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Government embarks on futile mission to censor teen music vid viewing

The government and major UK music labels have agreed to make a pilot programme permanent. UK-produced music videos will now have an age rating. And that will definitely stop kids from watching, and definitely not cause them to rush off to see what the fuss is about. If, for instance, we told you that in the of 132 music videos …
Simon Rockman, 18 Aug 2015
Donald Trump

Donald Trump dumps on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for major reforms to the United States' skilled labour and set himself up in opposition to Mark Zuckerberg. Trump singled out Zuckerberg with the release of his immigration reform policy that, among other things, details a plan to build a wall between the United States and …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2015

Has anyone lost 37 dope plants, Bolton cops nonchalantly ask on Facebook

The South Bolton tentacle of Greater Manchester Police has scored itself a bit of net kudos with a Facebook appeal for a "forgetful horticulturist" to come forward and claim 37 "mislaid" marijuana plants. The appeal on the GMP Bolton Facebook page, with photo of the mislaid cannabis plants The potted pot plants were dumped …
Lester Haines, 18 Aug 2015
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IRS: Tax-record snaffle scam actually 200% worse than first feared

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted Monday that the May scam in which criminals tried to use stolen data on more than 114,000 people to collect tax information was far larger than it originally thought. Uncle Sam's taxman now claims that on top of the 100,000 or so people whose data had been used to collect tax …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2015

US government tweaks internet handover date: 1 October 2016

The US government will officially hand over control of the top level of the internet on 1 October 2016 – a year later than planned. The Department of Commerce announced on Monday that it will extend the IANA contract, today held by domain overseer ICANN, by one year, meaning that it will expire on 30 September 2016. At that …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2015

ICANN CEO will head off to private equity firm

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has announced where he'll be heading after he breaks his contract 10 months early: private equity firm Abry Partners. Chehade surprised the internet community, and threw ICANN in disarray, when he announced in May that he was going to leave early – and, crucially, before ICANN takes over control of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2015

Choke on it! Brit police squeeze pirate site advertising money trail

The intercepting of advertisements served on dodgy pirate sites has begun to choke their revenue by 70 per cent, according to the City of London police, vindicating the policy of following the “money trail”, rather than an individual infringer, said the police and trade groups. Tactics include harassing the seedy ad networks …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2015
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

Jeff Bezos has responded to an article reporting on Amazon's allegedly unpleasant office culture by stating that the "shockingly callous management practices" do not ring true with the Amazon he knows. A mammoth article from the New York Times reported on Amazon's "bruising workplace" this weekend, with the subheading …
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Billionaire Soros 'likes' Facebook to the tune of $212m; Alibaba out of favour

Billionaire George Soros has slurped up $212m (£135m) of Facebook shares, while simultaneously shedding $365m (£233m) of stock in Chinese giant Alibaba. Last quarter, Soros had just $10.2m (£6.5m) in Facebook shares and $370m (£236m) invested in the Chinese tat bazaar. The shift in stock preferences was revealed in a …
Kat Hall, 17 Aug 2015

Jimbo 'Wikipedia' Wales leads Lawrence Lessig's presidential push

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has signed up as committee chair for tech lawyer Larry Lessig's tilt at the US presidency. “When you light up the Internet, anything is possible,” Wales says in the canned statement announcing his new gig. Lessig's admitted his attempt to win the presidency is futile, but hopes his candidacy …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Aug 2015

Adobe pays US$1.2M plus settlements to end 2013 breach class action

Adobe has paid an undisclosed amount to settle customer claims and faces US$1.2 million in legal fees after its 2013 data breach which compromised the details of 38 million users. The creative content king was served a November 2013 class action lawsuit filed in California in which it is claimed "shoddy" security practises …
Darren Pauli, 17 Aug 2015
Tianjin crater

China shutters 50 websites for spreading explosion 'rumours'

China's Cyberspace Administration has taken down 50 web sites for reporting “rumours” on the Tianjin explosions. State organ Xinhua now reports that 112 people are confirmed dead, with another 95 missing, after last week's explosions in a dangerous good warehouse. Chinese media that have reported different versions of events …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Aug 2015

Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Poll A trailer park owner faces an unusual conundrum: sell his property for $39m and keep the long-term residents on his land in their homes – or take $55m and watch property developers tear it all down. That's right, it could only be Silicon Valley. Joe Jisser's parents bought the park's 4.5-acre site 30 years ago for the not- …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Aug 2015
Sergey Brin

Verisign sues Google's new love-interest .XYZ for a second time

Verisign is up to its old tricks again, having sued XYZ.com, the owner of the .xyz registry a second time. Barely a day after XYZ.com got a boost when Alphabet, Google's new parent company, set up shop at abc.xyz, details emerged of a suit filed by Verisign against XYZ.com, its CEO Daniel Negari, and CentralNic, XYZ.com's back …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Aug 2015
Samsung Galaxy S4

