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Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

Elon Musk wants to use his commercial SpaceX rockets to put satellites into orbit that will bring broadband to the next billion, but one of SpaceX's own customers has thrown a wrench into the works. Musk's plan involves encircling the globe with a few thousand high-capacity, low-latency satellites that the Tesla Motors boss …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2015
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

The government of Canada has ruled that large broadband providers will have to open up their fiber data lines for use by smaller carriers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Wednesday that large incumbent companies who control high-speed data lines will now be required by law to make …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
warrant

Facebook fails to block NY DA's fat warrants for profiles of suspected September 11 fraudsters

A decision by a New York judge means that people's Facebook profiles are an open book to prosecutors armed with a warrant, despite the firm's best efforts. Back in July 2013, the New York District Attorney obtained court warrants to access the full profiles and message databases of 381 NY Facebook users suspected of defrauding …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2015

You can secretly snoop on someone if they butt-dial you – US judges

A US court of appeals has ruled that phone calls started by accident in your pocket – so-called butt dialing – can be lawfully recorded. The Ohio Sixth Circuit appeals court found in favor [PDF] of a woman who recorded the conversations of a colleague who had unknowingly dialed her number before entering a meeting. James …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015

Dear diary. Gotta axe 15% of staff, it's like I'm cracking up – Qualcomm

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm says it's putting its business under the microscope with an eye to restructuring after posting lackluster third-quarter results, including revenue that missed estimates. "We are making fundamental changes to position Qualcomm for improved execution, financial and operating performance," Qualcomm CEO …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2015
apple music

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

A pressure group in America has urged US watchdog the FTC and Uncle Sam's Department of Justice to probe Apple Music for signs of antitrust violations. Consumer Watchdog has written a letter [PDF] to the five commissioners of the FTC as well as DoJ attorney general Loretta Lynch and assistant attorney general William Baer …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015

Storage slump? Dunno what you're talking about, beams EMC

EMC basically saw off most signs of a storage slump with a two per cent revenue rise in its second quarter 2015, although with revenue being reduced after paying $75m in a VMware pricing settlement with the US government. Revenues of $5.98bn generated profits of $487m, 17 per cent down on profits a year ago, but still well …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2015

Report links alleged US, Israeli cybercrims with JPMorgan MEGAHACK

Federal authorities in America have charged five men who are being indirectly connected with the attack and data breach at JPMorgan Chase last summer, after the global bank, with total assets of $2.6tn, lost the contact data for millions of customers. The attack now appears to have been sourcing targets for a fraudulent …
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Pakistan wants to copy GCHQ and eavesdrop on world+dog's comms

Pakistan's intelligence agencies want to snoop on all communications crossing its borders. Documents published by Privacy International (PI) on Wednesday (PDF) show Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency proposed a programme to monitor all international IP traffic coming into and out of the country, encompassing …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Jul 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

NHS England backs down over another data extraction scheme

NHS England has backed down from yet another data extraction scheme, after details emerged of backdoor plans to gather patient appointment information. The episode has echoes of the on-going Care.data debacle, a scheme that has been heavily criticised for its lack of public consultation in sharing patient information with …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2015
Boxers image via Shutterstock

MariaDB seeks home-grown CEO for Oracle bout

Exclusive MariaDB is going after Oracle in its own back yard with plans for a fresh CEO drawn locally in order to tap funding from A-lister venture capitalists. Patrik Sallner is stepping down as MariaDB Corp’s chief executive for a new job, with the firm’s management now interviewing replacements, The Reg has learned. There are a …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jul 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google swallows, but won't digest, mobile app prototyping biz Pixate

The Chocolate Factory has snapped up mobile app prototyping biz Pixate for an undisclosed sum. Under the deal, Google will make the software that allows developers to collaborate and share prototypes with their team, free to use. Previously, the software licences cost around $150 (£96). Pixate is now promising to reimburse …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2015

Keep your stupid drones away from piloted aircraft, rages CAA

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has complained of six incidents since May of last year in which boys and their toys almost collided with piloted craft in British airports' airspace. An Airbus A320 passenger jet managed to miss a hovering drone at Heathrow by a mere 6m (20ft) last July, a frightening proximity considering …

Silicon-happy ARM engorges its profits by a third – so its shares dip

ARM posted bumper sales and profits for its second quarter results – yet shares at the Cambridge-based outfit were still dragged down by Apple's "disappointing" results. Revenues at the mobile processor design biz rose 22 per cent to £228.5m for its second quarter, while pre-tax profits increased 32 per cent to £123.9m, …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2015

SPECTRE-tacular: New trailer out for Bond 24. But where's the pussy?

James Bond fans chomping at the bit to enjoy the forthcoming 24th cinematic outing for 007 can avail themselves of a light aperitif in the form of the full-length Spectre trailer. According to the blurb accompanying the vid: A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2015
Uber - living the dream

Spanish judge dodges the ultimate question – is Uber a taxi company?

