Business > More stories

Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Grooveshark to sink its teeth again into Pandora (legally this time)

Embattled Grooveshark is promising to launch a music-streaming service next year that will, for a change, be fully legit and safe from copyright lawsuits. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO Sam Tarantino said that next year his biz will launch a paid-for service designed to compete with Pandora. The service, …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Dec 2014

Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Microsoft is continuing its battle against US demands that it hand over e-mail data stored in Ireland, arguing in its appeal that the US government would resist any demand by a foreign government that it hand over data stored in America. Detailed at Digital Constitution, the Microsoft brief filed on December 8 puts the …

Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

French publishers are reportedly planning to sue Eyeo, the makers of AdBlock Plus, over the upstart's practice of charging money to allow online adverts to pass through its filter software. According to L'Echos, the lawsuit is being considered by the French Internet Advertising Bureau and GESTE, a French publishers and content …
Iain Thomson, 9 Dec 2014

Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is suing taxi-booking app maker Uber for operating unlicensed cabs. Officials with the city's Board of Transportation said on Monday that it was going to court in order to enforce its regulations on for-hire car companies: for one thing, it's claimed Uber needs a license to run a taxi company in …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Dec 2014

US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED

US Assistant Commerce Secretary Larry Strickling – the man in charge of the critical IANA contract that keeps the internet glued together – has embarked on a war of words with Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz. In a letter to the newspaper, Strickling took issue with Crovitz's column last week headlined Halfway to …

Internet cash-point boss says 'no thanks' to ICANN's web power grab

Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown has rebuffed efforts to get her onside a controversial new body that plans to steer the internet. Despite a series of private meetings with the ICANN-backed NetMundial Initiative (NMI), Brown noted in a blog post on Monday: "It is fair to say that issues, including the need for the NMI Council, …
The launch explosion, captured in a Sea Launch video

Identity thieves slurp Sony Pictures staff info – as CEO sends 'don't sue me, bro' memo

Criminals are picking through gigabytes of leaked personal information from Sony Pictures' ransacked computer network, triggering identity theft alerts, staff have told The Register. We're told crooks are, as is inevitable these days, mining files dumped online by hackers, who comprehensively compromised the movie studio's …
Iain Thomson, 8 Dec 2014

Post Office: Here's £100m, Computacenter. Now get us up to date, for pity's sake

Services-based reseller Computacenter has bagged a £100m project to refresh and manage tens of thousands of PCs for the Post Office, in line with the customer’s aim to drag itself into the 21st century. The four-year End User Computing Tower involves CC buying, configuring, installing and maintaining more than 30,000 devices …
Paul Kunert, 8 Dec 2014

One digi market to RULE 'em all: Get with the net neutrality plan, guys, moans EU digi-veep

Europe’s new digi chief has told telecoms ministers to get their act together and deliver strong net neutrality rules. Andrus Ansip, European Commission veep for all things digital, said he had “no illusions” that this would be easy, adding: “I really hope that an agreement can be reached over the coming months. Otherwise, I …
School of Rock

A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

A National College for Digital Skills is to open in London in 2015, as part of a raft of government measures announced on Monday intended to improve Blighty's economic output. The college aims to teach digital and coding skills to 5,000 learners within five years, and will focus on "higher level technical provision, through a …
Kat Hall, 8 Dec 2014
Renault 4 from Belgium in Weststraat, Aardenburg gtl 1100 1980

Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

A judge in France has slapped a month-long driving ban on 15 people for posting info about speed cameras on Facebook. The court in Rodez, a small town north-east of Toulouse in the south of France, took a very literal interpretation of article R413-5V of the French rules of the road, which makes it illegal to alert drivers to …
London BMW 5-Series police car

Met ready to cough £150m to IT bods who'll help coppers go digital

London's Metropolitan Police is seeking a systems integrator to help tackle its creaking IT in a deal worth up to £150m for "digital policing". The force currently spends 80 per cent of its IT budget maintaining legacy systems, according to its Total Technology plan for 2014-17, published earlier this year. Under plans for a …
Kat Hall, 8 Dec 2014
Photo from stage looking out on crowd

Manchester festival marketers fined £70,000 over spam ‘mum’ texts

Organisers of a Manchester music festival have been fined £70,000 after sending unsolicited marketing text messages. The digital junk was sent to 70,000 people who had bought tickets for the 2014 edition of Manchester's annual festival, the Parklife Weekender, and appeared on the recipients’ mobes to have been sent by "Mum". …
John Leyden, 8 Dec 2014
Candy Crush Saga

MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Conservative MP Nigel Mills has been caught playing the popular and addictive mobile game Candy Crush Saga for over two-and-a-half hours while supposedly actively participating in a discussion on national pension reforms. Images and a video were published (paywall) in The Sun of the politician playing the game on his iPad in a …
Reckless Getaway

