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Twitter slips into the world of venture capital with barely a chirrup

Twitter has quietly extended its venture-capital appendage for the first time to invest in Cyanogen, a start-up challenging Google's Android. The creatively named "Twitter Ventures" was announced as party to Cyanogen's recent $80m pass around of the collection plate, and is listed alongside Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo and a …

As H-dot Oettinger drafts Europe's new copyright laws – who's he been talking to?

The European Commissioner overseeing the drafting of Europe’s new copyright law appears so far to mainly be listening to content creators as the process goes on. Digi Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger held three recent “stakeholder” meetings to gather opinions as he draws up the legislation. Despite requests from El Reg, the …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015
Google's Mountain View Headquarters

Google nabs Morgan Stanley CFO to replace Patrick Pichette

Google have announced that Ruth Porat, currently Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley, will be joining the Mountain View management team as CFO. Current CFO Patrick Pichette announced his retirement to go backpacking earlier this month. Google stated that he would be staying on board to "ensure an orderly transition, which …

EU digital veep: If you like America's radical idea of net neutrality, you're in luck, Europe

Europe’s digi-chief has spoken out about net neutrality rules emerging from America, and mobile networks favoring particular websites over others. Speaking at an event in Brussels this week, Digital Vice President of the Commission Andrus Ansip said he sees no difference between the EU and the FCC in the US in their approach to …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015

Blockhead fugitive Snapchats himself into police custody

The Somerset County Sheriff's Office in Maine cuffed burglary suspect Christopher Wallace this Sunday, following an extraordinary burst of Snapchat buffoonery from the 24-year-old. Several weeks ago the police department made it known that they were seeking Wallace in connection with a burglary. They had been unable to locate …
Github octodex

GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

GitHub has been ordered to hand over records on some of its users to taxi-booking app Uber after unsuccessfully challenging a subpoena. Last month, Uber announced its driver database had been hacked in May 2014, but it had only noticed in September of that year. Uber discovered that a supposedly secret database access key had …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015
Australian Government 2.0 taskforce logo

Boffins deflate digital economy bubble with hard economic data

Australians are getting their regular consultant-driven exhortation to ride the “digital economy” horse to wealth and prosperity, even though it turns out that for every digitally disruptive dollar that flows from the fingers of keyboard warriors, two dollars escapes the science lab into the economy. We're working with a few …
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon fires rocket up FAA for dithering on drone approval

Amazon has been complaining to US Congress about Uncle Sam's Federal Aviation Authority dragging its feet over rules that would allow commercial drones to operate in America's skies. Last week the FAA gave Amazon permission to carry out drone test flights, which the cloud giant hopes to use for ferrying small packages for its …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

Melbourne fibre expert calls out 'fibre cost doubled' claim

The idea that the planned fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) may have ended up meeting its cost targets has received a high-profile endorsement from emeritus professor Rod Tucker of the University of Melbourne. Speaking to US conference, professor Tucker said the claim in the …
Mounties

Snowden dump details Canadian spies running false flag ops online

While the NSA headlines most of Ed Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance, the latest leaked documents reveal the Canadians are a dab hand at cyber-stuff, both defensive and offensive. Top-secret files, published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Intercept, show that Canuck intelligence has developed its own …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2015

Metadata retention to cost AU$3.98 a year per customer

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report provided to Australia's attorney general on the likely cost of metadata retention has suggested a median figure of AU$3.98 per subscriber, per year. So said no less a personage than Australia's attorney-general George Brandis, in no less a forum than the Australian Senate. Brandis' remarks can …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2015
Data storage everywhere - CD, DVD, DAT, DCC, HDD, MiniDisc, SSD, SD card, floppy, magnetic stripe, barcode

This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

Analysis A New York court has tried to knock DVD ripping software biz Fengtao offline by issuing an injunction against its domain names, social networking accounts and online payment systems. Judge Vernon Broderick ordered [PDF] that dozens of domain names including DVDFab.com, DVDFab.net, DVDFab.jp, DVDFab.de, Ray-ripper.us, Boooya.org …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2015

Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

Lawyers for Julian Assange™ have said they want access to all files held by Swedish prosecutors on their client before they can grant an interview with him. According to an AFP report, Assange's defence is to demand access to the Swedish officials' "förundersökningsprotokoll", a dossier normally only made available to the …
Smart Fortwo iPhone app

Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

The government has opened a consultation on its proposals not to extend the deadline for businesses to opt out of the hated smart meter programme – despite hitting major delays with the programme itself. The government plans to force two million "non-domestic" premises to install smart meters by 2020. These include a variety of …
Kat Hall, 24 Mar 2015

Greedy web borg Facebook to SLURP news websites' golden nuggets

Facebook's assimilation of the web shows no signs of stopping: Mark Zuckerberg's social network is persuading media giants to host their coverage within Facebook.com. With well over a billion users a month, and its quarterly revenue increasing beyond expectations again in Q4 2014, FB will have been able to enter conversations …
Obama at the White House science fair

