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A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

Worstall on Wednesday Economics, of course, is simply a bunch of mumbo-jumbo – as evidenced by its failure to answer the Queen's question regarding the crash: "Why did nobody see it coming?" Theory of Finance scribe and Nobel laureate Eugene Fama's answer – that economic theory insists it is impossible to predict such things – tends not to convince …
Tim Worstall, 14 Jan 2015
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority - IANA - logo

How d'you solve a problem like IANA? Internet captains wrestle over US power handover

The plan to transition the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract away from the US government is going to miss its November deadline amid fighting over a key detail. The contract has been split into three separate functions. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has already finalized its proposal for …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jan 2015

Grow, grow, Grohe, you gloat. Well done that sales team. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, profit is just a dream

Blink and you’ll miss it: Barracuda made a microscopic loss of $36,000 in its latest quarter. That's just 0.1 per cent of its $70.4m revenues. This is a company growing sales by 17 to 20 per cent in each quarter compared to the year before – nothing dramatic but more than respectable. Barracuda Networks sells data protection and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2015

Euro security agency says MORE crypto needed in gov policy

Governments need to build more privacy into legislation,technology vendors need to step up and compliance cops should crack down to push privacy-enhancing technologies out of the labs, says the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). The agency has issued a report, Privacy and Data Protection by …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jan 2015
Dread Pirate Roberts

Ross Ulbricht trial Day One: 'I DID invent Silk Road ... but I'm innocent'

During the first day of the trial of Ross William Ulbricht on Tuesday, a lawyer representing the accused Silk Road mastermind once again proclaimed his client's innocence of all charges against him. Attorney Joshua Dratel said that although Ulbricht "did invent Silk Road" – the first time either Dratel or Ulbricht has ever …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015

Uber reveals fresh passenger data spaff – and city officials are OK with this

Uber has agreed to hand over information on its passengers' taxi journeys to city officials in Boston, US – as the data may prove useful to city planners. The deal may be one of many more to come with other towns and cities, perhaps in an attempt to butter up local governments to accept the controversial taxi biz on their …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015

Would you buy a domain from Google? Industry weighs in on web giant's move

Earlier today, Google opened the doors to its Google Domains shop: its attempt to disrupt the internet domains market by going head-to-head with big daddy GoDaddy. The domain-name industry itself is meeting in Las Vegas at the NamesCon 2015 conference, so we asked a few attendees what they thought of the move. Richard Lau, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015
iPhone smuggler

UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Pic Chinese authorities have captured a man trying to smuggle 94 iPhones strapped to his body into the Middle Kingdom. Photos shared by the state's People's Daily newspaper show the man stripped of his outerwear to expose an elaborate layer of Apple handsets fastened with plastic wrap and duct tape to his torso, abdomen, groin and …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
The new Facebook AMBER Alert

AMBER alerts of snatched kids to appear on Facebook (and Bing)

Video Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing have worked together with the US Department of Justice to add AMBER alerts for missing children to their websites. Youtube Video These warnings are put out whenever a child is reported to have vanished, and urge people to keep an eye out for the youngster: when the program started, alerts were …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2015

Checkmate, GoDaddy – Google starts flogging dot-word domain names

Google has finally launched a domain-name shop, providing a clean and simple management interface that will put it in direct competition with market leader GoDaddy. Called Google Domains, the service emerged from testing today – and allows anyone in the United States (international expansion coming soon) to register domain names …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Atlantis Computing: CEO left due to 'personal reasons'

Comment Atlantis CEO Jason Donahue stepped down for personal reasons with no business-related issues at all, says the firm, which adds that it has set up a partnership with Citrix using its virty storage booster software USX. Chetan Venkatesh, Atlantis’ founder and new CEO after Jason Donahue left just four months post-appointment, said …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015
First Charlie Hebdo cover after attack. copyright: charlie hebdo

Bloke in Belgium tries to trademark Je Suis Charlie slogan

An, er, enterprising individual has attempted to register the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” as a trademark in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The Benelux Trademarks Office told El Reg on Tuesday that it had received an application in Dutch to register the slogan just one day after the staff of Charlie Hebdo were murdered in …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Jan 2015
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

All change at Microsoft as Hyde slips into cloudy costume

The head of Microsoft’s enterprise licensing channel has split to take on a newly created role for cloudy partners, in what could be seen as a signal of where the partner power base is shifting. Edward Hyde, director of the licensing solutions providers (LSPs), formerly the large account reseller network, is to become operations …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2015
Picture by Afonso Lima

Huawei: Phone sales helped fatten our bottom line in 2014

Phone sales helped network equipment giant Huawei to bank 20 per cent more revenue in 2014 than the previous year, the company said today in an earnings guidance. The Chinese company estimates sales for the 12 months to come in at between ¥287-289bn (£30.3bn to £30.9bn) when the final numbers for calendar ’14 are reported in …
Team Register, 13 Jan 2015

