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ICT ministers mark out net-regulation patch ahead of ITU plenipot

The ITU has kicked off three weeks of wrangling over the future of the Internet – the 2014 Plenipotentiary – with a ministerial statement that's likely to spark concerns about the direction of the coming summit. The Busan Declaration, issued at the close of the Busan ICT ministerial meeting, is filled with high-minded language …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co adds 'burbs to copper map, claims 'speed up' rollout

NBN Co has re-designated 140 suburbs from fibre-to-the-premises to fibre-to-the-node, a move it says will deliver high-speed connections to the target locations earlier than would otherwise have been a case. In NSW, the deployment decision covers parts of the Central Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions, while in …
London BMW 5-Series police car

Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops

Downrange The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has announced a legal tweak intended to allow police officers to turn up at the homes of gun owners, without warning, and demand to inspect guns stored on the premises. A new Crimestoppers hotline is also in operation to encourage people to dob in gun owners they suspect of …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2014

'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

The Tory-led government is hoping to push through amendments to existing legislation in England and Wales to crack down on trolls who post malicious comments online. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail On Sunday that tougher sentences were to be introduced in an attempt to try to curb such abusive behaviour. It comes …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators book cover

Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Page File This is an enthralling but slightly flawed read written by Walter Isaacson – of Steve Jobs' authorised biography fame. Computers first entered human consciousness just over 170 years ago, when Charles Babbage was working on his mechanical difference engine and Ada Lovelace described programming. Since that seminal time, the …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2014
David Cameron, UK prime minister

Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Worstall @ the Weekend As is ever the case, by the time squares have caught on to the value of whatever hipsters have been doing this week, the latter are off doing something else entirely. Much the same happens with economic fashions: it takes time for those not actually involved in the subject to grok to what the cool kids are saying and by the time …
Tim Worstall, 19 Oct 2014
The tiny TARDIS in Flatline

Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

TV Review El Reg's resident Doctor Who fans – Brid-Aine Parnell, Gavin Clarke and Jennifer Baker – have come together to discuss the plot of tonight's episode, Flatline. Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: Well, that didn’t last long. Rather than having the whole Danny/Doctor/Clara …

Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

Apple has quietly removed Bose headphones from its stores, following a noise-cancelling patent spat that Cupertino settled with the music tech company last week. The latest move, spotted by 9to5Mac, comes after Bose slung a sueball at Apple-owned headphone maker Beats in July this year. At the time, Bose alleged that Apple had …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2014
Edward Snowden

Citizenfour: Poitras' doco is about NSA and GCHQ – NOT Snowden

Review There is no subtlety in the political stance of Laura Poitras, which makes Citizenfour a completely one-sided documentary. Yet oddly enough, this bias doesn’t detract from the power of the film that covers a week in a Hong Kong hotel bedroom, during which Edward Snowden reveals himself and the extent of the NSA’s cyber- …
Neil Young at Farm Aid 1985

Weekend reads: Neil Young and Brian Cox ponder cars and universe (in that order)

Page File Phil Strongman joins El Reg bookworm Mark Diston to review the pick of publishing this week. Neil Young's second autobiography is more, much more than cars and girls, while the nation's omnipresent telly scientist Brian Cox offers insights to our origins. Also, James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton team up for the first time for a …
Satya Nadella

Damage control (noun): When Microsoft's CEO kickstarts diversity plan after women pay gaffe

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who earlier this month made astonishingly sexist comments to a room full of women, has decided it's about time to make his workforce more diverse. The Microsoft boss said in a leaked memo to employees that the software giant would begin a series of initiatives including making sure that employees …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2014

FCC looks to boost next-gen wireless networks with 24GHz study

The FCC is opening up a probe into a possible new class of wireless broadband services which could improve mobile network performance and reliability in the US. The watchdog said that it would be examining the possibility of opening up very high frequency 24GHz spectrum space for use by future mobile broadband networks, possibly …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2014
Biometric MasterCard

MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

MasterCard and Norwegian biometrics firm Zwipe have announced the first fingerprint-activated credit card that the companies hope will replace signatures and PINs. "Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers," said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security …
Iain Thomson, 18 Oct 2014
The first X-37B following landing at Vandenberg AFB after the inaugural OTV-1 mission. Credit: USAF

America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft

The US Air Force has confirmed that its X-37B spacecraft designated Orbital Test Vehicle 3 has glided back to Earth and landed at 0924 PT (1724 UTC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base. "The landing of OTV-3 marks a hallmark event for the program," said the unnamed X-37B program manager in a statement. "The mission is our longest to …
Iain Thomson, 18 Oct 2014
Use google.com button

SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

The BBC will publish a summary of articles removed from Google search rankings under the infamous "right to be forgotten" rules. At a public meeting, the Beeb's editorial policy chief, David Jordan, said the public also had a "right to remember". A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014

Flash daddy SanDisk: Revenues up, but Wall St unimpressed

SanDisk's third 2013 quarter showed a healthy annual and quarterly increase but subdued profits, while Fusion-io integration costs and mis-met Wall Street expectations sent the shares down a tad. Revenues were $1.75bn – a record. They were $1.63bn a year ago, meaning a seven per cent increase, and the same in the second 2014 …
Chris Mellor, 17 Oct 2014
medical_doctor_health_channel

GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

The government is preparing to resume its GP patient data-sharing plan, even though its chief scientific advisor admits it can’t guarantee your privacy. The care.data initiative was put on hold in February – but it will shortly resume with two exciting new Orwellian additions to our vocabulary. In theory the GP data is …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014
Screenshot of Twitter outage error message

#Help. There's a STRANGER in my Twitter timeline

Twitter has admitted to fiddling with users' timelines, sparking the sort of social media backlash which is fast becoming a wearying fixture of modern life. The chirpy chaps of Twitter claimed the "spirit of experimentation" made them decide to wodge unwanted tweets in users' feeds. Seeing stuff from people you don't follow …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014
france

French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks

The French Senate passed a new anti-terror bill last night after just one reading. The new law, which still has to be examined by a Joint Commission in the coming weeks, includes bans on leaving the country for anyone suspected of planning a terrorist act, the creation of an “individual terrorist enterprise” offence, …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Oct 2014

EU Competition chief: So what if I didn't tame Google? You're all 'irrational' anyway

Analysis Europe’s unelected competition czar has signed off with a sour burp aimed at his elected critics in Parliament. "I don't think antitrust investigations should be part of the conventional political debates," Joaquín Almunia complains in the Wall Street Journal. He was quizzed on his failure to deal with Google, a case which …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

HBO this week has finally done as Netflix said it would, admitting that it WILL provide over-the-top (OTT) streaming content to the masses in the United States. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicted back in May 2013 that HBO would need to make this move soon, claiming it was inevitable. When in future we teach technology history …
Faultline, 17 Oct 2014

'Dancing Jesus' file-sharer found guilty

A man who shared thousands of links to songs on a music leaks site has pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of copyrighted works at Newcastle Crown Court. The "Dancing Jesus" forum (it’s a Simpsons reference) was operated from South Shields by Kane Robinson, with servers in Dallas, and specialised in links to pre-release …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014

WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

+Comment WikiLeaks has revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade treaty currently being negotiated by 12 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. The new leak comprises a version of the treaty's second chapter said to be the result of round of negotiations conducted in Vietnam during May 2014. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

Symantec's already virtually split, says letter to suppliers

Symantec's been preparing to split into two entities for about six months, according to a letter sent to the company's suppliers sighted by The Reg. The missive comes from Symantec's procurement team and explains that suppliers won't see any change in the company's behavior “until we complete the separation, which we expect to …
Chris Williams, 17 Oct 2014
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

Australia's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation's Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws. The Inspector-General's Annual Report [PDF] lists breaches of Australia's Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (TIA). The …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2014

AMD-AMMIT! Hundreds face axe at chip maker as PC, graphics crash

Following a grim earnings report on Thursday, AMD has announced a restructuring plan that includes axing seven per cent of its workforce by the end of the year. The plan will see AMD issuing layoff notices to about 710 employees worldwide, and is expected to cost the chipmaker $57m in severance payments. "While decisions that …
Neil McAllister, 17 Oct 2014

Giant advertising, sorry, 'Search' firm Google makes BILLIONS - but not enough for Wall St

Google did manage to shrink its dependency on advertising in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 – albeit slightly – but lest you doubt what the online giant's actual business is, ads run mainly beside other people's content still accounted for 89 per cent of its sales. And as has been the case for many consecutive quarters, sales …
Neil McAllister, 16 Oct 2014
Banksy HMV dog Nipper with bazooka

Banksy puts down spray can, goes corporate in banksy.com cybersquat brouhaha

Street artist Banksy has gone corporate, using a trademark of his name to try to win control of the Banksy.com domain. A formal complaint has been sent to domain arbitrator WIPO by Banksy’s “authentication” company Pest Control Office, which now, it seems, has moved into trademark enforcement. WIPO will decide in case D2014- …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2014
AMD CEO Lisa Su

