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US threatened Berlin with intel blackout over Snowden asylum: report

The US Government threatened to starve Berlin of intelligence if it harboured fugitive document-leaker Edward Snowden, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel says. The National Security Agency (NSA) leaker considered Germany as a place of refuge after he fled to Russia from the United States via Hong Kong in 2013. Moscow granted …
Darren Pauli, 20 Mar 2015
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Pirate Party leads Icelandic voting intentions poll

Icelandic research outfit MMR's bi-monthly polling has found The Pirate Party is currently the nation's most popular political party. Founded in 2012, Píratar currently has three members in Iceland's Parliament and one on Reykjavik City's council. The party's platform emphasises direct democracy, government transparency at home …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2015
Russia

Russia's Putin IT spend in reverse gear, fast

When the first dotcom bubble popped, the likes of EMC, Sun and Oracle didn't panic that the days of easy greenfield sales were over because the then-burgeoning economies of eastern Europe gave them new greenfields in which to romp. Russia, in particular, modernised quickly and became a decent-sized market for enterprise IT. But …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2015
The monopoly box

FTC: All-powerful Google ABUSED rivals. So we did NOTHING

Google was far closer to being dragged into court by US watchdog the FTC than anyone previously believed, documents have revealed. The Wall Street Journal has obtained and published an internal FTC report that accuses Google of wrongdoing, following a 2012 antitrust probe by the regulator into the company's dominance online. …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Mar 2015
Broken CD

Cloud music streams outpace CD sales for the first time, says recording industry ass. of America

Streaming music is now more popular than CDs, according to the Record Industry Ass. of America (RIAA). The RIAA reported (PDF) that in the US last year, streaming music sales accounted for $1.87bn in retail revenues, compared to $1.85 in total revenues for disc-based digital media. Physical media as a whole managed to stave off …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2015

Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

A 15-year-old West Midlands lad has won the public competition to design the tails side of the forthcoming 12-sided British pound coin, the Royal Mint has announced. David Pearce's rose, leek, thistle and shamrock ensemble triumphed over 6,000 rival entries for the honour to grace the decidedly retro polygonal quid, which pays …
Lester Haines, 19 Mar 2015
Uber - living the dream

German court slaps down Uber's ride-sharing app

A German court has slapped Uber with a nationwide ban on its ride-sharing app Uberpop – again. The ruling means the app is no longer allowed, as it enables users to be ferried around by drivers who do not hold the requisite professional licences – a requirement under German law. The company's other services are still permitted …
Kat Hall, 19 Mar 2015
Toilet

UK.gov crackpots: Let's build vapourware-based sharing economy CITIES

The creation of entire "sharing economy" cities, mandatory use of Airbnb and Uber for civil servants, and the "opening up" of UK.gov's vapourware Verify service to business are just some of the latest crackpot "sharing economy" recommendations from the government. The response from the Department for Business, Innovation and …
Kat Hall, 19 Mar 2015

Oracle salesmen get SEVENFOLD salary boost for flogging its cloudy aaS produce

Exclusive Oracle salesmen are being awarded bonus packages up to seven times larger than their salaries in return for getting customers to buy its as-a-service (aaS) offerings, a source has told The Register. The company reported a total rise in Oracle cloud revenue of 33 per cent - $527m - for the three months to February 28. How Oracle …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Mar 2015
channel_teaser_exit

FlashRay founder Pawlowski flees NetApp

Brian Pawlowski, the founding and lead tech head for NetApp’s wannabee high-flying FlashRay all-flash array, has left the company after a 20-year stint, and become a VP in a new venture. Beepy, as he is known, was an SVP and member of NetApp’s technical staff, and NetApp’s chief technology officer from August 2006 to May 2012. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2015
Parrot Ar.Drone

Man hauled before beak for using drone to film Premiership matches

A Nottingham man has been summonsed to court for allegedly breaching the Air Navigation Order while filming Premier League matches using a drone. Nigel Wilson, 42, of Rockingham Grove, Bingham, Nottingham has been summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 16 in relation to 17 alleged offences under the Air …
Three  UK Passports

Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract

Exclusive The Home Office has so far splashed £34.6m in legal costs to extract itself from the disastrous £750m e-Borders contract run by Raytheon, The Register can reveal. In 2007, the Home Office contracted the defence company to design its e-Borders technology system to provide secure border control. However, by 2010 it had terminated …
Kat Hall, 19 Mar 2015

Target tosses US$10 million at victims of breach

US retailer target has reportedly agreed to settle lawsuits regarding its 2013 data breach for US$10 million, or up to $10,000 per litigant. Target was popped in late 2013, when it leaked up to 40 million customer records. The company's since caught a sueball from banks, shed its CEO and burned through $148 million, among other …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2015

Yahoo! will ! close! Beijing! research! lab!