Spotify flips bird at Taylor Swift, adds MILLIONS more users

Spotify says it now has 15 million subscribers, up five million from last May, having added 2.5 million paying punters in the Christmas period alone. It also claims to have 35 million users on its free ad-supported version. Spotify launched a new “family plan” in October, allowing two household members to subscribe for £17.99 …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2015

CIOs: Sign up for The Register's 2015 Roundtables

Reg Events The Register kicks off its 2015 Roundtables in March as we continue to explore the real world challenges faced by top IT execs, and their ingenious responses, in our CIO Manifesto program. One of the biggest challenges facing you when you snag the top job is making sure the rest of your staff is up to the job too, so on March 3 …
Joe Fay, 13 Jan 2015
gTLD graphic

2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

Poll With the domain-name industry abuzz thanks the introduction of hundreds of new generic top-level domains – everything from dot-art to dot-zulu – it came as a dose of cold water to find out what the rest of the world really thinks about them. Not much, it seems. Giving a keynote at NamesCon here in Las Vegas on Monday, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015

Confusion, fear and growing pains: ICANN bigwig spells out gTLD headaches

It's not easy being global DNS overseer ICANN right now. The addition of hundreds of new generic top-level domains – gTLDs from .book to .ninja – has been an operational headache; the transition of the key IANA contract is put it under an unfavorable spotlight; and a recent hack of its staff admin systems has raised questions …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015

Welcome to 'uber-veillance' says Australian Privacy Foundation

Regulators are way behind the game when it comes to wearable and IoT privacy, and users are willingly conspiring with companies that don't care about them to help create a society of “uber-veillance”. That's the grim conclusion reached by Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) board member and University of Wollongong researcher …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN migration arrangements favour Telstra, say competitors

With the Australian government's multi-technology model for the National Broadband Network (NBN) set in stone, competitors to dominant carrier Telstra are concerned that proposed transition arrangements give the incumbent too much power while crimping the reach of regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The …
FBI badge and gun

FBI has its fingers deep in NSA surveillance pie, declassified report shows

The FBI had, and most likely still has, a much closer involvement with the NSA’s mass surveillance programs than previously thought – with access to raw foreign intelligence and data on Americans gleaned from the PRISM program. The 231-page report, from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, was obtained – albeit in a …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2015

Dot-word domains 'a shakedown, designed to get money out of people'

People don't like you – and it's up to you to fix it. That was the unusual message to the domain-name industry during the keynote speeches at NamesCon 2015 in Las Vegas on Monday morning. The domain-name industry conference, in its second year, is an opportunity for a wealth of organizations and businesses to get together and …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2015
A Simple XMLFilter class

Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

The US Supreme Court hasn't decided whether it will hear arguments in the long-running dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights, and it has asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it makes up its mind. On Monday, the Supremes posted a memo inviting US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr to "express the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015

What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Encrypted communications will be backdoored or banned in the UK if the Conservatives win the next election, Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged. Youtube Video The UK government has always had the power, “in extremis,” to read Brits' personal post and eavesdrop on electronic chatter, he repeatedly insisted on Monday in a …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2015
Hacked US CENTCOM Twitter account

'American soldiers, we are coming...' US CENTCOM military in Twitter hijack shame

Updated Hackers calling themselves the "CyberCaliphate" briefly seized control of the official Twitter account of US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Monday, and used it to post what appeared to be sensitive government documents. The group first posted to the CENTCOM account at around noon, Eastern Time, with a message threatening US …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015

Activist Elliott gets two seats on the EMC board

EMC - currently under attack by activist investor Elliott Management, which is wanting it to sell off VMware - has granted Elliott two board seats. The EMC board has been expanded from 11 to 13 seats to make room for the two, Jose Almedia (chairman, president and CEO of global healthcare company Covidien), and Donald Carty ( …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015
IBM PC 5150

IBM: Hey, Intel and pals. Look on our massive patent pile and despair

IBM has once again been crowned the leader of the annual patents list, way ahead of US tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. It's the 22nd year in a row that Big Blue has led the pack with its patent stash, which a company can use as a pile of competitive and anticompetitive weapons in the software world. Big Blue …
Team Register, 12 Jan 2015

Trial of alleged Silk Road kingpin set to begin

The trial of alleged former drugs baron Ross Ulbricht over charges relating to defunct illicit goods site Silk Road is to begin tomorrow. Ulbricht will appear before a New York court tomorrow accused of seven separate crimes, including narcotics trafficking, running a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to aid and abet …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2015
Bond tries to decipher is tailor

Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

In the past 24 hours, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has reiterated that the Tories will once again attempt to push for large-scale surveillance of Brits' internet activity, if his party returns to Whitehall after the General Election in May. In parallel with the PM's latest efforts to gain support for more snooping powers …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Jan 2015
Pwned

Had a data breach? Well, SPEAK UP, big biz – Obama

The White House is lobbying Congress to pass a breach disclosure law, forcing firms to admit security breaches within 30 days in cases where customer data has leaked. The legislative push comes in the wake of high-profile breaches at retailers including Target and Home Depot, highlighting a lack of uniform breach disclosure …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2015
Alarm clock

Atlantis Computing CEO stands down

+Comment After just four months as Atlantis Technology CEO and president, Jason Donahue has left, and has been replaced by founder and now ex-chief technology officer Chetan Venkatesh. The company's management page now has Venkatesh listed as chief. Atlantis has RAM-using server and VDI virtualisation software technology products called …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015
flames_fire_destruction

Cash-burning Box makes yet ANOTHER IPO promise

Loss-making VC muse Box.com, the cloud document storage and sharing startup, says it’s ready to make an IPO – again. Box filed its IPO statement with US regulators on Friday in preparation for going public. The nine-year-old firm is gunning for a drop of up to 12.5 million shares at a price of $12 per share. Box stands to raise …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jan 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Boss splits as Symantec UK consciously uncouples

The expected jostling for senior positions at Symantec continues ahead of the divorce between the security and storage wings, with UK boss Simon Moor exiting the business. The conscious uncoupling scheduled to occur by the end of this year – which will effectively undo the 2004 acquisition of Veritas – will leave two independent …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2015
NHS Files on a desk

In the EU? Setting a 'retain that data' rule? Better comply with e-Privacy

Opinion EU countries that set their own national data retention laws must ensure those rules are in line with the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy) Directive, according to a new legal opinion. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled last April that specific EU rules on data retention by telecoms providers, set …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2015
Montage of front covers from Charlie Hebdo magazine

Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

Government ministers from European states, who met in Paris today in the wake of the atrocious attacks that stunned the French capital's population last week, have called on internet firms to do a better job of cooperating with spooks and police to help them fight terrorism. In a joint statement (PDF) from a number of Europe's …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jan 2015

Mr Cameron goes to Washington for PESKY HACKERS chinwag with Pres Obama

U.S. President Barak Obama will end his week of lobbying for more powers to fight hackers online, by hosting Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron on Thursday and Friday, when the two leaders will discuss internet security. Thwarting malefactors who attack companies' computer systems, such as the recent, devastating assault on …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jan 2015
President Obama takes selfie at Nelson mandela's funeral

So, these guys turn up with AK47s and offer me protection ...

The eXpat Files This week's expat is Lawrence Hunt, just returned from four years in South Africa, where he's had quite an adventure. Lawrence was in Nelson Mandela's home town on the day of his death and was told to leave in case ethnic cleansing got going, climbed transmission towers without a safety net, and slept in a bunk bed for months at …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jan 2015
Hacker image

Sony post-mortem: Obama lobbies for new legal powers to thwart hackers

In the aftermath of the massive hack attack on Sony Pictures – which the US government continues to insist was carried out by North Korea – President Barak Obama is expected to lobby hard for legislative overhauls to battle online threats. He will reveal those proposals early next week, an unnamed White House spokesperson told …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
Zuckerberg new news feed

Speak your brains, Colombia – Facebook chief to walk among you soon

A no doubt carefully-selected bunch of Latin American Facebookers will get to quiz the free-content ad network's kingpin Mark Zuckerberg during his first "Townhall Q&A" session away from Menlo Park. The billionaire, copper-haired boydroid, who has been extra chatty about freedom of expression this week, will be present at a …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
SpaceX barge landing spot

SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

Vid SpaceX's attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating hovership in the Atlantic Ocean ended in failure in the early hours of Saturday morning. Youtube Video Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted about his firm's efforts to recover the rocket, after lift-off and separation from the Dragon private space podule, which is now winging …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Last year was utter rubbish. Thanks for being part of it!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I’m glad 2014 is over. It was rubbish. However, given the circumstances, can we have it back please? This year is worse. Not only was last year crap for many, Facebook’s algorithm oompaloopas made sure they rubbed it in by showing us graphically how crap it was via its now-notorious Year in Review fail. To be fair, all it did …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Jan 2015

US govt opens door to Google The Cellphone Network

The US government has cleared the way for Google to become your next cellphone network provider – possibly without costing the company a pretty penny. As we revealed yesterday, the advertising giant wants to use the largely open spectrum at 3.5GHz to provide high-speed mobile data connections at low cost to phones and gadgets in …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2015