facility on the Stuart Highway

SURPRISE: Oz gov gives itself room to NEVER finish the NBN

The Vertigan panel's report on telecoms regulation in Australia was delivered in October and was mostly ignored by the nation's federal government, but the document has provided a fig-leaf for the abandonment of last year's pre-election promise* to complete the network (albeit with different technologies). According to the …
Road closed

Alleged Silk Road boss's lawyers want murder-for-hire evidence blocked from trial

Attorneys representing Ross Ulbricht – the alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road online drugs souk – have asked a New York court to bar evidence that Ulbricht sought to have six people killed, claiming it would unfairly prejudice the jury in his upcoming narcotics trafficking trial. Prosecutors have alleged that Ulbricht, …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2014