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New homepage of Gov.uk, credit screengrab gov.uk

Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Exclusive Poor design and chaotic management by the supposedly crack team at the Cabinet Office's Government Digital Service (GDS) left huge swathes of the British government in disarray, internal documents seen by the Register reveal. The documents confirm that GDS knew its flagship initiative to move all government websites under one …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Feb 2015
School of Rock

IT knowledge is as important as Maths, says UK.gov

Digital literacy must become a core subject in schools – just like maths – in order to mitigate the effects of mass job automation, a House of Lords report has warned. The Digital Skills Committee said the "UK is at a tipping point" in addressing its "significant digital skills shortage". It said this was particularly important …
Kat Hall, 18 Feb 2015
Parliament in the clouds

UK.gov: Just one in three G Cloud suppliers have won ANY business

The majority of tech suppliers on G Cloud haven’t seen a penny of taxpayers cash – not a bean – according to official figures on government spending. The sixth iteration of G Cloud is now live on the Digital Marketplace, introduced at the start of this month with 1,453 companies touting for business, up 15 per cent on the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015

SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Despite the outcome of last year's referendum on Scottish independence – namely, keeping the union together – Scotland's politicians have declared independence from the UK ... online. On Tuesday, the Scottish Government shifted its internet presence from 'scotland.gov.uk' to 'gov.scot', redirecting the old domain to its new home …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

Snapchat wants $19 BEEELLION for your selfies

Photo-sharing service Snapchat is reportedly seeking funding that would value the company at US$19bn. A report from Bloomberg cites sources familiar in claiming that the disappearing pic specialist wants to raise $500m in funding based on the hefty $19bn valuation. That round of funding would, to say the least, represent a …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2015
Privacy image

Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

Australia's Federal Government, and its agencies, are working to drum up political support for the nation's controversial data retention legislation. Prime minister Tony Abbott offered favoured outlets early access to a speech to child protection charity Bravehearts, in which he said the data retention regime is needed to battle …
Three  UK Passports

Home Office wins appeal against £224m e-Borders payout

The UK Home Office has won an appeal against US defence giant Raytheon to award the company £224m after cancelling its £750m e-Borders contract. The company was engaged by the Home Office in 2007 to design the e-Borders technology system. However, by 2010 the Home Office had terminated the contract on that grounds that key …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2015

First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Exclusive The public sector is committing millions of pounds of tax fraud by incorrectly claiming money back on IT services which are not VAT recoverable. Under VAT rules, government bodies can claim back 20 per cent of the price of IT services that are managed by a large provider, as well as bespoke custom-made software. Money spent on …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2015
GCHQ road sign

Speak your brains on surveillance, despots. No we don't mean Five Eyes

Dutch Member of European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, has asked the public for input into her report on surveillance and human rights. Anyone with even a vague interest in “the impact of intrusion and surveillance systems on human rights in third countries” is invited to send their thoughts to marietje.schaake-office@ep.europa. …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Feb 2015

Gartner to CIOs: Go on, SPEND some CASH on ROBOTS 'n' 'Things'

CIOs in the UK and Ireland are bullish on “digitalisation” of their businesses as spending returns. That’s according to Gartner, who ranked so-called digitalisation third in the list of CIO’s spending priorities in the UK and Ireland. It’s up from sixth place the year before, and a bigger priority here in the UK than for CIOs …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Feb 2015

Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Privacy International (PI) is calling on people to sign up to be part of a mass request for confirmation they have been spied on by Five Eyes spy agencies and to demand the removal of captured information. Would-be signatories are being asked to submit their name and email address to the organisation, which will then pass them …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015
Mars

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS

A group of amateur astronomers has discovered a tricky conundrum for the professionals, documenting atmospheric plumes - or something that looks uncannily like them - above Mars... where they should not occur. The observations, made in March 2012 and written up for Nature here (PDF), found plumes in the Red Planet's atmosphere …

Juniper CEO axed after SALES FAIL: report

When former Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradpir departed the company in November 2014, the company cited customer negotiations as the reason. Ostensibly voluntary, Kheradpir's departure looked from the outside as if he was pushed rather than jumping. Juniper's statement merely said the board and Kheradpir had “different perspectives” …
Intel president Renee James

Intel President Renée James says Chipzilla's diversity efforts are moving too slowly

Intel president Renée James has taken the company's diversity message to India, saying that women's challenges to reaching the C-level are the same on the subcontinent as they are in the USA. In an interview with The Economic Times' Corporate Dossier columnist, James said things hadn't changed in her 25-year career, and that …

Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Apple design supremo Jony Ive met Star Wars: The Force Awakens director at a dinner party and offered him some thoughts on lightsaber design that made it into the forthcoming flick. So says The New Yorker in a profile of Ive. The story says “Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2015
Privacy image

Dutch DPA says government's data retention plans still illegal

The Netherlands' Data Protection Authority has criticised that government's proposed data retention legislation. The government put forward amendments to its data retention regime in response to the April 2014 European Court of Justice decision that invalidated the EU's Data Retention Directive (along the way causing trouble for …
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australian government's 'cyber-security' review delayed

One day after Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott promised a more hard-line approach to national security, the government has delayed a cyber-security review. Over the weekend, the PM's YouTube channel carried a statement (video at the end of this story) in which he complained that Australia's treatment of immigrants-turned- …
Job cuts jpeg

IBM: Who wants to leave with a swollen package?

IBM is continuing to set up Employee Consultation Committees to identify people who want to jump rather than be pushed in the latest workforce purge, according to a memo seen by us. Rob Lamb, veep of manufacturing and development for Europe and a Hursley Lab leader, informed staff last week that Big Blue was forming an ECC to “ …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

Channel on track: British tech insolvencies fall to seven-year low

It is official: 2014 numbers for corporate deaths in the Brit tech channel have slumped to a seven-year low, figures from credit reference agency Graydon UK confirm. Some 48 local suppliers went under in Q4, taking the tally of insolvencies for the 12 months to 198 versus 293 in 2013 – annual levels not seen since prior the …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Whitehall mandarins have wasted more than £100m on failed or cancelled IT projects in the last 12 months. That’s according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which has collated losses across all departments for 2013 – 2014. The Alliance uncovered £107m lost as projects were scrapped, gains weren’t realized or unnecessary costs were …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Feb 2015
Old Bailey Lady Justice

REPORT: UK needs online eBay-style court for civil justice

An online court, similar to eBay's disagreement resolution service, should be set up to administer civil justice disputes in the UK, an official report has recommended. HM Courts & Tribunals Service should establish a new, internet-based court service, known as HM Online Court (HMOC) for disputes under £25,000, said the online …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2015
management strategy4

SAP's ex-Hana chief swallows software firm, bets big on... Hana

The exec who led SAP’s Hana has bought enterprise software management specialist Panaya, pitting his new firm against his old bosses. Vishal Sikka, chief executive and managing director of Infosys, has announced that his firm – India’s second largest outsourcing company – is buying Panaya for $200m. The new acquisition produces …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Feb 2015

Insight’s director churn continues as ‘key player’ leaves

The revolving door at Insight keeps swinging, with folk entering the building, others deciding to walk and some being forcefully ejected. IT Services director for the UK, Stuart Lemon, has exited and El Chan understands he is joining a reseller with big ambitions. In a statement, Rolf Adam, veep of services at Insight EMEA, …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015
David Cameron, Prime Minister, meets Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei Technologies, in Downing Street, 11th September, 2012.

Huawei Browne-noses UK after hiring ex-BP peer for its board

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has appointed ex-BP chief exec Lord Browne to head up its UK board of directors. The company has repeatedly rejected concerns that Huawei has too much control over Blighty's critical infrastructure and communications systems, based on claims that its chairman (and erstwhile member of the People's …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Feb 2015
Rows of washing machines in shop aisle

Samsung, LG wash dirty laundry in two separate court cases

LG Electronics' home appliances top brass Jo Seong-jin has been indicted for allegedly sabotaging four of Samsung Electronics' high-end washing machines at a trade show last year. LG said on Sunday Jo and two others had been indicted by South Korean prosecutors for the alleged sabotage in Berlin last September. Separately, on …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2015
The farmers persuade the bull into a pen

UK.gov can't get farmers onto its Verify service – even to claim subsidies

Significantly fewer farmers are registering online for the Common Agricultural Policy payments scheme than last year, despite government plans to create an online-only exemplar digital service, Freedom of Information numbers reveal. As of 10 February, just 1,300 farmers have so far registered online with the Rural Payments …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2015
Beats headphones

Hey Apple - what's the $178bn for? Are you down with OTT?