Osborne ponders giving fleeing bank customers an API getaway car

Banks will have to use standardised application programming interfaces (APIs) to make it easier for customers to move their accounts to rival services, the British government has said. In his Autumn Statement last week, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government would launch a "call for evidence" on "how to deliver …
OUT-LAW.COM, 8 Dec 2014
NFC tag with Bluetooth connectivity

18 million iPHONE USERS HAVE NEVER BONKED to ApplePay

+Comment Oh, what a surprise. NFC has failed to ignite the imagination of iPhone users, with 90 per cent of them shunning the payment method of the future. This is among the findings of stats-loving website InfoScout, which reports that of the approximately 20 million or so iPhone 6s which have been sold, 18 million have never been used …
Simon Rockman, 8 Dec 2014

Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Analysis Last month, Texan Congressman and lead voice in the Republican party in the US, Ted Cruz, wrote an opinion piece about the internet. Last week, Wall Street Journal columnist and media-Republican L Gordon Crovitz did the same. Both dig into critical decisions that will be made in 2015 and cast a critical eye over them. Both make …
Oracle Termites

Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

The Home Office is locked into a £330m mega-contract with Oracle and Fujitsu until 2016 – despite recent moves to slash costs by shifting its ERP system into a shared services centre run by French mega-integrator Steria, according to a Freedom of Information response. The contract was signed in 2009 for an Oracle E-Business …
Kat Hall, 8 Dec 2014
Credit: David Shankbone

Competition probe opens door to Canal+ Spain for Rupert Murdoch

Analysis It is over six months since Telefonica tabled its bid to buy 56 per cent of Spain’s pay TV operator Canal+ from the Prisa Group on top of the 22 per cent it already owned and at last it is facing the competition probe we predicted it would at the time. The other 22 per cent owned by Mediaset, the Italian commercial broadcaster, …
Faultline, 8 Dec 2014
Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Intel to upgrade chip-test plant in China

Chipzilla has decided to take another run at the mobile chip market, announcing plans to spin as much as US$1.6 billion in the direction of its Chengdu plant in China to achieve its aims. The money will go towards upgrade a decade-old facility to try to assert its 900-pound-gorilla status in the mobile silicon business, for too …
Spying image

Dutch lawyers seek to overturn data retention

The Netherlands is the latest EU country to see pushback against excessive state surveillance of the Internet, with that country's criminal lawyers' association leading a court action against the state over its data retention laws. The association (the NVSA) has joined forces with the Dutch Association of Journalists, Privacy …
Parrot Ar.Drone

Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

An unidentified drone came very close to colliding with a passenger jet in the summer, an official report to be published this week will say. According to the Sunday Times (£), which has seen the Civil Aviation Authority's document on the risks associated with the growing popularity of drones, an Airbus A320 was involved in the …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Dec 2014
George Osborne looking like he means it

Let AN EGG tell you what's happened in tech this week!

Youtube Video Have a look at what went down in tech this week, with El Reg's animated news anchor Regina Eggbert. She'll let you know about Blighty's attempt to levy a "Google tax" on large multinationals, the FBI's attempt to snoop on US mobes using an ancient law signed into existence by George Washington, and Sony Pictures' …

Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Worstall @ the Weekend The general impression we've all got is that the US is a place where the poor are simply left to starve in the gutter, unlike in soft and cuddly Europe, where we do our best to help our fellow man. That the political mantras shouted at us to keep us coughing up to pay for these welfare states might not be wholly and entirely …
Tim Worstall, 7 Dec 2014
steve jobs

'A strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit' – Steve Jobs

QuoTW This was the week when the years-old iPod antitrust case finally had its first days in court, and kicked off with testimony from beyond the grave courtesy of emails and video depositions from late Apple founder and supremo Steve Jobs. The iPod users are trying to prove that Apple created an uncompetitive market by ensuring no …
Post-apocalyptic city

Experimental sci-fi novel Elysium is ALMOST irritating ...

Page File Elysium is one of those slightly bewildering experimental-style books that manages to stay just this side of irritating, no mean feat when your story is a technological sci-fi tale of two characters that change gender and relationship every few pages. Adrian/Adrianne moves back and forth in time, from recognisable periods in our …
Ciscoblood

Cisco tears off gloves, throws copyright and patent punches at Arista

Cisco has filed suit against rival Arista Networks, accusing it of ripping off Cisco's intellectual property. The networking goliath said it will lodge patent and copyright infringement claims against Arista, arguing the upstart has based its business on ideas and technologies copied from Cisco. The claim includes allegations …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Dec 2014

'Why do Register commentards get so frothy-mouthed?' Thus started WW3

CoTW Short, sweet and funny. What, we like these things. Just smile and be happy already. Opening this week's commentardery, AidanH came up with a short funny one which made the Great Tardmangling Machine chuckle to itself, alarming its overseers considerably: HMRC called their system MOSS... well played. I assume their next project …
Parliament in the clouds

