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Snap: We've blown $3bn this year and Tencent wants to give us more

Nose-diving social media company Snap Inc. says it has secured a significant investment from Chinese tech powerhouse Tencent. The photo sharing company slipped the disclosure into yesterday's remarkably poor quarterly earnings report, saying the 145 million shares were a non-voting stake and would not be subject to much …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Nov 2017

US domestic, er, foreign spying bill progresses through Congress

A draft law protecting one of the US government's spying programs has passed through the initial markup stage in the Congress, providing one more opportunity to witness the "up is down" world in which American politics currently resides. The USA Liberty Act put forward by House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Nov 2017
Ireland and Great Britain map, image via Shutterstock

UK Land Registry opens books on corporate owners

HM Land Registry made its databases of property owned by domestic and foreign businesses free to access yesterday. The "Commercial and Corporate Ownership Data" and "Overseas Companies Ownership Data" sets are now available without charge. HMLR had previously offered access to the latter for fees ranging between £2,000 and £ …
Richard Priday, 08 Nov 2017

Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

Troubled Tesla Inc. has quietly acquired Perbix, which designs robot production lines. Perbix was already a Tesla contractor. "With the acquisition of Perbix, Tesla further advances its efforts to turn the factory itself into a product – to build the machine that makes the machine," the electric carmaker burbled on its website …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2017
child watches tablet in the dark

Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

Comment For the "smartest guys in the room", Google often seems to be the last to know what’s going on in its own front room. And something very strange indeed is going on over at YouTube. The artist James Bridle – who created the witty "self-driving car trap" (spoiler: it's a chalk circle) – has been investigating the outer reaches …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Nov 2017

Seven years on, Spain rattles tin cup at Google over Street View slurp

Seven years after Google raised hackles by collecting information about Wi-Fi access points with its Street View fleet, Spain's privacy regulator has fined the company €300,000. The country's data protection agency, La Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), announced the fine on November 7th, 2017. The privacy row …

Google on flooding the internet with fake news: Leave us alone, we're trying really hard... *sob*

Comment Google has responded in greater depth after it actively promoted fake news about Sunday's Texas murder-suicide gunman by... behaving like a spoilt kid. On Monday, countless netizens noted that the prominently placed Twitter-fed "carousel" of tweets featured on Google's first page of search results contained links to obviously …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Nov 2017
NBN truck side with First Aid sticker

Telstra drops nbn™ in it as it wears compo for broadband speed ads

Telstra has all-but-blamed nbn™, the company building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), for having to compensate customers who can't experience broadband speeds the carrier advertised. Telstra will compensate 42,000 customers after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took it to …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Nov 2017
defunct US embassy account page revived by researcher

We're not saying Uncle Sam has lost control on Twitter, but US Embassy in Riyadh just did a shout out for oatmeal

History is "a series of lies agreed upon," as nineteenth century orator Wendell Phillips phrased an adage employed by Napoleon, among others. Online history doesn't even require agreement. It can be changed with a click. Justin Littman, a software developer and librarian in the ‎Scholarly Technology Group at George Washington …
Thomas Claburn, 08 Nov 2017

UK's surveillance regime challenged in landmark European court hearing

The UK's surveillance laws have been put under the spotlight today as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) heard legal complaints against the government's spying powers. The landmark hearing in Strasbourg is the first time the court has been asked to rule on the legality of the UK's surveillance laws. It is part of an …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Nov 2017

Commuters' phone data could be tracked to save megabucks on census

Mobile phone data could be used to gather information on people's workplaces for future censuses as the government tries to cut the cost of producing population statistics. The census is crucial for understanding the UK's population and has been run around every ten years since 1801. Residents are legally required to respond …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Nov 2017
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

Sketch With the TV landscape changing faster than some viewers change their socks, today's marathon grilling of BBC bosses at Westminster took on some urgency. Amazon and Netflix are already here in millions of UK households – and Apple is coming, reportedly making a multibillion-dollar investment in studios and material. So although …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2017