Yahoo! will close a 350-person research lab in Beijing, in order to consolidate its research efforts. The South China Morning Post learned of the closure and secured confirmation from Yahoo! that workers will be let go from the end of March. Yahoo! isn't easily accessible in China and doesn't aim services at the nation's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

There's gold in dem hills: 1000s of two-byte domains hit market

More than 20,000 rare two-character domain names have been put onto the open market today by domain registry Rightside. The company has the rights to sell domains under 38 different endings, including .lawyer, .rocks, .band, .social and .ninja, with just over 30 of them live. Having received permission from domain name …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2015
Illegal drugs

Shock development: Darkweb drug n' gun dealers are untrustworthy

In a turn of events that should shock nobody, the operators of one of the largest darknet drug markets have apparently run off with user funds. The Evolution underground market, which sold guns, drugs, and a cornucopia of illicit merchandise, went dark. A self-described administrator said on Reddit that the site's owners have …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2015
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

The CIO of the United States has floated a plan to make HTTPS the standard for all .gov websites. “The majority of Federal websites use HTTP as the primary protocol to communicate over the public internet,” says the plan, which also states that HTTP “create a privacy vulnerability and expose potentially sensitive information …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
Chinese fence

The West's cloud giants toss escape rope over Great Firewall – and China's not happy

The Chinese government is clamping down on cloud services provided by some of the world's biggest tech companies because they are being used to evade the Great Firewall. Activists outside China have admitted that they use US cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon to hide encrypted packets in seemingly innocuous accounts in …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2015

CSC's ServiceMesh named as source of bank exec bribe

ServiceMesh, a cloud policy company acquired by CSC in 2013, has been named as the source of a bribe allegedly paid to a former Australian bank executive. Keith Robert Hunter yesterday appeared in the New South Wales (NSW) Local Court in connection with payments he allegedly received while he worked at The Commonwealth Bank (CBA …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
Sony's new PlayStation 4

Wanna stream live TV to your Playstation? Get a Vue of Sony's new stuff

Sony has formally launched its subscription-based service that streams TV channels to Playstation consoles. The Japanese entertainment giant said its Playstation Vue package (teased late last year) is now online in a limited rollout to viewers in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The $50-$70 monthly service brings …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2015
South Korean flag. Pic: Republic of Korea

South Korean police book 29 Uber staff for 'illegal taxi' ops

South Korean police have booked more than two dozen of Uber's Seoul-based employees and associates on suspicion of operating illegal taxi services. Twenty-nine people, among them the head of Uber Korea, and also including the heads of six car rental firms, were "booked" on suspicion of connecting passengers to nearby cabbies …

Ex-Autonomy chief Mike Lynch's Darktrace bags £12.6m from investors

Darktrace, the Cambridge-based cyber security company backed by the billionaire superyacht-owner Mike Lynch, has raised $18m (£12.6m) from investors. The latest funding round includes a cash injection from Invoke Capital, Lynch’s venture fund that was one of Darktrace’s first backers. It has also bagged funds from Talis Capital …
Kat Hall, 18 Mar 2015
Belgian cricket. Original pic: Simon Blackley

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Battle lines are forming over the EU’s promised copyright reforms, with Brussels’ lobbying machine going into overdrive. On Thursday, the European Film Agency Directors (EFAD), a network of directors of 28 film agencies based inside the European Union, begged the EU Commission to drop its plans for a major copyright overhaul, …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Mar 2015
James Franco clutches puppy alongside Seth Rogen in a still from The Interview

NORK internet outage was payback for Sony hack – US politician

A North Korea network outage last December came in retaliation for the Sony hack, a US lawmaker claims. Michael McCaul of Texas – Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee – linked disruption of North Korea's thin internet pipe to the earlier devastating attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. “There were …
John Leyden, 18 Mar 2015
Trainspotting

Osbo: Choose a f*cking IoT fridge. Choose spirit-crushing driverless cars

Budget Day 2015 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne vowed today that a Tory government would bring speedier internet connections of 100Mbps to most of Britain – a bold promise given the Coalition's delayed deployment of superfast broadband during the current term. Number 11's occupant made his final pre-election budget statement by …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Mar 2015
Oliver Twist

Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

Blighty's intelligence agencies have held out the begging bowl to Parliament for a handout of £111m before April. In a written ministerial statement today Cabinet Office minister and Paymaster General Francis Maude sought Parliamentary approval for the additional funds. He said the money reflects a number of "in-year budgetary …
Kat Hall, 18 Mar 2015

Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered US clothing outfit American Apparel to pull a snap from its website which featured a prominent pair of youthful buttocks promoting the "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit". A cropped version of the offending image The watchdog received a single complaint …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2015

Facebook unveils P2P moola-to-mates payment feature

Facebook chumps can now send money to other Facebook chumps via the free content ad network's Messenger app. The company confirmed on Monday that the new peer-to-peer feature would be deployed initially in the US over the next few months. Facebook's money-transfer service offers to retain a user's Visa or MasterCard debit card …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Mar 2015
Angela Merkel's eyes

