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Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Snopes creator David Mikkelson has secured half a million dollars to keep the iconic fact-checking website Snopes afloat, thanks to a judge’s ruling in an ongoing court battle. Mikkelson cannot be removed as chief exec of Snopes.com, while the disputed $500k will be released to the firm that controls Snopes, Bardav Inc. “ …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Aug 2017

UK IBMers lose crucial battle in pension row

The Court of Appeal in London, England, has upheld IBM's appeal over the closure of its defined benefit schemes, which guaranteed retired employees a predefined portion of their final salary. It dismissed The High Court's 2015 ruling by Mr Justice Warren that IBM had not acted in good faith when implementing a series of …
Kat Hall, 04 Aug 2017
Man vs paperwork. Paper-pusher loses control. Photo by Shutterstock

Small biz breaks out pen, paper after Brit tax collectors' Digital Form Service goes down

The taxman's Digital Forms Service, intended to allow small businesses in the UK to submit returns online, has been down for maintenance since the beginning of the week – forcing SMEs to use pen and paper. The service is intended to provide a digital replacement for all appropriate HMRC print and post forms, a key part of the …
Kat Hall, 04 Aug 2017
Black and white television with white noise

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

On-Call Salutations dear readers, and congratulations on reaching the last working day of the week, on which The Register runs On-Call, our reader-contributed tales of gigs that get you giggling. This week, meet “Sonny”, who told us of his first job as a System Engineer with a local IBM PC reseller, in the early 1980s. Or as Sonny …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2017

Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

The sad case of the teenager who killed himself after being urged to do so in text messages has resulted in a 15-month jail sentence for the woman who sent the messages. In June, Michelle Carter, of Massachusetts, US, was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of her boyfriend Conrad Roy. Back in 2014, Roy had shared …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2017

VCs to Trump: Don't lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas!

A gang of venture capital firms and startup funds has asked the Trump administration to save an immigration rule that allows foreign startup founders to come to the US in order to build their companies. Exactly 60 companies and organizations on Thursday signed a letter [PDF] asking the President to scrap plans to rescind the …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2017

She's back! Jessica Rosenworcel returns to FCC as America's net neutrality row heats up

America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, is finally back to its full complement of five commissioners following the confirmations of Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel by the US Senate. The federal regulator, which is caught up in a controversial battle to get rid of net neutrality rules that it approved only a few years ago, …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Aug 2017

Largest ever losses fail to dent Tesla's bulging order book

Tesla has posted its largest ever loss in its latest quarterly financial results, continuing its trend of burning ever greater quantities of cash. Although the company also posted its highest ever quarterly revenues of $2.28bn, beating analysts' estimates, this was set against chief exec Elon Musk warning that Tesla faces six …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Aug 2017
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

Data viz biz Tableau's revenues up, plans to boost sales headcount

Data visualisation firm Tableau has reported a 7 per cent growth in revenue, with execs waxing lyrical about the company’s move to a subscription licensing model. The company yesterday reported its results (PDF) for the quarter ending June 30, with revenue rising from $198.5m to $212.9m, compared with the previous year. It …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Aug 2017
Paris, France - July 16, 2016 : New smart electric meter Linky from ERDF (Electricity Network Distribution France). Photo by GERARD BOTTINO / Shutterstock.com Editorial use only

Capita's smart meter monopoly is owed £42m by industry

The Capita-owned monopoly that runs Britain's smart meter infrastructure made an operating profit of £390,000 last year – but paid no tax and is owed £42m by the wider smart meter industry. Smart DCC Ltd's regulatory accounts for the year ending March 31 were published earlier this week in its annual report. The firm, also …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Aug 2017
Older woman with shocked expression speaks on fixed line phone... photo by Shutterstock

Network and IT investment spanks Three's bottom line

UK mobile operator Three posted a drop in operating income of 15 per cent to £197m in its first-half results, due to costs associated with network and IT infrastructure investment. In a call the company said it is preparing to ramp up investment in its network to prepare for the onset of 5G technology. Total revenue for the …
Kat Hall, 03 Aug 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Coming soon to a Parliament near you – UK's Data Protection Bill

The UK's new legislation on data protection is to get its first airing in Parliament next month, the government has said. The Data Protection Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech at the end of June, will replace existing data protection legislation on both corporate data and data processing by law enforcement agencies. The …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Aug 2017
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

Symantec offloads its certs and web security biz to DigiCert

Symantec sold its Website Security and related PKI solutions to DigiCert, effectively making its spat with Mozilla and Google someone else's problem. Google had problems with the way Symantec handles certificates since 2015 and their dispute flared anew early this year after a Symantec partner issued dodgy certs. Google …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2017
Citrix

Citrix's new CEO says no new vision needed, just new spreadsheets

When Citrix suddenly appointed a new CEO in early July, the company promised incoming leader David J Henshall would soon detail “a series of strategic initiatives” to improve the company's performance. On the company's Q2 earnings call today Henshall revealed that those initiatives will be explained at the company's next …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2017
Global ICT developments, 2001-2017

