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Cops baffled by 'canal corpse' that turned out to be COCONUTS

Manchester coppers were baffled to discover that reports of a dead body in a canal were in fact someone's unwanted coconuts. Officers in Trafford were called after a walker pulled what he believed to be a bag full of animal bones from the Bridgewater Canal, near Longford Wharf on Stephenson Road in Stretford. The man noticed …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2015
Driverless car

Whitehall maps out Blighty's driverless future

The UK's Department for Transport – with £20m of R&D taxpayer money on the table (the first tranche of a total £100m) – has published a code of conduct for driverless car testing. Whitehall hopes to push British motor makers ahead of the game in getting driverless cars on the road, the DfT said. The code follows on from a …
eBay

eBay's new plan: sell the shirt off your back

Having spent much of 2015 shedding non-core businesses like PayPal, its Craigslist stake and its enterprise services unit, eBay has announced a back-to-the-roots acquisition of Twice. The San Francisco startup gives the company second-hand women's clothing sales, something that's sure to delight eBay sellers who specialise in …
Huawei HQ

Huawei claims 30 per cent growth for H1 2015/16

Huawei's core smartphone and network infrastructure units have driven the Chinese behemoth's revenue past $28bn for the first half of financial year 2015-2016. In a result that will chill the likes of Cisco, Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the company's revenues hopped on an elevator to grow 30 per cent year-on-year, and …
Still from the movie Zoolander: Derek and a fellow model try to get the 'files' out of the Mac by smashing it to pieces. copyright Paramount Pictures

America's tweaks to weapons trade pact 'will make web less secure'

The period for comments on proposed amendments to the Wassenaar Arrangement – which governs the export of guns, lasers and proper weaponry, and computer hardware and software – ends today. So far, the tweaks concerning IT security products have received an overwhelming thumbs-down from the technology community. In May the US …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2015
The Incredible Shrinking Man

What's dying on the vine and rhymes with IBM?

It was business as usual for IBM in the second quarter of its fiscal 2015 – which in Big Blue's case means it once again posted revenues that were lower than the same period a year ago. It was the thirteenth quarter in a row of which that could be said. Of course, to hear CEO Ginny Rometti tell it, it's still all part and …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jul 2015
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

The ongoing squabble between Microsoft and the US Internal Revenue Service is heading to court, beginning with a hearing to take place in a Seattle federal court on Tuesday. The case is gearing up to become one of the largest-ever legal battles between tax authorities and a US corporation over the practice of shifting assets …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jul 2015
Josh Greenberg

Grooveshark cofounder Josh Greenberg dead at 28

One of the cofounders of music-sharing site Grooveshark has died. The Gainesville Sun newspaper reports that the body of Josh Greenberg was found in his bed Sunday by his girlfriend. The cause of death has not yet been determined, though the report says drug use and foul play are not believed to be involved. Greenberg was 28 …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2015
Bonfire. Pic: DiAnn L'Roy, Flickr

Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

A blaze in southern California, which has already destroyed several cars and homes, has added another tool to its arsenal of dangers: bystanders' drones. NBC LA reports that drones taking footage of the blaze prevented the state's firefighting air units from getting involved in the firefighting effort, due to fears of …
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Fondleslab, wristjob action just not doing it for Apple right now

Apple's third quarter sales – due to be published tomorrow – will show the continuing value of iPhone and Mac products, while the Apple Watch and iPad merely disappoint, suggest a KGI analyst. Sluggish growth in the sales of wristjobs and the continuing decline of fondleslabs is reported by a "well-connected" KGI analyst, Ming …
Sleeper

Oi, Europe: join in the sharing economy fun, yells Gov.uk

Blighty is demanding Europe make it easier for sharing economy companies by cracking down on those spoilsport member states who "unlawfully" get in their way, Gov.uk said today in a "non-paper" on the subject. "We need a measured approach: putting a hold on reactive bans which don’t recognise the reality of internet-enabled …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2015
register logo

Strategy: Key to success or a set of MBA-made handcuffs

Reg Roundtable Try to steer a technology organisation in the absence of a strategy and you will be buffeted by the waves, until your organisation finally goes down with all hands. Or so most strategy consultants would have you believe. At the same time, an overly rigid strategy can soon become a dead weight, crushing your ability to innovate …
Team Register, 20 Jul 2015
Blackmail

Ashley Madison hack: Site for people who can't be trusted can't be trusted

Ashley Madison, a popular website for married people wishing to cheat on their other halves, has been hacked with obviously serious implications for those whose details it held. Previously unknown hacking group The Impact Team posted online caches of personal data stolen from the website, whose motto is "Life is short. Have an …
John Leyden, 20 Jul 2015
Monty Python TV viewer

Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

Analysis A subscription-access BBC isn’t a new idea, and for its advocates, it’s a natural evolution that ensures the survival of the Corporation in the modern world. Yet Minister for Fun John Whittingdale kicked the idea down the road yesterday. Whittingdale explained that for "conditional access" to work, non-subscribers would have …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jul 2015
The Shining - blood cascade

Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

The number of Home Office IT staff has been slashed by one third, following the latest round of redundancies at the department, The Register can reveal. Currently the department has an 800-strong IT team, following its recent laying off of 107 staff. However, multiple sources have confirmed this is just the latest in a round …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2015

America helps ease Ericsson's pain

Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg is breathing a sigh of relief, with America's demand for mobile broadband stabilising enough to help it beat forecasts for the second quarter. The company announced on Friday that the North American territory had finally stabilised after declining for three quarters, helping both sales and profit …
NBN Logo

Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Australia's government is looking for industry input into National Broadband Network (NBN) migration policy, and wants submissions by August 20. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement says the new round of consultation seeks a migration framework that is both industry-led and focussed on the end user. The …

Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart. Thursday doesn't even start. Friday I'm in .love

Today, Friday, sees the launch of one of the more interesting new internet top-level domains that has been approved by ICANN: .love. The TLD has passed from "sunrise" – during which trademark holders get first dibs on their names for a premium – to "general availability." Which means that you can now buy a domain ending in . …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jul 2015
FCC paddling

Flubbed hardware fix knocked out 911 calls, T-Mobile US cops big fine

T-Mobile US will cough up a $17.5m (£11.2m) fine after a botched equipment upgrade cut off emergency 911 calls for millions of Americans for hours. In a settlement [PDF] with US watchdog the FCC, T-Mob today promised to pay up, and improve its network in America to prevent future outages. T-Mobile US made a $247m profit last …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2015
A daisy

Daisy Group’s Riley: Integration of £200m + acquired beast starts today

Management at Daisy Group today start the mammoth task of integrating Phoenix IT Group, and getting the respective sales staff to cross-sell following yesterday’s purchase completion. The acquisition of tech services outfit Phoenix is the 48th acquisition Daisy has made since it was founded by chairman Matthew Riley in 2001, …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jul 2015
theresa_may_648

UK.gov will appeal against DRIPA-busting verdict, says minister

The government has announced it will appeal a High Court judgment which has ruled its DRIPA surveillance legislation unlawful. The High Court judgment, which was delivered this morning, ruled that the "emergency" DRIPA surveillance legislation rushed through Parliament last year is unlawful. Responding to the High Court …
Rotten apple. Pic: Shutterstock (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-29447929/stock-photo-a-rotten-apple-on-a-white-background.html)

HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay

Apple Pay has upset a few people already. People who can’t get to work, people who’ve been charged twice, and people who bank with HSBC. HSBC has felt the wrath of Apple fanbois for failing to launch Apple Pay, with negative tweets about the bank outnumbering positive ones five to one on the day of launch. These are the …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jul 2015

Oracle retreats on $210m Rimini Street 'value' damages

Rimini Street has struck back at Oracle after the database giant withdrew its claim for $210m damages against Rimini. Larry Ellison’s firm had claimed the amount based on fair market value of the copyright that it owned and that it claims Rimini Street has trampled. The figure was based on income lost based on a hypothetical …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Jul 2015

eBay flogs off eBay chunk for $925m as 'uncoupling' gets closer

Online tat bazaar eBay confirmed it is flogging off its eBay Enterprise division for $925m (£591m), while posting a seven per cent second quarter revenue increase to $4.4bn (£2.8bn). Total profits plummeted from $676m (£431m) to $83m (£53m) due to the $786m (502m) charge related to the sale of eBay’s enterprise unit. In …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2015

Shout, shout, Elliott loses out. Samsung will merge with itself after all

Shouty US investment firm Elliott Associates has itself been shouted down by Samsung shareholders, who today voted in favour of the company's mega merger with itself. Ever since becoming a Sammy shareholder in June, Elliot has been vociferous in its opposition to the proposed merger with fashion, leisure and construction biz …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2015
Finnish_Sauna_etching

Quantum blames wobbly storage world for its own wobbly financials

They say that when the tide goes out you can see who's been swimming naked. It's going out for Barracuda, QLogic, and Seagate, and Quantum makes four as it bares lousy preliminary Q1 numbers. Instead of the hoped-for $125 million to $135 million revenues in its first fiscal 2016 quarter, it's looking at just $111 million. This …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2015
Daniel Craig in Skyfall

High Court smacks down 'emergency' UK spy bill as UNLAWFUL

The High Court has ruled that the "emergency" DRIPA surveillance legislation rushed through Parliament last year is unlawful. A challenge brought by MPs David Davis (Con) and Tom Watson (Lab), following the rushed passage of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) – which was sped through Parliament under …
Kindle Big Brother

Metadata slurp warrant typo sends cops barging into the wrong house

The Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) half-yearly report revealed 17 serious errors committed by British authorities using interception powers, including one which lead to an innocent citizen's home being raided after the police mistyped a suspect's email address. In addition to whistleblower …