German chancellor DECLARES WAR on crap rural Wi-Fi

CeBIT 2015 German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the opening of CeBIT to present her 10-point plan to revive Germany’s digital economy. However despite some rhetoric about “Industry 4.0”, the 10 points are instead a rather uninspired collection of the same old ideas that every man and his goat trots out. “The competition is large, the …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Mar 2015
Vince Cable channels Nathan Barley v2

Vince Cable opens hipster-friendly London tech creche

Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched the new Urban Innovation Centre, funded by his Department of Business, Innovation and Skills' Technology Strategy Board Innovate UK. The Urban Innovation Centre is intended as a space for "greater innovation and greater synthesis" for organisations operating in urban environments, …
GEC PABX 3 switchboard and operator

Sit back and let someone else manage your telephony

If you are a small company, it takes a certain amount of time and effort to maintain a phone system. This is not a huge problem as the system sits in the corner and gets on with its job most of the time; you have to fiddle with it only to set up new extensions or change the names on items when people leave or join. For a medium …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Mar 2015
Larry Ellison

Oracle in dollar bother – but Larry's in a fighting mood over cloudy future

Larry Ellison appears unbothered by Oracle's third-quarter revenues remaining flat at US$9.3bn, despite that sum disappointing financial analysts. Big Red revealed its recent results today, and GAAP net income for the three-month period ended February 28 was $2.5bn, down three per cent year on year, or 56 cents per share. …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2015
Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe: Flash, pah. Look, we're doing just fine in the cloud, thank you

Adobe has reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of 2015 ahead of what it called are strong financial figures. The Silicon Valley stalwart reported haul of $1.11bn in revenues and earnings per share of $0.44, well ahead of analysts' $0.39 estimates. Over the quarter customers downloaded 30m apps and piled …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2015
Apple TV

Apple about to make Apple TV WAY LESS SUCKY - report

Apple TV users might be getting new channels, and Cupertino some more money, according to insiders in the firm. The Cupertino giant is in talks to put out a subscription television service with Fox, CBS and the Discovery Networks, The Wall Street Journal reports. Apple is currently part of a conglomerate that includes ABC, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2015
NUtanix logoi

Nutanix takes a hyper-converged swipe at VMware's top cert

Nutanix has just announced a new certification, and sent a shot across VMware's bows by doing so. The certification is called the Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX) and the company says it will be “the most rigorous technical qualification in enterprise computing” and “creates a new standard in IT certifications”. Next comes the …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2015

Listed US tech provider bribed Oz bank worker say cops

Updated A former banking industry IT executive has been arrested in Sydney for bribery over the handling of "lucrative" contracts. Police in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) made the arrest, but have provided scant detail about the matter. But the contract must have been big: as the boys in blue say “To date, more than US$1 …
Rubrik_web_page

Stealthy upstart Rubrik: We'll make enterprise data 'beautiful'

We here at The Reg have come across Rubrik, an early-stage Californian storage startup still in stealth. The website talks about “the world's data management platform". Headquartered in Palo Alto, it defines itself as "the new standard for data management," and claims: "Rubrik is built by the same people who built Google File …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
gavel_judgment_channel

Motorola Mobility up before the beak over alleged IP infringment

It’s usually Motorola Mobility which takes companies to court over IP infringements, but the tables were turned this week at the Delaware federal court with Intellectual Ventures flexing its muscles. Intellectual Ventures is a patent portfolio company founded by former Microsoft CTO and occasional chef Nathan Myhrvold, author of …
Simon Rockman, 17 Mar 2015
Uber surge pricing during Sydney seige

Cab for Callinicos! Uber's CFO moves on after just two years

Brent Callinicos is to step down as CFO of Uber after two years at the ride-sharing company in order to spend more time with his family. In an email published by the WSJ, CEO Travis Kalanick offered a laudatory eulogy dressed up as a HR memo for investors: "Almost two years ago, I brought on one of the great financial …
jack russells racing with knitted 'jockeys' on their backs

Betting exchange WBX closes, Betfair romps on

Betting exchange WBX is pulling down the shutters on its operation, citing increased regulatory compliance costs and competition from market leader Betfair in its decision to close. WBX suspended betting and closed its exchange on Monday. No further bets can be staked, but unsettled bets on longer-term markets will be honoured …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2015
Register Roundtable at the Soho hotel

CIOs: What tech will be running your organisation in 2020?

If you’re running IT for your organisation, your skill set should include the ability to see into the future. If you doesn't, the next best thing would be to know what your peers are thinking. That’s why for our second Register Roundtable of 2015, we’re going to be discussing: What technology will really change your business …
Joe Fay, 17 Mar 2015
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

BT fined £800k over lax emergency text relay delay blunder

Britain's communications watchdog has fined one-time national telco BT £800,000 for failing to provide a revamped text-to-voice service for customers who have hearing and speech impairments. Ofcom said this morning that the company missed the regulator-imposed deadline – 18 April 2014 – to improve its text relay service. BT's …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Mar 2015