Uber will continue to ferry food around Barcelona but not people, as yet another court case involving the ride-sharing pseudo-taxi service is sent to the European Court of Justice. Last year, Spain banned the company following complaints from traditional taxi drivers. However, now a Barcelona judge has decided to let Europe’s …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Jul 2015
Unicorn. Detail from Domenico Zampieri fresco in Rome

Greece? Zzzz. EU bank says TWEETING can move the stock market

Worstall on Wednesday What is it that Twitter is better at than Google at doing? Over and above the obvious point that Twatter is better at broadcasting 140 character apercus to the world, while Google is better at telling you the answer to something? That answer is, as the boys at the European Central Bank (PDF) have just told us all, predicting …
Tim Worstall, 22 Jul 2015
france

The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

Microsoft could get the boot from the French government if a new recommendation from an official advisor is adopted. DISIC (Direction interministérielle des systèmes d'information et de communication de l'État) has recommended that French authorities ditch Microsoft Office tools in favour of the Open Document Format (ODF). …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Jul 2015
Godzilla vs Kitten by https://www.flickr.com/photos/fun9us/

VMware sprawls across the data centre to post 'solid' Q2 results

VMware has posted what CEO Pat Gelsinger described as “solid” second quarter results that exceeded analysts expectations on earnings-per-share and fell over the line on the revenue growth front. The former metric was 93 cents a share, two cents higher than expected. The latter was $1.6bn, a four per cent improvement that …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2015
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Yahoo! reverses! reversal! FLIPS! profit! into! loss!

Yahoo! has reported a $22m loss for its second quarter, as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to buy market share off Google and Facebook. For the same period last year, the ad business booked a $270m profit, so the quarter represents a slump of nearly $300m. The loss, which Reuters briefly described as a “lower-than-expected profit” …

Australian carriers try to head off government telco security bill

Australian attorney-general George Brandis' plans to turn his department into a national telco chief security officer are to be carpet-bombed by a coalition of industry groups opposing the proposed laws. In a submission leaked to the ABC and The Australian Financial Review and since sighted by The Register, a bunch of industry …
DirecTV

$50bn AT&T-DirecTV GOBBLE almost at BELCH stage: DoJ, FCC boss give nod

AT&T has scoffed DirecTV up - now it's just about digestion time. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has OK'd the deal, and the head of the FCC is on side as well. The DoJ said Tuesday it would not be challenging the proposed $48.5bn (£31.2bn) acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T, removing one of the largest hurdles to the deal. …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
Scrooge McDuck

BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

Apple has kept up its record pace, posting a third-quarter profit of $10.67bn (£6.43bn), up 38 per cent year on year, from revenues of $49.6bn (£31.8bn). The Cupertino giant said it flogged 47.5 million iPhones in what was its best-ever third fiscal quarter performance [PDF] to date. Revenues from the three-month period to …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
Facepalm by Ron Mander

Pirates also buy content legally, Australian gov study finds

As Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull releases a survey designed to help justify the government's Internet not-a- filter legislation, the nation's opposition is showing signs of morning-after regret for waving the laws through parliament. The law, passed in June, gives content owners a court process by which …
The Turbo Ace Octocopter. Pic: Turbo Ace

Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

California politicians want emergency services to knock interfering drones out of the sky without fear of repercussion – after a gang of flying gizmos got in the way of firefighters tackling a terrifying blaze. Last Friday, a forest fire roared across Interstate 15 near Cajon Pass in southern California, forcing motorists to …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2015
Satya Nadella

Microsoft has RECORD quarter, in a BAD way - Sad Nad slashes phone biz

Brobdingnagian software biz Microsoft wrote down the biggest quarterly loss of its corporate history on Tuesday, reluctantly gulping down another $8.44bn of red ink - mostly associated with its train-wreck acquisition of Nokia. The latest writedown left Redmond with a net loss of $3.20bn for the three months ending on June 30 …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2015

Google swears blind it doesn't give SEO advantage to new internet dot-words

Analysis For the third time in three years, Google has reiterated its position that it will not give a search ranking advantage to domain names with new internet top-level domains. In a post to its Webmaster Central Blog, the search engine giant has posted and answered six questions over how it handles top-level domains. Most of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2015
Toshiba

Toshiba CEO and execs quit over $1.2bn six-year accounting scandal

Toshiba CEO Hisao Tanaka and seven other bigwigs have quit after a probe concluded profit figures had been inflated beyond their real values. The Japanese electronics giant said in a brief statement [PDF] today that $1.2bn (£770m, 151.8bn yen) was incorrectly added to Toshiba's income-before-tax figures in the 2008 to 2014 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2015
Job cuts jpeg

Staff at stumbling server storage supplier QLogic brace for big layoffs

QLogic, swaying in the doorway with a tatty photocopy of its lousy prelim results in hand, has warned staff they will be axed to cut costs. A couple of weeks ago, the server-storage connectivity card vendor signaled poor first fiscal 2016 quarter results were coming: sales will be up to $19m lower than the most optimistic …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015
Layout of IBM's four superconducting quantum bit device. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. This is the best configuration to add more qubits to scale to larger systems. (Credit: IBM Research)

Big Blue bafflement: Anyone in IBM Storage know which way is up?