Paradise Papers reveal Apple moved bits of biz offshore

Apple has continued to avoid the heavier taxes that some countries would like to exact by moving parts of its company to Jersey, the Paradise Papers have revealed. Outlets that have perused the papers – a large scale leak of financial documents from offshore law firm Appleby – say they show how the company used the firm to …
Richard Priday, 07 Nov 2017

will.i.am's tech tat biz is going enterprise, snags $117m from Salesforce

Would-be entrepreneur and tech magpie will.i.am's startup, i.am+, has bagged $117m venture funding from Salesforce. The former Black Eyed Peas frontman's firm makes a whole load of consumer tech – from phone cases and earphones to wearables – that nobody particularly uses or rates. So the next obvious step is surely to enter …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Nov 2017
Ephippiger terrestris cricket species front closeup menacing camera

Cisco's John Chambers: Robot farmers will feed bloated cricket thoraxes to our children

The outgoing executive chairman of Cisco, John Chambers, has made no secret about his desire to invest in drones in his life after the Borg. But now he has also revealed his passion for cricket farming. Speaking at the Techonomy conference for the last time before stepping down as chairman of Cisco next month, Chambers spoke …
Kat Hall, 07 Nov 2017
google_vs_ms_648

Transparent algorithms? Here's why that's a bad idea, Google tells MPs

Opening up the processes that underpin algorithms may well magnify the risk of hacking, widen privacy concerns and stifle innovation, Google has told MPs in the UK. The comments came in Google's response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into algorithmic decision-making, which is questioning …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Nov 2017

Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

As the European Commission mulls Google's own remedy to its anti-competitive behaviour on the web, the former startup behind the original complaint has warned of possible consequences. Foundem was destroyed by Google's promotion of its own Google Shopping – which doesn't offer customers the best deal, but is another pay-for- …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2017

US judge orders Sci-Hub be excised from the internet

A US judge has ruled that world+dog must help block Sci-Hub, a publisher of scientific texts, which will likely result in protracted battles with Internet companies over their responsibility for copyright infringement. The block order [PDF] was handed down late last week by Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District Court …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, speaking at Build 2015

Microsoft goes to bat for Dreamers: Windows giant sues Uncle Sam to block staff deportations

Microsoft is suing the US government to prevent the deportation of immigrants – including at least 45 of its own staffers – who are in America under the now-dying DACA program. The Redmond giant has signed on to a lawsuit filed by Princeton University on behalf of one of its students seeking an injunction against the …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2017

Official US govt Twitter accounts caught tweeting in Russian, now mysteriously axed

The US Digital Registry – an authoritative list of government Twitter accounts – reveals that almost 30 have been suspended, several after tweeting in, er, Russian. Justin Littman, a software developer and librarian in the ‎Scholarly Technology Group at George Washington University's Gelman Library, identified the accounts in …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Nov 2017
prostitute

Silicon Valley giants tap escape on fight against web sex trafficking law

Just before the weekend, the Internet Association quietly dropped its objections to the proposed Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) which is making its way through US Congress – after fighting against the draft legislation for months. SESTA was introduced to the Senate in August, and amends section 230 of the …
Iain Thomson, 06 Nov 2017
Lady Shouting into a megaphone with news sheets floating out of the mega phone

Google, Twitter gleefully spew Texas shooter fake news into netizens' eyes

Following the murder-suicide of 26 people in church on Sunday by Texas gunman Devin Kelley, ad giant Google managed to shoot itself in the foot by promoting fake news about the 26-year-old. As countless internet users noticed Monday morning, a search for the gunman's name on Google brought up a special "carousel" of tweets …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Nov 2017
Healthy looking person uses app on phone.

Londoners: Ready to swap your GP for an NHS vid doc app?

Londoners are being given the choice of putting their health in the hands of their internet connection, via a 24/7 app-based NHS service which will allow them to have consultations with doctors over video call. The GP at Hand service has been rolled out for 3.5 million eligible in the UK capital. It uses a platform operated …
Richard Priday, 06 Nov 2017
Two angry businessmen fighting over agreement signing. Coffee is spilled. .Photo by Shutterstock

No, Samsung, you really do owe Apple $120m for patent infringement

Samsung seems to have trouble accepting reality when it comes to a long-running patent spat with Apple. The US Supreme Court today declined to hear another appeal of a May 2014 verdict awarding Apple $119.6m for Samsung's alleged infringement of software patents including "quick links", Reuters reports. An eight-person jury …
Andrew Silver, 06 Nov 2017
Shopping cart photo, via Shutterstock