Parliament: All's well with RIPA snooping, no problem here

Comment The Investigatory Powers Tribunal yesterday declared GCHQ's mass spying is perfectly lawful – and today the government announces it will not be doing anything about mass-snooping law RIPA either. Trebles all round! Today the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee (HAC) released its report into the Regulation of Investigatory …
The Art of Social Media

Guy Kawasaki's guide to social media, Hanif Kureishi's cash crash catharsis and more

Page File El Reg bookworms Lucy Orr and Mark Diston look at publishing's quirkier offerings this week. We have Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick on how to catch the "social disease", Hanif Kureishi on how to lose a personal fortune, and the hilarious CD Rose on how to sink without trace in publishing. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips …
Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang)

The Grandmaster: Epic, heart-melting, oh and there's lots of kung fu

Film Review The Grandmaster is a tale so loosely based on the actual life of famed kung fu master Ip Man that it belongs more properly in the stable of martial arts fables such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. Ip Man (Tony Leung) gets ready for a rain-soaked fight. Though no one flies through the air ( …

How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I am in a long, slow-moving queue of anxious passengers trudging through airport security like chained natives thrown into the lava pit by Ursula Andress giving a “lesson in obedience”. I remove all items from my trouser pockets and put them in my coat pockets. I take off my coat and put it in a plastic tray. My laptop goes in …
iTunes Store 'Purchased' screenshot

Wheels fall off bid to sue Apple over iTunes anti-piracy shenanigans

The status of the class-action lawsuit against Apple over its iTunes store is in doubt, after it appeared that the plaintiffs were not actually eligible to sue. On Friday, Apple filed a motion [PDF] to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs listed didn't actually own an iPod during the period for which they are …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Dec 2014

Cops accessing journo sources with RIPA? Use your powers properly, moan MPs

MPs calling on an overhaul of the eight-year-old communications data guidance for UK cops and spooks who use snooping measures have accused the Tory-led government of missing its own review target. The Home Office rebutted the criticism this morning by promising to publish a revised RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Dec 2014

Taiwan: Top tech giants must stop playing fast and loose with privacy

A Taiwanese watchdog claims 12 of the world's largest makers of cellphones have broken laws safeguarding privacy. The state's National Communications Commission, which has probed several tech giants, wouldn't name all of the accused – but officials at the regulator mentioned Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung, Sony and HTC, according to the …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Dec 2014

US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet

America's assistant commerce secretary Larry Strickling has told domain-name overlord ICANN that without improvements to its accountability the US government will not hand over the crucial IANA contract. IANA is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, a department of ICANN that oversees the DNS system keeping the internet glued …
Angry Birds for PC

Angry Birds to angry words: Rovio flings 14% of its staff out the door

Troubled Finnish gaming studio Rovio has sacked 110 staff, almost 14 per cent of its workforce, but is claiming success as it had planned to dump 130 people. "Rovio estimates that its workforce will be reduced by approximately 110 employees. As part of its reorganization, several positions have been opened for internal …
Iain Thomson, 5 Dec 2014

EU justice ministers: This is not the one-stop-shop you're looking for...

Despite concerns from individual countries, Europe’s Justice Ministers are a step closer to working out who will protect Europeans’ data from big internationals. The so-called one-stop-shop principle, which was a cornerstone of ex-Commissioner Viviane Reding’s Data Protection Regulation, has been dealt a blow after ministers …

Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK

The UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled Friday that GCHQ’s mass surveillance TEMPORA program is legal ... in principle. The IPT said that (again, in principle) British spooks are entitled to carry out mass surveillance of all fibre optic cables entering or leaving the UK under the 2000 RIPA law. It made the ruling …

GOOGLE is COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN

Comment Google is developing children-specific versions of its products aimed at the under-12s, smashing one of the tech industry's taboos. Pavni Diwanji, Google VP of engineering, says of the playground invasion that the goal is to "change our products to be fun and safe for children", or so she told USA Today. The paper drily notes …

Outsourcery wins a £1.1m project present. Well, it is nearly Christmas

A FTSE100 company has handed ailing cloudy biz Outsourcery an early Crimbo gift by signing a three-year contract worth an estimated £1.1m to rip out its ageing telephony system in favour of "voice services". It's been one hell of a year for the Manchester-based software-as-a-service and online infrastructure seller, co-founded …
Paul Kunert, 5 Dec 2014
Downing Street road sign

Oi, UK.gov. WHERE'S THE DETAIL on your Google Tax?

Tax experts have raised "serious doubts" over the government's ability to implement a "Google Tax" in just four months. In his Autumn Statement this week Chancellor George Osborne pledged to slap a 25 per cent tax on companies making profits in UK but diverted abroad. However, the Treasury did not supply any more details in its …
Kat Hall, 5 Dec 2014