Comment IBM's storage hardware revenues continued their long-term dive, judging by the corp's latest financial results. It's getting hard to know what to say about this. IBM is supposed to be one of the best-managed corporations in the world and yet, for twenty quarters in a row, its quarterly storage revenues have declined on the …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015
Tomahawk music player

TITSUP: Apple Music, App Stores, iCloud, iTunes, Radio, iBooks

Updated Apple's web stores, music-streaming jukeboxes, and cloud services have been struggling to stay online for the past three hours. As of 0959 PT (1659 UTC), Apple's status page is still reporting partial outages for the iOS and OS X App Stores and Apple TV, as well as the iTunes services, Apple Music, and Radio. The systems fell …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2015

Silicon Valley sides with Samsung in anti-Apple patent war

A coalition of Silicon Valley giants has submitted an amicus brief to a court hearing an appeal from Samsung in its ongoing patent dispute with Apple, offering support to the South Korean conglomerate. The friends of the court submitted their message to the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, currently hearing Samsung's …

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

Opened on Monday, the University of Michigan's Mcity is the world's first controlled environment to test driverless cars, designed and developed by the university's "Mobility Transformation Center" (MTC) along with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The driverless utopia is a 32-acre simulated urban/suburban …
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Qualcomm gazes at its navel while stroking the surgeon's saw

Qualcomm is pondering a breakup as it embarks on a major corporate soul-searching exercise prompted by activist investors, according to reports. The firm may announce the strategic review when it reports fiscal third-quarter results on Wednesday, sources told The Wall Street Journal. It follows reports in April that activist …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2015
Parachutists and cloud image via Shutterstock

Dancing in the fluffy white stuff ain't helping SAP's bottom line

Rampant cloud growth struggled to offset falling profits for SAP, Europe’s largest software company, during the firm’s second quarter. Post-tax profits tumbled 16 per cent to 469m euro ($508.2m) while total revenue increased by a fifth, to 4.9bn euro ($5.3bn) for SAP’s three months to June 30, 2015. Earnings per share fell 16 …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jul 2015

UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

The UK's inability to introduce a private copying copyright exception legally and fairly means home taping, ripping CDs and so on will remain technically illegal in the UK. The obstacle to sorting out British law in this regard is the government's insistence that it can fix the quirk without offering any sort of compensation …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jul 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Benefits recipients, “non-doms” (those living in Britain treated as foreigners for tax purposes), banks, and landlords weren't the only losers in George Osborne's recent budget. Although they weren’t explicitly mentioned, the chancellor put many contractors, including those working in IT, on his hit list by changing the …
SA Mathieson, 21 Jul 2015

WIPO whistleblowers beg UN for protection as probe into possible corruption starts

UN investigators have begun interviewing witnesses as part of their examination of possible corruption and mismanagement at the UN's domain name and patent body, WIPO, or the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Officials from OIOS (the Office of Internal Oversight Services) travelled to Geneva last week to talk to former …
John Oates, 21 Jul 2015
Coconut face by https://www.flickr.com/photos/22327649@N03/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Cops baffled by 'canal corpse' that turned out to be COCONUTS

Manchester coppers were baffled to discover that reports of a dead body in a canal were in fact someone's unwanted coconuts. Officers in Trafford were called after a walker pulled what he believed to be a bag full of animal bones from the Bridgewater Canal, near Longford Wharf on Stephenson Road in Stretford. The man noticed …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2015
Driverless car

Whitehall maps out Blighty's driverless future

The UK's Department for Transport – with £20m of R&D taxpayer money on the table (the first tranche of a total £100m) – has published a code of conduct for driverless car testing. Whitehall hopes to push British motor makers ahead of the game in getting driverless cars on the road, the DfT said. The code follows on from a …
eBay

eBay's new plan: sell the shirt off your back

Having spent much of 2015 shedding non-core businesses like PayPal, its Craigslist stake and its enterprise services unit, eBay has announced a back-to-the-roots acquisition of Twice. The San Francisco startup gives the company second-hand women's clothing sales, something that's sure to delight eBay sellers who specialise in …
Huawei HQ

Huawei claims 30 per cent growth for H1 2015/16

Huawei's core smartphone and network infrastructure units have driven the Chinese behemoth's revenue past $28bn for the first half of financial year 2015-2016. In a result that will chill the likes of Cisco, Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the company's revenues hopped on an elevator to grow 30 per cent year-on-year, and …