Prez Obama cares about STEM so much he just threw $240m of other people's money at it

Some $240m from the private sector will be spent on boosting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in America, President Obama said on Monday. The President said the spending will hopefully increase diversity in STEM fields and improve educational programs in underrepresented communities. Of that nine-figure …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Cyanogen finds $80m in collecting tin after busking session

Bloatware-free Android version Cyanogen has some powerful friends. The company has passed around the investors' collecting tin and come up with $80m. Those friends are Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm, Telefónica Ventures, Indonesian telco Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries (the US-based industrial group headed by …
Simon Rockman, 24 Mar 2015
Steve Jobs with OS X interface designers in 2001 shortly before the beta release

Becoming Steve Jobs biography: ‘Much of it was chutzpah and self delusion’

Page File Hotly-trailed biography Becoming Steve Jobs is the first major book on the turtlenecked Apple godhead since Walter Isaacson’s authorised bio. Written by US business journalist Brent Schlender with help from Fast Company editor Rick Tetzeli, primarily in the first person, it arrives strapped Major Kong-style to its own redlining …
Adam Banks, 24 Mar 2015
Mobile phone no service

Treat us like the utilities we believe ourselves to be, say UK operators

Rents on mobile phone masts should drop dramatically, with a pricing model loosely based on that used for utilities, states a report from Deloitte, commissioned by several mobile network operators. The professional services firm says that where a mobile network pays £7,500 yearly in rent for sites in rural areas, and £9,200 in …
Simon Rockman, 24 Mar 2015

EU creative collection agencies want YouTube et al to pay their wages

Collecting agencies for audio-visual creators on Monday urged the European Commission to protect their income in the planned new copyright law and to make online platforms (among others) pay for it. The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA), the association of European collective management organisations, called on digi …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

First figures in and it doesn't look good for new internet dot-words

Figures on the number of new dot-word domain names renewed after their first time have emerged – and they are not absolutely stellar. More than one in 10 of the listed dot-thing domain names were not renewed. Registry giant Donuts has released two sets of data for the first batch of gTLD addresses it put on sale this time last …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2015
Credit: Sony/Eon/MGM

So, you know those exciting movie-style 3D visual cyber attack ops centres?

Airbus has been awarded a contract worth £1.4m to "develop and mature" a movie-style 3D Virtual Cyber Centre of Operations (VCCO) for the Ministry of Defence. The research contract engages Airbus to develop a "3-D virtual world to enable collaboration and shared situational awareness," across a sprawling network of security bods …
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM in China: Big Blue sees red, hopes to grow Middle Kingdom's tech

IBM has stated explicitly what its recent strategy had already suggested implicitly: Big Blue has decided to get more strategic in China. Having confirmed it's throwing its Power chip blueprints at system manufacturers in the Middle Kingdom, IBM's CEO Virginia Rometty has told Reuters IBM needs to go beyond treating China as a …
Tom Wheeler, Chair of FCC. Image by DonkeyHotey

AT&T, Verizon and telco pals file lawsuit to KILL net neutrality FOREVER

America's top telcos are suing the FCC over its efforts to impose net neutrality regulations on US broadband networks. AT&T, Verizon, and others, represented by trade body USTelecom, will drag the Federal Communications Commission to the appeals court in Washington DC in a bid to overturn fresh rules on what ISPs can and can't …
Chris Williams, 24 Mar 2015
Privacy image

Metadata retention is no worse than STALKING: Turnbull

Metadata retention, which George Brandis has most frequently described as reading the front of an envelope, is also like standing outside a lawyer's office watching who goes in and out. That metaphor emerged perhaps accidentally from communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, in explaining why there's no need to exempt what many …

Google Glass NOT DEAD. We're just making it 'ready' says chief

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has complained that the end of the Google Glass Explorer program was misunderstood as being the end of the entire Glass concept, “which isn't true”. Following the announcement that Google had shelved the Glass Explorer on January 19th, the assumption was that the techno-specs have seen …
cake

Reseller SCC buys a slice of Fluidata

IT re-seller SCC has taken an undisclosed stake in London-based data connectivity outfit Fluidata, so as to further muscle into the infrastructure space. James Rigby, chief executive of SCC, said the investment will give the company access to the data telecoms market. "Fluidata positions SCC at the forefront of data centre …
Kat Hall, 23 Mar 2015
The Pirate Bay logo

Storm gathers around CDN Cloudflare after doxxing allegations, Pirate Bay deal

UK ISPs have recently blocked access to The Pirate Bay yet again after a deal with controversial security and hosting company CloudFlare briefly opened them up. CloudFlare is, among other things, a popular choice for operators of pirate sites which profit from using copyrighted material without permission or payment to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2015
Ship in trouble