US appeals court: Yes, Samsung ... sigh … you still have to pay Apple

Samsung's attempt to wriggle out of paying $548m to Apple has been shot down by the federal circuit court in Washington DC. Back in 2012, the South Korean giant was ordered by a district court in California to pay Apple just over half a billion dollars for shipping Android smartphones that infringing the iPhone maker's patents …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2015

Ex-SAP director: I bribed govt officials to seal the deals on software

A former regional director of German enterprise software outfit SAP has pleaded guilty to bribing officials in the Panamanian government to secure a contract for one of the company's resellers. Vicente Eduardo Garcia, 65, of Miami, Florida, admitted giving $145,000 in bribes to one government official and promising bribes to …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Commish grants Google two more weeks to work on EU antitrust defence

Google has been given another deadline extension as it prepares to mount a defence against antitrust charges in Europe. The search monster will now have until the end of the month to get its affairs in order, EU Competition Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso confirmed on Friday. Google had already been given an extra six …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2015
Fenland coverage

Ofcom coverage map: 7/10 – must try harder next time

Analysis Ofcom has released a map of where you should have mobile phone coverage. Based on computer models and limited testing, however, it’s not a map of where you do actually have mobile coverage. We searched one of our favourite blackspots – a point in Hampstead where the networks deliberately reduce coverage to avoid the signal …
Simon Rockman, 14 Aug 2015

PALE, MALE AND STALE: Apple reveals it has just ONE black exec

Apple’s latest diversity report shows that of the fruity firm's 83 executives, senior officials and managers, 72 are white and 60 of those are male. A look at Apple’s executive info biography page shows a sea of white male faces. Of the eighteen executives pictured, only three are female – one of whom, Denise Young Smith, of …
Simon Rockman, 14 Aug 2015

Costa Rican authorities detain drug-smuggling pigeon

Costa Rican prison authorities have thwarted a cunning attempt to smuggle drugs into chokey via carrier pigeon, CNN reports (in Spanish). An officer at the La Reforma penitentiary, on the outskirts of the Costa Rican capital San José, became suspicious of the bird and detained the winged narcotic messenger after luring it with …
Lester Haines, 14 Aug 2015

iMaker Hon Hai/Foxconn earnings stall as fanbois hold fire

Hon Hai/Foxconn's revenue slowed dramatically in the second quarter, as its iGadgets manufacturing reliance began to take its toll, with fanbois' showing thrift in anticipation of a new iPhone launch later this year. The Taiwanese manufacturer stated that Q2 net profits had risen 27 per cent from the preceding year, reports …

Reddit caves to Russian fungus censorship demands

Reddit has been banned and then unbanned in Russia, following the 4chan-lite site's decision to block domestic access in the country to a single page on growing mushrooms. After following through with its threat to censor the site over pages advising on "the cultivation of narcotic plants" [sic], Russian telecommunications …
Confused computer keyboard

Take redundancy if you want, Capita IS for turning now, after all

Crapita is to shutter both the Bury and Glasgow call centres that provide phone support for O2 customers after hundreds of staff – all of those in scope – accepted voluntary redundancy, a union said. This is a complete about-turn by the integrator-cum-outsourcing monster which even until a few weeks ago was telling us that no …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2015

Quadsys Five charged with fraud over data-slurping allegations

The boys in blue have charged Paul Cox, MD at Oxfordshire-based security outfit Quadsys, with fraud after he and others at the firm allegedly hacked into a rival security reseller to take data, including pricing info. Cox was among five bods arrested in March by Thames Valley Police (TVP) in conjunction with the National Crime …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2015
John Lewis gifts for teenagers

Skills crisis? Not for long: More and more UK kids gain STEM quals

More youngsters are taking A-Level exams in science and technology subjects this years than their peers five years ago, with an increase in tech subjects seen as an encouraging sign that the so-called skills shortage may become less acute in coming years. A-Level results released on Thursday revealed a 29.1 percentage point …
John Leyden, 14 Aug 2015

China laments 'wild guesses and malicious slurs' on state hacking

Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the USA in September, a visit expected to be afforded all the pomp and ceremony of a top-level bilateral leader's meeting. Other diplomatic protocols are meanwhile being observed, including sniping through the media. In China's case, that means state-owned Xinhua, which quoted Chinese …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2015

Australian court slaps down Hollywood's speculative invoices

The legal brawl between the owners of film Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) and Australian internet service provider iiNet has dealt a blow to Big Content's speculative invoicing practices by requiring a bond to be paid before the film's owners can contact suspected pirates. DBC's owners initiated legal action back in February, when …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2015

SEC: Ukrainian hackers' investment fraud ring raked in millions in 'unprecedented' hack

Analysis The computer hacking and securities fraud ring that was broken up by US authorities this week was "one of the most intricate and sophisticated trading rings that we have ever seen," the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said. Some 32 people were charged on Monday with offenses related to the scheme, which the SEC …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2015

Larry Page was held back by Google execs from flooding world with new dot-word domains