Broadcom confirms $103 BEEELLION slurp offer for rival Qualcomm

Broadcom has confirmed its multibillion-dollar bid for Qualcomm, revealing more details of the $103bn all-cash-and-shares offer to buy out its rival chipmaker. As reported on El Reg last week, Broadcom's offer comprises $70 per share, which we now know is a fact, and made up of $60 in cash and $10 in stocks. "Given the …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Nov 2017
The proposed badge on Martha lane Fox's doteveryone site. Jean jacket with a round lapel badge reading "fair"

Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

Competition Virtuous websites will be able to signal their goodness to the world under a new scheme proposed by digital quango queen Martha Lane Fox. The posh Lastminute.com founder and Twitter board member has floated the idea of a "fair trade"-style badge for websites that "respect user privacy and provide equal access for all". The …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Nov 2017

Europe's one-patent-court-to-rule-them-all rocked by 'Brexit, EPO reforms, German laws'

Plans to introduce a Europe-wide patent court may be delayed still further after the German parliament, government and patent lawyers asked for an extension on submitting responses to a legal challenge. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) have been on the books for five years, and was supposed to be in place by 2015 although it ran …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Nov 2017
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Sprint, T-Mobile US's on-again off-again merger talks are now off

Updated US carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have decided their on-again, off-again merger is off. The companies have been rumoured to have considered a merger since 2013. In September 2017 reportable rumours bubbled to the surface, but Japanese outlets last week reported that Sprint's parent SoftBank had gone cold on the deal. That …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2017
Blue Origin rocket launch

Jeff Bezos sells ONE MEELLION Amazon shares, makes ONE BEELLION dollars

Amazon.com founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos has sold a million shares in his own company and reaped over a billion dollars from the transaction. As this filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission shows, Bezos last week offloaded 30 parcels of shares, and a million shares in total. Buyers paid …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Nov 2017
Facebook

Facebook suggests mm-wave spectrum should be free in Australia

Facebook has urged the Australian government to open up millimeter-wave spectrum for licence-free applications. It's no secret that The Social Network™ has a fondness for wireless applications around the 60 GHz bands. Last year, it outlined its research into systems dubbed "Terragraph" and "Project ARIES" at its Connectivity …
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

Who's to blame for the NBN? Hardly anyone remembers, or cares

NBN WEEK Welcome to NBN Week, Reg Australia's new weekly roundup of the endless news of the nation's National Broadband Network. Last week we reported the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched an inquiry into the NBN's wholesale services. The irony of that decision is that it came just one day after a government MP …

Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban

No, funnily enough, US tech monster Google doesn't have to obey a Canadian court order in America, a judge in the ad giant's home turf of California ruled this week. Google had asked a US federal district court in San Jose for an injunction banning Canadian router-maker Equustek from enforcing, in the United States at least, a …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Nov 2017
man winces as he shaves his face

Data is in: Hortonworks shaves several mill off operating losses

It's results time again, and Hadoop-flinger Hortonworks has reported a positive quarter, with revenues up and a slight shrinkage in its operating losses. The firm posted revenues of $69.0m in the quarter ending September 30 - up 45 per cent from $47.5m in Q3 2016. That’s similar to the boost it saw in Q2, when there was a 42 …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Nov 2017
Beautiful geometric lattices inside mobile mast/antenna

Phone mast maker Arqiva: Oh, the £6bn float? Yeah, about that...

British mast outfit Arqiva has pulled out of plans for a £6bn IPO, citing "market uncertainty" as the reason for a lack of investors. It comes just two weeks after the firm announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange this month. In a statement, the company said: "The Board and Shareholders have decided that …
Kat Hall, 03 Nov 2017
The Hewlett-Packard garage

HPE HQ to leave Palo Alto birthplace as it 'consolidates' offices

HPE's many rounds of redundancies and sell-offs have seen it decide the time is right to downsize its headquarters and move it away from its birthplace in Palo Alto. The company's version of events is that it has “transformed into a smaller, nimbler company, and now has the opportunity to consolidate its Silicon Valley real …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Nov 2017
Security alert red light

Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

On-Call Welcome to yet another instalment of On-Call, The Register's week-ending column in which we share readers' stories of extreme sysadminnery performed under extreme duress. This week, meet “Lee” who told us he used to work for a British government department that operates lots of offices overseas, usually in embassies. Lee was …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Nov 2017

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