Standard General bids to save RadioShack from oblivion

Historic retailer RadioShack, currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, will learn its fate today, as its assets go up for auction, although its options for survival look distinctly limited. A $145.5m bid from Standard General LP, a hedge fund which is also one of RadioShack’s lenders, could save 9,000 jobs and 1,723 out …
Simon Rockman, 23 Mar 2015
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift snaps up EVEN MORE pr0n domain names

Not content with her recent purchase of ItaughtTaylorSwiftHowToGiveHead.com, heartthrob chanteuse Taylor Swift has been busy registering more porn domain names, most recently TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult. The latest buys are part of a public sale by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which …
Kat Hall, 23 Mar 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

Distribution of cream among EMC executive fat cats revealed

Fancy finding out how much EMC fat cats earn? Read on. Total compensation – meaning share options, salary and bonuses – for the top execs at EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II) in 2014 looked like this: Joe Tucci (EMC Chairman & CEO) – $11,203,318 David Goulden (EMC II CEO) – $10,531,257 Howard Elias (President & COO …
Chris Mellor, 23 Mar 2015
Houses of Parliament at night-time

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Millions of people may be unable to vote in May's general election because the Cabinet Office refused to heed warnings from its own pilot programmes two years ago. Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) at local authorities who have spoken to us on condition of anonymity say the Cabinet Office – the secretive Whitehall …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Mar 2015
Digital Voice Recorders

Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

When I was a contractor building IT architectures, it was common to find that people had a rather old phone system and were looking to move to something newer. The question they asked was always: what shall we do to get something stable but future-proof? Phone lines or IP trunks? Even in 2015 you seldom see an organisation that …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Mar 2015

Swedish city demands £40,000 to repair teenage hacking spree

A Swedish local authority is seeking almost £40,000 in damages from a 17-year-old who hacked its IT system, Umeå, in northern Sweden, is demanding half a million Swedish kroner from Erik Sundqvist as compensation for damages incurred after the then-16-year-old hacked into the municipal system. Sundqvist, who says he only …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Mar 2015
GEC PABX 3 switchboard and operator

NZ used XKEYSCORE to spy on World Trade Org election emails

New Zealand used the National Security Agency's XKEYSCORE to spy on World Trade Organisation elections targeting candidates from Indonesia, Brazil, and South Korea as its Trade Minister vied for the top job, according to reports. Secret documents obtained by the New Zealand Herald and Snowden spout The Intercept reveal …
Darren Pauli, 23 Mar 2015
eyeofSauron

Want to hide your metadata? You probably can't

With every development in Australia's data retention debate, the question arises: “how can I stop the government getting its hands on my metadata?” Routinely, often non-technical journalists give the glib answer to “use encryption”, rattle off their favourite list of technologies, and over-simplify things to the point of danger …
Stanford concept graphic indicating quantum electron interference holograms

UK.gov shovels £15m into training new quantum engineers

The government is flinging £15m at training "the next generation" of quantum engineers through investment in "skills hubs". Implicitly suggesting the existence of a current generation of quantum engineers, the Department of BIS hopes the investment will support the building of "innovative new products like 6G smartphones." As …
Two mobiles man

BT set to undercut rivals with return to mobile biz

BT will launch its own 4G network when it returns to the mobile market within the next few days, it has been reported. According to the Telegraph, the former state monopoly – which proposed a huge £12.5bn takeover of mobe operator EE late last year – will name its service BT Mobile and offer it only to the firm's broadband …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Mar 2015

Cops cuff Colorado girl for allegedly poisoning mum after iPhone ban

A preteen child was reportedly manacled in Colorado, US yesterday, after allegedly attempting to poison her mother twice, because the kid's iPhone had been taken away from her. According to the Denver Post, it was claimed by police that an unnamed, 12-year-old girl used bleach to try to kill her mum. Boulder County Sheriff's …
Team Register, 21 Mar 2015
Obama and Silicon Valley dinner, Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Google and Obama: You’re too close for comfort

+Comment It’s five years since I compared Google to Halliburton, the defence contractor that received large contracts from the Bush Administration, and whose former boss was George W Bush's righthand-man Dick Cheney. Today that comparison looks horribly unfair – unfair to Halliburton. The Wall Street Journal has revealed America's …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Mar 2015

Tinder swipes right: eBay suit hooked up as new CEO

Dating app maker Tinder has named its new CEO nearly five months after previous boss Sean Rad revealed to Forbes he had been fired. eBay exec Chris Payne will be chief exec at Tinder, which is based in West Hollywood, California. Rad will retain his 10 per cent stake in the company, and his president title, but day-to-day …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2015
Apple TV

Summer bust-up expected with new Apple TV and Roku coming onstream

The video-streaming market looks set to have a blockbuster summer with new versions of both the Apple TV and the Roku expected to land. Both boxes are currently on their third versions, but it is the fourth generation that is expected to be a huge determiner for the future of the streaming market as more people move away from …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2015