Google's new mom, Alphabet, has sent the domain name world into a frenzy following its decision to set up home at the online address abc.xyz. But behind the decision lies a deeper truth: Larry Page, as Google CEO, wanted his search giant to go big on new dot-word domain names – like .book or .computer – but was stymied by …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Aug 2015
fingers pointing at man

Pure and simple: Why Gartner's and IPOing storage biz's numbers didn't line up

Pure Storage’s S1 IPO filing said one thing about its 2014 revenues while a Gartner report said something a hundred million dollars different. Why? In more detail, Pure Storage’s S1 says revenues in the year to January 31, 2015, were $174 million. Gartner said in a Market Share Analysis: SSDs and Solid-State Arrays, Worldwide …
Chris Mellor, 13 Aug 2015
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Alibaba shares down as growth slows to a continental creep

After the largest-ever initial public offering in September, Alibaba has reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in three years. The Chinese e-commerce titan has been embattled by market competition, on top of the woes of China's domestic economy. Investors in New York were spooked and shares fell by seven per cent, …
Dell Chromebook

Dell, Google dangle Chromebooks over IT bosses sick of Windows

Pic Google’s Chromebooks are just over four year old and, while the hardware has done well in education, businesses and normal people haven’t been too keen. In response, the ad giant has teamed up with Dell to fix this with a line of Chromebooks for business. Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome for …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC shedding 15 per cent of workforce in 'strategic realignment'

Former Taiwanese smartphone titan HTC is to trim 15 per cent of its workforce following a 20 per cent share price tumble this week. The gadget manufacturer's share price dipped so low its market value is now below cash on hand, which has provoked the worker restructuring. In fact, the tumbling price of HTC's shares has " …

Intel workforce diversity report throws up a bunch of 'unknowns'

In the pursuit of transparency, Intel has released a breakdown of its staffers, including new hires – revealing that it doesn't seem to know all of its employees' sex or race. Chipzilla’s mid-year US workforce data report revealed the firm is making progress toward diversification. 43 per cent of newbies were women or non- …
Paul Kunert, 13 Aug 2015

ZUCK OFF: Facebook nixes internship after student embarrasses firm

Aran Khanna, the Harvard student who disclosed Facebook Messenger's location-spaffing qualities, had his internship offer withdrawn by Zuckerberg and Co because he – not they – had failed to appropriately consider users' privacy expectations. Khanna, a computer science student at Harvard, wrote a Chrome extension which …
Assange

Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

The Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, has announced that she will end the investigation into Julian Assange's alleged sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. According to an update on her official website, Ny has now "discontinued the investigation of Julian Assange with respect to suspected sexual …
Team Register, 13 Aug 2015
London Overground and a Southeastern train near Bermondsey. Pic: Matt Buck

Apple's AirDrop abused by 'cyber-flashing' London train perv

Perverts have latched onto Apple's AirDrop as a means of pushing unsavoury content at unsuspecting commuters. Lorraine Crighton-Smith, 34, received two unsolicited pictures of a unknown man's penis on her iPhone via AirDrop as she was travelling to work on a train in south London. Crighton-Smith, who told the BBC she felt " …
John Leyden, 13 Aug 2015
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Lenovo CEO: We will axe 3,200 workers as our profits shrink to nowt

There’s no room for sentiment or emotion in business, as Lenovo showed today when it reported an 80 per cent crash in pre-tax profits and plans to axe 3,200 jobs across the group. Revenues for the three months ended 30 June grew three per cent, excluding the impact of for-ex conversions to $10.7bn – but the firm saw a 47 per …
Paul Kunert, 13 Aug 2015
3D Robotics drone in Richard Branson's house

Drone racing sells robot soul to Mammon with launch of racing league

The hitherto sexy underground world of drone racing is to follow in the footsteps of most spectator sports by becoming a commercialised advertisement platform, as New Yorkers prepare to receive their very own Drone Racing League™. A New York startup, Drone Racing League, Inc. filed its application to trademark Drone Racing …

Monster Scalextric Formula 1 circuit to go under the hammer

A rather impressive Scalextric track designed by F1 commentator and former driver Martin Brundle, featuring "the best corners, chicanes and sections" from 2015 Formula 1 circuits will go under the hammer later this month in aid of the BBC's Children in Need. Suffice it to say, the winning bidder will need an extremely large …
Lester Haines, 13 Aug 2015

Sex app Tinder in public meltdown – because a journo dared suggest it was, well, a sex app

Dating app developer Tinder went ballistic this week over the suggestion people might use it for facilitating casual sex. The official Twitter feed for the swipe-for-sexytime appmaker became an angry rant platform Tuesday after a Vanity Fair writer had the gall to suggest that attractive young professionals are using Tinder to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2015

Aussies turn to comic cat videos for comfort

Internet cat videos really are conquering the world, or at the very least have started doing so in Australia, a nation now stripped of all sporting prowess, where the UK's Channel 5 production Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud has topped the nation's free-to-air TV ratings. First screened in the UK in January 2015, the show is …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2015