Developing world hits 98.7 per cent mobile phone adoption

The world has more mobile phone subscriptions than people, according to the International Telecommunications Union's Facts and Figures for 2017. The annual data dump is billed as an informed estimate about the state of the world's telecommunications services, compiled after ITU uses its authority as the United Nations' ICT …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2017
trump

Trump-backed RAISE Act decoded: Points-based immigration, green cards slashed

Having decided to move on from healthcare, the Trump administration has backed proposed legislation that would markedly overhaul America's immigration process. The H-1B visa system – which tech bosses rely on to fly in foreigners to swell office ranks – isn't explicitly mentioned in the Reforming American Immigration for a …
Iain Thomson, 03 Aug 2017

Brisbane and TechnologyOne swap demands for AU$50 mn

TechnologyOne and the Brisbane City Council could settle their differences for nothing, but that's probably not going to happen. Last week, the council terminated the troubled contract, and in doing so fired a claim for more than AU$50 million at the system supplier. TechnologyOne has, for its part, sent the council a bill …
surprised nerd, image via Shutterstock

Big Internet balks at fresh effort to crack down on sex trafficking

An effort to redefine key legal protections in America, in order to prosecute those aiding child sex traffickers, has hit opposition from internet giants. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 [PDF] was proposed on Tuesday by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and quickly picked up endorsements from 25 other lawmakers, …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Aug 2017

Speaking in Tech: The net neutrality hearing? I'm, uh, washing my hair

Podcast This week, Ed and Melissa are joined by Lauren Malhoit, co-host of TechWiseTV. Together they dive into Black Hat phone prep, Meg Whitman's departure from HP Inc, net neutrality and Russian robots that swipe right or kill you. The details... (0:00) Lauren puts Greg in the Trunk (3:50) Eddie just likes to name drop (7:30) …
Team Register, 02 Aug 2017

PayPal splashes cash on biz that persuades folks to splash cash online

PayPal has invested in e-commerce tech firm Cloud IQ as part of the upstart's latest £4m funding round. Cloud IQ claims to be able to encourage people to spend 10 per cent more online, by throwing targeted ads and personalised emails at visitors to their clients’ websites. PayPal has previously partnered the firm, but the …
Rebecca Hill, 02 Aug 2017
china

Apple chief on Chinese VPN app ban: We always toe the line with other nations' laws

Apple boss Tim Cook has said that his company would "rather not" remove apps from its store – but has to comply with the law in China. His comments come after it was revealed that Apple has removed a number of the virtual private network apps that allow users to circumvent the Great Firewall from its Chinese store. Cook was …
Rebecca Hill, 02 Aug 2017

NetApp channel chief Bill Lipsin leaves firm

Bill Lipsin, NetApp's VP for global channels, is leaving the company. While NetApp looks for a replacement, the channel team will be headed up by Rick Hegberg, VP for OEM and alliances. The company said: "We wish Bill all the best and thank him for his many contributions." Lipsin joined NetApp in May 2015, leaving his …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2017

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos

British Airways is getting its grovelling in early after a systems crash caused chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick airports earlier this morning. The outage affected check-in desks at both the main London airports as well as the minor bizjet destination at London City Airport, with the inevitable hundreds of angry passengers taking …
Gareth Corfield, 02 Aug 2017
Financial shark

Apple, Google pull options trading apps after Australian regulator shows scams

Apple and Google have pulled options trading programs from their respective app stores after being asked to do so by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). ASIC is the nation's investment regulator and took exception to the apps for facilitating “binary option trading”, a speculative investment that sees …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2017
fries

'Would you like fries with that?' The cloud wants to know

Oracle's fired up a cloud service that it says can automate and refine the question of whether you'd like fries with that when ordering food at a restaurant. Big Red's Hospitality wing has created new “Data Science Cloud Services” that include the “Oracle Hospitality Menu Recommendations Cloud Service”. That offering is …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2017
Burning AU$100

One.Tel to finally die in November, 16 years after collapse

Infamous Australian telco One.Tel is finally being read its last rites. The Register understands that the the final meeting of members and creditors will take place in August and it is expected that regulators will erase the company from their registers three months later. One.Tel collapsed in 2001 after a short-but-colourful …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Aug 2017
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, JANUARY 2017: Russian traditional toy - Matryoshka with a portrait of Putin and Trump. showcase souvenir kiosk Editorial credit: dimbar76 / Shutterstock, Inc.

Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

To obscure Russia's role in the 2016 election, the Trump administration collaborated with Fox News to fabricate news about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, according to a defamation and discrimination lawsuit filed on Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York on behalf of …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Aug 2017
Image by Mark Bennetts http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2389319p1.html

Maintel snaps up Intrinsic for £5m

UK comms and networking integrator Maintel has snapped up Merseyside-based reseller Intrinsic Technology for £5.2m. Intrinsic Technology, a Cisco Gold partner, has burned through a succession of chief execs since undergoing a £43m management buy-out in 2011. The company posted a loss before tax of £547,000 on a turnover of £ …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2017
Fibre

Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

In its on-going efforts to break Blighty's broadband dependence on BT, regulator Ofcom has today proposed a cap on Openreach's rental charges for smaller providers accessing its ducts and poles. The regulator said the changes will result "in material reductions" for the majority of rental charges. Ofcom's proposals follow its …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2017

Don't mind if I do, says Nokia, taking a €1.7bn chomp out of Apple

Apple has handed over a cool €1.7bn (£1.5bn) cash payment to Nokia following an intellectual property dispute with the Finnish firm. Speaking to analysts during Nokia's Q2 earnings call, CFO Kristian Pullola said Nokia had received a "substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7bn from Apple". The biz will outline how it plans to …
Rebecca Hill, 01 Aug 2017

UK.gov to trial vouchers for 'gigabit-capable' connectivity with SMEs

The government is to begin trialling a gigabit voucher scheme with small businesses in autumn, according to proposals seen by The Register. Businesses will bid for vouchers worth up to £3,000 for "gigabit-capable" connectivity, and will pay the ongoing line rental costs. That will most likely to be delivered by fibre but not …
Kat Hall, 01 Aug 2017

DDN offers help to 'stranded' Seagate ClusterStor customers

DDN says it will provide support to stranded ClusterStor customers following Seagate’s product line shutdown - only they are not stranded. Seagate announced it was closing its ClusterStor product line last week, with Cray buying the HPC array product business and taking on the support obligations. DDN co-founder and CEO Alex …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2017

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Google's advertising systems that connect people's in-store purchases to their online browsing may face regulatory review – because the Chocolate Factory won't disclose details about how it slices and dices its data. On Monday, privacy warriors at EPIC announced they have filed a complaint with America's Federal Trade …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Jul 2017
iran_flags_648

Amazon admits flouting sanctions by flogging consumer tat to Iran

Amazon has sold around $30,000 worth of consumer tat over a period of six years to several accounts that may have been clicking on the basket in service of Iran - in possible violation of US-imposed sanctions against that country. In its latest US Security and Exchange Commissions filing (PDF), Amazon noted that between …
Andrew Silver, 31 Jul 2017

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Comment Steve Bannon, President Trump's chief policy strategist who has been dubbed "the Second Most Powerful Man in the World", wants a clampdown on Silicon Valley. Bannon reportedly wants "utility-style" regulation for the giant internet platforms, according to The Intercept. Facebook, Google and Amazon are named in the report. …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2017

KA-SHING! Three's daddy Hutchison flogs telecom unit for £1.4bn

UK mobile operator Three's Hong Kong-based parent company Hutchison is to flog off its fixed-line phone business for HK$14.5bn (£1.4bn). Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's richest man and owner of Hutchison, will sell Hutchison Global Communication to US-based, infrastructure-focused private equity firm I Squared Capital. Gautam …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2017
bt_tower

Universal Service Oh... forget the Obligation. BT offers to stump up £600m for 10Mbps

BT has offered to stump up £600m to provide ubiquitous minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps by 2022. If the proposal is accepted, it will render the government's plans for a legal universal service obligation, allowing customers to demand speeds of 10Mbps, redundant. Under the plans, BT would provide 10Mpbs to 99 per cent of …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2017

End of the road for Basho: Court puts biz into receivership

Basho, the outfit that developed the Riak distributed database, has been put into receivership after it stopped paying the bills to its main creditors. Earlier this month, The Reg revealed the extent of the company’s troubles, with offices shuttering around the world and swathes of staff being laid off. It was clear then that …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Jul 2017
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

Revised 'Broadband 2.0' report: 6.7m Brits suffer 'sub-10Mbps' speeds

MP Grant Shapps has released the final version of his latest report into broadband speeds in the UK, which concludes 6.7 million people may not receive speeds above 10Mbps. In his foreword to the cross-Parliamentary Broadband 2.0 report, signed by 57 MPs, Shapps notes that Ofcom's current connectivity data "fails to …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2017
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

White collar crime prosecutions fall as offences rise

The number of white collar crime prosecutions in the UK fell by 12 per cent between 2015 and 2016, despite a 4 per cent increase in the number of reported offences. Figures sourced by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, show a trend of falling white collar crime prosecutions since 2011. Pinsent Masons' corporate …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jul 2017
NBN Logo

nbn™ blames cheap-ass telcos for grumpy users, absolves CVC pricing

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has hit back at critics of its network and business plan in a pair of missives attributed to CEO Bill Morrow. The company has faced increasing criticism in recent weeks as users complain that their services are either unreliable, …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2017
Censored Stamp

Apple removes VPN apps in China as Russia's Putin puts in the boot with VPN banlaw

Apple's Chinese app store has been suddenly shorn of privacy software as Russia and China are both clamping down on virtual private networks. Beijing seems to have had words with Apple about VPNs, because developers like ExpressVPN were suddenly told that their wares are “illegal in China” and breach the App Store guidelines. …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2017

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