Analysis After posting a record-breaking quarterly net profit of $18bn, on the back of sales of 74.5 million iPhones, Apple is sitting on $178bn in assets – despite a share buyback programme that has spent $103bn on its own stock, with $57bn of that occurring in the past 12 months. This is a staggering amount of cash, and it is only …
Faultline, 16 Feb 2015
Gun and dollars

Got $600 for every Win Server 2003 box you're running? Uh-oh

Microsoft is officially charging customers at least $600 per server to safely run Windows Server 2003 after its July 14 support cut-off date. The number has come to light from Microsoft licensing expert Paul DeGroot of Pica Communications, who told The Reg he knows customers who’ve been quoted this figure. The price is for the …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Feb 2015

Bad news, IT bods: UK's tech outsourcing up 15% last year

IT outsourcing contracts agreed in 2014 totalled £3.44bn in value, with nearly a third of that value accounted for by deals struck in the energy and utilities sector. Those deals were worth £1.05bn and accounted for most of the 187 per cent year-on-year rise in the sector on £373 million spent on all outsourcing deals in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2015

Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Virgin Media temporarily pushed BT's shares down more than 2 per cent on Friday, after it announced a juicy £3bn cash injection into Britain's internet infrastructure. The cable company, which was bought by John Malone's Liberty Global roughly 18 months ago, promised to bring broadband speeds of 152 Mbps to four million more …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Feb 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has released a new set of rules covering the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles, and appears to have shot down Amazon.com's delivery-by-drone dream. The draft regulations (PDF) say drone operations must be “Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only” and that “unmanned aircraft must …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2015

Google founders to offload $4 BEEELLION in shares

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are about to offload millions of shares that will net each billions in cash. Don't panic, dear readers, at the prospect of Google's share price (and the balance of your pension fund) diving: the pair are offloading their holdings in line with an amended stock trading plan that is …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2015
Uber apologises for Sydney siege surge pricing SNAFU

Uber to Australia: Legalise UberX and we'll GIVE you DATA

Uber has told Australia it wants to stop butting heads with regulators and will offer them traffic data as their quid pro quo for official recognition. The company told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 730 programme last week that “We have a lot of information about how people are moving around their cities, so there's …

Australian tech businesses score $940m of VC and private equitty

Startup-land Australia likes nothing more than to whinge about how hard it is for tech companies to find their first investors in Australia. The sector is considered scarcely capable of spelling HTML, never mind capable of understanding its importance enough to invest in someone that wields it. Complaints about how hard it is to …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015
Dog's backside and tail

Help! DYING Google Helpouts YELPS out the door

Google has killed its Helpouts service less than two years since it first launched, because the ad giant failed to generate big bucks from a community of tipsters seeking to make small change from the venture. As we noted at the time, Google was attempting to move in on the bottom-feeding "how to" publishing market and hoover up …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015
Photo of Kermit the Frog at NASA

It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Worstall @ the Weekend Following on from last week's approbation of one Green Party policy, it is possibly time for me to get off my chest an issue over the policy general of said greenery luvvies that really, really, bugs me. Specifically, it is this idea that we should rely upon markets less and do more things "for ourselves". As I'll explain, from …
Tim Worstall, 15 Feb 2015
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Worst … commute … EVER – Surrey to Sydney

The expat files More than a few of the expats we've quizzed have moved from the UK to Australia, but only Simon Pearson has found himself bouncing backwards and forwards to between the two. The developer-turned-manager came for the lifestyle, but went back to Blighty for … well that'd be telling wouldn't it. So read on to hear Simon's tale of …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2015
Tim Cook as Mr T

Apple drives itself round bend: PITIES THE FOOL who inks deal with carmakers – source

Hours after rumours surfaced suggesting that Apple was working on an "automotive product" with established carmakers – new gossip apparently reveals that Cupertino will go it alone with a self-driving electric vehicle. The Tim Cook-run firm is said to be discussing its plans with eggheads at car manufacturers, but purely – it …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2015
Glorious future of China

In praise of China’s CROONING censors: Company songs NOW!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Clear the desk of work, put the phone on voicemail, set your email to auto-reply and sign that restraining order against the increasingly desperate Madonna. Allow nothing to interrupt the 3:11 of sheer pleasure that is Cyberspace Spirit, the televised performance of the official anthem for China’s web censors. As soon as I …
Alistair Dabbs, 14 Feb 2015

'Come on, everyone – block US govt staff ogling web smut at work'

A US congressman wants to take hard action against government staff viewing grumble flicks at work. House Rep Mark Meadows (R-NC) said that his proposed Eliminating Pornography for Agencies Act would task the White House's Office of Management and Budget to "issue guidelines that prohibit the access of a pornographic or other …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2015

Apple 'hires' the 'A-Team' from car titans, they DO SAY: Let's modify the 'van'!

Apple has apparently shanghaied experts from the automotive industry for a super-secret project or two that no one really knows anything about. CEO Tim Cook and bling-master Sir Jony Ive have been meeting – and trying to hire – eggheads at Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers to help develop an Apple "automotive product," it's …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2015