AMD pays new CEO $150K LESS than her male predecessor

The latest insult to women working in tech came courtesy of chipmaker AMD, whose new CEO Lisa Su will take home a smaller base salary than Rory Read, the man she recently replaced. Su rocked up at AMD early 2012 as senior veep and GM for global business units and was made chief operating officer in January, raking in some $650, …
Paul Kunert, 16 Oct 2014

Data cops in charge of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google get a new office

Ireland’s data chief will get a new place of work more in keeping with her status, as privacy battles with global tech giants loom large. Headquarters of the mighty Irish data cops, in charge of regulating some of the biggest names in the tech industry Currently, the Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland is housed in a tiny …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Oct 2014
Love

Huawei and Accenture pucker up for enterprise love-in

Huawei looks to be side-stepping glacier-paced reseller recruitment by getting chummy with consultancy Accenture to work on carrier biz support services and private cloudy enterprise stuff. The ink is still drying on the pact but will see the pair “develop joint initiatives” in China, southeast Asia, other emerging markets and …
Paul Kunert, 16 Oct 2014
TomTom Top Gear satnav

Auntie hires API firm to manage new online BBC Store

API company Apigee has been brought in to pull together all the suppliers of BBC Worldwide’s "direct-to-consumer retail platform". The software will be used as a traffic manager. In the world of inclined playing fields, little beats your TV licence fee going towards setting up an online store to compete with online stores that …
Simon Rockman, 16 Oct 2014
Sky Anytime+

Sky's tech bets pay off: Pay TV firm unveils blazing growth for Q1

Sky posted record numbers as its tech bets continue to pay off. BskyB’s ARPU (average revenue per customer) reached £576, up £32 from two years ago, with triple-pay punters accounting for 37 per cent of its 15.5 million customer base. Just over 11.5 million of those are retail customers, and just over 4 million wholesale. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2014
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden documentary premieres across the UK

Laura Poitras’ documentary about rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden and the leaks detailing the agency's surveillance will premier in the UK this Friday as part of the London Film Festival. Youtube Video Citizenfour, named for Snowden's sign-off on his emails to Poitras, will be shown in Curzon Cinemas in London and around 70 …

Solaris fix-it firm offers free BASH patch for legacy Oracle kit

A Solaris fix-it-firm being sued by Oracle over copyrighted code says it has stepped in to defend customers not protected by Larry Ellison's firm from BASH attacks. Terix has released a BASH fix for Solaris on SPARC and x86 that it claims goes further than Oracle’s own recent BASH patch. BASH, vulnerability CCE-2014-7169, lets …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Oct 2014
Lock security

Cyber-punch-drunk eBay slashes revenue forecasts

eBay continues to bear the scars from a cyber attack that led to the leakage of 145 million users data, as the footfall in its third party online tat bazaar came in below management expectations during calendar Q3. President and CEO John Donahoe said the e-commerce platform has a runway to grow, “however, without a doubt, eBay …
Paul Kunert, 16 Oct 2014
management regulation1

Euro Commission drags Belgium to court over telco regulator's independence

The European Commission is taking Belgium to court for not allowing its telco regulator enough independence. Under EU law, national telecoms regulators must be able to act independently without state interference, but Belgium has a law allowing the Belgian Council of Ministers to suspend the Belgian Institute for Postal Services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Oct 2014
Children wash hands Plan photo Hatai Limprayoonyong

CIO of children's charity: Data re-org will change the giving game

There’s nothing charitable about working in the third sector. In fact, it’s extremely unforgiving, as children’s charity Merlin discovered in 2013. The charity merged with Save the Children after management determined they couldn’t raise the kinds of funds that corporate sponsors wanted to see it raising. The giving scene is …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Oct 2014

Batman in the frame to take on Steve Jobs

Pub trivia fans take note: in the near future you might be asked to explain the link between President Josiah Bartlett, Batman, Steve Jobs, Trainspotting, Facebook and the London Olympics opening ceremony. Start your answer with actor Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. According to Variety, Bale's in …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014

NO DEAL: HP/EMC merger talks are off

The improbable merger of industry behemoths HP and EMC will not happen, according to loquacious folk familiar with such things. The pair are no longer locked in discussions and have walked away from any prospective deal “after months of fruitless negotiations”. Discussions were still taking place until last week, according to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Toure

Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet

The Arab States will push for greater control of the internet next week – by arguing that only governments should steer how the web is run, rather than independent bodies. In a late submission [PDF] to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting in Busan, South Korea, the 22 states collectively asked for revisions to …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Speaking in Tech: Hey Satya. Have YOU relied on karma in YOUR career?

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of The Reg's best and only weekly podcast – with your hosts Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week it's just the three amigos stirring it up, discussing what seems to be trend in the industry towards corporate breakups and super-mergers …
Team Register, 15 Oct 2014