Farmer mooved after reunion with two-year fugitive cow

A fugitive cow has been reunited with her deeply mooved farmer after two years on the run, and occasionally the hoof. The day after her farmer brought Matylda home she escaped from her field in Western Poland, reported AP. Upset with her surroundings, the heifer hoofed it after a fairly brief sojourn. Her owner, Leszek Zasada …
Team Register, 17 Jul 2015

Ex-Apple bods suing Apple for bag searches get class-action upgrade

Two former Apple Store staffers suing Apple for searching their bags at work for possible stolen gear have upgraded their legal challenge to a wide-ranging class-action lawsuit. Judge William Alsup approved the class-action status in California's northern district court in San Francisco on Thursday. It means the lawsuit, …
Chris Williams, 17 Jul 2015

Sky still blue, above the ocean: Google still raking it in

Gigantic automated advertising machine Google has logged yet another quarter of sound results, showing that if you can get punters in the door to buy magic digital beans without ever having a paid staff member interact with them, you'll do well indeed. The Mountain View Chocolate Factory reported revenue of $17.73bn for the …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2015

Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

Pics and vid At 5:30am on July 16, 1945, American and British scientists watched the detonation of the world's first nuclear weapon and mankind entered the atomic age. Youtube Video The Trinity test was the high point of the Manhattan Project, the Allied powers' plan to develop an atomic bomb before the Germans or Japanese managed it. The …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2015

Pray for AMD

We were warned, but AMD's second-quarter results were still a shocking bloodbath, with revenue that missed analysts' estimates and came in even lower than the chipmaker's own revised guidance. Last week, we were cautioned to expect AMD's revenue for the period ending on June 27 to be down 8 per cent sequentially, contrary to …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2015
hacker

Bloke thrown in the clink for hacking SIXTY PER CENT of Americans

A Vietnamese crook has started a 13-year stretch behind bars for hacking into corporate America, and offering to sell personal information on 200 million US citizens. Hieu Minh Ngo, 25, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, identity fraud, and access device fraud charges, and four counts of computer fraud and abuse. Judge Paul J. …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2015
Angela Merkel's eyes

German spooks target officials who leaked govt docs to bloggers

Germany’s domestic secret service is backing a criminal case against government officials who passed documents to the press. Activists claim the investigation is an effort to clamp down on the freedom of the press, while others see it as a cynical move by interior spooks the Federal Office for the Protection of the …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jul 2015
management social5

Daisy Group seals Phoenix IT Group buy, exec set for exit

Some execs at LSE-listed Phoenix IT Group are edging toward the exit, El Chan can reveal, after the proposed takeover by Daisy Group today got the official rubber stamp. The approach from privately owned Daisy came in May when it offered 160 pence per share for Phoenix in a transaction that valued the equity at £135m. The …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jul 2015
Acropolis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/adeelanwer/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

Worstall on Thursday Hallelujah and may the Lord be praised! Someone has finally managed to find a decent economic use for Bitcoin. This isn't what those of us interested in the nitty-gritty of economics ever really expected, to be quite frank. We have looked on the alt-coin world as a rerun, a recapitulation, of every scam, fraud and mistake that …
Tim Worstall, 16 Jul 2015
The Netflix smartwatch: fun in the urinal, or wherever you want a house of cards

Netflix profits plunge, but streamer still plans global domination

Online gogglebox Netflix posted a 22 per cent increase in sales, to $1.64bn (£1bn), for its second quarter results, while profits plummeted by 63 per cent to $26m (£17m). The falling profits reflect the company's global domination plans and investment in self-commissioned drama. The streamer now has 65 million members, 23 …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_648

It's ALIVE! Network Services contract finally staggers upright

The government's much-delayed £2bn Network Services contract has finally gone live after 12 months of blood, sweat, tears and therapy on the part of suppliers. The framework is comprised of 61 suppliers, according to Innopsis, the representative body for public services network companies. Of those, 30 per cent are SMEs, the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015

Sod the law! We'll crack on with our metadata witchhunts, growl cops

Two police forces used lawful surveillance powers to spy on journalists' confidential sources without getting a judge's approval, according to the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) latest report. The 52 page report (PDF) reveals the negligible effect of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act …

Minister for Fun opens consultation on future of the BBC

The Government has opened up a wide-ranging consultation on the future of the BBC, whose ten-year duration Royal Charter expires in 2017. Inside the BBC Micro From this ... Coincidentally a Government review of the criminalisation of license fee evasion, was also published today, the Perry Review, which has decided to …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jul 2015
BT Openreach van

BT circles wagons round Openreach as Ofcom mulls forced split-up

BT has launched an offensive against moves to have its Openreach division completely hived off, with its view being that maintaining a near monopoly is the best thing for the country. Ofcom’s 2005 strategic review resulted in Openreach being repositioned to become a separate part of BT, but rivals have long been pushing for …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jul 2015